Western Rise

This summer we stumbled upon a new outdoor gear company headquartered in Denver, Western Rise.  I'm pretty loyal to Patagonia, but I purchased a Western Rise henley and absolutely love it.  It's long enough to actually cover my torso without riding up (a complaint I have about Patagonia's tops), the burnt red color is unique, and it is proving to be quite durable.  Rob also picked out a henley and we've both been wearing them for all of our adventures this summer (yes, at the same time - at least they aren't the same color!).  As far as shirts are concerned, I'm converted.  Oh, and with every Western Rise product purchased, a portion of the profits go to Western Rivers Conservancy to directly impact western rivers.  You can currently get 10% off of a selection of items on Huckberry.

All product images above are credit to Western Rise.  If you want to see awe-inspiring outdoor images, check out their Instagram.  Perusing their feed makes me want to put Blythe in her hiking pack and head out for an adventure.  Below are photos of me and Rob in our gear (sadly, no kids clothing yet).

Cliff Engle Vintage Sweaters

In the last few years, I've become an avid football fan.  This year, I even started an all women's fantasy football league, which I'm enjoying mostly because of the hilarious e-mail exchanges amongst the nine of us.  I grew up a Broncos fan, but my years on the east coast and being married to Rob have turned me into a Patriots fan.  When I saw these sweaters on Tuckernuck, I knew I needed to add one to my football-watching wardrobe.


The sweaters are made by Cliff Engle, which was apparently a popular sweater brand in the 1980s made famous by Mike Ditka who used to rock his Chicago Bears sweater.  Alas, the sweaters were available in a very limited quantity on Tuckernuck and have sold out with very few exceptions (the Atlanta Falcons, I think).  You can track vintage versions down on eBay and on the Cliff Engle site, but I'm hoping Tuckernuck will restock for the holiday season.   Not only do I want one, but I think these would make great gifts for football-loving significant others.


All images credit to Tuckernuck.

Flat Black Cult Vintage Football Tees

We are in the heart of football season (did you see the awesome Pats victory last Sunday night?) and you can show your team spirit with one of these vintage t-shirts from Flat Black Cult.  They aren't offering all of the teams yet, but the ones they are offering are rad.  I'm adding the Broncos shirt to my Christmas list!  All images credit to Flat Black Cult.

2013 Gift Guide for Men

December is just around the corner and I'm starting to think about gifting!  I find Rob impossible to shop for, but here are a few ideas that might work for the man in your life.  Does anyone have any other ideas?  What will you be buying this year?  I seem to be drink-heavy this year, which was unintentional.

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#1 - Patagonia Better Sweater - I have two of these and wear them all the time.  They are cozy and warm and come in a range of colors.  They aren't too outdoorsy that you'll be out of place wearing one in, say, Brooklyn (and if you wear one in Denver, you'll just blend in).

#2 - Whiskey Stones - Rob uses these in his cocktails and they seem to work well for keeping a drink cool without watering the drink down.  We store ours in the freezer so they are always chilled and these would make a nice stocking stuffer.  If your man is into making cocktails at home, you could also consider this large, square ice cube tray.  This WSJ article describes in detail why the shape of your ice matters!  If you live in Denver, Williams & Graham even sells their giant ice cubes either at the bar or at Proper Pour in the Source.

#3 - Smathers & Branson Lumberjack Needlepoint Flask - I've already revealed my obsession with buffalo plaid and Smathers & Branson is a brand I love - this combines both.  This is perfect for tailgating, Christmas tree hunting, and general tomfoolery. 

#4 - Barbour Liddesdale Quilted Jacket - My favorite go-to coat for men that keeps you reasonably warm (this isn't a winter coat, but it is perfect for fall and spring) and will always be in style.  This looks just as snazzy with jeans as it does paired for dressier occasions. You can't go wrong with Barbour.

#5 - Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth - The possibilities are endless!  Listen to music or podcasts in the shower, when you are outside doing yard work, when you are camping and don't want to run down the car battery, etc. We have used ours in all of the aforementioned situations and love the convenience and ability to recharge.

#6 - Decanter and Pewter Decanter Tags - Perfect for the liquor aficionado to class up the bar area and don't forget the tags that come in 8 options (including blank so you can customize).  

#7 - Hermetus Bottle Opener & Resealer - Another stocking stuffer item, this not only opens bottles, but reseals them!  I don't know how this technology works, but with the increasing number of craft beers that come in bombers, I think this would come in handy.  

#8 - Penfield Big Bear T-shirt - Just for fun, comes in an array of colors. 

#9 - Leather Koozie - Sure, the foam versions are fun, but why not class it up with leather koozies? J.L. Hulme also offers a version that can be monogrammed! 

#10 - Extracto Coffee - Aside from Monmouth Coffee in London (and they won't ship to the states - I've asked), the best cup of joe I've ever had was at Extracto Coffee in Portland this summer.  Luckily, the beans can be ordered online.

#11 - Brooks Brothers Manicure Set - For the gentleman who travels regularly, the tools that always come in handy on the road.  You could put one of these together yourself and save quite a bit of money, but these items will always be useful (I use Rob's mini-scissors on every trip).  The kit contains nail and cuticle scissors, a nail file and tweezers.

#12 - The Beer Buckle - Perfect for the social man in your life, this buckle allows him to carry a beer AND have two hands free.  

#13 - Ramp Bamboo Ski Poles - If skiing is on the agenda this year, maybe a snazzy set of poles is in order?  I don't know about you, but I have the random poles that came with my first set of skis and I've never given them much thought.  I like the look of these!

Faherty Brand Swimwear

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We've been traveling in Southeast Asia for the past 19 days where the temps rose to triple digits and all I could think of was beaches and summer and air conditioning.  And to what did we return?  A blizzard in Denver.  

I'm taking the turn back to winter personally and trying to think warm thoughts, including of these fantastic swimsuits from Faherty Brand.  I learned of the brand via Vogue and love the prints and the fact that the swimwear fabric is made primarily from recycled polyester from plastic bottles.  They make suits in a variety of cuts for both women and men and the fabrics are inspired by travels to Tahiti, Indonesia, and India.  All images credit to Faherty Brand via the company's website.

Pop Chart Lab

If you received any of the Crate & Barrel Holiday catalogs this year, you may have noticed the fantastic beer chart included in the catalog.  I tore it out for Rob who loved it, but couldn't find its source.  Thanks to B, I now know the detailed chart is from Pop Chart Lab, a book editor and a graphic designer team whose goal is to "render all of human experience in chart form."  Whether it is baseball, alcohols, breweries, coffee, or typography, they seem to have accomplished their goal.  You might just find the perfect gift for someone on their site.  All images credit to Pop Chart Lab.