August Review: This Blog is Growing!

 

Gorgeous & Green Weddings

It’s hard to believe that August is over!  School starts tomorrow for Miles and as much as we are both looking forward to it, I’ll miss having him around during the day.  Over the summer, I’ve been focusing on changes that are coming to the blog in fall.  I’m really excited about some of the partnerships and content coming up.  Just for fun, today I’m updating you on some of the neat things that happened on the blog in August.

Summer is typically slow season on blogs, but August was the biggest month in terms of readership, ever – not only since switching to the new format, but including the 5 prior years when I was blogging primarily about weddings.  It seems that the search engines have started to direct people to the blog, and having a little blog be found in the mass amount of search results is harder than it may seem.  I also made my first 10 dollars from the blog – not a huge amount of money, but definitely a needed encouragement to keep writing!  It’s been a great month, and now I’m even more excited for the rest of the changes that are coming!

For September, I’ll be adding more sidebar ads (in addition to the ones that are already there), all from companies I have mentioned before on the blog, that I use and love.  Posts are in the works about how business owners started their sustainable businesses, and some research I’ve been doing on a few stores about to open here in Winnipeg.  It’s going to be a good month!

In case you missed them, the big posts of August were:

Back to School: College Edition

Eco-Friendly School Supplies: Part 1

Eco-Friendly School Supplies: Part 2

Sustainable Fashion: Wedding Edition

Why We Live Without a Car

Organic Face Care & Makeup

See you tomorrow!

Fair-ly Newsworthy

I never want this blog to read as an advertisement, or convince people to buy things they don’t need, but rather to give suggestions of great options if you are planning to buy something anyway.  On that note, some of my favourite companies have come out with their fall collections.  Here they are:

31 Bits (jewelry)

Raven & Lily (clothes, jewelry, bags & notebooks)

Everlane (clothes & bags) has new fall colours.

People Tree (clothes & jewelry)

 Soko (jewelry)

Back to School: College Edition

college

This is the last installment of the Back-to-School series, and it’s geared for college students.  You can check out the post on eco-friendly school supplies here, and lunch kits and backpacks here.  If you’re starting college this year, here are a few things you may need:

1. A great notebook and other school supplies from Green Apple Supply.

2. A stylish and simple backpack from Stone & Cloth.

3. Everlane is the place to shop for ethically made basics.

4. A great mug from Ten Thousand Villages for all that coffee you’ll need to drink.

5. A smart phone dock that doubles as an alarm clock.

6. Casual sneakers to get you around campus.  I’ve been eyeing these ones from Ethletic for a while.

A Knitting Vacation (Yep, I Said Knitting)

Knitting Retreat

Just after I found out I was pregnant, I joined a knitting club.  A local photographer posted she was starting a club on facebook, and I had recently told my husband I needed to find a hobby outside our home to minimize the guilt I felt for knitting or reading when there were things to do (and let’s be real, there are always things to do).  So I was excited to get out and knit with some lovely ladies, and over time this group has become more than I signed up for.  The ladies have been there one morning every other week through pregnancy, having a baby and ending a business.  They offer little advice and a lot of support.  I am by far the least accomplished and most distracted knitter, but even if nothing gets done it is fun to sit and talk.

Patty, who started the club hosted us at her cabin for two nights (I stayed for one).  It was great to get away without the kids for a full 24 hours, knit, chat, eat fantastic food, drink and watch movies.  The pictures above are (clockwise, starting with the big one): 3 of the 4 of us who could make it smiling at something – maybe a knitting joke or Keanu Reeves’ acting?, Patty and one of her adorable dogs, what she calls a mistake (I would have been thrilled if that was the only mistake in my piece), my pattern options up on the tv while the ladies helped me decide which one to choose, and Teri with her hands and lap full.

And if you’re thinking that I’ve written a lot of personal posts lately, you’re right.  I have some great upgrades coming to the blog in fall, including lots of new posts on living a fair and simple life.  Currently, I’m looking for local, eco-friendly and fair trade businesses that might be interested in some free advertising, and people who might want to talk about ethical investing.  If you’re interested (or know someone who might be), please email me at jesswithaflourish(at)gmail.com – I would love to talk with you!

Fair-ly Newsworthy

Justice Quote

Everywhere I’ve gone this week, people have been talking about tragedies – everything from the Israel-Gaza conflict to what is going on in Ferguson, ISIS and James Foley and Tina Fontaine.  It’s been a heavy week.  I was going to link to more reading on these topics, and then I wondered if you might feel the same as I do – a bit beaten down, pessimistic, and heartbroken.  In a week like this, maybe we need some good news.  Here are a few easy reads on a Friday afternoon (I just realized they’re all food-related.  Maybe it’s lunch time):

I’m all for a brand new fair trade chocolate company.

The Farmers’ Feast (poster to your right) is one of my favourite events of the season.

This week I placed my second order with My Farmers’ Market and loved the produce box (and the free delivery)!

I’m not much of a baker but this flourless chocolate torte looks so good I might have to give it a try.

This week my husband and I celebrated 9 years of marriage, and I walked in the door to find fair trade roses from  Generation Green at the Forks and fair trade wine from Fenton’s.  Great way to start year number 10!