My bad mother moment curtosey of Beyonce.

I woke up like this!

I woke up like this!

On the night of Beyonce’s visual album release I was on the road in Louisville.  I saw the instagram messages come through and it didn’t really register to me what was going on.  I was sleepy and I was still destroyed from scandal.  The next morning when I woke I fully realized what happened.  Beyonce had dropped an album and we were none the wiser.  That day was Friday.  Friday I had a full day complete with 3 flights 4 cities, and no ipad.  I do have an iphone but I have no idea how to work it.  Shit just got real and panic began to set in.

Drunk in love.

Drunk in love.

I realized that I would not have the ability to download and watch the album until at least 10pm that night.  With every passing hour and every instagram, facebook post, or tweet I saw about the album I got more, and more antsy.  When I landed in Kansas city one of my radio stations played a few cuts from the album for me and I felt like my life was falling apart.  It was glorious!!!  Just then I got a phone call from my music director in St. Louis informing me of snow and unpleasant plane riding conditions. YES!!!!!!!!!!!  I would now be able to cancel my flight to St. Louis and go home to download!

partition

partition

I got home around 830pm and immediately went to my room to download my music and watch.  I played with my kid for 5 mins and allowed him to sit in the bed with me while I geared up.  I never download stuff off itunes so I had to go through 30 mins of resetting my password and so forth.  When I got ready to download the kid’s dad hands me the kid’s report card.  At that moment I had to make a decision. Beyonce or report card.  That report card didn’t get opened until well after midnight.  I needed time to process the videos, and get my feelings and life in check.

cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!

cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!

The next morning I didn’t even talk to the kid about his report card because I was still feeling served by Mrs. Carter.  This moment will go down as one of my bad mommy moments, and quite frankly I could care less.  Phonics can wait! All hail king B!!!

Where your toys come from is just as important as what you buy.

toyfactory 1

Toy factories

Toy factories

Getting your loved ones the right present is such a task that we take great pride in.  One thing we need to keep in mind is where those toys come from and the people who make them.  Some of our beloved toys and clothes are made in sweatshops where the workers are not paid fair wages for their work, nor are they working in safe, or clean environments.  While it is quite difficult for us to know which toys are made in factories who pay their workers fair wage and which are not we can try.  One way is to purchase toys made in the USA, our labor laws are a more strict and keep most companies honest.  Below are some of our favorite American made and produced toy companies.

Plan toys. hands down one of my favs.  My kid owns several pieces:-)

green plan toys 3Plan Toys. eco friendly, American made toys

Plan Toys. eco friendly, American made toys

Haba Toys, fantastic toys for all ages.

Haba Toys

Haba Toys

Uncle Goose has fun educational toys for babies and toddlers.

Uncle Goose Japanese blocks

Uncle Goose Japanese blocks

Gifts that give back

While browsing the internet in between phone calls I stumbled upon this site!  It’s a site that has products that either give products to those in need when you buy one or share their proceeds to a specific charity.  www.shopwithmeaning.org is a great space to shop!

smiles for the people provides one toothbrush for a child in need with every purchase.

smiles for the people provides one toothbrush for a child in need with every purchase.

Original Adult Toothbrush by Smiles for the People

Product Description: Smiles for the People’s Original Adult Brush is a premium adult toothbrush made from 100% biodegradable bamboo. The brush has an ergonomically curved design that makes it comfortable and beautiful. Here’s the best part though: for every toothbrush you buy, Smiles for the People gives the cash equivalent of ONE toothbrush to someone in need. Your toothbrush comes in fully recyclable packaging and completely biodegradable shipping envelopes, and we make sure every shipment is carbon neutral.

The Good: For every item purchased, Smiles for the People donates the cash equivalent of ONE toothbrush to someone in need of dental care. Some “one for one” companies donate one physical product for every product you buy, but to be most effective, we do it differently. Instead, we donate the cash equivalent of one toothbrush to an experienced dental charity. Our donations enable our Giving Partners to design locally appropriate interventions for their communities’ unique local needs. Because of the wide range of needs in the oral health field, and because toothbrushes can sometimes cause more harm than good for people in need of care, this strategy is more responsible than donating physical brushes. In addition, our giving strategy reduces our carbon footprint and allows for local ownership.

hand soap gives a bar of soap to a person in need with each purchased bar.

hand in hand soap gives a bar of soap to a person in need with each purchased bar.

After 3 years of brainstorming for an idea of company that could make a difference in the world, the founders of Hand in Hand Soap learned of the startling statistic of the over 5 million people who die each year due to diseases caused by poor water quality and lack of proper hygiene.  Perhaps even more startling is the fact that half of those deaths could be prevented with just a single bar of soap.  Thus the Hand in Hand one for one soap concept was born.  For every one for one soap purchased, Hand in Hand will donate the same bar to save a life.

Visitors to the Hand in Hand website can purchase their one for one soap in packages of two, five and ten bars.  The current scent available is a delicious orange blossom that will leave you smelling and feeling spectacular!  Hand in Hand also takes an eco friendly approach to their one for one soap.  Not only is the product made from all natural ingredients, but every ingredient is harvested and grown in an environmentally friendly way.  In addition, all Hand in Hand soap is fair trade certified and shipped using eco friendly packaging, comes with a free carbon offset, and a portion of all proceeds is used to save 50 square feet of rainforest for every bar sold.

pillows purchases help women entreproneurs

Oimei co pillow purchases help women rise above poverty

Oimei Co. was founded in 2011 with the primary goal of empowering women to rise above poverty. After witnessing many poverty-stricken areas of Thailand, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Cambodia firsthand, founder Aimi Duong and her friend Fanny Huynh decided to use their creativity to source hand-woven textiles from rural artisans, at the same time supporting various peace building projects.  Oimei Co. markets its fair trade gifts to empower marginalized workers in developing communities to improve their standard of living.

The Oimei Co. website features several beautiful handmade pillows, crafted with home spun cloth and decorated with exquisite traditional embroidery.  The pillows – cleverly termed “Pillows for Peace” – come in a variety of vibrant colors, fabrics and designs, all hand crafted by talented artisans in Thailand.   These certified fair trade gifts are fabulously unique with designs available only in limited quantities.  It’s the perfect way to dress up your home and complete your décor while also helping enrich the lives of others across the globe.

Countdown to Christmas gift guide!

Big word flash cards

Big word flash cards

It’s Christmas time and I have gifts to get for the kid, my nephews, my friends children ect, ect, ect.  I’ve been combing through the webiverse trying to find cool gifts that are not made of plastic, or that light up and give kids a sensory overload, or that will end up in the trash by January 15th.  My go to gift is always books but I’m going to dig a little deeper this year.

During my dig I found these!!!!!!!!!  These are beyond wonderful!  I absolutely love a person who knows how to properly throw a big word or two around.  I find it stimulating and it makes me want to talk to them even more.  What better way to prep kids for linguistic gymnastics than big word flash cards!?!?!

yes!!!!!!!!!!

yes!!!!!!!!!!

this makes me so very excited!  SO VERY EXCITED!