Ubuntu

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Oh my gosh I cannot believe it has been a year since I was last here. As soon as we sat down in the cafe I got super emotional. Last year, I remember being so nervous and so uncomfortable. I felt really out of place and uneducated about what was going on. I was meeting so many people and hearing their stories, I had no idea how to process anything or how to react. 

It really is crazy what a year can do. When I walked in this time I took a huge breathe of relief. Walking into the Mom's factory and seeing all of their sweet faces was so refreshing. It felt warm and comfortable, like home. 

Be Free Revolution and Ubuntu totally changed my life last year. Thats a bold thing to say but its the truth. They both hold a huge place in my heart and have taught me so much about myself, the world, and more importantly the power of relationships.

I just want to give a quick little round up on what Ubuntu is doing because trust me once you learn more about it, you'll become obsessed too ;)

 Ubuntu Made and the Ubuntu Foundation grew out of a friendship between Jeremiah Kuria and Zane Wilemon, pastors from Kenya and Texas. Meeting weekly over lunch in Mai Mahiu, a small town an hour outside Nairobi, they debated faith, growth, and aid. Together they created a center for children with disabilities, providing life-changing therapy and medical care for kids who suffer from physical challenges and social stigma. Caring for these children had been a full-time job for their mothers. Soon their Mums started a new conversation with Jeremiah and Zane: “Now that our kids are out of the house, can you help us do something productive with our time?”  Empowerment means more than providing handouts or even a sustainable job. It means offering people a chance to create their own lives and livelihood. Ubuntu Made pays above-market wages and provides health insurance to all of their employees and their families, a rarity in Kenya. The job skills the Mums learn and the money they earn empower them to buy homes, provide for their families, and sometimes start their own enterprises. They earn more than money; they earn respect in their community.

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HOW POWERFUL IS THAT?!

Last year when we visited Ubuntu, they were just dreaming up and making a plan for the first ever Afridrille. Y'all know what espadrilles are right? Well they are super similar in the fact that they have the woven bottom part of the shoe, but afridrilles are all hand made by the moms here in Kenya. They are soooooo cute and you can even customize them. I have a nude pair at home with white little cactus on them :) It was so cool to come back a year later and see them being made and shipped off to the US! We literally arrived the day before the first shipment was sent off. I just wanted to put some faces to the shoes you all are ordering. 100% of all the profits go to  empowering women and serving children with special needs in Maai Mahiu, Kenya!! 

 

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classic safari green

i have a custom pair too..but this is my favortie color from the classic collection!

Im also going to leave links to other products that I have. I have 4 bags, bracelets, and the afridrilles. The totes I use on a weekly basis back at home. They are incredibly well made and are great for everyday throwing stuff in. The one I use most often is actually sold out right now but keep an eye out for it ;)  I also use the clutch EVERY TIME I TRAVEL. It acts as a laptop case and clutch and make up bag and honestly, just so many uses.

  currently on sale!!

currently on sale!!

Im really trying to educate myself of sustainable and ethical fashion. Companies like this make me never want to shop at forever 21 or h&m ever again. I hope this blog post encourages you to do the same. My heart is forever changed by this company and I hope one day you support them too! ((also, how cute is this momma? She lights up every time BC walks into the room. my heart.))

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VISIT UBUNTU BY CLICKING HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE DOING + THEIR CUTE PRODUCTS!!!

Women's Conferences 2018

I posted on my instagram story about needing some suggestions of favorite women's conferences whether they be about business, faith, or somewhere in between! I though it was so awesome so many of you girls wanted a list so I thought I would make a roundup of what I heard. Send me a message if you are in Southern California and want to go to one together!

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I got multiple messages about IF Gathering (couldnt find one close enough to me) and the Hillsong conference! Im definitely leaning towards Yellow CO, HER Night, and Hillsong. Most of these are faith based but I would love even more geared towards business as well. Let me know!

xx

-t.

Backpack: three ways

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GASTON LUGA

When I was younger I was literally obsessed with back to school shopping. Picking out new backpacks, folders, and dividers made me so excited! Yes, I was that girl who had every binder, folder and pen, color coordinated to my exact class. Im so happy that backpacks are coming in as a fun accessory instead of just purses! Most of the time, my purse straps break because I literally try to fit way too much into them. Im always carrying my laptop, planner, journal, book, and then all the basics like wallet, make up, snacks, blah blah blah. Im pretty much like Mary Poppins haha! I seriously swooned over this gorgeous white one from Gaston Luga. They are SUCH a cool brand and I think I would really enjoy shopping in Sweden!

01. The coffee date

I really do use this backpack as a daily go to! Although sometimes when Im shopping in a store I feel funny with a backpack, like the employees think I'm going to steal something LOL. 

white tie top: hautemess   ||  jeans: cello   ||  flats: chanel

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02. the brunch date

I LOVE this outfit. If you ever ask me to go to brunch in the summer, this is what I will most likely be wearing ;) I liked having a backpack that day because I was gone alllll day. So I had all my essentials, plus my laptop to work later in the afternoon. Plus, I loved the pop of white with all the nudes!

pants: old from nordstrom || bodysuit: hautemess || shoes: hautemess

03. the business meeting

Perfect for work! Literally never use a purse anymore when I'm heading to an office or to work because I just have way too much stuff. Normally loaded with my laptop, planner, way too many pens, and even fits my camera!

blouse: old target || jeans: urban outfitters || shoes: old zara

let me know what y'all think of the fashion series, Im having so much fun creating them! or if you have a piece you would want me to style in a few different ways comment + let me know!! love y'all so much!!

all photos by the queen: Nicole Balsamo

xx

- t.

 

Oxfords: three ways

Im so excited! My first fashion post on the blog. I figured it would be really fun to do one article of clothing and style it three different ways. I don't know if it's because Im getting older or the more I learn about the fashion industry, but Im really trying to get the most out of my closet! Investing in a little bit better quality of clothing and basics. So I thought this was the perfect way for me to get creative in my closet and hopefully give YOU inspiration.

I got ahold of these gorgeous oxfords and I am o b s e s s e d. I think they are one of the most well made shoes I own! They are super comfy and actually go with a lot more than I thought they would. I feel like they automatically make it look like a tried harder when I pair them with basics. Anyway, here are three outfits I put together with the shoes!

 

01 the dress

I think this was my favorite outfit! The shoes were such a fun option instead of a basic sandal. I normally like wearing heels when my legs show, but since these are pointed toe and a neutral color, it keep them from looking stumpy! haha

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02 the boyfriend

Okay, in complete contrast from the dress, I went with boyfriend jeans and a mens inspired shirt. This was so comfortable and perfect for a day that is a little more chilly!

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03 the skinny jeans

I love that these shoes literally go with a dress, boyfriend jeans, and skinny jeans! They are so versatile!

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YAY! The first fashion post is officially done!

I would LOVE to know feedback. Do we want more pictures/more explaining why I paired things together? I had so much fun doing this, I cant wait to keep sharing more.

 

You can find the shoes here, a really great investment!!

 

all photos by the photo queen herself: Nicole Balsamo

s a n t o r i n i || greece.

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Santorini is just a must. I told myself I would never go to the same place twice until I traveled everywhere I wanted to but I think Santorini might be my exception. God totally brought us here because we didn't have anywhere to stay. We were looking at cheap hostels towards the south but even those were pricey since it was peak season. We had scavenged through every single Airbnb and those prices were about 500$ over our budget. Nice villas can run anywhere from 500 up to 1,000 per night. yes, you read that right. We thought we would check one last time and the very first Airbnb was listed for 120$, 6 person cave villa, facing the famous Oia sunset. We couldn't believe it!! The host ended up telling us he couldn't find anyone to rent the room for only 2 nights so that's where we got lucky!

I don't recommend doing a last minute trip to Santorini though, definitely plan ahead as far as hotel/hostel/Airbnb accommodations because you an get really screwed over in prices!!

01.

WHAT TO WEAR:

Yet again, Santorini is HOOOOOT!! I love packing for here because really anything goes as long as it's breathable. During the day I either wore a 2 piece cotton set or my swimsuit and a maxi skirt. At night it can get a little chilly, I hate to even say chilly but as long as you have a jean jacket or cardigan to throw on at night you'll be set! At night I wore maxi dresses and put my cardigan in BC's backpack because we always ate outside. We stayed in Oia for 2 nights and then Fira for one. Oia is the picturesque place you dream of. The golden spot for sunsets and much quieter than anywhere else on the island. We headed to Fira our last night since it's closer to the airport and it has much more of a city feel. That's where people go out at night and there are a ton more options food wise!

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02.

WHAT TO EAT:

In Oia...

Skiza. Skiza. Skiza. Best food on the island. They're one of the only places that have real fruit smoothies that don't use milk or yogurt! Also, this is my favorite place in the entire world for a vegetarian pizza. Better than Italy. I know I'm going to get a lot of hate from my vegan friends on this but it is truly the only place in the world I will eat pizza!

Z's. It's right by the bus stop and they have pretty tasty veggie burgers!

In Fira..

Do yourself a favor and get a crepe and/or baklava from really anywhere here. We had a strawberry and chocolate one for dessert and it HIT THE SPOT. I also had never had baklava before but it was seriously on every single menu, so I decided I had to try it. I want to be honest here.... I died and went to desert heaven. Sometimes, I had them twice I day. I know.

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There's an AMAZING vegetarian place called good mood food. It has a yummy quinoa salad and some of the best falafel wraps on the island. We also heard of Falafeland but didn't get a chance to try it out. Let me know how it is if any of y'all try it!

03.

WHAT TO DO:

Visit Amoudi Bay. It is quite the hike but well worth it. You walk down those famous steps and follow a dirt path around a cliff and BOOM. The crystal clear waters beg you to jump in. For you adventurous type this is also the most common place to cliff jump. I did it and was scared AF but according to BC 'it's not really that high' ;)

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Rent ATV's! There are a ton of places so just pop into a few and check what the cheapest price is. For 24 hours we got one for 20 euro. Definitely haggle with pricing on this! You can cruise around the whole island and get lost in its beauty.

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Watch the sunset in Oia. This is not an option! Named some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. People from all over the island come to watch the sunset from here every night. It gets PACKED so get there early :) We were so lucky and blessed to have an airbnb facing the sunset complete with a hottub. I still cant believe it either.

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After a dreamy few days in Santorini, one of our friends in Istanbul offered to let us stay at her house. Neither of us had been before so we thought, why not! We booked the flight witihin a few hours and headed of to explore a country we knew nothing about.