International Women's Day Giveaway

International Women's Day Giveaway

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 is International Women's Day. To celebrate, we've teamed up with seven inspiring companies founded by women for a giveaway. Each of these creative companies makes beautiful products for women who shop with a conscience. 

Get Inspired

Meet the brands and learn more about the products they are giving away!

Slow North

Set of 3 Travel Candles ($47)

Slow North creates beautiful goods, crafted by hand, using straightforward ingredients for the inspired home. Michelle founded her company in late 2015 because she saw a need for well-designed, all-natural candles scented only with essential oils.

“I'm a mother, a wife and a hustling business-owner in Austin, TX. We believe in natural simplicity. We believe in a world where good design and all-natural, handmade products are one. We believe in living free from artificial fragrances concocted in laboratories but instead renewed by those distilled from the natural world which inspires and sustains us.” -Michelle, Co-Founder of Slow North


Mango + Main

BetsyJane Wrap Skirt ($54) 

Mango + Main is a global collection of beautiful, handmade products that empower the artisans who create them! The company offer home goods, accessories, and a kids’ collection. Everything is artisan-made and accomplishes something good in the lives of artisans across the globe!

“I'm a mom of 4 and an engineer turned fair trade advocate! I love living in Annapolis, Maryland and enjoy hiking, kayaking, and traveling whenever I get the chance! I started Mango + Main to meet the needs of conscious consumers who want to see more authentic, purposeful products in the marketplace. I especially love fair trade home goods and kids’ products, since my kids are always asking for their own fair trade accessories!” -Shannon, Founder of Mango + Main


We May Fly


$50 Gift Card

May We Fly is a shop founded by Leana Fischer, a designer and artist from Fayetteville, Arkansas. May We Fly sells art prints, greeting cards, frames and calendars. Leana’s products mostly begin as watercolor paintings, but she also enjoys drawing with pen and illustrating on the computer.

“May We Fly is a place made simply to delight. My aim is to share those things that resonate with us all: glimpses of beauty, natural rhythms, every day wonders. I believe in crafting beautifully made products and am continually working to develop my style and technique. My background is in architecture, and my style reflects that. It is minimal, crisp, and sophisticated, but I always strive to maintain a sense of playfulness to give my work a fresh, unique quality.” Leana, Artist behind May We Fly


Branded Collective

Brass Double Layered Necklace ($48)

BRANDED Collective employs survivors of human trafficking from Nashville-based non-profit End Slavery Tennessee. Survivors collaborate with local artisans to design and handcraft the jewelry collection. BRANDED’s mission is to empower survivors of human trafficking through meaningful employment and economic independence.

Every piece of BRANDED jewelry is marked with a number and initials that have a very special meaning. Head to the BRANDED website to learn why. While you’re there, you can read the story of the woman who made your piece of jewelry and send her a Message of Hope.

"We started the business with a desire to help survivors of human trafficking  who are often BRANDED - their captors physically mark them with a number or symbol. We believe that no one should be branded, stripped of their name and treated as a product. When you receive your item from the BRANDED Collective, it is BRANDED with a number. These are the numbers of the abolitionists committed to ending human trafficking the the cruel practice of branding." -Lauren Carpenter and Emily Mahoney, co-founders of BRANDED Collective


Waterloo Style

Set of 3 SoCo Mini Earrings ($60) 

Tiffany Wade and Jana Cofield founded Waterloo Style in 2015 after more than 12 years of friendship. The friends share a whimsical sense of style. Waterloo’s signature product is the SoCo Earrings, which are made with soft, fringed leather in both bright and metallic colors.

“After raising babies, fostering, adopting and a move overseas, we decided to just go for it. We love to design jewelry that make a statement for any outfit. Whether you are wearing a baseball cap with yoga pants or getting ready for a night out on the town Waterloo Style helps complete the look. We are creating timeless, comfortable and versatile pieces. Waterloo Style wants to remind you of your beauty.” Tiffany and Jana, Founders of Waterloo Style


Commonsensical Spa

Everyday Sugar Scrub ($39) in Peppermint, Wild Lavender or Sweet Orange

Commonsensical Spa offers skincare products handmade with organic, fair trade and natural ingredients. Their flagship product is Everyday Sugar Scrub. Organic, fair-trade sugar is combined with nutrient rich oils to gently polish and nourish skin.

“After having my second child, I became obsessed with going natural in every area of life. When I struggled to find skincare products that were actually affordable for my family, I decided to make my own. I soon saw the perfect opportunity to combine my passion for natural living with my love of skincare products. I created my hippy-but-chic skincare line: Commonsensical Spa. It's all the things: completely natural, handmade by yours truly, organic and ethically-sourced while still being affordable. The products nourish, pamper, and get the job done. “ Kyrsten, Founder of Commonsensical Spa


Penguino Travel

Travel Box with Snacks and Anywhere Balm ($50)

Penguino Travel is an Austin, Texas startup creating and curating products that make family travel more fun, relaxing and purposeful. The company was founded in 2016 by Sara Brinton, a mom of four who has traveled to more than 35 countries. Penguino’s mission is to empower families to go on life-changing adventures.

Penguino Travel’s bestselling product is a customizable Travel Box filled with toys, activities, arts and crafts, snacks and other travel essentials.

“My first step as an entrepreneur was to talk to moms and dads about their experiences traveling with kids. I discovered that parents across the globe share a belief that travel matters – we all want our kids to grow up with a global perspective. But we all know that adventures with little ones can be hard! As the Founder of Penguino Travel, I am passionate about developing great products and using technology to make family travel better.” Sara, Founder of Penguino Travel

How to Enter

  1. Visit us on Instagram and LIKE the giveaway post
  2. FOLLOW all the brands
  3. TAG a friend: For extra entries, tag a friend who would love one of these inspiring companies in comments below. Every additional tagged friend gives you another chance to win!

5 Questions: Keryn from Walking on Travels

5 Questions: Keryn from Walking on Travels

Here at Penguino, we love following families who travel the world together on Instagram. It is so easy to get lost imagining beaches in Australia, markets in Thailand, castles in Germany...but let's be real. What we really want to know is how these inspiring families make their travel dreams come true.

To kick off our new 5 Questions series where we ask travel influencers for the inside scoop, we're interviewing Keryn Means, the Founder of Walking on Travels.  Keryn is a mom of two boys from Washington, DC. Walking on Travels is full of practical tips (we all want to know how to survive jet lag!) and travel inspiration. 

keryn means

You love to inspire families to travel. Why are you so passionate about helping families get out there?

I have watched too many friends put their lives on hold after they have kids. They have given up the things they love like going out to eat, traveling, and doing more than just going to the playground and children’s museum. I want to encourage women to get out and explore with their kids. Show your kids what you love about our world. Don’t wait until they are grown up to share your passion with them. Let it shape your kids. Travel can have a huge positive impact on children, and it only happens if the parents share it with them. 

What is your number one tip for dealing with jet lag?

Don’t fight it. Jet lag is part of travel and if you let it overwhelm you, it will. Understand that the first day of your trip may be a wash and that is okay. If you take care of yourself and your family, take the day slowly and get the food and rest you need, you will have a much better trip.

Want some more tips (and a free jet lag cheat sheet?)— head to Walking on Travels!

Tell us a little about your favorite destination.

It is really hard to pick just one favorite! Each one has something unique for families. We love Hawaii, Italy, Scotland, Iceland, Kyoto, and may of the national parks across the U.S. I’ll focus on Europe though since I’m know that can be a hard one for parents to wrap their heads around, no matter how much they want to go, thanks to jet lag. 

Italy is a parents' dream when it comes to feeding and entertaining your kids. Pizza, pasta, and gelato will always be a winner. There are ancient sights to explore at ever turn and plenty of space for kids to run.

keryn of walking on travels in scotland

Scotland is a beautiful country filled with friendly people and loads of outdoor spaces. Hit the city for a few days and then rent a car and start driving into the highlands to hike and slay a few dragons. 

Speaking of slaying dragons, traveling with kids can be hard on a mom. How do you care for yourself while on the go with littles?

Everywhere we go, I try to hit a local coffee shop by myself in the afternoon, take a nap or book a massage appointment. The misnomer about vacation for families is that parents get a break. Stay-at-home moms especially need some time away from their kids to embrace the idea that this is a vacation, not just another day of motherhood in a different location. Yes, we want to give our children the world and be with them, but a little mom-time or pampering can go a long way towards family happiness. 

You are headed to Greece in March. Tell us more. 

I am going to Greece for a week in March to volunteer with refugees who are escaping the horrors and war in their homeland in Syria and across the Middle East. I’ll be working with full-time volunteers as an extra set of hands to hand out warm clothing and make meals.

Greece is overwhelmed with refugees, but they continue to try to welcome any who make it to their shores and seek refuge. I’m excited and nervous about this trip as it is unlike anything I have ever done.

As a mom, it is time for me to get off the couch and stop watching what is going on in the world. As a freelance writer, it is time for me to share a story that is too often ignored by news organizations as something more “interesting” pops up in the world. No child should have to live through war. If I can serve a few families a meal and give them a safe place to take their first deep breath after leaving home, than I will do that.

Here at Penguino Travel, we share Keryn's heart for refugees. We're so proud of her for have the courage to go and help. We'll be following her journey and you can too! Visit Walking on Travels to learn more about her trip.

Seattle with Kids: 14 Things We Love

Seattle with Kids: 14 Things We Love

Discover our family's favorite things to do – and foods to eat – in Seattle.

Our family is from Seattle – and the first Penguino came from the Woodland Park Zoo! Although we call Austin, Texas home these days, we love to travel back to the Pacific Northwest. We're excited to share some places we return to again and again!

Seattle is an incredible destination for families. The best time to go is the summer. July and August mean long, sunny days in a city best known for rain! Of course, nine months of rain a year means Seattle offers lots of things to do indoors. Seattle is surrounded by incredible natural beauty. So whenever you go, be sure to pack clothes to stay dry and warm so you can go out and explore!

11 Things to Do

1. Artists at Play Playground

Located at Seattle Center in the shadow of the Space Needle, this new playground has a 35 foot fall play structure! While big kids will enjoy the rope ladders and enormous slides, there’s plenty for little ones to do closer to the ground.

The Seattle Center is home to many other attractions and performing arts:

seattle bainbridge island ferry with kids mora ice cream

2. Ferry to Bainbridge Island

On a sunny day, the ferry from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Islands has an incredible view of both the city and the mountains – from the Cascades and Mount Rainier on the East to the Olympics on the West. We love to spend a couple hours exploring Winslow, just a quick walk from the ferry terminal. Don’t miss Mora Iced Creamery and their signature blackberry ice cream. 

giraffe at woodland park zoo

3. Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo, located near Greenlake in Northwest Seattle, has more than 1,000 different creatures. Rain or shine, plan to spend a whole day exploring indoor and outdoor exhibits. Pack a picnic (nearby PCC is our go-to) or grab something from the surprisingly delicious food pavilion. Little ones will enjoy the Zoomazium, an indoor play area. Our favorite animals include the giraffes, gorillas, grizzly bears, jaguars – and of course penguins!

4. Discovery Park

Discovery Park lies at the western tip of the Magnolia neighborhood. Exploring the trails and beaches, you’ll quickly forget that you are in a city. The best time to visit is at low tide when you can see sea anemones, hermit crabs, sea stars, urchins and more. In the summer months, stop to pick and eat blackberries along the trails.

Most visitors have to park and walk a mile or so to get to the beach. Visiting with a child under age 8? You can request a permit to park closer to the beach.  

kids at ballard sunday farmers market farmers market flowers

5. Ballard Sunday Farmers Market

The best time to visit Ballard – one of Seattle’s most family friendly neighborhoods – is during the weekly farmers market. On Sundays from 10am to 3pm, more than 100 vendors selling everything from organic berries to artisanal cheeses line the NW Market Street and 22nd Avenue NW. The market is surrounded by some of Seattle’s best restaurants and boutiques. 

6. Theo Chocolate Factory Tour

Theo Chocolate makes some of the world’s most delicious fair trade chocolate in a renovated factory in Fremont. Families can tour the factory to learn how the company transforms cocoa beans into chocolate bars. Enjoy plenty of samples and learn a little about the social and environmental issues related to cocoa and cocoa farmers. Tours are designed for families with older kids – for little ones there’s a chocolate story time on weekends!

7. Kayak on Lake Union

One of the best ways to see Seattle – including the iconic houseboats on Lake Union – is by water! Three seasons of the year, you can rent kayaks and standup paddleboards at Agua Verde Paddle Club. The family-friendly Mexican restaurant upstairs makes delicious burritos and tacos! 

8. Shop at University Village

The most family-friendly shopping in Seattle is at University Village, an upscale outdoor mall with a great mix of local boutiques and national brands. There are lots of options for kids, including Crew Cuts, Peek Kids, Hannah Anderson and local-favorite Kid’s Club – plus fun fountains and play areas to keep little ones busy. Beware the frog fountain: we’ve headed home from University Village with at least one soaking wet child too many times! If you’re looking for a treat, both Trophy Cupcakes and Molly Moon’s are to die for.

produce at pike place market fish at pike place market

9. Pike Place Market

The Pike Place Market is one of our first stops every time we visit Seattle. The iconic market has hundreds of vendors selling everything from crafts to fresh fruit, vegetables and fish. To avoid crowds, the best time to go is on a weekday morning just as the market opens up. A few of our family’s favorites are Beechers, Ellenos Greek Yogurt and Le Panier. Go hungry: there are so many yummy choices!

Near the Pike Place Market:

climbing at seattle bouldering project

10. Visit a Climbing Gym

Seattle is home to three great climbing gyms: Stone Gardens in Ballard, Vertical World between Queen Anne and Magnolia, and Seattle Bouldering Project in Beacon Hill. Our family prefers bouldering to climbing with ropes – and the Seattle Boulder Project has two full floors of climbing walls with cushy, 2-foot thick mats on the floor. There’s a children’s play area and shoe rental is free on your first visit.

11. Fly on a Trapeze

Join the circus for a day and learn how to fly on a trapeze at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA). The school offers a one-time, 2-hour flying trapeze class open to everyone 6 years and older. This thrilling - but safe - activity is great for older kids! Book online ahead of time.

3 Places to Eat

1. Portage Bay Cafe

For the best brunch in Seattle, visit Portage Bay Café, conveniently located a few blocks from downtown Ballard as well as in South Lake Union. The café is famous for their breakfast bar with seasonal fruit, nuts and whipped cream to go on pancakes, waffles, French toast and oatmeal.

Nearby you can visit the Ballard Locks and Fish Ladder.

Slider and Taco at Marination Ma Kai

2. Marination Ma Kai at Alki Beach

Marination Ma Kai is a casual beachside restaurant in West Seattle. With an outdoor patio and a to die for view of downtown, it's the perfect spot on a sunny afternoon. Hawaiian Korean fusion tacos and sliders cost just $3 each. Don’t miss the fish and Kahlua pork tacos. 

As Austinites, we’re taco experts (aka snobs). These tacos are up there with the best of Torchy’s and Taco Deli!

On a sunny day, take a walk along nearby Alki Beach and a dip in the sound – if you’re brave. Even in summer, the water is cold!

tutta bella pizza tutta bella cocktails at happy hour

3. Tutta Bella

Family-friendly happy hour? Yes please! Tutta Bella makes some of Seattle’s best pizza in wood-fired ovens. At happy hour daily from 3-6pm in their restaurants, kids can chow down on 10-inch pizzas while grown-ups enjoy craft cocktails, local brews and Italian wine. Save room for dessert: both the gelato and tiramisu are excellent. There are five locations Columbia City, South Lake Union, Wallingford and on the Eastside.

Head over to the Penguino Travel Instagram to see more photos of our favorite places in Seattle!