April 2009

Better Books, Better World


Betterworldbooks Let me direct you toward an amazing site: Better World Books. Founded in 2002 by three friends from the University of Notre Dame, what started out as a small business has turned into a full fledged mission to promote global literacy.

BWB sells new titles, as well as used ones that are collected through individual donations (from people like us) and from colleges and libraries around the country. A portion of profits from every sold book funds one of BWB's major nonprofit literacy partners, like Books For Africa which stocks rural African schools with much needed reading material for students.

In addition to raising $6 million for global literacy, BWB has saved over 23 million books from ending up in landfills. And did I mention that shipping is free within the US? It is. So head on over, check it out and join the cause. We know you have a pile of once beloved books laying around somewhere that could use a better home. I know Melissa does, too. Melissa?

Rotter and Friends Shirts


Gap shirt Some may call it "fashion for lazy people," but a simple t-shirt and jeans fit my no-nonsense approach to style perfectly.

I'm happily supplementing my collection of graphic tees with one of Jess Rotter's new spring designs. Rotter's line, Rotter and Friends, uses music as its sole inspiration, emblazoning shirts with her whimsical drawings of iconic rock symbols of the 60s and 70s. This year, we can choose from Captain Beefheart, Karen Dalton and Graham Nash. They all come in different colors -- purple, orange, espresso -- and are available in tee or tank shape.

In addition to her personal collection, Rotter was also selected by Gap to design one of its (PRODUCT)RED™ Artist Edition T-Shirt Collection to Help Eliminate AIDS in Africa. You'll have to go to a Gap store to check out all of her designs, but this one (pictured) you can buy online for $28.

Now I just have to wait until it gets hot enough for flip flop wearing.

Best of Beauty: The Everyone Lipstick


Black honey If you’ve ever clicked on the “What is I Heart Daily?” box to the left, you’ve seen that we promise to share many things, including “the lipstick color that looks good on everyone.” I once experienced such a thing, and it was called… Black Honey.

Clinique’s hit of the 90s was the Almost Lipstick line, specifically this color, that looked so dark in the tube but somehow turned the perfect shade of lovely on everyone who wore it. And now, Black Honey is back.

There’s a new Black Honey gloss available, and I’m anxious to try it out, but the original version, for $14, is my buy of choice. It comes in a sleek silver tube, and is just a slip of color that somehow beautifully transforms my pale Irish face. Anne has confirmed that she wore Black Honey in the 90s, and it also lights up her tanner Japanese coloring. In fact, friends of all hues chimed in with praise when I mentioned the return of Black Honey. 

Trust us, this will look good on you.

Read It: Unexpected Feminism, Boys, and Bodybags


Sophswitch These new reads will make you laugh, cry and feel all kinds of sweet emotions.

Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald (Candlewick). A student exchange lands hard-partying UC Santa Barbara sophomore Tasha at Oxford University, while her studious British opposite, Emily, suddenly finds herself amid bikinis and beer pong. The switch thing’s been done, but McDonald pulls off an incredibly smart debut that addresses big questions of identity and feminism, all through two charming and likable protagonists.

Surface Tension by Brent Runyon (Knopf). In this novel told in four summers, Luke goes from 13-16 years old, and we follow him on a two-week vacation at a family lake cottage every year. Runyon’s teen-boy voice is pitch perfect (well, I think it is anyway), and the nuances of each summer are alternately hilarious and heartbreaking. That’s vague and reviewery, I know, but it’s hard to nail down a plot on this one--it’s just a fantastic read, full of honest emotion.

Gentlemen by Michael Northrop (Scholastic). A dark first novel about four high school misfits--Micheal, Tommy, Mixer and Bones--who are suddenly confronting the notion that one of their teachers may have harmed a close friend. Tension mounts, the characters freak out, and you're drawn into this world through Northrop’s dead-on narrative voice. You care about these guys, but you also fear them. It’s a fantastic reader experience.

Happy reading!

Go Shopping, Save a Whale


Savethewhales You’ve recycled those old magazines, reduced your carbon footprint, and taken the bus instead of driving your car. To wrap up Earth Day week in style, go to Buffalo Exchange tomorrow to help a worthy cause -- The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization.

In honor of Earth Day, at Buffalo Exchange locations across the country, all sale items will cost $1, 100% of which will be donated towards the HSUS, benefiting its Save Whales-Not Whaling campaign (“whaling” is the hunting of whales). Despite international laws against whaling, countries like Japan continue to hunt and kill whales under the guise of “scientific research.” Though we don’t see what’s going on under the surface of our oceans everyday, protecting our underwater friends is just as important to the environment as recycling our soda cans is.

To see if there is a Buffalo Exchange near you, check out its store locations. So tomorrow, buy something cute and whenever you wear it, you can think about a happy, smiling, blue whale you helped save.

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