Fair Trade

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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Friday Finds: Summer Dresses

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$104

It’s hot here in Seattle.  When I mean hot, I mean about high 80’s.  Okay, it’s not Austin TX where it reaches 105 by 8am but for my weak Pacific Northwest body, it’s hot enough.  The kiddos and I were at the beach and I saw this really class looking mum wearing a beautiful tunic style dress and it got me thinking of the perfect summer dress that is stylish and can handle the wear and tear of being around kids.

Always a favourite in my bookmarks is People Tree based in the UK.  This Orla Kiely heart dress is super sweet and if you add thick black plastic frames, then you’ll definitely be the hippest lady in town. I was wearing my People Tree stripey shirt until someone had an explosive diaper.  Oops!  Well, a good washing will fix that right up.

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$40

It’s on sale! I like this dress because you can put a tie on and it looks like a completely different dress but you could also leave unbelted and it makes a lovely swishy kind of light summer breezy dress. I like the circle detail.  I would get it in the mauve colour.  This dress is from Fair Indigo.

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$45

I love me some stripes.  This is also the perfect 4th of July kind of dress or maybe France perhaps? I love the colour blocking, the colour combo and it’s made in the USA.  I found this dress on Mod Cloth. Looks like it’s a nice travel dress, doesn’t wrinkle up and has some give to the fabric.  Lots of good reviews on Modcloth.

I still have a pouch from my two babies but I’m determined to get slim and fit into one of my green retro looking Peopletree dress that I got eons ago.  It’s still a little tight but it’s getting closer!  I’ll have to show you all the results when I can just lose that last 10 lbs!

#FTSummer

Fair trade nursing covers shipment

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Our small sewing co-op in Davao, Philippines just shipped some more robot and paris pattern nursing covers.  We sell them at Amazon and Ebay.  If you choose to get them through ebay or our site then we can offer you free shipping.  At Amazon, we use their fufillment centers so you can choose the method of shipping and if you are a Prime member than you can get free 2 day shipping which is an awesome bonus.

We are starting to run low on stock in our patterns — which is a great thing because that means you are helping out empoverished women in Davao!  We want to design new nursing cover patterns so we thought we would ask you for your input on what patterns/shapes/colours/animals you would like to see.  We also received some great feedback on how we can improve our nursing covers so we will address that as well. We want to continue to empower these women with skilled work.

What has been your favourite pattern?  I would say that my favourite is the purple bears and the cherry blossoms.  I like the colours, they cover my giant baby — and well, I like the cute little bear and girl the purple patterns.  I’m a sucker for illustration.

We do have a sample sale of our nursing covers at Etsy while supplies last.  They’re a great deal at $10.  Fabric is the same but there are some flaws like sizing may be a bit off (shorter, two  wide, too long etc), incorrect thread or areas where the sewing may be a bit off.

Happy hump day!  I’m still dealing with kids under the weather so they are a tad clingy to Mama.

Spotlight on Fair trade Necklaces

My kiddos are under the weather today so I am going to get this quick post out as I seem to be in demand for comfort, nose wiping and cuddles.

We carry an assortment of beautiful jewelry but my season’s favourite is Raven + Lily’s Tigist  necklace.

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 Tigist Necklace $108

It’s lovely, delicate and makes a statement without being completely overwhelming.  I love the designs that R+L comes up with season after season.  Made with recycled materials by Ethiopian women artisans.  So pretty. Can be dressed up or down.

I also have my eye on this:

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$24

I’m into simple jewelry.  I love the statement pieces but I can’t carry it off.  I just don’t have that kind of swagger.  I do love ths triple arrow piece made by women artisans in India.  Designed by 4 all Humanity, an ethical fashion brand.  Pretty cool stuff.

I only have enough time to link a couple of things.  Family duty calls but I’ll be sure to spotlight more necklaces.

 

Friday Finds: What would I buy for my dad?

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starts at $40 for an 8 x 8.

Have you all heard of Woodsnap?  They put prints and illustrations on wood. I can attest that it’s the most awesome personal gift you can give to your dad.  It’s a good way to involve your kiddos too.

Our 3 year old loves to snap photos from our phones and also my DSLR.  He has taken some pretty good snaps, and I think it would be great to take a few of those and get an 8 x 8 print done on wood to put a collection together.  Your kids would be so proud to have their art up and it’s something personal for the whole family.

I got one done for T for his birthday which happens to hit right on Father’s Day.

We don’t have any family photos and so I asked my good friend Lil to illustrate our family and it turned out so good!  I already gave it to him early because I was just too excited to wait until his birthday.

$59

I would buy this for my dad.  Mend has a line of bags and accessories made by women in Northern Uganda.  100% of the profits goes towards Invisible Children‘s mission.  Sweet.  Check out their goodies because it’s really well made and stylish.

I hope we gave you some good ideas for your dads on his special day.  Enjoy your weekend!

#FTsummer

 

Father’s Day Ideas: BBQ. Enough said.

What celebrates your Pa more than a good old fashion bbq?  It hits on that time when the sun shines longer and you get to eat food outside and relax on your deck.  Even if you don’t have a deck, you can even go to a nearby park/beach bring one of those cheap coal bbq sets and it’s still a great way to celebrate your big guy’s day.

Our suggested meal plan:  burgers, roasted sweet potato fries or roasted veggies, drinks, ice cream,

Hamburger Recipe

Forget buying frozen prepped patties, you can make your own and it’s simple!  We our picky about our meat so we have started ordering all our meat from a butcher in Walla, Walla Washington called Blue Valley Meats. They have 100% grass fed beef and are even starting to introduce meat that are gluten free — meaning that the food/feed that they are feeding their animals have no gluten in them. Their chicken, well it tastes like chicken.  Sounds silly but these days, with our food being so processed, sometimes things just don’t taste how they should taste.  Prices are very reasonable for happy meat.

  • 1 lb of  ground chuck (should be a little fattier)
  • half an onion chopped finely
  • red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste
  • Buns (I like brioche buns but Tim is gluten-free.  Rudi’s makes a good gluten free bun)
  • cheese (We are partial to cabot cheddar cheese. So tasty!)
  • tomatoes (there are fair trade certified ones sold in PCC Health Markets or Whole Foods)
  • Lettuce
  • Condiments to your liking

Put the ground chuck in a bowl. The cut should be fattier because it makes a juicier burger. Add the chopped onion, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  I would be aggressive with my salt (2 tsp) to bring out the taste of the burger.  Mix all the ingredients together by hand but do not over mix.  Form patties the size of your palm. Toss it on the grill.  Cool one side for longer about 5-7 minutes and then the other side for about 2 to 3 minutes.  It shouldn’t take all that long to cook if you have loosely packed your patties.  Add your cheese after you have flipped your burger so it will be all nice and melty.

Toast your buns,  TOAST!  I can’t stand a soggy bun! Add it to the grill just a minute before you need to take the burgers off the grill.

Top it off with tomatoes, lettuce (we liked those boxed organic mixed lettuces) and smear it with your condiments.  I like mayo and dijon on mine.

Ice Tea Recipe

When I lived in Austin, I loved Zhi Tea’s peach ice tea.  It’s fair trade and organic and it’s probably the tastiest peach tea I have had so far. You can get their tea online. I’m obsessed with tea and the amount of tea I have can fill a whole pantry shelf.  Yikes.

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$15.95 for 3.5 ounce tin

Peach Sweet Ice Tea

  • looseleaf tea
  • sliced peaches
  • sliced lemons
  • sugar syrup (we use a fair trade certified cane sugar that you can buy even get from Costco!)

The ratio of tea to water is usually 1:1 but the size of spoon you use depends on how large the tea leaves are.  For larger leaves, I like using about a 1/2 tbspn.  For smaller leaves I would go 1 tsp.  For this brand I would go for 1 tablespoon.  Boil 8 cups of water and add your tea leaves.  I like to simmer my tea leaves for about 5 to 6 minutes.  Strain the tea into a jug, put it in the fridge to cool.

To make the sugar syrup, for this amount of water, I would add a half a cup of cane sugar  and half a cup of water.  Boil until a pot until the sugar dissolves.  Add it to the tea.

Just before serving, add 1 peach sliced and half a lemon sliced.

If your man likes beer than I hear there is a fair trade beer from Peak Organic Brewing Company.  How is it fair trade?  Apparently, one of their brews uses fair trade coffee mixed with beer.  That is one crazy combination.  I have no idea how that would taste!

Last but not least.  ICE CREAM!

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Ben and Jerry’s is FAIR TRADE certified!  I just bought this on sale at Safeway for $2.50.  I was hankering for chocolate.  I can’t wait to try it.  GMO free, not owned by a huge food conglomerate .  I read that Unilever (which owns most ice cream brands) aquired Ben and Jerry’s in 2000 so it’s not a family owned company.  Unilever is however committed to sourcing responsibly in their pantry food brands and teas in a certain timeframe.  Good news for that!

After this post, I feel like having a bbq myself.  I just need to get myself a bbq.

#FTsummer #Father’sDay

Father’s Day Ideas: super athlete edition

Apex 2

$25 -$125 (depending on what kind of good, better, best ball you want)

Tim would be paying attention to this post.  Your dad or hubby an health nut?  Does he love to cross-fit, training for a triathlon or just get that giddy look in face when he is about to participate in competitive sports? Well, we have found some goodies for you.

Senda Athletics is a company that makes fair trade soccer balls. The founder loves the sport and see just how much joy a simple ball can bring communities together, in the love for the spirit of the game.  He decided to make the balls fair trade because in order to support the non-profits, bringing soccer to poor communities, these balls themselves should be made in the most fair conditions so that the ball is enjoyed by all.  You can be assured that the ball you are kicking around was made in safe working conditions and paid a fair wage for their work.

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1. Barefooters Shoes           $100                                           2. WSI Peformance Shorts    $19.50

We are big purveyors of running barefoot.  Let me tell you it’s VERY hard to find shoes that are not made in China.  All the barefoot ones are made in China and while I know there are factories in China that are good and fair, I haven’t begun to research that in terms of the barefoot shoes but these barefooters happen to be made in Italy and even though they call it a post workout shoe, I think I would wear it to work out in.  I mean, right now, I wear converse type shoes to run and do my sports and this looks like a shoe you could run in.

WSI Sports specializes in men and women’s performance athletic wear.  All made in the USA.  Some pretty great work out gear.  Simple, sweat wicking and has style.

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1. Land’s End Durable Goods Tee $29.00  $19.99

It’s on sale!  Land’s End Durable Goods line are all home spun cotton and all sewn in the USA. This is great, brings jobs back to America. They have it in a variety of colours but I love this green.

Now go outside with your dad and kick the ball, shoot the puck or whatever will get you outside playing sports in the sunshine!

#FTsummer

 

Father’s Day Ideas: Hipster Edition

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I just moved from the most hipster part of America: Austin, TX and I can so see these on these dads over there.  I love the Krochet Kids company. They started out with crochet hats (very much hipster too) and their artisans from Peru and Northern Uganda sign each hat they crochet.  I love that personal touch.

They even have hair accessories for the ladies but may not look so good on the hipster dad but how about:

 

A super quality waxed canvas made by the good folks at Moop.  Been drooling over their bags for men/women.  They handmake all their bags in their Pittsburgh.  Super sweet! Made locally here in the US.   Your Pop can put his ipad in his bag, sling it over his shoulder,  stroller over to his handy bike to ride to work or study.

Just add a pair of skinny jeans from Gustin and a hipster plaid shirt and done.  Happy hip father’s day!

#FTsummer

Father’s Day Ideas: iced coffee to perk his morning

I’m joining a few other participants to blog about making your summer fair trade #ftsummer.  Since Father’s Day is coming along soon, we’re sharing a fair trade/locally sourced recipe idea for your dear dad.

Javier Cruz – Stumptown’s coffee producer from Colombia

Stumptown Coffee.  Direct trade house blend.  If you haven’t heard of this company then you need to get right down to Portland or someone who serves up stumptown coffee.  You can tell they are obsessed with coffee and that is a good thing because it’s a damn good cup of java.  Really smooth.  Their direct trade blends means that they are face to face with the farmers paying more than a fair price for their hard work harvesting these beans. Our family likes to cold brew it.

Iced Hazelnut Latte

  • 1 12 oz package of stumptown coffee (I would get the roaster to grind the beans if you don’t have a grinder.  Make sure it’s a coarse grind like for a french press)
  • 7 to 8 cups of water
  • hazelnut half and half (we like using organic valley brand)

Dump the entire contents of coffee grind in a large container like a large juice jug or something that will hold the grinds and water.

Pour in 8 cups of water.  Let it sit overnight (at least 8 hours) in the fridge.

Strain out the coffee grinds and pour brewed coffee in a clean jug.

Take out your dad’s favourite mug. Pour in about a cup of cold brewed coffee and add half and half to taste.  I like about 3 tbsps of the creamer.  It’s already sweetened so there is no need to add sugar.

Serve it to your dad and perk him right up.

#ftsummer

 

Friday Finds: What We Wore

I’m going to try to post a Friday finds, things we find on the internet that are locally made or made with a fair wage.  I know that it can be quite a task to search for stylish fun fashion fun food, home accessories and so forth.  Since I’m doing this with our family, I thought I would share some of the things we have found on the interweb.

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American Apparel red hoodie and hand-me down second hand pants. I like getting their kids stuff for basics.  They do get a lot of controversy for their racy ads but I like the fact that it’s American made clothing.

ibex-1Ibex jacket.  They specialize in Merino wool wear.  This jacket uses New Zealand wool and it’s made in the USA.  I spoke to the nice shop folks at the store here in Seattle and they are aiming to have most of their clothing made in the USA by 2015. T’s new favourite jacket. Super lightweight but also very warm.  Great for this Pacific Northwest weather. This jacket is available for sale in the wintertime.  It does have a hefty price tag at $325 because it is using fine merino wool material.

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1. Birks – I live in these all summer long. Made in Germany. A pair lasts at least 5 years. I still have a pair of clogs from my Toronto days which is now 13 years ago.  I love them!

2. Hudson jeans – I looked through all the labels of jeans for T at Nordstrom rack and I found these cool jeans that are made in the USA with imported European fabric. I love the name of this style which is called “Dandy Slouchy Straight”.  Great relaxed fit for men but not overly loose.  It looks awesome on my 5 ft 11 ish guy.

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy your weekend!

 

 

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