Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Llama Drama: Cotopaxi Favorites!

Cotopaxi Favorites! by elbonner featuring a landscape painting

Cool new brand alert! I'll admit, the thing that drew me to Cotopaxi was the llama on the logo, but I stayed for all the awesome outdoor gear! Cotopaxi (named after an Ecuadorian volcano) is an outdoor apparel and gear company that not only makes really cool stuff, but gives back to charitable organizations that work break the cycle of poverty by funding health initiatives, educational efforts, and entrepreneurial ventures for people in need around the globe. I'm always on the lookout for companies with a conscience and I'm excited to try some of the offerings from Cotopaxi! Here are a few things on my wish list:

1. Paray Lightweight Jacket- This is a lightweight, hooded shell that is made for wet runs and summer showers. This jacket packs down small for easy packability and is a great just-in-case piece!

2. Fuego Down Jacket: I am seriously lusting after this jacket. I've been dying for a shorter length puffer jacket to have on not-so-freezing winter days (thanks, global warming) so I'm not having to wear my giant sleeping bag coat and this jacket has been haunting my dreams for weeks! It comes complete with a water resistant finish that keeps you warm even when it's wet. Santa, be on alert!

3. Peak T-Shirt: Simple, royal blue; what's not to like?!

4. Luzon Del Dia Backpack: This happy little day pack is great for quick adventures or just to carry your junk around town. Each backpack is different so it's really individual to you! The workers at their factory in the Philippines get to choose what colors go into every bag, so they were made with love just for you!

5. Libre Sweater: This is actually a pre-order piece, but it screams mid-nineties nostalgia dream and I had to include it. This is a unisex sweater so it can be enjoyed by everyone! It's made from ultra soft llama wool that is anti stink and super flexible for all your outdoor activities!

6. Tiny Llama T-Shirt: Explanation? TINY LLAMA T-SHIRT!!

Any of these items would make a great holiday gift for someone, or even yourself, or even just an any time present for fun! Not only are you treating a yourself to some quality stuff, you're also helping out people in need. Win-win!


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Shopping Guru: Gifts for Runners

Gifts for Runner by elbonner featuring C9 by Champion

Have someone in your life who runs? Chances are you do, and even though running is basically a free sport, why not capitalism-it-up with some cool stuff your running friends and family won't be able to live without!

(From left to right)

1. Foxtails Sunglasses from Sunski- These lightweight, polarized glasses are great for protecting your eyes on a sunny run. They feature super light polycarbonate frames, and for $58 for polarized glasses they're a great pair for running.  I mean you won't feel as bad scraping these up as you would a $300 pair of Maui Jims? My point exactly!

2. T-Pin Roller: This is a foam roller and a lacrosse ball combined in the way that you can easily roll on it, but you can also really isolate tight areas with the balls (huh huh). If you run, you know the importance of stretching and rolling things out and this product gives you a great tool for your legs, back, and anywhere else you can reach! It can really get into knotty areas that a flat foam roller can't like hips, lower back, and even between your shoulder blades!

3. Injinji Toe Socks: These socks are great for preventing blisters on your toes whilst running. They are the only socks I wear to run and they come in a bunch of colors for the special lady or man runner in your life!

4. Nuun Hydration Tablets: These tablets replace the electrolytes lost when you sweat, keeping you hydrated and on the trail! These are really great for any activity where you'll be sweating a lot and taste pretty darn good. My favorite is the strawberry lemonade!

5. Territory Run Co. Trucker Hat: I still like trucker hats; there I said it! They keep the sun out and the mesh backing is great for ventilation when your head starts to get hot. This company from Oregon makes a lot of cool running stuff and this hat was one of my favorite items! Way cooler than you Von Dutch from middle school.

6. Amphipod Hand held Water Bottle: Holding a normal water bottle in your hand while you run sucks and those hydration belts are so goofy. I just can't! This hand held has a giant pocket big enough to hold an iPhone 7, keys, cards, and a chapstick. It also holds 16oz. of sweet hydration!

7. Avasol Mineral Sunscreen Stick spf 30: This is my favorite sunscreen for my face, especially in the winter because it is very moisturizing. It's non irritating, 100% mineral spf, and now comes in three handy shades! Just because it's winter doesn't mean you don't need the screen!

8. C9 by Champion Headband: C9 is one of the best lines at Target and they have amazing cold weather running accessories. A fleecy headband that covers your ears is a must if you don't want to wear a hat or like having a high ponytail while you run. It gives you some ventilation with the open top, but protects your little ears from the elements!

9. Territory Run Co Merino "Instinct" Socks: Merino wool is great because of its ability to wick away sweat and these socks are damn cute so what's the hold up? Great if you want to keep your ankles warm on chilly runs!

10. C9 by Champion Smart Phone Running Gloves: Running gloves are an absolute must and smart phone gloves are an absolute must. Put them together, and you have these! Use your phone and keep your fingers warm at the same time! Great for catching Pokemon on your warm-up/cool-down (some people still do it!).

Hope that was helpful in giving you ideas for the Forest Gump in your family! Winter running can be cold and uncomfortable, make it better with a few creature comforts this holiday season!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Baggu For You: Reusable Bags That Aren't Heinous

Baggu For You by elbonner featuring red handbags

Ok, Ok, it's only been 600 years since I've done a post, but to be honest, I just didn't think I had anything interesting to say for quite a while. The most stubborn writers block of all time had its kung fu grip on me. But now that the holiday season is here, I've got gift ideas that not only help you out, but the earth too! Queue hippy shit!

Baggu is an amazing company that makes the best reusable shopping bags I've ever had the pleasure of using. They are tough nylon ripstop that can hold up to 50 lbs, and can be washed in the washing machine if they get yucky. They have mesh bags for your laundry or funky gym cloths and they have giant bags which I use every weekend to tote around my laundry or would be good for anyone hauling around bulky items. Because of Baggu's reusable bags I haven't used a plastic shopping bag at the store in over a year. They fold up super small so I'm able to carry four in my backpack purse without compromising space in my bag for other junk. They are great to keep in the car if you don't carry around a purse!

The best part about Baggu is their ever-changing carousel of amazing prints. I get asked about them every time I go to the store! The standard Baggus are a very economical $9 per bag (unless you are wildly wealthy and splurge on the leather Baggu, Daddy Warbucks), and I think that's a small price to pay for less plastic in our environment. So, if you're looking to give someone the give of less plastic trash, head over to their website and pick some up!


Monday, June 8, 2015

Working for the Weekend: Outdoor Adventures!

Outdoor Adventures!

Summer makes you want to go outside and get all up in nature. I've slacked on the outdoor trip planning lately (always), but I want to make a change and start taking the time to go on more weekend camping trips. It would be ideal to go once a month because I really do love being outside. I'm not someone who minds not showering for a few days in the name of fun and since I just got a brand-spanking new REI membership, I'm ready to get my head in some trail maps and make some memories! It also makes me want to peruse the internet for cool new camping gear. Here are some tried-and-tested, as well as some camp-wants that I've been enjoying/eyeing!

Patagonia Fleur Tank- Super soft and nice for day hikes and keeping cool in the summer. Also comfy for nights under the stars!

Prana "Halle" Pant- Stretchy, flattering, articulate, great for hikes and walks alike. Comes in a bunch of colors too. I tend to stick with pants when it comes to hiking, even in the summer, because of ticks. I would rather be a little warm than get Lyme disease, and I can do that all while looking pretty cute for the trail!

Patagonia "Overcast" Shirt- UPF 20 rated and very lightweight, this is a great shirt to wear in the summer to keep you protected from the sun and creepy crawlies! Comes in plaid and solid colors and good in case it get cooler in the evenings.

Osprey Ariel 65L Backpack- The best backpack EVER! This is the backpack I have used for the past two years and my boyfriend has the male model (hehe!). There's great mesh ventilation on the back, lots of pockets to hold all of your gear, lots of adjustments to make hauling things as comfortable as possible, and super tough and sturdy. 10/10 would buy again and again!

Danner Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boots- Ok, I saw Wild, it was a great movie. And one of the best characters in the movie were Cheryl's BOOTS! How gorgeous are those things with their sexy red laces? They are apparently the real deal and a modern take on a 70's classic, made for the trail. If I somehow found $300 and my other boots fell apart, I might make these mine one day. For now, it's just boot lust!

Evrgrn Campfire Rocker- What a great chair for sitting around the fire, enjoying a burger and a beer with your friends? I really can't think of many things that are better than that. If I had an ice cream, too, I could die a happy lady! These chairs come in super cute prints and colors and are super portable, making them great for your next car-camping adventure. Enjoyed best with friends or just the wilderness!

Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Pullover- Sometimes you just need a fleece. It lets a little bit of the breeze through to keep you comfortable, but is also snuggly enough to enjoy on a cool night. Fleeces are so useful, and Patagonia makes their out of recycled plastic. Save the planet and your evening chill!

Patagonia Barely Baggies Shorts and Bottom Turn/Paries Bikini- Spending your summer days beach camping? Lucky you! Make sure you bring a great pair of shorts to take you from the campsite to the water and look cute doing it. These Barely Baggies from Patagonia (I know, I just love them so much) are fast drying and lightweight so you can wear them anywhere. They also have prints that are cool enough to wear out to eat if you just don't feel like cooking. You also need a swimsuit that stays on while you play in the water and this one isn't going anywhere! No nip-slips here!

Biolite Wood Burning Camp Stove- Need to charge your phone and boil some water at the same time? With the Biolite, you use sticks, leaves and pine needles to fuel the stove instead of lugging around fuel. The leftover energy is converted and store so that you can hook up your USB chargable devices and keep watching Netflix on the trail!

Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL3 mtnGLO Tent- This tent is unique in the fact that it has LED lighting sewn into the seams of the roof so you don't need to fumble with lamps smacking you in the head when you need to get up and pee. I don't know how durable the track lighting will be in the long-run, but this is a really cool idea that I hope will be made available on other tents! The body is mostly mesh so there's lots of ventilation and has two doors so you don't have to crawl over your buddy to get out.

Hydroflask Insulated Wide Mouth 64oz. Growler- Did you stop at a cool mountain brewery or cider press on your way to the campsite and get stuck with a clunky, breakable glass growler that will keep cold for like 10 minutes? You should've invested in the whopping 64oz Vacuum Insulated Hydroflask Growler. Created to keep your favorite beverage cold (or hot) for multiple hours. At least enough to enjoy after a long day on the trails. You could even put a fresh batch of chicken noodle soup or hot chocolate in it if you're craving something warm in the cooler weather!

Camping is so much fun and these goodies can be enjoyed on or off the campsite. Summer is when everyone wants to get together and hang out outside, so whether you're camping on the beach, backpacking in the mountains, or just spending the night in a tent in the backyard (seriously fun!), make your time more enjoyable with some good friends and good equipment! You'll thank yourself for years to come! Get outside!

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pre-Fabulous: Marvelous Modular Mayhem!

I think I can safely say that my boyfriend and I have really started to outgrow our apartment. It's a great apartment that has served us many years and it's in a cool area, but we are in the mindset as of late that we want a place that is more our own. This lead to many internet searches for properties in our area that either turned out to be hideously expensive or houses so hideous it would cost a fortune to make it what we want. I mean, how much gingham wallpaper does one person need, if any??!! That got me looking at some of the cool new prefabricated modular houses that are available nowadays. No longer are prefabs just fancy double wides and bunker-esque boxes on a lot. It may not be in the cards in the future, but it's fun to look and dream!

Method Homes
Method Homes, a Washington state based company, just opened an east coast development facility that can now deliver all up and down the east coast. They make really cool, modern, sustainable, and eco-friendly houses that range from ultra modern to beach cottage. I won't bore you with words when we can have pictures! Here are some of my favorite designs from Method Homes!

Photo: Method Homes
Photo: Method Homes
Photo: Method Homes
Photo: Method Homes

They feature open floor plans, customizable features, and cool stuff like space for green roofs and solar panels. If you are in the mood fora new house our just want to daydream fora bit, visit their website at www.methodhomes.net

Blu Homes
Blu Homes is a California company that ships their houses nationwide and offers really cool, modern designs that really bring the outdoors in. Live on a bluff surrounded by gorgeous mountain scenery? Blu Homes has you covered! Their Breezehouse model is like my dream home. I've always wanted a house that has easy and open access to your backyard or any outdoor space, and this one does the trick. It really is the thing house day dreams are made of. They also are energy saving, sustainably built, and customizable to your liking (within reason, people!). Feast your eyes!

Photo: Blu Homes
Photo: Blu Homes
Photo: Blu Homes
Photo: Blue Homes
Super simple, yet really modern and cool. Blu Homes are available in a variety of floor plans and are loaded with cool features to make your Blu Home as energy efficient as possible. Take a gander at their website, www.bluhomes.com , and let visions of open floor plans dance in your head!

This may be a total pipe dream of mine, but I think it's really cool to know that options like this exist for people wanting to build a house, but who may not want the hassle of dealing with all the annoying crap that comes with it. So if you're in the market for an eco-friendly, modern style home that won't cost you millions, give these companies a look!

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spring Greening: Gifts That Keep On Giving!

Spring Greening

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack...Ok, I was never really gone, but lets just say that the months between Christmas and Easter are typically my lowest point of inspiration, motivation, and overall happiness. I had absolutely nothing to talk about because nothing was going on! It was cold, the weather was awful, every day that was decent was rainy, and it wasn't even worth waking up some of those days. Hopefully, those days are behind us now as the northern hemisphere is gearing up for summer! Along with this changing of the seasons, I'm trying to change my relationship with some things, most of all: STUFF. I have entirely too much stuff and I am constantly bombarded with the urge to accumulate more stuff. I'm starting to see that life goes on without stuff and if you're going to get stuff, get really good stuff. And so we come to this post; guess what? It's about stuff, but it's stuff you won't have to replace for a long time, and stuff that doesn't accumulate and create a stuff problem for the earth. So, bear with me and take a gander at some stuff that could save you and the earth!

Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Bottle and Tumbler: It's a well-stated fact that plastic water bottles are the root of all evil. Baby seals eat them, they seep their chemicals in our groundwater, and will probably create some sort of mecha-Hitler robot demon that will devour the earth in a fiery rage. That may be an exaggeration, but at this point in time, there is no reason to keep purchasing bottled water. These bottles and cups from Klean Kanteen are the perfect solution. They are stainless steel so they won't rust, vacuum insulated so cold things stay cold and hot things stay hot. I left my bottle in my car overnight with ice I had put in that bottle that morning (about 9 hours after I lazily left it in the car). When I opened the bottle the next morning (another 16 hours later) to take a drink, THERE WAS STILL ICE IN IT. And the same goes for the tumbler: want a cold margarita to remain cold without succumb  to the disgusting heat dissipating from your sweaty hands? Done! Want a drinking glass that wont break when your drunken friends can't seem to just not drop things? Get a 4-pack of their steel pint glasses and give that industrial touch to your favorite beverage! Using your own cup saves paper, plastic, and germs from other peoples grubby hands!

PlanetWise Reusable Bags: On the topic of reusable things, ditch your plastic sandwich bags! Get rid of your plastic produce bags and snack baggies! They just go in the trash and cleaning flimsy plastic bags is super annoying. These can be washed in the washing machine and used over and over again. They come in a bunch of sizes for every food item and will save you money and drawer space!

Patagonia Reversable Malama Bikini and Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover: Why did I put clothes on this list? I thought you were getting rid of excess stuff, Emily, YOU HYPOCRITE! Calm yourself! These garments are different! Not only does Patagonia make durable, awesome stuff, but they have an even greater incentive. If your Patagonia gear gets a tear, a strap comes loose, or a zipper isn't so zippy anymore, You can send your stuff to their garment repair facility and they will fix your stuff for you, therefore lessening your need for more stuff! These pieces are also made from 80% recycled bottles, so you're doing your part , but barely trying! It's like you saving 10,000 plastic bottles from polluting the baby otters by wearing a fleece! I like a company with a message and commitment to conservation, and Patagonia fits the bill.

Avasol spf 30 Sunscreen Stick: Sunscreens are known to be laden with chemicals, and I made the effort to stay away from chemical sunscreens long ago. This sunscreen stick is fricking awesome. It's tinted (two colors: tan and dark), the tan is just light enough to match my fair skin and it covers almost like a foundation. In fact, I've been using it as a foundation for the past few weeks! No itchiness, no breakouts, this sunscreen is all natural, made with plant oils and butter and a zinc-based spf, this stuff save you time with it's convenient stick form and the planet by being ocean safe and packaged in biodegradable cardboard. Keep from killing off coral and a nasty sunburn by using a sea-safe sunscreen like Avasol! No stinging or running into your eyes; this stuff is a skin saver!

Toms "Every Mother Counts" Canvas Backpack: Toms is one of those companies who is built on giving. Luckily, the products they make are durable, stylish, and helpful to someone other than yourself. These new bags by Toms benefit women in developing countries that have limited to non-existent prenatal care and ensure their babies get the best start in life. If you like healthy, productive babies and really stinking cute bags, give these a looksie!

Yowzers, that was a lot of words! But it had to be done, the writing bug is crawling its way back into my brain to lay its eggs  only to burst forth the warmer it gets! I love to shop, but I need to get better about where my money goes. Purchases like the one above at least give me some sort of inkling that I'm making the right decision. If you're faced with a gift dilemma or want something for yourself that will stay with you forever, give these items a try and make a new friend for life! Stay golden!

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

All Greek To Me: Visions of Vacation

All Greek To Me: Visions of Vacation

The past few weeks have truly been cold, miserable, a have sucked the joy and happiness out of just about everything. All it makes me want to do is daydream of somewhere sunny, warm, and far away from work and from the day-to-day crap that we all wish we didn't have to do. Since I'm not planning on going anywhere like this, I can at least have fun with the idea! I've recently been into everything Greek, and by Greek I mean Greek Islands. The blue Aegean, sun-soaked, whitewashed houses clinging to the sides of cliffs, surrounded by crystal blue water, topped off with little blue-domed houses dotting the skyline! That sort of scenery pairs perfectly with linen tees, slouchy jeans and some strappy, flat sandals. Don't forget a giant bag to hold all of your chicken souvlaki and pounds of feta cheese! I've really been digging the whole deep blue and white combo and decided to make a little tribute to the simple, yet beautiful pair. So, if you're in a winter slump, don't be blue, get some beautiful Grecian blue in your life! And besides, it's nothing a little ouzo and baklava can't fix! Opa!

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