Grab the spotlight

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Even though summer is nearing an end, I am holding out hope that we still have sunny days ahead of us. The perfect sunny weather accessory? Warby Parker sunglasses! And if you don’t need new sunglasses… Warby Parker makes equally trendy eye glasses.

Warby Parker Jasper $95.00

Warby Parker is a new brand, a collaboration between four close friends, conceived as an alternative to the overpriced and what they call “bland eyewear available today.” Not only is Warby Parker able to offer glasses and sunglasses at a low prices, they are a part of of the one-for-one movement. For every pair of glasses or sunglasses purchased, Warby Parker will deliver one pair of glasses to someone in need.

1 billion people in the world don’t have access to glasses. This means that 15% of the population is unable to effectively learn or work because they can’t see clearly. Glasses increase ones income by 20%. That’s the equivalent of creating an extra day’s work each week. Glasses are one of the most effective poverty alleviation tools in the world.

Warby Parker Preston $95.00

Warby Parker, named for characters from Jack Kerouac’s work, has already distributed over 50,000 pairs of glasses to those in need. They have brought eyesight to individuals in over 36 countries.Can you imagine waking up and not being able to see the world around you? If the low costs of Warby Parker products weren’t enough reason, now think about how you could drastically change someones life the next time you purchase a pair of glasses.

Warby Parker Griffin $95.00

I recently bought Warby Parker sunglasses as a gift for someone special (they were actually his idea) and he couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of the glasses. He’s happy because he has an awesome new pair of sunglasses and I’m happy because my gift changed someone’s life. Designer glasses are overpriced and Warby Parker offers sleek, fashionable, and charitable alternatives.

Boy one taste of what I got, I’ll have you spending all you got

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50 Cent is taking us a little farther than the Candy Shop. His latest venture, Street King, a new energy drink, came to fruition after a trip to famine torn Africa. The famous rapper has joined forces with Pure Growth Partners to bring Street King to the market.

Street King Energy Drinks

Proceeds from the sale of every drink will go toward feeding 1 billion kids in Africa. Every purchase will go to providing a meal to an underprivileged child in Africa. Sometime this month 50 will also be launching a full interactive online campaign with Street King. Register at Street King’s official website to join the movement.

The drink, which is said to hit stores this week, will come in orange mango, and grape flavors. Street King contains 100 percent natural flavors, no artificial flavors and is made with a natural source of caffeine. We like that 50 is using his tough gangster image to help fight world hunger.

The need for FEED

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FEED Our Small World Bag $48.00

These days we all leave the house with a lot more than our wallets. Most of my friends never leave the house without their kindle, iPod, cell phone, wallet, and a small pharmacy. Whether they are heading to work or spending a day at the beach women are increasingly using bigger bags. FEED Projects brings us affordable totes that we can be proud to lug our never ending supply of gadgets in.

FEED 1 Bag $60.00

FEED Projects was started in 2006 when model and activist Lauren Bush designed a bag to benefit the United Nations World Food Program’s (WFP) School Feeding operations. Lauren created the FEED 1 bag, a reversible burlap and cotton bag stamped with “FEED the children of the world” and the number “1” to signify that each bag feeds one child in school for one year.

FEED Love Bag $45.00

At the United Nations, Lauren met then-WFP Communications Officer Ellen Gustafson and they hatched a plan to use FEED bags to FEED the world. In 2007, Lauren and Ellen founded FEED Projects, LLC. By the end of 2007, they raised donations for WFP to feed over 37,500 hungry children in school for one year. In 2008, FEED Projects partnerships raised over $4 million for WFP school feeding.

While FEED Projects sells bears, t-shirts, scarves and other accessories, their main focus is the bag line. The website showcases over 20 different bag styles including backpacks, totes, cross-body bags, and even a bag for trick-or-treating.

FEED bags are made with sustainable materials and are designed to be used as an alternative to disposable paper and plastic bags. This environmental and fair labor commitment is an added value in all FEED products. FEED Projects fashionable totes make the perfect beach bag so let’s pretend beach season isn’t almost over and treat ourselves while feeding the world.

X marks the spot

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Nordstrom has given us another reason to love them, and no, its not because they have the best shoe department around town. The up-scale department store, which has thought about opening a flagship store in NYC for years, has instead broken ground on a new kind of store. Treasure & Bond , owned and operated by Nordstroms, opens tomorrow. All store profits from Treasure & Bond will go to charity. Waiittttt…. what?

No… I am pleased to say I’m not kidding you. Nordstrom will NOT be pocketing any profits from Treasure & Bond. The Seattle-based company is donating proceeds from the store to nonprofit organizations that benefit New York City children. The store will support two charities each quarter and at the end of each quarter the net profits will be spilt equally between the two charities.

The first eight organizations have already been selected. So far profits from Treasure & Bond will aid The New York Public Library Programs for Children and Young Adults, New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative, Children’s Health Fund, Coalition from the Homeless, The Edible Schoolyard NYC, Friends of the High Line’s Family and Education Programs, Pediatric Cancer Care (Memorial Sloan Kettering), and Association to Benefit Children. Visit the individual sites to learn more about these organizations.

If you are looking for another Nordstroms, you won’t find that here. Treasure & Bond, which is only 11,000 square feet, features eclectic goods that you can’t get at Nordstrom. Amongst the 150 different lines are trendy hats by Satya Twena, and colorful jewelry by Adina Mills, who travels the country looking for natural minerals for her designs. The store is said to host an impressive mash-up of clothes, jewelry, accessories, home décor, fragrances, gifts, and books. Treasure & Bond opens tomorrow, August 19, at 350 West Broadway in SoHo.

Eau de Giving

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Hanae Mori No. 3 $95.00

I was recently walking through a large department store when I stopped by the Hanae Mori perfume counter. The counter display caught my attention and a sales women began to tell me about a line of limited edition fragrances by Hanae Mori that donate a portion of their proceeds to various charities. As someone who owns and LOVES Hanae Mori perfume, I was thrilled.

The Hanae Mori Eau de Collection currently features four luxurious fragrances. The are aptly named No. 1 , No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4. While the names are not so exciting, the fragrances certainly are.

A portion of proceeds from U.S. sales of No. 1 will benefit Clean Air-Cool Planetwhich works to solve global warming through civic engagement, education and policy. No. 1 smells of lively grapefruit, jasmine, white musk, and indian sandalwood A portion of the proceeds from No. 3 ,which is a mix of orange, fresia, and vanilla, will also go to Clean Air-Cool Planet. Clean Air-Cool Planet is the leading organization dedicated solely to finding and promoting solutions to global warming.

A hint of tangerine with blackcurrant and mint leaf mixed with fresh peach and apple, patchouli and white musk characterizes the scent of No. 2.. A portion of  the proceeds from U.S. sales of No. 2 will benefit American Rivers, a nonprofit group protecting and restoring U.S. waterways. American Rivers protects and restores the nation’s rivers and the clean water that sustains people, wildlife, and nature.

Hanae Mori No. 1 $95.00

No. 4 is currently exclusively available online ahead of its national in-store debut. There is currently no indication of whether or not a portion of the proceeds from the sale of No. 4 will benefit a charity but the bottle includes a pink ribbon inside its sculptural glass cap for breast cancer awareness. In October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there will be special events and announcements with No. 4.

The brand, which is named for Madame Hanae Mori, Japan’s most successful female fashion designer, consists of several different, but equally beautiful fragrances. You can shop for Hanae Mori in a multitude of department stores and online. Next time the pushy sales people at the mall shove perfume testers in your face, make sure to grab a sample of the Hanae Mori Eau de Collection. 

Give this a light

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I think that candles are a great present, especially as a housewarming gift. A candle can be a small but great addition to any room. Vie Luxe Candles are both simple and sophisticated. From the nickel-finished glass to the distinctly sophisticated packaging these candles make for a beautiful present. Each candle is a skillful blend of all-natural beeswax and fragrance oils developed by world’s top fragrance houses.

Vie Luxe Verte Candle $30.00

The Vie Luxe Verte Candle, which smells of a mix of Hyacinth, Narcissus, and Green Leaves, is environmentally friendly in more ways than one.  All of the components of the candle are 100% recyclable and biodegradable, and, as with all Vie Luxe products, Verte is made in the United States.

Best of all a percentage of proceeds from Vie Luxe Verte sales will go to the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council).The NRDC is a a non-profit dedicated to protect wildlife and wild places and to ensure a healthy environment for all life on earth. Founded in 1970 its mission is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends.

Give this as a gift the next time someone invites you into their home and you can be sure you’ll be invited back. You just might have to bring more candles next time.

 

Who knew giving could taste so sweet?

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Tomorrow, August 11, is “Miracle Treat Day.” If you have ever been to Dairy Queen you know what a Blizzard is. If you have never had the good fortune to find yourself at a Dairy Queen then I genuinely feel bad for you. Tomorrow Dairy Queen will be donating $1 from each Blizzard sold at participating locations to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Visit the website and type in your zip code to find the participating location nearest you.

Dairy Queen Blizzard

Dairy Queen has raised over $86 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 1984. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America. Donation are given to local hospitals, ensuring that every dollar helps local children. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. Money raised goes to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care.

Visit the Facebook page. Share it with your friends. Make it your status. Tweet about it. Blog about it. If helping local children is not enough of an incentive let me tell you a little bit more about a Blizzard. Think of it as an ice cream shake on steroids. Blizzards come in many different flavors including but not limited to Mocha Chip, Peanut Butter Cup, Butterfinger, Oreo, Cookie Dough, Banana Split, and Choco Cherry Love. The list really does go on…and on.

Participate at your local Dairy Queen tomorrow and support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Whose coming with me?