Friday, October 30, 2009

Ecouterre's Launch Party and my new life as an Eco Chick!

There is nothing finer than walking around Manhattan on a crisp autumn afternoon, or is there? Perhaps there is, if it includes meeting up with a friend to partake of an eco-friendly event at a cute eco-fashion boutique! That is just what I did yesterday afternoon! I took the train from Princeton into Manhattan at a little after two pm and arrived at Penn Station at about a quarter past three. I had not eaten lunch so I went on the prowl looking for something tasty and healthy. After seeing about a million packed Starbucks walking down from 32nd and 7th, winding through parts of 6th Avenue I finally made it to 5th avenue and somewhere between 25th and 22nd I found a shop with a cafe! A veggie burger and lemonade later I was back to my quick walk down 5th Avenue in search of Kaight for Ecouterre's Launch Party.

Yes, you read correctly! I walked all the way from Madison Square Garden to Lower Manhattan, to a small boutique on Orchard between Broome and Grand. Even though my feet were killing me by the time I arrived at my destination, I must say that a more romantic walk I could not have had. Some may be shocked when I say this but it was my first time ever going to the City alone. How freeing and exhilerating it was! My eyes were filled with wonder as I walked, as though I were discovering great treasures along the path to the greatest treasure awaiting me. I wandered through some very beautiful places, stumbled upon Washington Square Park and saw a myriad of fun boutiques the closer I got to my destination.

Having fullfilled my first mission as an eco-chick (to walk everywhere whenever possible), I was ready to meet the wonderful people from Ecouterre and meet the purveyor of wonderful eco-fashion garments at Kaight. The evening promised to be ecclectically wonderful and so it was! I arrived at my destination a bit early so I got some coffee next door first. At last I could not wait any longer so I approached the shop and was greeted by the smiling faces of Kaight and the Ecouterre crew and what a fabulous bunch they were! Wonderful extroverts, eager to chat and so full of wonderful information from the eco-fashion world! Walking into Kaight is an immediate delight for the eyes. All of the properly placed items for sale look great in the simple and minismalistic way they are arranged, giving enough room to walk around the store while drinking it all in at the same time.

I was very drawn to the scarves pictured at left and some really great vegan boots that were too cute to be true! I have to say that Ecouterre's staff were as down to earth as you would expect them to be and quite fashionably dressed. Their bright smiling faces lit up the room and the event by all accounts was a success. Being the first guest to arrive I was able to get some much coveted face time with the honorees of the event, a fact that I must say was very important to me. For some time now I have been drawn to all things eco-friendly and when Ecouterre began about a month ago within the Inhabitat family I was immediately hooked. Add to that the fact that my friends at Socks for Happy People also love Ecouterre, there was nothing better than to go and put in a good word for them at this most iconic event! And so I did.

One of the hi-lights of the evening for me was to be able to speak to Ecouterre's managing editor, Jasmin Chua. So approachable and easy to talk to, she is the type of person any writer would want to work under. I found her to not only be kind but encouraging as well. Also, quite the social butterfly! It was loads of fun talking to her about how Ecouterre got started (for those of you who do not know much about Ecouterre's parent website, Inhabitat, it is mostly dedicated to eco-friendly architecture and there were some who found the mention of eco-fashion in the weblog not in keeping with its original focus, thus the birth of Ecouterre), the vision of the weblog and how the content is judged. Jasmin is quite the visionary and it's no wonder the others were happy to see her when she arrived. It was a real honor and privilege to be able to have such a great conversation with her.

I was also happy to share this wonderful shop and these wonderful people with my friend Andrea who came to accompany me on my quest for more insights into the eco-fashion world. The event was full of pizzaz, from the wonderful vodka and lemonade drinks to the dainty vegan thumbprint cookies (which were delicious, by the way) to the raffling off of that most amazing Circle Cascade Necklace by the Andean Collection. Designer Amanda Judge was there and her pleasant smile could be seen as people approached her to talk about her beautiful creations. It was an event not to be missed. Another hi-light was getting to meet and speak with Jill Fehrenbacher, founder of Inhabitat. Not only is Jill super down to earth but she is amazingly great at connecting people with each other. Had she not introduced me to Jasmin I would not have had such a great conversation. Of course, talking to Jill at the onset was inspiring as well and showed me that when there is great talent and passion for what one does one can really go far and that is what Jill has done.

A few other people from the Ecouterre team I met include Yuka Yoneda, Rebecca Paul, and Daniel Mendes-all really great people! You can read about all of these incredible people on the Ecouterre page in the About section. All in all, the event shined with a bright light and I acquired an interesting little book called The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to Be Fabulously Green by Starre Vartan, on sale at Kaight. I highly recommend it to the eco-fab fashionistas everywhere. So many amazing things at Kaight and such a wonderful evening were topped off with a great slice of NY pizza with Andrea on West 4th. I went home happy, with a beaming smile on my face and eager to learn more, do more and write more about the world of eco-fashion!

Want to see more photos from the event? Click here --> Ecouterre Launch Party @Kaight. These are my own photos, hopefully I will be able to share the link to the professional photos soon! Enjoy!


Nadia Marie

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

All Around the World...Blog Action Day 2009

October 15th, 2009
Today bloggers all around the world unite under one cause: Climate Change. As individuals we can take many different steps to reduce our carbon footprint and help curb the effects of climate change. Together we can do anything, let's remember that this is not just for us but for our children, our children's children and all of earth's posterity. So, with that in mind, I want to hi-light things that we as individuals can do to reduce our own carbon emissions and encourage those around us to do the same! 

Moving closer to work is just one of the many ways we can help reduce our own carbon emissions. The second leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US is transportation. So, if you move closer to work you can take mass transit to get there (i.e. the bus), walk, cycle or use any other alternate mode of transportation that requires only human energy for power. You'll cut emissions considerably and guess what? It's better for you too! You'll feel better, happier and fitter!

Shopaholic much? I know I love to shop so this one goes for me too! CONSUME LESS!!!!Ouch! I know this one may seem next to impossible but fear not, it is possible and will make a huge difference! Don't you want your kids to still have a place to play in and a place to raise their own children in someday? "The easiest way to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions is simply to buy less stuff. " According to, cutting back on consumption results in fewer fossil fuels being burned to extract, produce and ship products around the globe. So get out those funky canvas bags you have lying around and start using them when shopping for food and other items to reduce the amount of plastic we use. Don't use the gas-guzzler unless absolutely necessary, walking feels good, gets your heart pumping and will be better in the long run for everyone! A couple other things, think green when shopping around, when it comes to groceries try to buy either in bulk (to use less packaging per shopping trip) or get things sans packaging. Do we really need all that plastic just lying around not going anywhere?

Ever stand in front of the refrigerator staring at its contents for 5 minutes with the door open only to shut it and go back to doing something else? Yes? Stop it! Those 5 minutes are a huge waste of energy which only add to your carbon footprint my friend. Have all the lights blazing in every room of your house? If you ain't in it turn those lights off. Get rid of high energy appliances and replace them with energy saving ones to limit the use of electricity at home. Weather-proof your home so you reduce heating and cooling costs as well impact.

We LOVE food! Who doesn't love a big old New York top sirloin? Or you Texans with your 4 pounders...gotta love beef, right? Another tidbit I found on "Corn grown in the U.S. requires barrels of oil for the fertilizer to grow it and the diesel fuel to harvest and transport it. Some grocery stores stock organic produce that do not require such fertilizers, but it is often shipped from halfway across the globe. And meat, whether beef, chicken or pork, requires pounds of feed to produce a pound of protein."

An interesting fact regarding what most of us eat (I include myself because I am definitely not a vegetarian but after learning all of this I may make the transition, slowly but surely): "University of Chicago researchers estimate that each meat-eating American produces 1.5 tons more greenhouse gases through their food choice than do their vegetarian peers. It would also take far less land to grow the crops necessary to feed humans than livestock, allowing more room for planting trees." What do you think of that? There are so many ways for us to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to go into every single one on this post would take quite a long time but the beginning is clear: we need to change now. If you want more than just the hi-lights I have included in this post you can check out the article I got some of these points from: Ten Solutions for Climate Change.

There are numerous sites and social networks now offering people the resources to transition into a more sustainable lifestyle. Here are a few that I am connected with and you can connect with too-->,,, and so many more! I cannot impress upon you enough how helpful these sites are. Get connected, get ideas, talk to others about what they are doing globally. I would like to take the time to mention some noteworthy blogs participating today as well: my friends at Socks for Happy People and Business That Cares. Check their posts out and hey, post a little diddy of your own! Let me know if you do so I can check it out and give you props!

Here's to sustainable living, combating global warming/climate change together and leading happy lives along the way!



Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Business of Moving and New Beginnings...

I have been wanting to write for some time now about the move my family and I made up to New Jersey this autumn. Being busy prevented me some from doing so, moving is a very tiresome business. We rented a Penske truck which my Dad drove and my brother came to help us make the move from Florida all the way here, to the Princeton area. The worst thing about moving is packing but we are experts now at this, having moved more than 10 times before (close to 20 really). To the left you can see a picture of some of the boxes we used to pack books and other such things.

We have found that the liquor boxes are the best for packing books, especially books that are going on shelves within their boxes while in the truck. Still, the packing itself has a thrilling side to it, crazy as it may sound, it least for me! Everytime we would find the perfect spot for an item or a book I felt like a treasure was being hidden and couldn't wait to unveil my treasure once the unpacking begins. I have to say that the most exciting part of moving is the knowledge of a new beginning which is what I really want to focus on in this post.

New beginnings are great, whether a change of location, a change of job, or just a change of pace they allow you to take a step back and look at what you have done and accomplished and then give you the courage to continue the course you have embarked on. This is a new beginning for me, the chance to start afresh in another place and follow through on some goals. It is not easy when you have been unemployed for a long while. You begin to feel discouraged and sometimes even down-right depressed but faith kept me going and the encouragement of my friends. Particularly my friends on twitter (which are all newly found ones): @Socks4HappyPPL, @RiWrites, @ReedWhatMatters (who is also @vitality4all6), @OliviaWilder, @VermontClothing, @gr8kidsmom @sewbutterfly and many more. They encouraged me by wishing my family and me well on our move and for that I am truly greatful! They are such great and wonderful people and I hope that someday I will meet many of them in real life.

Like many new beginnings, things are not always as easy as we would want them to be. We are currently without a home and living in an apart-hotel but have faith that we will find a place soon. There are quite a few places for rent but budgeting and all that can be a bit hard with the prices of everything being a bit higher than what they once were. Still, there is hope in this new beginning, hope in my new friendships and love to be shared with all! Just being in Princeton gave me a renewed sense of hope, I know that this is where I am supposed to be and that I will be used as an instrument of that hope. I love sharing with you all because what you share with me is so positive that how could I not love you all!

So, here is to new beginnings, to new friends, to love abounding in joy! May you all truly be blessed now and always!

Love from my heart,

Nadia Marie

"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others." -Pericles

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Climate Change Anthem

I cannot say it enough, friends: Climate Change is no joke! We have less than 100 days until the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen and we need to raise all the awareness we can! Below I am posting the Climate Change Anthem video by Kofi Annan and Duran Duran. It features many artists and the message is quite clear--TIME is of the essence.

Climate change is not something to take lightly. We must take action now! Please repost this video in your blogs so that others can have the opportunity to view it and repost as well! Thanks for reading and spreading awareness as well! Together WE CAN make a difference before it is too late!

If you have not already done so, please check out my previous post about Blog Action Day 2009 on October 15th and join us in this effort to change the world dramatically! It's for your children and for our future generations!



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