Hear(t) It: Lauren Pritchard

You might remember Lauren Pritchard from the Tony-award-winning musical, Spring Awakening, where she originated the role of Isle (recognize her co-star from the show?). She left the show in 2008 to pursue her dream of being a singer: “Spring Awakening was the opportunity of a lifetime, something that changed me and my life for the better, but I always knew that I wanted to move on to doing what I’m doing now.”
For the last year, the 22-year-old has been living in London: “I originally came across the pond just to do some writing, but that turned into writing a record, which turned into making one and then it was signed to Island Records.” Her EP The Jackson Sessions drops May 3rd, so seriously — check it out, because this lady’s got an amazing voice.

IHD: What inspired the songs on your album?
LP: A few things… A long relationship and a terrible break up. Missing my family and a longing to be nearer to them. Sorting myself out. New relationships. Deaths of two family members and a few close friends. Seeing my friends and family going through ups and downs and my own ups and downs. It’s a very honest record about actual moments in time.

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5 Affordable, Cute Skirts

Time to take off your pants and kick up your heels! In skirts, I mean. Sheesh. We found five great picks for spring — all $35 or less.
Nikkita Floral Skirt, Delia’s ($34.50, pictured). This floral mini with a side zipper will break my solid-color rut and get me to wear little flowers!

Ruffle Swiss Mini Skirt, Wet Seal ($18.50). This one combines ruffles (a noted spring trend), layers and a gray-ballerina style that makes me want to spin around at a party.

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Read It: Books About Popular Girls (Trust us!)

Often, books cast popular girls as the villains, while the quirky-cool heroines emerge victorious in high school hallways. We are all for that type of book, as you know.
But we’ve found three books that put the popular girl in the spotlight, and each one (eventually) made us fall in love with the Queen Bee. Check out these spring reads:

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (HarperCollins). A-list hot girl Samantha Kingston dies (don’t worry! Not a spoiler!) and then starts reliving the day of her death over and over. Each time she relives the day, Sam finds out more and more about her friends, the people around her at school, her family, and ultimately herself. You may start out disliking her, but don’t worry — Sam grows on you in a beautiful and heartbreaking way.

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A Worthy Cause: 1MillionShirts

I know about your dirty secret, because I’m guilty of it, too — the “clothes-I-don’t-wear-drawer.”
The drawer that holds all the stuff you haven’t looked at in a year, like that shirt you promised you’d wear by spring or you’d give it to Goodwill. But you haven’t done either (have you?). Well, now is your chance!

Jason Sadler, of IWearYourShirt.com fame, has embarked on a new adventure called 1MillionShirts. The goal is to gather one million shirts, donated by people like you, that will be sent to people in Africa who need clothing. Not only is it a worthy cause, but it’s kind of cool to think
your donation could end up in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana or Ethiopia!

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Felted Soaps = Gentle Exfoliators

When I first saw lucky lou lou’s felted soaps ($8), I was skeptical. Washing myself with fabric-covered bars seemed… weird. But they’re so pretty that I had to try them anyway. I’m a sucker for bright colors.
She makes them with a super soft merino wool, and the soap bars themselves are 100% vegan and cold-pressed. When the soap is covered in the wool, it turns into a type of exfoliator. I am a huge fan of gentle exfoliation (I still use this disk on my feet!) — it is the key to keeping your skin smooth. So yes, I’ve been won over. Plus, the felt case makes the soaps last longer — bonus!

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Hear(t) It: Care Bears on Fire

I saw Care Bears on Fire play at Barnes & Noble during a reading by Blake Nelson (whose last book we love!). Rockstars + books = awesome. The Brooklyn-based trio consists of (L to R): Jena, 15 (bass), Sophie, 14 (vocals and guitar) and Izzy, 14 (drums). Their latest album, Get Over It, will make you stand up and shout.
Izzy and Sophie started playing music together in 4th grade: “At that point our rehearsals mostly consisted of throwing beanie babies at each other and eating sour candy,” says Izzy. A year later, they played their first gigs. These girls are fantastic, and they agreed to an interview, to which I say: We’re not worthy!

IHD: What inspires you guys to write music?
SOPHIE: I am inspired by everything that I think is interesting, weird, cool, stupid, scary, evil, boring… it goes on forever! We also like to write about things we want to comment on, like in our song “Barbie Eat A Sandwich.” This song is about how we think that the image of Barbie as the “ideal” girl is totally ridiculous because nobody could ever be that, and there are so many other important things for girls to do and to be.

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RED Hearts: The Wonders of Mushrooms

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 very Earth-Day-appropriate RED Hearts post is from Zoe Mendelson, 19,reporting from Chicago, Illinois, who writes about why she loves a fungi.

I get a huge range of reactions when I offer mushroom samples to people at the farmer’s market. Admittedly, my mushrooms don’t look or smell like the cute white buttons you’ll typically see on grocery store shelves. For someone who’s new to fungi, they can be intimidating. But if I can coax a curious patron into the magical mycelial world, they’re thanking me and buying mushrooms and returning week after week to restock.

Mushrooms rank among the largest organisms in the world, and are medicinal to humans. They contain high levels of vitamin D and three B vitamins; they are rich in selenium and ergothioneine (antioxidants), potassium, and copper. Mushrooms even have the ability to shrink tumors! Oh, and they’re fat-free.

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Postcard + Garden = PostCarden

Tomorrow is Earth Day! By now, you’re familiar with all the important basics: always recycle, don’t use plastic bags, and carry around a reusable water bottle. We know you’re eco-savvy that way. So, let’s skip Being Green 101 and get to something more fun…

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Eco-Friendly Makeup Tools!

I’ve been trying to green my beauty routine for a while, and I think I’m doing pretty well. But I’ve forgotten about an important aspect of eco-beauty: the tools!
EcoTools makes blush and eye brushes, sustainable powder puffs, recycled nailcare kits and great bath and body products. Every detail is considered so that your makeup bag is filled with planet-loving tools.

The brushes are soft and 100% cruelty-free with bamboo handles (bamboo is a highly sustainable plant), and the aluminum on the wands is recycled, too.

So when you’re putting on your vegan make-up or creating DIY eco-beauty recipes, you’ll have the right applicators. Mama Earth will love you for it.

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