Coffee Date

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a virtual “coffee date!” Let’s fix that! If we were having coffee today—I would tell you that my mug is a little less full than I like it and I won’t be going for seconds. The reason? My husband and I are expecting our first baby! She’s due in March, and we can’t wait to meet her. :)

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m grateful to still have my one cup of caffeine goodness a day, even if I’m making it a tall instead of a grande. I’d tell you that I’m excited, nervous and a million other emotions that I’m sure all of you seasoned mommas can relate to!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m apprehensive about the slow creep of “stuff” that I know comes with having a baby. I’m grateful that there are now many options for fair trade baby items that I can mix in when I buy things! I’m excited to be able to purchase some items for our little one, but I also want to be mindful that not everything is a necessity. So I’ve created a short list below of my favorite tips for avoiding the money trap that I know having a baby can turn into!

1. Borrow, borrow, borrow! Even if these “tips” are a bit obvious, I had to stop and remind myself of them before running to Target and buying every baby item I saw! I made a mental list of friends I have who have had baby girls (or boys, for many of the items!). I plan to ask them if they have extra baby “stuff” lying around that I can either borrow or take off their hands completely. For my friends who have said, definitely, that they aren’t planning to have more children and are out of the baby stage, I don’t mind asking this question at all. In many cases I think they are grateful to make more room in their basements or storage closets!

2. Make the effort to search out good deals and sales. Thrift stores, garage sales, fair trade online stores—all might require a bit more effort than heading to the mall, but will be so worth it in the end! Babies grow so fast; I really want to be mindful of not just accumulating piles of clothing that might have been made by child laborers in other countries. Buying second-hand and fair trade items will help with this goal tremendously. I’ve mentioned this shop on the blog before, but how cute are these rompers from Baby Theresa? Their motto is “buy once, give twice”—which I just love! All of their items are fair trade and 100% organic cotton. For every romper sold, they donate one to a child in need and for every accessory sold, they donate formula.

3. Remember that all my little girl will truly need for the first few months is somewhere safe to sleep, food and clothing, and all the love we can give her!

If you have any other suggestions for avoiding the baby “money creep,” fair trade baby stores, or any other momma advice, I’d love if you’d chime in in the comments!

XO,

Casey

Fair Trade Baking: Brown Butter Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy weekend!

In case you have some fun Fall get-togethers on the horizon (bonfire, anyone?), I have a perfect recipe for you today from one of my favorite blogs, Picky Palate! Have you ever made anything with browned butter? It’s one of my favorite cookie-making secrets—the butter develops an almost-caramel flavor and makes everything taste just a little richer. Always a good thing! I’ve replaced some of the original ingredients below with fair trade certified ingredients. Just click the links to order the fair trade products! Isn’t it fun to be able to purchase fair trade for hobbies like baking? I think these would go great with some Three Avocados coffee (100% of their net proceeds provide clean drinking water and education in developing nations)!

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(recipe and photo from Picky Palate)

Ingredients:

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.
  2. Place butter into a small saucepan over medium heat. Let melt and bubble until browned. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes. Place browned butter and sugars into a stand mixer. Beat until well combined. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla, mixing until combined. Add flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, mini chips and pecans. Beat until just combined.
  3. With a cookie scoop, place dough onto prepared baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until baked through. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring. Serve. room temperature or chilled.

(Makes 2 dozen cookies)

Enjoy!

XO,

Casey

Fair Trade Bedroom Redo!

With the weather turning chillier, I’ve been getting the urge to snuggle under a warm blanket with a cup of tea in the evenings. Anyone else? If so, it might be time for a fun Fall project: transforming your bedroom into a cozy retreat full of soft textiles and a beautiful, rich color palette. Want to see how you can do it, fair trade style? Take a peek below!

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Swap out the summer-weight blanket on your bed with our Plush Glo Organic Sateen Pleated Duvet Cover and Sham!

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This sateen beauty is 300 thread count, 100% Fair Trade Certified, made of certified organic cotton, and includes two coordinating shams with vertical pleats. It’s available in White, Natural, and Quartz. Whichever color you choose will provide a beautiful backdrop for the second item needed to turn your bedroom into a pretty, cool-weather haven: a Vintage Sari Throw in a bold mix of red and orange.

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Toss this beautiful piece over a chair in the corner for a splash of rich color. Made in India and Bangladesh, these throws are created by women who save fabric from their favorite saris, and stitch them together with colorful thread. The multiple quilted layers make these kantha throws soft and warm. Our vibrant sari blankets are also reversible, so when you need a fresh look just flip them over!

And of course, you can’t forget your favorite furry friend, who needs a lounging spot in the bedroom too. Check out this fun Up-Cycled Denim Lounging Pillow:

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And since your bedroom is now so perfectly ready for the changing seasons, why not venture into the bathroom and add a little warmth in there too? These luxurious Glo Striped Towels should do the trick:

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The almost-purple shade draws together the bedspread and throw, and will provide a nice starting point for a total bathroom overhaul if that’s what you’re after. So using these ideas as a starting point, you hopefully have some inspiration for turning your bedroom space into an elegant fair trade Autumn retreat!

XO,

Casey

Friday Favorites

Happy September!

September is one of my favorite months. Even though Spring is technically the season of “fresh starts,” I feel the same way about Autumn! I even signed up for my first Fantasy Football team this year. It’s still nameless (thinking of a name seems to be outside my capability realm this week) and I still don’t totally understand the rules. But I managed to pick my players based on ability instead of “attractiveness level” like I wanted to, so I suppose that’s something, right?

If you enjoy Fall and football season too, let’s kick off the weekend with some fun Fall-themed favorites from around the Web! Feel free to add links to anything you’ve been loving lately in the comments!

Favorite Fashion: I’m loving having a moment with anything bright and plaid. Now if the only the temps would cooperate and drop just a bit so I can break out my scarves!

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Favorite Website: Give Generation compiles tons of socially conscious, “do-good” companies all in one place. It’s my go-to when I have an online shopping urge! They have women’s, men’s and children’s goodies—and even a pet section!

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Favorite Dinner: One of my favorite recipes from one of my favorite blogs! This recipe somehow manages to combine comfort food with sneaky vegetables and the toasty subs are perfect for a chilly evening.

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Favorite Sip: This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Apple cider is always a yes, and if it’s served in such a cute way, I pretty much can’t resist!

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Favorite Home Design: How great is this outdoor kitchen? Perfect for sitting around chatting on a cozy, sweater-weather evening. A girl can dream!

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Have a wonderful weekend!

XO,
Casey

Come Sail Away

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This Labor Day Weekend, let’s all choose to be adventurers! As Summer turns to Fall, I’m trying to remember that each season is precious and contains something to help us grow. I hope your long weekend is filled with fun outings, lots of love, and perhaps a jaunt out of your comfort zone…after all, that’s where the best discoveries are made!

XO,

Casey