Wooden sunglasses? I’m rocking them. What could say “road trip” more than classic “Buddy Holly” shades reminiscent of the wood paneling in a vintage station wagon? What says 2013 more than sustainable bamboo and recycled polycarbonates worked in to your specs and a purchase that comes with an eye exam and prescription glasses for a person in need? Red Envelope, home to “unique and personalized gifts” online, will hook you up with these Panda brand shades that come in a bamboo holder (that I have recycled into a makeup brush stand). I was already a Panda fan and these ecofriendly glasses, which I think make me see rainbows, are a great addition to the line.
Red Envelope has Valentine gift ideas on every page, but foodies should keep a look out for wood and ceramic windowsill kits for herbs or flowers. There’s a simple, peaceful look about the wooden frame holding three white squares of soil, and the landscape changes daily. Basil, oregano and parsley are popping up and I can’t wait to run to the window to check on them. They’ll soon end up in a sauce, but I shall plant again.
Soap for the dictionary
The big block of fragrant Mediterranean Jasmine soap - I mean Luxury Bath Bar - from Agraria put me in mind of the fine paper scrap collection my mother had when I was a child. She’d save scraps of patterns, foils and textures and work them into linings for crafts that are still eye-catching decades later. This soap was wrapped up beautifully, and the aroma penetrated. You could smell the soap, and the Crystal Cane perfumed candle of the same fragrance, for days without even opening the wrapping. The soap then sent me to the dictionary for research on sea fennel and kukui nut oil, two ingredients that make this soap magic. The Golden Cassis candle’s complex scent is rivaled by unique textured pattern of the clear holder and silver lid. It’s a cut above. I also took to the Internet for definitions on agraria and Cassis, and feel like I’ve had a little trip around the globe. These are the makers of TasselAires, a beautiful way to scent your home through décor.
Can you wait for dessert?
A baking dish and trivet can help you make your slow cooker do dessert duty. Jonnie Downing has some amazing selections in “Slow Cooker Desserts: Hot, Easy and Delicious Custards, Cobblers, Souffles, Pies, Cakes and More.” Could waiting for dessert take longer than saying that title? Jonnie makes it sound worth it. Who wants cheesecake? Bread pudding? Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars? Okay, I’m in. I want it all. “Slow Cooker Desserts” is going to my daughter with pages marked as my requests. I love the idea for Preacher’s Delight: While you’re at church, it’s cooking and ready for when the preacher comes to dinner.
1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Coat the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray. Spoon in the cherry pie filling. Combine the cake mix with the butter make a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle over the pie filling in the slow cooker and top with the chopped nuts. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours.