Saturday, March 31, 2012

Half the Sky

This is a trailer for a documentary series that deals with woman's rights around the world. Social justice issues of human trafficking, education, and health related issues are effecting women of all ages. Its certainly not enough to just have these few celebrities make a film, but its inspiring that hollywood is actually paying attention to these issues. Its inspiring that some of these women will have the opportunity for their stories be told. Through awareness we can bring understanding, and through understanding we can change the world.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

How can we love the whole world?

“Love all God's creation, the whole and every grain of sand of it. Love every leaf, every ray of God's light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.” 
 Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mother Dearest

"To live a happy life, you have to start by apprieciating and being grateful for it" ~Cheryl Roth 
"There is no failure, only feedback and learning" ~Cheryl Roth 

These are quotes from my mom, whose wisdom is always a guidepost in my life.

My Mom's birthday was on wednesday, and I've spent every day this week trying to write a post to honor her for her birthday. Its so difficult to sum up in one quick post how much my mother means to me. Whether or not she was my mom, I would find this woman to be extremely inspiring! I admire the way she deeply looks at the world and her heart of compassion towards others. I am grateful for the way she's loved me unconditionally, sacrificed for our family, and lived a life of service to God. I love the way she listens when I cry, laughs at my jokes, and shares in my joys.

Having Tea with Mom 
A mother's love is truly incredible. I hope one day to be a mother myself, but for now I strive to be the best daughter I can be for this truly remarkable Mom.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break

I writing this post as a lounge on a blanket of hot sand in the Caribbean...

Ok just kidding...

I'm really spending my spring break backpacking through Europe....

Ok just kidding again.

I'm actually sitting in my room at my house (which I haven't been back to since Christmas). Maybe this is slightly less exciting than warm beaches and trips to Europe, but honestly its really great to just be home.

This is actually something I rarely do. I love adventures and exploring new places. I love traveling and being independent. But sometimes I just  need the peace and quiet of my own backyard. The simplicity of cuddling on the couch with Mom, or the tranquility of sleeping in my own bed.

Although, lets be honest, that could get boring pretty quickly... UNLESS I keep myself busy.

So here is my spring break to do list:
--Give my mom a fantastic birthday
--Fix my sewing machine
--Star gaze at least once
--Buy a tea cup that matches my tea pot
--Spice up my spring wardrobe
--Read a book! preferably in the sunshine :)
--Spend time with friends
--Play a board game with my brothers
--Apply to scholarships for school

That should probably give me enough to do, but I'm sure I'll find more and more ways of entertaining myself.

It can be just as easy to enjoy life whether at home or on some fancy vacation. We create our own fun, our own adventures. Theres always something to do no matter where you are.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fair Trade Fashion

Two things I love a lot: fashion and fighting injustice.

These two loves combined drive me to do a whole lot of fair trade shopping. Human trafficking happens all over the world and many of the items we take for granted were made by the hands of slavery.

Did you know...
An estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labour at any given time
as a result of trafficking 
(International Labour Organization, Forced Labour Statistics Factsheet (2007)) 

32 Billion dollars are made annually because of Human trafficking according to the UN

So here is Jasmine's guide to Fair-Trade Fashion 

 Be a conscious consumer!
Know the facts! There are any online resources about not buying certain products from certain countries because of the child or forces labor that is involved in making the product.

The organization Not for Sale, has a great site that has rated hundreds or companies on an A-F scale based on their policies on and use of forced labor. Company Ratings 

Find the fair and trendy market
There are tons of stores and organizations dedicated to fashion and engaging in fair trade. It sometimes takes a little digging to find them but they definitely exist!

Heres a list of places that I've found: 
Fair trade and trendy:
Unique Batik - Not only do they sell gorgeous clothes, jewelry, hand bags, and other accessories, but they also sell beautiful fabric for those of us who love to sew! 
World of Good- as a branch of ebay, this site supports the philosophy that our shopping shapes the world and offers a wide assortment of fair trade and eco friendly products
Sevya as a member of the Fair Trade Federation, Sevya Fair Tade gets all of their products from artisan community in India. 

Indigenous Designs- free shipping everyday and all organic materials!
People Tree- since the 90s People Tree has been working to ensure the availability of beautifully crafted fair trade garments, and support the artisans who create such products. 
Fair Indigo- A great selection of classic looking outfit pieces, and a great collection of alpaca winter wear. 
The Revive Store 

Revive- an independent boutique located in Ohio (but shopping can be done online) Revive features clothes for men, women, children, and tons of home decor products! 

A lot of these places are fairly expensive, and that is to be expected since fairness costs more than slavery. So do we have to be rich to change the world? of course not! There are plenty of ways to shop conscientiously and still not break your bank.

  • Try local thrift stores, consignment shops etc. Even if the original source was not 100% fair, its better to reuse that buy something new from a source that supports modern day slavery. 
  • Shop etsy for hand made items, and material. 
  • Look around your town for local fair trade boutiques, the locally owned places are sometimes cheaper than the larger companies. 
  • Participate in a clothing swap with friends 

Be Proactive
There are several organizations out there that not only sell fair trade products, but also use the proceeds to benefit others or fight human trafficking. 

FEED- it says it all in the name, every purchase helps feed the world! 
Not for Sale Store- The mission of Not for Sale is to end human trafficking. Buying hand made jewelry and accessories from their online store supports the organization and artisans who craft them. 
Krochet Kids- There motto is "Buy a hat. Change a life" each hat helps support a family in Uganda or Peru. 
Warby Parker- a glasses company that gives a pair to someone in need each time someone buys a pair for themself. 

There are many ways to combat the issue of human trafficking. Making informed decisions when shopping is a small way of letting our actions align with our beliefs. Every purchase counts to making a better world because every human life counts.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I've been thinking a lot about how much we desire validation from others. I think it goes back to the basic human need of needing to be loved and appreciated. I recently signed up to receive "Notes from the Universe" which are short emails of encouraging words from our biggest admirer: the Universe. Even though I know these emails are kind of like a glorified fortune cookie, its made a big impact on my daily thought process. Starting each morning with a few really kind words helps me to look more positively at the world, and value my own worth in every moment. It also makes me realize how important kind words are, and inspires me to validate others more.

This is the note I received from the universe this morning:

Jasmine, the need to criticize 
simply belies a longing for recognition, 
appreciation, and validation. 
None of which, however, 
can be obtained through criticism.

I'm sure it's just a 
phase they're going through. 

    The Universe

If we can all strive to turn every criticism, of ourselves or others, 
into positive thoughts and words, then we can create a more 
supportive, encouraging, world for others and ourselves.

Along the same lines, this short film 

is a fantastic depiction of what the value of validating others. 

When has validation made a huge impact on you?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Happy Sunday!

"Prayer is the bridge between my unconscious and conscious life. Prayer connects y mind with my heart, my will with my passions, my brain with my belly. Prayer is the divine instrument of my wholeness, unity and inner peace." -Henri J.M. Nouwen

Saturday, March 3, 2012


“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
-Maria Robinson 

I really thrive when I see and create beauty. I love when my room is clean and decorated perfectly. I love when the flowers are blooming and the sun is shinning. This winter has been difficult for me because we haven't had much snow, but its still been cold, so we've been stuck in a state of mush for about three months. But the other day a fresh blanket of crisp white covered my college campus. I was all of a sudden in awe of the beauty that surrounded me. I often forget that winter can be just as beautiful as any other season. Every so often the universe likes to remind me that everything about life can be beautiful.