Shop Good Blog

Learning (slowly) to shop, give, & live with more dignity. Also: Blankets.

Parenting: A Slow Death to Self!

July 24, 2019 2 min read 1 Comment


I've joked for many years that I think of parenting as "a slow death to self".

The death to self part (or maybe, less dramatically, a minimizing of self) is obvious : as a parent, your own "needs" & desires shuffle down a little lower on the list of importance when you have a dependent. (With the notable exception of that oxygen mask on an airplane, where I'm told you're supposed to put yours on first!).

The "slow" part is maybe a bit more arguable... When a child arrives in a parent's life, things change pretty quickly! But, in my experience, it has overall been a slow process of giving myself up for others, with acute times of change that are particularly noticeable. 

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So Much Suffering In The World, And I'm Going to The Movies... Tensions of a Rich, White Mom

July 11, 2019 4 min read 1 Comment

Photo credit: Allison Joyce

Last week, this article was published in the UK's Guardian, entitled The living hell of young girls enslaved in Bangladesh's brothels.

Our production partner, Basha, shared the link on their Facebook page with the following caption:

"This article gives you a glimpse of just how girls are broken down until they believe they feel they have no option but to stay in the brothel. We are committed to expanding our partnerships with non profits such as Friends of Basha to provide women a way out. And when you purchase Basha products, you make a way for us to hire more women. Articles like this fire me up to fight for freedom for these women. What about you?"


For me, here is the honest answer to the last question:

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A Good, Old Fashioned (Internet) Business

July 04, 2019 2 min read

This week, I read about Uber's co-founder Garrett Camp reportedly paying $72.5 million for a mansion in the 90210, a record high for Beverly Hills real estate.

Wait, wasn't it only months ago that Uber went public with their IPO, stating that the company "may not achieve profitability"? In fact, revenues surged last year by more than 40% to $11.3 billion, but somehow Uber actually lost $1.8 billion (yes, 1.8 BILLION DOLLARS) in 2018 (reference).

Straight up: I don't understand these economics.

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How Can I Participate in Better Fashion?

June 13, 2019 4 min read


I recently read that some of the alarmist "facts" thrown around — namely, that the fashion industry is the world's second biggest polluter — are not entirely traceable, and may constitute "fake news". 

But, whether this specific claim is true or not, it is clear that our consumptive habits have run wild. Here are a few (actual) facts related to the fashion industry: 

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How Do I Choose & Style A Throw Blanket? Top Tips from a Design Expert

June 05, 2019 12 min read 1 Comment

A throw blanket is an easy, cost effective element to add big style to your home! Compared to bigger investments like furniture, rugs, & wall paint, a throw blanket allows you to take a bit more risk & have fun.

In choosing & styling the perfect throw blanket for your home, there are several considerations for what will make the best functional & attractive solution. Color, size, style, texture, location, and your own personal design style all come into play. Here are expert tips for choosing a perfect throw blanket!

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What is The Four Tendencies Framework... And Why I Love It

May 17, 2019 4 min read 1 Comment

The Enneagram is super popular right now as a typology of nine interconnected personality types. I am familiar with the Enneagram and while it hasn’t been a particularly impactful tool for me personally, I value the depth of the insight and the common language it provides.

Similarly, Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies framework provides definition and a vernacular to what is already present in ourselves. For me, this one has resounded like a deafening gong in my ears & in my life!

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Shop Good Book Club | Different POVs

May 11, 2019 6 min read 2 Comments

Over the last year or so, I've made a conscious priority to read books written by — or written from the perspective of — people different than me. As a white, rich person (and I have a job, a bachelor's degree, a house, 2 cars, and 3 computers, so that sounds pretty rich to me; maybe not in the 1%, but high enough), I have a pretty limited perspective. Also, our culture is essentially designed for me to thrive, so it's easy to take that all for granted.

Books, both non-fiction and creative stories, have a way of landing you right in the viewpoint of an other, and I am so grateful for that gift; it's one of the best things about reading.

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How Do I Teach My Kids About Money?

May 03, 2019 7 min read


Conversations about money can be awkward, but having uncomfortable talks, at age appropriate times, will set up our children's essential, lifelong skill in handling money well. Allowance is a key tool to teaching these money management skills.

Money, along with politics and religion, is often considered impolite conversation to have outside of yourself & maybe (hopefully?) your spouse. How much do we spend on groceries, gas bill, or date nights? Is this car payment normal? We are often afraid, or at least reluctant, to compare any of these details… R. Paul Stevens said the proverbial fig leaf from the Garden of Eden has moved from our naked bodies to our bank accounts!

Add kids into these conversations, and there is an additional layer of hesitancy: kids can be notorious loud-mouths! 

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A Capsule Wardrobe is Old News... What About A Capsule Meal Plan?

April 26, 2019 2 min read 2 Comments


The idea of a "capsule wardrobe" has gained a ton of momentum over the last few years. This is the concept where you have a limited wardrobe of items that you really like instead of a closet full of clothes that you rarely wear. Some people have taken the idea further still by creating a personal "uniform" and only wearing the same thing every day. Famous examples of this are Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barack Obama; I wrote about personal uniforms already over here

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5 Steps to Choose a Thoughtful Gift (with ideas!)

April 12, 2019 10 min read 3 Comments


Every month, we need to put a category in our personal budget for gifts. There is always an event or occasion that is calling for a gift: Christmas, anniversary, birthdays, retirements, graduation, sympathy, gratitude, and on. And, like most people, we want to make the gifts that we give count! So how do we choose a thoughtful gift that will be meaningful to the recipient?

Giving a gift is, of course, a subjective exercise; there is no perfect formula that will help you reach the “perfect gift”. However, there are certain questions you can ask that will help you choose a thoughtful gift:

  • Does the gift make the person feel known?
  • Does the gift represent a story or have a story behind it?
  • Does the gift bring a sense of connection?
  • Why is the gift being given? (context & occasion)
  • What more can the gift give?

Let’s look at these questions, some common gift-giving mistakes, and, finally, some thoughtful gift ideas!

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Promises, Lies, & Fear of Trust in Bangladesh

March 15, 2019 3 min read


Our production partner, Basha, began in one little office in Dhaka, Bangladesh — the most densely populated city in the world. Over the many years they have been in business, creating kantha textiles & jewelry, they have expanded: both in number of staff, and also locations.

It was helpful for some women to leave the norm of their old life environment, to get away, to start fresh in a new city. So, Basha created different offices in varied locations. They established a girls' home to safely house daughters & other vulnerable young women as they come of age.

As Basha has continued to identify the great need of women in Bangladesh, there is another area they have expanded: actively seeking women in brothels & whispering the potential of a new life.

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Can I Bring A Blanket Onto a Plane?

March 01, 2019 6 min read

As I was packing for our first family international flight (to London UK), I wanted to make sure that we had everything we needed to make our overnight journey the most comfortable. As you know, those flights can be a little chilly - so I wanted to bring blankets for all of us. Naturally, I wondered...

Can I bring a blanket onto a plane?

In short: YES! According to the TSA you are allowed to both check a blanket in your luggage and to bring a blanket on a plane within a carry-on (and this also includes electric blankets). You can even bring your own blanket in your arms as you would a jacket or hat, without it counting towards your carry-on or personal item limits or paying any extra fees.

 

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