: the daily savant :

: exploring sustainable fashion, the great outdoors, and an eco-friendly lifestyle :

Late nights on etsy...

Friday, July 21, 2017

One thing I really love about putting outfits together is sharing them with the world.  While I've been busy minimizing my possessions, sometimes, a girl needs a bit of inspiration.  That being said, when I do decide to add something to my wardrobe, you can bet that it's something that I plan to keep for a long time because it was probably lovingly made.  

Enter: these bleach painted leggings from Illufuchs.  I found them on a late-night etsy window shop and knew that I needed to have them.  I love being covered in henna, and these leggings make me feel either like I've got some pretty amazing leg henna or some sweet tattoos going on! I dressed them up with my go-to flowy tank, my almost-a-decade-old safari jacket and some sweet handmade jewelry! 

What's sustainable about this outfit? 

: the earrings are handmade
: the necklace is handmade
: the bracelets are handmade
: the rings are handmade
: the leggings are handmade

Valley of Fire...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Holy stromboli!  These photos are from May (i.e. before the world turned into an oven) and I, somehow, managed not to get them posted!  In any case, SB and I made a day trip to Valley of Fire and it was absolutely epic!  The rock formations here were absolutely amazing, as you'll see from these photos here.  

A few interesting things to note about the park are: 

: there is a $10 entrance fee with a $2 discount for Nevada residents.  Unlike other parks, SB's military ID didn't get us in for free, but gave us the same $2 discount that Nevada residents receive. 

: their website isn't the most informative.  There aren't any really good maps or lists of things to do, but I will tell you that it is very easy to navigate around the park.  

: from where we entered the park, we did a brief bit of boulder scrambling and were told by another scrambler that there was a herd of long-sheep coming through, but we never crossed paths with them.  

: After this, we saw the Arch Rock and then made a stop at Atlatl Rock.  This entailed a climb up a set of stairs to see some really awesome petroglyphs.

: Next stop was Mouse's Tank.  This was a short hike through a bit of a canyon full of petroglyphs.  It gets its name because water tends to pool in this area after extensive rainfall.  It's also a fun spot because an alleged South Paiute Indian outlaw, named "Little Mouse" was said to have hidden here after gunning down prospectors in the late 1800s. 

: Rainbow Vista and the Fire Wave were probably the coolest bits of this trip.  We took extra time to wander around and scramble, but the waves in the rocks just blew my mind! 

: This trip ended with one final hike through the slot canyon (my very first slot canyon), which was definitely fun!  I tried to put one leg up on either side of the canyon and climb through that way, but wasn't too successful and I definitely felt it the next day! 

We skipped out on the beehives, the domes, the petrified logs, and Elephant Rock.  We saw Seven Sisters on the way out of the park, but were so exhausted from hiking and scrambling all day that we blew right past them and headed back home for a much-needed shower and a well-deserved beer! 

Have you ever been to Valley of Fire?  What was your favourite part of the trip? 


Phases of a new haircut...

Monday, July 17, 2017

Ahhhh, the first few days with a new haircut.  Your stylist has managed to make your hair look EXACTLY like the Pinterest inspiration photo you showed her and you totes love it.  And then you take a shower.  All the product washes out.  When it dries, it's flipping out at your shoulders (which you loved on Reese Witherspoon in "Sweet Home Alabama") and you can't stand it, but you're also super conservative with the electricity and refuse to use a hair dryer.  About 10 minutes after your shower, once the desert air has made contact and done it's job, you decide that you'd better at least make an attempt at styling with the curling iron.  

It doesn't go as well as planned.  You consider buying a flat-iron, but then remember that you're trying to be a minimalist and don't need extra stuff laying around the house. That's part of the reason you chopped off 15 inches of your hair in the first place (you weren't using it and someone else could).  

You consider making a tiny pony tail, but that goes horribly wrong, also.  

In the end, you stick with what you've got and are shocked when you're out running errands and the lady at the library tells you how cute you look.  You smile and thank her and decide that even though you're definitely not a hair stylist, it's good that you know how to put outfits together.  You're even happier when you realize that your top is from a shop that supports global education, your trousers got ripped and you re-made them with scraps from an old bedsheets, and your jewelry is all handmade.  You realize that you've done a decent job making yourself look presentable in a sustainable way and get on with your day... 

What's sustainable about this outfit? 

: the top comes from a shop that supports global education
: the trousers were re-purposed with an old bedsheets
: the necklace was handmade
: the bracelets were handmade
: the rings were handmade
: the earrings were handmade 

#SustainableSunday with Juice Organics...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

It's #SustainableSunday, y'all!  I don't know if you noticed, but last week, back at home, I chopped off about 15" of my mermaid hippie hair and this fresh new cut put me on the search for a natural way to keep it as such.  Well, friends... the stars must have aligned for me in just the right way, because I had an email in my inbox from Juice Organics at just the right time! 

Over the last year, I've gone on an epic search for earth-friendly, natural, chemical-free products to add to my admittedly minimalistic beauty routine.  In this search, I've found lots of products that claim to be natural and work well, but my experience hasn't been that great.  I've found expensive products that make bit promises, but don't deliver.  I've gone down Pinterest wormholes that have turned my kitchen into a laboratory full of other natural products that don't always work the way that other Pinterest users claim they do. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to announce that I've finally come up with a winner! Yes, pals... my new Juice Organics brightening shampoo and conditioner have stolen my heart.  The first thing I did upon receiving them was to check the ingredients list.  The number 1 ingredient: organic juices!  While yes, there are some chemicals in this shampoo, I can actually pronounce them!   I compared their ingredient list to a leading big box "organic" beauty product line (that lists "water" as their number 1 ingredient) and found that Juice Organics takes the cake.  Their packaging is all recyclable and for real... if I could convey the amazing citrus scent of this shampoo through photographs, I would.  It's amazing, refreshing, and it's REAL!  

If you're looking for hair care products that are packed with antioxidants (aloe, coconut, jojoba oil, etc.) to fight free radicals and keep your hair looking amazing, then this is the stuff you need! And lucky for you, Target just picked up their line, so they are easy to find at your favorite store! 


Re-purposing with a purpose...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Oh lala, getting back into the game with a bit of creative re-purposing of fair trade and handmade goodies.  Because I am prepping to move, I've been doing lots of weeding out of the closet (and in general) and I've been trying to keep minimalist principles in mind while doing so.  

If you've seen the Gilmore Girls reboot, you may remember Emily talking about a little book called "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" which basically says that if something doesn't bring you joy, let it go.  I've kind of been operating with that mindset, but I've also added a more functional component to it, so if it isn't useful AND it doesn't bring me joy, it's out.  

That being said, my wardrobe has done quite a bit of shrinking and because I don't like being an outfit repeater, I've challenged myself to get creative, which it turns out, is actually pretty fun! 

I had a FaceTime interview on this particular morning and wanted to wear something that would help me stand out and stick in my interviewer's mind, so this Ikuru Project dress (see it worn as a dress HERE) was an obvious choice!  However, I wanted to put a spin on it, so I tucked it in, turned it into a peplum top, threw a blazer over it and voila! After my interview, I went to lunch with a friend, ditched the blazer and felt ultra chic!  

The greatest part of this outfit is, that the dress was handmade in Mozambique for a company that lives to help women get out of poverty! 

Sustainable life...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

This year has been a royal bugger.  It has.  It definitely could have been worse, but it has most certainly been plagued with roadblocks that I would have loved to avoid.  That being said, during my blog breaks, I've found myself meditating on ways that my life could be different.  I've ended up going in circles quite a few times, but in the last few days (back at my mum's house) I've turned over a new idea.  My life this year has been about surviving.  It's been around breaking out and being on my own.  It's been about really, truly, trying to be a grownup, but in doing all of those grownup things, I've lost all passion.  

And a life without passion, simply isn't ok with me.  The photo up there ^ was noticed in a mad rush to catch the train, but it was just magical enough that I had to stop and snap it... and that's kind of when it hit me.  

While there may not be magic of the Harry Potter variety in this world, there is a certain type of magic that stems directly from doing things about which one is passionate.  While I've loved being able to help kids and spend lots of time hiking and exploring National Parks this year, the little things that used to bring me joy have ceased to do so.  I've lost a lot of direction, and in doing so, have gotten way out of touch with what makes me me.  : the daily savant : used to be something that brought me a ton of joy.  Playing with clothes and having fun with photoshoots was totally sustaining, even during the crazy times.  

These days, something that sustains me is figuring out ways to help the world, but that can't be done unless I've also done what I need to do to help myself.  I guess this will be a place where all aspects of sustainability will be discussed: from fashion to eco-tips to self-preservation, I really want this blog to encompass all aspects of living a sustainable lifestyle! 

#SustainableSunday... sustainable life...

Sunday, July 2, 2017

It's no secret that I've been a bit of an absentee blogger this year.  What can I say?  Life has been intense!  The last three weeks have especially been a whirlwind with (finally) wrapping up the school year as a first-year teacher, zooming out to California to be with my dad during a rather intense surgery for several weeks, SB and I being on the rocks, a friend coming to visit and trying to find a new job and new place to live in the next 5 weeks, I needed a trip home.  For real, I just need to put adulating on hold for a bit.

Today, on the plane, I found that instead of getting caught up in an in-flight movie or taking a nap, I was glued to the window.  Perhaps because on the inside, I am in such turmoil, that I was drawn to the ever-changing landscape down below.  My mixed-up inside matched the natural outside. 

Sustainability has always been a huge part of my life (having a friend stay with me in my one-bed/one-bath apartment showed me that I am pretty darn conservative with everything) and now that so much of my life is in turmoil, I've found myself clinging to the things that give me purpose.  One of those things is my commitment to living as sustainably as possible.  

Throughout this year, I've written quite frequently about making some changes here and including eco-friendly lifestyle tips alongside the sustainable outfit posts and I'm hoping, more than ever, that this will provide some serious purpose to my otherwise totally uncertain current state in life.  

Stay tuned and enjoy these bird's eye view snaps of Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, and Chicago!