The Last Straw

diy_strawzI not sure why I have such a fascination with straws or when it began but in case any of you share in this odd obsession, here are some of my absolute favorites. Think Geek has a DIY straw where you can fasten and create your own straw contraption. No sense pretending you are going to share this one with the kids, it’s too much fun. Another great find at Think Geek is an ice straw – the mold is made of food-grade silicone rubber and will quickly make six 8-inch straws of whatever liquid you like.

Whether you’re on the go during a hectic day, dining with your family or strawsomerelaxing with a smoothie on the front porch, Strawesome (seriously the name) has a reusable drinking straw to fit your needs. They offer a wide variety of designs from plain to decorative and even a special style just for kids. Angie Papple at Helium gives a great testimony on why you should use glass drinking straws for your own health and the environment.

Not so comfortable carrying a glass straw around with you? Try reusable bamboo strawsbamboo straws from Global Exchange. A little trickier to keep clean but still keeps plastic straws out of the landfill and what a fun gift idea for a host or hostess. My advice … sip into something more comfortable and enjoy.

 


Gotta get your SWAG!

I mentioned swagbucks in a previous post but I thought they were worth a quick, second mention as today I cashed in my bucks for some swag. With just over 2200 swagbucks, works-2I got a $25 restaurant.com gift card, $10 Starbucks gift card and $5 amazon gift card, all for simply surfing the web!

Swagbucks is an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called swagbucks which can be redeemed for exclusive swagbucks merchandise. I type in whatever I’m looking for online (just as you would in google), and with just one click, I can earn swagbucks. Now, it’s not every time but I’d estimate about 80% of the time, I’m online, I’m awarded. Then I can redeem them for giftcards like I mentioned above, magazines, “eco-swag”, etc. Read the rest of this entry

My Secret Garden

The Secret Garden is actually one of my favorite plays & books, but I don’t really have a secret garden. What I have are some gardening secrets and suggestions that get me through the season and make me look better than I really am.

EasyBloom is one of my favorite sites for all things garden. They have great Plant Doctor Advice but their shining star is the EasyBloom Plant Sensor Plus. As their site states, “Put the EasyBloom Plant Sensor Plus anywhere, inside or outside, where you want to grow a plant or have a plant you want advice on. The Plant Sensor will measure sunlight, temperature, water drainage and fertilizer (with subscription). Plug the EasyBloom Plant Sensor  into the USB port of your PC or Mac and from our 6,000+ plant library, they’ll recommend what plants are best for your spot and how to care for them.” It’s amazing! I’ve got flowers finally growing in areas that I thought were unsalvageable, and the best part is that you can use it again and again indoors or outdoors.

Now Amber’s Garden is supposedly geared towards helping kids in the garden, but if it makes my life easier, I’ll act like a child … no problem. Amber’s Garden sells garden mats with seeds already perfectly spaced and ready to plant. Simply lay the mat, cover with soil, water and watch them grow. Read the rest of this entry

Categorizing Your Cuisine

Okay, I admit it. I have an insecurity about cooking that I’m slowly working through but it’s so much easier to grab one of those Groupons and head out to dinner. However,  I’ve taken a few steps recently that have helped me work through all my “saved recipes” and has actually led to a few successful meals. I wouldn’t say that I love cooking yet but I don’t hate it either. Enough to possibly publish my own cookbook? Keep reading.

For ripped out recipes, I had a friend come over and she discarded any that looked too complicated for me (no offense taken), were too similar to another recipe and kept no more than 5 in each category. She directed me to try these recipes (that seemed so great that I had to rip out of a magazine or print offline) over the next few months and either toss or save. To save these, I’ve found that the best way is to use photo album pages in a binder. It protects them and is relatively easy to organize.

To save online, I really like recipezaar and allrecipes. Both allow you to join for free, search recipes and save your favorites in an online cookbook or recipe box. Members can rate and comment on recipes and for me, learning about the level of difficulty and time needed is key. However, my most recent favorite site is Tastebook. Read the rest of this entry

Word to the Mother

Since Mother’s Day is exactly one month away, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite sites or suggestions for the big day. In no particular order…

For the mom who loves her shoes or bags, check out the shoe wheel or iglu handbag holder at Rakku Designs.

If you are the child of a techno mom who ran right out and got herself an iPad, get her a beautiful iPad bag (they have ones for Kindle too) at Borsa Bella Bags.

Trying to wean your mom off bottled water, purchase her any (safe) straight sided, 1 liter water bottle and design for her a one of a kind bottle wrap. She’ll be the envy of all her walking, running or gym buddies.

If your mom has run out of ways or places to carry photos of her favorite child or grandchild, check out this hip photo cuff at Smoy. Read the rest of this entry

Story People

Almost New Age

Is willing to accept that she creates her own reality except for some of the parts where she can’t help but wonder what the hell she was thinking

Before Dawn

I’ve always liked the time before dawn because there’s no one around to remind me who I’m supposed to be, so it’s easier to remember who I am

Believing My Father

I used to believe my father about everything but then I had children myself & now I see how much stuff you make up just to keep yourself from going crazy.

Kindered Spirits

You’re the strangest person I ever met, she said & I said you too & we decided we’d know each other a long time.

These are just a few of my favorite quotes from storypeople.com but I could go on and on. They’ve created prints, books, frames, cards, etc that somehow capture a feeling that I can never put into words. I’ve gifted these for graduation, birthday, new babes, marriages, & father’s day … I can always find one to match any occasion. What I can’t do justice (on my site) is show you the great illustrations that come with the quotes as I typically buy mine as prints. They are black and white drawings, almost stick figures with amazing colors.

The folks at storypeople.com have this to say about themselves … Read the rest of this entry