Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Eatocracy: In the dead of winter, orange you glad clementines?

Clementine oranges have a way of taking you out of your seasonal funk. Read more about this fruit from an article posted by Kat Kinsman.  Here's the write-up:

Here in the cold, dark, horrible nub end months of the year, I jam clementines into my mouth like it's my job. Two, four, six at a sitting, I'll dig the edge of my least-ragged nail into the rind and claw away the loose skin to reveal the dewy, seedless segments inside. Rinds pile up in pungent heaps on every flat surface around me - exoskeletons shed by sweet-blooded alien insects that have come to Earth to lift me from my seasonal funk.
I'd stop and take them to a trash bin, but that would mean precious seconds not spent stuffing oranges into my face in the manner of a crazed bonobo. I will set upon a cheap, plywood crate or red net sack full of clementines and dispatch quarters, thirds, halves at a time until there is nothing left but a fine mist of citrus oil coating all nearby surfaces like a cheery arterial spray.
I am certain it is horrifying to watch, and it is in the best interest of all my personal and professional relationships that these little fruits are only available for a brief period each winter.
These "clementine" oranges are named for Father Clement Rodier, who some say accidentally bred the mandarin hybrid in the garden of his Algerian orphanage in 1902. Others maintain that they emerged in China a goodly chunk of time before that.
According to the late citrus scholar Robert Willard Hodgson, clementines were then introduced into the United States in 1909 and brought to California from Florida in 1914 by H. S. Fawcett of the Citrus Research Center, Riverside. He noted also that the 1914-15 catalogue of the Fancher Creek Nurseries of Fresno, California, mentioned "a new early mandarin from Algeria which later proved to be indistinguishable from clementine."
They could have developed in an opulent palazzo, outer space, or an outhouse for all I care. What matters to me is that California and various countries in Europe (especially Spain) and North Africa (notably Morocco) start shipping out crates of these sweet, easy-peeling oranges in perfect coincidence with my annual descent into winter blues, and I could not be more grateful.
Yes, technically they're available in many grocery stores year 'round, but that's just a cruel tease. Try biting into a clem before roughly the onset of Daylight Saving Time, and you'll end up with a puss full of pucker. Peel one around Valentine's Day and you might as well be gnawing into the carton in which it came. Flavor-wise it's a waiting game, and it's worth it - both for its sweet burst of liquid sunshine, and for what that does to my psyche.
Empirically, I know that citrus is at its peak in the late fall and into winter, but the Sunkist marketing of my youth seems to have burned beach volleyball, blue skies and eternal summer into the same brain cells as those containing all my memories of eating and drinking oranges. I can live with that, so long as the act of peeling open a clementine (ideally in one piece - it's a snack and a game all in one!) offers me a brief respite from being plunged into grey gloom at four o'clock in the afternoon.
Or it could be the Vitamin C which veritably drips from clementines, and is thought to help lift depression (not to mention scurvy, dysentery, boil-producing skin infections and other dread pirate diseases). Mostly, I just know that somehow, it works - that with each fragrant rind piled up on the table, I'm peeling away the darkness and letting a little sun splash in.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Social media pressure to be a DIY mom?

This Lisa Steinke article published in SheKnows.com shares the pressure that mothers feel due to social media in terms of having their own DIY projects.


It seems like all around you, your mom friends are either pinning some kid-inspired DIY idea to Pinterest or posting their latest homemade creation on Facebook.



Your best attempt at a craft is drawing a stick figure on the note you put in your child’s lunch. So how do you not feel the social media pressure to become suddenly crafty and tap into your own talents instead?

Quit having a DIY envy pity party

When clicking through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, (you name the social media site), it's easy to feel like you're back in school again, walking the halls of your junior high or high school and feeling as if every girl around you has on a better, more fashionable outfit. We all remember them — the girls who looked so effortlessly put together in outfit combinations we don't remember seeing at the mall. And now those same girls are the moms we see splattering photos of their latest DIY crafts across social media and making us feel envious yet again.

Well, the pity party needs to stop here and now. Log off (insert name of social media site in question) and repeat this mantra: Just because I don't feel I'm a crafty mom, doesn't mean I don't have things to offer my child. And it also doesn't mean I can't succeed at a DIY project...

5 fun ways Pinterest can inspire your life

Was your last DIY attempt an epic fail?

Tell us you've at least tried to make something yourself. Because if you haven't, that's the first place to start. There are a lot of, shall we say, easier projects out there that might take a lot less time and effort than you think. There's tons of help out there, like the Pinterest tutorials board which offers a step-by-step guide in how to make just about anything.

Although it is important to know your limitations. If you can't draw, don't take on a project that involves drawing. You get the idea. But if you can't do so much as glue a button on a piece of paper without it turning into a mess, it's OK. It's time to figure out what "non-crafty" things you can do for your child. (And by the way, don't get down on yourself. On her last project, you have no idea how many wrongsthat DIY mom you're jealous of on Pinterest had before she got it right.)


You don't have to be crafty to be creative

Are you a writer? If so, write a poem or a story for your little one. Do you have a love of art? Take her to a museum. Whatever your expertise, there is a way for you to share that with your child. It's important to remember that just because you don't have something handmade to give her, doesn't mean you aren't creative.

And whatever you end up doing, don't forget to post a picture on that social networking site of you and your child enjoying yourselves!

Don't forget, it's the thought that counts

When your child comes home from school with a craft she made for you that's so confusing it takes you a while to figure out what it is, you would never tell her that she failed to make you happy. The same can be said for anything you create for your son or daughter. Your child will be happy with whatever you are able to do for her simply because it's an act of love.
Source: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/975285/social-media-pressure-to-be-a-crafty-mom”

Monday, November 19, 2012

Feature: American Design Club Launches

This Daily Candy article shares a new shop that carries products with impeccable and unique designs masquerading and looking a lot like DIY projects - only better.

The first rule of American Design Club — you don’t talk about American Design Club — is easy to follow.

You’ll be too busy shopping.

The new virtual co-op (a spin-off of the cult-followed, Brooklyn-based network known for nurturing made-in-the-USA design talent) is a marketplace for all things unusual and inspiring.

American artisans (a.k.a. members) you’ve never heard of (Kiel Mead’s reclaimed driftwood wall hooks and bottle openers, Chen Chen & Kai Williams’s resin accessories, AKMD’s cast-aluminum origami bowls) mingle with familiar faces (Heart Parts eating utensils, Reed Wilson’s cheeky doormats).

Die-hard dedication to imagination and play results in intriguing solo projects (Pat Kim’s color-block wooden rocket ships) and group endeavors (a not-so-secret collaboration with paper brand Knock Knock is slated for early next month).

Those in the know call it AmDC.

Welcome to the club.

Available at americandesignclubshop.com, $6-$250.

Source: http://www.dailycandy.com/everywhere/article/138319/American-Design-Club

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ingrid Callot: ‘Going green’

Ingrid Callot Image Credit: stanford.edu

“It’s not that easy being green,” says Kermit the Frog, but going green is. Okay, it’s a hard sell, but drub that last line as Ingrid Callot’s, would you? That may be an existentialist truth from a puppet, but as a side note, I always imagine this Sesame pal taking an extra mile to relate that angst to the big bad world that’s going gray and bald. It’s time to go green, folks.

Ingrid Callot Image Credit: muwellness.wordpress.com

With the “going green” trend doing a crazy run on shirts, mugs, and banners, I guess people have to take the message to the heart. Going green is a lifestyle, but not so much at a level that you will obligate yourself to carry life in style through chic organic stuff, diets, and hybrid cars. You wouldn’t see Ingrid Callot going to that extent of lavish obsession. Besides, on products, I choose quality cheap than cheap quality. Going green is both a mindset and honest practice of keeping an eco-friendly lifestyle.

While “going green” effectively starts as a personal mission, it also has to inspire communal action. It must create good values and practices that have the capacity to make a difference. By and large, going green, as a popular trend, is easy. It just needs some real pop.

Ingrid Callot Image Credit: excelassistance.wordpress.com

For more information on Ingrid Callot, follow this Twitter page.