Sunday, December 4, 2016

GIFTSPERATIONS: For Hosts+Foodies+Coffee Lovers

Totally Bamboo, Camp Chef, Keurig, Espro, GSI Outdoors, Fiesta, Yeti Coolers, Igloo Cooler Bags

Gift bearing guests are always welcome...and sure to guarantee repeat invites-bumped up gifts from the usual impersonal candle/fancy soaps/wine -especially geared towards hosts/hostesses...who like to conjure up meals-indoors/outdoors.

via GIPHY source
Totally Bamboo Tree of Life Cutting+Serving Board...sourced from wood from a rapidly growing tree-practical and great gift for the eco-minded. Also available-city series-feature maps of urban locales lazered well as salt boxes, serving boards, kitchen accessories...

cast iron pans/skillets...from CAMP CHEF are practical indestructible -our pick-in honor of the 100th Anniversary of our National Parks -a limited edition set that includes a 6 quart 12" dutch oven, 12" cast iron skillet, and interchangeable lid. $74.99

Outdoor eating always tastes better-great gift for the grill master-Camp Chef 's Italia Artisan Pizza Oven $374.99-makes crisp grille pizza everyone likes to Camp Chef has other propane-wood pellet outdoor grills/stove models too...

hire a chef-outsourcing at its best!

Camp Chef Dutch Oven-comes in several sizes...liners for easy cleaning and sturdy CARRY bags well as a best-selling cast iron cleaner ($8.49)complete the gift.
KEURIG single serve updated in the PLUS SERIES...with large touch display screens that makes the whole process decidedly idiot proof for groggy early morning waker-uppers. Perfect. Sleek new look too! 70-80oz water reservoir sizes....customizability too-for cup, mug, or carafe portions. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

HOLIDAY SIPS -Out of the Ordinary Ideas

Sparkling Wines From France (Le Grand Courtage) Red+CavaWines From Spain (Clos de  Tafall, El Mirac, Parès Balta), Hard Cider (Hazlitts Cider Tree), Beer (Catskill Brewery)+Bourbon ( Taconic Distillery) From New York, Ryes/Bourbons (Mad River Distillers) From Vermont, Home Brewed Pico Systems, NUMI Organic Teas, Honey Stinger Honey, BOKU Superfood

Parties-gatherings are numerous in December..for festive reasons-or to commiserate.. any rate-guests expect beverages-maybe even more than eats-offered up for sure. SO why not mix up the offerings from the usual...even on a budget-there are so many small craft wineries and distillers these days-that provide unique tastes-guranteed for palate pleasers...alcoholic and not.

Wine Spectator anointed 90 points!!! Wines from Spain...ahhh-Clos de Tafall 2014 produced by Clos Berenguer....aged 12 months in French Oak-is an aromatic red wine with floral, currant, kirsch and dark chocolate-cola flavors with lively tannins and a juicy finish. Found online around $15.99!
OLÉ OLÉ-Best value for reds might just belong to Spain-Delicious offerings include the highly rated El Miracle- by Mariscal Garnacha 35 year old vines- from Valencia, Spain...delicious fruity, bright acids...aged in oak... blend of Garnacha Tintorera matured for eight months ... Found priced online $12.99-quite the bargain!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

EASY FEEDING: Holiday Entertaining For Foragers

Post Thanksgiving-even the dedicated (or suffering) foodie cooks need a break-so whether one is 'over' preparing elaborate meals, switching to healthier eats to void the average 7lb(!!!) holiday weight gain, or just prefer the company of humans vs the food preparation chores...easy entertaining can be tasty, practical, budget friendly-and a breeze to clean up.

This is the answer to our soup delicious as homemade-and in our case-waaay better! Hearty winter offerings by easily found IMAGINE SOUPS...are made from real ingredients-with  organic selections (NO PRESERVATIVES, NON-GMO ingredients or PESTICIDES-also selections that are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free-kosher etc) and come in sealable  conveniently packaged cartons though we doubt there will be left overs, once open. Plus-add a few ingredients -spices of your own-to any of their organic creamy or chunky soups--- or organic broths/stocks like the richly flavored vegetable one- we sip like tea-throughout the day-and one has a tasty new meal for every day of the week, (recipes for crowd pleasers like fragrant Pumpkin Corn Chowder-are available online).  What we tried...our all time fav is the Natural Creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup-fusion of smoky-ish-woodsy portobello and white mushrooms...with herbs/garlic...and itty bitty additions of celery and potatoes for richness. Recently we tried the organic White Bean and Kale Soup (reduced sodium) -pictured above... and yes- prepare your tastebuds for transport to the Tuscan countryside-wth carrots and celery, chewy fresh superfood kale and protein/fiber packed white beans-in this election-that is as yummy as it is nutritious (4 grams protein/per serving and only 110 calories!). New flavor Cauliflower&Potato is a sophisticated- full bodied flavor-we can see this shelf stable selection as a base for curry sauces...with cauliflower, organic potato, onions and well as smooth coconut cream+spices in this stomach+taste bud pleaser. Nice! Creamy Tomato--Imagine's organic version is authentic tasting -with hints of onion/garlic for a more grown-up take on this childhood classic-still worthy of burying in crispy saltine crackers. No doubt-all Imagine soups are amazing-and perfect vessels for those holiday left-overs too. And so much easier than starting from scratch...perfect affordable goodness.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

GIFTSPERATION KIDS -for Active Brains+Bodies


Part 3

MIIR...modeled itself as a Certified B company that donates with every item sold---including these kids' BAMBINI $95 available in 4 colors-5% of revenue goes to trackable projects -like building water wells in developing countries. Details on a cool ride=a steel  frame/fork bike that is durable, adjustable septets and handlebars, EVA foam tires, that never go flat, front and rear fenders keep kids dry when cruising through puddles+rain.

PRIORITY BICYCLES -easy to buy, assemble, maintain...Priority Start for kids $245 freewheel construction for kids 4-8-with grease and rust free belt drive, 16" Slime Self-Sealing tires, dual hand brake, rear freewheel, front/rear v brakes...and comfy seat +grips-weather resistant. NICE.
when parental units are doing all the physical output...the THULE  Chariot CX is an insane machine---top of the line-converts for different sports...running and cross country skiing...just don't bring this on mass transit.  Aero design-sleek looking with-disc brakes for control, full side window for venting, ergonomic handlebar, accessory crossbar to mount accessories, Click n' Store for onboard storage of conversion kits...75lbs. 


Inside or out...children's toys/clothing-gets more colorful and creative every year...whether tech-y-ed out or not. AHHHH....21st century birthdays-have its pluses!

Part 2

kids of all ages-in snowy spots-L.L Bean Snow Saucer-$49.95 lightweight to haul back up the hill (3lbs8oz) and durable-non slip foam interior provides traction
L.L.Bean Snow Tube XL $149.95 (also in regular size)-semi-rigid polyurethane base good for packed or fluffy snow-sturdy handles and built in tow strap makes it easy to carry and haul up a hill...super durable rugged shell protects inner tube...and available in FUN colors/prints

OBERMEYER has a slew of on trend and tech fabric-perfomance-well made-toddlers-teen jackets/pants/mid-layers for winter fun. Bonus the "I-Grow" extended wear-allows for easy lengthening of sleeves/cuffs for multi-year use. Pictured for girls-ASHLYN JACKET $119.50-
made from HydroBlock® Sport-Waterproof -breathable (10,000mm)-quilted lining, ...PLUS  integrated adjustable powder skirt-keeps snow out, zippers tricot lined hand warmer pockets, extra soft fleece lined collar, integrated hood with 2 piece hood brim design, interior stretch pass pocket, and interior goodie pocket, elastic cuffs that are fleece lined,, working compass, accessory ring, fun zipper pulls on primo YKK zippers-reflective pops- and so important- integrated clips to retain gloves/mittens, interior windward with fleece chin protector...-"I Grow" system extends sleeve length- up to 1 ½ inches. 

Boy's Raptor Jacket $119.50 made from HydroBlock® Sport-Waterproof -breathable (10,000mm)-quilted lining, ...PLUS  integrated adjustable powder skirt-keeps snow out, zippers tricot lined hand warmer pockets, extra soft fleece lined collar,   2 piece hood brim design w/ comfort stretch gasket inner layer, interior stretch pass pocket, and interior goodie pocket, elastic cuffs that are fleece lined,, working compass, accessory ring, fun zipper pulls on primo YKK zippers-reflective piping- and so important- integrated clips to retain gloves/mittens, interior windward with fleece chin protector...-"I Grow" system extends sleeve length- up to 1 ½ inches. 
Snowdrop Jacket with removable hood-w/ faux fur trim...HydroBlock® Sport-Waterproof -breathable (10,000mm)-insulated with Permaloft...core/sleeves...PLUS  integrated adjustable powder skirt-keeps snow out, zippers tricot lined hand warmer pockets, extra soft fleece lined collar, hood ear warmers, interior stretch pass pocket, and interior goodie pocket, adjustable elastic cuffs, working compass, accessory ring, fun zipper pulls on primo YKK zippers-shaped seams for cute fit, reflective poos-piping details and so important integrated clips to retain gloves/mittens...$149.95-"I Grow" system extends sleeve length- up to 1 ½ inches. Pictured with ChaCha bib $119.50-Hydroblock Sport and seam sealed-for total waterproof -breathable...quick release shoulders, reinforced seat, cuff guards, and knees, insulated bib (not shown), thigh pocket with secure flap, hems extend up to 2 inches. 
TRANSPACK XT1 bag is the classic patented isosceles storage system triangle shape design-easy to carry hauler for kids helmet/boots/gear-comes in solid colors and bright prints like this lime tropical one. Best bags we know-made from tough water resistant 600 denier polyester those side boot pockets have air/drainage holes, coated interior -and big-central compartment, water tough tarpon bottom, closed cell foam padded back, adjustable neoprene padded shoulders internal zipper pocket for personal stuff, zipper mesh pockets-side and a top lid, double locking, self repairing nylon coil for skate boarders as well as the snow sports gear carrier

Chaos Headwear-KAT NYLON KITTY KAT AVIATOR  hats super cozy warm... ADORABLE $29.99
CHOS HEADWEAR EYE VAN FUN FLEECE EYEBALL BEANIES...Minion-esque humor for top of head -fleece line-super easy care...and CUTE FUNNY-$16.99

Friday, November 25, 2016


Chalk Me Up, AFFENZAHN, ERGOBAGS, HydroFlask, Carolee, WRANGLER®, L.L. Bean, Energizer Bunny Slippers. The Original Muck Boot Co.

Part One

The best gifts for kids-is always time well spent together...of course-but well wrapped brightly colored objects that add some practical fun to their growing lives...always the sweet icing for them.

TOP PICK-guranteed to have adult clamoring for 'my size?!?'-Chalk Me Up T shirts-come in bright saturated colors-all cotton with a black board in a bunch of shapes...can be drawn on. Delivers with a 12 pack of chalk....brainchild of mom-preneur Shelly Henshaw....easily wipe off the backboard part...and launders ez in cold water. SMART.
adorable-AFFENZAHN Chummy Friends...made partially from recycled PET features like pull-out tongue, front mesh pocket, secret pockets, reflectors, soft should roads, height adjustable chest strap...
AFFENZAHN Chummy Friends
breathable mesh back, adjustable straps, cute animal packs come in large and small sizes

we see scores of kids going to school on the subway with oversized packs-that are really made for adults...much more suitable and better for their backs-  aimed at the primary/secondary school set-and partially made from recycled PET (plastic soda bottles)...ERGOBAGS...with big people hauler features like stabilizing aluminum frame, adjustable back, height adjustable chest strap, broad hip belt, breathable back padding, innovative drawstring to compress the weight closer to the back...

bright colors-customizable-coordinate shades or let them pick their own-My Hydro™ bottle personalization program serves up color combos and size options for HYDRO FLASKs-stainless steel water bottles, growlers etc (7 sizes to choose from). Rainbow worthy-each element-strap, cap, bottle and boot colors-yileds over 183,456 choices...(hint-matchy matchy with backpacks/outerwear or stick with school colors-if overwhelmed). "HYDRATION INSPIRATION" indeed. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Leonor Greyl, Petal Fresh, Mirai Clinical, Dr. Marder Skincare, Pura D'or, VK Nagrani

Part 2

HAIRCARE...still shaking your head in disbelief---or making a flip statement- .good looking hair- is always the 'correct' vote.

With swoon inducing scents-Leonor Greyl Paris lusciously rich Hair Masques have a cult following...even among the professional hair types under contract to some other brand-use this premium French company's deeply hydrating offerings. BEST BET? Tie a bow on the Masque Quintessence -a shiny rose gold translucent jar full of thick creamy deep nourishing treatment from hair healthy vitamins, indulgent Cupusçu and Manketti healing oils and aroma that hints at exotic locales -mock orange -linden...a mash-up of a truly brilliant savior for damaged dry hair. FYI- all products are free of SLS, parabens, silicone, and coal tar-musts for treated or colored locks.
How to use: Apply to dry hair-let it sink in for a minimum of ten minutes...even just once a week...notice the difference. $145
What Else: After Shampoo Color Protector and Lenore Greyl...NEW product and already our gym bag staple-detangles and protects color-loaded with rich moisturizers- no toxic ingredients to strip locks! Loaded with anti-oxidant properties of amaranth,s elected proteins (almond,soy) and vegetal  oils (Cupuaça, Babassu butters-sunflower, Indian pangamia oils)...and BONUS POINTS HERE...airless tube delivers the ingredients purely.... SO SMART. AND...scent is creamy botanical passed the BF test. Tte 5,1oz tube will last even long hair gals who frequently shampoo-multi-months. LOVE. $78
 FYI: unlike publicly traded companies-privately owned luxury brands like Lenore Greyl rarely introduce new products unless they are superb...which is why a new treatment a VERY  big deal.