Cliff Belts

This weekend we celebrated the nuptials of two friends, who like Ash and her husband, met at our alma mater. There was much collegiate luvin’ and many an Eph reunion. Given the fervent passion of Williams alumni, it’s no surprise that we’re always thrilled to feature fellow Ephs on Green Eyed Monster. When we got wind of Cliff Belts, a company run by an alum from the class of 2004 (the year above Ash), we just had to bring them to your attention. Not only are the belts and guitar straps beautifully crafted, they’re made from cork which is a sustainable, renewable material. You see, cork comes from the outer bark of the cork tree, which is harvested by hand without harming or killing the tree, kind of like getting wool from a sheep. Once harvested, the bark regenerates, giving it its renewable, sustainable quality. Plus, these belts and straps are reversible! As though you needed another reason to head on over and scoop one up for yourself.

ENVIABLE PERK: Cork is environmentally preferable to leather as it comes from a lower carbon impact source (tree bark) and does not use animal products in its manufacture (a vegan product). Cork is a naturally beautiful and greener alternative to leather.

Uncork awesome for your waist.

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Cliff Belts is giving away a belt of choice. To enter, comment on this post and tell us what you like to uncork. For us it’s champagne champagne champagne! Who doesn’t love the sound of a festive “pop!” and the taste of good bubbly? For extra entries, ‘like’ Cliff Belts and Green Eyed Monster on Facebook, and post a link to the giveaway mentioning both pages. And/or follow Cliff Belts and Green Eyed Monster on Twitter, and tweet about the giveaway mentioning @CLIFFBELTS and @greeneyedmonst. Also, subscribe to the Cliff Belts newsletter!

Photo: Courtesy of Cliff Belts

Inspiration: Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day to all. We’re off to a wedding where Kimmy is slated to stand in the aisle as a bridesmaid and Ash will weep quietly (or maybe not so quietly) in the pews because of all the love love love. May your day be filled with joy and relaxation and BBQs and lots of red, white and blue! Here’s what’s inspiring our day.

Photo credits: Click on all images to be directed to corresponding links and credits.

Stern Design Works

One of our dear friends lives in Boston and is a frequent visitor to the SoWa Open Market during the warm summer months. Lucky duck! Although we’re not able to join her on these excursions, we reap the rewards of her visits as Jules always forwards along the names and contacts of her favorite indie creatives that she discovers at the Market. We were delighted when Stern Design Works (formerly Bullfrog Creative) was embedded in one of her round-ups. SDW is the brainchild of husband and wife team Becca and Cameron Stern. And we sure love a good partnership whether between spouses or siblings or friends.

SDW offers a line of unique conceptual jewelry created from an array of materials including sterling silver, brass, glass, resin, sand, and semi-precious stones. All of their work is designed and made at their studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

ENVIABLE PERK: Hand fabricated jewelry inspired by nature.

Thought provoking jewelry designs.

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Stern Design Works is giving away either a Brass Flower Necklace and matching resin stud earrings, or an item of choice ($65 or less). To enter, comment on this post and tell about something you recently encountered that was unexpectedly inspiring (whether nature or otherwise). Ash is so excited to see some flowers and herbs return to her garden! So inspiring to keep at it! Kimmy has really been digging hearing the fog horns calling out to each other at night.

Photo: Stern Design Works

Yania Creations

Jewels jewels jewels. Sparkly, pretty gemstones. What gal can resist? We clearly can’t get enough. Just when you think we’ve gone and scouted out all the cool indie jewelry makers on the web, we dig up another that we cannot resist featuring for all of you. Yania Creations has a shop full of colorful and bold earrings, and elegant necklaces. We particularly love the solitaire necklaces that are a part of her simplicity collection. They are simple but mostly they are simply stunning! We love a good statement piece that we can wear time and time again. All of Yania Creations jewels are sophisticated and eye catching with classic charm.

ENVIABLE PERK: Unique, handcrafted jewelry

Beautiful gemstone jewelry that doesn’t break the bank. Amen!

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Yania Creations is giving away the pair of Labradorite and Green Topaz Earrings pictured below. To enter, comment on this post and tell us your favorite gemstone. Ash loves amethsyt because she’s a sucker for purple. Kimmy has always thought onyx was badass.

Photo: Courtesy of Yania Creations

DIY Lemon Mint Sorbet

Ash is down and out with a stomach bug. Let’s just say that nausea paired with a 7 month old fetus boxing your tummy does not a happy mommy make.

Fortunately, last week Ash and Sunny made some homemade Lemon Mint Sorbet thanks to the growing herb garden they have sprouting in their backyard. You can whip this deliciously summery treat up with or without an ice cream machine! And Ash has found it quite soothing on her upset belly. Enjoy!

1.5 cups sugar
1 cup chopped fresh mint (I had an expert mint picker to assist)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup boiling water
.5 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (4-6 lemons)

1. Combine sugar, mint and lemon zest in a large glass bowl.

2. Pour boiling water over the sugar mixture. Stir to dissolve. Let steep for 20 minutes and then strain out mint leaves. I left some in the mix for color and texture.

3. Squeeze lemons and stir in lemon juice. Chill entire mixture.

4. Once chilled, pour into ice cream maker canister and freeze accordingly. If you do not own an ice cream maker, freeze the mixture in a shallow metal cake pan until solid. Break into chunks and process in a food processor until smooth.

5. Relax, refresh, enjoy!

Photos: Green Eyed Monster®