Gift Ideas- Gifts With Stories That Matter

 It's so much fun to give a gift with a story! "The pjs I got you were made by women in India" is way more fun and meaningful than "It took forever for the lady at the mall to find the price on those".

I've highlighted a few of my favorite brands that are empowering women and men all over the world by giving them opportunities and skills to help themselves and their families out of poverty. They all have GREAT stories and and are doing wonderful things. You can read about each brand on their websites to learn more.

Above, are the Julia Flats. and clutch from Uxibal. All of their products are handmade in Guatemala, combining traditional Guatemalan textile and leather with modern styles.  I have the clutch! And a few pairs of Uxibal booties which I wear constantly.  The extra great thing about the Julia collection is that 30% of the proceeds go directly to the 30/30 Project!

UPDATE: Uxibal is having a Cyber Monday sale, up to 40% off! Get over there! 

I know so many families who have varying traditions of getting new PJ's for Christmas morning, Punjammies would be perfect for that! They offer great options for men, women and kids. On top of providing us with cozy lounge wear, Punjammies goal is to provide sustainable jobs for women in India who's alternative options often lead to their being trafficked.

Krochet Kids are made by women in Uganda and Peru. My favorite thing about all Krochet Kids products is that the woman who made it has signed her name on the tag. You can find them on the website, read a bit of their story and you can even write them a note telling them how much you like what they made!

I love the firngerless gloves, as would anyone who, like me,  is perpetually cold and perpetually on her iPhone.

What baby in your life doesn't need an adorable hat with ears?!? There's also a bear one!And an owl!

Every guy can use a good stylish beanie. Thankfully, there are a lot to choose from :)

Also, you can pick up Krochet Kids goods at Whole Foods, which means it makes a great last minute present when you're quickly running in for a bottle of wine on the way to a party.

PS. Krochet Kids entire website is 40% OFF for Cyber Monday! 

Check out Karama Collection for beautiful fair trade goods that have been handpicked for their quality, beauty and ethical practices from artisan collectives all over Africa. 

This beautiful circle bracelet is made of brass in by a group of jewelry makers in a Kibera, the largest urban slum in Africa.

The bath towels are a favorite of mine. Made in Ethiopia, out of cotton, but not the traditional terrycloth material we're used to- this means they are super absorbent but won't cause your hair to frizz. They are the PERFECT gift for someone with curly hair! And also beautiful to have hanging in your bathroom. And perfect to pack for the beach-they take up way less room than a regular towel and dry super quickly. I've also been known to wear the ones I have as scarves...can you tell, I really like these towels. I also got to see where they are made while in Addis Ababa a few years back so I can tell you first hand, they are all entirely handmade from dying the yarn to weaving on a giant loom, it's a crazy process to watch! But I can promise you, these are quality towels. 

Most every lady could use a chic backpack.  

The woven serving tray would be a perfect for anyone who loves to host or bake. 

Just a note, NONE of these wonderful brands listed above have compensated me for this post. These are all companies who's missions and products I love and will be buying from this holiday season. 

Catching Up


It's been a while. Like Jenny said in her update, it's great to be blogging again! For me, blogging is about keeping a record of our lives, sharing the fun things we discover, and staying connected with Jenny. It's so great to be back!

These past few months have been a whirlwind for our family. The biggest change being that I started a new job at the end of August! Although I've been involved since the beginning, I am so thrilled to be spending my working hours dedicated to the 30/30 Project! Here is an announcement of my new role if you are interested in reading about it. Not only am I excited to be back in my field (international development) but it is such an honor to be working with my family on something that is so close to all of our hearts personally.

Mylo continues to grow, both in height and personality! He is SUCH a chatterbox, narrating every detail of our lives. I need to start writing down some of the hilarious things that he says so that we have a record. He is a sweet, spirited, hungry little guy who keeps us on our toes and makes us laugh and smile every day. He LOVED Halloween this year and is obsessed with pumpkins so naturally we dressed him up as a plump one for his costume.

We have more to catch up on but since we are back up and blogging those can be full posts after Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Turkey Day! Jenny and I are making pies today, like we do.

Listen Here: Kevin

I love Leon Bridges! I love the message of this song!
Incase you missed it, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis debuted their new song "Kevin" feat. Leon Bridges, on the AMAs this past Sunday. The song talks about prescription drug epidemic, shining light on the fact that more people overdose on prescription drug than illegal ones (info via Also Leon Bridges' hook is hauntingly beautiful. You can listen to it here. 

And also, definitely check out Leon Bridges' album Coming Home..."River" is my favorite.

Photo by Jason Koenig (!!)

Lately (by Jenny)

The last time I was posting regularly was August. To be honest, it's been a bit of a roller coster of a fall. Here's a summary...

My beloved Nana died in September. I miss her terribly, but she was 91 and ready to go. I will forever be thankful that we became close in the last couple of years and that I got to spend her last week with her, mainly sitting next to her bed, holding her hand, reading to her and just being there. If you still have a grandparent, give them a hug and listen to their stories.

Jason and I got a new kitten! But before I go on about that, I feel like I need to officially say on the blog that our wonderful kitty August died. The crazy thing is, he's been gone for almost 2 years now, and I haven't posted about it. I was SO sad when it happened, I just couldn't bring myself to write about it, and then, when time passed, it seemed too weird be like, "BTW, my cat died a year ago" so anyway, here we are. We still have Oliver and he seemed a bit lonely without August, so we'd been looking for a friend for him for awhile and I'm pleased to say, Oliver loves his new little mini me! As I type this, they are curled up together on the end of my bed purring.

We finished up wedding season, including a really fun one in New York. Fun wedding idea posts to come this winter.

I went to China! My parents and I flew to Beijing to meet up with my sister, who lives in Korea, for a family vacation. Long post on this coming later.

While I was in Beijing, Jason won an EMA! 

And in-between those things, we've been dealing with a few very hard situations that aren't mine to blog about. Overall, looking back at these last few months the emotions I'd use to describe them would be sad and overwhelming. I feel like I've come out of it now, but it was easier for me to not be blogging. And then of course, beyond my own life, people all over the world are living through things far worse than I could imagine. Collectively, it's been a heavy couple of months. Through all of this, I've been reminded that you cannot control what comes up in life, or when your loved ones go, but you can choose to learn and grow through the hard things. I feel stronger, closer to Jason and incredibly thankful for the people in my life who showed up, let me cry, offered advice and were there for me in so many ways.

OK, now that I've written this, I'm realizing it is feeling a lot like a super sad, somewhat introspective, family Christmas letter. Forgive me. I hope this was at least somewhat interesting to you all out there to know where I've been. If not, you should have stopped reading a lot sooner! This was long!

Friday Roundup's been a busy few months. We have so many things to share and so many things to post and I promise, fun things are coming! But after getting the new design up, all I really wanted to do, was get back to normal and do a Friday Roundup.

As always, you'll find a wide variety of things I found interesting, entertaining, and informative this week. I mean, how many blog posts out there include links to the cutest beanie for babies as well as Op-Ed's on refugees? It's all about balance in life.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Teresa and I are going to a Friendsgiving hosted by some of our dearest friends and former college roommates. This month more than ever, it seems like a good time to be thankful for loved ones.

Beautiful engagement session with an Amish couple

I thought this was a refreshing take on HIV in regards to media coverage this week.

The cutest beanie, as mentioned above :)

Leo's lookalike

I keep trying to pull this look off...someday.

Drink more champagne! 

Have you started your Christmas shopping? These elegant, yet perfect for every day, fair-trade earnings are on my list :) More great present ideas to come, as I'll be doing a fair-trade gift guide next week!

Great article from Nick Kristof on refugees.

Also, the first Syrian refugees to arrive in Seattle. (Our friend's brother was there to greet them!)

Hello Again

And we're back!

What do you think of the redesign?

I have to say, I've really missed blogging. While sometimes getting posts up seems like a chore, when I wasn't posting, I really missed it. This is so much of an outlet for me and I know Teresa agrees.

We started this in January of 2012! So much life has happened since then and as I've been working on the redesign, it's been so much fun to look back over the posts that we've written. I've been reminded that more than anything else, this blog is a little time capsule into the world of Jenny and Teresa.

This was Teresa's first post and this was mine.

This post has over 1.5 million hits! Crazy! (And some super opinionated commenters, jeez...)

Another continually popular post (thanks Pinterest!) is about quilting!  Maybe it's time to make another quilt Teresa.

How was Mylo once so teeny? And how amazing that you've been able to capture his growth on here T!

Then there are the posts I've completely forgotten about! Like that time I was obsessed with Angela Lansbury! (I still am a little...)

You'll never know what you'll find in our blog archives...we really do seem to have a little bit of everything.

Lastly, if you're curious about our new photos...
Teresa and I decided we needed to have the most creative photo in the photo guest book at Laura & Alex's reception this August. So we hijacked the Polaroid camera and had our own little photoshoot! Something about the 1920's theme made a bathtub seem appropriate (1920's > Prohibition > Bathtub Gin> Lets climb in the bathtub!) and that's how it happened!

Life updates and a barrage of new posts to come soon...

PS. Please let me know if anything is wonky on the site. I've been trying to iron out all of the kinks, but I'm sure I missed something.