want it now (b4 thanksgiving!): super smart apron

apron

I am one of those cooks who always makes a mess. I splatter, splot, drip and am constantly reaching for a towel or a rag to wipe my hands on. Sure, I have worked my way through a few aprons, but none of them have become indispensable and are often left hanging on a hood rather than around my neck. But this lovely, clever number from Studio Patro makes my heart flutter. Its straps are on grommets and designed not to strain your neck and it has pockets for those constantly misplaced tasting spoons and tea towels. The linen/cotton blend gets softer with each wash. At $68, they are a bit pricey, but a wonderful gift idea of the chef in your house. – Angela M.

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where’s the pollen? another good reason to buy local honey

bees_

We heard some troubling news last week. A study from Food Safety News found that most of the stuff sold as honey on our grocery store shelves has been filtered so much that it no longer contains pollen. What?! Honey without pollen? Isn’t that why we buy honey in the first place, for all those antioxidants, nutrients and unique flavors. Also, as we read on ivillage.com, “without pollen, it is impossible to trace where honey comes from and guarantee its purity.”

Ever since our foray into beekeeping (that’s one of ours, above), we’ve have made a point of always buying honey at local markets. It’s also a great souvenir to bring back from travels. We’ve stocked up in the golden stuff from Martha’s Vinyard, Maine and California. During our recent visit down South, we stopped into a Savannah Bee Company store. After taste tasting their current offerings, we settled on a bottle of Sourwood, which has a rich, nutty flavor.

The good news from Food Safety News, is that honey from Trader Joe’s contained proper amounts of pollen. Just be sure to read those labels carefully when shopping elsewhere! — Angela M.

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monday fun: anthropologie’s e-card ornaments

walrus in top hat
anthropologie branch bunch

Leave it to the always-creative Anthropologie to interrupt my workday doldrums with a bit of fun. Just as I entered the longest part of Friday afternoon, into my inbox popped an e-mail featuring The Branch Bunch, Anthropologie’s adorable, sendable, givable clan of cuties for the holiday tree. Click through the assortment to shop your favorites or pass on the joy by sending an animated e-card to a pal. Who can resist a Walrus in a top hat? — Sarah C.

From our partners
From our partners

steal this idea: plantable wedding favors

wedding favors

I’m fresh off a family wedding in Cape Cod and while there’s a lot I’d love to share (and probably will!) today I have to mention the favors. As their parting gift to guests, the bride and groom gave these adorable note cards complete with honey sticks and a heart-shaped swath of wildflower seed paper from Botanical PaperWorks. I‘m thrilled! We’re all familiar with the debate about the value of wedding favors – some appreciate them while others could go without another thing to throw away – and I thought these were a delightful middle ground. Simple and thoughtful, they have a longer shelf life than food, and give guests the gift of beautiful flowers that will undoubtedly remind us all of the happy occasion. What do you think readers? Care to share some of the best favors you’ve received? – Sarah C.

For more unique favor ideas, see what Angela gave at her wedding and loved from a friend’s.

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