Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quick Trip to the California Coast

It is pretty incredible that the tenth most popular article today on the New York Times front page is about a tiny little town in Northern California. It is even more incredible that the same tiny little town, a "Utopia by the Sea," is so close to my heart. There are few places on the California coast that remain as unspoiled yet are still so comfortably livable as this small town. If you ever have the chance to travel to The Sea Ranch, you will not be disappointed by its beauty. Enjoy the article!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Make Marshmallows, Not War

Hammacher Schlemmer not only wins a prize for the hardest catalog to pronounce, but also for some of the most random products for purchase. Although I was initially a bit annoyed that I received the catalog (one among so many I never asked for and thought I had stopped) in the end it has brought me some giggles on a day when I have been under the weather. From the $100 Star Wars Nutcracker Set to the Rotating Dual Disco Ball, I just have to wonder who buys this stuff, particularly in these hard economic times. The catalog is not without useful products, but they are often of the type you did not realize you needed until you suddenly had to have it (although I can forever do without anything Thomas Kinkade.)

The most fantastic item in the catalog? The 40 Foot Marshmallow Blaster, which includes a carrying case to take your marshmallow games on the road! This pump-gun should not be confused, of course, with the Marshmallow Shooter, Bazooka or Shooting Shortbow. Choose your preferred size marshmallow and recruit an army! I have to admit, as much as I wonder who came up with this idea, I can imagine a family having some holiday fun with these shooters! I know my family would have. In fact, I just might have to order some...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Boho: No-GO

I was happy to finally come across a print version of Boho magazine in San Francisco over the weekend, but my pleasure was short lived. I may be hyper-critical, but I had much higher expectations of this allegedly eco-conscious magazine with a "new american spirit." While the paper may be recycled, the magazine itself is lacking in useful content.

The fashion, for the most part, is lacking in environmentally friendly clothing, and, well, is just plain weird. There are a few exceptions that are quite beautiful, but these pieces are far outweighed by hippie clothes with no hints of modernity. The best part of the magazine is an article about Teens for Safe Cosmetics, a wonderful activist group. Unfortunately, other articles in the magazine seem to forget the aims of this group, on one page suggesting products that contain harmful ingredients, on another advocating semi-permanent lash enhancements. I'm sure that glue is not the healthiest thing in the world! The gift guide is so-so, but I'm sure it is blown out of the water by other magazines like Plenty.

I guess I just see no reason why this magazine needs to be printed. It is so hard to tell the content from the (too frequent) advertisements, they would probably do just as well staying online. I will not be purchasing this magazine again, and sadly, this issue is going right into the recycle bin.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wish You Were a Baller?

Green gift of the season for guys? An environmentally friendly basketball. In the airport today I saw that both Plenty and Boho magazines listed the Wilson Rebound in their gift guides. With "Think Globally, Hoop Locally" printed on the 40% recycled rubber basketball, Wilson seems to be making an eco-effort this year. Props to Wilson for packaging this ball in 80% pre or post consumer board, but is external packaging even necessary?

Being ahead of trends as always (j/k), I actually bought a "green" basketball as a gift at the beginning of this month. I have to gloat for a minute because I think, overall, my choice was a better one. Not only are the basketballs from Fair Trade Sports made from "eco-certified rubber exterior and interior" but the hands that crafted them are full-grown. Yes, these are Fair Trade and vegan, for only $4.00 more than the Wilson ball. Plus, you are supporting a small company dedicated to "eco-certified Fair Trade sports balls" and philanthropy, not a giant company that is perhaps trying to do some Greenwashing to appease customers.

One could argue that the Wilson might be more readily available in stores, but I am going to bet that you might have to order it online just as you would the Fair Trade Sports basketball. I do not know how the FTS ball is packaged, however, so I am interested in finding out whether it is consistent with the company's claimed values.

So, if you know someone who would love a basketball, keep these options in mind!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Grazie Mille

The heritage turkey is cooking, cranberry sauce setting and the pumpkin pies are out of the dog's reach. Soon we will feast in one of the most incredible places on the California coastline, if not the country and the world. I do feel blessed, today and always.

Though it may not always be perfect, my reality, my life is pretty fantastic. I have the most supportive and loving family I could ever desire. We are all happy and healthy. Though I have not seen them this holiday, thinking of my young niece and nephew fills my heart with joy. Today my 81-year-old grandmother practiced using her cell phone with me. A small, thing, yes, but so important to me nonetheless. My friends, quite spread out, are some of the most amazing people I know. I cherish my time with them and I look forward to so many more years of memories in the making.

I am thankful for friends and family every year, every day. This year there, however, I am so proud to be thankful for my country and the election. My parents showed me a poster of Barack Obama that they had bought in Paris, when they were actually able to see him in October. Talk about something to be thankful for! I truly believe we will not be disappointed. I am excited and eager to be closer to the change for which I am so thankful. (And, I will thank in advance anyone who will help me get there!)

I know the question is overused but what are you thankful for this year? Hey, you know what else I'm thankful for? The comment I might get on this post! ;)