Ssekos in the summer…

You may have seen me wear my pair of Ssekos here and there, I’ve had them for a couple of years now and get plenty of compliments for them and just figure I’d advocate for their cause (I’m wearing them in the photo above (last summer, thanks to Meg Walsh!).  Daniel got me my pair two years ago. I like beautiful leather soles and unique straps. He was introduced to them by Justin and Audrey and if you live in the OKC/Norman area you can snag a pair at SHOP GOOD–they come in a variety of straps!

So what is there to advocate for? Well, Sseko Shoes (Say-ko) is a not-for-profit organization that helps young women in Uganda continue onto university. These women will not make sandals forever, they will go on to become great leaders. Among the many reasons that drew me to this organization is the fact that they seek to equip these women not only with tuition for further education but skills. Education and tuition for many of these women are difficult to come by in Uganda due to the socioeconomic inequalities that exist.  To read more about their story and those of the women who’ve gone through their program, click here.

Other perks: there are many many ways to wear Sseko shoes! Click here for the various methods to wear them (photos courtesy of the Sseko shoes website and Caribbean travels blog).

And, they’re even ideal for weddings, too!
There you have it, simplicity at its finest and giving back and its greatest!

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Askinosie-sustainable chocolates

Since Daniel and I are in the coffee industry, we value the many workers behind the scene that play such instrumental roles in making coffee. If you think about it, a cup of coffee means so much more when you realize that there were folks, harvesting individual coffee cherries, washing, drying them, transporting them, roasting them, finally, brewing them for our enjoyment! You can read more about the process of coffee, here. In short, our enthusiasm for the behind-the-scenes-effort have most certainly spilled over into other parts of our “foodie-life” and I think that’s what got us so excited about the Askinosie chocolates.

photo credit: Askinosie Chocolates Press Gallery

We discovered these chocolates sometime last year, but figure we ought to advocate for them a little bit more since they are engaged in something we hope to do someday, direct trade! Shawn Askinosie personally travels to Honduras, Tanzania, Philippines, and Ecuador to meet with the cacao farmers and ensure that they receive fair wages (you can read more about that, here). The best part is that, you can read specifically about the farmers who put together the very chocolate bar in your hands!

This may be a direct result of our love for coffee, but we absolutely love single-origin dark chocolate because we believe it really lets us taste the flavors of the cacao beans of a particular region. We actually record all of our taste notes in a little journal and what’s perhaps even sillier is that I’ve been chronicling our chocolates over the past few years!
Everyone seems so surprised when they rifle through our chocolate files, but it all started one day when Daniel decided to buy every single dark chocolate bar off the aisle at target as a gift (back in college)–maybe I’ll write about that story later. But, guess what? Emmy loves dark chocolate, too—wish I would have snagged the “first taste look.”
What about you? Like dark chocolates?

P.S. Askinosie chocolates also make milk chocolates as well.
In Oklahoma, they can be purchased at Forward Foods and Elemental Coffee.