Friday, November 7, 2014

Our Halloween DIY Costumes!


This year we pretty much threw together super last minute. Pinterest came in handy and as for Donald, well, he just made his costume up out of thin air. It's pretty epic if you ask me. In case you're wondering, I'm a lady out of a comic book and Bailey is an old woman. Her costume was so fun to make.. and we had mostly everything we needed. 


This is my dress - yes, an adult sized dress. It just happen to have this hand drawstring in the middle that ties as tight as you want it to. So, we cinched it right up and clothes pinned the back so that the straps stayed up on her.


I went to the craft store to get gray yarn to make a wig for Bailey, but then I saw these cute bobbin thingamajigs. I thought they would make perfect little rollers for her hair. So, we painted them pink and rolled them up with mini bobby pins.


We added a cardigan, purse, "cane"... and, of course, a tennis ball and she was ready to go!


Oh, and some sandals WITH socks. :)


Dana helped... a lot. And I helped paint her face like the stunning FOX she is. ;)
Hope you're Halloween was fun! What did you dress up as? 


Monday, October 27, 2014

Why you need to know about phthalates...

What are phthalates? 

To prevent being labeled a chatty Cathy, we like to give you information on a NEED-TO-KNOW basis – and in this case, you NEED to know what Phthalates are because they are so commonly used that they are referred to as an “everywhere” chemical. This over-used chemical is what makes plastic flexible, holds color in cosmetics and helps bind fragrance oils together. THIS is where the documentation of phthalates pulls a Run DMC and gets tricky.

Just because your soap smells like your favorite scent of green apple crisp on a fall day at sunset (seriously though, scents give no room for the imagination anymore.. they’re that descriptive) it’s about as unnatural as it smells. Manufacturers can mask the listing of phthalates in delicious smelling products under the broad umbrella (ella, ella eh, eh) of “fragrance”. It’s time for you to know the consequences of a seemingly simple listing in which phthalates is more than likely present.

Why are phthalates harmful?

Phthalates post more of a risk than just not knowing how to properly pronounce such a complicated word (I’m not alone here, right?)  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Falling for the skin benefits of pumpkin!



PUMPKIN – why sell yourself short? You convince so many people into thinking you’re made solely to be cut open and gutted. Sure, you offer seeds that are tasty to toast and eat. You invite children into the opportunity of playing with knives when their parents wouldn’t otherwise let them. You act as d├ęcor, too. But let’s be honest, you go unnoticed next to that pie that is made up of your insides.
You are loved and appreciated pumpkin, and we want to celebrate you year round. Better yet, we want to celebrate you daily by putting you to good use. The only way to do so is not to confine you to a can filled with preservatives – you are worth so much more to us than that. It’s time to break out of Fall and show others what you’re really made of.
Did you know that pumpkin benefits our body most when it is used on our skin? What it is made of is crazy power to exfoliate, brighten, soften, soothe and prevent aging. If you thought you liked pumpkin before, get ready to Fall (no pun intended. Ok, you caught me – maybe a little) in deep love with the plump little fruit you didn’t use on your skin before. The ingredients that comprise our precious pumpkin make it is skin POWERHOUSE. Here’s the method to pumpkin’s madness:

ZINC – Residing in those tasty seeds, it actually helps cure acne by controlling the hormone level and oil production of your skin. (TWO FOR ONE SALE) Zinc also fights inflammation.

FRUIT ENZYMES & ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS – We’re glad these two came to play! They increase cell turnover, and act as a natural exfoliator - which means your skin will be smoother and brighter - resulting in a more even skin tone that won’t throw the color wheel off by figuring out in which color group it belongs.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS & VITAMIN E – Those seeds are at it again! Because of them, your skin’s sebum will be regulated – which is just what oily skin needs to be put into check.

VITAMIN A & VITAMIN C – Prevent signs of aging by boosting your collagen production with these incredible vitamins.  They aid in the softening and soothing of your skin as well. Just like you, your skin should have it’s daily vitamins!

ANTIOXIDANTS – There’s nothing better than having an ingredient actively fighting the free radicals we are exposed to daily in the form of polluted air and environmental toxins. Thanks for acting as a barrier to keep our skin safe, antioxidants! You rock.



See, Pumpkin? That wasn’t so bad. It’s good to come clean and reveal what you are capable of. I don’t think our readers will view you in pie form the same - EVER. AGAIN. Like our very own superhero – Pumpkin is working hard to protect and serve once it hits our skin. Keep on, keeping on Pumpkin. You do your beneficial thang!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Be who you were created to be...


The Creator of the universe created you and I. He has a plan for us. He has a plan for me. Sometimes I get really caught up thinking this life that I'm living is about me. About my family. About my friends. About my happiness. About my business. Then, God showers his grace upon me with a sobering moment of clarity amidst the fogginess of my "self". It's not about me. It's about Him. 

Thank God for that. Because, if it was about me, my life would be a meaningless pile of human efforts added to the trash heap that's already collecting. And, I do mean meaningless. Since we were literally created by the Creator and he loves us and has a plan for us, the only thing that matters is that we are in relationship with him and allowing him to use us for his plan. Because, at the end of the day, God is good. Since he is good, his plans are good.

So, I can trust him. Does that mean only good things will happen to me in my life? Nope. But this life is temporary anyway and he tells us this life will bring trouble. What is good lasts for eternity. So, if I'm suffering through life (like everyone does) and not doing God's good will, what good is my life? But if I'm suffering doing God's will, then my life becomes what it was created to be which will "set the world on fire" making the suffering all the more worth it. The bonus? He gives me things like peace, self-control, gentleness and kindness so it's kind of a win-win.

God, help my heart to be turned toward you, your goodness and your plans. I want the world to know you, to know your goodness, to have the hope and peace only you can bring.

Thanks for joining me on my thought journey today.
XO Amber

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Etsy Design Awards Favorite...


Etsy Design Awards Favorite. 

Harvest Haversack is a beautiful brand that is eco-friendly, sustainable and has high standards without sacrificing design and functionality. I'm so excited for them. They are one of 58 finalists in the Etsy Design Awards and my fave. I hope you'll join in with me to vote for them. It takes two clicks and you could win $250 to boot. Happy voting! Keep reading to learn more about Katie and Harvest Haversack. Honestly... how cute are these? 


Home & Living

Harvest Haversack

Katie

I am a designer and artist. I believe that green is good! Maintaining a strong focus on sustainability and creating something meaningful. Harvest Haversack is a homewares brand with an environmentally responsible conscience, creating unique, quality eco-friendly kitchen accessories. Our quirky but practical kitchen products are handmade in Melbourne, using 100% certified organic cotton and sustainable hemp blend fabric, and handprinted with original designs using eco-friendly inks.

Vote for your chance to WIN a $250 Etsy gift card.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Limerance. Love. & motherhood.


Limerence. It is what we call "falling in love". Well, it may be a little more than that and the definition actually involves behavior based on reciprocated feelings, but that's for another time. Basically, what I'm talking about is that time when we are so infatuated with someone new that we would do anything to be around them. Like when I met my now husband, I would have gone anywhere at any time for a chance to see him. I think I thought that I was "in love". But, back then it really wasn't love at all. It was selfish infatuation. Because I wasn't really sacrificing for the sake of him. When we are infatuated, we are sacrificing for our own benefit so that we can have that "feeling" of love. True love starts when limerence fades. When the butterflies are fewer and farther between. We don't "fall out of love". We "fall out of infatuation" and that's when we really have the opportunity to choose to love someone. To sacrifice when we don't get a feeling out of it. With no ulterior motives.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Does love sound like a feeling? It sounds more like sacrifice and hard work to me. But like most hard work, there's payoff.

The difference with motherhood, is that I was in love from the start, even alongside infatuation. I sacrifice daily for her and would go to the ends of the earth for her. I stare at her and adore every expression and discovery she makes. But, I feel like motherhood has finally set in. The newness is fading and I'm actually starting to feel like a mom. Some days it's hard to be patient and persevere, but my love for her keeps growing and The Lord gives me strength.


Although, there are still those days, like today. I have a glorious moment of disbelief. I think to myself "i have a daughter..." and once again I get that feeling that reminds me that I was once utterly infatuated. I look at her and can't believe half of my husband and half of me is wrapped up into one little beautiful person staring back at me. I get butterflies in my tummy and giggles that bubble up and out of my mouth as I sink into the present moment.


Here's to love.
Here's to motherhood.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Peach Cobbler Pie, an ode to Sheila.

My husband loves peach cobbler. Like, really, really loves it.


I never had the pleasure of meeting my mother in law because she passed away before I met my husband. There are so many moments I've wanted to share with this incredible woman whom I've never met but feel like I know somehow. I would have wanted her to give me the 3rd degree when her son brought me over to meet her for the first time. I would have wanted her to be at our wedding giving a speech only a mother can and taking way too many pictures. I would have wanted her to hold Bailey in her arms for the first time and see her son stare back at her through her granddaughter's eyes. I would have wanted to do crafty things with her... Donald tells me we have that in common. I wish we could have spent holidays cooking together. When Donald talks about his mom's cooking, it isn't long before he'll bring up her peach cobbler. He raves about it and how I would love to have helped her in the kitchen following along to her recipe. I've made a few different recipes trying to capture his favorite dessert pastime with little success. But as silly as it sounds, that recipe is one thing I wish I had so that I could make something for him that so much reminds him of her.

There are so many moments I would love to have, but would never take the opportunity even if I could. Because she's in a far better place, in paradise, in the presence of Jesus who dries every tear and far surpasses any joy we can have on this earth. I'll still try new cobbler and pie recipes because there's even joy in the attempt of it. Although I have a feeling no peach cobbler I could ever make will be quite the same. 

Here's my latest and it was really amazing (but not quite Sheila's). Thank you, Sheila, for inspiring me through pie making even though you're not here, I feel like it brings us closer... and I'm doing my best to love your son and granddaughter. ;)

Love,
Your daughter in law,
Amber


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bambu Earth travels to Africa!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a friend who was headed to Africa for a missions trip. Her team leader was looking for donations so they could throw a spa party for the CHE leaders. These amazing women who donate their time to the community were treated to manis, facials and relaxation. What an amazing way to thank them and show them the love of Jesus!

The wonderful women of CHE dressed in their robes

Manis!

We are God's workmanship

Enjoying our Pumpkin Oatmeal Facial Mask - PS, can you spot our Unrefined Shea Butter?!

Bambu Earth Skincare
Are you leading a team on missions and want to treat some of your leaders or communities to a spa retreat? Contact us!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Stopping to Eat the Sand.

Everyday I wake up next to this little bundle of joy is a blessing. I can't describe the feeling I get when I look at her and watch her learn, grow and discover right before my eyes. Trust me, I've tried to describe it to my husband and it only mildly gives it justice. It's magical how the simple things like a trip to the park can be so filled with love, life and laughter. It gives me a deeper understanding of God's vast love.






Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Our Visit to the Anaheim Packing House

This weekend we visited the Anaheim Packing House which is a collection of artisan restaurants and gourmet food selections. What a gem. I'll let the photos do the talking. 











Crowdfunding 101 - What is crowdfunding and how does it work?

You've heard a bit of buzz around crowdfunding. Maybe you've heard about Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Maybe someone has asked you to back their project. But you ask yourself what exactly is it? Is it charity? Is it some kind of donation? Do I get something in return? 

Maybe you've never heard those terms and crowdfunding is brand spankin new to you. In either case, I've put together an infographic that should help you out. Here I break it down and make it really simple for you to get the concept of crowdfunding, it's definition and how it helps businesses and you. 

In a nutshell, crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people. A few people give a little money to raise a lot of money and reach a common goal. That goal can be anything from making a movie, to opening a store, to manufacturing an invention! The crowdfunding model I outline in the graphic below explains a rewards based model also. Sites like Kickstarter allow the project creator to offer rewards levels backers can choose from. This means if you back a project, you also get some cool stuff in return. On top of that, you get to be a part of some new venture or project that you might have a passion for. 

In my graphic below, I've used our Kickstarter campaign to give you an example of how you and the project creator benefits. 


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kickstarter Launched!

We have just launched our first Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to open a local retail store! I hope you'll join us in backing our project and spreading the word!