Archive for February, 2018

I can’t read enough about our founding fathers and I am so happy that some of the finest historians and authors are still researching and writing about the men and the times that helped create this great nation. I am particularly interested in John Adams and his complicated relationship with Thomas Jefferson. In the wonderful new book, Friends Divided: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, award-winning author Gordon Wood explores their relationship and highlights what made their little experiment so great – opposing views can be debated and rival parties can coexist.

About Friends Divided by Gordon Wood:

“Thomas Jefferson and John Adams could scarcely have come from more different worlds, or been more different in temperament. Jefferson, the optimist with enough faith in the innate goodness of his fellow man to be democracy’s champion, was an aristocratic Southern slave-owner, while Adams, the overachiever from New England’s rising middling classes, painfully aware he was no aristocrat, was a skeptic about popular rule and a defender of a more elitist view of government. They worked closely in the crucible of revolution, crafting the Declaration of Independence and leading, with Franklin, the diplomatic effort that brought France into the fight. But ultimately, their profound differences would lead to a fundamental crisis, in their friendship and in the nation writ large, as they became the figureheads of two entirely new forces, the first American political parties. It was a bitter breach, lasting through the presidential administrations of both men, and beyond.”

The two great men, Jefferson and Adams, were allies turned opponents turned friends, forever bonded as arguable the two men most responsible of our founding document, The Declaration of Independence dated July 4, 1776. The two men also are part of one of the great coincidences in American history – they both died on the exact same day – July 4, 1826.

Friends Divided by Gordon Wood is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

I have really been getting into honey in recent times now that I have discovered that honey is the perfect addition to a good charcuterie board. Paired with cured meats and sharp cheeses, honey opens up complementary flavors – adding sweet to savory resulting in a little party in your mouth. There are plenty of honeys to choose from, but the fine folks at The Honey Hutch offer some of the best, like their great Orange Blossom Honey.

About the Orange Blossom Honey from The Honey Hutch:

“Orange blossom Honey comes from flowers of the Orange Blossoms from Orange trees, but can be a collection of citrus. The color is light with a hint of orange and a mild and light citrus taste. Not only does Orange blossom honey taste magnificent but it also provides a wide variety of antioxidants with anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, anti-cancer and immune supporting effects in the body!”

Find the Orange Blossom Honey from The Honey Hutch here.

See all the great honey and related products from The Honey Hutch here.

I am always on the lookout for a fun tote bag – and the fine folks at Printed Village have a great collection of totes with all sorts of cool designs.

I like Printed Village’s White Cats Tote:

“Modern, classic, playful. The White Cats Tote contrasts adorable white cats against the most modern orange background. This classic wide tote, with its modern animal prints, will add a splash of trendy to a preppy outfit, and turn the most sophisticated look fun and playful. Large and roomy, you’ll have enough space to carry all your essential travel, work and shopping needs, while sleek enough to keep your fashion style looking chic and modern.”

Find the White Cats Tote from Printed Village here.

See Printed Village complete collection of Tote Bags.

See all the great products from Printed Village here.

FF: The Cacbrush from Qualy

The other day I was cleaning my toilet (yes, even I need to clean my own toilet from time to time) and I was looking at the toilet brush and thinking “there must be a better design for these.” And sure enough, the very next day I found the “Cacbrush” – the cactus toilet brush – from the fine folks at Qualy.

About the Cacbrush from Qualy:

“Don’t let the plant just stay beautifully in the toilet but use it as a toilet brush!. Not joking! you can use this cactus to brush your toilet at ease and keep it in place without anyone notice.”

Find the Cacbrush from Qualy here.

See all the great products from Qualy here.

FF: The Strawberry Gumdrops from QUIN

The is not much for me to say about this one – except that you really need to try the Strawberry Gumdrops I found from the fine folks at QUIN. You’re welcome.

About the Strawberry Gumdrops from QUIN:

“Behold the mighty QUIN gumdrop! Our buoyant sweet gummies are made with top-notch ingredients including real fruit purees and sea salt. When’s the last time you had a handmade gumdrop? We thought so. Strawberry Gumdrops feature fresh Oregon-grown strawberries (look for the seeds!) Buoyant and fresh, these real fruit gumdrops are unlike anything you’ve had before.”

Find the Strawberry Gumdrops from QUIN here.

See all the great confections from QUIN here.

When I was a kid it was a tradition to have a cherry pie on Washington’s birthday – I guess because of the infamous chopping down the cherry tree story. But I have not heard much about the tradition in recent years, but now I have the perfect excuse to bring it back – the All American Cherry Pie I found from the fine folks at he Centerville Pie Company.

About the All American Cherry Pie from the Centerville Pie Company:

“The All American cherry pie! The wonderfully tart cherry filling is piled high into our well known sweet, flaky crust, topped with traditional lattice crust. Top with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream or enjoy a slice all on its’ own!”

By the way – today, February 22 is the actual birthday of Mr. Washington, which was celebrated for 150 years before being lumped into “Presidents’ Day” – which combined his birthday with one Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12) to honor both men and ultimately all presidents.

Find the All American Cherry Pie from the Centerville Pie Company here.

See all the great pies and treats from the Centerville Pie Company here.

The current Oscar-nominated film, The Post, chronicles the story of the Washington Post’s historic and game-changing printing of the Pentagon Papers and it is a great telling of a pivotal moment in American journalism. At the center of this event was Katharine Graham, the Post’s publisher who was navigating unchartered waters after taking the helm of the paper from her late husband. Admirably portrayed by the great Meryl Streep, the film only scratches the surface of the amazing life led by Ms. Graham. Fortunately for us, Katharine Graham left behind a great memoir, Personal History, which recounts her public and private lives through a turbulent time – and it one of the best autobiographies I have ever read.

About Personal History by Katharine Graham: “In this bestselling and widely acclaimed memoir, Katharine Graham, the woman who piloted the Washington Post through the scandals of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, tells her story—one that is extraordinary both for the events it encompasses and for the courage, candor, and dignity of its telling. Here is the awkward child who grew up amid material wealth and emotional isolation; the young bride who watched her brilliant, charismatic husband—a confidant to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson—plunge into the mental illness that would culminate in his suicide. And here is the widow who shook off her grief and insecurity to take on a president and a pressman’s union as she entered the profane boys’ club of the newspaper business. As timely now as ever, Personal History is an exemplary record of our history and of the woman who played such a shaping role within them, discovering her own strength and sense of self as she confronted—and mastered—the personal and professional crises of her fascinating life.”

When Personal History first came out nearly 20 years ago, I devoured it. As a journalism student in college I learned about the brave stances Ms. Graham and loved reading her firsthand account as a witness, and participant, to history. Rereading it now, I am even more in awe of Ms. Graham as I now have a wider view of her challenges and the legacy she left behind.

Personal History by Katharine Graham is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

 

I always wanted a piece of taxidermy on my wall – the kind you might see in one of those old paneled libraries with big leather chairs and a giant hearth. But of course the thought of a dead animal on my wall always gave me pause (or is that “paws”?).

Now I have the solution – the Fox Wall Mount by Cody Foster & Co. I found from the fine folks at Collyer’s Mansion.

About the Fox Wall Mount by Cody Foster & Co.:

“The word adorable doesn’t do this amazing papier-mâché wall mount justice! This little fox will bring beauty, texture, and whimsy to any room of which he is a part.”

The Fox Wall Mount by Cody Foster & Co. is available from Collyer’s Mansion here.

Find all the other great products for you home from Collyer’s Mansion here.

What is better than authentic organic maple syrup from Vermont? Authentic organic maple syrup from Vermont aged in bourbon barrels of course! Like the great Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup I found from the fine folks at Runamok Maple.

About the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup from Runamok Maple:

“We start with our best organic maple syrup and age it in recently emptied Bourbon barrels.  The syrup draws in the essence of the Bourbon without the alcohol.  Like premium whiskeys, the process takes time, and careful tending.  But the result is a sophisticated duo that will become a new classic. Certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers. Our woods are certified as Bird-Friendly by Audubon Vermont.”

Find the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup from Runamok Maple here.

Learn more about Runamok Maple here.