Summer Fruits

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This is the time where all the great U-Pick fruit and veg farms are open.  Here in Seattle, we raspberries, blackberries, tay berries are ready for you to pick.   The great thing about these more delicate berries is that because you are picking it, the price per lb is cheaper because you are doing the labour yourself.  It’s also a great thing to take your kids. I know Pax loves going out in the wagon and picking fruit.  It also gets him to like fruit more.  The great thing about it is you are supporting your local area farms, bringing in a healthy economy for farmers and your community.

So after you end up picking 20 dollars worth of berries (that’s a lot of berry shortcakes), what do you do with it?  I mean, there is only so many preserves you can make and in our family we don’t use it all that quickly.  I think what’s more versatile is to freeze them. It’s pretty simple too, Just watch them, let it dry and then line it on a parchment cover cookie pan  and freeze it, once it’s frozen you can transfer it to a baggie or container.  Then you have fruit all year round. We use it for baking, making smoothies, sauces etc so it’s a great way.

Another way if you want to preserve a fruit in it’s purest form is to can it.  I found a link here.  It has methods for using juice or a light syrup or raw or cooked fruit.  I think this would be great for stone fruits like nectarines and peaches.  I haven’t tried this myself yet but I think if we go picking for plums, nectarines, I would  try this method.

Go out there and pick your own fruit! If you have kids, it’s a great way to pass the time, educate them about plants, fruits and the sort.

 

Friday Finds: Super Savings Edition

It’s back! Wanted to highlight a couple of things we have on our super summer sale and as well as some deals I have found on the interwebs.

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travel soap  $22 $6

Only 1 left! Handmade by women in Northern India.  Lovely scents like Chai and Lavender.

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striped tote $19.99  $10

Carries a lot of stuff.  A LOT!  At $10 you can’t go wrong. It has a real bohemian feel to this everyday tote.

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t-shirts $28 $10

We have a variety of styles and limited sizes left. This is probably my favourite from our friends over at Good & Fair.  It’s seriously a great great deal at $10 for a fair trade organic t-shirt.  Super super soft and a lighter weight cotton for those hot summer days.

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Goody Bags pic c/o People Tree

Y’all know I love People Tree in the UK.  They have a great summer sale as well and I always love their goody bags.  I’m super tempted to get their kids goody bags because it looks like once it’s gone, it’s gone!  Goody bags will have like over £100 worth of clothing but for a fraction of the price.  I have gotten one in the past and scored!  You choose your size and then the put together a few lovelies for you.  A great great deal.  Also for US and Canada — they are offering £5 shipping for shipments over £50!

Happy Friday! Happy Shopping! We’re offering free shipping for a limited time on all our products so great time to take advantage.  Follow us on facebook, G+ or twitter to get the latest and greatest from us.  We also instagram as well so you can find us where we are!

 

 

Empowering Women at the Burke Museum

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Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum website

The Seattle Public Library has this awesome summer reading program for kids so we have been reading a ton of books to Pax and Meira.  One of the prizes you get after reading 10 books is that you get a free pass to the Burke Museum at University of Washington. I took the kiddos there and Pax of course loved the dinosaur bones and all but I saw an “Empowering Women” exhibit and I was intrigued.

It showcased a number of women artisans cooperatives in developing countries and a sample of the beautiful products they made.  I loved seeing all the pictures of this happy women and how it improve the economy in their little community as well as their own family life.  It was kind of the encouragement I needed to know that what we’re trying to achieve here at Lil’Soak is a good thing. I get really frustrated at times at trying to share the story of the women behind the products we design or curate and seeing this was just the quiet encouragement I needed.  I was bummed because they had an artisan market sale last weekend and I believe they flew some of the artisans to the show! So cool.

If you are in the Seattle area, you have to see this exhibit.  ON until October.  It’s free if you are participating in the summer reading program! The UW campus is beautiful this time of year.

They also have a cool empowering women pinterest board if you want to see what they have pinned related to the exhibit.  Great idea. We are also on pinterest as well and we often post a lot of fair trade or usa made goodies, shops and so forth.  I’m trying to update and pin whenever I can!  Follow us if you find us PINTERESTING! I couldn’t resist.

Super Summer Sale

Sorry for the silence at our end.  I was on a mini-break and the week to catch up on every day things has been hectic.  We also had a event at Starbucks headquarters in SODO, Seattle.  I will hopefully be back to a regular blogging schedule but not before I let you all know that I will be putting new product in the shop and marking them down for the year end summer sale.  We have a bunch of items that we offer that are not available online like these cuties:

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Bloomers! from $12 to $6!

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Bib from $12 to $6 (cute kiddo not included)

or how about this for the ladies:

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It’s $37 and we will be marking it down by 25%!  We have just one left!

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The travel soap is the best deal of all from $22 to $6.  One left!

We want to clear out our storage room so we can start designing new products with the women artisans we are partnered with.  We want to continue to provide solid fair work for these wonderful women.

That’s just a few of the deals we have in store. I will try my best to post it all up and let you know via facebook and G+.  I’m the jack of all trades here. I photograph, I upload, I fix, and entertain my kiddos so i’m up for the challenge!

Fight poverty, buy fair trade.

 

Astoria, Oregon

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I’m officially in love with Astoria, Oregon. We took a mini-break to Portland and took the long way back to Seattle.  I haven’t been here since I ventured here with my friend A when we were young and fancy free (ie. no children). It was beautiful then and still is now. It’s much more developed now with lovely new builds that reflects the seaside architecture and a Safeway.  It has retained its charm with a thriving downtown area with lovely antique shops, cafes and artist shops. It’s a charming city at the upper west corner of Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia river.

It was a very very short break and I apologize for the lack of posts but I have been really busy tagging new items for the fulfillment centre and also organizing to head to the market this week. We are going to start out summer clearout of our items.  We have sales so we can move our goods and be able to work on new designs/products with the people we are partnered with.  We want to continue to empower them out of poverty and provide them with real meaningful work so that they are able to provide for their families and send their children to school. The summer prices will first start at the Starbucks home office outdoor market.  We have bags, tees, and even underwear marked down for super sweet deals. Follow us on Google+ or Facebook for more details if you are in the Seattle area.  It’s the best way to get the most up to date info on all our happenings.

 

Friday Finds: Sole Rebels Footwear

From Sonya

Summertime means, no socks and I love me a good ballet flat or sandals.  I like these shoes from Sole Rebels, a fair trade shoe line:

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picture courtesy of SoleRebels website

$60 dollars each. The founder is a local from Ethiopia and she wanted to empower her community with jobs and hope.  It’s such a great story. They make both ladies and men’s shoes but since I’m the one looking at the shoe candy — I thought I would post some favourites.  They are decently priced and look super comfy and breathable.

A very short but sweet find today.

 

Recipe: Steamed fish, roasted potatoes and chorizo, green beans, strawberry dessert

dinner-1Super easy dinner and great for the summer! I use all organic ingredients, hits the farmers market and get fair trade stuff whereever I can.

Chorizo and Small potatoes:

  • A bunch of small potatoes (I found a sack of these small red, purple and gold potatoes at Whole Foods the other day)
  • 1 sweet chorizo (I have a 3 year old and can only take the spiciness so much)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Cut up the potatoes in half.  Cut the chorizo on an angle about a 1/2 cm. I made this all in my toaster oven so I didn’t have to worry about “turning off the oven” as mine turns off when the timer is off.  Liberally salt and pepper your cut potatoes and sausage and add olive oil. Toss, add it to a foil lined tray.  I kinda shape it into a bowl so the oil and juices won’t leak out. Cook in toaster oven at 300 degrees for about 25 minutes. If you are using your regular oven, then you could do 350 for about 20 minutes.dinner-2

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 handful of green beans
  • the leftover butt end of the sweet chorizo

Add olive oil to the pan. Once it’s heated, add your chopped up garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the chorizo which has been chopped into fine pieces. I used this for a little more flavouring to beans. Add salt and peper and cook until it’s still crispy and bright green.  Add a little water while sauteing if you want your beans to be more tender.dinner-3 I had white fish in my freezer and I adapted this from a Michael Symon recipe but it was so so good. My herb garden is growing in quite beautifully so I used a few of my herbs but any soft herbs would do.

  • 2 fish steaks
  • 3 sage leaves
  • a bunch of french tarragon leaves
  • 1 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • splash of white wine (or in my case I used rice wine)
  • salt/pepper
  • olive oil

Steaming fish is great and no fuss. I would use fish that is in season but I had this white fish in my freezer so I used it. Chopped up your herbs and add the mustard, wine and olive oil Liberally salt/pepper your fish steaks. add the marinade to the fish and place it in a plate.  I use a woke to steam but if you have a steamer, use that.  I added water to my woke, placed my dish on top (I use something to help it sit on my wok).  Cover.  Your burner should be on medium.  Steam for about 25 minutes. Don’t worry if it collects water because what I did was that to make it look “pretty” I plate my fish into another clean plate and used that sauce left in the steaming plate and poured a little over it.

dinner-4Last but not least was my strawberry dessert! Gluten free of course! I adapted it from Carla Hall’s recipe but made it gluten-free.  Head to the link for the recipe. The only changes is that you need to cook it longer when it’s gluten free flour. About 20 minutes. I also added vanilla to my whippy cream and basil to my strawberries. DELISH.  I loved that you can just use any fresh fruit available for the season.

This was dinner last night!

 

Giveaway!

Our lovely friend Kayli over at How to Fairtrade Your Summer is having a Lil’Soak+ giveaway with our organic laptop sleeves.

MosesLaptop Sleeve2It will fit a small laptop about 15 inches is the max size. Fairtrade, made from organic cotton. Made by rescued women in Cambodia.  It’s a lovely simple sleeve to protect your laptop. Winners can choose the colour!  Giveaway end July 16th!

Check out her website for my details and use the hashtag #FTSummer in twitter for any more q’s.  Good luck!

 

 

Friday Finds: Shorts!

Friday finds, on a Saturday. I’m in vacation mode and I don’t have my computer with me so it’s bloggins on the fly — and I’m also taking care of 3 kiddos too. We are still having some great warm weather here in Seattle (actually I’m in Vancouver but it’s relatively the same!) and I found some cute shorts from One Mango Tree:

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Cute eh?  They are on sale from 36 to 21.60.  Act now! They’re a cool fair trade fashion line and have great colour and patterns to their dresses and tops.

I also came across some usa made men’s shorts which are great for the outdoor dude:

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$79

From a Colorado based company called Topo Designs. Nice clean simple lines. This one is a cotton/nylon blend so it probably dries quickly. Good length for men. All their stuff is made in the USA.  That’s vey cool indeed.  This kind of wear and look should be made in Colorado, right? I love all their backpacks and bags. It had me thinking about a backpack that I used to carry in my elementary and high school years. It was the same brand over the years because it was such high quality and at the time made in Japan.  When I saw their stuff, it reminded me of my school back pack I carried.

For the kiddos, I would check out Winter Water Factory for short pants.  I love their stuff. Meira has a couple of dresses from them.  Fun colours and clothes that are hip but they still look like a kid, you know?  I love clothes that are comfortable for play for a kid, stylish but not overly grown up. They are having a Fourth of July sale so hurry, it ends tomorrow!

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Summer is here: Made in the USA Swimsuits

paxsummer-1Phew, it was hot this weekend for Seattle!  90+? Yeah, that’s hot for us.  Our pale skins got a wee bit of a tan while we spent some time visiting the Museum of Flight this weekend. It got me thinking of beach summerwear for the family. It’s so expensive to buy bathing suits in the first place and I’m sure it’s difficult to find USA made or even fair trade bathing suits but since the 4th of July is coming up, I thought I would research and find USA made bathing suits for everyone.

Here is the best of what I found online:

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$152

After two kids, I rather have a one piece.  This is cute and flatters the body.  Although — I do like the two piece in the sense that I could get different sizes since I have the smaller upper body and bigger lower body thing happening so if there was a two piece that covered my belly, that would be key. Company is called Tara Grinna from South Carolina.  Nice stylish suits for women.

Blue-Swimwear-198x300 NoNetz_Model_1024x1024$40 and $47

 

From a company called NoNetz in NYC.  Chafe free for the boys in your life.

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$40

From Bella Bear Wear — they were funded by kickstarter and the special thing about their suits is that it snaps right off so it’s convenient for mom/dads to change their kids diapers quickly and snap back into their bathing suit.  Their suits also have a skin protectant. I really like the idea of this for my wee babe — and I like this plaid pattern.

Gotta jet — Happy Canada day to my fellow canadian friends. It’s so hot in the house that my kids are a little crazy so I think I need to get them out and cool them down somehow.