Black Friday: 30% off Sleep Caps

Only today! we are offering 30% off all our Africa Sleeps sleep caps as a one day, super duper sale!

Sleep Caps

Sleep caps make amazing stocking stuffers. Just enter the following coupon at checkout: BLACKFRIDAY2013

While you are sleep cap shopping, don’t forget to check out our gorgeous holiday hair and bodycare selections. We have hand-sewn gift bags, Sugarplum Faerie Sparkle Lotion, Gingerbread Holiday Body Lotion, Sugar Cookie and Gingerbread Lip Balms, and a whole lot more organic, natural delights.

If you would like your sleep cap to arrive in time for the holidays, don’t forget to add “speedy shipping” to your cart, so your caps arrive on time. By default, we send caps by slow but inexpensive standard mail. So if you want it faster, either add “speedy shipping,” or some hair or bodycare items to your cart. Hair and bodycare are only sent with speedy shipping, so if they are in your cart, your whole order will arrive in plenty of time for the holidays.

Happy shopping! And thanks for supporting our little family business!

A little Ethiopian Trip under the Tree

For the past couple of years, our lives have been on hold… Waiting and waiting for our business to start and our adoption to pan out.

It was almost five years ago that we brought the girls home from Ethiopia. We told the girls that we would bring them back to see their family when they were eight years old. Back then, it seemed a lifetime away… But the girls turn either years old this summer, and by all appearances, our clinic should open in May.

So, with some deep reflection and absolute disregard for financial realities, Jason and I have decided that we are going to take the girls to Ethiopia this spring. We were hoping to double their trip with a court trip for the next little guy. But since we haven’t heard anything on that front, we’ve decided we’d better charge ahead. Once the clinic opens, it will be insanely hard to get away for a couple of weeks. So it makes sense, if not remotely financially, to do it now.

We’ve been hmmming and hawing about it with the girls, but their Christmas presents will seal the deal. I bought them tonight online… Their own luggage! Just what they wanted, to go to Ethiopia….

Cozy Cabin: Temporary Homeschool

In a cabin, in the woods, little girls by the window stood.
Saw Laughlin and Maggie racing by, barking at the ferry.

“Help me! Help me! help me!” They said.
“Before my Mommy makes me do more math.”

“Patience little rabbits,” said the boss.
“Finish your phonics and then play outside.”

This week Jason as working in Nelson, so we decided to pack up the kids and take a working holiday along with him. The clinic owners have a little house in the village of Procter, so we are camped out in a cozy cabin beside Kootenay Lake.

I told the girls they could skip school for four days, on the condition that they did their schoolwork in the cabin each morning. So this week, we are temporary homeschoolers 🙂

After a relatively sleepless night of Laughlin waking me up three times (he always does this in a new location) we woke bright and early. The girls took the dogs for their morning constitutional walk, and found a fenced back yard on the way. So the dogs have been running around enjoying the fresh air, and the girls took a prebreakfast swing in their jammies. Then after a couple of hours of addition and phonics, we walked over the general store and bought some delicious goodies for lunch. Homeschool for two days was done by lunchtime. 🙂

At this rate, I’m going to have to figure out more things for the girls to do. They built fires today, played ping pong, did a puzzle. Wowsas, the pioneers must have has a lot of time for leisure….





The perfect holiday gift! Ethiopia ABCs book

Ethiopia ABCs previewTwo years ago, I was driving west of Addis Ababa towards Nakemte. I was struck my the amazingly beautiful scenery, and the fascinating rural culture of the Oromo people in that area. En route, I snapped picture after picture, and when I got home, created this book: Ethiopia ABCs.

Honestly, it is a gorgeous photobook! I will toot my own horn. But the best part of it is that I’ve written in snippets of rural Ethiopian culture that my children find fascinating, all in the context of learning ABCs. This book is a great tool for pre-K/K alphabet learning, but my kids have picked it up again in grade 2, exercising their own reading skills.

Please consider buying a copy for yourself and for your friends with children. It’s a great way to learn about Ethiopian cultural, beautiful enough to make a coffee table book, and I donate 100% of the profit to Vulnerable Children Society.

Ethiopia ABCs ab

Ethiopia ABCs cd

Ethiopia ABCs yz

Frugal Fridays: Fix and Keep Stuff

I remember when my gramma and I were chatting one day, and I told her I didn’t fix my nylons. I throw them out, often after one use. She looked at me incredulously. In her day, people fixed their nylons.

We live in a very disposable society. There is even a term for how companies design for their products to have a limited lifespan: planned obsolescence. It’s cheaper to throw electronics out and get a replacement than to fix them. When Jason and I needed a new computer, we had to look high and low for one that didn’t come with a keyboard and a monitor. We’ve had the same computer monitor for ten years. I’m writing this post looking at the ten year old monitor. But we had to go against the grain to not buy something new.

Really, it takes a commitment not to buy new things and to fix what is broken. That is, in North American society, anyway. In Ethiopia, I see people fixing things all the time. If you have one sweater, you darn the holes. If you can’t get another camera, you find a part at the Merkato. Necessity is often the mother of frugality. That’s the world that my gramma lived in when she had small children.

Back here in North America, present day, I do fix a lot of things. Mainly around the house… I’m really quite handy and can replace light fixtures and jimmy a fence. I also mend knees on jeans and reupholster furniture. So I try to fix something at lest once a week.

I still don’t fix nylons. But I do darn the busted-out toes of my daughters” stockings. (Those silly things are $5 each, on sale!) Of course it takes time to fix and mend, but if you are going to have a hobby, it’s not back to have one that saves you money!

What do you fix?