Lemons to Lemonade

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MILKSHAKE,our daily email that features great finds that give back – including inspirational people, products, causes and companies making a difference in the world, today featured LEMONS TO LEMONADE!! Take a read below, and if you want to submit your own story to us, please do!When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. It’s a saying as old as the hills, but as any country singer knows, there’s a lot of truth in common cliches. Though our favorite beverage is still the mighty milkshake, we firmly believe in sipping on some ice cold lemonade from time to time—especially the metaphorical kind.

But just as there are a thousand ways to brew your beverage (we like our lemonade with a sprig of mint!), there are a thousand different ways to turn a difficult situation into a life-affirming event. And we want to hear yours.

Milkshake has teamed up with, the largest spiritual website with four million monthly visitors and 10 million email subscribers, for a blog we’ve named Lemons to Lemonade. Featuring first-hand stories by inspiring individuals, this blog is all about finding the positive in life, overcoming obstacles, and spinning negatives into positives.

And in case you’re wondering, Beliefnet isn’t affiliated with any specific religious organization or movement, but rather the significance of spirituality in everyday life. Their aim is to help readers find a spiritual path that will bring hope, comfort, clarity and happiness.

Would you like to see your story on Lemons to Lemonade? We’re looking for stories of personal success and triumph to feature on our blog. Interested parties can send their stories (or just a basic outline of their ideas) to Amy at

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Once sported exclusively by school kids, the backpack is making a major comeback. The two-strap style is kinder on your body and better for your posture than a tote, no matter how trendy or fashion-forward it may be. Fortunately, we’ve found the perfect bag that will fulfill all your day-to-day needs. Stylish, comfortable and it gives back? Color us impressed!

Why We Love It!

The Maasai Backpack is part of the Artisnal Collection made by the good folks at The Pencil Promise. Each backpack is handcrafted in Kenya by women from the Widows Village in Maji Moto. The colorful packs are made of 100% Maasai wool and are large enough to carry everything you (or your little one) might conceivably need. Fully lined with adjustable shoulder straps, this is one bag that won’t hurt your back.


The Pencil Promise is an amazing organization that aids children in developing nations like Cambodia and India by supplying them with backpacks filled with school supplies. For every bag you purchase in their online site, The Pencil Promise pledges to donate one backpack to a child in need. As if this wasn’t enough, their Maasai Collection is a limited edition backpack made by widows of the Maasai Tribe. Due to their marginalized status, these women are often denied an education and many find it difficult to obtain employment. The Pencil Promise steps in to offer job training, education and employment to the young widows.


For The Eco Warrior…

If you’re looking for something a little more subdued, you can still do good by purchasing a backpack or computer bag from their Classic Collection. These sturdy nylon bags are streamlined and modern. Check out the Samantha Solarcharger Backpack, which comes complete with a solar panel to charge all your electronics. Talk about high-tech!



The Maasai Bags cost a cool $50 a pop, while the classic collection can run up to $109. Find your perfect match here.

Designs straight from Bali, Indonesia, Katherine Rally Textiles offers refreshing products with an inspiring comeback story to boot.

Katherine Rally Textiles is the work of a husband-and-wife team, Katherine and Rally Dupps. Originally from the U.S., the Dupps met in 2002 and found themselves engaged shortly after. Rather than spend their money on a diamond ring or giant wedding, they decided to explore, visiting everywhere from Yemen to India. After the recession hit, the Dupps settled in Bali, where they create their unique line of beautiful textiles.


Why Lemon Loves It

With two children and a young marriage, the economic collapse could have really done a number on Katherine and Rally Dupps. Instead of letting it crush them, the two decided to view it as an opportunity. They put it simply, saying they “hit the road and relocated to the island paradise of Bali, Indonesia,” according to their website. We love their commitment to seeing a potentially negative situation as a way to make positive change.


Must Have!

The patterns, which the duo says are inspired by Bali and the natural world, are original and charming. From geometric trellis-style prints to sunburst swathes of color and intricate leaf-like fronds, every design is complex enough to warrant the price tag. Turn your bed into an island oasis with the Balian Print Pillow in Classic Blue (right) or the Garden Gate Print Pillow. Both are perfect examples of the Katherine Rally aesthetic.


Katherine Rally Textiles are available for purchase in stores throughout the U.S. (see a full list by clicking here). However, if you can’t make it there, just send an email to to place an order.

One year after his debut album came out in 2005, Seattle rapper Macklemore was admitted to rehab for addictions to alcohol, marijuana, and painkillers. The combination left his creativity zapped and his self-esteem in the gutter. “It’s not dope to be 25 and move back to your parents’ basement,” he raps in his song, “Otherside.” Today, the sensitive and expressive rapper has a sizable national following and a positive message to share. He regularly raps about what it is like to overcome struggle and adversity.

“I got my city right behind me/ If I fall they got me/ Learn from that failure, gain humility”

-Macklemore, “Can’t Hold Us”

Then we keep marching ourselves

Inspiring Person: Sam Cila, a U.S. army veteran who lost his left forearm and hand while serving in Baghdad, is the founder of Multisport Soldier, an organization which encourages people to overcome adversity through speaking engagements.

Where He Came From: Cila joined the National Guard after 9/11, and was deployed to Iraq for one year. A roadside bomb blast blew out his left side, leaving his tricep and bicep in terrible conditions. He received over 40 surgeries to try to repair the damage. Despite fighting to keep and repair his original arm, Cila had to have his left arm amputated in 2008. After that, he says he was tasked with redefining himself as a husband, father, and athlete.

Where He Is Now: Cila became involved with Operation Rebound, a program that helps challenged athletes heal through sports. Operation Rebound helped Cila go on to compete in the Ironman World Championships, as well as many other marathons and triath

Lemonade Moment: “I probably lost a year and a half just being miserable,” Cila admits, referring to the time he spend alone before discovering Operation Rebound, “but as macho as you think you are, and you’re a U.S. soldier, you’re a fighting machine, this particular fight you can’t do alone.”

Make Lemonade Today: Reaching out and asking for help is just as important as giving help. Letting somebody know that you need them is like giving a gift. Is there something you are struggling with, but have been too proud to ask for help? Consider reaching out.