Sseko Giveaway

I’ve teamed up with one of my favorite do-good brands, Sseko Designs, to help you transition into cooler weather in style! One lucky winner will get a $250 Sseko gift card to use online. Enter via the link below for your chance to win!

Sseko Designs is a footwear & accessories brand that empowers women in East Africa through dignified employment. Sseko hires bright & brave young women for 9 months after they graduate high school so that they can earn an income to attend university. To date, Sseko has sent 72 women to college!

Sseko’s Fall / Winter 2016 Collection launches TODAY, so go check out their assortment of beautiful leather bags, handwoven scarves and more. Every piece is handcrafted in East Africa from the finest materials.

A Giving Tuesday giveaway with MINTED

There are so many great options for holiday photo cards, but I’m a big fan of Minted because their cards are sourced from a global community of independent graphic designers. Their cardstock is thick and includes a recycled option, and their designs are fresh and modern. But a huge draw for me is that they will print your recipient’s address on the envelope at no additional charge. You can upload a file with your addresses and they save it to your account so year after year, you no longer have to address your cards by hand.

We used Minted for our cards last year and will be using them again this year. Here are a few of my favorite designs:

I love the booklets that allow you to add a couple pages of photos. I feel like this is fun for out-of-town family and friends.

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I’m also a fan of this little tag that could double as an ornament:

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For a simple option, I love the colors on this card:

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Since I’ve lagged on writing Christmas letters in the past few years, I also really like this option, which allows you to personalize the card with a little snapshot of your family’s year:

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To enter to win $250 credit towards a Minted purchase, use the rafflecopter below. Good luck! Contest ends and winners will be chosen Friday December 5th at midnight PT.
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If you use this link, Minted will give you $25 towards your first purchase of $50 or more!

A Thanksgiving giveaway: the Asus Memo Pad 8

I’ve got  fun giveaway today that might be a great gift option for someone you love (or maybe you will keep it for yourself.) It’s the ASUS MeMo Pad 8 – a lightweight tablet that runs on the Android platform. I’ve got this very tablet and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve never had a tablet before, though all of my kids have late-model ipads. I was curious to see how this tablet would work for me. I’m a longtime fan of the Asus brand (I’m typing this on my Asus computer) but I have never had an Android device. I am really liking it. All of the apps I use most are available on this platform, and I really love that I can communicate with my laptop via the ASUS “HomeCloud.” asus memo pad For a chance to win your very own ASUS MeMo Pad 8, enter using the rafflecopter below. Good luck! Contest ends and winners will be chosen Friday December 5th at midnight PT.a Rafflecopter giveaway

The benefits of minimalist parenting: an interview with Christine Koh (and a book giveaway!)

I’m excited to be interviewing Christine Koh, one half of the dynamic duo behind Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More By Doing Less, along with Asha Dornfest. Minimalist Parenting is a brilliant book that puts parenting into a saner perspective. Christine sheds some light on the premise of the book, along with some information about the benefit they are doing for women in Ethiopia. A book about laid-back, connected parenting with a social-good cause? Yes, please.


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Me: So what does “minimalist parenting” mean?

Christine: Minimalist parenting is about lifestyle editing, both physically and emotionally. It’s not about scarcity or being disengaged from your kids, and we don’t try to tell parents that there’s one right way to do things. Instead, our goal is to help parents tune in to their unique values and priorities so that decisions can be made based on joy, priorities, and instincts instead of “shoulds.” Our hope is that parents will read the book and feel equipped with the confidence and tools to move forward and make their lives awesome…on their own terms.


Me: How does this kind of parenting benefit our kids?

Christine: A big part of minimalist parenting involves shifting the reigns to the kids; to give them freedom to explore and develop their own interests, and to have them become a part of the family system by taking on responsibility. Why? Because if parents keep bending over backwards to do everything for their kids, kids will never develop their own flexibility! Kids need to explore and learn and grow and make their own periodic mistakes in order to become resourceful and figure out how to problem solve. They’ll become more resilient to life’s challenges, while also developing the essential life skills needed to be functional when it’s time to leave the nest.


Me: How does this kind of parenting benefit us, as parents?

Christine: Having kids help with chores, spending less time chauffeuring your kids around, raising resourceful and creative kids, feeling less burdened by social/emotional shoulds, feeling less freaked out when you confront your family calendar, not tripping over so much clutter, making space for self-care…does that all sound awesome? Those are just some of the benefits that you can derive from minimalist parenting!


Me: How did you decide, with all the pressures in the current parenting culture, that minimalist was the way to go?

Christine: As initially overwhelmed parents, we both eventually started experimenting with bucking the trend: letting go of perfection, learning how to say no, taking things down several notches, and following our kids’ leads more. Over the years we heard from our readers that they were wrestling with the same issues and found relief when we shared about do-less strategies. The response to the book has been amazing; everyone is overwhelmed and wants to identify ways to tweak their existing formula to reduce the crazy. It’s been such an honor to help people through that journey.

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Me: Tell me about the Minimalist Parenting benefit for women in Ethiopia.

Christine: We created this benefit to honor the one year anniversary of our trip to Ethiopia with ONE Moms. During the month of October, we’re donating 100% of royalties on all copies ofMinimalist Parenting sold through the tracking link http://bit.ly/helpwomenatrisk to Women At Risk, an organization that helps Ethiopian women lift themselves out of prostitution by providing them with practical support, job training, and viable employment. We met some of the incredible women who have benefited from this program during our site visit to the amazing fashionABLE.

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photo by Karen Walrond

To help the cause, simply order the book via this link. Buy copies for yourself, friends or family, to donate to your local library or wherever! We’re also thrilled that our publisher, Bibliomotion, is stepping up and matching our donation on the first 100 copies sold as part of this fundraiser. Thanks in advance for being part of this effort with us!


Thanks, Christine! And readers, you can also enter for a chance to win your own copy of the book. Leave a comment below answering the question: what area of your life would you like to simplify?

Concert Giveway: four tickets to Megan and Liz on September 8th at the El Rey!

I’ve got another fun giveaway today: four tickets to Megan and Liz on September 8th at the El Rey in Los Angeles.

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The Michigan-born, Nashville-based twin sisters are singer-songwriters with tight harmonies and empowering pop anthems. These youtube sensations are known for their creative covers as well as their original songs. My girls are big fans and we’re looking forward to attending this show as well.

To enter to win, use the rafflecopter below. You can also buy tickets at Ticketmaster. Good luck!

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