Adoption Stories: Meet Morgan & Otto

Adoption Stories: Meet Morgan & Otto

Our Visual Display Coordinator & Care FP Assistant wasn’t in a rush to adopt a pup, but the universe intervened. 

Tell us how you chose your rescue. How long had you been thinking about adopting?

I found a dog running loose in Philadelphia and reunited it with its owner. That lit a fire in me. At the time, my best friend had just bought a house and I was living with her. She knew I always wanted a dog so, as my landlord, she gave me the green light to get one. Just 3 weeks later I was browsing local rescues and Otto’s face popped up on Petfinder. He was located at Burlington County Animal Alliance (BCAA), and when I reached out about Otto, they told me he was already spoken for. But a few days later, they reached out to say that the adoption fell through and asked if I would be able to meet him. That’s when I knew it was meant to be!

What is your pup’s name? How old is he?

Otto! He is 3ish. When I got him they said he was 3, but I took him to the vet and they told me they thought he was still a puppy.

Was it love at first sight? What brought you and Otto together?

Meeting Otto for the first time was a whirlwind. BCAA doesn’t have an actual shelter — all of their animals are in foster homes — so I thought Otto would be coming from someone’s house. He actually came straight from a shelter in South Carolina. I met one of the volunteers at an adoption event they were hosting at Petsmart. When I showed up, one of the volunteers told me Otto had gone home with someone already, and I panicked! Shortly after, they reassured me he was still available, but just hadn’t arrived yet. When his transport van came rolling in, Otto was covered in dirt but super excited to see everyone. After meeting him I knew immediately he was coming home with me. He decided to take me on a walk through Petsmart and that’s when I realized I needed to buy a harness. He’s very strong! ☺

While driving home, I started panicking again when I  realized I was now in charge of a living being other than myself. So to keep us both  calm, I talked his ear off for the full 30 mins it took to drive back to my neighborhood. Poor Otto’s first memory in his new home was getting a bath…actually, it was of the two of us getting a bath, since the water went everywhere! My bedroom is on the 3rd floor and, at first, my newly adopted 40lb dog refused to go up the stairs. Luckily, after a bit of practice, he learned and can now at least go up to my room without being carried! He’s literally the best dog ever and the best thing to ever happen to me. I am beyond grateful for the universe bringing us together and I really can’t imagine life without him.

Any idea of the breed?

We did a DNA test. It wasn’t super accurate but, here is a list of his potential breeds – Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog, Lab, American Bulldog, American Eskimo, a plethora of herding dogs…the list goes on. We are constantly stopped on our walks by people asking what type of dog he is. I’ve just started calling him a super mutt.

His favorite toy? 

He has two — a bottle of rosé and his grunting hedgehog. He also enjoys ripping any appendages off of his toys. The poor hedgehog lost his felt toenails within minutes.

Funniest quirks?

At the dog park he prefers to scratch his back on shrubs/bushes rather than socialize with the other dogs.
He is 100% a mouth breather.
He enjoys hunting/eating flies that make their way into our house.
As mentioned, he doesn’t like stairs – so yes, when we go somewhere new and there are stairs, I have to carry him up and down multiple times until he has the courage to do them on his own.

Favorite activities to do together?

Going for long walks around town, snuggling in bed, and eating the dog-friendly ice cream I make for him.

For more Adoption Stories, click here

Check out all our pet accessories here

This post is in support of our long-time partner Best Friends Animal Society

 

Free People Blog

Yes, You CAN Drink Cocoa For Breakfast 

Yes, You CAN Drink Cocoa For Breakfast 

And see the world through Rose-Colored Glasses…

I was about to say that there isn’t a lot that excites me about winter, but that’s not necessarily true. The things that I enjoy about the season I REALLY enjoy:

The cold. I know, call me crazy but — I love to layer. It makes getting dressed so much more interesting.

Snowmen. (Or is it snowpeople?) They’re very underrated.

And hot chocolate. Because, what isn’t there to love about THAT?

Truth be told, I’d never think about drinking a cup of cocoa outside of a cold February evening. It’s always been reserved for post-pelting friends with some hastily made snowballs, or after shoveling my sidewalk clean. 

So when Lauren Haynes, founder of herbalism-focused wellness brand Wooden Spoon Herbs, told me that she drinks cocoa each morning, my DNA was kind of confused. Like, I had never really considered that possibility before?

”A Rose Cocoa Mocha works to open your heart and soul to the world around you,

let go of what isn’t working for you, and just ground into bliss and being here now.”

Turns out, cocoa can offer up even a bit more than “delicious breakfast companion: status. Enter: Lauren Haynes’ Rose Cocoa Mocha. This concoction requires only 3 (or 4) ingredients:

  • Rose Cocoa, which is made with ground pink rose petals, fair trade cacao, and sensual shatavari. A veritable bliss-builder, if you will. 
  • A caffeine-free coffee alternative (here, we used Wooden Spoon’s Herbal Coffee, made from burdock root, chicory and maca) to replace the energy buzz of a more traditional morning beverage. 
  • Sweetener. Lauren uses Rose-Colored Glasses. Not only does this tincture offer up a subtle rosy flavor, it’s infused with calming herbs like holy basil, hawthorn, and milky oats.

With the addition of some oat milk (and rose petals, if you have handy), be prepared for a seriously creamy cocoa indulgence, with strong notes of savory chicory and maca to zen-ify your day. 

Time to step aside, chia porridge/yogurt/tofu scramble — there’s a new breakfast buddy in town.

Rose Cocoa Mocha 

Ingredients:

1 tbsp Wooden Spoon Herbs Herbal Coffee or herbal coffee of choice

1 tbsp Wooden Spoon Herbs Rose Cocoa

1 cup oat milk (or milk of choice)

35 drops Wooden Spoon Herbs Rose Colored Glasses

Dried rose petals (optional)

Moka pot or French press

Method:

Fill base of Moka pot with water. Scoop herbal coffee onto Moka pot filter plate. Place on stove to brew. If using a French press, scoop herbal coffee into press and fill to your liking with boiling water. Pour and set aside one shot of Herbal Coffee espresso. Warm oat milk in a small pot on stove. Scoop Rose Cocoa into mug. Pour espresso Herbal Coffee over Rose Cocoa. Pour hot oat milk into mug. Add 35 drops of Rose Colored Glasses into mug. Use hand frother or whisk to stir together ingredients. Sprinkle with dried rose petals.

Lead image by Nastassia Bruckin.

Free People Blog

Adoption Stories: Meet Ana and Yaya

Adoption Stories: Meet Ana and Yaya

And learn how our Senior Managing Director of Creative rescued her sweet girl. 

Why did you choose Saved Whiskers Rescue Organization and how long had you been thinking about adopting?

Well, for one thing…I’m always interested in adopting! I have 4 cats now, but over the years we have had dogs, chickens, bunnies…and yes, most of that at the same time. 😊 I’m not sure how I came across this rescue specifically, but Pamela does an amazing job with a small organization while making a huge impact. She’s based in South Jersey and does great work taking care of colonies and finding homes for many cats.

Tell us about meeting your fur baby. Was it love at first sight? What brought the two of you together?

I stumbled upon some social media posts from SWRO about a cat colony living in the rocks under the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I was so intrigued I had to reach out to them. 

What’s your cat’s name? How old is she?

This girl is Yaya. I actually named her Yayoi (Kusama) since she was born at the Art Museum, but my kids had trouble saying it, so she quickly became Yaya. She’s about 7 years old now.

Any idea of the breed?

I’d go with American Domestic Shorthair, but basically — Cat. 

Her favorite toy?

She’s not overly playful, she prefers to stare at me aloofly and with judgement but will happily cuddle with my youngest son.

Funniest quirks?

She’s incredibly shy and has the gift of invisibility when guests are over.

Favorite activities to do together?

She loves to bathe in sunlight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more Adoption Stories click here

Check out all our pet accessories here

This post is in support of our long-time partner Best Friends Animal Society

Free People Blog

Adoption Stories: Meet John and Cinder

Adoption Stories: Meet John and Cinder

Read on to learn how our Senior Photographer met his very own Cinderella… 

Why did you choose NY & NJ Bull Terrier Rescue and how long had you been thinking about adopting?

I really wanted a dog so I started looking into different dog breeds. I fell in love with English Bull Terriers for their personality — they are known to be super goofy, playful, wannabe-big-lapdogs — they are also extremely cool-looking. This led me to start looking at the breed’s rescues and found a local one, within driving distance to where I lived at the time. The rescue no longer exists today but I am grateful it did then, because it brought me to my baby girl. 

Tell us about meeting your pup. Was it love at first sight? 

Once the NY & NJ Bull Terrier rescue posted a photo of her, I knew she was it. I went to meet her and I left with her the same day. We’ve been together ever since. 

What is her name? How old is she?

Her name is Cinder, short for Cinderella. I didn’t name her, the rescue did, but I think the name suits her. She is going to be 14 years old this April but you wouldn’t think it the way she plays sometimes. 

Their favorite toys?

She’s pretty good at rotating them, digging through her toy basket and surprising us with a different one each time. She got a pink flamingo for Christmas that she played with until we welcomed a new puppy to the family. Now she is too fascinated with him to play with her own toys, but I’m sure that’ll wear off.

Funniest quirks?

She is a very goofy dog. I will find her in the bedroom by herself, doing the zoomies on the rug. Sometimes when I first take her outside, she gallops instead of walking. She also loves to lay in the sun… 

Favorite activities to do together?

Playing tug of war is by far the number one. She would do that all day every day if she could! 

For more Adoption Stories, click here

Check out all our pet accessories here

This post is in support of our long-time partner, Best Friends Animal Society

 

Free People Blog

Natural Cures to Ease Your Headache

Natural Cures to Ease Your Headache

It can be a tense world out there. Here’s some relief when your head feels like it’s ready to burst.  

One comforting aspect of suffering from headaches is that you’re not alone: It’s estimated that more than half of the adult population worldwide experiences them, with tension headaches being the most common. That’s not surprising given the year we’ve just gone through — the list of things to be stressed over is not short. No wonder our heads are throbbing.

While doctor-administered medications and therapies can help, especially with severe migraines, there are easy-to-adopt lifestyle strategies that can bring relief to those milder but still painful moments when your scull is in a vice. Here, some of the most common, science-backed hacks to ease your temples, forehead and everything else.

 

Get Smarter about Screen Time.

Digital eye strain is on the rise, a function of spending more time on screens, between working from home, Zoom calls, and virtual socializing. Ultra-bright LED monitors up your exposure to artificial blue light, which requires more work for your eyes to process, and can trigger sensitives that led to headaches. You might also be unconsciously squinting more, too, reading content on a palm-size phone or tablet. Beyond switching your phone to nighttime mode (which emits a rosier hue of light that’s easier on the eyes), try wearing a pair of glasses specifically designed to diffuse the blue light.     

Inhale Some Relief.

Research shows that certain essential oils can effectively tone down a headache. A 2012 clinical study found that inhaling lavender can help manage migraines, and a 2015 review of published studies confirms that applying peppermint oil to the temples and forehead can provide relief from tension headaches. To get the benefits: You can literally open the cap of a lavender essential oil and breath it in or rub a few drops of peppermint-spiked body oil between your fingertips and massage your head.

Exercise Better, Not Harder.

When you’re prone to killer headaches, running and other jumping-related activity could be a trigger. But yoga and pilates poses, and other types of low-impact stretching movements, can help ease muscle tension in the head, neck, and shoulders. This can reduce the intensity of headaches and prevent them from striking. If you’re not a yogi or need some pose inspiration, try this handy deck of cards.

Find Stress Relievers that Work for You.

Stress, lack of sleep and poor posture can have direct or indirect effect on nerves in the brain, which can prompt headaches. Relaxation techniques, such as meditation and biofeedback (which involves sensors and visualization exercises done with a therapist) can help improve the body’s ability to fight these triggers. Simple self-care can also be remarkably soothing. For example, try a bedtime ritual, whether it’s taking baths, journaling or drinking tea to mentally signal to your body that it’s time to rest. Take frequent breaks when working on your computer to avoid hunching and an app like Headspace can guide you through chilling exercises to release tension.

Massage Away the Pain.

To undo tight muscles that contribute to headaches, try this easy eye massage: Close your eyes, press your index and middle fingers under your eyebrows, starting at the inside corner of each eye socket. Press and inch your fingers along your browbones, applying firm pressure. When you reach the temples, do small circular motions with your fingers for a minute. Repeat three to four times. To maximize the benefits, you can also do this massage with the ball prongs of a face roller in place of your fingers. 

Improve Your Gut Health.

Surprisingly, some experts believe the gut-brain axis is related to headaches. To keep your system in balance, go for more plant-based foods with prebiotics (fiber) and probiotics (healthy bacteria). Or consider a supplement that has both, as an easy way to cover your bases. 

 

For all your beauty + wellness needs, visit us here.

 

Free People Blog

Welcome, 2021 — And Your January Horoscope

Welcome, 2021 — And Your January Horoscope

With Mars serving as the pick-me-up planet we all need right now…

I hope that the New Year is already affording you some much-needed peace and strength.

In case you missed it onsite, here’s the link to our January 2021 horoscope, with thanks to our resident astrologer, Tracy Allen.

The stars will never steer you wrong…

Free People Blog

The Best Face Oils to Treat Dry Skin this Winter

The Best Face Oils to Treat Dry Skin this Winter

These potent formulas restore your glow, minus any greasy residue.

Dryness, flakes, redness, itching: Ah, winter must be here, judging by the skin conditions spiking right now. The best antidote: super nourishing face oils, which, thanks to their high lipid content, heal parched patches and repair your moisture barrier to prevent water loss. These elixirs have proven so effective that there are now hundreds to choose from, which can be a bit overwhelming. Also applying oils isn’t as intuitive as slathering on moisturizer. Every formula has a different feel, and most are highly versatile, meaning you can pat them on in different ways. Consider this a guide to frequently asked questions — what’s the best time to apply? how much to use? what to pair oils with—so you can survive winter with a healthy, dewy glow.

Apply As the Last Step, But Experiment, Too

Most experts agree that face oils should be applied as the last step in your skincare routine, before sunscreen and makeup. The reason being that most botanicals oils have a large molecular structure, which means they mostly reside on the upper levels of your skin. Products with smaller molecules, such as essences and serums, and water-based moisturizers, penetrate deeper, and should therefore, go underneath your oil. But, there’s no harm in experimenting to see what works best for you. Those with super dry skin sometimes apply an oil first, let it absorb fully, and then proceed with the rest of their routine. Others dab oil over makeup, too, for a little extra shine.

Pat, Don’t Rub, On Oils

Unlike creams and serums, oils don’t need to applied all over your face, from your chin to hairline. Instead, if you only have a few dry patches, spot treat where needed—such as on your cheeks and other high points of the face. A little goes a long way: Put a few drops on your fingertips, spread together and then press and pat onto your face. If you think oils make you feel greasy it’s likely because you’re applying too much.

Mix Into Other Products

Oils can be combined with other beauty products for an extra shot of moisture. Try putting a drop in your moisturizer or even your foundation and blending on the back of your hand to bring more hydration into your routine.

Get the Benefits Without the Shine by Applying at Night

If you like a minimal, matte look during the day, apply your oil before bed, as overnight treatment. Give it a few minutes to absorb before you hit the pillow to avoid any rub-off.

Pick the Right Oil for Your Skin Needs

Most formulas contain multiple oils that work together in harmony to deliver a spectrum of benefits. Here are some of our favorite overall blends.

 

To lift and refine:

Pai Skincare Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

Rosehip is rich in omega fatty acids and antioxidants to stimulate cell regeneration—and has long been used in folk medicine as a remedy for treating wounds, scars and fine lines. Sensitive-skin fans particularly love it for calming redness without causing breakouts. To maximize the benefits, this cult favorite British clean-beauty brand uses supercritical CO2 extraction (a non-toxic process involving low temperatures and pressure) to capture the plant’s superpowers.

To brighten and protect:

Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate Oil

Think of this as a daily vitamin for reviving dull skin. Maqui, a fruit hailed for its uniquely high levels of nutrients, such as vitamin C, is combined with antioxidant-loaded berries, plus jojoba and sunflower—oils that are lightweight and easily absorbed. The formula gets top marks for being hydrating but not greasy, especially on combination skin.

To clear and tone:

Sunday Riley Luna Overnight Oil

Retinol is the gold standard for firming skin, improving pores and evening out skin, but it can often be drying. This clever elixir combines retinol with healing plant oils—anti-inflammatory German chamomile, calming blue tansy—for a clear, bright complexion. Use it at night since retinol can make you sun sensitive (and don’t worry the oil’s blue tint won’t transfer to your skin). 

To heal from head to toe:

Noto Botanics Agender Oil

It’s one of the best multitasking oils, formulated with hydrating organic hemp, soothing vetiver and comforting lavender. The result is a versatile tincture that can be dabbed on your face, arms, legs, and even hair to de-frizz ends (or massage it through your roots as an intense treatment for a dry, flaky scalp). 

 

+ Got more face oils questions? Send them to us in the comments! 

Free People Blog

Designed To Be Good for You AND Mother Earth

Designed To Be Good for You AND Mother Earth

Meet the We The Free boot collection: versatile, beautiful, and conscientiously made.

The Wesley ankle boot, the Canyon lace-up, the Cooper lace-up, the Montage tall boot, and the Reya harness boots. 

 

When designing a new boot collection for the fall season, I wanted it to be timeless, compromised of four styles that could be worn all year round, in the highest quality materials that could only get better looking and more comfortable with each wear. And, most importantly, I wanted us to use the most environmentally friendly processes to create it.

I immediately turned to one of our longtime partners, a small family-owned factory located right outside the stunning coastline city of Porto, in Portugal, who has been helping us create gorgeous styles for Free People since 2013. Having visited the factory multiple times for the past few years has allowed me and my team to build a strong relationship with the father and son who run it. We know their expertise and passion for their craft, and we could trust that they would put love and care into every detail of our designs. But, most importantly, that they could offer us great ways to be earth conscious.

My favorite part of producing these five styles is the method used to tan the leather. Most of it is dyed through a natural, vegetable tanning process. Centuries old, it involves using natural pigments like tree bark to tan the leather. For the few styles that are dyed without vegetable tans, the process takes place in a closed loop facility with an onsite water treatment plant, to ensure the water is returned to its original state at the end of the tanning process.

No detail was spared starting with the sole of each boot which has a unique design with our signature 3 stud detail representing “We The Free”, as well as a metal tip, and an extended rand detail for an exaggerated square toe.

The side pull tabs of each style are also branded with our signature 3 stitch detail, and – because these boots are made for walkin’! – the soft leather linings are padded with cushioning from heel to toe.

The theme of 3s continues in the back details of each style with 3 studs on the heel counter, an FP branded loop with 3 stitch detail as well as 3 stitches on the zip puller.

The Wesley Ankle Boot in Washed Black. 

And finally, since even the packaging is important, each shoe box is made from 96% recycled materials and can be recycled!

With multiple styles to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one. I love to pair my tall Montage boots with a breezy summer dress for that western vibe, but for the cooler upcoming season, I will style the Wesley ankle boots with a sweater and my favorite distressed jeans.

How will you style yours? They are selling fast! Shop the collection here and stay tuned as we work to create more colors and new styles!

Free People Blog