Baby shower

My dear wonderful friend Digs and her sweet husband Donny are having a baby next month! I am so excited for them and I can’t wait to meet baby Isa.

I was excited to find some items they needed to get ready to care for Isa that were made in the USA.

Glass bottles by Dr. Brown’s Baby http://www.drbrownsbaby.com.
It looks like most but not all of their products are made in the USA so be sure to check. I got them via Target.

Sealy crib mattress pads, ordered from Target, http://www.target.com/p/sealy-waterproof-crib-mattress-pad-2-pack/-/A-14278239

Isa, we can’t wait to meet you and love you!

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Exercise ball

Ergonomics! I was interested in getting an exercise ball to use as an office desk chair and I decided to ask Santa for one.

I found the company Elgin online that makes exercise balls here in the USA.

My brother Ben got a tip from Santa and got me their 75cm ball for Christmas. I’ve been happily sitting on it at work ever since. It makes me sit up straight with better posture and works my core just a little bit all day.

Thank you brother Ben!

http://www.tartangroup.com/elgin-commercial-burst-resist-exercise-balls-free-exercise-c/

Don’t mind my messy desk.

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Can opener

I knew my brother’s wonderful partner Ming was interested in a new can opener, so I decided to find him a made in the USA can opener for Christmas. Ming spends a lot of the time in the kitchen cooking amazing delicious food, so I am happy to help him have good tools to do so!

In the process I discovered a cool website that sells only Made in the USA goods, a great find.

It’s the EZ-DUZ-IT Can Opener, found via Sierra Valley Trading Company.

Ming’s review:

Can opener is awesome! Large handle means that opening cans is easy on your hands, and the fact that it opens flat makes it easy to clean.”

can opener 2

http://www.sierravalleytrading.com/EZ-DUZ-IT-MODEL-89-BLACK-SIERRA-VALLEY-LIFETIME-GUARANTEE_p_1555.html

 

Hunting cap

Another Made in the USA gift to share with the world. My friend Kate found this amazing blaze orange classic wool hunting cap for me for my birthday as a gift from her and Matt. It’s amazing.

It is made by Stormy Kromer in Ironwood, Michigan.

Since Kate and Nicola and I were scheduled for a women’s deer hunting weekend the week after my birthday, the timing was perfect and it kept me warm while we sat in the woods for two days waiting for deer.

We saw lots of does but did not get a shot off. Maybe next year!

Thank you so much, Kate and Matt!

hat

 

 

Gift Shopping

There are still a few more weeks until Christmas, so there’s time to make your holiday a Made in the USA/Fair Trade one.

Collectively, we spend millions of dollars on gifts this time of year. Imagine the impact we can have if we all buy more of those gifts from local, US, or union sources.

Here’s a few tips for buying Made in the the USA gifts for your loved ones.

1) If you have something specific in mind, try good old fashioned internet jeanssearching for whatever that item plus “made in the usa.”   It’s easy!

2) Read closely, and look at each product description.  Sometimes a company will have some of their products made in America and others made overseas.

3) Email or call and ask a company where their products are made, if you can’t tell online.

4) Buy books, used or new, from Powell’s Books in Portland, OR, which is unionized. http://ilwulocal5.com/  If you go to order books online through the union’s webpage, the union gets a commission from your sale.  This seems like a great way to avoid Amazon and their terrible labor practices.

5) Use one of the following resources to find a great gift:

Made in the USA Challenge: http://madeinusachallenge.com/

USA Love List: http://www.usalovelist.com/

Union made stocking stuffers: http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Other-News/Made-in-America-Holiday-Gift-and-Stocking-Stuffer-Guide

Labor 411 Union Made gift guide: http://labor411.org/product-spotlight/650-holiday-gift-guide-pt-1

6) Get a spa or massage certificate or a restaurant gift certificate so you can keep your dollars local.

7) Check out local craft fairs! Most of the time you can meet the person who made the gift right then and there.  I have found some beautiful gifts at craft fairs.

Happy holidays!

Mug accessories

In another gift edition, my dear friends Liz and Cullen sure know the way to my heart.

For my birthday they gifted me accessories to turn a mason jar into a travel mug, made in the USA style.

Cuppow lids are super cool and make it easy to take tea or coffee on the go.

The Kurier mug sleeve is a delightful way to hold hot beverages without burning your hands. Made in Maine.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/181938911/mug-leather-mason-jar-mugsleeve?ref=shop_home_active_1

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Update

Hello Bigney’s List, sorry to neglect you. Campaign season took it’s toll on everything in my life outside of trying to elect a fair trade, made in the USA champion as Maine’s next Governor. That didn’t work out. Now I’m back.

I’ll be compiling a holiday gift buying guide in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned! Mostly this will feature items I have already written about, but I’ll do a post compiling a bunch of ideas for those out there who want to buy Made in the USA and ethically purchased gifts this winter.