Charitable Design

For several years I’ve been passionate about Flying Kites, a Boston-based organization founded by a friend of mine,  that works to bring education and care to some of East Africa’s most vulnerable and orphaned children, so I was touched when they asked me to put together an inspiration board for the Boys Dorm they are currently building.  Knowing that this dorm will be providing a home for a group of kids who would otherwise be on the street is about as meaningful as a project gets!  I wanted the decor to be cheery, reflective of their heritage and passions (Leila says they love cheetahs and lions) and durable (as we all know young boys are tough on stuff!) And I think we succeeded!

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SOURCES: (some of these are “inspirational” and less expensive versions of the items will be sourced)

Safari shams //  Stripe sheets // Quilt // Rug // Sconce // Throw Pillow (similar) // Bunk Beds (similar for cheaper) // Wire shelves (similar) // Dressers // Wall map // Animal art // Wall Color- Horizon- Benjamin Moore // Hooks // Faux leather beanbags // Hampers

I am hoping to work with some vendors to get goods donated for the project (if you are interested in being a part of that please contact me), but I also wanted to share with you in case any of you were looking for a great charity to support.   Flying Kites also takes people on safari in Kenya (which is on my bucket list), so I can’t wait to see this in person and meet the little fellas who live there someday!

Photo by Cheryl Richards
Founder Leila de Bruyne and one of her little guys! Photo by Cheryl Richards

Random Monday: Monkeying Around

So over the weekend we went to see This Means War, which is meh… not terrible, not great but lots of eye candy for me (Tom Hardy) and Andrew (Reese looks AWESOME).  But before the movie there was a preview that had me all sorts of flipping out. Watch it.

Let me preface this by saying that I feel about monkeys/chimpanzees the way that Kristen Bell feels about sloths. I have wanted one FOREVER- in fact the first gift Andrew ever gave me only a couple weeks of dating was a stuffed monkey with velcro arms I could fasten about my neck. Most girls would have been horrified, but I was ecstatic and wanted to bring it out to dinner with us. Clearly I am not ashamed of my obsession.  One of the happiest moments of my life was when a little monkey sat on my head in Nevis.

So this is pretty much how it went down at the Saturday matinee….

Me: Oh my God. OH. MY. GOD.

Me: HIS NAME IS OSCAR?!?!

Me: OH MY GOD! LOOK AT HIM!!! AWWWW!!! (squealing and clapping hands)

Andrew: I see him. I am sitting right here.

Me: OMMMGEEEEE- he has a branch in his mouth! Andrew, do you see that? Look how cute! Hiiiiiiiii Oscar!!!! (waving)

Me: Oh no! He looks SO SAD! Something bad is coming!

Andrew: Seriously, shhhhhh.

Me: (slaps hands over eyes) I can’t deal with this. He’s all alone. He misses his mom. WHAT’S HAPPENING???

Andrew: Honey, you have to calm down.

Me: He found a new daddy! Thank GOD! But he must still miss his mom! This is terrible!

Andrew: Uhhuh.

Me: (with steely gaze) Andrew, I have to save the chimps!

Me: They are playing like people! (hitting Andrew’s arm) Andrew, we need to save the chimps!

(Chuckles from the row behind us.)

Me: THEY’RE HUGGING??!?!? I’m going to DIE! I’m dead right now! OMG OMG OMG.Why is no one else freaking OOOOUUUTTT???!!!

Andrew: (head in hands)

I literally want to give up my whole world to go help Jane Goodall save these beautiful things. In fact halfway through Reese’s new rom-com I leaned over and whispered to Andrew “Um, I’m serious about the chimps”.  Nothing upsets me more than animal cruelty. NOTHING. I can’t even handle fake animal cruelty/sadness/ death in movies. Shoot up a bar full of humans and I won’t flinch, but hurt a dog/horse/monkey/lion/mouse and I will absolutely LOSE MY SHIT. When that Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercial comes on with the beaten dog I dive behind the sofa like I’m taking on sniper fire. So while I think of ways to parlay my mediocre internet success into a way to contribute in some way to help the chimpanzees I can just encourage you ALL to go see this movie the opening week because if you do Disney will make a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute ! Maybe I’ll organize a group outing! Cocktails and chimpanzees and lots of squealing.

EOS + Elva Fields Exclusive!

I have long adored the bold and brilliant pieces from the jewelry line Elva Fields.  So I am super pumped to bring you a fabulous offer just in time for Mother’s Day gift shopping!  Elva is offering these magnificent gold love knot earrings for the fantastic prices of $35 for the large and $25 for the small in which 50% of the proceeds will go to Backpack Buddies, an organization that helps feed hungry children in area schools.  For $3 they can fill a backpack with food for a student so they can focus on their studies and not their hungry stomachs.  Elva typically donates that much for each online jewelry purchase, but with the Love Knots, she’ll be donating at least three times that much! Imagine all the kids you can help while treating your own mother (or yourself) to a lovely bauble!

And just to entice you a little more- when you make your Love Knot purchase, enter code EOSEF30 and you will be entered to win this amazing piece, the Deb corsage necklace (named for the designer’s mom). A one of a kind piece made of vintage gilt chains and a detachable vintage gold tone flower brooch is worth $188. Enter your code between today and May 3, 2011 to win it!!

Fashion Friday: Oscar de la Renta Comes Home

Anytime Rachel Zoe goes to an Oscar de la Renta show or visits him in his studio I fall in love (can you tell I’ve been catching up via Tivo?)   He seems like such a classy gentleman with such impeccable taste you can’t help but be charmed. Not to mention the clothes! His dresses are always some of my favorite picks for red carpet events. I personally remember trying on a magnificently elegant lace sheath strapless wedding dress with long train by him six years ago.  I was with a friend, I had gotten engaged like five minutes earlier and I thought it was too soon to make a decision so I passed on it.  Cut to me scrambling to find a replacement gown after getting totally f*cked over by Vera Wang (pardon my French, but it still makes me THAT furious) and I tried on another Oscar gown with magnificent champagne waist sash that made me cry from it’s beauty, but it was too expensive after already losing my several thousand dollar deposit to Vera.  So no Oscar for me on my wedding day. Boo hiss.

Ok, that was one hell of a digression. What I meant to say is I love Oscar, and yesterday while at the Boston Design Center I stopped in Lee Jofa and got to see his new fabric line! It’s luxurious, classic but bold.  Lots of silks, embroidery and color with dressmaker details like delicate pleating.  I was told that he was the most involved of any designer collaborator they’ve ever had and went through samples of all the fabrics he’s ever used in his collections for inspiration. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the dress form in the window with a skirt made of his ikat print (copied from a jacket he bought his wife ages ago).  Turns out, not only is my size, but they are auctioning off a few of them to benefit Oscar’s charity, Casa del Nino.

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To add to the insane talent of Oscar himself, he hired brilliant designer Miles Redd to be the creative director behind his home line! Here are some images of the Miles Redd styled showroom at NYC’s D&D building:

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On top of this fabulous Lee Jofa line, Oscar has a magnificent line of rugs with Elson & Company and furniture with Century! I love so many of these items!

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This sofa is the cat’s pajamas.

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Dying over these chairs (and this dining room- although it needs a baller chandy, don;t you think?)

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Yes and Yes.

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And how about the fashion, which is his bread and butter? I’d be HAPPY to show you some of my faves.

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The Holiday Spirit.

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We’ve all been running around buying gifts and feeling frazzled by the encroaching holiday season lately.  Today let’s get back to what the holiday spirit is really about: GIVING. Several bloggers are coming together today in a collaborative effort spearheaded by Paloma Contreras of La Dolce Vita ,  in order to make a difference for a very deserving charity. Pencils of Promise is a  wonderful 501(c)(3) organization based in New York, that partners with local  communities and organizations to build schools of early-stage education in developing nations for some of the world’s most impoverished and undereducated children.  Sadly, there are more than 75 million children in this terrible situation worldwide. Last December, the Pencils of Promise team visited a small village in Laos and by July 2009, they had built a new school for the village children who started attending classes on September 1st. This month, Pencils of Promise will be opening their third school and they hope to open the doors to education for more children in 2010.

In the spirit of the holiday season, we are asking for your help today on behalf of these children. Just think of the enormous impact we could have if each person who reads this post donates just $1.00. If you are willing and able to give more (35.00 buys shelves for a classroom, $50 provides pencils for one year, $100 provides a teacher’s salary for three months and so on), it would be greatly appreciated. We are in the midst of the giving season and hope that you will find it in your heart to make a donation to this worthy cause today by clicking HERE.

Watch this video here to get a better idea of what this great organization does and also become a fan on Facebook HERE:

Thanks everyone!!!

-Erin