So chances are you have a ton of stuff in your house that wasn’t made in the US. I’m going to use three common household items to demonstrate: your dishwasher, a keurig, and perhaps a scentsy warmer. All of these things in my house were imported. So how can I use a foreign item to the advantage of the American economy?

It’s pretty simple, actually. Buy American products that correlate with your product! My favorite dishwasher tabs right now are by the Method Corporation. The website says 5.99 for 20 of them, but I get them at Hannaford for the exact same price as Cascade dishwasher tabs which are imported. They also come in a really great Pink Grapefruit scent (whichdoesn’tsmelllikegrapefruits) but it still smells amazing.

 Method makes an entire line of cleaning products that are priced similarly or equal to imported ones. The visual aesthetics are nice too, with simple lettering and sleek bottles. The smells are good and the company upholds many ethical and ecological standards in their practice. Hannaford and Target are two stores that you can easily find this stuff.

If you’re like me, you NEED your morning coffee pretty quickly. I love my Keurig, but it’s made in China. Again, all I have to do is buy American-made k-cups out of American coffee. While many coffees are imported from warmer climates, Hawaii is one place in the US where coffee is grown and sourced. When I visited the Island of Kauai (oneofthesmalleroutlyingislands) there were fields and fields of coffee bushes. If you do buy K-cups, try to find some that say “Kona” coffee on them, sourced from Hawaii. Green Mountain Coffee carries some of these.

On to the Scentsy. Walking into a house that not only looks but smells amazing is always a nice experience. (just to clarify-IhadtocleanmyhousewhenIgotthis). My good friend Melissa recently mailed me a Scentsy warmer and some wax bars to heat in it. She included a little message that the Scentsy wouldn’t have arrived it time, but included some wax by Better Homes & Gardens that smells just as nice. Now Scentsy bars are produced in two places: Meridian, Ohio, and France. Try to ask your consultant to get you the extra info as to where each scent is produced just to be on the safe side. (I could be wrong, but I pulled this info straight off their website). The Better Homes & Gardens wax bars are also made in the US and smell just as good!

Try to look around your house for other appliances or products that need add-ons to work, and check the labels. There are lots of ways to buy American this Christmas, especially during the Holiday season (and cleanup afterward!)

Since it’s so close to Christmas, I’ll be ramping up my posting to help you guys in the buy-local department as much as I possibly can.

My friend Jen runs this amazing blog, called My Little Avocado. She has these incredible recipes that are simple and healthy like the glazed chocolate avocado cupcakes, or the zesty italian chicken fingers. Another one that sounds great is the banana burrito with kiwi salsa.

Anyways, I entered this scarf design contest (knitting) and I’m pretty sure I didn’t win. I hear they’re still deciding on the last few slots but that there’s a ton of good entries. I’m sure! So to distract myself from checking my email compulsively I decided to make cookies off Jen’s blog.  The picture’s not mine, it’s Jen’s, and if you click on it it will bring you straight to the recipe. Hooray!

“What does this have to do with buying American?” you may ask. Well, it’s 100% American if you use ingredients made in the US. My favorite is King Arthur Flour. Even the wheat they use to make it comes from local fields. The batch yields at least 24 cookies…and who really needs 24 cookies?

Do yourself a favor, and freeze the dough. Then, whip it out of the fridge right before Christmas, pop it in the oven, find a cute locally made tin, and tah-dah! You’ve saved some dough (literally…and metaphorically).

Shopping feels good. Really good. But buying American feels even better!

One of the biggest challenges I’ve found in buying American is in the clothing industry- it’s nearly impossible to find stuff made in the US, let alone cute, up-to-date, fitted, flattering stuff. Maybe you don’t want to shop online only for clothing–you want to try it on. See the fit, the feel of the fabric, how does it sit when you move? One store I found at our local mall, Francesca’s Collections, carries a TON of US made clothing. I had passed by this place a million times thinking it was an accessories only store (the storefront has mostly accessories on display) until my friend Angie told me about it. On top of that, it has a lot of different styles, so you can choose something that suits you.

The Grand Entrance dress is nicely balanced and gives off a vintagey feel of days gone by:

But if you’re looking for something more simple, the Place in the Sun Dress is elegant and basic (though I’d like to see it with a chunky belt!) 

But maybe you don’t want a dress. I live in a part of Maine where holiday parties involving cocktail dresses aren’t the norm. This is more up my alley:

I seriously love this sweater.

Or a shirt for lounging around the house.

I mean, I could keep posting more and more stuff, but you should really go to the website to check it out. www.francescascollections.com

 Just take a quick peek at the tag to see if it’s from the US, because they carry imported also. Readyforthebestpart? Everything I shared on this post today is under 50$.

And thank you for your patience with my horrible formatting. I’m bad at setting this stuff up, but I’m good at finding and buying American! Check your closet! Do you have anything made in the US?

ImageSo it’s not exactly part of the Christmas presents list, but two years ago my mother in law got our daughter, Rebekah, a bottle of bubblebath by a brand called California Baby. It was made with Eucalyptus for when she was sick.  This stuff is amazing! And how adorable is the fact that it comes with a bubble wand for tubby time?

During this time of year chances are your kid is going to end up with dry skin. Ellie (our 10 month old) had a terrible case of dry skin, with a bit of baby eczema thrown in there (at least, that’s what our pediatrician thought). So I went out to Target, which carries this brand, and found their Calendula cream:

 

Within 2 days her dry skin has cleared up. Calendula is amazing stuff-

it’s related to the marigold and has a ton of medicinal properties. Studies suggest this includes anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. I’ll tell you one thing, it works on Ellie’s skin. And Rebekah’s. And MINE!

I have wicked sensitive skin too, and I use this on my face before bed at night. One little tub lasts quite a while and it works wonders!

Remember how I had said before that I think that most American based companies these days seem to have a very responsible way of doing things? California baby products are vegan, non toxic, non synthetic, hypoallergenic, organic, and sustainably grown. All that from such a small bottle. FUN! Take pride in knowing that while you’re rubbing this on your baby’s skin (oryours!) you’re also ramping up US jobs.

Find it here: www.californiababy.com

and please, do forgive my run-on sentences and ramblings. It’s early in the morning, I’m half awake, and about to hit up the gym and drop one kid off at preschool! (Iwouldn’thaveitanyotherway)

I was on another Buy American blog recently: http://buyamericanchallenge.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/in-the-spirit-of-christmas-buy-american/

And thought, wow, Randy has a really great point about Christmas trees. Maybe you don’t like the smell of real ones, or the mess they create. But I bet what you WOULD like is to see more jobs created locally. And local tree farms are about as direct as it gets when it comes to your money.

Where are you getting your tree this year?