Saturday, January 31, 2009

ModernGear HOLIDAYS!

MGTV Hubby and I are off on a wedding anniversary extravaganza - we're talking water, waves, food, wine, spa, and more. Back Tuesday...

Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it. Click here to read rest of story...

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Great e-Roundup January 30, 2009

The Santa Anas are bringing warm winds - maybe up to 80F today! Whooo! We're off to Big Sur for a long weekend to celebrate our second wedding anniversary, and to rest and try and get over this cold. A stop at Hearst Castle is planned so I can write an article about it for my June magazine, but other than that we're all about the chilling.
Have a great weekend! Links below, cool food-related product post being written next.

Should you be making home improvements in a bad economy? Forbes says there are some that are worth it.
Doesn't Diane Kruger just have the best style? Olga Kurylenko too.
Who What Wear has a great scarf round-up. Definitely an easy and inexpensive fashion addition for the seasons to come.
Okay, we really have to all know about this. Thought high fructose corn syrup was bad? Read about HOW bad we're finding out it really is, on HuffPo...
LouLou found sweet rainbow rubber boots at half price.
Watched Ratatouille last night and made hubby promise that when our pots eventually wear out (in what, 30 years?) that we'll replace them with copper ones! Like this one on Remodelista's story...
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Great e-Roundup January 29, 2009

Oy, still with the head cold. Finally got some sleep last night. Meds are making my head feel cloudy. Didn't post yesterday so I could leave the "Period Bracelet" post up at the top to get people talking. And talk, you did! Check out the comments. Will be posting later on in the morning. Links are below.

Katrink designed Duane's own couture clothing label!
Apartment Therapy is at the NY design show - I am in love with something they found - Jonathan Adler's wicker collection. This isn't your grandma's wicker, baby...
I've been playing Banana Republic's Daily Grab Bag handbag giveway but haven't won yet. Try your hand at it.
eDiets shares the best expert makeup tips.
Why are so many US President's left-handed?
Daily Candy Travel has a great tool - food allergy translation cards.
Click here to read rest of story...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

ModernGear Women: Amusing or Offensive?

Bravo to the savvy entrepreneurs who are smart enough to capitalize upon Mother Nature and women's cycles. I mean really, if anyone creates a business other than tampons and pads around our monthly visitor, bully for you.

I love, for instance, these products, designed to help a girl out:

Vinnie's Tampon Case, $11.95
Vinnie's Giant Roller Coaster Period Chart & Journal Sticker Book, $18.84
Womens Hand Made Retro "Raving B" Personal Case, $24.99

Tres Femme Crystal Tampon Holder , $14.99
Tres Femme Girly Case pantiliner holder, $20.
But I must say, I am quite turned off by something I just caught wind of: the Period Bracelet.

At $10, its description is "interesting":
I dig the fact that a portion of proceeds goes towards cervical cancer research, but the rest of it more than borders on ridiculous - it is waaaay over into ridiculous territory, in my opinion. Like the selection of t-shirts:

"Let us know when you flow"? How about a big F*CK YOU! Is that letting you know enough?!

Let's take a closer look at this one

And, the rest are worse.

Listen, I can appreciate the fact that some women are right b*tches at that time of the month but don't I have enough to deal with than worry about how other people are coping with my period? For the love of God, there's no doubt in my mind that these products are the product of some brainchild who happens to have a penis but here's the thing about making fun of women when their monthly visitor is around: if men bled, there would have been a cure years ago. Guys - you can't handle this sh*t!!

Amusing or offensive, these products are ridiculous, and I cannot a) imagine a woman who would buy one, or b) recommend it.

I have a great sense of humour! But I also have some really terrible months where it feels like I have food poisoning, anemia, the flu, appendicitis, and have been hit by a Mac truck, all at the same time, for a few days. And to think I might be inconveniencing anyone with this "affliction" is just more than I can take.

I am well aware of the fact that any media coverage is good media coverage, so in essence I am supporting what they are doing. I'll just end with two words to the guy behind these products: good luck. (With your business, and any woman unlucky enough to end up with you!)
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The Great e-Roundup January 27, 2009

I thought I was over the worst of it. I am not. My head is pounding and even my nose is throbbing. I bring you links, quietly...

Ugh, are you serious? Style Bakery says the 80s are back. Acid wash denim? Shriek! I agree though, the only trend I could consider getting behind in this collection is the boyfriend jacket.
Mmm, Beauty in Real Life is talking about keeping moist and shares Kiehl's lip glosses. I like the sheer wash of subtle colour for spring.
Denim Blog is talking about the new ICHI Jeans ad campaign - it is a strange one but compelling nonetheless!
NotMartha reviewed an inexpensive but effective OXO knife, and I'm glad. We need one more as we also wait for each other to be finished with it, and this sounds like just the solution.
Posie Gets Cozy makes coconut custard...yum...the consistency of this might soothe my aching throat. Even if I couldn't taste a darn thing.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

ModernGear Monday: what wish I could be doing today

I always like to brag that I don't get sick, when everyone around me is coming down with the sniffles and sneezes. Well, I now have the first cold I can remember in a very long time. I guess only getting sick every few years is a good thing, but then the illness just seems to just gather up more power.

I have lost my sense of taste so there's no cooking for me today, but instead here's an inspiration board of how I would rather be spending my day (rather than what? Pretty much anything!) to open it larger.

1. Walk into my stunning Provence chateau meets modern industrial kitchen, and make myself a pot of healing, immune system-boosting tea with lemon, honey and cayenne pepper (and if I was planning to spend the day alone, a clove of garlic). Refill mug frequently.
2. Light a few scented taper candles in the Tove Adman concrete candlesticks.
3. Slip into a hot bath with eucalyptus and cedar oil, in the egg-shaped bathtub.
4. Wrap myself in an anatolian bath towel from toast.
5. Slather on some Pure Garden Flower Body Oil
6. Then slip into a Baresuit.
7. Rest easy in a Saarinen Womb Chair and Ottoman, to read a book.
8. I've really been enjoying one my hubby gave me for Christmas: Le Corbusier: A Life.
9. After a few chapters, retire to the bedroom. Get tucked in to the Sferra Grande Hotel sheets. 10. Lay my head down on a Branché silk pillowcase.

Then repeat as needed. Wouldn't those be lovely doctor's orders? Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to reality, and to work!
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The Great e-Roundup January 26, 2009

My computer is moving like me today - slowly! Does anyone know if you can do a disc defrag on a Mac??! 'Til then, I did eventually find loads of good links! Below.

After a weekend of noseblowing, I look like the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Zebra that Skinny laMinx found.
Daily Candy New York shares a matte black nail this for you? Not sure for me.
InStyle gives you Eva Longoria-Parker's casual look for less.
Sofia Coppola + Louis Vuitton = a brilliant match, as introduced by {a glamorous little side project}.
Frugal Fashionista puts together some looks from TopShop, soon to open in N.Y. Hope it makes its way to L.A.!
Cook and Eat gets serious about yogurt. I was just telling my husband this weekend I'd like to try making yogurt...the best I ever had was some strawberry yogurt my Mom made once...maybe she'll tell me her secret.
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Friday, January 23, 2009

The Great e-Roundup January 23, 2009

It's Friday, I have a sore throat and swollen glands and the weekend couldn't have come soon enough! One more work day...Happy Friday to you! Links below.

Were you at the Inauguration? If not, you can at least look like you were (sort of) with!
Shecky's helps you get Michelle Obama's looks.
Reuters says cleaner air = 21 more weeks of life.
Things That Inspire has a gorgeous French house in Atlanta. Somehow I think I wouldn't want to wear sweats around that house!
The Paris Apartment is in my favourite city, San Francisco. Here's a post that shows part of why it is my fave place.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

ModernGear Shoes: Well-heeled for less

I've shared my plans to slowly grow my wardrobe, and I've written about my love of saving money on clothing. The two are not mutually exclusive, with the internet at my disposal.

Now, not only have I needed to invest in clothing, but also in footwear. I really can't wear heels anymore (if you know me you know about the old Arthitic ankles) and haven't been able to comfortably for years, so I have a collection of various comfy shoes (read: ugly) and flats that are not hideous. Or at least, they weren't when they were new. Because I wear flats regularly, they get...well...worn!

It doesn't help that I live with a chewer. I recently said goodbye to a favourite pair of little silver ballet flats, when Duane got to them and one is not so much a ballet flat as a slide now, with the heel completely eaten away. I liked them so much I decided to track them down again.

They were under $50 from a DSW store, and were by Me Too. They had a ruched toe and a slight, slight heel so they weren't like wearing house slippers. They didn't appeal to me in the beginning from a fashion standpoint, but were the most comfortable flats I have ever slipped on, so I decided to get them and hope the looks would grow on me.

They did, and luckily I found them again, but a half-size small in the silver. I slipped on the non-chewed one and decided they had stretched a little and I could go down half a size, so they're on their way. Here they are in dark blue, which I'll also get later as well.
If I find a shoe I can actually walk in, then believe-you-me, I am going to get them in all colours. Ya gotta work with what you've got, I say. And the prices are amazing at DSW - these are $49.95. While doesn't have this specific style, their other flats from Me Too are in the $70 range, and also has the line but they're more expensive here too.

I also decided to try these little sparklers but in gold, for $24.94:
Because I am pretty much stuck with flats, I like to have fun with them.

I was just finishing up my online transaction when I realized I should go and search for online coupon codes, and I found three to try...saving me on shipping costs and discounting the order an extra $15. (I'll add the link to where I found them on my coupon codes and sales page.)

Total order = $64.83.

There is a pair of similar shoes by Me Too with a ruched toe but a wrapped wedge heel, availabe at and I think that next payday I am going to try these. Who knows, maybe I can wear a slight heel.
I'm looking forward to trying platforms and wedges this spring and summer, to wear with dresses and skirts. I'm eager to try out some strappy and clunky styles that I saw girls tromping along in last summer. What footwear trends from last year are you hoping to see again?

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The Great e-Roundup January 22, 2009

Good morning! Good links! (below)

UK Mail Online would like Madge to just put it all away already.
C Jane has an inspiring story about what you CAN get done in one day, if you maybe neglect the things that don't matter so much.
Oh yes, I do like maps as wall art in kids' rooms. Remodelista does too. asks What would you do with millions?
Fashionologie has fresh faces. Wow, beautiful...and SO YOUNG!
Treehugger reports that Burt's Bees saves $20,000 a year after dumpster diving.
HuffPo says that J Crew's web site crashes after searches for what the Obama women wore. Love it!
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ModernGear Food: Tam's Chicken Corn Chowda

I love me a good chowda, but here's the thing - I HAVE to say chowda. I cannot, under any circumstances, say chow-der. It's just a thing.

This is a modified recipe I found has produced yummy results twice now and there's a bit left in a pot in the fridge that we'll have tonight. My regular camera was with Mr. MGTV, who was away, so I used my computer's built-in camera to capture these images. The camera couldn't get to the mountain, so I brought the mountain to the camera, if you will. Not quite the same, but they'll do (even two days late)..


1 chicken carcass OR three chicken breasts
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
3 shallots, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 cubes chicken bouillon, crumbled
2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp dried oregano
dash of thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1lb bag frozen corn kernels
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1. Place chicken carcass (and any leftover skin and meat and other bones) in a large pot and cover with cold water.
Add bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 60 to 90 minutes. Remove pieces of chicken from heat, cool slightly and then remove chicken meat from carcass, and chop into bite-size pieces. (Strain the top of the broth if you have floaters or froth.)
OR if you only have boneless, skinless chicken breasts as I did, follow the same steps.
2. In a frying pan over medium heat, melt butter. Cook onion, shallots and garlic in butter until translucent. Chop up your potatoes as those cook.

3. Add the sauteed aromatic ingredients of onion, shallots and garlic into the strained broth. Add the potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes. If you find that there is not enough broth from the chicken, you can add in some store-bought chicken broth as well.
4. Add chicken meat in, and stir in bouillon, parsley, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and corn. I like to add a lot of pepper, which is so nice with the sweeter corn.
Simmer 15 minutes, until potatoes are cooked and corn is tender.
5. Remove from heat and stir in cream

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The Great e-Roundup January 21, 2009

Did you not LOVE YESTERDAY??? Some presidential (and other) links below...

I'll start off with the Prez. Here are fitness tips to Barack your body!
HuffPo has some wonderful presidential PDA moments from yesterday.
Also on HuffPo, Bonnie Fuller says it's official - Michelle O. is the new Jackie O.
We have all heard that dark chocolate is good for us - here are some cocoa recipes.
WebMD reports that the FDA and CDC say don't eat peanut butter products! I just heard on NPR that peanut butter sold in jars is not affected.
People's Fashion Faceoff is fun...
I always enjoy the Sundance portraits. Here at InStyle.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

The Great e-Roundup January 19, 2009

Happy Monday! We bow our heads for Martin Luther King, and raise them up for Obama, tomorrow. What a time!!
Links are below...

NieNie is back...and I am so, so happy and thankful for this.
I hadn't checked in on Petite Anglaise for a while, but today I did and there's a new post! Oh that little Tadpole of hers, what a sweetheart!
Style Counsel has wedge peep-toe booties. But I gotta tell you, I just can't get behind this trend. I think they look silly. Do you like 'em?
Pastor Ryan took a typing test, so I had to. 92 words per minute! If you do it, let me know how you did, in the comments.
Got a haircut on Friday, so my dry ends are gone. But will still follow some suggestions in MSN's How to Deal With Winter Hair.
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Friday, January 16, 2009

The Great e-Roundup January 16, 2009

Life will get back to normal soon on MGTV. Come hell or high water we're putting the Feb issue of the magazine to bed mid-next week, and I think I can actually start blogging in the mornings again. Won't you stick around? Pretty please? Til then, here are some LINKS!

Real Age has an easy, tasty way to cut fat calories.
Who Wear What Daily's post about cold weather wear makes me wish it wasn't so hot here. I like Blake Lively's look the best.
I love the blots that Jessica Sutton shares here.
This Is Love Forever's newest project might just be the best thing to do with your credit cards!
Kempt has a great tip for fresh-smelling clothes. I have this vodka in my home and I am going to try this!
Design For Mankind has a great giveaway...I could definitely spend some money at this online shop.
And I won THIS giveaway on On My Perch, so winning online can happen! I'll write about the calendar when I get it!
The Freelancer's Fashionblog has a great and informative post about colouring leather shoes.
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Great e-Roundup January 15, 2009

If you're happy and you know it, read some links! If you're happy and you know it, read some links! If you're happy and you know it, then you really ought to show it. If you're happy and you know it, read some links! (clap clap!)

Rene Syler writes on Huffington Post about her conclusion about a $1000 handbag. has five simple home solutions.
I wouldn't have thought it at first glance, but the Feltron Annual Report is incredibly entertaining and addictive reading.
WhoWhatWearDaily says it's Hammer Time. Um, not for this girl! You can't touch THIS! asks if you have work/life balance.
SimpleMarriage gives us 12 ideas bold for a happy marriage.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

ModernGear Women: A Secret weapon

So I've been poking my nose in round these parts, but not sticking around long because I got a promotion a week ago, from Managing Editor to Editor-in-Chief at a certain local magazine. The new increased work hours and responsibility have been wonderful, because it feels like a job that finally combines all of my interests, abilities and passions. But it has also been a bit stressful because I inherited a magazine that runs way close to deadline (oh heck, way past deadline), and makes everything high stress and worrisome.

So you know that new wardrobe I have been slowly building? I've had to take a few extraordinary measures to ensure it lasts through Santa Ana hot wind and stress-inducing perspiration!

First of all, it has been getting past 25 degrees Celsius here (80 degrees Fahrenheit). So much for my beautiful merino wool turtleneck! But I have such a hard time wearing a summer dress and sandals that I have worn that sweater, and sweated buckets in it.

And then there's the stress. I am not embarrassed to say that I sweat when I am nervous, or in a high pressure situation. So, I've been sweating.

I decided to take advantage of this stressful-sweat-inducing situation, and test out what I was told would be my secret weapon...Secret Clinical Strength.
I am not sure why it works so well, but it does. I follow the instructions and apply it at night,
and I have tried to apply it again in the morning, and then I have also tried it at night and then apply another deodorant in the morning. I can tell you that I smell fresh as a daisy, each time!

Tom is VERY excited about this fact!

Katie says, that's nice dear, keep it down.

I like the creamy consistency of the deodorant, not a clammy, sticky gel. And while I am concerned about the aluminum content, for preserving my relationship with colleagues and my nice work wardrobe, there is no doubt that this works.

I bought mine at Target but I did just find it cheaper online, of course. Secret Clinical Strength is available for $7.49 at, or $15.35 for two at Amazon Secret Clinical Treatment (Pack of 2).

When I have to refill, I am going to order some from Amazon and then also get a few clothing protectors like I wrote about here, because sweaty underarms are the pits. With these two secret weapons, I think I stand a fighting chance!
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The Great e-Roundup January 14, 2009

Links? Here? Put together by me? Well, okay!

This is Glamorous is branching out, and I'm thankful for that! A GORGE post from a glamorous little side project. Every post is full of pictures that inspire and delight!
madebygirl needs some new art - I like her choices.
Shine on Yahoo gives the skinny on "fat" celebs.
Style Saves The World narrowly escapes the clutches of a fanny pack. I like her choice instead.
Remodelista has 10 freestanding white bathtubs. Which one would you like to soak in?
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Great e-Roundup January 13, 2009

Linkage! Below.

Winter got you down? knows how to find the happy again.
ZenHabits presents The Lazy Manifesto. Which is on my schedule for this weekend!
A Cup of Jo asks if this is too messy for wedding hair. I think it's just perfect!
An interesting post on BlogHer about what a woman's hair length says about her sexuality.
Negating stereotypes mentioned in the Blog Her article, The Fashionable Housewife's collection of Spring 2009 haircuts is all about hot cropped bob and pixie cuts.
Oh Lord, I am going to overload. Fashion Binge breaks the news that Orla Kiely is coming to Target in February! See you in the line-up.
Love the Frock Files post on this outfit, which I would take inspiration from for today's wardrobe, if we weren't being buffeted by the hot Santa Ana winds!
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Monday, January 12, 2009

ModernGear Food: Kay's Roasted Potatoes from The Pioneer Woman

When Al Gore invented the internet (hee hee), do you think people could have conceived of how integral it would soon be to our daily lives? I can't go a day without internet access - for work, for recreation, for communication, for recipes.

This week's recipe is simply going to be a link to Kay's Roasted Potatoes recipe, posted on The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Is this a bit of a cop-out for not posting my own recipe? Well yes and no. No, because I made these last night and my husband raved and raved, saying they were the best potatoes I have ever made. The best potatoes he has ever had. The best potatoes in the history of the world. (Not kidding.)

So it would be not very nice to just copy and post this as my own. I COULD give PW a nod and post my own pics and directions, but here's the thing. Let me tell you what we've been dealing with here at the old MGTV household.

Our car broke down on the way to the airport to get my father-in-law. So my husband the mechanical engineer, has been replacing the motor! At the same time I got a spiffy new promotion to Editor-in-Chief of a magazine, and started in this new position just last Tuesday. I inherited a February issue that was really far behind, so I've been struggling to catch up.

I promise my own recipe (Chicken Corn Chowder) next week. For now, go here, make these potatoes, and all will be forgiven.

Bon Appétit!

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The Great e-Roundup January 12, 2009

I have a hot cup of coffee, and a hot list of links, coming at you now...

New Year's resolutions out the window already? I never even made any! Here's something that's even better. Stylebakery's series on dressing to hide that extra 5lbs (click on the arrows on the screen when you're done to see the next article in the series).
Harry Potter is bringing sexy (nerd glasses) back!
Remodelista shows an industrial-style bathroom in Italy. Love it...
Blogdorf Goodman shares Drugstore Deals and Steals for the week.
I visit Smaggle often just to see what she's got on. I find her fashion sense to be feminine, whimsical, confident, and a total inspiration!

And I'll leave you with the Real Simple quote of the day - and the sheer glee that I have a hair appointment soon!

Hair style is the final tip-off whether or not a woman really knows herself.

— Hubert de Givenchy

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Friday, January 9, 2009


I am going to post a story about my love for stripes. I swear I will. Just wait and see! Coming soon (this aft, or over the weekend)...because magazine duties call and the new Editor-in-Chief (ME!) must answer.

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The Great e-Roundup January 9, 2009

Links! Hawt links! Get cha hawt links hee-yah!

Karen Salmansohn, writer of the blog, talks about "What-You-See" sickness today on Huffington Post.
WhoWhatWear has a nice photo collection and discussion about the style of current "It Girl" Olivia Palermo.
I just found This is Glamorous's post of photos of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis for French Vogue. Mon dieu!
A style post that speaks to me by heysusy.
LouLou shares the essential belted sweater.
RealAge has 7 Habits for Healthy Skin.
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

ModernGear Food: A protein bar that tastes like it should be bad for you

I'm not a gym buff, but used to be a little more active in that department. That was back when protein bars were chalky-tasting, so that goes to show how long ago that was! Since then (lo, all those years ago!), science or cooking or industry has made leaps and bounds of progress, and protein bars actually taste really, really good now. Like, so good you'd think they're bad.

Here are a few of my favourites - these come in handy when I need a snack to get me through til dinner when my tummy growls mid-afternoon, and these days with my new job, as a meal replacement when I don't have time for lunch (with a banana and an apple to round it out).

I really love the original Clif bar, and my favourite flavour has to be Banana Nut.
It just tastes like a baked goody that you'd make at home - bananas, chocolate chips and walnuts - say no more. Wait, I'll say this: only 6g of fat - and no saturated fats at all.

I also like the carrot cake flavour:
Clif's also makes Luna nutrition bars for women. The Berry Almond bar is delicious, it honors the Breast Cancer fund, and it is packed with organic berries in all their antioxidant goodness.
I think next I'd like to try the Chocolate Peppermint Stick one - kind of the healthier version of a York Peppermint Patty.
My new favourite bars are by Balance.

The almond brownie bars taste exactly like their name - you would think that this is a just slightly healthier version than the ones you make at home. 14 grams of protein, 6 grams of soy protein, 9 grams of fat, and 23 minerals and vitamins makes for a bar I can get behind!
I get mine at either Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, and when I was shopping at Von's a few nights ago, they didn't have this flavour so I decided to try Chocolate Peanut Butter. I didn't notice that this bar was part of the Balance Gold series, ooh la la!

I think the Balance 100 calorie bars would also be great to have in your bag in case of emergency - like when you have a craving for something sweet, your tummy is screaming "GIVE! ME! CHOCOLATE!", and you head towards the snack machine. Arm yourself for those moments with protein bars that are as good tasting as what you'd get from that vending machine or at the store.

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The Great e-Roundup January 8, 2009

Give me an L! Give me an I! Give me an N! Give me a K! Give me an S! What have you got? LINKS! Below, that is.

How about orange has a DIY tutorial for fabric bookmarks. I'm feeling crafty these days, and am reading like a demon - perhaps I should try these!
Swiss Miss found a great illustration about what to focus on in 2009.
Everybody Likes Sandwiches has some great cold remedy recipes. Knock on wood I haven't had to try one yet. is going dotty for spring (make sure to view the slideshow - I sighed contentedly over the Valentino).
Good for inspiration that your wallet won't whimper at - frugal fashionista shows you how to get a look for less - this one is Lauren Conrad's outfit.
Click here to read rest of story...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

ModernGear Home: Tea towels that actually make me want to do dishes

As I get older and more sure of my taste in design and decor, I am ready to surround myself with things that make me happy and represent my style. And I'm pretty sure that in the kitchen, that doesn't mean old stained tea towels.

Here's the thing about a home for one to live well in - a truly graceful home has beautiful (I don't mean expensive), meaningful and useful items in it...and the small touches count. And so I have just explained my predilection and passion for the plain old tea towel. Because tea towels are not plain anymore!

I think it started with one we bought in Antibes, France. It's spectacularly "South of France" and is alive with colour - a yellow border with a green pattern on top, and a Mimosa branch in the centre. I don't just want to use it to dry dishes, I want to display it and see it when I walk into the kitchen. It sets a bright and cheerful mood for the room - which is exactly what is needed to help make those tasks we don't always feel like doing, just a little bit more palatable.

Here is a little sampling of my current favourite tea towels, most of which are from designers with etsy shops.

New Zealand-based designer shakyisles has a few that I love in her etsy shop.
Her $25 towels are 100% linen and emblazoned with beautiful designs from NZ, like this Manuka flower one:
I also love her Pohutukawa flower design:
You can also buy three of her designs for $65 and five for $110. It's a deal! It's a steal!

flyingrhymes is from Denmark and I am so digging the designs in her etsy shop! "Sky Friends" satisfies two of my current obsessions - birds and towels.

I also love the design of her "Miley" towels:
and who wouldn't want her "Poppies with hearts" towels for Valentine's Day?
Her towels are made out of "flour sack" cotton and are $17.50 for two. I'd also contemplate her four towel "whimsy pack" for $34.
dizzydezign hails from South Africa and I am in love with her Spring tea towel, $10 on her etsy shop.
I am also infatuated with Cape Town, South Africa-based skinnylaminx's Borrowed Spoons natural hopsack towel:
There's just one problem - it's sold out! I am hoping that when she returns to her etsy shop in mid-January that she will be making more of this design. Then again, based on this one, I'd probably want an towel she makes!

I haven't been so drawn to a tea towel in my life, until I saw this one (Is that weird to say? Whatever! I love kitchen decor!) from Portland-based etsy designer elisabethbentz (who lives with her husband, dog, cat, two finches and four chickens. Is seriously love her.). The Colander tea towel ($11) is made of linen and screenprinted with her original colander design. (I am also seriously coveting an apron of hers, but I'll save that for an apron post).

I also must have these last two towels. They're from UK-based site The Manicule, and I am not sure whether I'd use them or frame them, but they must be mine.

The You Wash, I'll Dry towel is a perfect reminder to share domestic duties.
My very favourite towel of all though, is this AWESOME If You Can't Stand The Heat one. I LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!
Each towel, as well as their other designs, cost £8.50, which is just under $13USD. The towels are actually available on Canadian e-shop Up To You Toronto, for $21 (tax free for the month of January!). Click here to go to the towel's page.

No word as to whether these will actually make me do more dishes.
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