2 Easy Ways To Make Your Outfit More Socially Responsible

GretaHandbag_Fulani Earrings

You don’t have to sacrifice savvy for sustainability when it comes to fashion these days. Socially responsible dressing and manufacturing is gaining momentum (it’s the new black) and it is my hope that one day it will become the rule instead of the exception. Reclaimed, repurposed, upcycled, & sustainable are all terms to look for when becoming a responsible shopper, outfitting yourself & family as well as your home.

Learn which companies are making concerted efforts to be more responsible.
This way you can adjust your buying habits to include purchasing from businesses & manufacturers that put the health, safety & fair treatment of their workers ahead of profits.

Following the devastating fire that took the lives of 1,129 garment works in Bangladesh, a legally binding union-sponsored agreement was created and signed by more than 70 of the world’s largest brands from Europe & the US. It dedicates funds to upgrade the infrastructure & safety equipment of factories throughout Bangladesh. However, giants such as Gap, Walmart, Macy’s, Sears, Target, L.L. Bean & Kohl’s settled for a weaker agreement, putting the responsibility of such upgrades into the hands of those less able to afford them–the factory owners.

Shopping for a Change (SFAC) embodies the principles & ethics of socially responsible manufacturing & shopping. On our nonprofit’s website you will find products that are handcrafted by economically disadvantaged artisans who are working to lift themselves out of poverty. Often using skills that have been passed down through generations, the creation and manufacturing of our products follow fair trade principles. In addition, the majority of the artisans are women, many of whom are the sole or main providers for their families, and desire the same things for their families as we do: enough food, appropriate shelter, access to health care, and education for their children.

I have also come across a website called Eco Fashion Talk, and have found it to be very helpful for determining whether or not a brand is socially responsible.

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Is It Time for You to Change Careers? Let’s Find Out

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The thing about middle-aged motherhood is that it is a bad time for just about everything. At least, it sure feels that way sometimes. With kids in school, it is a bad time to consider a move, a new, time-consuming hobby, and especially a new job. You’ve just about got everything dialed in to suit your needs for the next ten years, or until the kids move out of the house, whichever comes first.

Like a precariously balanced stack of Jenga blocks, even one small change can bring the whole thing crashing down. Despite that possibility, there are good reasons to consider a mid-life career change. Here are three:

You are unfulfilled

Personal fulfillment may seem like a selfish pursuit when you are loaded down with other responsibilities like raising a family. But what you are doing may be teaching your children that laboring without joy or fulfillment is some sort of virtue.

What you most want for your kids is for them to be fully realized, happy, and totally fulfilled human beings. You don’t want them to grow up to be just more rats running the meaningless maze of life in hopes for a scrap of cheese always just around the next corner.

The depressing reality is that today’s kids mostly just want to grow up to be rich, famous, and powerful, as demonstrated by this recent survey. But in previous generations, it was more common for kids to be motivated by wanting to help other people. If you are from that generation, and find yourself not in a position to help others as you always wanted, it may be time for you to make a change while it is still possible to influence the next generation.

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Moving Tips for Families: Adjusting to Your New Neighborhood

Neighborhood of Traditional Style Houses

If your family is planning a long-distance move, know that the experience can be fun, exhilarating, and, unfortunately, more than a little difficult. With all the stress associated with relocating your family, moving can be tough, to say the least. Thankfully, though, there are ways you can make it easier. Take settling into your neighborhood, for example. Keep reading for tips on how you can help your entire family get settled in your new surroundings, quickly and comfortably.

Get a Good Start

Since a large percentage of moving-related stress is rooted in packing, traveling and unpacking, get ahead of the game by being as efficient as possible. First of all, choose one of the full-service long distance moving companies. A full-service moving company will load, transport and unpack your belongings, which alleviates a significant amount of stress and anxiety. With full service moving companies, you can stress less, and focus on other priorities.

Get Involved

Being active in your new community is a great way for your family to meet new people and settle into your new surroundings. Once you’re settled in your new neighborhood, get your family involved in activities like the following:

  • Community theater. Many communities have drama programs that are open to the public. If acting isn’t your thing, you could help with designing sets, making costumes, music, makeup, etc.
  • League sports. Whether your little ones are into baseball, soccer, football, cheerleading or bowling, find a community league and get involved. Sports are great for parents, too, since it gives them the opportunity to meet other parents, as well as play a more active role in the community.
  • Volunteer work. Volunteering as a family will not only help solidify your place in the community, but it’s also a great way to bond with your children. Plus, volunteering is just an overall positive experience, and can provide a deep sense of pride and satisfaction for people of all ages.
  • PTA. The PTA at your child’s new school is the perfect place to meet like-minded individuals. Once you become friendly with the parents, set up some play dates and adult get-togethers!

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Women in Business Interview – Nikki Newmark

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Nikki NewmarkThis week’s interview is with Nikki Newmark, she joined Avon to gain career independence and flexibility after her previous career as a Kindergarten teacher.

Tell us about yourself (in relation to Avon)?
My name is Nikki Newmark and I am an Avon Representative in President Council.

You joined Avon 16 years ago, how much time (months/years) do you feel you invested in the business before you were able to say I’m financially independent?
I invested a lot of time and effort with the company. It is a lot of work, but if you stick with it, it is a business that will continue to reward you for a lifetime.

When you first started what was the biggest challenge when it came to cultivating clients/customers?
When I started Avon, I was the new kid on the block at the time. But I have great neighbors and they decided to help me along by taking my books to their jobs for me when I first started.

Were you surprised by how easy/difficult it was to find clients/customers?
I was not that surprised that people wanted to help me. I have determination to do whatever it takes to be successful at this new venture of mine. You have to decide what you want and then go for it.

What was the biggest hurdle you faced in your business?
I was new to my area, so a little hurdle was that people didn’t know me personally. Luckily, people know Avon and the products so that helped me a lot.

What was your largest triumph in your business?
Last year I rose to number 20 in the nation. I was so happy and surprised, and this success sent me on an all-expenses paid trip to Puerto Rico with my Avon peers. I was very thankful that I could share this with my son as well, and Avon took care of all of the expenses for the both of us. He doesn’t live in America with me currently, but he traveled to make it an even more special trip for the two of us.

If you could give someone two pieces of advice in regards to starting a business with Avon what would they be?
It’s a business that offers the opportunity to reward you for a lifetime if you stay with it.  As a company, they’re willing to help their people grow, which in turn helps Representatives grow along with their business. Add work and determination and you’ll reach success!

What are three things you wish someone told you in regards to starting a business?

  1. It’s not an overnight success like the lottery
  2. Focus is key, don’t listen to the naysayer
  3. Don’t allow other people’s negative influence to affect you

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3 WordPress Plugins to Install Before Switching Themes

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Not everyone gets the burning desire to change the look and feel of their blog. But as technology changes, sometimes there comes a need to reinvent the style of the blog so it fits into today’s design expectations like responsiveness and/or flat design. However changing blog themes can become a nightmare if not done correctly, luckily there are some WordPress plugins that can help streamline the process.

Don’t Forget to Backup

The MOST important thing to remember is to backup your site! While replacing a new theme can be relatively seamless there are times when things could go completely awry.

Backing up your site saves you from that panic attack that only happens when you type in the URL to your blog and a blank white screen appears. If you like to tinker, you know the what I’m talking about. Backing up saves countless hours of retrieving posts via web archives that were written in between a scheduled backup from your hosting provider. And that’s only if your hosting provider is backing up your website on a regular basis. Tip: Stop reading now and make sure your web host is backing up your site regularly.

There are several WordPress plugins and utilities that can help you schedule backups. Backup Buddy is a very popular tool. While I haven’t used it myself it’s widely used and often recommended by many theme builders.

I opted for the free plugin Duplicator for WordPress when I performed my latest theme update. Since we have daily backups with our hosting company, this was the most cost effective option and it’s very easy to use.

Thumbnail Images

Having a background in web design is a bit of a curse because I am always thinking about ways to change the design of my blog. When I first started blogging that meant countless hours of resizing the existing images on the site, because nothing annoys me more then improperly sized images on a website. You know the kind, when an image is supposed to fit into a specified width so the image stretches to accommodate the new width. Or worse when the image is too big and overlaps an adjacent column.

When I switched themes this time around I ran a thumbnail resizer plugin to help resize all the thumbnail images across the site so my images won’t break the convention of the newest blog theme.

There are two plugins I’ve used in the past to manage this process, AJAX Thumbnail Rebuild and Regenerate Thumbnails. The AJAX Thumbnail Rebuilt plugin is intended for sites that have lots of images to manage. Often times other thumbnail rebuilding plugins the process times out because of the number of thumbnails that need to regenerated.

Code Cleanup

Most themes now come pre-packaged with specific plugins that help with the functionality of the theme. After you’ve installed the new theme you should make sure to remove plugins that won’t be used anymore. The number of active plugins can have a direct relation to the load time of your site.

You can also use a WordPress plugin in called Autoptimize to help clean up sure site files. It links all scripts and styles, minifies and compresses them and moves styles of the page head and scripts to the footer. it also minifies the HTML code itself, making your page really lightweight.

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Macro Monday – 5 Resources for Beginner’s

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Macro photography is still one of my favorites.  I found some great links that can help anyone get started in Macro Photography.

5 Macro Photography Tutorials for Beginners

Theme of the Month: Reinvention

ReinventYourself

At the beginning of the year I picked a word for the year, Reinvention, with every intention to make some changes in my life to be the person I want to be. While I’ve had some set backs I’ve made some progress. But there is still a lot more I want to work on, which why I decided to make Reinvention the theme of this month’s posts. My goal is discuss reinventing your brand to reinventing wardrobe.

I am making strides in the right direction, but with only 3 months left I have to step it up a notch, well it’s more like several flights of stairs.

[Tweet “Every time your reinvent yourself, you will be a fuller and better women for it. – Katie Mitchell Hall #bizzieliving”]

Here are some things I hope to wrap up by the end of the year:

  • Finish the reinvention of my photography site, bizziephotography.com
  • Find a new style and build my wardrobe and accessories accordingly
  • Spend more time working out so I can reinvent my shape
  • Finalize the rebrand of BizzieLiving.com
  • Present concepts for a mobile app to the creative directors at work

For the month of October I will be writing articles based on the overall theme of reinvention and hope to find some additional writers to submit their content.

Not sure how to get started with change. Try writing down 10 things you would do in your life if you had absolutely no fear. Then pick one of them and do it.