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Lifestyle

Shopbop Sale Round-Up

683 1024 Melissa Mayer

Hey guys! It’s that time of year where we are transitioning our closets over to spring/summer, donating/consigning things that we no longer wear, and making lists of a few new things that could be added to our wardrobes for a little freshness as we welcome the new season. Shopbop is having a great sale (20% off all orders and 25% off $500+ orders), so if you are planning a shopping spree, Shopbop is the place to do it. Below are some of my favorites for a casual spring wardrobe- a striped tee that I love, an oversized denim jacket, a linen baseball cap and more. Share your favorite links from this sale in the comments section! P.S. the code to use is EVENT18 when you checkout. xo

The Delight Of Discipleship

1024 682 Melissa Mayer

The act of discipleship truly is a beautiful, powerful, incredible thing. Sometimes easier said than done though, as discipleship can seem daunting and intimidating, but this is not how the Lord wants us to view discipleship! Instead, let’s think of discipleship as it is: a true delight to spread His love and grace with those around us. It really is a lovely, delightful, Spirit-led journey that does not need to be intimidating at all!

Matthew 5:14-16 reads: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (NIV)

As the Bible says, we are to “let our light shine before others”. This alone is a huge part of discipleship and lays the groundwork for inviting others to experience that light which comes from God and God alone. Our “light” is really not our light…it is His light shining through us as believers in Jesus.

Living lives that glorify God and allow for His spirit to permeate in us and through us is the beginning of the beautiful, obedient act of discipleship. Just as a smile is contagious, so is a God-centered way of living. Letting His light shine through us on a daily basis with people can ultimately lead to wonderful conversations and serve as a gateway into bringing people to Him in His time. Of course discipleship takes time, patience, endurance and this is just the start, but it is such a necessary, important, and delightful start!

We would love to hear your thoughts on discipleship in the comments section below. Also, if you don’t follow them already on Instagram, IF:Gathering is an incredible group on a mission to inspire and equip women to share the gospel with other women in their lives so they can live life with Jesus.

THE OUTFIT

sunnies | top | skirt | sneaks

images by felicia lasala 

Q&A With Branch Basics’ Founders: Part Two

996 664 Melissa Mayer

Hey, friends! As you guys know, we are BIG fans of the toxin-free, safe, plant-based  cleaning products brand known as Branch Basics. We first talked about the brand here, and then last month we interviewed one of their founders, Allison, in part one of this Q&A series. If you missed that post, you must check it out! Allison’s words are so inspiring and will really open your eyes to the true significance and importance of ridding your home of toxic products. To follow up on Allison’s story, we have another one of their co-founders on LSK today for part two of the Q&A series with the Branch Basics’ founders. Also, they are kindly offering a promo code for LSK readers…use code LSK20 for 20% off at branchbasics.com! Now without further ado, meet Kelly Love. Scroll down to get to know her, her journey with Branch Basics, and why she is so passionate about toxin-free living.

How did you become part of the Branch Basic team and what do you love most about it?

Goodness, so much to say about this! Allison and I were roommates and best friends in college at The University of Texas at Austin. Our junior year, Allison turned to Marilee (her aunt) for health advice because her body was failing her and none of the many doctors she saw over a two year period could figure out what was wrong. She was feeling hopeless, depressed and was in constant pain. Within six months of changing her diet and the products she used everyday per Marilee’s recommendations, along with doing all kinds of cool detox treatments and taking food-based supplements, she finally started getting a lot better. I witnessed the transformation and was hooked. I wanted to know everything Marilee was teaching her and I started bugging Marilee with tons of questions for my own wellbeing. As graduation approached, we thought it would be amazing to live with Marilee for a summer before starting “real life”.. Thankfully she said yes! From my perspective, Marilee taught and modeled for us what it looked like to live as close to God’s design as possible. We filled ourselves with pure air, pure food, and pure thoughts. We meditated on scripture, spent time in nature, and didn’t put a single thing in our mouths that wasn’t part of our Food as Medicine prescriptions.

The results were powerful and truly life-changing for both of us. Allison was a new person and I, the “healthy one”, was feeling better than I ever had in my life. My painful menstrual cramps, dry and itchy eyes, random headaches, and joint and muscle pain all disappeared. I didn’t even have body odor when I got sweaty! It was a snapshot of our body’s potential and also, sadly, of how so many suffer because of what they eat, breathe, put on their bodies, and focus their minds on. Allison and I now shared Marilee’s passion for wanting to help others live a healthier, fuller life and avoid unnecessary suffering. So again, Allison and I went to Marilee asking for something that seemed crazy to her: Would she start a company with us so we could get her knowledge out to the world? In 2010, we launched Three Branches Healthy Living, an online shop for all things healthy – the safest organic mattresses, air purifiers, food-based supplements, non-toxic cleaning, etc. and then that turned into Branch Basics, which focused on cleaning, in 2012. As for what I love most, it’s a tie between getting to work with people I love so much and having the opportunity to learn something new from Marilee everyday. My life, my husband’s life and my daughter’s life are no doubt better because of her and everything she’s taught me.

Tell us about your journey of ridding your home of toxic products. How did you become passionate about clean home products?

I could feel the difference! I can now 100% tell that my constant dry eyes were from the conventional laundry detergent and dryer sheets I was using up until my “detox summer.” When I got to Marilee’s she had me put all my clothes in the sun and wash them several times to get the chemical residues out of the fibers. After giving my body a break from that non-stop toxic exposure (clothes, towels, sheets – you never escape it!), I was finally able to realize how crazy strong those smells are. I was so used to them that I couldn’t tell before! It’s like smokers that quit smoking and then can’t stand the smell of cigarettes. The laundry switch was such an obvious difference for me, so it was a huge motivator to change everything. (In addition to dry eyes I now notice I get a stuffy head, tingly and tight muscles especially in my face and neck area, headaches and I don’t sleep as well when I’m around conventional stuff.)

It also just made so much sense to me that our homes should be a safe haven, free of products that put stress on our body’s detoxification and immune systems. Cleaning products are such a simple thing to change, and getting all the toxic ones out makes a HUGE impact on your indoor air quality and on your body. Understanding what is and what isn’t safe is so important, though. We want people to know what to look for in products so that they are using the safest, most effective cleaning products possible and ultimately to inspire the entire industry to make human health the #1 priority when formulating.

If there is one piece of information that you think people should know about the importance of using safe, pure cleaning products, what would it be?

It’s about so much more than being “green.” It’s important because it means you’re not exposing yourself to endocrine disruptors that can make it difficult to get pregnant, or neurotoxins that can affect brain development, or carcinogens that can increase the risk of cancer, or skin irritants that can contribute to eczema, or allergens that can induce nosebleeds. Our hearts long for people to understand the true weight and importance their cleaning and laundry products carry in relation to their wellbeing. This is the reason we do what we do.

How do you balance being an entrepreneur and a wife + mom?

This is a daily struggle for me! Still haven’t nailed it down yet!

Thankfully my husband is a very helpful, hands-on dad and also helps me make dinner most nights. (Green Chef has been amazing for us!) I’m also extremely thankful that my daughter has always been a good napper because I work during her naps and at night so I can focus on her while she’s awake. I have to be careful though, because too often I’ll tend to stay up way too late (since it’s a time I can focus without interruptions and distractions), and I’ve gotten myself into a situation where my adrenals are super fatigued and working on overdrive. (I’m kicking myself because it’s 1 AM as I type this!!) But I’m getting better and I’m also getting better at saying no to things so I don’t overcommit myself. It means Branch Basics isn’t growing as fast as it could, but it’s worth it for my health and time with my family.

In addition to using clean products, do you also value a clean diet? What are some of the grocery staples in your home?

Absolutely! A clean, nutrient-dense diet is so foundational and critical. One of the things I learned from Marilee and am totally on board with is that one diet does not fit all, and the body needs different foods, prepared in specific ways at different times of the year, during different phases of life. Especially for women. For example, there are various foods to emphasize when trying to conceive, while pregnant, and postpartum that aren’t as important in other seasons of life. Another example I love is that a person in Jamaica is not going to eat the same diet as someone in Alaska. Some foods are cooling and some foods are warming. Some people do better with little to no meat, while others should eat meat regularly. I am an O blood type and have been nursing my daughter for 16 months, so I try to get in a lot of healthy fat and protein.

Some of my staples are organic eggs, butter, coconut oil, and olive oil, Applegate Organics turkey, beef and chicken hot dogs (so easy and convenient!), Safe Catch canned tuna, wild-caught salmon, organic/grass-fed bone broth (Bonafide brand when I don’t have any homemade), organic and grass-fed yogurt with no sugar added, Go Raw sprouted granola, Once Again organic almond butter, Alvarado-Street Bakery bread and bagels, organic sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables, and plenty of organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. I also keep Amy’s Soups on hand for times I don’t have time to prepare food and spruce them up with Vital Proteins collagen, bone broth and butter.

Besides Branch Basics of course, what other clean brands do you love? They can be home, beauty, or anything else!

Ah, so many! The tops ones that come to mind are W3ll People (makeup), Primally Pure (deodorant and skincare), Innate Response (prenatal vitamins), and Simple Mills (cookies, crackers and baking mix – I don’t use their icing though), Epic (meat bars), Hu Kitchen (chocolate bars) and Pact (organic cotton sports bras, underwear, and leggings).

All The Feels: Lou & Grey

1024 682 Lauren Kennedy

You know when there is a store that you actually enjoy visiting? Where easy online shopping just doesn’t seem as wonderful? It’s rare, but Lou & Grey is that clothing store for me, and I am so thrilled to be partnering with them. It gives me #allthefeels 🙂 Living in Los Angeles, I remember how excited I was when the Pasadena location opened because I could physically walk in the store, touch the classic pieces, and be inspired! It is on a street in the most charming, family-filled town, and it always feels like the most lovely shopping experience.

I recently went in the store on the rainiest day (extra cozy feels) and found the best fitting skinny denim, a linen tee I couldn’t resist,  and a terry oversized sweatshirt that I wish I could wear every day. The staff is always so sweet and helpful, which always makes me love a brand even more. Not to mention, I am a sucker for sweatpants, and their’s are the softest on planet earth. And let’s talk accessories – hoop earrings and hair pins for the win.

OUTFIT DETAILS: sweatshirt & sweatpants & shoes

 

The New Nike Sneaker

683 1024 Lauren Kennedy

Let’s be honest. I pretty much live in yoga pants and tennis shoes. Who’s with me? Let’s be more honest; thank goodness that active wear became an every day trend rather than just an ensemble appropriate only for the gym a few years ago. What did I wear during the day before that? And what’s even greater? The fact that pairing sneakers with dresses, skirts, jeans, and trousers is cool creates another level. of. excitement.

All that to say, and speaking of tennis shoes, have you seen the new Nike shoe? By shoe, I am referring to the Air Max 270, which features the first-ever air unit designed for a lifestyle shoe, a unit that clocks in as the tallest-ever at 32-mm. Filled with fresh Oregon air right down the road from the main Nike campus, the Air Max 270 blends elements from the Air Max family’s past with a new, zonal-mesh upper for a hybrid sneaker that moves the legacy forward. They look super cool with mom jeans and socks that go above your ankle (nerdy look for the win), a feminine dress, or a denim skirt.

This shoe is just launching and it is a must-addition to your active wear collection.

A Brand To Love: ABLE

683 1024 Lauren Kennedy

Do you know that feeling when you discover a brand that you truly love?  When their products appeal to your personal style, when their aesthetic speaks to your lifestyle, when the brand’s mission hits a place in your heart, and when you feel confident, comfortable, and happy when wearing their items…that is when I know that I truly am in love with a brand. This and more happens when I think of and wear ABLE. Also known as liveFashionable, ABLE is a lifestyle brand with clothing, bags, shoes, and jewelry produced by women in cities here in America and in other countries, giving women the opportunity to work and create beautiful items.

ABLE’s commitment to and passion for providing jobs and new opportunities for women in need is so inspiring to me and makes their beautiful clothes, bags, shoes, and jewelry that much more beautiful. Not only are their items high-quality, but I know that there is so much heart and soul behind each product! The outfit that I am wearing below is one that I plan to live-in this spring and beyond. The maxi dress is so comfortable and versatile, the denim jacket is a forever-staple, the slides are edgy and cool, and the bag is a timeless style that I will carry for years to come. You can get the links to this outfit at the bottom of the post + links to a few more ABLE items that I am loving. Thank you to ABLE for sponsoring this post! xo

THE OUTFIT c/o ABLE

dress | denim jacket | bag | shoes

ABLE FAVORITES:

images by Felicia Lasala // post sponsored by ABLE

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