NaBloPoMo Post #29: Shopping with a Purpose

November 29th, 2009

If you have someone on your holiday gift list but you have no idea what they want or need consider buying something in their name, like water or a goat or a flock of chickens or a micro-loan. Here’s a list of places to get you started.

charity:water Give clean water.
Oxfam America Give animals, training for mid-wives, soap, blankets, seeds and much more.
Heifer International Give goats, sheep, water buffalo, ducks, knitting baskets, rabbits, milk cows, etc.
Samaritan’s Purse Help buy a plane ticket for a child needing surgery. Buy hot meals. Provide clothing and shoes. Help build schools and hospitals.
PlumpyNut A peanutbutter type paste that is being used to save children from malnurishment.
Doctors Without Borders Doctors and Nurses who volunteer their time in areas of the world where medical care is difficult to come by.
AHOPE Sponsor an orphan in Ethiopia who is HIV+

Or, if you don’t want to just give someone a card stating you donated money in their name, consider purchasing gifts from a store that gives back.

Ten Thousand Villages Great gifts from around the world. Ten Thousand Villages is part of the fair trade organization so you know that what you buy is hand made and the artist is getting a fair price for their work.

Fistula Foundation
Beautiful jewelry and scarves. Supports hospitals treating women with fistula – a complication from childbirth that can leave a woman incontinent, which usually means she is shunned from her family/support system. (P.S. check out the movie Walk to Beautiful for more information on this).
Amharic Kids Jewelry made in Ethiopia by women who are HIV+. The money made from the sales helps support these women.
Water4Christmas T-shirts, waterbottles, etc. 100% of the money goes to charity:water. You can also check out the Water4Christmas etsy shop for handmade items. Again, 100% of the money goes to charity:water.
Orphans No More You’ll have to e-mail the Matts to see if there are any left. The bracelets and ornaments were all made by the nannies in Uganda who are currently caring for their son while they wait to bring him home. The money will go towards their adoption costs and back to the orphanage he is currently staying in.
Beads For Life Handmade paper beads by bead makers in Uganda. I ordered a bag of loose beads for myself and they are amazing.
Kazuri Handmade beads from Kenya.

I’ll add more to the list as I find them. If you have any organizations, feel free to add them.


December 26th, 2008

Kevin and I left Lexi with her grandparents and went shopping in Hutch today.

Okay, first of all, Kevin’s parents live in Great Bend, KS which is not big. There is some shopping but it’s mostly Wal-Mart and K-Mart.

So we drove 45 minutes to Hutch to shop. Between Great Bend and Hutch there is an amazing fabric store in Aldin. It’s huge. And it’s got an amazing selection of fabrics. I would have bought a bunch for a quilt I’m working on but I didn’t know how much I needed so I was nervous about buying fabric out of town. Once we got to Hutch we went to Ten Thousand Villages which was located inside a thrift store. Ten Thousand Villages had most of the same things our store sells but the thrift store part was a gold mine. First of all, things were actually priced at thrift store prices. $1 for a kid’s sweater, $3 for jeans, etc. Kevin got lost in the book section (which was like walking into a 1970′s Christian book store) and I wandered up stairs and they had a fabric/craft section. A whole section of fabric remnants, buttons, knitting needles, zippers, lace, yarn, patterns, beads and thread. I came home with a bag full of about 6 yards of fabric, 3 rolls of crochet yarn (the really thin stuff), 3 packages of covered buttons, a couple bags of beads, 3 patterns, 2 sets of knitting needles, and a few other quilting supplies. And it only cost me $13.

Best deal ever.

Best Deal Ever

November 16th, 2008

A friend on the adoption forum posted a message about super cheap carseats. I clicked on it to see what the big deal was. Target was offering Britax carseats for $42.99. If you aren’t shopping for carseats, this won’t make sense. If you are shopping for carseats you’ll know that we got a carseat that normally sells for $279.99. Yeah, just saved over $200. Score. Oh and it was only offered online but we also got free shipping. Double score.

So the first new thing we bought for baby #2 was the best. deal. ever.

By the way, if you are looking to find one, they are sold out. About 20 minutes after I bought mine people were posting in the forum thread that they were sold out.

Update: Yeah, so since I never luck out and get super good deals like this, I was not at all surprised to see the e-mail from Target telling me it was a typo and they canceled my order. But if I stilled wanted the carseat, I could re-order it for the actual price of $279.99.

Isn’t there some rule somewhere that says if a store screws up the price they have to give it to you at the price they listed? I’m going to call them tomorrow and have a chat with customer service. maybe I can at least get a gift card out of the deal.

If you like fruits and veggies….

September 17th, 2008

….go check out my sister-in-law’s etsy shop. Aside from all her play food, she also has some new produce that is sort of food, sort of a doll and very cute. Think Christmas shopping people…

Buy Handmade

September 8th, 2008

This Christmas, I’m going to try really hard to buy handmade for everyone’s gifts. Even took the pledge to buy handmade.

If you want to buy handmade but don’t know where to start here are some of my favorites:

Ten Thousand Villages. Everything in the store is handmade by artisans around the world. And it’s fair trade. Double bonus. About a zillion talented people who make just about everything you can think of. Plus, my sister-in-law has a really cute shop.

A couple of my favorite etsy shops: SewYummy, Flaky Friends, Project8256, Junk Posse

The Black Apple. Art work. Very Cute.

Global Girlfriend. Shopping here helps fund microgrants for women. All the products are hand made by women around the world. Another fair trade organization.

Happy Shopping.

Dress Codes

August 25th, 2008

I’m not the biggest fan of dress codes. At my previous job I worked there for almost 4 years before a dress code was implemented. The rule was no jeans. Actually, no denim unless is was a skirt. We could wear what ever tops we wanted and apparently cargo pants, sweat pants, and any other style pants were O.K. as long as they weren’t denim. Now as a toddler teacher no jeans is not the best plan. Jeans hold up against paint, markers, various body fluids, sand and crawling around on the floor for most the day. But they did one better on the dress code, we had to wear a lab coat over it. A full length, pale blue lab coat. We looked like dental assistants. It was ridiculous.

Now, job number two has decided to implement a dress code. Pretty much the same thing – no jeans. Although I think colored jeans are allowed and we don’t have to wear a stupid lab coat. We do have to have nicer tops, t-shirts aren’t outright forbidden but they are strongly discouraged.

The good in all of this is that I get to go shopping (well, got to go shopping but I’ll probably go again with birthday cash). I went to Kohl’s yesterday and tried on almost everything in the store and came home with a few pairs of pants and a new tops – that I love. I hate shopping for shirts because they always look cuter on the hanger than on me but I actually like the way these tops look – now I just have to stop myself from wearing the same three shirts over and over.

Hmm…this was a really long post just to be able to say: I got cute new clothes!

Wish Lists and

July 17th, 2008

A couple days ago I decided I wanted to find a site that I could put all of my “wish list” items in one place. I wanted a site that would let me include anything and everything I found online. And I found one. allows you to do just that. I signed up add a bunch of fun stuff and moved a bunch of my stuff from my amazon list to the new list. Then a couple hours later I logged back in to my amazon list and saw a huge banner that said “you can now make your universal wishlist.” Seriously? How did I miss this? Is it new? I’m sure it’s not new. I’m never that ahead of the game.

Well, anyway, for those of you in gift-giving moods, I’ve added links to my blog with my wish lists. My amazon list contains only books, DVD’s & CD’s. The list on contains everything else. There are also lists for Lexi and the new baby. Same deal – the amazon list is a children’s book list and everything else is on their wishlists. Happy shopping.

Anything in “mini” is cute.

May 7th, 2008

Tonight we took Lexi shopping for a pair of summer shoes. I get her shoes at REI because they hold up, their cute and I know they are good for her feet. First she tried on Crocs (in orange) which she liked because they were orange but we weren’t sure if they would stay on her feet. Then she tried on Tevas but we couldn’t find her size.  I was really hoping to find them in her size because she had a pair last year and they were great. Last she tried on Keens first in purple and then in aqua. She ended up choosing the aqua. While trying to fit her feet I realized that she’s getting really big. She didn’t fit into the toddler sizes. She’s officially in “kid size” shoes. And she and Kevin have matching sandals. I was hoping to find sandals that would look cute with a skirt or shorts but she really liked the Keens and didn’t want to take them off, so there’s probably another pair of sandals in coming soon. Or she’ll just wear these all summer (which is probably more likely).

The best part of the shopping trip? Getting to the check out counter and discovering we had a $45.00 dividend credit on our account. Free shoes (sort of).

Play Food

March 30th, 2008

My sister-in-law now has fake food in her etsy shop. Lexi just got a box of it and it’s as cute as it looks. Plus, if you order a bunch, you get a fun little tote to carry it all around in. Oh and the hair clips are fun, too.

Where to Buy Cool Stuff

February 23rd, 2008

I’ve talked about this site before but it’s worth mentioning again. I love, love, love etsy. I’ve purchased pictures from here, the same wallet (twice) from here, a purse from here, and a baby sling from here. I am wanting things from here, here, here, and here.

And now my sister-in-law has opened up her own etsy shop. If you are in need of a cute (and very well made) gift, check out her shop. Lexi has gotten something homemade every year for Christmas and loves the dolls and blankets that have been made for her.