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Mar
16

Stop lugging that luggage! Here are “10 Carry-On Bags You’ll Wish You Knew About Sooner.”

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shop for japan!

Here are some easy ways to help the people of Japan, who are still reeling from last month’s earthquake/tsunami:

This For Japan t-shirt from Pencey Standard gets the message across simply and eloquently. The New York-based fashion brand, known for its superior quality and fit, is taking orders now and planning to ship next week. All proceeds from the $30 t-shirt will be donated to the American Red Cross to benefit the victims in Japan.

 

Featuring 38 top songs from some of the biggest names in the world, iTunes’ Songs for Japan is an album you would consider downloading just after seeing the track list. The fact that 100% of the proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross make it a no-brainer. For only $9.99, you get an A-list of songs including Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, Eminem’s Love the Way You Lie, featuring Rihanna, and Adele’s Make You Feel My Love. And with the $28 you save, you can buy the Pencey Standard t-shirt, too!

You should bookmark Love Heals for 1) its gorgeous handmade jewelry, 2) the trees they plant for every item they sell, and 3) the Japan Healing bracelet and the Japan Loyalty necklace, for which 50% of sales will benefit the Salvation Army’s relief efforts in Japan.

Urban Cowgirl: 5 Minutes to Gorgeous

I love products that actually deliver on their promise, so I’m happy to tell you that the 5 Minutes to Gorgeous kit from Urban Cowgirl not only lives up to its name but may even give you some extra time to admire yourself in the mirror.

Tucked into a pretty-in-pink paisley bag – which is a much more effective way to keep your morning routine organized than, say, smushing it all into a drawer – are a handful of make-up must-haves plus the brushes to apply them perfectly. There’s a creamy concealer, protein-packed blush, eye-opening shadow and liner, mascara and lip-smacking gloss.

I’ve been wary of kits before because too often you end up paying for products that you don’t want or just aren’t flattering. What makes 5 Minutes to Gorgeous so different is that it lets you choose from a variety of shades or customize it completely to complement your skin tone. And each product works together to insure a smooth, finished look. There are even tutorials and how-to videos on their website.

With its “by girls, for girls” philosophy, Urban Cowgirl is my kind of company. In addition to making sure her products are filled with healthy ingredients and created using cutting-edge technology, founder Margeaux Mann has also launched the non-profit “Back in the Saddle.” This innovative and important program helps young women suffering from difficult illnesses and treatments by providing makeovers and much-needed support.

Yee haw!

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

 

Save the Gulf – by Shopping

We’re all angry, sad and frustrated about the situation in the Gulf but since most of us won’t be able to travel there to get involved in person, here are some easy ways to help out and show the powers that be how you feel.

Designer Kenneth Cole has always put equal amounts of style, substance and soul into his company and we’ve admired him as much for his philanthropy as his great-looking fashions, shoes and accessories. Although he’s said, “To be aware is more important than what you wear,” he’s managed to combine both in this “I Clean Up Well” t-shirt, whose sales will benefit his charitable foundation, the Awearness Fund, to support clean-up efforts. You can even design your own shirt on the Kenneth Cole Facebook page.

If your thinking runs more along the lines of “A picture is worth a thousand words,” you may want to opt for this graphic tee from Threadless  instead, aptly – and hopefully – named “peliCAN.” All proceeds will be donated to Gulf Restoration Network.

You can also wear your sentiments on your lapel, around your neck or dangling from your wrist with the gorgeous Gulf Coast collection from Mignon Faget. Originally designed “to celebrate the abundant gifts of our coast,” these sterling silver pieces reflect the beautiful bounty that deserves to be saved. Act now so future generations won’t have to ask what those magnificent sea creatures on your jewelry are – or were.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Punjammies

Crafted from exquisite Indian sari fabric, we would love Punjammies just for their comfort and style, but the fact that 100% of the proceeds from each pair of pajamas helps a young girl formerly enslaved in prostitution create a new life for herself makes me want a whole wardrobe of them.

Horrified by what she saw on a visit to India in 2005, Shannon Keith founded The International Princess Project to restore hope and dignity to women formerly enslaved in prostitution and to advocate for those still held in modern slavery. The Punjammies initiative creates a self-sustaining enterprise which provides jobs, along with resources for healing and restoration. Each Punjammie is created by these women in an after-care facility, where they are empowered to learn a marketable skill and realize they are valuable and can support themselves.

Show these women that they can rebuild their lives and that the work they’re doing is important by buying their gorgeous pieces, hosting a pajama party or making a donation. It’s the 21st century and there is no excuse for slavery of any kind anywhere in the world.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Shopping for a Cause – Part 3

It’s tempting to call these Soulful Charms bracelets charming but their appeal goes so much deeper than that. Handmade by Laura Bucholtz to honor the amazing women in her life, these leather bracelets feature charms that each symbolize good luck, from the horseshoe to the Hamsa to the elephant. Wear an armful and send out positive energy. Don’t be surprised when these bracelets literally become your good luck charms.
Proceeds benefit: Breast cancer research

This is a must-give stocking stuffer, Secret Santa surprise or one-night-of-Chanukah choice. The Green Garmento is a trifecta of environmental consciousness, serving as a place to throw your dirty laundry, a carryall to bring it to the dry cleaners and a protective hanging garment bag to get it home safely. Those plastic bags from the dry cleaners are so bad for you, your clothes and the environment, and this is the easiest way to “Be fantastic. Use less plastic.” For every bag you buy using coupon code DFS, The Green Garmento will donate one bag to the Los Angeles chapter “boutique” of Dress for Success and take one dollar off your purchase. This is truly a gift that keeps giving!
Proceeds benefit: Dress for Success

Made from recycled sterling silver, these quietly-beautiful necklaces from Searcey Designs are as meaningful as they are good-looking: the Key to My Heart necklace …..is a tribute to the life-saving heart transplant. co-designer Grant Searcey received; and the Awareness Bar.. symbolizes breast cancer awareness with the words “health,” “celebrate,” “hope” and “awareness.” It’s never been easier .to wear your beliefs around your neck.
Proceeds benefit: Hearts with Hope Foundation and National Breast Cancer Foundation

You can hold the power to help educate a child in the palm of your hand – your very soft hand — with this luxurious lotion bar from Moisture Drops.
O Raphael, a non-profit organization founded on the premise that lack of education begets poverty, has teamed with Jordan Essentials to create this luscious, lavender/tea tree scented lotion bar to raise money to build schools for some of the poorest children in the world. Made from the best natural oils and butters, it is a treat for your skin. It’s also PSA-approved for air travel so you can visit these kids one day.
Proceeds benefit: O Raphael Foundation

Our shoulders are complaining about those mega tote bags they’ve been holding up, so we’re going to do them a favor and switch to these adorable Gadget Bags from Jennie Wu Designs. Our cell phone gets securely snapped into the pocket on the outside, our credit cards get safely zipped away and there’s still room for cash and keys. Best of all, this light, no-fuss, hands-free lifesaver will make it easier for us to carry more shopping bags. Use coupon code “SSS” for a special 15% discount off your total order.
Proceeds benefit: Best Friends Animal Society

Looking for a surefire way to light up a room? Set your sights on Mary Ann Eissa’s “Chandelier” series of vintage-inspired necklaces. Laden with vintage clear Lucite teardrops, mother of pearl and Miriam Haskell baroque faux pearls, these are all unique pieces which can look dressy or funky – or a combination of both! – depending on what you pair them with. The combination of vintage materials and modern style is simply timeless.
Proceeds benefit: Alzheimer’s Association

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Shopping for a Cause Part 2

Even if you don’t need glasses, you’ll want one of Raindrop Boutique’s unique eyeglass holders which are so sharp-looking, they can be worn alone as stylish necklaces. Take a look at this Red Agate Circle Loop Eyeglass Holder – it’s beautiful on its own but is also a far more sophisticated landing pad for your glasses or sunglasses than the top of your head or the neck of your shirt. Your gift recipients will love you for this. Proceeds benefit: The Harbor


There’s nothing better than homemade cookies for the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you have to be the one making them. Let Nana’s Cookie Company take care of your list for you — all you have to do is choose from 20 different varieties, including rich Double Chocolate and kid-favorite Peanut Butter. All of Nana’s products are baked with only natural ingredients, and contain no refined sugars, preservatives, hydrogenated oils or trans fats. These cookies are so healthy, you may want to add yourself to the gift list.
Proceeds benefit: Generation Rescue
Proceeds benefit: Spirituality for KidsIt’s tempting to call these Soulful Charms bracelets charming but their appeal goes so much deeper than that. Handmade by Laura Bucholtz to honor the amazing women in her life, these leather bracelets feature charms that each symbolize good luck, from the horseshoe to the Hamsa to the elephant. Wear an armful and send out positive energy. Don’t be surprised when these bracelets literally become your good luck charms.

 

Proceeds benefit: Breast cancer researchThis is a must-give stocking stuffer, Secret Santa surprise or one-night-of-Chanukah choice. The Green Garmento is a trifecta of environmental consciousness, serving as a place to throw your dirty laundry, a carryall to bring it to the dry cleaners and a protective hanging garment bag to get it home safely. Those plastic bags from the dry cleaners are so bad for you, your clothes and the environment, and this is the easiest way to “Be fantastic. Use less plastic.” For every bag you buy using coupon code DFS, The Green Garmento will donate one bag to the Los Angeles chapter “boutique” of Dress for Success and take one dollar off your purchase. This is truly a gift that keeps giving!

 

Proceeds benefit: Dress for SuccessMade from recycled sterling silver, these quietly-beautiful necklaces from Searcey Designs are as meaningful as they are good-looking: the Key to My Heart necklace …..is a tribute to the life-saving heart transplant co-designer Grant Searcey received; and the Awareness Bar.. symbolizes breast cancer awareness with the words “health,” “celebrate,” “hope” and “awareness.” It’s never been easier .to wear your beliefs around your neck.

 

Proceeds benefit: O Raphael FoundationOur shoulders are complaining about those mega tote bags they’ve been holding up, so we’re going to do them a favor and switch to these adorable Gadget Bags from Jennie Wu Designs. Our cell phone gets securely snapped into the pocket on the outside, our credit cards get safely zipped away and there’s still room for cash and keys. Best of all, this light, no-fuss, hands-free lifesaver will make it easier for us to carry more shopping bags. Use coupon code “SSS” for a special 15% discount off your total order.

 

Proceeds benefit: Best Friends Animal Society
Proceeds benefit: Alzheimer’s Association

Looking for a surefire way to light up a room? Set your sights on Mary Ann Eissa’s “Chandelier” series of vintage-inspired necklaces. Laden with vintage clear Lucite teardrops, mother of pearl and Miriam Haskell baroque faux pearls, these are all unique pieces which can look dressy or funky – or a combination of both! – depending on what you pair them with. The combination of vintage materials and modern style is simply timeless.

You can hold the power to help educate a child in the palm of your hand – your very soft hand — with this luxurious lotion bar from Moisture Drops.
O Raphael, a non-profit organization founded on the premise that lack of education begets poverty, has teamed with Jordan Essentials to create this luscious, lavender/tea tree scented lotion bar to raise money to build schools for some of the poorest children in the world. Made from the best natural oils and butters, it is a treat for your skin. It’s also PSA-approved for air travel so you can visit these kids one day.

 


No one will ever miss your house again when you dress it with these Green & Counting Address Numbers from Alicia Is Firmly Planted. They’re so much fun, require no maintenance and make everything around them come alive. Complete the look with all-weather Green Dreams pillows that look as lush indoors as they do in your backyard. You may be going green, but your neighbors will be going green with envy!

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Kate Spade Hand in Hand

I’ve always felt empowered simply by carrying that classic black bag with the sophisticated little “kate spade” label on it, so we can only imagine how the women of Bosnia and Herzegonia felt receiving creative direction from the high fashion designer while participating in a micro-enterprise training program sponsored by Women to Women International.

In these countries, where unemployment is reaching 50%, women have been given a life-changing opportunity to make a living by knitting hats, mittens and scarves for kate spade new york.

The kate spade new york “Hand in Hand” holiday line features these women’s hand-knit creations and continues, through this partnership, to employ women working to rebuild their lives, one mitten at a time.

Read the stories of these women and the behind-the-scenes journal of kate spade new york’s Creative Director. Then stock up for the winter. Wearing these handknitted goodies will make you feel warm both inside and out.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Shopping for a Cause Part 1

Pair these elegant Giada earrings from Taylor Kenney Jewelry with a simple black dress and you’re ready for any holiday party. The inspiration for these bright, vibrant gems were two flawless lemon quartz drops, each weighing in at fifteen carats. These beauties are lighter but equally impressive, clustered with faceted smoky quartz, golden citrine and lemon quartz and suspended from 24 karat gold vermeil earwires. Gorgeous.

Proceeds benefit: Amma

Tirana Jewelry’s simple but oh-so-chic Butterfly Pendant makes a striking statement with both its impeccable design and a philosophy of social responsibility. Award-winning artist Graciela Fuentes crafted this eye-catching piece from post-consumer recycled precious metals to symbolize the fight against lupus. Available in sterling silver or gold plate, each necklace is graced with a delicate amethyst and is likely to set your heart a-flutter.

Proceeds benefit: Lupus Foundation of America 

Show your appreciation for nature — and impeccable craftsmanship — with Searcey Designs’ Earth Pendant.   Featuring a hand-carved tree on the front, it was designed as a reminder that our world is precious and our responsibility. This piece is likely to become equally precious to its wearer, and would make an especially meaningful gift for an upcoming Capricorn birthday to celebrate her Earth sign in style.

Proceeds benefit: The Nature Conservancy 

This breathtaking Organic Fine Silver Cuff from Eissa’s Metal Wear is stunning in its rich texture and attention to detail. A true labor of love by artist Mary Ann Eissa, it’s a one-of-a-kind piece created by fusing different pieces of silver that she textured by imprinting patterns on a rolling mill. Weighing in at over 2 ounces, it’s substantial yet sophisticated and likely to become the target of many admiring glances.

Proceeds benefit: Alzheimer’s Association 

You know how much we love birds, and this Taking Flight necklace from Chocolate and Steel represents all the reasons why. The fine silver pendant is handcrafted by Christine Street, who was inspired by the energy of the hummingbirds she watched daily on a recent vacation on the Central Coast of California. Just looking at it will invigorate you, and make your spirit soar.

Proceeds benefit: Nest 

There’s something for everyone at Sam’s Stuff, where Shelley McElhiney features an eclectic collection of jewelry, accessories and clothing made with vintage and upcycled materials – and a lot of love. One of our favorite items is this hand-crocheted, hand-embroidered reversible cowl which is as cozy and comforting as something your grandma would make for you but way more stylish.

Proceeds benefit: Autism Speaks 

Lori Mitchell’s award-winning children’s book, “Different Just Like Me,” is the perfect gift for 3- to 10-year-olds as well as their teachers (who will be thrilled to find a free five day lesson plan on Lori’s site). The book, which was featured on “Oprah” and has been on her website reading list for 8 years, is about a little girl who discovers that people are as different – and similar – as the flowers in her Grammie’s garden, and it’s okay to like them all. That’s a great lesson to learn at any age.

Proceeds benefit: Vitiligo Support International 

We’re up for anything that makes figuring out what’s for dinner easier, and are so excited about Dinner A La Card, a new meal planning system designed to help organize those go-to dishes that are unique to your family. Simply fill out the Meal Cards with the ingredients needed for each main dish along with the side dishes that accompany it and the source of the recipe (with page number). Then stick them all on a ring and keep it in your bag. You’ll be so relaxed and efficient at the grocery store, you just may have time to catch up on the tabloid gossip at the check-out line.

Proceeds benefit: Second Harvest Food Bank 

Forget those swag bags from the awards shows. The goody bag we’re coveting now is Rosie’s Holiday Bag filled with some of the most popular items from Rosie’s Workwear including their signature overall and tank top, a copy of “Made From Scratch,” and a pair of floral pattern work gloves. It’s all packed into a great-looking canvas bag emblazoned with the empowering Rosie’s logo. Riveting!

Proceeds benefit: Habitat for Humanity
This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Project Concern

You know they don’t really need another scarf, sweater or pair of earrings. This holiday season, surprise everyone on your list with a gift that will really have an impact.

Project Concern International gives you the opportunity to give a gift of health, hope or nutrition by simply making a donation. For more than 45 years, this leading international health organization has helped millions of people around the world by helping to prevent disease and provide access to clean water and nutritious food.

How good will both you and your recipient feel to know your gift can provide an entire village with a water tank or ensure a safe delivery for a mom and her newborn baby in rural Guatemala?

Get all your holiday shopping done on the Project Concern website, then print out or send e-cards letting your recipients know that a life-changing gift has been given in their honor. We guarantee that will give them a warmer feeling than any new sweater.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.

Dogeared

We don’t need a reason to buy from Dogeared  – we are already huge fans of their simple, charm-laden jewelry and philanthropic philosophy – but here’s a good one, anyway. Their new Grateful Heart necklace is just plain pretty, and 100% of its proceeds benefit One Voice, a non-profit organization that addresses three of the big needs we’ve featured for September: their Scholars Program prepares and places students from low-income inner city high schools in Ivy League colleges (Banned Books Week), their Holiday Food Program provides much-needed care packages to families living in poverty (Hunger Action Month) and their Family Assistance Programs improve the lives of those in need (National Courtesy Month). The limited edition necklace is available in sterling silver or gold dipped with a rose gold dipped sideways heart.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.