Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Motzei Shabbos Special

In order to keep myself honest and my blog consistent, I've decided to start a few traditions. Yes, I know what you're thinking: You've done that before! You've failed! And that's true, but I like making lists, and people like being exposed to awesome new things, so this is going to be The Motzei Shabbos Special. More than likely, this list is compiled on Friday, but it's possible that I get lazy and don't write it up until Saturday night. With that, I give you the inaugural Motzei Shabbos Special.

My Newest Obsession 
Without cable, and "borrowing" internet from my elderly neighbor, I have quickly become obsessed with Game of Thrones. Not for the weak of stomach of modest of eyes, mind you. But it does make me reminiscent of the much more tame days of Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess.

The Bibliophile
Every few weeks, I spend some time in a bookstore ooing and awing over all the books I want to read. This time around, It's the illustrious Augusten Burroughs' This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike. Essentially, it's the anti-"Self-Help Book."

For the Conscious Cook
With my adventures in Vegan Cooking, I wouldn't be able to do it without Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. Vegan Sloppy Joes? Delicious homemade BBQ sauce? Spaghetti and Bean Balls? Yes. Thank you.

For the Father
Father's Day is coming up, and now that my older brother is also a dad (with two adorable babies Owynn and Oliver), I have to think a lot more about dads. This one is kitschy (as far as I know neither my dad nor my brother are beer drinkers, but ... ): A Beer-Tasting Toolkit, completely with paper bags!

For Dad's Dog
Every daddy's dog needs a stylish collar. How about a bow tie?

Your Daily Halacha Needs
I love this book. LOVE. In fact, I often find myself reading through an entire month on the halachot or laws of onions before realizing that I am about 29 days over my daily limit. 

Made for Modesty
I've been a devotee of Kiki Riki shells for many moons now, but largely because it's been the only option for me. As a busty girl with large arms, I've found it hard to find cotton half-shells that are breathable, nonrestrictive, and comfortable in summer. Enter Half Tee. I'd been hoping to write a much longer review on the Half Tee, but I've put it off too long. I requested the largest size to review, which turns out to be a little too big for me, so I'm going to order a size down. But overall? Love it. The sleeves are so comfortable and not tightly bound, and the fabric is so soft. The Half Tee can be worn two ways, with one side being higher necked than the other. However, I know a lot of y'all out there won't be comfortable with the coverage. For those of you who are, BUY THEM NOW. There's sleeveless, boyfriend length, 3/4-length, turtleneck, and more. (I'll post some pictures of me in the Half Tee once I get a different size.)

A screen-grab from a product review.

Unnecessary, Yet Cool 
This probably takes the cake for the most ridiculous unnecessary kit, but being able to plug your iPad into a classic typewriter? Amazing. 

Manage a Subscription
I have several magazine subscriptions that I couldn't live without, and this is one of them. I know, aren't I all high tech and paperless? Well folks, there's only one thing to do on Shabbos other than sleep and eat and spend time with loved ones, and that's READ! VegNews -- serving up the latest in meat-free news, food, travel, politics, and buzz -- is probably one of the few magazines that I read quite literally from cover to cover.

Speak Now
One of my coworkers produced this nifty speaker from her bag several weeks ago to pop into her computer's USB slot, and although it's a little out of my price range, this iPhone Bullhorn Speaker really has me jonesing at a mere $10.

For After the Wedding
I got married two years ago, and around this time two years ago I was in my sheva brachot (the week of celebration after you get hitched), and I was already on my way to giving my wedding dress to a gemach (that person who collects stuff that other people can't afford so they can rent it out). Although I opted for no bridesmaids, I can't imagine what one would do post-wedding with their dresses. So, I give you, the Recycled Bridesmaid Dress from Uncommon Goods.
Shop for a Cause
While perusing Sugarlicious in Cherry Creek for a classic comfort candy (the Chick-o-Stick) after a really bad day last week, I discovered lots of cute bobbles, buttons, and bracelets. I couldn't help but pick up one of the Pura Vida bracelets -- they're simple, classy, and only $5. The cause? Every bracelet purchased helps provide full time jobs for local artisans in Costa Rica.

Kosher Nosh
I try really hard not to buy anything processed these days, but I've been waiting for what seems like years for Udi's Gluten Free Blueberry Oat Muffin Tops (Case of 6) (the food folks, not the unfortunate style choice). I saw them at Whole Foods and just had to buy them. Thus, I did. Believe it or not, I wasn't disappointed.

I saw a deal on Vegan Cuts a few weeks back and was tempted to purchase, but I wanted to make sure the product wasn't going to rip my delicate skin apart. You see, often facial scrubs are just bad news for my sensitive skin, so when I saw the Sprout Exfoliant, I contacted their help desk and asked if they could send me a sample to make sure the investment was worth it. They complied, I got the scrub, and I love it. It comes as a powder, you mix with a bit of water, and bam. Face scrub. The Brooklyn-based store makes everything in small batches for small bottles, so what you get is made with care -- very carefully.
Clothing that Counts
Yes, it might be $30, but come on ... look at it. A shirt made from 100% recycled goods? Maybe I've become too Boulder for my own good (I do own the "Only Kale Can Save Us Now" shirt), but I love this one. Eat Like You Give a Damn from Herbivore Clothing. If you think about it, it's the Jewish way.

Kitchen Bobbles
You love tea, you love robots, you love this Robot Tea Infuser because he crawls into your mug and steeps your tea for you. Never let go!

A Simple Arrangement
A sucker for all things that Very Jane sends out, this simple $5 offering offers a rustic means to arranging your favorite flowers. (Seriously, who thinks of these things!? I wish I were this creative.)

Bag It
I'm not a purse collector, although I have many friends who are. I view purses more for utility than style. But as I go the Vegan way, I've realized that leather is such a no-no, so I'm fully entrenched in the vegan leather way. Enter the Laguna Bag from Namaste Inc. Drool. At $65, you can't complain. But I'll do it anyway!

Guiltless Pudding
I'm a sucker for sweets, but I've never been a fan of pudding. Something about the texture makes me want to gag. But I decided to be adventurous and give Chocolate Chia Pudding a try because the ingredients were simple and the recipe called for an nutritionally action-packed seed. The result? Heaven.

  • Ingredients
    • 3 cups dark chocolate almond milk
    • 1/2 cup chia seeds
    • 1 tsp organic vanilla
    • 2 Tbls agave
  • Instructions
    • Mix the first three together and chill in fridge 1 hour, then add the agave and mix well. Divide into six bowls and top with berry of your choice).


Websites from which you should be getting updates:

  • || Vegan Cuts is run by a vegan couple, John and Jill, who really want to see more people shopping with vegan ethics. A commitment to buying vegan food is a great start, but you can also make a positive difference by choosing vegan options when purchasing clothing, shoes, accessories, body care products and everyday household items. This is why Vegan Cuts features a range of vegan products and encourages members to shop vegan by promoting opportunities to save money while eschewing animal cruelty.
  • || Provides daily boutique deals from amazing shop owners.

Note: Unless I mention it, all of the things in this post are things that I find on my own and just want to share with the world. No one's paying me for this (I wish!).