Thinking like a social worker

…any questions? Yes. I have plenty.

American made: Marathon training

I posted earlier about 2013 being the year of firsts.  One of those firsts is training for my first marathon. Currently, all of my workout clothing were given to me, so I do not have many pieces that are made in the USA. I have listed all of the stuff I currently own, and have scoured the internet for new finds. The clothing below are not all designed for running, some are for yoga or the gym. Also, not all brands are entirely made in the USA, so make sure to check before you buy.

USA gear I already own:


  • Beyond Yoga yellow bra – I bought it on-sale on My boobs look great in the bra, but there is not much bounce protection.  It would be better for smaller breasts (I am a size 34 D/32 F), but works well if I double it with another bra.
  • Handful orange bra – I pre-ordered this bra, so I received the first shipment of their American made bra. I think they are still working out some kinks. I bought a medium.  It is too small for my boobs in the front, but gaps on the sides like it is too large. It is definitely designed for smaller breasts, because I still bounce if I double it with another sports bra.
  • Wicker underwear – They go above my belly button, so I either wear them with high wasted pants, or roll them down.  I never feel sweaty when wearing them, so they do their job!


  • Expert Performance race tee – I love that SportsBackers supports American made product. I got this tee in “Key Lime” for the Patrick Henry Half tee. It is pretty basic, but light. breathable, and in a wonderfully bright color!
  • Sports Science women’s v-neck – It got this tee with the SportsBackers Marathon Training team. It is black, so I have not worn it as much as I would like. I have noticed the V-neck is too small, so I can feel it on my neck as I run.
  • I also have a pair of running shorts and a sports bra from Asics, but I have never found other clothing from the U.S.


  • Newbalance – I like the feel of my current pair of 890v3, but they are getting beat-up a lot quicker that my other New Balances. Most likely, because I typically get standard shoes, and these are lightweight trainers.
  • Body Glide – Good for chaffing. Good for the USA 🙂
  • Garmin Forerunner 305 – It is not made in the USA, but it I bought it used. I love being able to track my pace while running.

Other brands proudly made in USA:

Good for me:




Coming soon:

Now that I have sweated all over my clothes and prefer not to do weekly laundry, I am excited about treating myself to some new clothing and gear. I especially need new tops, bras, and socks, and a running belt. When I finally treat myself, I will let you know how I like them.

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American Made: Smoothie edition

I am on a huge smoothie kick, after my mom got me the best Christmas present ever, a Vitamix blender.  I will put almost anything (apples, oranges, pears, bananas, rasp/straw/blackberries, kale, spinach, almond butter and the list goes on) in it to make a yummy liquid breakfast (on occasions not so yummy).  The other week, I found out that my beloved blender is made in America.  I got so excited I emailed my mom, who I think was less enthusiastic than I was.

“Vitamix products are built by hand in the USA with at least 70 percent American components.”

Now all I need is a Tervis Tumbler and straw and produce from my local market, and I will be a 100% American made smoothie girl.  (But I may love bananas too much to ever be 100%.)

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American Made: Nephew on the way

For the past two weeks, I have my been test driving my underwear (mentioned in a recent post).  I love both brands: Uranus Apparel and Bella Materna.  They are both comfortable and have made it through the wash unharmed.  Through these purchases, I also learned that I am a size small, not medium in underwear!  This is great for my self-esteem, and also means I now own extremely comfortable undies.

Even more exciting news:  There is a little guy growing inside my sister(-in-law)!  I plan to shower him with gifts and love.  So far, I have scored a 50%, a failing grade, on my baby gift purchases.  Out of the eight gifts I have bought, three were American made (Angel Baby shampoo and lotion, and Prince Lioheart Dishwasher Basket); one was used; and four were made in China.  Luckily, I have plenty of time to improve my GPA.

Below are some good places for me to start:

  1. My local baby store, Franklin Goose, has a whole Made in USA section on their website.
  2. ABC World News encouraged their viewers buy Made in American for Christmas.  They have a a comprehensive list of items on their website.
  3. The blog Made in USA Challenge also has a long company list.

As always, I will update you along the way.

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On a quest for American made

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Today, I have had the privilege of reading about Dr. King’s strong belief in economic justice.  He fought for equality for workers and individuals living in poverty.  So, how are you honoring MLK today?  I am buying underwear. (It is well-known, now that I am a blogger, I can make obscure connections between myself and great American leaders.)

About 7 years ago, during college, I became interested in worker’s rights and modern day slavery.  I wanted to do my part, so I decided to only buy clothing “made in the U.S.A.”.  This really helped to curb my shopping habit (I was a bit of a sale-rack junkie), because American made clothing is hard to find.  And once you find some, it is EXPENSIVE!

So, I made some loopholes for myself that I still use today:

  1. On top of clothing made in the USA, I can also buy anything I want if it’s second hand or fair trade.  I figure buying fair trade supports a positive world-wide labor movement, and buying second hand doesn’t really support anything (except the local business).
  2. I also don’t attempt to control what gifts others give me, so I happily accept imported Christmas/Birthday gifts.  When people remember my quirk and get me American made, I am extra excited.
  3. When I can’t find a clothing item at a reasonable price, and need to cheat, I buy from a local business.  For example, I feel uncomfortable buying bras online (where I do most USA made shopping), so I recently bought some bras from Kiss and Make-Up in Richmond.  Kiss and Make-up does sell a few US brands.

Because of these loopholes, a majority of my wardrobe is not from the U.S.  Now that I am working and able to afford more American made clothing, I want to change that.  My most current hunt: underwear!  (Which I quickly learned is a bad search term – stores use “panties”.)  I started off on Google and found Lingerie Addict has a great listing of lingerie made in the U.S.A.  I also searched the big box online stores like and for “Made in the USA panties”.  On top of the lingerie addict listing here are some other brands I found:

I wound up buying three thongs on sale from Bella Materna, and two 3-packs of Uranus boy shorts.  I would love to try the brand “Commando”, but the price tag is a little steep for me.  My total came to $79.30 for 9 pairs of panties, which is more than I would spend Wal-Mart, but on par with a Victoria Secret sales receipt.  Both companies import their clothing and have been chastised for child labor and extremely low wages.  So, I may not be changing the world this MLK day, but I know there is power in money.  I want want to spend my money where workers are safer and better paid.  Most importantly, I will let you know how I like my new underwear when they arrive!