Snapshots from Hurricane Sandy

November 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm , by

As the Northeast hunkers down for another difficult storm today, we wanted to share some pictures we snapped this past week during Hurricane Sandy. LHJ staffers were pretty lucky. We’re all safe, back at work and most of us have power (keyword: most). New York City is crawling back toward normal, but we’re not there yet. So many of our neighbors are without electricity and heat. We’re still cleaning up and assessing the damage. Worst of all, lots of people lost their homes and some even lost their lives.

If you’d like to help, check out these great organizations working to restore New York, New Jersey and other places along the East Coast that are still suffering and make a donation if you can. Share your own experiences or ways to help in the comments.

American Red Cross The Red Cross has 5,400 workers and 250 shelters spread from Virginia to Rhode Island. Donate online or text REDCROSS to 90999.
Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund Tireless New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat established a relief fund of their own to restore the hardest-hit areas in New Jersey.
United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund United Way has set up its own fund to help disaster areas with teams of volunteers and lots of supplies all along the Eastern Seaboard.
The Mayor’s Fund for NYC Hurricane Relief You can donate directly to New York City’s recovery with an online donation or find in-person volunteer opportunities if you’re in the New York-area and want to help out.

Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

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LHJ's health editor Julie Bain believes in being well prepared! Here she tests the batteries on her headlamp before the storm. She lost power at her place in Manhattan on Monday, October 29, and the lights came back on Friday night, November 1. The headlamp was great for walking up and down pitch-black stairwells, leaving her hands free. Read Julie's other lessons for storm preparedness here.

Bid on Art to Help Keep America Beautiful

April 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm , by

Tanya and Tracy are on board with recycling.

Last week I met with the hilarious and down-to-earth designers Tanya McQueen and Tracy Hutson, otherwise known as The Picker Sisters. (The first season of their show, all about upcycling people’s roadside castoffs into cool designs, aired on Lifetime; they’re currently between seasons.)

Since Tanya and Tracy specialize in turning trash into treasure, they were the perfect ambassadors for Glad’s Mess to Masterpiece Art Auction, benefiting Keep America Beautiful. In honor of Earth Day, Glad asked mosaic artist Jason Mecier to create a few works of art using celebs’ trash, with the resulting animal portraits being auctioned off on eBay. Sounds weird? Well, the results are surprisingly striking. I’m a fan of this slightly angry (but hopefully not rabid) raccoon. Read more

Another Way to Help Uganda (Besides Sharing a Video on Facebook)

March 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm , by

By now you’ve probably seen the Kony 2012 video that blew up this month. It reached more than 100 million views within a week, making it the fastest-spreading viral video ever (faster even than Lady Gaga’s video for “Bad Romance”). When I watched the video, I could see why it touched so many people: Who could be against a call-to-action to stop Joseph Kony, the leader of a rebel group famous for abducting children and turning them into soldiers and sex slaves?

But there have also been a lot of questions about the accuracy of the video and goals of Invisible Children, the organization that produced it. And earlier this week, the film’s creator was brought to a mental hospital after running around the streets of San Diego naked. Reports are blaming a psychotic break caused by all the scrutiny.

In other words, it’s turned into quite a circus. So when Health Director Julie Bain heard that an old friend, Conrad Mandsager, head of ChildVoice International, was going to be in town for a meeting at the United Nations, we invited him to stop by. While he was here, he talked to us about what’s going on in Uganda now, what ChildVoice is doing to help the most vulnerable victims recover, and how you (yes, another call-to-action!) can help.

LHJ: Why do you think Kony 2012 is causing such a stir?

CM: Raising awareness is great, and Invisible Children has certainly succeeded at that. But to really understand this conflict, you’ve got to go back in Uganda’s history more than 50 years. It’s very complicated. So it’s my sense that even if we took out Kony, which seems to be what Invisible Children wants, the problems would still be there.

Part of it is also that people in Africa are incensed that a group of Westerners would come in and oversimplify this. I just read an article by a teacher in Uganda who said, “I’ve got former child soldiers in my class and they wonder, Why is America making a hero out of Kony?” And that’s what Invisible Children’s approach is: Let’s make him a celebrity so everyone in the world knows who he is. But if you’ve been traumatized by this guy, you don’t respond well to that. Read more

Mark Your Calendars: An Amazing IWD Online Screening

March 1, 2012 at 11:16 am , by

Can’t make it to a local International Women’s Day event? Celebrate with us from home! Next Wednesday (March 7—mark your calendar!) we’re hosting a special online screening of the extraordinary documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell with our friends at CARE and ITVS.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the astonishing and inspiring story of a group of Liberian women who united to take on Liberia’s violent dictator and warlords during their country’s brutal civil war. It’s truly an amazing story that you don’t want to miss.

After the film stay online and participate in a live panel discussion with experts and special guests, including the film’s producer Abigail Disney, PBS President Paula Kerger, and CARE President and CEO Helene Gayle. We’ll be talking about the role that women have in changing our world, which—as you’ll see when you watch—is huge.

So go bookmark now (you can also learn lots more) and don’t forget to join us on Wednesday!



Win A Signed Copy of Kate Winslet’s The Golden Hat

March 1, 2012 at 6:00 am , by

In our March issue, the beautiful Kate Winslet shared her new passion project—a crusade to spread autism awareness. After narrating a documentary on autistic children who themselves would never be able to speak, she knew she couldn’t just pack up and go home; she was desperate do something to help them. So Kate (and quite a few of her celebrity friends), put together a wonderful new book called The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism, sales of which will benefit Kate’s Golden Hat Foundation, a non-profit that advocates for the inclusion and education of autistic children everywhere.

We’re over the moon about this book, and can’t wait for you to pick it up—so we’re giving away 20 signed copies! To enter, just post a comment below.

Official Rules

Shopping with Sue… at Lemlem

January 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm , by

With less than 48 hours until I leave for vacation, I’ve got beach on the brain. And traveling with me will be a few of my favorite items — my scarves from Lemlem.

For the uninitiated, I’ll give you the brief story. Lemlem was created by the gorgeous supermodel Liya Kebede in 2007. The line consists of handwoven dresses, tops, skirts, scarves and shoes for women and girls. I’m not gonna lie, it ain’t cheap. But when something is special and you can wear it over and over, then maybe $150 for a scarf isn’t so bad.

Her scarves are my favorite because they always have this beautiful color mix — some amazing pop of super bright against pure white — and they are so easy to wear. I love them around my neck on a plane to keep the chill away and then as a sarong on the beach. I even wrap them around my kids as little beach dresses.

The dresses and tunics are adorable too – and even come in kids sizes – though they do run upwards of $200+. They’re carried at one of my favorite place to shop – — so I’m always on the lookout to see some pop up on sale. Oh look: there are a couple right now!

Another reason to love Lemlem is that by purchasing the product, not only are you keeping alive the ancient art of hand weaving but you are giving a job to someone who may not have had one before. Check out these pictures of the weaving process. It makes it look totally worth $150 to me.

Photos from Lemlem.



Shopping with Sue…at Rachel Rachel Roy

January 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm , by

I’ll admit it. I have a girl crush on Rachel Roy. I mean, she’s gorgeous and stylish and all but there is so much more to love than just that. Of course, there is her ah-mah-zing namesake collection that counts Kate Hudson, Eva Mendes and First Lady Michelle Obama as fans. But if you know anything about me, it’s a deal that really gets me going. And with the Rachel Rachel Roy collection, you (and I!) can have that same eclectic style that we love her in main line, in a much more affordable and extensive collection of  clothing, jewelry, shoes, and handbags.

You can pick up the line at Macy’s stores and on or you can check out Rachel’s website for blog posts and to shop from either of her lines. I’m obsessed with just about every piece from Rachel Rachel Roy but if I had to put just one outfit together, I’d pick the Susan dress, the Kimi pumps in nude (Yes – that’s a studded heel!), and the Small Frame Clutch that we shot in our February closet organizing story. At only $59, I think everyone should a clutch that versatile in their wardrobe.

And if we didn’t already love Rachel enough, check out her charity products that all give 100% of net proceeds to the participating organization. Available right now is the Heart of Haiti jewelry collection (that ring is gorgeous!) and the Kindness is Always Fashionable clutch. Proceeds of the clutch go to OrphanAid in Ghana.

So, if you’re looking for something new at a great price, please check out Rachel Rachel Roy at and while you’re there, read about Rachel’s amazing charity work. She’s truly an inspiration and totally crush-worthy!

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