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Fashionable Feet for Fall! by Coral 8
Sep25

Fashionable Feet for Fall! by Coral 8

In 2008, I purchased and wrote about my very first pair of vegan shoes: a pair of red Macbeth sneakers. It marked the beginning of an exciting personal journey of incorporating cruelty-free choices into my day-to-day and also the birth of what has become the Cruelty-Free Faves site, a storehouse of information regarding cruelty-free alternatives in everything from food to cosmetics and household products. And let’s not forget about fashion! A quick browse of the Fashion category proves that choosing vegan does not mean having to cramp your own style. Beyond that first pair of sneakers, my closet is now packed with clothes, shoes, and accessories that range from casual everyday to haute couture. As fall is getting into full swing and you’re perhaps looking for that perfect heel, boot, or ballet flat to complement the season’s wardrobe, let me share Coral 8 with you. This shoe design house offers stylish options for your casual day, the workplace, or Friday night’s cocktail party. I love my Zooey pumps — the cream and black combination add the perfect accent when I wear one of my wrap dresses. For the fall, I wanted to find a bootie with a wedge heel, which will go as well with jeans on the weekend as it will with sweater dresses at the office. Hello, Olivia Bootie! Stylish, quality construction (so it won’t fall apart when that rainy/snowy weather hits), and comfortable for all the walking this New Yorker does just going about her day. And, at under $100 a pair, Coral 8’s shoe selection won’t bust the budget. What Are Vegan Shoes Made of? “So if it’s not leather, what is it?” This question always comes up when people find out my shoes are vegan, and with good reason: cruelty-free should mean it’s as planet-friendly as it is animal-friendly. Coral 8 has this to say: “Let’s start with what it’s not: we never use leather or PVC, and rarely use non-organic cotton. Our shoes contain PU (polyurethane). Let’s be honest – PU still uses petroleum to be made and it’s still a plastic, but its much better than PVC and way better than leather, environmentally speaking.” Furthermore, Coral 8 is planning to soon launch a new line of organic, biodegradable shoes made from 100% recycled content, manufactured using no solvents or toxins, and using minimal water and energy in the process. Can’t wait to see those designs! Bonus Tip The Coral 8 web site was sold out of the Olivia Bootie, but I was lucky enough to find it available at my tried-and-true MooShoes — which, by the way, is where I purchased that first...

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Bathing Beauties: Soap bars, Scrubs, and Body Butters
Sep17

Bathing Beauties: Soap bars, Scrubs, and Body Butters

A while back, someone on the CFF Facebook page asked about cruelty-free bar soaps, and there were some great suggestions. Although I’ve already written about bath products that are faves (bunches to explore in the Personal Care & Cosmetics category!), I decided to break away from my tried-and-true to check out some other products so I could share new finds with you… Kiss My Face I’m a big fan of many KMF products: always good quality, relatively inexpensive, and pretty easy to find at local stores and pharmacies. The olive-oil based bar soaps are no exception. The Olive Oil/Aloe is my favorite, but the unscented is a good one, too. LUSH Bubble Bars and Body Melts take soap to a whole new — and fun! — level. So many of my friends, vegan and non-vegan, are huge fans of this Australian-based company that’s taken the US by storm. If you’re lucky enough to have a store nearby, treat yourself to a browse. It’s kind of like a grownup’s candy store. Strawberry Hedgehog Thanks to my lovely friend Kezia for turning me onto this line of handmade soaps! I had to order mine online because my local Whole Foods is not one of the locations that carries them. Bar soaps include Lemongrass-Ginger, Ginger-Peach, Strawberry Basil Lemonade: I’m hardly opposed to using anything on my skin that sounds yummy. That said, some of the other less fruity bar soaps are equally enticing. Among the many choices, I added a Bamboo Detox bar to my online shopping cart. And to smooth on the body after a bath, try SH’s Organic Whipped Creme: a thick, heavy-duty moisturizer that I’ve been using on my feet, knees, and elbows for some extra TLC. Dr. Bonner’s An old standby all-purpose soap. In the past, I’ve especially liked the Baby-Mild Unscented and the Almond soap bars. Here’s the rub, though: if you’re going to use Dr. Bronner’s, buy the liquid soap rather than the bar — the bars have palm oil in them. Although palm oil is not derived from animals, palm oil production is responsible for decimating the natural habitats of orangutans and elephants, leaving many little ones orphaned. The liquid soap, on the other hand, is palm oil-free… so, still a great cruelty-free alternative. The Orange Owl Here’s a company that offers a wide range of products with which to pamper yourself. The bar soaps come in some lovely fragrances: at the moment, I’m in love with the Masala Chai. Looking for a good body scrub? “Sun Shower” sugar scrub combines tangerine, grapefruit, spearmint, and a hint of patchouli. And now that we’re all exfoliated, we...

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Visiting Newport, Rhode Island
Aug25

Visiting Newport, Rhode Island

For our August family getaway, this year we headed to Newport, a place equally rich in history and brilliant sunsets. In Newport — like many other New England vacation destinations — it can be challenging to find vegan-friendly spots in the midst of a sea(food)-focused culture, but I found some terrific options to share with you. Where to Eat Lucia Ristorante Italian restaurants are usually pretty easy on vegans  — even if there’s not a whole lot on the menu that is vegan, the kitchen can usually tweak some pasta dishes. We chose this local Italian place because it has a separate vegetarian menu, which made things even easier. I’m particularly discerning about Italian food, having grown up surrounded by some of the best; I was very happy about the food here, as were our non-vegan companions.  And as tempting as the Pasta Arrabbiata on the vegetarian menu sounded, Seth and I each ordered one of the two seitan dishes on the menu. Both delicioso! A lively restaurant, Lucia is also is a good choice for larger parties or families with children.  Perro Salado What a fantastic Mexican-inspired restaurant, and surprisingly inexpensive. For just $10, a couple of Vegetable Tacos that taste like everything was just picked from the garden; I topped mine with some green salsa. For starters, skip the usual chips and order the Avocado Fries (avocado wedges, breaded and fried), which we had with the homemade red salsa in place of the chipotle mayo usually served with it. On vacation, we can allow for some guilt-free indulgences, right? The Lawn at Castle Hill Inn For a relaxed Sunday afternoon, we settled into a couple of The Lawn’s Adirondack chairs — me with a glass of white wine, Seth with a specialty cocktail — and enjoyed soaking up the scene as much as the sunshine. Couples, families, and even a wedding party, all mingled around us, while in the near distance sailboats glided along the water. Just behind us, the din of the open-air restaurant crowd, hearty food and cheerful conversations. Although the menu at The Lawn is not especially vegan-friendly, Black Bean Falafel sandwiches are on the regular weekday menu; the kitchen was happy to make them for us as a late lunch even though we’d come on a Sunday, not realizing there is a different menu on the weekends. In place of the Tzakiki sauce that the Falafel usually comes with, I drizzled some of the shallot vinaigrette that accompanied the fresh side salad of heirloom tomatoes and garden-fresh cucumbers. Quite possibly the best falafel I’ve ever had… and that’s saying something. Tallulah on the...

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Coney Island, New York, 2014
Aug04
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