Thursday, March 9, 2017

(God Guiding Me) Back to the Bunhead: Part II




So... as we all know, life is life and we aren't really the master's of our own lives as some claim. We may plan and plan and plan, but in the end, it's God who is in charge of ti all and is providing opportunities and opening connections for us as we grow and move in life. It is up to us to decide how and where and what we want to make of those.

I have been realizing this more and more these past few months as promises and opportunities seemed like the perfect plan for me and for the path I was creating for myself. But sometimes people go back on promises and take away opportunities. In the beginning this was a bit devastating for me... but then I realized that God's will in the end is for His children to prosper using their talents and in the way and environment that he sees fit for them, whether it is for a season to teach them something, or for a looooong season because they are prepared and called to that particular purpose. 

Although I have (nearly... will be two at the end of this semester) two degrees specified in international trade, with a personal focus in Latin America, I have found that those 6 years of college education isn't my current main focus. My ballet, which I studied 17 years, is what has become a financial provider for me. It is NOT AT ALL what I had expected. When I first decided to be based here in Guatemala I thought that I would have my ballet as a side thing aside from working with artisans. But this has not been the case. 

I am so amazed and shocked to see how God crafted and carved and purposefully placed people in my path to give the a perfect fit career. It isn't currently financially the perfect fit - but God always provides. I just feel so blessed to be able to wake up every day and pursue my two loves under one umbrella. I am able to work with and for artisans here in Guatemala and teach ballet on a nearly daily basis (artisans during the day and ballet in the evenings). And it is incredible because through this I am able to reach so many and try to be the best example of God's love that I can. Of course I am far from perfect but I feel my calling here and see how the people here are touching my lives for the better as I am doing for them.


Allow and have trust in God and in HIS TIME his works will surface. Sometimes a few months or years after you request them... but if you pay attention.. God never ignores those who are running after His heart. 


28 "One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g]There is no commandment greater than these.”
32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions."

Have an abundantly blessed day,
Christine

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Happy International Women's Day!!!


To all of those daughters, mothers, aunts, nieces, cousins and above all sisters (because we are all sisters), 

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!!!

May we be bold, beautiful, strong, adventurous, curious, loving, hopeful, exemplary, kind, patient, critical, humble and wonderful as we were created. There is so much responsibility and beauty in being a woman.We have the opportunity to give life, although this is sometimes complicated and seen as a burden in society. We have the opportunity to have maternal instincts to love and guide, although sometimes people see this as a weakness. We have the opportunity to physically support life of babies, although people sometimes complain that this beautiful and basic ability is over sexualized or not seen for what it is. 

There are always going to be criticisms and complaints and debates over different subjects. One thing that is so beautiful may be seen by others as something to challenge, or an injustice. Over all, we must remember that that makes us unique and special as women is something that bonds us, and when we grow with our sisters and support our sisters, it should be in love. Especially for my sisters in Christ, it is our responsibility to support and also push our sisters when they are going through happy times, hard times, or making wrong decisions. Sometimes supporting our sisters means pointing out that what they are doing is against Christ, and when we do, we are called to do that in love. 

Above all... love. 


13 "If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

Happy International Women's Day! 

We have come so far as far as having the ability to participate in society, have a say in life, be given opportunities to be educated and to educate but there are still so many women out there without this opportunity. Also, I would like to give a shout out to all those men out there who support women in their daily lives as family members and politically. We are a society of not just women and it takes men supporting women for us to be seen as equals!

Thank you to all of my friends who work so hard to support other women whether it is in the anti human trafficking movement, in the educational sector, in our churches and in our personal lives. You know who you are and thank you millions. Without your support, inspiration and motivation I would not be where I am now. You are all AMAZINGGGGG!

Lastly,  and possibly most importantly, let us remember and make efforts when we can to help even the playing field and support those women who still yearn for those basic rights that we all should be offered, especially education and the freedom to participate in the world! 


God bless always, to all you women and men!
Christine

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Elle Evans Sustainable Swimwear

latina fashion blogger sustainable swimwear
reversible sustainable bikini
elle evans ethical bikini
cute ethical sustainable bikini
ethically made bikini
sustainable ethical swimwear


10% discount with the code BEYOUTIFUL 
Expires: February 18, 2017

Hey everyone! So, I haven't ever done a photoshoot of me on this blog in swimwear because I never found it appropriate or felt confident enough to do it. However, over the past three years I have been looking across the internet for CUTE sustainable swimwear that is tasteful and comfortable and high quality. Finally I found my perfect fit! This reversible two piece, is made out of recycled bottles! It is also printed with with water based, non toxic dyes and each order is made to the order.  I found that totally cool. Then I saw the price point, which is over $100 (but I used my discount above) for the set and was like, yieks! However, I thought... okay Christine. I buy swimwear once in a blue moon. Make this piece work for years and instead of buying one in the next six years, appreciate this for what it is. Also, that it's reversible makes it versatile four ways. :) I made a skirt out of mesh I bought from my local fabric store because the bottoms are a bit cheeky for me. As for comfort of this, IT IS SO SOFT TO THE TOUCH, and to think it was made out of recycled bottles. LOVE LOVE LOVE! Definitely an investment piece, but worth it for me!


Interview with Tanya Evans, Sales Director at Elle Evans Swimwear

1. What made you begin Elle Evans Swimwear?
I've always loved sewing and fashion and that combined with my love of the sea meant swimwear was always my passion. 


2. What about the fashion industry brought you to begin a sustainable swimwear line?
but after working in the industry for several years I was shocked at the amount of waste even a small company creates. Everything from the wasted fabric scraps to the amount of interdepartmental paper used! When I started my own label I made the decision to be as sustainable as possible. 


3. What critiques do you see in the ethical fashion industry?
I think it's very easy to say "this type of fabric is ethical" or "that company is unethical" but it's not always that black and white. I think the best thing we as consumers can do is look for company's that are open and transparent in their processes and make our choices from there. When in doubt, ask!


4. How is purchasing from your company making a difference in the environment? Socially? 
The fabric we use ECONYL® is made using waste such as old dredged up fishing nets and used carpets that are then regenerated into a beautiful nylon fabric. The creation of ECONYL® products are actually “waste positive”, this means the amount of waste removed from the earth is greater than the amount of waste resulting from production.  Aside from the fabric our products are designed with a longer lifecycle in mind and are built to last!

5. Where is the material produced?
ECONYL® recovers waste from all over the world; Canada, USA, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan and Thailand. Their fabric is produced in Slovenia.



6. Where is the apparel sewn and how did you find them? Do they also follow sustainable practices?
Our swimwear is all made in-house in Melbourne, that way we an ensure the best working conditions, fair wages and sustainable practices! 


7. Every company has issues and is always looking to improve. What does the future of Elle Evens Swimwear hold in regards to increasing environmental and social responsibility and business expansion?
We are still such a young company and there is so much we'd love to be able to do in terms of our environmental and social impact. Personally I'd love to be able to put more energy into consumer education, especially for younger shoppers, I think learning about the impact of buying that $10 T-shirt before your at the age where your buying your own clothes will help define this next generation as Eco-conscious shoppers.  


8. Where do you see yourself and your company in 5 years? 10 years?
Obviously is love to see our company grow, however I never intended this to be a large company and there are some fundamental principals we won't abandon that will restrict our growth, such as manufacturing locally. In 5 to 10 year I hope to see our company (and companies like ours) become more mainstream, my hope is that as shoppers become more concerned with environment they'll seek out sustainable products more and more. 


9. What is the inspiration for the cuts and prints and who is your target customer?
My inspiration usually comes from nature, I always end up designing a collection when I'm on holiday! Usually the print comes to me first, and the 'theme' of the collection follows. This collection my muse was a young Brooke Shields in blue lagoon. Her white cotton outfit that becomes more ragged and that she drapes and knots around her as she grows up became the inspiration for the knotted features, the white mesh fabrics and the fact that many pieces in this collection are reversible or can be worn various ways!
To me our target market is anyone who wants fashion forward swimwear but cares about what effect that swimwear might have on the environment! I like to think that we cater for all body types, and ages too with the addition of our TEENSY and TINY collections!


Ready to swim and take in the sun,
Christine