Imagine having a 21-year-old and a 3-year-old, and then four more kids in between. Yuuuppp. Well, that’s my friend Michelle. Fun fact: Their youngest is close to Aria’s age (we have footage of him kissing Aria a bunch when they were both babies), and their oldest is a good friend of mine who gives me her hand-me-downs sometimes even though she’s basically a decade younger than me–whatever works, right?! Michelle’s a super-hero status mother to her children and a mother to so many around her. She and her husband, Bob, are some of our favorite people here in Santa Barbara, and you’ll soon see why.

A Safe Haven

They’re the founders of a local organization in Santa Barbara called Hope Refuge, which is an organization that aims to provide sex trafficking survivors a place of refuge where they can go from slavery to freedom. So, so needed. So, so good.

Bob and Michelle are the perfect people for an organization like this because they have a mother and father’s heart–like the kind where you feel incredibly safe around them basically the minute you meet them, and you just want to hang out with them as much as you can. We’ve asked them to tell us their secrets when it comes to parenting because we look up to them, and Bob just laughs and says, “We have no idea what we’re doing.” Ohhhh, Bob.

Trades of Hope

Recently, Michelle reached out to me and invited me to a Trades of Hope party. For any of you who aren’t familiar, Trades of Hope is an organization that seeks to empower women out of poverty by providing entrepreneurial opportunities focused around home decor and fashion accessories. I wanted to share with you some of my Trades of Hope picks for Christmas gifts–1) to support Michelle, 2) to support the women making these amazing pieces, and 3) to give you gift ideas with a good cause (P.s. There’s currently a sale going on!). Oh yes–Michelle mentioned that if you order by the 13th, you’ll get you orders by Christmas!


My Picks

Mombasa Earrings : How cute are these? I’m all for dainty earrings that go with basically errrything (yes, that spelling was intentional for impact ;)).


Selah Necklace : A pretty, hand-painted clay-bead necklace that’ll add a little extra sumpin’ sumpin’ to an outfit.


Chandler Bag: I LOVE this cross-body bag; it’s made of canvas and leather and is a great bag that goes with so many different outfits.


Leather Traveler Wallet: For the man in your life. It’s made with soft, rugged leather and has great stitching detail.


Hope Tapestry: I don’t think I can get enough wall-hangings, and I’m a big fan of the colors on this piece. Gimme.


Dasah Tote: Can one have too many tote bags? I think not. This one’s made with woven jute and has a chevron-ish detailing.


Easton Scarf: I don’t know how obvious it’s been so far, but I’m a big stripe girl, so this scarf is right up my alley.


Alden Messenger Bag: This bag is made of weathered leather and makes for a great computer bag!  There’s a limited time deal going on: if you by the Alden, you’ll get this Weekender bag for free!


Happy shopping! Let me know what some of your favorite pieces are :).

And if you feel so inclined to support either Hope Refuge, you can head on over to their website for more information!


Oh! And in case you missed them, I have some more gift ideas here (for her), here (for him), here (for tots) & here (my Amazon must-have’s)! 🙂

Now to put make myself a latte because we hosted our first Unconventional Potlucht last night (I’m thinking we’ll do this annually now–I had everyone Venmo me $10, and I went out and got all the cheese/fruit/charcuterie/wine/whiskey), and we had an amazing time with about 16 or so of our friends in our cozy apartment–and this mama is tired.