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
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Girls Trip to Catalina Island

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Our friend from Oregon was flying down to visit and she wanted to go to Catalina Island, so we made a girls trip of it. Four ladies and one beautiful day in Catalina. Most people stay for the weekend, but we just wanted a quick day on the island. Here are some pictures and a clip from our 6 hours in Avalon.
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Scoops Ice Cream – A yummy homemade gelato shop. I ordered toasted almond coconut. They have some fantastic flavors like rose petal raspberry, salted pretzel, maple toasted walnut, kahlua espresso etc. A bit pricey for a single scoop ($5), but hey you’re on the island. I think it’s better than Big Olafs Ice Cream (a childhood fav) down the street…they need to step up their game.
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^^^A fun sub ride and a stop at Luau Larry’s – This place is hilarious. It’s a fun little dive tiki bar on Crescent Avenue. I’d suggest going here for a drink! I ordered a Catalina classic – Buffalo Milk and the other ladies ordered Wiki Wackers. If you order a Wiki it comes with a fabulous palm hat that is yours to keep. You must wear the hat while you drink. Too funny. It’s great people watching here -a bit wild and packed, but very entertaining.
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^After our drinks we walked down to Descanso Beach Club on the other side of Avalon. We found a spot on the big lawn relaxed, then headed back to the dock to be picked up by the flyer. All in all it was a fun day.
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Little Saigon Night Market

Asian Night Market
Oh summer nights, how I love you. Especially Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays… because the Asian Garden Mall in Westminster CA has a summer weekend night market with the yummiest food. If I ever feel the travel bug and can’t whisk away, I’ll explore a neighborhood nearby – new faces, new food, new culture. It’s just what I love. Little Saigon in Westminster is one of my favorite places. It’s a wild night pack full strange Karaoke, adventurous eats and exciting crowds!
Asian Night Market
Little Saigon Night Market  Little Saigon Night Market
Nuoc Mia is my fave! Fresh sugarcane juice… It’s delicious, nutritious and alkalizing. It has unexpected health benefits – loaded with calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. It also contains iron and vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6, along with a high concentration of antioxidants. It has a low Glycemic Index = a steady release of energy without crashing! It promotes healthy skin, hair and nails + tastes amazing! I like to blend it with green kumquats! Mmmmmmm
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Grab a chair! Any chair!
Little Saigon Night Market
Grilled prawns, squid and sweet corn!


Idaho

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We spent a weekend in beautiful Idaho with beautiful people. I air is so sweet and silent. It’s very peaceful here.

“All that I have seen teaches me
to trust the Creator for all that I have not seen.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Kolkata and a Beautiful Indian Wedding

Kolkata, India
Daniel and I were invited to attend a friends wedding in India. Our friend John met Avantika here in the states, feel in love and decided to have a traditional Marwari wedding at Avantika’s family home in Kolkata. It was spectacular – a two week celebration! We flew into Delhi a week or so before the wedding to explore the city, the Taj Mahal in Agra, Kerala in the south and then finished our last week in Kolkata for the Grams-Jalan wedding hurrah! We stayed for the first part of the wedding and then the party moved on to Assam to continue the celebration at their tea plantation.
We arrived at the airport after spending time in Kerala where we were greeted by a friendly driver for the Jalan’s (that’s how they roll over here – you come for a visit and you are taken care of from the moment you step off the plane). I’m not going to lie, after 2 week of figuring out India on our own, it was relaxing to be with local friends. What a warm welcome! I loved watching all of that Kolkata commotion – the constant beeping of cars, cows moseying through traffic, roadside shaving stalls and hawkers…it was exhilarating! Just millions of people living life and doin their thing. Here are some scenes from Kolkata
Kolkata, India
Kolkata, India
Need a shave? Right here, right now? Sit on down. That’ll cost you a whopping 8 cents. Smooth as butter.
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^^^Our trip to New Market to find Sarees and Kurtas for the wedding. Our new friend Sean is being persuaded into buying pretty things he doesn’t need. If you ever need a fast and affordable saree, check out New Market in Kolkata.
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Our theme song for driving in #India 😂 🚖

A video posted by b r i t t a n y l o y e r (@abitofbeesknees) on

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We made it to that Jalan’s house! What a gorgeous home! Every generation (going back to Great Grandparents) has their own floor! Such a wonderful way to keep your family close.

Kolkata, India
Aunties and female family friends dance and sing to kickoff the wedding week! AJ joined in too 😉
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Lassi, sugarcane juice and chai teas
Kolkata, India
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Mehndi time!
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Amazing and so quick!
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Time for the American side to preform a dance at the Sangeet! It was a bit terrifying but fun to be included in such a cool tradition.
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The wedding ceremony took place the following evening! Baraat-a-taat-taat! So much fun, loud drums, stopping traffic and dancing in the street! We (the grooms side) danced John to the gate of the Jalan’s home.
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John. He’s kind of a big deal today…^^^
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These flowers were out of control! Each one hand-threaded!
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Dripping with marigolds and warm welcomes from the Jalan family and friends as John’s side of the wedding enters his soon-to-be wife’s home.
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What an entrance!
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The happy couple^


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Ohhhh how I love Jalebi! Fried maida flour soaked in rose water syrup and saffron.
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The final night before we flew home. A beautiful wedding reception at the Tollygunge club.
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Bye India! We had a blast!