Archive for September, 2019

I have mentioned many times that I don’t really care for seafood, but I like a lot of things related to it. For example, I love oyster plates and shuckers. I especially don’t care for seafood that comes in a can. The idea of sardines is enough to really turn my stomach. Therefore, it may come as a surprise to the reader that I am love with the Tinned Fish collection I found from the fine folks at Chicago’s Wixter Market. Why? You ask? Well the cans themselves are a work of art.

Take Wickter’s Octopus in Olive Oil with Garlic (above right) for example:

“Wild caught Octopus, from the Galician region of the Spanish coast, are hand-cut and packed with garlic in Portuguese olive oil.”

About Chicago’s Wixter Market:

“Wixter Market is a boutique seafood shop specializing in super frozen, flash frozen, and tinned product from around the world.”

See the Wixter Market Tinned Fish collection here.

Visit Wixter Market online here.

It officially autumn and those long nights by the fire sipping bourbon are not far behind. Here are a few bourbons and whisky I have been collecting to get me through those cold nights ahead.

FF: Angel’s Envy

About Angel’s Envy:

“There’s bourbon. And then there’s divine inspiration painstakingly crafted into a spirit so sublime you’ll want to share it with the world. We make the second one. ANGEL’S ENVY is what happens when 200 years of bourbon tradition meet an independent master craftsman’s instinct to improve. It’s a total return to the art of craft-first, hand blended batches of 8 to 12 barrels at a time.”

Find Angel’s Envy here.

FF: Upshot Australian Whiskey

About Upshot Australian Whiskey:

“100% West Australian Grains: 80% corn, 10% malt, 10% wheat. Upshot whiskey is our modern Aussie expression of a well-rounded bourbon great for the novice whisky drinker to the discerning. Uniquely smooth and inviting, and artfully aged in virgin southern white oak in our urban Mediterranean climate. Perfect for enjoying across seasons and in good company.”

Find Upshot Australian Whiskey here.

Visit the fine folks at Whipper Snapper Distillery – makers of Upshot Australian Whiskey – here.

The fine folks at Southern Fried Design Barn produce a lot of cool things but I am really liking their collection of greeting cards featuring popular southern sayings.

I like Southern Fried Design Barn’s Bless Your Heart Card (right):

“Everyone has their fair share of unhappy days. Cheer a friend up with this sweet baby goat! A baby goat silhouette centers the back with plenty of space for your message.”

Find Southern Fried Design Barn’s Bless Your Heart Card here.

See the whole Southern Sayings Card Collection from Southern Fried Design Barn here.

Visit Southern Fried Design Barn online here

The great Martin Mull once said something like “writing about music is like dancing about architecture” – which was meant to say that you should just listen to music and enjoy it as opposed to discuss it. I get the point, although Mr. Mull’s metaphor is clunky, but I for one do like to read about music and it’s social impact and influence on our lives. One of the great music writers of the past few decades is the UK’s David Hepworth, and lucky for us, many of his best essays have been put into the wonderful anthology, Nothing is Real: The Beatles Were Underrated And Other Sweeping Statements About Pop.

About Nothing is Real: The Beatles Were Underrated And Other Sweeping Statements About Pop by David Hepworth:

“Pop music’s a simple pleasure. Is it catchy? Can you dance to it? Do you fancy the singer? But what’s fascinating about pop is our relationship with it. David Hepworth is interested in the human side of pop. He’s interested in how people make the stuff and, more importantly, what it means to us. In this collection of essays written throughout his career, Hepworth shows how it is possible to take music seriously and, at the same time, not drain the life out of it. From the legacy of the Beatles to the dramatic decline of the record shop via the bewildering nomenclature of musical genres; with characteristic insight and humour Hepworth asks some essential questions about music and, indeed, life: is it all about the drummer; are band managers misunderstood; and is it appropriate to play ‘Angels’ at funerals? As Pope John Paul II said ‘of all the unimportant things, football is the most important’. David Hepworth believes the same to be true of music and this selection of his best writing, covering the music of last fifty years, shows you precisely why.”

About Nothing is Real: The Beatles Were Underrated And Other Sweeping Statements About Pop by David Hepworth is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

 

I do a lot of biking and I have some pretty sweet bicycle bags and baskets. But most of them are fixed to the bike or are bulky and not easy to detach and carry around when I reach my final destination. But I have found the perfect solution, the Biker Bag from the fine folks at Lefrik, which easily attaches and detaches from your bike, and it looks great too.

About the Biker Bag from Lefrik:

“A lightweight and handy bag to protect your stuff while biking the city. The bike bag main compartment comes with a removable cooler pocket. The inside zippered pocket with mesh helps you to keep the small stuff tidy and handy. It can be fixed to the saddle of any bike and comes with reflective details on the outside. The flap zippered main closure keeps the inside protected from rainy days.”

Find the Biker Bag from Lefrik here

Visit Lefrik online here.

I always loved the “M” Mary Tyler Moore had on the wall of her two apartments on the iconic The Mary Tyler Moore show. I can’t say I have been on a search to find a letter of my own all these years, but had I been, the search would be over now that I found the Floral Resin Letters from the fine folks at Oliver Bonas.

About the Floral Resin Letters from Oliver Bonas:

“Patterned with detailed white resin floral designs inlaid into black resin, the Floral Alphabet Letters are finished by hand meaning each one is unique. With a range of letters and the ‘&’ symbol, these decorative alphabet letters can be displayed as wall art features, as part of a wedding table centerpiece or as party decorations or used to add a personal touch to your living space.”

Find the Floral Resin Letters from Oliver Bonas here.

Visit Oliver Bonas online here.

One of the coolest areas to explore in Kansas City is the thriving River Market district – the oldest part of the great city with an iconic market place (City Market), hip restaurants, and a metropolitan vibe. Today I feature a couple of my favorite spots in the area: Carollo’s Grocery & Deli and the River Market Antique Mall.

FF: Carollo’s Grocery & Deli

About Carollo’s Grocery & Deli:

“Welcome to Carollo’s Grocery & Deli! Come and Experience the Authentic Tastes of Italy at the Best Italian Deli in Kansas City! We offer an assortment of the finest Italian Meat and Cheese! Try our Romano Sandwich or our Original Philly Steak Sandwich! Order Sandwiches and Italian produce online and find us along 3rd Street in the River Market!”

Visit Carollo’s Grocery & Deli online here.

FF: River Market Antiques

About River Market Antiques:

“River Market Antiques was established in the fall of 1994 and our mission has always been to recycle the past, one life at a time.”

River Market Antiques LLC is located in the historic River Market district of Kansas City on the southeast corner of 5th and Wyandotte, two blocks west of the City Market.

Visit River Market Antiques online here.

The fine folks behind London Art Prints have created a collection of really cool London-themed art. Among their coolest pieces are typographic maps depicting London themes – like literary London or the music of London. I like London Art Prints’ London Film Map.

About the London Film Map from London Art Prints:

“An intricate hand-crafted typographic map of London swarming with film titles, actors and directors, plotted on the map where they most made their mark. Also featuring some of London’s most iconic picture houses, film studios and red carpet locations. Combining hand-drawn typography and illustration, the London Film Map is a limited edition giclée print by the London-based graphic artist Dex, celebrating the capital’s credentials as one of the world’s most iconic cinematic cities.”

Find the London Film Map from London Art Prints here.

See a gallery of all the cool art from London Art Prints here.

On my recent vacation to Cape Cod with a group of friends, we engaged in one of our most favorite traditions, our vacation week book club. Every year when we head down the Cape for the week, we stop at the great Titcomb’s Bookshop in Sandwich to stock up on books for vacation. We also choose a book for all of to read as part of a little vacation book club. We read the book and discuss it, and it has been a lot of fun.

We often pick a young adult book, mostly because it is a hot genre right now, and they also tend to be easy reads for vacation. We asked the proprietor at Titcomb’s for a recommendation and she suggested we try Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk, and we were so glad she did. This award-winning novel has been compared to To Kill a Mockingbird, which I thought was hyperbole but I loved it.

About Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk:

“Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount. Brilliantly crafted, Wolf Hollow is a haunting tale of America at a crossroads and a time when one girl’s resilience, strength, and compassion help to illuminate the darkest corners of our history.”

Wolf Hollow is a fine narrative with a compelling plot, but that is not what makes it a great read. It is the beautifully composed words Ms. Wolk weaves together that make Wolf Hollow and instant classic.

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

 

I have always thought the best way to get things done is to keep lists of what you need to do and cross items off when they are completed. Now I have found the best notebook to make sure I finish what I start, the Done and Done Notebook from the fine folks at Packed Party.

About the Done and Done Notebook from Packed Party:

“You note best! This Done and Done spiral notebook is the perfect accomplice to all those notes, doodles, and dreams. With lined-paper and an extra thick protective front and back cover this notebook is ready to take on the world the write way with you!”

Find the Done and Done Notebook from Packed Party here.

Visit Packed Party online here.