Holiday Giveaway!



My winter giveaway is one of my favorite annual traditions. I’m excited to introduce these cozy favorites from some wonderful brands. One Beyond the Fried reader will win all four products!

Tiny leather zip pouch from FASHIONABLE: Handcrafted in Ethiopia, this small zip pouch is a lovely way to keep track of lip gloss or change in your favorite tote. FASHIONABLE seeks to alleviate generational poverty through job training and job creation around the world.

Bold bracelet from Noonday Collection: This fun, chunky bracelet is made from sustainable materials in Ecuador. Noonday Collection is committed to supporting artisan businesses through fashion and fair trade.

Rosemary Mint herbal lip salve from Little Seed Farm: I just discovered this charming brand, located on a solar-powered farm outside of Nashville. Made from shea butter and essential oils, this lip salve sounds perfect for chapped lips on cold days. Little Seed Farm focuses on creating sustainable, safe skincare in a humane environment.

Jolly Bells Garland from Ten Thousand Villages: I love having this handcrafted garland add festive cheer to my mantle, and I’m so excited to partner with Ten Thousand Villages to give away one to a reader! The garland is made fairly in India by an artisan cooperative. Ten Thousand Villages has been working to create market-based solutions for ending poverty since 1946.




Enter with Rafflecopter below for a chance to win the Beyond the Fried holiday giveaway!

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Giveaway will end at 11:59pm CST December 10, 2016. The winner will be drawn at random and notified via email. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Continue Reading

Holiday Shopping and Reading Round-Up

Whether you’re still celebrating Thanksgiving, ready to shop, or hiding under the covers recuperating, I’ve got some links for you to check out this weekend!

family crafts

Need a fun family activity or a quiet way to spend some alone time? I love these craft ideas from The Nester.


Chai shortbread cookies? Genius. Can’t wait to try this recipe from StyleWise.


If you are looking for some ethical gift ideas for friends and family, check out these gifts guides from LifeStyle Justice.

StyleWise has a terrific round-up of sales and coupons for ethical brands. I have a few up at Fair Fashion Finds, but Leah has made a wonderfully comprehensive list.


With world events, I need a dose of positivity right now, so these posts from Ann Voskamp about America and being what the world needs were balm to my soul.

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Continue Reading

Welcoming New Friends

I love doing service projects with my kids, but I don’t make it happen very often. As much as I want to pass down values like gratitude and sharing with others, my busy schedule and fear of commitment often get in the way.

A local organization serving refugees is encouraging Nashville folks to put together “Welcome to America” baskets for families who are new to the United States. After a rough week full of politics and vitriol, I loved creating a basket with a welcoming spirit.



Aside from occasional fussing about what color of basket to choose, my kids enjoyed this way of greeting newcomers to our country. We talked about how the Native Americans welcomed the Pilgrims and helped them through that first tough winter, and how we have the honor as U.S. citizens to do the same thing.


When my kids were younger and taking both of them to the store was miserable for all involved, we did some arm chair projects by selecting items from the Heifer and Compassion International gift catalogs. Each child got to pick something for their donation — bees and rabbits were favorites, and once our extended family teamed up to send money for a goat.


As the kids get older, I’m excited about even more opportunities, like sorting cans at a food bank or serving meals at a soup kitchen. For now, though, we’re starting where we can with what feels right for our family. If you feel prompted to find ways to serve your neighbors, I encourage you to start wherever you are. Maybe you are stuck at home with a new baby or with a chronic illness. Maybe you have time for a quick project but not a recurring commitment. Perhaps, like me, you are a service slacker who means well but just can’t make it work. Can you send an encouraging text to a friend? Bake cookies for the new girl down the street? Every small action you take makes a difference!

The Welcome to America Project with World Relief Nashville runs through November 18. For information on World Relief opportunities in other cities or to learn about donating welcome kits year round, visit

For more service projects to do with your family, check out 10 Ways Your Kids Can Participate in #GivingTuesday on the Nashville Moms Blog.

Continue Reading