It’s in the Bag!

Everyone dwells on great bags for females, but what about the urban man? What should he carry? A traditional briefcase is obvious, a backpack? Too juvenile. Here are some option that are stylish, relatively affordable and should last!

Sporty 

Which Way to the Gym Duffel by Lululemon -$118

                                                                                                                               

 T-Tech by Tumi– $165

Strictly Office

Jack Spade Boarskin and Nylon Split Case– $550

A Little Different

Steve Monno Dennis Briefcase– $485                                                                                                

  Marc Jacobs Striped Bag– $268

   

Read + Buy: Kinfolk Magazine

Sometimes you pass by something, and you just know you’ll love it? That’s Kinfolk. I haven’t shelled out the funds for a subscription yet, but in the mean time I’ll grab the one in the office. It is a bonus of working with creative types. This straight forward capture of simple gatherings is refreshing…..carry on.

See: “Food Patriots”

Little did I know, that two of my favorite things could be combined into subjects of films by one filmmaker, Jeff Spitz. He is the co-founder of Groundswell Films, which makes cross cultural documentary films and public engagement campaigns that “promote human rights through the stories of under-represented communities.” He directed The Return of Navajo Boy, which I was familiar with due to my extensive involvement in the Native community. Then, I heard/read in the Sun Times that he made a film that involved chickens…..and that he has two pet chickens. I had to know more.

Food Patriots chronicles the Spitz family and their life with chickens. I know I can really relate to his sentiment, “I never anticipated growing food or raising chickens.”

Food Patriots mission is simple: tell a story about food and how it contributes to a better, healthier life. A life in a less polluted environment where Americans know about what they buy, eat and “educate the next generation about food.”

The film’s website is a bit vague about when the film will be screened (not completely sure its actually complete just yet) but I know I’ll be sure to see it at some point. (This link is also useful!)

You can follow the family’s journey for “permission” to keep chickens etc, on the film’s twitter site @FoodPatriots.

Carefree Coops?

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When it was time to expand our coop to fit our expanding flock, I have to admit….we shopped around. We looked at converting large kennels, buying a shed to outfit, or simply adding on to our current coop and run. In the end, we opted to simply build another, larger coop to correct mistakes or things we didn’t like about our first coop. In short, we now have a chicken palace. It is about 2 weeks old and the littlest girls are enjoying it until both sets of birds can eat the same food….then everyone gets to enjoy the palace.
But then recently, two things piqued my interest.

First, the  utterly ridiculous $1300 chicken coop and run by Williams Sonoma. As nice as it is to look at, you wouldn’t be able to stand up in the run, which is a must for me. Also, this little gem pictured. As much as I applaud this eco friendly effort, it just doesn’t look big enough. Maybe if chickens are completely free range it works, but at night they can’t just have an open door to let predators in. And, here in Arizona, I would be concerned about heat and wind. Although this coop originated in England, so plastic seems very practical when humidity and rain is involved. Any other crazy or super original coops out there? With the Phoenix tour de coops seven months away… I still could use some clever ideas to add to our collection of coops and chicken accessories.

See + Do in Phx: Yoga Rave April 13

After missing the yoga rave held last year in Phoenix, I have held my calendar for this Friday evening for a yoga rave. Yes, a yoga rave. Glow sticks, body paint, a DJ, great outdoor weather and yoga combine into one FREE event downtown. Only urban living provides opportunities like this, friends. The event is organized by Lululemon’s Biltmore store, for more information visit their facebook event page. There’s a rumor that some food trucks will be there at 8:30pm for post yoga grub! Be there and/or look for yoga raves and outdoor yoga in other cities! Especially for those of you getting ready to enjoy tolerable summer weather.

Buy + Use: Seriously pretty garden tools

Fisher Blacksmithing Beautifully Crafted Garden Tools

These handmade, forged tools with wooden handles are wonderful to have out and about in your home or shed, even if you don’t garden…..AND if you’re a serious gardener, these are the serious tools you need. Of course, they are pretty and gritty approved! For a few more days, the set is on sale on fab.com or purchase individual tools here.
The flock is really lusting after these wonderful items!

Eat: Easter Egg Salad/Deviled Eggs

The flock is back from a visit to the country and now is on high production to get ready for Easter! So much food to make, so little time! Even if you don’t celebrate Easter, this recipe is great to make now that warmer months are here. This time of year our urban flock is in production overdrive so we always have too many eggs!

The secret ingredient? Robert Rothschild Farm Raspberry Honey Mustard pretzel dip. This dip can turn on even the most ardent egg salad hater into a fan. Having Easter at someone else’s home? Bring this dish to share! It “keeps” well!

You can usually find this dip in a gourmet or nicer grocery store, but I’ve also found it at local chains like Safeway and Fry’s. Here is the recipe for the egg salad, but for the deviled eggs, just use less mayo, and don’t add capers or onion. I also prefer more vinegar, more dip…. and occasionally add tomato. Make the deviled eggs or egg salad as you normally would, using these ingredients and consider adding your own from your garden!

 

2 tbsp salt
12 eggs
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp Robert Rothschild Farm Raspberry Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp dill, minced (sometimes basil or fennel works too)
1 tsp capers, minced
2 tsp red onion, minced
salt and pepper to taste


Buy + Use: “city chic” garden-esque

Here are some products I’ve come across that suit the chic city gardener. If gardens and the outdoors inspire you and your flock, you’ll want to know about (details on the click through) :

Cork and succulent magnets- this is genius!

Lavender body butter from Queek Creek Olive Mill here in AZ, LOVE the feel of this stuff, I've even put it in my hair!

Anywhere fireplace! In small spaces, this is great! Indoors or out.

Lavender brownies! Sounds weird, but its awesome!

Use: ….Your Bike– to Commute

It may be the wrong time of year in Phoenix to begin thinking about this, but next month is “Phoenix Bike Month,” and new bike lanes are being proposed. Let’s talk about commuting by bike! If you live ten miles or less from your office, it might be worth taking a closer look at commuting this way a few times a week. If you live farther, but work or live near the light rail- commuting by bike may still be for you….

First, some inspiration:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next onto the basics:

City Biking 101″ from GOOD

Cleaning up once at the office and the “Slacker’s Guide” from Commute by Bike

Choosing a bike by REI

What you need by Rodale

I can’t say I’ll begin commuting immediately as it’s about to get very warm here in the desert. BUT There are so many good reasons to do it! In the mean time, maybe I’ll bike during lunch or to a park…for lunch! Lucky for me our office has indoor bike storage!

Looking for something “better than average”? Try accessories from:

Lululemon

Sunday Cycles Bike Shop, Phoenix

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