November 30, 2010

I Love Wool Panties!
aka My Review of PULSE Activewear

If you've been active in the outdoors for awhile you've probably heard that wool baselayers are the best. There are a lot of options for wool shirts and longjohns and that's a pretty easy idea to wrap your head around. Wool underwear? That's a whole other story. I have a hard time not imaging itchy wool near my ladybits and cringing. Luckily I am also a knitter and I know not all wool is created equal. If you're able to get your hands on delicious New Zealand merino wool then you are in for a treat. Luckily, that is exactly what PULSE Activewear is using.

Made with PrimaSoft, the underwear and socks available from PULSE Activewear stand out from other baselayer fabrics. The fabric is naturally very soft while providing excellent moisture-wicking and staying odor resistant. I was fortunate enough to try their V-Neck Sports Bra and Fitness Thong Panty for various activities and I am impressed. I wore the set running, cycling, during yoga, and snowshoeing. They kept me dry during the most vigorous activities and I felt comfortable the whole time. I will definitely bring these on my next camping trip. I feel 100% confident they will hold up for multi-day wear based on the fabric properties and design. I also put them through a few wash cycles and they held their shape beautifully and came out just as soft, if not softer than before, and wrinkle-free.

As far as the cut of the items I tested, they really worked for me. While they have a Fitness Brief Panty available for women I am a thong girl (yes I know: "LA LA LA Too Much Information"). However, when you're frequently wearing bike shorts and yoga pants the thong is your friend. The cut of the thong is generous while still serving as a low-profile garment. I really liked the V-Neck Sports Bra. It feels feminine while still maintaining some modesty. It is also great as a layer under more low cut items.

While I am not one of the men folk, I know most of my guy friends are boxer or boxerbrief types. I have heard it isn't easy to find these in wool but PULSE offers both as well as an undershirt for men. They also offer a year-round sock for men and women.

PULSE Activewear is a great way to upgrade your existing wardrobe or would make an awesome gift for a loved one, available at

Holiday Music- CupcakeMafia Style

These are my favorite holiday songs.It is probably the same list I posted last year and you know what? I don't care! I love these songs and I hope you do too.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

If you're outside the US or have trouble accessing the playlist you can also visit my list at Grooveshark - click here.

November 22, 2010

Gratitude and Magic

Thanksgiving week is a tough one for me. Three years ago at this time I planned on going to visit my grandmother to celebrate her 90th birthday and the holiday. Instead she suffered a massive stroke and we all gathered to say goodbye.

While the loss still causes my heart to ache I am able to celebrate with memories of how amazing my grandmother was. I am thankful for all she taught me and the magic she brought to my life. So I invite you to enjoy this playlist and find a way to share your gratitude with those still with us and a way to honor those who have passed.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

November 16, 2010

Oh Flatterware, You Make Me Smile

When I was a Girl Scout and it was time for our first camping trip I was so excited to go shopping for my first bit of gear. My favorite item was my pink collapsible cup. I loved how it opened and closed and stored in such a tiny fashion. However, it wasn't very durable. The rings could separate too far and it was then no longer water-tight. So I gave up on collapsible cups. As an adult I have been hesitant to try collapsible bowls and cups because they always seem cumbersome, hard to clean, and not terribly durable, that is until my friend Michele introduced me to Flatterware.

I love my bright red Flatterware cup for so many reasons:

  1. The Size: It actually holds a 12oz portion of a beverage or snacks. 
  2. It is Durable: You can bend it, squish it, fold it and it always bounces back to it's original shape. 
  3. Easy to Clean: The Flatterware items are a smooth. No rings with crevices that get nasty and filthy. They're easy to rinse out and clean, even at the base points. Also Dishwasher safe.
  4. Works for Hot and Cold Beverages! I can use it for water or tea. 
  5. Phlalate-free!

Who would enjoy Flatterware:

  1. Naturally campers, hikers, climbers...anyone who enjoys their meals outdoors. 
  2. Event Goers. The large beverages served at sporting events and other gatherings may be too much for one person and a Flatterware cup makes it easy to share a drink without sharing germs. 
  3. Travelers will enjoy the cup when visiting locations where cups may not be provided (yes, some accommodations don't have cups in their rooms and bathrooms).
  4. Parents will enjoy these for picnics or serving up snacks and beverages during outings. 
  5. Dogs will enjoy drinking out of the bowls while out and about.
  6. Environmentally-concious folks who want to reduce the amount of waste in the world.
The design is clever and they're a great item to keep in your bag. Visit the Flatterware website to discover where you can buy their bowls and cups for yourself or for a holiday gift!

November 11, 2010

Bountiful: Part 2
Purple Potato Chips

As a follow up to my post about local foods earlier this week I want to share another creation from my Door-to-Door Organics delivery.  Last week I received four purple potatoes. In a sense a potato is a potato, I probably could have used them in any recipe that calls for potatoes. I decided to try something new (at least new to me). I wanted a snack that could be good for the work day or a snow shoeing adventure.

After looking online and getting the basic idea for cooking times for baked potato chips I went to the spice cabinet and this is what I came up with. The chips can be a little spicy so if you like a mild chip use less Cayenne.

4 Medium Purple Potatoes
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
1 Garlic Cloved Finely Minced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice the potatos, try to cut uniform slices. Set aside. In a large bowl combine olive oil, spices, and garlic. Add potatoes and toss to coat. I recommend using your hands (after washed of course) to make sure each slice is coated.

Lay slices evenly across two baking sheets. When laying out on the sheet make sure to keep thicker slices on one sheet and the thinner slices on the other, this will make it easier to gauge when they're done and remove a whole sheet at a time.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes until crisp on the under side. Flip and cook another 8-15 minutes. Remove from oven. You can either enjoy once they've cooled a bit for fresh warm chips or place in an airtight container.


November 9, 2010

Bountiful: Finding Pleasure in Local Foods

November naturally brings to mind Thanksgiving (if you live in the US). I know a lot of people first visualize a turkey when they think of Thanksgiving, I on the other hand picture a Cornucopia. I remember numerous coloring pages and craft projects that featured a Cornucopia as a child. They were always a bounty of beautiful colors found in so many fruits and vegetables. I was always a bit in awe at the idea of so many fruits and vegetables and that is exactly how I feel when I open my delivery from Door-to-Door Organics.

A sample of one delivery
If you live in Colorado, Kansas City, Chicago, Michigan, or certain areas on the East Coast you may already be familiar with Door-to-Door Organics (also known as Suburban Organics. This organization is similar to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in the sense you're buying produce from local farmers therefore eating local and minimizing the impact to the environment that comes with long-distance imports. However with many CSAs you buy your share and you get your box, not knowing what you'll get. With Door-to-Door Organics you get to choose the size of your box and whether you want it delivered weekly or every other week. You also can substitute items. As a terribly picky eater I love this. At the same time I rarely substitute items just because I don't know what they are or don't like them.

One of the great features of a delivery from Door-to-Door Organics or any CSA is it gives you a chance to break up your routine. For example, last week I got a Persimmon in my box. I had no clue what a Persimmon tasted like let alone how to eat it. I ended up researching recipes online and found a recipe for Persimmon Bread via Sunflower Market. Since they had Persimmons on sale I picked up two more needed for the recipe and gave it a try. It is delicious!  The best part is that is my usual response to cooking with something new from my delivery.

If you're not in Door-to-Door Organics delivery area, want to look at options for work trade shares of a CSA, or just want to learn more about eating local check out Local Harvest! They're a wealth of information.