For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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Friday Finds

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, food, and fun! Today while you’re relaxing and still digesting yesterday’s meal, check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 11.27.15.png

1. This year’s CNN Hero of the Year goes to a very deserving young woman.

2. While most of Black Friday sales target traditional consumerism, here’s a Black Friday deal that saves lives.

3. Colorful foods are veering away from artificial dyes and towards a more natural solution. 

4. In the wake of the events in Paris, a reminder to hold onto hope and stay united.


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Food For Thought

The local farm to table food trend has taken the restaurant industry by storm, but there is another socially conscious movement that is starting to pop up among our favorite eats: charity. When it comes to charity, the restaurant industry might not be the most obviously place to look, but times are a changin’. I’ve recently come across three restaurants that are helping their communities in three very different ways.

Rosa’s Pizza: Helping the Needy One Slice At a Time

I am particularly interested in the entrepreneur who created Rosa’s Pizza because he is a fellow Babson grad and got to meet Ellen Degeneres. It gives me hope that one day Ellen might grace me with her glorious presence… A girl can dream.

What makes Rosa’s Pizza so unique is its pay it forward business model. For only a $1 you can buy a piece of pizza for a homeless person. It is so simple and inexpensive, yet clearly has seen great success. If you want to participate, but don’t live near Philly, you can still donate slices of pizza by clicking here.

Worth Our Weight

WOW Cafe Santa Rosa: Developing great lives through good food

Worth Our Weight is a cafe in Santa Rosa that empowers at risk youths by providing a unique, yearlong apprentice opportunity in the culinary industry. The young adults (age 16-24) in the program face major challenges such as: difficulties with the law, homelessness, or significant family disruption. The program offers an introduction to sustainable farming, professional cooking, operating a restaurant, and access to high-quality food prepared by chefs and the skills to prepare quality food for themselves. Apprentices who successfully complete one year’s training may be invited to stay for a second year of advanced training, which includes: learning the role of sous-chef, line cook or manager. Click here to learn about how you can get involved.

The Stray Cat Cafe

The Stray Cat Cafe: Helping Strays Find Their Way

The motto at the Stray Cat Cafe is: “Eat, Drink & Rescue!”. They directly support the  Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, which rescues abandoned or displaced dogs and cats and puts them in happy, safe homes. To date the LDCRF has saved over 18,000 animal lives.

The menu focuses on the 3 S’s: soups, salads, and sandwiches. The menu is scattered with cleverly named items such as Cats-a-dillas, Cat Nip Dip (contains no actual cat nip), and the Calico Club. Following the cat theme, the inside of the cafe is scattered with pictures of adopted cats. Not a cat person? Not a problem. You can check out the Lost Dog Cafe, which the Lost Cat’s sister restaurant and benefits the same Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation. Both restaurants are locating in Arlington, VA.

So if you’re ever in any of these areas, definitely grab a bite and support an amazing cause. And if you know of any restaurants that are making a difference in your communities, write them in the comments down below.


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Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 10.2.15

1. Rescued dogs + a caring man + a tractor + barrels= the cutest dog train you’ll ever see.

2. The Emmys may be well over, but I’m still lovin’ these #AskHerMore red carpet Q&As.

3. Could this creepy crawler be the answer to our plastic waste prayers?

4. Shop for a cause! So many 70’s inspired pieces make up Revolve’s latest collaboration that donates 30% of each sale to Stand Up 2 Cancer.


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Inspiring Individuals: Larissa Gavin

This month’s Inspiring individual started Lola’s Lucky Day, which is a non-profit dog rescue group in Houston. I know I know I know. I’ve already mentioned Lola’s Lucky Day in a couple of posts (here and here), but I just can’t help but be inspired by Larissa and her mission to help dogs. Although I’ve mentioned Lola’s before, I never really explained exactly what they do.

There are approximately 1.2 million homeless animals in Houston. Shelters are full, which means many dogs are put to sleep or left to fend for themselves. So where do you turn when there is nowhere else to go? Wisconsin. At least that’s what Larissa did. Larissa realized that although the shelters in her community were full, that wasn’t the case in other areas. So to Wisconsin she went with a van full of dogs. And just for a reference, it takes 18 hours to get from Houston to Milwaukee. 18 hours. Three women. 18 dogs. And one mission.

I had the opportunity to ask Larissa a few questions about Lola’s Lucky Day. I think you’ll find her pretty inspirational…

What inspired you to start Lola’s Lucky Day? And how did you take your idea and turn it into a non-profit? 

My sister adopted a dog from Corridor Rescue in November of 2013.  In December of that year we wanted to give back and find out where Fiona came from, learn more about the program.  That was a pivotal changing point in my life – to see the problem first hand with my own eyes when we toured the area where she was found.  I did not know just how bad the problem was here in Houston.

There is an area (like many pockets of Houston) 10 minutes from my office downtown where literally hundreds of dogs are homeless and fending for themselves on the streets.  I decided I had to do something about it.  Knowing that the problem in WI was nothing like this; in fact some shelters had very few dogs!!  (mainly due to education, laws being enforced, spay/ neuter programs, their mentality on how they value animals) I teamed up with my good friend Erin Housley from my hometown in Fort Atkinson.

Erin began Paddy’s Paws as a way to help facilitate finding great adoptive families for homeless pets not only in WI; but also to help these poor animals who would otherwise never have a chance in Houston.  Initially it started out as everything being personally funded.  However, we were running it like a rescue program and several people encouraged me to form a non-profit.  Lola’s Lucky Day became a reality and a 501c3 officially on January 8, 2015.

I decided on the name because whenever we are able to bring a dog into our program; it is truly their Lucky Day – it is the day their lives change!  I chose to make it Lola’s because she was one of the first puppies that I rescued and was adopted to an amazing family here in Houston.  She is the perfect example of a rescue pup’s life being dramatically changed for the best by our organization and she just so happens to be very photogenic as well.

Have you always had a passion for helping animals?

Yes I have always loved animals and helping them.  Our parents would never let us get a dog, so I think I might be making up for that now.  They have now also adopted a dog from me too!

I’m sure you’ve seen some heartbreaking situations while rescuing dogs. How do you stay positive and find the courage to keep doing what you do?

It can most definitely be heartbreaking at times; but I try to stay positive!  I recently saw something that said; If not you, who; if not now, when?  Knowing that we are making a difference for these pups, families that adopt them and changing the overpopulation problem in the city of Houston is my motivation to keep on doing it.  Nothing beats rescuing a dog and giving it a chance they never would have gotten.  Dogs know when you save their lives and don’t forget that.

It’s my passion and I will follow it!  Wine also helps 🙂

What has been your favorite moment with Lola’s Lucky Day?

Hearing from adoptive families and seeing pictures of pups we rescued; living amazing lives.  That is the most rewarding part of it all.  Here are some of the “soda pop” puppies who we rescued from underneath a vacant house.  They overcame mange and parvo and have amazing families in WI.

Lola's Lucky Day Rescues

Those faces!!!!!

What’s it like to travel from Houston to Wisconsin with a car full of dogs? What’s the biggest challenge? I’m guessing there are a lot of potty breaks…

Exciting!!  We are really excited for our first trip in our own vehicle.  The dogs actually do really well and sleep most of the way.  The biggest challenge is all the planning that goes into these trips!

What are a few things anyone can do to help the homeless dogs in their community?

Adopt/ foster/ donate/ volunteer/ advocate/ spread the word 🙂 

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Today Larissa has saved 125 dogs! This goes to show how much of a difference one person can make. Will you be the one?


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Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 5.8.15

1. An inspiring read about finding your inner light. Really makes you think about what’s important in life.

2. The difference a sandwich can make. 

3. A moving story about rescuing dogs in Houston and how you can help homeless dogs. 


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Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 3.27.15

1. When you’re stuck in a day that’s gray and lonely, just stick up your chin and grin and watch this videooooo. I’m no doctor so I don’t know if there is a universal key to happiness, but this video is definitely inspiring.

2. Top 5 charities that support women according to Mrs. Gates. I was surprised to find a few I hadn’t heard of, but I’m definitely going to incorporate these into future posts.

3. Watch these Beagles react to freedom after spending their lives in laboratory cages. I didn’t even know beagles were used for lab testing and once you see their reaction to freedom, you realize they never should be. You can learn most about the Beagle Freedom Project here.

4. If you haven’t already gotten dressed today (March, 27th), make sure you put on some yellow to support this little boy who suffers from severe combined immunodeficiency. #WearYellowForSeth #Sethisadorable

5. Earlier this month Cyclone Pam wreaked havoc on the tiny island of Vanuatu. You can help aid the Red Cross and their efforts to help those suffering on the island by donating here. Help make the world a little better today.


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Friday Finds

Friday Finds 3.13.15

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

1. New single from Sam Smith and John Legend raises money for Red Nose Day, which is TODAY!

2. Smiley the blind therapy dog brings smiles everywhere he goes.

3. A boy born with a partially developed arm gets a new bionic arm from Iron Man himself. 

4. This may be one of the coolest houses ever. 

5. We’re all the same in that we are all different. Remember to be kind to one another.

6. A solar powered plane is going to fly around the world. The future is now, people! When can I expect teleportation to be a thing…?