Archive | November, 2011

My baby girl

24 Nov

This year, as it was back in 1994, Thanksgiving Day is also my baby girl’s birthday. My sweet baby girl was born 17 years ago on Thanksgiving Day. Thus giving my OB a day away from his in-laws, which he was quite gleeful about. My baby girl was supposed to be born on the Tuesday of that week. She had other ideas.

 

 

She did everything she could to stay in, but in the end was forcibly evicted at 5:24 AM on November 24, 1994. She was the most calm baby ever. She could entertain herself for hours on end. She was always happy and smiley. She has a bubbly outgoing personality (not sure where that came from – so unlike me!) and would talk to anyone.

 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL!

 

 

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A feature! A feature!

23 Nov

Monday we were featured on Sweet Stella’s Mompreneur Monday blog. Shannon, who writes Sweet Stella’s featured us a while ago and was nice enough to do a followup. A bit more background info on Blanket Statements and why I started this company. I usually try to limit the “personal stuff” I put out there, but I guess bits and pieces come out.

 

 

I was especially touched by the very sweet sentiment she wrote as an intro:

 

 

Please visit Shannon’s blog Sweet Stella’s and take a look at her website and Etsy Shop too to see her cool stuff!

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alchemy Goods….Good Stuff!

22 Nov

Woot! Another shopping post! This time I’m featuring Alchemy Goods – a social enterprise based in Seattle Washington.

 

Alchemy Goods specializes in recycled bags and accessories – turning useless into useful. They take inner tubes, advertising banners, seat belts and more and turn them into rocking awesome bags and wallets. All of the materials are sorted, cut, cleaned and prepped in their Seattle workshop. Then bags are then assembled in a sewing shop in the neighborhood. How cool is that? They even give factory tours!

This is my favorite item they have: the Ad Bag. $35 for a large and gorgeous bag made from what they call advertising banners, but I’m pretty sure we call billboards. No two are the same, and check out the handles! Seat belts with inner tube supports.

I love the graphic look. And the fact that you can throw it in a washing machine. Super durable and super easy to take care of. Love love love it!

Visit Alchemy Goods and see all the other coolio stuff they have available. Remember, support companies that are making a difference rather than a huge CEO payout. There are responsible people and companies out there!!

 

Do you make a difference?

16 Nov

I ran across an interesting article yesterday on Cheap, easy ways to donate to charity. The title kind of threw me for a loop. Cheap ways to donate? Seemed kind of odd. Easy ways? Sure, easy is good. But how do you work cheap into it?

I’ll outline the info, but one thing that I took away from the aticle that I thought was very interesting was this stat:

“Last year, charitable giving totaled $290.89 billion, with three-quarters of that coming from individuals…”

While most people think corporations do the most giving, it is, in fact the little guys. And it doesn’t matter if you can’t give a lot…even a little can add up.

1. At the grocery store. Next time the cashier asks you if you want to add a $1 donation to a charity, say yes. Those dollar donations add up and raise awareness of the need. You can also use coupons and pick up a few extra cans of food for a food collection or pantry. Look to see if your checkout aisle has a change donation spot and drop off your change.

2. Sign up for a credit or debit card that gives back. While I would never advocate getting a credit card, if you have a debit card that does this, all good. Honestly, I don’t trust credit cards or banks to “do the right thing” and I’d much rather give my money on my terms rather than theirs. But, if you do use credit cards, look for the ones that have that kind of program, or reward points that you can use to give to charity.

3. Empty that change jar. Loose change is everywhere. I have a coworker who has so much change in his car that it is spilling out all over the floor in the back. Take that change in to your bank or credit union and donate those dollars. Coinstar machines even have charities that they sponsor so using one of those machines to donate is an easy way to get ‘er done. And here’s an interesting tip: if you have gift cards you aren’t going to use with $25 or more on them, check out PlasticJungle.com. They allow you to donate up to 90 percent of the gift card value to one of 90 charities. Coolio!

4. Change, techie style. A lot of charities now allow donations through text messaging on your cell phone. The donation is added onto your cell phone bill. There are even “Like” campaigns on Facebook where for every new “like” to a page, the sponsoring company will donate a dollar to charity.

5. Donate you! Can’t afford to donate this year? Donate your time. Cook meals at a homeless shelter. Help out an elderly neighbor. Volunteer at a local school or hospital. Check out websites like VolunteerMatch.org and Idealist.org to find opportunities to help out. Don’t forget about donating blood to the American Red Cross.

6. Make your money go further. Seek out matching donations. Many companies will match their employee’s charitable donations. Donate to causes overseas. Dollars can go much further in underdeveloped countries. Check out the GiveWell website to find the best-performing charities that make a big difference in poorer countries. Another way to increase the donation is to pool your resources with others to form a group. Ask family members to chip in rather than purchase gifts for a birthday or holiday. Collect donations from coworkers to purchase gifts for a needy family.

Lastly, I’d like to add – purchase from social enterprises rather than corporations. Social enterprises, whether non-profit, or for purpose, offer an excellent opportunity for your purchase to do more for others. There is a vast array of companies out there that now adhere to one-for-one mantra, or donate benefits to others in monetary or basic living supplies. Visit the social enterprise database at GivetoGetJobs.com for an astounding number of social enterprises. Rather than support the exports of China, look for products that make an impact right here in the US.

 

We are all in this together.

The Information Blanket

15 Nov

This post isn’t necessarily about holiday shopping, but another great social enterprise. I especially liked reading about how the company was started on the blog page. Be sure to check that out as well.

Today’s feature is on The Information Blanket. Started in 2011, The Information Blanket was started as a joint venture with UNICEF (my favorite charity). [Read the rest of the start of the company here]

The Information Blanket is a one-for-one social enterprise that features baby blankets with care instruction printed right on the surface of the blanket. Purchase an English language blanket and a second blanket is given to a mother and her baby in need somewhere else in the world.

Available in pink or blue, the blanket includes information on feeding, immunizations, growth chart, and other general health info. It makes a wonderful gift for any new parent, and it’s a gift that makes a difference to someone else in the world.

Making a difference to someone else in the world.

There is nothing better than that.

Rethink Buying

14 Nov

I love this tagline. I seriously think this is the wave of the future. Instead of profits to CEOs, purchase products that make a difference to the world. Anyway, check out this social enterprise:

 

 

Smile Squared‘s goal is to offer practical, sustainable solutions to help improve the overall health and educational needs of children around the world. At Smile Squared your purchase protects the envoronment and, most importantly, helps children in need.

 

Smile Squared’s toothbrushes are handcrafted with a bamboo handle and are sold in biodegradable packaging. The handles are also biodegradable. You can purchase either adult or child sized toothbrushes with the buy one, give one option, or donate both toothbrushes!

I just love finding other companies that do the one-for-one model. Shame on me for not knowing that this business model was out there before I started Blanket Statements. It has truly been an accidental learning process, but I am so heartened to know that what I knew to be good in my heart is also in the hearts of others.

Visit Smile Squared on the web. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Sunday Funny

13 Nov

Look! It’s another rare weekend post! You know the drill. Enjoy!

 

And when that sign says help “us” I’m pretty sure they just mean me.

:::shudder:::

Saturday Funny

12 Nov

Look! It’s a rare weekend post! I’ve got a couple things lined up for this weekend. I usually don’t post on the weekends as I spend the time with my kiddos doing something or other. This weekend is no different, but I’ve got some lunchtime to schedule out a few posts today (Friday).  Enjoy!

 

Yeah, totally me.

 

 

Veteran’s Day 2011

11 Nov

A personal post, on this Veteran’s Day.

This is a photo of two veterans, one of whom is my Papa. He’s the one on the right. He served in WWII as a Fireman First Class, honorably discharged on April 6, 1946. I’m not sure who his friend was in this photo, he never spoke much about being in the military. But this is my veteran. I miss him terribly.

William E. Armstrong

1926-1989

Help Educate Kids This Holiday Season

10 Nov

You know I’m not big on large multi-national corporations. But I do have to make a few exceptions for the few that go the extra mile. I’ve always been a fan of IKEA. I love a lot of their designs, and I have to say, a lot of my furniture has come from IKEA over the past decade or two.

Since 2003, IKEA has donated $47.5 million to UNICEF and Save the Children. Which corrolates to approximately 8 million children in nearly 40 countries having the opportunity to access a quality education. This year they are aiming on raising $16 million.

UNICEF is one of my favorite charities, so it makes sense to me to support a corporation that supports them. Visit the IKEA Soft Toy Initiative and check out the sweet friends you can purchase this holiday season that also include a donation to UNICEF and Save the Children.

I sooo love this cutie!! Gosig the Bulldog. I might have to get two since my kids will probably fight over him. Or perhaps this may be my Christmas gift to me this year. (Last year I got myself a toolbox. lol). There are several cuties to choose from that can be purchased online, but lots of others are available if you are so blessed to have an IKEA within a day’s drive.

These are some of my favorite in-store buys:

There’s not many things I love more than anthropomorphic vegetables. Go ahead, ask my friends and family. They will tell you. I give human emotions to pretty much any inanimate object possible. I’ve even gone so far as to feel bad for the unoccupied theater seats, and un-purchased pumpkins and Christmas trees. My empathy has a way of spilling out all over everything. Much like a oil pipeline.

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