Beautiful Basic Invites

Basic Invites
I’m a tad obsessed with stationery.  My friend and I often write letters back and forth between Virginia and California. I really enjoy the formality of paper cards, letters and invites. There is something so special and exciting about receiving these goodies in the mail. I keep my favorite cards in a box at home – little mementos of friendship.

When Basic Invites approached me, I was amazed by their gorgeous stationery selection. Basic Invites is one of the few sites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you decide on a design, you can change the color of any tiny detail you want – 180 different color options! How cool is that? In the past, I’ve spent hours scouring the internet trying to find that perfect color invite to match the look feel of a party… especially for wedding invitations and showers. A common question I was asked when planning our wedding was, “What are your wedding colors?” Basic Invites makes matching your invitation colors very easy for you.
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Basic Invites also lets you print a sample of your actual invitation so you can see exactly how it will look and feel before you commit to ordering a certain paper quality and multiple invitations. Having a real sample in your hands before you order will save you time and money (no mistakes)!
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They have 40 Different Colors of Envelopes – Basic Invite is just as colorful with their envelopes as they are with invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors. All of their envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed without licking a single one.
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Each of their wedding invitations is part of a set. You can find everything from affordable save the dates to wedding invitationsenclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs and even matching thank you cards!
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Basic Invites | A Bit of Bees Knees
Basic Invites is your one stop shop for all your wedding paper necessities as well as baby shower invitations, birth announcements, meal planners, holiday cards, recipe cards and much more.

Check them out on social media too!
Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter


DIY Magnolia Wreath

DIY Magnolia Wreath
With the holiday season approaching I thought a magnolia wreath would look nice on our front door. It’s has a classic look and you can leave it up year round (maybe spruce it up for Christmas with some pine cones and red ribbon, but that’s about it). I’ve had my eye on a few different styles for years, but I could never find a wreath that was affordable. Most of the wreaths were around $150+! No way José… so I made my own DIY magnolia wreath for a fraction of the price. I found some bendable twig wire at Shinoda’s (decor/design warehouse) along with some faux magnolia leaves. I bet you can find supplies at a Michael’s craft store or Hobby Lobby too – whatever craft stores are in your area.

What you’ll need:
Faux Magnolia Leaves (about 50-60 leaves)
Twig wire (about 30ft)
Bendable thin wire

Directions:
-Unravel twig wire and braid/twist into a hoop shape
-Pull the leaves off the stem and secure them onto the twig hoop with a small piece of wire

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It’s as easy as that!
A bit tedious, but well worth the effort in savings!

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Jewelry for a Good Cause By Soothi

Soothi
When Krit, the creator of Soothi Jewelry approached me for a collaboration, I couldn’t pass it up. I love learning about companies that empower women and give back to their community. Soothi is all about natural yoga inspired jewelry made from coconut shells, sandalwood and such. 5% of earnings are donated to Help Animals India to save puppies as well as providing flexible and safe work opportunities to disenfranchised women.

“Women who come from poor families, often don’t have access to education and means to gain financial independence. They are often also from conservative families that don’t allow for women to work. It’s a patriarchy. Since Soothi partners with a non-for-profit they are able to position themselves as a community center where women can come to learn. Within this center they offer work opportunities, along with education opportunities. They also offer total flexibility for these women, so they can come and go as their family situation allows.”-Krit Creator & Curator

Soothi’s Ethos:
All the wealth in the world can’t help people, if people are not taught to help themselves. With Soothi, we try to educate people, so that they may learn to be self-sufficient. By providing an approachable and encouraging work environment, we empower women and underprivileged artists. Offering opportunities to achieve financial stability and self-reliance can help individuals feel secure and content. It all leads to a sense of stability, which eventually helps move society forward.

I traveled to India a few months back — witnessing this country first hand makes me thankful for companies like Soothi who provide healthy work environments for women and artisans in India. Way to go Soothi!

Soothi
Yoga Zen Braclet & Amethyst Mala
Soothi
Rudraksha & Sandalwood Mala
Soothi
Pure Earth Teal Mala & White Tassel Bracelet Set
SoothiIndia


Interview with Ecohabitude

I’ve been working with the wonderful people at Ecohabitude for the past month as a guest pinner for their eco-friendly weddings board on Pinterest. Anna and Tatyana interviewed me for a little meet and greet for their website and blog. Head over to their website to find green, eco-friendly and socially responsible brands and products. They’re pretty awesome! Here is a copy of our fun interview and some links to my  curating project highlighting a few of their fabulous products.

How did you get into blogging and how do you pick your topics?

I first started blogging as a way to share bits and pieces of my life, travel, projects and recipes – basically a journal of sorts where I could savor and celebrate all the good stuff that makes me smile.

When it comes to picking topics, I usually write about things that we (my husband Daniel and I) are up to, where we recently traveled or a recipe that I wanted to share. Every once in a while I will post DIY projects for our home or a topic relevant to the time of year. I just let the topics come naturally…

What tips do you have for someone who is trying to make lifestyle changes so that they are more socially conscious and eco-friendly?

A few ideas you can start with are conserving water, driving less and walking more, turning off the lights when you leave the room, buying recycled products, eating locally grown produce, creating less waste, planting more trees, using less toxic chemicals etc. Live with a greater awareness of the resources that you use in your daily life. Shop for socially conscious products (here on Ecohabitude) and brands that are eco-friendly. Ultimately, when you are mindful about the way you live, everything will benefit from it.

Just like “Everybody Wang Chung tonight!” what action would your name be if it were a verb?

Ha-ha. I love that song by the way…

Hmmmm, it’s a bit difficult to describe myself as a verb, but I’ll take a crack at it. The verb “Create” is pretty accurate to who I am and what I love doing. Whether it’s creating memories, relationships, recipes or projects, I like to make things. The process of creating is beautiful to me. It’s my chance to leave a mark on this world when I create something.

What’s currently at the top of your lust list and why? 

Ooooh a lust list! I have so many! Can I share a few?

Beech Backpack A British Association for Fair Trade shop, handmade, recycled leather (factory offcut) backpack that supplies 60 Indian families with jobs.  All tailors are paid a fair commission and work from home. Compensation for their machinery, tools and electricity is provided. This company does not use any child, elderly or forced labor. ← I love knowing that the items I buy come from a company that treats their employees fairly and supports a community of craftsmen. This looks like the perfect backpack for more adventuring! Love those pockets!

Solid Shea Butter bars are so silky and moisturizing. I have dry skin so it’s important to keep moisturized. I like natural lotions and butters. “Whatever sits on your skin, gets in” so natural products are best.

Eno Hammock I’ve been drooling over this hammock for quite awhile. Light and compact enough for backpacking, it’s the ultimate access-pass to relaxation and has plenty of room for 2 and a tree-friendly hammock suspension system. I’d love to take this with me on our next camping trip.

Black Pepper Essential Oil spicy, warm and soothing! Black pepper essential oil also has a high concentration of minerals and vitamins (fabulous for cooking too).

Kai Perfume Oil an intoxicating scent of gardenia wrapped in white exotics made with essential oils in a convenient and easy to use roll-on vial.  It’s paraben, sulfate, phthalate, phosphate, gluten and cruelty free! My go-to scent that I currently ran out of! It’s delicious! I get a compliment every time I wear it. Smells like a tropical rain forest in bloom!

If money were no object, what would you be doing with your life?

Traveling the world, as a photo journalist/chef sort of less-foul-mouthed Anthony Bourdain or Globe Trekker. I love learning about the world we live in, people, different cultures, relationships, food, ways of life etc. It all fascinates me! I think we have a lot to learn from each other.

What’s your favorite line from any movie?

OK it’s a bit long, but stay with me…this one is so good.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same; there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” – Benjamin Button 2008

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Vintage Turkish Rugs ETSY Round-up {Best Deals}

Vintage Turkish Rug Collection
Vintage Rug Shops
I have been a tad kooky with my search for a kitchen rug lately. I may have spent the last two months scouring the internet for the best rugs/prices…
It all started when I walked into a local shop to check out some Turkish rugs – found some beauties and inquired about their prices. What!? $3,000 for a small runner!? No joke, I found the same one online for $250. That’s when my nightly ETSY searches began…
You guys get to reap the rewards of my late nights! Here is a super awesome list of some fabulous shops with beautiful antique Turkish rugs. They’ll add a bit of character and color to your home.

#1. I’d suggest you start with Salaberna. I bought my rug through them and they have wonderful prices compared to other shops. Mustafa and Fatma are a pleasure to work with, very prompt and reply to emails usually within a few hours (<– super humans that don’t sleep). They shipped my rug all the way from Turkey in 3 days before I even paid them. Very trustworthy. It came neatly packaged in a plastic bundle. The carpet was clean and ready for my home! Mustafa even deducted the cost of my bank transfer fee from the cost of the rug. So nice! Safe and reliable.

#2 I’m drooling over Oldvinshop. Susan is very nice and her selection of vintage rugs is fantastic. I originally bought my first Oushak rug from her (using Paypal), but it ended up getting lost in the mail. She felt so bad – completely refunded me and offered a 30% discount and free shipping for next time. Very nice. I really like her style of rugs…she has the best colors and I can’t wait to give her shop another try. + She has a 5 star review from lots of buyers, which makes me feel a bit more comfortable when buying overseas items.

The above recommendations ^ are shops that I’ve had personal experience with, but here are a list of other promising shops (as pictured). They’ve got lots of gems to be discovered! –>

Salaberna, Oldvinshop, Khalkedonkilims, Importedrugs, Splendidrugs, Cappadociacarpetrug, Oscarbazaar, Dreamhousetaos

DJ from Imortedrugs (one of the US based ETSY shops) is offering 10% off for A Bit of Bees Knees readers! Just enter  “TENOFF” when purchasing. Thank you!

Be sure to ask your seller if there are any deals or discounts at the time of purchasing. Every shop I contacted gave me a discount of some kind. It doesn’t hurt to ask, right? Also, look over their payment and shipping policies – find shops that will give you a refund if you don’t like your rug. Look for shops with high ratings and reviews.

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If you want to continue the search on your own, these key words will get you to the right place.
Oushak Rug, Anatolian Rug, Kilim Rug, Turkish Rug, Area Rug, Runner Rug etc.

and a little rug inspiration…

  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
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  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs
  • Vintage Turkish Rugs

Pictures in gallery: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20, 21, 22