Monday, July 20, 2015

Oliberte - The World's Only Fair Trade Certified Foot Wear Manufacturer PLUS The Ultimate Leather Giveaway!

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   Every now and then a company comes along that not only impresses me with the quality of their product, but in the way they do business and the tangible positive impact they make to the world around them. It won't take you long, while reading this post, to find out just how thrilled I am to have had the chance to experience the products of Oliberte but also learn and share with you how they are helping individuals and families in the poorest of countries to use what's been given to them as tools to lift them out of poverty and into a life where their needs are met and they have pride in their work and in their success. I have loved using my Oliberte products for a couple weeks now and grow to appreciate them more and more with each use. Oliberte send me a pair of their Anjula Camel Pullups, their Kobio bag, and a Krabu backpack, at no cost, to facilitate this review. 

Who Is Oliberte?

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Olibert√© is a sustainable brand supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa. We believe in empowerment, transparency, and doing right by all. This means making premium quality products with a lifetime warranty, and it means treating every employee, everywhere in the world, with respect. In 2009, we started off as a small footwear company partnering with factories and suppliers in Africa. Since then, we gained enough momentum to launch our very own factory in 2012. We make every single pair of Olibert√© shoes at this factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In September 2013, we also became the world’s first Fair Trade Certified™ footwear manufacturing factory. - Oliberte Website

 I love one of Oliberte's motto's "Trade Not Aid". While it is good to have compassion for those that are less fortunate, charity only goes so far and unless it's replenished, the families and individuals soon return to the same impoverished situation they found themselves in before. By giving the people of Ethiopia a tangible way to pull themselves out of poverty through a fair trade enterprise like Oliberte, adults are able to learn a skill that enables them to care for their families and stop the generational cycle of poverty. Proceeds from every purchase goes right back into the company so that Oliberte can create more safe and ethically sound factories bringing more jobs to the people of Africa. "Because every purchase, every pair, every person matters."

 To learn more about Oliberte and to even watch a video of how their products are made, click HERE.

Anjula Camel Pullups

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  • Casual women's sneaker with double toe cap
  • Rubber Cupsole with side-wall stitching for extra reinforcement
  • Camel Pullup Upper
  • 100% goat leather tan lining
  • Water-based PU comfort insole with heel stabilizer
  • Tan poly-blend cord laces
  • Made in Ethiopia 
  • Fair Trade Certified™ 
  • This style is built on our ANBESSO last
  • This is our ‘classic’ but updated sneaker last
  • Fits true to size - Oliberte Website Product Description
The raw and rustic look of these shoes made me want to throw them on and go on a really long walk in the back woods of West Virginia from the moment I took them out of the box! The care and detail that goes into these shoes is visibly seen in the way these shoes are stitched with care and excellent precision. The Anjula shoes come in two colors but I personally love the camel color. The soles of these shoes are one of the most sturdy I have worn and it's clear they won't be wearing out any time soon. The small map  of Ethiopia on the bottom of the shoes gives each purchaser a small reminder of just how far your shoes have already traveled.  I love that no matter where I go, with each step I take a little bit of Africa, and the hands that made these shoes, with me.

 Oliberte shoes don't come in 1/2 sizes. I normally wear a size 7.5 (US) and at their suggestion, I went with a size 7. I'm so glad that I did! I don't like to wear thick socks (I usually wear "no shows"), and when I first tried them on, I even thought they might be a little big. I took them with me on a family trip to Michigan and wore them on an adventure with our kids and extended family to their local town festival. These shoes were on my feet for over 8 hours and felt comfortable the entire time. By wearing them outside for a longer period of time, the leather was able to move and form to the shape of my feet. Now my Anjula's fit like a glove!

 To order your own pair of Anjula Leather Shoes click HERE to order them from Oliberte. Normally $110, these shoes are currently on sale for $77!

Kobio Bag

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  • Leather shopping bag
  • Premium African Leather
  • Large front pocket wit detail stitching
  • 8.5" x 8" side pocket (fits iPad)
  • Ethiopian cotton lining
  • Height: 15"
  • Width: 14" (top) - 17" (bottom)
  • Made in Ethiopia
  • Fair Trade Certified - Oliberte Website Product Description
Words cannot even begin to express how in love I am with this bag! Since I got my Kobio it's the only bag I've used. There's virtually nothing that I can't put in it, phone, make up bag, notebook, phone, tablet, books, etc. While some people might miss having smaller pockets on the inside, I actually really appreciate the two pockets on the outside of the bag, where I can put my phone and car keys to have the more accessible. Of course, if you absolutely need to have a compartment on the inside, purchasing a separate zipper bag would be easy to do and definitely easy to keep in the Kobio.

I love the natural ease and simple beauty that is found in this bag and I have found it goes with just about every outfit in my closet and dresser. The Kobio "Light Brown" color is my favorite, (though currently sold out) but there are still two other fantastic colors to choose from!

 Pick yours up now from Oliberte HERE for $75

Krabu Backpack

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  • Backpack
  • Adjustable leather straps
  • Carrying handle
  • Dual buckle closure
  • Premium dark grey brushed wax leather
  • Credit-card sized zipped leather pocket inside
  • Small outer pocket with snap
  • Metal ring on outside ideal for carabiner
  • Height: 18 inches
  • Width: 14 inches
  • Depth: 5 inches
  • Made in Ethiopia - Oliberte Website Product Description
My Krabu backpack arrived just in time for our families trip to one of our local parks to celebrate Independence Day on July 4th. Taking four kids for an evening of fireworks requires also toting along quite a bit of supplies. I kid you not, it the picture above, I had a twin size quilt, bug spray, hats, three sweatshirts, sippy cup, plus all of the regular stuff I put in my purse. The backpack has adjustable leather straps and I was quite surprised not to feel any discomfort while carrying it, even with so many items packed inside. It also comes with two different smaller storage pockets, one sipper pocket on the inside (perfect for Chapstick, lipgloss, or keys) and a larger pocket on the outside that snaps shut. Without a doubt, this backpack will be going on many more family adventures in the years to come, I've even used it a to take my laptop in on a recent road trip. The Krabu comes in several colors besides dark gray pictured above. The black Krabu (normally priced at $240) is currently on sale for an unbelievable deal at $70!  

 Click HERE to pick the perfect Krabu for you!

 Among all of the leather goods I have ever owned, Oliberte stands a head above the rest! I love the way that Oliberte allows the purity of the leather and the quality of the craftsmanship to stand out in their product. Owning a pair of shoes or a bag from Oliberte isn't just about making an investment in the products you use on a day to day basis, these goods also make an investment in countless lives of men, women, children, and families in Ethiopia, Africa. The quality and care you receive in return of your purchase gives you a lifetime of comfort and satisfaction in an outstanding product, which truly, never goes out of style.

 Oliberte has so much to offer between shoes for both men and women as well as top quality leather bags for every purpose and need. Click HERE to visit their website!

 Make sure to follow Oliberte on social media to catch all of their promotions and hear about new products!


Leather Giveaway

 Our Southern Style & Thrifty Nifty Mommy are giving away the Ultimate Leather collection with one reader winning both a Kobio bag and a pair of Anjula shoes!  The giveaway will end August 3rd at 11:59pm. Open to residents of the US only and must be 18 years old to enter. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below.  

Disclosure: I was sent the items listed above at no cost to facilitate this review. Prize fulfillment of the above giveaway is the responsibility of Oliberte and not Our Southern Style or Thrifty Nifty Mommy. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

My Friend Cayla - The Next Generation Of Dolls

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As long as there are little girls there will always be dolls. When I was a little girl, my first and most beloved toy was a doll, named Thumbelina whom I loved for years and years. Both of my daughters each have dolls that they not only play with, but several of their dolls have been given some of the most coveted spots in their rooms.  Though dolls come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and have different accessories, in the end the basics are the same. Genesis Toys has changed all of that with their new interactive doll, My Friend Cayla, who is changing the world of dolls as we know them, and bringing a whole new wave of fun through her ability to interact wirelessly, play games, answer questions, and even tell stories. Genesis Toys sent Eva and I a My Friend Cayla doll, pictured above, at no cost to facilitate this review. You won't believe all the things this doll can do!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Raise A Hand For Teachers With ThredUp and

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Thredup and All opinions are my own.

I always knew that being a teacher was hard work, I just never completely understood just how hard it was until I found myself taking on the role of "Homeroom Mom" in my 1st grade daughter's classroom. Soon after I took on this position,  it was clear the need to support teachers was very great and I began to look for additional ways to get involved. In West Virginia, our public schools offer the "Read Aloud Program" where adults, parents, grandparents, etc. can go into the classroom and read age appropriate books aloud to the students. I completed the Read Aloud Program training and began the wonderful experience of sharing the fun of reading with my daughter Eva's class every Thursday.

Aside from the personal joy I experienced in watching students captivated by stories, my eyes were opened to the needs teachers have in the classroom. It was typical for me to arrive while Eva's teacher was helping a student with a bloody nose, or pulling a student aside that had been bullied on the playground, or speaking quietly with a child that was struggling with homework and didn't have a parent's help at home. From my own small experience in the classroom of 1st grade students, it became clear that for most teachers, especially the great ones, their jobs don't just end when the bell rings. Their care, concern, and compassion for their students goes with them at the end of the day and is present at the start of the next one. Most teachers never receive the credit or thanks they deserve and that's why I'm so thrilled to share the Raise A Hand For Teachers Program with you and to invite you to take a few moments to say thank you to the teachers who have made a different in your own child's life! Let's all get moving and Raise A Hand For Teachers!
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Most parents have no idea how much time and even personal money that teachers spend helping their students.  According to, teachers spend an average of $500 of their own money each year to equip their classrooms. 70% of teachers have even purchased apparel items like jackets, socks and shoes for their students. Often times teachers come together, even after school, to discuss how to deal with specific issues like poverty, hunger, and social issues that their kids face outside of the classroom. They do it all not for the recognition, they do it because they genuinely care about their students.  ThredUP and have made it even easier to tangibly say thanks to our greatest teachers.
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Beginning July 15th and going through August 23rd,  enter your favorite teachers in the Raise A Hand For Teachers program where 3 teachers will win $2,500 towards classroom supplies and $500 to spend at thredUP! 50 runner up winners will also be chosen to receive $100 to spend at thredUP! Winners will be announced Tuesday, September 8th. Visit to nominate your favorite teachers! Don't forget to share details about the teachers you are nominating. e.g.: I nominated [name] from [school] who [relationship to you]. [Reason for nomination.] and then go on your own social media pages and share #raiseahandforteachers with pictures and a personal thank you to your teacher nomination.

 I'm nominating  Eva's first grade teacher, Mrs. Haythorn from Spring Mills Primary School in West Virginia because it was clear time and time again that being a teacher wasn't just about her job. She put her students first in all that she did, even finding ways to help those that came from a difficult situation at home. She spent personal time and money to help all of her students succeed. And if she recognized a problem for one of her kids she never gave up until the issue was solved. Keeping her job never came before helping her students.

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 It's hard to believe that in just a matter of weeks, school will be back in session.  ThredUP has made it easier on your time and your budget to get awesome, quality, back to school clothes for all of your kids! ThredUP is a fashion resale sight, selling like-new clothes, shoes, and even handbags for women and children. Find name brand clothes for kids like GapKids, Janie and Jack, Lilly Pulitzer, Mini Boden, Zara Kids and more! With four kids to dress, I almost never buy clothes at full price. ThredUP’s prices are always up to 90% off retail, so you don’t have to wait for the back-to-school sales to start to save a ton of money! Don't want to drag all of the kids through the mall to numerous stores? Wouldn't you love to just do all your shopping from the comforts of home? ThredUP is a one-stop shop, with all of the top brands in one place at or on the mobile app. Convenient, stress-free shopping!

Visit thredUP for all of your back to school shopping needs!

 Don't forget to follow Thredup on social media to share your Raise A Hand For Teacher nominations and to hear about Thredup promotions! You can find them on

Friday, July 10, 2015

Emerald Cuff - Keeping Busy Moms Looking Their Best

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   As a working Mom with four kids, life gets pretty busy sometimes. But being busy doesn't mean I should have to sacrifice looking and feeling my best! Wouldn't you love to have your own professional stylist pick out your brand new wardrobe every month? How about having someone keep up to date on the latest fashion trends? How about having your own "personal shopper" so you don't even have to leave your house? I'm excited to bring ladies everywhere, news about a fantastic company that makes fashion easy and simple for busy women everywhere! Emerald Cuff personally sent me my own special collection, at no cost to facilitate this review, and I know you are going to love what you see!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Keep Reading With Books From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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At our house we have all different stages of readers. My two boys aren't reading on their own yet but they will jump on any opportunity to have Mom or Dad read them a book. My two girls are older and able to read by themselves, although my soon to be 7th grader usually has to have some extra encouragement. Whether your kids need some help sharing in a story or maybe they can dive into the pages on their own, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has books that will keep all of your kids reading and they recently sent me the books pictured above, at no cost, to facilitate this review of some of their beloved selections.