Category Archives: Sponsored Post

The beauty of a beach in winter

Image: Flickr user, Brianmoc, of my beloved Crane Beach in Massachussetts

Have you ever gone to the beach in the late fall/early winter?

Gone is the technicolor fun and energy that bounces through the air in the summer.  It is replaced with a cooler bittersweetness as the weather gets cooler.  I think the month of November brings out a different side of the beach. A more subdued and personal side.

I love that winter beaches aren’t as crowded.  Sometimes you’ll find yourself completely alone on the beach, and it feels like it belongs to you. Only to you.  I think that it is only then that you truly fall in love with that sandy strip connecting with the water.

But the one thing that can mar those beautiful winter beaches more than anything else is an unsightly piece of plastic washed ashore. Sadly  nowadays, you almost can’t take a walk on a beach without running into a piece or six of plastic garbage. That is why I truly appreciate when companies take a stance against all that plastic. Whether it be using corn-based , biodegradable plastic containers for your salad or wrapping your goodies with newspaper instead of those little foam peanuts.

One company that is doing something different is Method. Our friends at Method took it one step further, sending each employee over a year’s time to Hawaii to clean up a certain beautiful beach that is constantly inundated with “ocean plastic. You know, those misc. bits and pieces of plastic washed ashore, like that plastic fork used back in 1981 or that plastic ring holding together a six pack of soda in the seventies.

And instead of just tossing all of that plastic, Method has collected it and used it to create the world’s first bottle made with a blend of recovered ocean plastic and post-consumer recycled plastic. And I got say, what a bottle!

This is just divine, isn’t it?  Muted gray (thanks to the natural color of the cleaned plastic pellets) with a lovely nod to a sea anemone.  I actually bought this soap (only available at Whole Foods and as a little prezzie for my interior design friend and she fell head over heels for it.  I think you will too. Another cool thing about this Method product is that it is a hand and dish soap—so you only need to buy one bottle. Huzzah!

For a bit more about the unusual story behind this unusual soap, check out this great video Method made.  Makes me love these guys even more!

I hope Method starts a trend and more companies follow suit using ocean plastic. Because our beaches in winter (or actually any time of the year) deserve to be plastic free, leaving more room for us to enjoy.

Are you a fan of winter beaches?

This post brought to you by:

but all opinions are always our own. To read more on Method’s green practices, ingredients and philosophy, go here.

Art With Heart + Method Designed for Good

By now you already know about our love for Method. This fall, they have launched a collection of two limited edition ‘Pink Your Sink‘ hand wash bottles. It’s a small but wonderful gesture, and one we think can go a long way in support of the fight against breast cancer.

It’s a sad truth that I think every woman has a story about Breast Cancer—whether they have had a personal experience, have known someone who has suffered, or simply a story that has touched their lives. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month this October, I wanted to share with you a story about one of my favorite artists: Margaret Kilgallen.

I have always felt a connection to her. I can remember the very first time I saw a piece of her artwork many many years ago. I was immediately drawn to the hand lettering and folky/vintage sensibility of the pieces. I thought she had such a cool and interesting style. I also loved that she was a grafitti artist, because there are so few women out there doing that. I had heard she was married to Barry McGee (aka TWIST) who is also an amazing artist (and graffiti artist ). I thought “Wow, they are the coolest couple EVER!” The two of them quickly rose to fame as leaders of the Mission School art movement that developed here in San Francisco in the late 90s. Both would go on to become pretty major players in the modern-day art world.

Margaret’s shows were often huge installations with massive images painted right onto the walls of the space. If you were lucky you could also spot her work throughout the city—guerilla style. Instead of the usual urban hipster angst, her influences were drawn from rural inspiration: hand-drawn signage, hobo train writing, and Appalachian banjo music:

In 2003 I became pregnant and for my birthday Greg took me to Vancouver for a little getaway. We went to the Vancouver Art Gallery which had a huge installation of her work. Surrounded by the bold, beautiful images, I was once again transfixed. As I sat on a small bench and read her bio, I was startled to realize she had passed away a few years ago. She was only 33. As tragic as it was, the story has an even more bittersweet turn. Margaret learned that she had developed breast cancer. It was at this time she also discovered that she was pregnant. As a result, she had to make the heartbreaking decision—continue with treatment or have the baby. She chose to have a child. Her little girl Asha was born on June 7. A few short weeks later on June 26, Margaret Kilgallen passed away in the arms of her husband Barry. Reading the story I was heartbroken and moved to tears. I can’t imagine having to make such a decision. And I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Barry—to lose your partner so soon after you both bring a chid into the world.

Margaret’s work is still extremely influential and so many artists have been inspired by her. Because of the nature of her work (grafitti-style and murals) there really isn’t a ton of her work flying around. We were really fortunate to purchase a piece of hers back in 2005 from Paulson Press. It was the first real “art” we have ever bought and we really treasure it.

A year ago I had my annual “lady exam” and had a brief scare with a suspicious lump. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office and suddenly felt like my world was about to unravel. We tend to take our health for granted, plowing through life. Thankfully I was fine. But many other women have a different end to their story….which is why I was so happy to hear that Method was joining in the cause to raise awareness for Breast Cancer.

Method believes in design as a force for good. It’s why they make products that are safe for people and the planet. It’s also why they’re using this season’s limited edition Designed For Good hand washes to help promote breast cancer awareness, and donating $10,000 to breast cancer research. Several organizations have been nomicated to receive these research funds, you can vote for them here.

Pop on over to see which organizations have the chance to benefit from a $10,000 gift from Method, and cast your vote! Winners wil be announced on 10/29.

As for the soaps themselve? Well, naturally they are both beautiful. And as always they come in planet friendly bottles and are available in two delicate scents: Botanical Garden and Mimosa Sun. They’re the perfect way for you to add a little sunshine to your sink during these cooler months—and of course show your support!

This post brought to you by 

but all opinions are always our own. To read more on Method’s green practices, ingredients and philosophy, go here.

Pump it up! The Revolutionary Method Fabric Softener Spray

For years, I was a huge fan of dryer sheets. I loved the extra softness it brought to my clothes, but I really hated those blasted crinkly, stick-to-everything sheets. I would be lying if I said I haven’t walked out of the house with one of those sheets stuck to the back of my pants. Sigh…


That is why I was particularly excited to hear about and try Method’s new Dryer Activated Fabric Softener Spray. Yes, I said SPRAY!

Instead of dealing with those lame sheets, the clever folks at Method have magically put all that cozy softness into a bottle so all you have to do is spray it four times into your dryer and let the heat of the dryer and the movement of your clothing tame all the scratchiness right out of your clothes. Your CLOTHES become the dryer sheet. Genius!

And what is particularly nice is that instead of gross tallow (a.k.a. beef fat) that a lot of other brands use, Method relies on friendly coconut oil to create its hypoallergenic spray, which is especially good news for the Peach and her super sensitive skin.

Speaking of the Peach, she not only loves the extra softness added to her clothes, but it is officially one of her new chores. She counts out the sprays with such glee and looks forward to helping mama out. Now, if she could only fold…

Speaking of folding. I have noticed since I started using Method’s Dryer-Activated Fabric Softener Spray that the our clothes don’t have as many wrinkles, which is a nice time and energy saver since I don’t have to plug the iron in and spend an extra hour or so ironing.

I gotta say, I’m totally crushing on the whole Method laundry system! Have you given it a try yet?

This post brought to you by:

but all opinions are always our own. To read more on Method’s green practices, ingredients and philosophy, go here!

Orla Kiely + Method {And win an Orla Kiely bag. Really!}

Oh me or my, it’s a styley mashup of two of our very favorite brands! The chic, clean-happy stylings of Method meets the graphic, whimsy of Orla Kiely! Ahhhh, and all was right in the world……

Yes it’s true. Dottie and I looooooove our Orla Kiely. I think she and I scooped up nearly every piece of the Target collection back when it was released! London-based Orla Kiely is one of the most noted pattern makers in the world. With her Orla fabulous retro, graphic cool, a partnership with Method seems utterly perfect! In true Method fashion, they created unique scents inspired by four of Orla’s iconic prints:

I have to share a quick silly story with you just so you know I’m serious about my lerve of Orla. One of my very very very (VERY) favorite purses in the whole wide world is my Orla Kiely handbag. A few years ago I was coveting this Orla bag like crazy:

It was a bit of a twist on the usual Orla patterns and just so funky cute. It came in three different colors and in my mind, it was the perfect work bag—something I could schlep all my stuff around in for ages. The problem was, the bag was discontinued and reeeally hard to find. I was obsessed. I searched online like mad. I trolled eBay. I stalked shops. I wrote all about it on my old blog. Well, two years ago was my 8 year wedding anniversary and I was thrilled to discover that my adorable (and style savvy) hubby Greg had managed to track down THE BAG for me!

Hurray! The most excellent, lemon yellow Orla Kiely button bag! He had actually read my post and manage to find the bag. I was sooo touched by his sweetness and thought it was completely adorable and that he had read my blog and made it his mission to find it too. Except….he didn’t really read that closely or he would have seen that….

I already posted about how, after massive web sleuthing, I found it in red and bought it for myself as a treat for slaving so hard at work. EEP!!!! It was like the Gift of the Magi or something. I hadn’t had a chance to show him the red bag, which had arrived the day before and as I opened up his amazingly sweet and thoughtful prezzie I kind of gulped. Do I pretend I never got the red one? Do I sell it? Hide it under the bed?? Waaah.

Being the good little George Washington that I am, however, I couldn’t tell a lie. I had to come clean and show it to him. Greg thought it was pretty hilarious but immediately said, “Um, you know you can’t keep them both right?” *sigh* I know, I know. I decided to let Wolfie pick the winning color, because I honestly couldn’t decide. The yellow was so sunshiney and sweet, but the red felt more “me”. And so the winning bag (drum roll please):

So this is a very long winded way of telling you that I am THRILLLLLLLLED with the latest Method collaboration with Orla Kiely! Let’s cut to the chase here. The packaging? Gorgeous. These little cuties will liven up any kitchen counter or bathroom.

Of course it’s what’s INSIDE the bottles that is the best part. They may look pretty, but they still clean like crazy, are free of dirty ingredients like parabens, phthalates, triclosan and edta, and of course are packaged in 100% recycled plastic.

And the scents? AMAZING. Ginger Pear (yum!), Bay Leaf (a zippy, fresh scent), Primrose (a delicate, non-cloying floral that is so pretty) and Vanilla Chai (note to self: stock up on this cozy fragrance for autumn). Each scent/pattern comes in regular and foaming hand soap, with Pear Ginger also available as dish soap and as a special edition of our favorite All Purpose Cleaner. This is a limited-edition collection, so scoop ’em up at Target while you can! TIP: Check the cleaning supplies aisle for the Ginger Pear but check the head soap section for all the other scents! I thought my Target only had Ginger Pear but realized the Vanilla Chai and the rest were in another aisle!


OK, so the best part of this month’s Method Mania? Skip on over to the Method facebook page (and click the Orla Kiely tab) to enter to WIN AN ORLA BAG STUFFED WITH PRETTY METHOD PRODUCTS!

Yep. You read that correctly. Five lucky grand prize winners will receive an Orla Kiely bag packed with the entire limited edition collection, valued at $235. It runs from August 22 thru August 31, and 30 runner-ups will receive a little mini Method + Orla Kiely kit filled with a hand soap and dish. Alas, the contest is only open to U.S Residents. Click here to enter!

Have you smelled this amazing line yet? Do you have a favorite scent??

This post brought to you by 

but all opinions are always our own. Seriously, we love this stuff. To read more on Method’s green practices, ingredients and philosophy, go here!

Our Favorite Summer Pants Ever! {plus free shipping from Polarn O. Pyret!}

Are these pants? Or are they shorts? I guess they’re a little bit of both! As you guys know, one of our favorites around here is Polarn O. Pyret. They are one of our go-to spots for funky basics that are stylish on and off the playground! When we received these cool 3/4 shorts in the mail, Wolfie promptly put them on—and has barely taken them off! The super slouchy fit is fantastic for our San Francisco weather—you can push them up so they hit around the knee or pull ’em down a little lower if it’s cooler out. I think they are the perfect pant (short?) to help you transition into fall!

We also love PoP’s cardigans. They’re thick enough to be warm but not scratchy and bulky. And the elbow patches are totally grandpa-licious!

Three Quarter Shorts c/o Polarn O. Pyret.  Wolfie is also sportin’ the Professor Patch Cardigan Sweater, c/o ME!

Right now Polarn O. Pyret is having a mega summer sale—up to 50-70% off! The thing I love is that it’s not JUST summer shorts and tees, there are so many transitional pieces too. Be sure to check out the skinny jeans and the outerwear. PoP’s speciality is outer wear and there are some incredible deals on jackets and coats.

Our pals at Polarn O. Pyret have a special bonus for our readers! Just use the  code:  MODERNPOP for free shipping over $50 from now until Sunday midnight!

Head on over to the Polarn O. Pyret  Summer Sale and get yer shop on!