Love Note on a Napkin

I know my friends from the womens college where I did my undergrad schooling would dramatically roll their eyes at me for admitting this, but I love being domestic. Maybe it’s the novelty of acting like June Cleaver, but it brings me so much joy when I can prepare food for others, do the laundry, and occasionally dust.

One of the most wholesome small acts I enjoy is packing a lunch for my partner. I remember being in elementary school and being so excited to open my Jem and the Holograms lunchbox  (yes!!!) to see what goodies Mom had in store for me. And now, I think taking the time to prepare a wholesome, satisfying lunch for my loved one is a tiny gesture that equals big love.

Today I’m going to highlight a few products that can make packing lunches easier, cuter, and better for the environment. All products are handmade via Etsy:

Reusable Insulated Lunch Bag A classier, more adult step up from a plastic lunchbox, a good lunch bag is a great way to transport your food and prevent confusion in the break room fridge. These bags from Julie Meyer are insulated, helping to maintain the temperature of the food (hot or cold), and made of vinyl and water-resistant nylon so they can easily be washed out if your salad dressing spills. So many cute designs, it’ll be hard to choose! Prices range from $21-26, and bags can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/JulieMeyer

Reusable Coffee Sleeve If you get coffee to go, you know a sleeve (usually cardboard) is essential to sparing your precious fingers from a scalding burn coming through the cup. While these sleeves are slightly better than using two cups, they are still very wasteful. Why not purchase a stylish reusable sleeve? You’ll never forget which coffee is yours when its your turn to make the coffee run for the day, and these sleeves are small enough to throw in a purse, and they’re washable! They also keep your coffee warmer for longer periods of time – like a coffee sweater! Sleeves from She Sews Lovely cost only $6.50 each, or check out her shop for deals on orders of multiple sleeves! http://www.etsy.com/shop/karley

Snack Bag Alternative While convenient, plastic snack bags are wasteful. They carry some crackers or veggie sticks for a few hours and then get tossed out. Tupperware is an alternative, but can get very clunky to carry around. Thankfully, there are many affordable (and adorable!) reusable snack bags available. These  from Snack Savers are made from high-quality cotton, and lined with water and stain resistant nylon – completely washable. They close with a thick strip of velcro. Bags come in various sizes and range in price from $6-12 ($12 for a set of two sizes). The most difficult part is choosing which designs to get! http://www.etsy.com/shop/sacksavers

Bento Box These fabulous Japanese food containers have really caught on in the United States. They are very cute, very practical, and all the little compartments make finding your food a lot of fun! You can find many types of bento boxes online and in some upscale grocery stores. Or you can get this wonderful set from Ojamiya. It comes with a hand-stamped, handmade lunch bag, a bento box with strap to close it, and chopsticks! Using a bento box is also a great way to control food portions for those of you concerned about that. This is just one of many sets, and sells for $29.50. You can find more sets here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ojami

Bamboo Flatware Set This is a great little set to keep in your desk at work, or to take out when you know you’ll be getting food from someplace that would normally give you plasticware.  Bamboo is sustainable, and these sturdy utensils are easily cleaned with water and only need some oiling once in a while – you can read about how to take care of them on Pony Up’s  site, and also browse various designs for the handmade roll-up case. You get the utensils and case of your choice for only $20! http://www.etsy.com/shop/ponyup

What did you have for lunch today?

Like peas and carrots

Valentine’s Weekend is well under way, and in between all the smooching and jazz records and chocolate surprises (more on those later, stay tuned!), I needed to take this opportunity to be self-indulgent and honor one of the greatest loves of my life.

Yup, it’s my cupcakes-for-brains kitty, Pierogi!

When I first met this little guy, he was only a week or two old and could fit into one hand. We were both kind of lost souls and kindred spirits that took to each other, and I do believe we came into each others lives at just the right time. I can’t imagine coming home to an empty house now, and the absolute unconditional love we get from companion animals does so much to lift out spirits and fill our hearts. We could learn, and continue to learn so much from them.

So, in honor of you P-man… Thanks for being my cuddle buddy no matter what.


I also got this adorable, absolutely perfect valentine for him, which is going in a frame. I found this gorgeous paper perfection on Etsy from seller The Rasilisk. DOES IT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS? http://www.etsy.com/shop/theRasilisk

If you have stories or pictures of your favorite animal buddies, please post them or email them to me at savethekales@gmail.com. “The purity of a person’s heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals.”

Edit:

vvvvvvggppppppkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk;;;;;;;;;nbbbbhhhhh

Love, Pierogi

For You, my Loves… Valentine’s gift ideas!

I’ve spent the whole morning organizing, cooking and shooting the very first video! Please check back in a few days to learn to make a beautiful Valentine’s Day meal.

Until Then…

I was cruising around Etsy.com  for some last-minute gift ideas, and found these lovelies. The best gifts are always homemade, but who doesn’t love chocolate or beautiful art? And remember: loving yourself above all else is a good enough reason to get a little something for you!

Let’s start with chocolate, shall we?  I absolutely adore savory chocolate, so this bottle of Cocoas Passion blend of chocolate and chili pepper makes me salivate. Mix some of this cocoa blend with the non-dairy milk of your choice for a yummy and hot (wink-wink) treat. From: Beyond the Grain $5.50

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BeyondtheGrain

Letterpress art is so graphic and beautiful! This gorgeous piece will hold it’s own even after the holiday has passed. Check out the rest of the shop for more equally adorable and sentimental posters. From: Roll & Tumble Press $20.00     http://www.etsy.com/shop/rollandtumblepress

Who doesn’t love a sexy, lip-lock kiss? You’ll probably get a lot more of them if you get this pretty necklace for your sweetheart. (Take a look at the custom pet-tags too! Pierogi would look so handsome with that rocket ship.) From: Ya Betta’ Supa Don’t $30.00     http://www.etsy.com/shop/yabettasupadont

Speaking of smooches, this gorgeous hand-cut silhouette art will always remind you of the sorts of kisses that are so good, you actually want to kick your leg out from behind you. Tina’s shop has many more papercuts, as well as using this image in a beautiful pendant necklace. From: Tina Tarnoff $70.00  http://www.etsy.com/shop/tinatarnoff

I’ll admit, I was searching for a gorgeous retro-inspired apron for myself when I came across these beauties. So cute, so kitschy, and also quite sexy in a very pin-up way. Imagine yourself wearing one of these babies with heels and just, like, mixing cake batter or vacuuming. I thought I read the price incorrectly, but no! they really are that affordable.  From: Apron Queen  $24.95  http://www.etsy.com/shop/apronqueen

Any hot, steamy beverages (it is Valentine’s Day after all, and most things tend to be hotter and steamier than usual) would do well to be served in this absolutely stunning work of art. This handcrafted ceramic mug has typewriter font and the circled letters spell LOVE. Abstract and practical. Be sure to check out the “wall pillows” in the shop for very unique wall decor.  From: Stepanka $34.00   http://www.etsy.com/shop/stepanka

As mentioned, I have a weakness for letterpress art. And like any sappy girl who grew up with the late 1990’s emo scene, I love romantic poetry. Here is a collection of three individual cards, each printed with a poem by Neruda, Creeley and cummings. These would be perfect as a framed collection, or to give to as sentimental, romantic gifts.  From: Lark Press $12.00   http://www.etsy.com/shop/larkpress

I suppose there are many things one can do with chocolate sauce. Dip strawberries, cover your tofutti ice cream sundae, eat it right out the jar. It is Valentine’s day after all, but I want to keep this a family-friendly blog. So anything else you can do with a yummy vegan chocolate sauce is up to you… From: Emmys Organics $6.99 http://www.etsy.com/shop/emmysorganics

There is something inherently cute and fun about regular objects or foods made into candles or soap. In this case, it’s the latter and it looks as delicious as it smells (don’t eat!). Chocolate and pink coconut cream puffs as SOAP made from all natural, vegan ingredients. Every order is a set of three. From: Verbena Custom Blends $14.00 http://www.etsy.com/shop/emmysorganics

Hurry quick if you’d like any of these gifts in time for Valentine’s Day!