Around {H} Town + Travel, Give Back, Hurricane Harvey fundraising

Help #Harvey families in need | The Brown family + an unsung hero

September 9, 2017

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Today, we want to share the story of the Brown family with y’all. Two years ago Matt proudly purchased his first home in the charming, family friendly Walnut Bend neighborhood of west Houston. He married sweet Katie a year later and then just a few months ago they announced they’d be adding a baby girl to their family! Matt and Katie were busy making plans for the baby and  nursery, including lots of DIY home improvements, and then Harvey happened.

Their post Harvey experiences are hard for me to write because I’ve seen first hand what this beautiful couple has been through. It brings me to tears just looking at photos from the past few weeks.

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When news of the reservoir releases came about, Matt and his wife decided better safe than sorry and evacuated from their home. Then their worst nightmare became a reality when they learned that the water was quickly enveloping their home and car. When the flooding began, Matt was safe with his wife, but decided to head back to his street to help rescue his neighbors from their home. The only chance to safely evacuate others stuck inside their flooded home was by boat because the water was so high, and currents fast. Matt, a former Eagle Scout, came up with the rescue plan to write “GONE” on the homes that had been evacuated and tirelessly worked to help his entire street evacuate well into the midnight hours. Matt is an unsung Harvey hero.

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The homes in Matt’s neighborhood had never flooded before and were now inundated with floodwaters for the next few days (and some even weeks). Most of Matt’s neighbors, including Matt, do not have flood insurance. In spite of this huge stroke of very bad luck in the form of a 100-year flood, Matt continues to be upbeat and positive about his situation. Matt’s determination to salvage what he can from his first home has been awesome to watch. He’s worked day in and day out with no hired helpers, cleanup crews, and contractors. There’s no budget for that so he’s doing it all himself, with the help of his friends and family, who have started a fundraising website for Matt, Katie and baby girl Brown.

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If you want to help the Brown’s rebuild after Harvey (hopefully in time for the arrival of his baby girl), please visit their fundraising site here.

 

 

Fashion, Featured

not so basic LBD

September 5, 2017

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Hey guys. We’re starting to return to work today, but our #1 priority remains– helping Houstonians in light of the recent devastation from Hurricane Harvey. So what does that look like for L. Avenue? You’ll continue to see Harvey coverage on our website including ways you can donate and shop for a cause, in addition to our more routine scheduled content.

Additionally, this month we’ll be donating 100% of our business profits directly to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. What does this mean? This might be a good time to briefly explain how our business works. L. Avenue is a small business that is made possible through two income streams–1. contracts with brands: this is when we collaborate with brands who pay an agreed upon flat fee to work with us and 2. commission: when you visit our website and purchase something we post via our links we receive a commission for that purchase from the retailer. For example, today’s black sandals that you see linked below. If you like them and click our link and purchase-we get a small commission. You aren’t charged anything additional though! It’s basically like I’m getting sales commission if you’re shopping at the L. Avenue online boutique instead of a physical sales person at your local boutique. Make sense? Sorry for the rant, but readers have asked this question in the past so it seems now is as good a time as any to explain it to y’all! So this month, we’ll be donating our profits back to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Now let’s dive into this pretty LBD, shall we? I found this gem at Nordstrom and love it’s a classic silhouette with a fringe twist. This dress will be on repeat and really works for any season. It would be great for any special event on your future–wedding, holidays, or even dressed down for something more causal.

Here are some more black dresses we’re loving for fall!

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Outfit details | Stella McCartney dress | Vince Camuto heels also these | Chanel bag (old) similar here, here and here | Dior sunglasses |

Photos by Aliee Petrovic

Beauty, Featured

ELEMIS 3-piece skincare discovery kit

September 4, 2017

After having my third baby I noticed that my skin was in need of some serious attention. It was dry and lack luster and at 35 years old I felt like I actually looked older than 3-5! So lately I’ve been paying closer attention to my skincare regimen. Which for starters means no more nights of skipping washing my face and SPF all day, everyday. And when Elemis and QVC reached out with an offer to sample their Pro-Definition 3 Piece Skincare Discovery Kit it was the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at anti-aging products. I have been compensated by QVC for my participation. All opinions expressed are my own.

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I’m pretty sure my grandmother’s jaw just dropped when I mentioned QVC, she’s a long time super fan! I didn’t realize that QVC wasn’t just for those who order via their tv show. You can also order online! When I browsed the site for the first time I saw a ton of my favorite brands available and lots of great deals at that. I digress…

So I tried the Elemis Pro-Definition 3 Piece Skincare Discovery Kit over the past few weeks and really love how my skin feels and looks. The kit is only $49 and includes a day cream, cleansing oil and night cream. It comes in this fun, contemporary travel bag too. Even if you’re not traveling, every on-the-go mom can use a cool pouch for lipstick and a few essential beauty products, right?!

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The Elemis Pro Definition Day Cream has been a game changer in the morning. I love the smell, it’s very clean and non-perfumey. It’s super hydrating and my CC cream glides over it nicely.

I was a little gunshy about the face oil at first because I’ve never used one before. The Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil is actually applied to dry skin and then you add water and rinse it off. I love how my face feels after using it! I’ve been using the oil at night before the Elemis Pro-Definition Night Cream and am really happy with the results.

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I’m pretty low key on beauty products, so the ELEMIS discovery kit being only 3 pieces was easy to work into my beauty routine. Not to mention the products are so pretty on my vanity and nightstand!

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Here are some of my favorite Elemis skincare products on QVC.com

Around {H} Town + Travel, Featured, Give Back, Hurricane Harvey fundraising

Hurricane Harvey | A city comes together + ways you can give back

September 2, 2017

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It’s been pretty overwhelming seeing my city face this disaster that is Hurricane Harvey. Homes are still under water as I write this, but I know in my gut this city will rise up and come out of this even better than pre-Harvey days. I’ve never been prouder to be a Houstonian. Our community has come together to help one another during the aftermath of Harvey in such a big way. My inbox is flooded with group emails and texts-requests for help and then responses just minutes later–“on it, will be there with x or y.”  Neighbors helping neighbors, people getting emails about families they’ve never met before and pooling resources to find a place for them to stay, clothes, toys and shoes for their kids.

Restaurants and food bloggers doing what they do best, cooking for first responders and families who have been displaced. Fashion bloggers doing what they do best, finding clothing, shoes and provisions for the 1,000’s in shelters. I was heartbroken to see a friend at church and learn that her family lost everything. But in spite of her sadness they continued to volunteer to help others going through the same experience as they are.

Police officers and newscasters who have also lost homes have been out there working 20 hours a day to help the relief efforts. And last but certainly not least, the Texan dudes and their bass boats! The only way we could help our friends get their clothes cherished photos, a wedding dress, and keepsake items yesterday was by boat, the water still flooded waist deep. And you wouldn’t believe how many guys, the majority who didn’t even live in a flooded area, were out on boats just trying to help people get back to their homes to asses the damage and grab what they could. It was pretty amazing to see. It’s courageous, it’s emotional and it’s beautiful to see the human spirit rise to such a surmountable challenge that faces our great city.

Houston will need so much more help over the years ahead. My ask from y’all today is to donate to help our city rebuild. If you feel compelled to help, here are 4 places I’ll donate to because I believe in their mission to serve our community.

Houston Flood Relief Fund This fund started by Houston Texan J.J. Watt. If theres one Texan who’s got our backs, it’s this guy.

American Red Cross The Red Cross has turned out in a big way for our city and is a well oiled machine during times of great need. Please continue to support their effort to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Houston Food Bank The Houston Food Bank provides hot meals to the thousands of people displaced and in shelters.

The Diaper Foundation Diapers have been one of the most requested items for the 1,000’s in shelters right now.

As far as what to expect from L. Avenue in the coming weeks, we plan to bring back some normally scheduled blog content starting next week but want y’all to know that we’ll be donating 100% of business profits to Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts from not through the end of the year. We’ll also continue to post about ways you can help out!  Thank y’all so much for the outpouring of support you’ve already shown. 

 

 

 

Around {H} Town + Travel, Give Back, Hurricane Harvey fundraising

Help a #Harvey family in need | The Cobb family

August 31, 2017

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Hurricane Harvey has delivered significant loss and devastation to the Cobb Family. On Sunday morning their entire first floor was submerged in several feet of water, and both vehicles were destroyed. The water remains as of Tuesday evening. Thankfully they were safely evacuated with their two children and their black lab Cali.

In just 1 day 90 people have helped raise nearly 100% of the fundraising goal for this family. As you can imagine, they will need far more than this to rebuild their life and home, so we’re hoping to raise even more than anybody ever thought possible. The power is in numbers and there are so many generous people across the country pulling for Houston families like the Cobbs!

Around {H} Town + Travel, Give Back, Hurricane Harvey fundraising

Help a #Harvey family in need | the Magee Family

August 30, 2017

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Hey y’all! Please keep sending me any information on families in need so that I can use this platform to try to raise money, provisions, etc. for victims of this horrific flooding catastrophe in Houston. Today we’re asking for help for the Magee family. Susan is a preschool teacher, she’s actually taught some of my family and friends and I hear she’s truly amazing. Susan and her husband Phil have two beautiful daughters, Grace Ann and Emma Rae. Their home flooded quickly and they have lost most of their belongings and both of their vehicles.

I want to share a Facebook post from Susan. Can you imagine? Their home is now almost entirely under water, but the family is safe, thank God

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Please help them recover and rebuild. Their fundraising goal is $50K, let’s do this y’all! You can donate here.

Around {H} Town + Travel, Featured, Hurricane Harvey fundraising

Hurricane Harvey | help families in need #houstonstrong

August 30, 2017

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This scene above is what 30,000+ Houstonians are facing today, with more flooding happening as I write this post. Here is another family who needs our help. Keliy writes,

“Friends and family,

I am Keliy Anderson-Staley, a photographer who has lived in Houston for four years, and I am raising funds for myself, husband and children. These funds will support our immediate needs in the aftermath of the flooding from Hurricane Harvey–clothing, lodging–and some of our longer term needs, especially to replace camera and studio equipment essential to my livelihood. We are asking for this support for use as soon as possible. This money will go directly to us and our needs.”

You can read more about what Keliy’s faced during this horrific flooding event here. I’m so blown away by the responses to stories just like Keliy’s– people from all over the country donating to help Houstonians and they’re making a major impact.

I will continue sharing personal stories like these on L. Avenue so if you know of anyone in need please email me @ lyndseyzorich@gmail.com. 

 

 

 

Around {H} Town + Travel, Give Back, Hurricane Harvey fundraising

Help #harvey victims in need! Families who need our help!

August 29, 2017

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In between already scheduled posts for L. Avenue (in case you missed it, we’re still posting but giving all website profits to flood victims going forward), we’ll be sharing stories of families who lost everything during Hurricane Harvey and need our help to get back on their feet again. These are all friends of my friends and they genuinely need any help possible.

If you know of or own a company that might want to donate something other than money to their hurricane fundraising efforts please send me an email directly and I can help get furniture, cars, bedding, clothing, appliances, all of the household items that would be needed. Thanks so much for your continued support!

Today, we’re raising money for the Lorenzo Marquez family. They lost everything. Lorenzo Marquez Trespalacios, his wife Cecile Diederichs de Marquez and their five small children, including their 3 month old baby were rescued by boat and kayak in a harrowing effort by wonderful folks during Hurricane Harvey on Sunday, August 27th.

Everything is lost-home, cars, clothes, all posessions large and small, heirlooms and necessities. Everything is needed and it is doubtful that insurance will cover their loss due to flood – not direct hurricane wind damage.

“I’m broken”, Lorenzo said. He and Cecile made desperate pleas to be rescued on Facebook and finally a good samaritan came with a boat and a family member with a kayak, to save them and their five children. They are grateful to be alive but need so much help and support to rebuild their lives.

You can donate directly here. Please share with family and friends, if you feel compelled to help spread the word for Hurricane Harvey victims. Every effort counts to help spread the word and will ultimately help this family in desperate need.

Also, if you are a Harvey victim in need or know of a family in need, please email me directly lyndseyzorich@gmail.com. We will try our very best to find resources through this website and social media! 

Around {H} Town + Travel, Fashion, Featured

Hurricane Harvey | an update and a game plan

August 29, 2017

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Hey guys. I just want to continue to thank y’all for the outpouring messages of support you’ve sent me over the past few days. Hurricane Harvey continues to devastate my city so I’ve been pretty entrenched in keeping up with all of my friends around town, packing, evacuating, moving back home (praise God!) and trying to help wherever I can. This is the first major hurricane I’ve experienced and it’s been a roller coaster of emotions; stress, fear, anxiety, and just overall pain for what so many friends and so many more I don’t know are going through right now. I had to take a break from the news and social media for a little big yesterday because simply to lock it up and stay strong and together for my kids. Luckily, they are young enough to think that this is another more than a mere slumber party with their cousins.

We have a lot of friends in west Houston who have lost everything. My good friend (and L. Avenue contributor) Lauren will be awake tonight praying that she returns to a home that isn’t flooded. And for those even less fortunate, their entire homes have water flooded to the roof. So many rescue situations for my families and their young children in the middle of the night (many by boat) just to get to safety. It’s horrifying. I always talk about how the news overdramatizes things, but what you’re seeing on the news outlets is the real deal. I only say this because I’ve seen photos and videos directly from my friends who are out there getting rescued or helping rescue others right now. It’s been amazing to see how this city has come together to help. My hands are pretty tied right now from a “get out there and volunteer” standpoint because I have to take care of my kids, but I frantically rummaged my house for items to donate to the shelters today. The girls were concerned that I took too many pair of their underwear. Ha! Sorry, had to interject something somewhat lighthearted. This post is heavy y’all! If you do live in Houston, please consider donating any extra blankets, socks and baby formula and diapers–thus far, these items are in dire need.

Right now my city is priority #1, but I do still have a job and multiple outstanding contracts for L. Avenue. To be honest I feel ridiculous posting outfits when I know people who currently have no clothes. All I can think about is how I can help the thousands in need right now. I know you would feel the same for your city and community too. It’s the beauty of the human spirit, right?! Our community is suffering, but I’ve never felt closer to my hometown and I can assure you this sentiment is felt around our great city after seeing such major effort to help one another get through this catastrophe.

So I’m turning my job into something that can help others affected by the devastation from Hurricane Harvey. I’m going to continue posting as scheduled and will donate all profits from my business to flood victims going forward. I also want to use this website as a place to share stories of victims and give you all ways to help. There are lots of displaced families looking for places to stay and raising funds to get back on their feet. Please send me these stories if you know of any and I’ll do my best to share with my readers to raise money and awareness!

Also, if you guys feel compelled to donate, please, please take a moment to do so! Every little bit counts. If you’re in Houston you can message me directly to drop off items for the shelters. I’ll be making trips back and forth and am happy to drop things off for you. If you’re not in the area, please donate to Red Cross here or to J.J. Watt’s Houston fund relief fund here.

Please check back in with L. Avenue for ways to donate and help!

Love,

LZ

 

above image via Meg Grant