These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…(That Fight Trafficking)

medium_2067393199It’s that time of year! (YAY!) The stores have started decorating, the commercials are trying to sell their version of a “magical” Christmas, and my neighbors have [already] put their decorations up.

Although a lot of people aren’t ready to admit to it because Thanksgiving hasn’t come yet, it is about time to start planning: the best cards to send, a list of who to buy presents for, and of course the menu for that perfect Holiday meal.

Christmas cards, gifts and food are inevitable to make the Holidays special, so why not also make them meaningful?

With a little research, everything you purchase for the perfect Holiday this year can also make a difference in someone else’s life or support a cause that you’re passionate about.

You all know my passion, so below is a list of some of my favorite stores that provide beautiful products that fight human trafficking.

Christmas Cards:

love146         mhkenya        sanctuary

Love146 -These ReImagine cards were all handmade on recycled paper by young women in the Love146 survivor care program in the Philippines. Proceeds go toward ending child trafficking and exploitation.

Sanctuary Spring -By purchasing these cards you are helping employ women who are escaping prostitution in the Philippines.

FACTAlliance – These cards were designed by American Survivors of Child Sex Trafficking. Proceeds go toward building and sustaining aftercare homes  for survivors in the USA. (Much needed!)

Mercy House Kenya -Made by the girls from Mercy House Kenya. Every card is completely unique and each have a beautiful African flare.

House of Magnets -This is a neat website where you can choose your Holiday card, customize it and then choose what type of Charity you would like to donate proceeds towards. Anything from a water well to ending trafficking.

Gifts:

lily          Mary Clutch          livefashionable

Raven and Lily -(Probably my favorite!) Created as a platform to utilize the passion of fashion and ethical design to alleviate poverty among women. Raven and Lily provide GORGEOUS, modern jewelry, accessories, clothing and gifts made by women from all over the world who were at risk and are now employed at fair wages.

Starfish Project – Established to provide alternative employment to empower exploited women in Asia. This store also has amazingly beautiful jewelry! (Check out the Lily necklace. FAB.)

Live Fashionable -Provides employment to women in Africa so that they will have a life-changing impact on their family and community. They make some of the most beautiful scarves I’ve ever seen!

Sak Saum -A ministry dedicated to the rescue, restoration, transformation and rehabilitation of vulnerable and exploited women and men in Cambodia. If you are looking for a handbag for someone, look no further. I’m loving the Mary Clutch!

Made by Survivors -Offering pretty much everything, Made by Survivors gives 100% of their proceeds to fight trafficking and end slavery. All products are made by people around the world who have been exploited or lived in extreme poverty. The best part is that they have a kid’s department, but nothing is made by kids!!

Amazon Smile -Now you can shop your favorite online store for anything (and I mean anything) and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to a charity of your choice! Just click the link, sign in and choose what organization you would like to choose! (RescueHer.org, anyone?)

Food:

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ZOE Coffee -If you drink coffee every morning anyway, why not make it count? Try ZOE, a European style, dark roasted, fair trade coffee. Each sip is a step closer to ending slavery!

Free2Work -Before you plan that perfect Holiday meal, learn how your favorite brands relate to trafficking and other labor abuses. Free2Work provides consumers with information on forced and child labor for the brands and products they love. (Check out chocolate*.)                                                                                                                         *Warning: Once you look you can never again say that you did not know.

Fair Trade USA -This site is kind of fun! Choose what type of food (or product) you are needing and it will give you a list of brands that are fair trade!

Whole Foods -Claiming to be the “America’s healthiest grocery store,” Whole Foods seeks out the finest natural and organic foods available, maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry, and have an unshakable commitment to sustainable agriculture.

Market Street -Committed to be more environmentally friendly, Market Street is a unique, one-stop shopping experience that combines shoppers’ everyday grocery needs with the gourmet and specialty items, whole-health products, and freshly prepared foods they create.

These are just some of my favorites. There are so many stores that support causes. You can find one that supports your passion, all it takes is a little research.

What causes are you going to support this year?

 

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My First Subscription Box

Subscription boxes seem to be the newest popular purchase right now.  Have you heard of them? You go to the website, sign up and at the beginning of each month they send you a box of items worth more than the subscription price.  My first thought was, what a waste of money! Especially since you don’t even know what you are going to get!

But, it did peak my interest, so I decided to do some research. I found out that there are over 100 different subscription boxes for every type of interest!! Makeup, Beauty, Clothes, Food, Health, Fitness, Vegan, Children, Hobbies, Toys, and even Travel.

After reading reviews of all the different boxes, I was intrigued. Almost every single person enjoyed their boxes and the contents.  Many of them were addicted to subscribing to more than one type of box a month!

Obviously I had to know, are these boxes really worth the money? Are they really that enjoyable? Are they really addictive? (I sure hope not! That would get expensive!) So, I narrowed down the type of boxes I was interested in (Makeup, Beauty and Jewelry) and I chose a box that seemed to fit: the Indie Gift Box.

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Indie Gift Box interested me because they don’t just focus on one item, but on handmade items by independent artists. Plus, they give you hints throughout the month about what items will be in the next month’s box. It comes in two sizes: Standard for $20 ($25-$50 worth of items) or Deluxe for $25 ($30-$60 worth of items). I opted to save money and ordered the Standard, just in case I didn’t like it!

I’m not going to lie, the most disappointing thing about this box was it’s size. For some reason I assumed this box was going to be the size of a small shoe box. Instead it was the size of a thick journal. Once I opened the bright hot pink tissue paper, I completely forgot my disappointment!

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Here were my surprises:

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I am in love with this nail polish! The color is Unicorn Landia by Starrily.  I painted it over a neutral vanilla matte polish. It dried leaving a beautiful iridescent glow without it feeling like I painted glitter on my nails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013-09-10 18.10.54-1This product completely surprised me! Nail Butter claims to treat and heal nails and cuticles, not just mask the problems. I was skeptical, but after using it for only two days my dry cuticles feel so soft!                                                                                             Plus their product sizes are called “Marilyn” and “Audrey”. They have completely won me over!

 

 

 

 

2013-09-10 19.17.04The sample of Honey Love Face Scrub by The Wild Honey Apothocary came in this cute wrapping stamped with a tiny bee. I was reluctant to use this on my face as I have sensitive skin, but everything I researched said that honey is good for all skin types. I’ve only used it once (and boy it was sticky!!), but my skin felt so clean and smooth afterwards!

 

 

 

2013-09-09 19.24.41-1This was the biggest sample in the box: Apricot and Blackseed Serum by Aucocisco Naturals. I haven’t opened this yet, but it is an oil to be used as a facial moisturizer to smooth rough, dry patches of skin or in your hair to give it a smooth shine. It is also supposed to be safe for all skin types.

 

 

 

2013-09-10 21.14.48-2Finally, there was a sample of eyeshadow by Noelle Beauty. This shade is called “Storm“. It is a silvery gray color and I love it! It looks great with my hazel eyes! Apply dry for a light-gray or wet for a slate-gray color.

 

 

 

 

Also included in the box were several coupons for different Etsy stores and a list of the total value of the above items. My box value was just under $40.

I really enjoy the items that came in my box, but I can’t say that I would want to order this box every month. It would really depend on what was going to be in it. I think next time I will try a beauty subscription box.

Have you tried a subscription box? What did you think?