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What Consumers Should Know About Corn

There are more than 45,000 items in the average American supermarket and more than a quarter of them contain corn.

How can that be? Because corn is cheap, as in r-e-a-l-l-y cheap. 7 cents a pound, on average. But corn production is not measured by the pound. Instead, corn is grown, priced, measured, and traded by the bushel, which holds about 56 pounds of kernels. At $4 per bushel (the current market rate from farmer to buyer), that’s 7 cents a pound. Read more »


Inside Smarts Wash Bags

Long live your laundry!                                                                                           ~Billy Mays

We’re talking laundry today. Yes, that boring task that grows exponentially daily. Many things annoy me about laundry but the number one irritation is how to properly care for clothes because it’s not a matter of filling up the machine, pouring the detergent in, and turning the dial (were it that easy, no one would have designed men’s white underwear with a red waistband, shirts made with different fabrics, or work out clothes with lycra and mesh).If you’ve ever opened up the washing machine to see bra straps tied tightly around a favorite white shirt or the laces in the waist of your husband’s gym shorts shriveled into a tight ball, read on. Read more »


“The Girl on the Train”

Imagining something is better than remembering something.                 ~John Irving, The World According to Garp

Summertime is when everyone seems to be talking about “beach books”, which I never fully understood until I read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. The Urban Dictionary defines a “beach book” as “easily digestible, designed to be guzzled down from a cramped airline seat or reclining poolside chair” and although that definition seems more like a description of a beer to me, I finally realized that a beach book is like a refreshment or some tangy pineapple that may momentarily satisfy hunger when descriptive prose and depth are just too much to think about. Read more »


Raw Crunch Bars

Just when I think there couldn’t be a better tasting, nutritionally sound bar on the market, along comes one that blows me away. That would be the Raw Crunch Bar: a handmade, unprocessed, uncooked energy bar made with a core of four types of organic seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, flax), three types of organic nuts (cashews, pecans, macadamia), raw honey, and Celtic sea salt. Read more »


Asparagus and Mushrooms with Teriyaki Tofu

Spring is the perfect time to enjoy fresh asparagus (although available year-round, the largest asparagus crop is harvested from late February to June). Stem thickness indicates the age of the plant with the young, thin stalks the most desirable and tasty. The thicker stems indicate the plant is older and can be tough and woody although a peeler can eliminate the rough outer skin. The tips are the most tender and flavorful so look for firm stalks with dry tips. Read more »


“The Pale King”

This was boredom beyond any boredom he’d ever felt. This made the routing desk at UPS look like a day at Six Flags.

Tackling a David Foster Wallace novel is like sitting in the middle of Times Square observing the the minutia of all the activity while simultaneously watching an episode of Seinfeld and feeling like a part of a Don Delillo novel. At times hilarious, the scene is also overwhelming with the details of what we all know to be true about life: often boring, repetitious, and anxiety provoking but also entertaining and sprinkled with fun and joy. Read more »


Raincoast Flats

Raincoast Flats are the newest creation by Canadian extraordinaire food maker Lesley Stowe Fine Foods. Well known for their Raincoast Crisps that redefined the cracker market by using dried fruits, seeds, nuts,and spices in their recipes, Lesley Stowe Fine Foods continued that same idea to come up with a flatbread that is flavorful, crunchy, and just plain delicious. Read more »


The Ultimate Oxford Shirt

The Oxford shirt has been around for decades  – maybe longer – and is one of those wardrobe pieces that never goes out of style but finding a well made, stylish, and great fitting Oxford shirt made of 100% cotton at a reasonable price is a challenge. If you happen to be a woman with a long torso and arms, then the search is even tougher.

My husband swears by Brooks Brothers but he’s a guy shopping for men’s shirts (and the company’s women’s shirts are too short in the torso for long-waisted women). I’m a gal looking for women’s shirts and swear by Abercrombie & Fitch and specifically, the men’s Oxford Shirt with the Muscle Fit (as opposed to the Classic Fit) meaning the shirt is cut slimmer and fits closer to the body. Meant for a man, but fitting for a woman (sounds like that 1970’s commercial for Secret deodorant that went something like “strong enough for a man but made for a woman.” Read more »


Theo Coconut Bites

Theo Chocolate of Seattle, Washington recently introduced Coconut Bites: three distinct types of sweet and chewy coconut bars that seem to be the Pacific northwest’s answer to the sibling duo (Almond Joy and Mounds bars by Hershey) that originated in the northeast.

Talk about taking something from good to great. That’s Theo Chocolate. Last year the organic fair-trade certified company did it with the rollout of peanut butter cups made with CB’s Nuts Peanut Butter and their own homemade chocolate and this year the Seattle chocolate maker combined coconut and chocolate to create Coconut Bites. Read more »


Tulip Time Festival 2015

Looking for something fun to do next weekend? If you happen to be in the Des Moines, Iowa area, consider attending the 80th annual Tulip Time Festival which takes May 7-9, 2015 in Pella, Iowa, a beautiful town in central Iowa, about 40 miles southeast of Des Moines. Established in 1847 by a group of 800 Dutch immigrants, Pella is known throughout Iowa for its Dutch heritage, which is celebrated every year in early May. Read more »