Posted in Holiday Gift Giving

The Perfect Gift: Comfort


Thanksgiving is behind us and after spending hours in the kitchen preparing a meal, the one thing we need is relief from the nagging backache. As we are in the midst of the holiday season, this means more people will be cooking and entertaining for their family, friends and out-of-town guests. Spending more time in the kitchen also means standing on hard flooring for several hours at a time, unfortunately resulting in nagging neck, back and foot pain.

The GelPro Mat is redefining healthy cooking. Its patented anti-fatigue gel comfort technology reduces pain and increases blood flow, creating a more relaxing and enjoyable experience for those doing the cooking this year.

Fatigue resulting from holiday cooking is something GelPro Mat founder and engineer, Robb McMahan is especially familiar with as it was his direct inspiration for developing the GelPro Mat. Robb’s wife Lisa complained about her fatigue and pain after cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the family. Relying on his innovative spirit, Robb designed a solution for his wife that has grown into a product that pros like Martha Stewart and the Barefoot Contessa depend on in their kitchens.

Here are some examples of the festive choices that you could include in your own home or give as a gift:


Single Crocodile in Red

*Available in the Neiman Marcus catalog and at www.gelpro.com


Single and Double Striated in Moss

*Available in the Frontgate and SkyMall catalogs and at www.gelpro.com


Single / Double Basketweave in Chestnut or Truffle

*Available at Bed Bath & Beyond and at www.gelpro.com

Give the gift of comfort this holiday season.

Posted in Holiday Gift Giving

The Perfect Gift: Comfort


Thanksgiving is behind us and after spending hours in the kitchen preparing a meal, the one thing we need is relief from the nagging backache. As we are in the midst of the holiday season, this means more people will be cooking and entertaining for their family, friends and out-of-town guests. Spending more time in the kitchen also means standing on hard flooring for several hours at a time, unfortunately resulting in nagging neck, back and foot pain.

The GelPro Mat is redefining healthy cooking. Its patented anti-fatigue gel comfort technology reduces pain and increases blood flow, creating a more relaxing and enjoyable experience for those doing the cooking this year.

Fatigue resulting from holiday cooking is something GelPro Mat founder and engineer, Robb McMahan is especially familiar with as it was his direct inspiration for developing the GelPro Mat. Robb’s wife Lisa complained about her fatigue and pain after cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the family. Relying on his innovative spirit, Robb designed a solution for his wife that has grown into a product that pros like Martha Stewart and the Barefoot Contessa depend on in their kitchens.

Here are some examples of the festive choices that you could include in your own home or give as a gift:


Single Crocodile in Red

*Available in the Neiman Marcus catalog and at www.gelpro.com


Single and Double Striated in Moss

*Available in the Frontgate and SkyMall catalogs and at www.gelpro.com


Single / Double Basketweave in Chestnut or Truffle

*Available at Bed Bath & Beyond and at www.gelpro.com

Give the gift of comfort this holiday season.

Posted in Giving Back, Holiday Gift Giving, Quirky Design Details, Who Knew

Inspiration: Thinking "Why Not?"


Inspiration from people and places keeps my creativity flowing. I design residential kitchen remodels for my clients. I know that for many of my clients that the design they entrust me with is the kitchen of their dreams. My goal is to get this for them.

Inspiration and keeping my ideas fresh comes from everywhere and everything. Weather it is as simple as taking a different road on my daily route, a weekend drive, a journey to a new city or as simple as reading about another designer’s work, finding inspiration from multiple sources is as necessary to me as water.

Clodagh, a woman who was named after a waterway in Ireland, an award winning designer of international fame, with signature products inspired by nature, has tackled the world of fashion, architecture and design, and also has time to manage a burgeoning retail collection of lighting, fabric, carpets and decorative accessories. When you live by a life long motto of : “Why not?”, anything is possible with that state of mind. Her story is amazing and inspirational.

If you admire and are inspired by the zen like and environmentally friendly qualities in design, then you will be inspired by Clodagh’s signature “Four C’s of contemporary design: contemplating, cleansing, clarifying, and creating everything from sensual bedrooms to spa-like baths in her new book, Your Home, Your Sanctuary , by Rizzoli.
Clodagh says, “What I like to hear most from my clients is, “We feel good here.” I completely agree with her.

In a time where the news is so alarming, the best we can do is make our homes a peaceful and nourishing place. Turn off the news, turn to your loved ones instead. Our home should be a place of rest and tranquility, a way to recharge, calm and renew every morning and night.

Trend guru, Faith Popcorn coined the phrase in the 1990’s, “cocooning”, suggesting that modern people cocoon in their homes because work is busy, life is hectic, and the news tells us that it’s dangerous to be anywhere but safely ensconced in our castle.

But the identifiable departure from the trend of cocooning from the last decade is the shift in thinking globally and acting locally. Clodagh states, “it’s about making a better world”. Giving back to the community is an important part of Clodagh’s business. www.Clodaghcares.org. is a non-profit that pools donations for charitable organizations that provide education, health necessities, and other means of assistance to children around the globe.

On her website, ClodaghCares.org, you will find several very simple ways you can give globally by giving up a simple daily luxury we take for granted. Her website has a cause and effect chart with a donation reference amount and how your small financial contribution makes a difference in someone else’s life. This excerpt from the web site can be found at: About Us.

Give up a couple of lattes and a muffin a month. $10.00 a month (appropriately channeled, and by that we mean put your bucks here) will bring miracles to children far away in distance, but close to the heart. Again, why?
The money you give will make a difference.

To you a mosquito net is something to drape romantically over the bedposts. Nice design. To a child in Africa, a mosquito net can literally be a lifesaver, guarding them as they sleep, from Malaria, the number 1 killer of children under 5.

What else will your ten bucks buy? A uniform, a requisite for school. For many, it’s their only clothing. But it is more. Hope. Pride. Belonging. Opportunity. A road that leads beyond the village and into the world beyond, to become a valued member of the global community. Given education, given opportunity, one of these children might become an astronaut, or discover a cure for AIDS. Why not?

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Posted in Giving Back, Holiday Gift Giving, Quirky Design Details, Who Knew

Inspiration: Thinking "Why Not?"


Inspiration from people and places keeps my creativity flowing. I design residential kitchen remodels for my clients. I know that for many of my clients that the design they entrust me with is the kitchen of their dreams. My goal is to get this for them.

Inspiration and keeping my ideas fresh comes from everywhere and everything. Weather it is as simple as taking a different road on my daily route, a weekend drive, a journey to a new city or as simple as reading about another designer’s work, finding inspiration from multiple sources is as necessary to me as water.

Clodagh, a woman who was named after a waterway in Ireland, an award winning designer of international fame, with signature products inspired by nature, has tackled the world of fashion, architecture and design, and also has time to manage a burgeoning retail collection of lighting, fabric, carpets and decorative accessories. When you live by a life long motto of : “Why not?”, anything is possible with that state of mind. Her story is amazing and inspirational.

If you admire and are inspired by the zen like and environmentally friendly qualities in design, then you will be inspired by Clodagh’s signature “Four C’s of contemporary design: contemplating, cleansing, clarifying, and creating everything from sensual bedrooms to spa-like baths in her new book, Your Home, Your Sanctuary , by Rizzoli.
Clodagh says, “What I like to hear most from my clients is, “We feel good here.” I completely agree with her.

In a time where the news is so alarming, the best we can do is make our homes a peaceful and nourishing place. Turn off the news, turn to your loved ones instead. Our home should be a place of rest and tranquility, a way to recharge, calm and renew every morning and night.

Trend guru, Faith Popcorn coined the phrase in the 1990’s, “cocooning”, suggesting that modern people cocoon in their homes because work is busy, life is hectic, and the news tells us that it’s dangerous to be anywhere but safely ensconced in our castle.

But the identifiable departure from the trend of cocooning from the last decade is the shift in thinking globally and acting locally. Clodagh states, “it’s about making a better world”. Giving back to the community is an important part of Clodagh’s business. www.Clodaghcares.org. is a non-profit that pools donations for charitable organizations that provide education, health necessities, and other means of assistance to children around the globe.

On her website, ClodaghCares.org, you will find several very simple ways you can give globally by giving up a simple daily luxury we take for granted. Her website has a cause and effect chart with a donation reference amount and how your small financial contribution makes a difference in someone else’s life. This excerpt from the web site can be found at: About Us.

Give up a couple of lattes and a muffin a month. $10.00 a month (appropriately channeled, and by that we mean put your bucks here) will bring miracles to children far away in distance, but close to the heart. Again, why?
The money you give will make a difference.

To you a mosquito net is something to drape romantically over the bedposts. Nice design. To a child in Africa, a mosquito net can literally be a lifesaver, guarding them as they sleep, from Malaria, the number 1 killer of children under 5.

What else will your ten bucks buy? A uniform, a requisite for school. For many, it’s their only clothing. But it is more. Hope. Pride. Belonging. Opportunity. A road that leads beyond the village and into the world beyond, to become a valued member of the global community. Given education, given opportunity, one of these children might become an astronaut, or discover a cure for AIDS. Why not?

###
Posted in Holiday Gift Giving, Who Knew

10 Tips for Greener Gifting for the Holidays


I used to laugh at my Grandma for wrapping gifts with last years gift paper. Mostly because she was the queen of re-gifting and we had to stop ourselves from giggling when we saw the surprised facial expression coming from the original gift giver.

But the reality is that the day after the holidays, all across the world, our trash cans are filled with mounds of gift wrap. Pretty to look at for a moment but ultimately trashed is a sad fact. Before the shopping frenzy starts consider that if every American family wrapped just three presents in recyclable materials, we would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.

Why not try to have a good impact this holiday season?

Before buying gift wrap that is used once and thrown away consider low impact gift wrap ideas: Make a package reusable. What a great way to give!

  1. A gift in a gift: Stop off in the kitchen housewares department for useful packaging: use a new dishtowel or apron to wrap up a gift. (And no, using your used dishtowels is not a good idea)!
  2. Wrap it fresh. Clip a piece of mistletoe, a sprig of pine or adorn with pine cones or cinnamon sticks in place of tacky metallic store bought bows. Careful not to wrap with fresh adornments too far in advance.
  3. Use real popcorn or peanuts in place of the artificial stuff for packing. Although make sure the recipient isn’t allergic to peanuts.
  4. Handmade encourages keeping. Make a box reusable all year round. Line the inside of the box and the lid with felt, nice fabric, old maps or sheet music. Wrap the box and lid separately in recycled paper, try http://www.paporganics.com for lovely recycled paper. Make it meaningful by selecting the recipients favorite color or a theme: music, gardening, or cinema themes.
  5. Wrap it up with raffia, string or with reusable grosgrain ribbon.
  6. Cut gift cards from last years holiday cards instead of store bought gift cards.
  7. Brown paper bags your kids can help decorate.
  8. Give the gift of nature. Know someone who loves roses? Get your gloves on and plant a rose bush in her yard. (Get her permission first!) Or give a gift certificate from her local nursery or tickets to the next garden show. Or attach a seed packet to the gift box in place of an artificial metallic bow.
  9. Giving doesn’t mean it has to be wrapped in the formal sense. Give an experience: Tickets to a show, a gift certificate to a fantastic restaurant, or a sporting event.
  10. Give the gift of yourself: offer to pet sit or dog walk the next time the recipient goes on vacation.

For more gift ideas: go to Green Pages.org
For additional resources: http://www.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/200612/tows_past_20061205.jhtml

Grandma may have caused a few ruffled feathers back then, but she had it right. She had a huge list of grandkids and relatives to send gifts to, she was just being practical by recycling what she couldn’t use. Instead of being part of the mass consumerism to purchase just because it’s the holidays and you feel obligated to give a gift, think in terms of sustainable gifts from the heart.

Happy Holidays!

Posted in Holiday Gift Giving, Who Knew

10 Tips for Greener Gifting for the Holidays


I used to laugh at my Grandma for wrapping gifts with last years gift paper. Mostly because she was the queen of re-gifting and we had to stop ourselves from giggling when we saw the surprised facial expression coming from the original gift giver.

But the reality is that the day after the holidays, all across the world, our trash cans are filled with mounds of gift wrap. Pretty to look at for a moment but ultimately trashed is a sad fact. Before the shopping frenzy starts consider that if every American family wrapped just three presents in recyclable materials, we would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.

Why not try to have a good impact this holiday season?

Before buying gift wrap that is used once and thrown away consider low impact gift wrap ideas: Make a package reusable. What a great way to give!

  1. A gift in a gift: Stop off in the kitchen housewares department for useful packaging: use a new dishtowel or apron to wrap up a gift. (And no, using your used dishtowels is not a good idea)!
  2. Wrap it fresh. Clip a piece of mistletoe, a sprig of pine or adorn with pine cones or cinnamon sticks in place of tacky metallic store bought bows. Careful not to wrap with fresh adornments too far in advance.
  3. Use real popcorn or peanuts in place of the artificial stuff for packing. Although make sure the recipient isn’t allergic to peanuts.
  4. Handmade encourages keeping. Make a box reusable all year round. Line the inside of the box and the lid with felt, nice fabric, old maps or sheet music. Wrap the box and lid separately in recycled paper, try http://www.paporganics.com for lovely recycled paper. Make it meaningful by selecting the recipients favorite color or a theme: music, gardening, or cinema themes.
  5. Wrap it up with raffia, string or with reusable grosgrain ribbon.
  6. Cut gift cards from last years holiday cards instead of store bought gift cards.
  7. Brown paper bags your kids can help decorate.
  8. Give the gift of nature. Know someone who loves roses? Get your gloves on and plant a rose bush in her yard. (Get her permission first!) Or give a gift certificate from her local nursery or tickets to the next garden show. Or attach a seed packet to the gift box in place of an artificial metallic bow.
  9. Giving doesn’t mean it has to be wrapped in the formal sense. Give an experience: Tickets to a show, a gift certificate to a fantastic restaurant, or a sporting event.
  10. Give the gift of yourself: offer to pet sit or dog walk the next time the recipient goes on vacation.

For more gift ideas: go to Green Pages.org
For additional resources: http://www.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/200612/tows_past_20061205.jhtml

Grandma may have caused a few ruffled feathers back then, but she had it right. She had a huge list of grandkids and relatives to send gifts to, she was just being practical by recycling what she couldn’t use. Instead of being part of the mass consumerism to purchase just because it’s the holidays and you feel obligated to give a gift, think in terms of sustainable gifts from the heart.

Happy Holidays!