Archive for January, 2019

FF: The Italian Large Leaf Basil Seeds from Botanical Interests

Winter won’t last forever (although it has been very cold and snowy here on the prairie just across the river from the great city of Kansas City, MO) so I am already looking forward to planting my garden in the spring. I plan to get a head start, but I am also going to try growing some herbs inside which I am told is an easy and good thing to do in the winter. First up is growing basil, like from the Italian Large Leaf Basil Seeds I found from the fine folks at Botanical Interests.

About the Italian Large Leaf Basil Seeds from Botanical Interests:

“There is nothing like the aroma of basil in the summer! There is no more useful herb; use in a number of Italian dishes. Accent fish, poultry and rice, add to mild vegetables and salads, serve with fresh mozzarella, or make basil vinegar! In a warm, south window, basil can grow indoors in the winter! A good container variety.”

Find the Italian Large Leaf Basil Seeds from Botanical Interests here.

See all the herb seeds from Botanical Interests here.

Visit Botanical Interests online here.

FF: The Giant Peach Iceland Poppy Seeds from Floret Flowers

I never had good luck growing flowers from seed, so this year I am determined, and I think the trick is to start early. I hope to grow some cool flowers, like the Giant Peach Iceland Poppies I found from the fine folks at Floret Flowers.

About the Giant Peach Iceland Poppy Seeds from Floret Flowers:

“One of the most exquisite cut flowers we grow, these peachy tissue paper-like blooms are heartbreakingly beautiful. A citrusy scent and abundant flowering habit stretching from early spring through midsummer make them a highly prized cutting garden addition. Technically considered a hardy perennial, poppies can survive even the coldest winters, but because they don’t do well in high heat, they are often grown as an annual or biennial.”

Find the Giant Peach Iceland Poppy Seeds from Floret Flowers here.

Visit Floret Flowers online here.

I have posted a few times with follow-up from my trip to London last November (and still me to come). However, let’s not forget I made a side trip to France and have a few loose ends to tie up from that as well.

Like today’s find, the fine folks at Paul Marius, designers and curators of fine bags and accessories, like their collection of School Satchels (right).

About the School Satchels from Paul Marius:

“The school bag is a timeless object, PAUL MARIUS revisits this bag in a soft leather with ample storage space. You can proudly wear your satchel vintage look.”

Here’s a shot of the Paul Marius shop I visited in Lille:

Visit Paul Marius online here.




We have had a real spell of winter weather the past few days here on the prairie, just across the river from the great town of Kansas City, MO. Prior to that we had nice cool but sunny days, and just about every night a spectacular sunset. To help with my winter weather blues I am posting a sunset shot I took leaving the office one day last week.

I continue to devour every new book about Winston Churchill, I just can’t get enough. Fortunately, I am not alone, which means they keep coming. The new book, Churchill – Walking with Destiny by Andrew Roberts is everything I want in a biography of the great leader. After many books (some really good) in recent years about various aspects of his life – his youth, World War I years, his paintings, and even his dinner table – here is a wonderful, concise biography of Churchill whole life.

About Churchill – Walking with Destiny by Andrew Roberts:

“When we seek an example of great leaders with unalloyed courage, the person who comes to mind is Winston Churchill: the iconic, visionary war leader immune from the consensus of the day, who stood firmly for his beliefs when everyone doubted him. But how did young Winston become Churchill? What gave him the strength to take on the superior force of Nazi Germany when bombs rained on London and so many others had caved? In Churchill, Andrew Roberts gives readers the full and definitive Winston Churchill, from birth to lasting legacy, as personally revealing as it is compulsively readable.”

Churchill – Walking with Destiny by Andrew Roberts is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.




Just off of London’s Covent Garden is San Carlo Cicchetti, a great Italian restaurant that will let you step from the busy streets of London into an oasis of authentic Italian food and hospitality. Try the Spiedino di Pollo (chicken wrapped in pancetta with rosemary) – yum!

About San Carlo Cicchetti:

“Set in sophisticated yet relaxing interiors using light colours alongside huge expanses of light grey Italian marble, San Carlo Cicchetti reinterprets the delightful Venetian culinary custom of cicchetti – delicious small plate dishes to share or eat alone, enjoyed with a beer or glass of wine. Each season Cicchetti launches a new, expertly crafted menu. While still retaining the favourites, the new dishes will feature the freshest and best seasonal ingredients sourced from markets in Milan. With an Italian Chairman, Italian director, Italian chefs, Cicchetti is an authentic Italian restaurant.”

San Carlo Cicchetti is located at  30 Wellington St in London.

What a find! A vintage travel film highlighting the great American city of Chicago has been found, restored and share for all to enjoy. The fine folks Block Club Chicago have posted the restored film and it is a glorious view of the city in the 40s and it is a treat for anyone who loves Chicago (like me).

About the vintage Chicago travel film:

“For those who wish they could hop into a time machine and see 1940s Chicago, a digitally restored film gives a expansive look at the city before the Willis Tower, John Hancock Center or the Trump Tower reached soaring heights. Former Bucktown resident Jeff Altman, a professional film and video colorist who moved to New York, said he found the footage while rummaging through items at an Auburn Gresham estate sale in fall of 2013.”

See the entire film here courtesy of Block Club Chicago here.

I snapped this shot of the Starbucks in Terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow airport on my trip in November. Normally I would not take picture of a Starbucks but I was attracted by the really cool design of this particular location – which included this large Starbucks lettering formed by hundreds of simple white coffee cups – very cool! (more…)

A little too late for a white Christmas…

…but we finally had a real snowstorm here on the edge of he prairie – just across the river from the great city of Kansas City, MO.

Although not quite what I am used to from my days in the north country of New Hampshire, it was great seeing my funky little neighborhood covered in white. Including the statue that adorns the little island in my little square.

I think I have a problem. I purchase liquid soap just about every time I see a new scent at the store. I really don’t need to buy any more for a long time. That said, the dispensers most of these soaps come in are ugly, cheap, and messy (the post-pump drip). Many of these challenges can be solved with the Slim Soap Dispenser I found from the fine folks at Joseph Joseph.

About the Slim Soap Dispenser from Joseph Joseph:

“Make the most of the space you have around your bathroom sink with this refillable slimline soap pump. This stylish, space-saving design takes up less room without compromising on capacity.”

Find the Slim Soap Dispenser from Joseph Joseph here.

See all the innovate solutions for the home from Joseph Joseph here.

You can never have too many tote bags hanging around, especially these days as more and more communities are banning plastic bags. You can turn every eye at the supermarket when you pull out one of the classy tote bags from the fine folks at Maptote – totes bag featuring maps from cool places – like this one with Cape Cod (right).

About the Tote Bags from Maptote:

“Our classic tote makes the perfect gift for any occasion. Perfect bag for toting around groceries and all your daily necessities. With over 70 locations of your favorite cities or states to choose from!”

Find a Maptote from a favorite location here.

Learn more about Maptote here.