Win My Fair Trade Underwear & More than $500 of Goodies!

Griffin celebrating Fair Trade Month

 

Enter to win more than $500 of Fair Trade goodies!

I’m wearing Fair Trade underwear! And you could be too. Just enter the contest below to win more than $500 of goodies including PACT underwear, Patagonia yoga pants, prAna T-shirt, Boll & Branch throw, Under the Canopy bathrobe, and TOMS coffee.


  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buying Fair and Being Fair is now more than just about your (and Griffin’s) cup of coffee

The fact that I’m wearing Fair Trade Certified underwear is something I can’t believe. (My super soft organic…

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Triple Header at Bakersfield College on Tuesday

I’m speaking at Bakersfield College in Bakersfield, California, three times on Tuesday. Three times! Apologies in advance to the third audience for not remembering what I’ve said or not said. I honestly don’t know how teachers and professors do back-to-back classes. Actually my mind shouldn’t turn to mush because I’ve got plenty of time between talks.

I’m speaking at 10AM, 2PM, and at 6:30PM. More info on the event here.

The event is part of the Cerro Visiting Author Series:

Made possible by a generous bequest by Delores Cerro, a local citizen who believed in the power of libraries to shape students’ lives, the Cerro Author program brings a prominent writer to the Bakersfield…

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Chocolate comes from W. Africa, so does ebola. What this means for Halloween.

2012-08-08 09.20.09

Cocoa farmers I met in Ivory Coast

First off, as ebola madness grips the world . . .

YOU CANNOT GET EBOLA FROM CHOCOLATE!

I was in grade school when the AIDS epidemic blew up in the 80s. My brother convinced me that one got AIDS by sitting on a toilet seat at truck stops after a trucker with AIDS had pooped. Seriously. Granted, at the time I didn’t really know much about sex or intravenous drug use, so I was easily convinced. The thing I don’t know is if my brother made this up or if he actually heard it somewhere. I the ebola fear is any indicator, I’m thinking he…

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1 Book, 1 County, & a Host of Awesome Librarians

 Trying to win the Photo Contest at Wells County Public Library

You can go to West Africa to meet cocoa farmers (although not advisable at the moment with the ebola outbreak). You can write a book about your experience meeting farmers on four continents. But none of this guarantees that your stories will reach the hearts and minds of readers.

For that a little help never hurts.

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Wells County Public Library in Bluffton, Indiana. They used my book WHERE AM I EATING? in their One Book, One County reading program. Basically, they pick a book, get a ton of copies of it for their patrons, and start a community-wide conversation around the book. If…

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Fatal diagnosis leaves young newly wed asking important questions

You’ve probably seen this video below of Brittany Maynard talking about her decision to end her own life after her fatal diagnosis. I wanted to highlight something she said that one asks themselves when facing death:

“What’s important to you? What do you care about? What matters?”

And her answer:

“Pursue that. Forget the rest.”

Brittany is choosing to spend more time with family and friends, and to travel to as many places she wants to see as she can.

Brittany is scheduled to die on November 1st.

Family. Friends. Travel. That’s what matters to Brittany. She doesn’t say that she wants to spend more time at work finishing a big project or buy a brand new corvette with her retirement money she’ll no longer need. Those things don’t matter to her….

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Thankful for the Support of Hoosiers

Wells County selected WHERE AM I EATING? for their One Book One County community read program. Tomorrow night I’ll be speaking at the Main Library in Bluffton, Indiana, from 7-8 PM. Here are the details.

The event was made possible by the Indiana Humanities Novel Conversations program. Over the past year I’ve had the chance to interact with Indiana Humanities, The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, and the Glick family, which supports both programs, and I’m so thankful for all the hard work all of them do.

Indiana Humanities

Indiana Humanities mission is to connect people, open minds and enrich lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk.

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Why academic writing stinks?

Please call me Bachelor Kelsey Timmerman or if you prefer Kelsey Timmerman Bachelor of Arts.

Actually, no one ever calls me that. A BA isn’t as noteworthy as, say, Dr. Evil’s PhD at Evil medical school.

I speak at a lot of universities and have the pleasure of chatting with a lot of really smart professors with PhD’s and Masters. Sometimes for some reason, folks assume that I at least have my masters.

“Where did you go to grad school?” They’ll ask.

My grad school was writing 100,000 words of travel columns cooped up in my Key West attic apartment accessed by a fold out ladder. That’s where and when I learned to write and found my voice.

So, I didn’t learn to…

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Are perfect attendance awards stupid?

Harper is home sick today from Kindergarten.  This is her first ever missed day of school. She had a good run . . .  for a month. Looks like she won’t be the Cal Ripken of Royerton elementary.

Anyhow, all of this got me thinking about awards for perfect attendance. 

A perfect attendance award means:

a) a kid or employee was never sick;

or

b) they were sick, likely multiple times, and exposed the other students and their co-workers to their germs.

Never being sick is highly unlikely so that means awarding perfect attendance is encouraging the spread of germs in schools and the work place. And that seems kind of stupid, doesn’t it?

I could be wrong. In high school, before I had sinus surgery, I missed a lot of school. So…

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Urban Outfitters selling blood-stained Kent State hoodies

In 1970 four Kent State students were shot to death and nine more were wounded as the National Guard turned their guns on protestors. Forty-four years later, Urban Outfitters is monetizing the tragedy by selling a blood-stained hoodie complete with bullet holes.

Of course Urban Outfitters says the red stains and holes were simply an accident. Sure, an accident that the company photographed and posted on its site for sale for $125.

You can read about the controversy on Mashable and BuzzFeed so I’m not going to recount everything that has been said, but I want to make two points.

All Publicity is Good Publicity . . . unless we act

Has H&M benefitted from the fact that their clothing labels were found in the…

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Craft Chocolate Sourced and Produced in Africa Fairly and Directly

Some African cocoa farmers have never eaten chocolate even though the continent supplies more than half of the world’s cocoa.

Cocoa is a commodity, one of the world’s most volatile, and the quality of the farmers’ lives rise and fall with the cocoa prices. The money isn’t in the growing of cocoa, but in the processing of the cocoa into chocolate, the packaging, and the selling of the chocolate. This typically happens far from African soil. Hence you have cocoa farmers who’ve never tasted chocolate, and others like the ones I ate Hershey’s Kisses with in Ivory Coast who rarely do.

But one company, Madécasse, is challenging that model. Of the 500 chocolate brands in the U.S., Madécasse is the only one…

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