Friday, October 3, 2014

{simple pleasures} eat dessert first

"life is uncertain. eat dessert first."
ernestine ulmer

{today's simple pleasures}

handmade with love: on a recent trip to the city of light i had a ferocious sweet tooth and i used a paris vegan guide from my fave purveyor of all things compassionate laika magazine to find a tiny bakery in paris, 5e. the menu changes daily, but lucky for me, this tasty treasure was available: triple layer cake at vegan folie's on rue mouffetard. made with fresh raspberries, organic white chocolate, and a berry mix, topped with whipped chocolate icing. perfection, i tell you.

also to be found: a delectable butternut squash + coconut cheesecake and a bergamot orange tea cheesecake. geez, with flavors as scrumptious as these, it's the perfect place to indulge your sweet tooth and satisfy the fiercest of cravings while in france! if you're in the area, you know what to do.

bonus points: the name vegan folie's is rooted in this quote from one of my fave author's oscar wilde: "follies are the only things one never regrets." now, it doesn't get any better than that, does it?

{images by f+d}

Saturday, April 12, 2014

{simple pleasures} good, clean fun

"i wear ethical fashion because i want every aspect of the way I live to be an expression of my ideals." jennifer gootman, social responsibility consultant

{today's simple pleasures}

clean it up: a few good reads on eco beauty + ethical fashion

a lovely gift from my roommate: petite peaches disguised as donuts

fashion revolution: this article by the lovely kate black

{images by f+d}

Monday, March 31, 2014

{eco beauty pick} s.w. basics of brooklyn

it's been a long, dark winter here in the windy city. histrionics? i think not. it's been a frigid one, my friends. and with this weather comes very dry skin: my parched skin is doing things i did not know were possible and my hair is begging for mercy from the artificial heat at home + work. so this week i'm showcasing some of my favorite eco, come-to-the-rescue skincare products.

i am absolutely over the moon for s.w. basics, an all-natural, sustainable skincare line handmade in brooklyn, new york with locally-sourced, vegan ingredients and lots of love. forget for a moment the clean, clever cover of the book; i mean, we love great design, but really it's the list of 3-5 oh-so effective + simple ingredients listed on the front of every product package that are so pure + good for you, you could eat them, but try not to.

so let us talk about one of my new all-time favorite products: s.w. basics body oil, a magic elixir with 3 ingredients {grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and sesame oil} and many incredible uses. i mean, this product really does it all:

{body oil / for the bod}
s.w.'s body oil truly conditions the skin. right after i shower, i put this oil on my legs, arms and body {when my skin is super absorbent}; it's not too heavy and not too light: it is just right, and it adds a little shine to my legs {this is me dreaming + wishing for skirt weather} and it smells delightful!

{body oil / for the face}
the body oil also works as a gentle facial moisturizer, nourishing + revitalizing. as someone with touchy skin, i have not a single breakout to report. the founder of s.w. basics, adina grigore, tells us on her site that she too has very delicate skin, which makes us sensitive-skin, sustainable-lovin' soul sisters. for her phenomenal products, i thank the lovely miss grigore!

{body oil / as hair serum}
my hair has been depleted of all moisture after this winter; frankly, it's as if a tumbleweed landed on my head. when i ran out of my usual hair serum, i had to become a bit resourceful, so i used the body oil once again. and i tell you here and now, it is a perfect hair serum. light + smooth, the end result was silky soft hair with a healthy shine. ta da!

{lips / for your kisser}
the lip balms are meant for your kisser, and that's exactly what i use them for. 4 vegan lip balms in delicious flavors; they defend against dryness and seal lips with moisture. i have these on me at all times: purse, desk, coat pocket, medicine cabinet. 

{cream / for your gams}
this non-comedogenic cream {don't worry about pores clogging} is a truly luxurious moisturizer: a skin quencher indeed. it's thick + rich, hence i like to use it on my hands + i also take my sweet time lathering my legs with it. i love to treat myself to some me-time on weekends with this fun, lil product. expect a noticeable difference in the texture of your skin. goodbye rough, rugged skin. hello elasticity!

there are all sorts of remarkable eco goodies over at s.w.basics. hop on over for some eco goodness!

{image by f+d}

Monday, February 10, 2014

{eco brand of the week} wildlife works: the perfect fair trade tee

it's a fair assessment to say i'm slightly obsessed with eco fashion brand wildlife works. this company is dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity via the protection of wildlife, their forest habitats and the creation of meaningful work that is an economic alternative to wildlife hunting and poaching. you and i can be a part of all this goodness simply by slipping into one of their comfy, cozy tees.
{introductions first}
 it's like we've mixed all the superpowers of all your fave superheroes and swished them around until we came up with one real life hero who does it all: mike korchinsky, the founder + ceo of wildlife works. who's been busy? mike and the good folks over at wildlife works, to be sure. alleviating poverty in rural areas + protecting animals on the verge of extinction on a daily basis? not easy tasks, my friends. so let's learn how the purchase of one minimalist tee can have a ripple effect on the lives of many. 
mike founded wildlife works in 1997 and soon thereafter established rukinga sanctuary on 80,000 acres of land in south east kenya, now home to hundreds of elephants, ungulates, bats, birds + many other happy furry, feathered friends and creepy, crawly creatures. he then built an eco factory where a line of casual apparel is produced. and enter the perfect tee {because i'm a gal who loves all animals big and small as much as i love a good-lookin' tee}.
{work it out}
every dollar spent on wildlife works' products goes directly to job creation and community development in rural communities. what kinds of jobs? you may wonder. funny you should ask. here are just a few of the employment opportunities created: conservation rangers, factory workers, horticulturalists, machinists, seamstresses, foresters, carpenters, construction workers, drivers, mechanics and administrative personnel. the company also finances the development of small businesses such as an eco-clothing factory and sustainable charcoal production and distribution. wildlife works even has a page filled to the brim with pics of all the lovely faces of the myriad workers trained + hired across different continents. 

{sixth sense} 
integrating wildlife conservation and socioeconomic development with forest conservation makes the wildlife works' brand of REDD* the most holistic and sustainable project developer in the carbon offset marketplace. all wildlife works projects incorporate six key elements that create sustainable jobs in communities that are threatened by deforestation.
below are the six key elements to the wildlife work's brand of REDD that make it a successful model:
  1. Jobs supporting education [children's education, conservation education, community outreach about our projects]
  2. Jobs making eco-friendly products
  3. Jobs protecting wildlife [rangers and eco tourism]
  4. Jobs managing our mission
  5. Jobs helping farmers [jajoba and chili project]
  6. Jobs growing trees [seedling program, green charcoal project]
{seeing REDD}* 
REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), is a climate change mitigation strategy introduced by the United Nations to help stop destruction of the world's forests. 
The carbon market is used to support these efforts and bring direct benefits to communities. REDD Voluntary Emissions Reductions, (VERs), are issued on an annual basis by third party verifiers only after the forest has been successfully protected sustainable economic alternatives have been created for the community, such as job creation initiatives and agricultural intensification programs.
now head on over to wildlife works and get some of that good, slow fashion. their fashion line is littered with casual, cool graphic tees + perfect foundations for any stylish gal's wardrobe, and these are wildlife works' primary channels for funding their forestry protection programs. perfect tee right this way ladies.
artwork by f+d {image by cats like scotch}

Monday, February 3, 2014

{meet the locals} cats like scotch

'tis true that i wax enthusiastic about all things eco-fashion here at finny+dill, but today, we veer off into the wonderful world of fine art. enjoy. 

while composing an article for laika magazine, i had the pleasure of meeting the deft, discerning + plant-powered photographer behind cats like scotch. ladies + gentlemen, let me introduce you to the talented miss clemens, a young linda mccartney on the rise.

b. clemens of cats like scotch photography is a natural-born storyteller, and she employs a slightly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression to narrate events and experiences. gently tugging scenes of americana into our orbit, clemens uses film photography to create exquisitely sensitive images centered on the lives of common people and everyday circumstances.

while she knows her way around a digital camera {her freelance work includes food + product photography and music photography} clemens prefers film, recognizing the virtue of imperfection and the value of grit in her exploration of small town america and the teachings contained in the littlest moments everywhere.

clemens offers insight to her artistic medium of choice, "i'm often asked why i chose film and i don't have an exact answer. i suppose what i really love is the anticipation that is only available with film cameras. there's a pleasure in the process - from framing to focusing, shooting and hoping, and finally developing and discovering whether or not there's a single usable shot on any given roll. it's a daily lesson in patience and precision and one that i quite enjoy."

in describing the work of acclaimed american photographer william eggleston, eudora welty stated, "the extraordinary, compelling, honest, beautiful and unsparing photographs all have to do with the quality of our lives in the ongoing world: they succeed in showing us the grain of the present, like the cross-section of a tree. [no] subject is fuller of implications than the mundane world!" 

gazing upon clemens' work, i can't help but feel i've entered into a dream state, there's a peace + warmth to her images: each picture possessing a soothing, hypnotic quality. through her lens the ordinary crackles with life and the pedestrian becomes at once captivating + entrancing. 

clemens previously worked as touring photographer with crooked creek studios, snapping shots of musicians and febrile fans. her music photography oeuvre includes celebrated musicians the giving tree band, edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros, as well as swooning fans aplenty. want to work with cats? find her here.
{images by cats like scotch}

Sunday, February 2, 2014

{eco kicks} cri de coeur + anthropologie

so this just happened over the weekend: ethical footwear label cri de coeur will have these foxy little boots featured at apparel + lifestyle retailer anthropologie, because anthro is apparently stepping up their game. 

if sustainable, hyper-cool boots were always available at our fingertips, well every eco-lovin' boy + girl would do the right thing: we'd all be sporing ethically-made, cruelty-free kicks all day long + into the wee hours of the night.

the joon boot, from cri de coeur's spring collection, was a creation form the arden wohl for cri de coeur, available for pre-order at anthropolgie right here. the time is nearing, my friends. more good things to come. perhaps goop will host cri de coer for another awesome green-brand collab!

here's to wishful thinking!

{image via anthropologie}

Saturday, February 1, 2014

{eco find of the week} amourt vert x goop = perfect tee

it's been a good week here in chicago: temperatures are no longer in the negatives, the sun finally showed his handsome face, and then this little miracle of a tee landed in my inbox. so relaxed and so cool. this is the kind of tee that can get along with any and every item in your closet!

it's no secret that i love a well-made, slouchy t-shirt. they fit right in with my boy-meets-girl style aesthetic, they're casually sexy, they're easy to style in a million different ways. wear them out for a night on the town with your best baubles, wear them under a blazer to work, wear them to a fundraiser with tuxedo pants and there you have it. life is so uncomplicated with tees in your life. 

this beaut is the result of a collaboration between one of my fave style icons {ms. gwyneth paltrow, multitasker extraordinaire + lovely overachiever} and one of my fave eco-fashion labels {amour vert, made in the usa, organic goods right this way}.

now, before you gasp and ask why $85? remember our golden rule, friends: buy less, buy better. as in better quality. this will not disintegrate in the wash; you'll hang on to it for a good, long while {this is good news since it's a classic little piece} and it's made by a san francisco-based company that treats its workers with dignity + respect, so no one will be harmed in the making of this garment.*

you can find it at ms. paltrow's site goop, along with travel tips, recipes, style guidance and some seriously stellar direction regarding health + nutrition, love + relationships {friendly note to eco-lovin' friends: gp is not vegan. side note: a friend gifted me with her recipe book it's all good and there are some mighty fine vegan recipes included in it and on her website}. now head on over for some slouchy goodness
{image via goop}

Monday, January 20, 2014

{eco boutique of the week} a boy named sue: cool clothes with a conscience

tania reinert and samantha wong are two gal pals with a mind for business and an eye for cosmopolitan apparel whose shared interest in sustainable fashion brought them together to establish the online eco-boutique a boy named sue.

brushing aside the precedent of fast fashion, tania + samantha have carefully curated a selection of women's garments and accessories from designers that are part of a growing movement of responsible + creative business owners that have been disrupting the sense of complacency amidst the world of fashion consumerism.  

based out of hong kong, tania + samantha have co-founded a lovely little shop that manages to outshine the myth that mindfully made clothes cannot be design-led, covet-worthy pieces {trust me, ladies, you want what they've got}. the goal of these two plucky entrepreneurs is simple: to show that ethics and aesthetics are not mutually exclusive. 

take a look at a few of my fave pieces from their collection: pictured above are these go-with-everything navy alcantara shorts {constructed of vegan suede} in an embossed weave-pattern by hien le of berlin and this azure boat tee made of modal by partimi {a splendid little layering piece}. pictured below: 1. a go-to organic cotton ragan sleeve sweatshirt from los angeles label groceries {a perfect weekend basic}, 2. these intriguing cigarette pants made from traditional blankets of the h'mong women from northern vietnam by thu thu, and 3. this striped japanese cotton tank from white tent {a beautiful little multitasker indeed}.

i'm a gal who loves a quote, so when i bumped into this quote on the abns site, i couldn't resist sharing: "what moves those of genius, what inspires their work is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough." -eugene delacroix

these words from french romantic artist delacroix define the driving force behind tania and samantha's foray into the world of slow fashion. i'm certainly glad these ladies weren't satisfied with the status quo and they recognized that in the world of fashion, fast fashion is just not enough. 

oh, by the way, there's is a killer sale going on over at a boy named sue. get the goods here, ladies. please note: shoes listed below are from fave vegan footwear label olsen haus.
art work by f+d {top image via a boy named sue}

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

{eco brand of the week} for love + lemons: sweet + tart lingerie

all right savvy ladies, we're starting the year out right, from the inside out. we know all about eating healthy foods and we know where to stop for some nutritious vegan delights in the great city of chicago, so now it's time to add a little spice to your life and your closet via bold + romantic skivvies from for love and lemons. 

remember, boyfriends not required to wear these hot little numbers.

as a vegan fashionista + a self-professed lover of sexy underpinnings, i'm always looking for precise + edgy designs: ethically produced, entirely flattering, sans silk or leather, with just enough lace to make st. john francis regis blush {who knew there was a patron saint of lace?}. 

laura hall + gillian mahin are the two lovely lasses behind for love and lemons and they are transforming the world of intimate apparel and day wear via designs fusing stevie-nicks, hippie-witch style and patti-smith, punk-rock goodness. 

the result is beautifully rendered underpinnings designed and manufactured in new york city: fanciful brasseries constructed of soft nylon and elegant laces, delicate panties with fascinating details and just a touch of spandex {because we women have always appreciated the kindness of strangers, especially when it comes to designers employing forgiving textiles that compliment + court our bodies}, and bodysuits that will add an unexpected touch of style to any ensemble {whether under the sun or under the blankets}.

let us not forget their women's wear collection: a symphony of coolly minimalist clothes + boho chic treasures: inky knit pencil skirts, diminutive skater dresses in velvet, a playful, blush colored faux fur coat {every woman needs a piece less sober + more sassy}.

alright girls, get your sexy on. 

{image via bona drag}

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

{happy christmas} a gift of food for you + yours

today, i bring glad tidings + gifts of edible vegan delights. 

because i'm a gal who loves to eat + loves to share a good meal: 

a roundup of chicago's fine vegan cafés + restaurants 

indicates a 100% vegan menu {desserts and all!}


chicago diner | 3411 n halsted street / lakeview + logan square

delicious café | 3827 n lincoln avenue / north center

green zebra | 1460 w chicago / noble square

  ground control | 3315 w armitage avenue / logan square

heartland café | 7000 n glenwood / rogers park

  karyn’s raw | 1901 n halsted / lincoln park

karyn's cooked | 738 n wells street / near north side

karyn's on green | 130 s green street / near west side

 kitchen 17 | 613 w briar / lakeview

loving hut | 5812 n broadway / edgewater

mana food bar | 1742 w division street / wicker park  

munch café | 104 n marion street / oak park 

native foods café | 1023 w belmont avenue / the loop

quesadilla |  2235 N western Ave / bucktown

rose's cafe + bakery | 478 central avenue / highland park + evanston

upton’s breakroom | 2054 w grand / ukranian village

urban vegan | 1605 w montrose avenue / lakeview + lincoln park

 {image by f+d}