Archive for May, 2014

EQSIt is salad season and I am continually looking for something new and different than the old favorites. I found a great new idea for a summer salad in the pages of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Yes, I said Better Homes and Gardens.

The recipe I found is for an Edamame Quinoa Salad which is just a great idea. I love me some edamame and I am on the quinoa bandwagon, so yeah, this salad is perfect.

Not only is this Edamame Quinoa Salad a delicious meal, it is super easy to make. Short of preparing the quinoa, it is really all about assembling as stated in the recipe itself: “meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the edamame, corn, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro. Add quinoa; toss to combine. Add lime juice and olive oil; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.”

Find the recipe for Edamame Quinoa Salad from Better Homes and Gardens here.

Find more great recipes and household tip from Better Homes and Gardens here.

FF: Portland Design Works Bourbon Grips

FF1I swear that I don’t just like things that are named “bourbon” because they remind me of my favorite adult comfort beverage – but I have to say I love these bike grips from Portland Design Works – Bourbon Grips.

About Portland Design Works Bourbon Grips: “Bring the stylish comfort of a well-worn baseball glove to your ride with Portland Design Works’ Bourbon Grips. They’re made from classically stitched, vegetable-tanned leather with polished aluminum lockrings for durability and a finish that’ll only improve with age.”

Portland Design Works Bourbon Grips are available on line from the Trek Bicycle Store.

FF: Badoit, France’s other sparkling water

BADI drink about a gallon of sparkling water every day and some are better that others, but truly one of the best is Badoit, from France.

About Badoit sparkling water: “This major sparkling water brand is much-loved by the French. Badoit brings over two centuries of pleasure and sophistication to every meal. Originally acknowledged for its exceptional properties in the 18th Century, Badoit was recognised in 1778 by King Louis XVI’s physician as having virtues that ‘enhance the appetite, soothe digestion and lift the spirit’. Resolutely traditional, Badoit knows how to reinvent itself; its bottles are increasingly elegant, and highlight this unique product. Choosing to enjoy Badoit fine bubbles means making each meal a special occasion.”

Learn more about Badoit here.

FF: The Beach Cruiser Graphic Tee from Parke & Ronen

FF3I don’t generally wear t-shirts in public, but I am a sucker for shirts with cool bicycle artwork, like the Beach Cruiser Graphic Tee I found from Parke & Ronen.

About the Beach Cruiser Graphic Tee from Parke & Ronen: “The perfect fit t-shirt with a fun graphic print. Your go to basic this season for pairing with your swim trunks, lounging around the house, or layering under your favorite jacket.”

See all the cool summer-inspired products of Parke & Ronen here.

ARTFAIRWell it is past Memorial Day and soon summer will be in full swing, which means it is prime time for one of the season’s great delights: the seasonal art fair.

There are any number of art fairs all over the country – big and small – and they are all an opportunity to discover new artists and great works.

This weekend, right here in the charming Kansas City suburb of Prairie Village, I will be attending the Prairie Village Art Fair which looks like it is going to be great fun.

All across the country, June through September is the prime season for art shows and there is likely one near you this very weekend. Check your local event listing for a show near you – or checkout an online resource like the Art Fair Calendar, which list events all over the U.S.

Check out the Art Fair Calendar here.


Check out the Prairie Village (KS) Art Fair here.

ENGROOMWell, I love design and I am a huge anglophile, so yeah, I love this book: An English Room by Derry Moore. There is just something very comforting about an perfectly decorated English cottage or an old manor’s library that just makes me want to curl up with a good book and a big dog. An English Room has some perfect examples of some great rooms from some of contemporary England’s most notable personalities.

About An English Room by Derry Moore: “This collection of exquisite photographs and illuminating writings invites readers into the favorite rooms of some of England’s most revered celebrities. Everyone has a treasured place to read, study, work, and dream–but there’s something special about an English room. In this handsome volume filled with perceptive photographs, some of England’s most renowned figures share their favorite spaces and their personal musings about Englishness and English rooms. Benedict Cumberbatch reveals his favorite place to read a script; Jeanette Winterson describes why she adores the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris; P. D. James discusses the inspiration for her novel The Black Tower; and fashion designer Paul Smith contemplates the joys of his book-lined study. Gilbert & George invite you into their Queen Anne house, while Alan Bennett explains his rumpled existence in Primrose Hill. Derry Moore’s discerning eye captures the essence of the English room, whether in a country cottage, large estate, ancient chapel, or artist studio at home or abroad. All those with a passion for English culture, society, design, and fashion will take pleasure in this unique view into the private lives of some of England’s most public figures.”

If the idea of a book that celebrates the perfect English room is not enough to sell you – all I need to say is that the incomparable Benedict Cumberbatch is on the cover. Done.

An English Room by Derry Moore is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

BIKEBAGI don’t drink beer, but I love a nice cold Diet Coke in a glass bottle from time to time in the summer. I also like to ride my bike and usually cram a bottle or two into my rear saddlebag, which is often a mistake. Now I found the best solution ever, the 6-Pack Bike Bag I found from Crate & Barrel.

About the 6-Pack Bike Bag from Crate & Barrel: “Saddle up the bike with a ride-refreshing six-pack of soda or water. Plastic-coated canvas bag in attention-getting orange and grey has roomy compartments to hold up to six .5-liter bottles. Velcro fasteners secure bag underneath the bike’s crossbar. Convenient handle makes easy toting from refrigerator to final destination.”

Find the 6-Pack Bike Bag from Crate & Barrel here.

See all the classic product available at Crate & Barrel here.

…and made the ultimate sacrifice on this Memorial Day.


LCUSARemember those old school lawn chairs with the aluminum frame and nylon webbing? There are still a few around mostly rusting in the back of the family barn back in New Hampshire. But I have to admit I am overcome with fond memories of summers gone by whenever I see one of those iconic lawn chairs – no matter the condition they are in.

The nostalgia for those chairs is very strong all over the place apparently, so the good folks at Lawn Chair USA decided to start making them again.

About Lawn Chair USA: “Our chairs are an American classic. They are great for a Bar-B-Que in the back yard, tailgating for your favorite team, beach going or a road trip across America. These chairs are lightweight, fold flat and easy to take with you wherever you need a seat. Lawn Chair USA LLC was started in 2010 because we wanted to bring back an American classic, the folding aluminum webbed lawn chair. We are a family owned business that prides itself on excellent customer service and a quality American made product. Our business has been steadily growing and we have made some improvements to our designs thanks to our customer feedback and requests.”

The chairs of Lawn Chair USA are new versions of the American classic made in America – it may be too late for Memorial Day, but  these are the perfect chairs for your Fourth of July cookout.

Check out the line of chairs from Lawn Chair USA here.

Learn more about Lawn Chair USA here.

Help remember our veterans this Memorial Day weekend:

Support the Wounded Warrior Project.

tssYum! Turkey-Spinach Sliders!

Yes, I found this great recipe for Turkey-Spinach Sliders in Bon Appetit magazine and they are delicious.

Of course I love turkey burgers and I love spinach, but I never thought about putting them together until I found this recipe.

Now sliders are a great idea, but I adapted the recipe to make larger burgers –which really ended up being really yummy mini meatloaves and I will be making them again over the summer. I paired my turkey-spinach creations with some steamed broccoli and brown rice and it was the perfect meal.

An important Tip about this recipe from Bon Appetit: “To keep these Turkey-Spinach Sliders juicy, don’t pack the meat too tightly.”

See all the great foodie finds and recipes from Bon Appetit here.

I am always looking for fun ways to add a little personality to my yard and garden. Today, I present a few finds that are sure to turn heads and elicit a smile or two.

FF: The Horse Head Squirrel Feeder from Archie McPhee

ff4If you can’t beat them, have fun with them. You can’t keep the squirrels out of your birdfeeders, so give them a feeder of their own and have a laugh at the same time with the fabulous Horse Head Squirrel Feeder from Archie McPhee.

About The Horse Head Squirrel Feeder from Archie McPhee: “You have a Creepy Horse Mask, why not the squirrels in your yard? It turns out it’s even funnier on a squirrel. This hanging vinyl 6-1/2″ x 10″ squirrel feeder makes it appear as if any squirrel that eats from it is wearing a Horse Mask. You’ll laugh every morning as you drink your coffee while staring out the window into your backyard. Now, if only the squirrels would do their own version of the Harlem Shake video. Hole on top for hanging with string (not included).”

See all the VERY cool stuff available from Archie McPhee here.

FF: The Dachshund Watering Can from Parpadi

FF2Believe it or not I have been through dozens of watering cans over the years, mostly because I can never find one that feels right. I am given up on the feel and going for the look with this Dachshund watering can I found from Parpadi.

About the Dachshund Watering Can from Parpadi: “Adorable Dachshund watering can with working eyes! The kids will love to use this and you will love the help! Can hold approximately 0.5 gallons of water.”

Check out all the fine gardening products of Parpadi here.

FF: The Peridot Gnome from Chive

FF3aOK, so my new little house on the prairie in Kansas is green. You will no doubt be hearing and seeing a lot about this new house in the coming weeks. But let’s just say the “Peridot” garden gnome from Chive, which also comes in many other designer colors, is a perfect match for the place. Green… It’s GREEN!

About the Peridot Gnome from Chive: “We were really tired of seeing the design injustice that has been inflicted on the poor gnome of late, aka biker gnomes, so we designed a modern, sleek, sexy, colorful friend that everyone wants to hang out with.”

Check out the folks at Chive and see all the cool ways they have to make your flowers and gardens look great.