5 Ways to Sparkle Like Lana Del Rey by Jennah Denney

Feeling a little inspired from the debut of Lana Del Rey’s new album, Ultraviolence, this week, and being an super fan of her music and style, I wanted to find ways at Branch Out for everybody to incorporate some of her fabulous-ness into their looks, and what better way to sparkle like Lana than jewelry?


Hand made by Dennis & Charles of Rush Jewelry this necklace is a focal point of attention for any outfit it is paired with {$128}
Rings on rings on rings. Trendily, Lana Del Rey has been stacking rings on several different fingers. Kitsch makes sets of rings made for stacking and they are only {$25} and vary in colors from silver, gold and rose gold. Pairing Kitsch rings with a statement ring, your hands will have the full bling effect.
Even on a casual day, Lana accessorizes. Top Shelf handmakes personalized necklaces perfect dressing up a simple outfit or stacking. {$44}
Another handmade piece by Dennis & Charles of Rush, these earrings can be worn alone and make your whole ensemble shine. {$58}
Another piece of Kitsch jewelry and one of my personal favorites, the Y shaped necklace, {$28} is a sweet and simple and perfect for pairing with a v neck top or dress.


Homemade Cleaners for the Woman On-The-Go by Jennifer Merritt



With so much on Pinterest about homemade cleaners I had to find out for myself. Homemade cleaners are cheaper than buying name brand from the store and safe for you. The smell of lemon and lavender is much nicer than bleach.


Here is what I am using right now:


Carpet Cleaner for Tough Stains and Smells: because I was grossed out at the smell of dog and baby spit-up, well it’s true.


What you will need:
2 cups of Borax Washing Powder

3 cups of water

15 drops of essential oil- I like lavender and Tea Tree. Tea Tree has disinfecting properties.

Big bowl or bucket

Big scrub brush


1)Pour all ingredients into a big mixing bowl or bucket. Borax will settle to the bottom. Use brush to stir up and start scrubbing. 


I like to do this at night before going to bed. I let it sit on the carpet all night and vacuum in the morning. Your house will smell good and carpet will look new. 




Carpet Freshener:

What you will need:

2 cups Borax Washing Powder

20 drops of essential oil- I like lavender

Sprinkling container- mason jar with holes poked in the metal lid, recycled carpet powder container, plastic bowl with secure lid and holes poked in the top.


1) Put the powder in the container, drop oils on top, shake, then sprinkle on carpet.

2) Allow to sit for 15 minutes then vacuum for wonderful freshness.


Counter Top Disinfectant Spray


I’m glad I was using this one day when I was spraying the floor and cleaning up around the dog’s bowl. I turned my back and my baby had the nozzle in her mouth. Nothing in this will be harmful with one squirt in the mouth. 


What you will need:

  • ¾ cup filtered water 
  • ¾ cup white distilled vinegar 
  • ¾ cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil 
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • spray bottle


1) Pour all together, shake, spray, wipe.





You too can wear yellow… believe it or not. By: Jennah Denney

It is scientifically proven to be one of the happiest colors causing the brain to release serotonin when the bright hue is worn or seen, it is bold, and is said to spark creativity, but what do you do when you just cannot pull it off.  The color is yellow, and the question I asked myself many moons ago was how to pull it off?

Being a dark haired, dark eyed, and most of the time dark complexioned with olive like skin, yellow causes me to look jaundiced, and that is NOT OK.   After several tragic attempts of sporting yellow, I found two ways to incorporate yellow into your wardrobe.


1)      Chartreuse

For those of you who just cannot get yellow down right, try chartreuse, a color that meets halfway on the color wheel between yellow and green!  Personally, I was naturally opposed to chartreuse as soon as it became trendy since it was so similar to yellow, but after purchasing my first chartreuse top in 2012, I quickly decided yellow was not the enemy, and that chartreuse is the new yellow. Plus, it does not to have a few chartreuse pieces hanging in your closet right now, it is the color of the summer!


2)      Florals

 If chartreuse just does not work for you, or you just want to incorporate a little extra yellow into your life take the floral route!  Naturally, when spring comes along, so does the floral patterns, but this season, one of my ALL TIME forever favorite trends are daisies and sunflowers!  Being an advocate for forever deleting the color yellow, I surprised myself with how OBSESSED I became with these flower prints!  Whether it is in jewelry or printed on a dress or shirt, daisies, sunflowers and other florals will give just enough pop of yellow to brighten your mood and the others around you and spark creativity! 





Branch Out is proud to announce a new line of shoes that support charitable contributions to multiple organizations. We love the idea that owner Hannah Davis of Bangs has introduced into the retail world of shoes. While on a teaching quest in eastern China a friend pointed out olive-green shoes that were worn by the working class citizens, which gave her inspiration to create the Bangs brand. Her idea was to introduce vibrant, comfortable shoes in the US to help charitable efforts across the world, and most importantly here in the US! The idea of using different colors that correspond to different organizations is fabulous. Bangs hand selects non-profits that work to empower people and communities while moving away from “hand out methodology”.

What are the different colors and what do they stand for?

   Springboard Collaborative works to close the literacy gap by utilizing the summer breaks as a springboard for financially challenged children, and the best part is this all takes place right here in the United States!!!!  So far in 2013 they have served over 1000 families in 7 schools.

Drop In The Bucket believes clean water is a basic human right that must be met in order to help people break the cycle of poverty. Their mission is to build wells and sanitation systems at schools throughout sub-Saharan Africa, enabling youth to fully harness the life-changing power of an education.

Global Disaster Immediate Response Team (Global D.I.R.T) fills the void that exists between the time of a disaster occurrence and that of the traditional response effort. Volunteers provide medical assistance, communications access, search and rescue capabilities, and coordination support. Global DIRT is able to insert into a disaster or post-disaster situation with key equipment and knowledge, thus limiting the loss of life, property, and resources, all while operating efficiently to ensure that every donor dollar contributes to mission success. Vanity Fair labeled this organization’s efforts as “Extreme Humanitarianism” in July of 2010.

Kiva works to microfinance people in developing countries through their team of 191 field agents. The best part of Kiva is it allows you to browse those interested in microloans and you hand-pick the individual you would like to support. Money is transferred through PayPal (the fees associated are waived by PayPal) and as money is repaid you can either withdraw your loan or re-loan to another entrepreneur.

S.O.U.L. Foundation’s mission is “to foster sustainable and vibrant Ugandan communities through unique partnerships focused on education, women’s empowerment, food security and health”.

Choice Humanitarian works to “connect motivated villages to resources and tools that allow villagers to change their lives. By building skills, capacities and leadership of the villagers, entire communities can break the cycle of poverty. Communities continue to move forward by defining objectives and leveraging connections.”.

So now the question is will you buy a pair of your favorite color, your favorite cause, or maybe both?

These shoes will be arriving soon! We would like to see pictures of what issues you stand for! Oh did we mention they are canvas (hint, hint)?

“Bangs. Stand On Issues.
to help others stand on their own.”

Bangs “Stand On Issues”

As I watch this video I see a smile on the faces of the participants that are all too familiar to the wonderful customers at Branch Out. After the participants take their initial survey and pick up the brush you can begin to the see the creative process begin as they fall into a trance-like concentration. As they complete their paintings and are asked to explain the representation of the colors each of them are smiling ear to ear-even for such a small project.

Julian (our host) makes a few statements that explain what Branch Out strives to offer (that’s where our smiles come from!). He makes a statement that we hear every day “I’m not an artist.” which is followed by our response “Don’t worry. You don’t need to know a thing about art to do this.”. We are here to help you unleash your inner artist to create a masterpiece in the company of family and friends while drinking your favorite glass of wine.

Upon completion of the survey the participants are asked to explain why they created themselves in the way that they did. Many emotions are visible during the closing interviews and they are very similar to those on display in our store on a daily basis. We see painters that range from those who are so happy to be in the company of family and friends creating masterpieces, to those creating symbology for loved ones, and even celebrations of weddings, babies and birthdays.

The most touching story that no member of the Branch Out family will ever forget involves a couple that begin attending our monthly date night. These individuals had a marriage that was in jeopardy, and they attended an event with us. Because of the connection they felt and the time they spent together their relationship began to take an upswing. About a year after this night (and several date nights later) the couple came to us and thanked us for the atmosphere and memories that we help to create through art and how attending our classes help save their marriage. If that doesn’t support the therapeutic side of art well…nothing else will!

Download the body PDF here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByotLRrSzddoemNWWXl6Q3dheTg/edit?usp=sharing, pick 7 traits or characteristics that make up who you are and write them on a sheet of paper, perform the experiment in the video, and bring in your project. We would love to display all the proof of ‘The Science of Happiness’.

We Claim ‘It’s Cheaper Than Therapy’