Friday, April 24, 2015

Fashion Revolution: 2 Years after Rana Plaza

Photo Credit: Fashion Revolution

Wow, Earth Day and Fashion Revolution in the same week! Awesome.  

Unfortunately, the date of Fashion Revolution is the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse that occurred in Bangladesh on April 24, 2013. To sum up in case you missed it, 1133 people died when a garment factory collapsed. Structural cracks has been found in the building the previous day and a bank and a few shops on the first floor closed immediately due to safety concerns. However, the garment workers were forced to go to work, some where even threatened to lose a month's pay if they didn't, and the 8 story building collapsed during the morning rush. 

It took over 6 months for some fast fashion clothing brands to even admit that they had clothes made in the factory. Primark offered the families of its deceased workers $200 if they were able to provide a DNA sample proving their loved ones death. Primark didn't provide any DNA sample kits, thankfully the United States stepped in to provide DNA kits. 

Is your blood boiling yet? A building was deemed unsafe, yet workers were forced to go in because people half way around the world needed $10 tshirts. Companies tried to hide that they even worked there and then when they couldn't they offered victims a measly $200. 

Would that happen in America?

HELL NO. 

Should it have happened in the first place?

HELL NO.

No affiliate links today, no lists of "buy this," just a call for everyone to think about what you're purchasing dollars mean. Did your clothing purchase put someone's life in danger? Did a child make your sneakers? Is a young mother able to support her family while making your clothes? Can a dad pay for his kid's school supplies while making accessories? 

Worker safety is one of the biggest reasons I only buy American made clothes. I'd love to be able to support others around the world, but unfortunately there are so few companies that provide the transparency to feel secure knowing that my dollars were spent safely. Don't get me wrong, companies are listening and we've now got places like Everlane and Zady that provide radical transparency and work to ensure that their foreign workers are safe and being treated fairly. They produce items both domestically and internationally and tell you exactly where each piece is produced.  And I support that! I've yet to buy an imported item from those companies, but I plan to in the future because I want to support the mission that they are doing. 

I believe in hustling. I believe in putting yourself out there. If you've got an idea, then go for it. Put yourself at risk. That I totally support.

I don't support treating workers like subhuman people and taking advantage of cheap labor. Human lives are not cheap, no matter what the person looks like, what body parts they have, what they believe in, and where they live. 

Get involved. Look at your tags today and ask the brand "Who Made My Clothes?" Visit Fashion Revolution for more information on how you can get involved.  #WhoMadeMyClothes 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day Beauty Essentials


Alima PURE Natural Definition Mascara // Pacifica Transcendent Concentrated Concealer // Physicians Formula Nude Wear Touch of Glow Palette

I am not a makeup guru by any stretch of the imagination. Pulling off a smokey eye is a challenge for me, which is why I keep my beauty routine very simple and straightforward. But in the spirit of Earth Day and my belief to REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE I'm happy to share that I keep my makeup collection green because I try to buy natural products whenever I can and I keep my stash to a bare minimum. Not having 10+ tubes of mascara or lipstick is green because just think of all the packaging waste.

Without further ado, here's my top "green" beauty makeup products:

Face: 
Juice Beauty Steam Cellular CC Cream: This is a light coverage CC Cream, but you can mix it with another foundation or cream to build the coverage or finish with powder. What it lacks in full coverage it more than makes up for in the fantastic for your skin ingredients, including a chemical free SPF 30 sunscreen protection. This was the first beauty item I purchased when I found out I was pregnant because I wanted to cut down on the chemicals going onto my skin immediately.  Parabens Free, Cruelty Free, Pesticides Free, Phthalates Free, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free, Articfical Dyes Free, Made in USA. 

Today only at Ulta get a FREE full size Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer with any $50 online purchase.

Pacifica Transcendent Concentrated Concealer: This concealer is amazing. It's great for both covering spots and working under the eyes without creasing. I used to pick this stuff up at Whole Foods, but now my local Target is carrying more Pacifica items in store. Parabens Free, Cruelty Free, Vegan Friendly, Phthalates Free, Articfical Dyes Free, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free, Made in USA. 

In addition, Pacifica is committed to its goal of being a zero product-manufacturing waste in their Portland factory. I haven't tried their lipstick yet, but they just came out with a line of lipsticks with recyclable tubes!

Physicians Formula Nude Wear Touch of Glow: I'll be fully honest, it took me a long time to come onto the bronzer/blush train because my skin is so pale and yet I get red cheeks extremely easy. I've used other PF products in the past and saw them on sale one day at the drugstore and figured why not try this whole bronzer/blush thing out with a nice little palette that doesn't look too crazy or shimmery. Voila! Done. Parabens Free, Hypoallergenic, Fragrance Fee, Cruelty Free, Non-Comedogenic, Made in USA. 

Eyes: 
Alima PURE Natural Definition Mascara: I've tried other so-called "green" and "natural" mascaras and found that they don't hold well and tend to flake off as the day progresses. This stuff doesn't! I don't wear mascara every single day because I have freakishly long eye lashes and they tend to look crazy big with most mascaras. I know, I hate myself too sometimes for this problem. This mascara is great for every day at work, but is build-able for when I want a bolder look for after hours. One of the big reasons I switched to Alima is I was fearful about the trace amounts of mercury in mascaras. Apparently if the ingredient makes up less than 1% of the product companies are not required to list it as an ingredient! And mercury is one of the top utilized preservatives in mascara! Preservative Free, Parabens Free, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free, Phthalates Free, Certified Natural Ingredients, Cruelty Free, Made in USA

RMS Beauty Eye Polish: This is probably the creamiest eye shadow in the world and yet it sets and doesn't sink into the creases! I know it sounds crazy to go on about the packing of a beauty product, but RMS uses such simple and minimal packaging that it's really refreshing. Plus everything is recyclable. I have the eye shadows in lunar and karma. The lunar color can be used as both a highlighter and lipstick, whereas I use the karma color mainly as an eyeliner. Again, green because you're reducing the number of products you own. Certified Organic Ingredients, Parabens Free, Soy Free, GMO Free, Cruelty Free, Made in USA

Lips:
Mineral Fusion Lipstick: My obsession with Mineral Fusion started on a solo shopping trip to Whole Foods when I came across a trio of their sheer moisture lip tint chubby sticks packaged as a gift set. Hey, if the hubs doesn't come with me to Whole Foods then he doesn't have to know I'm buying makeup while I'm there :) After a week of use I ditched all of my other lip glosses (save for a few Burt Bee's ones) because none of the others compared to how moisturized my lips felt while using the Mineral Fusion ones. On a road trip I went to a super fancy Target and saw that they carried the Mineral Fusion lipsticks in stores... and I might have picked up more than one tube. Oh my goodness. Creamiest lipsticks ever. Parabens Free, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free, Phthalates Free, 100% Vegetarian, Cruelty Free, Made in USA. 

What are you essential green beauty products? Please note, "green" means something different to everyone and I fully respect if your definition differs from mine.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 22 Weeks


I know, you're thinking, "wait, weren't you just at 18 weeks?" Yeah, I did that recap a week late because I just didn't have the energy to get it up in time, but trust me I'm officially at 22 weeks right now! 

22 WEEKS / 6 MONTHS

Baby's size: Almost a full pound and the size of a spaghetti squash.  

I'm feeling: Officially pregnant all the time. I felt movement at 18 weeks, actually the night I ran a half marathon, and that caused a little bit of concern. Thankfully a quick call to the doctor and I was relieved that everything was okay.  The movement is definitely stronger now, although the hubs still hasn't felt Chalupa Batman's kicks, and those movements are off and on throughout the day, which makes it pretty hard to forget that I'm pregnant. My energy levels are certainly lower than they used to be when I wasn't pregnant, but I'm moving around really well at the moment and for that I'm eternally thankful.   

Physically: Still moving around pretty strong. My belly is definitely growing and I have a feeling it's added on more than the 3lbs I put on this past month. My own physical activity has increased this past month as the weather has warmed up. I'm not doing double digit long runs anymore, but I am running 3-4 times a week and walking almost every day. I'm actually very thankful for that 1.5 mile round-trip walk to and from work every day. One perk of taking mass transit! Normally this is the time of year where I would lose a few pounds of "winter weight" so I think my body is just transferring weight from one area to another.  

My Wardrobe: I technically can still fit into non-maternity pants with a belly band, but they just aren't comfortable for being away from home 10+ hours every Monday through Friday. I have three pairs of maternity trousers and I'm rotating them like crazy. Dresses are becoming my best friend. I have not yet been successful at finding maternity tops that work with my short torso and finding running maternity tops that aren't tank tops is apparently mission impossible. I'm incredibly frustrating by the limited maternity clothes selection in stores because I would prefer to try things on for sizing purposes. I've toed the small/medium line my entire life and now the minor differences between those two sizes seem even further apart. 

I'm Sleeping: Not as well as I was before. I'm experimenting with different pillow positions to try to find something that works. I haven't had to get up in the middle of the night yet to visit the bathroom, but there's no more lazy mornings in bed. I've got to get up and go seconds after waking up because my bladder doesn't have its normal holding power anymore. I haven't snored at all since that one incident last month, which is great.  I am fearful that come August I'm going to be sleeping my nights away on our recliner, but if that's what I need to do to get comfortable I'll cross that bridge later. 

Food Aversions & Cravings: Aversions are gone. Now that it's grilling season the hubs cooks onions outside so I don't' have to smell them at all. As for cravings I'm all about the milk and apple juice - just at separate times!  I'm actively trying to drink more milk and eat more cheese for calcium purposes. Dessert most nights is now a glass of chocolate milk.  My brother learned the hard way that I will freak out if anyone else drinks the last of the organic apple juice and doesn't replenish the bottle with the "correct" type of apple juice.  Sorry, but I'm very specific when it comes to fruit juices because I refuse to drink juices with a ton of added sugars. If I wanted that much sugar, I'd eat a candy bar.  Also, HANGRY is a legit phenomenon when pregnant. If I don't eat every 2.5-3 hours all hell breaks loose. It isn't pretty. 

What I'm excited for this next month: Checking more things off of our to-do list. The hubs has a lengthy list of things we need and want to get done before August and we made a ton of progress last month, but still have quite a ways to go.  We ordered the crib and glider, but unfortunately they won't get in until 36 weeks. I know, I'm freaking out over that.  Thankfully the dresser should be in next week and then we can get our shelves up.   I'm really looking forward to maintaining my physical activity as best as possible. The hubs and I completed a 10k over the weekend and I don't have another race lined up at this moment, but I had so much fun that I'm looking to run another 10k in May. 

The Hubs: I'm not about to start the canonization process just yet, but the hubs is a saint. I had a minor freak out about how much we have left to do on our to-do list and how little time left to do it. He was so calm and collected and when I came home from work that very day he was washing the carpets. Seriously, what guy steam cleans carpets? I know when most people describe their ideal partner they don't put attributes like calm and patient at the top of their list, but right now those are the qualities I need the most from the hubs. Although I think his patience is actually a slow-play to name our baby boy Stetson. Seriously, the man won't give up that name! 


Friday, April 17, 2015

DC Cherry Blossoms



Last Friday after work my best friend and I met up and walked over to see the Cherry Blossoms at the DC Tidal Basin. The weather forecast included scattered thunderstorms, but thankfully we lucked out with a lovely mid-60 degree gray evening. A few darker clouds rolled in for a brief moment and there was a sprinkle or two, but we just used those moments to fully enjoy standing under the blooming trees. 

I jokingly told my friend, "wow, I only took 174 photos!"  She was shocked, but in previous years when I was down for a gorgeous sunny day and another morning at sunrise I took 400+ photos on each previous occasion. It could have been a combination of the weather, the fact that we were both hungry, or my rapidly dwindling energy supply. Chalupa Batman was kicking up a storm, which meant he was either have a grand ol' time (totally my kid!) or was over the entire situation (totally the hub's kid!). 

Even if we didn't make it around the entire tidal basin we had an amazing time. I'm trying to schedule as many girls dates with my friends while I still have the energy to move around at a decent pace. This might have been one of the best girl dates of all time because there's nothing better than the beautiful scenery in DC during peak cherry blossom season. The gray skies were absolutely amazing because they acted as a filter and made the focus solely on the blooms. 

Okay fine, if I could have had a glass of wine with my best friend at dinner that would have been nice addition to the night. I'm fairly certain our waiter thought I was a recovering alcoholic because my best friend asked while we were ordering if I minded if she drank a glass of wine and then again later when it came time to order dessert she asked about the tiramisu and if it was soaked in any liquor. I fully appreciate her looking out for me! 

Anyone else make it down to see the Cherry Blossoms this year? I felt that they were on the paler side this year and there were only a few truly pink trees. It could have been the muted gray skies or that I was there a day before the "official" peak. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Space Between

Made in USA: Tshirt : old Les Femmes Velours // Jeans : James Jeans / Flats: Oka-B (on sale) // Bag: Clare V Messenger (other colors 25% off with code 'SPRING25')

I'm officially in that somewhat awkward space where all of my friends and family are exclaiming "Hello belly!" and yet to a complete stranger I don't look quite pregnant yet. It just looks like I could afford to hit the gym and that I haven't done any core work in a few months (totally true!). Or at least I didn't look pregnant to a kind waitress Saturday night and after her fourth inquiry if I wanted a beer I just blurted out, "nope, pregnant and the designated driver!" Maybe she just thought my pudgy waist was a beer gut.

I'm totally sticking out my belly in the photo above in order to make it look like I've got a belly going on.

But I digress. My days of wearing non-maternity pants are quickly slipping by me and these well-loved boyfriend jeans are my go-to pants as soon as I'm out of work.  I think my husband might burn them soon.

One thing he won't be burning any time soon is the Clare V Messenger bag he bought me for my birthday in February. I don't where he found the sold out and discontinued purple color, but I'm absolutely smitten with it. I'm fairly certain it has been the only bag I've carried since my birthday. It's been an absolute gem with the assortment of snacks, water bottles, belly band (just in case I decide my pants are not working at the moment), Tums, planner, etc. that are new additions to my bag stash. Sure I might have a Mary Poppins moment from time to time digging through it to find something, but I'm place in life where I'd rather have everything I need with me rather than panic and have to make a pit stop. That happened one time when I didn't have a bottle of Tums on me (heartburn hell) and I was absolutely miserable.

What's your carry-everything-in-your-life bag at the moment?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Baby Boy!



Baby Boy Chalupa Batman has 10 fingers and 10 toes. He's healthy and all of his internal measurements are tracking spot on for his due date. Just keep cooking little fella and we'll wait to meet you in August.

And he's stolen an even bigger piece of our hearts.  Truthfully, I really wanted a baby boy. I mean this in no disrespect to my older sister, older brother-in-laws, or my younger brother, but growing up I always wanted an older brother.  There are zero guarantees that the hubs and I will ever have a baby girl, but I'm on cloud 9 knowing that we'll have a rambunctious boy in our lives in all due time.

It started to pour buckets as soon as we got home from the doctor's office yesterday afternoon and my idea of a quick photo session marking the occasion in a grassy field were promptly dashed. Thankfully we happen to have a guest room with ridiculously bright blue walls. So these photos might not be the most technically sound, the ISO had to be cranked way to high for my liking, but the emotion in them is something I'll cherish forever.

The gender didn't matter for us, but finding out our little one is healthy was all that mattered. I know I said I wanted a boy, but honestly I would have been just as ecstatic if we were told we were having a girl. I swear because just hearing our little one was healthy was the important news. Especially after running a half marathon last weekend, it was rather nice to have a solid update for those few family members who voiced objections about me running.

Now, the biggest struggle is just going to be containing myself and not buying every train or super hero item I see in stores. Although, I probably would have bought the same things if we were having a baby girl :) Lincoln Logs were my favorite toy as a child and I had more than one Tonka truck.

I swear, this is little ol' blog is not going to become a pregnancy diary. I'll get back to other things here soon. I'm not making any excuses for being a tad bit focused on the little one lately. This has definitely been a game changer.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 18 weeks


If I'm completely honest, I'm not one of those women who naturally knew what to do the second I found out I was pregnant. If I'm being brutally honest, there was a very lengthy pause while clutching a home pregnancy test. My first and immediate thought was that I needed to tell my husband, who was about to make our standard protein shakes for breakfast. Thank goodness the phone rang and that bought me a few precious moments to pull myself together.  After telling my husband I had no idea what I was supposed to do. 

The next 14 weeks have been the most tumultuous of my life, although I imagine I'm going to be saying that this fall when my world is tossed upside down with the addition of our little one. There were the euphoric highs of dancing around the kitchen after telling my hubs and seeing the smile on his face, having my grandmother remember our news after we told her on Christmas night (my dear grandmother doesn't always remember my name, so having her remember that we were going to have a baby really was amazing), hearing the heartbeat at 10weeks/2 days, watching our little one move around on the sonogram screen at exactly 13 weeks, and finally getting to share the news with all of our friends and family that after seven plus years of marriage we were going to have a baby. 

I'm in a much better place now where I can focus and hold onto those highs because I really don't want to revisit the lows. I started a journal where I kept weekly thoughts, but destroyed them after they turned a bit negative. I felt like my body was at war with itself and it wasn't a pleasant feeling. I'm in a great place right now and I'm starting fresh. I think flipping the chapter  in our well worn baby book and seeing that 18 weeks is the beginning of the fifth month was just the kick I needed to restart my tracking.  Just now on a monthly basis :)  And in typical fashion, I'm a week late already. 

18 WEEKS/ 5 MONTHS

Baby's size: a green bell pepper. 

I'm feeling: On top of the world this week. I ran a half marathon over the weekend. I use the term "run" loosely because it was my slowest half marathon time, however, that was the intention and goal going into it. I barely ran during weeks 6-13 so getting enough mileage in to safely warrant a half in just five weeks was a big achievement. Yes, my doctor approved me running! I don't know if it's the second trimester glow or if it's because the weather is getting warmer by the day, but I'm definitely seeing a marked improvement in my energy levels. I still fall asleep on the couch if I don't make it to bed by 10pm, but at least during the day I have the energy to take the stairs and move around as much as possible. 

Physically: My belly didn't start to show until week 17. And then it was BAM! Belly! Actually I'm pretty sure that from weeks 5-16 I just looked either bloated or that I had a big meal, so actually seeing a round belly was a welcomed sight.  The 6lbs that I've gained (after losing 5+ in the first trimester) have settled nicely around my belly and unfortunately in my chest. I actually had to wear a sports bra to work one day because I swear my chest grew a full cup size overnight. Thanks to Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter my skin is looking better than it ever has before. I don't know if it was the brutal winter, the pregnancy, or a combination of both, but my skin was a wreck for most of the first trimester. 

My Wardrobe: I officially need to buy maternity clothes ASAP. So far the only maternity clothing purchase I've made is a few belly bands. A dear friend gifted me some of her old maternity clothes and while most of them are summer clothes there is one pair of grey trousers that I've worn a few times. I can still button and wear my beloved James Jeans boyfriend jeans thanks to their low cut, but I'm pretty sure my days are numbered in them. I also think the hubs is ready for me to stop wearing them because they are extremely lived in at the moment. I can't remember the last time I wore a fitted blouse or a belt to work. Well, the last time I wore a fitted blouse to work I popped a button while hiccuping. Thank goodness for my scarf! I feel like I might have a chance of dressing my growing belly appropriately, but I am at a loss for how to dress my newly enlarged chest. It's a new problem area for me. I'm down to three sports bras that I can comfortably wear while logging mileage. Again, I'm not used to having that problem!

I'm Sleeping: Like a rock! I love sleeping. I haven't had problems yet with getting comfortable and I hope that continues for as long as possible. The hubs said I snored one night, but that was after an extremely long day and I haven't snored since so I'm hoping that was a fluke. 

Food aversions & cravings: The smell of onions makes me want to gag. It's hysterical because I used to sneak raw onion when dicing them up, but now I have to leave the downstairs area of our house when the hubs is cutting and cooking onions. I don't know if it is a craving per se, but I'm eating peanut butter like my life depended on it. I think that's more mental because during all of our daycare visits (8 of them!) it was hammered in that our kid wouldn't be taking a peanut butter snack to school. I think I just want to stock up on the peanut butter now in case my lifetime supply has an expiration date in a few years. 

What I'm excited for this next month: I feel like this is such a big month. We're ordering the crib and glider this weekend. Our mortgage refinance should be finalized. I've got a 10k race on the calendar in April. Most importantly, as long as little Chalupa Batman (yes, that's our fetal nickname!) cooperates we'll be finding out the gender next week. I think that means the naming discussion will kick up into high gear next week. Right now my husband's favorite name is Stetson. Yeah, we're working on it. 

The hubs: The man has been an absolute saint. He hasn't complained once about my lack of help around the house and he's never said to me, "really? another nap?" He kept the house functional during the first trimester, he's been cooking more dinners than me, and he's just been amazing. He coordinated all of our daycare visits.  He put together a spreadsheet on different strollers and car seats. He started looking at cribs online one night just to cheer my up. The man bought a new SUV last week rather than his dream sports car because obviously the SUV is more baby friendly! He's been putting up with an extra dose of my brand of crazy lately and he hasn't balked yet at anything. H sprinted out of the house to the grocery store the first day I had morning sickness and came home with soup, saltines, ginger ale, and a pint of Ben & Jerry's. He's been my rock and heaven knows I've needed him more than ever lately. It's a total cliche, but I feel as this pregnancy as brought us even closer together.