a peek inside the fishbowl

02 May, 2009

A Mother’s Day Giveaway from Ten Thousand Villages

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Giveaways and product reviews|Oh! Things!|Yaktivism

Mother’s Day is Sunday May 10th!

Moms: Do you know what your kids are buying you for Mother’s Day?

Dads: Don’t let your kids buy ashtrays or rubber dish washing gloves. (Consider yourselves warned! You’re welcome.)

Dads might want to tune in for the next week. I’m going to be giving a few ideas for great Mother’s Day gifts, and I’m very pleased to be starting with this one.

First, are you familiar with a store called Ten Thousand Villages?

There are 50 stores in Canada and two in Ottawa. There’s one in Westboro:

Ten Thousand Villages store in Westboro

Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit fair trade retail store, providing vital, fair income to artisans in developing countries by selling their handicrafts and telling their stories. They work with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. The income they earn allows them to provide their families with food, education, health care and housing.

Isn’t that amazing? Ten Thousand Villages is indeed an amazing store. (And I’m not just saying that. I poke around in there all the time.) But let’s get back to Mother’s Day. I think I can safely assume that most mothers would not want a gift that could have possibly been made by another mother’s child in a country far away.

Ten Thousand Villages has a lot of great fair-trade gifts that would be perfect Mothers Day: jewellery, chocolate, coffee, scarves and pretty housewares.

Check out these lotus capiz shell tealights. There come in four colours, blue, white, green and orange. (HINT: I’m partial to the blue, but here’s a pic of the green, ohhh, I can’t decide!)

lotus tealights from Ten Thousand Villages

They would look classy and gorgeous on any table, inside or out.

There are all kinds of things that are great for the patio: recycled glass pitchers, glasses, planters, bamboo items, etc. There is something for every price point. You really need to get to the store and see for yourself.

Now for the giveaway!

The kind folks at Ten Thousand Villages are giving away a pair of sterling silver and topaz drop earrings for one lucky Fishbowl reader. They valued at $53 and come from Nepal. The official description:

“Softly coloured, translucent topaz stones are nestled in a beautiful, sterling silver setting. These elegant earrings, hand crafted by remarkable producers from Nepal, are an embodiment of skill and artistry.”

And here they are, aren’t they gorgeous?

Sterling silver and topaz drop earrings

Fancy carved setting not included!. :)

The earrings are made by a group called Mahaguthi, Craft with a Conscience. 85% of these artisans are women, and use traditional skills to make products.

If you’d like to win these earrings, you need to:

  • a) Let me know, in the comments below, how you like to celebrate Mother’s Day.
  • b) Be prepared to pick these beauties up at the Westboro store. Ottawa residents are at an advantage here for sure. ;)

I’ll close comments on noon EST on Thursday May 7th and do a random draw that afternoon. Please make sure you leave a valid email address.

If you’d like to read more about Ten Thousand villages their local site is www.alternativetrade.com. Their national website is www.tenthousandvillages.ca and they’re also doing blogging at http://villages-ottawa.blogspot.com

Over to you! Good luck!

p.s. don’t forget about the other giveaway that’s on right now. It would make a good Mother’s Day present too!

32 Responses to "A Mother’s Day Giveaway from Ten Thousand Villages"

1 | Leila

May 2nd, 2009 at 7:42 am


It’s funny but around here Mother’s Day is usually about Mom getting away and having time to herself. But Father’s Day is about Dad spending time with the kids.

I think this year we’ll have to come up with something new. Breakfast in bed is something the girls always enjoying doing for me (of course I kove it too!) Maybe this year we’ll have a picnic or a tea party.

2 | Brie

May 2nd, 2009 at 7:48 am


We don’t have any traditions around here yet. Last year we celebrated by my going to LeNordik with another mom friend. That was pretty awesome. This year we will be on a plane flying back from Toronto. But I think gift will be an afternoon away from my toddler and eight month old.

3 | Sarah

May 2nd, 2009 at 8:47 am


This is only my 2nd Mother’s day, the first was spent in the hospital with my newborn in the NICU.

This year, I am looking forward to cuddling my 1yr. old in my arms and recount all the things I am blessed with in my life.

4 | Kiki

May 2nd, 2009 at 8:52 am


I think I’d love to have my DH make me breakfast and then spend the day relaxing. Maybe it’ll be the day we share the news that we’re pregnant with #3 :)

5 | Mary

May 2nd, 2009 at 9:28 am


Well my daughter is three so there’s no firm tradition yet. however I do like to spend the time together as a family and have a gift as acknowledgement.
We will do something all together and it will be Mom’s choice. At her age it won’t be a meal out anywhere. More likely a walk or a swim and perhaps we’ll stop for a decadent ice-cream.
Last year my husband gave me a spa gift certificate. I’m realizing it’s best for me to be assertive and tell him what I would like, such as a choice of shoes, purse or massage… any of those would do nicely!
Thanks for hosting the contest. I have shopped at the westboro store for gifts and coffee.

6 | Melissa Ferland

May 2nd, 2009 at 11:23 am


On mother’s day, I will wake at 6:00 AM to nurse my baby while hoping for a reprieve until 7:00, then get up, dress-feed-clean the children and myself, hit the park scene, take the kids to gymnastics and swimming, dress-feed-clean, dress-feed-clean, and hope for a smooth bedtime routine at 7:00 PM as I nurse and stroy-time them down. Once they are asleep, I will count my blessings for ahealthy and happy family.

Just another day at my house, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

7 | Katie

May 2nd, 2009 at 12:21 pm


I’m not sure how I will be spending Mother’s Day this year, as my mother is far away, and I am not yet a mother myself.

I just wanted to tell you how much I love your post about Ten Thousand Villages. It is often very difficult to find places that sell ethical products, so I thank you for showcasing such a great one. I have to agree about the lotus tea lights, they are all beautiful making the biggest challenge choosing your favourite colour (I love the orange personally).

8 | Miss Vicky

May 2nd, 2009 at 12:36 pm


Hintonburg’s ArtsPark is our Mother’s Day tradition – local art and artisans, music, drama, poetry, lots of kids’ activities, all next to the Parkdale Market on its opening weekend. It’s always a fun event and great to combine with a shuffle down Wellington West for a coffee or brunch.

This year, though, I have the added anticipation of a new arrival in our family. Will I go into labour on Mother’s day? Only Squirt knows! I’m kind of hoping she’ll come earlier, but I guess that’s up to her. And if my water breaks while we’re strolling at ArtsPark, so be it ;)

9 | EmmyB

May 2nd, 2009 at 2:02 pm


We don’t yet have any traditions, but in my ideal world, everyone would sleep in, someone would bring me coffee and the paper in bed, and we’d have a nice relaxing day puttering around the garden and going on a long bike ride.

In the real world, at least one child will be up screaming at 5:30 am, if not earlier, and I’ll have to make my own coffee while refereeing squabbles over toys, but that’s ok, too. I’m still hoping for the bike ride, at least.

10 | Tiana

May 2nd, 2009 at 2:08 pm


This will be my first mother’s day as a mom so I’m planning on just hanging out the three of us and having a really nice breakfast together. Bobby is onto solids now and we basically just have cold cereal and fruit every morning so some eggs and waffles and fruit and my husband would be welcome additions!.

11 | Karen at Virtually There

May 2nd, 2009 at 2:53 pm


Given that I’m Mennonite, I’m rather partial to Ten Thousand Villages (started by Mennonites and still run by them). I would love these earrings (or anything else sold by there).

I love to spend Mother’s Day (which also happens to be my birthday this year) doing the same thing every year: having a picnic. It is by far my favourite thing to do. Just our family of four, kicking a ball, flying a kite, eating well and relaxing on the picnic blanket. I love it and look forward to it every single year.

12 | Jane

May 2nd, 2009 at 3:18 pm


Having my mother and MIL in town had made Mother’s Day a crazy non-stop day of church and meals with no time for me and my kids.

So… three years ago, I decided that I was going to start a new mother’s day tradition (for me and my best friend).

We go camping at a KOA campground in cabins. It is the BOGO weekend where you stay Friday night and get Saturday free.

My BFF, her family and mine leave on Friday afternoon and stay for the weekend. The kids play and enjoy what the KOA has to offer, the grownups chat and a have wonderful time on the porch swings and at the campfire. It is wonderful. They even have a pancake breakfast on Sunday where the moms eat for free.

We check out at 11am and are home early in the afternoon. Pure bliss – nature, campfires and hot coffee on a porch swing…

13 | Olivia

May 2nd, 2009 at 3:37 pm


By now it is a forgone conclusion that during any gift giving event my friends and family will receive at least one item originating from TTV. I must admit though that the motive is really rather selfish. Since I am such a huge fan of the store I am really hoping that my friends and family will catch on and start buying gifts for ME there!

Not that I didn’t appreciate the vibrating pink slippers that I received last year for mother’s day…ummm…yeah, anyhow…I have gone as far as setting up a gift registry for myself at the store. Who says that registries are only for wedding and babies? How about for just being awesome?!?

14 | Tali

May 2nd, 2009 at 5:27 pm


ArtsPark! and buying some plants for the garden that someone else plants for me …:)

15 | Rebecca

May 2nd, 2009 at 7:30 pm


As long as I’m with hubby and the kids, I’m happy, but we’ve made it a tradition to go for breakfast and then head to the Agriculture Museum to see the mommy and baby animals!

16 | meghan

May 2nd, 2009 at 8:54 pm


After making sure I take care of my Mom I usually spend the day at Art in the Park and try to buy myself a present! This year I won’t have to-I will win the draw and get some fab new earrings!

17 | Scatteredmom

May 2nd, 2009 at 9:47 pm


Um…if I enter, can I pay for shipping? :)

I really, really like those earrings.

For Mother’s Day we’ll go out for a nice lunch, and a hike. I don’t need gifts, really-although Jake already got me something (did you see the story? It’s hilarious


18 | Amy @ Muddy Boots

May 2nd, 2009 at 10:08 pm


Some great ideas here! The ArtsPark (which I’d never heard of – I’m new here!) sounds great, as does the Agricultural museum.

Likely I’ll be fed breakfast in bed which I’ll try to eat without any of it landing on me because of the three boys bouncing on the bed in excitement. Then off to church, a nice lunch, and -hopefully- a nap.

Ah, a nap.

Those earrings would be lovely, too.

19 | Porter

May 2nd, 2009 at 11:15 pm


First, that you tube clip is GREAT! Thank you! Seriously? I cheered for those squirrels, Mama and baby. BUT…did you seeeeee all that tail twitching?? eeeek!

Yes, I’m entering the amazing contest…I will figure out how I will get them, they are gorgeous.

I am hoping my mothers day will include a little extra time in bed in the morning, some cuddles and kisses from my favourite girls and guys (Bert and Walter the farting dog included), homemade gifts/cards from the kids (love them don’t you?), a lazy guilt free day, and if I’m really lucky I will get some time to craft at the end of the day. Oh and who am I kidding? I hope Bert will take over for me and give me the day ‘off’.

20 | Par8

May 3rd, 2009 at 8:42 am


We’ll do breakfast in bed followed by a few gifts, followed by Dim Sum (Mother’s Day tradition….she loves it). Then we’ll do something as a family in the afternoon. We usually take in the Tulip Festival. Looking forward to those Lotus tealights!

21 | Judy

May 3rd, 2009 at 9:39 am


Thanks for all the great ideas! Andrea I love the photos of the lotus tea lights! – please be sure to leave me out of the contest though :)

I don’t know what I am going to do for Mothers Day this year. It is my first. We never made a big deal out of these holidays before, so not sure we are going to make a big deal out of them now.

Most likely I will spend the first part of Sunday recovering from *hopefully* a very busy World Fair Trade Day in the store (Saturday, May 9th). Then we may head out to Merrickville to visit a former co-worker. Maybe just spend time outside if it is nice.

It’s funny, we already know how we are spending Fathers Day (in Calgary with good friends who are also first time parents!) but hadn’t thought about Mom’s Day… Maybe I should call my mom!

22 | Julie

May 3rd, 2009 at 12:48 pm


Sleep. Mom gets sleep-in, mom gets nap, mom lies in bed early with good book.

Thanks for another great giveaway! Those earrings are sooo beautiful.

23 | Trea

May 3rd, 2009 at 2:19 pm


I like to celebrate Mother’s Day with a trip to Tofino, BC and a stay at the Middle Beach Lodge (if you haven’t been, you should go – and if you have been, then you know what I’m talking about). We were married on May 8, 2004, and so we celebrate our anniversary and Mother’s Day together – though this year with a kitchen demo/reno in progress and tight funds, our trip has been postponed.

So … I’ll be happy with a snuggle in bed from my mini-man and a nice lunch somewhere. And if someone else could do the dishes … that would be nice, too.

24 | Sarah

May 4th, 2009 at 6:27 am


This will be the 2nd year I don’t have my kids for Mother’s Day, during the day. Visitation with my Ex is… complicated and Sunday’s are firm, no matter the holiday involved.
I will most likely get a few handmade school issue crafts 1st thing in the morning. Which I will love, of course! :O)
Hand-fulls of Dandelions, if they they haven’t already pilfered every last one in our court be then. For breakfast, some sticky Timmy Horton offering, most likely pre-tasted (‘for my safety’) for breakfast.
Then I will take my 4 boys over to visit their father.
The rest of the day is undecided… I will do my best to relax but as usual during visitation it will be hard. The pieces of my heart will be elsewhere.
Evening this year, we’re going to join my parent’s for dinner, most likely Pizza and Paper Plates if Mum & I have our way (which we should!) and a movie. We’re trying to decide if we’re going to inflict the ‘men’ with a chick flick this year… suggestions welcome… I think we’ve finally numbed them to the affect of HSM3 and Mamma Mia. ;O)
I will, as always, end my day kissing them good night as they sleep and be thankful for each and everyone one of them.

25 | Nicol

May 4th, 2009 at 9:06 am


Please don’t enter me, I’m not in the area. I love this store! We had one right around the corner from us before we moved and was my favorite place to purchase gifts for people. I found myself in there often just looking around and always found it hard not to come home with something. It is my dh’s favorite place to bring me home gifts for special days.

26 | grace

May 4th, 2009 at 9:37 am


We’ll spend the day doing garden clean-up for my 79 year old mother. Followed by a potluck for all who are there. I have 8 sibs and we have 22 offspring and three off-offspring so far. With assorted spouses and significant others we can easily be a crowd of 50+. So much fun.

Ten Thousand Villages is one of my favourite locals!

27 | Cath

May 4th, 2009 at 9:45 am


I’m hoping for a coffee in the garden and then maybe a hike in the Gats with my 2 year old, 6 month old and 41 year old (!). A nap would also be superb … lovely give away – thank you!

28 | Anne Marie

May 4th, 2009 at 5:36 pm


I’ll likely spend the day meandering around Merrickville with all the special people in my life–my hubby, my son, and, of course, my mother.

29 | A few random Mother’s Day gift-giving tips/ideas for the Dads >> a peek inside the fishbowl

May 6th, 2009 at 8:18 am


[…] Ten Thousand Villages. (See my giveaway. It’s not too late to enter!) Cool store, cool stuff, great cause. Odds are that the mother […]

30 | Tania

May 7th, 2009 at 8:16 am


We’ll prbably take a nice Sunday drive to the country and find a great pub and have lunch and a nice walk-around.

31 | andrea

May 8th, 2009 at 7:27 am


The winning comment according to random.org was #8 … Miss Vicky! Congratulations! Thanks everyone for your entries. Happy Mother’s Day!

32 | Miss Vicky

May 8th, 2009 at 8:27 am


Yay! Thanks andrea and TTV!

comment form:


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


Connect with me at these places too!

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter