Better Life Bags + What I Wore

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I took a little break from What I Wore posts but I’m thinking about bringing them back starting in August because I’m rethinking wardrobe and buying practices and I’d love to share more of that journey with you on a regular basis. I’m easing back in today with a business I’ve been giddy to share with you…

When the words ethical fashion and fair trade are mentioned, most people think of employment for men + women who wouldn’t regularly have jobs in OTHER countries. Rebecca Smith and her family saw a need for this kind of employment right here in the United States. Rebecca and her family live in a low-income area of Detroit. The unemployment rate is 20%. Jobs are scarce and many people in the community are first-generation immigrants with few connections to finding these jobs.

Better Life Bags logo

Rebecca and her company, Better Life Bags, are changing the outlook for many women in the Detroit area by renting out sewing machines, teaching sewing skills, and providing an income for these women to support their families. What Rebecca and her family are doing in Detroit is an amazing example of seeing and meeting a need right in her own community. We don’t have to travel far to make a big difference.

I adore Rebecca’s heart {and her cute family} and her mission…and then I saw the selection of bags made by the women of Better Life Bags and I just fell in love. While there are ready-to-ship bags in the Better Life store, the real fun and beauty is in the custom bags, where you pick the colors, fabric, and finishes!

I was looking for a bag to travel with – not too big, but able to hold my laptop, Day Designer, and a few other travel essentials. Rebecca pointed me towards the Brynnda and it is JUST PERFECT.

Meet my Brynnda…

Better Life Bags Brynnda

I knew two things when I was picking out the custom features of my bag:

  1. It had to include green somewhere.
  2. I wanted fabric that wouldn’t show dirt easily.

At first, I thought the pattern I chose was in black, but Rebecca clarified it was actually navy and I didn’t know if I would love it…but I do. I love it. It is like no other bag I have ever owned. The size is just what I wanted – big enough to travel with, but small enough to use every day.

Better Life Bags Brynnda Inside

The interior is a heavy-duty navy canvas which will hold up to my abuse very well and I’m SO glad there is a zippered interior pocket! The clasp on the outside is super strong, so I’m not worried about my bag accidentally falling open on an airplane! There is also a shallow pocket on the front {the green fabric is the top of that pocket} and a deep pocket on the back exterior of the bag – places for everything!

Better Life Bags All

Because I switch bags a lot during a week – gym bag, diaper bag, purse – I decided to get some matching nesting pouches as well! Aren’t they adorable?!

Better Life Bags Nesting Pouches

I’m currently using the small one for lip gloss and the medium one for the ridiculous array of pens I like to carry everywhere for my planner + Bible study. The reinforced leather bottom is so gorgeous and each pouch also has the same heavy-duty canvas as the interior of my bag.

Better Life Bags Styled

This gives you a better idea of how big the Brynnda is – such a great size! I’m wearing it here with my She Does Justice “Speak Life” shirt {designed with Jessi from Naptime Diaries}, Levi’s skinny jeans, The Root Collective pink striped peep toe flats, fashionABLE Teshome bracelets {and my Fitbit!}, and Johari Creations earrings!

I’m obviously head-over-heels about my new bags, but the best part of the whole package was this…

Better Life Bags Nadia

I know this post is about beautiful bags, but it is also about beautiful life change that happens when the bags are purchased. Nadia is just one of the women who are employed because of Better Life Bags, but hers is the tag and story I will carry with me.

Which bag and story will you carry? Find the Better Life Bag that fits your lifestyle and needs on their site! There are literally bags for everyone – diaper bags, camera bags, pouches, purses, phone cases, laptop sleeves, and more! Make your way over to Better Life Bags and create your own masterpiece to support the women of Detroit today!

UPDATE: Through the end of July, use the code ENJOYJULY to get 15% off your order! Expires at midnight, July 31, 2014!

Which Better Life Bag would you love to carry?

 

I received the Brynnda bag to review from Better Life Bags. I was not compensated in any way for this review and all opinions are 100% my own!

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The Leather Tote That Changes Lives

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A leather tote that changes lives?!

Mamuye Tote 2

I promise you I’m not being overdramatic and I’m not just talking about how much you’ll love this bag for yourself. The Mamuye leather tote from fashionABLE is not just any bag to add to your collection and empty your wallet. This piece literally changes the lives of the women who make it. And your purchase makes that change happen.

Mamuye Tote 3

the wind would just not cooperate, so I didn’t fight it :)

The Mamuye leather tote is made of 100% Ethiopian leather and handcrafted by women who wouldn’t have jobs without fashionABLE. Every fashionABLE item comes with a tag that tells how you have changed one woman’s life with your purchase. I can’t help but support an amazing organization that employs women and moms just like me in a different part of the world. The tag for this tote said, “Because of you, I am able to work hard and get promoted, too!” Love. that. You can read more of Mamuye’s story here.

Mamuye Tote River 1

I have the cognac tote and I think it goes with just about everything, which is great because I carry it everywhere. It works as a purse but can also carry much more if needed. And leather is always in style. fashionABLE is now offering the tote in black and chocolate brown as well! Cognac is on backorder {not for long} because it sold out super fast, but black and chocolate brown are available now!

Oh, I almost forgot! This tote also comes with a detachable leather pouch with a snap closure! This is where I keep my lip gloss or change or other small things that I don’t want rolling around the bottom of the bag.

I know this bag is an investment, but it is also an investment in the lives of hard-working women in Africa. It provides financial stability, freedom, and purpose for these women. I see lots of leather totes all over Pinterest, but with the Mayume tote, I know it was made ethically and is changing a woman’s life.

If the leather tote isn’t your thing, make sure you check out the fabulous line of scarves and bracelets being handmade and sold through fashionABLE with the same purpose! I love EVERYTHING I have from them!

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Fashion Friday for Kids: 60% Off!

Our kids should have a little fun on Fashion Fridays as well, right?!

Cents of Style hasn’t forgotten about your little ones and today’s Fashion Friday is all about them! The whole kids’ collection is 60% off + free shipping with the code RADKIDS at checkout!

IMAGE: Fashion Friday- 7/18/14- Kid's Collection 60% off & FREE SHIPPING with Code RADKIDS

All custom kids’ t-shirts, available in sizes 6 months to 5T, are under $10 shipped! I’m in love with the “Stop Collaborate Listen” shirt and I think the “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” shirt is so adorable for little girls!

IMAGE: Fashion Friday- 7/18/14- Kid's Collection 60% off & FREE SHIPPING with Code RADKIDS

The little girl and little boy shoes are darling and just $8.00 shipped! You can also find sweet sunglasses for boys and girls at just $6 shipped, as well as jewelry for your little princess for just $5 shipped!

IMAGE: Fashion Friday- 7/18/14- Kid's Collection 60% off & FREE SHIPPING with Code RADKIDS

Now is a great time to stock on some hip back-to-school gear for the little ones! Remember, use the code RADKIDS today only to get 60% off and free shipping!

I have to know: which kids’ tee is your favorite?

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Let’s Talk About Socks, Baby!

A post about socks? Seriously?!

Yeah, I know that’s what you’re thinking, but just hang with me here and you’ll see why I think this is worth sharing with you.

First of all, I didn’t know how much people could love socks until I met my husband. He just loves the feeling of a brand new pair of socks. I did NOT get that at all. Until I started running. Then I discovered just how magnificent the right pair of socks can be.

I can’t remember how I first heard about Mitscoots, but being a person who loves to purchase products that give back, I loved hearing the story behind Mitscoots…

WHILE VOLUNTEERING ALONG THE STREETS OF AUSTIN, TEXAS CIRCA 2008, WE DISCOVERED THAT RIGHT AFTER FOOD AND WATER, THERE WAS NO GREATER REQUEST AMONG THE LESS FORTUNATE THAN FOR A CLEAN PAIR OF SOCKS.

I was just floored by this. I had no idea how important socks were to those living on the streets, but it totally makes sense to me now why socks would be requested so often. Socks make me feel comfortable, warm, safe.

Mitscoots logo

Mitscoots is taking this lesser known need and doing something about it… and then some.

FOR EVERY PAIR PURCHASED, WE GIVE AN EQUAL QUALITY PAIR OF SOCKS TO SOMEONE IN NEED AND TAKE PRIDE IN EMPLOYING THOSE LESS FORTUNATE TO GET EACH AND EVERY PAIR OF OUR SOCKS PACKAGED UP AND READY TO GO.
MITSCOOTS ARE SOCKS WITH A MISSION:  GET + GIVE + EMPLOY

Not only does your purchase of Mitscoots socks provide socks for someone in need, but your purchase also helps to employ a man or woman who was without a job before they connected with Mitscoots. I get really excited about this kind of model.

We haven’t even talked about the socks yet! Mitscoots sent me two pair of my choosing to try out and I L.O.V.E. them both! The socks are 100% American made – just another reason to love everything Mitscoots is doing.

Mitscoots Performance

Of course I picked out a pair of their performance socks to try for running. The Margaret is a white, low-cut, moisture-wicking sock and it is currently my favorite sock for running! The fabric is breathable and lightweight, but also strong and supportive. And they have a little green detail on it and green is my favorite color, so there’s that…

The other pair I’ve been sporting is the The Linda. Well, I haven’t been able to wear them as much as I would like because it is summer and it is HOT, but I just adore these polka-dot beauties. I knew the nights would get chilly around the campfire at the lake over the Fourth of July, so I was giddy about packing these socks! They are fun and well-made and you need a pair.

Mitscoots Linda

Maybe you wouldn’t normally spend this much on a pair of socks, but I know high quality running socks can be $12 a pair or more, so I have no problem paying $13.99 for pair that will also give back to the community AND employ someone. I think Mitscoots socks would make a great gift for the athlete in your family or a fun girlfriend gift just because!

I was given two pair of Mitscoots socks to review. I was not compensated in any way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

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50% Off Sandals at Cents of Style!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Looking for a cute pair of summer sandals that won’t bust your budget? Cents of Style has a solution for you!

IMAGE: Fashion Friday- 6/27/14- Sandal Sale- 50% off & FREE SHIPPING with Code SANDALSALE

Today only {6/27/14}, all sandals in the Fashion Friday collection from Cents of Style are 50% off with the code SANDALSALE at checkout! All sandals will be under $20 with some as low as $10! And shipping is FREE!

IMAGE: Fashion Friday- 6/27/14- Sandal Sale- 50% off & FREE SHIPPING with Code SANDALSALE

I’m loving all the fun styles and colors in sandals this year, particularly the mint green and coral colors! I always have a go-to black and brown pair, but a bright color on the feet is a great accent to a basic outfit!

IMAGE: Fashion Friday- 6/27/14- Upsell Scarf- $2.99

When you order sandals today from Cents of Style, you’ll also be offered this lightweight metallic scarf for just $2.99 as an add-on!

Treat your feet today with this 50% off sandal sale from Cents of Style! Get your style and size quick before they’re gone! And don’t forget the code SANDALSALE to get the discount AND free shipping!

What are your favorite pair of sandals right now?

 

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What’s New From fashionABLE!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

fashionABLE is one of my favorites. I love everything I own from them and the mission behind it all makes each product that much more special. My freakin’ awesome friend Scarlett captured this photo of me in my Anchinalu scarf

erin-2

Scarlett Crews Photography: click on the photo to go to her website!

If you don’t know much about fashionABLE yet, this is their heart…

Your purchase of a fashionABLE product creates sustainable business in Africa.  We are committed to long-term solutions to fighting poverty, and our main focus is creating opportunities for vulnerable women.  That means that your purchase creates jobs, so that the women are not dependent upon charity, but instead are a vital part of a developing economy.

So our strategy is two-fold.  We work with women to help them start small business cooperatives, and we partner with and require manufacturers to also employ women with fair wages & fair hiring practices.

The scarves, the leather products…every piece is beautifully made and has a story behind it. And fashionABLE has some beautiful new pieces just being launched!

First up is the gorgeous Mehari blanket!

Mehari-Beach-Blanket_Natural-Strawberry_floor

This lightweight blanket is beautiful as a throw, comfy for a morning snuggle on the couch, and perfect for your picnic in the park! I’m selfishly keeping this one to myself right now because I love it so much.

Mehari Collage

The Alem scarf is now available in this amazing strawberry color…

strawberryscarf-250x365

Isn’t that just swoon-worthy?! Handwoven in Ethiopia, this lightweight 100% cotton scarf is perfect for any season. I need this color in my life.

Finally, it’s time for a fashionABLE arm party…


The Teshome leather wrap bracelet is fashionABLE’s first jewelry accessory! These 100% Ethiopian leather bracelets come in five different colors with contrasting thread detail and a metal closure. I can’t even decide which one is my favorite! And if you can’t decide either, there’s a great deal for you right now!

Each Teshome bracelet is $24, but if you buy two, you save $8 total! OR you can purchase four bracelets and save $20 total! PLUS, enter the code ARMPARTY in the shopping bag BEFORE you check out and get free shipping! This deal lasts through July 1st!

Shopping with fashionABLE is just one way you can make a difference with the way you spend your money. I always know I am getting high quality, handmade items AND creating opportunities for vulnerable women when I buy a fashionABLE scarf or blanket or bracelet. You really can’t beat that!

What is your favorite fashionABLE product from the new releases?

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Free Sunglasses from Cents of Style!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

It’s time to grab some new shades and you can get FREE sunglasses today from Cents of Style!

IMAGE: Fashion Friday- 6/13/14- FREE Sunglasses with Any $15.00 Purchase & FREE SHIPPING

Get a free pair of sunglasses with any order over $15 today only! AND use the code SHADES at checkout to get 10% off your order and free shipping!

IMAGE: Fashion Friday- 6/13/14- FREE Sunglasses with Any $15.00 Purchase & FREE SHIPPING

Here’s how it all works:

1-Add $15.00 or more worth of product to your cart.
2- Proceed to checkout
3-Pop-up window will offer the free sunglasses
4-Add the free sunglasses to your cart.
5-Add the additional 10% off discount code (SHADES) at checkout. (Make sure final purchase amount is over $15.00 to receive sunglasses)
6-Place the order.

Restrictions:
-limit one FREE pair of sunglasses per customer/per order.
-please make sure the total spent is $15.00 or more at final checkout, after all discounts. The FREE sunglasses will ONLY be sent with order who fulfill the $15.00 requirement on the final purchase price. 
-offer valid 6/13/14 or while supplies last

The clearance section is a great place to snag major deals while putting together a $15+ order! Check out a few of my favorites: the branch necklace, the bicycle print tank, the multi-metal bangles, and the wrap watch!

IMAGE: Fashion Friday- 6/13/14- FREE Sunglasses with Any $15.00 Purchase & FREE SHIPPING

 

The Kass scarf is a metallic highlighted oblong scarf and comes in 4 colors. It is only $7.95 & FREE SHIPPING today! Buy two for $15.90 and get the FREE sunglasses, too. 3 items- $15.90, $5.30 per item & FREE SHIPPING!

IMAGE: Fashion Friday- 6/13/14- FREE Sunglasses with Any $15.00 Purchase & FREE SHIPPING

Or get a fun pair of wellies for $19.95, add the free sunglasses, and the rain boots and sunglasses will under $10 each!

The options are endless, but make your choice today and follow the steps above to get your free sunglasses! And don’t forget the code SHADES for 10% off and free shipping!

Happy weekend, friends!

 

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Memorial Day Weekend Sales!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I’ve got two FABULOUS Memorial Day weekend sales to share from two of my favorite companies!

First, one of the most popular Cents of Style Fashion Friday sales is back! It’s the custom state necklace and you can get your very own for just $11.95 today only!

State Necklace

To get your very own, close-to-your-heart state necklace for just $11.95 plus free shipping, use the code HOME at checkout!

State Necklace Envelope

The necklace is a metal alloy in brushed silver. It has an 18″ chain with a 3″ extender. The pendant is the outline of each state and has a contrasting brushed gold heart charm, as well. Each necklace comes in its own custom designed Cents of Style envelope with string and button closure. It’s a great gift for your graduate!

Don’t forget: this deal is for today, Friday, May 23rd only with the code HOME at checkout!

And the second great sale…

My very favorite place to shop online for gifts, journals, home decor, cards, and more is DaySpring! This weekend only, EVERYTHING at DaySpring is 20% off with the code MEMORIAL20 at checkout! The 20% off sale does not apply to clearance items and the Lyrics for Life collection.

In addition to the 20% off sitewide, over 50 popular items are an extra 30% to 60% off! Many of these sale items are from the Redeemed Collection which I adore!

Redeemed - Created for Beauty - Medium Purse

This sweet Redeemed purse is normally $39.99, but this weekend it is on sale for $19.99, AND with an extra 20% off, it’s less than $16!

And if you’re looking for a little home decor…

God's Goodness - Wood Pedestal

I’ve been eyeing this gorgeous wooden pedestal for a while, and now it’s on sale from $49.99 down to $34.99! With the MEMORIAL20 code, it’s less than $28!

There are LOTS more beautiful items to check out in the special sale section so make sure you check it out for yourself before the sale closes at the end of the long weekend and use the code MEMORIAL20 to get your extra 20% off!

One last thing to make sure you get the best deal possible at DaySpring: all orders over $50 receive free shipping!

Don’t you just love these Memorial Day weekend sales?! Me too!

Have fun shopping and enjoy your family this weekend!

 

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The Great 50% Off Scarf Sale + Flash Sales All Week!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

We’re mixing things up with Cents of Style this week and all scarves are 50% off + free shipping through Friday, May 9th with the code MAYDEAL at checkout! That means almost all of the 100 different styles + colors of scarves are less than $10 shipped this week!

IMAGE- FLASH SALE- T-shirt Scarf- $7.97 Shipped with Code MAYDEAL

IMAGE- FLASH SALE- T-shirt Scarf- $7.97 Shipped with Code MAYDEAL

Get 50% off all other scarves all week with the code MAYDEAL at Cents of Style! And check out the flash sale for today {Wednesday}…

IMAGE- FLASH SALE- T-shirt Scarf- $7.97 Shipped with Code MAYDEAL

These awesome black and white graphic infinity scarves are $7.47 & FREE SHIPPING today only with the code MAYDEAL!

Check back here tomorrow for another flash scarf sale you won’t want to miss!

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Beautiful Mother’s Day Gifts for $9.97!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

We all want to make our mothers and other special women in our lives feel important and valued at Mother’s Day by showering them with love, affection, and gifts. Treating your mother to a beautiful gift doesn’t have to break the bank, though, especially with today’s Fashion Friday sale from Cents of Style!

FF Mother's Day Collage

Cents of Style has handpicked some gorgeous scarves and necklaces to bless Mom this Mother’s Day and they are each just $9.97 + free shipping with the code MOTHER at checkout!

Fashion Friday- 5/2/14- Mother's Day Gift- $9.97 & FREE SHIPPING with Code MOTHER

These delicate coin letter necklaces and birthstone pendant necklaces are part of the collection! I love how they can be worn alone, layered together, or paired with chunkier necklaces like this…

Fashion Friday- 5/2/14- Mother's Day Gift- $9.97 & FREE SHIPPING with Code MOTHER

And then there is this lovely scarf…

Fashion Friday- 5/2/14- Mother's Day Gift- $9.97 & FREE SHIPPING with Code MOTHER

This is one of three scarf designs available for just $9.97 along with two fun, unique infinity scarves!

Grab these deals as a gift to yourself or the special mother figures who have blessed your life! You can even share this link with your loved ones for a gift idea for YOU! Just use the code MOTHER at checkout to get each piece for just $9.97 and free shipping!

All items ordered today through Cents of Style will be shipped by May 6th to arrive in time for Mother’s Day!

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