Life & a Lil’ Straw Purse

I love life right now.

I didn’t think I’d be saying that with JL being gone for the month.

But wow.

God just came in and reminded how blessed I am.

I am studying at what I believe to be the greatest university in the world.

I have the greatest friends who love me so, so well.

The leaves are changing and I get to live in the mountains and watch them.

My family is visiting me right now!

I am freaking loved and cared for by the Creator of the universe.

^^^^^that last one…that alone is the greatest blessing of all

I am just feeling really thankful and I am really grateful that God has given me an exuberance for life again lately!


This past week on one of John Luke’s off-days we went out with our buddies for tacos. I loved getting to see JL see everyone again for the first time in a few weeks. I brought along this little purse my friends at 31Bits sent me. They are doing such incredible things with their company. They are giving women, some the same age as me, a chance to thrive. They employ 80 artisans in Uganda that make beautiful jewelry out of paper (“bits” of paper, hence the name 31Bits-I love THAT.) They operate on a holistic model by caring for these women through education courses, healthcare training, business and finance classes, counseling and mentorships, etc. Their team works with each beneficiary to help them follow their dreams and start businesses of their own – whether that’s opening a restaurant or purchasing land and growing crops. Ahh so cool! They’ve graduated over 100 beneficiaries that are all thriving and completely self sustainable! Now, they have started working with women in Bali, who make beautiful jewelry our of brass AND cute lil’ straw bags!

I had the opportunity to visit Uganda 2 summers ago, so it’s really neat to see a company helping women just like the women I got to meet. I remember listening to these men and women share their dreams with us. They have got some beautiful dreams and they are hard-workers, a lot of them just need a little help getting started. I am really proud of the work this company is doing and the difference they are making!

If you wanna check them out you can use the MARYKATE20 for 20% off your order. 🙂

(good through 11/13/17)

link here


(shop the rest of my outfit through these links)

jacket    jeans    boots


9 comments so far.

9 responses to “Life & a Lil’ Straw Purse”

  1. Caitlin says:

    Love this so much!! What an awesome company 🙂 Glad all is going well. I went to Live Original this past Friday and it was amazing! So happy for you and JL.

  2. Cassidy says:

    when can we get links for JL’s outfits hahahahaha

  3. Nate says:

    Thank you for being real with everyone… That takes courage, and definitely God working in your life. But what makes it even more cool, is that God is using your journey through life to help others as well.

  4. Cat says:

    What a great company! I love it when companies give back and help their workers like that! I will have to check the purse out 🙂


  5. Hannah says:

    Is there a certain filter you’ve been using on your ig? I’ve been loving your feed!

  6. I love your blog it’s really great ?? you do a great job of capturing emotions in your writing. Keep writing and God bless

  7. Rachel says:

    Hi, that code didn’t work 🙁

    • marykate says:

      I am so sorry that was completely my fault! The code was only good through the 13th and I forgot to add that in my post, thank you for making me aware of that. If you bought something I would love to reimburse you for the amount you would have gotten off! Shoot me an email with a screenshot of your purchase and a PayPal email address and I’ll fix it! 🙂

  8. Tristen says:

    Love this little purse so much & I adore your blog!

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