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Top 5 Picks for the Week, July 6, 2012

Unique Design, Tasty Bagels, Food Apps, Relaxing Music, and Magnetic Walls

1. Design Milk

Photo Credit: Design-Milk.com

Photo Credit: Design-Milk.com

The world of art and design is a fluid one, ever-changing and always evolving.  Trying to stay informed about the latest updates, advances, and the professionals at the forefront of their fields can be a daunting task.  Thankfully Jamie Derringer, founder and executive editor, created Design Milk to give us our “daily dose of vitamin D (that’s ‘D’ for design)”.  The site is beautifully streamlined featuring outstanding photographs and concise, yet highly informative, articles.  They cover architecture, art, technology, and fashion just to start off with, and even have special pages for the best items and accessories for petsaround the house, and an online store where you can purchase your favorite pieces.  Inspiring and cutting-edge, I highly suggest adding Design Milk to your reader and following them through social media.

2. Thomas’ Bagels

Photo Credit: ThomasBagels.com

Photo Credit: ThomasBagels.com

Even with being pregnant, I do my best not to leave the grocery store with things that are not on my list.  However, when I see a package with the words “Limited Edition Lemon Poppy Bagels”, I can’t resist.  Thomas’ bagels, breads, and English muffins are some of the little things that make my day better.  We always have their whole wheat bagels on hand for healthy sandwiches and great breakfast options.  Sometimes, like now, we end up with multiple types when they surprise me with new seasonal flavors.  I first stumbled upon their amazing limited edition products this fall when I left the store with Pumpkin Spice and Cranberry bagels.  Needless to say, earlier this week walking down the bread aisle and seeing the Lemon Poppy bagels was like a little gift, a ray of sunshine. While checking out the cashier even commented on how great they smelled and that she’d never seen them before but would be picking some up before she went home.  I was not disappointed when I tried them either.  A little softer than a normal bagel, they do resemble lemon poppy seed muffins.  They are so tasty I do not even top them with anything, but I’m sure a little cream cheese or fruit would make for a great addition. Check out Thomas’ website to locate products in your area and to get suggestions for new and yummy recipes.  I’m stocking up now and freezing some before they are gone, but I’m also looking forward to see what delicious flavors they come up with next.

3. Evernote Food

Photo Credit: Evernote.com

Photo Credit: Evernote.com

We’ve all caught ourselves doing it, so overcome with excitement from a meal we just cooked or we were just served that we feel compelled to share it with the world. We’ve also all been on the receiving end of that; you probably have at least one friend on Facebook who seems to post pictures of everything they eat.  Food, and more importantly the social experience of dining with others, plays a huge role in our lives.  To help us harness this passion, Evernote has expanded and developed an app specifically for the foodie.  Evernote Food, available for free on iOS and Andriod, allows users to document meals with photographs, captions, locations enabled with GPS, and browse through past experiences and share information with others.  It’s a handy way to keep all of your best dining memories in one secure location.  If you are already using Evernote for your other tasks, this will backup and can be accessed from that application and website, as well.  Like a digital scrapbook for all your dining highlights, Evernote Food helps you remember all of the details without the need to publicly post every meal.

4. Paul Cardall

Photo Credit: PaulCardall.com

Photo Credit: PaulCardall.com

I first came across the beautiful music of Paul Cardall when listening to Pandora.  He is a talented pianist who creates relaxing melodies which carry an atmosphere of peace and healing.  With all of the activities and demands in our lives, it’s essential to make time to de-stress and take a few deep cleansing breaths.  Even if we can’t turn off all of the electronic devices, just putting on some soothing music in the background can help us refocus and bring a sense of calm.  Cardall knows firsthand the importance of this, born with congenital heart disease his struggles have taken him through countless hospitalizations and surgeries.  He is an inspiration in his own right, fighting to overcome, yet learning to let go.  His music  is a modern take on traditional songs often inspired by beloved hymns.  He has also opened up through his personal blog and his published memoir Before My Heart Stops.  You can purchase Cardall’s music on CD or MP3 downloads, he also does some limited touring and events to perform in person.  A living example of what we can accomplish despite the odds, Paul Cardall’s life and music should be a good reminder for us all to relax and try to enjoy every day we are given.

5. Magnetic Walls

Photo Credit: MagScapes.com

Photo Credit: MagScapes.com

One of the latest fads in home decor is magnetic walls.  Companies are finding new ways to make this technology more user-friendly and accessible to the general public.  One of the leading manufactures is MagScapes based out of Europe.  They have focused their efforts on creating magnetic wallpaper that is lightweight, easy to hang, and available in a vast array of colors, textures, and designs.  The idea is brilliant and the aesthetic results are one-of-a-kind.  Over the years, people have been searching for new ways to redecorate and liven up their living spaces without having to re-do everything.  Products such as these make that desire a reality.  No more holes in the wall with constant painting and touch ups.  The interactive surfaces make people more apt to display new works of art, give the kids a unique place to play and learn, and create an accent wall that is unlike any you’ve ever seen before.  The downside to this currently is the cost.  The wallpaper can be quite the investment and if you might be relocating soon, it may not be the best option. There are other products, however, that are also being improved, namely Magnamagic paint.  Less expensive than the wallpaper, this active wall paint acts as a primer allowing you to add a top coat of any color to blend in with the rest of the room (or of course you can leave it the basic grey).  Other popular companies have also made their attempts at magnetic paint, however, the reviews on those suggests less than impressive results, or avoiding their products all together.  You can learn more about MagScapes wallpaper and purchase items through their website.  Magnamagic paint can also be purchased at their home site or through Amazon, as well.  -If you like the magnetic idea, but can’t quite commit to an entire wall at this point, check out the steps for creating your own DIY Magnet Board.

 

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