Archive for ‘Shopping’

July 30, 2012

Flash-Sale Shopping from JP Selects

How cool is this? An eco-friendly flash-sale site I’ve been loving called LovingEco joined forces with a website called JP Selects, which was founded by sometime Austinite, entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria. John Paul DeJoria is the co-founder of Paul Mitchell Systems and Patron Spirits.

John Paul and his wife, Eloise, believe that each of us has a daily responsibility to make the world a better place. With the philosophy that “Success Unshared is Failure”, John Paul has launched JP Selects, a site that will bring a multitude of ethically-concious brands to public attention. Every brand on JP Selects is vetted and tested by their team to ensure the quality of their products and the sustainability of their production. To further help emerging brands reach a broader audience, JP Selects also provides support with global distribution and logistics.

They’ve even created a handy guide to help you see what the products supports!

eco icons


With all the Good Shopping options out there—Give + Get, Pure Citizen, Cause-PoweredEco-Awesome, or Fair Trade—I’m thrilled to share with you all a close-to-homegrown place for goodies! Sale durations vary, so it’s a little different than traditional flash-sales, but it’s a great resource for good stuff!


July 20, 2012

Austin: Breaking News, H&M is coming!!

h&MBut not ’til this fall so you don’t actually get to purchase the teeny bikini shown here. Hennes & Mauritz, or H&M, or “achay y emmeh” as it will always be known to me as my first H&M visit was in Madrid where I was living, will open its 24,000-square-foot outpost in the Domain in the fall, offering women’s, men’s, children’s (newborn to 8), accessories, maternity, and lingerie.

There are 6 H&Ms within the state of Texas and more than 2,500 stores in 44 markets around the world.

This announcement simply confirms the rumors that have long swirled around the city. While I do advocate good shopping by shopping locally, resale, and all that Austin-y stuff, it is nice to have access to affordable, trendy pieces—and there are some great designer collabs coming up! Get excited!

More info:

May 5, 2012

Share Your Heart … I love my mom

This Mother’s Day, I’m working with Clever Girls in support of Macy’s Heart of Haiti to shine a light on the “trade, not aid” program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake.

Happy early Mother’s Day, Mom! Here’s a story we know and love that tells everyone out there what an awesome Mom you are!

When I (Lyssa) was around three years old, my mom would teach Sunday school, and drop me off in the nursery. She would skip breakfast most of the time. She says that all the ladies in the nursery loved me, They all loved Lyssa in the nursery. In the nursery they would give all the kids those goldfish crackers, and I just loved those.  When Mom came to pick me up for church, all the ladies would coo over me (who wouldn’t?!) and then send me to church with a to-go cup of goldfish.

Mom would be so hungry from skipping breakfast that she would beg goldfish off of me: “Lyssie, can I have just one goldfish, pleeeease?”  I would dutifully dole me out ONE of those itty bitty crackers.  It was kind of a game though, kinda funny.

At church, I was a good kid, just sitting in the pew and playing with the pipe cleaners and eating my goldfish.

When it came time for the children’s sermon, I would skip down the aisle to the front to sit with the pastor.  I was easily the youngest kid, but tall, so you couldn’t really tell.  One time we were in the way back of the church, like two or three rows from the back, because we were so late. I skipped off down the whole length of the aisle to Dr. Fancher and sat with about ten other kids in children’s sermon.

In the middle of the sermon, as my mom tells it, a thought moved across my face, and you could just see me thinking, right before I stood up, looked towards the back of the church, right toward where my mom was sitting, right at her …


The whole church turns to look where I’m looking, laughing, as I sit down, happy I’ve saved my crackers. Dr. Fancher pauses while the congregation laughs, then continues.

After the sermon, I bounced back down the aisle to my mom and to my crackers, settled in next to her, and went back to playing with my pipe cleaners as she pulled me to her and said, “you goose,” affectionately.

My mom is confident.  My mom didn’t get embarrassed when her daughter effectively called her a hungry, cracker-stealing thug.  My mom, when I asked her about this story, talked about how amazing it was that I was so comfortable with myself and with our church.  How neat it was that I believed that people loved me so much that no one would mind me yelling in the middle of church for my mom not to eat my crackers.  She talked about how much the nursery ladies just loved on me, how I am lovable.

My mom is the epitome of love and affection.

Mom, hide your eyes, I’m going to mail you one of these:

heart of haiti necklace

This is mine, styled with some old wooden prayer beads. It’s like the new-school, benefiting others version of a BFF charm! It’s from Macy’s Heart of Haiti, a “Trade, Not Aid” initiative launched by artist and social entrepreneur, Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and Macy’s. Already, Heart of Haiti has led to employment of 750 artists in Haiti, providing financial benefits for an estimated 8,500 people in the country.

Each item is a one-of-a-kind design and handmade by a Haitian master artisan from raw materials such as recycled oil drums, wrought iron, papier-mâché and stone. The collection features more than 40 home decor items including quilts, metalwork, ceramics, jewelry and paintings and is made almost entirely from recycled and sustainable items such as old cement bags, cardboard, oil drums and local gommier wood.

Thank you to Macy’s Heart of Haiti for sponsoring my participation in this “Share Your Heart” promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Heart of Haiti products are available online at Macy’

February 8, 2012

Austin: Must Go! Studio Sale Raven + Lily

Austin-based Raven + Lily is a lifestyle brand featuring jewelry, paper goods and bath products that are produced by women in developing world communities. Raven + Lily recognizes that 70% of the world’s poorest people are women and have dedicated themselves to empowering women through design partnerships and sustainable economic opportunities.

Today and tomorrow, you can shop these beautiful designs marked 50-70% off, OR hit up the $5 and $10 bins.  Their current collection features products made by their partners in India and East Africa. You could get sweet wooden bangles or a cool charm necklace …


I love that a local company is creating opportunities for women and sharing beautiful jewelry, journals, and bath products! Go check out the shop!

December 27, 2011

NYE Giveaway! Check out Sneakpeeq

Super sale sites from Groupon-esque (eversaveLivingSocial) to fashion-flash (RueGiltHauteLookideeli) are a dime a dozen these days, but new site Sneakpeeq seeks to add a unique twist: prices are only revealed when you “peeq,” and you have limited numbers of peeqs until you invite, share, buy, and more on the site. It’s a gaming mentality that’s quickly populating sites completely unrelated to gaming: earn X badge and you get Y reward.

Luckily for you, life in austin & aspen got an insider’s peek at sneekpeeq and just for checking out new flash sale site Sneakpeeq, you’ll get lots of goodies: sneakpeeq is giving away 20% off your next purchase just for entering, plus three of you will win a $25 sneakpeeq gift card to use on your favorite food, style and home products. Five second place winners will receive a $10 sneakpeeq gift card—which goes along way in sneakpeeq’s low-priced boutiques!


Enter the giveaway by clicking on this link: and joining sneakpeeq. Leave your name in the comments and you’ll be entered to win! All winners will be announced on my blog on Thursday, 12/29/11 … Happy Holidays!

December 7, 2011

Give + Get Gift Guide

There are gift guides galore on the interwebs these days, so I thought I’d do a happy spin on them … this isn’t about specific gifts I love, but great places to shop for them. These six websites all donate to worthy causes or employ people in developing nations at fair wages or a little of both. Click through and shop around—for yourself and the loved ones on your holiday list.

Guilt-Free: Changing the Present “Browse our causes to find gifts that make a difference, or search for your favorite nonprofit to make a donation”

Awesome things like adopting a sea otter, donating a kickball, or microchipping pets can be donated in a friend’s name, with a personalized greeting card mailed to them.

Designer-Savvy: Community Collection “We partner designer brands with the world’s top charitable causes and for every item sold we donate 20% to an affiliated cause.”

Hot-hot-hot designers like Elizabeth & James, Genetic Denim, Current/Elliot, Tibi, and more offer the ability to get the goods you love and give back via a trustworthy vehicle that is meaningful, measurable, and transparent.

Plain & Simple: Blu Democracy

bludem.comsave water + give water = save lives

Clothing line that saves water through its manufacturing process, gives water with every purchase, and is generally awesome.

Smarty-Pants: Out of Print Clothing Donates a book to a community in need for every shirt purchased.

The shirt catalogue is like a list of classics I need to read or re-read.

Bedazzled: Joan Hornig 100% of the profit goes to a charity you choose at checkout.

She has her own collection of earthy, architectural metal designs as well as charity-specific collaborations with other designers.

For Anyone: Pure Citizen

I already wrote about it here, but Pure Citizen is your charitable flash-sale site that not only provides eco-friendly and ethical goods on sale, but allows you to donate the sale difference to various charities. Check it frequently for new deals on accessories, cosmetics, jewelry, handbags and totes, blankets, and clothes.


October 20, 2011

A Fresh JewelMint Code + BeautyMint $1 Donation

I get unbelievable amounts of compliments on my JewelMint earrings. I literally have NEVER worn these and NOT been complimented on them.

These new babies just arrived in the mail and I’m certain they will receive much love too:

And so you can get in on the goodness, I have a new discount code for thisislifeinaustin&aspen readers—especially commenter Amanda! I have two things for you to do before Halloween (October 31, um duh?), the first for you, the second for breast cancer.

  1. If you haven’t joined already, you can get 50% off your first JewelMint purchase with code BOCT50 (expires October 31).
  2. I’m pretty psyched about BeautyMint, Jessica Simpson + Nerida Joy’s new personalized skin care line, which is launching on Monday, October 31, 2011.  In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, BeautyMint will donate $1 for every BeautyMint registration to the National Breast Cancer Foundation starting today through the October 31 launch.  The more signups, the more money donated!

BeautyMint members will take Nerida’s online Skin Care Consultation to identify their skin type and concerns so BeautyMint can personalize the right system to  each member’s needs. The line will feature products ranging from an Ultra Replenishing Serum to an Ultimate Eye Treatment.

… and you’ve heard a ShoeMint is in the works with Rachel Bilson? Stay tuned for the inside scoop on the exploding ______Mint family!

October 17, 2011

New obsession: Pure Citizen

I love to shop. Online. Pinterest has only fueled this obsession.

But you guys also know how much I love sales and deals … and you share that, as we’ve discovered sale sites from LivingSocial to Eversave, MooLaLa to aDealio. Now there’s a new one, for awesome products that somehow make the world a better place. You KNOW what a sucker I am for those! Enter Pure Citizen.

Every weekday members receive an email filled with the inspiring story of a company that is committed to making the world a better place. For 72 hours members have exclusive access on Pure Citizen to purchase a hand-picked selection of products from this company at 30-90% off. The companies do things like providing employment and job training for the underprivileged, building wells, reducing global pesticide use, saving children from slavery, rescuing women from prostitution, creating healthier products, and are overall committed to making the world a better place.

Not only do purchases support these inspiring companies, but members have the option to save a little less and donate the difference to a featured non-profit. 20% of members have used this feature.

Here are some of my faves on sale right now:

Red Blue Stripey sarong towel

I am totally obsessed with the whole sarong-towel-blanket thing. Perhaps I am preparing for some future days on a beach. Perhaps I am just dreaming.

Navy white check ikat dupatta

How cute is this? Scarf, wrap, whatever.

Slate nail polish

I'm always searching for healthy, safe nail polish. It's terrifying when you think of all the chemicals you're mainlining into your nailbed!

Luster plum faux pony high heels

The pants are hideous. The faux pony purple peep toes are hot, however.

Here are the distinctions Pure Citizen uses for the companies … look familiar? These are all the things I loved and championed while at Endless Beauty…


Celebrates creativity and the beauty of handmade. Many times unique and one of a kind.


Grown with out pesticides, herbicides, or GMO’s. Organic is safer for farmers and organic fibers are healthier for you. Conventional clothing contains toxic residues from the growing process and finishing process. Something that you do not want near your skin, especially if you have allergies or MCS. No harmful bleaches, dyes or finishing processes are used.

 Fairly Produced

Helps thousands of artisans in the developing world by providing fair wages, safe working conditions, job training, opportunity, empowerment, and transparency.


Products that are made by companies that are mindful of reducing their environmental footprint. This includes the use of alternative energy sources, smart use of materials, and use of earth friendly materials.


It is amazing what artisans can come up with using recycled/repurposed materials. Think vintage leather jackets transformed into beautiful bags and magazines created into stunning beaded necklaces.

 Cruelty Free

Signifies that there was no animal testing or that the animal by-product is from humanely raised animals.

 Made in USA

Supports our domestic employment, and reduces the environmental impact from transportation.

 One of a Kind

We celebrate each of our beautiful individual self-expressions. With these products you can be sure no one else has one exactly like it


No ingredients or materials from animals or animal by-products were used in the creation of this beautiful item.

 Pure Safe

All of our Pure & Safe products are screened by our founder, Amy Ludwigson, an expert Building Biologist and former sufferer of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. These products are created with the most sensitive in mind, here you will find nothing that is impure.

These products will NEVER& contain: propylene glycol (PG) and butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) & sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), & TEA (triethanolamine), polyethylene glycol (PEG), sodium hydroxide, triclosan, DMDM & urea (Imidazolidinyl), parabens, isopropyl (SD-40), mineral oil, FD&C color pigments, synthetic fragrance, BPA, phalates, formeldehyde, toulene, benzene, talc, lanolin…

Even though our Pure & Safe products have been proven thru past use to be safe for sufferers of allergies, asthma, and MCS, each person’s condition is unique, therefore Pure Citizen cannot be responsible for any adverse reactions from any of our products.

… shop away at Pure Citizen, friends!

October 8, 2011

Pink Products

It’s officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means pink products have taken over the interwebs and stores. When I donated blood, they even wrapped my arm in pink pre-wrap! It’s tough to know what products are just “pinkwashing” you and what products are actually benefitting breast cancer research, patients, or survivors. Of course, you could also argue that a small percentage is better than no percentage at all, and fully buy into the pink. Up to you.

Here’s what I like (will be updating all month):

Alternative apparel pink ribbon hoodie Alternative apparel henley

Alternative Apparel partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure and all Urban Outfitters stores to introduce a “Pink Ribbon” collection, featuring the brand’s fabulously comfy tees, tanks, dresses, henleys, and hoodies in a “Pink Ribbon” color way. Alternative will continue to sell its Pink Ribbon Collection online at through the remainder of 2011, donating 10% of the retail price to Komen with a guaranteed minimum of $25,000. As part of the philanthropic partnership, Urban Outfitters has also donated $60,000 to Susan G. Komen.

Body Rock bra

Body Rock sports bra is part of The Empower ’em Collection—each purchase enables them to donate a mastectomy bra to the American Cancer Society. This month, use code THINKPINK to get 25% off every pink item AND donate 10% to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

earrings for breast cancer products

The slightly confusing sort-of flash-sale-y but celeb-curated site Open Sky is donating $5 from every purchase through Sunday October 9th, which is pretty awesome. Patricia Vasquez chose these beautiful pink tourmaline earrings from French jewelry designer Camille Eddera. Eddera will donate 20% of proceeds to Cancer Charities of America while OpenSky will donate $5 to Cancer Schmancer.

OPI pink shatter
Pink Shatter is the newest shade in the hot Shatter collection by OPI that will support Susan G. Komen for the Cure in raising awareness of breast cancer for the fifth year in a row. Each bottle of Pink Shatter has a special pink-ribbon tag and pink cap for the cause. OPI will also be making its annual donation of $25,000 to Komen for the Cure (couldn’t find a percentage from this particular bottle).

August 17, 2011

Cameron Hughes Obsession + $25 coupon!

As someone who once wrote email marketing newsletters for a living, I like to think I am immune to sales pitches. I clearly am not.

When Cameron Hughes told me that his new Lot 228 Muscato d’Asti was the ultimate summer wine, something resonated with me. I promptly ordered 3 bottles.

Cameron Hughes Lot 228Cameron Hughes Lot 228Cameron Hughes Lot 228

And then drank two of them in three days.

I can’t believe I just admitted that. However, it only has 7% alcohol (most wine is between 13-14%), so at least be comforted by the fact that I wasn’t wine-drunk for three days straight.

My mom has long been a Cameron Hughes fan. She’ll tell everyone and anyone—including strangers at Costco—how much she loves Cameron Hughes. He basically buys overstock of really great grapes, bottles them, and then won’t tell you where they’re from so the Mondavis of the wine world can’t get mad at you. He’ll tell you everything else though, and his wines are cheap. My 3-bottle sampler was $39 with free shipping!

Click here to get $25 off any order of 3+ bottles!


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