Style

Tips on How to Style with Scarves

I tend to always be cold in the fall and winter months, so I love it when I can find a way to incorporate a stylish scarf into my outfit.  Being a Compassionate Entrepreneur with Trades of Hope has given me a lot of opportunity to indulge in finding new ways to do so.  I’ve found that, in addition to adding extra warmth and design to an outfit, you can also create multiple looks with the same scarf by just wearing it different ways.  Below are some tips I’ve found useful, and wanted to share them with you.

 ~EUROPEAN LOOP~

scarf european loop

Source

 ~LOOSE CASCADE~

loose cascade scarf

Source

 ~INFINITY~

infinity scarf

Source

Another great idea is to turn your favorite scarf into an amazing belt!  Wrap a longer scarf around your waist, and then twist it until the scarf starts to curl around itself. Keep twisting and place the twisted sections around in a flower shape. Tuck in the ends and you are ready to shine!

I hope you enjoy trying out some of these looks and let me know your thoughts on the #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective facebook page here.  Feel free to share your own tips with our Style Slowly Sisterhood!  You can browse & shop Trades of Hope’s beautiful collection of Fair Trade handmade scarves here.

Sparkle & Shine!

~♥xo, Ruth~

~ Ruth.TradesofHope@gmail.com~

 

Mindful Living · Uncategorized

Reflections on the 44th Annual Carolina Balloon Fest

My husband, Dan, and I made plans this year to attend the 44th Annual Carolina Balloon Fest in Statesville, NC with his parents in late October.  I had never been to a hot air balloon festival, and found myself looking forward to this new experience in a North Carolina town we hadn’t yet explored.

Well, we all had a wonderful time and found Statesville, NC to be a very welcoming & charming town.  The festival itself was very enjoyable and made for a memorable experience.  So much so, that I wanted to devote a blog post to it and share some beautiful pictures with you!

The first day of the festival, we went to the Evening Glow, which was a stunning display of over 20 balloons inflated at sunset as if they were going to take off.  The balloons glow simultaneously like huge lanterns, which is a spectacular display.  Below is a picture we took of this experience.

Evening Glow Window

The next day, we enjoyed some lovely music from local bands, North Carolina wine, and viewed the equally stunning Mass Ascension.  The Mass Ascension is a launch of all the participating balloons, done in several waves.  The variety of balloons and colors made for a beautiful visual display.  It was quite an experience to see this!  Some pictures of the balloons and Mass Ascension are below.

MassAscension

Mass Ascension

Constitution

Te'Amo Air

At the festival, I couldn’t help but think about how the hot air balloon pilot really has to “go with the flow” in terms of piloting the balloon.  While the pilot has a general idea of where he will go, the hot air balloon essentially goes wherever the wind takes it.  The pilot can seek higher or lower altitudes to find wind currents and sail in various directions.  Watching this in person really made me think about the saying “life is a journey, not a destination.”  There is a joy in savoring the present moments, and “going with the flow” as new challenges present themselves.

Sparkle & Shine!

~♥xo, Ruth~

~ Ruth.TradesofHope@gmail.com~

Mindful Living

Tips for Shopping Intentionally

Shopping intentionally and with purpose is a growing movement, and for good reason.  Realizing that with every dollar you spend, you are casting a vote about what you are willing to accept from companies is very empowering.  It means that collectively we have the power to change company practices we find unacceptable through spending our dollars elsewhere.

I still struggle with shopping intentionally at times, and thought it would be helpful to share with you some tips I’ve found useful on my new style journey so far.

~ Prepare by Researching Companies ~

If there is a clothing store or boutique that has caught your eye, before stopping in do some research online into the brands that they carry and the company itself.  Many boutiques have a separate page on their website that lists the brands that they work with and carry.  If your favorite boutique doesn’t have a listing, send an email to request the information.  Once you have a listing, you can look further into each brand online and reach out to them individually if you are unfamiliar with their corporate practices.

~ Distinguish between a Want vs. Need ~

Ask yourself why you want to buy the item in the first place.  Will the item add value to your life, or is it because you just want something new?  Get honest with yourself about your motivations for the purchase.

shoppingbags

~ Consider Quality ~

Buying a higher quality item may cost a little more than something found at the big box retail stores, but it will last longer.  It will save you time and money in the long run if you focus on quality over price, especially for classic pieces.

~ Shop Local, Fair Trade, and/or Ethically Sourced Products ~

Purchasing some quality pieces from a local boutique and/or company representative is a great way to start putting money back into your own community.  It’s even better when you can find Fair Trade and/or Ethically Sourced products.  Fair Trade products are designated as such by a label.  Buying a Fair Trade item not only puts money back into your own community by supporting a local business, but also gives back and empowers others around the world.

Stories Collide

~ Consider What the Item is Made of ~

What are the materials used and are they sustainable?  Many Fair Trade fashion accessories use recycled materials and are a great way to make an empowering fashion statement, while being kind to the environment.  For clothing, check and see if the item is made of organic cotton.  The main benefit of organic materials is that the crops aren’t treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and Genetically Modified Organisms. These toxins are harmful for farmers and workers, us as consumers, and entire wildlife eco-systems.

~ Does the Company/Brand Give Back? ~

There are so many ways to give back, and one is through purchasing and supporting brands that incorporate “giving back” into their company culture.  If you’re familiar with my blog, you know that I work as a Compassionate Entrepreneur with Trades of Hope.  Trades of Hope is not only a fair trade certified company, but also gives back through a program called Gifts of Hope.  This is one of the reasons I’ve chosen to represent the company as a CE.  More information on Gifts of Hope can be found here.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have about shopping intentionally.  You’re welcome to share your tips in the #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective as well by clicking here.

Sparkle & Shine!

~♥xo, Ruth~

~ Ruth.TradesofHope@gmail.com~

Business & Empowerment

10 Empowering Quotes to Inspire You

I love quotes because they can automatically change my perspective if I’m finding myself in a difficult situation.  They can fill me with the positive energy I need to move forward and tackle the task in front of me.  I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.  I hope these amazing quotes inspire you and empower you to tackle the challenges that come your way.

10 Empowering Quotes to Inspire You

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou

“A strong woman accepts both compliments & criticism graciously, knowing that it takes both sunshine & rain for a flower to grow.” ~Mandy Hale

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” ~Dolly Parton

blueflower

“I only move forwards, not backwards, darling.” ~Grace Jones

“Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself. Keep fighting for your dreams.” ~Gabby Douglas

“Nothing is Impossible, the word itself says I’m Possible.” ~Audrey Hepburn

whiteflower

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else.” ~Judy Garland

“A wise girl knows her limits, a smart girl knows she has none.” ~Marilyn Monroe

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” ~Oprah Winfrey

redflower

Sparkle & Shine!

~♥xo, Ruth~

~ Ruth.TradesofHope@gmail.com~

Style

3 TOH pieces, 5 Sisterhood Arm Parties

I love Arm Parties, especially when they are done TOH Style!  So much positive energy, hope, and inspiration from around the world shines through our Sisterhood Arm Parties.  After all, each piece is handcrafted by women that have been empowered and are now able to share their special talents and stories with us.

The 3 pieces I’ve chosen to inspire you to create your own Sisterhood Arm Party are:

Jubilee Bracelet Set made by Empowered Artisans in Haiti

~Handmade Beads made out of Haitian Clay~

Pure Love Bracelet made by Empowered Artisans in Haiti

~Handmade Beads made out of Haitian Clay & Cereal Boxes~

Imani Necklace made by Empowered Artisans in Uganda

~Handmade Beads made out of Magazine Paper~

If you would like to familiarize yourself more with the empowering stories behind these groups, please check out my blog articles on our amazing artisans in Haiti at this link and in Uganda at this link.

Let the partying begin…..

Sisterhood Arm Party #1: Jubilee Bracelet Set & Pure Love

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Sisterhood Arm Party #2: Pure Love Bracelet, Imani Necklace, & Jubilee Bracelet

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Sisterhood Arm Party #3:  Pure Love Bracelet & Imani Necklace

WIN_20171010_15_27_38_Pro

Sisterhood Arm Party #4:  Jubilee Bracelet Set & Imani Necklace

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Sisterhood Arm Party #5:  Pure Love Bracelet & Red Jubilee Bracelets

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Please share your inspiring #StyleSlowlySisterhood ArmParty here and join in the Sisterhood & fun!  You can always shop these looks at my online shop – you’re just one click away from inspiring hope here.

~♥xo, Ruth~

~ Ruth.TradesofHope@gmail.com~

 

Mindful Living

My Gratitude List

As I write this I’m sitting outside on the patio of my home in Raleigh, North Carolina sipping some iced tea….I breathe in the fresh air and smile.  What an abundance of blessings I’m able to enjoy and be thankful for in my life.  I am blessed to be blessed, and  realize there is responsibility that comes with those blessings.

gratitude

I decided to take some time to make a list of some blessings in my life for which I am grateful.  I challenge you to take some time to do the same.  It helps keep the daily annoyances you face in perspective.

My Gratitude List

  1. I am thankful for my husband, who is my biggest supporter in everything I do.
  2. I am thankful that I have a loving family.
  3. I am thankful that I am healthy and have the ability to enjoy regular workouts and peaceful walks in our beautiful neighborhood.
  4. I am thankful for the wonderful community we live in, that is full of opportunity and interesting people to meet.
  5. I am thankful for being able to have work that positively impacts others around the world.
  6.  Most importantly, I am thankful for the Creator that made me who I am, and allows me to inspire others in my own unique way.

Feel free to join the #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective here and share some (or all) of the items that made it onto your Gratitude List today.

~♥xo, Ruth~

~ Ruth.TradesofHope@gmail.com~

 

Join #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective

How to Join #SSGC

So many people & hearts are behind the fashion accessories & products that we enjoy everyday.  Part of the joy in purchasing a Fair Trade accessory is knowing that those people & hearts were treated well & paid fairly.

Let’s start a #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective to spread even more Hope+Dignity with our mindful purchases.  Here’s how to participate:

#StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective
3 Steps to Participate & Join the #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective: (1) Share a pic of yourself wearing/using the Fair Trade purchase you love & state WHY you love it; (2) Say “Thanks!” to the people & planet for making it; & (3) What is at least one positive action you plan to take while wearing/using the product? (just in case you can’t read my writing 😉 )

To share your pic and connect with other #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective members, I invite you to join my Facebook Group page at this link.  You can also post your picture on your instagram and/or twitter with the hashtag #StyleSlowlyGratitudeCollective.

Let’s show that together a mindful lifestyle of Business, Fashion, Gratitude, & Empowerment is possible!