Chambre De Sucre

Have you ever wanted your food dishes to look like something that came out of a cooking magazine? Enhance the look of your cuisines with gourmet sugar from Chambre De Sucre. While it’s French in name, the product comes from Japan. It’s handmade by one of the oldest family industries in the country. With over two hundred and seventy years of tradition, and even providing the Royal Japanese families with their products, quality is undoubtedly guaranteed. Chambre De Sucre offers sugar balls designed for coffee drinks and pieces in bright, spring-like colors. For $13.95 (before S&H), a canister of sugary bites can be your own. For $20 to $40, larger collections of confectionary desserts are available. These sugars will sweeten tea parties, bridal showers or ceremonies. Use them to add elegance to any dessert or give them as a gift to the aspiring chef you know.

You don’t have to go to culinary school to create beautiful cooking. Just add a little appealing saccharine from Chambre De Sucre to your dessert or drink. You’re sure to impress any food critic with them. I feel a sugar rush just looking them! Add some to your kitchen cupboard by purchasing from ChambreDeSucre.com.

A Whimsical Twist on Practical Houseware

Wolfum creator Annabel Inganni spent nine years in apparel design before her designs took an interesting turn in 2010. Inganni is now creating household items like linen napkins, bookends, and coasters, but her flair for the unique provides a whimsical and stylish twist to these seemingly traditional pieces.

Los Angeles based Wolfum makes simple, everyday products from organic cotton, recycled poly twill, and FSC certified walnut. Quality materials mean lasting items, and lasting items mean less replacement and waste. If that wasn’t enough, bold patterns and colors like sage, olive, and navy adorn each hand-made product.

Wolfum’s collection of unique linens have a timeless appearance, with patterns that could have easily been taken from a trunk of beloved vintage items or used to embellish a modern tabletop. Wolfum’s colorful animal bookends and wall hangers also add a fanciful feel the the collection. Tigers, rabbits, coyotes, and a slew of other creatures in a variety of delightful patterns and colors would be perfect for a child or adult.

Whether it’s a mix-and-match collection or a coordinated set, Wolfum products are Inganni’s answer to a boring room. U.S. made and built to last, Wolfum’s whimsical products can be purchased at California shops like ST&NDARD GOODS and La La Ling, as well as Wolfum’s website.

Invisible Children

When countries go to war, oftentimes it is those that cannot or have no desire to fight that are hurt the most. Such is the case in Uganda. Uganda can bemoan the fact that it is home to the longest running war in the world: a horrifying twenty three years of bloodshed. Nearly two million innocents have been caught between the two factions, the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army, and left with nothing. Most have been forced out of the only place they’ve ever called home, and have no education or specialized skills to improve their lot in life.

However, Invisible Children intends to change that. Refugees are taught how to create culturally unique bracelets and the finished product is sent to U.S. Once a bracelet is sold, the money is returned to the refugees. Every bracelet-maker is required to attend a course in money management, investing, and how to cultivate small business. Because of these skills, many are able to return home and start anew. To find out how you can help just visit Invisible Children online.

Smoking: A Hazard to All

What can be made with ammonia, arsenic, lead, cadmium, and formaldehyde? It may be surprising to know that these are but a few ingredients found in an average cigarette. These are poisons and chemicals found in substances like household cleaners, pesticides, insecticides, and batteries. On Quit Smoking Support, it is mentioned that the cigarette smoke that’s exhaled contains over four thousand of these chemicals-and at least forty-three of them cause cancer. Is it not obvious that these are substances not meant for our bodies? All of our lives we have been warned against the dangers of smoking. It affects the smokers themselves and everyone around them.

Smoking is a one way road to an agonizing death. For the one who smokes, the whole body is affected. According to the Center of Disease Control (Or CDC), smoking causes a laundry list of various cancers, like throat, oral, lung, kidney, stomach, and bladder cancers. Most of your organs vital for digestion are damaged. In addition, your risks for heart diseases and infertility increase. For men who smoke, the risk for developing lung cancer increases by twenty-three times, and for women, thirteen times. Coronary heart disease due to smoking is the leading cause of death in the United States. For anybody who lights up, the risk for that increases two to four times.

Since misery likes company, everybody can suffer from the presence of a smoker. Dictionary.com defines secondhand smoke as “smoke from a cigarette, cigar, or pipe that is involuntarily inhaled, especially by nonsmokers.” At your favorite restaurant, at your work place, at school, even in your home, everyone around you is detrimentally exposed to an awful smoking habit. The noxious fumes are quite unpleasant, and create risk for heart diseases in innocent bystanders. Ever heard of third-hand smoke? The Mayo Clinic considers it a “residual nicotine and other chemicals left on a variety of indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. This residue is thought to react with common indoor pollutants to create a toxic mix. This toxic mix of third-hand smoke contains cancer-causing substances, posing a potential health hazard to nonsmokers who are exposed to it, especially children.” A home can never be rid of third-hand smoke. A young child’s exposure causes ear infections, respiratory symptoms and infections, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (or SIDS), and asthma attacks.

Smoking burns away your quality of life as its deathly chemicals char your internal organs. Out in public, it’s inconsiderate to expose everyone around you to the smoke you exhale. Nobody ever likes a whiff of cigarette tobacco. And you worsen the risks for those who have a family history of heart problems or cancer. Could you tell your own children that the problems they have were caused by your smoking habit? Or that you’re sick and dying because of it? Smoking lights up the world, and not in a good way. It’s a selfish practice that should be ceased altogether, or at least more strictly controlled.

Greeting Cards with a Different Spin

Tis’ the  season to begin looking at greeting cards, and as always, we see the same round and frosty snowman or jolly Saint Nick with his reindeer and sleigh. Once in awhile we’ll see the serene nativity scene wishing us a merry holiday, but what if we want something a little less traditional and a little more creative?

Wrenay Gomez Charlton obviously saw the need for something new and provides a breath of fresh air to the greeting card world with her unique prints, cards, and calendars. Each one contains the silhouette of an animal, and within the animal is a road map from the state the animal is indigenous to. Maps have been used as décor for quite some time, but never before have they been displayed in such a way.  Each card is beautifully imaginative and would be a wonderful way to say Happy Holidays, Happy Birthday, or even to just let someone know you’re thinking of them. Just checkout the Wrenmade online shop for more information and inspiration!

Thirst-Quenching Fun: Creature Cups

Imagine you’re drinking a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. You glance down into the cup and see an otter or an octopus! Either you’re sipping from a Sea World aquarium, or you’re enjoying your drink from a creature cup. These animalistic creations are designed by Yumi, an artist based out of Brooklyn, New York. They’re sold online at Creaturecups.com. You get a selection of either the octopus or the otter cup, or you could get both. If you are a store owner (or if you know someone who is interested), you can order these to sell in your place of retail. Read the “info” page for contact info.

Creature Cups are hand-made, dishwasher-safe and cost about fifteen dollars before shipping and handling. If you’re looking to buy one in the near future, they are unfortunately sold out at the moment. Yumi claims that they’ll be restocked next year, and there will even be more to choose from! If you’re still interested in what’s offered now, you can pre-order them.

Creature Cups are a delightful gift for the hot-beverage consumer you know! They’ll make coffee breaks more interesting and surprise those unfamiliar with the “hidden creatures in your cup”!

KO Couture

You may or may not have heard about the new craze in pet fashion, KO Couture. This doggy clothing line was started in 2009 by a dog owner named Kelly Owens who was going through some hard times and desperately needed some creative outlet. She never imagined that just two years later her little hobby would take off earning her the title “pet fashion expert.”

The clothes and items carried by KO Couture are beautiful and great quality items ranging in price from $4 to $700 depending on the size of the item and the amount of detail. The clothes are both elegant and functional, and are guaranteed to make any pet feel like a superstar. The clothes are mainly created for dogs but judging by some of the pictures of the items, some can also be worn by cats or young children (mainly the hats).

KO Couture is definitely worth checking out, especially if you have a special canine in your life. The items can be bought on esty at www.kocouture.com/etsy. If you have any questions check out the f.a.q. at www.kocouture.com/faq.