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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Adorable #BearsForHumanity Animal Pals

Disclosure- We received the belwo in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are our own. For more infomration, see “I Disclose”.

animal pals

If you have never heard of Bears For Humanity, you should definitely check them out. Bears For Humanity is a social commerce company that believes in 100% certified organic products, healthy children and a sustainable environment. They manufacture Teddy Bears and Animal Friends with an organic faux fur that is the closest thing to hugging a real bear (but much safer).  When a customer buys a Bear For Humanity stuffed pal, another just like it is sent to a child in need.  They also employ their workers through the “Welfare to Work” program. It’s a great program that helps at risk moms and caregivers get back to work.

We all shop, we all buy gifts, but how often do we see a company who donates one for one (buy one, donate one) to children in need?

Typically, when you purchase an item online, you are asked for your name, credit card and perhaps an option to join the mailing list. When you purchase a teddy bear from Bears For Humanity™, you get to choose which charity – Toys For Tots, Save The Children, Semper Fi Fund, OneSimpleWish.org, Lucile Packard– they will donate a bear to, because your purchase instantly doubles as a gift for a child in need.  You can also save even more by using this free shipping coupon code: FREESHIPPING4MOM which is valid through the end of August for online purchases on the Bears for Humanity website.
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