For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer

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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 🙂 


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


Friday Finds

Friday Finds 2.6.15

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

1. Inspired by the Joan Didion’s Celine ad, which hit the web this January, Fusion writer Elisa Rodríguez-Vila does some of her own model casting for other high fashion lines.The results are pretty fabulous and I really hope this sparks some diversity in the fashion world.

2. If you couldn’t tell by now, I love a good animal rescue story. I’ve featured dogs, cats, koalas, manatees and now… a flying squirrel. Let the cuteness ensue!

3. The American Edit is a website that celebrates brands that manufacture in the USA. And while we know it’s good to buy “made in America” products, it’s sometimes hard to articulate exactly why. That’s exactly what this article does.

4. Check out this article about the World Bicycle Relief organization, which brings wheels to those who need them most. As the article explains, “Mobility is as literal as it is metaphorical, and providing the means to move provides a tangible hope”.

5. We all cope in different ways. Check out this girl who created a bucket list for her dying dog in order to help cope with the parting of her companion. Yes, the story is sad, but it is also very inspiring.

Now here is a funny cat picture to cheer you back up. Happy Friday!

thin mints


Friday Finds

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

Friday Finds 1.23.15

1. Like I said last week with the cat cafe, I love a cleaver solution to tough problems. Could tiny homes be part of the solution to homelessness?

2. Manatees are cute. This story is cute. If you don’t think so then I’m sorry to inform you, but you have no soul.

3. This video isn’t new, but it popped up randomly on my news feed this week and I think it was a sign that I needed to share it because its worth watching multiple times.

4. You have until January 31st to bring your old jeans to J. Crew to get $20 off on your next denim purchase. The donated jeans go to Blue Jean Go Green which uses the recycled denim to make building insulation, which is so cool.

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Presents With A Purpose: Caring For Animals

Last week I stumbled upon a necklace from Moorea Seal and I’ve been  completely obsessed with the company ever since.

Moorea Seal sells handmade accessories and household items from a variety of designers. Not only are the pieces incredibly unique, but they also give back to a variety of causes. Each of the designers chooses from 5 different non-profits to partner with and then 7% of their sales go to the allotted non-profit. You can learn more about the causes here.

After looking through the ENTIRE site (multiple times), I realized couldn’t narrow my picks down to just one post (there are just too many awesome products, I can’t even). So I’ve decided to put together a post for each cause. For the next five days I will be posting Moorea Seal gift guides and each one will focus on a different cause.

Here are my top picks from the Caring for Animals sections. 7% of proceeds from sales of these products go to Homeward Pet Adoption Center, which is a no-kill, non-profit animal shelter in Seattle. They give homeless animals a second chance with their rescue, rehabilitation and adoption programs. Every year they help 1,400 dogs and cats find a new home. You can learn more about this great cause here.

Caring for Animals

1. Sight of the Stars Wall Hanging / 2. Small Rain Tumbler / 3. Large Feather Tumbler / 4. Diamond Ring / 5. Brass Taurus Necklace / 6. Coco Portfolio / 7. Stick Studs / 8. I Can, I Will Notebook / 9. Brass Feather Bracelet / 10. Christmas Bunny Card / 11. Stick Up Weekly Calendar