Adoption, Christmas, Humanitarian

CHRISTMAS :: 18 gifts that matter for #GivingTuesday (and every day)

#GivingTuesday is a terrific opportunity to look up and away from ourselves. Of course, this outlook shouldn’t be confined to just one day a year, but I can’t argue with a movement that encourages us all to reach out. And so, in celebration of Giving Tuesday, here are eighteen different ways to give a gift that gives. A gift that loves. A gift that matters.

For more information about a particular gift, simply click on that photo.

Image Map Provide EDUCATION IN CHINA Provide for FOSTER FAMILIES IN CHINA Provide ORPHAN CARE IN CHINA Provide MEDICAL CARE IN CHINA PROVIDE REFUGEE RELIEF around the world PREVENT human trafficking and exploitation Provide CLEAN WATER around the world FEED A HUNGRY BABY for a week PROTECT vulnerable women Provide WARM COATS AND SHOES CARE FOR Romanian orphans SUPPORT a crisis pregnancy center in Taiwan Sponsor a baby in a TAIWANESE ORPHANAGE Provide SURGERIES for infants and children in China Provide EVERYDAY NECESSITIES for care centers in China Sponsor the EDUCATION of a child in Ethiopia Build a HIGH SCHOOL in Ethiopia Provide a VOCATION for an adult or care for a child

1. Love Without Boundaries | EDUCATION | Provide education and school access to at-risk children in China ($10+)

2.Love Without Boundaries | FOSTER FAMILIES | Provide a family environment through foster care to orphaned and at-risk children in China ($10+)

3.Love Without Boundaries | ORPHAN CARE | Provide access to care, hope and healing to orphaned and impoverished children in China through LWB’s programs ($10+)

4. Love Without Boundaries | MEDICAL CARE | Provide medical care and surgeries to orphans and infants/children whose parents would not otherwise be able to provide care. ($10+)

5. Samaritan’s Purse | REFUGEE RELIEF | Provide tents, heaters, food and more to displaced people ($125+)

6.Samaritan’s Purse | PREVENT HUMAN TRAFFICKING | Provide education in at-risk locations to empower potential victims to recognize and avoid exploitation and trafficking. ($100+)

7. Samaritan’s Purse | CLEAN WATER | Provide a water filtration system to give 3,500 people access to clean water ($20+)

8. Samaritan’s Purse | PROTECT VULNERABLE WOMEN | Provide literacy classes, maternal/child health education, protection and support for victims of gender-based violence, and more. ($30+)

9. Samaritan’s Purse | ONE WEEK OF FOOD | Provide food for a baby or nursing mother for one week. ($9+)

10. Samaritan’s Purse | CLOTHES & SHOES | Provide warm coats, clothing and footwear to displaced people in refugee camps. ($25+)

11. Anchor of Hope Romania | FOSTER CARE | Provide family-like environments and other vital care for orphans, abandoned babies, and at-risk young people in Romania. (Any amount) To give directly to Christian & Marie Burtt, full-time missionaries serving in Romania with Anchor of Hope, click here.

12. Taiwan Xi En | CRISIS PREGNANCY HOME | Provide nurturing care for infants and expectant mothers at the Taiwan Xi En House of Hope. (Any amount)

13. Taiwan Xi En | SPONSOR A BABY | Provide diapers, formula, clothes, shelter and caring nannies for abandoned and at-risk infants 0-2y at the Taiwan Xi En Orphanage. ($50/mo)

14. Show Hope |  SURGERIES | Provide heart, cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries to orphans and infants/children in China. ($65+)

15. Show Hope | EVERYDAY NECESSITIES | Provide diapers, food, and clean drinking water to the special needs orphans living at the Show Hope care centers in China. ($12+)

16. Adami Tulu + Ziway Project | EDUCATION & FOOD | Provide access to education and nutritious meals for a school-age child in Ethiopia. ($19/mo)

17. Adami Tulu + Ziway Project | HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION | Provide the resources necessary to build a high school so the Adami Tulu + Ziway students can continue their education. (Any amount) Or, donate in honor of a loved one, and send a card to a friend! ($20+)

18. Lifesong for Orphans | WHERE MOST NEEDED | Provide life-giving care for children, and sustainable micro-business opportunities for adults, in Bolivia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Ethiopia, Liberia, Zambia, Cambodia, India and Ukraine. On #GivingTuesday [2 December 2014] only, your gift to Lifesong for Orphans will be multiplied 4x through a matching grant when you give using this link. (Any amount)


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Monday's Pretty Things

MONDAY’S PRETTY THINGS :: 5 Impossibly Delicious Pictures of Food

Tarta de ruibarbo -Rhubarb Tart -via Elle.es
Tarta de ruibarbo via Elle.es

Cannelle et Vanille -Alaskan Black Cod
Alaska black cod via Cannelle et Vanille

blueberry coconut lassi via cook republic
Blueberry coconut lassi via Cook Republic

Potato Salad with Dill - A Thought for Food
Potato salad with dill via A Thought for Food

Mimi Thorisson - Artichoke
Artichokes via Manger by Mimi Thorisson

(You guys, Mimi’s blog is seriously one to add to the reading list. Before her current home in Médoc, France, she’s lived in Hong-Kong, Singapore, London, Reykjavik and Paris. The photography is stunning, and the stories she weaves as she prepares food make you feel like you’re tagging alongside her. Check it out!)

Babiekins Magazine, Life in Photos

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: The Brasilian Supermarket

A tour of a Brazilian Supermarket with a toddler by Priscilla Barbosa Photography for the Babiekins Magazine blog

Earlier, I had all sorts of things I was going to say, but I think the sun fried all my brain cells. Priscilla and Aveline and I were off exploring this morning, and I am pretty sure all of us are now completely melted — it was HOT today!

But don’t miss her very cool (heh) photo tour of Aveline’s time in a Brasilian supermarket, from our outing to Silva’s last week!

Baby/Toddler Food, How To

3 Simple Baby Foods You Can Easily Make at Home in 2 Minutes or Less

Before I start, I feel like I need to say up front that my intention isn’t to ignite a firestorm on the topic of babyled weaning (BLW) vs purées. I’m not preaching purées over BLW. We personally have used a combined approach. If you read my prior post in this series, you’ll realize that my point in writing this baby food series is to encourage mama to feed baby using foods already in the grocery budget, rather than using purchased “baby” foods. Obviously, if you’re practicing BLW you already know this. :-)

Avocado - Baby Foods You Can Make on Your Own in Less than 2 Minutes

Here are a few alternatives to packaged baby food, each of which takes only a minute or two to prepare.

Avocados

This is an incredibly nutritious food, and is an excellent choice for baby’s first food. (Yes, as baby’s first food! Contrary to common belief, babies don’t need to eat white rice cereal. White rice has very little nutritional value, and (hey, it’s a fact) contributes to constipation.)
Avocados contain healthy fats, which are essential for the development of baby’s brain and central nervous system. They are also a good source of vitamin K, B6, and folate.

As far as preparation, you really can’t get any easier than avocados. Wash, peel, and mash some up with a fork. Or, if baby is feeding herself, you can cut ripe avocado into little pieces. Easy peasy!

Canned Pumpkin/Winter Squash

Purchase plain canned pumpkin in the baking aisle. It’s the same pumpkin they use to make jarred baby food, except without the additives. And, it’s a fraction of the cost. Win!

Of course, it doesn’t have to be canned. If you have the time and desire, you can halve, deseed, and oven roast your own winter squashes. Prepared this way, it can also work as (a messy) finger food.

Nutritionally, winter squashes are a good source of both vitamins C and A, which are excellent for the immune system. It’s also very easy on baby’s digestion! (I like to stick to pumpkin and squashes rather than sweet potatoes or yams, because the latter are much higher in sugar.)

Quinoa Flakes

Quinoa’s recent surge in popularity is for a good reason. This unique food — actually a seed, not a grain — contains all nine amino acids and is, on its own, a complete protein.

Quinoa flakes are extremely easy to prepare, since you just add water and cook for 90 seconds. You can mix cooked quinoa cereal in with any other food to add protein to baby’s meal.

Don’t be scared off by the relatively pricey cost of quinoa flakes (~$5/box). A single box goes a very, very long way when you’re just using it to feed baby; one has literally lasted us for months.

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list. As this series on baby/toddler food progresses, I’ll talk more about practical ways to feed baby with the same ingredients you’re using to cook the family’s dinner.

(Click here to receive email updates when the Oaxacaborn blog is updated.)

Guest Blog, Handmade

Headband Giveaway at ‘Ma Nouvelle Mode’

Guess what, lovely readers? My very first giveaway ever is going on right now at Ma Nouvelle Mode! Head on over and enter to win all three of these headbands from my Etsy shop. Giveaway is open to US and non-US readers. Be sure to follow Natalia’s beautiful blog while you’re at it — I just love her.

And did you see my gluten-free cracker/pizza crust recipe on Peas in a Blog yesterday? Thank you, Carolina and Katie, for letting me guest post!