Archive for July, 2017

Tucked on a little corner in East London is one mighty fine shop, Labour and Wait. This is the type of store that you visit and if it also sold food you would want to live there forever.

About Labour and Wait:

“At Labour and Wait we believe in a simple, honest approach to design, where quality and utility are intrinsic. From hardware to clothing we offer products that celebrate functional design and are therefore appropriate in a traditional or contemporary environment. We have sourced a collection of everyday classics which will not date, but which will mellow and improve with age, and which are destined to become favourites.”

Labour and Wait is one those cool place where you can find…

…things like a tin of twine (above right): “The company that produces this twine have been manufacturing garden twine since 1922. They patented the first ‘pull from the centre spool’. The tin ensures the twine stays clean and tangle free.”

…a box of French Night Lights: “A do-it-yourself tea light invented in 1838. Simply pour a small amount of vegetable oil into a glass and set the wick afloat on its cork holder. Each of these night-lights can burn for 24 hours.”

…or a new pair of jeans. Seriously! Just about everything you could ever want.

Labour and Wait is located at 85 Redchurch Street in the great world metropolis that is London.

But lucky for us, Labour and Wait has an online store.


I spotted these footprint in the the dried mud along my hiking path the other day – and I have no idea what kind of animals left them…

Check out my review on LetterBoxd.

I often see a blue heron or two camped out along the Tomahawk Greenway and Indian Creek Greenway Trails in Leawood, Kansas on my various bike rides and hikes. They usually stay close to the water and far from people. So I was surprised to see this dude just chilling by the pond in the middle of Leawood City Park recently – so I snapped a pic.

There is still plenty of summer left and plenty of time to get a cool float for the beach or pool, like these I found…

FF: The Toucan Float from Sunny Life

About the Toucan Float from Sunny Life:

“Sunnylife’s world famous floats guarantee your summer is going to be your best one yet! A bird of paradise indeed, our Luxe Float Toucan is the tropi-coolest. Not just a float, this Luxe Float Toucan can too lift your pool game, turning it into an oasis your friends (and other birds) will envy. Go on, embrace that jungle fever and flock along with our Luxe Float Toucan.”

Find the Toucan Float from Sunny Life here.

See all the great summer finds from Sunny Life here.

FF: The Giant Taco Pool Float from Swoozie’s

About the Giant Taco Pool Float from Swoozie’s:

“Normally, bringing a huge taco into the pool would be a disaster for the pool filter (ok and the swimmers, too). Enter the Giant Taco Pool Float! Just inflate it, and float across the pool—it’s over 5 feet long and made of comfy vinyl—not crumbly tortillas.”

Find the Giant Taco Pool Float from Swoozie’s here.

See all the great finds frim Swoozie’s here.

FF: The Miami Inflatable Lounge Pool Float from Houzz

About the Miami Inflatable Lounge Pool Float from Houzz:

“When the summer sun is beating down, there’s nothing better to cool off than floating about in a pool! Especially when you’re atop this oversized inflatable pool lounger featuring a cushiony backrest, ample armrests with cup holders and handy side pockets! Removable and washable 600 denier polyester cover is UV and rain resistant for hours of hassle free poolside fun. Designed for relaxation and conversation, this inflatable chaise swimming pool float can be used in and out of the pool.”

Find the Miami Inflatable Lounge Pool Float from Houzz here.

Spend hours checking out all the cool home design ideas from Houzz here.

Christmas? In July?

OK, I know what you are thinking, it is still summer so please don’t talk about Christmas yet. Well, it takes some planning to have a stress-free holiday, so why not start today? I have found the perfect way to start your Christmas season planning – the Poinsettia Grow Kit from the fine folks at Modern Sprout.

About the Poinsettia Grow Kit from Modern Sprout:

“All-inclusive Amaranthus Poinsettia indoor grow kit packaged in a wax-coated and water-tight recycled paper tube planter. A holiday favorite, this plant features an incredible range of foliage colors perfectly complimented by brilliant red-orange foliage blooms. Kit includes two wicking grow mediums that are strategically layered to provide plants with the perfect balance of water, nutrients and oxygen.”

Seriously, it takes time to grow things, so if you start now you may have fresh blooms just in time for Christmas. Or maybe not, but at least you would have tried.

Find the Poinsettia Grow Kit from Modern Sprout here.

See all the fun garden ideas from Modern Sprout here here.

The American founding father Patrick Henry is most famous for his quote “Give me liberty, or give me death!” Little else is remembered about the man who put his life on the line at the very start of our quest for independence. In recent years other underappreciated figures or our founding, most notably John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, have been given new life to modern audiences via stellar biographies that launched cultural phenomena. Now, Patrick Henry gets the authoritative biography he deserves with the wonderful new book Patrick Henry – Champion of Liberty by Jon Kukla.

About Patrick Henry – Champion of Liberty by Jon Kukla: “Born in 1736, Patrick Henry was an attorney and planter, and an outstanding orator in the movement for independence. A contemporary of Washington, Henry stood with John and Samuel Adams among the leaders of the colonial resistance to Great Britain that ultimately created the United States. The first governor of Virginia after independence, he was re-elected several times. After declining to attend the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Henry opposed the Constitution, arguing that it granted too much power to the central government. Although he denounced slavery as evil, like many other southern slave-owners he accepted its continuation. Henry pushed vigorously for the ten amendments to the new Constitution, and then supported Washington and national unity against the bitter party divisions of the 1790s. He was enormously influential in his time, but his accomplishments, other than his oratory, were subsequently all but forgotten. Kukla’s biography restores Henry and his Virginia compatriots to the front rank of advocates for American independence. Jon Kukla has thoroughly researched Henry’s life, even living on one of Henry’s estates. He brings both newly discovered documents and new insights to the story of the patriot who played a central role in the movement to independence, the Revolution, the Constitutional era, and the early Republic. This book is an important contribution to our understanding of the nation’s founding.”

It is always great to read details about people who you were aware of but had no idea how much they contributed to history. Now Patrick Henry will be forever remembered for much more than being a great orator, but for his seminal contributions to the colony of Virginia and the great nation we have become.

Patrick Henry – Champion of Liberty by Jon Kukla is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.


I spent countless hours of my youth, and way more of my adulthood than I care to admit, on perfecting the perfect paper airplane. But alas, I failed in every attempt. In fact, my paper airplane skills seem to be getting worse. However, now I have found exactly what I need to help me succeed in my quest for paper airplane supremacy – the great Record Breaking Paper Airplanes Kit I found from author Andrew Dewar and illustrator Kostya Vints (available here from Amazon).

About the Record Breaking Paper Airplanes Kit:

“Make paper airplanes based on the fastest, longest-flying planes in the world! Record Breaking Paper Airplanes Kit includes paper and instructions for 16 original high-performance paper airplanes. These planes are incredibly easy to fold, and designed to push the envelope in terms of time aloft and distance thrown—based on principles exploited by record-breaking paper airplane experts.”

The Record Breaking Paper Airplanes Kit is available from Amazon.


FF: The Burnt Horn Ice Bucket from Scenario Home

On the high end, I love the classy Burnt Horn Ice Bucket I found from the fine folks at Scenario Home.

About the Burnt Horn Ice Bucket from Scenario Home:

“Buffalo horn is sculpted into a rich handcrafted repeating pattern where each dowel’s burnt pattern is done by hand.”

Find the Burnt Horn Ice Bucket from Scenario Home here.

See all the “luxury décor” and “instant drama” for your home from Scenario Home here.

FF: The Stainless Steel and Copper Ice Bucket from Threshold

Decidedly down scale, but still very cool, is the Stainless Steel and Copper Ice Bucket from the fine folks at Threshold which I spotted at Target.

About the Stainless Steel and Copper Ice Bucket from Threshold:

“Store ice for keeping drinks cool or plunge in a bottle of wine in this Ice Bucket in 3qt Stainless Steel and Copper from Threshold. This must-have bar accessory is attractive with its warm shiny copper glow and hammered finish.”

Find the Stainless Steel and Copper Ice Bucket from Threshold at Target here.

Find everything you could possibly ever need from Target here.

After seeing Jurassic Park, who hasn’t thought about whether or not we would reach the point of bringing back extinct species? I certainly have and always thought it would start with something not so glamorous (or dangerous) as a T-Rex. Well in his new book, Woolly – The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures, author Ben Mezrich takes us on a real life journey to do just that – the attempt to bring back a long extinct creature, the woolly mammoth and all that goes along with it.

About Woolly – The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures by Ben Mezrich:

“With his knack for turning narrative nonfiction into stories worthy of the best thriller fiction (Omnivoracious), Ben Mezrich takes us on an exhilarating true adventure story from the icy terrain of Siberia to the cutting-edge genetic labs of Harvard University. A group of young scientists, under the guidance of Dr. George Church, the most brilliant geneticist of our time, works to make fantasy reality by sequencing the DNA of a frozen woolly mammoth harvested from above the Arctic circle, and splicing elements of that sequence into the DNA of a modern elephant. Will they be able to turn the hybrid cells into a functional embryo and bring the extinct creatures to life in our modern world? Along with Church and his team of Harvard scientists, a world-famous conservationist and a genius Russian scientist plan to turn a tract of the Siberian tundra into Pleistocene Park, populating the permafrost with ancient herbivores as a hedge against an environmental ticking time bomb. More than a story of genetics, this is a thriller illuminating the race against global warming, the incredible power of modern technology, the brave fossil hunters who battle polar bears and extreme weather conditions, and the ethical quandary of cloning extinct animals. Can we right the wrongs of our ancestors who hunted the woolly mammoth to extinction—and at what cost?”

This book covers a lot of ground, part adventure story, part science journal, part ethical treatise, but all thoroughly interesting.

Woolly – The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures by Ben Mezrich is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.