I spotted this photograph, shot by James R. Salomon, of a home on Squaw Lake, NH, and turned green with envy. Not only do these homeowners have a lake as their backyard, but they have a garage for their boats actually attached to their home. Maybe I'm not familiar enough with waterfront homes, but this seems really extraordinary. And if you hold your hand up to block the water, the house looks any other New England home with a garage you might see on land; it's seamlessly integrated. Better yet, the garage roof offers itself up as an expansive deck extending from the interior where the family can look out at the lake. Remind me why I'm living in a small apartment in the city again?
Artist Miro Chun makes her Fold handmade cards sitting in her workshop surrounded by stacks of paper, lengths of wire, and spools of thread. Mini wire sculptures sit on colorful arrangements of paper, creating a motif that is both pared down and full of personality, be it a simple sailboat, a wedding cake, or any number of recognizable creatures including lobsters, frogs, and robots. Her inspiration for these meticulous creations includes her namesake Catalan painter and sculptor Joan Miro, as well as Alexander Calder, known for his wire circuses and mobiles. Send one of these charming cards to a friend, and suddenly "hello" can help someone collect art. I'm loving the Summer style of this five-by-five-inch Boat Card ($11).
Pedaling for exercise isn't limited to just biking. You can pedal around a lake with your boo in a rented pedal boat. The two of you can work your legs and burn some calories, too. It is a fun workout and being out on the water is sure to have a calming effect on both of you. It's just as easy as pedaling a bike, but you sit side by side so you both have a nice view (unlike a tandem bike).The seating arrangement is more conversational as well. If your workout makes you sweat, you can just jump into a the lake to cool off. You'll still be burning calories and toning your muscles while swimming and treading water. If you live near a lake or are visiting one this Summer, renting a pedal boat is fairly inexpensive (less than $40 for three hours), but it's totally worth it. Just make sure you have enough energy to pedal back to shore!
If you are going to be near water, either backpacking, camping, swimming, going to the beach, boating, water skiing, wakeboarding, fishing, or kayaking, you've got to protect all your stuff from getting wet. You know - the stuff that absolutely can't get wet like your camera, cell phone, wallet, and dry undies.
Check out this very practical dry bag (it means it's waterproof) made by Sealine. They make many different kinds of bags, but these Dry Seal Roll-Top Closure bags are great because they're made with transparent vinyl. So if you are looking for something in your bag, you can see right through the plastic to make sure it's still in there.
The bottom is made out of heavy-duty vinyl to protect against abrasion. All you do is place your things in the bag, roll down the top a few times (to keep the water out), and then you easily secure it closed with the D-ring closure.
These see-thru dry bags come in 4 sizes: 18 oz ($23.95), 14 oz ($19.95), 10 oz (16.95), and 6.5 oz ($13.95). They also make other kinds of bags that are much larger, so check out the Sealine website if bigger is what you need. If you are planning to be on or near water, dry bags are a total necessity.
Do you slurp your pasta? I know I'm guilty of it, something about it just seems so much fun. The folks behind the advertising of Germany's Mondo Pasta seem to know that too. They've used the slurping idea to create one of the most clever ad campaigns I've seen in a while. These giant faces have been pasted onto sides of ships in Hamburg, Germany and the ropes that come out of their mouths is supposed to represent Mondo Pasta. It's slightly disturbing to look at, but I really like the concept.