17 December 2016

Pop-Up Shop: Striped Pillows


I just had these pillows made for you. And I cannot keep my eyes off of them!!

They are the brightest spot in this house right now and I just smile inside every time I look at them.

And that's why I'm going to call them Color Therapy Pillows.

Because this spark of happiness is real, people. 

This is just the pillow to get you through the rest of winter.





I got the striped fabric from an indigenous community in Ecuador. The women and girls wear a piece of this striped fabric wrapped around their waist, for a skirt. And they literally weave this fabric by hand with a wooden loom. Could these pillows get any cooler? Also, the fabric is thick and smooth to touch.


The pillows were sewn by a professional workroom in Cuenca. The zipper is hidden and the backside is white upholstery fabric.

The pillows look super modern and will add THE BEST pop of color to any room.




I love this fabric so much I had planned to use it in my own house before I thought of doing these pop-ups. But, ANYTHING FOR REFUGEES RIGHT NOW!!! I'd sell you my vintage yellow chairs if I could.

(2) PILLOW COVERS AVAILABLE

Price: $95 each

Size: 17 1/2" x 17 1/2

Delivery: $12.

Included: Pillow cover only. Inner cushion not included. Recommended cushion size: 20"x20" (it's great if the pillow is slightly larger than the actual pillow cover.) Inner Cushions Available at IKEA.

Shipping: I will be sending these late January from the U.S., instead of sending from Ecuador. Thanks for your patience!

To Claim It: Write SOLD in the comments. Send $107 immediately to mara@ablogaboutlove (dot) com via Paypal. Please include your shipping address in the Paypal notes. Thank you!

***This sale is part of our #HolidayServiceProject. By purchasing, you 
allow 100% of the profit to be given to Lifting Hands International 
on behalf of the Serres Refugee Camp in northern Greece. If you'd like to 
join in, raise or donate $100 (or any amount) by Dec. 25th to help keep refugees warm 
and fed this winter. This organization is doing work on the ground with hundreds of volunteers. The founder is the only paid employee and she makes less than $20k a year. Your funds will go to the people who need it the most.***


-------------------

REMINDER...



Provo, UT - 2/11

Atlanta, GA - 4/29

Come and have an experience that will be healing to your soul. Give yourself an incredible boost for having the life you desire in 2017. This is exactly the kind of event I once needed myself. I'm so honored and humbled to provide this for you. 





12 December 2016

The Time We Ate A Pig In The Andes



One of our favorite people in Ecuador is Rodrigo (above). He is a leader in his indigenous Quechua community. And he's dedicated much of his time and life to continuing traditions among the Quechua people. 

Rodrigo speaks English perfectly, so he's been able to work as a local guide for many English speaking people. We've been fortunate to be able to see Rodrigo a few times a year, as he works as our guide at Body+Soul Camp. 

For the last retreat, he picked Danny and I up at the airport, which is always a treat as we get to chat with him for the next 1.5 hours until we make it to the lodge and hear about all his latest endeavors and local happenings. Though this time, he asked us if we wanted to go have "fritada" with his family. It turns out we didn't exactly know what it meant to have "fritada." But we were SO touched by this unbelievably kind invitation!

We drove many miles up higher in the mountains to the home where Rodrigo grew up. His mother still lives there.

We walked into the kitchen and saw this...a full blown fire next to the kitchen sink. And corn drying overhead. 


The women were working away and chopped meat and cooked food for hours in HUGE caldrons on the fire. All the women were in skirts. The dogs watched every move. 

(Danny played wooden tops with the kids, a super popular game here.) 



Abuelita stirred the pot with a stick. (Check out the strength of her arms.) 


And she chopped meat with a machete. Even the dog was standing back. 

(I was holding the camera just behind her, dodging flying bits.)


Everyone there was sooo enjoying eating the freshly cooked rolls of pig skin. 

These doggies sure wanted some, too... 


This guy could wrap the top with string in seconds. 


Cousins.

Technology.


Mote is one of the favorite dishes among Ecuadorians. This mote was likely retrieved from the dried corn hanging above. 


After all of the family and guests were served in the living room, the Abuelitas finally sat down in the kitchen to eat their meal. I stayed with them as it was so cozy next to the fire. 


I took a picture of one of the main cooks and then she said, wait, wait...


Apron off. Indigenous clothing and gorgeous hair piece now featured.


I noticed some of the doggies had some blood on them. And then I looked up...


Dinner.


We're deeply grateful to Rodrigo and his family for sharing this tradition with us. They prepare a big fried pork meal like this for special occasions. And it was, indeed, so special for us. It was actually one of the most authentic Ecuadorian experiences we've had to date. 

Mara

P.S. If you ever need a guide in Ecuador, absolutely email Rodrigo Flores. He can be your driver and guide in the Otavalo / Cotacachi / Peguche / Intag area. 

09 December 2016

Pop-Up Shop: The Sig Sig Bags

Todays' pop-up is really special...

We once visited a women's co-op of weavers in a very small town in Ecuador called Sig Sig. And I was just elated when the guide told us that 100% of the workers are women. We got to tour their workshop and see where they dry palm leaves and create extremely well-made Panama hats and bags with their hands. 

We thought it would be amazing to get some bags woven for you all (right?). So we contacted the women by phone and sent them a drawing of a bag... 

They made a sample bag for us in less than a week and even said they'd bring it into the city of Cuenca. They requested that we meet them on the steps of the bank. 

And this is what we saw when we arrived....


It turns out the woman weaving the hat is the President of the company and the other woman is the Secretary, who took notes while we all spoke. They were SO kind and cheerful. We asked if they could help with shipping to the U.S. and they said yes, in fact earlier that day they had shipped 800 hats to the U.S. Ok, these women are utter rockstars in my book.

Here is The Circle Bag we had them make for us.... and I must say, I just adore it

In two days while walking around Cuenca, I've had THREE women stop to say they love the bag. That hasn't ever happened here. I think the women here know their weaving, and they know this round shape is new to the scene. :)

The Circle Bag - 3 Available
Update: This style already sold-out. Though leave a comment if you want to be put on a list for the future...



Today we were completely spoiled and got to visit the spa with our best friends here in Cuenca (they're a couple from Utah that moved here with their two daughters - and we just can't get enough of our epic conversations.) 

It was a dream to take my new bag to the spa and it worked out perfectly as a carry-all.

This is what I put in it today:

-Water Bottles (we add lime to our water which is the most refreshing thing to drink in the sun or after the sauna.)
-Face Oil w/ plant-based sun protection properties 
-Essential Oils for aromatherapy in the Sauna & Laying in the Sun: Bergamot, Arborvitae, Passion (contact me if you want to get wholesale prices.)
-Sunglasses
-Cell Phone
-Laptop - for doing some work, reading, or writing (though, um...it was so nice to talk with our friends that I never got to the computer.)

This Circle Tote is extremely sturdy and not flimsy/fragile at all like many straw/raffia/grass type bags. The palm leaves this is woven with are crazy strong. It seems I could carry three bricks around in it and the thing would still hold up. 




These weavers, the savvy business ladies that they are, also brought a few other bags to see if they could entice me. And well, they did. And so we actually have THREE bags to choose from today. Truth be told, there was a fourth bag, but it got sold to a passerby before I could take a photo of it. But here are these two beauties...

The Fringe Top Bag - 3 Available 2 Available



The Black & White Bag - 3 Available 
Update: This style already sold-out. Though leave a comment if you want to be put on a list for the future...



These are all extremely well made. I know you'll just LOVE them.

Price for each bag: $79

Shipping: $15

Delivery: The bags will take 1-2 weeks to make, depending on how many people want one. But shipping will take a little longer. Instead of sending them individually from Ecuador, I may send several of them together to the States. So thanks for your patience. We'll get you the bag as soon as we can. I should have an update on the estimated shipping in the next few days, so you can inquire about that if needed.

To Claim It: Write SOLD in the comments and indicate which bag you want (Round, Fringe Top, or Black & White). Send payment immediately to mara@ablogaboutlove (dot) com via Paypal. Please include your shipping address in the Paypal notes. Thank you!

New Info.: I'm considering opening a small shop. If these sell-out for the #HolidayServiceProject, still leave your name below and I'll be working away to get you a bag!

I simply can't wait for you to enjoy one of these bags from these amazing women!

***This sale is part of our #HolidayServiceProject. By purchasing, you 
allow 100% of the profit to be given to Lifting Hands International 
on behalf of the Serres Refugee Camp in northern Greece. Stay tuned for 
future Pop-Up Shops in the coming days and weeks.***

REMINDER...




Provo, UT - 2/11

Atlanta, GA - 4/29

Come and have an experience that will be healing to your soul. Give yourself an incredible boost for having the life you desire in 2017. This is exactly the kind of event I once needed myself. I'm so honored and humbled to provide this for you. 

SaveSaveSaveSave

07 December 2016

Pop-Up Shop: The Mara Bag


Today I have for sale one of my favorite items I've ever owned.  :) 

You could say I'm very excited to post this. 










The Mara Bag - (3) Available

Price: $150

We had this bag made by a local leather craftsman here in Cuenca, who makes everything by hand in his workshop. We were very pleased with his work! The leather is thick and really, this bag should last for years and years, if not a lifetime. The bag can actually hold a lot! I am always shocked at how much I can fit in there comfortably. Also, the leather is natural and will likely darken and age over time. This is an incomparable, timeless statement piece.

Shipping: $15. Delivery should be approximately within 2-4 weeks. (Earlier orders will ship sooner. Also, the 2-4 weeks is an estimate. Due to the international shipping, I won't be able to guarantee the time of arrival unless you wanted to pay for expedited shipping, though the cost would be very high.)

To Claim It: Write SOLD in the comments. Send payment immediately to mara@ablogaboutlove (dot) com via Paypal. Please include your shipping address in the Paypal notes. Thank you!!

***This sale is part of our #HolidayServiceProject. By purchasing, you 
allow 100% of the profit to be given to Lifting Hands International 
on behalf of the Serres Refugee Camp in northern Greece. Stay tuned for 
future Pop-Up Shops in the coming days and weeks before Christmas.***


02 December 2016

Pop-Up Shop: Nesting Baskets

Hello from Ecuador -

Danny is making us sopes for lunch, the sun is shining, and we have a roof over head. Feeling super grateful and also very aware that many in our world right now are trying to survive in tents in the winter.

Today I have more hand made baskets for sale! 100% of the profits will go to help refugee families in Greece. 

These baskets come from a newly discovered shop that highlights many of the extra-skilled craftswomen in the area - and the shop is dedicated to fair trade practices. Very cool.

These baskets are a little different - they are matching nesting basket sets!

And the colors are just divine, don't you think? I just love these.

Set #1: Bright Red + Black




(The accurate colors are above.... the photo below doesn't show the brightness of the red. Sorry about that!)




Set #2: Teal + Magenta






Set #3: Magenta + Navy




Set #4: Pink + Purple + Gray



(4) Sets of Baskets Are For Sale.

Price for Set #1:  $45 (for five baskets)

Price for Set #2, #3, #4:  $35 (for three baskets)

Size: The larger baskets are approximately 5 1/2" x 3".

Shipping: $15. Delivery should be within 2 weeks.

To Claim It: Write SOLD in the comments and indicate which Set # you want. Send payment immediately to mara@ablogaboutlove (dot) com via Paypal. Please include your shipping address in the notes. Thank you!!

***This sale is part of our #HolidayServiceProject. By purchasing, you 
allow 100% of the profit to be given to Lifting Hands International 
on behalf of the Serres Refugee Camp in northern Greece. Stay tuned for 
future Pop-Up Shops in the coming days and weeks.***


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