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Tag Archives: Sports

  • Finds for the bar (and game day)

    There’s nothing like March Madness. Legends emerge, moments shine, and upsets bring entire campuses to their knees. Whether it’s a conference tourney, the NIT, or the top 65, our selection committee highlights Grommets for the bartender to keep the madness on the court and out of your living room as you watch your team play this March. Sorry, Syracuse.

    To open things up we’ve got the GrabOpener. Snag a bottle, crack it open, and catch the cap all with one hand using this ergonomically-crafted bottle opener. Designed by photographer, artist, and inventor Mark Manger, the GrabOpener is made entirely in the USA and is the perfect assist for every brew.

    CatalogV1_WhiskeyWedgePerhaps you’re celebrating a buzzer beater for the win or angrily cursing your TV because the ref needs to take off the blindfold, that was clearly a foul. Whatever the case, BarLuxe unbreakable drinkware could not be recommended enough. Made of Eastman Tritan copolyester, these BPA-free glasses survived a car running over them so it can certainly withstand an aggressive victory dance.

    Corkcircle comes off the bench with two Grommets for anyone who wants to keep things chill. With The Whiskey Wedge, you get an artfully designed tumbler split by a diagonal ice wedge keeping your drink cool without diluting it. In the same vein, they also offer the Chillsner; a thermal coolant surrounded by stainless steel to keep your beer cold until triple overtime.

    The only thing threatening sweet victory or worsening heartbreaking defeat is a hangover the next day. Not with Ficks. These cocktail fortifiers blend vitamins, electrolytes, and antioxidants while combatting dehydration, promoting liver health, and detoxifying your body. They even prevent nausea— from the alcohol, not that pitiful excuse for defense you just witnessed.

    Maybe the game is done but your bottle of wine isn’t. No problem. CapaBunga is an airtight, silicone cap designed to keep your wine as fresh as when you opened it— even if it was before the madness began. Once it’s sealed, pass it along to the RackPack, the wooden wine rack for three, six, or even 12 bottles in an elegant birdhouse-like design.

    HeroFinalDasHornYou don’t have to be a Texas or TCU fan to grab a party by the horns during the tournament. The eco-friendly, BPA-free Das Horn takes you back to the Middle Ages with this ceremonial drinking vessel. Best of all, it includes a strap for your neck, keeping your hands free for all of the high fives and fist bumps. Fist bumps. Please don’t chest bump with these. That will end terribly for everyone.

    Any coach will tell you the key to success is preparation. For a bartender, it's no different. The Bar10der is the kitchen point guard and lives up to its name, with ten bartending tools perfect for readying any drink. It’s got a stirrer, strainer, corkscrew, bottle opener, muddler, reamer, jigger, and zester. It even comes with two types of knives so you yourself can cut down the nets in victory.

  • Journey to Launch: Yoga by Numbers Part I

    Product Launch | Yoga by Numbers Elizabeth in action as she shoots her first video.

     

    In a series of two installments, we’re sharing a special story of one of our Makers, Elizabeth Morrow, who recently launched her new product, Yoga by Numbers this month on The Grommet. An easy to learn yoga mat for beginners, along with an instructional DVD, this is Elizabeth’s first foray into entrepreneurship and below is a behind the scenes look at her story.

    In the early winter months of 2012, Elizabeth Morrow was a young, bright woman working as a human rights policy researcher in Boston. Like many urban dwellers, she lived in the culture of getting more done faster and scheduling her calendar with little room to slow down. She felt happy and successful. Then one day, everything changed. A major, unexpected health crisis hit Elizabeth fast and hard.  She was forced to learn how to slow down physically and emotionally. Fortunately, today Elizabeth is on the road to recovery and has her strong support system to thank. It was during this recovery period that she came to some realizations, giving her the opportunity to shift her life in a very positive, yet unforeseen way. A blessing in disguise, Elizabeth became an active yoga practitioner because it was a safe option for her to exercise in a low impact way during rehabilitation. She began to love how yoga made her feel, but didn’t always want to travel to a studio for class. Sometimes her schedule didn’t allow for it, not to mention the recurring expense. What she really wanted was the ability to practice at home if she needed. Yet she was new to yoga and didn’t know how to properly execute a down dog, let alone some of the other poses and postures. She needed someone there to guide her and correct poses if they were off, and DVDs didn’t provide the detail she was looking for as a newcomer. This got Elizabeth thinking about how more people could have access to yoga if home based practice was practical for beginners.  When I asked her what made her decide to go for it and officially pursue this as a business idea, she simply said, “I just went for it. I decided I was going to just figure it out.” And so she did.

    Product Launch Platform Posing for her photo shoot at The Grommet

     

     “I just went for it. I decided I was going to just figure it out.”

      Continue Reading

  • Hand stitching an American pastime

    If you've seen our Daily Grommet video featuring Leather Head Sports, you'll remeber Paul Cunningham. Paul  grew up a baseball lover in the ultimate baseball city, Cooperstown , N.Y, and even worked summers at the Baseball Hall of Fame. After leaving Cooperstown, he took a job as photo editor for Major League Baseball — a career he left behind to make hand-sewn baseballs and footballs that are as all-American as you can get.

    Our friends at Etsy recently made a video with Paul too -- and we'd like to share it with you. This 2 minutes video features Paul in the process of  making a football and  is also a homage to a classic American pastime. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

    One More Yard from Etsy on Vimeo.

    http://vimeo.com/24579798

    For more about Paul and Leatherhead Sports, see our original feature here.

  • L.L. Bean knows that even the store door handles matter

    I dropped $250 on new X-country ski bindings and boots this weekend.  That's a ton of dough to me.  And since I haven't bought ski equipment in 20+ years, the purchase destination was pretty much a jump ball. I might be more overtly reflective on this kind of decision than the average bear, but most people have a complex subconscious approach to non-routine purchases.  Their decisions reflect their personal values at a level that great brands know how to serve.

    Let's start with the reasons for the purchase.  First, below is a picture of me a week ago, at the point when my old cross country boot totally separated from the sole, on the shores of Lake Champlain.  I shouldn't be smiling as I had no idea how I was going to travel miles back to my car without a functional ski set-up.  (My clever friend Jill figured out how to use her gator and my boot laces to lash my foot to the ski.)

    Here are the broken boots:

    Here is the reason why I was feeling urgency to get back in gear for the season:
    Continue Reading

  • Weekly Grommet Wrap-Up

    The Grommets this week a pretty green and innovative. Purses made out of recycled newspapers, heated spectator seats and more!

    Before and Again Clothing Company, Burnout Shirts with Bold Designs, Burnout Tees

    Before & Again These “burnout” long sleeve T- shirts are named for the extensive weathering process, which results in super-soft fabric and a slight transparency that gives depth to the material. They’re comfortably chic, perfect for pairing with jeans or dressing up for a night on the town. Whether you’re going for casual or dressy, the semi-sheer printed effect is anything but ordinary. ($84) Buy Burnout Shirts with Bold Designs here.

    Resource Revival, Recycled Bicycles: Picture Frames - Bowl - Card Holder, Recycled Bicycle Chain Frame, Recycled Bicycle Bowl, Recycled Bicycle Card Holder, Recycled Bike Art

    Resource Revival Bike shops all over the U.S. send used parts to Graham for recycling — or as he calls it, “rebicycling.” Artisans at Graham’s company, called Resource Revival, turn the recycled bicycles into ingenious creations that can be appreciated by cyclists and non-cyclists alike. Picture frames (in 4 × 6 and 5 × 7 sizes) are artfully wrapped in bicycle chains. Business card holders, made from a cut bicycle wheel rim and wrapped in bicycle chain, store up to 30 cards plus a pen or pencil. The company also makes bowls by coiling old bike chains into shapes that are perfect for catching keys, wallets and loose change. (Starting at $19.99) Buy Resource Revival's recycled bike art products here.

    PolarHeat Cooled or Heated Stadium Seats and Cooler Chairs, Stadium Seats, Bleacher Stadium Seat, Portable Stadium Seat, Folding Stadium Seat,

    PolarHeat. We’ve found spectator seats that make it easy to kick back and enjoy the action in total comfort. PolarHeat’s cooler chair has built-in coolers for carrying drinks and snacks. Plus, there’s a compartment under the seat surface that holds a hot pack or a cold pack, so you can heat your seat on chilly days and cool down on hot days. (Starting at $39.95) Buy Polar Heat's cooled or heated stadium seats or cooler chairs here.

    Couture Planet Recycled Newspaper Purse, Recycled Newspaper Products, New York<br /> Times purse

    Couture Planet. Have you ever carried a recycled newspaper purse? Each one-of-a-kind handbag is made from 100% post-consumer recycled newspaper. We’re featuring two styles, the Clutch model has a flap with a magnetic snap closure, while the Coco bag has clear acrylic or tortoiseshell handles and a magnetic snap closure. Both styles are fun, fashionable and fodder for a really great conversation. (Starting at $48) Buy Couture Planet's recycled newspaper purse here.

    Freeze and Go Personal Cooler, Freezable Cooler Bag, Cooler Bag, Lunch Cooler Bag, Gel Bag, Freezable Cooler

    PackIt The PackIt personal freezable cooler bag is a gel-lined bag that can keep contents cold for up to 10 hours without the need for messy ice or bulky cold packs. It will cool room-temperature items, too. The PackIt folds, so it’s easy to store inside your freezer. Just pull it out when you’re ready to use it, fill it up, and you’re good to go. (It’s made from nontoxic, PVC-free and lead-free materials). ($19.95) Buy the PackIt freezable cooler bag here.

  • If an event can be a Grommet, then RAGBRAI is a Grommet

    Wendy Chandor

    Why travel to Iowa to ride your bike from the West Coast to the East Coast of Iowa (between 50 - 80 miles a day)?  For the adventure! RAGBRAI was my adventure this year; a chance to experience something completely different, unplug (no access to work/email), and to challenge myself physically.

    RAGBRAI stands for The Register’s (Des Moines’s newspaper) Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.  It started 38 years ago when a Register reporter bet another reporter to ride his bike across Iowa and report on the local people he would come across; to tell their stories.  They wrote about their bet in the paper and invited others to come along.  To their surprise, many joined along and now today RAGBRAI has grown to over 10,000 riders.  The route changes each year passing through small towns that jump at the opportunity to be a part of RAGBRAI.  

    I realized that the people and the towns are what make RAGBRAI so special.  Everyone is so happy, friendly, and willing to connect.  We met a wonderful group of 8 (6 from CO and 2 from IA) who were fun to hang out with.  We all stayed at the same host house in Clear Lake, IA. This was our toughest biking day (extremely hot and turned out a longer distance than quoted on the map!) and so it was a treat to meet this gang of RAGBRAI alumni.  We shared stories, much laughter; this was like camp for adults.  Our host that night gave us a tour of the Surf Ball Room (this performance ball room is where Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens last performed before the fatal airplane crash) before we shared a wonderful dinner.  That night there were 15 people staying in this home and the host slept out on a couch in the garage!  Can you believe it?  Only in Iowa. . . .

    The bike route is 2 lane highways that have been shut down to automobile traffic by state troopers.  One of the troopers had a microphone and would entertain us when we met up at certain road intersections.  The people who ride on RAGBRAI tend to be mostly in-shape cyclists — with personality.  There was a Team Cow (dressed up as cows), Team Pink (wore pink boas and one gal had pink hair, Team Good Beer, and the Air Force Team (as you can imagine, they flew by us often).  Some of the riders have unique bikes:  all different types, bikes with only one speed, a bike that looks like a banana, a guy rode one of those old fashioned bikes with a large front tire — and one guy was standing on an elliptical bike.  We met people from all over the world — the furthest away point that I encountered was New Zealand.

    We biked past mostly corn fields that reminded me of oceans of corn, oh the beauty.  Soy beans, beautiful barns, horses cantering in fields, cows, pigs, homes with kids and families cheering us along.  Iowa is progressive with their wind energy turbines which are pretty humbling when you see one close up.  Occasionally, you will see a cluster of 20 of them and they are so peaceful --- sort of out there keeping an eye over the crops.

    You bike along on the highways and eventually we would start seeing signs for the upcoming towns (i.e., “smoothies and burritos 3 miles”).  We enjoyed reading the preview signs.  Once all the bikers hit the towns (and we are talking Mayberry here), all the cyclists would have to get off.  So we get off, walk around, take photos, eat, drink, dance, see the sights, talk to others.  This was the special part — and each town marked an accomplishment along the way.  These towns come to life with music, entertainment, food/drink vendors, portable potties, and more.  The churches made the best food.  They have done everything to make us comfortable and fuel us for getting back on the bike.  Cartersville, IA was one town my sister and I won’t forget.  Normally only 15 people live in Cartersville — but today there were thousands stopped to watch the local feature set up on a corner next to the largest grain elevators.  One of Cartersville’s farmers built a crane and attached a swing to it that you could grab onto and swing across, then jump into the lake.  We arrived at Cartersville at 10 am — and the line was 30 – 40 people deep to get a chance at the swing! Cartersville may only be home to 15 people, but now thousands hold a fond memory of a unique, fun swing with the backdrop of a local farm!

    My sister and I are proud of what we accomplished and will never forget so many moments from RAGBRAI.  Everyone looking for adventure should put RAGBRAI on their Bucket List.

  • Weekly Grommet Wrap-Up

    Yet another week of cool and interesting Grommets. Here's what we featured this week:

    Rickshaw Bagworks, Nylon Messenger Bags, Cool Messenger Bags, Mini Messenger Bag, Small Messenger Bag, Rickshaw Bags, Nylon Messenger Bag, Water Resistant Messenger Bag

    Rickshaw Bagworks The “Zero” messenger bag from Rickshaw Bagworks is designed to eliminate wasted material. Scraps created during production are used in the bags and shipping materials, so nothing gets tossed.  When it’s time to retire the bag (think years and years from now), it’s recyclable. (Starting at $35) Buy Rickshaw Bagwork's nylon messenger bags here.

    Lunchskins, Reusable Cloth Sandwich Bags, Reusable Sandwich Bag, Cloth Sandwich Bags, Eco Friendly Sandwich Bags

    Lunch Skins. Here’s a statistic that will spoil your appetite: Every day, more than 20 million sandwich bags from school lunches wind up in landfills in the U.S. Printed with cool graphics, LunchSkins are made from a food-safe cotton that the founders hunted down in Europe, where it’s used by patisseries and bakeries. The durable material can withstand exposure to heat, so you can pop LunchSkins in the dishwasher after use. ($16.50) Buy LunchSkins here.

    Acupressure Mat

    Yantra Mat USA. Yantra Mats are 100% cotton, with non-toxic ABS plastic spikes. Simply lay on the mat on your back to stimulate the spine and relieve back/neck pain, or lay on your stomach to promote better digestive and respiratory health. The longer you use the mat, the more endorphins will be released, and you’ll feel calm and uplifted as your circulation improves. (Starting at $49) Buy the Yantra Mat here.

    Aerial7, Cool Headphones with a DJ Style, Audio Headphones, DJ Headphones, Best Headphones, Headphones Noise Cancelling, Music Headphones, Headband Headphones, iPod Headphones, Cool Headphones, Colorful Headphones, Tank Headphones

    ARIEL7 Headphones. Aerial7’s Tank headphones bring the sound to match their hip looks, from low, rumbling bass tones to crisp highs. Thick cushions comfortably cocoon your ears, and the ear cup swivels so you can listen to music with one ear, DJ-style. The headphones come with two cables: a thick coiled cable for standard music players, and a thin, straight cable with a built-in microphone for use with an iPhone, BlackBerry and other cell phones. ($80) Buy Aerial7's cool headphones with a DJ style here.

    Bungalow Bags, Collapsible Storage Bins, Under Bed Storage Boxes, Oversized Tote, Collapsible Storage, Collapsible Storage Bins, Collapsible Storage Boxes, Collapsible Storage Totes, Collapsible Toy Storage, Under Bed Storage, Under Bed Storage Boxes, Under Bed Storage Containers, Under Bed Boxes, Large Tote, Oversized Tote

    Storage & Travel Bags. All the Bungalow bags are collapsible for easy storage and have reinforced riveted handles, so they can carry a lot of weight. They’re also water resistant and wipe clean easily. Zippy designs combined with easy functionality — what a fabulous way to celebrate your stuff and at the same time feel virtuously organized. (Starting at $20.00) Buy Bungalow's storage essentials here.

     

  • Weekly Grommet Wrap-Up

    From this week's Grommet line up it is obvious that our Discovery Team works tirelessly to  bring you a diverse array of the best  products. From a  geeky chic USB flash bracelet to a handwoven cotton robe -- they've pretty much have got it covered. Although we consider them to be Grommet discovery rock stars, they can always use a little help. So,  if YOU ever have an idea you think they should check out, just let them know!

    USB Flash Bracelet

    USB Flash Bracelet: Portable Flash Drive This geeky chic bracelet gives you easy access to digital files when you’re working away from you desks — at the library, in a computer lab or at a friend’s place. This portable flash drive makes the perfect back-to-school accessory ($14.95) Buy Memory on Hand here.

     OrangeWhip Trainer

    Golf Swing Trainer. The Orange Whip is something like a golf club, except it has a flexible shaft and what looks like an orange at the end of it. This flexible shaft and a counter-weighting system are designed to help you find your natural and best swing motion, which is unique to each individual. There’s no ball to hit, so you can focus instead on the motion of swinging. (Starting at $99.00) Buy Orange Whip Trainer here.

     Shaped Sponges of Cellulose and Scrubex Designed for Specific Tasks

    Chore Specific Sponges. This innovative take on the common household sponge got us all sudsed up. Casabella has designed different sponges for specific household chores -- which makes complete sense. These sponges are made from natural cellulose, which is tough when it needs to be and rinses like a dream. They offer specific use sponges for chores like cleaning your BBQ to cleaning your wine glasses. (Starting at $10.95) Buy the Casabella sponges here. 

     Handwoven Cotton Lightweight Robe

    Ancient Textile Artistry. Kara Weaves, a creative venture in Kerala, India, is trying to bridge the gap between traditional Indian handloomed textiles and today’s contemporary lifestyle. Preserving a centuries old tradition, local tailors hand weave these lightweight, cotton robes. Weaved with pure cotton yarn (for which Indian fabrics originally gained fame) this fabric is softer, more durable and absorbent, and has a breezy, sumptuous feel you simply cannot get any other way. ($44.95) Buy Kara Weaves Handwoven Robes here.

    Dry Erase White Board

    Peel-and-stick dry erase board. When inspiration strikes, grab a pen. When the really big ideas start flowing, reach for WhiteyBoard. WhiteyBoard is a peel-and-stick dry erase board that adheres to any flat surface. It’s lightweight and transferable, so you can take it with you… when your brainstorming takes you elsewhere. It’s easy to customize, too. With scissors or a utility knife, you can cut WhiteyBoard to fit any shape, such as the back of a laptop, the wall above a dorm room desk, or a tabletop in a child’s playroom. (Starting at $10.00) Buy WhiteyBoard here.

  • What does 'Take your dog to work' day and the World Cup have in common?

    In case you missed it, this past Friday (June 25th) was the 2010 'Take your dog to work day', that and the USA being in the World Cup is what brings this post to life.

    Now your probably wondering what those two things have in common; well, I'm going to tell you. However, first things first (though not necessarily in that order). Allow me to officially introduce myself. You've seen me in several photos that have recently appeared here on the blog but I haven't said hi yet.

    I'm Anthony. Yes, the same Anthony who had to endure the 'hazing' ritual of sampling Sam Adams beer in the 'Buddy Beta'.  A torture I will gladly suffer again for the good of the company.  I'm also the same Anthony that wanted to run away 20 minutes after being in the office on filming day for an interview. I'm the Senior Engineer here, which basically means I'm the house nerd.  It means when someone breaks something 'computery' (not my word) my name gets yelled. It also means that if the site blows up it's probably my fault.

    I'm also the only male currently on the payroll. It makes for interesting days, but more on that later.

    Back to Take your dog to work day and the World Cup.  Yes I'm aware USA was eliminated Saturday, but that doesn't change the content of this post.  Most people here at DG either have, want or have had a dog. And because at the moment we are still a little 'too' cramped to actually bring a dog in, I shared a video with some of the staff here on Friday and they suggested that I post it here.

    A little background (I told you this wasn't coming in any kind of order), I have 4 dogs.  Each has their own unique personality, like any dog, but these 4 are a little more eccentric then any other I've had in my life.

    For example; Sammy hates men with the exception of me.  Watson is a neurotic mess and barks at every noise in the world.  If a leaf moves outside he barks.  Zena is completely ADD.  I can call her to come in, she'll come charging to the door, see something interesting, stop to sniff and totally forgetting she was coming inside will start to wander off again.

    Then there is Harley.  Harley likes soccer (See, told you it had to do with the World Cup).  Watch the video below to see a sample.

    At first glance it seems like he's playing fetch, but it's more than that.  He doesn't bring the ball back to me, he stops a few feet away and literally rolls it to me.  If I kick it back to him he keeps rolling it back.  However if I try to kick it away from him, say across the room, he takes the ball and walks away. Punishing me!

    Eventually he does bring it back and plays again.  He does make a darn decent keep however.

    He also likes watching soccer.  If I'm watching a match on TV he'll come sit in my lap and face the television.  If I change the channel he'll turn around and look at me and bark until I put it back.  I'm not kidding.

    When the match is over he leaves.

    I have no idea where he learned this as I'm not a big soccer fan so I rarely watch it.

    Now you know what 'Take your dog to work day' and the World Cup have in common.  A small, 7lb Silky Terrier that likes to play soccer.

    Oh, and the other dog in the video is Sam.  He likes to play referee, and has also the right color scheme to do it.  At least he has a black stripe anyway.

  • Hidden Passions Here at Daily Grommet

    Daily Grommet passion for discoveryWe're always spotlighting passionate people at Daily Grommet ... from scientists, to philanthropists, to crafters like Daily Grommet's Kate Reynolds McLeod. In honor of today's fitness-inspired Grommet (the Helix Lateral Aerobics Trainer), and the mad month ahead, Chris Bednarz, Daily Grommet Discovery Team writer and the blogger known as "Dr. Hoops," shares his passion with us.

    Hoop Daydreaming, by Chris Bednarz

     I’m very happy this morning. I’ve got the first of many cups of my favorite mud, and I’m staring at my favorite college basketball website. Today is the day I’ll make my picks for the NCAA basketball tournament – also known as March Madness and the Big Dance.

    The greatest three weekends in sports are just around the corner. The drama, chaos and uncertainty of the whole thing are addictive -- 64 teams and a million dreams. For better or worse, I’m a complete college basketball junkie. (I often wonder if I could have been a brain surgeon or maybe a senator if I hadn't spent so much time watching college basketball in my formative years.)

    Most of you have probably filled out those NCAA tournament brackets, too. And if you haven't, give it a try. You'll probably do better picking the winners than the so-called experts like me. Plus it’s a great way to connect with people.

    "Hey, Joe from accounting, I know we haven't spoken in a year, but didn't you go to Wofford College, the South Carolina school that just got its first ever bid to the NCAA tournament?"

    Want to get to know the barista at your local java joint? Ask which is hotter -- that mocha or the Maryland Terrapins.

    Behind the Scenes: Chris BednarzTrying to connect with the teenage son who rarely speaks? Ask him if he thinks the talented but young Kentucky Wildcats will get upset in the early rounds. (Hey, he might at least text you his answer.) Or ask your mother-in-law if she thinks the UConn women's team is the greatest dynasty since John Wooden's UCLA Bruins. 

    The possibilities are endless.

    So grab a bracket, fill it out and join a pool. Pick the teams however you want. Like their mascot? Good. Like the color of their uniforms? Better. Like the way they play defense? Best. It really doesn't matter how you choose, because you’ll like the way you feel watching the hopes and dreams of these 64 teams play out on the court.

    Enjoy the dance.

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  • As featured in:

  • Today Show
  • Real Simple
  • The New York Times
  • Fortune
  • Inc Magazine