worthwhile investment

I never thought i could love a machine quite so much. And worth every bit of that $450 price tag it is!  I make smoothies every morning for breakfast — have for years. But after going through a slew of bar blenders in just the past year, it was time to upgrade. And now I get up every morning excited to take my Rolls Royce of blenders for a spin. Fast, easy, efficient and self-cleaning. That is my favorite part — just fill half way with warm water, add a couple drops of soap and blend for 30 seconds. Done and ready for the next morning when I might indulge in one of my favorite smoothie recipes:

1 cup unsweetened chocolate  almond milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 small avocado
1T almond butter
1-2T ground chia seeds
agave syrup to taste
Ice

Place ingredients in blender jar in the order listed. Turn blender on low and slowly ramp up speed to high. Blend for 30 seconds on high. Pour and enjoy!

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how do you hydrate?

The latest fashion accessory is a good looking water bottle. Here are some favorites:

1. The classic Swell bottle comes in multiple sizes (go big!) and more designs than you can imagine. The fashionable choice: monochromatic solids and metallics  2. Corksicle’s non-slip, easy grab shape makes it unique  3. This BPA free plastic number, is easy to use with a flip top/carry ring, one hand operation and comfortable wide mouth is a winner in the functionality department. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe. From Contigo  4.  Easy to look at perhaps hard to use, the notebook style water bottle fits easy in a pocket or purse.  5. Boho chic, the good old fashioned canning jar gets a new life with screw in beverage top.  6. If you’re going to have a small opening water bottle you gotta have one of these.

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funny face

plates-stackA funny little collaboration between Case Studio and artist Jean Jullian. An assortment of porcelain plates equally suited for eating as objects of decor. Six different sizes and assorted retro colors in each set. Certain to make you smile!

plates-asstdAvailable here in limited edition only.  Apprx US $260

packaged-plates

soup’s on

2-piece-soup-and-sandwich-setIt’s cold and rainy here in California and freezing in just about every other part of the country so soup seems the perfect meal for everyone about now. Love these soup and sandwich mug/plate combos designed by Barbara Eigen for Crate & Barrel. The mug is ample sized and can also be used for cereal, ice cream, fruit salad or just about anything destined for a bowl. $12.95 set. Matching soup tureen sold separately.

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holy menorasaurs!

minorasaursI can’t imagine a family who celebrates Hanuakah with kids that wouldn’t appreciate one of these fantastical dinosaur menorahs. A sure way to make the holiday fun for all. $85 each from The Vanilla Studio.

dear sir madam

sir-madam-a sir-madam-bRarely do I come across a single homewares company from which I could purchase so much and simply love everything. But walking by the Sir|Madam booth at this Fall’s NYC Gift Show, I was smitten. First by a simple baby swaddle blanket that can be customized with birth stats and then slowly but surely, one by one, nearly everything in their booth. Pitchers that recall Morandi, tote bags that turn into picnic blankets, French cafe bowls, love letter napkins, the most amazing collection of wooden spoons, old world sheers and candlesticks . . . the list goes on.

For a simple gift this holiday season, check out their grand cups ($20 ea). Pair a “Hero” cup with a small tin of organic tea (find my favorites here) and you have the perfect teacher gift. But I dare you to not buy more goodies for your favorite cook, your best friend, your resident Francophile, a hopeless romantic or just for yourself . . .

 

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another new beauty

hellodysonDyson has introduced their answer to the hairdryer and it is a looker!  Always on the cutting edge of technology and design, Dyson is great at making great looking things. I’m not a fan of their vacuums (because I prefer a bag to bagless) but this little beauty might be worth a shot.

dysondyson-attachmentsWith two colorways and three magnetic attachments, it looks like a hand held version of their room fans. Reviews are thus far positive owing to the balance that shifts the weight to the handle, those easy to use magnetic attachments, quietness and descent amount of power. At $400 it is priced like a professional model so before you jump, maybe see if the pros adopt it as a tool of choice.

dysondryer

have you seen this?

juicero-cold-press-juicer-1This sleek wi-fi enabled contraption is the latest invention in the cold pressed juice craze. No longer do you need to lug umpteen heavy bottles of juice home from the store — and when you’re juicing that’s 6 bottles a day mind you. Or ship a maximum 3 day supply from a cross-country juicery. No more nasty cleaning of a traditional juicer that removes all the good stuff anyway. This handy dandy machine is a sleek, clean, easy to use counter top version of a high pressure juice pressery, previously only available for commercial use.

OK, it’s expensive at $700. But it’s brand new, heavily VC funded and will come down in price eventually (she says hopefully). Just buy the machine, download the app, order juice packs that range from $5-7 each and come in 8 juice combinations, use the app to verify the freshness of the pack via QR code (the machine won’t juice if the pack is out of date), insert the pack and within 2 minutes you have fresh cold pressed juice. Simply throw the pack away (or rinse and return for recycling), no need for clean up.

I’m thinking it’s actually not all that bad a deal.  if you juice regularly and spend $200 plus $25 shipping for 3 days of juice, the machine will pay for itself eventually. OK better if it were $400 then it’s in the range of your stand mixer price, that you maybe use once in a blue moon while this beauty would get used every day — and look great on your counter top too!

The Juicero, currently only available in California but expanding to a state near you one day soon.