Black Friday deals on companies with a conscience

Today I'm highlighting Black Friday sales at some my favorite brands that give back, or that are good for the planet.

Krochet Kids is an incredible organization that empowers and mentors at-risk women in Peru and Uganda, offering them sustainable work and business training. And their products (beanies, clothing, bags) are really cute. They are offering 20% off and free shipping.

Krochet Kids intl. #knowwhomadeit

FashionABLE started working in Ethiopia five years ago, providing weaving jobs for women who coming out of the commercial sex industry. They quickly expanded to working with leather partners in Africa as well. They’ve got great bags and scarves that make perfect gifts.


If you are looking for kid’s clothes with a global conscience, Tea Collection is one of my favorites. And their clothing is adorable!

Auto Updating Promotional Banner 

I’ve been making the transition to green beauty products at the recommendation of my friend Sarah. I want to be mindful of what I’m putting on my skin. Beauty Counter is an amazing brand with all-natural ingredients and really lush, amazing products. They can be spendy, but their holiday gift sets are a great way to get a good deal.

beauty counter holiday

Minted is one of my favorite brands because they’ve got great products that support independent artists. And it’s not just great Holiday cards. They’ve also got a huge collection of art and custom curtains, pillows, and fabric.

If you’ve got a new mom in your life, Earth Mama Angle Baby has a huge line of prenatal, post-partum and baby products made of natural ingredients that smell amazing. 

Another great makeup brand with an emphasis on natural ingredients, tarte has really fun eye-shadow palettes and great holiday gift sets.

Know of any other sales at global-minded businesses? Link them up in the comments!

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Help me pick my Christmas card!

I’m trying to get my holiday cards out really early this year. We moved this spring and I haven’t been great about updating our address with family and friends, so I’m hoping that our holiday card can also serve as a “we’ve moved” reminder and give everyone our new address.

I’m going with Minted again for our cards. I'm a big fan of Minted because their cards are sourced from a global community of independent graphic designers. Their cardstock is thick and includes a recycled option, and their designs are fresh and modern. But a huge draw for me is that they will print your recipient's address on the envelope at no additional charge. You can upload a file with your addresses and they save it to your account so year after year, you no longer have to address your cards by hand. Total game-changer.

Since we are trying to rush the cards this yet, we haven’t yet done our annual family portrait. Instead, I just took the kids down to the Newport bay with my good camera and caught some shots of them myself.

Here are a few of my favorite designs:MINTED card option 4

I love Minted’s gold foil option. It feels festive and fancy. Like glitter without the mess.

MINTED card option 1

I’m also trying to decide if I want to go with the group shot, or four individual photos of the kids.

MINTED card option 2

I also love this design, because it feels very fresh and modern.

MINTED card option 6

And yet . . . the foil. I love the gold foil.

MINTED card option 3

Which one would you go with?

By the way, Minted is having a 20% sale on Christmas cards for Black Friday. Ends tonight at midnight!

minted black friday sale

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QOES: How do you like your cranberry sauce?

I grew up with cranberry sauce out of a can. My grandmother, and then later my mother, would empty the gelatinous mold only a plate and then cut it into thick slices. This is all I knew cranberry sauce to be.

When I was a young adult, I finally tried homemade cranberry sauce, and a lightbulb went on. Kind of like the lightbulb that went on when I realized that brussel sprouts could be roasted instead of boiled. This thing can be delicious. I thought I hated cranberry sauce, but no. I just hated the canned version.

Since then, I’ve experimented with perfecting my own cranberry sauce. I boiled the cranberries and add a little sugar, lemon juice, and orange rind. Last year I added some vodka. SO GOOD.

Photo Nov 25, 3 36 08 PM

Still, I recognize that for some people, the can holds a nostalgic appeal. I am the only defector in my family of origin. Everyone else loves the canned stuff.

How about you? How do you take your cranberry sauce?

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Wednesday's Child: Thomas

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday's Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.

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What is the value of the adopted life?

Today I’m hosting a guest post from my friend Angela Tucker, who is an adult adoptee, writer, and activist. She’s currently crowdfunding a documentary on adoptee voices. You can check it out here.

I am a female transracial adoptee with disabilities, happily committed in an interracial marriage. One might expect a minority ^5 (to the fifth degree) to have cemented and unflappable opinions on all topics relating to race, adoption and marriage. However the unique lens with which my world is filtered has lent me towards a greater acceptance and understanding that experiences lead to opinions as varied as the human race itself.  My siblings - through foster care, birth family, adoption and biological to my parents all have different feelings about adoption - some vehemently oppose the decision to share private facts publicly, others are fearful of searching for their birthparents, some struggle with the loss of their birth culture, while others focus solely on birth family relationships. One commonality we share is that we love our parents, and love our family.

Angela tucker

Closure was released to Netflix in February of this year and suddenly my personal story became available for anyone to dissect and use as a case study for adoption reunions. This development both excited and terrified me as I wondered how I would be able to let every Netflix subscriber know my main motivation for sharing my story in this way. How could I let every viewer know that my hope was that the film might allow another adoptee to feel less isolated and more understood in their struggle to make sense of their place in the world. At film screenings, I would sit in amazement watching the droves of people connect with my story, quietly wondering how empowering it may have been to watch a movie primarily focused on an adoptee when I was younger. While sitting at a screening, instead of watching Closure (and being re-triggered by events from my reunion), I would let me mind wander, imagining a teenage version of myself watching an adoptee movie on a Friday night with my parents, a bowl of popcorn snuggled up in my favorite blanket. I would then imagine that the film would conclude and the floor would be open for a deeply meaningful conversation about all the topics the film stirred up in me.

In the three years since the film has come out, I’ve heard too many adoptee stories to count, and  I have loved hearing each and everyone of them. Hearing these stories solidified my choice to release my story to the public, as it provided the evidence I needed that adoptees were feeling more free to speak about their experiences. I especially loved hearing from tween and teen adoptees as every time I would meet one of them, I could see myself in the questions that they asked. I saw myself in their unquenchable curiosity and the longing to be heard and understood.  Just a few minutes of speaking together connected us in a way that feels particular unique to adoptees. When speaking with these kiddos, I would occasionally ask if they felt they had safe places and people to share their feelings about adoption (other than their adoptive parents) most often the answer was, no.

I don’t feel that an adoptee should have to secure a Netflix deal in order for other adoptees to find a safe space to explore the complexity of the adopted life. I have decided to try to turn my fantasy dream into a reality and am creating The Adopted Life Episode series. The premise is simple; I'll direct an honest, free-flowing one-on-one conversation between myself and an adoptee, which will be edited into a short episode, filmed and edited by my husband, filmmaker Bryan Tucker. The open-source series will offer the general public the opportunity to listen these adoptees truths, providing space for private discussions afterwards. In order for this dream to come to fruition, I need to raise funds. I seek to tap into the mystical adoptee connection to provide youth an outlet for their voices to be heard and supported, to give young adoptees a platform so that they can find others more easily, while allowing our society to learn the value and power of their realities.

Every year in November we celebrate National Adoption Month, and every year media outlets rush to tell our stories and their default has been to ask adoptive parents to tell these stories. Typically, adoptive parents are introduced as the experts on adoption. This trend has been slowing changing over the last few years, with adult adoptees pushing back, declaring that we are the experts in adoptee experience, since we know what it feels like to live the adopted life. If you find value in my voice as an adoptee, please show your commitment by supporting The Adopted Life.

Angela and Bryan’s incredible campaign is in its final days - if not funded in full, the episodes cannot take place.

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