I haven’t done a style post in FOREVER because, honestly, I’m not a style blogger! I have loved sharing bits and pieces of my wardrobe through the years, but I always felt like a bit of a phony. However, right now I am in LOVE with finding apparel and accessory options that help make the world a better place, and then sharing those with everyone I know! So I figured a great way to do that would be to resurrect the Unstyled section of the blog!
I’ve followed Krochet Kids for a few years, and I love their mission. Krochet Kids is a company that is focused on bringing people out of poverty and creating beautiful, sustainable pieces of clothing. They are a non-profit, that has given jobs to over 150 people in Uganda and Peru, along with receiving education, and being mentored toward a brighter future in creating gifts that give back. The products created abroad and the collaboration of their staff and beneficiaries around the globe has created a sustainable cycle of employment and empowerment. When you order a piece from Krochet Kids, you will find the signature of the person who made it inside the label, and then you can go to their website and learn all about that person.
I bought this incredible sweater (called the Phoenix) from Krochet Kids, and I’m constantly getting compliments on it’s amazing colors and textures. I love that it’s a piece that looks beautiful, but will also last a long time. It’s a piece I feel proud wearing, knowing that it came from a sustainable company and that a person has a better life because they were able to be a part of creating it.
All photos by Kymberly Janelle Photography
Success is where preparation meets opportunity.
I’ve heard that quote a thousand times, but until the the past few months, I really had no idea what it meant! I know I have been a bit quiet on the blog, but if you’ve been following me on social media, you probably know it’s been ANYTHING but quiet in my life! I am so grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way in the past few months, each one seems greater than the last, and all of them feel destined to happen. I am a person who likes to have a good, solid plan before I do just about anything. I don’t think anyone would describe me as spontaneous, but lately, I feel I’m just going with the flow more and more, and it’s been pretty incredible!
Last year I reconnected with the ONE Organization, a group I worked with before I had Tate six years ago. They reached out to see if I’d be interested in volunteering again, and I jumped at the chance! ONE is a global grassroots movement of over 7 million people, who are working to eradicate extreme poverty and preventable disease. I love ONE for lots of reasons, but one of the most significant is that ONE is a bipartisan group. They work with leaders on both sides of the aisle and do not align with any particular party. In times like these, I appreciate their commitment to bipartisanship and cooperation.
This year’s initiative with ONE is focused on the 130 million girls worldwide who are not able to attend school. The program is called Girls Count, and was officially launched last week with an incredible online platform. They are asking people to literally COUNT the 130 million girls, one by one, making the longest movie ever.
A few weeks ago, ONE invited me to their yearly Power Summit, and I jumped at the chance. I spent several days in Washington D.C., learning all about advocacy and government. Another thing I LOVE about ONE is that they don’t ask for anyone’s money…just your voice. They don’t raise funds or donate to causes, they simply work with governments to pass laws that help those living in extreme poverty. At the end of the training, I was fortunate to head up to Capitol Hill, where I met with my representatives in Congress and talked to them about saving the Federal Foreign Aid Budget, also known as the 150 Account. The 150 Account is only 1% of the federal budget, and it provides for ALL U.S. foreign aid…it saves millions of lives and supports the Defense Department in their fight against extremism and terrorism. It was an honor to talk to our representatives in D.C. and see government in action.
Then, last week, on International Women’s Day, I was asked to visit our senators local offices and deliver hand-written letters and a petition signed by nearly 900 Kansans supporting the 150 Account and foreign aid. The Kansas City Star even included me in their round up of International Women’s Day Activities, which was a special treat. I was one of hundreds who delivered messages to their government worldwide! It feels incredible to be part of such an incredible group of people who are working to make our world a better place!
Thanks for following along as I share more about my advocacy work in the next few weeks and months. I’m so excited about the work I’m doing, and I want to share it with everyone! Soon I’ll be sharing about a Kansas-based group I’m involved with, which is working toward electing more pro-public education candidates to local and state offices, and I’m also continuing my work with local refugees. So many people have reached out to me because they want to do something, but aren’t sure where to start. Hopefully these posts will give you some ideas! And if you ever want to reach out personally, I’d love to chat with you about becoming more involved in any of these causes!
A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to receive the book “Making Marriage Beautiful” by Dorothy Greco, at what felt like a perfect time in my life. After 11 years of marriage, my husband and I are in a wonderful place, but we have both committed to actively working on our marriage on a daily basis. Many of the issues we’ve struggled with as a couple have come from lack of communication, and, honestly, a lack of hard work. When you have young kids, two businesses, a dog who gets into the trash EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and a cat who keeps tearing up the new carpet, it can be hard to prioritize time to grow your relationship. But in the last few years, as our kids have grown and we’ve finally found a reliable, long-term babysitter (no, you can’t have her name, I’m never letting her go!), we have worked to make date nights a weekly occurrence. We try to find a quiet five minutes to talk everyday…which I know sounds nuts, but even that small amount of time can provide a huge connection, and avoid confusion over silly issues and arguments.
Making Marriage Beautiful is a perfect addition to this prioritization in our marriage, because the number one focus throughout is in order to make a marriage work, you have to be willing to GROW. Another word for grow that seems scary…CHANGE. One of the biggest myths about marriage seems to be that the person who marry will stay frozen in time as that exact person forever. And we know that’s just not true! As we gain life experience, we change our opinions and our feelings. This can cause a lot of confusion and anger when it’s not addressed. Making Marriage Beautiful covers this head-on, and talks about the hard stuff we like to sweep under the rug. We all come into marriage (or any relationship) with a set of pre-existing assumptions. For example, maybe your family ate dinner together every night while your spouse’s family ate separately. And now you get upset when he’s not home for dinner with the family…but that’s just not a priority for him, so he is annoyed that you are upset. Making Marriage Beautiful talks about these types of conflicts, and how we can work through them (because, honestly, we can’t really avoid them) to make our relationships even stronger.
Spoiler Alert: It’s all about communication!
To get your own copy of Making Marriage Beautiful, click here!
SPONSORSHIP DISCLOSURE: This item was provided to me by the publisher, but all ideas and words included in this blog post are my own.