March giveaway: $450 Amazon gift card!

My friends and I are giving away a $450 Amazon Gift Card!

** UPDATE: This giveaway has ended, thanks for participating! **

$450 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway | Conscientious Confusion

I’m so privileged to have an amazing network of green, health, food, and nutrition bloggers in my life. I am blessed to be able to share so many of their posts with you every day via Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. If you follow me on any of those platforms, it’s kind of like following 100+ other bloggers, too! Because we are all so appreciative of you, our readers, we have come together as a group, thrown some money in a hat, and hosting a $450 Amazon gift card giveaway. No strings attached!

I know your mind is whirling with the things you might buy with that gift card! If it were me, here are a few things I might buy: Vitamix blender, Excalibur Food Dehydrator, or compost tumbler.

How to Enter for Your Chance to Win:

(giveaway has ended)

1. Subscribe to receive Conscientious Confusion blog posts via email — no more than 2 per week, often only 1.

(If you’re already a subscriber, just continue to step 2…)

2. Leave a comment letting us know what you would buy with your $450 Amazon gift card.

3. Use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post (SCROLL DOWN!) to confirm these entries and unlock more!

 

***For more ways to win, be sure to visit all the blogs responsible for this giveaway!***

Kula Mama

MIX Wellness

Fancy Nonsense

Crunchy Moose

Don’t Mess with Mama

Good Girl Gone Green

Whole Life Nutrition

Real Food RN

Grass Fed Girl

Homestead Garden

Real Time Mama

A winner will be chosen via random.org. We will announce the lucky winner on March 31st. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to an email with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone!

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Good luck to you all!

Changing Diapers: the end of my journey, the beginning of yours?

I reached a bittersweet milestone in my parenting journey in the last 2 weeks: I finally packed up all my cloth diapers! After consecutively and simultaneously cloth diapering two babies since 2009, it was my first time to start doing loads of tiny undies instead of cloth diapers.

Folding tiny undies
Folding tiny undies

I did, however, make sure to pack the cloth diapers safely after washing and stripping so they are more than ready for another baby that might come along…I am relatively sure that this is not the absolute end of my cloth diapering journey.

Storing cloth diapers for future baby
Storing cloth diapers for future baby?

As I look back on my time in the trenches of cloth diapering, I know that I’ve gained a lot of valuable experience. It was both harder and easier than I thought it would be. I never felt like the cloth diapers added more than I could handle to the challenges of raising two babies virtually at the same time, but there were also hiccups in leaking, washing, and repairing that I wouldn’t have envisioned when I started.

Out of all the advice I would give to parents who are looking into or just starting their cloth diapering journey, there is one resource that I would recommend above all others: a book by Kelly Wels, Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom’s Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering.

My #1 Recommendation for new cloth diapering parents: Changing Diapers by Kelly Wels

I received this book from Kelly after BlogHer 2011 and reviewed it here. I find it such a valuable resource that I still do not want to get rid of my copy. But, good news for all your cloth diapering parents: I received another copy this year as part of the EcoFab50 event in Chicago! Since hoarding two books is probably not cool, I am going to give away my second copy of this book to a family who is just at the beginning of their cloth diaper journey. It doesn’t have to be your first baby. You might have been cloth diapering for a few months and just now hit some snafus that this book can help you overcome (and it can!). Or you might be someone who works with young parents (a doula, a pregnancy resource worker, social worker, adoption advocate, etc.) who could give this to someone who needs it.

I’m going to run this contest for one week, ending Thursday, August 22.

In giveaway entry form, I’m asking newbies to share their #1 cloth diapering question and I’ll answer it. For those of you who are already on your cloth diapering journey, I want to know who you’re planning to give this book to!

 

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have!

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Handmade fair trade empowering women: Amani ya Juu

You might not want to get out of bed early enough to work out today, but what if you had to get out of bed to carry water from a well to your house before you go to work in the morning or you wouldn’t have water for bathing and cooking all day? Here is what a day is like for Esther in Liberia:

Esther, a 39-year-old mother and grandmother, wakes up at 5:30am each morning. “I carry the bucket to the pump. If you cannot carry the bucket soon, you will not get water!” she shares with wide eyes that giving the impression that this lady has had to deal with a dry pump on more than one occasion, and doesn’t plan on letting it happen again.

Esther prepares food for her family and sends her children off to school. Then, she sometimes goes to the market to buy food for her family or her bucket. She runs a micro business from her head—she sells pepper, spices, candies, ground pea candy (peanut brittle), and other treats out of a plastic bucket she carries all over the community.

At [work], Esther cuts cloth or learns to sew. She has only been at Amani for about a month but already feels intense community amongst her coworkers. “We are here together, friendly … if I am not here, I am missing these people,” she says, looking about the room.

After work, Esther often goes to night school, where she is currently completing 9th grade. Her favorite part about school is reading “They got some good stories in it!” she says of her school books, then rattles off the plot of a story she is reading this week about some farmers with a car—“their own car!”—she exclaims.

Photo of Esther working at Amani ya Juu

Esther works during the day at Amani ya Juu (“peace from above” in Swahili). Amani is a sewing and training program for marginalized women based in East Africa. Women from many African nations and cultures are learning to work together through faith in God who provides a higher peace that transcends cultural and ethnic differences. Amani is committed to holistic development. Women gain experience in purchasing, bookkeeping, stitching, quality control, management, and design. As new women enter the program they are mentored in quality workmanship. Emphasis is placed on ethical business practices and harmonious relationships with people of different backgrounds. Amani’s wide selection of high-quality handbags, home and kitchen décor, jewelry, and children’s items are made out of local African materials. The sale of products sold by volunteers and in Amani shops enables each woman to earn consistent income.

I learned about Amani ya Juu from a blog reader here in Dallas—what a small world! She knew about my heart for empowering women to succeed through hard work and based on an inner peace. When she contacted me, I took a look at the Amani site and there is a little collage of my favorite products from Amani:

A selection of photos of favorite Amani ya Juu products

Clockwise, starting with the grey bag:

I hope these cute products will appeal to you, but most of all that you will consider supporting the ladies of Amani ya Juu with your purchases. I’ve had a chance to sample one of the Amani cosmetic bags, and I can attest that it is very well-made. The ladies of Amani put care and love into their work.

To help spread the word, I’d like to give away a small cosmetic bag made by Sandra in Uganda:

Photo of small cosmetic bag made by Sandra in Uganda
Detail of small cosmetic bag tag

Please help me spread the word about Amani ya Juu by entering the giveaway, tweeting about Amani and their mission, and following them on Facebook. A Rafflecopter giveaway.

Indoor play at Kidville: a giveaway!

Here in the Dallas area, we’re starting to see warmer weather already, but do you know what that means? Rain! Where are you planning on taking your kids to get their energy out when it’s too wet to play outside? I recently wrote a post with 7 Days of Indoor Play in Dallas and my #1 suggestion is Kidville, with their Play Village and Big Muscles Gym (which I’ve written about before). When you purchase a semester of classes at Kidville, you are a member with access to both play spaces. If you’re not a member, you might be looking for an opportunity to try out the play spaces before you commit. Now is your chance!

Kidville is turning 2 years old this Thursday, February 7!

To celebrate, they are giving one of my lucky readers a package of 5 playspace passes!
That’s 5 great days of play for your kids on rainy days, and a chance to check out Kidville for free.

Kidville Play Village

Just enter using the Rafflecopter form below. You must live in the Dallas area and be over 18 years of age to enter the giveaway. Extra entries by also entering this giveaway on The T-Shirt Mama‘s blog!

But what if you don’t win? Don’t cry!

On their birthday, Thursday, February 7, Kidville will be holding an open house event from 9:00am-5:00pm. They will be raffling off several items for people that come in that day, so you can still be a winner!

Spring Break is just around the corner and Kidville is offering 2 different Spring Break Camps this year.

  • Superhero – Fairy Princess Camp (ages 3,4,5) from 9:00am – 12:00am
  • Sizzlin’ Science Camp (ages 4,5,6) from 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Summer camps are always popular at Kidville! Camps are available or children 18 months – 6 years in 2, 8, 12, or 16 week sessions.

This giveaway has ended, thanks for participating!
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Tag, you’re it!

Is anyone still reading?

If so, I have some contest sort of thingys.

First of all, I have been tagged in real life with a sort of chain letter thing where you send scratch-off lottery tickets to 6 people. My brain is too fried to think of 6 people who would not be annoyed by me sending them scratch-off tickets, so I am asking you, internets.

If you would like me to send you one of the tickets and the chain letter thingy, leave a comment and email me your address at jenny [at] conscientiousconfusion [dot] com. I honestly do not care if you keep up the chain or not. I am just lazy. You do need to be a Texas resident, I believe.

Secondly, Ritter Sport contacted me to review their chocolate. I know I said I don’t really do much PR, but THEY OFFERED TO SEND ME FREE CHOCOLATE. How could I say no to that? And it turns out they make it responsibly. I have learned some things about Free Trade Certification which I will share with you. And I will be giving away chocolate. So keep checking in!