Shopping for a gift for your mom for Mother's Day can be very challenging, especially if you want to do something new or unexpected. Even if you live close enough to spend time with your mom on Mother's Day, it's still difficult to come up with a unique gift every year. 

First of all, I LOVE being a MOM and all moms would probably agree. It is the single most rewarding and hardest gig I have ever signed up for. I think most moms feel the same way and love to cherish every single moment. Each mothers’ day, I think about what my mother has instilled in me and the memories I have of her. 

#1.In an age of high tech and the internet more and more importance is placed on storing away important items. We can tend to forget the past if not observed daily. That’s where I think a picture frame is a GREAT idea. I personally have so many pictures in my home in need of a frame. A frame with your favorite photo is an awesome way of saying “I cherish my time with you!” Check out our bike chain picture frame or our “Tree of Life” picture and card holder. Put your favorite photo of you and mom in one of these. An instant gratifying testament to motherhood.

(Photo by Zee Bee Market)

#2.  As a mom myself, I realize I do need to spend more time on myself, for me it’s a simple walk, enjoying a cup of joe, an exercise or yoga class. Some days are so busy and I may not have time for the above and I just need to remember to take a deep breath and remember to “Breathe”. Mira  has a variety of simple decorative wall hangings reminding us to “breathe” ,” Live Laugh Love”, “Family, Faith and Friends”, “Coffee” or “Namaste”. They can be easily hung were they can be an inspiring reminder each day to enjoy life as it comes.

#3. I love the season of year that Mothers’ day is celebrated. Spring is in full swing and I am getting my sun room and deck area ready for more time being spent in those quarters. This is when I suddenly am scouting out new flowers and greenery to place in these areas. I am always at a loss for interesting and unique containers for them. Mira has absolutely the cutest planters there could possibly be out there for our plants. A wide variety of cuties too, an ant just relaxing in the sun, a moose who is out of hibernation, and who doesn’t like your better than average house pets, a cat and dog? Also, a great conversation piece when people visit.

#4. Mom’s need to be surrounded by beautiful d├ęcor right? Hey it’s moms’ who have some of the dirtiest and unpleasant job in our homes, from scrubbing the toilet to scrubbing the kitchen floor. Handling lots and lots of dirty laundry, not to mention the all-time favorite-cleaning up after a night with a child with the stomach flu. Mira has the most beautiful elephant tapestries in 3 sizes and table runner all made from recycled sari’s. A true beauty to be placed and seen by mom each day. Each one is unique and one of a kind –just like mom!

#5. The Sound of Music! Well sort of. Moms long to hear soft accolades’ on a daily basis as they scurry through their jam packed days. Nothing more calms the soul than the sound of wind blowing through beautiful chimes. The selection is elegant and whimsical. Mira has more than 10 hand crafted chimes that are flying off our shelves this spring. We have the chime that would be a sweet melodic gift for any mother of any age or specific taste. Butterflies, flowers, elephants, turtles, birds, frogs and of course entwined hearts. These chimes are designed and made with great devotion to the craft.

We hope these gift ideas are a simple delight and grateful gesture to your mom for all she means to you! Remember, hugs and kisses are ALWAYS welcome by mothers everywhere!

- Audrey | Mira Fair Trade

More than just a greeting
 ‘Namaste’ could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural connection or an act of worship. However, there is much more to it than meets the eye. The real meeting between people is the meeting of their minds. When we greet one another with 'Namaste', it means, ‘may our minds meet’, indicated by the folded palms placed before the chest. The bowing down of the head is a gracious form of extending friendship in love, respect, and humility.
Have you ever attended a yoga class and wondered why saying ‘Namaste’ in unison with the teacher ends class? Have you ever thought about what is actually being said? ‘Namaste’ adds to the spirituality of the yoga practice and separates it from other exercises. Saying ‘Namaste’ gives us a sense of completion, allows us a moment of reflection without movement and bridges the transition to the day ahead of us. This also allows participates to acknowledge the teacher at the end of the class.Mostly a connection to the greater world and ourselves.
Here is the literal translation of the word “Namaste” it breaks down into three sections…Nama means bow; as means I; and, te means you. Thus, I bow to you. The gesture is a familiar one of greeting in India. ‘Namaste' is the typical Indian way of greeting each other. Wherever they are – on the street, in the house, in public transport, on vacation or on the phone – when Hindus meet people they know or strangers with whom they want to initiate a conversation, ‘Namaste’ is the customary courtesy greeting to begin with and often to end with. It is not just a superficial gesture or a mere word and is for ALL people - young and old, friends and strangers.
Make sure to check out these wall art hangings, our newest items for Spring 2016. 'Nasmaste' and 'Breathe' they can be found on our website.
 In Pittsburgh, we can feel it in the air; Spring is on the way!  The birds have been singing merrily every morning, letting us know that winter is on its way out. We have so many new products that you can be excited about this spring.  Chimes a great way to celebrate the springtime... See all of our new chimes  - frogs, birds, elephants and butterflies and many more at! 

One of our favorite new products and one of the best selling products at the NY NOW show is our LOTUS Chime! The Lotus flower is the national flower in India.  Not only is the Lotus a gorgeous flower, it also has a beautiful meaning behind it.  The Lotus grows in murky water. It fights its way through all the murk and grows far above because the stem grows long and strong. This allows for the flower to flourish above the dark water and remain pure even among the dirtiness below it.  The Lotus is a symbol that you have reached enlightenment.  The Lotus also symbolizes wealth, fertility and knowledge!

So why not bring in a new product to your store? Especially one with such beautiful meaning behind it!  Also, be sure to check out our newest recycled sari items - our Elephant Tapestries! 

Happy (almost) Spring!

It's finally December! The holiday season has officially begun. Not sure what to get Mom and Dad for Christmas? We have a few ideas. 

For Mom:
Get your mom some nice matching accessories! I always carry around a big purse. This one is big enough to carry around whatever you need without being so big that your things get lost in it. This necklace matches the bag perfectly and scarves are always a good gift for this time of year. The live, laugh, love wall art is a perfect gift with an inspirational message.

For Dad:
Get your dad a nice six pack of his favorite drink, our oval tin tray and one of our snake bottle openers and he'll be set! If he's not much of a beer drinker, the peace hook and glasses holder are always a nice gift to give him some unique products to help him stay organized.

My family always makes bubble bread twice a year: on Christmas morning and around Thanksgiving. This recipe may be best for the morning after Thanksgiving for relatives who are staying with you or for family and friends who come over the next afternoon for leftovers. There are always people around on the day after Thanksgiving at my house and this the perfect recipe for anyone craving something sweet after all the savory Thanksgiving food.

  • 2 loaves frozen white bread
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon 
  • 2 sticks of butter melted

Thaw the bread dough as the package directions call for. This is usually overnight so don't forget to put it out the night before! Once this is done, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put melted butter in a bowl then mix cinnamon and sugar in another bowl. Feel free to add more cinnamon or sugar to your taste. Rip bread dough into small balls and cover with butter then cover with cinnamon sugar. Put the small bread balls in a bundt pan. Repeat until you're out of bread dough. If there is any remaining butter or cinnamon sugar you can just pour it into the bundt pan before baking. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let it cool a few minutes then flip it onto a plate and enjoy!

Photo Courtesy of Tastebook

Small business Saturday is coming up at the end of the month. This has us thinking about the benefits of shopping local. Most fair trade shops are small, local businesses. In order to keep fair trade artisans employed, these small shops are essential. When you shop at these small local shops you’re helping local businesspeople who are working to better the community. Any purchase makes a difference.

1. Keep Your Community Unique
The best things about a community are things that are unique to that community. Nobody wants to live in a place that has the same shops and restaurants as everywhere else. Local shops make our communities feel like home and give people from outside a reason to visit.

2. Support Local Business Owners
People in the local community who know what is best for the community are making business decisions. This means that they are stocking their shops based on local demands rather than just stocking the same things nationally.

3. Building Community,
These businesses often support local events and work to make them happen. This can be anything from sponsoring an event to setting up booths at local festivals to giving local groups a place to meet. They also encourage downtown centers where people can walk around, shop, eat and enjoy themselves.

4. Support Local Organizations
Small businesses are also much more likely to support and donate to local non-profit organizations and to keep the money in the local economy by shopping at other local businesses.

5. Product diversity
Local shops often offer unique products that are not available everywhere else.  

6. Create jobs
When you shop local, you help to employ people locally and give businesses an opportunity to grow. As an added bonus, when you shop fair trade local shops, you’re employing artisans from around the world.

7.Better Service

Employees and business owners are much more likely to know more about their products and be able to recommend the best products for your individual needs. They are also more likely to have or form personal connections to their customers so they know what they are looking for.

It’s that time of year again. Time to change the clocks and lose some daylight. Getting out of class (or work) when it’s dark out is never a good feeling. Personally, I get really tired and thrown off around this time of year because of the time change. I know many people feel the same so here are some ideas on how to stay active and happier even when it gets dark out so early.

1. Wake up a little earlier. During this time of year, I try to wake up earlier so that I can wake up slower and/or have a little more time to prepare for the day. Whether I lay in bed and mentally prepare (aka watch TV for a little while in my warm blankets before I have to face the cold and the day) or get up and accomplish a little bit of work before I start my day.

2. Make yourself a nice, warm, fresh breakfast. Generally, I quickly head out the door grabbing a granola bar or some quick cereal before class. But especially during this time of year, getting up and making a nice breakfast is worth doing (at least every once in a while). Even if it’s just a quick omelet with toast or pancakes, a nice warm breakfast is always a good way to start out the day.

3. Go on a walk before work. Get out of the house while it’s still nice and sunny out.
Stop at your favorite coffee shop to get some energy to start the day. At this time of year, I am definitely guilty of being lazy and staying in a lot to avoid the cold. It’s nice to get out of the routine of school, work and home and a simple walk is a really easy way to break that cycle that can make winter feel so monotonous and tiring.

4. If you really aren’t a morning person at all, try to go out for a walk during your lunch break or between classes. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, it’s nice to be outside while it’s still sunny.

5. If it’s too cold out and you really, really just don’t want to go out, invite some friends over. During this time of year, my friends and I often just hang out at home together and play games, watch movies, cook, or even just work on homework. If you absolutely must stay home, it’s best to do it with friends. 

6. Learn something new. Again, if you’re going to be staying inside it’s best to find something to do other than just lay around. I learned to knit a few years ago and I started right before winter. So even though I was spending time inside, I still felt like I was accomplishing something. This is also something that you can do with friends. Teach each other how to do new things.

7. Exercise. Whether you go to the gym, do yoga at home or go on a run before work, exercise is important all year round but especially during this time of year when we are less active. It keeps you happier and healthier.

These are just some ideas. Let us know what you guys do during the winter to stay active, happy and healthy.