Enji - Changing The Way You Look At Recycled Jewelry With 12 Ways To Style Your Rings This Summer

100% Handmade and Committed to Sustainability and Ethical Practices. - Enji Studio Jewelry

I have been fortunate enough to get to know Enji Studio Jewelry not only as an ethical brand but as a light in the industry making moves. Once I laid eyes on Niki's creations, the creator and owner of Enji, I absolutely fell in love. The fact that these pieces are made ethically from recycled material and give back really was the game changer for me. From bold to minimalist pieces I truly believe there is a gem for everyone here. I took these rings everywhere, honestly, I wanted to live in them and I did. They saw and felt love, joy, heartbreak and all the in-betweens.

Looking down at my hands though, the rings not only told my story of how I expressed myself through fashion but Enji's story, Niki's story and all the energy from where these recycled materials have been. To think that these rings had all that life before this point, was a unique feeling. Wearing these rings for me represented a belief that fashion is not only what you see in front of you but what could be when you create ethically.

Recycled fashion and jewelry is such a meaningful act. It's using what you have, what already exists and giving it another chance. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out a few of our Summer looks with secondhand items along with local brands.

Using the Sybil Sapphire Ring, Ora Ring, Hera Ring, and the Fatima Ring.

Fields Of Green

Niki's pieces are created by using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and stones, chains, and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials are made using recycled paper. - Enji Studio Jewelry

The Bryan House

As a member of Ethical Metalsmiths, we hope to be among the first movers bringing transparency and sustainable practices into the luxury fashion jewelry world. - Enji Studio Jewelry

Summer Feeling

The Neutral

Secondhand Casual

Citrus Walks

The Plant Lady

On The Clear Path

Seeing Red

Modern 70's

The Streets

Modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. - Enji Studio Jewelry

In The Flowers

Enji donates a portion of each sale to organizations that help empower women locally and globally and work to end domestic violence and human trafficking

Here are some of the organizations Enji works with:
The Alliance for HOPE
Women's Resource Center
Mercury Free Mining Project

To learn more about Enji Studio Jewelry click here.

Live Balanced. Live Great.

All There August

*In essence, I only partner with brands I truly believe in and all opinions stated above are mine.


8 Ways To Use Your Hip Purse And Backpack This Winter Season

The infamous hip purse and backpacks, some people love them (like me) and others are not fans. That's perfectly fine but no matter what side of the spectrum you're on, sometimes you need inspiration. As Winter is upon us, I put together a Vegan Bag Style Guide where I share 8 looks using these two vegan handbags from White Rhino.

But First, Let's Find The Right Bag...

Whether you want a bag to travel in or for everyday use, it's important to stay true to your style. After living in my White Rhino bags, I recognized what's important to me… lots of pockets. Aside from being your one stop shop for cruelty-free, vegan leather bags and accessories. These vegan handbags provide just the right storage space while also remaining compact.

Do you tend to dress more athletic, casual or glam? Is color the most important feature for you or is it size and fit? Hip purses and backpacks are versatile. Once you determine what features are right for your style, mixing these bags in your wardrobe will soon come naturally.

Monday: All Black

Black is my classic go-to when I want a traditional bold look. Try pairing a neutral color together for this outfit. Whether it be all black, all red or picking two colors, the 'Allie Hip Purse will be a solid addition.

Tuesday: Twice Unique

Why not couple two unique looks, a hip purse, and overalls. Another side to fashion is to be a bit daring. I mean why not? Honestly, you never know what outfit you will enjoy until you try it on. So exercise your right to experiment.

Wednesday: Your Favorite Combo

My favorite colors, red and black are two striking shades to wear. Here I used the hip purse as a belt to create a silhouette with an oversized blazer. Essentially you can replace any belt with this bag.

Thursday: The Suit

Another way to wear your hip purse is as a cross body bag. Connect the bag at the last hole and test what side you feel comfortable with best.

Friday: Earthy Tone

The Dark Avocado Signature Backpack was unconventional for me. For these next two looks, I wanted an earthy lighter mood to complement the darkness of the backpack.

The Weekend: The Darker Shades

Following my roots, for this look, I paired the backpack with black. Whether it's an athleisure look or blacked out with a pop of color, the green stands strong.

Bags have more than one purpose. Yes, they are meant to carry valuables but they also give life to your look. As I wore my White Rhino bags not only did I feel at peace with the fact that they are cruelty-free but a sensation of ease fell over me. These very bags allowed me to tell my story. My story through what I represent as a cruelty-free activist and creator. What story are you telling with your fashion?

To learn more about White Rhino's cruelty-free, vegan bags and receive 25% off your order for the month of January use code JESS25 and click here.

Live Balanced. Live Great.

All There August

Jessica Salazar

*In essence, I only partner with brands I truly believe in and all opinions stated above are mine.


Winter Style Guide: A Week's Worth of Tips On How To Utilize Your Swimsuit All Year Round

Winter Swimsuit Style Guide

How many people store their swimsuits away after the Summer days have left us? I know I did. So when Alyned Together gave me the "Winter Swimsuit Style Guide Challenge" it was both exciting and experimental. Why? Well because for me and maybe a lot of people out there, I associate swimsuits with pools, beaches and pretty much little to no layering.

Considering my styling options for the week ahead, I discovered that using a swimsuit as a staple fashion item is pretty ingenious. As I went through my week, I found styling my one piece came naturally to me. In all honesty, I envisioned my suit as a onesie instead of a swimsuit and changed my perspective entirely. So for those of you who never see their swimsuits until those Summer days, it's time to change that outlook. It's possible to use your suit all year round and here are some tips to do so.

Monday, A Pop Of Color: I purchased this scarf a few years ago in Europe and its large enough to use it as a wrap. Here I thought of the suit as a fitted tank that I can layer with a jacket. I also like to throw in hints of color which is why I paired the black with a secondhand statement pant, purse and turquoise vintage rings that belonged to my grandma.

Tuesday, An Edgy Neutral: In this case, I wanted to pair the swimsuit with a fitted bottom. Experimenting with your swimsuit is key. Ask yourself what tops, sweaters or jackets need layering? If it's minimum, wear your favorite light jacket over your suit. Here I accessorized with a hat, vintage jewelry, and a hemp jacket.

Wednesday, A New Years Sparkle: I love matching a bold fashion piece with solid black. I found this secondhand vest at a local shop and paired it with the swimsuit. A solid black bottom along with the suit creates the illusion of a one-piece pantsuit.

Thursday, Sports Day: Sometimes casual attire is the best medicine. I matched this look with a DIY sweater I upcycled. Also, I love pins and express my creativity through them.

Friday, The Classic Black And White: Here's another secondhand sweater from my grandma. I love the bold black and white pattern combined with the cutout the swimsuit contains. Matching your suit with your vibrant outerwear is a great way to utilize pieces from your current wardrobe.

Saturday, Sheer Magic: I wanted to give you another look with the wide-legged pant. Alternatively, wearing your swimsuit underneath a sheer top is remarkably versatile. The sheer fades out any noticeable signs that you are wearing a swimsuit.

Sunday, The Bell Sleeve: I used the swimsuit as a base for most of the outfits but I wanted to switch it up and use the suit as the actual "layered" piece instead. This technique works best if the base top is a fitted one which will eliminate any material bulking.

An Extra Day In Grandmas Blazer: Both of my grandmas have been noticing how I've styled some of their pieces so this one came as a surprise. My grandma wore this blazer to my brother's wedding years ago. I paired it with an upcycled choker I created with a cat head that originally came from a ring. Furthermore, I matched the look with secondhand bracelets and locally purchased sunglasses.

From casual to contemporary it's time to think of your swimsuits lifecycle outside of those Summertime festivities. Swimsuits don't require Summer so challenge yourself. Start with styling one outfit or using your swimsuit underneath an oversized sweater, to get familiar with the idea. Utilizing your suits and items from your current wardrobe is an incredible way to live sustainably.

For more on Alyned Together and to get your suit today use code WINTERSTLYE15 for a 15% discount, click here. 

Live Balanced. Live Great.

All There August

Jessica Salazar

*In essence, I only partner with like-minded brands I truly believe in and all opinions stated above are mine.


Easy DIY Mother Nature Halloween Costume For World Vegan Day

Easy DIY Mother Nature Halloween Costume For World Vegan Day

It's that time of year again where we get to dress up in costumes and drift to another world as we fall into character. I personally love Halloween. It's one of my favorite Holidays but this year I wanted to challenge myself with time and money. Meaning, I wanted to show that I didn't need to spend money and I put together my costume in about an hour with items I already owned.

Mother Nature DIY

Mother Nature For World Vegan Day

I found myself sitting and scrolling through google searching the following... DIY scary, nature, plant, and vegan costumes. Then I thought alright Jess, what really resembles who I am and hey it's World Vegan Day soon? Hello... Mother Nature. It was Halloween and I had about less than 2 hours to get ready for our party. Time was ticking.

What's In The Costume?

  • Cream 2 Piece Secondhand Dress
    • I had a dress from a thrift store that had a fitted bottom. What I did was put a flowy skirt that matched the top over the bottom half of the dress. This gave the illusion of a one-piece dress.
  • Forest Crown
    • So the funny thing about this is it's actually a door wreath. Yes, a wreath. I was able to find one I already owned that was slightly smaller and placed it on my head. Of course, it was a bit larger than my head and a tad heavier but, I made it work.
  • Forest Makeup
    • I love creating looks with makeup and if I get the chance to create a colorful look I'm going to take it. The style came from an accumulation of several photos but I used Laura Lee's, Party Animal vegan eyeshadow palette to create everything while mixing shadows together to achieve the various greens I had on.

Full Dress

Door Wreath

It's possible to create costumes from clothes and items you own. For me, that was the challenge. I personally didn't want to spend money on something I was going to use for 1 night. The great thing is this very look transitions to World Vegan Day, yay. This year I chose to coincide with a lifestyle I am so very proud of and to celebrate our Mother Nature.

Live Balanced. Live Great.

All There August

Jessica Salazar


A Reflection on 30: The Ugly, The Beauty And The Strange Trails Between

A Reflection on 30: The Ugly, The Beauty And The Strange Trails Between

I can't believe its here, 30. As I sit here thinking about my last 10 years of life I remember the very day I was 19. The thought of man, I'm turning 20, how crazy is that! Furthermore, there's a memory I have of taking a picture to mark that very day hoping I would remember and... I did. There I stood in my dorm at Texas State University, happy about what this new chapter would bring. Now, I sit here at 29 reflecting on all the things I did and the moments that passed in my 20's. Generally speaking, every birthday is important and if you know me birthdays are my jam, I live for them. This one though, 30, it seems weird, different, strange and joyous all at the same time for me. I have some feelings about 30, there's a lot I love and yet it's uncharted territory. Having time for reflection yet happily present brings feelings of the ugly, the beauty and the strange trails that fall between the cracks of it all. I think no matter what age you are we have all gone through things that are relatable, so, here are mine.

The Struggle

It's quite weird to think I started this piece at 29 and ended it at 30. To some people birthdays are insignificant but it's not that way for me. I feel things quite deeply and in the beginning, the thought of 30 was really off-putting for some reason. I was in my 20's for so long and now what? What am I supposed to do with a 3 in front of my age now? Yes, I embrace 30 (I embrace things in general) and I am so happy and lucky to have lived all these years but to be honest, it's scary. I have the right to say it, 30 is a different feeling. At this moment all the thoughts of, am I too old for this, how will I feel physically, I needed to have accomplished this by now... all the above (negative) thoughts and more start to creep in. It's the truth. Ultimately, as positive as I am it's natural to struggle with negative thoughts. This is a different struggle, the struggle with reality and age may seem minute but it's still significant in some form.

Wearing secondhand and local at Bouldin Creek Cafe in Austin, TX.

The Reflection

My 20's have passed and since I loved them so very much I was still holding on. I was holding on to a number that I thought would change it all. Now I am 30. It doesn't mean my entire life changes because of a number. It doesn't mean I should act this way, dress that way or fit in any "box" a 30-year-old should fit in, no. Uniquely, as I allow myself to feel these feelings and have this reflection, I am also allowing myself to let them go. I can't turn back time, I can't turn 20 again nor do I want to.

As strange as it is to be 30 (and I am sure you have felt it too) its life and it's natural. What I'm doing is continuing to love who I am, where I am in life and yes, the beauty and strangeness that comes with it. I'm 30, heck yes! I struggle, succeed and I am going to make the best of this day and these moments. No, I'm not perfect, no one is. With every minute I will get older and you will too, it's reality. Every day though I am realizing that age is in fact just a number. It's never too late to do something or try something and you can succeed at it. I don't care if you are 20 or 70 you can change your mind, you can make things better and you can follow your magic. Please...follow your magic, it's all we have.

The Mantra

So yes, today will be different but today is also hauntingly beautiful. It's all the emotions and ghosts from the past meeting my present thoughts. I have been through heartache, people have let me down, I've felt the loss in various forms and I have struggled. Some you have seen others have been private. On the other hand, I have also felt the love from family, friends, and in animals and strangers. I've received degrees, lived and traveled abroad and I have stepped into the light of finding out who I am and what I am meant to do in life. Life is ugly and sometimes we can't change that, but life is also ironically very marvelous.

Surrounded by the people I love and receiving warming messaged from around the world, today I feel love. So to all the people out there struggling with negativity for any given reason, you are not alone. This is your show, this is your life let's live for the magic that's within us. That magic doesn't have an age and it's waiting for you always. I believe every single person has their own gifts to share with the world so believe in the light you give. Age, the actual number is quite trivial against your energy and your actions. Allow yourself to live your true path, choose that always.

Live Balanced. Live Great.
All There August

Jessica Salazar


Why Alley Cat Allies Is The Global Engine Of Change For Cats

Alley Cat Allies, The Force We Need

I've been an animal lover for as long as I can remember. Feeding community cats and helping stray dogs I see on the streets. It's always been in my heart to save animals in need. In fact, it's often difficult to explain to people. I'll cry if an animal suffers in a movie or show. Similarly, my mind also ponders and my heart is saddened to think about the neglect and cruelty that happens to any animal. Yes, I am vegan. Now. There was a time I wasn't though. I ate animal products, would wear them, I even remember hunting. Once but I did it. At that moment my mind was transformed permanently. Frankly, the sum of everything did on its own terms. I knew back then and know more than ever now, spreading harm to any animal is just not for me. No matter what the case or level.

The past several years I've changed. I have dedicated time to volunteering at local shelters and transitioned my entire lifestyle.  From spreading the word about adoptable pets to hosting local dog yoga and thrift events, all in order to raise money and awareness for animals in need. Our smallest and largest efforts make a difference for these animals but the fight is not over.  An estimated 70% of all cats who enter shelters nationwide don't leave the shelter alive. For feral cats who are not socialized, well, that number is often 100%. This is an alarming statistic. Let's face it, community cats are everywhere, they are multiplying and Alley Cat Allies is the driving force making an impact on feral cats.

Cats and The Law

Alley Cat Allies Taking Action

The first U.S. nonprofit to have guidelines for TNR and earning the 2018 Platinum Seal of Transparency on GuideStar, Alley Cat Allies delivers everything you need to know about feral cat care.  What do they do? Alley Cat Allies works in communities to urge low-cost spay and neuter policies and programs, as well as lifesaving Trap-Neuter-Return. Before it became mainstream to keep cats indoors (with help of the little invention called kitty litter in 1947) cats lived outdoors. Actually for thousands of years. Now, I'm not saying kick your cat out or never bring it inside again, no. What history tells us is that it's natural for cats to thrive outdoors.  From ancient Egypt where cats were worshiped to cats boarding ships to the Americas. Seeing feral felines in your community is actually a normal thing.

What's not healthy is for years animal control policy has put millions of dollars into catching and killing outdoor cats. Furthermore, the highest documented cause of death for cats in the United States is being killed in shelters. For the thousands of cats that go into the shelters a very small percentage are actually adopted out. Research also shows that 7 out of 10 cats who enter the system are killed. This means what we are currently doing in regards to animal control is not working, ethical or sustainable.

How Trap-Neuter-Return Works

When mountain lions are removed from their habitat, other mountain lions move in.

This then creates what's called the vacuum effect. In other words, American shelters and animal control systems have been relying on catching and killing outdoor cats to control population for years now. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a program where community cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped (a universal sign that a feral cat has been neutered and vaccinated) and in conclusion, returned to the outdoors.

TNR reduces and stabilizes the feral cat population while improving the co-existence between outdoor cats and humans in our shared environment. Set side by side, for me, it makes sense to control the current population versus continuing our present policies. There are thousands of cats around us, I mean go outside, I'm sure you will spot one. So caring for felines that are here now, meaning implementing a TNR program also means feral cats are healthy and have a lower chance of overpopulating a community.

Not to mention, once cats are spayed or neutered it has been shown that they are less aggressive, roaming minimizes and they won't have the urge to mark areas. Not everything will be perfect, and developing a program will not fix all our problems but it will help. It's a positive step though and also a better solution than euthanizing cats just because we don't have a better way.

Ways to Give

What Can We Do?

So, what can we do? Well... educate yourself, that's the first thing. Once you do that you have the power to spread that light to others. For instance, read about the history and behavior of community cats. Additionally, Alley Cat Allies resources are endless. I've been reading through their tabs, from community change to disaster response they provide links and news to help you understand and care for felines.

Another way is to familiarize yourself with local laws and create a movement. Reaching out to elected officials for face-to-face meetings, speak at a public hearing or create a community organization. Decide to grow the movement. In my case, I know that I will push forward and be the voice. We need a better way. If we do the same things, we will get the same results. It's time to shift our views on feral felines and see what we can do as a community to share the world with the beautiful creatures around us.

To see other charities and nonprofits fellow Ethical Writers & Creatives support, catch the links below:

EcoCult, Why Environmentalists Should Donate to Women's and Family-Planned Organizations

Model4greenliving, The Best Environmental Charities To Give To Now

Honestly Modern, Conscious Living Beyond Personal Consumption Habits

To learn more about Alley Cat Allies and how to alter views as well as promote policy change click here.

Live Balanced. Live Great.
All There August

Jessica Salazar


I Tried Who Gives A Crap Toilet Paper And Here's Why You Should Wipe With A Purpose

I Tried Who Gives A Crap Toilet Paper And Here's Why You Should Flush With A Purpose

What’s one of the first things you do once you get up in the morning? Yes, let’s get comfortable with each other fast because you guessed it… you go to the bathroom and use toilet paper. Just like the royals, celebrities, and teachers, we all go to the bathroom. Hence, it’s a normal daily activity that we should not be afraid (or embarrassed) by talking about.

In reality, let's ponder for a minute, how often do you use toilet paper or how many times do you come across it in a day? It’s crazy to imagine in the U.S. alone we consume large amounts of these tiny little squares without a second thought. I know, unfortunately, I do it too and that’s because I consider myself pretty “green.” Looking at my habits though, I honestly knew this needed to change. Therefore, how could I use toilet paper wisely? Was there an eco-friendly option out there? I mean I needed something but what?

I’ve had these burning questions for a good while now but I was not about to raise my white flag and say Who Gives A Crap? Then poof! That very thing came true.

Who Gives A Crap

Who Gives A Crap? I Give A Crap!

Most of us have the privilege of using toilet paper every day so why not flush with a purpose? Who Gives A Crap is a toilet paper brand you can feel good about. Not just because they love kitties and have funny toilet humor but because they are really making a difference in the world.

Here’s how…

Who Gives A Crap, Wrapping With A Cause

Who Is Who Gives A Crap And How Are They Doing Good With Your “Crap”

Fun, Funky and Making a Positive Impact

So who is Who Gives A Crap? Probably the coolest toilet paper since… well, possibly the coolest toilet paper that has ever existed! As a matter of fact, Who Gives A Crap donates 50% of their profits to non-profit organizations working to improve access to hygiene, water and basic sanitation in developing countries is something to talk about. As a result, they have donated almost a million to date. So what’s up with the other 50%? Well, they circle it back around and use the remaining profits to continue growing their company.

Wiping Away Poverty

What They Offer Us

100% Recycled Toilet Paper

  • Made from 100% recycled paper
  • 400 sheets per roll
  • No inks, dyes or scents
  • 3-ply which means it’s as soft as a bunny and as strong as a warrior mermaid

Forest Friendly Tissues

  • Made with 100% bamboo
  • 3-ply tissue that means it acts like your own personal army

Forest Friendly Paper Towels

  • 2-ply made to clean up all your kitchen masterpieces
  • Made from a bamboo blend
  • No inks, dyes or scents

Did you know?

2.3 billion people across the world don't have access to a toilet. That's roughly 40% of the global population and means that around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children per day, or one child every two minutes. - Who Gives A Crap

With some creativity and a desire for changeWho Gives A Crap threw some hard facts at me fast. First of all, I don’t want to be part of something that’s harming our planet and people. Toilet paper is difficult to point out though. Second, a lot of people don’t like talking about it and third, you flush it away so you literally forget about it too.

I wanted to be part of this movement so you all know what I did… I tried it out myself. I mean how could this magical roll of goodness be so good for the planet and work, right?

I Tried Who Gives A Crap And Here’s What Happened…

The Rolls

My Truth About Who Gives A Crap

Who Gives A Crap At My Door

Oh, my!!! So, receiving the box is a pretty amazing experience. Of course, it’s a cardboard box but what’s unique about this box is the printed facts and logos on it. For me, I was excited just to open it. I had that “let’s open the Christmas presents” feeling. I mean I knew what was inside but the aura of goodness definitely overwhelmed me.

Who Gives A Crap At My Door

Wrappers That Give

Yes, it’s toilet paper but at the same time, it’s way cooler than any toilet paper I’ve ever had. The fun prints on the wrappers make them anything but basic. I personally want to hide or put my toilet paper away. It’s different here though. I want to show it off, create conversations around it, laugh about it and celebrate it. We all need to “go” I don’t care who you are, again, going to the “bathroom” and taking care of business is a natural thing. Who Gives A Crap is just making it interesting and fun to talk about. So why not show it off?

Also, I mean if I could use the wrapping as wallpaper I just might do that. Naturally, I displayed Who Gives A Crap anywhere I could show it off. I usually store my toilet paper in the cabinets or laundry room. Not these! This roll deserves to be seen.

These Wrappers Need To Be Seen

Taking Care of Business

Finally, let’s get down to the dirty talk. Aside from the rolls looking nice, do they really work? Consequently, everyone has his or her toilet paper preference, strong, soft, thin, thick or right in the middle. So what’s it like to use Who Give A Crap you ask?

For me, it falls right in the middle. Not too hard, not too soft, not too thin, not too thick. It really is a perfect combination. Basically, the entire roll hits the sweet spot of being the best of all worlds. If you currently use 2-ply toilet paper start with using a smaller amount than what you are used to. Who Gives A Crap is a quality over quantity toilet paper, so using less goes a long way. Here are a few photos to give you an idea of what the roll looks like in real life.

Who Gives A Crap, I Do!

Money Talk With Who Gives A Crap

I did some research with toilet paper brands at various supermarkets online to give you a price comparison.

What you get with Who Gives a Crap:

  • 100% Recycled Toilet Paper, you can purchase 24 rolls for $30 or 48 rolls for $48.

What you get with the other guys:

  • The average cost for similar household toilet paper brands at your local supermarket:

48 Double Rolls, for $29.99
36 Rolls, 1-Ply for $35.99
27 Rolls, 1-Ply $16.97
24 Rolls, 1-Ply for $15.59
18 Mega Plus Rolls, for $19.39

*Prices vary depending on the day and location.

My Friends and Family Gave A Crap

Everyone who stopped by “my thrown” loved the rolls. I made sure to keep a roll out with packaging where people could see it while they were sitting. Furthermore, I even gave a roll to family members to try. As a result, here are a few comments I received from them…

“Oh man, these are too cool”

“What the heck…I didn’t know toilet paper could be eco-friendly”

“I’m really picky about my toilet paper but I liked this one”

“It’s not too thick or thin, rough or soft… it falls right in the middle and I like it”

“The packaging… so cool”

“I didn’t know a toilet paper company could do good in this way. I love them for that”

Who Gives A Crap, We Do!

Why You Should Give A Crap

To those who are curious or want to take it a step further with their eco-friendly lifestyle, I really enjoy what Who Gives A Crap is doing. I didn’t think about how my toilet paper could have the capacity to be eco-friendly, fun and give back all in one. I had always wanted to make the change towards an ethical toilet paper but never felt right about it. Who Gives A Crap helped me make this transition and it was easy because the brand fits an exciting environment while doing good.

What I’m doing with the Packaging Now

In conclusion, my mind started pondering, how I could reuse the packaging. What could I use them for and how could I prolong the lifespan? So, with a bit of brainstorming here’s what I came up with…

Who Gives A Crap, cardboard box turns into gift tags for that special occasion.

Who Gives A Crap, toilet paper roll turns into a bird feeder.

Cat wanted the last word!

Want to learn more and try Who Gives A Crap? Use discount code AUGUST at checkout and click here to get $10 off your first purchase.

Live Balanced. Live Great.
All There August

Jessica Salazar

*Who Gives A Crap provided toilet paper so that I may review their product. In essence, I only partner with like-minded brands I truly believe in and all opinions stated above are mine.

Recycled, Functional and Cool, 3 Reasons grünBAG Matters to the Eco-friendly Traveler

Recycled, Functional and Cool, 3 Reasons grünBAG Matters to the Eco-friendly Traveler

I love to travel. Whether it’s to a town that is 30 minutes away or a different country, I enjoy experiencing a new place in all its glory. I don’t know if it’s the traveling soul in me but my “being” always needs to just... go. As a result, with my travels, I’ve come to really know myself. Therefore, I’ve felt deep emotions and collected memories alone and with others. I’ve also exposed some habits while traveling. One of those being overpacking! Well, let’s just say, I'm working on that one. As I navigate through my eco-friendly travels and continue to incorporate reusable bags I’ve also tapped into the sustainable bag world.

I’ve used my old backpack for years but recently I’ve noticed it wearing away. Seams are starting to rip, possibly due to my overpacking. Consequently, you can just tell I love and use my backpack. So, I'm proud of that but I also knew my next bag needed to withstand time and travel.

grünBAG Backpack Red

grünBAG, The Eco-friendly Way

What were my new backpack goals you ask? Well, I was in search of a bag that was eco-friendly, functional, cool and my personal one... that could fit my necessities without overdoing it. On the prowl, and with some research and a lot of curiosity, I found the perfect bag to test out.

Proposing a unique substitute, grünBAG repurposes industrial materials that were destined for the trash, to offer a colorful collection of conscious bags. Exploring the Danish designed collection, the bags are made from highly durable materials. Hence, these materials are constructed to endure industrial wear and tear, so I knew they were right up my alley.

We want to rethink the usability of the things we throw out, and we work for a greener future with more thoughtfulness and recycling. – grünBAG

My Travels With grünBAG Backpack Red

3 Reasons grünBAG Matters to the Eco-friendly Traveler

At this point, grünBAG was looking really great. So once I received my grünBAG, the only way to test it out was to go. I packed my backpack with necessities (remember I'm getting better) grabbed Putter (my pup) and went on an adventure. The bag survived my little nieces, outside, inside, water, mud a lot of events. It was then that I realized this bag was made to be lived in. As I “lived” in my bag for a bit I recognized 3 reasons why grünBAG matters to the eco-friendly traveler.

grünBAG Backpack Red

#1 Reusable, Recycled and Vegan Materials

Eco-friendly materials, count me in! I searched their website to list the fascinating materials for you here.

Truck Tarpaulins

Offcuts, marked as waste, are not possible to use for the trucks any longer. This “waste” is taken to the sewing room, where they are repurposed into bags.

Big-bag

Sometimes holding up a ton and used to hold large quantities of heavy materials. From bakery to your hands, here, grünBAG cleans and recycles big-bags specifically used for salt in a big Danish bakery.

Seat Belts

Collecting seatbelts from old cars ready for the scrapyard, grünBAG gives them a second life. Now, these seatbelts turn into reliable shoulder straps and belts on bags. Washed and sewn by hand, they are then checked to ensure quality.

Commercial Banners

Gathering used commercial banners and posters from different companies, these banners then become unique bags. With a quirky twist or humorous illustration, this line is entirely exclusive.

Recycled Nylon

In 2015, grünBAG applied for and received a subsidy to produce customized clasps in recycled hard plastic, also known as nylon, from the Danish Business Authority. Here grünBAG has replaced imported clasps made of new plastic.

From Soda Bottles to Fabric

100% recycled PET (polyester) fabric, a fabric made of recycled plastic soda bottles. In this method, recycled soda bottles are cleaned, sorted and processed in order to create sustainable fabrics in various colors.

Viking Lifebag

VIKING liferafts are used on board on some of the world’s largest and advanced vessels, where travelers and crewmembers rely on them to save lives. Once retired, grünBAG receives the liferafts to transform them into orange LifeBags.

grünBAG Backpack Red

#2 Traveling With A Purpose Matters

I felt good about wearing this bag. Packing my necessities and not worrying about spills, tears, and style was effortless. Now, I’ve noticed I pack with a purpose. Everything in the bag (for me) has a purpose. Here’s a look inside the bag and an idea of what may fit in it.

Here to the purposeful and cool…

Inside My grünBAG, cat not included: Chargers, handmade makeup bag, wallet, laptop

#3 Functionality And Style At Its Finest

Backpacks, shoulder bags, sports bags, accessories, and special collections there’s a bag and color for everyone. Personally, my favorite part of the bag is the functionality of it. I can take this bag anywhere and feel confident that it will survive the occasion. As much as I loved my previous backpack I know my new grünBAG has my back now. Literally!

Below you will find my top 3 favorite bags from grünBAG

To learn more about grünBAG click here

Use Coupon Code allthere2018 for your eco-friendly bag today

Live Balanced. Live Great.
All There August

Jessica Salazar

*grüBAG provided a backpack so that I may review their product. In essence, I only partner with like-minded brands I truly believe in. Note, some bags contain leather straps but the brand is working towards becoming fully vegan-friendly.

I Used Yes To Vegan Beauty Products For 30 Days And This is What Happened

30 Days With YES TO Vegan Beauty!

Yes To, The Challenge!

I used Yes To vegan beauty products for 30 days and this is what happened...

First, I am low key so happy to have tried and completed my Yes To Vegan Beauty Challenge. It was so amazing to have dedicated my beauty regime to Yes To that it almost felt like a mini-relationship. I learned a few things about my likes, dislikes and some of my own assumptions were proven wrong. So, let's get down to the dirty and talk about skin problems.

The Skin Problem Overview

I care for my skin in my own particular way. Ask my friends you will find me at the beach under an umbrella with 1,000 SPF. My trust is in sunblock, moisturizers, cleansers you name it. A tricky part for me is finding vegan beauty products that truly work. The evolution of my skin is... sensitivity, I have freckles, I burn quite easily and I deal with random breakouts from time to time. I am sure everyone has had their moments with their own skin and you know your skin best. I also know it's not easy to talk about it. Who is excited to say, hey! Man, I'm loving life, my pets are doing great, career is on point and oh, this breakout on my face is the BOMB! Yeah...no!

So, here's my invitation to start talking about it. I believe if you are comfortable talking about your skin issues there's then a way to possibly solve them. If you have these problems chances are, someone else is going through the same thing too. So uniting and being open about your skin is vital.

The Experiment

Yes To has a new 100% vegan line. In the same fashion, with the exception of beeswax and honey as an ingredient in a few of their products, most of the Yes To beauty line is vegan. So, we picked the top vegan products as well as their full 100% vegan line for me to try for a month.

Here's the product list below...

My 30 Day Yes To Vegan Beauty Product List

  1. Yes To Carrots Vitamin-Enriched Kale DIY Powerd-To-Clay Mask,  Mud Mask,  Paper Mask, and Facial Wipes
  2. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal 2-In-1 Scrub and Cleanser Stick
  3. Yes To Vitamin-Enriched Kale, Tomatoes Detoxifying CharcoalTomatoes Blemish Clearing, Grapefruit Brightening, Cucumbers, and Coconut Facial Wipes

Thoughts + Breakdown

Yes To 100% Vegan Line

How did it work on me?

I LOVE EVERYTHING HERE!! Ok, not just because it's vegan but because of how fresh it made my skin feel. The Yes To Carrots Vitamin-Enriched Kale DIY Powerd-To-Clay Mask is one of my favorites because you have the ability to adjust the mask and add your own ingredients. You can add avocado, lemon or a combination of your own ingredients to the powder which is pretty awesome if you're into DIY Beauty.

The Mud Mask and Paper Mask also both made my face feel clean. The feeling of  "I just cleaned my face and washed all the dirt away" clean. The main difference here is your preference. Do you like a paper mask you just put on or do you enjoy manually placing the "mud" on your face? The mud mask will naturally dry but definitely does not feel uncomfortable. What's cool about the paper mask is that it won't dry at all. Once you take it off, the mask itself is still moist. So I wiped it on my neck and chest area just to get the maximum use of it. As for the Vitamin-Enriched Kale Facial Wipes, they are also one of my favorites. The wipes felt as if they were doing their job while still being sensitive towards my skin.

Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal 2-In-1 Scrub and Cleanser Stick

Cleanser Stick

How did it work on me...

This is a totally different take on a scrub. For the people out there who love convenience then this is definitely for you. No mess, glide on and wash, it's as simple as that. If you are on the go and want a scrub that gives you a gentle yet effective clean feel then this stick is your effortless pick. This made a difference in my skins overall appearance and my face felt "spa" like everytime I put it on. Plus, I had a lot of fun using it.

Top 3 Favorites

Facial Wipes

How did it work on me?

There's one major idea I had to be open to... using face wipes to remove makeup. I have friends that solely use wipes to wash their face and nothing else. For me, that was something I was not used to. I embraced this fact though and found out that wipes are really convenient. My top 3 favorites were Vitamin-Enriched Kale, Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal, and Tomatoes Blemish Clearing. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the others but if you asked me to name my top 3 those would be it.

I used the wipes when I was traveling, used them as I was literally in the car and tired of wearing makeup, before bed and in the morning. They each have a unique smell to them and some are slightly colored with the charcoal wipes being fully black which I thought was pretty interesting. In all, I definitely realized I will use wipes more often especially when I'm traveling.

Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal 2-In-1 Scrub and Cleanser Stick

Final Thoughts

I truly believe in Yes To, their mission, their vibe and yes, their products are worth trying out. I did have my top favorites but in all their vegan products are pretty solid. The smell of each product is unique and quite pleasant. Cucumber smells like cucumber and charcoal wipes are black so the brand delivers. My personal favorite is the "100% Vegan" label which makes it easy to identify if you are searching for cruelty-free products. Obviously, everyone will have their own opinion and fall in love with various products but Yes To is definitely worth your money, time and trust.

To learn more about Yes To click here.
Live Balanced. Live Great.
All There August

Jessica Salazar

*Yes To provided products so that I could better review their vegan beauty. In essence, I only partner with brands I truly believe in.

5 Thrift Store Tips and Tricks That Will Help You Shop Like A Pro

Let's be upfront with each other, walking into a sea of thrift store goods is a beautiful and scary thing. Whether you are a pro thrifter or new to the game we have all had our moments. Moments of feeling overwhelmed or at peace as we walk into the shop. As for me, over the years in the thrift world, I've seen neatly placed items to piles of clothes on the floor. I learned how to navigate my way through clothes and figured out what really matters when deciding to buy. So I decided to share my 5 Thrift Store Tips and Tricks That Will Help You Shop Like A Pro.

Threads Road View

A Thrift Stop

One of my favorite shops is Threads in Corpus Christi, Texas. The store is clean and always stocked with the latest trends. We recently hosted a "Thrift Stop" there to feature the latest as well as show you around the place. Of course, my team and I used these tricks to help navigate and find the items that truly fit me in every way. So let's get down to business...

Threads Inside

Styled Threads

The 5 Tips and Tricks

#1. Be True to Your Style

There is absolutely no use in buying something (even if it's a $1) if you are never going to wear it. First, you're cheating someone out of an item they may really love. Second, it's really important to shop consciously even if you are thrifting. It comes with time (and some experimenting) to learn what you love and hate wearing. So, if you know you will never wear it just pass on it and shop the room. Now, by the end of your shopping routine if you are still thinking about that particular item then maybe try it on and ponder on it a bit. If your curiosity gets the best of you, buy it. The rule for this tip, if you don't wear it within a month (depending on the weather) then give it to someone who will or repurpose the material.

Styled Threads

#2. Scan The Room

This comes with practice. I will walk through a rack of clothes and scan all the material first. That's how I judge if it's worth taking off the rack or seeing a bit closer. If the material from the start does not "move" me then I move on! If it does, then grab it and look at the style. You may enjoy the material and not the style once you actually examine it.

Styled Threads

#3. Be Patient

This is HUGE as most of us get anxious with finding sizes or the perfect style. Since there is usually only one of a kind pieces you must learn to let things go if you can't find something in your size. Also, if there are piles of clothes to look through it is your choice to browse through the treasures. I usually go for it! I've found some of my favorites pieces that way but it takes time. Breath and give yourself a few hours to really give the thrifting experience a shot. Know that it will take time. Sometimes you can walk into a thrift store and find your favorite items in 10 minutes and other times it will take an hour, two or even longer to find your piece.

Styled Threads

#4. Fall in Love With The Hunt

As mentioned before thrift stores will usually only have 1 style, in 1 size and it may be your perfect match and other times it won't. That's the beauty of it though. There are times where I have spent the entire day thrifting and came home with nothing to show for it. That's what thrifting is all about, the element of surprise and mystery. I like to think of it as a treasure hunt... I mean why not?!

Styled Threads

#5. Ask Yourself These Questions...

  • How many times will I wear this? It should be often unless it's a "special occasion" piece.
  • Can I wear it with other things in my closet or will this bring a fresh look to my wardrobe? Look for items you can match or unique items that will uplift your closet.
  • Does it fit me properly? Ask a friend or an employee there, I do this often.
  • DO I LOVE THIS? If you don't, chances are you won't wear it often, if at all.
  • How do I feel when I wear this? You better say awesome to this question!
  • Is the item in good condition, if not, can I fix it on my own? A button is missing or it needs to be stitched in one area, no problem.

It's quality over quantity here. Going over these questions will help you evaluate your decision. Is it a compulsive buy or is it really practical? Remember that thrifting is a fun and unique experience. You will find shops you love and visit often while others you don't and that's perfectly fine too.

Styled Threads

Keep an open mind, enjoy the hunt.

All looks were styled by my team using fashion items from Threads. To learn more about the shop click here.

Live Balanced. Live Great.
All There August

Jessica Salazar


4 DIY Vegan Beauty Products and Recipes You Know You Need

It seems as if new beauty products hit the market daily. Don't be fooled most people are not mad about it but... sometimes a girl just wants to Do-It-Yourself! I personally love a DIY especially when you may already have the ingredients in your kitchen. Most importantly, these ingredients are natural and vegan, yay!

So my team experimented to bring you 4 DIY Vegan Beauty Products and Recipes You Know You Need. Jacky Q took the guesswork out of the dirty work for us and here's her DIY tell-all...

4 DIY Vegan Beauty Products and Recipes You Know You Need

With summer just around the corner who doesn’t want flawless skin and healthy hair?! Nowadays it is all about the “no-makeup” makeup look, and hair that can look great without having to apply any heat to it. Sadly, we don’t all have time or patience to do an intense skincare routine every night. Also, we want to achieve the “I just got a haircut, look at how healthy my hair looks” look without having to take scissors to our hair so much. So, let us talk about these few simple, easy, cheap, DIY skin and hair care products we can create to achieve the perfect natural Summer look.

1. “Let me know if you need anything, I’m here for you” - LEMON-aid

I don’t know about you but, like most people, I have the horrible tendency to pick at my face and then BOOM, I am left with a dark acne scar that makes me feel less confident and makes me stress out even more.

Let’s talk about the old tale, I’m sure we have all heard of using but never actually tried... LEMONS! I have always heard from family, friends, and neighbors to try out lemons for dark spots on the body, but I wondered if it would work for dark spots on my face. Well, let me tell you, it worked wonders on mine!

Time to Exfoliate!

Don’t worry, no need to make a late-night Target run, all the ingredients you will need for this scrub can be found in your kitchen!

Ingredients

  • LEMON JUICE ½ TEASPOON
  • SEA SALT 1 TABLESPOON (I USED SUPER FINE SALT, SO IT WOULD NOT BE SO ROUGH ON MY FACE)
  • WATER ½ TEASPOON

DIY Directions

Mix all ingredients together, grab the product little by little and gently rub it on your face. Use slow circular motions focusing on the most problematic areas. Leave the product on your face for 2-5 minutes, rinse, and done!

Salt can be a little rough on the face, so this is something that should only be done once or twice a week. I felt a slight tingle on my face, but it wasn’t something I felt I should be concerned about. Right after I washed it off, I could already see a difference. I really noticed the change when I woke up the next morning. Seriously, I could not believe I went so long with acne scars and after just one use, the homemade exfoliator solved all my problems. I am so mad at myself for not trying it sooner.

Now that we’ve exfoliated, let’s wake up our skin!

2. Berry Great Face Mask

Berry Great Mask

I am a huge fan of face masks but sometimes we have to leave them on for so long in order to take action. You also cannot laugh and talk or else the mask will start to crumble right off. I needed something that felt light and refreshing on my skin, and I found the perfect thing!

Ingredients

  • CRUSHED BLUEBERRIES 1 TABLESPOON
  • LEMON JUICE 1 TABLESPOON
  • CUCUMBER JUICE 1 TABLESPOON ( I RECOMMEND USING A THICK CUCUMBER JUICE TO HELP WITH CONSISTENCY)
  • BAKING SODA 2 TABLESPOONS

DIY Directions

I recommend using a brush and dabbing the mixture onto your face because it can be runny. Slow and steady dabs onto the face with a brush will do the trick! Once your whole face is covered with it you can let it sit for 15-20 minutes and feel free to watch funny videos online and laugh without having your face start to crumble. My face felt alive and looked much brighter with this mask.

3. We Got a Hairy Situation On Our Hands

Tired of feeling like you need a haircut every week because you want the ends to look healthy? Personally, I don’t even apply that much heat to my hair but sometimes it seems to look dry. Finally, I found something that would bring my hair back to life! Again, all the ingredients needed for this are right in your kitchen!

Ingredients

  • BANANA 1
  • AVOCADO 1
  • COCONUT OIL (A LOT, REALLY DEPENDS ON HOW MUCH OIL YOUR HAIR PRODUCES)

DIY Directions

Mix all together and just dig in with your hands and start applying it to your hair avoiding the roots and really focusing on the ends. You may also use a shower cap for locked moisture, then, leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off, shampoo and condition like normal.

Last but not least...

Jamming

4. The "I get 8 hours of sleep a night" look for your eyes!

What is one way we can get our eyes to not look so tired and dull when getting more sleep is not an option?

Try this DIY...

Apply a thick coat of cool organic vegan strawberry jam underneath your eyes with a brush or a q-tip and let it sit for 5-7 minutes then rinse off.

Goodbye designer bags under my eyes!

- Jacky Q
Catch more DIY ideas at allthereaugust.com and on Instagram @allthereaugust
Live Balanced. Live Great.
All There August

Jessica Salazar

Disclaimer* We love experimenting DIY routines for you but remember, we are not Dermatologists and the content provided is just advice.


I Said Yes To, YES TO Vegan Beauty Products For a Month and Here Are My Initial Thoughts

Yes to, YES TO Vegan Beauty!

The Skin Problem

I, like many out there, have skin problems. As a result, one day my skin is perfectly clear while the next day I wake up to find friends you know (the kind you want to unfriend) on my face. By the same token, my skin is sensitive, I have freckles and I burn quite easily. Ok, pause... after reading that my skin seems drastic, it isn't. This is simply the sum of my skins evolution through the years. So lets' face it (literally) and talk about it, we all have had good days coupled with not so good days in our skin. Under the circumstances, I  care for my skin and put my trust in sunblock, moisturizers, cleansers you name it. The tricky part for me is finding products that truly work and that those very beauty products are actually vegan too.

The Experiment in the Making

With some skin soul searching and research I, with the help of Yes To, discovered that Yes To has a new 100% vegan line. In the same fashion, with the exception of beeswax and honey as an ingredient in a few of their products, most of the Yes To beauty line is vegan. Not to mention, I have friends that really enjoy their products and use them faithfully. With this in mind, I wondered what it's like to try Yes To for 1 month, yes, an entire month! I mean what did I have to lose? Maybe the products would not work? No big deal! On the contrary, what if  Yes To did work for me and all my skin problems were solved just by saying...yes.

So, for this reason, we picked the top vegan products as well as their full 100% vegan line for me to try for a month. I'd like to think of this test as a mini-relationship trial. Will this be the love of my life vegan beauty line or not?

Yes To 100% Vegan Line

3 Fun Facts About Yes To You May Not Know

Researching the brand I discovered 3 key facts that were important to me...

  1. Products contain at least 95% natural ingredients, are free of parabens and made of recyclable materials.
  2. Yes To Happiness is not only their mantra but a cause. In addition, they help create communities of happy, healthy women free of all the nasties (fear, self-doubt, unhealthy habits, judgment) and filled with all the goodies (confidence, courage, creativity, curiosity, acceptance).
  3. They are against animal testing and ensure their manufacturers adhere to this same principle. YES, the products actually contain carrot juice, cucumber extract, and tomato extract among other vegetables and fruits.

 Vitamin-Enriched Kale Mud Mask

The List of Yes To Vegan Beauty Products I'm Testing For 1 Month

  1. Yes To Carrots Vitamin-Enriched Kale DIY Powerd-To-Clay Mask,  Mud Mask,  Paper Mask, and Facial Wipes
  2. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal 2-In-1 Scrub and Cleanser Stick
  3. Yes To Vitamin-Enriched Kale, Tomatoes Detoxifying CharcoalTomatoes Blemish Clearing, Grapefruit Brightening, Cucumbers, and Coconut Facial Wipes

 The Test Products

My Initial Thoughts

It's true, I am a bit nervous, excited and anxious to try these products out. I am most excited about the part that all these beauty items are in fact vegan.  As I move forward with my journey, I have a few questions in mind... do the products help clear my skin, does my skin look brighter and did I see a noticeable difference with time?

Everyone has their own relationship with their skin and only YOU know your own skin the best. I hope to find the light at the end of this tunnel as I share my Yes To story with you. In short, there's a lot of emotion you show on your face, the good the bad and the funny. So here's to the start of a new adventure, after all, we need more good times and what better place to start than treating your skin right.

Follow my journey on Instagram @allthereaugust and here on the blog allthereaugust.com
Live Balanced. Live Great.
All There August

Jessica Salazar

*Yes To provided products so that I could better review their vegan beauty. In essence, I only partner with brands I truly believe in.

Why I Choose to Be Fur-Free and the Brand That's Pushing the Limit

It may seem simple... I'm vegan so I don't wear anything that comes from an animal, right?!

Well, what if you are new to this "veg" world or just beginning to explore the vegan lifestyle? Therefore, the thought of wearing fur-free (or faux leather) clothing may not seem as obvious to you.  As I began my vegan journey, I learned that living vegan goes far beyond the plate.

It's no secret, there are several luxury retailers announcing their fur-free initiatives. As well as many local brands and public figures coming out and stating they will have nothing to do with fur and some even transitioning towards a fully vegan lifestyle. Some animal welfare messages are subtle while others leave you with no guesswork. When you think of the word "vegan" some may automatically relate to food and half of that thought is true. Growing into my lifestyle though, I've discovered that for me, a vegan life means your beliefs reflect on the clothes you wear too.

Stay Aware

Do you think 4 little words have the power to make a difference or at the very least change someone's thought process. Fur Belongs to Animals...

Fur Belongs to Animals T-Shirt

"Charity and philanthropy are an important part of our brand & company. Together with our partners, we help to promote the relief message and help to raise the awareness." Filip Vuckovic - Co-founder of HIDE BEYOND

Fur Belongs to Animals Sweater

Why Hide Beyond is So Important in Today's Fashion Industry...

Hide Beyond is a PETA approved vegan clothing brand that (yes) does not leave you guessing whether or not they believe in animal welfare. Filled with fur-free and plant-powered quotes the message here is positive and the 4 little word statement you see above (Fur Belongs to Animals) is powerful. Hide Beyond not only partners with various charities but creates a conversation and raises awareness. Whether you believe in vegan fashion or not the messages plant a seed in your mind and gets you thinking, even if it is to say you don't agree.

Fur Belongs to Animals Pom Pom Knit Cap

Why I Choose to Be Fur-free

I always say, if I can't kill the animal with my own hands then I won't eat it. In this case, I won't wear it either. I understand everyone's point of view is different, I respect that. That fur coat may keep you warm or that genuine leather bag may look really pretty on your arm. I've heard it, I've thought it! For me though, I think about the animals. What the animal had to endure (I mean the entire lifecycle) for me to look nice in a pair of shoes for several... maybe even one occasion is not worth it to me.

Personally, it's about wearing something that I feel positive about. Something that came from love with animals and humans in mind, that's important to me. I can't wear leather or fur (or any animal product) happily because I know that an animal suffered (in some form) for me to wear it.

Avocado Will Brighten Your Day

"Philanthropy is part of who I am and giving back to the community is a way of life for me. There's no greater feeling than knowing you're making a difference. The best time to act is now." - Filip Vuckovic - Co-founder of HIDE BEYOND

Avocado Will Brighten Your Day

Hide Beyond is important because I hope by wearing their clothes someone will ask me, what does your shirt mean or I love avocado too where did you get that top? Hide Beyond may spark a conversation with someone who doesn't know what vegan fashion is. We choose to live life as we please vegan fashion or not but there is a movement going on that is bigger than just good fashion, so awareness is key. Even if you (or I) don't change anyone's mind on wearing fur directly. Maybe, just maybe, you made an impact on someone you didn't know by simply wearing a message. I'll take my chances on that.

 

 

Learn more about this PETA approved vegan fashion brand at

Hide Beyond

P.S. If you love the vegan threads make sure to use code JESSICA10 for 10% off your entire purchase.

Live Balanced. Live Great.
All There August

Jessica Salazar


My Truth About Using a Straw and What I'm Doing to Make it Better

Straws, love them or hate them. Restaurants usually (automatically) give them to you and you expect to get one with any drink (or smoothie) you purchase. The straw is everywhere and we can't get away from them but are they safe for the environment?

 

My Honest Truth About Using a Straw...

I must admit, I love using a straw. I think about germs on the cup and how it helps me when I'm on the road but I must also admit... it's not great for the environment. We throw away millions of straws each year and they end up in a landfill. Can you imagine how many straws you have come across in your lifetime? Now think about how everyone is in the same boat with you. We (unfortunately, I included) use up straws and throw them away without a second thought. It's horrible, I know but these little guys have become natural to use for most people.

So What am I Doing to Reduce My Straw Usage?

Well like anything, it takes practice. My main goal is to become more aware when I use a straw. So I'll ask myself do I really need to use a straw to drink water or my smoothie? When and if I can do without, I will.

Another thing that I will incorporate is recycling these straws. Most straws you can recycle, so rinse it out and do it. It's really easy and only takes a moment but I've noticed that it's becoming a new habit of mine. If you can recycle it...recycle it. It's not only great for the environment but I promise, it will make you feel better. Better about yourself, your actions and towards the future. So next time you come across a straw (today, I'm sure) ask yourself do I need it and can I recycle it? Small actions make a difference and it starts with you.

Live Balanced. Live Great.

Jessica Salazar


Simple Recipe for Authentic Mexican Guacamole

Super Bowl, gatherings, birthdays, you name it... sometimes we just need a quick and easy dish that will satisfy. Growing up, my mother made homemade guacamole very often and boy we did not complain. We ate guacamole with tortilla chips or as a topping and it was simple yet delicious. Since we are in the party season, I wanted to share my mom's Simple Recipe for Authentic Mexican Guacamole.  You can make this simple guacamole recipe as fancy or casual as you like for guests, yourself or just to experiment.

See how I saved the avocado shells and used them as serving trays below.

Styled in Avocado Shells

 

Ingredients

  • 3 Hass Avocados (Medium to large)
  • 1/2 White Onion (Diced)
  • Dash of Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt
  • 1-2 Tomatoes (Seeded and Diced)
  • 2-3 Limes (Juiced)
  • 1 Jalapeño (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)

Directions

Cut avocado in half, place the scooped avocado in a bowl and discard the seed. You may use the avocado shell as a serving dish or discard along with the seed. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the avocados. As you mash, add lime juice (1 lime) to prevent browning. Continue mashing the avocados until desired consistency is met. You may either create a chunky or smooth dish depending on your preference. Add the rest of your ingredients to your bowl and slowly stir.

Finally, when all ingredients are mixed add additional lime juice, salt, and jalapeño to taste. Using your saved shells, place guacamole mixture in empty shells. You may top with cilantro, tomatoes, onion or jalapeño for decoration. If you do not have your shells, place mixture in a serving bowl. You may serve immediately or place in the fridge to chill.  Use your favorite tortilla chips to finish up your dish and you are ready to go!

Find some of my favorite tortilla chips that I use with my Simple Authentic Mexican Guacamole below...

Late July, Clãsico Tortilla Chips Jalapeño Lime

Late July, Organic Chia and Quinoa Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips 

Beanfields, Jalapeño Nacho Bean and Rice Chips 

Eat Balanced. Eat Great.

Jessica Salazar


7 New Year's Resolutions That Last All Year

January is coming to an end and it's about that time to reflect on our New Year's Resolutions. Have we completed some or forgotten others?  Are we staying true or slipping? As we look back maybe you wrote them down or you're actively thinking about them on a daily basis, whatever the case may be we must remind ourselves that it's not too late. It's not too late to start them over, to make new goals or to continue them. No, you don't have to wait till 2019 or think that you failed if you go astray. You always have time to start fresh (cliché) but very true. We don't need a "new year" to tell us to do something or create goals. Of course it's fun and mentally a fresh start but in reality, any day is the perfect day.

So to celebrate the end of January (almost) I wanted to share my 7 New Year's Resolutions (I like to call them goals) that last all year. If you have yet to create a Goal List, now is the time to start thinking.

 

 

1. Take your business and project to the next level...

If it's a start-up business, existing or a simple project you're working on it's time to take it to the next level. Figure out what you need and what you want to accomplish, then, go for it. What's the worst that can happen? If it's a big jump perfect, brainstorm your thoughts, that's great too. If you want it (or wanted it) then that means something.

2. Stop touching your face and sit up straight!!

This is a personal one but one that I think may help others too. I can still hear my mom (and I am sure some can relate) sit up straight! Stop touching your face!  It is so true though. What happens? Your hands have a ton of germs and with the flu and other viruses going around, it's important to not touch your face. Plus, don't even get me started on blemishes! As for slouching, well, I need a kick in the butt every so often as a reminder to sit up straight but it's vital to make it a habit. It's not only important for your current posture but your future one too.

3. Make healthy choices for your mind and body

You get 1 mind and 1 body. Whether it be meditation, mindful eating, working out or ending toxic habits make conscious efforts to make better choices. Attach notes to your space to remind you or make a list and carry it with you. Do what works for you. It's easy to say but your mind and body will thank you in the long run.

4. Try 12 new things

Try 1 new thing per month. You can eat somewhere or something new. Travel to a new city. Start a new hobby, big or small. As long as you are growing and it is positive why would you not experience life?

5. Do something big!

Now it is ok to not know what your "big" thing is yet. You may not even know what it is until it's happening. On the other hand, you may know exactly what that "big" thing is too. There is no way to measure this and everyone's "big" moment will be different... completing a marathon, adopting a pet, working on yourself mentally or saving money. You know what your thing is and it's your time to shine.

6. Stay focused and don't let anyone/thing unsettle you

DON'T LET ANYTHING STEAL YOUR MAGIC! Nope stay away from bad energy, stay away. If you feel yourself anxious, sad, mad or just off conduct a mind and body scan and see what is creating this mood and then ask yourself, why? Remember you are in control of your emotions and only you, you have that power. Feel sad or mad if you must, allow yourself to feel those feelings then move on.

7. Purge what no longer makes you happy or improves you

Clothes, things or people! If it (or a person, bye Felicia) no longer makes you happy... then why is it still in your life? It's difficult to let go, I get it, but why would you hold on to something that no longer serves a purpose to you anymore? Or frankly, a person or habit that brings negativity to your life? Work at it, be mindful and have a moment but try to let it go.

You got this! I will be working on my 7 New Year's Resolutions (or goals) all year. Yes, it's ok to have goals that you work on throughout the year, it's realistic. Some you may accomplish quickly while others may take a minute but make a list and do it for yourself.

Live Balanced. Live Great.

Jessica Salazar


A Very Vegan Christmas with Skull & Cakebones

It's Monday (I know time is flying) and I can't believe Christmas is exactly one week away. You know what that means right? Yes, Santa is about to arrive and we must get our bake on... but what if we don't have time? If you are looking for some cruelty-free eats, want to try something new or you simply don't have the time to be in the kitchen (which will be most of us) this Holiday Season Skull & Cakebones is a vegan craft bakery that will surely please the family.

 

 

I've been following Skull & Cakebones for a (long) minute now. I first tried their Mocha Marmalade Trifle at the Blue Cat Cafe in Austin, Texas and I fell in love at first bite. My second love encounter with them was at Austin City Limits (ACL) where I literally tried everything on their menu. Ice Cream Cakewich, Mac N Cheese, Avocado Toast and Cookie Dough, I mean ACL is for eating right?!

 

 

So I thought to myself ok, I need to go to their bakery and see for myself where food heaven was. Not to my surprise, I found more food items that were AMAZING and that was the moment I fully become a tried-and-true fan.

Here's what I ate below

Cinnamon Roll, Sausage Roll, and Blueberry Lemon Pastry

 

 

Breakfast Bowl

 

 

From vegan bread, pies, and cookies to a full vegan Brunch Menu Skull & Cakebones will not only help you fill some hungry guests for the Holidays but they source their ingredients locally. This means you are supporting local brands while feeding your body "good" stuff. Visit their shop in the Hill Country and enjoy your time away from the city hustle for a bit. While you're out there don't forget to bring back some Holiday goodies for all those foodies in your family.

To learn more visit Skull & Cakebones and see how they are creating yummy food while staying cruelty-free.

Visit the Bakery

3991 E HWY 290
UNIT A
DRIPPING SPRINGS, TX 78620

Eat Cruelty-free! Live Balanced. Live Great.

Jessica Salazar


Be Free, Sustainable and Rebellious with Z Shoes

Can shoes really be sustainable... can a single pair actually make the world a better place or save a life? We think about sustainable, ethical or eco-beauty products, clothes, and even packaging but have we thought about the full life of a pair of shoes and how they may save or harm us? The "sustainable shoe" world may be new to some but there's an ethical brand I discovered that's leading the way and shedding light on a critical issue.

 

Z Shoes Challenges today's business model by putting human

dignity and environmental impact before profit.

 

There are countless documents, articles, and films that show you the reality of fast fashion. The truth is retailers want to make products as cheap as possible around the globe. When needs (or wants) are not met production is likely to relocate to countries where labor costs are lower. This brings up major Global Labor Issues like child labor and sweatshops where working conditions and labor laws are often violated. Now, male, female (everyone) of any age can be affected but the largest targets are females and children. There are millions (and that’s not an exaggeration) of children under 15 years of age that have been involved in child labor. Many of these exact children are victims of slavery and human, sex and drug trafficking. Females specifically endure possible forced abortions while exposed to harmful chemicals. So who’s fighting to make this scary truth better? What are brands doing to make an actual change? Well, it takes me back to the question can shoes, a single product, actually be created to make a difference?

Z Shoes fights human and environmental exploitation by bringing financial growth to native communities in the Peruvian Amazon. Made from Organic Cotton and Wild Rubber, these sweet shoes can easily be a staple in your closet but what I LOVE most about Z Shoes is the story and impact they possess. A perfect match… Z partners with Not For Sale, a non-profit that fights human trafficking. Not For Sale, addresses human trafficking at every level, supporting survivors worldwide while helping to provide economic opportunity. It's a meaningful mission that unveils the shoe industry proving that it is possible to produce shoes that aid individuals rather than depend on sweatshops and harmful materials that have a negative and sometimes deadly effect.

 

 

So what's the difference between conventional street shoes compared to Z's? The Material. The Cause. Z uses 100% organic cotton, what that means for us... real ingredients on our feet. You don't have to worry about synthetics, harsh chemicals or plastics because this sustainable cotton is from the Solo y San Miguel regions in Peru, how cool is that?! With the use of Amazonian Sharinga wild rubber straight from the tree and organic plant dyes, Z Shoes assures that their kicks are then manufactured at a factory in Lima. Here, workers are treated with respect and paid a fair wage for their production, time and efforts.

It’s a classic shoe with a unique and grand message. Not only is Z pioneering the path for shoes created from organic materials but assuring they are doing it in a moral way. That’s why this brand is perfect for the active eco-friendly girl and yes, the guys too that are in search of a shoe on a mission.

Take a look at how I styled my Z’s

 

My absolute favorite pair is the 'Sharkskin' Women's Originals. The color, captured from plant dyes are easy to match and wear with numerous outfits.

 

 

If you are still in search for the perfect gift I picked several of my top favorites for both guys and gals below.  You can save on your purchase by using code ALLTHEREAUGUST20 for $20 off your entire order.

Now let's shop ethically...

'Great White' Men's Originals

'Deep Sea' Men's Originals

'Coral' Women's Originals

To learn more visit zshoesorganic.com and see how they are fighting the good fight with dedication, craft and most of all bravery.

Shop Sustainably! Live Balanced. Live Great.

Jessica Salazar

 


The Power of Sustainable Fashion with IconaWear

What does sustainable fashion mean to you?

It's a question that some people may or may not be able to answer. Before I became an Ethical Fashion Advocate it was fair to say I really didn't know the answer either. That's perfectly fine to admit because it led me to my beliefs now.  I’m naturally a curious person. So I decided to educate myself on the topic with a combination of research, from documentaries to articles in hopes of answering this very question. What I found out was that every single piece of clothing has a consequence on people, animals, and the environment in its own way. Some consequences are positive while other fashion goods have a negative outcome. For me, sustainable (or ethical) fashion is cruelty-free, meaning, no animals or humans were harmed in the making of a fashion item. Sustainable fashion also means the fabrics are eco, upcycled or sustainable, the brand believes in a sustainable business model, local or handmade and there is a charity or positive cause that benefits from a purchase. There are a lot of aspects that you can consider (and that a brand can consider) as you decide to go the ethical fashion route. Now, by all means, I’m not saying brands (or you) have to consider every single aspect I mentioned above (some do) but as a start, you can decide which aspect means the most to you.

So after asking yourself what does sustainable fashion mean, it's then important to learn what brands are doing in order to call themselves ethical or sustainable. One of my favorite practices is upcycling. I create things and I have a special place in my heart for brands that do as well. Always on the prowl for the perfect upcycled piece, I came across IconaWear and let me tell you it's as if you fell into upcycling heaven. You "upcycle junkies" know exactly what I mean.

What I found out about IconaWear is that they create small batches of a variety of pieces. The great thing is they serve to a vast range of styles as well. I was fortunate enough to chat with Fashion Designer & Stylist of IconaWear, Sophia Marie and got the scoop on the brand and her beliefs.

Here's what she had to say...

This Is The Life Jacket

What does ethical fashion mean to you?
 
Well, after being informed of the critical conditions the world is in and knowing the impact I make as a contributing factor to the issue, I believe we have to take responsibility for our actions. We have the power to make those choices. No matter how big or small, it is up to the consumer. It is up to us to invest in the well-being of mama nature. 
 
What made you start IconaWear?
 
January 2017, I was practicing detachment. I cut off all my hair and purged my closet of all its excess. I saved some of the better quality items and thought to open an online shop to sell these secondhand pieces. Once the store was up, I asked my friends what they thought of the site, and they said: "Ehhhh, there is nothing special about the clothes." There was always that voice inside of me that wanted to add, tear, or mend clothes to make them more unique. So after that feedback, I started reconstructing the clothes I had on the site. After a month of putting together the first collection called Rebel Rose, February 2017 I saw the documentary, The True Cost. This film was a HUGE eye-opener. It gave me goosebumps down my spine. I felt betrayed, lied to, cheated by all these fast fashion companies and honestly just this industry as a whole. When those feelings occurred, I didn't want any part of the fashion industry. Then my brain started stirring and I thought of a quote, If you don't like something, change it. I realized that what I unintentionally was doing can be a positive contributing factor in fast fashion! After that film, I have yet to step foot in another fast fashion retailer. I started watching Ted talks, attending panel discussions and educating myself on the topic and what it means to be sustainable in the fashion industry.
The voice behind IconaWear is powerful, stimulating, and gets your blood boiling. It is meant to ignite the fire within us to get up and do something. This is what drives me, that this voice can lead others into the same way of thinking. This voice can influence your choices when it comes to your buying power and overall morals. Sustainable fashion is a sprouting topic. Similar to the organic food wave. Once people started finding out what GMO's and pesticides were, they didn't want anything to do with it. People need to know what certain textiles are made of (oil, toxins, etc.) and understand the "life" of a garment. How exactly did that garment travel through the world to then end up in your closet? It is going to be a long road, and all of us are still learning. It all starts with education, which then leads to awareness. As long as people are aware, it is up to them to make the final (ethical) decision.
 
What does IconaWear mean?
 
IconaWear's end goal is to be a symbol of influence, direction, and change. This name came to me as I was brainstorming for an image for the brand.
 
 I (as a dress form) - I (as a person) - I (as the information symbol) 
 
The power of I.
 
 Spring semester 2017 I took a class called "Icons of the Fashion Industry"
 
In that class, we went through the time periods, 1800's to current years, and talked about the different silhouettes of the decades and what influenced that particular style. For example, the exchange of cultures from East to West, War, Women's Liberation, T.V., Hollywood, The Hippie Movement, Style Tribes, Celebrities, Presidents Inauguration and their wives. Each event, person, place, and thing contributed to the way society dressed. People who were on the front pages influenced trends and styles of the decade. IconaWear will speak through the wearer. As a wearer, there will be understanding (even just a little) of the change that they are making by investing in upcycled garments. This, in turn, will create a cultural movement towards a more sustainable industry.
 
Why is upcycling fashion goods important?
 
The amount of stuff we have, as individuals and as a collective, reach beyond our needs. The majority of it takes thousands of years to decompose too. So, why don't we just be resourceful with what we already have? Giving items a second chance leads to a more sustainable future. 
 
What has been your favorite piece you created?
 
It is hard to choose just one! I love all the jackets, they are always fun to play with and style. I can't wait to try new techniques such as patchwork this coming spring collection, April 2018. We will debut the collection at San Francisco Sustainable Fashion Week. IconaWear will also be organizing a DIY event, including fashion show/panel discussion for Fashion Revolution Week (April 23rd - 29th 2018) in San Francisco, California!
- Sophia Marie
 
How I styled my IconaWear, This Is The Life, cruelty-free jacket

 

I fell in love with the brand and their ethics, so if you are thinking of buying ethically this Holiday Season below are my Top 3 Picks from IconaWear

  1. Avoir Embellished Jacket
  2. Wallflower Chain Necklace
  3. Deceiving Lace Thigh High Cavallini

Discover more Sustainable Pieces at IconaWear

Shop Sustainably! Live Balanced. Live Great.

Jessica Salazar


5 Cruelty-free Bags with a Purpose Under $50

The Holiday's are here and with Thanksgiving already under our belts (possibly loose belts) a lot of us will now start prepping for Christmas. So to start the season and in honor of Shop Small Saturday I wanted to highlight To The Market, a company that Partners with Artisans to give us products with a purpose.

TTM assists artisan groups by employing vulnerable communities which connects them to global consumers, resulting in, their business growth.

What I discovered about TTM...

They empower women through artisan enterprise.

TTM showcases handmade goods made exclusively by passionate artisans who have overcome abuse, conflict, and disease.

They take an active role in equipping the survivors they employ with economic independence while raising awareness of the challenges they face.

There's plenty to choose from over at TTM but I wanted to focus on bags for you all. So, I picked my Top 5 Cruelty-free Bags Under $50 from To The Market, perfect for any occasion and ready to be added to your closet for this Shop Small Saturday season.

1. Love Bead Clutch

The story behind the bag: Based in Agra, India. Pushpanjali provides marketing and financial support to small and marginalized producers to improve their living. They also support educational and medical programs that help girls attend school.

Why I love it: This bag is fun and detailed. It's a statement piece that can be matched with color and pattern for a bold look.

2. Black and White Striped Paper Beaded Clutch

The story behind the bag: Handmade in Uganda, these beads are made of upcycled paper. Each purchase helps to provide the artisans' families with housing, education, food, and medical treatment.

Why I love it: First, it's black and second... it's white. I loved this bag for the "sporty" style it embodies. A great bag for daily use that can be matched with almost anything. Perk! This very bag is discounted so make sure to use code AUGUST10 for $10 off through Wednesday, November 29th.

3. Purple Banana Fiber Clutch

The story behind the bag: Circle of Hands Uganda believes in empowering women affected by Africa’s HIV/AIDS crisis as they become entrepreneurs, role models and leaders in their communities.

Why I love it: The dimensions and craftsmanship of the bag is pure beauty. Handcrafted of natural Banana Fiber leaves, gives creative touch and texture to the eye.

4. Pom Pom Pouch in Pink 

The story behind the bag: Based in Guatemala, El Sol Maya works with a group of fifty women. The Weaving tradition has been handed down from generation to generation and these women work to uphold their customs. With growth and support, workshops are now held in order for females to learn to be businesswomen and improve their quality of life.

Why I love it: This bag is as playful as it gets. I love poms and it is a great addition to spice up your bag game.

5. Mustard Paper Beaded Clutch

The story behind the bag: Handmade in Uganda, these beads are made of upcycled paper. Each purchase helps to provide the artisans' families with housing, education, food, and medical treatment.

Why I love it: Simple yet fierce. This color will create a buzz anywhere you take it. It's a wonderful way to add "drama" to your look while keeping it classic.

Accessories

The story behind the accessories: Handmade by Agustina in Chiapas.

Why I love it: The wonderful thing about these accessories is that they can be matched with any of the bags above as well as added to ones you already own. It's a sustainable way to swap a look quickly while adding flair and style.

Chiapas Pom

 

Augustina Tassel

To The Market is helping us discover new beautiful products with a meaning. They sell an array of goods such as jewelry, men's, shoes, home goods and more. So if you want to give a gift that "gives" TTM has you covered.

Discover more at TO THE MARKET

Happy Shop Small Saturday!

Live Balanced. Live Great.

Jessica Salazar