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

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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

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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.

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top of the muffin to you: the muffin seat

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Let the “muffin top” jokes commence… NOW! Of course, the first one that came to my head was Elaine Benes’ Muffin Top bakery scheme, but all jokes aside, I’m really digging the Muffin Seat by designer Matteo Bianchi. As shown in the photos, it literally pops its top to reveal concealed storage in the stump. Yum. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find this piece really manages to be whimsical and chic at the same time. What do you think? Sound off in the comments! — Megan B.

Via Juxtapoz Magazine.

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strangely appealing: etsy sewer cover pillows

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Manhole covers have long been a popular subject for modern art photography and books. Usually made from cast iron, their symmetrical designs vary greatly from city to city around the globe, and often give travelers a reason to keep their eyes on the ground and not towards the sky. Though few design-junkies could dispute their graphic appeal, they don’t exactly look like something you’d want to touch — let alone snuggle. Still, these sewer cover printed pillows, from In the Seam on Etsy have their charms. We love these soft metropolitan tributes. Chose from Detroit, London, Boston, Seattle, New York and even, Catskill! $42/each.

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