Product Love: Island Thyme Lavender Peppermint Headache Stick

It has been a while since I've had time to write (we're mired in paint cans and caulking guns), but I thought I'd ease in from the posting drought with something that manages to make me forget all the stress of renovating... This Lavender Peppermint Headache Stick from Island Thyme.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll warn you that I'm addicted to the smell of lavender.  So when I found this little treasure on our travels in the San Juan Islands, I couldn't wait to try it.  And I'm happy to say I somehow restrained myself from diving into the bottle in the middle of the store.  Perhaps only because it's the size of my finger, but never mind...

Island Thyme suggests dabbing a bit of this strong-but-delicious-smelling oil on your temples for "tension headaches, drowsiness, sinus congestion, jet lag and more."  Frankly, it just makes us smile (hubby included, who might be even more addicted than I am).  The scent is strong, but oddly both energizing and relaxing.  And I love that it's made with natural essential oils on gorgeous Orcas Island in Washington.

Find it on Island Thyme's website or if you're really lucky, buy it locally in the San Juan Islands.


Ticket time: Outstanding in the Field

Remember this?  It was last year's Outstanding in the Field event that we went to in Roscoe, NY.  It was a dinner held along the river at Mountain Sweet Berry Farm.  Tickets for this year's events went on sale today and some events are already sold out, so hurry along if you're pining to go.  And this year the group is stopping at spots outside the US in Italy, France, Canada, Ireland, Spain, and more.  Such fun!  Click here for the 2011 tour list and to get tickets.  Bon appetit!

P.S. Yes, it's certainly pricey.  But these kinds of events are taking off around the country, and there may be other cheaper options near you, so it's worth a little interweb researching if you're interested.

P.P.S. For those of you in South Florida, I hear the dinners and brunches that Paradise Farms hosts are lovely affairs, although I haven't tried them.  (Here's OITF's experience with Paradise Farms a few years ago - scroll down to the heading "Miami Vice.")


Iron & Wine & Happenstance

My lovely friend A was visiting last weekend and thanks to a snowstorm flight snafu lucky break, she ended up on the plane with the band Iron and Wine.  Their very sweet manager managed to finagle us tickets to their sold-out concert at Radio City Music Hall (a few hours on the tarmac gives you a chance to get to know your neighbor!).  

The concert was amazing.  I knew a song or two of theirs, but it made us fans.  Lead singer Sam Beam is a fantastic musician and unexpectedly, quite a good stand-up comedian.  We ended up in sweet seats behind the sound guy and had a fantastic night listening to amazing music, watching the cool work on the sound board, and getting to hang out with A.  Fabulous night.  (And the pictures from my Blackberry just don't do it justice.)  Thanks, Howard - what a lucky coincidence!


Product Love: Deep Steep Organic Body Butter

This Christmas I discovered a new favorite product...

I'm always on the lookout for products that are natural, preferably certified organic, but that are lovely to use and actually work.  This holiday season I came across Deep Steep products.  I gave their lavender chamomile organic body butter as a gift and got myself the rosemary mint scent.  They're both wonderful!  The scent is strong, but they also make an unscented version.  The body butter works like a dream, even in the drying radiator heat of a winter in New York.  I can't wait to try their other products, like the organic bubble bath and organic sugar scrub.  The products have no parabens, lauryl sulfates, mineral oil, or synthetic fragrances, and they're not tested on animals (plus their little logo guy is adorable!).  You can find them on their website, at Ricky's in NYC, or here.  So, what organic products do you love?


Ladies & gentlemen, start your engines!

The NY DEC tree nursery opens tomorrow for ordering!  For those who remember our little tree-planting adventure, we're gearing up for another order of craziness.  But first, a quick glimpse at how last year's trees did.  These pics are a little old, as they'd be under a couple of feet of snow right now.  Before the winter hit, the beach plums we planted on the hillside (above) were doing beautifully, as were the red oaks we scattered around the property (below).

And today we settled on our plan for this year's order: white pinebalsam fir, and white spruce (for privacy and deliciously smelling needles), more red oak, red maple (for brilliant fall color), American highbush cranberry and bayberry (for wildlife food sources), dwarf sand cherry (for streambank stabilization), and paper birch (for its beautiful bark), if they're all still available.  Don't ask how many - once again, we're nuts.

If you're up for ordering, too, here's the 2011 brochure for the Saratoga Tree Nursery.  The site has details about each species, but if the plants you want are marked as "LS" (limited supply), order as early as you can - they sell out in the blink of an eye.  New Hampshire has a similar program - let us know if you know of others!

We're also getting a few apple trees and some lingonberries from St. Lawrence Nurseries.  Their focus is cold-hardy edible plants - necessary for our freezing little pocket of upstate New York.  Exciting!

Until then, we'll be sorting out our fancy planting-wear...

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