Would you believe it’s been almost 2 months since I last posted something!?  Reading my most recent post, I would have told you that it happened two weeks ago, but time has been FLYING up in here.  I work for a theatre company, and we’ve had three shows running this fall which means, three times the emails to draft, three times the events to attend, and three times the fun!  (It also means I’ve been exhausted, but I love what I do, so I can’t complain.)

As soon as my work schedule slowed down, suddenly Thanksgiving was upon us.  I hosted – and cooked my first turkey – if you have spoken to me in the past month, follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, I’m sure you are bored of hearing about it, so I’ll spare you.  (But just in case you didn’t hear, I got the turkey straight from Violet Hill Farm and it was the happiest, healthiest, most delicious turkey I’ve ever cooked.)

In spite of everything, I really could have found time to blog, but I haven’t been able to commit to writing about one thing.   So many things are drawing my attention lately that I can’t focus.  To name a few (in no particular order): Women’s Empowerment/Girl Power/Feminism; Families – and how amazing they are; Poverty – how do we fix it???; Responsible Consumerism – relating to the environment, and fair trade practices; Volunteerism/Giving back; the lack of personal finance education in our schools.

Now, I know this blog is about living a healthy lifestyle, but when a community flourishes, so do the individuals!  In the end, I think that working to improve the world we live in is part of a healthy lifestyle, so I’m going to start incorporating some of these larger world issues into the mix.

Don’t worry, this place will still be a stew of workouts, fitness goals, and healthy eating adventures – I promise to bring you more amazing stories from amazing people with the Rockstar Series – I’m just putting it all in a bigger pot.

So, to start it off, I want to talk about a few great holiday gift ideas that give back!  If you’re on my Christmas list, read with caution, you may ruin the surprise :).

1) Soap Box Soaps – think TOMS, but soap!  Basically, you buy soap, they give soap to someone in need.  They even have this great donation map on their site to show you where  they send soap and donate funds for clean water projects and more!

Soap Box Soaps

2) Grounds for Change – Fair trade, organic coffee, grown in the shade (which is important for migratory birds), AND they take extensive steps to operate sustainably. This is one company that’s good for coffee growing communities and the environment!


3) This gorgeous tee designed by a handful of kicka** bloggers that gives 100% of the profits to LEAP (Ladies Empowerment and Action Program).  I read about it on Meals and Miles – an AWESOME healthy living blog – so you should check it out while you’re at it.

4) I live in NYC, so space is at a premium.  I love getting and giving Charity Gift Cards, because they give me all the same warm fuzzies as a regular gift card, without me having to worry about where in the world I’m going to store whatever I bought.  You can find great ones at Global Giving.

5) If you’re not the gift card type, you can give anything from anti-malaria tablets to storybooks to a community in need at the UNICEF store!  This one’s another space saver :).

6) Any one of the BEAUTIFUL fair trade items on sale at Ten Thousand Villages including this Tamarind Casserole Dish made in Indonesia.  The company is a “global network of social entrepreneurs works to empower artisans in developing countries,” and was an honoree as one of 2013’s Most Ethical Companies!

Ten Thousand Villages

That’s all I’ve got for today, hope you enjoyed it!


About the Author Aubrie Fennecken

Aubrie Fennecken is the Chief Alchemist at Opportunity Kitchen | work + wellness strategist | nonprofit fundraising expert | providing productivity and self-care support for mission-driven humans

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