February 27, 2015

Pendleton and Ugg Collaboration

This is long overdue and finally had a chance to sit down and write this down. 

My relationship with Pendleton started about 20 years ago and I was about 12 years old and my mom and I went into a Pendleton shop. I never had been there before. I saw some sweaters and scarves and was roaming around the shop when a beautiful and bright print caught the corner of my eye. And there at the corner of the shop were these beautiful woven blankets and a bag that I connected with immediately. I had never seen anything like it before.  I was in awe of the leather, the craftsmanship, and beautiful Native American wool with intricate designs and colors. At that age, I imagined wearing it to school and carrying my notebooks in it. But, I looked at the price tag and put it back down. My sweet mother came over and saw me looking at it. She knew I wanted it and she knew the connection I had with it. She understood me. She knew exactly what I was thinking and knew this was unlike anything else I had ever wanted. I never really wanted or asked for anything before, this was one of the first things I had ever really wanted. She picked it up and I will never forget that she bought it for me.

I cherished this bag for years and used it throughout many years of school to carry my textbooks, notes, pencils, and pens. I carried it proudly.

But, one day, during my senior year in high school I foolishly put it down while talking with friends in the parking lot and someone accidentally backed up their car and ran it over. This bag was strong and recovered, but the leather and wool was torn down the middle. And I was so terribly hurt that this happened to my bag. I couldn't look at it without a lump in my throat. I hid it in the back of my closet, so I couldn't see what had happened to it. I would pull it out from the closet once in a while to look at it. At that time I didn't know the magic of leather and wool repair, if I had known I would have taken it there right away. After a period of time I donated it.

Years later I still would think of my bag anytime I would see a Native American print. I never saw another bag like it again. I would routinely look on the Pendleton website and looked at second hand stores, but I couldn't find one like it.

One day to my surprise Yanni found one and surprised me with it. It was gently used. Of course, it wasn't the one my mother had bought me many years ago, but it looked almost just like it and it felt like the closest thing to it. I hugged the bag and promised I wouldn't let anything happen to it.  I use this bag now as an adult and take it to meetings and conferences. Everytime I look at it and it brings me back to that very day with my mom and makes me smile.

Pendleton has a long history working with Native Americans. I have always been very fond and respectful of the Native American culture. Their beautiful designs and art have always spoken to me. I have admired their turquoise jewelry, art, stories, and overall culture. As a young child I would read about their history and culture and it resonated with me.  

Since then I have collected a few of their pieces. Last year for Valentine's Day, Yanni bought me the Pendleton headset, I have a Pendleton iPad case, my beloved bag, and now the Ugg and Pendleton collaborated boots. I also recently received a laptop case handmade with Pendleton wool for a Christmas gift from Yanni.

When I first saw the boots I knew they were perfect for me. I haven't taken them off since I got them. I went to the mall the other day to pick up something and I was stopped numerous times by young girls that loved these boots. I looked and some of the girls and they were about my age when my mom first bought me my Pendleton piece. They were excited about the collaboration when I told them about it. I hope I contributed to their first piece and helped make some happy memories.

Next on my list is their Sugar Skull makeup bag, the Chief Joseph blanket in aqua, their black feather bag, and on my wish list is this beautiful chair.

And most recently, Pendleton collaborated with Roxy to introduce a line of swimsuits. I am so excited about this and can't wait for summer!! Watch this video here for more information: Roxy x Pendleton Collaboration

February 24, 2015

Equal Pay for Women

By now you must have heard about Patricia Arquette's Oscar's night speech, where she says:

“We have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

Everyone has an opinion on what she said the other night. Some disagree with her, others have picked on certain words she said or didn't say. Some have indicated that she wasn't specific enough or that her facts were incorrect. Really? You really want to pick on someone who is doing the right thing? Someone who sheds light on women inequality?

Since when is it wrong for women to ask for equality? I am a feminist, and being a feminist is somehow looked down upon in our society. Feminism is not man bashing, feminism is advocating and believing in women equality and women rights.

Whatever your opinion may be, first, respect that she took the time to bring attention to an issue for women.  As an actress, she has a spotlight that others do not have and she used that moment to call attention to an issue that women have been fighting for years, too many years. Don't ridicule her, but applaud her.

Something else you might have heard is that pay inequality is just a myth. For those who think it is just a myth please just read some data from AAUW's The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (Spring 2015) , the Pew Research Study, and Explaining the Gender Wage Gap.

First, let me start by saying that women are closer to equal pay with men until they reach the age of 35, making 90 percent of when men are paid, that's 90 cents for every $1.00 men make.

To some, the difference is not as wide, as the reported 75 percent, however, there is a difference and that is why we are calling out to inequality. Why should men be paid more than women at all?  I don't care if the difference was 2 pennies, there is a difference.

And to top it all off, after the age of 35 women are typically paid 75-80 percent of what men are paid.

And don't even get me started on different ethnicities. Women of color have even a wider gap. For example, Hispanic women’s salaries have the largest gap, at 54 percent of Caucasian men’s earnings. You might be wondering why Caucasian men are the ones used benchmarks, well that is because they make up the largest demographic group in the labor force (AAUW). But in general, women are paid less than all men, whether they share the same ethnicity or not.

There are certain jobs that women are paid more than men, such as Aircraft, Vehicle, and Mobile Equipment Mechanics, Construction Supervisors, Information and Record Clerks, and Occupational Therapists. (Goudreau, 2011)

These gaps in pay are for men and women in the same type of job and with the same experience.  "A 2012 report by the American Association of University Women found that after controlling for occupation, college major, hours worked, employment sector and other factors related to a person's pay, the gender wage gap shrunk but did not entirely disappear." (Basset, 2013)

I also think this has a lot to do with the psychology and socialization of women. Studies have found that women are less likely to ask for more money when they start a position and ask for a raise later on, while men are more likely to ask (Kang, 2014). Some women are uncomfortable asking for more, don't want to be perceived a certain way because they ask for more, and worry that they might lose their jobs or be seen unfavorably that if they do. "Women often feel uncomfortable touting their accomplishments themselves because they've been socialized to be modest, humble and "act like ladies" -- demurely shying away from publicly acknowledging their achievements." (Berman, 2014)

If you are going to take one thing from this: know your value and know your worth. Men and women are equal, we should be treated the same and paid the same for the same type of work, same hours, same education, and same experience. Research and find out how much you should be paid, and don't be afraid to ask for it. Women do incredible things everyday, and they should be respected and treated fairly and equal to other women and men.

And women, I can't stress it enough, but get your education. The further you educate yourself the more opportunities you will have. There are more women in college right now receiving their bachelor's degree than men. One of the most empowering things you will ever do for yourself is to educate yourself.

Bassett, Laura. September 9, 2013. Women Still Earned 77 Cents On Men's Dollar In 2012: Report.

Berman, Jillian. January 21, 2014. Why It's So Hard For Working Women To Get Ahead, And What We Can Do About It .

Glynn, Sarah Jane. May 19, 2014. Explaining the Gender Wage Gap.

Goudreau, Jenna. March 14, 2011. The 15 Jobs Where Women Earn More Than Men.

Hill, Catherine. The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (Spring 2015).

Kang, Cecilia.  April 2, 2014. Google data-mines its approach to promoting women.

Patten, Eileen. April 8, 2014. On Equal Pay Day, key facts about the gender pay gap.

February 23, 2015

Weekly Recap

This past week I started reading Martin Short's biography, "I Must Say", I have adored Martin Short in many different productions. One of my favorites being Three Amigos. I will be posting a summary and thoughts on all the recent books I have been reading.

This week was filled of baking and mini adventures. This week I posted two recipes that you can do with the fruit and vegetable juice pulp. With juice pulp I made Juice Pulp Quiche and Juice Pulp Muffins.

We also went out to eat at my favorite Italian restaurant, picked up some sweets like italian cookies and cupcakes at a local bakery, and picked up a few comics (did I ever tell you that I love comic books?) I would love to see Lady Killer turned into a movie. It's only the second issue, but I can really see this being an awesome film. It follows a house-wife who is also an assassin. 

We also got some snow this weekend, nothing compared to what poor Massachusetts has been experiencing, but we stayed in and I worked on quite a bit of new pieces for my Black Feather Shop, and prepared orders to ship out. I also worked on course work. I am only 2 classes away from completing my Masters degree. I am so close and looking forward to graduating. 

For more updates follow my personal instagram account @kampal and my Black Feather Shop instagram account @blackfeathershop

February 22, 2015

New Designs at Black Feather

I have been a busy bee working on new items for my Black Feather Shop on Etsy. I have hunted all over the world for unique stones and minerals to make rings with. Lately, I have been loving working with arrowheads and wood.

And a few of my new favorites are the chrysocolla and the Russian Emerald green Uvarovite, which is mined in the Saranovski Village, Ural Mountains Region in Russia. Uvarovite, contains an intense energy. It assists one in learning to joyfully accept what is offered by the Universe, and by clearing the channels of receiving, one is more likely to accept the prosperity that is available. I love really big chunky rings and I always have one on. The healing properties of each stone are very important to me and I choose what stone I am going to wear in the morning depending on how I feel.

I have also been creating bohemian inspired necklaces and bracelets for both men and women with different materials like coral, pyrite, and quartz. 

February 18, 2015

Fruit and Vegetable Juice Pulp Quiche with Kale

Ever since I got my Jack Lalanne juicer I have been making lots of fresh juice. Once you drink a concoction of fresh fruits and vegetable it goes straight to your head and you experience the most positive high. As soon as I finish a juice I have a surge of energy. 

  • 6 eggs (I used egg whites)
  • Fruit and/or vegetable pulp, as much or as little as you want.
  • 2 cups of shredded blended mexican cheese (you can use any shredded cheese)
  • Salt and pepper for taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9 inch pie dish.

I used pineapple, kale, and oranges and put them in the juicer for a few cups of juice. 

In a large bowl beat eggs and add salt and pepper for taste and add the cheese. Add spinach to egg mixture and mix together.  Scoop into prepared pie dish.

Bake in preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle some more cheese and put back in the oven until the top cheese has melted. Take out of oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Quiche is one of the easiest things to make and now I have breakfast for the rest of the week!

There is so much you can do with the juice and vegetable pulp. I made these muffins the other day and have been enjoying smoothies in the morning.

The combination of the pineapple, kale, and oranges with the egg and cheese in this quiche is really a delightful and a great way to start the morning!

February 17, 2015

Fruit and Vegetable Juice Pulp Muffins

For Christmas Yanni got me a juicer and I have been obsessed with it, juicing everything I can. When you Juice, you have pulp from the vegetables and fruit. You can do so much with the pulp, like make smoothies, popsicles, and how about muffins?

3 cups of any fruit or vegetable pulp. I used pineapple, kale, and oranges.
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of greek yogurt
3 eggs
1 cup of honey
3 cups of whole grain flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp of cinnamon

I used pineapple, kale, and oranges and put them in the juicer for a few cups of juice.

Next, I mixed the pulp with some yogurt.

Add the 1 cup of honey.

I used 2 eggs and 1 egg whites and mixed it. Next, add 1 cup of olive oil.

Add 3 cups of flour. I add one cup at a time and combine it well.

Pour into greased muffin tins. Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown. Place a toothpick or knife through middle and if it comes out clear they are ready.

February 15, 2015

Valentines and Taekwondo

Last weekend I had a belt test in Taekwondo, it was my last color belt before testing for my Black belt and we did it! I now have a black and yellow stripe belt. For the next 6 months I will be training and getting ready for the Black belt test. I will have 3 pre-tests, one every 2 months. For each pre-test I will have to go through various tests, like 80 roundhouse kicks in 1 minute, or a choreographed nunchuck routine in 10 seconds, show all the forms, self defense techniques, and sword I have learned. So it's going to be an intense 6 months, and then after I should be ready by fall 2015 to test for the Black belt. My Instructor wants me to test as early as this summer, which would mean I would have have about 4 months, and I would much rather have 6 months to completely prepare. It's all very exciting, but I am also nervous. I trust the Master I am working with and his curriculum to get me ready for that major test.

In other news, we celebrated Valentines and I was so grateful to receive such beautiful flowers during the week. Yanni and my mom were so sweet to send me flowers. I have lots of chocolates and sweet treats that I am still enjoying. It's been so hard to eat clean with all these yummy baked goods and sweets around me. I love baking and bake 1-2 times a week. My goal was to eat clean to get ready for my Black belt, but I haven't been doing so great in that department. It's all balance. I make sure to load up on plenty of fresh veggies and fruits all day, and lots of lean protein. But I do love sweets, I don't think I can completely let them go, but I have stopped eating ice cream and have banned it. I made a promise to myself that I won't eat ice cream for 6 months. So far it's been two months and I have been successful, it also helps that I started this goal in the winter, so I don't have much desire for ice cream, but as soon as the spring comes it will definitely be a challenge.

I am also reading lots. I picked up a few books and received a few as gifts. I am currently reading Carlos Santana's biography and I love it. I am big Santana fan and love learning how he became who he is known now to be. Along the way I am learning so much about his musical inspirations and listening to new music. I love hearing how different styles and musicians have inspired others and you would have never of known. Now I can see and respect the true evolution of Santana and his music. He has many layers and I am learning lots about him and learning lots from him.

February 9, 2015

Valentine's Gifts for Her

Valentine's Day is just a few days away and I wanted to share gift ideas and things I am loving right now.
  1. Heart shaped Le Creuset is the sweetest cookware I have ever seen. They make the best cookware and this one comes in the shape of a heart for cooking the perfect meal on Valentine's day, an anniversary, or really any day of the week. (Photo by JellyToast)
  2. Get her Succulents instead of going the traditional path of roses. Succulents are one of the most popular plants right now, and unlike roses they live a lot longer.
  3. Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate from Harry & David
  4. KitchenAid Stand Mixer comes in a variety of pretty colors like pink, blue, and green. If you or the lady in your life loves to bake this is the mixer to get her. 
  5. Faceted Terrarium from West Elm. Terrariums are very popular right now and are multi-purpose. You can plant succulents or other plants in them and can be used a a jewelry display or storage.
  6. Heart Mug from Urban Outfitters. 
  7. Sherpa lined hoodie from Abercrombie. I got this hoodie for my birthday and it's the first thing I put on when I get back from work. The body and hoodie is sherpa lined, so it's warm and comfortable. I don't see it on their site anymore, so I think it is sold out, but you might be able to find one on ebay.
  8. Cupcakes and sweet treats. Who doesn't love a sweet treat. Go to your local cupcake shop or bakery and pick up a few cupcakes for Valentine's Day. (Recipe and Photo at Not Your Momma's Cookie)

Have a beautiful Valentine's Day!