Gift Guide 2017

Every year, this is my favorite post to write, hands down! 6 years ago, this blog started as a way for me to educate my friends about companies doing awesome things and how they can shop responsibly and make a difference with their dollars. While this blog has taken on many different roles since then, supporting great people and causes is still very important to me- so, this gift guide is SO fun for me to write!

This year, I have a mix of products that I am personally loving, amazing causes that are Rwanda based, and some newer companies that I’m crushing on. I hope you find something you love!


Sloane Dear Shop
I was introduced to this charming kids jewelry line by my friend, Kelly, and I was immediately smitten. I mean, can I wear these? The colors are perfect, the touches of glitter, the adorable charms…yes please. The SD team was kind enough to send over a sweet bracelet for Hallelujah for Christmas (shhhhh she doesn’t know yet!) but I’m giving you a sneak peek! Isn’t it precious?

Um hi. Yes. Obsessed. This is my new mom staple- Lipsense every day. I swear, it’s infused with self confidence, caffeine, and tiger blood. I put it on in the morning, take it off at night, and that’s it. No more worrying about red smears all over my face! If you need a rep, my sister Monica will spoil you rotten- check out her FB group here.

Simple Beauty Headbands
I first got to know Lauren, creator of Simple Beauty, when we were living in Waco TX for a beautiful 18 months. I absolutely LOVE her turbans and I wear them several times a week. they are comfortable, cute, and come in SO many different patterns and fabrics! My current crush: the Fall Floral Turban!

Emily Ley’s Simplified Life Book
Everything Emily touches is gold, and this book is sure to be no exception. She’s a mama and an entrepreneur and she graciously and humbly shares her journeys in both worlds. A beautiful, practical gift for any woman in your life.

How adorable are these whales and horses? I NEED THEM ALL!  I feel like these guys belong in Anthropologie or Pottery Barn Kids or something. A perfect gift for a new baby’s nursery, a horse-loving little girl, or…me?

So many things I love here! Mango & Main is a Maryland-based shop (Hey-O!) that also works with some of my fave Rwandan artisans, among others. They have some really incredible products and, well…you should just go peruse their site. I’m obsessed with their bright pillows. Come to mama!

Amy Latta’s Hand Lettering for Relaxation Book
I got this book for myself a few months back and I looooove it. I like to do a lesson or two one night a week as a creative outlet and self care practice. It’s perfect for a mama who maybe needs some creative time to herself or who just needs a little relaxation. Pair this with a set of Tombow lettering pens and you’re all set!

Yay for DuHope! Several of my friends work for this organization here in Rwanda, and I LOVE grabbing their beautiful leather goods for gifts! They are doing great work, providing job training and employment for women coming out of the sex industry. Kigali locals can find their goods at The Shop, Inzora, Abraham Konga, and Charisma- online readers, you can find them here!

Another organization here in Rwanda that I really love, Azizi Life specializes in high-end traditional Rwandan crafts, and their products are absolutely beautiful. If you’ve ever crushed on my basket mural wall, you can find similar baskets on Azizi’s online store!

My dear friend/ soul sister Morgan introduced me to Noonday this fall, and I have fallen in love with their products and mission. And, yes- they work in Rwanda, too- among other countries! There is truly something for every woman in Noonday’s catalog– scarves, christmas decor, bags, jewelry, you name it. I’m obsessed with the Campfire Wrap Bracelet!

HTH Gifts of Hope Guide
Shameless plug! This is our organization, and our alternative gift catalog is LEGIT. Your purchase is not a drop in the bucket to us- it makes a HUGE difference, as we are small, and we will see the immediate impact of you buying a cow or sponsoring a farmer’s education. Please consider buying someone an alternative gift, supporting our ministry, and changing a Rwandan family’s lives!

This is on my Christmas list every year but I’ve never gotten one. Ha! Wink wink 😉 Wall calendars are a beautiful and practical gift, and Rifle’s double as amazing wall art for years to come. Also check out this one from Lily and Val- chalkboard style art!

Okay, I’m breaking my own rules for this one, because I typically don’t write about things I haven’t tried myself. However, I think this is a worthy exception because approximately every beauty news outlet says that this stuff is amazing. My friend Kelly swears by it, and she can hook you up! Way cheaper than lash extensions 😉 also- if you buy through this guide, you can get $20 lash cash back! Just let me know! 🙂

Trades of Hope is another incredible company empowering women around the world, and they make some really lovely pieces! I love their jewelry- especially their Waterlily Wrap Bracelet, made in Thailand!

GLBAL is a new cause-focused brand seeking to change the way the apparel industry affects the world. Their current campaign is using all proceeds to build a nightcare center for the children of sex workers in Cambodia. I have worked closely with the guys behind this brand, and they do top-knotch work!

Cuddle and Kind
It’s no secret that I love Cuddle and Kind– their sweet dolls are THE CUTEST and they donate 10 meals for every doll sold! They have released so many this year- lambs, polar bears, mermaids, and UNICORNS and really, I need them all. Like, LOOK AT THAT MERMAID!

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