Archive for June, 2016

starThe perfect gift to send to celebrate the Fourth of July: the Star Spangled Cookies I found from the fine folks at Olive & Cocoa.

About the Star Spangled Cookies from Olive & Cocoa:

“Ring in Independence Day with a star spangled greeting for all to enjoy! Iced with decadent candy-like frosting and dusted with a sprinkling of sugar, an assortment of ten extra thick flag, firework, hat and star shaped cookies comes gift wrapped in a hand crafted wood crate with ribbon.”

Find the Star Spangled Cookies from Olive & Cocoa here.

See all the great gift ideas from Olive & Cocoa here.

valJust when I was worried that I would never find another great book about the American Revolution, along comes the wonderful new book by Nathaniel Philbrick, Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. I’ve read many accounts of the Revolution and our founding fathers, but none as illuminating as Mr. Philbrick’s take on the relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold – something I had a broad understanding about but not nearly as much as learned here – the mark of a great history book.

About Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick: “In September 1776, the vulnerable Continental Army under an unsure George Washington (who had never commanded a large force in battle) evacuates New York after a devastating defeat by the British Army. Three weeks later, near the Canadian border, one of his favorite generals, Benedict Arnold, miraculously succeeds in postponing the British naval advance down Lake Champlain that might have ended the war. Four years later, as the book ends, Washington has vanquished his demons and Arnold has fled to the enemy after a foiled attempt to surrender the American fortress at West Point to the British. After four years of war, America is forced to realize that the real threat to its liberties might not come from without but from within. Valiant Ambition is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of Washington and Arnold, who is an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington’s unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.”

In Valiant Ambition, Mr. Philbrick manages to show us the human side of George Washington, and even American history’s favorite whipping boy, Benedict Arnold with the epic drama of the birth of our nation as the backdrop – and it is a compelling read and perfect for the week before we celebrate Independence Day.

Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

sondAnother day and I have fallen in love with another bicycle. This time it is the really cool THIN electric bike from Sondors.

About the Sondors THIN electric bike: “THIN is here. Whether you’re a daily commuter or weekend adventurer, the versatile Sondors THIN electric bike is the perfect mode of transportation. It’s efficient, beautiful and affordable, so what are you waiting for?”

As I get older I like the idea of a bike that can kick in with a motor on a tough hill or when I just need a rest. With an elegant look and competitive pricing, the Sondors THIN electric bike may be just the one for me.

Find the Sondors THIN electric bike here.

Learn more about Sondors electric bikes here.

fROSTI know many people that have a thing about drinking out of frostebe d glasses. I kind of know what they mean, it can be weird, and I have always thought frosted glassed were best used as decorative glasses on a shelf or bar cart. The Frosted State Tumblers – different for every state in the Union – that I found from the fine folks at Swoozies would the perfect decoration anywhere…

…Or a nice gift for a friend that, say, may be living in Kansas but misses his home back in New Hampshire. Just sayin’.

About the Frosted State Tumblers from Swoozies: “This design is amazingly rendered with 7 lead-free colors plus matte gold on a high quality 15 ounce frosted tumbler.”

The glasses are a nice companion the Hand Embroidered Decorative State Pillows Swoozies also offers: “Hand embroidered on 20″ x 20″ size; includes deluxe poly form. It is entirely hand embroidered (40+ hours) on a light tea-color cotton cover that buttons off for cleaning. Accented with black velvet piping. 30 plus specific colors, thread hand dyed to order.”

See all cool products from Swoozies here.

I love board games and I love the Board Game collection from the fine folks at Boston-based Eureka Puzzles.


Check out the Board Game collection from Eureka Puzzles here.

Find all the games and puzzles from Eureka Puzzles here.

drugHelping protect our children from drug use and addiction is an enormous challenge. The fine folks at The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids exists to provide resources and guidance for families to deal with this challenge.

About The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: “The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids translates the science of teen drug use and addiction into actionable information and guidance. We help families understand the ever-changing drug landscape, learn how to effectively communicate with teens, and provide direct support to parents dealing with a child’s drug use.”

Learn more about The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids here.

FF: The Collapsible Picnic Tote from Thos. Baker

ffaI really like the Collapsible Picnic Tote I found from the fine folks at Thos. Baker, it’s a great new twist on the classic basket.

About the Collapsible Picnic Tote from Thos. Baker: “An ideal solution for the modern minimalist on the go, the collapsible insulated picnic basket tucks away neatly when not in use. Featuring Thermal shield™ insulation to keep food and drinks at the perfect temperature for hours. Included for your convenience are 4 melamine plates, 4 glasses, 4 flatware sets and 4 napkins. Folds flat for storage and has permanent built in side supports (no installation required) to hold empty cooler upright for easy loading and compact transport after events. Constructed with a lightweight and durable aluminum frame, leak proof food safe lining, zippered lid, front pocket and swivel handles with padded grip. With its traditional tapered basket shape, it’s a stylish way to enjoy dining at any outdoor event.”

Find the Collapsible Picnic Tote from Thos. Baker here.

See all the great outdoor products from Thos. Baker here.

FF: The Popcorn Boxes from Simply Baked

ffbI love the Popcorn Boxes I found from the fine folks at Simply Baked – not just because I love popcorn and anything that can hold it for me – but also because they can be used for just about anything but popcorn and look good doing it.

About the Popcorn Boxes from Simply Baked: “These jolly boxes are ideal for your next popcorn party, and we’re loving how versatile they are! Gifting cookies bread or even as a creative gift package – simply punch a couple holes in the top, slip some ribbon through and voila!”

Find the Popcorn Boxes from Simply Baked here.

See all the cook baking-related products from Simply Baked here.

davidHaving a cold any time of year really stinks. But having a cold in the summertime is particularly stinky. The Cold Survival Kit from the fine folks at David’s Tea is the perfect thing to have on hand in case of a cold or to send to that friend or love one who is suffering – any time of year.

The Cold Survival Kit from David’s Tea: “Let’s not beat around the bush. Being sick stinks. But with this collection of five super-soothing teas and a pack of honey sticks, you can battle the worst of it. Sip Cold Zing at the first sign of a cold. Or if you have a sore throat, try a little Super Ginger or Bravissimo. Feeling queasy? Nothing a little North African Mint can’t handle. And when all else fails, dip into your emergency supply of Cold 911 for guaranteed relief. Ah, isn’t that better?”

Find the Cold Survival Kit from David’s Tea here.

See all the fine teas and related products from David’s Tea here.

codeWhen I was a kid I learned some basic computer programing, back in the day when the programing language was actually called Basic. I had a knack for it and wrote some short programs that helped me catalog my record collection and show cool designs on the screen. I sometime wish I kept up with it, at least to the point where I moved on to other languages. Anyway, I think I would like to learn to code something new and the best way to learn is to use the same training that kids would use, like the book Coding Games in Scratch by Jon Woodcock.

About Coding Games in Scratch by Jon Woodcock: “Did you know that Bill Gates, cofounder of Microsoft, wrote his first computer program—a tic-tac-toe game—at age 13? Coding Games in Scratch shows how kids can start coding their own games, too, using Scratch, a popular free programming language. With Coding Games in Scratch, kids can build single and multiplayer platform games, create puzzles and memory games, race through mazes, add animation, and more. Essential coding concepts are explained using eight build-along game projects that guide young coders step-by-step, using visual samples, easy-to-follow instructions, and fun pixel art. Written for children ages 8–12 with little to no coding experience, Coding Games in Scratch teaches important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas, all while creating games to play with their friends.”

Sure this book is designed for kids, but it is also a good start for anyone (like me) who is starting from scratch.

Coding Games in Scratch by Jon Woodcock is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

mouthBacon? Kettle Corn? Sign me up! Yes, that’s right there is such a thing as Bacon Kettle Corn and I found it available from the fine folks at Mouth.

About the Bacon Kettle Corn from Mouth:

“Fluffy kettle corn coated in a maple syrup caramel and candied bacon (nitrate-free, of course)—yes, really. The kernels are super big and super crunchy. Oink.”

Find the Bacon Kettle Corn from Mouth here.

Bacon Kettle Corn

See all the great foodie products and gifts from Mouth here.