spotlight: int’l princess project

international princess project

When we were in Turks and Caicos, I read Corban Addison’s, “A Walk Across The Sun”, a fiction story about two young sisters from India who were tragically sold into the sex trade. This story is actually true though. Human trafficking is taking place in every country across the world, and India is one of the biggest offenders. While I remain passionate about such a magical country that I myself have visited, I’m also aware of the magnitude of its problems – human trafficking being one of the largest. India is considered as the hub of sex trafficking in Asia and it’s estimated that there are more than 3 million women and girls enslaved in the sex trade. Because India is also one of the poorest countries, macro change needs to start on the micro. Helping one woman can multiply to 10, which becomes 50, 100 and so on. I’m super honored to have hooked up with the International Princess Project, whose goal is to do just that. Through the sale of handmade sleep and loungewear called PUNJAMMIES, fashion is used as a vehicle to empower and change lives.

international princess project

“The International Princess Project’s mission is to create pathways to freedom for women escaping the ravages of sex slavery to achieve lives of hope and dignity.” While some women are fortunate enough to find their way out of the sex trade, they are almost always ostracized by their own families due to shame, despite any control they had over their own situations. Shannon Keith, the companies founder, returned home from a trip to India, and after spending much time in the red light districts listening to women discuss their stories first hand, she was inspired, and wanted to help.

international princess project

Shannon began The International Princess Project “which partners with indigenous organizations to establish micro-enterprise sewing centers that offers these women a fresh start and place to heal.” Not only do these centers help nurture these women back to physical and emotional health, but then further provides them with the opportunity to learn sewing skills that will help them earn an above average fair and sustainable wage. With these new skills, the women create quality sleep and loungewear called PUNJAMMIES which is exported to the United States and sold online all over the world. 100% of the proceeds are reinvested into these sewing centers to expand this opportunity to more and more women.

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January is human trafficking awareness month, and every Wednesday throughout, The International Princess Project has initiated the #redlightwednesday movement, a reminder to all of us to think/pray for those still trapped in the red light districts all over the world. This is the last Wednesday of the month, but our awareness should not stop here.

international princess project

Human trafficking IS modern-day slavery, and it must come to an end. The International Princess Project believes that together, we can make this happen. What started with 6 women, has now grown to 150, all of whose lives are forever changed because of this organization. These women now have a new chance at a new life. A fresh start. A small contribution can change lives – believe in the power of making a difference.

international princess project international princess project

I am completely moved, and inspired by this organization, and recognize that collective small efforts are what’s needed for major change. I urge you to check out the emotional video with founder Shannon Keith and Executive Director Julie Wood which explains in full depth the mission of The International Princess Project. And you can pick up a pair of PUMJAMMIES for you or as a gift and get involved by clicking over here to donate to the organization directly. Join me.

photography via paula watts 

weekly finds

weekly finds

Today I’m kicking off a new series called “weekly finds”, which includes my recommendations of things I’ve discovered over the course of the week, be it on the interweb or elsewhere. I’ll share anything from fashion – to articles – to design – to books – to travel ideas, and provide links on where to find it. Be sure to stop by for a weekly dose of goodness that will hopefully give you some interesting food for thought over your weekend ahead. I hope you love!

THE WEEKLY LIST:

1. When I dream about the beach during these cold winter days, I envision myself carrying this The Beach People tote. Be sure to also check out their round beach towels/blankets which are super cool.

2. We haven’t landed on a new apartment yet, but in the meantime I’m thinking of refreshing our bed with some West Elm bedding.

3. Once the temperature turns slightly warmer, I’m going to swap out my black leather high tops for a white version from Converse.

4. The only way I can embrace the menswear inspired trend is if the item has a feminine touch. These Everlane loafers are a perfect combination.

5. This Jennifer Fisher cuff is on my wish list, but in the meantime, I think I’ll grab this cheaper version from Jules Smith or Elizabeth and James.

6. For all you gluten free, dairy free, vegan, wheat free, soy free, egg free, kosher and no refined sugar people, Baby Cakes Bakery has got your name all over it. Y U M ! ! ! !

7. Vintage jeans are always a favorite of mine, and will be huge this Spring. If I was not preggers, I’d have certainly scooped up this awesome pair from H&M. You should!

8. Denim always and forever, but especially for Spring 2015. This Tibi skirt, also on my wish list (if I was not pregnant).

9. I eat avocados daily, and if you do too – this article from Prevention Magazine will validate your decision to do so!

10. I know it’s superstitious to buy stuff for the baby this early, but I couldn’t resist this elephant mobile from Etsy.

11. Nude pumps are on my list, and between the heel height and price, this Joe Fresh style is a keeper.

12. I found THE CUTEST kids clothing website ever, based in LA called Ultra Violet Kids. I’ll be spending lots of time in the coming months in this corner of the interweb. Obsessed.

13. An article on “7 Ways to Maintain Balance this Winter” from Well & Good. Yes please!

14. Just started “The Unspeakable” from Meghan Daum, a personal collection of essays about “the ways that some of life’s most burning issues are considered inappropriate for public or even private discussion.” Meghan dives in and is raw, insightful and will likely validate many of the things that have crossed your mind throughout your life, but have never shared. A must read!

Happy Weekend!

xx jenny

positive change: 14 weeks

baby bump

I consider myself a pretty balanced person and while I engage in healthy habits that include clean eating, mindfulness based practices like therapy and reading a plethora of books on mental and emotional health, I’m not perfect. I don’t exercise, I drink caffeine, I can easily fall down the rabbit hole of anxiety (and sometimes depression) and while meditation is something I’ve dabbled in before, I haven’t incorporated it into my life in a way where it’s become routine. With that being said, since becoming pregnant it’s triggered a strong desire to put more energy into the areas of my life where I felt things were lacking.

This is a time to be strong. Not only to prepare for birth, but to become a healthier person and prepare for motherhood in general. I don’t have children yet, but I do know that the demands of parenting are great and it take intense amounts of energy, patience and strength to stay in balance. I want nothing more then to be a woman who can endure the roller coaster ride of not only pregnancy, but motherhood as well. And with that, I’m making a commitment to get myself to an even steadier and healthier place.

I thought about all of this in my first trimester, but wasn’t able to incorporate any of these new practices. My barely there energy was used for the basics like eating, daily chores and work. And I wasn’t ready either. Now that things are shifting in week 14, I’m slowly beginning to make some change.

On Monday of this week, I started to meditate for ten minutes every morning using an application called Head Space. I’m going through the 10-day trial before committing to the yearly subscription, but so far so good. It has not been easy but I’m sticking with it because there has been so much information on mindfulness-based meditation that confirms its positive impact on your overall health and well-being. A recent study conducted by Harvard University has proven that meditation can actually rebuild the brains gray matter in 8-weeks! Baby boo definitely deserves this small sacrifice, don’t you think?

As far as activity goes, I’m beginning prenatal yoga as well. While I’m going down kicking and screaming, my friend Mika who specializes in prenatal yoga has offered to work with me weekly to help get my body strong and ready over the next 6 months. Another friend Corinne, founder of Birthing Mama Yoga has also sent on her Birthing Mama program which goes from week 14-42, and provides a weekly prenatal yoga video, developmental benchmarks, recipes/nutritional recommendations, self care practices and 6 audio recordings of guided meditations/relaxations. And there is a daily prenatal yoga class offered at Jivamukti which I will get to as well.

I don’t expect to become a super yogi, or a mindfulness-based meditation expert, but like with anything, if not now, then when? Whether you’re expecting a new babe, making change for the new year, or have just decided that you’re ready to embark on a spiritual and emotional journey to holistically heal from the inside out – any of these practices can be for you. I plan on taking baby steps – literally.

I will keep you posted on my progress, and if you have any tips for reducing stress, and increasing overall strength and wellness (be it physical or emotional), please send my way. I would love to hear your suggestions. I’m also looking for additional prenatal classes offered in the Union Square/West or East Village area (aside from Jivamukti) so if you know of any – please, do tell!

Wish me luck!

Have a fantastic and restful weekend.

wardrobe detox and reboot

closet cleanse

January is a time for renewal. It’s the beginning of a new year, and many of us decide to shed negative habits and establish a clean slate. Whether it be a new gym membership, a juice cleanse, losing weight, trying to be more positive, getting a new job, etc. there are many things on our to-do list that we’d like to up the ante on. With that said, in order to make this transition, we also need to rid ourselves of the toxic, excess weight that is holding us down. For some, this may even go as far as our own wardrobes. Have you ever looked inside your closet and thought, “I have too many clothes that I don’t wear, don’t feel good in, and truthfully don’t even like anymore”? It’s a question that haunts all of us when we wake up in the morning and decide to get dressed. Our closets are overflowing with items that just aren’t working anymore, and putting together a look becomes a chore, rather than a pleasure.

At the close of 2014, there was a lot of press on “Closet Cleaning”, and like Marie Condo, author of, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and Jill Martin, contributing Editor on The Today Show, I too can relate to the importance of creating a healthy closet/wardrobe foundation, one that you feel good about, does not overwhelm, can easily get dressed from, and walk away feeling fantastic because of. I recently made a shift in my own closet, because since newly pregnant about 50% of my wardrobe doesn’t fit. It got depressing looking in my closet and having to sift through what would work and what did not. Instead of keeping those items that I know I won’t be wearing for another 6-12 months in prime real estate position, I separated them out and put in a different section so to not be a distraction while getting dressed. Now everything I can wear, and does fit is accessible. Clothes are important and what you wear is meaningful. It doesn’t make you pretentious, topical or even shallow to accept this fact. What we put on our bodies matters and how we present ourselves to the world has a direct relationship to who we are inside. Not feeling good about the collection you are pulling from, can send you down the wrong path and affect your entire day! We’ve all been there.

The goods news is that I am here to help! Through a one-on-one Closet Cleanse, we can move through your closet together and discard the toxic clutter, DETOX, get organized, and set you up with a successful wardrobe that you feel good about. We will ask questions like, “When is the last time you wore this?, How do you feel when you wear this?, Does this item really fit anymore or are you saving it for when you lose/gain weight? What motivated you to buy this?” and evaluate organizational strategies and establish best practices. I will also provide tips and techniques on how to style the “keep items” together that you never even thought of! In the end, you will walk away with a clutter free closet, full of what you love and a new perspective on your wardrobe with tons of possibilities. Some clients even say they feel like they went shopping, even though they haven’t bought a thing! A Closet Cleanse is a cost-effective way to reinvent your existing wardrobe. It’s time to regain control of the abyss that has become your closet, which should be dazzling and not daunting.

I’ve been working with various clients on the Closet Cleanse program for just over a year, and this is what one of them had to say after our time together:

I am nearing 40 and just had my second child. Suffice to say that my body has changed, and before I found Jenny, my closet was a source of stress. Nothing fit right and if I had to get dressed up for something it felt like a crisis. I never felt great leaving the house. With two little kids I didn’t have a lot of time to shop, and when I did I seemed to always bring home the wrong thing. Meeting Jenny was a game changer! To start she asked a lot of questions about my personality and lifestyle, and took time to help me shape a personal style, something I had never done. The closet cleanse we did was amazingly cathartic!  She helped me identify clothes I could let go of, and others, many that had been “lost” in my closet that could be incorporated into my new look. We then went shopping to round it out. I really appreciated that she was able to incorporate reasonably-priced items and plan for bigger purchases once I lose baby weight. I feel great!  I open my closet and can pull together a stylish (or sexy) outfit quickly, and it all feels right for me.

This could be YOU!

Take care of yourself in 2014 and start your year off right with styling yourself from a wardrobe that empowers you. Walk out the door confidentially in the morning with your head held high, in a head-to-toe look that tells the world that you are ready to take it by storm!

For a limited time only, I am offering FREE consultations so hop to it and get in touch with me directly at  jenny@yoursoulstyle.com for inquiries or if you just want to find out more about the service. I look forward to speaking with you, and setting you up for the year ahead and beyond!

image via le fashion

well rounded ny: jumpsuits

homepage

Now that the cats out of the bag and I can talk openly about being pregnant, I’m even more excited to share with you  my contributing posts to Well Rounded NY, the online destination that helps you come to terms (and term) with your pregnancy in the city. I started to write for the site in September before I had even conceived, but now I truly understand the experience and am eager to share my tips with ya’ll along the way! Like, the one this week on jumpsuits which has pretty much been my go-to silhouette the past few months of having to conceal the first few pounds while also staying comfortable and stylish too. I already own the Hatch Cashmere Onesie (which I live in), the Zara Racerback and have a version of the Utility Suit. Head over to Well Rounded NY to shop the full post….

And, a note to you my friends, family and readers…..

While I will continue to cover all of the same content that I have over the past couple of years on Your Soul Style, and have no intentions of becoming a “Mommy Blogger”, I can’t wait to share with you all of the new information that I learn along the way! I grow, and therefore so will Your Soul Style. I already have so much that I want to talk about and am feeling extremely inspired again. I know you all have epic experiences that I am eager to hear about too. Like always, let’s go at it together…..