Jun

05

The Best 15 Father’s Day Gifts

Wils

We’ve invited a good friend, Bart Munro (who is a father himself!) to share some of his favorites that he put on his Father’s Day wish list! Bart is not only a dad to one of our incredible Ellie Fun Day models but he is also an entrepreneur! He has worked at companies such as Ebay and Microsoft and companies that focus on holistic wellness coaching, tracking, and accountability! He is now working on a new way to travel responsibly for one of the largest cruise ship brands! We just want to send out a huge thank you to Bart for sending us an incredible list of options to choose from!

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Gin Making Kit

1. Gin-Making Kit – $54

While everyone else is busy with their beer-making kits, take your game up a notch with this innovative gin-making kit from Williams Sonoma.  To go all in, you can also pair it with their tonic making-kit as well!

 Harry's Shave

2. Harry’s Shave – $15

From the co-founder of Warby Parker, finally a solution to having stylish shaving implements with refillable high-quality blades at reasonable prices.  A super-easy subscription service lets you select how often to receive replacement blades, and razor handles are available in beautiful, inspiring colors.

 Bear Grylls – Adventure without Limits

3. Bear Grylls – Adventure without Limits – $85

Ever since seeing Bear Grylls’ first season of Man vs Wild (on Discovery), I have respected his powerful combination of adventurous spirit, authenticity, and deliberate Dad. Now Bear has a full line of adventure and survival gear, capturing the spirit of his lifestyle for adventure and preparation.

 BocceBallSet

4. Bocce in a Box – $82

Beautiful Italian bocce ball set in a wooden box.  Perfect for picnics, family weekends, or work gatherings.

 OiOi Satchel Diaper Bag

5. OiOi Satchel Diaper Bag – $169

Finally, a diaper bag that lets you keep your mojo!

Breville Espresso

6. Breville Espresso – $499

Our favorite counter-top espresso machine!  Breville is an amazing Australian-based appliance company, with an attention to design and functional detail that excels above all the rest.  We love this particular model, as it still tucks easily underneath a cabinet in a small kitchen, and can also be easily transported for weekend-get-aways.  (Yes, we even have a special plastic bin that we use to pack in the car for AirBnb or camping weekends!)

 Lightsaber Flashlight

7. Lightsaber Flashlight – Buy 2 – $14

It’s hard to beat, for practicality, adventure, and just plain fun.  I bought the first one for my 3-year-old son, because it has a switch that automatically turns off after a few hours of use (avoiding the every-day recharging routine of all our other flashlights, that get left on overnight.)  But as soon as he realized how cool the lightsaber function was, I ordered another for myself so we could have lightsaber duels!

Wooden Goat

8. Wooden Goat – $15

Well, these things are just hard to beat.  With many barn and safari animals available, the goat is still my favorite.

 Bamboo Race Car

9. Bamboo Race Car - $26

Even before our son was born, I made a plan to have only wooden toys in our living room, so we could continue to enjoy it as a playroom for adults and kids alike.  While some of the best wooden toys are still only available in Europe, fortunately, Hape has been importing some amazing options.  This one I play with as much as my son.

 Tegu Daredevil

10. Tegu Daredevil – $35

Our good friends Will and Chris over at Tegu have cooked up an amazing new set of blocks that combine to make superhero vehicles!

Giant Brown Paper Roll

Photo Credit : Toovia

11. Giant Brown Paper Roll - $30

200 inches of creative canvas!  We bought this paper to put on top of our dining room table, and encourage kids and adults alike to express their stories and creativity!  Every 1-2 weeks, we take photos of the current paper, and replace with a fresh sheet!

Stainless Steel Cups

12. Stainless Steel Cups – $37

We use these stainless, eco-friendly steel cups all the time for camping, picnics, and outings to wine country!

BatteryBox

13. BatteryBox – $219

For all you road warriors out there, who love your Mac but don’t like dimming your screen to level 2 in order to make it across the country – this one’s for you.

Hot Sauce Making Kit

14. Hot Sauce Making Kit – $35

Why not spice up this year and get creative by making some authentic homemade hot sauce!Weber Portable Grill

15. Weber Portable Grill – $170

Have no fear because regardless of the size of your backyard this portable grill helps makes family barbeques a reality!

 

What’s your favorite Father’s Day gift?

 

 

 

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Apr

29

Who makes EllieFunDay’s Baby Blankets?

Back posting from India! Monday, Feb 10th

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Today I got to meet the ladies that make our blankets. As we sat around in a circle on mats, they told me how hard it was to start making these baby blankets because this was an entirely new project. At many times they were almost ready to give up on the baby blankets, but they persisted. One lady finally shared with us how working at Flowering Desert has given her dignity in society and that she is proud of the work that she gets to do. My heart swelled and I started to feel my eyes well up with tears. After 6 months of R&D and production; our Stitched Wonder blankets has been worth the stress, the sleepless nights and the emotional roller coaster.

I got to sit with them during tea time and shared some goodies we brought. As I observe the bare bones sewing unit I knew that these blankets that they produced are a miracle in itself. These women are not factory workers that have been trained to produce at a high rate. They sit in clusters on the floor hand-stitching each blanket with care and they mingle amongst each other. One might help another out if there is a problem, another might tease her neighbor if she’s made a mistake. I get such a sense of sisterhood and warmth. This is true empowerment at it’s best. Slow fashion is NOT mass produced, it is made with intention and integrity while preserving the maker. This is what handcrafted for life means.

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Feb

07

Hyderabad : MyChoices, empowering peacemakers

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Empowerment means taking risks, giving up comfort and stepping out in boldness to do something that matters.

Over the past few months I’ve gotten to know Elca Grobling, the founder of MyChoices a former Aussie finance manager who decided to move her entire family of 5 to Hyderabad, Andra Pradesh to make a difference for women that have suffered from domestic violence. Elca’s passion for this cause is inherent in her zeal as she shares about the issues here in India that women face.

In Andra Pradesh alone 30% of the violence enacted is against a woman. Most domestic violence cases are attributed to alcohol, especially in poorer families. Dowry, lack of education and child marriages also contribute to this. Her vision has been to train local women with counseling skills to go back into their own communities to be the “peacemakers”. The hope is that these peacemakers can be safe points of contact for abused women so that they have an outlet to share the issues that they are facing. The peacemakers also provide access to onsite professional counselors at MyChoices.

MyChoices also started a sewing unit recently in efforts to support the cause and provide good work to women within the communities they’re reaching. We’re excited about the development and may consider partnering with them in the coming year to produce new products.

In light of this, we conducted a basic skills assessment in order to assess the readiness of the sewing unit. Calvina helped us conduct a simple eye-exam (while trying the encourage the women NOT to help each other was another battle.) We also gave the women some test samples to produce. Our hope is that we can see improvement over time and that they would be in position to produce export-ready product in the near future. I’m excited again to see the possibilities!

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