Tag Archives: Gifts

Shop Good

When we found out we were moving to Oklahoma City, we immediately started liking the Thunder. The team is easy to like because they are good, but also because the entire city is crazy about them.

Originally I went out to our local sports store and purchased a championship shirt for Hubby, but it was too small and then they lost, so I figured I would keep looking. I’m glad I did because it led me to a great little shop called Shop Good.  Shop Good sells ethically made and social justice products which provide funding for local and international charities.  For example, this shirt (which I bought for Hubby) provides funds for Sunbeam Family Services, an organization that helps young mothers in OKC get on their feet. If you’re looking for fun tees, they have some great designs to check out.

Need a gift for a girlfriend? This bracelet available at Shop Good is made by South American artisans and provided through the Andean Collection. Its $26 price tag provides fair wages and benefits to the artists.

Or want a little something to spice up a simple dress for a night out? This clutch from Sseko Designs helps employ young Ugandan women to make sandals and clutches while they learn business models and prepare for college. So far, Sseko has graduated three classes of women from their program and every single one of them is currently in college. Wow!

Of course Shop Good isn’t the only store that sells fair-trade and social justice products. If you are interested in looking at some other shops that have this humanitarian approach, scope out these:

If you know of any other great shops that help the international community, please share!

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Birthday Traditions Around the Globe

This weekend my adorable niece turns two-years-old. Needing some creative stimulants to help select her birthday gift, I decided to research birthday traditions around the globe for some inspiration. The trouble was that I found plenty of traditions but very few images.  And since I’m a visual person, I thought it might be nice see the traditions in addition to just reading abut them.  Some of these were not easy to find, but here are 11 different global birthday traditions to try out:

  • Argentina
    Earlobe Tugs. Children receive a pull on their earlobe for each year.

Courtesy of White Coat

  • China
    Noodles for Lunch. Friends and relatives are invited to lunch; noodles are served to wish the child a long life. In addition, the child receives money from both parents.

Chinese birthday noodles courtesy of Learning Chinese with Iris

  • Denmark
    Flying Flags. A flag is flown outside a window to designate that someone inside is enjoying a birthday. Presents are placed around children’s beds while sleeping.

Danish birthday flag courtesy of Copenhagen

  • Ecuador
    Pink Dresses. When a girl turns 15, there’s a great celebration. She puts on a pink dress and her first pair of high heels and dances the waltz with her father. Fourteen girls and fourteen boys pair up and dance the waltz alongside them.

Quinceanera celebration courtesy of Being Latino

  • England
    Fortune Telling Cakes. Certain symbolic objects are mixed into the birthday cake as it’s being prepared. If you uncover a coin in your cake, it’s foretelling of future riches.

Fortune Telling Cake Charms courtesy of Woof Nanny

  • Holland
    Crown Years. Even (2, 4, 6, etc.) birthday years are called “crown years.” The child receives an especially large gift on the special crown year birthdays. In addition, the family decorates the child’s chair with flowers.

Birthday Chair courtesy of Snowy Bliss

  • Ireland
    Birthday Bumps. The birthday child is lifted upside down and “bumped” on the floor for good luck. The child receives a bump for every year—and one extra for good luck.

Birthday Bump courtesy of Miss Zoot

  • Israel
    Chair Raising. The child sits in a chair while the family raises and lowers it, corresponding to the child’s age, with one extra for good luck.

A birthday chair raise courtesy of Art House

  • Mexico
    Pinatas and Mass. A pinata is filled with goodies and hung from the ceiling. While blindfolded, children take turns hitting it until it’s cracked open. Also, when a girl turns 15 in Mexico, a special mass is held to honor her.

Mexican birthday pinatas courtesy of Alice Q. Foodie

  • Philippines
    Cakes and Noodles. Birthday cakes are baked in various shapes and sizes. The celebration includes noodles — representing a long life — balloon decorations, and pinatas.

Filipino birthday pinata courtesy of Life, Love, & Why

  • Russia
    Birthday Pies. Instead of a birthday cake, the child receives a birthday pie with a birthday greeting carved into the crust.

Russian birthday pie courtesy of Send Great Flowers

What other birthday traditions did I miss?

This post is adapted from FTD’s website.

Love Locked

Today is my two-year wedding anniversary to the most wonderful man who just so happens to be my best friend. To commemorate our day, I decided to be creative with Hubby’s gift and got an idea from pictures I’ve been seeing on a variety of blogs: the love padlock. The cultural phenomenon  of hanging a padlock with lovers’ initials has covered historical sites around the world. Have you hung a lock on any of these?

Mount Huanshan, China courtesy of Wikipedia

Locks in Moscow, Russia courtesy of Hotel Club.

Padlocks on the Pont des Arts in Paris courtesy of David Lebovitz.

I wanted us to have our own love padlock but rather than permanently place it, I wanted to be able to take it with us.  So here’s what I did:

1. First I purchased a 5×7″ matted frame, a padlock, and one of these 3M metal command hooks.

2. I created a 5×7″ Publisher document with important words and events from our marriage, leaving a space for where the hook would go.

3. Then I framed the Publisher document and placed the command hook on top of the glass over the reserved space.

4. Since the lock I bought has a four digit code, I put our anniversary 06.19 as the combination.

And voila! A one-of-a-kind anniversary gift for Hubby.