This weekend, tens of thousands of people will be descending on the snowy little ski town of Park City Utah, to schmooze, deal, gawk and watch hours of movies in dark theaters at the Sundance Film Festival. I’ve been lucky enough to attend more than once, and whenever I come home I want to add a little mountain cabin style to home — perhaps a Navajo rug or maybe something sheepskin. This year I’m observing from afar, but I have my eye on these antler roasters from Rustic Roasters. Made by Steven Wymer out of either reclaimed branches or naturally shed antlers, they are selected, then lovingly shaped and stained, cured and crafted. Handles are colored and coated with non-synthetic finishes and the toasting rods are food-grade stainless steel. They’ll bring your s’mores to the next level — even if they’re being made on the back of your deck in a suburban firepit. $129 for a set of four. See more at rusticroasters.com.
The end of another year is a upon us and these are the last two days to make a donation to a deserving charitable foundation and have it count toward your 2013 taxes. If giving back has been on your to-do list for a while, and you remain undecided, consider a few of our favorite orgs that are in need and deserving of your funds.
1. The Pacific Whale Foundation
Based in Maui, the PWF monitors and helps protect all sorts of vital marine life. Of course, the Pacific Humpback Whale is their focus, and over 2,000 of the giants pass through the warm waters of Maui each year. (Right now, in fact! January and February are the height of the season.) Give $55 and you’ll receive a Hawaiian Pancake breakfast kit, including coconut syrup, pancake mix and a Kona coffee gift box. You can also “adopt” a dolphin, whale or turtle for $75.
During Hurricane Sandy, we learned first-hand what is like to go without clean water for a few days. It’s hard to fathom a life without it being easily accessible, but for millions around the globe, obtaining clean water is a difficult chore. Co-founded by Matt Damon, Water.org is an amazing organization that is bringing clean water sanitation systems to remote communities around the world. Buy a $25 special edition Camelback bottle or just donate $100 to their year end campaign. That amount will support a family’s water supply for a year.
3. Support your local NPR station
In a world where quick headlines and re-appropriated stories dominate our media streams, the role of NPR and its news gathering force is more crucial than ever in our American lives. We can’t even begin to count the number of amazing reports we heard over the past year. If we gave Ira Glass or Terry Gross $5 every time they moved us to tears or caused us to really laugh out loud, they’d be rich indeed. Now is the perfect time to support them. Click here to find the station near you.
Some things are always smart gifts — like bars of fine milled soap, hand printed tea towels, or lovely scented candles in re-usable votive holders. Jonathan Adler helps you cross that item off your list today by having a one day only, two-for-one sale on his super adorable Pop Candles. They come in a rainbow of colors (though none of them are radiant orchid, sadly) and a variety of scents. Our favorites are earl grey and grapefruit. We’re going to nab a half a dozen and give to co-workers, teachers and neighborhood hostesses that are on our list! Click here to buy today and use the code GIVEGETPOP.
A couple of years ago, we were insanely excited when Tangerine Tango was the color of the year. It is one of our all-time favorites and has a permanent place in our decor. Admittedly, we sorta skipped last year’s — emerald — but the new 2014 choice just announced today has us giddy (especially a certain kindergartner who loves purple). Pantone’s newly christened shade of the year is called Radiant Orchid, like a blossoming flower. And while bachelors may have a hard time incorporating it into their sensibilities, homes blessed with little girls like ours will find lots of the new hue in months to come. What’s nice about Radiant Orchid is that is a strong purple, with strong pink undertones. In the right light, you might even mistake it for fuchsia. Our hunt for the bright color is on, and we already found one thing that matches it perfectly. This Modern Lamp Shade from Mood Studio Design is just the right purple to capture the Pantone spirit. It’s made to order from the Canadian company, who we suspect is about to get flooded with orders. Put in a request for yours for $89 today and you’ll be ready for a stylish new year.
As you know, we are honey enthusiasts here at Shelterrific. Even though our own adventures in bee keeping have ended in disappointment this year, that is not going to stop us from supporting the beekeeping community. We love seeking out small-label honey, and have gathered a collection of from our travels. (The most recent? Honey from the Grand Wailea in Maui!) How to serve and present this sweet golden syrup is always a dilemma. Jars get sticky fast, and it’s always a challenge to get the last bits out of the bottom. That is why we are swooning over this Hive Honey Jar from Biodidactic via Etsy. The jar is beautifully hand crafted to allow for maximum dipping, and the dipper is made from Maplewood. It’s a splurge at $98, but something to treasure. Make the gift even more meaningful — adopt a honey bee hive and gift it to your loved one! One of our favorite upstate bee emporium’s, Bee & Hive in Rhinebeck, is offering “hive adoptions” on its website, Bare Honey. Currently taking orders for the 2014 season, this is a great program for anyone who wants to learn about honey farming, but can’t have a hive of their own. You’ll learn about the hive, have the opportunity to visit, and get a few jars of honey to savor and share each year. $95 at barehoney.com.