Kindness, Smiles and Shoes – Loly in the sky

Loly in the Sky Giusy shoes worn by Megan Radford

It’s been a painful week. None of us could have avoided that photo, and I admit it’s been difficult to think of anything else. In my new role with a relief and development organization, I’ve had an outlet to push for change (here are some suggestions if you would also like to help). But still, I’ve been left reeling, unable to imagine a world where we could allow this to happen.

And then, on Friday evening, my doorbell rang. It was the mailman, bringing a smile. Bringing shoes.

It might seem frivolous to be writing about shoes at a moment like this. But these weren’t just any shoes- they were by a brand called Loly in the sky, a company run by a young female entrepreneur and designer from Mexico. They are handmade in her home country, creating jobs for skilled shoemakers, and inspiring girls around the world.

When I took the package and signed my name, I think I smiled my first real smile that day. As I opened the boxes, rainbow confetti scattered around me onto the floor. There were two shoe bags, a note just for me (in Spanish!) and my two pairs of Lolys. They weren’t perfect, but they were hand-crafted and beautiful.* A dream from Lorena Vazquez’s sketchbook, just for me.

Loly in the sky boxes and shoes, with confetti all around!

A week like this helps us understand the ways we are responsible to one another. For me it goes right back to the choices we make with our money, and our time. Our world is in serious need of kindness. By supporting artisans, small businesses, and companies that treat their workers with respect, we give it that, at least a little.

I’m choosing to hope that we are moving towards a time when kindness, supporting one another, and hope aren’t so far away. It’s the reason for my first blog here in a year, and it’s what I’m working towards. Will you join me?

gracefully yours,

Megan

PS- If you would like to read more about my thoughts on the ethics of name-brand footwear (like Keds, Converse and Vans), head on over to my personal blog. You can also follow me on Instagram @megancradford for a weekly dose of flowers, inspiration and ethical living.

*For you animal lovers, Loly in the sky are also vegan-friendly and work to be environmentally responsible.

Loly in the Sky Amelie worn with a red dress

Watch how my Lolys were made!

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A Daisy Chain OOTD

“Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?”-Meg Ryan, You’ve Got Mail

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I have a slight obsession with flowers. Daisies are some of my favourites ever since You’ve Got Mail made it into my top 10 movie list. Who didn’t love making daisy chains when they were young, stringing them in their hair and pretending to be a fairy princess? There is just something about daisies that is so inviting and innocent.

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I’ve been looking for a daisy dress for quite a while. I was super lucky when, on my first trip to one of Cairo’s vintage markets, I found one! It was a grand total of six dollars Canadian. It’s so comfortable and easy to wear.

 

The trick with vintage markets, or any vintage store, is to keep an open mind, and look for colour and fabric first, not style. As you scan the racks, your eyes should be tuned to looking for interesting patterns and colours. I am always attracted to pretty pastels and floral patterns. According to your personal style, have an idea of the kind of thing you are looking for, but don’t get too detailed before you go. If you have a general idea of what you want- say, simple dresses- you will have much more luck than if you are looking for a specific colour or style. Also, if you do need a specific piece, you may need to go back on multiple occasions to get a sense of where things are, and when new pieces arrive. Have patience, and you will be rewarded with something unique and lovely.

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Dress- vintage

Belt- vintage

Locket, ring and pearl earrings- gifts from my lovely parents!

Flower hair clip- old: similar

Sandals- Birkenstock discontinued style: similar 

 

I’ve worn this dress at least four times since I bought it a couple weeks ago. I also took it on a weekend vacation to the Red Sea, and it was so easy to throw over my swimsuit. I love bringing dresses on summer holidays, because they save space in my suitcase, and they work at the pool, on the beach, going for a stroll in the garden, and at dinner jazzed up with some jewelry! In Cairo, I generally have to put leggings on underneath, for cultural reasons. But at the resort, and in my garden, with the flowers, I’m as free as…well, a daisy!

 

I’ve also uploaded a little outfit of the day and mini get-read-with-me video!

Do you guys like these short videos? I am still getting used to filming and editing, so they are nothing fancy, but I think they add a little something to a normal outfit post.

 

Also, this is not the only dress I bought that day. The other will be make an appearance in another post soon. Until then, happy sustainable shopping!

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If you have a beauty, fashion or lifestyle brand you think we should feature, or would like to do a guest post, please email me at contactgracesway@gmail.com! I have been in contact with so many of you, and some of those collaborations will be coming to Grace’s Way very soon.

 

PS- My favourite flower will be revealed on Instagram for this week’s #flowerfriday!

 

Photography by myself and Ahmed Badawi.

In My Dreams- A Wishlist

Graces Way In My Dreams Wishlist

 

For me, Pinterest is all about dreaming. Whether it’s a make-you-think quote, an interesting DIY, or a magical pair of shoes, I can spend hours finding inspiration in the pretty pictures. My birthday is in a few days, and since it’s a time when no one can tell me not to put my head in the clouds, I’ve put my In-My-Dreams Wishlist on the Grace’s Way Pinterest.

Here are some lovely things I am swooning for. Starting from the middle and then going clockwise from the top, we have:

 

Puff Piece Adornments Petal Flower Crown– $18

Designer Krystin not only makes these works of art incorporating upcycled materials, but she is also just a lovely person. Her hand-made crowns are sold on Avenle and Etsy. Plus, her prices are so incredibly reasonable for such fairy-tale items.

 

Mae Movement Roller Girl Set- $36

If you haven’t read our tell-all interview with Mae Movement founder Haley, click here! Her bracelets give women in Nepal a wage three times that of the average salary in their country. They also give them a way to stay out of the sex slave trade. Oh, and they are bright, fun, and adorable pieces! The pastel greens and corals in this set were basically mae-d for me!

 

One Love Organics Travel Set– $50

I have heard such great things about this brand, especially from Ashley of makeupTIA. Their products are pretty expensive by my standards, but very special. This travel pack comes in a cute little bag that says Love in pink letters. I think it would be a great way to see what all the fuss is about.

 

Mermaid Shampoo and Conditioner– $60 for the set

I’ve been looking for a new natural shampoo and conditioner. This is it. Coconut and orange blossom scented and sulfate-free, I want these to be my new best friends. Basically a dream in two bottles.

 

A ticket to a Staves concert– $?

This one fits into the lifestyle category. I have been loving the Staves for a couple months now, ever since I asked a friend in the music production business to recommend some musicians similar to Scarlett O’Connor on my current favourite show, Nashville.

The Staves are three sisters with hauntingly beautiful voices and melodies, and lyrics just as poetic as their sound. I would love to see them in concert one day!

 

Della LA Travel Bag– $24

Can you tell I have a thing for cute little travel bags? I am always traveling, so I can justify the many I already have. They are just so helpful for organizing the bits and bobs I bring with me. This pretty purple zip-up case was handmade by artisans in Ghana by super-chic up and coming fair trade brand Della. The lilac and aqua tie-die is one of my favourite colour combinations.

 

Sole Rebels tooTOOs– $65

This brand makes fair-trade, eco-friendly footwear. I am loving their adorable tooTOOs style- a fabric ballet flat. I’m not ashamed to admit that I want every colour, but I’m kind of on a lavender kick, and the light purple ones are calling my name. Then again, the grey ones look really practical…hmm…

 

Mermaid Perfume No. 1– $50 for the perfume spray, $25 for the mini oil rollerball

I definitely don’t need another perfume, but…just the name makes me want to close my eyes and dive under salty waves. From the makers of Mermaid Hair, Mermaid No. 1 is an orange blossom scent that so many lovely ladies have raved about. Meghan from Briar Rose Blog wore it on her wedding day.

Sarah from Vintage Magpies pranced in a field wearing a breathtaking cobalt dress with it in tow.

I already love it for it’s all-natural ingredients, mystery, and lovely aesthetic, but the scent of orange blossoms is also special to me for its presence in the picture-perfect town of Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia. After climbing to the top of the hill, there is a little café where you can drink orange juice under the blooming orange trees. The town, with it’s white buildings and blue doors, coastal views, and laid-back atmosphere, was my very favourite place in Tunisia. I would love to have a perfume to remember it by.

 

RMS “Un” cover up– $36

RMS has been on my radar for a number of years. Recently I’ve been thinking I need to switch out the toxic, chemical-ridden stuff in my makeup bag with more natural fare. I have allergies around my eye area, and I have to be so careful with concealers and foundation. This one really intrigues me because it is meant to enhance your skin, not totally cover up- something I was never a big fan of with foundation anyway. It’s packed with lovely ingredients like coconut oil, which my dry skin definitely needs.

 

She And Reverie Mermaid Skirt– $148

Have I mentioned that I love mermaids? This gorgeous skirt by hand-made loungewear company She And Reverie is made of softest cotton and printed with beautiful mermaids and roses in pink, blue and aqua.

 

The Grace's Way Pinterest Board
The Grace’s Way Pinterest Board

Whew! I thought this was just going to be a few, but when I sat down and thought about it, there are so many lovely things I’ve been checking out lately. For more details on where to buy them, click through to my wishlist Pinterest board! Some of these are a little pricey, but hey, I get one blow-out-my-candles wish right? Now which should I choose…

 

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Let me know what’s on your wishlist in the comments below, or with the hashtag #gracesway on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram! Happy pinning 🙂

gracefully yours,

Megan