Tag Archives: for a good cause

Peace of mind

As some of you may already know by now, Ms. S&C is a little crazy about yoga. She’s crazy about hot yoga. She’s crazy about flow. She’s crazy about warriors. She’s crazy about side planks and triangles. And half moons and lizards.

She’s found that when life starts to get a little crazy — when she starts to feel a little overwhelmed — yes, a stiff drink can help. But, there’s comfort to be found on the mat. And maybe with a new pair of shoes. And lululemon’s Astro Pants. (The phrase retail therapy was coined for a reason, right?)

Ms. S&C found a good deal over at DailyCandy’s Swirl that brought her a new Dream Yoga mat for half the price. (She bought the one in slate blue with an embroidered peace sign.)

Looking for some extra peace of mind, Ms. S&C picked up a new yoga mat
(and new yoga pants and new shoes)

Ms. S&C is pretty much convinced that there are no better shoes to wear to and fro yoga class than a pair of TOMS. She picked up these iconic classics a few weeks ago, and there are plenty of reasons to feel good about buying them. They are spectacularly comfortable. And they are for a good cause.

Now, shall we all meet in downward-facing dog?

posted by Ms. S&C

Cocktails for a cause

Ms. S&C likes to shop for a good cause — and drink for a good cause. And, you don’t have to twist her arm to get her to New York City to do so. When a good friend of hers announced she was co-chairing the first annual Food & Fotos event, to benefit Foundation Rwanda, Ms. S&C was thrilled to attend the event and support the cause.

A few facts:

  • Between April and June of 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days.
  • An estimated 20,000 children were born from rape during this genocide.
  • Due to the stigma associated with rape, these children and their mothers have been severely marginalized by their communities, live in extreme poverty and do not have the means to pay their children’s school fees.

Food & Fotos was an event to help sponsor secondary school education for these Rwandan children. And, it was outstanding. It featured tasting tables and signature dishes from 30 of New York City’s top restaurants, and there was an exhibition of portraits from Rwanda. A silent auction of culinary items and contemporary photographs was also held to raise funds. (In a last minute dash, Mr. and Ms. S&C snagged the “Taste of DC” item, so we get to look forward to a return trip to Restaurant Eve and visits to 1789 and Old Ebbitt Grill!)

Mr. S&C enjoyed the fine beers from Brooklyn Brewery, but Ms. S&C made tequila her drink of the night. 901 Silver Tequila was a sponsor of the event and offered several tasty cocktails. Yes, 901 is Justin Timberlake’s brand. (901 is the Memphis area code where he grew up, and is also representative of “the time of night when your evening is ending, but your night is just beginning,” says his spokesperson.)

The drink of the occasion? Tequila. The shoes? Polka dot peep-toes.
(sorry for the blurry pic, but it’s the only one I have of the shoes *and* dress)

The Valley Vista was my favorite cocktail of the night, even though a pesky bartender tried to steer me towards a less spicy, more fruity beverage. He thought I couldn’t handle the jalapeno, but Mr. S&C assured him that, despite my very colorful dress, I have a dark side. The La Senorita was an interesting cocktail. Wondering if the pineapple syrup was prepared with liquid smoke? It was a little like sucking on a wood chip (not necessarily a bad thing, particularly because the strong flavor makes it more of a sipping cocktail).

Valley Vista

  • 901 Silver Tequila
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Homemade grenadine
  • Cucumber
  • Jalapeno slice for garnish

La Senorita

  • 901 Silver Tequila
  • Smoked pineapple syrup
  • Fresh lime juice
  • 3-4 dashes of Tabasco
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Looking forward to making Food & Fotos an annual event!

posted by Ms. S&C

Fashion for a good cause

Ms. S&C has a fondness for corporate do-gooders. She’s not so naive that she doesn’t realize that companies — who make social responsibility part of their mission — can make a profit from being just that. But, at least they’re doing something.

Some of her favorite products come from socially responsible companies. Newman’s Own, who makes her absolute favorite salad dressings in the world, donates all profits to charity.

Starbucks, who plays a crucial role in her morning routine, has made great strides in the areas of ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship and community involvement.

And most recently, she’s discovered TOMS Shoes, which was founded on a simple premise: with every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. They call it One for One. And yesterday, was their Day Without Shoes, a cause to help spread awareness of the impact a simple pair of shoes can bring to a child’s life.

The TOMS classic style comes in many colors and prints. These Blue Sumatra Vegan Classics, with a cool textured print, are said to be made for discovery and  adventure. They’re also made using sustainable materials. The upper material is made of hemp and recycled plastic bottles. And given that they are vegan, no animal products are used. As if you needed a reason to buy these comfortable funky flats, you now have several.

Ms. S&C wants to know: Who’s your favorite corporate do-gooder, and why?

posted by Ms. S&C

Vegging out

Last week’s Top Chef episode was all about vegging out, in one way or another.

For the Quickfire Challenge, the cheftestants created a TV dinner, inspired by an iconic television show. Kevin won the challenge with his Soprano’s meatballs with polenta.

For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs created vegetarian dishes for guest judge Natalie Portman. Kevin, Michael Voltaggio and Eli were the faves. (Mike Isabella was not.) Kevin won again. And, Micheal Voltaggio came off looking like an ungracious jerk. Even Tom Colicchio thought so. Read his blog for great behind-the-scenes insights.

kevin_vegKevin’s Vegetarian Dish: Duo of Mushrooms, Smoked Kale,
Candied Garlic and Turnip Purée

Kevin’s vegetarian dish reminded me a lot of Moosewood Cookbook‘s Warm Salad, which I make at least once or twice every winter — and, I drinkfairhillsred red wine with it every time. True, I drink red wine with most dinners, but I particularly love it with hearty kale and mushrooms. Since eco-friendly Natalie Portman was guest judge for this episode, and since October was Fair Trade Month, I’m going with the Fairhills Bus Stop Red for the drink pairing. I picked up a bottle at Whole Foods for less than $10. It was also highlighted on the Whole Foods blog, telling us that the wine is a product of one of the world’s largest Fair Trade projects, a joint venture between exporter, Origin Wine, Mendoza Vineyards in Argentina and Du Toitskloof Winery in South Africa.

The Fairhills Bus Stop Red is a dryish, medium bodied wine, with aromas of berry fruit and chocolate and hints of plum. Meatballs or kale, it should go great with either of Kevin’s dishes.

And, what makes the wine taste even better? Proceeds are dedicated to purchasing a school bus for the children of the over 800 farm employees and communities of San Martin, Lavalle and Medrano in Mendoza, Argentina.

posted by Ms. S&C