Archive for May, 2017

Sometimes the only thing standing between a woman and a path to making her life better is as simple as professional attire. Providing women in need with this leg up and other services is what is behind the mission of the fine folks at .

About Dress for Success:

“Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Since starting operations in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to more than 145 cities in 23 countries and has helped more than 925,000 women work towards self-sufficiency.”

Learn more about Dress for Success and how you can support them here.

FF: The Sausage Dog Tape Dispenser from Always Fits

See? I told you, totally random. But seriously, who does not need the very cute (and extremely practical) Sausage Dog Tape Dispenser I found from the fine folks at Always Fits?

About the Sausage Dog Tape Dispenser from Always Fits:

“If you don’t have a dog in your office, our sausage dog is the next best pal anyone could have at their desk. As well as a tape dispenser and 2 rolls of tape, he holds bone-shaped paper clips in his mouth or conveniently stores them in his doggy bowl. Includes two rolls of tape and a pack of bone-shaped paper clips. Dispenser is refillable.”

They had me at “bone-shaped paper clips”.

Find the Sausage Dog Tape Dispenser from Always Fits here.

Find all the fun items from Always Fits here.

FF: City Girl Coffee Co.

I don’t drink coffee, but I like to have coffee on hand when I am entertaining – especially my coffee-loving friends who are in town this week for a little visit. When I do purchase coffee, I like to support smaller brands with positive messages, like the fine folks at Duluth, MN-based City Girl Coffee Co.

About City Girl Coffee Co.:

“City Girl Coffee is not just a cute company with cool colors and a chic look. We are a sustainable and responsible coffee company who is working to bring awareness and equality to the women of the coffee industry. We source as much of our coffee as possible from small, women owned or managed farms and co-operatives, and give a portion of every sale back to the organizations that support the success of women in their country of origin.”

Try City Girl Coffee Co.’s Organic City Girl Blend.

Learn more about City Girl Coffee Co. here.

Visit City Girl Coffee Co.’s online store here.

OK, so I mentioned a few times that I was way behind in getting my container garden going this year. It seems I can’t go anywhere without having someone ask me how I am doing with my garden this year.

Well, I have been busy and preoccupied with many other things…

…but I am pleased to report that I have made up for lost time and I am in pretty good shape.

Last weekend I filled more than 50 2.5 gallon buckets (right) (thanks Dollar Tree) with some great soil from Miracle-Gro specifically designed for vegetables and herbs.

A few weeks back I started several seeds inside and they were way ready for transplanting outside (right) – so I am off to a great start.

I am going to supplement my grown from seed crop with a few more mature plants from a local nursery – which will give my garden the kick-start it really needs this year.

In addition to my usual vegetable garden – I also planted a bunch of flowers to make sure I have some color around the yard all season.

In my next update I will be sure to provide an inventory of what I have growing this year.

OK, now you can stop asking about when I am going to get started!

When you say “Timbuktu” to most people they think of some far off place and are most likely are not sure where it is or even if it is a real place – as in “…from here to Timbuktu.” But it was a real place and one of great significance to world culture. Over the past few centuries, there has been quite a fascination with the ancient city, and in modern times, a real concern that the surviving treasures of the legendary place were threatened. Now, in his wonderful new book – The Storied City: The Quest for Timbuktu and the Fantastic Mission to Save its Past – author Charlie English outlines the history of Timbuktu and tells the amazing (and under told) story of how its treasures were saved from the likes of al al-Qaeda

About The Storied City: The Quest for Timbuktu and the Fantastic Mission to Save its Past by Charlie English: “To Westerners, the name ‘Timbuktu’ long conjured a tantalizing paradise, an African El Dorado where even the slaves wore gold. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, a series of explorers gripped by the fever for “discovery”  tried repeatedly to reach the fabled city. But one expedition after another went disastrously awry, succumbing to attack, the climate, and disease. Timbuktu was rich in another way too. A medieval center of learning, it was home to tens of thousands—according to some, hundreds of thousands—of ancient manuscripts, on subjects ranging from religion to poetry, law to history, pharmacology, and astronomy. When al-Qaeda–linked jihadists surged across Mali in 2012, threatening the existence of these precious documents, a remarkable thing happened: a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the manuscripts into hiding.”

I love books like The Storied City, where you actually learn something while being wildly entertained.

The Storied City: The Quest for Timbuktu and the Fantastic Mission to Save its Past by Charlie English is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.


I don’t know even where to start with today’s Find, the fine folks at Bourbon Barrel Foods. First, I am beating myself up that I did not find these guys on my epic road trip through bourbon country a few years back as they have several retail outlets in the greater Louisville, KY region. But, lucky for us, they have a fine online shop where they offer their fine collection of bourbon –infused, -inspired, and – related products.

About Bourbon Barrel Foods:

“Bourbon Barrel Foods produces a collection of all-natural, award winning gourmet foods that embrace the history and mystique of Kentucky’s Bourbon Country. All of our items are handcrafted in small batches in Louisville, Kentucky. We use reclaimed barrels straight from Kentucky’s finest bourbon distilleries as both a smoking and aging agent. The process imparts an added dimension of flavor that cannot be replicated using any other method.”

Bourbon Barrel Foods offers products like their signature Bluegrass Soy Sauce (above right):

“Bluegrass Soy Sauce is microbrewed in small batches using only whole Kentucky grown Non-GMO soybeans, soft red winter wheat, and the purest limestone filtered Kentucky spring water. We ferment and age the soybean mash in re-purposed bourbon barrels. It’s smoky and brothy with hints of oak and a mild sweetness reminiscent of fine Kentucky bourbon.”

Learn more about Bourbon Barrel Foods and all their fine products here.

Visit Bourbon Barrel Foods’ online shop here.

So, as I start my container garden season, I am reminded that one of the things I have had the greatest success growing over the years is chili peppers. I use a few of them when they are fresh, and then dry a few more – usually for decorative purposes but always wished I could get more out of them. Therefore you can imagine how thrilled I was to find the Homemade Hot Sauce Kit from the fine folks at The Chili Lab – so maybe I can learn something that will lead to a better use of the peppers I will inevitably yield this year.

About the Homemade Hot Sauce Kit from The Chili Lab: “The Homemade Hot Sauce Kit is the result of a new collaboration between The Chili Lab and W&P Design and includes the spice blends and tools needed to craft two uniquely flavorful hot sauces at home. The Kit allows hot sauce lovers to go beyond generic heat by providing two secret Chili Lab blends of dried peppers, each with their own distinct flavor profile. The Forager’s Blend contains guajillo, chipotle, and pequin peppers, resulting in a red hot sauce with deep notes of red berries, wood smoke, and earth. The Grove Blend contains piri piri, anaheim, and habanero peppers resulting in a yellow hot sauce with bright notes of citrus, green herbs and cut grass.”

Find the Homemade Hot Sauce Kit from The Chili Lab here.

See all the chili-inspired greatness of The Chili Lab here.

In honor of this special day, I have reached back into the archives for a post I did five years ago about my mother, and her “bunny filled cottage.”

My mom passed away about a year after this post, which makes the last line even more poignant to me today:

“…for me these bunnies will always be a symbol of much more – my mom, creativity, craftsmanship and providing joy to others.”

See the post from April 2012 here.


“Save them all” is the goal of aaa1 – fine folks dedicated to finding homes for homeless pets – something we can certainly all support.

About Best Friends Animal Society:

“The mission of Best Friends Animal Society is to bring about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets. We do this by helping end the killing in America’s animal shelters through building community programs and partnerships all across the nation. We believe that by working together we can Save Them All.”

Learn more about Best Friends Animal Society and how you can help here.

FF: The Himalayan Salt from San Francisco Salt Co.

There are many fine salts to choose from at the San Francisco Salt Company – but if you are to pick one, trust me, go with their Himalayan Salt.

About the Himalayan Salt from San Francisco Salt Co.: “Himalayan Salt is quite different from salt found anywhere else. For one thing, it’s uniquely beautiful: it has a pinkish or light reddish tint, and under a microscope, the crystals within the salt form gorgeously perfect geometric patterns. Himalayan Salt, when left raw and in its natural state, is rich in nutrients and minerals. Since many of these elements found within each grain of salt naturally occur within us and in the environment, they are easily absorbed and utilized on a cellular level. Pink Himalayan Salt re-mineralizes the body with minerals and trace elements essential to our health and well being.”

Find the Himalayan Salt from San Francisco Salt Co. here.

See all the great salts from San Francisco Salt Co. here.

FF: The Pure Date Syrup from Date Lady

I am not really sure I have ever heard of date syrup before – other than something you might drink before going on a date to steal your nerves. But apparently it is a thing – and it is syrup made from dates and I have to try some – like the Pure Date Syrup I found from the find folks at Date Lady.

About the Pure Date Syrup from Date Lady: “All Date Lady products are USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free and Kosher, and made with no added sugar, additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients. Date Lady products are nutritious and versatile for cooking, baking, snacking and a variety of lifestyle or diet needs including vegan, paleo and more. Our Date Lady Pure Date Syrup has only one ingredient – organic dates, and has a unique sweet, yet complex flavor from the date fruit. Also called date honey or silan, date syrup can be used in addition to or instead of honey or maple syrup, and as a substitute for refined sugar in baked goods.”

Find the Pure Date Syrup from Date Lady here.

See all the fine product available from Date Lady here.