Friday, April 27, 2018

Get Hauling...5.11® Tactec Plate Carrier CrossFit® Edition

Part 2: Van Life Essentials-Staying Fit the minimalist way
Crossfit enthused-or power walk helper-weighted vests (plate carriers) are handy and lightweight, great additions for at home or living' the van life-fitness equipment- you can hang on a hook-or shove under a car seat.
Top Pick: 5.11® Tactec Plate Carrier CF 18-Crossfit® edition $229

5.11-sponsors CrossFit-a branded exercise regiment-incorporating high intensity intervals-strength/conditioning/aerobic with oomph-for newbies to hard core pros-that reminds us of what our military pals did to keep in shape while deployed. Equipment needed? A few essentials include this weighted vest --that needs to fit comfortably...and does- via adjustable options (waist+tensional bands), distributes the weight evenly (back yoke shoulder pads), is tough-made of abrasion resistant 500D nylon w/ Duraflex® hardwear-has air vents-for circulation-a web id loop, and is easy on/off w/ one hand release. The vest ensures an endorphin inducing workout as it accommodates Rogue® M+W's Waist Vest Plates. Color options too!

Thursday, April 26, 2018


Older generations' VW mini-bus adventures, Airstreams' upscale digs... and collegiate low budget New Zealand travels-in camper rentals...all lend some retro flavor for today's millennial plus (ers) who NOW demand tricked out vans  - that rival functional RVs---as THE vehicle of choice.
Bonus- smaller parking spaces!
What gets packed -and what gets built in - are all multi-tasking -well made, durable objects making life on the road -a desirable way to go.

Part One:

Aluminum Portable Products-by YETI, PK GRILLS

Cooler ruler YETI introduces a new HORDO BASE CAMP CHAIR $299...that even interior design mavens will LOVE. These are a bit heftier, weight wise-than typical camp/trek chairs...but are way more rugged solid...and comfy. Note-the breathable mesh w/ GRIDGUARD™MOLD for no-sag,  edge to edge comfort- is just like the upscale Herman Miller Aero Chairs-and wow-can support up to 500lbs. Solid cast joints + double barrel  aluminum frame fold up flat too for ez storage (see pic below)-including nice touch... built in Hauler Handle in the frame=ez carry.

Portable outdoor kitchens requires a grill that can last and heat up all 360 sq inches- JUST right (fast-for grilling..steady+.slow for BBQ). US-we're a tad obsessed with the new PK 360 Grill and Smoker Capsule by PK Grills ($599.99)-a made in the USA retro chic item-from a company inspired by (re) discovering an original PK- at a yard sale. NOW fabulously updated for use in the 21st century...with heavy duty aluminum construction, efficient cook chamber w/ 4 way venting assures any ash (lower charcoal grate made from marine grade stainless steel)- doesn't mess with the the air flow and easy 2-zone set-up. Lock release hinges, rear stabilizer hooks and-critically-a super easy detach -from the stand-for ez hauling,..makes this grill/smoker-an ideal affordable glampfire 'stove' very travel worthy.   

Monday, April 23, 2018

SPICED Up-Subtle to Bold Best Bets


Tastebuds Kitchen, a spacious (very-by NYC standards)-restaurant worthy event space/school- was SRO packed---by the cooking inclined last week.
Homemade-blend your own India spice Garam Masala w/ 11 SPICE ISLANDS-or buy ready version

Savory samples of appetizers- entrees-desserts- enhanced with a few- deeply flavorful and fresh SPICE ISLANDS spices-are mouthfuls of world global cuisines made with simple, quality ingredients livened up authentic flavors from far flung locales. POPULAR!

Friday, April 20, 2018


Sit-down 3 meals daily-gives way to more bite times of smaller eats. Life on the go doesn't mean less nutritious though...whether fresh or frozen, meal worthy snacks are substantial and healthy clean now. Convenient too.
THE easiest substantial snack for a sit-down moment=a pairing of locally sourced- fresh baked bread+cheese-typical of our daily meal enjoyed while traveling abroad on a budget. Cheese loving nations in Europe---started it all...but now terrific options worldwide, just about-either with dairy based cheese or tasty regional dips like hummus (both protein loaded).

Sweet nutty Norwegian Jarlsberg + chewy fresh dough bread or flavored crisps-like crackers or savory flatbreads-easy does it crowd pleasers. Just add a beverage-and some fresh fruit=insta meal.
Indoors? A practical posh set-up courtesy of beautiful and inexpensive Royal Doulton housewares-china-as seen at their showroom...breadsticks, fresh figs and olives  look even more inviting- delicious, imo. Our fav coffee mug-in fact is from the widely available -sturdy Ellen Degeneres collection!
French Compté -most popular cheese in France-is mild-is and creamy- but distinctly flavored cheese (subtle nuances-depends on aging etc)- that goes well with a lot of different breads, crisps-and wines.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Probiotics: Skin/Hair Help

The beauty + haircare brands with nutraceuticals-aka supplements- acknowledges 'you are what you eat.' Inside and out-skin deep, plus.

One trending area-pre and probiotics...the former to nourish the latter.
For topical applications...there's enough scientific evidence that  helpful ingredients providing microbiota solutions for many skin concerns -from oily-acne to dry-sensitive conditions, work.

Easy FAST though- get natural benefits of probiotics-from a make it yourself masque.

Mix up  USDA Organic yogurt (2 tbsps-'fattier' the better)-blessed w/ cell renewing lactic acid +active cultures---with pure honey (a natural sterilizing healer-like Wedderspoon Manuka Honey-1 tbsp)---and apply on for about ten minutes, before washing off.

Insta-brightner that works for most skin types.

Hair wise- for a moisturizing-cleansing masque-for locks- double the aforementioned ingredients-and add tbsps of coconut oil (olive, safflower, sunflower seed or sea buckthorn oils would be okay too)...and slap on  hair for about 20 minutes...before rinsing out thoroughly.

Thursday, April 12, 2018


Some new products for the sub adult-set-are the same quality-or even better than what's available for parental units.

Spring/Summer screams for outdoor activities...and impressively-Keen, Nina Footwear, KidPik and Priority Bicycles all deliver.

Top Picks: function/fashion footwear-and the coolest hand built bicycle for cruising...
IMO-Keen really did great job with these limited edition NEWPORT RAINBOW COLLECTION big kid's sandals.. a rainbow-available in 25 color options (wow)-unisex sizing can be adjusted with ease via hook+loop strap.Suitable for  water/hike/walking with durable outsoles...there's no skimping on protective details either-like PFC free protective rubber toe caps and metatomical footbed design. $50. Good travel shoe for light packers. Machine washable-polyester webbing upper, non-marking outsole-air dry.


Eye candy, convenience and speed-three attributes in supply -for the new Specialized S-7 Works cycling shoes-tricked out with the only available here (for now) BOA S-3 Snap dials.

No popping out/pushing in those life guaranteed dials for on/off access of these super lightweight, stiffest-FACT Powerline™ carbon plate that maximizes power transfer...with no stretch zone  in key areas, Form Fit last-roomy toe box, 3 bolt cleat pattern that handles all road pedals and heel cradling-coddling for fit.
we were dazzled by these new Boa S-3 Snap details-rotate to and fro for easy access on/off.-on the fly, micro-fit adjustment. $400 for men's +women's Specialized S-7 Works cycling shoe weighs in around 7.9 ounces/shoe

Color options including a flashy (Peter) Sagan limited edition black cycling shoe with gold Boa dials $425.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Microbial Diversity AKA Gut Health

Trendy-or reality...the importance of healthy (natural)  human bacteria-living life in GI tracts or on the biggest organ-the skin- has people re-thinking what they eat or slather on.

In turn - hundreds (thousands) of products/supplements aiming to ameliorate microbiota deficiencies-have flooded the consumer market.

One solution-duh-so easy and natural-embrace the different ethnic cuisines that already serve up foods loaded with a variety of LIVE probiotics-meaning fermented foods with live organisms (seriously there loads of ideas-a Google search yielded 400,000 results in.03 seconds).

 Yogurts-kefir, cheeses, non-heated sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, tempeh,  kombucha, natto...are some probiotics loaded home runs-granted-maybe are spicy or tangy acquired tastes.

Another healthy eating trend-for proper gut functions-is to 'feed' the aforementioned acquired probiotic bacteria...with prebiotics-which is just getting a lot of attention-as auto spell-check still turns the 'e' into an 'o'.
Prebiotics are made from soluble fibers that provide gut living probiotics with the resistant starch kind of food they need to thrive versus like eating up one's mucus lined gut (bad).
Foods like beans, onions, garlic, oats and even cooked/cooled pasta...can deliver enough.

But given our snacking lifestyle---or travels...sometimes more portable shelf ready solutions are just easier.

New to us-and in a tasty and handy powder form (kid approved)-ProBiotein®-made from 100% organic wheat, oats, flax and barley...
ProBiotein® imparts a barely there soluble fiber- chocolate hit- only need a very small amount added to warm or cold foods-doesn't matter. Contains  4 prebiotic fibers and 4 digestive enzymes-to feed the 100 trillion beneficial bacteria living in our gut.  No prep needed-just add to smoothies, baked goods' mixes, juices etc- the good stuff DOES NOT  get harmed by cooking -or freezing and unlike probiotics-one does not have to wonder if prebiotics are 'live.'
Probiotein® naturally has Omega 3 and anti-oxidants too-from the flax---and some protein. We regularly add 1 tbsp serving- to hot oatmeal-which we actually eat at night-something about that warm creamy filling food encourages sleep.
back label info
1 LB re-sealable pouch AVAILABLE on Amazon AMAZON

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Sorry snow---these are going on our feet ANYWAY!!! It's time-when sun shines past 7PM.

Top Picks-comfort, functional-fancy footwear ready for springtime strolls (and pedicures).


Web masters (the woven kind) may be giving CHACOS even more cred than their ped savior footbeds + LUVSEAT™ PU midsoles - that have already help this brand garner more than a cult following these days. Combine those attributes with traction- from non-marking ChacoGrip™ outsoles -making these styles- athletic, water worthy (as per their heritage)...and urban friendly- with guaranteed comfort all day long. Ladder lock buckles-and adjustable and durable high-tension heel risers complete these well thought sandals-plus-we like the open style-though others feature a secure toe loop. FYI-there are numerous  Z/–––styles-customizable too-the snazzy polyester jacquard webbing comes in dozens of options-start at $105...

Monday, April 2, 2018

Patio Party-Game On (Part 3)

Snow melting celebrations-outdoor products by L.L.Bean and Thermacell get the game on (and make great house gifts too).

A classic nostalgic challenge...these made in the USA, hand forged Tournament Horseshoes one of many games made easy by L. L. Bean $99 -comes with 2 solid steel stakes in a convenient wooden carving case.

Another crowd fav-croquet...and yes -there is skill involved. Maine Coast Croquet Set with Stand $279-delivers-hardwood malets, stakes, and stand...nine wickets +6 color coordinated plastic balls PLUS GAME RULES.

 via GIPHY
                                         Heather vs Heather                           

Patio Shield ($24.99) comes in multiple colors
NEW Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent works at push of a button

Backyard minutes spent swatting away mosquitos&no see'ums = hours spent indoors. SOLUTION...Thermacell has several easy to use-no spray-refillable solutions that invisibly keep those bugs as bay. DEET free, no open flame (like candles)...

RECHARGEABLE (6 hours of use per charge via USB-powered by Lithium-Ion Battery)-new Thermacell RADIUS Zone Mosquito Repellent-scent+DEET FREE-protects an 110 sq ft area-a single refill can last up to 40 hours. There's even an automatic timer. Added plus-can travel with this...great for those heading to tropical destinations where mosquitos are a many college junior year abroad destinations.