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  1. Monday, November 27

    Seven Tabletop Gifts That Give Back (and Look Great!)

    I have another guest post for you! AND it’s from another one of my favorite, funny friends AND she just so happens to be besties with Rachel, who is today’s other guest poster (which was totally coincidence). And she and I have the same name. And so do our husbands. So, what I’m saying is, this post is meant to be. Jane and I scoured her company’s  products and came up with this list of 7 amazing tabletop gifts that give back. (Click here to find out why Jane’s company To The Market is so awesome.) It’s time to spend money and make a difference!  Also, there are a few sale items and a secret discount buried in the post below, so get reading, clicking and shopping!

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    The name Jane is the best name ever. My friend other Jane and I both share it. This post is about how we met on Ancestory.com.

    Gifts That Give Back: To the Market's Holiday Cheer Kit

    HOLIDAY CHEER KIT ($40)

    From the table to the tree, the holiday cheer kit is a festive holiday accessory. These cute little holly leaves are exactly what your table needs for that extra pick-me-up! These are made by artisans in Mexico.  This purchase helps the makers improve their lives, their children’s lives, and their communities through the dignity of work.  

    Gifts That Give Back: To The Market's Heart-Shaped Wooden Cutting Board

    HEART SHAPED WOODEN CUTTING BOARD (Regularly $40, Now $30 with custom TWFD code YUM10)

    Who doesn’t love this heart shaped cutting board? Use it to cut your food on in the kitchen or to serve some tasty food during your holiday party! This was handmade in Guatemala and helps to employ vulnerable communities.

    Gifts That Give Back: To The Market's Honey Vanilla Candle

    VANILLA HONEY CANDLE ($26.99)

    A warm scented candle is an essential during the cold winter months and vanilla honey is a classic. These hand poured soy glass candles are made by vulnerable women in Chicago. This candle helps a young mom provide for her children by giving her the confidence to chase her dreams.

    Gifts That Give Back: To The Market's TAY Ikay Table Runner

    TAY IKAY TABLE RUNNER ($120)

    Simple yet chic, this table runner is a clean statement piece. Go for an even bigger statement and add a white vase with some fresh flowers! This table runner is carefully handwoven and naturally dyed in Guatemala. This purchase supports sustainable livelihoods and traditional weaving.

    Gifts that Give Back: To the Market's Overdyed Kantha-Stitch Placemate Set in Cranberry

    OVERDYED KANTHA-STITCH PLACEMAT & NAPKIN SET IN CRANBERRY (Regularly $65, On Sale Cyber Monday for $45.50)

    Deep rich cranberry is such a lovely color for this time of year and this placemat and napkin set will make your tableware pop! This is truly a unique set that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Your dinner guests are guaranteed to love the detail of this sari napkin and placemat set made by women in India. A purchase of this table set helps women rediscover their dignity, independence, and creativity in a financially rewarding way.

    Gifts That Give Back: To The Market's Safina Banana Fiber Basket

    SAFINA BANANA FIBER BASKET ($38)

    This small basket can hold anything from fruit to bread to popcorn! This light neutral is not only a safe bet for the holidays, but it can be used year round for all kinds of gatherings. This basket is named after the sweet woman who makes it! She’s an uneducated HIV+ widow. Since becoming involved in basket weaving, her outlook has improved. She wants you to know “I love you very much. I reach out to say thank you for buying.”  We love her too!

    Gifts That Give Back: To The Market's Hand-Painted Batik Bone Bottle Opener

    HAND-PAINTED BATIK BONE BOTTLE OPENER ($22.99)

    Made in Kenya, this hand-painted bottle opener is an ideal hostess gift  for your favorite bartender.  Pattern design vary for each piece, making this truly one of a kind!

    Happy Shopping!


  2. Thursday, December 3

    Oreo Snowmen + This Week for Dinner Podcast #11: Jane Mosbacher Morris

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #11: CEO Jane Mosbacher Morris

    Today I have a new podcast episode AND a recipe. Well, it’s not my recipe. It’s my podcast guest’s recipe. After we finished recording the episode, I told her I was going to try it out and take pictures…and I actually followed through. It’s a miracle!

    Okay, so first, today’s guest on the show. Meet Jane Mosbacher Morris, Founder and CEO of To the Market | Survivor-Made Goods, a company that focuses on economic empowerment for survivors of abuse, conflict and disease (I’ve written about them before!). Prior to To the Market, Jane lived out all of my college-Jane International Relations dreams, from working for the McCain Institute for International Leadership managing human trafficking efforts to working for the State Department in the Bureau of Counterterrorism and the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. In addition to all this impressive stuff, Jane is incredibly kind, warm and funny. This girl is the whole package. I like her name, too.

    Oreo Snowmen at @janemaynardJane shares a fun holiday recipe for Oreo Snowmen in the episode. Here are some pictures along with the recipe! Be sure to scroll all the way down so you can listen to our conversation on the podcast because Jane’s description of making the snowmen is infinitely better than my boring instructions.

    Oreo Snowmen at @janemaynardOreo Snowmen at @janemaynard

    Oreo Snowmen
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    Feel free to try different colors and add-ons to turn the snowmen into other characters! (Also, Jane will laugh that I put her as the author...lots of people make these, but I'm going to give her credit anyway.)
    Author:
    Serves: 20
    Ingredients
    • 12-ounce package white candy melts
    • 20 double or triple stuffed Oreos
    • 10 orange Tic-Tacs
    • Black Sugar Pearl Sprinkles
    • 20 thin lollipop/cake pop sticks or wooden kebab skewers (make sure you don't get the thicker cake pop sticks, they did not work for me!)
    • Optional: 4 drops peppermint oil (made for adding to candy - we added this and it had a nice subtle mint flavor that was delicious!)
    Instructions
    1. Carefully insert a lollipop stick/wooden skewer into each Oreo, pushing it about ¼" in. DO NOT BREAK THE COOKIE. If you break the cookie, just start over with a new Oreo. It will fall of the stick when you try to coat it in the candy melt.
    2. Melt the candy melts according to the package instructions.
    3. Holding the stuck Oreo over the candy melt bowl, spoon the candy melt over the Oreo, covering the entire Oreo, both sides and the edges. When I tried dipping the Oreos, they kept falling off the stick. The drip method was more successful. Once the Oreo is coated on all sides, gently tap the stick on the side of the bowl to force excess candy melt to drip off. Make sure the Oreo is situated horizontally, parallel to the counter.
    4. Place the coated Oreos on a sheet of parchment paper to cool and harden.
    5. Cut the Tic-Tacs in half to make carrot noses. Using a small paring knife, hold the knife in your dominant hand and then place your other hand on top of the blade to push down to cut. Curl that hand around and down to the cutting board to keep the Tic-Tacs from flying across the room.
    6. When the candy melts sit long enough so that they no longer look shiny (right at that moment!), stick the noses, eyes and mouth on!
    7. Let snowmen sit for about an hour to completely harden. Place in fridge to speed up the process.

    Oreo Snowmen at @janemaynardSee? I am giving these to my neighbors! Thanks, Jane!

    Shownotes:

    • Be sure to check out To the Market – perfect for holiday shopping!
    • Jane’s recipe is listed right in this post!

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
    • Via an app: For iPhone and iPad, subscribe to the This Week for Dinner Podcast on iTunes and listen to it through the purple Podcasts app. For Android devices, use the Stitcher, Podcast Addict or Pocket Casts apps. In all cases, launch the app, then search for This Week for Dinner Podcast. The benefit of using an app: once downloaded, you can listen to the show without an Internet connection.

     Other Stuff!