Archive for January, 2017

ffcI am a big fan of the fine folks at the style and décor site Mod Cloth. Although they have a ton of style items (clothing, shoes and accessories for the most stylish of ladies) it is the décor that I go for. Heck, you have to love a place that has a whole section dedicated to “Quirky Home Décor.”

You can find such quirky items as…

…the Fun for your Life Wall Décor Dino Head (right).

…the Alma Otter Tape Dispenser.

…the Quench Your Curiosity (read cat) Wine Stopper.

…and the Whale Hello There Cocktail Shaker.

About Mod Cloth: “ModCloth is the fun, friendly spot for style and decor that’s as expressive and unique as you are! Inspired by feedback from our dedicated community, our exclusive line of apparel is available in a full range of sizes ― because we believe fashion is for every body. We also carry a curated selection of styles from hundreds of independent designers. Founded in a college dorm room by high school sweethearts Susan Gregg Koger and Eric Koger in 2002, ModCloth has since grown to over 350 employees across offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh.”

Check out Mod Cloth’s Quirky Home Décor shop here.

See all the other fine offereings from Mod Cloth here.

aa2Designer Julia Knight creates some wonderful products, all on display on her lovely website. Her designs are elegant throwbacks to a time when everyday items were made to look good and last forever.

About Julia Knight: “The collections I create speak to me intimately. Each one has a story to tell — whether born from a study in nature, a random cabbie chat on a Manhattan street, or a dialogue with artisans in Italy and India. Each piece is a work of art, handmade of sand cast aluminum with our signature blend of enamel infused with crushed Mother-of-Pearl. Once these pieces manifest in full brilliance, they begin to “talk” to one another, too, through the beautiful layering of colors, textures and themes.”

I love Ms. Knight’s Barware collection, including great items like this cocktail shaker (right): “Shake it up! Celebrate in Style with Julia Knight’s Barware Collection. Knight’s Classic Collection of bar accessories is a signature statement of elegance and style. Uniquely designed, every piece is pretty and practical with timeless clean-line sophistication. The luster of mother-of-pearl mosaics decorate these silvery indulgences making them a conversation piece for any party. A gorgeous barware display in your home says, ‘I love to entertain, I have refined taste’ and most importantly… ‘Can I make you a drink?’”

Checkout Julia Knight’s Barware Collection here.

See all of Julia Knight’s collections here.

aaa3OK, so my good friend, and sometimes Lost Cowboy contributor, Lynda sent me this recipe for a Grilled Apple, Cheddar and Mustard Sandwich a couple of weeks ago and I was all over it. I love slices of apple paired with a wedge of sharp cheddar cheese so this is perfect for me. I am making this today (sans the mayo) to have along with the lentil soup I have simmering.

Grilled Apple, Cheddar and Mustard Sandwich

You’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise, optional
  • 2 slices hearty white bread
  • Grainy mustard or Dijon mustard, to taste
  • 2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • Slices of peeled Fuji or Granny Smith apples

Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan to medium. If you are using the mayonnaise, stir it together with the butter in a small bowl. Spread one side of each piece of bread with this mixture. On the other side of one slice, spread mustard, then one slice of the cheese, apples, then another slice of cheese. Top with the second buttered slice.

Fry on both sides until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted and golden, 2 to 4 minutes a side.

I am not sure where Lynda found the recipe – but I think I tracked it back to the source – the great cooking and family life blog Alexandra’s Kitchen – find it here.

 

aaa1With so many animals waiting for a good home – shelters should be the first place to go when looking for a pet. The fine folks at The Shelter Pet Project are committed to raising awareness and supporting efforts to find homes for every shelter animal and that is a cause we can all get behind.

About The Shelter Pet Project:

“The Shelter Pet Project is the result of a collaborative effort between two leading animal welfare groups, The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund, and the leading producer of public service advertising (PSA) campaigns, The Ad Council. Our goal is to make shelters the first place potential adopters turn when looking to get a new pet, ensuring that all healthy and treatable pets find loving homes. We do this by breaking down misconceptions surrounding shelter pets and communicating that ‘A person is the best thing to happen to a shelter pet. Be that person. Adopt.’”

Learn more about The Shelter Pet Project here.

FF: The Typewriter Key Cufflinks from Junxtaposition

ffbI am really digging the Typewriter Key Cufflinks I found from the fine folks at Junxtaposition – made from genuine keys from vintage typewriters.

About the Typewriter Key Cufflinks from Junxtaposition:

“Silver-toned setting. We use actual antique typewriter keys in our jewelry which results in varying degrees of character – please understand this just adds to their charm.”

Find the Typewriter Key Cufflinks from Junxtaposition here.

See all the repurpose jewelry finds from Junxtaposition here.

FF: The Organic Maple Syrup from Finding Home Farms

ffaI like a good maple syrup, and that is something that is not as easy to find as you might expect, but the fine folks at Finding Home Farms make it easy with their great certified organic maple syrup – packaged in various ways like their farmhouse bottle.

About the Organic Maple Syrup from Finding Home Farms:

“Packaged in a farmhouse style bottle, this 16 oz. certified organic maple syrup is perfect for gift giving or to keep your pantry stocked with hand crafted 100% pure happiness!”

Find the Organic Maple Syrup from Finding Home Farms here.

See all the fine products from Finding Home Farms here.

aa4January is almost over which means we are that much closer to spring. My mind has already turned to planning my seasonal container garden. I am planning to start my seeds inside a few weeks earlier in March than I did last year so I can have an earlier and longer harvest. Anyway, I am not waiting for that, I am going to start some herbs inside now with the help of the awesome Grow Kits I found from the fine folks at The Urban Agriculture Company.

About the Grow Kits from The Urban Agriculture Company: “The Urban Agriculture Company designs grow kits that simplify the process of city gardening by providing you with everything needed for a fun and easy growing experience. All of our grow kits come with one pack of organic seeds, one balanced bag of organic soil and one container to grow the plant in. Our containers are made from 100% recycled tea bags allowing for perfectly drained and aerated soil, not to mention a very cool urban look. We offer a variety of flowers, cooking herbs and vegetables to help urban dwellers have a well-rounded garden.”

I am starting with the Basil Grow Kit: “Urban Agriculture grow kits come with one pack of organic seeds, one portioned bag of organic soil, a garden stake and a stylish urban grow container for your plant. If growing indoors, a fertilizer once a month can be good. Prune basil back regularly to encourage continued growth and thus allow for more growth. Harvest by pinching off individual leaves. Give it at least 6 hours of sunlight and in hot temperatures water often.”

See all the Grow Kits from The Urban Agriculture Company here.

Learn more about The Urban Agriculture Company here.

 

aa2It is not secret that I am big admirer of the late great Man in Black, Mr. Johnny Cash. Heck, I have posted about the man many times over the years. Like many great talents, it never ceases to amaze me how prolific he was. Case in point, more than a decade after his death, we are still being treated to new material that allows us to continue to enjoy his immense legacy. In the recently published Forever Words, we are blessed to read a collection of his poems that have never been seen before and it is as amazing as you hoped it would be.

About Forever Words by Johnny Cash: “A collection of never-before-published poems by Johnny Cash, edited and introduced by Pulitzer-prize winning poet Paul Muldoon with a foreword by John Carter Cash.  Illustrated with facsimile reproductions of Cash’s own handwritten pages. Since his first recordings in 1955, Johnny Cash was an icon in the music world. In this collection of poems and song lyrics that have never been published before, we see the world through his eyes and view his reflection on his own interior reality, his frailties and his strengths alike. In his hallmark voice, he pens verses about love, pain, freedom, and mortality, and expresses insights on culture, his family, his fame, even Christmas. Forever Words confirms Johnny Cash as a brilliant and singular American literary figure. His music is a part of our collective history, and here the depth of his artistry and talent become even more evident.”

There is a great debate over whether or not songs are literature. Indeed, songs are not simply poems set to music, and poems are certainly not songs without music. What you are struck with when you read these works left behind by Mr. Cash is that they are not discarded songs, they are straight up poems. It turns out the great man was as good a poet as he was a songwriter, and that is pretty darned good.

Forever Words by Johnny Cash is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

 

aa2Ok, I have found the perfect gift for the person who has everything…

…the Handcrafted St. Francis Retablo Frame I found from the fine folks at Signals.

About the Handcrafted St. Francis Retablo Frame from Signals:

“Made by artists in Peru, this elaborate and tender three-dimensional scene shows St. Francis surrounded by the animals he loved. Dozens of plaster figures are hand-painted and arranged in a painted wood frame. Inspired by the small table altars with doors (retablos) that the Spanish brought to Peru, and the Peruvians made their own with local themes, colors and creatures (like alpacas and parrots), it hangs on a wall or stands on a flat surface. No two are exactly alike.”

Seriously? Who in your life would not benefit from having one of these great works of art on their wall?

The only problem with it is that I think it may not be big enough.

Find the Handcrafted St. Francis Retablo Frame from Signals here.

See all the great and unique gifts from Signals here.

aa4bIt has been a while since I posted about a bourbon find, so I thought I would feature the Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey I recently discovered, because it is soooo good! The perfect bourbon to sip by the fireplace on these long winter nights.

About Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey:

“A homage to the legendary Stitzel-Weller distillery, Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey uses a unique Solera System aging process to preserve some of the distillery’s oldest whiskey stocks, including some of the last bourbon produced there before it closed in 1992.The solera liquid is mingled with other fine whiskies aged and bottled at Stitzel-Weller. Aged in new charred American white oak barrels, this bourbon has a subtle aroma of fresh fruit and a taste that includes hints of dried apricot, ripe pear and a sweet roasted grain. The finish has notes of charred oak and warm winter spices.”

Learn more about Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey here.

aa2The best way out of poverty is an education. Around the world girls face disproportionately more obstacles to education than boys. The fine folks behind Let Girls Learn aim to help more young women receive an education.

About Let Girls Learn: “Recognizing that adolescent girls face multiple challenges in pursuing an education, Let Girls Learn is employing a holistic approach to change the perception of the value of girls at the individual, community and institutional levels; foster an enabling environment for adolescent girls’ education; and engage and equip girls to make life decisions and important contributions to society. Building on U.S. government expertise, Let Girls Learn elevates existing programs and invests in new efforts to expand educational opportunities for girls—including in areas of conflict and crisis. The initiative leverages public-private partnerships and challenges others to commit resources to improve the lives of adolescent girls worldwide. It also expands collaborations with experts and places particular emphasis on community-led solutions to help adolescent girls complete their education.”

Learn more about Let Girls Learn here.