Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chernobyl Children International

As you may have seen on the news, yesterday marked thirty years since the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a dreadful accident in Ukraine that continues to affect people even today.  Radioactive material is still being found in the milk of cows in Belarus, and children are still being born with illnesses related to radiation exposure.  The whole Chernobyl cause is very close to my heart, and I actively follow the efforts of Chernobyl Children International, an Ireland-based charity dedicated to helping families and individuals hurt by Chernobyl.  All of CCI's projects are incredibly moving and inspiring, and the organization has improved the lives of children at the Vesnova Children's Asylum greatly.  Chernobyl was one of history's most tragic events, but CCI shows that, even in the face of catastrophe, "there is hope."

Friday, June 26, 2015: A very special group of 30 children from Belarus landed at Dublin Airport today (Friday, June 26th) as part of an urgent mercy mission by Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children International (CCI) to airlift children out of the region and away from lethal forest fires for respite care in Ireland this summer. Pictured were Maryna Tsitova and Andrea Keogh from Kilkenny.  Picture Jason Clarke Photography.

Evdokiya 1,9 y (2)

<3 Frances

Monday, April 25, 2016

When Doves Cry

We lost Prince last week, which was shocking and heartbreaking, and I keep thinking of what he said at the beginning of "Let's Go Crazy":

It's really quite true when you think about it, isn't it?  And looking at everything else that's going on in the world--from the Ecuador earthquake to the anniversary of Chernobyl (which is tomorrow)--it's obvious that we are all just here to get through life and all that comes along with it. With this said, it's important now more than ever that we support each other and look at things with love.  I have AP tests coming up next week and spent a lot of time studying this weekend but did a lot of spring cleaning, too, and there's something about this weather that's incredibly inspirational.  Is it Monday?  Yes. But take Monday and make it something awesome, okay? 

Prince: "When Doves Cry"

<3 Frances 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Midweek Playlist

Jimi Hendrix headlines today's playlist, which also features a doses of Florence Welch, the White Stripes, and the Two Door Cinema Club.  I'm sending love and light for everyone's week and hoping that all are well.  If you can, send some thoughts to Ecuador and Japan, too.  It's tragic what's happened with the earthquakes.

Jimi Hendrix: "Purple Haze"

Florence + the Machine: "Cosmic Love"

Two Door Cinema Club: "What You Know"

The White Stripes: "Icky Thump"

<3 Frances

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sustainable Style

Hi, everyone!  Welcome to another week. Sometimes I look at the date and wonder, "Where is time going?" But then when I'm sitting with my textbook open doing a homework assignment, time feels to be going rather slowly, so I suppose it's all relative, isn't it? 
I'm excited today to be writing about sustainability and how it relates to (wait for it) fashion!  Yes, this subject is a lot lighter than the melting polar ice caps and global poverty--two very major issues that deserve significant attention but can also be rather depressing. One of the biggest "traps" that can prevent people from taking action against global issues like climate change is full-out gloomy pessimism, and it's important to look at inspirational things to get the "let's save the world" juices flowing.  I know a lot of these brands are expensive and that I myself probably couldn't afford many purchases, but they're nevertheless inspiring and represent a positive movement in the stylesphere.

Founded in 2009, Awamaki helps to empower women living in the Peruvian Andes by providing them with economic opportunities based on the beautiful textiles that they make.  Because of the sustainable materials used and the emphasis on local art over big industrial production, Awamaki is good for the environment and for the artisans involved/their communities.  Plus, the clothes and textiles (which are sold under the "Awamaki Lab" brand) are gorgeous.

Awamaki Mission
Awamaki Lab Products
Auralis Herrerro
When she was just starting out in the fashion industry, Auralis Herrerro decided it was time to make a change.  "The fashion industry is responsible for so much of the pollution in the world," she said. Inspired by this sentiment, the 28 year-old started her own green company.  She uses materials that are organic and recycled and not processed with chemicals, and many of her designs are inspired by life in her homeland of Puerto Rico. 
Herrero's line is made through eco-friendly, sustainable production.
Noonan for NY Daily News
With a "V" for vegan, Vaute Couture was founded by lifelong animal-lover Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, and it was the first vegan brand to be included in New York Fashion Week.  With one of its initial goals being to make a warm winter coat free of animal cruelty, Vaute has exceeded expectations and truly made a name for itself in the fashion industry as a leader not only in the style world but also in the anti-animal cruelty world.  Yay!
PEMA Party Dress in Satin - Forest
Reading Skirt In Satin-Ivory
Interested in seeing more eco-style brands?  Check out the list from EcoSalon.
<3 Frances


Sunday Soundtrack

For wherever you are...

The xx: "Together"
MGMT: "Kids"
Ingrid Michaelson: "Can't Help Falling in Love" (Cover of Elvis Presley)
Of Monsters and Men: "Little Talks"
<3 Frances

Sunday, April 10, 2016

More Earth Month: Climate Change in Photos

Spring Break is coming to an end! I'm going to miss it very much even though I spent most of it working.  Being with family all day has just been very lovely, and I'm very fortunate to get to look forward to the weekend after all the back-to-workweek madness.
This afternoon, I stumbled upon a National Geographic article about climate change and how it looks visually.  Being someone who is totally obsessed with photojournalism and the environment, I was excited (and a bit scared) to read it.  Needless to say, the photographs in it are incredibly beautiful and moving, and the photographer who took them, Daniel Beltrá, rather brilliantly explains how photography is "a tool to expose what’s happening in the planet."  He's captured everything from the melting in Greenland's ice sheet to the BP Oil Spill, and his work is equal parts stunning and heartbreaking.

<3 Frances

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tea Time Detox

Between spring cleaning and the spring semester, it can be easy to let yourself get sucked into a haze of homework and stress, but don't forget to take a few moments to detox and re-set. Globally, tea seems to be a bit of a miracle cure for everything from anxiety headaches to immune system sadness.  I saw this adorable infographic and was inspired to share it because it shows just how awesome herbal teas can be for helping you feel better when you're down.  Got an essay ahead of you?  Try machta.  Having nightmares? Go for chamomile or lavender.  Tummy troubles? Peppermint and ginger are here to save the day.  And the best thing about herbal teas is that they're natural, which means they're perfect for April Earth Month.  Just remember to recycle old tea boxes (or make them into super fun craft projects).

Which tea for which ailment #drink #glup #beverage:
<3 Frances

Friday, April 1, 2016

Earth Awareness Month & Why it Matters

April is Earth Awareness Month, and that means that the new climate model that just came out is particularly relevant.  Because it's a Friday (and, for many, the day before Spring Break), I don't want to be morose, but new research published in Nature suggests that the West Antarctic ice sheet is more vulnerable to global warming than previously thought.  Between the melting of this sheet and other ice forms globally, the sea level could rise by up to six feet within the next 84 years.  That's within many of our lifetimes!  If that happens, major local coastal communities could be totally flooded, with cities like NYC and Hong Kong finding themselves totally underwater.  Needless to say, that would not be good.
With all that said, what can we do to help present this sort of environmental catastrophe? Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are a major cause of global warming because they form a heat-absorbent cloud in the troposphere that prevents heat from reflecting off of the surface of the planet, so obviously one of the biggest ways we can help stop global warming is by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  If you're going somewhere close by, walk or bike instead of driving.  Buy local produce and free range, pasture-raised meats.  Turn lights off when you don't need them.  Easy steps like these ones can really have a big impact because all our little actions add up, and what better time to start being eco-friendly than Earth Awareness Month?  Green is the new glamorous.  Show your planet some love this April!

<3 Frances