Ethical Fashion: Amani Ya Juu "Peace from Above"

Meet Amani Ya Juu: a faith-based sewing, business, and reconciliation project for marginalized women in 5 African countries. These lovely ladies produce fair trade bags, accessories, home goods, and more. Established in Nairobi, Kenya, the main purpose of Amani Ya Juu is to establish a presence of peace in both the lives of the women who sew these pieces together, but also in the communities and countries they inhabit. 

They graciously sent me this necklace to review and share with you a little bit about Amani Ya Juu. I don't wear jewelry often but when an emblem of peace, love, and hope for women is wrapped around your neck, how can I not? The necklace is beautiful, excellent quality, colorful, versatile and unique. I encourage you to ditch the sweatshop-produced jewelry section of Forever 21 and seek ethically-produced options like those found at Amani Ya Juu

Follow Amani Ya Juu on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest or sign-up for their e-newsletter here.

Adventures in Thrifting: Too good not to share.

I know I've been taking an extended vacation from blogging. Towards the end of the school year, my exhaustion built up to dangerous levels, requiring me to make an abrupt and unannounced STOP to blogging. It was taking up too much of my time and I had no inspiration to write when all I really needed to be doing was memorizing the etiology and clinical manifestations of Addison's Disease. 

Anyway, today I went to Goodwill and found some goodies that were too good not to share. I decided to start blogging again at my own leisure, whenever I feel like writing or sharing. There is no scheduled posts, no followers to gain, just Rubi sharing stories, pictures, and pretty yellow dresses she finds at the thrift store. 

Finding sweet deals excites me like you have NO IDEA.
Candies sunshine yellow dress for a $8.99!
Floral skinnies for a whopping $2.99
Versatile Gap pink cardigan for $6.99
 Flowy Mudd floral top for $4.99
And for the grand finale: Designer dress with tags still on worth $204 at super clearance for $14.95

Was this a successful thrifting day or what?! I feel all prepped for summer! All I need is a Minnesota day where Mr. Sun decides to burst from behind the grey clouds and lavish me with Vitamin D. Then, I will style my new yellow sunshine dress, aviators on, and sandals on my feet with bright pink toe nails. Weatherman, can you make this happen for me, PUH-LEASE?!

Healthy Homemade Chipotle Bowl

I've got a really easy recipe for you today! I call it my homemade Chipotle bowl because I drew my inspiration from the classically delicious Chipotle bowls. I had some leftover black beans from the night before and really didn't want to make white rice again so I created this bowl.
Cooked brown Couscous
Cooked black beans
Stir-fried onions and mushrooms
Diced fresh tomatos
Alfalfa sprouts
Chopped green onions
Chopped cilantro
Easy as cake? Nahhh! This is EASIER than cake you guys! And so so tasty and healthy! Give it a try the next time you have some extra beans in your fridge. I've realized that eating plant-based has really forced me to think creatively. If I didn't get creative, a lot of my food would go to waste or rot because I wouldn't know how to use it. But thanks to the fact that I don't want my food to go to waste, I've been able to come up with yummy and easy recipes that are plant-based. It's been fun and it can only get funner from here! I'm definitely improving and that makes me so so happy!!!  

Quinoa, Kale, and Apple Recipe

My husband ate dinner out yesterday with some buddies so I took advantage of the opportunity to cook something weird that he probably would not try! Ha! Well, it was AWESOME and so so healthy!  
There were only 6 ingredients: quinoa, kale, apple, salt, cashew, walnut, and ground flax seed.  
I used this recipe from the awesome Jason Wrobel to cook the meal and instead of adding hemp seeds, I grinded a few cashews walnuts with flax seed meal and garnished the dish with it as a sort of "parmesan cheese." This recipe is also abundant in PROTEIN. Both kale and quinoa have tons of protein so no need to worry about that. It was fabulous friends! Try it! I was a little apprehensive of how the kale and apple would taste together but wowzers! It works! Looooved it!  
P.S. Yesterday I made a vlog about my food philosophy and other food-related things to link-up with The Girl Behind the Blog. If you missed that, click here.  

The Girl Behind the Blog: Inner Foodie

I'm so excited to be joining Ashley from 5OhWifey and Chelsea from Taste and See in this fun vlogging link-up, The Girl Behind the Blog. The topic was FOOD so you know I had to join the conversation! One of my favorite things to talk about EVER is FOOD. Enjoy!
P.S. Pardon the pimple, it's been a stressful week! Eeeek! But we're half way there!

The Style Diaries: Belly-aching Laughs!

Oh boy, yesterday was definitely up on the list of weirdest days ever and funnest day ever! The day started off incredibly awkward when I chose to wear a gorgeous navy blue lace skirt with this top. It was lovely. Until I arrived at my church parking lot, that is. Guess what happened the instant I stepped out of the car? My skirt literally split in two. Right where the little slit is on the back, it just split all the way till it reached the zipper. What in the world?! Needless to say, I could not enter the church that way and had to drive ALL the way back home to change into this pretty dress and go back. Ridiculous I tell ya! I feel like this kind of stuff only happens to me. 
On a really bright note, the rest of the day went by wonderfully! I got to play with my favorite baby. We snuggled, I kissed him A LOT, he laughed and tried to blow me kisses TWICE. Ah! He is too precious.
Then we went on to play telephone pictionary. This was my first time ever playing this game and OH MA GAWD, THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE GAME! If you are in need of laughing therapy or an ab workout, DO THIS. Most hilarious game EVER. I feel so blessed for such an amazing group of friends to laugh with, talk with, and experience God with. 
dress: tjmaxx, blouse: vintage thrifted, belt: liz claiborne thrifted, heels: tjmaxx
Ashley loves me so much.
Now, how am I suppose to draw "scary cat farts"? By drawing a dude ambushing another guy, scaring him, and causing the scared guy to fart, of course. 
Love this girl and this handsome guy. 

Plant-Based Sources of Protein

Hello friends! This week has gone by way too fast! It's already Thursday and my Spring Break is nearly over! Too sad. Now I'm just looking forward to summer! In other news, we're going to talk about non-animal sources of protein today. Last week I wrote about how we were uniquely designed as biological herbivores. If you haven't read that post you can read it here. I got a few comments about alternative sources of protein--"What about if I'm allergic to soy?" "What if I can't eat beans?" Have no fear, protein is everywhere! 
I found this fun chart at Mercy for Animals that contains different sources of protein and how many grams are in each. Nuts, leafy, greens, beans, grains (quinoa & couscous), and even some vegetables contain protein. If you eat a well-balanced and varied plant-based diet, it if nearly impossible to be protein deficient! Leafy greens like kale and spinach are packed with protein. Bet you never thought you'd associate spinach with protein! ;) The best thing about eating plant-based protein is that you're not only supplying your body with necessary protein but you're also nourishing it with essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to thrive. On the contrary, when you use animal products as your main protein source, you ARE getting protein, but you're also ingesting unnecessary fats, carcinogens, and cholesterol that is directly related to the development of heart disease. As I was watching the documentary Hungry for Change, David Vitalis said "People are overfed, but they are also starving to death." That struck me. In general, American culture trains us to eat eat and eat until we're full all while promoting the WRONG foods to eat. We continue eating because, although our stomachs might feel food, our cells are dying. They are not receiving the life-giving, nutrient-supplying vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that make our cells happy and healthy. And as a result, we reap diseases like coronary heart disease, hypertension, cancer and so much more. 
Dr. Alona Pulde & Dr. Matthew Lederman who speak in the documentary Forks Over Knives said this, "We've never treated a single patient with protein deficiency; yet the majority of patients we see are suffering from heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses directly resulting from trying to get enough protein.
Have I answered the age-old question of, "You're a vegetarian?! Where do you get your protein?!" ;) 
Tell me your thoughts! Do you think you would ever consider a plant-based diet? Have you discovered that you naturally eat plant-based sources of protein that you didn't know about?