Eco-Friendly, Vegan & Small Shop Style Finds: From Queens Knits to Global Jewelry 

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
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Christine Gibson, founder of Queens Knits.   All images courtesy of Christine Gibson.

 

Featured Small Shop ▶️ Queens Knits 

Creating and running a business while raising kids is challenging, but certainly possible. And I admire my fellow creative Mamas, who juggle so much and remain committed.

I met Christine Gibson, founder of Queens Knits, on Instagram and was immediately drawn to not only the beauty of her handmade knitted pieces cowls in vibrant colors, coffee cozies (check out the adorable Mom one I linked to), scarvesturban style earwarmers, and hats – but her warmth and down-to-earth personality.

Like many mompreneurs, Christine began her business for a simple and quite practical reason:  “I was seeing adorable kids accessories on blogs and online that I couldn’t afford so I made them myself !” Her business continues to grow, and now you can outfit your whole family in Queens Knits from hats to cowls and stylish hair accessories.

Alongside merchandise, you will find photos of her fresh-faced kiddos and happy customers rounding out this creator’s  IG feed, and immediately it feels like you’re in Queens, baby!

The lovely hair clips below are made of felt and ribbon, and attached to a metal clip. The cost for these is $3 each, or two for $5.
Keep up with all Queens Knits is doing on IG and Twitter, and of course visit her shop.

Ten Thousand Villages

I discovered Ten Thousand Villages in my early 20s in Baltimore’s historic Fells Point, and was later thrilled to learn their stores are all over the country.

You can find everything from products for your skin to jewelry, home decor, clothing, home decor and skincare. The artisans, who come from all over the  world (Nepal, India, Kenya, etc.), are paid fairly and customers can learn about who created what they wear on product tags. There is also  an opportunity to go in depth by visiting their blog .

The pieces below are my new favorites:

 

Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Find these heart inspired earrings here (handmade in Kenya).

 

Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages
Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Find this stunning jewelry set here (handmade in Guatemala).

Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Step out in style with this ornate evening bag. Find it here (handmade in India).

Have an amazing weekend, lovelies!

p.s.

Don’t be shy! Tell me what stylish clothing or jewelry (eco-friendly, vegan, or small shops) you’re wearing these days. Know of a small shop or product  I should feature? Feel free to leave the info.

Inspiration For Your Ears & Soul: From Author Elizabeth Gilbert on Fearless Creativity to Practicing Kindness

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
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img_9600
Illustration by Sherrill Knezel

Lots of juggling projects this week, so not as much time to read and listen to inspiring content, but I always manage to squeeze something into the mix.  I am so moved by courageous women who are leading organizations to uplift their communities, journalists who seek unapologetic truth, and writers unafraid to reveal their vulnerability.

Here is my weekly list:

Author Elizabeth Gilbert on pushing past fear, and cultivating creativity constantly – no matter what.

Women-led movements are redefining power all over the world.

Lovely photo essay from blogger / photographer Tammy Strobel.

On the importance of being kind to ourselves.

One writer’s journey to self love, and saying no to doing more and more (which seems to be practically imbedded in our DNA as women).

The beauty of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”.

An engaging conversation from Unraveling the Mind blog on Beyoncé, capitalism and activism.

 

 

6 Things You Can Do Now to Reclaim Your Joy 

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Graphic via Mallory Cruz’s blog

Years ago I heard a minister say don’t wish for happiness because it’s based on happenings, instead seek joy.

One of my good friends and I talked this week about some of our frustrations, and she mentioned how exhausting social media  becomes – managing your profile, keeping up with comments, but mostly she despises how miserable she feels after looking at everyone’s seemingly ideal lives. But are they perfect? Not really.

No one, no matter how intelligent, beautiful, or wealthy escapes issues or struggles. Some folks are just better at camouflaging.

Our conversation and my own week (an emotionally rocky one) prompted me to consider reclaiming joy, and what simple things (starting with 6) we can all do throughout our day-to-day lives.

Here are my thoughts: 

1. Practice Gratitude – Staying grateful (especially during difficulties) is transformational. It’s an instant mood elevator. My bestie Shan and I discussed this last night.

I believe what we focus on expands, so looking towards our blessings and thanking God for them ushers in more abundance (whether it’s through finances, relationships, etc.)

And when we put it into practice daily we permanently shift our mentality to a higher vibration.

2. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else – Theodore Roosevelt said “comparison is the theif of joy.” Ever since I heard those words years ago, I held on to their power. Each one of us is at different places, and stopping to compare ourselves to others only breeds misery. Focus on your unique gifts, your voice, and you will illuminate the world.

Photo Credit: Roksolana Zasiadko

3. Take Regular Social Media Breaks & Filter  –  Our brains are miraculous, but there are limitations. They can only hold so much. Sometimes, actually quite often, we need a break from the incessant rate of images and text bombarding us on social media platforms.

No one says you have to scope, tweet, etc. everyday. And if you’re one of those folks who compares your life to others (or the version they show us), all the more reason to step away for a minute (particularly if you are in a tough season).

Filter what you ingest, too. Skip  dismal news stories some days, or debating with someone of an opposing political or religious view. I am not advocating living in a bubble, but we have to know what we can tolerate on an energetic level. It’s really that simple.

4. Rest –  I know this is a tough one, but your body and mind will thank you. I usually have to force myself to sleep, but when I do, the next morning I am much more capable of taking on the world.

As a Mom, I know there are times when it’s particularly challenging. Work towards devoting small chunks of time throughout the day   (5, 10 or 15 minutes, etc.) for rest, and do absolutely nothing.

My good friend Michelle over at Surviving a Creative Life is excellent at reminding me to take breaks and rest. I think accountability partners are key in this whole commitment to rest. Have someone in your life challenge you when you’re not resting enough, and then listen. Rest.

5. Take in Natural Beauty – Sounds easy but in the age of iPhones, Androids and other electronic devices this is difficult for many of us. Go for a walk, take a long drive, mediate in the park; allow the beauty surrounding you to nourish your spirit.

Photo Credit: Shannon Braxton

6. Read or Listen to an Inspiring Story Misty Copeland, Bessie Coleman, Lisa Nichols, Angela Davis and countless other women inspire me with their determination and strength. In pieces of their story, I see my own.

Bessie Coleman, pioneer aviator. In 1922, she became the first African-American woman to stage a public flight in America.

I am reminded that no struggle is eternal and I am equipped to walk and live in joy!

🔽

How do you reclaim your joy? Don’t be shy. 🙂 Share in the comments.