Tag Archives: outdoors

Gear Up With These Bicycle Gift Ideas

Gear Up With These Bicycle Gift Ideas

May is National Bike Month and tomorrow is National Bike to Work Day, so it seems like the perfect time to look at some bicycle themed gift ideas.

Oh, and also, it’s the perfect time for this.

So here you go, for anyone who wants to ride their bicycle, we have some great gift ideas for Father’s Day, Graduation, Birthdays and more.

10 Pedal Ready Bicycle Gift Ideas

1. Bike Helmet

bicycle gift ideas: helmetSafety can be oh so fashionable. Keep safe on the streets while turning heads. At first glance they may not even realize you’re wearing a bike helmet with this lightweight helmet and breathable cover.

Available from Bike Pretty: Yakkay Paris Oilskin Bike Helmet

2. Nantucket Bike Basket

bicycle gift ideas: basketA handcrafted basket that is made to last. Whether pedaling to and from work, play or the farmer’s market, items are secure and looking stylish.

Available from Amazon: Nantucket Bike Basket Company Lightship Oval Bike Basket

3. Bicycle Bell

bicycle gift ideas: bellI love these!! Psykel Chic’s handpainted classic bicycle bells are so fabulous that I couldn’t pick just one to picture here.

Each bell is handpainted by Molly and sealed to ensure lasting color and rust-protection. Molly even does custom designs 🙂

Available from Etsy: Handpainted Bicycle Bell by Psykel Chic

4. Growler Carrier

bicycle gift ideas: growler-carrierWell this is just a must-have for anyone who bikes past their local Cider House or Brewery on the way home from work.

Have growler carrier, will travel 🙂

Available from Scoutmob: Leather Bike-Mounted Beer Growler Carrier by Pedal Happy

5. Bike Chain Bracelet

bicycle gift ideas: chain-braceletWear your bicycle love on your sleeve wrist with this funky and fun bicycle chain bracelet.

Available from Erra Creations: Red Bicycle Chain Bracelet

6. Recycled Inner Tube Bracelet

bicycle gift ideas: bracelet-urbanlaceAnother stunningly unique bracelet for cyclists. This wrist cuff’s organic design is handcrafted from recycled bicycle inner tubes.

Available from Urban Lace Jewelry: Cobblestone Innertube Bracelet

7. Multi-tool

bicycle gift ideas: leatherman-toolLeatherman are known for their quality multi-tools and this titanium cycling specific tool is lightweight and won’t take up precious room in your gear.

Includes 4 bits that you can swap out for your own, spoke wrenches, closed hex wrenches and the all important bottle opener.
Available from Amazon: Leatherman Mako Ti

8. Tool Bag

bicycle gift ideas: bike-tool-rollThis handmade tool roll is made of waxed canvas with leather trim and includes 10 small pockets of various sizes for housing your gear. A leather toe strap is included for cinching under the bike seat or into a water bottle cage.

Available from Etsy: Bike Tool Roll by E.H. Works

9. Rearview Mirror

bicycle gift ideas: rearvizA must have for the urban cyclist. A 360 degree, arm mounted, fully adjustable rear view bicycle mirror.

Waterproof, adjustable and because it’s mounted on the biker’s arm instead of the handlebars, it’s vibration-free.

Available from RearViz: RearViz Slim Line

10. Commuter Bag

bicycle gift ideas: backpackThis workhorse bag functions as a backpack or a pannier style bag that securely locks to a bike rack using a J-hook and bungee cords.

Handmade and fully lined with vinyl, the bag is waterproof inside and out and great for commuting with laptops or school books. The roll-top design means it’s perfect for hauling a little or a lot.

Available from NYMB.co: Pannier-Backpack Combo by Mer Bags

Did you enjoy these gift ideas? Check out some of my other recent gift lists:
Enchanted Unicorn Gift Ideas, Part 1
Gardening Gift Ideas Are Blooming
A Very Vegan Gift Guide
Truly Unique Gifts for Tea Lovers

Easter Basket Inspiration

Easter Basket Inspiration

I have a lot of great childhood memories associated with Easter. I could write a whole post about Easter egg hunts with my cousins, because they were truly epic! And even up through high school, my brother and I were still hunting for our Easter baskets. My Mom would repurpose old shoe boxes and stuff them with plastic Easter grass and Reese’s peanut butter eggs and hide them in the house for us to find. They were often in the hall closet or her office filing cabinet, a kitchen cupboard or behind the couch.

An Easter basket can be as simple as a shoe box hidden in the hall closet. And to inspire you to fill that basket with fabulous Easter delights, some Easter basket inspiration.

6 Easter Basket Themes

1. The Chocolate Basket

easter-basket-inspiration:traditionalThese are not your drug store candy aisle treats! From gourmet chocolate truffle eggs to hand-piped marshmallow chicks, anybunny would love to find these in their Easter basket 😉

Available from Christopher Elbow Chocolates: 7 Piece Easter Egg Collection
Available from EHChocolatier: Chicks & Eggs
Available from the Natural Candy Store: Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans
Available from Trader Joe’s: Extraordinary Eggs Marbled Chocolates

2. The Vegan Basket

easter basket inspiration: veganLast week’s A Very Vegan Gift Guide was one of my most popular posts! I’m sure Peter Cottontail is a big fan of vegans, so I’m excited to put together this vegan Easter basket.

Available from the Natural Candy Store: Organic Bunny Lollipops
Available from Food Fight! Grocery: Go Max Go Twilight Bar
Available from the PETA Catalogue: Chocolate to the Rescue Bar
Available from Vegan Treats Bakery: Veganbury Eggs

3. A Children’s Book Basket

easter basket inspiration: children's-booksFor the wee ones, a basket of stories and imagination. A bunny, a mouse, an Easter Beagle and a twist on an old classic that I loved as a child – that old lady will eat ANYTHING 🙂

Available from Amazon: It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny
Available from Barnes & Noble: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick!
Available from Barnes & Noble: Happy Easter, Mouse!
Available from Amazon: It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown

4. The Adventure Seeker’s Basket

easter basket inspiration: adventurerFor those who loves hopping – or blazing – down their own trail in the forest, a basket of outdoor treats.

Available from Soutmob: Classic Artisan S’mores Kit
Available from Natural Life: Boho Bandeaus
Available from REI: Nite Ize Flashflight Disc-O
Available from REI: Bearded Brothers Energy Bar

5. A Grown-up Easter Basket

easter basket inspiration: grownup basketMomma’s all growed up, but that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t love a basket of grown-up treats! A gorgeous hand-painted bunny that’s almost too beautiful to eat, the best wines and cheeses to pair with chocolate, and the calorie-free way to enjoy your chocolate – at the spa! **Chocolate-free spa treatments also work great 🙂

Available from Wine Folly: 5 Kickass Wine and Chocolate Pairings
Available from The Spa at The Hotel Hershey: Everything Chocolate Treatments
Available from Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier: A Guide to Pairing Chocolate & Cheese
Available from A519 Chocolate: Watercolor Easter Bunny

6. The Artist’s Basket

easter basket inspiration: artistFor the Picasso egg painter in your family, some artistic treats including a stylus paintbrush that turns any smartphone or tablet into a canvas.

Available from Amazon: Staedtler Marsgraphic Duo Brush Markers
Available from Barnes & Noble: Splendid Cities Coloring Book
Available from Amazon: Dover Kusudama Origami Book
Available from Sensu: Sensu Solo

How To Celebrate National Siblings Day

April 10th is National Siblings Day. That’s right, there is a whole day to celebrate the giver of noogies, the person who read your diary, and in my case the master of that annoying childhood game where they refuse to say anything other than to repeat-every-word-you-say.

And hopefully, as in my case, they are also the one(s) you built forts with, went on adventures with and helped take over Mom’s kitchen to try and recreate the slime from You Can’t Do That On Television.

If your brother and/or sister are your oldest friend and confidant and one of the only people who really get your crazy family, then we’ve got you covered with some easy and fun ways to celebrate National Siblings Day.

national_sibling_day
Me and my little bro. Weren’t we adorable?!

12 Ways To Show Some Sibling Love

Let your inner child out to play:

1. Check out attractions together like the zoo or an amusement park.

2. Get crafty at an art studio like one of the many Painting With a Twist locations or something like our local Pittsburgh gem Little House, Big Art.

3. Get competitive at the arcade (they do still exist!) Search for Arcades in your area on a site like Yelp.

Revisit a favorite childhood activity:

4. Go for a bike ride.

5. Throw the frisbee around or take it up a notch and find a local disc golf course.

6. Game Night! Dust off the Risk, Monopoly or old Pictionary board games.

Sibling Day Out – if you have significant others, kiddos or grandkiddos you may not remember the last time you had some sibling-to-sibling time:

7. Grab the fishing poles for a day on the lake.

8. Organize a round of golf.

9. Or the less physically demanding, round of beers.

Gather the whole family together:

10. Include the spouses, significant others, kids and grandkids, make some old family favorite recipes and pull out the photo albums. What a great way to demonstrate what you’re always telling your own kids “Be nice to your brother! You’ll always have each other.”

Say cheese!:

11. When’s the last time you had professional family photos done with your sibling? Professional photography has come a long way from small studios with the screen backdrops being pulled down behind the carpet covered wood boxes we all sat on. Today’s lifestyle photographers are more likely to meet you at a local park, landmark or your own home. The results are amazing and BONUS – – instant Mother’s Day gift 🙂

Have a virtual get-together:

12. Maybe like me, one or more of your siblings live in a different city. How about using FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype or even a good old-fashioned phone call to catch up with ole’ dookie head.

However you choose to do it, take the opportunity this National Siblings Day to recognize your brother or sister. It’s a sweet thing to do and it’s why you were always Mom’s favorite.

21 Summer Activities For the Last 21 Days of Summer

Summer 21 Day Challenge

Is 2014 flying by too fast?

Does Labor Day Weekend feel like the end of your summer?

I don’t know about you, but most of 2014 has involved me saying:

“Wait! It’s February?!”

“Holy Cow, spring’s here already!”

“Zoinks! When did July get here?!?!”

I challenge you to embrace these last days of summer! 

Fall doesn’t officially arrive until September 23rd. Heck, on Friday it’s supposed to be 90 degrees here in Pittsburgh. It’ll be time to rake leaves and shovel snow before we know it. I’m not pulling out my turtlenecks and smartwool socks just yet.

Let’s reclaim our last 21 days of summer! That’s at least 21 opportunities to do something summery.

21 Ideas For 21 Days of Summer

  1. Host a bbq
  2. Throw a frisbee
  3. Pop open a Summer Shandy
  4. Take off your shoes and walk in the grass
  5. Eat dinner outside
  6. See a baseball game
  7. Take a walk in the sunshine
  8. Campout (even if it’s in your backyard)
  9. Make homemade lemonade
  10. Go fishing
  11. Play badminton (a personal favorite!)
  12. Make homemade ice cream
  13. Go to a farmer’s market
  14. Have a picnic
  15. Share a pitcher of margaritas with friends
  16. Organize a game of kickball
  17. Go to the park
  18. Read a book under a tree
  19. Take a nap outside
  20. Have a water fight
  21. Eat corn on the cob

What do you want to do this summer? There’s still time. Accept the challenge and leave a comment letting us know what summer activities you’re going to fit in during the next 21 days.

Margaritas and Pool Toys – A Gift List

For anyone who follows my Instagram feed, you may have noticed my recent trip to Oklahoma to do some dog sitting for my cousin Andrea and her fiance Mark. This was a team effort with my Aunt Randy and my other cousin Paula. We took very good care of the puppies – in fact we’ve been accused of spoiling them.

photo of a spoiled Tucker

Now, while we took our duties seriously, we also seriously enjoyed the backyard pool and perfecting our margarita recipe 🙂

So as I sit here back in Pittsburgh, missing my time lounging by the pool with a margarita in hand – I’m inspired to create this latest gift list. I might even share our margarita recipe with you 😉

Margaritas and Pool Toys – A Gift List

1. Bocce Splash

bocce splash pool game

If you love lawn bocce (and who doesn’t?!), you’ll love Bocce Splash. In this aquatic version of the backyard classic, the ‘jack’ or target is floating on the surface of the pool and players skip their bocce disks across the surface of the water attempting to land them on the floating target. I was admittedly pretty bad at this game, but that didn’t diminish the fun factor!

Available from Creative Kidstuff: Bocce Splash

2. Cornhole – The Pool Version

Chuck-O Splash - a pool game

Cornhole? Yes, that’s what I called it. If, like I once was, you are unfamiliar with this oft used term from the tailgating lexicon – it’s your basic bean bag toss. The pool floating version is a lot of fun – and I was pretty good at this one 🙂 It’s actually much harder than your traditional backyard or tailgating version, as the target likes to float away, especially when hit with projectile bean bags.

Available from Wayfair: Chuck-O Splash

3. Pool Jousting

Inflatable Pool Joust Set

Gladiators Ready!

I missed out on playing with this one, but it looks AWESOME 🙂 I’m making a return visit next year just so I can hit my cousin Paula in the head with an inflatable jousting stick while floating on a plastic log. Does family fun getting any better than that??

Available from Urban Outfitters: Joust Pool Game

4. Pool Darts

jarts-splash-from-Amazon

“The classic lawn game – now for the pool!” Based on the game of lawn darts or jarts, the darts are tossed underhand in an arching motion towards the floating target. My success at this pool game? Let’s just say that I won’t be going pro anytime soon – but it’s definitely a blast to play.

Available from Amazon: Jarts Splash

5. Margarita Drink Rimmer

Margarita drink rimmer

“Fab-u-lous!” is the word I would use to describe this little invention. Part of a margarita’s magic is that tart-salty combination of the lime juice in the margarita and a perfectly salted glass rim. This little dandy would be a welcomed addition to any margarita lover’s bar setup.

Available from Lime Tree Cove: The Barmaid Drink Rimmer

6. Margarita Glasses

margarita glasses from crate and barrel

Handcrafted, recycled and rustic, these classic margarita glasses give a new purpose to glass from recycled tequila bottles. And it doesn’t hurt that Crate and Barrel describe them as ‘generously sized’ 🙂 Time to whip up a batch of ‘ritas!

Available from Crate and Barrel: The Garcia Margarita Glass

7. The Margarita Recipe

A margarita recipe

Here it is, friends. There’s no denying that it’s a slightly unusual recipe, to begin with one of our party-goers isn’t a big tequila fan (so you could certainly swap out the vodka for more tequila). I encourage you to try it our way first, and let me know what you think!

If you saw something on this list that brings out the kid in you (the pool jousting kit, perhaps), don’t forget to update your giftbug registry. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a pool of your own but, say maybe your neighbors do, we think you’ll be more likely to get a return invite when you show up bearing fun pool toys like these!