Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cutting Edge Beauty/MakeUp-What's Next...

Coming - arriving-the latest beauty tools and makeup trends ...sourced from tradeshows -which is where  all those niche, luxury and mass beauty lines often get their products from. Hence  a lot of similar goodies for consumers-seem to be launched around the same time-like the matte-hydration, long lasting-bold lipstick trend.
At recent MakeUp in NewYork trade show -we had a few minutes to cruise around...and gave a thumbs up to Jepson's smooth (patented) anti-microbial makeup sponges perfect for even applications of foundation, BB creams, suncreams' kind of textures. Pictured-2 types-made of smooth/soft silicone which is naturally a lot more 'clean'-anti-microbial/anti-odor...and ez to clean... and the Duo-Sili Sponge-smooth.scoft silicone one one side...and optional materials on the other-including the more traditional material. NICE.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Perk Up: New Coffee-Teas Blends

To wake up -or to chill out-the latest Coffee and Tea blends -to help achieve the desired outcome-boast 'healthy' add-ons -with new blends aiming to make these popular sips-even better for you.

EIGHT O'CLOCK was a 'mom' staple in our house...nowadays-this 100% Arabica coffee gets amped up with healthy for you-additions-perfect for the faster moving 21st century. ACAI GLOW-contains the anti-oxidant loaded superfood ACAI Berry,  a rich dark roast B6 Metabolism-that has just that, and a truly well balanced, aromatic  cinnamon+turmeric (anti-inflammatory) based super spice medium roast blend that's our fav-  tasty hot or iced cold. Have to say though-that the new ALERT medium roast-which gets its added oomph from the native Brazilian GUARANA fruit -is a guy pal fav-perfect for the early bird who needs the staying power of energy drink staples-without the jitters or weird taste. SALUT

Ethical Bean Coffee...USDA Organic-and carefully sourced from Fair Trade growers...offers several blends including medium roast EXOTIC with fruity/floral innuendos, 100% Arabica beans. In whole beans too.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Red, White, Blue+Patent

Aerosoles, Adidas Outdoors, Latigo, Wolverine, Nina, Sebago

Fav Footwear for Fall-to wear well into Spring-branches out from typical earthy autumnal tones with some patriotic red-whote-blue flair-or shine.
Affordable, too.

Suede Scalloped TELEPORT shooties $99-Aerosoles chic-w/ comfort-breathable memory foam insoles, grippy diamond flex outsoles...on solid block heel with gold accent.
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Choleah -built for any terrain-high top groove with weather tough+ comfort attributes like Ortholite sockliner, grippy Traction® tread outsole, Primaloft® insulation.

Friday, September 15, 2017

NYFW... YES, It's All About the HAIR


The angst about retail sales (full price-or discounted), the relevance of Fashion Weeks, and weather miscues of typical delivery dates ...make the festive Texture On The Runway show dedicated to the wonders of naturally curly tresses...a very welcome celebration of the most stylish possibilities.

The cavernous iconic Gotham Hall was filled with 700+ fans-eagerly recording the real world - catwalk models-attired fashionably... and... the big wow-made-up and hair STYLED -flashing casual everyday 'dos-to full on fab editorial...

ALL= magnificently coiffed 'fros, curled ringlets, cascading luscious waves or intricate braids- short to long tresses- courtesy of several top hair stylists and brands.

Hosts NaturallyCurly co-founder Michelle Breyer and professional hairstylist Monica Stevens (MoKnowsHair)-joined lead sponsor SALLY BEAUTY-with several brands-receiving their own catwalk segment-followed by a brief how to get the look...NICE!


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New Protein Packed Snacks:Part 3

Less sugar-more protein=feeling fuller without the crash burn. Healthier snacks are trend to stay.
Coming to the grab and go fast eatery...near portion CONTROL!!!!

Sometimes it's the packaging-6 savory varieties of fresh fruit, nuts+cubes of cheese in portable container by NATURIPE  Snacks

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lunchbox Season:New, Better For You Snacks

As 'meals' or snacks-portioned and larger sizes of these new products are food trenders all-healthier eats, simpler ingredients, or indulgent sweets in smaller portions.

Conveniently packaged in 3s- shelf stable Miche's Kitchen cookies-are tasty chewy sweets-made from a sprouted organic flour blend-organic oat, garbanzo, sunflower seeds in the mix-a starting block for these better for you cookies. Vegan, gluten free-and free of major allergens- the REALLY kid friendly flavors (100 calories per cookie) of chocolate chip, coconut lime, gingerful, and green sugar are all delicious...worthy of a dunking in any beverage of choice.
GoGoSqueez-these products-have got to be one of the most popular snack purchases for Generation Z on down now-but we think-adult sized endurance athletes and hikers-will equally find favor with any of the 14 flavors of- on the go applesauces, or our preferred bunch-one of the 7 types that are USDA Organic. Smartly(FUN TOO) packaged in BPA free,  shelf stable twist top pouches- sold in 4 packs (like everywhere)---the satisfying 60 calorie serving-that we tried-has just three simple ingredients-organic apple, organic apple juice concentrate and organic lemon juice concentrate. FYI-the GoGoSqueez applesauce = just sweet enough (100% fruit derived, naturally and free of corn syrup/artificial flavors) vegan friendly gluten, dairy, nut free, certified Non-GMO, and Kosher certified. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

LUNCHBOX SEASON: Single-Serve Snacks

Part One
Targeting all- from the pint to plus sized... food companies-are offering up savory, sophisticated, +sweet treats in shelf stable, on the go packaging-lunchbox (hauler) friendly.


Biena Roasted Chickpeas-coat their crunchy -slightly salty additive protein packed nibble-with some-sweet-dark chocolate, milk chocolate and vanilla-y salt caramel. In large and snack size portions...chances are whichever you open-the bag will be empty, soon enough.
yeah-this packaging is perfect for kids-but never one to deprive oneself as adults-these Snikiddy USDA Organic Baked Puffs-are air crunch delicious-gluten free MUSTS-fresh cheddar cheesy-buttermilk hints without that freaky orange dye staining fingers. Certified gluten free+kosher too-110 calories a serving-a temptation that satisfied. Fun in grilled cheese and mac n' cheese flavors too.. Good Health Snacks kettle style chips--non-GMO verified thin thin thin sliced potato made crispy with three simple ingredients...including heart healthy avocado oil (30% less fat than regular ole')-and sprinkling of sea salt... both widely available

Friday, September 8, 2017

L.L.BEAN ORIGINAL BOOTS: Classics, New Styles-and Available!


couldn't of put it better

Ditching the pricey heels that costs a month's rents-for outdoor lifestyle kickers-like the sellout L.L. Bean iconic duck boots-is a consumer trend accelerating in 2017.
Fortunately-  Maine's most acclaimed retailer -is expanding its Lewiston manufacturing capacity and launching a slew of designs featuring signature rubber tread outsoles, primo leather uppers that slug off harsh weather conditions-in new silhouettes, new colors, and flannel plaid lined versions-starting to deliver NOW.


signature 8" L.L. Bean Boot by L. L. Bean-manufactured in Maine since 1912-is a best seller-triple stitched, supportive steel shank,..variations include 6" bot, Thinsulate insulated, and tumbled leather grain upper that's shearling lined.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Van's Life-Car Essentials-Part 4

HYDRO FLASK, L.L.BEAN, Snack-In-The-Box, OTTER BOX, Pelican, Eagle Creek, High Brew, Califia Farms

Life on the road-for pleasure-or escaping less than optimal weather-some gear fits both occasions.
for a nip of  hot or cold-ANYTHING-Hydro Flask tumbler size -vacuum with snap  on matchy matchy vacuum insulated stainless bottles too...

L.L. Bean-sets any portable table, just right...with value priced 'camping goods' that qualify as 'home goods' too... including vacuum insulated travel mugs + bottles with lids-slide open/close, crowd pleasers- double barrel beer worthy BPA free stainless steel mug w/ copper finish in craft brew bottle size (16oz) with press on lid-slide one/close, handy insulated soft pack coolers made of durable 3x ripstop Cordura®, food-grade, non-PVC liners and ez access zipped main compartment, and we love- Traverse Camp enamel cup-delivers in a 4 pack-completes any al fresco kitchen with retro-camp chic.
not for kids only-especially depending what one puts in it (hhhaaaaa) ready-Snack in the Box™ are design STYLE by Precidio Design, Inc. On Amazon-these colorful haulers-are made of nearly indestructible Tritan®, adjoined 2 containers (6oz each)-and are BPA/BPS-phthalate free. PLUS-they clean ez in dishwashers-cause lids snap off.

OTTERBOX -is getting outdoors beyond coddling smartphones- with the awesome multi-functioning Venture Cooler-available in three sizes. Designed tough (that includes polycarbonate/ABS latches to block out critters big+small) and a mounting system-accessories enabled ---like inside-where there are 3 slots for compartment separations-w/ bottle opener, nesting grooves for cutting board+dry storage, slanted interior bottom to make draining via nylon drain plug easier, stainless steel pins, and rugged polypropylene inside/outside shells. 
PELICAN Elite coolers-are as tough as their indestructible haulers that every pro photographer we know -uses. Wheeled or not-they deliver-from 20 quart size on up, and up (50 quart). With a lifetime guarantee-they're insulated with polyurethane foam insulation, have a polypropylene body, ABS latches, stainless steel hardware, w/ built in bottle opener, molded in can holders-on the lid, dry rack (pictured below)-and a dry ice pack-both sold separately.

EAGLE CREEK -travel packing organizers  (Pack-It Original™) deliver in very stylish fabric patterns, and sizes- now-we keep em' on home dressers as well as hiding them away in a backpack or luggage. while traveling. So many shapes-feature zipped sacks, and loads of cubes-toiletry compression, garment, clean-dirty, shoe, etc. and our pick- new padded structured quilted circle set and mini-cube sets that are TPU lined-easy to clean-made of ultra-light silnylon ripstop, have quick grab handles, are water repellent and have ez grip rubber zipper pulls. Lifetime warranty too.
What Else:

Ready to drink-cold Brew for the road-or to wake up to-High Brew Coffee in  aluminum cans -tasty, no bitter, caffeine buzz- easy to keep cold (in the above coolers). Sweetened or unsweetened...we love the original flavor- double espresso-50 calories-smooth and low acid.

Another worthy cooler-buzz-practically anything by Califia Farms...they make this delicious unadulterated Cold Brew-so good -we say-one should opt for the large 48 oz of premium Arabica unsweetened Pure Black...and be sure to offer up alternatives for  any half and half addict-with the Better Half plant based creamers...that redefines what a dairy experience is-without the animals involved. YAY. Scrumptiously rich-made of coconut cream and almond milk. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Van's Life: The Essentials: Part 3

Gear options can make for happy trails... or without them= days of misery.

MyCharge Adventure Ultra, Hotels By Day

Top Pick... for the van life's  must have gadget list--is the lightweight portable charging hub + inverter, MyCharge Adventure Ultra-that -besides a slew of different USB slots for all those personal electronics made by companies that can't seem to agree on compatibility---has a real deal AC Power Outlet electric plug for stuff like small fan (8 hours), laptops/tablets, Bluetooth speaker-and even an 42" -32" LED TV (3 hours)-in case hitting' the road includes must see TV. IMPRESSIVE.

MyCharge Adventure Ultra ($129.99) powers up-on the move or when the power goes out...on right is new Adventure Ultra-with recharge cable plugged in. STATS=Battery 13400mAh, Input 20V Power Supply, Output: AC 110V 45W. Up top-the on/off switches on left for USB and on right -electric plug. In middle window-battery indicator and on/off icon indicators separate for USBs and AC Power Outlet-didn't come out in this picture. Efficient! Using it-can be confident that there's maximum power transfer to what's plugged in.
Rugged+durable-solidly built...and battery charge lasts up to one year.Weighs 1.05 lbs, -rapid recharge power bank charges up to 50x faster than competitors...and handy -charges the power bank and a connected device simultaneously...
On left-smaller MyCharge we got a few years back with USB slots...portable handle for our fading iPhone battery...and occasional power outages in rural environs we frequent. 

2 USB-A and 1 USB-C-charges phones, tablets and USB-C enabled closures keep 'em clean.

AC Power Outlet-this is great...using a small fan while camping out-nice option to have.

What else....
After a few days (weeks)-sleeping out of can get to a point where indoor plumbing just beckons...
An affordable method for securing that steamy hot shower with clean towels-comes courtesy of Hotels By Day-an app/website for travelers to urban/suburban/beach areas in need of a daystay-vacay.  SO SMART... an easy to book service-bolstered by application software that rounds up unsold inventory of participating hotel chains and offers them up for AM-PM hours - even at the last minute -for bargain $. 
Also great for those insane long layovers-airline flyers can be subject too...or biz types in town for day meetings...need a space to hang before or aft'-or a conference room for multiple human gatherings. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Van's Life...Part 2/Apparel

Clothes to take on any city-country-outdoor festival jaunt-have to be travel friendly, weather flexible separates + easy cleaners...if you ever get to that around to it ...



Top Picks:

Smartwool boasts a bunch of lifestyle functional separates for Fall 2017-love this cocoon shape Urban UpSlope Hoody (black)-layers well-with outer nylon shell-protects against the wind... enough insulation (naturally warm/moisture wicking/anti-odor merino wool blend lining) for those cooling temps at sunset...belt it for more fashion flair--but there's a drawcord at neck+back hem adds to silhouette shape and keeps you warm. Hand pockets and smart of SMARTWOOL -reversible! $250

Walls Outdoor work/hunt wear is wear everywhere-for good reasons-pieces are well cut, made for guys on the move -out of comfy&extremely durable fabrics that could probably survive a zombie apocalypse.Wet weather coated vests are ez layer on/off-including this lightweight Thinsulate insulated nylon vest w/metal snap closures (high neck impedes any storm). PLUS  chest pocket, interior pocket, hand warmer pockets, and knit hem low waist. The Vintage Lined Duck Pant $49.99 has classic buffalo plaid fleece lining-comfort+warmth. Loops for hammer+utility and pockets deep enough for smartphones.

Friday, September 1, 2017

It's A Van's Life

Five:Ten, Sebago, Altra Running, Danner, OluKai, Helly Hansen, DZR, Hollowrock, Ridgemont Outfitters

Essentials for motoring travelers...

Pitching tents in  remote locales accessed by dirt roads- or driving along well worn pavements to outdoor cabins or campgrounds -and everything in between (say, en plain air music festivals)...outdoor life experienced in a car/RV-is an American tradition.
And there's no better time than late summer or Fall for hittin' the trail...
Take along= multi-tasking, functional essentials to take along for the ride...
Part One:
The Kicks=Urban Performance-Outdoor Lifestyle
Hiking, climbing and cool looking urban kicks-by Five:Ten. Sure, better known parent Adidas is the hot label-but we prefer the functionality of these-with the brand's proprietary STEALTH sticky rubber outsoles (grip galore-for technical edging and durability) plus comfy arched footbed, reinforced toe caps, breathable, perforated upper-and kinda mid-cut hit-delivering a city slick  approach shoe that takes wearers scrambling, bouldering, hiking-or sidewalk cruising . Fit-the exoskeleton lacing system (color lace options) keep it secure-so no twisted ankles on the descent, cushioning EVA midsole-absorb shocks of hard surfaces...imo  half size up from dress shoe size.

Sebago Litesides collection easily go off the boat-onto dry land with  practically featherweight comfort. These leather casual slip-ons ($100) (M/W)...deliver in  colors that are season-less-with on trend white foxing. Built in all day features include padded cupped EVA heel, dual-density, cushioning memory foam removable footbed, non-marking, slip-resistant outsole.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sustainable Seafood: Athlete Essential by WILD PLANET

Healthy seafood,  the real deal kind, not farmed or GMO scientifically rendered (available now in Canada) is a super healthy protein, gluten free- and heart/brain musts-EPA and DHA) Omega 3. An athlete is quickly becoming the preferred protein source world wide.

But tasty choices, wild caught, sustainably sourced -from a shelf stable cans or pouches-  that tastes like fresh as fresh?
Icon -and television's first celebrity chef- Julia Child...loved her tuna fresh too!

Surprise=Wild Planet-a brand that is widely available (including direct)-not only changed-as in elevated our taste buds expectations-vis à vis what a can of wild, skinless/boneless salmon or crowd fav albacore tuna-should taste like-we felt like ditching the 'canned' moniker-of everything we tried- as all products tasted are as tender flaky, chew-textured if sourced straight off the fishing boats.

Upshot: Forever changed-in a good way-what a shelf stable fish can taste like. A big wow.

PLUS: Big Bonus Points: Wild Planet's dedication to sustainably sourcing including a catch method that releases juvenile fish, a NO controversial fishing method adherence-avoiding long-line or purse seine caught tuna-that can ensnare by catch, sourcing sardines from abundant Pacific Ocean...additionally adherence to Monterey BayAquarium Seafood Watch®.
Some Wild Planet products available-include single serving (for us, anyway) Albacore Wild Tuna-zip top pouch that is great for hikes, lunch boxes, or post race food for those who can't stomach the usual athlete food fare-but require protein. Fab...and Wild Planet only cooks its tuna 1x versus other brands-thus retaining its natural juices=better tasting AND retaining nutritional value.
 As good as fresh tuna steak ordered at a trusted restaurant-the 5oz can of Albacore Tuna, rich in mega 3s and low in mercury is in fact packed with a raw tuna steak without added water, oil or fillers-a huge difference fro what we were used to, shelf wise. So much better in fact, Wild Planet's version shouldn't even be uttered in the same breath. That good.
.  New for us, can-wise is the Skipjack Wild Tuna- a light colored, flavorful member of the tuna family-a medium sized, perciform fish-very popular in Japanese cuisine-including sushi and sashimi- with naturally less mercury contamination than other tunas.

Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon (and Wild Sockeye Salmon) a convenient ez open, snap top can-has the fresh succulent taste/texture of fresh caught and delivered fillets-no need to drain the juices-as it's packed with no fillers or additives less a tad of sea salt. Terrific...sourced from the icy Alaskan waters, we couldn't;t resist devouring,  straight out of the can-though delicious tantalizing recipes-are available online...(like party crowd pleaser, savory flavorful salmon cakes). Available in 6oz cans, non-GMO certified, and Kosher.
No wonder-we never really used to like skinless/boneless canned sardines-Wild Planet's sardines (from off the course of Morocco)-fresh firm textured skin, with fleshy flake fillets-tastes so superior-practically a different food category. Wild Planet has seven options of sardines-our top pick -the skinless/boneless fillets in water-a nutritional powerhouse options, low in calories. Also available in extra virgin olive oil-good for salads, a no salt in water, and seasoned marinara sauce, and extra virgin olive oil+lemon, 
Information on WILD PLANET ---including other products available

Thursday, August 24, 2017

NEW:Plant Based Sustainable EATS/Drinks+Sweets

 Fancy Food Show 2017/Editor Showcase

Our fav new products from recent foodie -centric events...ready to eat/drink...and delicious.


Who knew? For Half N' Half is finally-a worthy creamy rich alternative by Califia Farms -that delivers in quart and half pint sizes-in unsweetened and original, slightly sweetened vanilla, and hazel. Our MUST HAVE new coffee pair-up---this Almondmilk Creamer with coconut-a healthy heart fat and with no sugar or cholesterol (unlike diary cream or whole milk)...has the same thick pourable texture and great shelf life as it's dairy equivalent-BUT is vegan (plus gluten/soy/dairy-free, non-GMO certified, carrageenan free, and kosher).
CALIFIA FARMS dairy free, plant based milks-from Almond+and Coffee Brews available from coast to coast. 

Shake well before using-and this container is recyclable.

POST ENDURANCE RACE-ditch the recommended chocolate milk-Chobani's new coffee+cream flavor, in this flavor -is not too sweet. This Greek Yogurt drink-delivers 14 grams of protein and is satisfying-a creamy easy to drink snack-meal sub-in a one serving,  chilled bottle-240 calories, 21 grams of sugar-with potassium, calcium and Vitamin A.

Are you the type to be tempted to eat a whole bag of chips? Farmer's Pantry-in original, (also in slight spice heated jalapeño and buttery a bit sweet honey butter) our top new satisfying crunchy snack-akin to a chip version of the best part of cornbread-the crispy top. BUT-with each serving (6/bag at 120 calories), serving up 10g of whole grains-this new snack is actually satisfying filling AND finger licking' good. 
cat worthy!

GREYSTON BAKERY is our decadently fav crowd pleasing cookie/brownie company, period. AND it's-a non-profit-where the irresistible mouth-watering sweets like all flavors of chewy brownies (aka the high quality chocolate fudge is transporting and new vegan fudge brownie is a revelation all made with Fair-Trade certified chocolate+cage free eggs)... and soft yummy cookies like this year's Fancy Food Oscar- SOFI winner HARVEST  (oats, raisins, cranberries) and real deal Chocolate Chunk is made by those wanting a job, irrespective of background (Open Hiring™)...including homeless, and formerly incarcerated offers community programs like after-school+daycare...AND 2% of profits donated to Whole Planet Foundation/a Certified B Corporation. FYI-perfect for hostess or corporate gifts, wedding favors-in special packaging. Available at Whole Foods and online...We wish this 501c3 organization could franchise itself all over the country.

After trying one of these substantial, individually wrapped- soft pleasantly sugary/butter creamy Butter Toffee Caramels-by EVERTON TOFFEE-we couldn't believe just how amazingly better-like a COMPLETELY new candy category-this tin packed treat is-compared to the mass marketed USA version we grew up with. Yes, that good. From a British based company founded in 1753. Delivers soon in this collection tin-and available now in re-sealable packs of 3 bags (10 caramels per bag). Nice touch-each oversized caramel is individually  retro-wrapped -throwback to old fashioned sweet shoppes-using old fashioned wax paper. 
Sahara Date Company-fruit chewy and delicious-awesome portable snack wholesome dates (there are actually four kinds-Sukkary, Khudry, Ajwa, Saggae) grown/shipped from Saudi Arabia. Available Whole Foods and Harris Teeter..we think this is the only food import from that country we could think of...

Monday, August 21, 2017

Natural (er) Beauty: Reasons+Solutions

De-regulation of certain industries is a dominate Fed Thing, these days- but in the USA- cosmetics and supplements-elude FDA oversight-ALREADY-in ways that might surprise consumers/users.

One solution-stick with European made products- load up on your favs when there. That includes mass globally marketed brands...where-we suspect...same name products are made differently-as in higher standards-on the other side of the Pond.

Another solution-for supplements-opt for brands with 3rd party verifications of potency/contents-while for beauty-buy small cult brands that have ditched the unregulated/tested for safety stuff to begin with.
Top Picks:

For fuller brows... EES™ (Essential Eyebrow Solution®)-developed by RMV Trademarks LLC-a clinically tested topical solution (on chemotherapy patients) that encourages the appearance of eyebrow hair growth/conditioning.

EES™ is patented, paraben free, hypoallergenic, pH balanced with natural black cohosh-and it's safe to paint on sensitive skin...apply liquid formulation with a cotton swab, 2x daily on dry, clean brows-then let brows dry-10-15 minutes before applying any brow powder etc,
FYI-eyebrow hairs are on a four month growing cycle, generally speaking---so as with most supplements-imo-give it about three months of daily use. A 2oz bottle should last 6 months-applied as directed.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


For end of summer vacays-that will carry the load straight into Spring-top picks for durable duffles+backpacks-with  eye catching patterns and trims....pack down and travel well (carry-on sizes all!!!!)- for long hauls everywhere.


further 'proof'---carry-ons-a must


Licensed merchandise with urban flair-Buxton's Budweiser
 men's travel/DOPP bags, RFID blocking wallets and accessories-including solid leather belts-sharp enough for urban style hounds - tricked out with functional metal hardware details- (bottle opener!)-delivering just in time for the first NFL kickoff...

Friday, August 18, 2017

FALL FAVS-Footwear :Part 3

Details and patterns- add flair to seasonless kicks...


Chunky Heeled Chelsea Boots+Chukkas
LATIGO-lace-y punch-out collar edge on faded red block heel Scout bootie-$119

Pikolinos burnished leather chunky heel shoes-fuse urban/artisan inspirations-Canada $195