Feminist Fare Friday: The Christmas Gift Guide Edition

Everyone's got one.

A Christmas Gift Guide that is.

I've got a few ideas that I hope you'll like, and that may make that someone special on your list very, very happy this coming Christmas morning.

So, without further ado, I am going to don my helper shopping elf hat, put on my sparkly shoes and get to it!

(Disclaimer: I have not received compensation for any of these recommendations, they are simply products/people/companies that I think are awesome.)

1. CanvasPop

CanvasPop is a Canadian company that will take any digital file (Instagram, Facebook photos, or from your camera/computer file) and make it into a brilliant piece of artwork for your walls. Get those great shots off your camera and Instagram feeds and display them on your walls. You can make a collage, do a tryptich of canvases, or think big and do a whole gallery wall or series of canvases. They even include the hanging hardware and those little bumper thingies with all of their canvases (it's the little things that make me such a fan). I have one huge wall in our Natural Urban Home that will soon be covered with 6 new canvases and I can't wait to see how it is going to look when they are all hung! And did I mention that their customer service is beyond exceptional? I had already received 3 of the canvases and while the quality of the printing and craftsmanship was excellent, I wasn't 100% satisfied with the size that I had ordered. I called them to see what could be done and within minutes, I had new proofs to approve, a small charge to my Paypal account and new canvases being reprinted for me, exactly as I want them!

If you use this link to order from CanvasPop you'll get a sweet little discount too!

2. Lostmy.Name

For the past few weeks I have been seeing the Facebook ads for this company popping up all over my timeline. I eventually clicked on it one day and it took me to the website where I discovered these super sweet personalized story books. 

I love that this is a company of dads (and an uncle), that they started this as a DIY project, and that they are making magic and memories for kids all over the world. I have ordered one for my daughter and one for my nephew and can't wait to see the look on their faces when they realize that the books are about them! And bonus feature for bilingual kids, you can also order the books in French, Spanish and Dutch. You've still got a few days to get your order in for Christmas as the cut-off date is December 9th. 

3. Salgado Fenwick

I have been a fan of this local #YEG company for years. They are one of the main reasons I visit our downtown Farmer's Market so often in the summer and because of those visits, The Consort and I have a nice little collection of their wearable art in our wardrobes. The two talented women behind Salgado Fenwick make t-shirts, sweatshirts, leggings and pillows featuring their original hand-drawn artwork. Everything is silkscreened in small batches right here in Edmonton, Alberta and sold online, at craft fairs, and at their newly opened brick and mortar store as well. I love that each season they create a new and limited edition collection and I know that I'll continue to add to ours as the years go by! Local, wearable, art - the trifecta of reasons to shop with them!

I call her Zena, eagle warrior.

4. BroBrick Soap

Last weekend I attended the Royal Bison Art & Craft Fair and stumbled upon these soaps. The Consort is a notoriously hard man to buy for, as he is always saying things like, "I don't need anything" and "Don't worry about me"... Why doesn't he understand that I LIKE TO GIVE GIFTS! Anywho.... the one thing he does like is soap, nice smelling, manly soap. And you can't get any more manly then these BROBRICKS. With names like Cedar & Beer, Barber Shop, and Leather Scrub and a tag line that says "Smack the Filth Off!", you really can't go wrong putting a few of these in your man-dude's stocking this year!

BroBrick Soaps

5. One Red Bead

My friend Mandy is an inspiration to me and many others as well. She is also one of the driving forces behind the India Nepal Yoga Project, a grassroots organization that is working to heal the wounds of trafficked girls and women in that part of the world. One of the missions of the INYP is to assist in the creation of sustainable means for the financial future of those effected by trafficking and HIV/AIDS. On her most recent trip in Nepal, Mandy had a dream one night about one red balloon. The next day, after some brainstorming with the INYP group and the residents of an HIV/Aids hospice, they came up with the idea that blossomed into ONE RED BEAD. 

One Red Bead

The red tibetan healing bead is crafted from yak bone and is representative of the precious girl, affected by the devastation that is human trafficking and HIV/AIDS. Not only do the women feel a sense of pride and purpose in hand-crafting these wonderful bracelets, but the bracelet itself offers awareness, hope and support. 100% of the profit from the sale of these bracelets goes directly to help those living with HIV/AIDS and girls rescued from trafficking. This is the kind of giving that truly makes Christmas wonderful. Give a beautiful gift to someone you love and give the gift of hope to a girl or woman a world away. Order HERE. 

There you have it folks.

The 2014 Stay at Home Feminist Christmas Gift Guide!

Now, go get that shopping done so that everything arrives in time.

Merry, Happy!


Feminist Fare Friday: the Neil's Mom ROCKs! edition.

BlackandWhite Somehow it is Friday yet again. I swear this week started super slow and then BAM! Friday, just like that. For the record, I am not complaining, just perhaps noticing the passing of time going way faster. Maybe that's what happens as we age, time seems to move differently.

Anywhooo... that's perhaps an existential discussion for another time.

Let's get to it.


1. Neil Kramer is a fellow writer, Instagrammer and sometimes tweeter who asked his mom this past week if she is a feminist. He recorded this conversation and shared it on his blog, Citizen of the Month and over at The Broad Side. Here is a snippet for you.... Please go read the rest. I officially love Neil's Mom and look forward to meeting her one day.

Me:   Will you vote for a woman president?

Mom:    Sure. Like Hillary Clinton. But it’s not like I’m going to vote for that Kardashian woman just because she’s a woman.

Me:  Do you think a feminist should look a certain way?  Like not wear lipstick or shave her legs?

Mom:  She could do what she wants.   I mean, eventually, she’ll probably have to shave her legs at least once.  If she wants to date.  Or before her wedding.

Me:   And what do you think about the different roles of mothers and fathers?

Mom:    Well, I do believe that a parent should stay at home with a young child.

Me:   Aha!  Gotcha!  So, you think a mother should stay at home?

Mom:    No, it could be the father.


2. Oh Barbie. Trying so hard to be whatever she wants to be and show girls that they can be that too, but still managing to somehow fuck it all up. In the latest instalment of Mattel trying to get us to believe that  Barbie is actually a good role model for girls, comes the incredibly disappointing "Barbie, I can be a computer engineer" book.

This book, released last June, was paired with another career-minded book called Barbie: I Can Be an Actress. All five reviews for the two-book set on Amazon are from baffled parents wondering why a story called I Can Be a Computer Engineer is sending the opposite message. In fact, according to the site's only three-star review (the others each give one star), it might more accurately be called "I Can Manipulate Boys Into Programming While I Sit Back and Take Credit." 


3. Kim Kardashian was all over the internet last week trying to break it with her beautiful butt. But as any breastfeeding mom who has ever posted a picture on social media knows, you just have to be a woman being a woman to do that! Jessica Martin-Weber breaks it down for us in her HuffPo Parents piece this week:

There are those who think breastfeeding photos and Kim's shinny derrière are equally unsettling and inappropriate. There are also those who think women should be covered head to toe to leave the house and would pass out burkas to every woman. These reactions are all part of the ongoing conversation about what women can show of their bodies and why. From bikini selfies to breastfeeding selfies, from Kim Kardashian on the cover of Paper to Olivia Wilde breastfeeding in Glamour , people love to freak out over what women do with their bodies, how they dress them, how they share them, how many children they do or don't have with them, how they enjoy them, who they share them with -- you name it.


4. I've been thinking about the whole #Shirtstorm thing all week and trying to wrap my head around it. I mean in the grand scheme of things, ie: landing a spacecraft on a moving comet, it really did seem like it shouldn't have been such a big deal. And then I read the line below in a post on the blog Women in Astronomy and two things became very clear to me... 1) It was not and never has been about the damn shirt! and 2) I still have so much ingrained sexism to unlearn in this life.

Happy Friday everyone!



Feminist Fare Friday: The #DUH Edition

If it is not clear as bloody day yet that I AM A FEMINIST, then I am so doing this whole blogging and online activism thing very, very poorly! #iamafeminist

Sometimes I am an angry feminist, sometimes a happy, lipstick wearing one, sometimes a barefoot-in-my-kitchen-making-dinner-for-my-family one and sometimes a loud, "what the holy heck is wrong with this world!!", activist-y one! But it is always a part of me, a BIG part....

Natasha - Writer, Feminist, Mother, Partner, Advocate, Activist. These are the words that I use to describe myself.

This week TIME magazine published their list of words that should be "banned" in 2015 and included FEMINIST on that list (Time Editor Nancy Gibb has since written an apology for this). It took all my strength on Wednesday to not curl up in a ball on my couch, repeating to myself, "why do I bother? why do I bother? why do I bother?".

And then I remembered why I bother.


So for today, all I want you to do is watch this video from my friend Jenni Chiu of Mommy Nani Booboo.

Because she too wants more of us say it loud and proud and truly UNDERSTAND what the word means!