I just spent the weekend looking after the two cutest pooches on the planet. However, as cute as they are, it occurred to me that they weren’t very useful. Whatever happened to the St. Bernard with the flask around his neck? Anyway, I think that we should start having our pets earn their keep – and they can start by carrying their own toys and snacks with something like the Charlie’s Bag Backpack I found from the fine folks at Dog & Co.

About the Charlie’s Bag Backpack from Dog & Co.

“Charlie’s Backyard builds fun, functional products for pups, with the belief that life is better with a dog! Charlie’s Bag is a must-have accessory for any fashion-forward pooch.  This lightweight, easy-to-wear backpack features functional zips so that your pup can tote all of their most valuable possessions along with them on all of their adventures.  Designed to be worn as a harness, a lead can even be clipped to the top of the pack (though not recommended for heavy pullers).”

I think a bottle or two of bourbon would fit quite nicely in one of these.

Find the Charlie’s Bag Backpack from Dog & Co. here.

See all the great products for your little furry friends from Dog & Co. here.

I like beans, but have never really been a fan of traditional baked beans, which is why I was thrilled to find this recipe for Cheesy Italian Baked Beans from the fine folks at Better Homes & Garden magazine.

About the recipe for Cheesy Italian Baked Beans from Better Homes & Garden:

“Traditional Italian ingredients like onion, garlic, tomatoes, cheese, and rosemary put a spin on classic baked beans.”

They had me at “cheesy Italian” – I am all in!

Find the recipe for Cheesy Italian Baked Beans from Better Homes & Garden here.

See all the recipes and other great tips for your home from Better Homes & Garden here.

I love this picture courtesy of the fine folks at the Conway Daily Sun featuring a wide angled aerial shot of charming North Conway Village with Mount Cranmore in the background with just a hint of the glorious fall colors to come:

FF: The Dog Pillows from Tweed

I like dogs and I like accent pillows, which makes the Dog Pillows from the fine folks at Tweed the perfect thing for me to throw on my couch.

About the Dog Pillows from Tweed:

“These canvas pillows are perfect for every dog lovers home! Each feature a different sentiment: ‘Home is where my dog is,’ ‘Dogs welcome, people tolerated’ or ‘Be The person Your Dog Thinks You Are.’ sentiment. Zipper closure with removable insert.”

Find the Dog Pillows from Tweed here.

See all the great finds from Tweed here.

FF: The Peruvian Wool Cat Pillow from Oeuf

Not to be outdone, the fine folks over at Oeuf offer a really cool Wool Cat Pillow which would make a perfect companion for your real cat – or your dog pillow.

About the Peruvian Wool Cat Pillow from Oeuf:

“For cat lovers only (isn’t that everyone?) 100% hand-loomed wool pillow, 16″x16″, with faux down insert. Our wool pillows are each hand-loomed by a single artisan, using techniques passed down through the generations in a family-run workshop in Peru. Each piece is therefore a unique work of art. The process starts with the flocks of sheep found in the highlands of Puno City. Their wool is used for the 100% wool yarn, which is hand-dyed in small quantities using non-toxic dyes. The highly-skilled weavers then work on a traditional loom to hand-make each piece with care.”

Find the Peruvian Wool Cat Pillow from Oeuf here.

See all the other great find from Oeuf here.

I found the fine folks from Autumn Harvest Farm at a farmers’ market and was pleased to learn that they have a shop at their Grafton, NH home – which in addition to a selection of their fresh and canned goods – includes a café (the Harvest Time Café) and a quilt shop (the Maple Leaf Quilt Shop).

About Autumn Harvest Farm:

“We are glad you have decided to see the wonderful selection of canned and fresh goods out of the abundance of Autumn Harvest Farm in Grafton, New Hampshire. You can be sure that the products you buy online are the same fresh quality items you find at our farm.”

I can’t think of a better seasonal day trip than to drive up to Grafton in the stunning fall foliage to visit the aptly named Autumn Harvest Farm.

Lucky for those of us who live too far for a simple drive, Autumn Harvest Farm sells a large number of their farm products in their online store.

 

Autumn Harvest Farm and Quilt Studio is located at 77 Johnson Lane in lovely Grafton, NH.

I once had a black cat, Bear-Bear, who was adorable and not really black. She looked black, but when you saw her in direct sunlight you could see that she was really an extremely dark brown – and had spots! But I digress. I thought of Bear-Bear recently when I picked up the book All Black Cats Are Not Alike by Amy Goldwasser (writer) and Peter Arkle (illustrator). This book is just a ton of fun for cat lovers and the rest you alike. We are introduced to 50 or so black cats with very different personalities and the result is funny, charming and a total delight.

About All Black Cats Are Not Alike by Amy Goldwasser and Peter Arkle: “Every cat owner knows that no two cats are alike. This pitch-perfect illustrated book proves this simple fact by diving whiskers first into the unique personality, charisma, and character of 50 real all-black cats. From Alfie, who ‘has no tolerance for wet humans or being ignored,’ to Sashi, who ‘enjoys freeze-dried chicken by candlelight and full-on body rubs,’ each cat comes to life through a lovingly hand-drawn portrait and quick-witted profile. Delightfully quirky and utterly charming, this motley crew of black cats will win over anyone with a dry sense of humor.”

After reading through these quirky cat profiles you will never look at your cat – or any cat – the same way again. You will always be thinking “what’s going on in that little cat head of theirs?”

All Black Cats Are Not Alike by Amy Goldwasser and Peter Arkle is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

 

It looks like I may be setting up a new household soon, so I am looking for design inspiration wherever I can find it. While surfing around the online store from the fine folks at Finest Wallpaper, I stumbled upon this ‘Cykel’ wallpaper by Scion, which I am mad about.

About the ‘Cykel’ Wallpaper from Finest Wallpaper:

“’Cykel’ by Scion is a charmingly interpreted, old-fashioned push-bike.”

I love the model room Finest Wallpaper shows with the Cykel paper in use – complete with matching curtains. I need this look in my new house!

Find the ‘Cykel’ wallpaper from Finest Wallpaper here.

See all the great looks from Finest Wallpaper and find your own design inspiration here.

The other day when I posted about my visit to Cigar Shenanigans Cigar and Cocktail Lounge in North Conway, NH, I mentioned that they used cigar boxes in unique ways to enhance their décor. This reminded me of the fine folks at AxBox Guitars – makers of amazing guitars from, well from cigar boxes. Seriously, each finished product from AxBox is a masterpiece.

About AxBox Guitars:

“All of our guitars are handcrafted from found objects and the highest quality custom materials. We have a rotating selection of already built guitars at our shop, as well as an expanding collection of vintage cigar boxes and unique containers you can select from for the guitar of your choice. Custom consultation for a guitar crafted from your own found object is also available.”

I first spotted AxBox Guitars at the great Gold Coast Art Fair this past June in Chicago and fell in love with the craftsmanship and high quality. These are not just a novelty. I was most intrigued by listening to actual musicians from the crowd walking up, picking up one of the cigar box guitars and playing it – and sounding as good as any “real” guitar you can find.

Making something like a cool guitar from a “found” object? How could I not love it?

Learn more about AxBox Guitars here.

Visit AxBox Guitars’ Etsy shop here.

 

 

OK, I know, many of us are still clinging on to the last hint of summer and it is way too early to throw in the towel and acknowledge that the autumn chill is in the air and winter in not far behind. I get it. BUT! I love soup and have already started collecting recipes for the season – like this one for Sweet Potato Soup from the fine folks at Southern Living magazine.

About the recipe for Sweet Potato Soup from Southern Living:

“Sweet potatoes, buttery Yukon Gold potatoes, healthy carrots, and warm spices all combine to create a flavorful and savory comforting soup, perfect for cold winter evenings. In less than an hour you can have a pot of delicious creamy soup ready for your family. Round out the meal with a loaf of warm bread. This recipe calls for toasted pecans, a favorite addition to soups and salads. Go ahead and toast more than the required amount, and freeze the extra pecans in a freezer safe container, or zip-top bag. This way, you will have toasted pecans on hand whenever you need them. This is a handy tip for toasted coconut, as well. This creamy soup makes excellent leftovers, to take to work or anywhere on the go.”

Find the recipe for Sweet Potato Soup from Southern Living here.

Check out all the recipes and other great finds from Southern Living here.

One of my favorite places here in the Kansas City metro area is The Rio Theatre in Old Overland Park. I love movies and I love quaint vintage theaters and that is just what the Rio is. I use any excuse to see a movie at Rio and have been there many times in the past few years. One challenge is that the Rio tends to have long runs for the films shown on her single screen – which limits the opportunities to visit. However, once a year I get a chance to go more often – and to see films I would ordinarily not get a chance to see – as the Rio hosts the Latin American Cinema Festival of Kansas City.

About the Latin American Cinema Festival of Kansas City:

“This will be our twenty-sixth annual film festival, and will take place on consecutive Saturdays in September and October: September 2, 9, 16, 30 and October 7. Main funding for this program is provided by the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit cultural organization that connects communities with history, traditions, and ideas to strengthen civic life.”

The Latin American Cinema Festival of Kansas City runs Saturdays through October 7 at the Rio Theatre – 7204 W. 80th St. in Overland Park, Kansas.

Learn more about the Latin American Cinema Festival of Kansas City and see trailers of this year’s films here.

Visit the home of The Rio Theatre online here.

 

 

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