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site we’re psyched about: strolby lets you virtually shop brooklyn

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Don’t get me wrong. I don’t at all regret moving from NYC proper into the burbs of New Jersey. But there are some things that have become increasingly difficult to do, if only because of geography and the frustrations of public transportation systems. One of them is that it is nearly impossible to keep up with some of the groovy, ever-changing neighborhoods of the outer boroughs. I used to love strolling around the emerging shops of Boreum Hill or Williamsburg. Now going there is a journey, and getting in the car and driving upstate to the country usually wins out as a weekend activity. Enter Strolby, a new site that lets you pursue the goodies of the hippest of parts of Bklyn without crossing one river. Strolby not only lets you buy wares that range from colorful dresses to handcrafted ceramics, it also introduces you to the shop owners and creators behind the lovely goods. Its Explore Brooklyn blog keeps you up on the news from the streets and will have you have you feeling like a local in no time. Coming soon, Strolby Hudson, a way to visit our favorite upstate town that is a true stoller’s paradise!

cutting fat out of your breakfast? try wooly beast’s maple bacon donut soap instead

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There’s something dangerous about a soap that makes you drool, but as good as this smells, please don’t eat Wooly Beast‘s Maple Bacon Donut soap. This Portland-OR-based Etsy shop is making deliciously scented, small batch candles and soaps. While all may not sound as tempting as the aforementioned delight (Bearded man? There’s one in our house, and his smells get mixed reviews), each is olfactory sensation worth trying. Other favorites of ours include Stumptown (bringing that coffee bar flavor to any room) and Locavore (which is like a trip to the farmer’s market). The handmade soaps are $7 for a 3.5 oz bar. Candles are $15 for a 9oz version. Visit Wooly Beast on Etsy to see more.

swoon of the day: a peek in donna wilson’s london studio

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We’re big fans of Donna Wilson‘s whimsical designs, from her hand-sewn creatures to her charming ceramics. They instantly put you in a good mood. And, every time we get glimpse of the designer herself, whether it’s at a gift fair or something she’s writing about on her blog, we think, there’s a lady we could hang with. Call it a girl crush. So we were especially pleased to see that she’s been featured in the newest issue of Heart Home magazine. Her Bethnel Green studio is where the magic happens, as you can tell from the stacks and stacks of fabrics and rows of colored thread. The magazine follows Wilson around as she visits some of her favorite inspiration spots in London, giving us an instant virtual getaway. Today we really really wish we were in London. Donna’s having a sample sale, offering 50% off of her beautiful hats, mittens and scarves. If you go, say hello for us!

valentine’s gift idea: a cup of love from catherine’s table

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If you’re one of those people who wishes you had time to make a homemade valentine for your sweetie, but life (and your schedule) have other plans, consider the Cup of Love from Catherine’s Table. Each piece is made with care by potters Noelle VanHendrick and Eric Hendrick of Zpots Studio Pottery. With a unique texture and carefully molded to feel good in your hand, these little beauties were clearly made with love.. and the handwritten font gets an A+ from us on design. Use them for hot toddies or to hold a bouquet of flowers on a breakfast tray. $32 at Catherine’s Table.