Pop these simple wooden toys in some stockings this year and see how popular they are — even though they have no batteries ;)
The theme for this gift guide is driving. Specifically, a summer night’s drive. The windows are rolled down in your car and your left arm is hanging outside. A warm breeze is rushing over your skin as you move your fingers through the resistant air current. The collective neighborhood smell of charcoal barbecues, fire pits, fresh cut grass and the occasional cigar enjoyed on a porch fill your inhalations.
Maybe you went out for milk, or are driving home from a night with friends. Either way it is driving weather and you are so glad to be in motion. As you pull up to your house the perfect song comes on the radio. The one that makes you feel 16 and wise beyond your age at the same time. So you smile and press your foot on the gas, pass up your house and circle the block one more time to listen to it.
Snowowl’s lino letterpress art captures the perfect marriage of music, driving and memories.
Sometimes if we didn’t have to be home right away, my dad would keep driving and time it so we got there right when the song was over. And we always had to have the windows down for the full effect.
Father’s Day is coming up and this personalized hammered copper and sterling key ring by ChipmunkHollow is the gift for fathers who stare longingly at the car keys when the fireflies come out to play.
TheBugGirl has a beautiful collection of art cards created from a found lot of 1960’s trading cards in her attic. The colors are rich and rubbed out, with great detailing. Buy them individually, or purchase and frame a set. Then stare at them wistfully when summer ends and winter forces you to roll your windows up.
Slide this ring onto the finger of a loved one that would rather road trip than fly, who prefers to cruise instead of hurrying to their destination. An abstract wood grain, tire tread patterned ring made by JewelrybyJohan.
It’s summer, it’s gorgeous and it’s fleeting. So turn the radio up, lean your seat back a bit, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.
This week, in the Back-to-School Eats series, I’m going to talk Brown Bag Lunches. From planning to execution, purchase to lunchroom-feast I’ve got tips, tricks and ideas to make healthy, mostly local lunches quick, easy and attainable for even the busiest families. But before we get started on lunch, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Back-to-School Eats: On The Go Breakfast Edition for four wholesome ways to kick off your school-kid’s day. Because breakfast is the most important meal, one that sets the tone for success and health and if your child hasn’t had a good breakfast the quality of his lunch isn’t going to be able to make up the difference.
Have a System – When my oldest started Kindergarten I was still one of those really good parents. I was expending an obnoxious amount of time trying to Do It All and I was succeeding. Most of the remnants of that time are now long gone, ancient history, but a few usable bits and pieces still remain. One of those things is a lunch planning spreadsheet I created. Or, rather, several of them. They’re divided into four categories; main dish, fruit, vegetable and treat. Those categories are color coded and each spreadsheet represents a different season, a different part of the school year. In each of the categories, on each of the spreadsheets, are several items that we usually have on hand during that time of year. Some items make an appearance in more than one season — peanut butter and jam sandwiches and apples, for instance — but many are seasonal with temporary availability — like asparagus in the springtime, peaches and pears in the late summer and early fall. Each day my girls pick one item from each category to make up the lunch of their choice. You don’t have to use my system, though it works very well if you’d like to, but have a system in place to make everything from purchase to packing easy.
Start Big – It’s contrary to everything your mother ever told you — “Start small, deary! Work your way up! — but hear me out. What I mean is not to start big overall, but to start with the big things. To have the biggest impact start with the largest portions of the meal and work your way down to the condiments, the toppings, the little treats. If sandwiches are a common component of your kids’ lunch look for good local sources of bread (or the grains to make it in your very own bread maker) and lunch meat. Worry about the condiments later, for instance.
Understand Your Law of Supply and Demand – And obey it. If you have one child who eats an apple a day, chances are you don’t need a bushel of apples every week. It’s just as easy to overdo it at the Farmer’s Market as it is to not go at all. Buy what you need, eat what you buy.
Plan Ahead – Unless you’re fortunate enough to be in a temperate climate where the growing season and the Farmer’s Market go year-round, you’re going to have to plan ahead for winter. Last year, in On Year Round Appreciation, I alluded to the importance of asking your local growers about year-round product availability now, before the market closes, but that is doubly important when you’re trying to get three meals a day out of the local food scene. Remember, some products don’t have a set season. Meats, eggs, preserves, breads, and even some produce that keeps well in a root cellar like potatoes, onions, apples, hard squashes and garlic can be had in the dead of winter without trucking it in from miles out. Start planning how you’ll access these goods before the cold sets in. You may be able to buy them farm direct, you may need to stock up. Now is the time to know which it’ll be.
Whatever the system you choose and foods you pack here’s to happy, healthy, local and — most important — stress-free back-to-school lunches!
I would never be able to look down at my wrist without laughing. Wouldn’t that be nice!
This small sculptural glass bowl adds a delicate touch of color where ever it is placed. The open lattice work makes these pieces appear to be light as a feather. And, while they are delicate the overall form is sturdy, like actual nests. The process used to make these insures that no two are ever alike. Each unique with its own twists and bends. This aqua color is like a cool drink of water.
Heather Palmer is a craftsman, artist and maker. Heather primarily uses glass to create objects but loves lots of other mediums too. Her work is varied including both functional and non functional pieces. She is inspired by communication, experimentation, play and from learning new ways of working. From these inspirations she and her work continually grow.