Fifty Lanterns International

Fifty Lanterns International is a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that partners with established humanitarian groups to provide communities in the developing world tools that provide safety and opportunity through renewable energy sources such as solar-power lights and arrays-they bring light where there is none. The solar lantern can rid a home of toxic and expensive kerosene and the risk of a deadly fire. With the extended day that the solar light gives a family, children may do their school work, daily activities can be completed after sunset. Fifty Lanterns has completed 17 major distributions or solar installation projects since it was founded in late 2004 including homes, schools and hospitals. Each of these projects made a vital difference in the lives of widows, orphans, families, and disaster victims. Linda and other Fifty Lanterns representatives personally deliver the lights for each project.

Get involved today and help light the way for people around the world.

Hot to Trot: Athletic Wear Must-Haves

I’ve thought many a time how lucky we are to be living in 2013: we’re able to contact our loved ones from any location worldwide with Skype, we can network and maintain relationships with important people we may never have had access to in the real world, and one of my personal faves is the fact that we can dress with little-to-no “fashion rules”; we are free to mix those prints and combine our blacks and navy’s with no shame! In the world of fashion, 2013 promises to be an innovative and exciting new year for many reasons, and the fashion focus is being broadened. Versatile, trendy athletic wear is becoming more than popular, both in and out of the gym. Thick, tailored yoga pants that fit the body to a tee may not fully replace a coveted pair of designer jeans, however, they are quickly becoming the grab-n-go pant of choice. How can we stay on-trend both in and out of the gym without changing clothes? Fortunately, with labels like Athleta, Lululemon, and local duo MAI, keeping a once-neglected part of our wardrobes current is a breeze. While there are tons of options for you to mix and match sporty separates, here’s a few of our fitness must-haves for the coming year:



Photo From

Photo From



1: The Lululemon “Forme Pant”  

When the term “active wear” gets brought up in conversation, men and women active-lifestyle brand Lululemon is rarely left out. Known best for their leading-edge materials and flattering cuts, one of their staple and most identifiable pieces is their Forme Pant. These pants are made of their original, signature Luon® blend. This material makes the pant incredibly versatile: having a high percentage of LYCRA®, there is no need to worry about the garment stretching out and becoming unwearable. Luon® also offers a 4-way stretch to ensure your pants are moving along with your body, which plays hand-in-hand with the smooth banding that keeps your pants in place through even the most intense yoga session. Don’t take yoga? These pants are so soft and comfortable that once you try on a pair for the first time, you’ll see why even the least athletic (myself included) folks are happily making the 98$ investment. It might not be easy to fully grasp the idea of spending 98$ on a pair of black slim yoga pants, but here’s another reason why it’s well worth the money: it’s a one-time cost for a piece in your closet that will last for years to come.



Photo By: Rhea Pappas

Photo By: Rhea Pappas


2: The MAI Criss-Cross Bralette

While the Lululemon Forme Pant is a fabulous basic that every woman should have the pleasure of owning, sometimes we want to feel like we’ve one-upped the public with a not-so-basic basic piece. MAI created a crazy-cool, contemporary, and refreshingly affordable line of clothes for Spring/Summer 2013 during MN Fashion week last September for the woman on the go. The amazing thing about these clothes is just how much they look like regular day-to-day clothing; you would almost never know that they can withstand a hearty workout! From a laid back maxi skirt and dress to funky tank tops with hoodies and back zippers, there are tons of less-than-ordinary pieces to choose from. One tank in particular stands out, however: the ever versatile Criss-Cross Bralette. From the front, this top looks like a regular cropped black tank top; but when you turn to the side and to the back, the criss-cross back detail is exposed. This top could be worn as a regular cropped tank with a pair of high-waisted pants or shorts in the summer time for a flirty look that’s still a bit edgy; and at only $25, you may want to buy two!



Photo From:

Photo From:


3:  Skidless® Premium Towel by Yogitoes® 

As many people know, yoga is an excellent way to get in shape by increasing balance, strength and flexibility. Maybe you’ve made a New Years’ resolution to start a new workout routine, or maybe you’ve decided for the first time to exercise regularly. Whatever the circumstance, during any particularly sweaty yoga classes, you may catch your palms and feet slipping on your mat. There’s a solution to such a problem! On the Athleta website, there is an incredible Skidless® Premium towel by Yogitoes®. All you need to do is slap this bad boy right over your yoga mat when you feel like you’re slipping and sliding, and the back of the towel grips to your yoga mat while the absorbent Polyester/Nylon top stays dry and keeps hands and feet in place, balanced. At $64, this is recommended most highly for any individuals who are looking into or are currently practicing Bikram, or Hot Yoga, as those sessions make the body sweat much more profusely. This towel is well worth the purchase because it allows you to maximize your time in your practice; when you aren’t being distracted by slipping limbs, you are able to focus on what really matters: your practice, your body, and your being as a whole.


For more information about the brands mentioned above, you can check out their clothing at their websites below:




Animal Humane Society

As the leading animal welfare organization in the Upper Midwest, the Animal Humane Society is committed to engaging and serving local communities of people and animals and providing comprehensive programs and services to compassionately serve all of the stages of an animal’s life. At their campuses in Buffalo, Coon Rapids, Golden Valley, St. Paul and Woodbury, their mission is to engage the hearts, hands and minds of the community to help animals.

Animals are a wonderful part of our lives. They are the pets that greet us when we come home from work; they are the assistance that people need to make it through the day; they are the vital part of our worlds ecology.

The Animal Humane Society offers adoption services, so instead of looking at craigslist or asking friends, check with them first about adopting a new member into your family. They also offer education about animals, rescue animals in need and will take in animals that must be surrendered by their owners.

There is no reason why animals should be neglected, be good to them and they will be good to you. The Animal Humane Society offers so many services, go take a look at and see how they can help you get a new pet, or how you can get involved to make the lives of animals safer, better and more rewarding.