One of my favorite childhood memories was organizing a fashion show with my friends, charging guests—parents and good-natured neighbors—a $5 cover, and then sending the proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. If anyone is wondering why CF, I had watched the made-for-tv movie, Alex: The Life of a Child that year (anybody?) and it apparently moved my 8-year-old heart. My kids watched the tape of my runway show recently and laughed their heads off! Think big bangs, loud 80’s clothes, and Debbie Gibson crooning in the background. Obviously children who take initiative to raise money or awareness for a cause are not only adorable but are also budding philanthropists, and the work of the kids at The Pick Project are advancing arts programs across the country. With kid-run projects like these, the future is looking bright. Thanks, Lorae, for bringing us another amazing edition of the Company Memo!
Donate: The Pick Project
Splurge/Steal: MZ Wallace Handbags
I have been a loyal lover of the MZ Wallace handbag collection for many years. I still remember the first time I saw the logo on the bedford abbey tote riding home on the NJ transit from a bustling day in NYC nearly 12 years ago. MZ Wallace was created by two native New Yorkers who combined utilitarian perspective with urban sensibility. The Metro Tote will always have my heart and the Large Metro Tote is a style blogger favorite as well. Last year, I began the search for a backpack (I grew tired of the contents of my handbags spilling out every time I bent over). I ordered countless options, at high and low price points, and the one that won me over is the small metro backpack. Certainly, investing in this line is a splurge, but I think it’s worth it as these bags will stand the test of time and style. And if you really like the style but cannot make the splurge, here is a steal or two for you from Target. You’re Welcome!
Want: Bonnie Kaye Studio
An interior decorator I am not, but due to my past occupation in the textile business, I find myself falling in love with fabric and print whenever I find a unique combo. I am definitely a sucker for hand-crafted goods; they just feel more special to me. I discovered Bonnie Kaye Studio on Instagram recently. She has perfected the blend of print, vintage influence, and natural textiles and papers. Bonnie, a UGA and Pratt Institute-educated southerner, recently returned to her southern roots in Johnson City, TN to create a gorgeous line of textiles, papers and accessories. These would be the perfect items to switch your dining room decor from summer to fall, and her cocktail napkins would make a thoughtful gift for a favorite hostess. Best of all, for every purchase, a $5 meal donation is made to Feeding America, making this buy a win-win for everyone.
Watch and Do: TED Ed Club
In our media-driven world, we often look for digital inspiration. TED talks have been a go-to for me when looking for motivational messages. My kids and I were excited to discover TED Ed, a program that captures lessons worth telling. They have a library of curiosity-inspiring videos that your children will love with titles like, “Will the ocean ever run out of fish?” and “Why do we itch?” They have now launched an even bigger idea for this YouTube generation: TED Ed Club. In the TED Ed Club, children can partner with a facilitator in their school to create their very own TED talks. TED Ed clubs are designed for ages 8-18 and may contain up to 50 members that will be guided through 13 meetings by a TED-trained facilitator. These meetings are designed to allow kids the opportunity to wear their thinking caps and explore their passions to inspire others. What a great way for children to collaborate, expand their imagination, research content and practice public speaking, all while meeting other youth around the globe. This generation of problem solvers is sure to change the world.
Insta Follow: Skinnytaste
Need weeknight dinner ideas? Gina Homolka at Skinnytaste is the girl to follow. A New York Times bestselling author, Gina has begun partnering with Cooking Light magazine for a monthly column as the Picky Eater Guru to share her passion for cooking healthy, nutritious meals. Her Instagram is chalk full of amazing recipes you will be itching to try. She also writes a post featuring a weekly meal plan which gives us all the ability to hit the easy button! Good luck and happy cooking.