Great Gifts for an Active Mom

This time of year, I’m always seeing lists about the best gifts for mom. See, I’m even making one. But the truth is, not all moms are alike, and you know best your mom’s personality. A “makeup and jewelry” kind of mom? Flowers, chocolate? Maybe she wants to sleep in and get a massage. (Hint, that’s pretty much everyone, all the time.) Some of that stuff can be sort of a “cop-out”, just going through the motions. Your mom did (and likely still does) a lot for you- make her feel special on days meant to celebrate her. (Dads, if you have very young kids, you are in charge here. Do something besides that macaroni necklace they made in school, yeah?)

As an active mom myself, and one that wears pretty much zero makeup or fussy things like that, I wouldn’t personally love a bottle of perfume or nail polish. I also try to be as eco-friendly as possible, and my family knows that’s important to me. I’m guessing to a lot of other moms out there as well.

Since many “idea” lists focus on candy and makeup, we here at [email protected] thought there should be one with other options out there. This list is for the active mom, eco friendly mom, who is a little less traditional, but pretty cool in her own rights.

Sand Cloud, an environmentally aware company that donates %10 of it’s profits to #SaveTheFishes (help protect and preserve marine life) offers a wide array of items that are sustainable, adorable, and environmentally friendly. From super useful items mom will love like reusable glass bottles with beautiful and fun designs on them to metal straws that you can take anywhere (avoid those unnecessary plastic ones that end up in the nostrils of poor sea turtles and washed up on beaches), soft towels with lovely artwork, or organic tees and tanks, there is something your earth conscious mom will love.  These items are not only beautiful, but useful. In addition, a percentage from each purchase is given to a charity- I can’t think of a mother that wouldn’t be pleased that Mother Earth is also gifted on this special day.  Visit https://www.sandcloud.com to see their collections, and pick out a perfect gift for the moms in your life.

reusable bottle

Yoga lover? Me too, we hit the mat almost daily, it is one of the best ways to center yourself and have a few minutes of peace. It’s fantastic for both mind and body, and if you haven’t yet tried it out, there’s always today. The hype is there for a reason. It’s good stuff. Slightly Buddha is a yoga company for yoga lovers, by yoga lovers. The items on the site are simple, pretty, and express the ideas of living a zen lifestyle. They make, as they describe them, “well made, cute clothes” that offer value to the customer. As the owner describes the collection, “Slightly Buddha is a manifestation of my love for yoga, art and clothes.”  The clothing is soft and comfortable. Pay attention to sizing, as I find that they don’t run typically. Some say that they run large, so you will get the “heads up”, so to speak. Others don’t mention, but you can tell that they run slim. Joggers, for example, are less loose then any others I’ve had, and fit more like leggings, which you can see in the photos. They are perfect for a yoga class, however, so that may be why the design is different. The tanks are also a slim fit, but are a nice feel. Pay attention to the photos and the reviews, they are honest and helpful.  Visit https://www.slightlybuddha.com to see what strikes you- your mom will love the graceful designs that are easy to mix and match, and go from the studio to the couch to errand running and beyond.
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Healthy Bodies, Inside and Out

This winter, as Spring is (hopefully) around the corner, you might be having a hard time holding onto those New Years Resolutions or even trying to stay healthy or active as a part of your regular lifestyle. I know for me, February is my “ugh” month, I often find myself with a case of the winter blues and really just “done” with the gray and the cold. I find it hardest to be motivated in February, and not just grab a bag of chips and pop on the Netflix. What to do? Try something new, a little change can often be just the thing you need, a little bump to get you moving.

DIY kits

Have you ever heard of Purple Carrot? You have probably  heard of similar ideas, pre-ordered meal kits delivered to your home that you cook yourself. This is the ONLY 100% plant-based meal kit company of the kind, where you can get pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step instructions for cooking healthy, vegan meals at home. As we are learning, eating plant-based meals even if only one day or a few times a week, has a positive impact on people’s health, the environment, and animal welfare. The food is very good, but it definitely takes time to make, so prepare to spend some time in the kitchen. While not difficult, some of the items made were challenging and to me very unnecessarily time consuming, like making my own veggie burgers. But we learned new things, so that was something. I can honestly say, even as vegetarians, we had never made any of these recipes before, so they were interesting and new.  Find out more here-

Spring Fashion for a Cause #Education #InvestInGirls

Spring is in the air and Easter is around the corner, Olivela not only offers great spring fashion finds,  but a significant portion of every purchase goes to help educate girls worldwide (cause partners include Malala Fund, Too Young To Wed and CARE for Syrian refugees).

Olivela started when Founder and CEO Stacey Boyd joined Malala Yousafzai on a visit to refugee camps in Kenya and Rwanda. There she met amazing girls with extraordinary stories of overcoming poverty and war and escaping forced marriage to pursue their educations. She realized that the opportunities she and her two daughters are lucky enough to have—access to education and the ability to live life on their own terms—these girls literally had to risk their lives for. In that moment, it became crystal clear that while talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not. It was from that realization that a new kind of retailer was born, one with giving back built into every, single transaction.

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Valentine Gifting From Companies that Give Back #ValentinesDay #Sustainable

If you want to shop sustainably this year, support small business, or like to avoid big box stores, I’ve got a shop for you. If you just like unique and high quality products at a reasonable price- this is a shop you will love. Marketplace Africa has clothing, bath and body products (and I’m in love with some of these already), purses, bags,- really, gifts for everyone on your list. Thoughtful gifts anyone would love to receive.

African body works

This website lets Africans can sell their one-of-a-kind handmade goods to the entire global market.  Anyone looking for a unique gift for the holidays can feel as good as the products they are buying, since they are purchasing directly from the source. Buying from small business owners in Africa boosts not only the store owner, but also the economy.

For more information on Marketplace Africa and to choose some fantastic gifts,  visit www.marketplaceafrica.com

Sudara creates ethically and sustainably sourced clothing for men, women, and children. This brand came about because of a desire to help women escape sex trafficking in India. 12 years ago, Sudara’s founder partnered with a sewing center in India and taught six women how to sew a pattern for pants.The year prior, she had been to India and heard story after story of women who were sold into sex slavery or were at high risk of being. The company was created to give woman the chance to have an education, a job with livable wages, and to be free.

ethical clothing

Sudara is a Certified B Corps company, which means they meet “the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems”. You know, the best of the best- the “good guys”.

The clothing is beautiful, as well. High quality, unique designs with fun colors and patterns, lots of options available. If you have not yet shopped with Sudara, I hope you take the time to give them a look now. Check them out on social media while you are at it, see what they have to offer- sudara.org  facebook  twitter  instagram

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Adorable Moosh-Moosh Stuffed Toys #GiftGuide

smoosh toys

Do you know someone who loves soft, squishy toys? My son (and my partner) both loft pillow-like toys, especially when they are super soft on the outside. They would be great gifts this holiday season. If you know any kid (or kid at heart) who likes to collect stuffed toys, these are sure to be a hit.

Moosh-Moosh is an adorable new, marshmallow-soft, squishy stuffed animal/pillow. You can use it as either or both (we do). You can find them in the aisles of Michaels Stores or CVS,  Moosh-Moosh comes in quite a few sizes and options. More than three million cuddly characters have been sold since they first came out this year. Cuddle, snuggle, squish or stack these cuties, they are fun to collect as well. Moosh-Moosh makes the perfect December present for stocking stuffers, dreidel game prizes or an under-the-tree surprise.

You can get these soft plushies in a palm-size 4”Clip-on ($5.99) to a huggable 7” Regular ($9.99) to the ultimate 10” Large ($14.99).
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Sudara Clothing – ethically made and helps women #GiftGuide

If you are anything like me, you like to shop as ethically as possible. Most companies and stores don’t give a fig about you, me, the environment, or anything other then profit. So, when you know brands that give a darn, they are ones you tend to do your shopping with.

give back

I’ve recently discovered Sudara. This brand came about because of a desire to help women escape sex trafficking in India.  12 years ago, Sudara partnered with a sewing center in India and taught six women how to sew a pattern for pants. The previous year,  founder, Shannon Keith, had returned from a trip to India and heard story after story of women who were sold into sex slavery. She also heard stories of women who were at a high risk of being forced into the sex trade by their families or picked up off the streets by local pimps. The reasons they were at a high risk? Because they lacked an education or the resources or the skills to, truly, have a choice.

She returned home from that trip and formed a small team of family and friends. They have since made 10 sewing centers and hundreds of women have found both freedom and living wage employment.

The pants are awesome. Comfortable, easy to wash and wear, pretty, and unique. The are no sacrifice to wear, and it’s great knowing that my purchase is helping other women and supporting a company that does good in the world.
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Back to School Shopping for @BTFE at @Costco #ad

Disclosure- I receive monetary compensation from General Mills in exchange of my endorsement of Box Tops For Education.

costco

Getting ready for back to school always requires a fairly big shop. When you have kids, so does the weekly grocery shopping trip, am I right? It’s bananas how much food these little hoovers consume. I have no idea where they put it, either. This is one of the main reasons I became a Costco member- that, and because they are often cited as one of the most ethical large companies out there. I try to shop small, shop local, and shop ethical whenever humanly possible. They tend to have higher quality products, sustainable sourced and ethically produced, as well as a fair pay for employees and a compassionate working environment. Imagine that! If only all companies acted like that. They do well for it, as well. The stores are always clean, and shopping experiences are easy and pleasant. Well, that’s not counting for the kids- but no store is responsible for that, LOL.  They almost always have “sample stations” throughout the store that you can bribe the kiddos with, however. Smart thinking, Sell more products, since we buy what we like, AND no hangry customers. Very smart.
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Puzzles for Differently Abled Kids 

TCG has assembled an exciting campaign to benefit Autism Speaks and Autism Speaks Canada. A leader in puzzles and games for the whole family, TCG is donating 1% of net sales on more than 80 of its puzzle products to help raise awareness and funds for research. It is a program the company initiated in 2016. Each puzzle box features the recognizable Autism Speaks puzzle piece logo.

TCG also created an Autism Speaks page on its website. The page includes more information about the company’s commitment to the charity as well as further details and stats about autism spectrum disorder, a condition that affects one in every 68 children in the U.S. and one in 66 children in Canada.

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