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.


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


Before I Say I Do, Life Lessons From A Single Girl On Marriage And Why A Secondhand Ring Is A Thing

If you hit a "particular" age group, tell me what your social media feed looks like? For me, I've recently been scrolling through marriage proposals, wedding pictures and soon to be parents. A time where friends are transitioning to another moment in life and that's a beautiful thing but not my thing. Everyone's path in life is different and I've discovered that fast. As a kid a would predict at what age I would accomplish a certain " life goal." My thoughts would go wild... at this age this, at that age that and so on.

No, I've never been married, yes, I've been in love (many times) before. Yes, I've been with the wrong and right guys and yes, I am single. Hence, I've gone through heartache, happy times, good dates, dumped, and all the dating scene in-betweens. I can tell you, I'm pretty sure I've experienced a lot of the good and bad in the dating world. If I haven't, my girlfriends definitely have. With that, there are lessons I've cultivated along the way and I've come out the other end stronger and more confident in my path.

So before I Say I Do (if that should ever happen, it may not) I've discovered a few life lessons that may shed some light on my life and possibly others in the same boat.

Marriage And The Single Girl

Live Happily Ever...Single

I've been asked all the above and more...will you get married? Are you dating? Do you want kids? Let me be clear to the outside looking in, ladies and gents... I am perfectly fine being single and you should be too. I do enjoy "love" and if you find someone you feel you are meant to be with that's awesome. On the other hand, I firmly believe marriage is not for everyone. I don't know if I will get married, to be honest, I'm not 100% sure I even want to. Beyond that, the idea of kids is far off my radar that I also don't know if that's in the cards for me.

I know what you're thinking or at least what you've been told if you can relate. Oh, it's because you're young you will change your mind later. No, you don't know that. If my mind does change cool, it means I'm moving to a different moment in life but what if it doesn't?

I've lived and traveled enough to know that I love to date. Furthermore, I also love being single, with people, free and sharing my love. I've told myself (and others) that I'm living life, taking care of what I need, exploring, creating a life I am happy of and doing me. Now if I find "Mr. Right" along the way cool but if he's stuck in that tree everyone jokes about well, then sorry, I don't have time for that either. Find your happiness alone, in your heart and soul. It's ok to be single, some people who get married really shouldn't. Don't feel pressured by any means to be with someone or have a family because you think it's "the next step."

Stay True To Your Path

That leads me to the second lesson, it's perfectly fine not to know if you want marriage and a family. In retrospect, it's also wonderful if you feel it's your time.  There's no timeframe. You are not broken or wrong if you desire something different than what your family, friends or society is doing. At the end of the day, it's you. Your heart, your soul, your being and you must stay true to whatever that path may be. Someone's not less or more of a feminist if they want or do not want to be married and have kids. I'm also not less of a woman if I decide to never have children either.

I've had people tell me you don't know what real love is until you have kids. Again, no one can measure that. How do you know I don't treat my dog better or have more love for him than some parents have for their child? Staying true to your path is the most important thing you can give yourself. It will allow you to feel full in your mind body and soul. Believe me, I'm still working on my path but I know that it's truly mine. Whatever may come or not in my life I know that it's meant to. So, if you want to be single do it. If you want to have a family then go out there but do things on your terms.

Delgatto, I Do Now I Don't

A Secondhand Ring Is A Thing

As I've explored and lived my cruelty-free life I've discovered that being ethical falls on all parts of my everyday choices. From being happily single to staying true to my path in life. I see friends beginning to get married and I've thought about sustainable ways to make a wedding more intimate and unique. No, it's not against the law to think, hey that may be a cool idea to incorporate into a wedding IF I do get married. Continuing to stay true to myself, you all know I have the love for secondhand but have you heard of a secondhand wedding ring?

No worries if you haven't, I really didn't either much less think of incorporating it into a marriage. Delgatto, I Do Now I Don't is the leading buyer of diamonds, jewelry, and watches from the public. This means sustainable jewelry in your hands without the guilt. Personally, I think this is beautiful. If you do decide to say "I Do"there are environmental consequences of diamonds and precious metal mining.  Did you know over 150 million carats of diamonds are extracted from the earth each year?

Also, it requires one ton of earth to be moved to source the equivalent of every one carat stone. This massive environmental disruption causes soil erosion, deforestation, and ultimately the collapse of entire ecosystems. - Delgatto, I Do Now I Don't

Some people may think a secondhand diamond is not romantic. Well, for me, whats not romantic is that fact that people, animals, and the environment suffer in some shape or form for a new ring.

I Do Now I Don't... And That's Ok

Whether you are single, a paw mom, married or have kids it's important to stay true to what feels right. Not everyone was made to be single just like not everyone was made to have a family. Also, the way you decide to live your life should be with love. Love for yourself and then spreading that love to whatever you touch. For me, that is nurturing my calling to live a cruelty-free life and yes, supporting sustainable secondhand jewelry like Delgatto, I Do Now I Don't fall into that aspect. Hey, who says you can't buy a ring for your single self, right? I do it!

Now, no matter where my life ends up, I know I will be great. You know why because what matters to me is using my talents and abilities to lead a life full of love towards animals, humans and the environment. Be proud of what you ARE and what you are NOT, it's what makes the world a colorful place.

To learn more about secondhand diamonds and jewelry from Delgatto, I Do Now I Don't click here.

Live Balanced. Live Great.
All There August

Jessica Salazar


My First Marathon... As a Vegan, For Animal and Women's Welfare

Mile 3... mile 6... mile 13, my mind was counting down the miles. It was happening, I was on the verge of completing my very first marathon. As a vegan, I did it for the animals and women's welfare. Completing my first half marathon in 2014, I thought it would be a great idea to have the "full" under my belt. From half crazy to full crazy in just 8 months, registered in June, the race was in January. Previously active, this would be enough time to prep my mind and body for 26.2 miles. Not only was I about to embark on an unknown path but my mom agreed to complete her first half marathon too.

So there we were, together as newbies, some may even say a little crazy too. So how did I finish my first marathon? 13.1 was the longest distance I had ever completed. Well, it is very possible and you can do it too with practice, advice, patience, research, focus, and commitment. Below you will find a few tips and thoughts that I gathered from trainers, athletes, research and my own trial and error.

 

 

1. Give yourself time to prepare mentally and physically 

Asking your body to run/walk 26.2 miles is something. At times I like to be spontaneous and just go with it but this is not the time for that. Depending on your current activity level you need months, possibly even the entire year to start slow then develop your routine. As you practice you will then learn your mind and body and what it does and does not do. You will see when positive/negative thoughts start to creep into your mind or what mile you are strongest at.

2. It's not all about running

Your body needs cross-training and the right fuel in order to perform. It helped me to do a combination of workouts while I was running. Yoga, Orange Theory, stretching and foam rolling. With a combination of light and long run days, you need to feel strong mentally and physically. Plus the Trainers at OTF really kicked my butt and helped me properly prepare.

3. What you wear on a run matters 

I needed to be comfortable for my first marathon. When I ran the half a few years back the zipper on my sports bra cut into my chest and created unnecessary pain throughout the run. So I needed smooth clothes that would not create chafing or pain. I also personally like long workout tights, a long sleeve top, and hat to protect my skin from the sun. Everyone prefers a different outfit so my suggestion is to practice with your race day look prior to the run. Are you comfortable with a fanny pack, which trainers fit you best, will you run with sunglasses? These questions may seem irrelevant but will make a difference.

4. Eat for performance

Mom and I were on eating plans a week prior and really focused on proper fuel the last 3 days. We were eating to give our bodies energy and stamina and every meal counts for runners. Don't try anything new on race day, don't be tempted.

 

 

What I ate...

48 Hours Until Race Day

  • Oatmeal and Toast
  • Pasta with Marinara
  • Rice with Vegetables
  • Veggie Pizza with Marinara

24 Hours Until Race Day 

  • Normal balanced meals
  • Hydrated with electrolytes
  • Energy Bars
  • Bread
  • Cereal

Race Day Breakfast

  • Oatmeal with Banana
  • Hydrated with electrolytes

5. Run for something 

Mile 17 and 18 were the miles I thought to myself, wow Jess, this is kind of long. Oh, I feel my body hurting now! I was still very aware of my body and I did not want to hurt myself but at that point, you determine what will hurt you and what will push you. So after a quick body scan, I knew that it was only mental for me at this point. I had my family in mind, my parents waiting for me at the finish line, and the cause I was running for.

 

 

Race Day 

We woke up early ate our breakfast and started hydrating in order to digest properly. The race started at 7:00 AM and we arrived at 5:30 AM. We did this to find parking, be at ease, stretch, warm up and complete any final touches. My mom and I stretched and saw everyone arrive. My dad found his paparazzi location. Giving each other positive mantras then BOOM, the race began. We started jogging then my mom yelled go, Jess, you need to go. Knowing my run/walk routine I ran beside her, hugged her and said... YOU GOT THIS MOM! So there we were, my mom was in her zone and I began mine.

My routine was run for a mile or 5 minutes then a brisk walk for 30 seconds to a minute, my watch was set to alert me. I did this for the first 13 miles then I felt my body tired, so I would adjust the time. I would walk 2 minutes or run 3 minutes. Constantly scanning my mind and body when the time was up, asking myself, can I run more or do I need a few more moments to walk?

The cheer stations helped, I remember the kindness of strangers yelling. You got this Jessica! I love your shirt! I love your ears! You are doing great! You are looking good, you are looking good girl! The DJ's, all the energy was contagious and it helped me move forward. I knew it was helping my mom too so that gave me peace. I drank at every station and every 30 minutes ate something. Mile 20 came along, wow, I was almost done.  Our last turn arrived and I could see the finish line. So I ran the final mile, gave it my all and everything I had left. Heard my mom cheering, saw my dad taking pictures (Jess you are almost there) and I was. Passing the finish line was surreal, I completed my first marathon. I kept walking to bring my heart rate down but then I felt everything.

Drank pickle juice, ate, stretched and we were done. We made it! At this point, I was a bit delusional but I heard my name, Jessica Salazar 2nd place! Wait, what? How many Jessica's ran? What's the bib number? It was me, and everything became beautiful again. Running my first marathon, I placed 2nd in my age/gender division. I did it for the animals, my family, and all the females out there.

Believe in Your Ability. Trust your hustle. 

 

 

Instagram Diaries 

You asked, I answered. My First Marathon, top questions on my Instagram Stories:

  • Did you use Uber?
    • No, but that may have been a lot easier though, I'll check into that! HAHA! 
  • Can you even run a mile?
    • Yes, actually, I can run 26.2 to be exact. I really love to workout and stay active don't let the fashion fool you. 
  • What did I eat during the run?
    • Vega Sports Endurance Gel, LÄRABAR, Garden of Life Sports Organic Plant-based Energy + Focus, Bananas, Nuun, water, salt packet
  • How did your body feel during the run and how did you go on?
    • I was really nervous, I won't lie about that and my body did feel tired at the end. I knew though, I had prepared for the run and I was capable. You must get out of your own head.
  • Tell me about your recovery and would you run another marathon?
    • It took about a week for my body to fully recover. I still feel foot pain but it's getting better. Yes, definitely would run another marathon. I know how my body will react now so I may better prepare for it.
Live Balanced. Live 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