Kiss Me by Philosophy

Kiss Me

I absolutely adore this lip balm. I bought my first Philosophy Kiss Me lip balm years ago when I lived in New York City. They only made it one color and sold it in little tubs back then, and I applied it with my finger. Now there are multiple colors and flavors and the choice between no SPF and SPF20, and they’ve also added an exfoliating lip scrub to the line. The new little tubes (okay, not terribly new, just new to me) make it easy to apply on the go, and with all the options now there’s a balm for any event or time of day. But the main reason I love this product is that it locks moisture into my lips and helps to heal dryness and cracks better than any other balm I’ve tried. I often use this as an overnight treatment, applying it just before bed, sometimes followed by a little Burt’s Bees balm to seal it in (the Burt’s Bees is more waxy). I’m not sure my lips could make it through the harsh Minnesota winter without it. So pick a color, or go clear. Either way your lips will be protected, and plenty kissable.

Bissinger’s Gummy Pandas

Blueberry Bears

I find gummy bears completely addictive, so it was just about impossible for me to pass up Bissinger’s Gummy Pandas. These bears are made with organic ingredients and come in really yummy flavors like blueberry acai and pomegranate white tea. All five flavors are loaded with antioxidants and while I’ve personally only tasted three of the flavors, I can tell you they’re some of the best tasting bears out there.

Gummy bears are a great snack even if you’re trying to lose weight, as they’re low in calories (Bissinger’s blueberry acai gummy pandas are only 8 calories per bear) and contain simple sugars to give you an energy boost. Since all you really need is few bears here and there when your energy is low, Bissinger’s sells the bears in a resealable pouch so they won’t dry out between snacks. If you’re like me and have a hard time having just one or two, knowing that they’ll will taste just as fresh later on can help you resist the urge to eat them all in one sitting.

I should warn you, these are VERY addictive. Pandaholics Anonymous, anyone?

Patagonia Down Sweater Vest

In the Down

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Down SWEATER vest?!?”, but yes, that’s what Patagonia calls it. This vest is designed with smaller channels for the down, allowing it to keep you warm without a lot of added bulk, so it fits more like a sweater. Not exactly like, but more like. It’s surprisingly warm yet flexible – I’ve found I can wear this vest over a wool baselayer and a light wool sweater and be comfortable walking the dog in 20 degree weather, but it doesn’t make me overheat when I wear it indoors either.

The exterior fabric of the vest, made from recycled polyester, is windproof and water-resistant. It holds in the feathers well and resists tearing – I learned this well on the first day I wore the vest when I clumsily caught some of the vest fabric in the zipper. If it had torn, I would have been covered under the Patagonia Ironclad Guarantee, which I also know from experience is the real deal. The vest has three pockets – two handwarmer pockets and one rather large interior pocket that the vest can fold into when I need to stash it in my bag. The zippers are solid and are the quality I’ve come to expect from Patagonia. I’m very happy with the fit also, not too snug and not too loose, and it follows the natural contours of my torso. All in all I think I’ve made a really good purchase, and I can tell already that it’s going to get a lot of use.

If you’re a guy, Patagonia makes this vest for you too :)

Moo Me Again!

Moo Card Houses

I’ve received my second set of moo cards this week and they look fantastic! I’m very pleased. If you’re not familiar with these cards, you should be! They’re made by a company called Moo, and run $20 for a set of 100 cards. If you have a Flickr account, you can link your Flickr account to your Moo account and bring over your Flickr photos automatically – no manual uploading required! Moo let’s you choose up to 100 images per set, so if you desire 100 unique cards, you can have them for no additional charge. Moo is located in the UK, but if you’re stateside you’ll still get your cards fairly quickly – it takes about a week for them to print, and then another week to ship.

As always, if you see a card you’d like, send me an email or a flickrmail. I’m up for trades :)

Clif Nectar Cacao

Chocolate Yumminess

I love these bars! They have the taste and texture of dense, chewy brownies with walnuts, but hidden inside are two servings of fruit. I keep one in each of my camera bags and take them on all my bike rides, just in case I feel my blood sugar start to drop. They’re low on the glycemic index, which means that they provide a steady level of energy and won’t cause a sudden surge of blood sugar followed by a drop. They’re the perfect snack for me when I need to keep my energy up and keep hunger at bay.

Clif uses all organic ingredients and free-trade cocoa in these bars, and they’re a member of 1% for the planet, so you can feel good about where your cash is going when you buy a nectar bar. Good taste, good for you, and good for the planet – I couldn’t ask for more in an chocolate bar.