The Tortoise & The Hare

So apparently June 21 was the International Day of Slow but I missed it because I was too busy running around.  Obviously the irony is not lost on me. I’ve been trying to make a concerted effort to slow down ever since I read In Praise Of Slowness by Carl Honore a couple of months ago.  The coverauthor explains that he decided to write the book when he found himself considering the purchase of a book called One-Minute Bedtime Stories and decided that his priorities may be a bit out of whack. Um, I own that book so needless to say I felt guilty and compelled to read his book.

In Praise of Slowness questions why we are all in such a rush and then breaks down all the different areas of our life where we can slow down. He covers everything from Food, Cities, Mind/Body, Medicine, Sex, etc. and explains how it can all be so much more enjoyable if we simply stop rushing from one thing to another. He argues that the Slow movement is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace, on the contrary, it’s for people who want to live better in a face-paced modern world. In one word-balance.

While all the chapters have something worthy, I spent a considerable amount of time in the food chapter. I’m “culinary challenged” so reading about the Slow Food networks throughout the world really struck a chord with me. ” Slow Food Read the rest of this entry

If You Love GROUPON …

… then you need to sign up for these other sites that offer amazing daily deals as well. I’ll admit that I still get most of my great deals from Groupon but these other sites are catching on quickly.

Adility Daily Deal works much in the same way as Groupon in that Adility brings you a fantastic deal in your city each day and then the deal is on if enough people join the deal that day. What is different is that instead of printing the certificate yourself, Adility will mail you your certificate ($1.50 shipping) within 24 hours and they arrive within 3-5 business days. While it’s a little inconveinent if you want to go somewhere that day, it more that makes up for it with a recent deal I got for $39.99 for 30 min facial, 30 min massage, plus haircut & style!

Currently only in St. Louis right now, but intending to expand soon is City StealCity Steal is a collective platform designed to allow you the ability to experience the best that your community has to offer at incredible savings. Each day they offer a new Steal for a great restaurant, service, activity, or event in your community. Read the rest of this entry

Big Small Town

Big Small Town … the perfect description for St. Louis & the perfect title for my latest blog highlighting some for my favorite local artists and creative minds. Okay, I admit I stole the title from one of these fabulous creative minds but it really fit perfectly. Even if you aren’t a native St. Louisian,  please keep reading as all of these artists can be shopped and shipped most everywhere!

Bill Michalski deserves all the credit for my latest blog title and for affectionately chronicling the curiousities of his native St. Louis for years at Big Small Town Designs. I’ve mailed his unique greeting cards and post cards to friends, family and framed a few of my favorites. There are birthday greetings, thank-yous but my favorite continues to be the holiday sampler. Big Small Town Designs can be found in a variety of St. Louis stores or are all available online.

For functional pottery and a little more, look no further than Yael Shomroni. I have been collecting and gifting pieces of her beautiful pottery for the last 12 years. Yael’s work can been seen at Craft Alliance, Krueger Pottery, and Vogel Studios in Artspace at Crestwood Court. 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

Birthday Buddy

Tired of getting candles / scented lotions for your own birthday or sick of more plastic toys for your kids?  Take a look at this phenomenal program I discovered last year called Birthday Buddy. This is currently through the St. Louis Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition but anyone from anywhere can participate or see if your own local agency has a similar program.

You can make a foster child’s birthday wishes come true by registering to be a Birthday Buddy!  As a Birthday Buddy, you ask your guests to bring birthday presents to donate to a foster child in lieu of gifts for you or your own child. There are currently over 4000 children in foster care in St. Louis and most children spend at least 2 birthdays in foster care.

It couldn’t be easier to become a birthday buddy: Read the rest of this entry

Dining Out (for less)

As today’s economy  becomes increasingly characterized by clipping coupons and “staycations,” people are finding it harder to justify a nice dinner out.  I’ve created a quick system that I call my ‘One in Four.’  If a restaurant passes one of these four tests, we can go.

1)      Is it listed on opentable.com?  This is a fantastic site that lists thousands of restaurants throughout United States, and abroad.  Once you locate your city, you search for restaurants alphabetically, by cuisine, or by neighborhood.  Pick a date & time, book it, and when you check in at the restaurant, you are awarded 100 points.  Sometimes restaurants award up to 1000 points for an odd seating date and time.  After 2000 points, you earn a $20 dining cheque for your next meal out.

2)      Can you get a gift certificate for it on restaurant.com? This site allows you to purchase $25 gift certificates for as little as $2 if you catch an 80% off sale.  Watch the restrictions and fine print but we’ve used a lot of these to discover new restaurants and enjoy past favorites. Read the rest of this entry