Archive for April, 2016

buddI am totally in love with the fine folks at Portland, Oregon’s Budd+Finn – a shop that looks like just the type of place I would open if I had the talent. Budd+Finn offers great home accessories and related products and from what I can tell they are all great.

About Budd + Finn: “Budd + Finn was born of the concept that the ideal shop should offer unique and well-designed products at affordable prices – in an inviting, approachable, relaxed atmosphere. The shop is named after our two rescue dogs since they represent to us that essence of comfort & home; not too fussy and full of life. We invite you to stop by & see how we can make your home a little more fun with our twist of style added to yours.”

Some of things at Budd+Finn that caught my eye include…

this Cast Iron Dog Collection (above right):

“These adorable cast iron dogs each capture the breeds charming qualities. Hand-painted so variations are common.”

budd2this Bicycle Mug (right):

“Whether you are a bicycle enthusiast or know one, this graphic mug is right to energize your day!”

…and this Mill House Console:

“Industrial chic is the only way to describe this console…great for office for files & office equipment or console for TV & components.”

Budd+Finn is located at 316 NW Broadway in the great city of Portland, OR USA.

Lucky for us Budd+Finn also has an online shop – check it out here.

lostI have managed to avoid the adult coloring book up until now. However, when I came across the gorgeous Lost Ocean an Inky Adventure and Coloring Book for Adults by Johanna Basford, I jumped right on the bandwagon.

About Lost Ocean an Inky Adventure and Coloring Book for Adults by Johanna Basford: “From the creator of the worldwide bestsellers Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest, a beautiful new adult coloring book that takes you on a magical journey beneath the waves. With this coloring book for adults, Johanna Basford invites color-inners of all ages to discover an enchanting underwater world hidden in the depths of the sea. Through intricate pen and ink illustrations to complete, color, and embellish, readers will meet shoals of exotic fish, curious octopuses, and delicately penned seahorses. Visit coral reefs and barnacle-studded shipwrecks, discover intricate shells and pirate treasure. Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest fans and newcomers alike will welcome this creative journey into an inky new world. For Lost Ocean, Johanna picked a crisp ivory paper that accentuates and complements your chosen color palette. The smooth, untextured pages allow for beautiful blending or gradient techniques with colored pencils or are perfect for pens, allowing the nib to glide evenly over the surface without feathering.”

Every page of this book is a stunning work of art – gorgeous pen and ink drawings that could be framed as is but can provide hours of stress-reducing coloring.

Lost Ocean an Inky Adventure and Coloring Book for Adults by Johanna Basford is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

I am totally in love with today’s find – the fine folks at Pop Chart Lab – who have taken the ubiquitous infographic and turned it into a true art form.

About Pop Chart Lab: “In 2010, a book editor and a graphic designer joined forces with one modest goal: to render all of human experience in chart form. They went on to amass no small renown (that is, a ton of renown) for their infographical treatments of the varieties of beer, the full array of culinary tools, a taxonomy of hip-hop, and dozens more mappings of cultural touchstones. Now, with a small team of researchers, designers, and soldiers, Pop Chart Lab continues to assemble, sift, cull, and arrange massive amounts of cultural data into meaningful works of art and information.”

You have to visit Pop Chart Lab’s website to really get an idea of what they do – but they basically take a theme and turn it into a great illustration, like The Many Varieties of Whiskey or The Alphabet of Animal Professions. Yep, that type of thing.


A couple of Pop Chart Lab’s works that caught my eye…

Pop Chart Lab offers spectacular wall art like the Birds of North America (above):

“Perhaps our most ambitious taxonomical undertaking yet, this is your field guide to the birds of North America! The product of over 400 hours of intricate illustration work by our talented team of artists, this unabridged aviary features over 740 fair-feathered friends drawn to scale and sorted by species, covering the continent’s avifauna (both native and introduced, as designated by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology) from common sparrows, jays, and owls to rarer birds such as the Greater Sage-Grouse, the California Condor, and the Whooping Crane. An ornithological opus like no other, this classificatory treasure is perfect for amateur and eagle-eyed birdwatchers alike.”

Pop2And then there is A Pop Culture Primer on Parts of Speech (right):

“A pop-cultural grammar cheat sheet, this chart brings together famous figures from cinema, television, music, and literature to help illustrate the parts of speech—let Walter White break down concrete/abstract nouns; allow Dr. Who to take you on a tour through prepositions of time; watch (carefully) as Gizmo the Mogwai takes you on a transformative tour through adverbs. With an all-hand-illustrated cast that includes ET, Robocop, Holly Golightly, Ice Cube, and Nic Cage (hey, he’s in everything, isn’t he?), this media-spanning lexical primer goes to infinitives—and beyond!”

See all the cool works of Pop Chart Lab here.

velo1OK, I love the bikes from Velorbis Copenhagen and have posted about them before, but they also make the classiest bicycle accessories anywhere – like the very elegant Folding Briefcase.

About the Folding Briefcase from Velorbis Copenhagen:

“The Velorbis folding briefcase is manufactured with soft leather on the outside and nubuck on the inside for the right exclusive look. The folding briefcase is a bag giving you both functionality and design as it can be folded and fitted on your bicycle or you can carry it around as a normal size briefcase. With the folding briefcase you are ready to go.”


Find the Folding Briefcase from Velorbis Copenhagen here.

See all great products from Velorbis Copenhagen here.

hyvFor some reason I have been in a chili phase for the past few months. Most of the chili I have made or tried has been the traditional tomato and bean type, but I was pleased to find this recipe for White Bean-Chicken Chili I found in Seasons, the magazine from the folks at the Hy-Vee supermarket chain.

What’s in the recipe:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • 3 medium poblano chile peppers, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 c. 33%-less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
  • 2 (15 oz each) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 c. finely chopped cilantro or fresh parsley (about 1 bunch), divided
  • 1 c. crumbled tortilla chips
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, for serving
  • Lime wedges, optional

Find the recipe for White Bean-Chicken Chili from Hy-Vee’s Seasons magazine.

See more great recipes and tips from Hy-Vee’s Seasons magazine here.

diabType 2 diabetes is one of our greatest healthcare challenges. Knowing if you are at risk and providing support for managing the disease is the idea behind America’s Diabetes Challenge.

About America’s Diabetes Challenge: “America’s Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals is a program from Merck, the American Diabetes Association and iHeart Media to urge people with type 2 diabetes to pledge to work with their doctor to set and reach their A1C (average blood glucose over the past 2-3 months). The program also encourages people to learn if they are at risk of low blood glucose, known as hypoglycemia and how to help reduce that risk. Diabetes management isn’t always easy, so we want to learn about your struggles, as well as the successes you’ve achieved. America’s Diabetes Challenge is asking people to share their personal experiences. Perhaps you’re having difficulty visiting your doctor regularly, eating healthy foods or reaching your A1C goal. Maybe you’ve had success tracking your self-monitored blood glucose levels or sticking to your individualized diabetes management plan.”

Learn more about America’s Diabetes Challenge here.

FF: Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Fashioned mixer from Bittermilk

FFyEveryone knows I like my bourbon straight, but were I have to have a cocktail – or serve them to my guests – I would totally start with the Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Fashioned mix, one of the many fine Cocktail Mixer Compounds I found from the fine folks at Bittermilk.

About the Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Fashioned mixer from Bittermilk:

“We’ve recreated this gentlemen’s cocktail by using classic bittering agents like gentian root and cinchona bark along with burnt sugar, spices and a bit of orange peel. Aged in Willett bourbon barrels to allow the flavors to come together and ramp up the intensity. It is super concentrated so a little bit goes a long way. Best with aged spirits. Stir 1 part No.1 + 4 parts rye in a glass with ice. Garnish with an orange peel.”

Find the Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Fashioned mixer from Bittermilk here.

See all the Cocktail Mixer Compounds from Bittermilk here.

FF: The Casalingo Dry Sweet Sausage from Delallo

FFxMy obsession with fine Italian meats continues with the great Casalingo Dry Sweet Sausage I found from the fine folks at Delallo.

About the Casalingo Dry Sweet Sausage from Delallo:

“A Southern Italian tradition, this homestyle sausage is cured to develop maximum flavor. Seasoned with garlic and special blend of classic spices, this rustic salumi is ready to amp up your antipasto platters. Serve with cheeses and crisps for the perfect complement.”

Find the Casalingo Dry Sweet Sausage from Delallo here.

Find all the fine Italian products from Delallo here.

tarotWhen I was a kid my mother had a deck of tarot cards that she bought so she could do “readings” as part of a charity event. Just for fun at this event she dressed up like a Gypsy lady and used the cards to tell the fortunes or people who made a small donation to the cause. Well, apparently she was so good at telling fortunes that one of her friends said that she thought my mother was a witch. A joke that went on for many years as this friend sent my mom a card every Halloween long after they lost touch.

Well, that memory came roaring back to me when I spotted this Tarot Card Deck from the fine folks at Adler & Co. I am thinking about picking up a deck of these cards to see if maybe I have a little bit of the gift.

About the Tarot Card Deck from Adler & Co.: “Illustrated tarot deck that includes 78 cards filled with beautiful imagery. Great for seasoned readers or those totally new to the Tarot. The cards come in a printed box with a black lifting ribbon and fold-out guide to get you familiar with the cards. Open your mind, draw a card, and have fun on your journey.”

Find the Tarot Card Deck from Adler & Co. here.

See all the great items available from Adler & Co. here.

burtonDespite the fact that his last several films have not lived up to their promise, I think filmmaker Tim Burton is a genius. Even with those stinkers, I still get excited when I hear Mr. Burton is working on something. In the wonderful Tim Burton by Antoine de Baecque, we are treated to the perfect companion for some of Mr. Burton’s best contributions to the cinema.

About Tim Burton by Antoine de Baecque: “Tim Burton is one of the most popular and innovative creative forces working in Hollywood today. From his first films as a cinema obsessed adolescent to his most recent Hollywood blockbusters like Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland, this new monograph by acclaimed author and film critic Antoine de Baecque, takes readers on a behind the scenes journey through Burton’s eccentric career. Featuring interviews with Burton himself that reveal quirky personal anecdotes, exhaustively researched and gorgeously illustrated with film stills, set photographs and a wide selection of Burton’s drawings, this vivid account of one of American cinema’s greatest stars will delight fans and critics alike.”

Remembering Mr. Burton’s heyday (and hoping for future glimpses of his genius) in a book like this makes me almost forgive him for his Planet of the Apes and Dark Shadows reboots. Almost!

Tim Burton by Antoine de Baecque can be found from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

hurrAnyone who knows me will tell you that I am never without Chapstick in my pocket. Although I am generally brand loyal to my favorite lip balm, I have been known to try new varieties from time to time, like the wonderful balms from Hurraw!

About Hurraw! Balm: “Hurraw! Balm started out of pure intent; a personal obsession to create the perfect balm: all natural, vegan, made from premium raw, organic and fair trade ingredients, complete with a bunch of natural and fun flavor options! It also had to meet some tough criteria… Super smooth, not draggy, not sticky, not sweet, not too glossy, not too smelly, never grainy, long lasting; plus, it had to hold up to being in a back jeans pocket all day without melting! It took us several obsessed years to formulate Hurraw! Balm and put it through all the rigors. We love it, use it, and hope you do too.”

Try the Vanilla Bean Hurraw! Balm: “We infuse raw, organic vanilla beans from Madagascar into our balm, making it a deliciously smooth treat for your lips. The tiny vanilla bean seeds linger on (you might even find one!) to help create a delicate, intoxicating vanilla scent. Did you know the gorgeous orchid like vanilla flowers last only one day and must be pollinated within twelve hours in order to grow a bean? The beans take ten months to mature and then must be stored for another six months to develop their precious flavor. Truly magical.”

Learn more about Hurraw! Balm and see all the varieties here.