Friends + Noonday (+Giveaway!)

The ethical fashion journey can be tough and frustrating, but finding friends along the way is a treasure like no other.

Today I want to introduce you to my friend Amanda.

Noonday friends
Amanda Mitchell, center, shares the message of fair trade with hospitality and kindness.

Amanda started her ethical fashion journey about a year ago. After attending a Noonday Collection party, Amanda started to learn about fair trade and ethical purchasing. Soon she found a calling for a deeper role in ethical fashion.

“I began as a Noonday Ambassador because I wanted to use my voice to create a positive impact for others. I attended a Noonday trunk show… and began to learn about fair-trade and ethical purchasing. I started reading blogs, like this one, and learned that I have choices with what I buy. I can no longer contribute to fast fashion or unjust labor and be comfortable with it. I want my purchases to be purposeful and contributing to the well-being of others.”

Noonday fun
Amanda and I playing Noonday dress-up with our friends Hannah and Sophie. Finding friends who share a passion for justice and ethical shopping is a wonderful gift.

“The decision to become an Ambassador was because I wanted to connect with people locally to empower them to also make purchases that will impact others in a positive way. Noonday Collection is working to create actual solutions to combat injustices around the world by providing opportunity for sustainable income. Being a part of something that is allowing families to rise out of poverty, women to rise out of trafficking, children to receive education…this is something that is worth my time.”

My favorite thing about Noonday is the way it combines friendship and fair trade. While initially I was skeptical about the home party business model, I’m finding that Noonday Collection can be a beautiful way to support each other as we seek an ethical lifestyle.

Love the Noonday look? Amanda is giving away this lovely pendant necklace to one of you! To enter, visit Amanda’s Noonday page and view her collection, then come back here and leave a comment about your favorite accessory or piece of jewelry! Entries accepted through Monday, June 27, 2016. Open to US residents only.

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How to Love with Food (Even from Far Away)

ShareCrate Meatballs
In our communities, we love with food. We deliver meals to celebrate births and to memorialize deaths. We gather with friends, sharing recipes and plates and love.

Have you ever had a far-away friend dealing with a tough time, and you wish you could just step across the miles, appearing at the door with a casserole in hand?

ShareCrate Broccoli

When I was on bed rest, my friends swooped in and took care of me. They watched movies with me; they made me meals and sent me ice cream. As I watched other friends coping with surgeries, tough diagnoses, and grief, I found myself wondering how to help. How could I show my love and concern beyond a simple note?

Enter ShareCrate.

Created by the team behind DreamDinners, ShareCrate is a way to send a home-cooked meal to that special friend…even when they live states away.

ShareCrate Box

ShareCrate meals are designed to make dinner time a worry-free breeze. You won’t find vegetables to chop or packets of raw meat like in some meal kits; each meal is contained in its freezer bag to prepare when you are ready.

A ShareCrate contains three meals: Chicken Florentine Tortellini that can go straight into the oven, Sesame-Glazed Meatballs and Rice that require just a bit of heating in a skillet, and a slightly more complex Honey, Garlic, and Orange Chicken recipe with Oven-Roasted Broccoli. My family of four devoured the entrees in the large-sized ShareCrate, wishing for even more!

A medium ShareCrate is $89 and includes 2-3 servings of all three meals. A large ShareCrate is $139 for 5 to 6 servings of the three meals. I love the idea of getting together with college buddies, neighbors, or a Sunday School class and letting everyone chip in a few bucks to send a ShareCrate to a friend.

Want to test a ShareCrate for yourself, or send some food love to a friend far away? I’m giving away a ShareCrate to one BeyondtheFried reader! The contest is open to all U.S. residents, but please note the delivery availability map for where ShareCrate is able to ship your meal.

To enter, leave a comment sharing how you love your friends and family through tough times. Feel free to share a favorite recipe, words of wisdom, or even any questions you have about ShareCrates. Contest entry is open through June 20, 2016.

DreamDinners kindly sent me a ShareCrate to review and offered to give one away to my readers. 

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Weekend Reading List


Hey, friends! What a week! Er, month? I don’t know about you, but I’ve been swamped as my boys finished out the school year. I spent today de-cluttering our countertops, answering long-neglected emails, and catching up on my reading.

I’ve fired up Fair Fashion Finds to catalog the sales I’m hearing about this weekend. So far my favorites include 30% off Synergy Organic Clothing and 20% off PACT Apparel (referral link! Woo!).

Some interesting fair fashion funding campaigns are happening at the moment. Leah at StyleWise shared about Sotela’s “Last Dress You’ll Ever Need.” I love this concept, especially when I think about how many different dress sizes I’ve worn. Also, Purple Buddha Project is raising funds for their line of jewelry made from upcycled weapons material.

As I start a summer with my little boys in tow, I’m thankful for posts like Suburban Turmoil’s sweet thoughts on her energetic boy and An Intentional Family Summer over at Raising Boys and Girls. I’ll also be looking to this post on children and transitions as my little guy starts kindergarten in the fall.

Finally, A Beautiful Refuge is up and running for pre-orders! My design isn’t available yet, but you can bet I’ll let you know when it is! In the meantime, check out the first few available designs.

Have a great weekend!

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