Better Books, Better World

Let me direct you toward an amazing site: Better World Books. Founded in 2002 by three friends from the University of Notre Dame, what started out as a small business has turned into a full fledged mission to promote global literacy.
BWB sells new titles, as well as used ones that are collected through individual donations (from people like us) and from colleges and libraries around the country. A portion of profits from every sold book funds one of BWB’s major nonprofit literacy partners, like Books For Africa which stocks rural African schools with much needed reading material for students.

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Rotter and Friends Shirts

Some may call it “fashion for lazy people,” but a simple t-shirt and jeans fit my no-nonsense approach to style perfectly.
I’m happily supplementing my collection of graphic tees with one of Jess Rotter’s new spring designs. Rotter’s line, Rotter and Friends, uses music as its sole inspiration, emblazoning shirts with her whimsical drawings of iconic rock symbols of the 60s and 70s. This year, we can choose from Captain Beefheart, Karen Dalton and Graham Nash. They all come in different colors — purple, orange, espresso — and are available in tee or tank shape.

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Best of Beauty: The Everyone Lipstick

If you’ve ever clicked on the “What is I Heart Daily?” box to the left, you’ve seen that we promise to share many things, including “the lipstick color that looks good on everyone.” I once experienced such a thing, and it was called… Black Honey.
Clinique’s hit of the 90s was the Almost Lipstick line, specifically this color, that looked so dark in the tube but somehow turned the perfect shade of lovely on everyone who wore it. And now, Black Honey is back.

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Read It: Unexpected Feminism, Boys, and Bodybags

These new reads will make you laugh, cry and feel all kinds of sweet emotions.
Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald (Candlewick). A student exchange lands hard-partying UC Santa Barbara sophomore Tasha at Oxford University, while her studious British opposite, Emily, suddenly finds herself amid bikinis and beer pong. The switch thing’s been done, but McDonald pulls off an incredibly smart debut that addresses big questions of identity and feminism, all through two charming and likable protagonists.

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Red Hearts: Food for Thought

RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today.
Today’s RED Hearts post is from Zulay Regalado, 20, of Miami, Florida, who writes about knowledge and alleviating world hunger:

I am a lover of learning. I am also a proud lover of rice. Though technically opposites on the nourishment spectrum, together they can reach out to millions suffering from starvation across the world. All it takes for you to help is the click of a mouse and the will to pick up some knowledge in the process–and yes, for free. is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program and dedicated to stopping world hunger. The clever site runs like a game: It donates 10 grains of rice for every question a user–you–answers correctly. The questions range in difficulty, and subjects can be anything from grammar to science, math (a personal stay-away subject for me, but useful nevertheless), and random worldly trivia.

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3 Ways to Love the Earth

You drink out of your SIGG bottle, you dutifully recycle, maybe you even convinced your parents that what your family really needs is a Hybrid car. Today is Earth Day, so celebrate the efforts you make in daily life, and check out three earthy products we love–because we’ve got to keep the party going all year round:
1. Sole’s Calling Recycled Flip Flops ($22). Those impressions in the sand pictured above? That’s what these babies do. Made from 30% recycled materials with 100% natural rubber straps, Sole Seekers make me happy with their simple, black, star-toed styling (and their left-behind love).

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Badass Hair Volume

I have really thin hair and am constantly seeking volume. I’ve tried numerous products–some leave me tangled, some leave me limp–and I’ve wondered if I’d ever find a solution that really works.
Just last week, I did. Badass Hair “Up All Night” Volume Mist (4.5 oz, $22) comes in a spray bottle. Like, a genuine spray bottle–the kind that holds Windex, with the nozzle and the pump trigger and everything. I don’t have to tell you that the packaging is super fun.

And it’s practical, of course–that spray bottle distributes the mist really well through my roots. For the past couple of days, my hair has looked salon-volumized (and not in that bad way where they overstyle, but in a cool way).

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StoryCorps: Oral Care

One of the reasons I like being a journalist is because every single person has an interesting tale to tell, be it a small or big one. Because of that, an organization that I really admire is StoryCorps whose entire mission is to record peoples’ stories on audio, so they can be stored and passed onto other ears and future generations.
From a young girl and her mother talking about the struggles of dyslexia to the story of two teen girls in love, each anecdote gives the gift of an important life lesson. Stories like these show that the most valuable knowledge doesn’t necessarily come from text books or the newspaper, but just from listening and asking some questions.

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Cheap and Chic Tattoo Style

Yes, I have a tattoo. But it’s tiny and it rarely sees the light of day. If you must know, it’s a honeybee, which is what “Melissa” means in Greek. I got it in college, it’s fading, and though I don’t hate it, I don’t really love it either.
But what I am loving now is tattoo-inspired fashion. So, in case you aren’t quite ready for permanent ink, here are some less intense ways you can work the style:

1. Branch Tattoo Knee-Highs ($13, pictured). Designers Gabby and Tal create a variety of these socks in four skin tones, plus white. And they fulfill my fantasy of getting a serious tattoo down my leg, which I would never have the guts to do in reality.

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