Blog Posts by Daily Grommet

  • This gift looks like chocolate but is really something much healthier

    No, they're not chocolate. And no, they're not edible -- yet. But Garden Bon Bons are the sweetest garden gift we've ever seen.

    Anne Dowell, MoultonologyAnne Dowell, Moultonology Seasoned gardeners and newbies alike can enjoy a fun, bite-sized project to get things growing as soon as the soil warms in spring. When Seattle landscape architect Anne Dowell first decided to stash a few seed balls in truffle boxes for a garden gift basket, she knew she was onto something.

    For centuries, growers have used seed balls to store seeds, ensconced in a ball of compost (to feed the growing plant) and clay (to hold it together and prevent insect damage). Anne makes them by hand, and you can choose either her Italian herb variety or herbal tea collection. Moultonology's Garden Bon Bons herb seed balls.Moultonology's Garden Bon Bons herb seed balls. We're also offering Anne's Wine and Chocolates gift set, which packages a set of Garden Bon Bons with four terracotta plant nannies in a galvanized bucket. Her Garden Gift Basket includes a Sussex Trug with your choice of Garden Bon Bons and two stainless steel garden tools from the

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  • Sick of wearing headphones? Untether with a portable iPhone speaker

    It may resemble a retro cassette tape, but the iMainGo portable speaker is anything but old school. All the sound systems in your house will be jealous of this lightweight powerhouse from Portable Sound Laboratories. Tim Jacobus, Akon, Jorge RagdeTim Jacobus, Akon, Jorge RagdeIMainGo Founders Tim Jacobus (on left) and Jorge Ragde seen here with rapper Akon are making a big impact with iMainGo. It's designed for use with an iPhone, iPod touch and other MP3 players, and it doubles as a protective case (you don't even have to open it to control the music). You can take it to the park, the beach, the backyard or wherever you want to share your music -- iMainGo delivers the boom, without the box.

    iMainGo portable speakers for MP3 players or iPodsiMainGo portable speakers for MP3 players or iPodsThe big sound comes from iMainGo's high-output titanium speakers, paired with tuned porting for bass reproduction and a digital music amplifier. The iMainGo 2 model runs on four AA batteries, while the iMainGo X uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The iMainGo X also has a few more whistles and bells, including two headphone jacks so you can

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  • A little silver pen with a big following

    Tim O'Brien, Wallet PenTim O'Brien, Wallet Pen In picturesque Charlotte, Vermont, in a building filled with local businesses and artisans, Tom O'Brien is making pens… by hand. Each of his sterling silver Wallet Pens is sized so it fits discretely into your wallet, checkbook or purse without adding any bulk. It's tiny, simple and elegant.

    You may be surprised that a pen could elicit strong emotions, but longtime Wallet Pen loyalists rave about its performance, utility, and the pleasure it brings them year after year. We had to find out for ourselves, and it didn't take long to win over the Daily Grommet team. Once you experience its smooth, crisp strokes, you'll never want to settle for a throwaway plastic pen. Plus, the Wallet Pen is guaranteed for life, so if you ever have a problem with one, Tom will make it right.

    Wallet Pen.Wallet Pen. Since it's easy to tuck into your wallet or purse, you'll always have the Wallet Pen with you to capture names and addresses, jot down a great book someone just mentioned, or record special memories while

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  • Have you ever seen an iron that can do pushups?

    We have friends who love to iron, and friends who don't. No matter which camp you fall into, Ehsan Alipour has created an iron that will make short work of the pile of grandma's linen napkins waiting to grace your holiday table.

    The Oliso steam iron The Oliso steam iron Ehsan started researching household irons after he noticed that his mother and aunt spent a lot of energy manipulating their steam irons, shifting them constantly from a horizontal to an upright (and unsteady) position. So he invented Oliso, the iron with a brain. It's a cult favorite among quilters, seamstresses and other ironing enthusiasts who spend a lot of time in the pursuit of wrinkle-free fabrics. Ehsan is pictured here with Daily Grommet's Joanne at Maker Failre in New York this fall.

    With Oliso, there's no more constant lifting or fear of burning and scorching. The Oliso steam iron.The Oliso steam iron. Ehsan's iTouch technology allows the hot surface of the iron to lift itself as if by magic levitation then return to the ironing board -- with a simple touch -- when you're ready

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  • Handcrafted wallets keep money in your pocket (and tell great stories)

    "Could you use an extra $20? You'll never be without it - psychologically, anyway -- with these handmade wallets each with an imprinted $20 on the inside. The creator is Bob Snead, an artist who took inspiration from the lousy economy and is telling personal stories of survival with his handcrafted wallets. The idea grew out of a road trip where Bob saw firsthand the impact of the recession on towns across the country.

    The The Each design in his Upturn collection is a window into someone's story of struggle and resilience. For instance, Bob's Firebird design depicts a classic Pontiac Firebird in honor of Kenneth Gourley, a muscle car mechanic who has spent 20 years helping his son fight cystic fibrosis.

    These wallets turn an everyday item into a work of art, which got the attention of Randy Dunn, who told us about the Is Not Broke Recession Proof Wallets. "Combining the elements of art and function along with the always-present twenty-dollar bill completely sold me," Randy

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  • Want a happy pooch? Himalayan dog chews are a (healthy) recipe for canine contentment

    Himalayan Dog chew sticksHimalayan Dog chew sticks This dog chew gets rave reviews-not just from hounds, but from their owners, too. It's an ancient Mongolian recipe that contains only four ingredients: yak milk, cow milk, salt and lime juice. Yak milk isn't something you come across every day, and neither is this unique chew. It's dense, so it takes a long time to finish one. And it packs a nutritional punch. These all-natural Himalayan Dog Chews contain more than 50% protein, almost no fat, and are completely digestible.

    Daily Grommet TeamDaily Grommet Team We heard about the chews from Julia Elmer, an animal lover and activist who makes her own dog food. Julia has suggested several Grommets to us, and her endorsement was enough to get us interested. When we dug deeper, we found a great story. The recipe for these chews comes from a dried cheese -- known as chhurpi and other names - that nomadic Mongolian, Tibetan and Nepalese people have eaten as a high protein snack for centuries.

    Sujan Shrestha, a Nepalese entrepreneur, along with his brothers and some

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  • Now serving: A cornucopia of vintage toys and prizes

    Tops MalibuTops MalibuJudy Walker says she was a ""right brain"" kid growing up in a ""left brain"" household. Her parents were scientific and orderly, while Judy wanted every day to be a carnival full of surprises. Now that she's an adult and founder of TOPS Malibu, Judy has created her childhood wish. Her fanciful creations inspire excitement, curiosity and a hint of nostalgia.

    TOPS Malibu's surprise balls and little gifts.TOPS Malibu's surprise balls and little gifts. Which wonder will you choose for your next special gathering? There are the Surprize Cornucopias, filled with vintage-style toys and prizes like confetti poppers, retro candy and treasure soap. Or maybe you're more in the mood for Surprize Balls? Light up some Deluxe Sparklers (who doesn't love sparklers?) or Magic Yule Logs that create colorful flames in the fireplace. If you want to get people chatting, try a themed Conversation Game, such as Wine Time (for the 21+ crowd) and Birthday Time (for all ages), at your next party.

    Tops MalibuTops Malibu Becca Lee introduced Julia to the treasures of TOPS Malibu on her birthday, and the fun was

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  • Break out the popcorn and host a film festival in your home

    Scilla Andreen wears many hats: mom, entrepreneur, film director, producer and award winning costume designer. Through her latest project, called Film Festival in a Box, Scilla works tirelessly to make people aware of the thousands of independent films that are created each year but never get shared with us. She's changing the way short films are distributed by letting indie filmmakers keep the rights to their movies while also generating revenue for their creative work.

    Adrian GillAdrian Gill For us, it's a chance to see "shorts" that very few people outside the film industry get a chance to enjoy. "What I really love about this concept is that you get to see raw talent," says Adrian Gill, who tested Film Festival in a Box for us. The films haven't been sterilized by Hollywood, and their imperfections make them even more engaging.

    Buy Popcorn Microwave Popper here.Buy Popcorn Microwave Popper here.We think Film Festival in a Box is a fun, easy way for movie lovers to screen independent films and spark lively, thoughtful discussions and a great excuse to invite

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  • Add favor to holiday soirees with organic bitters

    Many of us have heard of bitters, but aren't really sure what they are besides an ingredient in old-school cocktails and another generation's remedy for unsettled stomachs.

    The nostalgia associated with bitters doesn't mean they're not current, however. Bitters are making a comeback in restaurants and bars, and we're making it easy to join the classic cocktail revival with handcrafted organic bitters and tonics from Vermont.

    Jovial King, a practiced herbalist, has achieved just the right balance of old and new in her refined bitters. Through her venture, called Urban Moonshine, Jovial harnesses the power of local plants to create intense flavoring agents by steeping herbs, roots, leaves, berries and fruits in alcohol. Jovial King, Urban MoonshineJovial King, Urban Moonshine You can choose her Original blend, Citrus flavor or Maple bitters. We're also featuring Urban Moonshine tonics, which are medicinal bitters such as Immune Zoom for fighting the common cold. These organic bitters and herbal tonics are packaged in glass apothecary

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  • Travel unencumbered with a sleek neoprene sling

    I'm the guy who's always checking to make sure I have my phone and keys when I go out for a run. Send me to an airport and I'm even more worried that my boarding pass or ID will lose its way. That's why it's easy for me to hop on board with the KangaTek GO.

    Martha McDaniel and Greg Menzel, KangaTekMartha McDaniel and Greg Menzel, KangaTekCreators Martha McDaniel and Greg Menzel designed this slim shoulder sling with four zippered pockets for organizing and securing your valuables. Made from water-resistant neoprene, it has space for your wallet, cell phone, MP3 player, camera, keys and whatever else you like to have handy. It doesn't get in the way of your activities, so whether you're skateboarding, walking a dog, or navigating on crutches, you can keep your valuables secure and accessible.

    Mike Huebner, StuffittsMike Huebner, StuffittsWe heard about KangaTek from Mike Huebner, creator of Stuffitts moisture-absorbing shoe inserts. "I think it's better than a backpack, better than a fanny pack, and certainly better than jamming everything into my pants," Mike says.

    He's right. We all know

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