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MP3: New Foals "Orient," G.e.R.M. remix
MP3: New Kaiser Cartel "Ready to Go"
Beyond Earth Day: Great Wines for Sustainability
Bannos Rolling Back Prices to Celebrate Heaven on Seven's 30th
LOLLA 2010: Gaga, Strokes, Arcade Fire, Devo, Mavis Staples, Erykah Badu, Phoenix, MGMT, XX, Hot Chip, Jimmy Cliff...
Longman & Eagle Brunch Debuting New Cocktails
Can You Taste the Blood in Your Mouth?
Fun with Words ... Really?
Remember When Music Was Exciting?
Details Names Paul Kahan's Salsa Best in U.S.

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MAY 30, 2006
The Palm Peeler

Last year, I discovered and wrote about Chef'n's WiseCracker, which went on to be named one of I.D. magazine's best new products of 2005.

This time, I found two more great things from the Seattle company.

First, the Palm Peeler is a little tool that makes peeling potatoes too easy. Simply slip the peeler onto your middle finger, blade facing out from your palm and you're good to go. It's an ergonomic wonder and I'm surprised no one has thought to make this before.

I found that the Palm Peeler is great for peeling just about any fruit or veggies, but especially messy mangoes, which I peeled over the weekend for my guacamango salsa.

The second is the Grapefruiter, a handheld grapefruit sectioner that, honestly, takes the pain out of sectioning your grapefruit and leaves you plenty of great pulpy fruit to eat instead of much of it ending up shredded.

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MAY 21, 2006
Healthy Dog = Happy Dog

I'm always on the lookout for great products for my dog, Emma. This 5-year-old Shepherd/Lab/Sharpei mix is, to put it in easy terms, spoiled as hell -- but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Last year, we started giving her a "salad" of three types of high-end, all-natural food that my pals at the Barking Lot in Chicago recommended. Since then, she's lost about 11 pounds, has added energy and her coat looks fantastic.

So when I stumbled upon Robbie Dawg organic dog biscuits I had to try them. Crafted by Lisa Fortunato in her Brooklyn bakery, Robbie Dawg features eight different biscuits and three types of biscotti -- and they just started producing treats for your cat (I suppose they should be healthy, too, even if they do poo in your home).

Emma has sampled the Cheddar & Bacon, Four Cheese Oatmeal and Arroz con Pollo. Needless to say, she loved all of them -- then again, she is a dog and generally refuses to eat very little. I would much rather have her eating these treats with real cheese, free-range chicken and no added salt, sugar, preservatives or other fake stuff than find an old rotting piece of pizza or burrito in the park any day.

Robbie Dawg products are sold literally all over the country. Find a store nearby so you too can spoil your pooch -- like you aren't already.

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MAY 16, 2006
Toothpick Man

I was first turned on to Danish home design company Menu by lifestyle site Charles & Marie after it posted about a great wine gift set with a wine thermometer.

I wanted to see what else Menu had to offer and came across this fun, little gadget: the Toothpick Man.

While I can't verify its functionality, I really dig its form. Apparently, when you lift the black box, a new, fresh toothpick appears in the little man's hands.

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MAY 06, 2006
F2 Lab -- Get Blown

F2 Lab -- started by couple Peter and Marilyn Frank -- is really making a name for itself in the art world.

The Franks started blowing glass a number of years ago in New York, where Marilyn also owned a graphic design joint. Following a series of life transitions, the couple settled in Chicago and opened up their Lab in the new art center of the West Loop in 2005.

Earlier this year, Design Within Reach held a contest and when the store realized F2 didn't fit in any category, they created a new one because the pieces -- etched beakers they dubbed the "Chemistry Set" -- were that unique.

They are known for their vessels and lighting pieces that are done in a minimalist style. In Chicago, their pieces are available at the Museum of Contemporary Art's store, my fave new home furnishings store I.D. and at their Lab.

I.D. is holding a trunk show on May 12 to showcase F2's goods, including the "Water Droplet," solid, clear-glass dishes featuring a droplet of metallic silver in the center. They'll be on display through May 23.

Beaker images after the jump...


Continue reading "F2 Lab -- Get Blown" »

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APRIL 27, 2006
All-Year Foos

No, you're not looking at little metal soldiers gearing up for war (but these days, who knows who's going to get shipped off?!), but Design Within Reach's All-Weather Foosball Table. Made entirely of stainless steel, this stunning piece can live inside or out, enjoy sunning itself in rays or bathing in raindrops and won't corrode or dull from the elements.

The Rafael Rodriguez-designed piece will make you the envy of all your friends because not only will you have the coolest foosball table, you'll also have a great sculpture when it's not in use -- which may be never.


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APRIL 22, 2006
iPod Travel Cases

Before heading to Puerto Vallarta in late February, I scouted a few portable speaker systems for my iPod and came across a couple that were really fantastic.

The two that really impressed me were the Altec-Lansing IM5 and SonicImpact's i-Fusion.

They both have amazing sound, regulated bass output, recharging capabilities and can be plugged in or powered with batteries. And from a design point of view, they both show great promise.

keep reading after the jump...

Continue reading "iPod Travel Cases" »

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Product Review: Nokia 6682

I've been looking for a great way to get all of my communication tools in one place and have tried out a variety of gadgets, including a couple Blackberrys (more to come on that). One of the smart phones I came across was the Nokia 6682. With its sleek design, email functionality and built-in 1.3 megapixel camera, I thought my problems had been solved.

Or so I thought.

While there are a lot of things I love about the phone, there are a couple that bug me.

Full review after the jump...

Continue reading "Product Review: Nokia 6682" »

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Bluewick Soy Travel Candles

A few months ago I came across a wonderful line of candles by Bluewick. Crafted entirely of soy and complex exotic scents, the candles burn longer and cleaner than most regular wax candles.

Bluewick has four distinct product lines -- Original, Groove, Happy and Illumina -- and most candles come in the pocket travel version, which I love. These compact candles fit in your bag, pouch or pocket and create an ambiance of home when you're on the road. Or at dinner. Or sitting outside in the gazebo.

The pocket candles have a burn rate up to 15 hours while the full size version can burn for close to 85 hours. These candles don't just smell great they also have a beautiful, clean design and make a great gift.

I love the Dewberry, which combines grapefruit with black and red currant to create a sublime, relaxed and pleasant aroma.

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MARCH 25, 2006
For Sale: Alinea's Tableware

One of the restaurants that made the biggest splash in gastronomic experiences last year was Chicago's own Alinea. Chef/Owner Grant Achatz raised the bar in food preparedness and presentation with his mind-blowing dishes. Part of the equation came, not only from the food, but the dishes upon which the courses were served. Now, Alinea design partner Crucial Design is selling some of these exquisite and unique pieces so you can dazzle and delight guests to your own dinner parties.

QUICK UPDATE: I just heard that the pieces are currently only being offered for wholesale but will be available for retail purchase later this year.

via Gapers Block.


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MARCH 17, 2006
Flor: A World of Imagination

Patterns. Colors. Shapes. Textures. Shag. Wool. Pink. Chocolate. Yellow. Red. Black. Blue. Flowers. Stripes. Pile. Plush. Weave. Fuzzy. Soft. Tactile. Patchwork Patterns. Bedroom. Living Room. Kitchen. Playroom. Centered. Wall-to-Wall. Mix-and-Match. Interchangeable. Permanent. Moveable. Temporary. Modern. Classic. Create your own dream space with floor coverings that piece together however you want.

Welcome to Flor.


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