Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to School with KLEAN KANTEEN

Need some water bottles for back-to-school?  Klean Kanteen insulated mugs come in some gorgeous new colors for fall and they are a must have for the lunchbox and for anyone who likes to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold.  They work like a charm, and are also great for soups, hot cereals, coffee, and tea.   These are ideal for kids and adults--who doesn't need a healthy vessel for portable drinks and food?  This allows you to control the contents and be sure you are getting organic and gmo free beverages and foods which can be tricky on the go. 
They are so gorgeous and inspiring, it's just what we need to ease into Autumn.  They come in different sizes too, 12, 16, and 20oz.  I love the bright Wild Raspberry and the stately basic Black, but the Gray is nice and the many lovely choices.  If you have multiple children, you can color code.  Two different lids are available to fit your needs, a cafe lid for sipping (perfect for the car) and a stainless wide loop cap to keep your bottle sealed tight in your bag.  Everything is BPA, lead, and phalate free.  Find them HERE.

Monday, August 26, 2013

g.u.s. Bamboo iPad Cooking Stand

With the holidays right around the corner, and the ease of finding awesome recipes on Pinterest, the Bamboo iPad Cooking Stand by Great Useful Stuff would be a great addition to the kitchen.  The plastic cover keeps your iPad safe but still allows you utilize your touch screen.  I have a similar stand for my traditional cookbooks but find that I use my computer and iPad more these days for cooking.  It can get messy in my kitchen when I'm in a food prep flurry, and this keeps my tablet safe safe and sound.  If you like healthy food, you probably do a lot of your own food prep as it is increasingly harder and harder to find gmo free and organic food in restaurants.  Great kitchen tools like this make it easier and more pleasurable to make your own meals at home. 

Bamboo looks great and is a renewable resource for the green kitchen.  It accommodates various e-readers and tablets, not just the iPad and would make a fabulous holiday or hostess gift.  Find it HERE

Friday, August 16, 2013

Inspiration: Duct Tape Surfing

This is one of the most inspiring and life affirming things I've seen in a long time.  So worth the watch.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pacific Kale: I am Obsessed!

Pacific Kale just got a new look and it gives me an excuse to talk about them.  I'm totally obsessed with these kale chips!  The Glacier Peak especially, but any of them really.  Kale Chips are my favorite snack, I can't get enough.  I make my own, but can never put any aside, between myself and my son, the second they're ready, they are gone--consumed as fast as I can make them. 

Buying them packaged accomplishes what I might be able to do on my own if I had any self control.  The concept of having a ready made leafy green snack that is this delicious---it's Fabulous!  Raw greens, but any time we want them, right out of the pantry (or backpack), ready to eat.  The trouble is they're too good and it's an expensive habit.  But when you consider the health benefits, I think it's worth it.  And when I'd rather have this than pretty much any other snack including chocolate chip cookies or chip-chips, etc, I'd say that's pretty great.   I'm particularly fond of Pacific Kale because they don't over-flavor their chips.  They are melt-in-your-mouth light and crispy and subtle, and....well they are just perfect.

Anyway, they've gone from bags to boxes (presumably to keep the leaves in tact) and they are even easier to scarf down---uh--munch on.  If you haven't tried them already, you must.  Find them HERE

Monday, August 5, 2013

NEMO Cosmo Air Pillowtop Camp Pad

Can't decide between a super comfortable or light weight sleeping pad for camping?  That's usually what it comes down to--car camping luxury or an ultra light backpacking pad and you end up getting one for each type of camping.  Nemo's Cosmo Air with Pillowtop gives you both options in one mat.

What a great way to have two pads in one.  With the pillow top, you've got your luxury, and when you need a backpacking sleep mat, just slip off the pillow top and you have a light weight (1lb 13oz) and still comfortable pad.   As with all Nemo gear I've tried, this thing screams quality. 

Horizontal baffles keep your weight more evenly distributed, you won't sink into the middle as can sometimes happen with vertical baffles.  It's a wonderful mat for us side sleepers and feels stable.  An integrated foot pump makes for a quick set up, and a raised pillow area can either function as one, or it will help keep your pillow from sliding off the mat.  Really nice design with the Cosmo, very comfy for such a light weight pad.  I am spoiled rotten and love my comfort and I would be perfectly satisfied with this in a backpacking situation.  But if I'm car camping, I like decadence.  

Enter the pillowtop.  The washable fabric is very soft and substantial microsuede, and there's about an inch of foam that makes for extra comfort and warmth between you and the mat, for a total of three inches between you and the ground. This adds warmth and makes the pad useful for three season camping.   I can toss around on this and never feel the ground, it's very comfy and cozy. 

The whole system packs down quite small into an included stuff sack which is great if you are limited in your cargo space or storage space at home.  If you could have only one pad, the Cosmo Air with Pillowtop is a solid choice, find it HERE.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Kelty Base Camp Kitchen

Wanna spice up your camping repertoire?  Literally?  Making elaborate meals outside is so much fun, and if you're car camping, why hold back.  Kelty's Base Camp Kitchen will keep you organized, facilitate preparing more complicated meals (bye bye ramen and oatmeal), and keep picnic table space free.  Also--it's light weight at 18lbs which is important.  I once had an REI camp kitchen, but it was so big and heavy (around 30lbs) that it was unwieldy for me to manage myself and ultimately too much trouble to bother with.  The Kelty is something I can handle on my own and find well worth the effort.

It comes in a carry case, and set up is simple, the whole thing unfolds and comes together with ease and tears down just as easily.  There's a storage compartment for gear (it's a pantry, but I'd be very careful about storing food in there, we put ours in the car while we sleep lest racoons or bears decide to raid the kitchen).  The whole unit is compatible with Kelty's Binto system, but works wonderful without it. 

There's a space for your two burner stove with a removable wind screen, and two counters for food prep.  There's also plenty of extra space for hanging tools and towels, and a handy shelf under the stove which we used to store water.  It really makes cooking at camp such a pleasure.  We made black beans and rice, stir fry, and blueberry pancakes, among other things, and it couldn't have been easier. 

Having a kitchen area at your camp site just makes things run smoother, particularly if you have kids.  The more organized you are, the more time you have for play, and this definitely makes food prep go faster.  Once you use this, you won't want to go without it and you'll wonder how you managed before.  It's a big upgrade to the car camping experience.  Find it HERE.