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Author Archives: Nataly

  • Community Spotlight: Thanks, Lynn!

    We have to be really passionate about a product to feature it on Daily Grommet and we love finding out that members of our community who have had a chance to try the product before are also nuts about it. And so imagine our excitement when we saw this comment from Lynn about the SweetStacks Gourmet Pancakes:

    I have been enjoying SweetStacks for probably about a year. I no longer enjoy ANY other pancakes!! These are the BEST!!! In addition to a pancake that literally melts in your mouth, Elaine makes you feel like you are her only customer!! For referring a friend, she sent me wonderful honey and jam. Every "packing slip" has a "personalized" note from Elaine, and I even got birthday wishes!! You just have to become a customer to experience the best pancakes in the world and her wonderful marketing "personality." You won't be disappointed!!

    Thanks, Lynn, for sharing your excitement with us and our community!

    Buy SweetStacks gourmet pancake mix here.

  • The day I learned to like curd (cheese, that is)

    Tuscan Herbed Curd cheese from Silvery Moon Creamery

    I'm a really big cheese person. That is to say, I really like cheese and all kinds of it. So when Joanne asked if I wanted to taste some Slivery Moon Creamery cheese, I didn't have to think twice.

    We settled around our "conference room" table (it's kind of hard to call it a conference room because we work out of an old house) and Joanne pulled out this beautiful wooden box. There were five different cheeses inside and I could feel my taste buds starting to dance. And then Joanne asked me if I wanted to try the curd first.

    I'd had curd cheese once and didn't like it one bit. It was many years ago, probably before I became a bonafied cheese person, but the memory stuck with me. So my first inclination was to say no and move on to the gorgeous-looking Rosemary's Waltz. But before I had a chance to say no, Joanne opened the box of the Tuscan Herbed Curd and the smell of garlic and parsley got the better of me. I took a small bite.

    And that was the day I learned to like curd cheese. It was subtle, not overpowering, and its texture a lot smoother than I remembered. I took plenty more bites and loved them. Thank you, Jennifer (the Head Cheesemaker and Co-Owner of Silvery Moon Creamery) for adding yet another favorite to my list of cheeses I love.

    Buy Silvery Moon Creamery's Maine artisanal cheese sampler here.

  • Happy Earth Day!

    Happy Earth Day from our team here at Daily Grommet!

    Today we're featuring a product I could have never appreciated until my daughter started pre-school. It's called the SnackTAXI and it's a reusable snack and sandwich bag, perfect for kid's lunches for daycare and school.

    I have the lunch packing duty at our house and I've increasingly become aware of all the plastic we're using. A plastic bag for the sandwich. A plastic bag for crackers. At a minimum, it's one small plastic bag a day, five days a week, all year long. And the teachers have too much going on to ask the kids to keep the bags to be reused the next day, so every day it gets thrown out.

    As a family we could be a lot better at living in a more environmentally-friendly way and I'm always looking for quick ways to do it. (Here are some good ideas we featured on this blog a few weeks back.) We recycle, turn lights off when we're not in the room, use natural cleaning materials, and try to not use paper towels for every single little kitchen spill (and with a four year-old, we have enough of those!) This snackTAXI is a no-brainer for me. Especially with the cute fabrics I am sure my kiddo will like. Buy snackTAXI reusable snack and sandwich bags here.

    What are some simple ways in which your family stays eco-friendly?


  • Community Spotlight: Thank you, Janine!

    spotlight1A growing number of Grommets we feature come from you, our customers, friends, and community members. We love receiving your suggestions and learning about products we never would have found on our own. (Keep them coming -- just use our super-easy submission form.)

    Last week we featured a wonderful shaving oil and nick stick from Pacific Shaving Company and it literally flew off the shelves. In fact, we had to re-order it twice through the day because it proved to be so popular! So this weeks' Community Spotlight goes to Janine, thanks to whom we learned about Pacific Shaving Oil. A few weeks ago we held a contest together with our rockin' partner, Kirtsy, in which Kirtsy community members shared their suggestions for products we should feature. Janine nominated Pacific Shaving Company and the rest is history.

    Here's what she wrote about it on Daily Grommet:

    My husband swears by this. He won't shave for 2 weeks sometimes and this is the only product that doesn't leave him scarred, blotchy, or otherwise wanting to keep growing his beard! I use it now too and the one tiny bottle has lasted 6 months already between the 2 of us.

    Thank you, Janine!

    Buy Pacific Shaving natural shaving oil here.

  • Community spotlight: Cubicle inspiration by Susan

    Hearing reactions, comments, questions, and opinions about the Grommets we feature from our community is really important to us. (Yes, we even want the tough-love kind of comments, and plain tough ones as well. Honest.) We also think that comments from our community make your Grommet experience a much richer and real one -- not to mention more fun.

    You can share your comments and reactions right here on our blog or in the Talk About This Grommet section you'll find on every product page, including our homepage. And today we're kicking off a regular blog feature in which we'll highlight a recent comment that made us smile, think, or learn something new.

    Since today is Monday and we're all back to work, we thought this comment by Susan, which she made about the Eggling Crack and Grow Plants we featured last week, was perfect:

    I have one of these in my cube at work and it's my little breath of fresh (outside) air, that I rarely get during the day. It was really fun to watch it grow and I don't have a ton of natural light and it did ok.

    Thanks, Susan, for reminding us to brighten up our workspaces!

  • Kids and allowance: A good idea or not?

    Today's find on Daily Grommet is ThreeJars, a website that helps kids learn about managing money and give to those in need. As I was checking it out I kept thinking about this whole idea of an allowance.

    We don't give an allowance to our almost five year-old daughter but many of our friends do. In one family the kids have to get their chores done for the week in order to get their allowances; another friend gives her six year-old son a few dollars a week, as long as he saves some of the money. I'm really conflicted on this.

    On the one hand, I think it's our job, as parents, to help our daughter learn about saving, managing, spending, and donating money. I can go on for way too long about this topic, but I think these are the kinds of skills schools can do a better job teaching. On the other hand, I think we can teach her about money without paying her and I don't love the idea of tying the allowance to chores. We're a family, each of us has to pitch in, and no one needs to get an allowance to do it. (I certainly don't!)

    What do you think: Is allowance a good idea for kids? Vote in our poll or share your thoughts in the comments.

    [polldaddy poll=1450667]


    Learn more about ThreeJars' system to teach money management to kids here.

  • Online places you should visit (if you love dogs): Dogster.com

    Today on Daily Grommet we're featuring the adorable Bowchies, sharp looking dog collars and leashes that hold up after many washes and soaks. And if you happen to be a dog person (which I am not, just for the record, and I say this fully realizing that some hard core dog lovers might be throwing virtual rotten eggs my way) you've got to check out one of the most lively and passionate online communities I've ever visited: Dogster.com.

    In fact, I'm going to venture to say that even if you're not a dog person, you should check out Dogster. I've followed the company's amazing growth and development almost from day one (and have to confess that I stalk their corporate blog more often that I'd like to admit) and my favorite part about it is that as soon as Dogster.com opens up on my screen, I feel like I am in the company of people who truly love their dogs. Having built an online community and working hard to build one here at Daily Grommet, I know just how hard it is to create a space where virtual strangers can truly connect, share ideas, and talk about their interests and passions. The folks at Dogster have figured it out.

    And for that, they are our weekly pick for Online Places You Should Visit (and tell them Daily Grommet folks sent you.)

  • "Do whatever works" and other new-mom advice to which I wish I'd listened

    mom-baby-kissingI was in the office when we were filming the video for the Everywear baby carrier and couldn't help but walk down memory lane to when my daughter was just born and I was in the shock and awe period of becoming a new mom. Everything seemed daunting -- from feeding to getting her to sleep for more than 29 minutes (her standard length of uninterrupted sleep until she was four months old).

    I heard a lot of advice from fellow moms, friends, online message boards, my mom, my mom in-law.... if you've been a new mom you know it just comes pouring in. And while I listened to some of it (get outside every day if possible because it will be good for your baby and your sanity), I ignored a lot of it as well. I'm pretty sure I did this not because I'm stubborn (OK, I am stubborn, but that's a separate topic) but because I was completely overwhelmed.

    There are two pieces of advice I wish I'd listened to better and they are the same bits of advice I now share with friends who are about to have kids for the first time. The first is: "And this will pass." Eventually, your baby will start sleeping or eating or not crying, you will once again feel more like a human being and be able to take a shower for longer than a few seconds. My daughter is now almost five (wow) and I can still remember losing my mind over the fact that she was not eating anything besides Cheerios when she was one; she's now in the 80th percentile for height and weight and eats just fine.

    The second is: "Do whatever works for you and your baby." When my daughter was just a few weeks old she cried non-stop and the only way to calm her down was to put her in the baby carrier we had a the time or in the bouncy chair, and rock her, continuously.  We'd do this but I remember constantly worrying about whether we're getting her addicted to being calmed down this way. I am smiling now as I write this because this was just so silly -- with young babies you do whatever works to help you stay sane and to help your baby sleep.

    What's your favorite bit of new mom advice?


    Buy Lillebaby's EveryWear multi position baby carrier here.

  • Guest post: Why girls rock

    This week at Daily Grommet we're honoring International Women's Day (on March 8th) by featuring some amazing women and their creations. We're also excited to introduce you to our guest blogger who is a strong and inspiring woman if there ever was one. She is a mom of two, wife of one, and a freelance writer and blogger with a passionate following.

    Why girls rock

    By Susan Wagner of Friday Playdate

    Recently, my sons have entirely shed their baby selves and become full fledged little boys.  Unlike the baby years, which are characterized by chubby arms and belly laughs, the little boy years are marked by constant skinned knees and an obsession with fart jokes.

    The skinned knees don't bother me, but I am not a fan of fart jokes.  I am the girl in this family, and girls don't like fart jokes.

    Twenty years ago, I would have bristled if anyone had called me a girl; I was a woman, and while I never went so far as to insist on an entirely non-patriarchal spelling (because really, womyn? gender is complicated enough without that) I was certainly careful about how I referred to myself and my female friends.  A girl was young and naive and dis-empowered; a woman was strong and smart and successful.

    Somewhere along the line, though -- about the time I had that first baby -- I lost my urge to be smart and strong and successful all the time, or at least my need to prove that I was all of those things every single day.  As I fell into the routine of napping and nursing and nestling, I worried just a bit that I was losing my edge, that I would never again be what I was before the baby.

    And honestly, I am not.  Thank goodness.

    As the girl in this family, I get the best of both worlds; I get to be smart and strong and successful and I get to be the emotional center of my family. My sons come to me for first aid and for answers and for hugs; they rely on me to know everything from where they left their library books to who directed the original Star Wars Trilogy to how to deal with that mean kid at school.  My job, as the girl, is to be smart and strong and successful, every day.  I just don't worry so much about it any more because I'm too busy actually doing it.

    A few years ago, my husband said, "I've been thinking that one day, the boys won't want to kiss me any more."  He's right -- eventually, it won't be cool to kiss Dad, and he will get only high fives and the occasional hug.  It is also likely that there will be parts of their lives that my sons will not share with my husband, because guys don't talk about things like emotions or fears.  But because I am the girl, I will always get hugs and kisses; I will also always have a window into my sons' souls that no one else gets.  My job is to be strong and soft at the very same time, because I am a girl.  It's one of the perks of gender that they don't tell you about in undergraduate women's studies courses.

    I am enjoying the little boy years at my house, even with the skinned knees and fart jokes.  I will hug my sons at night, after they have been outside playing in the grass and dirt, and say, "You smell like a little boy."  And they will say back, "You smell like a big girl!"  I always take that as a compliment.

    I love being a girl -- a woman, if you prefer -- because I love that I can be strong and smart and successful and still get a shower of smooches and hugs at the end of the day.  I wouldn't trade my role as the girl in this family for anything in the world.

  • In honor of International Women's Day

    When I was growing up in the former Soviet Union, March 8th, International Women's Day, was a really big deal. In school, boys made postcards for girls and many brought in flowers or other special goodies (prodded by their parents, of course). We made gifts and special cards for our teachers, sisters, mothers and grandmothers. And wherever you went, you would say "Happy March 8th!" to any women you met.

    I have to confess that I really miss this holiday since we've been living in the United States. A friend, who is a fellow immigrant, suggested that Valentine's Day can take it's place, but I disagree -- they celebrate two very different things. What I love about International Women's Day is that it focuses on and honors the amazing strength and power of women. And I know more than one woman who is juggling a million responsibilities -- including work, kids, family, household chores, etc. -- and who wouldn't mind one bit if she were celebrated one more day of the year. (Yes, this is a very unabashed hint to my husband, I'm shameless.)

    So here at Daily Grommet we wanted to celebrate International Women's Day by featuring some amazing women from around the world and the unique Grommets they've made and inspired, including:

    Aprons by Nondyebo Art -- bright, colorful aprons hand-made by a designer in South Africa, who has used the proceeds from making her to beautiful textiles support her family.

    Indika Tree of Life Applique, which is hand-stitched by three women in India over a period of three days. These women have formed a cooperative to create their art and have improved the lives of their families with hard work.

    Embroidery from Haiti

    Haiti Projects -- Hand- Embroiderd Nightgowns,  a  womens' sewing cooperative is a program of  Haiti Projects, Inc, an organization that supports the economic livelihood of the people of Fonds des Blancs, Haiti. They hand-embroider sleeveless, white cotton, hand-embroidered nightgowns.

    We hope you'll take a moment to check out these special Grommets and of course, we wish you a happy March 8th!

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