The Easiest Way to File Your Taxes While Giving Back at the Same Time
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1040.com

I swear this time of year sneaks up on me quicker each time. I've always dreaded doing my taxes because I didn't find it particularly easy to do, or did I truly understand how the system actually worked. Being an entrepreneur and a business owner made the process even more difficult. The last couple years, I've used 1040.com, and it has made the whole 'tax season' a lot less stressful and 'ugh'. Not only are those annoying tax days behind me, but I feel really great to be a part of something bigger than filing my 1099s. With every tax return filed, $2 will be donated to clean water projects. How great is that?! Before I get into the extra perk about doing your taxes with 1040.com, I thought I’d explain just how simple their process is…

1040.com is headquartered in Franklin, NC, and has been creating professional-grade income tax software since 1977. They develop DIY and professional tax software to make filing taxes simple using either your phone or desktop. That’s right - you can do your taxes on your smartphone! 

If you head over to 1040.com, you can instantly see how easy it is to navigate their website. You can click ‘Start for Free’ and create your login to have access for later on {my computer has everything saved so each year I come back, I’m ready to be logged in to go - easy peasy}. 


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There are three packages 1040.com offers when filing your taxes {psst… it's all very affordable!} :::

1. If you have a simple tax situation - Federal Return: FREE  | State Return: FREE

2. If it's more complicated {kids, investment, childcare, college} - Federal Return: $24.95 |  State Return: $19.95

3. For business owners & 6 figure+ salary earners - Federal Return: $44.95 | State Return: $24.95


It's time to stop procrastinating & start your taxes - click here to begin! 

You should have no worries about completing things correctly because an interview will help guide you through the entire process. They ask all the right questions to get every single necessary worksheet filled out. The first time I used 1040.com, I just filed my W-2s, and was instantly hooked on doing my taxes through their platform there on out. Your refund comes quite quick, as well, and can be deposited straight into your bank account. This year, I am going the 1099 route for my business, and working with a lot of expenses and new worksheets I haven’t used previously. It has been smooth sailing for me! Seriously recommend this program for independent contractors and business owners!! 

Okay, so my favorite part - the $2 donation to clean water projects :D Overall, 1040.com has donated 5.3 million gallons of water to Healing Waters International, which is enough water for 29,251 people to have clean water for a whole year!! How amazing is that?! Healing Waters International (HWI) is a non-profit organization making clean, safe water accessible to people around the world. Learn more about how important this mission is, and 1040.com's involvement.  


The 95% More Eco-Friendly Shirt | For Men & Women
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Cosmos Studio

Your everyday button-down just got greener. 

keep reading for a discount code!


Why I Love Cosmos Studio

1. The Dyes. Did you know one of the most toxic processes in manufacturing clothing is the dyeing of fibers? Tons of chemicals are used to create deep hues, and they are typically just wasted & thrown back into the environment {like our water systems - yikes!}. Plus, the amount of water used for just one shirt can easily go up to 600L. Cosmos Studio has created a dyeing technology avoiding this unnecessary waste and damage to nature. Called GiDelave™, this technology is reducing water consumption and effluent production by 95% both! Pretty impressive, right? You may be wondering exactly how this works... When a fabric is typically dyed, the entire thread receives the dye, but with GiDelave™ they use more of a 360 printing process rather than penetrating the entire thing. The yarn is first colored, and then woven into fabric. The enzymes used are neutralized rather than acidic keeping their carbon footprint to a minimum. 

2. The Fabric. When I think of button-down shirts, I usually don't associate them with the words 'soft' or 'comfortable'. I have to say, Cosmos Studio has changed my perception completely. This fabric is very comfy to wear, and you don't feel stiff at all. It has a great touch, and that's thanks to their dyeing processes. With GiDelave™, the fabrics have consistency in color, more durability and strength, and you will find they wrinkle a lot less than many of your other cotton & linen garments in your closet. Since they are avoiding the usual chemical treatments and several processes used in conventional clothing, you are getting a much stronger finished piece. They also use Better Cotton, which cares for the environment & farmer, and is STANDARD 100 OEKO-TEX certified. For detergents, they comply with all REACH standards sets by the European Chemical Agency {meaning chemicals used will not harm others and degrade without emitting hazardous gas}. The factory for manufacturing the garments are WRAP certified so workers are guaranteed safe and healthy working conditions. 

3. The Fit. Since I'm pregnant, I went up to a size small {rather than XS}, and it's been perfect for me. It's been long enough for me to wear as a tunic without looking too big - plus, that extra room is great for this growing belly. I’m a ‘roll up your sleeves' type of gal, and find this shirt looks great that way. The chest pocket, pearl buttons & cut are a minimalist's dream. 

4. They are unisex. Yup - grab one for you and your man! These shirts are made for both of us, and being they are so classic, it’s the type of shirt that can fit into any style.


Where to Purchase

You can find Cosmos Studio shirts in their online shop - here - & with my code chic15 you will receive 15% off! Don't forget to follow them on the 'gram to stay up-to-date with all their future sustainable fashion. 

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11 Fair Fashion Brands Keeping You Warm All Winter Long
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Nothing better than feeling cozy & knowing your clothing purchase has minimal impact on the environment and treated the maker fairly. These 11 brands have a great selection of scarves, sweaters, coats & boots all keeping you comfortable throughout the chilly season. 


 
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1. By kloé

The by kloé knitters are made up of refugree women {many grannies} from the geruilla 'The Lightning Path' and live in one of Lima's slums without any sort of pension payments. By purchasing one of these knits, you are supporting a more sustainable way of life for women who truly need it. Handmade usually comes with a lot of love, and there is no exception here! After the pieces have been knitted by hand, they are sent to Belgium to be finished off - labels, linings, etc - by the creator herself, Chloe Matthieu {with the help of her mom, too!}. 


 
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2. Wild Mantle

Avi created this business out of her own need of a hooded scarf. Doing a little DIY, she made one on her sewing machine, and received so many compliments she felt she HAD to share the 'hugs'. As always, Wild Mantle lives by three missions - 1) Sustainability: Practiced through the materials chosen and producing locally with fair wages   2) Empowerment: The name MANTLE means both a loose fitted hood and one's role or responsibility in the world.   3) Adventure: The mantles are about functionality - the perfect practical, stylish travel companion! 


 
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3. Christa Louise

These scarves and ponchos are literally pieces of art. The use of color and texture is unlike anything I’ve seen before. I’ve always thought felting was an interesting art form, but the village women in Mexico who are creating these pieces for Christa Louise have taken it to a whole new level for me. This nuno {fabric} felting is an art of fusion. It is all done by hand, and is completely natural. They use only soap and water to create beautiful swirls of color, and each piece will be completely unique.


 
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4. Thread Tales Co.

Their wraps & scarves are total luxury, and handwoven by artisans in Nepal. The quality is absolutely on top, and this is another one of those products I wish you could feel through the computer. Based on traditions and culture, Thread Tales Co. is putting purpose back into fashion. Sustainability is at the core of their business, and they love to utilize the best in natural fibers like; Lotus, Cashmere, Merino, Cotton, Linen, Camel and Yak wool. Their philosophy will speak to any conscious shopper: "Wear Something That Means Something. Buy Less, Wear it More."


 
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5. Hope Made in the world

HOPE Made in the World's women's collection features super soft sweaters and scarves sure to keep you snuggled up well. Serious about where their fabric is sourced, HOPE Made has been certified under the Child Labor Free mark which ensures every step of the manufacturing process is free from child labor and holds high ethical standards for the workers involved. Since HOPE Made does not produce everything in house or grow their own material working with certified farmers and factories, as well as logistic companies like eco-minded Verde, help keep the entire chain transparent and honest. 


 
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6. in2green

in2green has been known for their luxury USA-made throws and accessories since 2008. They collaborate with local designers and knitters, and use only eco-friendly materials like organic cotton & recycled yarns. Their recycled cotton line is made from refiberized t-shirt fabrics, and their new indoor/outdoor line is made from 100% recycled polyester. You’ll want to live in their chunky cable poncho made from 75% recycled cotton & 25% {mostly recycled} polyester. It's the perfect weight to wear all day, and washes easy {you can just throw it in your wash machine}.


 
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7. Bloom & Give

For every purchase, 50% of profits are donated to support girls' education in India. With over 3 million young girls out of school, it is crucial to help them return to the classroom in order to create a better life for themselves and their future children. All products are handmade in India by artisans in Rajasthan and Haryana, where Bloom & Give is committed to supporting their communities. Their line of scarves and wraps are beautifully woven and full of color & patterns. Knowing your purchase is helping support an education for a young girl makes it so special to wear!


 
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8. Fazl Socks

A social business dedicated to working alongside women & children in need, Fazl Socks donates 50% of their profits to orphanages AND creates fair jobs. For each pair sold, you are helping provide orphaned and destitute children in India with food, shelter, education, and clothing; along with sustaining jobs for the ladies who knit their socks. Fazl Socks has 3 H's in production - Handmade. Himalayan. Happy Ladies. My Fazl Socks are that perfect weight - right in between your regular all day sock and house slippers. Plus, the sweet patterns and funky colors put a good smile on your face :D


 
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9. Urban Austral

Want to feel like you are always walking on clouds? Well then you need to put a pair of these super soft insoles in your shoes! Besides walking on total comfort, Urban Austral has a ton of great qualities when it comes to being a sustainable brand. Their products are 100% handmade with up-cycled materials, they work with local people in Patagonia to provide fair jobs and they donate 1% to REFORESTEMOS PATAGONIA, an organization planting trees in the area. The insoles come in four sizes for men, women, kids & baby, and come DIY ready to trim to your exact shoe size.


 
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10. Duckfeet

Boots made for the winters & adventures! Duckfeet boots are made with materials like super soft & warm 100% shearling wool lining, eco-friendly & water-resistant terracare® leather, and natural Italian crepe rubber. Because of the materials chosen & how well the boots are made, they will last you year after year. You can even replace the sole to add more life on! Oh & did I mention many of their styles are unisex?! Duckfeet only uses veggie-tanned leather & the best natural materials in order to bring you the greatest quality shoe possible. Happy exploring!


 
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11. Thought Clothing

Based in the UK, this ethical brand considers their impact every step of the way. From the fabrics to their shipping methods, everything is thoughtfully done. Their contemporary, everyday clothing is meant to last you year after year. As someone who has owned their pieces for the last 3, I can definitely attest to their quality! Sweaters, dress, socks… everything has held up so well & has been a wonderful addition to my wardrobe. Not to mention, their aesthetic will make you want to create the biggest wish list ever. Their socks are the cutest…

Conscious ListsNatalie Kay
Ethical Travel Wear Pieces Ideal for Layering Throughout Each Season
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Sassind

~ a sustainable luxury loungewear brand for the daydreamers, travelers & homebodies ~

A brand you may already recognize from previous posts, Sassind is no doubt one of my favorites in responsibly-made fashion. When it comes to luxurious comfort, they are on top of their game. If you don't like to dress up {especially while traveling} because you want to stay cozy, this is your brand! Not only are their collections comfortable, they are versatile, minimalistic and made with some amazing fabrics. The versatility makes it easy to transition from season to season and pack those suitcases for your travels. They want you to be able to easily layer and mix-and-match all of their garments.

 

The 7 garments I own by Sassind are so simple for me to use within my existing wardrobe. Especially with the mild winter temperatures here in Florida, the silk-cotton blend of the V-Neck Jumper gives you just the right amount of coverage and warmth {with a really nice drape, I might add!}. I love the wide light ribbing on both the cuffs and the hem. It makes for a rather flattering fit paired with the draping body and deep v-neck. Same can be said with the Paper Wool Scarf, which is made from 100% Australian merino. It's soft & light, yet great to layer on when you need a little extra warmth. I, also, love the contrast of the raw edges. 


When I first became pregnant, I was nervous about not being able to fit into most of my clothes, and having to buy maternity pieces {which I really didn't want to do}. I started to go through my closet, and pick out clothes I felt could grow with me even though they were definitely not considered 'maternity'. Since Sassind is so great with creating layering pieces, I figured I would have some wiggle room to grow into a few of their designs. The Silk Wide Leg Pants have an elastic back for comfort, and the French Linen Oversized Tee was almost long enough for me to wear as a dress so it's now the perfect tunic for this growing belly. Unfortunately, the Silk Camisole will have to take a back seat for the time being :P 

What I'm most excited about in Sassind's new collection are their cotton jersey pieces. I have a feeling I'm about to live in the Cotton Jersey Jumpsuit. With the relaxed fit around the hips & waist, I can't imagine being anymore comfortable for the next few months. Plus, it has two super cute pockets in the front! I've been layering this piece with numerous different tees {long sleeves, short sleeves, turtle necks}, but I even like the look of it without anything underneath. 

& okay ladies, have you been looking for a tank that is long enough to cover your bum completely?! I have... and I've found one, now. Their Cotton Jersey Scoop Hemmed Tank Top is the perfect length and cut! This is a must-have staple for all of our conscious closets. Plus, you can find it in 8 different colors! 


Below you can find all the pieces I have in my wardrobe {& I switched it to USD for price convenience}: 

Silk Cotton V-Neck Jumper {$120}

Silk Cotton V-Neck Jumper {$120}

100% Australian Merino 'Paper Wool' Scarf {$48}

100% Australian Merino 'Paper Wool' Scarf {$48}

Silk Wide Leg Pant {$144}

Silk Wide Leg Pant {$144}

French Linen Oversized Tee {$160}

French Linen Oversized Tee {$160}

Silk Camisole {$72}

Silk Camisole {$72}

Cotton Jersey Jumpsuit {$64}

Cotton Jersey Jumpsuit {$64}

Cotton Jersey Scoop Hemmed Tank Top {$40}

Cotton Jersey Scoop Hemmed Tank Top {$40}

Shop Sassind's entire collection online here - & don't forget to stay up-to-date with new designs on Instagram.

Stay tuned for future OOTDs where I'll mix and match these pieces with other ethical brands <3

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Go Green in the Kitchen | Keeping Harmful Chemicals Away from Your Cooking Space
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with

Natural Home Brands

You may remember seeing this brand a couple years ago on the blog. I was using their compost bins and other bamboo ware for the first time, and couldn't believe how awesome the products were at such an affordable price. Better yet, they were far superior to the {not so eco-friendly} utensils I was using before. After hearing all the horror stories of melted plastic contaminating food, I've been glad to have made the switch to Natural Home Brands! 

What I Love about Natural Home Brands

The Materials: Okay, this may look and feel like plastic BUT these products are actually made from bamboo. Pretty crazy, right?! Molded Bamboo®, their innovative IP, is made with no plastic, petroleum, or polyolefin, and is 100% BPA free! Not to mention, bamboo is very sustainable as a hard good because it is stronger than oak and only takes four years to reach maturity {without all of those yucky pesticides}. 

The Quality: Bamboo is known to be tough, durable and lightweight making it ideal for kitchen goods. Since bamboo is quite dense, it is naturally water-resistant which helps inhibit germs and bacteria from contaminating your products. I had no idea many of my wooden spoons I used to use would trap moisture and germs making it difficult to clean properly {they would also split and break which I couldn't stand}. These goods are the perfect fix! Plus, they won't scratch your pans like the metal guys.

The Style: Besides being functional, these pieces actually look good. They come in fun colors, or if you prefer all natural, you can find the 'wood' or 'stainless steel' look, as well. 

The Price: All of their products are absolutely affordable! The entire baker set is $46, and many of the necessary kitchen utensils start around $5. So yeah, no excuse for not buying green ;) 

The Assortment: Literally everything you would need in the kitchen can be found at Natural Home Brands. From spatulas to tableware, you'll find what you're looking for. They even have a line for pets, cleaning and, of course, their popular composting products are there, too. 


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What I'm Using

I have quite a few of their products in my kitchen {like spatulas, spoons, product bags, etc}, but the newest addition to my cooking is the Bakers Essential Set. I've actually been living without measuring cups and spoons for a while, and I've never owned big mixing bowls so needless to say, this set has come in handy! I love the colors, the Molded Bamboo®  & how I can easily stack it all together for storage. 

 

*note: my pregnancy brain is alive and well, and the whisk shown in my photos is a very old one of mine, so the real one is pictured to the side!*


Where to Purchase

Find all of Natural Home Brands online, and make sure to stay up-to-date with new products on Instagram. Plus, enter for your chance to win a Bakers Essential Set & a $15 Gift Card on my Insta feed {1/19-1/22}.

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