Enchanted Fairy Garden Party

Natasha, (click here to visit her incredible Instagram!), hired us to create another themed dessert table. This time, for her daughter… an enchanted fairy garden party!

Enchanted Fairy Party

As always, she requested that everything be made with organic, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free ingredients, natural colors and flavors, and to have a reduced amount of sugars while using primarily Whole Foods. We used Harry’s Berries Gaviota Strawberries – the best strawberries in the world – and India Tree colors, turmeric, and blue spirulina to color the treats.

Coming up with ideas for food using Pinterest really helped bring this dessert table to life. Here is what we came up with…

Birthday cake 
6” 2-layered Carob Cake with Chocolate Frosting & Strawberries
9” 2-layered Carrot Cake with Walnuts
12” 2-layered Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting & Strawberries
3-tiered Pink Ombre & Flowers Birthday Cake
Nut-free Carob Log Cake, Chocolate Strawberries

Used all Harry’s Berries – Gaviota strawberries

Twigs & Berries 

Magic Fairy Drops Donut Tower – baked donuts dipped in housemade white chocolate and vegan sprinkles.

Pixie Dust Popcorn – coconut oil popped corn, drizzled with housemade white chocolate and vegan rainbow sprinkles.

Vegan donut tower

Moss Cookies  – sugar cookies with a hint of lemon, coated with a thin icing, covered with pulverized and green-colored coconut shreds.

Flowery Fruit Bites – kiwi, raspberry, & mint.

Magic Wands – blueberries and watermelon.

Magic Mushrooms – vegan marshmallows, strawberries.

Forest Logs – fruit leather strips.

Chipmunk Chips in Basket with Moss – plantain banana chips.

Enchanted Forest Seeds – bliss balls: hazelnut chocolate truffles, goji cranberry coconut truffles (recipes here and on my app!)

Vegan bliss balls

Gnome Made Granola Cups with Honeysuckle Cream – my granola recipe with more date paste to stick the cups together, baked in mini cupcake pans, with spooned in yogurt, berries, and mint.

vegan gluten free granola

Mud and Dirt Cups – avocado, banana, date-based chocolate pudding with dirt made from carob, date, almonds, and vanilla, and topped with a mint leaf.

vegan mud dirt dessert cups

Morning Dew – cucumber mint spring water & Pixie Punch – strawberry lemonade.

Watermelon House – fairy house made of watermelon.

Click here to view the paper art from @craftytude — the cute other decor was from Etsy…

For each party and project, I like to include a sketch in my proposal. From merely an idea to Instagram-ready…

To inquire about special occasion orders, please click here.

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Hazelnut Chocolate Coconut Truffles

Hazelnut Chocolate Coconut Truffles

Hazelnut Chocolate Coconut Truffles

As many of you requested on Instagram, here is my Hazelnut Chocolate Coconut Truffles recipe (a vegan & gluten-free dessert!).

Ingredients:

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted

1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup cacao powder

3/4 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted

1/4 cup filtered water

3 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Hazelnut Chocolate Coconut Truffles

Method:

Note: If you can’t get medjool dates that are caramel-like in texture and only ones that are pretty dry, soak in filtered water overnight then drain before using in recipe.

In a food processor, add in toasted hazelnuts, almond flour, sea salt, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, cacao powder, and process until finely ground, for at least a minute.

Add the pitted dates and water, and process until it comes together.

Taste. If it needs more sweetness, add more dates (or maple syrup one tablespoon at a time).

Line a quarter-sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place the coconut shreds in a bowl. Scoop a tablespoon of the truffle mixture, roll them into balls, dropping them into the coconut. A few at a time, then toss the balls in the bowl to coat. This is so easy, it’s silly!

Should make about 2.5 dozen. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate and enjoy later. Best when chilled and shared with the homies. ☺❤❤

Voila! A sophisticated and deliciously satisfying treat made with whole foods . Happy weekend, my friends. 🧚‍♀️✨💫

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Fire Truck Themed Dessert Table & Snacks

Fire Truck Themed Party

When Nastaha, (@dr.organicmommy on Instagram) entrusts me to help create a firetruck-themed dessert table and snacks, you know it’s all going to have to be plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, naturally colored, eco-friendly, and, of course, delicious and memorable!

Natasha’s account is an incredible resource for pregnancy, parenting, and all things clean living… she specializes in Pediatric Neuropsychology, and I just find her content and knowledge to be fascinating, and even great for those who aren’t moms.

I had a blast making this epic Firetruck-themed dessert table come to life.  Thanks to Pinterest for all the design inspo, and to my amazing team who helped make this happen!

We made:

Match Sticks – pretzels with housemade white chocolate, and naturally colored red sprinkles

Firetruck Tires – chocolate dipped mini donuts

Cakes – firetruck themed multi-tiered cake and Flame Cake

Cookies – sugar cookies in the shape of flames and the number 4

Fire Balls – housemade white chocolate-dipped marshmallows with naturally-colored sprinkles

Great Balls of Fire – date, nut superfood bliss balls in varying flavors: Lemon Coconut, Hazelnut Chocolate, Goji Cranberry Almond.

Fiery Fruit – kabobs of cantaloupe, pineapple, and strawberry

Burning Embers – beet chips with rosemary

Veggie Train – Veggie Crudite. Artiscly cut and arranged like a train

Flaming Fruit Cups – vegan jello with fruit

Firetruck Fuel – watermelon juice

Pumpkin Pie Bites with Coconut Whip

3-Cheese Platters – Cranberry and Dill Goatless Cheese, Black Truffle Cheese, Roasted Garlic, Onion and Chive Cheese, Superfood Crackers, Grapes, Nuts

I even made the back splash (don’t ask me how, it just came together), cake stands, food and ingredient labels, and a match stick box.  It was so much fun!  Thanks again to Natasha and family for allowing us into your home to feed your family more wholesome sweets and snacks.  It was a true pleasure!

Truly a labor of love – from design concept to the finest details in execution. Joy. Love. That’s why I do what I do. That’s what life’s about. Well, to me at least. And I give everything my best to spread this love and joy. It’s the best feeling.

To inquire about a special occasion order, please click here.

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Blueberry Muffins with Mia

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It took the Florida hurricanes to bring my whole family together–my mom, my 5 older sisters, their 17 kids, and me!  For 2 weekends, I was blessed to be able to see my family in San Diego for an impromptu family reunion.

Aside from being a top student, amazing tennis player, singer, guitarist, and artist, Mia, my oldest niece who lives in Florida is a skilled baker and avid YouTube recipe video watcher.  We thought it would be fun to bake together and to collaborate on a baking video.  Since her grandma’s (my mom) favorite morning pastry is a blueberry muffin, we decided to make grandma a healthier muffin, Auntie Bon Bon-style, which means the muffins were vegan, gluten-free, free of refined sugar, and organic!  I showed her how to make my special muffins, we took turns filming each other, and Mia painstakingly chose the music and edited videos for both YouTube and Instagram.  I think she did a mighty fine job. #ProudAuntie

I missed her this Thanksgiving, and can’t wait for her to get back to California around Christmas so we can film more fun recipes together!

Find the full recipe, below!

 

Blueberry Muffins

Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8 – 9  muffins

Muffin Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients

1/4 cup oat flour, gluten-free

2/3 cup potato starch

1/4 cup arrowroot, ground

 

1 tsp xanthan gum

1.5 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup coconut palm sugar

lemon zest from 2 lemons

Wet Ingredients

2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp flax meal

1 tsp vanilla extract

Other Ingredients

2 cups fresh organic blueberries

Crumb Topping Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

2 Tbsp oat flour

1 cup coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 tsp sea salt

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, add in the dry ingredients and whisk together to combine.
  3. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and in a separate small bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until almost combined.
  5. Add in the fresh blueberries and with a rubber or silicone spatula, fold into the muffin batter.
  6. Take 2 cupcake molds and line, in a staggered fashion, cupcake liners. Spray with coconut cooking spray so the muffin and crumb do not stick to the pan after baking and at removal.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the liners with a heaping scoop of blueberry muffin batter.  Then press on the crumb.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees F (all ovens vary, but stick a toothpick in it to check for doneness.  If it comes out clean, it’s done).
  9. Allow the muffins to sit for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the pan.  Enjoy!

 

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Arugula and Persimmon Salad

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When I was a kid and my mom gave me a persimmon to try for the very first time, I was surprised it didn’t taste like a tomato, as persimmons very much resemble tomatoes. As I observed closely, there were specks of brown in the fruit—almost as if God/theUniverse had sprinkled the fruit with cinnamon and it was naturally occurring, embedded into the fruit. Hence, my initial childhood conclusion that cinnamon derived from per”cinnamon”s—hello, it’s in the name, duh! As I grew perplexed and analyzed that it was probably a silly idea since we had cinnamon sticks to stir hot apple ciders and Mexican hot chocolates with, and we actually had to ground cinnamon sticks to add into recipes I thought, “what a coincidence” and how beautiful of God to just sprinkle fruit with cinnamon and make a star shape design for us to see (when slicing the fruit horizontally). I just left it at that—a coincidence and viewed them as two separate things. Besides, how in the world would one be able to extract specks of cinnamon from the persimmons. Oh silly, silly me!

Fast forward 30 years when I had my twin nephews try persimmons for the first time, I told them the story I just shared with you, and they asked where cinnamon came from. Since I never looked it up, I turned to one of my fave instructional learning tools, @youtube 🙊🙈😁, and we learned that cinnamon is made from the barks of trees, rolled up by people in a forest (well at least the people in a forest in the video we watched). It’s a very timely process and I could not believe how much effort it takes to make and how cheap and available it is to us. I will never look at cinnamon and persimmons the same again, especially knowing now that they are mutually exclusive.

Moving on, although persimmons and cinnamon are both in season right now, this salad only contains persimmons. It’s a family and friend favorite this time of year. Make it for the holidays, for your parents when they come to visit, for a date, or treat yourself. It is super super simple, and contains the following ingredients: arugula, ripened and crisp persimmons, dates, shallots, #marconaalmonds, an easy soft cashew cheese, #saba, and sea salt and pepper.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it!

Arugula and Persimmon Salad

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 20 minutes (not counting the time it takes to make the cheese. With cheese, one day.)

Ingredients

2-3 bags pre-washed baby arugula

4 crunchy fuyu persimoons, peeled, stem removed, and sliced into 8ths

1/2 cup marcona almonds

1/2 shallot, sliced very thin

3 dates, sliced very thin

handful crumbled goat cheese (you can use this vegan goat cheese recipe sans the cranberry and dill, and when you blend it, add 3 Tbsp agar agar flakes)

2 super ripe and juicy persimmons, stem and peel removed

saba (aged balsalmic), as needed

sea salt, as needed

freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Directions

1. Spread the arugula onto a serving platter.

2. Season with a dash or two of sea salt and pepper.

3. Tuck into the leaves bits of shallot, dates, marcona almonds, persimmon wedges.

4. Sprinkle on vegan goat cheese.

5. In a bowl, place the super ripe and juicy persimmon flesh.  Stir it up a bit as if you are going to use it as a sauce.  Using a spoon, in a circular motion, add the persimmon flesh as you would a dressing.

6. Finish off with a drizzle of saba.

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Savory Indian Pancakes

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Happy Fall!  With chillier weather, longer hours at work, and lots of garbanzo bean flour at my disposal, I was inspired to make a savory dish with warming spices to soothe and comfort my soul and palate.  After a few attempts with my favorite Indian spices, I came up with a recipe I am very excited to share with you.  Since I made this savory pancake, I have played around with other versions, and they keep getting better, so stay tuned for more!

You can find garbanzo bean flour at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and even Besan (chickpea) flour for a lot less at Indian spice stores.  The spices used are found at pretty much any large grocery store, but they are the most inexpensive again at Indian spice stores.

Enjoy this for lunch, as snack, for dinner with a side salad, or pack it to-go for a picnic or as a dish you take to a potluck.  Once you make this once, you’ll be glad you did because it is so simple and satisfying.

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe.  Please let me know what you think, and tag me in your social media posts, also use hashtag, #YvonnesVeganKitchen so I can share with everyone!

Savory Indian Pancake

Serves 2-4

Time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients

Dry:

2 cups garbanzo bean flour

3 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

3/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking powder

Wet:

2 cups vegetable stock or filtered water

1 heaping cup steamed and mashed sweet potato

2 Tbsp tomato paste or pasta sauce

Other ingredients:

3/4 cup red onion, chopped

3/4 cup cauliflower, chopped

handful or two of mixed greens with carrot shreds (I buy a mix at Trader Joes), optional

2 Tbsp grapeseed or coconut oil for cooking

Directions

1. Steam a sweet potato and mash it with skin on (extra fiber)

2. In a medium-sized bowl, add all the dry ingredients and whisk together.

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3. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add all the wet ingredients and stir the wet ingredients together, then stir it in with the dry ingredients.

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4.  Add the remaining ingredients, not including mixed greens and carrots.

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5.  Either make 1 pancake at a time or take 2 8″-10″ non-stick pans or griddles and place on stove top over medium heat. Once the pan is heated, add a Tbsp or more of oil.  You can also try using non-stick cooking spray. Pour half the mixture into each pan and spread it evenly in a circular shape, like a pancake.  Add a handful of mixed greens with carrot shreds, and cover with a lid.  The lid will help cook the top portion of the pancake.

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6.  After about 3-4 minutes, check on the pancake using a spatula. It’s ready to flip once the bottom of the pancake has browned.  Before flipping, cut the pancake into 4 segments. Once cut, flip each piece separately.  Alternatively, you can make little pancakes to flip individually.

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Click

to watch me flip it so as to not break it.

7.  Once flipped, cook until the other side browned.  And voila, it is done!

8. Serve with a side salad or soup, or eat it on its own.  You can even eat these as hamburger patties or place them in wraps!

Hope you enjoy!  If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out!  Happy eating!!!

 

 

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Lymphoma Awareness Month Giveaway

 It’s giveaway time! September is Lymphoma Awareness Month, and I have a special giveaway that is near and dear to my heart. It is in honor of my brother-in-law, Ace, who just three years ago and right before his 38th birthday was diagnosed with cancer. ❤️ It’s been quite a challenging journey, not only for him but for his entire family. He continues to fight on with the help of his strong faith and of course my amazing sister @plantifulblessings who holds down the fort and then some!

Today, Ace has been in remission for a couple years now and is striving with his family to live a healthier, conscientious, and plant-based lifestyle.

My sister began her Instagram account around the time Ace was diagnosed as way of coping and keeping hope alive. It’s a journal of their amazingly tight family (her blessings) laced with their journey to living a more active, conscientious, and healthy plant-based lifestyle in San Diego.

It also serves to keep them accountable, to continue living with healthy choices.

We teamed up with one of my favorite plant-based vegan restaurants, @joicafe, to give away a gift card as well as my favorite specialty produce distributor, @melissasproduce to give away a deluxe and exotic tropical fruit basket. .

Entering the give away is easy. Simply, visit my Instagram account, @YvonnesVeganKitchen, and go to my September Giveaway post and:

1) comment below some words of support and inspiration for my brother-in-law,

2) tag 3 friends

3) follow @melissasproduce @joicafe @plantifulblessings @yvonnesvegankitchen. .

This giveaway will end on September 30th at noon and the winner will be announced on October 1st.

 

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Italian Meatballs Recipe Video with Vince Lia!

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Since I was a kid, I always felt I had a special connection to the Italian culture, maybe because my middle name (my mother’s maiden last name) was Milano, Milano is in Italy, and growing up, I watched “Who’s the Boss” with Alyssa Milano and she is Italian! Additionally, my favorite food growing up was Italian food (and I think it still is).  I loved spaghetti, lasagna, parmesan cheese, cannoli, and especially Italian-style dressing.  In elementary school, when I’d cook my way through the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook with my mom, I learned the basics on marinara-making and throughout the years, I have improved my marinara (recipe is in the Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen App).  These days, with  less free time due my busy schedule, I actually pick up a jar of my favorite marinara by Rao’s at Whole Foods.  Their Roasted Garlic version is absolutely delicious.  One thing, though, I refuse to purchase at the store are meatballs.  Normally, store-bought vegan meatballs have some sort of soy protein, who knows how much oil, mystery ingredients, and they just leave me unsatisfied.  I developed a quinoa meatball recipe that I’ve shared on my app, and it was actually born out ofmy veggie patty recipe.  It’s basically the same recipe, just in meatball form.  I could not, though, get myself to call it an Italian meatball because there is nothing Italian about it.

Lately, since I’ve been cooking more at home again, I’ve been on an Italian kick.  I took my original meatball recipe, used it as a base, and Italianized it using fennel seeds, Italian herbs, and as I created it, I even turned on my Pandora Italian Jazz station.  The end result, an Italian meatball recipe that I am so thrilled to share with you.  It’s one of my favorite recipes.

I was so happy that my friend, Vince Lia, who is 100% Italian, came into the kitchen to watch me make these and taste-test my Italian meatballs.  We even made Italian sausage!  I am happy to say, they are Italian-approved.  Thanks, Vince, for catching me on camera to show everyone how it’s done.  It was a blast making them with you in the kitchen!  If you don’t already follow Vince’s kitchen adventures on YouTube, I recommend subscribing!

So about the sausages, we tried frying the sausages, but found that baking them made for a better crisp texture, so ditch the oil, and make friends with your oven!  Your body will thank you for it!

Here’s the video, (click the photo) and below is the recipe.  I hope you try it and love it as much as I do!

VeganItalianMeatballs

Italian Quinoa Meatballs

Time: 1 hour

Servings: 40 meatballs

 

Ingredients:

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa (will need 3 cups quinoa cooked)

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 onion, finely chopped

1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped

3/4 poblano chile pepper, deseeded and destemmed, finely chopped (can sub with 4 jalapenos)

2 small carrots, peeled and minced

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1.5 tsp celtic or Himalayan sea salt

1 cup parsley, chopped

3 cups spinach, finely chopped

¼ cup basil, chopped

1 cup oat flour (can substitute sorghum flour)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  1. Cook, drain and cool quinoa in filtered water.  Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno, and carrot and cook until onions are translucent.  You do not need any oil to sauté this mixture since the water from the onions and other veggies will seep out and will help cook the rest of the vegetables.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, fennel seeds, garlic powder, cook for about 2 minutes, then add the parsley, basil, spinach and quinoa. Stir well and cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Remove the pan from heat and add the oat flour.  Stir well until everything starts to bind together and the mixture cools.  If it doesn’t bind together right away, add filtered water, a tablespoon at a time, at most 3-4 tablespoons.
  4. Disclaimer: I recommend using gloves, or just have a slice of lime handy afterward because the hot peppers can burn your hands. Rubbing your hands with lime can help alleviate any burning.

Using your hands, form the mixture into meatballs, using 2 Tbsp of the mixture per meatball. Or a one ounce ice cream scoop. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the meatballs onto the pan. Place the sheet pan in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes or until crisp and browned.

  1. Add the meatballs into your cooked marinara sauce, top your pasta with meatballs, stuff your sandwich with meatballs, or smother it in a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce.

Makes 40 meatballs.

 

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Good bye to My Eclectic Kitchen and Hello to Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen

 

 

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It’s official!  This blog site is changing it’s name to Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen!

In 2013, Yvonne Ardestani, founder of this site, started the My Eclectic Kitchen blog.  Throughout the years, she developed a popular blog, recipe app, YouTube channel and wholesale vegan and gluten-free treats business.  After several name changes, from My Eclectic Kitchen to Yvonne’s Deliciously Vegan to Milano Sweets, and the list goes on, Yvonne finally decided to keep it simple and straight-forward and to name everything under her umbrella Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen.

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With the name change, she decided to do a complete brand re-haul, changing the logo, website, social media platforms, recipe app, recipe development and consulting and wholesale line of goods businesses.  With that, we want to introduce you to:

the new website, Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen 

the new recipe app, Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen  in the App Store contains 170 vegan, gluten-free, soy-free recipes!

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Instagram account

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Facebook account

YouTube channel

other services…

Yvonne offers recipe development, consulting, and cooking classes for brands (social media), press, restaurants, hotels, markets, schools, private clients, and individuals. Email info@yvonnesvegankitchen.com to inquire

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Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen has teamed up with many wholesale partners (restaurants, cafes, markets) throughout Los Angeles and Orange Country.

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Here is a full listing where you can find Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen VeganCheese, Superfood Crackers, VeganCheesecakes, Cookies, and more:

 

Bloom Cafe

Bowl of Heaven

Elements Natural Foods

Grassroots

Follow Your Heart Market & Cafe

Joi Cafe

Lifefood Organic

Livestyle Juice Bar

Organix

Nuda Juice Shop

Prime Grind

Pure Pressed LA

Rainbow Acres

Stamp Proper Foods

Vanguish Organics

Yoga Urt

V Cheese Shoppe 

 

She also makes special occasion cakes and desserts.  Inquire via info@yvonnesvegankitchen.com

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On top of everything that Yvonne does,  she is still going to provide you with exciting new delicious recipes that are vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free, along with the products and services she loves that are in-line with her lifestyle.

 

From Yvonne and her kitchen team, we want to thank you for your continued love and support!  We are working to continue bringing you more high quality recipes, products, services, and content.

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In Love and Health,

Yvonne’s Vegan Kitchen

 

 

Author: Davin Washington, Editor and Partner

 

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One-stop Vegan & Ethical Fashion, Bead & Reel

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I’m loving my beautiful Matt & Nat Webber Wallet that I ordered through Bead & Reel’s website, curated by Sica Schmitz.  It’s a lovely wallet that I can double as a wallet or a clutch.

I’m excited to tell you about where I ordered the wallet.  Bead & Reel is a vegan and ethical fashion shopping site. It is easy to navigate through and perfect for this season of giving.  Why would I recommend shopping through Bead & Reel?  Every time you shop at Bead & Reel you are supporting 55 independent designers spanning clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, accessories, and gifts.  In addition, a portion of each sale is donated to a differently monthly cause to better the world.

I love that Bead & Reel provides clear, verified labelling such as Organic, Fair Trade, Made in the USA, Vegan, and that it has a female founder!  I also think it’s wonderful that they hold an annual fair trade fashion show and quarterly clothing drive for vulnerable women.  Check out their weekly blog posts to learn more!

If you’re still shopping around for gifts, please visit Bead & Reel to do your one-stop shopping!

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