Archive for November, 2012

pubbikI love everything about today’s find, Public Bikes of San Francisco.  Not only do they make wonderful classic-looking bikes designed for city riding, they have a great collection of gear and bicycle-themed product for bike lovers like me.

About Public Bikes“PUBLIC is a San Francisco-based bicycle and gear company with our store and headquarters in 123 South Park. We design and sell urban bikes, along with accessories to make riding more enjoyable, practical, and chic. Our European-inspired bikes ride like butter. They come in multi-speeds in all sizes. You can dress in casual or business attire, and wear pumps, tennis shoes, or flip flops – just about anything – while riding our bikes. And we have baskets, bags and other gear to go along with them. These bikes will make you feel like a kid again, and this is every bit as important as anything else. You can read about us in numerous national press publications or hear from our customers directly.”

I love PUBLIC’s Special Edition V7 Harrison Bike “The PUBLIC V7 is our affordable, 7-speed, all-purpose, lightweight steel-frame urban bike. It’s ideal for rides in any urban (or rural) terrain, whether you want to speed around town or enjoy the slow ride life. Comfortable enough for everyday trips for casual riders and reliable enough to be your everyday, rain or shine, commuter workhorse.”

As far as gear…

On the high-end I adore the Brooks Brick Lane Roll-Up Pannier ($240.00): “This unique roll-up pannier was inspired by a classic commuter bag design that dates from the 1890s. Made entirely of water-resistant cotton and trimmed in leather, this roomy bag rolls up to save space when not in use. Incredibly durable and highly intelligent, the bag features self-closing magnetized flaps and crossed elastic cords on top that let you strap bulkier items down for easy urban transport.

On the low-end, for $15 you can’t go wrong with PUBLIC’s very own classic brass bell: “A quality bike bell with a pleasing civil tone is hard to find. Too often, they have a tinny abrasive sound. Simple and elegant, this bell is loud enough to do its job, without being obnoxious. Available in finished brass or black painted brass.”

See all the great bikes PUBLIC offers here.

See all the great gear PUBLIC offers here.

HOLIDAY FIND:

Mix Christmas and Hanukkah with Tree Tops from the Curiosity Shoppe.

GIFT WE WANT:

A new wardrobe from Faconnable.

WAY TO GIVE BACK:

Support Panthera.org and help save the world’s wild cats.

Thanksgiving may be long over now, but I love turkey legs.  One of the great joys of a visit to Disney World, especially Frontierland, is the ability to buy a turkey leg from a street vendor.

The turkey leg is such a “thing” at Disney World you can purchase a t-shirt to show your ultimate appreciation.

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bpfPeople often lump Vermont and New Hampshire together.  This is understandable as they are about the same size and shape and share a long border.  But as a New Hampshire native, it has always fascinated me how different the two states actually are.  Much of this is geology.  Despite being side by side the states are divided mostly by the Connecticut River with surprisingly few bridges cross over.  Add the Green Mountains and the White Mountains and a bunch of other mountains running up and down the terrain of both states, it makes it a challenge to get from much of New Hampshire to much of Vermont.

I can go on and on about this – as in the interstate highway system in New England is designed with Boston as its hub which makes it virtually impossible to travel from say Burlington, VT to Portland, ME with any ease.  But I digress.

This is all to say that I wish I could get to Vermont more often, as there are some really cool things happening over there – like at Big Picture Farm where they have created “a Vermont goat dairy and farmstead confectionary.”  Which basically means they make yummy caramels with milk from their herd of goats.

About Big Picture Farm: “Big Picture Farm is committed to making the finest, most delicious caramel in the world using fresh goat milk from our own herd. Our mission is to integrate agriculture and narrative in a fresh way that properly evokes the place, animals, and work in order to bring to life the exciting and unpredictable evolution of our products, farm, and lives. For the verdict is out: our experience of taste is heightened and deepened by the knowledge of our food’s production and provenance. A unique agricultural product that uses only the highest quality ingredients and is guided by compassionate and sensitive husbandry deserves to be presented to the public with its narrative intact.”

I love the whole idea of what the folks behind Big Picture Farm are doing – and I enjoyed reading their story on their website – definitely an enterprise worth supporting and promoting.

Visit Big Picture Farm’s online store here.

HOLIDAY FIND:

The Christmas craft projects (creative ideas made easy) from Plaid Online.

GIFT WE WANT:

The James Bond Archives from Taschen.

WAY TO GIVE BACK:

Support The Life Improvement Project sponsored by IKEA.

Starting tomorrow, we will be launching our Fourth Annual 25 Days of Christmas.  For 25 days leading up to Christmas Eve, we will feature a HOLIDAY FIND, a GIFT WE WANT, and a WAY TO GIVE BACK.

HOLIDAY FIND:

Something special for the holidays – things like decorations, food, events and good cheer.

GIFT WE WANT:

Things we would love to see under the tree – including unlikely extravagances and modest stocking stuffers.

WAY TO GIVE BACK:

A charitable organization or corporate partnership that will help you spread good will this holiday season.

Let’s get the holiday season started!

Cheers!

TAJIKAThere was a time when the label “made in Japan” did not evoke the best of quality. However, pretty much these days, something made in Japan – especially something from traditional sources of well-made goods – is something one looks for. Like the Tajika Haruo Ironworks Scissors I found at Analogue Life.

About Tajika Haruo Ironworks: “Tajika Haruo Ironworks, located in Ono City, northeast of Kobe, has been producing high quality handcrafted scissors and shears for over four generations since its founding in the Showa Period. Produced entirely by hand these versatile scissors are not only for clipping flowers but can be used for a multitude of household tasks.”

I love the Tajika Flower Shears from Tajika Haruo Ironworks available through Analogue Life. Analogue Life curates a wonderful line of Japanese home products and it a fun place to browse.

About Analogue Life: “Analogue Life focuses primarily on contemporary Japanese housewares. Most of the products we carry are handmade by artisans or craftsmen working out of small studios, or small manufacturers, many with long histories and employing techniques perfected over generations.”

Find the Tajika Flower Shears from Analogue Life here.

See all the great products offered by Analogue Life here.

GARDENWAGONHere’s another one of my finds that is best suited for the 1% and is only but a dream for someone like me – the Canvas Garden Wagon from JANUS et Cie.

I can’t make any reasonable excuse for why I need something like this – as I have a perfectly functioning wheelbarrow and my garden consists of a dozen or so plastic containers on the back porch. But I love this wagon and I want one.

About the Canvas Garden Wagon from JANUS et Cie: “Why shouldn’t useful tools be beautiful as well? The Garden Wagon is functionality at its best – an ultra-light cart that carries ten times its weight and is completely proofed against rust, water and rot. The fade-resistant acrylic canvas also resists damage from the sun, water and abrasion. Nylon wheels are mounted on dustproof bearings and suspended by fiberglass shafts and pneumatic tires. The Garden Wagon brown canvas top is available with or without the JANUS et Cie Topiary logo.”

The Canvas Garden Wagon is only one of the great things found at JANUS et Cie, they certainly know how to curate the best design furnishings found anywhere.

About JANUS et Cie: “For more than 34 years, JANUS et Cie has offered the best in interior and exterior residential, hospitality, contract and site and furnishings…each piece a superior example of design and craftsmanship. Our products add a distinctive look to the world’s finest private and public settings: residences, estates, gardens, country clubs, fine ships, restaurants, hotels, offices, conference rooms, corporate lobbies and campuses, public and government buildings, cafeterias and meeting spaces, parks, libraries, shopping centers, food courts, theme parks, hospitals, museums, and universities.”

Now I will go back to dreaming about the life I was mean to have.

See the Canvas Garden Wagon and all the great items curated by JANUS et Cie here.

fsusAfter serving some great locally produced food on Thanksgiving, I have been thinking a lot about the tradition of the feast and the renewed trend of eating fresh and local – which is something I totally embrace.  I wish I could grow and raise all my own food, but yeah, that is not going to happen any time soon – you have seen my paltry yield from my garden, right?

I also like the idea that people are also paying renewed attention to where their food comes from – the farms near and far that grow our food.

I have come across a couple of great resources for those of us who would like to spend more time visiting farms – as a vacation or to buy fresh produce: Farm Stay U.S. and FarmVisit.com.

Farm Stay U.S.

First is Farm Stay U.S., a site that allows you to find a farm where you can stay for a few days. Farm Stay U.S. provides lists of farms that accept visitors to stay and in some cases even participate in the daily chores.

About Farm Stay U.S.: “Farm Stay U.S. is a site designed to connect guests with farm and ranch stays throughout the United States. To fit our criteria, our farm or ranch partners must be working operations growing livestock and/or produce for sale to the public.  We also list farms and ranches growing and using everything for themselves in a self-sustainable model, and non-profit farms educating their guests through on-site food production. These characteristics were chosen to distinguish Farm Stay U.S. from regular bed and breakfast sites.  We believe the majority of Americans are hugely disconnected from their food and the land.  Farm stays provide an opportunity to put down the cell phone and connect with all a rural life has to offer.”

FarmVisit.com

fvdMeanwhile, the folks at FarmVisit.com have created an easy search engine to help you find farms near you where you may be able to visit and/or purchase fresh produce.

About FarmVisit.com“FarmVist.com is formed to allow the farms market their produce easier and more effective. We provide a search engine that allows the public to easily find the farm that they are looking for. FarmVisit.com started by an enthusiast who wanted to provide a search engine to find farms. We have been actively working with the farmers and ranch owners to promote the agritourism industry in US. The farmers are amazing and hard working people and we encourage everyone to visit a farm and support them. FarmVisit.com is continually reinventing itself and focused on providing better content to our readers. Our goal is to provide a unique site for farmers, a site that will be the link in the community and a place for the public to go to. We can only achieve this goal with your help and support.”

Find your next farm vacation here – Farm Stay U.S.

Find a farm near you to visit here – FarmVist.com.

TDAY.2012