Archive for May, 2011

8 Essential Summer Must-Haves

Technically, summer is a few weeks away but with longer nights and higher temps headed our way, I’m gearing up with these great finds below:

*Zoku Quick Pop Maker – Now you can create your own customized frozen pops, including cream-filled varieties, in as little as seven minutes.

*Chef’s Case – Five Sauces: Pomegranate Teriyaki, Lemon & Mint Chili, Garlic Chili, BBQ Figs and Red Wine Onion plus three professional spice blends that can be used in a myriad applications, from the exotic to the everyday.

*CPX 6 High Tech LED lantern –  Stays lit for 25 hours, comes with a 4D battery pack or you can purchase 6V rechargeable battery pack.

*Watermelon knife – Microserrated blade quickly cuts through tough rind and slices cleanly through the delicate, delicious flesh.

*Flower Ball Vase – A clever alternative to the quintessential vase which lets each beautiful cut flower (from your gorgeous garden) enjoy its space.

*Ready, Set… GLOW!Read the rest of this entry

Surprising Statistics on Sunscreen

Pools are open in this part of the country so before the kids and I hit the water, I started to dig around about the best sunscreens for our brood. The latest information from Environmental Working Group (EWG)  unearthed troubling facts that might tempt you to give up on sunscreens altogether. That’s not the right answer – despite the unknowns about their efficacy, public health agencies still recommend using sunscreens, just not as your first line of defense against the sun.  Use sunscreens, but look for shade, wear protective clothing and avoid the noontime sun before you smear on the cream. Here are EWG’s surprising sunscreen facts:

1. There’s no consensus on whether sunscreens prevent skin cancer.
2. There’s some evidence that sunscreens might increase the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer for some people.
3. There are more high SPF products than ever before, but no proof that they’re better.
4. Too little sun might be harmful, reducing the body’s vitamin D levels.
5. The common sunscreen ingredient vitamin A may speed the development of cancer.
6. Free radicals and other skin-damaging byproducts of sunscreen. Read the rest of this entry

Daily Deals – are you missing out?

Lately I’ve gotten a few questions from friends about sites that are similar to Groupon as I don’t show up anywhere for anything without a coupon anymore. Here’s my list, in no particular order:

  1. Groupon – The first one on the scene to offer great deals – sign up for other cities if you are traveling. Great app.
  2. Living Social – You can get a family or escape edition of deals in addition to their daily ones. Great app.
  3. Eversave – My latest find & I’m loving their daily deals.
  4. City Steal – Great local steals.
  5. Scout Mob – The coupon is free. If you see an offer you like, just click a button to receive the coupon via text message or e-mail. You’ll only pay when you show up – only in a few cities right now but growing!
  6. St. Louis Daily Fix – Outstanding deals at local restaurants, salons, spas and more in St. Louis.
  7. Care 2 Daily Deals – Organic, green, good-for-you, good-for-the-planet products at up to 70% off.
  8. 8 Coupons – Lists all the deals from the top sites (including Groupon, Tippr, BuyWithMe and others) & lets you search via map or zip code.
  9. Buy With Me – Like many other sites, if 3 friends buy from your referral, yours is free.
  10. Daily Candy Deals – Offers limited number of coupons so you’re not fighting with hundreds of other purchasers, but limited cities currently.
  11. Spa Finder – Only in NYC, LA, Boston, Philly & Miami

Others I’m missing? Let me know!

Delicious for Derby

Being raised a Kentucky girl, I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity and provide a bit of education regarding the upcoming 137th Kentucky Derby – the greatest two minutes in sports. The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, of which yours truly is a member, provides this wonderful & informational history of the mint julep, drink of choice on May 7th, 2011.

“Julep” is said to be a word meaning “rose water”.    Mint Julepjulep is a concoction of bourbon, water, sugar and a sprig of spearmint. The drink is over 200 years old, first referred to in print in the first decade of the 1800’s.  The book defined the julep as “A dram  of spirituous liquor that has mint steeped in it, taken by Virginians of a morning.” It is said that Henry Clay of Kentucky introduced the mint julep to Washington, DC. and thus it became famously associated with Kentucky and Kentucky Bourbon.

OK, for those holding Derby parties, here’s a recipe.  There are several but this is MY favorite:  Take two frosted silver mint julep cups.  In the first fill with ice and add a teaspoon of sugar and a splash of water.  Then, gently crush a couple mint leaves and place in the ice.  In the second cup, pour about 3 fingers of a quality Kentucky Bourbon.  Now, pour out the mess in the first cup and drink from the second.

Enjoy! -Colonel Saltsman

Mad about Mom!

Below are some great finds that would make any Mother’s, Grandmother’s or Godmother’s Day more special – even mine. (Hint! Hint!)

Does your mom fancy flowers? Surprise her with a pastel tin bouquet that will last a lifetime from uncommongoods.

Does your mom fancy sweets? Dive into these hand-made delicious pie pops from Cakewalk Desserts.

Does your mom fancy health & wellness? Apply any of these therapeutic grade essential oils, exotic in origin, ancient in derivation, and proven in application from Unica Home.

Does your mom fancy her footwear? Slip into these original hand-painted clogs from The Swanx.

Does your mom fancy gardening? Gift her with this great collection of plantable cards that are printed in full color directly on seeded paper from Bloomin.

Finally, for the gift that keeps on giving, send her a gift certificate from Kiva that provides a loan that can change a life and empower someone across the world.

Mother’s love is peace.  It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved”.  ~Erich Fromm