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C / other options


Yeah, it’s Black Friday, yeah it still gross, yeah everyone knows it. So instead of focusing on one of my least favorite things about American culture, I am going to focus on the awesome alternatives to participating in the national binge on crap you don’t need.

1. Go outside. All national parks are free today! It’s an amazing chance to walk off the bucket of gravy you drank yesterday. Hangovers love fresh air, and getting exercise helps rationalize the pie you just ate for breakfast. It’s also a great chance to get some space from crazy family or if you like them, bring them along. If I were in Tucson right now, I would be walking Sabino Canyon right now and running into at least 4 people from high school.

2. Do the Holiday card. We have a joke in our family, and we call it the Valentines Day card. The holidays get nuts and there is never time to upload and perfectly edit a family photo. Have the fam bam send photos now and get that business done before it’s next year and you don’t have that great haircut anymore. Pinhole Press has 25% off , eco-friendly Minted has 15% off, and Artifact Uprising has 10% off some of the most beautiful photo cards, books and framed photos.

3. Board game day. We have a closet in the house full of board games. There are so many in there, that the closet is actually really awkward to open, because you usually end up with a deck of cards in the face. The day goes like this: heat leftovers, make a TON of coffee and hot chocolate, spike that hot chocolate, put on sweatpants, play games. It’s good stuff. Games I am digging on right now include Bananagrams, Cards Against Humanity, Ticket to Ride, and Chutes and Ladders. I freaking LOVE Chutes and Ladders.

4. Jump start New Years fitness resolutions. The day after Thanksgiving is a great day to move around, and yoga studios, pilates places and local gyms are likely to have memberships and classes on sale today. Go check it out.

5. If you really need to go shopping, do it at a local shop. Find the gems in your city, the independent boutiques, the family owned joints and the fair trade kids. They are everywhere and they need your business. Go find the 90 year old silversmith and get some amazing jewelry, or go into the shop where the lady is obsessed with olive oil and buy from her, or get the vendor listings from your local farmer’s market and contact the them directly.

We will be starting our official gift guides next week, focusing on places that sell awesome things that aren’t evil. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Please don’t go to Walmart.


Photo via Huffington Post



T / let the crazy cool ethical sustainable shopping begin!

WFW-HeaderConfession: I didn’t really know what Black Friday was all about until I moved out of Canada.  It was a faint whisper from the south.  Breaking messages from the six o’ clock network news that would beam from Buffalo, just two hours below us. Up north, we start holiday shopping when it got cold enough.  But we slowly got the point.  Chaos, a lot of running, and plenty of anxiety over getting that discount. Then Cait wrote about how Black Friday is gross last year and we decided to fix that perception.

This year we’re turning Black Friday up on its head againWomen-fro-Women--TechSet2 and I thought I’d get started a little earlier on that.  It all started last week when Jane showed off this gorgeous travel tech kit she had just acquired in Phnom Penh. This lead to some product-envy-related drooling and through Jane, I had the chance to meet Veasna who has been with Happy Silk Cambodia and the Women for Women Foundation for the past ten years.  W4W is a local Cambodian NGO forged to promote the engagement of women in society, the economy and civic action.  One way of doing this has been to support the employment and entrepreneurship of women in the production of textiles and other beautiful products while also paying them an ethical and sustainable wage.  And when I walked into Happy Silk (corner of No. 9, Street 178 in Phnom Penh), I pretty much fell over myself on their new line of brass jewelry, high quality cotton kroma carry-alls and most of all, Jane’s well cushioned, super sturdy ikat travel tech kit.  All of it is made by women in an organization that is also administered by Cambodian women.  It’s a cause I can get on top of, and immediately volunteer to take product photos of.

Which is exactly what I did when I rolled out of bed in a turkey-hangover today.  These are only a selection of the gorgeous pieces Veasna’s got in store.  If you’re also in Phnom Penh this Sunday, you’ll be able to find a selection of these items at Big WIG Christmas Fair, and if you’re not in country, you can also shop these items online at Sudaya.


This gorgeous tech set is complete with cushioned cases for your portable hard drive and laptop (left) and homes for your cables and chargers too! Ikat and kroma lining were dyed and woven by women in the villages of in Takeo province and final products were sewed in Kandal, Cambodia.


Bring on the high quality, locally woven, cotton kroma! Eye masks (left) which make for the perfect amenity for holiday guests for $5 each, and the best reversible carry-all bags in 3 sizes (small $5, medium $9 and large $12).


WFW-Necklaces New brass pieces at a range of prices, from $5 USD.

Let the ethical and sustainable shopping begin!

All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use. Cait+Tiff are not liable for any credit issues that may follow shopping these items.