happy-chicIt’s been a while since I participated in What I Wore with Pleated Poppy so I figured I’d join the club again today because I have a fabulous new top to share with you all. It’s super comfy, flowy and cute AND it’s less than $20. It’s from Happy Chic Boutique – I love this shop! Nearly everything is under $30 and she has such cute clothing and accessories to choose from. You can find the top here and my necklace here at Papelline.

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{bracelets: here & here, rings: here, here and here}

I am Brave and Beautiful – a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie’s song says, “Take your make up off. Let your hair down… Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you… “

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.

I joined with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag – #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat’s attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!

When my friend Megan asked me to participate in this online movement today with 100 other bloggers, I have to admit, at first I hesitated because it doesn’t necessarily fit with the things that I put out on my blog. Then I watched Colbie’s video and with tears in my eyes said “I’m in” because I think it’s that important that we support each other as women in this way.

The song says over and over, “You don’t have to try so hard.” Colbie’s not saying to never try ever in your life, let’s be real. You all know what she’s saying – you don’t have to try so hard to please others by having the hair extensions, fancy makeup & sexy clothes. I’m not saying there’s not a time and place for some of those things (I know my husband appreciates some of these things) but I don’t have to try so hard to impress others with my appearance because I know I am known and loved by God and my family. They love me in the yoga pants or my Sunday best. They love me in the good, bad and ugly.

real-me

So here is me. On the left is Sunday morning “me” when I actually get dressed in something other than workout clothes, do my hair and put on makeup. On the right is regular, everyday “me” – when I’m home working or being with the family or relaxing on the porch. That’s the “me” that you’ll see 5 out of the 7 days of the week. That’s the “me” that I consider to be the real me, because I like being comfortable with my hair up and not having to take makeup off every night before bed. I love the fact that my hubby likes seeing me in workout clothes – it helps.

Why do you resonate with what Colbie’s trying to say – why do you feel like you don’t have to try so hard?

share your natrual beauty - brassyapple.com

Don’t stop here. Get clicking around – its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup

1. BrassyApple 2. Peace from 6 Pieces 3. Is this Really My Life 4. Among the Young 5. Love Me Dani Marie 6. Sweet Charli 7. Kim Orlandini 8. XO, Ashton Tilton 9. She Calls Me Mama Leisha 10. Raising Memories – Canada 11. A Little Tipsy 12. Amy Cornwell 13. A girl and a glue gun 14. My Craftily Ever After 15. Maybe I Will 16. WhipperBerry 17. Paging SuperMom 18. All Things Thrifty 19. Ashlee Marie 20. The Project Girl

women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful

21. One Little Momma 22. Entirely Eventful Day 23. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 24. Tips from a Typical Mom 25. Utah Sweet Savings 26. Flats to Flip Flops 27. One Krieger Chick 28. What Meegan Makes 29. Simply Kierste 30. Live to be Inspired 31. HoneyBear Lane 32. Pretty Providence 33. Ma Nouvelle Mode – in FRANCE 34. MomEntity 35. Serger Pepper – in ITALY 36. Kiki and Company 37. Girl Loves Glam 38. Thrive

women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com

39. The Potters Place 40. Crafting in the Rain 41. Cooking With Ruthie 42. Delineate Your Dwelling 43. The Pennington Point 44. Bakerette 45. The Happy Scraps 46. Shannon Baird Photography 47. Tried and Tasty 48. Lionesses at the Gate 49. Fry Sauce and Grits 50. Lolly Jane 51. That’s What Che Said 52. Sugar Bee Crafts 53. Your HomeBased Mom 54. Happiness is Homemade 55. The Crafted Sparrow 56. R&R Workshop 57. I Should Be Mopping the Floor 58. Sassy Steals

Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful

59. Let’s Eat Grandpa 60. Being Spiffy 61. Sumo’s Sweet Stuff 62. Ginger Snap Crafts 63. Bless This Mess 64. Apronista 65. Dreaming About Someday 66. Frenchie 67. Tastefully Frugal 68. Four Marrs and One Venus 69. Your Sister Circle 70. Over the Big Moon 71. See Vanessa Craft 72. Infarrantly Creative 73. Family StoryTelling

Natural beauty untouched photos

74. Albion Gould 75. Life as Mrs. Larson 76. Tried and True 77. Play.Party.Pin. 78. Bite of Delight 79. Ink Happi 80. ObSEUSSed 81. U Create 82. My Mommy Style 83. Find it Make it Love it 84. The Contractor Chronicles 85. Novae Clothing 86. Mommy Makes Things 87. At Home with Sweet T 88. We Like to Learn As We Go 89. House for Five 90. Organize and Decorate Everything 91. Sassy Southern Gurl 92. The Creative Mom 93. Keep Moving Forward with Me

raw natural beauty - join the movement

94. The Benson Street 95. Mom 4 Real 96. Sowdering About 97. illistyle 98. The Crafty Blog Stalker 99. A Fiery Red Life 100. Cupcakes & Crowbars 101. One Sweet Appetite 102. My DayLights 103. Restless Risa

beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com

104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen Bee and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kids Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography

#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful

Ready in join in?Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!

Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

The last few months have been slow in the shop – the normal summer lull. I’ve been unmotivated and quite honestly in a creative funk. Now that school is back in session I’m excited to get back into things and get pumped about the Christmas season ahead. Today I thought I’d share a few tips on how to kick a creative funk. Be sure to leave your own in the comments below.

encouragement-wall

have an encouragement wall in your studio/office

I just recently moved my sewing/computer desk under my encouragement wall, so that when I’m working on the blog, shop or Natural Living Real Life, I can look up and see the encouragement of my family, friends & customers from throughout the years. It’s such a joy to look up and see these handwritten notes and it encourages me to keep moving forward with what I’m doing. I’d suggest that everyone have an encouragement wall or at least a box to keep cards in to revisit on a regular basis.

think outside of your normal box

For the last 11+ years I’ve created things that I like personally for my jewelry shop. Lately I feel like that mindset has been stifling me, so I’m working now to branch out and create some styles that might not be my cup of tea but that could be someone else’s. It’s fun to think outside my normal jewelry box (pun intended) and helps stretch my creative muscles. I believe we all need that. We need to be stretched and challenged to come up with something new and different.

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collaborate with someone else

Collaborating is so important! Of course, you want to be sure that you know who the person is and how they work before you collaborate to protect yourself. However, collaborations can help you get out of that normal box that I spoke about earlier and can stretch you to do something new. It’s also a great way to cross-promote and energize your creativity. I did this the other day with a friend who has a fashion blog. She and I came up with a Belle of the Midwest collection that we’ll be launching next month. At first I was nervous because it’s not necessarily the style that I’ve been doing in my shop, but then I got really excited about what this collaboration can bring. Finally I became excited to create again!

have an inspiration wall or binder (or pinterest board)

We all need inspiration! Creative funks hit everyone. So start saving things that inspire you or that you like. Clip things out of magazines, even if they don’t have anything to do with what you create in your shop. Clip out favorite colors, textures, ideas, quotes – and then put them up on the wall or in a binder that you can look through when you’re in a rut. If you’re more the electronic type, keep a Pinterest board. If you don’t want other people to see it, make it a hidden board that is for your eyes only. We all do it, no shame.

How do you kick a creative funk?

Today I’m excited to share about a business that just opened earlier this year and is full of super cute clothing and accessories for women. It’s called Happy Chic Boutique and is owned by Christy.

shift-dressChristy sent me this super cute Colorful Sift Dress. One of the things that I love about this dress is that it’s lined, so I don’t have to worry about wearing a slip or being self conscious about it being see through. It’s comfortable and kinda funky with the loose sleeves. It’s perfect for the days we’ve been having this past week where the temps for July are lower than normal. So fun! Isn’t it so fun?

These are some of my other favorites from the shop. happy-chicso vibrant dress // over the rainbow maxi // multi chevron infinity scarf

One of my favorite things about Happy Chic Boutique are the prices – nearly every dress is under $30. Which is perfect because Happy Chic Boutique is giving one of you a $25 gift certificate for anything in the shop! You could get a dress, a couple accessories or a few tops. So many possibilities because the prices are so great! You can visit Happy Chic Boutique via the links below and be sure to enter through the rafflecopter app below as well.

shop // twitter // Facebook // instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

photo 3When Jess contacted me to do a review & giveaway, I have to be honest that I had never heard of Trades of Hope. Once she explained it to me, I was immediately on board. This sounds like such an amazing organization, leading women out of poverty around the world (which is so near to my heart). I love organizations that teach women a trade so that they can start their own businesses and sell their wares. Amazing. I truly believe this is the way to break the cycle of poverty. Teaching a woman to fish instead of just giving her fish.

Jess sent me this beautiful scarf from Trades of Hope. One of the things I love about it (besides the story behind it) is that it’s so light, but not too light. It’s perfect for this time of the year and I can see it easily transitioning to spring and even summer on those cool nights. The colors are beautiful and the texture of it really makes it unique. It’s a perfect length and the tassels at the end are a nice touch. Basically, I’m smitten with it and am so excited to have my own Trades of Hope piece to wear.

scarf2I wanted Jess to tell you more about Trades of Hope since I’m a TOH newbie, so here she is…

Hello!  My name is Jess and I am am a grateful wife, momma, friend, teacher, and learner.  I am passionate about my family, faith, serving others, and living my life in a way that Jesus may be glorified!  Since the adoption of our daughter from Colombia in 2012, I was excited to learn about a missional business that is committed to empowering women out of poverty. Finding it has recently made a difference in my life and, more importantly, in the lives of countless women whom I may never meet. I am grateful for every day we have with our daughter but I know if there could be fewer orphans in the world, than that would be a great thing. I believe Trades of Hope is doing just that. Trades of Hope partners with missions, co-ops, and organizations from all over the world to help desperate women {victims of abuse, addiction, illness and disease, trafficking, etc.} market and sell their beautiful handmade products through fair trade to make a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Empower Definition I first noticed the beautiful jewelry, home décor, and handcrafts this company offered for purchase in the U.S through home/online parties, but as you read about where and how each piece is made you realize these products and this company are helping improve the lives of women all over the world through parties with a purpose. Since becoming a Compassion Entrepreneur in February 2013, I have gained the ability to share and help others realize the power of their purchases could support and meet the needs of these women artisans.

Many of these women are not in poverty because they lack abilities, but they lack opportunity. They do not want charity…they need an opportunity. Every purchase through Trades of Hope helps provide women and their families with clean water, medical care, schooling for their children, food, and a second chance at life! Women in Uganda can now send their children to school and pay for their HIV medical care by making bracelets; victims of acid attacks in Cambodia are learning the trade of crocheting and knitting while gaining dignity and healing; Haitian women are keeping their babes instead of giving them to an orphanage because they’re making beauty out of cereal boxes; girls in California are learning they are cherished and redeemed while making recycled glass necklaces once they are rescued from sex trafficking in our own country.

to live life one day for another quote

In September 2013, I had the privilege of meeting three of the artisan groups we work with in Haiti. I saw firsthand how they make beauty out of cereal boxes and clay, old oil drums, and burlap. These talented women are able to keep their babes in their homes because of the trades they are taught and it was a gift to learn from and spend time with them.

me and jacqueline in haiti

You are invited to take a look around my site, view the accessories, and read the artisan profiles. You are welcome to host a party with a purpose or purchase a fair trade product and make a difference for a positive change in the world — one accessory at a time. Or you can join me in changing this world by becoming a Compassion Entrepreneur.

For Smiles Like These Graphic

scarf AND I’d love the opportunity to GIFT you with a beautiful Nepali Aqua scarf that is providing freedom for girls from Kathmandu! Did you know that Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world with an unemployment rate of 42%? Many girls are lured into the sex trade to survive. Every year approximately 10,000 girls from ages 9 to 16 are sold, stolen, or forced into brothels. Parents are even afraid to send their daughters to school for fear they will be taken for the sex trade. The girls making these have been given an opportunity to earn a fair wage by making handcrafts which allows them to have hope and dignity. They are being trained to own their own businesses and take pride in their work. That is a pretty powerful scarf!

Follow the directions below to enter the giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway