Saturday, November 30, 2013

Stocking stuffers keep you well fed, warm footed

Here’s word on some completely random gift ideas that someone in your family might love. I sure had fun with the research:

 “Did you make that?”
If you’re wearing a “store-bought” shawl or scarf, this is a major compliment. If you can’t knit or crochet, Indigenous can get you into that original look, offering a “premier brand in affordable eco-luxury fashion.” This means your purchase helps indigenous artisans with while you rock very urban styles. This season I’m getting attention on a blue scarf with a twist: the fringe runs the long edge of the scarf instead of the ends. It’s both back-to-basics and cutting edge. Visit to learn more about their mission.

Mardi Gras Socks
Fuschia Heat Holder socks are making me think ahead to Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas. They’ve got the color and the warmth to live up to their label of “The Warmest Thermal Socks.”  Advanced insulating yarn, long looped thermal pile and soft brushed insides are designed to keep warm air inside and keep your tootsies seven times warmer than a basic cotton sock. I’m no scientist, but the moment I felt the inside of the sock, I wanted a body suit of this soft blend. I give it a 10 for style and comfort, but those scientists give it a 2.3 TOG rating. What’s that? It’s a thermal overall grade. Don’t wait for Mardi Gras. Visit for your color.

See. Make. Eat.
Drawings of tomato, cucumber, onion and garlic are sailing into the blender drawing, which cuts to shake. Now the pitcher is pouring what into a bowl? We’ve just made gazpacho. Check out that cheese getting graded for Hungry Enchiladas. The little bowl has legs to indicate “let stand” in the Panzanella recipe.
What world have we entered? Katie Shelly’s, and, it’s a tasty one. “Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat,” is her collection of recipes and illustrations of how to make them happen. All ages can benefit from this basics guide. Finally, a step-by-step for how to handle an avocado. But long timers, don’t get all cocky. I got plenty ideas from sections titled such as “Thoughts on Tacos.” Sketches take us through add-ins like red cabbage, roasted butternut squash, quinoa, bacon, diced mushroom and kimchi.
I like the take on Rustic Hummis, which is chunky style.

On the dotted line
If dreams and plans for the New Year are bigger than you can contain, put them all down in a Leuchtturm1917 journal, now with dotted lines. They’re designed to sooth the eye and all. The writing down of things, transcribing from your mind to paper, is designed to soothe your soul, and that’s up to you. But I’m telling you, this German line with the “lighthouse” name is a guide to orderly plans and wild dreams. Just “petting” the smooth purple cover of one of these blank canvases is enough to make the ink start to flow. A tiny investment into something that will be with you so long is inspiring. Why not start the new year out with the best?

Are you ready?
There’s a lot of math involved in surviving disaster, but you can be enjoying French toast and enchiladas with proper planning from “Prepper’s Food Storage.” Julie Languille’s book offers 101 Easy Steps to Affordably Stock A Life-Saving Supply of Food. How to calculate how many calories your children need now and as they grow? Covered. Tips on rotating stock? Done. Recipes? Whirl some olive oil into those canned beans for a great tip while help is on the way or bake some pumpkin bread. This author has great tips for a time you don’t want to think of. We now know we live in the path of hurricanes and we’ll want to be ready. Investigate with this Ulysses Press publication.

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