happy earth day

In honor of Earth Day, I found three pocket-sized food guides I'd like to share: one for avoiding fruit/veggies with the highest concentrations of pesticides, one for selecting sustainable seafood and another for ordering sushi with Mother Earth in mind.

Environmental Working Group's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides lists the "Dirty Dozen" and the "Clean 15" within the produce department - a convenient way to determine when to go organic.

Monterey Bay Aquarium in California has created a Seafood Watch Pocket Guide based on region, so you can get your seafood fix without worrying about overfishing or potentially dangerous mercury levels. Ditto for MBA's Sushi Guide (click on "Guide" link above and scroll down to download).

Now I just need to print these babies out and throw 'em in my purse. No more agonizing at the grocery store - or restaurant - for me!


go barefoot at butler park!

A few days after my last post about the TOMS One Day Without Shoes event, I received an email from TOMS HQ notifying me I was in the running for their summer internship program in LA.
And that to showcase my passion, creativity and organizational skills, I need to drive traffic to their site and host a One Day Without Shoes event in Austin this Thursday.

So come out to Doug Sahm Hill at Butler Park this Thursday, the 16th, from 6-7 p.m. to hang out barefoot and raise awareness about the TOMS One for One movement and their efforts to prevent podoconiosis. Bring all your friends, fly a kite, bring your dog, have a picnic, take in the beautiful downtown skyline, or simply relax on a blanket - just do it barefoot!

A special thanks to many local TOMS retailers who have supported my event by sharing my fliers with customers: Whole Earth Provision Co. (San Antonio & N. Lamar locations), Tyler's (Guadalupe), Hem Jeans, Whole Foods (N. Lamar), Betty Sport (12th St.), St. Bernard Sports and SoLa (S. Lamar).

Check out my official Facebook invite, follow TOMS on Twitter and text "PLEDGE" to 75309 if you plan to go barefoot this Thursday!


one day without shoes

On April 16th I'll be going barefoot to raise awareness for the TOMS One Day Without Shoes campaign. Here's the TOMS Web site.

As the proud owner of not one but two pairs of TOMS (red canvas and black corduroy!), I like to think they're on to something: one for one. It's simple; buy a pair of shoes and another pair is donated to someone in need through shoe drops.

Since its inception in 2006, TOMS has given over 140,000 pairs of shoes to children. You can also support their endeavor through t-shirt and hat purchases (I love their "Drop TOMS not bombs" shirt, as well as their line with Element).

They are also by far the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. Even - dare I say it? - better than that South Texas staple, flip flops. I get stopped at least once a month by someone curious about my TOMS:

"Oooh, you have TOMS! Where did you get them?!" or...
"I've heard they're really comfortable - are they?"

I like a company that stands for something. Which is why I'm more than happy to promote their cause next Thursday. There will also be three shoeless events in Austin and two in San Antonio, so check their site for all the info.

Here are some facts:
  • Fact #1: In some developing nations, children must walk for miles to food, clean water and to seek medical help.
  • Fact #2: Cuts and sores on feet can lead to serious infection.
  • Fact #3: Often, children cannot attend school barefoot.
  • Fact #4: In Ethiopia, approximately one million people are suffering from Podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soil.
  • Fact #5: Podoconiosis is 100% preventable by wearing shoes.
So whether you're walking barefoot around your house or your cube at the office, please be sure to support One Day Without Shoes. Or support the TOMS cause in general through a purchase on their site - be sure to use this promo code: odwssa2V103MWD7.


happy silver, house on mango street

On Friday Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street turned the big 2-5 and to mark the occasion, Vintage has released a special anniversary edition. On a more local level, the San Antonio Central Library (aka "The Enchilada Library") celebrated with music, cake, roving paleta carts (mango, ¡por supuesto!), a chanclas decoration station and a reading and book signing by none other than Miss Cisneros herself.

San Antonio, Bexar County and The State of Texas each issued proclamations to honor her groundbreaking work. Cisneros, donning her very cool Virgen de Guadalupe cowboy boots, read her yet-unpublished (and first-ever) story about her King William neighborhood, "Have you seen Marie?"

At once a beautiful tribute to her barrio and an intimate love letter to San Antonio, the piece chronicles Cisneros' hunt for her missing cat, Marie. As I sat outside the library in the heart of downtown, listening as the wind carried her voice, I couldn't help but feel reconnected to the cultural heartbeat of a city I spent 18 years in.

As someone so aptly put it during the celebration, Cisneros is San Antonio. And I couldn't agree more.

To one who has inspired so many: ¡Felicitaciones y feliz cumpleaños!


nylon mag goes digital

A while back I subscribed to NYLON magazine for free through a deal with Urban Outfitters. I really like their content; it reminds me of a younger W. So imagine my delight when I discover the April issue waiting for me not in my mailbox, but in my inbox.

Here's why Don Hellinger, NYLON President, made the decision to go digital:
  • No more waiting for your new issues to come in the mail. We will email each new issue of NYLON to you the day our editors sign off on it! And yes, the digital edition has all the content of the paper version; plus you can easily click, save, and print out the photos -- or share them with friends online.
  • No more lost issues. Ever had a magazine misplaced by the post office? Chewed up by the dog? Borrowed by your BFF? No problem – each digital edition in your NYLON subscription is always available to you, on our website or your computer!
  • No more paper. Looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint? You have found one – enjoying NYLON Magazine on your screen instead of on paper! You’ll have less to throw out too.
Fabulous. But what if I decide I miss the paper version? Simply give customer service a call and they'll hook you up.

So far I'm in love with the digital version. Okay, it takes a little more time and effort to read, but I like the greenness of it all. The cherry on top: story teasers are clickable, so say if I wanted to read the 'Party like it's 1999!' cover story, I mouse over it to see the page number - and clicking on it takes me directly to that article.

The ads are still there so the advertisers win, and I personally think they look better on-screen. I'm sure Nylon saves a ton of money, too - on shipping, printing, etc. What a perfect solution for the environment and the recession! (Vogue: are you listening?)