Style

Look for Less: Fan Necklaces (for a good cause!)

Look for Less fan necklaces {praylivecreate.com}

I love me some big, chunky necklaces paired with a simple cotton dress or tank in the summer so when I spotted this steal of a deal I just had to share (plus, it’s for a good cause!).

1. J. Crew Factory fan fringe necklace ($34.50)

2.  Brina Box fringe necklace via P.S. I Adore You ($10.99 until Monday!) – save nearly $25 with this version and buy from P.S. I Adore You, a daily deal site dedicated to spreading awareness about battling childhood cancer and sponsoring individual families in need. Multiple colors available until Monday.

p.s. As always, we don’t use affiliate links.

 

Stephanie from praylivecreate.com

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Bathing Beauties 2

Hey all! I’m back with more of my favorite swimsuits for under $100. If you missed the first post check it out here. As I mentioned in that post, I find shopping for swimsuits to be perpetually challenging. But I’ve found some pretty great looking suits this year. Let’s have a look!

swimsuits under $100 {praylivecreate.com}

1. Retro One-Piece Swimsuit | Garnet Hill ($98)
When I see this swimsuit I want to be her. The sailboat pattern is spot on and timeless, and it also comes in black and white polka dots and strawberry stripes.

2. Tie Front Swimsuit | Boden USA ($88)
Le sigh, Boden you are continually winning the swimsuit game with chic, graphic prints and great cuts. I love this one-piece.

swimsuits under $100 {praylivecreate.com}

3. La Blanca ‘Sand Dollar Dot’ Lace-Up One-Piece Swimsuit | Nordstrom ($99)
I’ve never really considered myself the lace-up type, but something about this suit has me sold. Adjustable straps and bold, graphic pattern make this one a great summer piece for the beach and pool.

4. Beach Blanket Bingo One Piece in Red by Esther Williams | Modcloth ($90)
Sexy and modest and playful (hello, it’s polka dots!) is pretty hard to do, but this suit checks off all three boxes. Okay, let’s go to the beach!

swimsuits under $100 {praylivecreate.com}

5. Cabana Stripe Maillot | Down East ($43)
At just over $40 this swimsuit is a steal of a deal. With a removable strap and fun criss-cross play on traditional black and white stripes, what’s not to love?

6. Esprit Sharps Beach Padded Bandeau Suit With Rope Details Halter | Asos ($69)
Like the lbd of bathing suits. Free shipping and free returns makes giving this great one-piece a try risk-free.

7. Forever Sexy Harlow Tankini ($52.50) and Foldover Bottom ($30.50) | Victoria’s Secret
Here’s the thing. Victoria’s Secret actually has some pretty great swimsuits. Maybe I’m the only one that’s surprised here. I stumbled upon their suits through a Pinterest search last time around but hesitated from including them in my first roundup. But after Kelly brought them up in the comments I figured why hesitate? They have great suits. This black and white polka dot is gorgeous and don’t even get me started on the leopard print. If I wasn’t so pale I’d be all over that one in a heartbeat.

swimsuits under $100 {praylivecreate.com}

8. Mini Anchor Print Halter Tankini ($79) and Bottom ($49) | Ann Taylor
A nice two-piece with a delicate nautical touch. (This one rings up at a little over $100.0o all together.)

9. Bombshell Top ($47.50) and Bottom ($29.50) | Kingdom & State
Retro and hot. The boning may make this one more of a fashion suit than an everyday suit (at least for me), but what a great cut!

10. Trim Around Bikini | Beverly Swimwear ($70)
If I was going to get a bikini it would be this one. It’s as close as perfection in a bikini as I’ve seen.  Available in many different color / pattern combinations, but if it was me? I’d go with this one as is.

XO,

steph_sig

p.s Check out Bathing Beauties #1 here!

Style: drapey pants

Old Navy is all about their Pixie Pant right now, but I’m swooning over their Drapey Cinched Pants instead.

I'm digging these drapey pants! {praylivecreate.com}

1. Old Navy Drapey Cinched Pants ($30) | 2. Levi’s Wrapped Cardigan ($78) | 3. Target Women’s Layering Tank ($12) | 4. Noonday Collection Sound Wave Earrings ($37) | 5. Bass Brewer Sandals ($88 but I spotted them for $28 at an outlet mall)

I’d pair these pants with a white tank tucked in to accentuate the fun tie waist. Top it off with big gold earrings, a pair of fun red leather sandals, a breezy wrap cardigan for cool summer evenings, and a side swept braid for a fun spring outfit (if it ever stops snowing!).

p.s. I love love love Noonday Collection‘s jewelry. Did you know their company mission is to provide dignified economic opportunities to artisans in vulnerable areas including Uganda, Haiti, Rwanda, etc and a portion of their proceeds also go towards placing orphans in forever homes?

XO,

steph_sig

Bathing Beauties

I have the hardest time finding swimsuits that I love. That’s why I’ve had the same bathing suit for 7 years. It was an investment piece at the time, and it served me well, but it feels a little “24 year old Steph” and I’m itching to finally send that baby to the big ocean in the sky.

I’m not sure if I’m going to take the plunge on a new suit (swim joke, har har) this year, but I’ve had fun window shopping online for the past couple of days. Here are some of my favorite swimsuits of the season. None of these are affiliate links, just suits I like.

swimsuits under $100 (mostly) {praylivecreate.com}

1. Star Bright Dot Ruffle One Piece Swimsuit | Ann Taylor ($119).
If you can pull this suit off I’ll love you forever. The boning and strapless aspect don’t really make this one a serious contender for me (I want something more versatile), but if I was going with this I’d rock it with my signature beach look: a wide brimmed sun hat, over sized sunglasses, and red Worishofers.

2. Women’s Isla Vista Floral Twist One Piece Swimsuit | Lands’ End ($35).
I’m really impressed with this one from Lands’ End. It’s fun and flirty, and ya’ll know I like floral.

swimsuits under $100 (mostly) {praylivecreate.com}

3. Savannah Floral Belted Bandeau Swimsuit | ASOS ($56).
I gasped when I saw this one. Love the floral and the fit. It nods at vintage suits while still appearing fresh and modern. Love it.

4. Nautical-Print Cross-Back Swimsuit | Old Navy ($30).
Super cute at a reasonable price point.

5. Kingdom & State Women’s Striped 1-piece Swimsuit | Overstock.com ($65).
Kirsten at 6th Street Design School posted about this suit on her blog, and I love it. It’s flattering and modern and modest without looking like the bathing suit equivalent of mom jeans.

swimsuits under $100 (mostly) {praylivecreate.com}

6. Twist Front Tankini ($54) and Twist Front Bikini Bottom ($38) | Boden USA.
This is actually the only two piece I’m highlighting. Boden continually makes some of my favorite bathing suits (still kicking myself for not jumping on a super cute floral last year). They’re timeless and of the moment in super fun bright colors that read classy not cheesey. Well played, Boden, well played.

7. Factory Tank in Navy Diamond | J. Crew Factory ($59).
Pretty and fun. That’s all I have to say about that.

Wishing you all a blessed weekend!

steph_sig

America… Heck Yeah!

America! Heck Ya! clothing and accessories made in the USA

oka b. ballet flats, Mahi Gold Sunset Maxi

Hello! How are you guys? How’s your week? How’s your day? Last week I shared with my new aim to purchase clothing and shoes that are made with fair labor practices.

At first I thought you guys weren’t so into it, because it got pretty quiet round these parts. Then I got a few messages from people saying they’re into the idea of taking baby steps in our buying habits. And because I don’t actually spend money on clothes, I satisfy the urge with looking at them instead. So let’s keep looking!

By the way – my friend Amy writes more about consuming with intention on her blog, Amy Learns, and she has sooo much good stuff to share about getting started here, here, here, and here (I have a lot of catching up on reading to do!).

Steph pointed out to me that American made has an added bonus of a smaller carbon footprint, because they travel a lot less to reach us and use up a whole lot less fuel in the process.

Below are a few of my favorite American made clothing items I’ve found.

oka b shoes

oka b. shoes

How cute are these? Word on the street is that oka b. shoes are super easy on the feet, eco-friendly, and apparently dishwasher safe. Who knew? If only I had a dishwasher! That being said, I’m in need of a pair of warm weather rain-friendly shoes, and I don’t know if it will happen this year, but these are at the top of my list. Also, can I just say I think these are priced really reasonably.

Mahi Gold

Mahi Gold

Mahi Gold is kind of pricey for me, but I like this dress. It’s cotton, it’s cute, and how great would it look with those oka b. flats up there and the Noonday earrings I posted the other day? I just made an outfit! On the real, I’m not a big shopper. I like to buy just a few things a year that I can invest in for long term. Shopping ethically is going to take a little bit of getting used to in those cases where the prices are higher, but hopefully it’s something I can work up to. And I’m convinced there are more affordable options out there. It’s just going to take time to find them.

earth creations wrap dressEarth Creations

This wrap dress from earth creations is made with 100% organic cotton jersey. The website’s a little hippy, I’m not going to lie. But imagine this dress in your closet. It’d be cute, right?

splendid tank

Splendid

Splendid makes a bunch of their clothing in America, and they have some really cute basics like tanks, tees, and cotton dresses, so I’m going to try to go this way next time I need basics instead of stocking up at my usual places like Old Navy. Since I usually get a couple years out of my tanks and tees, their prices might not end up being so bad.

eliza b leather flats

Eliza B

Apparently Eliza B is popular with the country club crowd, though I wouldn’t know anything about that. What I do know is that I love leather flats, because these feet of mine do a lot of walking, and I need a shoe that can withstand the elements. My usual routine is to find a pair of flats I like and purchase it in three different colors (black, brown, and red), wear them for years until they’re busted up, and repeat. The cool thing about these is that they’re not only handcrafted in America, you can order them in an entire rainbow of customizable colors with customizable matching or clashing trim. I love it. These are another purchase I would have to plan ahead and save up for throughout the year. And it’s unlikely I’d be able to splurge for three pairs at one time. But I like the idea of at least one pair of ethical shoes, so they’re on my list with all of the others!

tipsy skipper shoesTipsy Skipper

Tipsy Skipper makes its items in Rhode Island, and apparently they’re also big with the preppy crowd. I’m posting shoes like I need ten pairs a season, which is obviously not true. But no harm in looking! Tipsy Skipper’s skimmers are super cute and come in a bunch of fun colors.

lisa leonard designs

lisa leonard designs

Lisa Leonard’s jewelry is beautiful, and it’s handmade by her and a team of people in San Louis Obispo, California. I loved her stuff for ages, and then I was given a necklace of hers as a gift. I like it so much that – I kid you not – I store it with my wedding ring. Silly? Maybe. Is her stuff cute? Yes. She also has a new fair trade line right now, and each purchase gives work to Ecuadorian women and helps send a child to school.

So that’s it for my “made in America” faves. While some of the items are definitely more expensive, overall it seems like buying with intention might be totally do-able, right? It’s pretty clear I’m not going to be perfect at this thing. I already bought a bathing suit (my first in 11 years – why is bathing suit shopping the hardest kind of shopping on the planet?) from Old Navy and a cheap blazer for summertime from Target as this season’s new buys. But now that I know my options and I have a hankering to do good with my dolla bills, it could happen. It really could!

What about you guys? Do you have any thoughts / desire / feelings about buying fair trade, ethical fashion, or made in America? Or is it all about the sale (I mean… I hear you. It’s hard to turn down a deal.)

Labor of Love

labor of love: my new favorite fair trade and ethically made clothing and accessory lines

The Printmaker Scarf, Toms Coral Crochet Strappy Wedges, Toms Kitty Honey Tortoise sunglasses, Noonday Collection Mediterranean Sea earrings, Noonday Collection Reflection earrings, Worishofer 505 black and white sandal

Lately I’ve been on a fair trade and made in America kick. It’s not that I’m all “America, heck yeah!” I’m not not “Yay, America!” I think this country is great. But my real motivation – if I were to reveal it to you – is that there is a still small voice inside of me that keeps reminding me we’re made to be free. And that adorable clothing is not meant to be made by warehouses full of wonderful people sweating through harsh conditions so I can look cute.

Soo… I have spent hours doing my research. And it was grueling. I browsed the internet as if my life depended on it and took my Pinterest obsession to new levels. And I prayed and asked God to (I kid you not) “show me adorable clothing like Ann Taylor LOFT that’s not made by exploiting unethical labor.”

I am not trying to buy my way into heaven, literally or figuratively. I’m good on that score. So this is not one more thing on a list of things I think I need to do to be “good.” It’s a thing that Jesus is choosing this time and place to speak to me about, and it’s a thing I’m trying to choose to say “Yes, Lord.” to.

Not to my surprise – because when God asks me to think about doing something He likes to provide a way to do it – He’s answered my ethical Ann Taylor LOFT prayer. Like many an answered prayer, it’s not necessarily going to be easy or without a bit of discipline to make this happen, but at least He’s opened my eyes to a start by showing me that ethical clothing can be had.

These are a few of my favorite fair trade / ethically made things I’ve found so far. I’ll post my fave made in America finds soon.

global girlfriend tanks

Global Girlfriend Organic Essentials Yoga Tank

I love tanks as a summer staple, because they can go anywhere and be worn with anything from shorts to cute skirts (and unribbed tanks are totally work appropriate, too!) Also, check out what Global Girlfriend’s website says about these:
“Global Girlfriend’s super soft 100%-organic cotton line is made at a non-profit employment program in the Tamil Nadu region of India. Run by an order of Franciscan Nuns, the sisters employ and care for 120 young women who are handicapped and/or economically disadvantaged. The nuns provide employment training and support along with food and accommodations. The group supports 300 local small organic farmers in the Maharastra area. Each garment is lovingly produced from seed to sewing machine. Good for the environment, good for you!”
They’re made by nuns! Who help other women! And they’re organic!

worishofer montage

Worishofers

Worishofer’s are my hands-down favorite summer time shoes. I love them in all capital letters. Steph turned me on to them years ago when they were featured in Lucky Magazine and became all the rage. But my love for them is truly based on the fact that they are not only sexy orthopedic shoes, they are also handmade in Bavaria, Germany.

noonday montage

Noonday Collection

Noonday Collection was started by Jessica Honnegger as a means to advocate for orphans by providing jobs (making beautiful jewelry and accessories) that create a pathway out of poverty for families, help families raise money for their own adoptions, and giving towards orphan care and prevention. I found out about Noonday a couple months ago when Jenna Beaugh from Eat Live Run became an ambassador, and I’ve been smitten with them ever since.

Toms wedgesTOMS Shoes

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person in America who doesn’t own a pair of TOMS shoes, and I’m OK with that since I like to only own a few pairs of shoes for each season. But this year my summertime shoes are begging to be replaced, and if I’m gonna buy new shoes I want them to be the non-slave labor kind whenever possible. I’m not saying I’m going to succeed at that this year. But I do like the idea of investing in a pair of TOMS at some point, and knowing a pair of shoes is going to a needy kid in the process.

Tell me – what are your summer staples, and are there any more clothing companies that you know of that do good and look good? I’m on a mission!

Noonday (Looking Good and Doing Good)

I just heard about this company called Noonday from Jenna Weber (Eat Live Run) last week, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Noonday Logo

It’s a fashion company founded by a woman who was doing mission trips overseas and felt called to adopt a child from Africa. Another friend of hers helped her raise money for the adoption by selling jewelry and goods made by women in Africa. The women made good wages, and she raised the money to adopt. Then she founded a company that rescues women from the streets and pays them to make jewelry that women in America and other countries sell. A portion of the company’s profits go to fund adoptions for families that can’t afford to fund it themselves.

Jenna became a rep this month, because she’s felt called for a long time to do more than just a food blog and she wanted to change her life to really bless orphans and widows like it says in James 1:27:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

She shared a story behind one of the artisans in another post that was really incredible.

So I’m not going to lie… I’ve been checking out “home sales” opportunities for years, but I’ve never found one that doesn’t just leave me with a really bad feeling in my stomach. But the more I research this one and read about it, the more I have nothing but good feelings. Seriously, there is nothing that gives me qualms about it. It’s legitimately exactly what it says it is, the products are gorgeous, and it really is by women, for women, to share God’s love and lift each other up.

It’s $299 to become a rep. I don’t think now is the right time for me, per se, because that’s a pretty penny for us. But it’s just something on my mind that I wanted to share. I’m not normally interested in sales, and I don’t think I’m good at it. But what I like about Noonday is I feel like I could truly have a ladies day and have friends and friends of friends over and truly say “this is beautiful jewelry” and mean it. If anything, it’s also a good model for something that’s working right now for others as a business that’s really helping women escape slavery and poverty and live with dignity, and it’s a Christian organization.

x,
Kim