If you kick sand on my towel one more time…

sandless towel means beach fun

There you are, on a gorgeous sunny day, just trying to relax and soak up some rays… when sand starts itching it’s way onto your towel. Kids and dogs running by, or just moving around to get comfortable seems to add more sand into the mix.

I guess you just have to deal with it, right?

Nope! The military’s got you covered. Kind of.

sandless towel for awesome beach fun

This technological marvel called the Sandless Beach Mat was indeed developed by the military for landing a chopper and not blowing sand every which way. Now you can use this technology to spend an awesome day at the beach, connecting with nature, while staying comfy, too.

This sandless towel also eliminates dirt, dust, and water from its surface, so you have a perpetually clean outdoor space. Perfect for camping or watching outdoor concerts.

What, you need features? Well, it’s also strong enough to resist abrasions from outdoor furniture or pets, the towel will remain flat, and it never absorbs moisture, so it can’t grow mold or mildew.

So get out there and enjoy the rest of the summer – and all your other outdoor activities – with a sand-free smile :)

Top 6 Back to the Future Shirts, In Order of Redonkulousness

What makes us 80′s Babies so crazy for time travel?
How come we still watch Back to the Future with wide eyes and hope in our hearts?

I have a theory: Cuz we know time travel is legit.
Something in our late 20th century DNA whispers “that could be you warping through Space-Time…
SRSLY!

So in honor of my redonkulous theory, I present to you…

The Top 6 Back to the Future Shirts, In Order of Redonkulousness

Flux Capacitor shirt
The Flux Capacitor! Doc Brown downloaded this idea in a vision after he whacked his head on the sink.
It’s what makes time travel possible, and when it’s in t-shirt form, it’s how Back to the Future nerds identify one another.

Keep Calm and Save The Clock Tower shirt
Keep Calm and Save The Clock Tower! Ya see what they did thurr? I can’t recall any British influence in the BTTF trilogy, but this mashup t-shirt doesn’t care. It’s calmly riding a trend while looking bright and bold.

Distressed Vintage Delorean shirt
Distressed Vintage Delorean! This shirt is SO committed to reproducing the time travel aesthetic that it comes seriously pre-aged. Based on the 100+ positive customer reviews, I’d say it’s doing a good job.

Triangle Delorean shirt
Triangle Delorean! This is my personal fave, because I’ll be honest, I’m crazy for triangles in design. Add that to the poppin’ color combo and gently distressed printing, and I’m in time travel heaven.

Back to the Future Cafe 80's shirt
Cafe 80′s! This restaurant is such a brief joke in the second movie that you win instant Scene Points for wearing a shirt about it. For an infinitely cooler version, buy it in the biggest size possible, and either chop out an asymmetrical hem or the slice off the sleeves. Be ready to pose for more instagrams than usual.

Delorean Schematic shirt
Delorean Schematic! All hail the highly coveted yet impractical Delorean! This stainless steel beast is the most recognizable and beloved symbol for the entire trilogy. And fun fact: Whenever you wear a shirt with the schematics of a time traveling Delorean, an 80s baby gets its wings.


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Vulture Culture Vintage Shop

vulture culture vintage

Ya know, we’ve been featuring jaw-dropping vintage stores for so many years that we’ve lost count.

But I can tell you with certainty that Vulture Culture Vintage is our best find yet!

We love em’ so much we did a fun little interview and added Vulture Culture to our elite list of Favorite Vintage Clothing Stores.

Shall we count the ways they rock our socks off?

  1. Top Rated Plus seller on eBay with 100% positive feedback = customer service champs!
  2. Been in business since 2007 so their buyers are way experienced at picking out The Goods.
  3. Founded with the vision of supporting homeless shelter animals!
  4. 10% of all vintage furs + vintage fur containing items support wildlife organizations with the intent to “respect the past, present and future”.
  5. So many big, clear, well styled photos in each auction!
  6. New retail store in Portland, IN is perfect for getting your in-person vintage clothing fix while getting a 20% discount for all clothing purchases.
  7. Styling advice via Facebook for that gorgeous vintage piece your just bought.

Take a peek at their ever-changing selection of vintage treasures and see what we mean.

And if you buy some vintage goodies, tell em’ Mable sent you ;)

Summer Pool Party Fun For Adults

Ice Cream Sandwich Pool Float

Attention Fellow Adults Who Refuse To Grow Up!

Your inner child still wants to play. Needs to play. It’s one of those non-negotiable human needs, even if some grumpy adult tells you otherwise.

And you know the best way to satisfy the playful needs of that inner child? The fastest way to get your creative left brain firing on all cylinders, so you become a happier and more productive grown up?

MAKE BELIEVE. Imaginative play. Dressing up something mundane until it looks magical…

This pool floaty right here? Nah man, it’s an ice cream sandwich.

And, check me out, I’m floating on a freaking DONUT!

Is all this awesomeness making you thirsty? Look over there… That mini palm tree island has a drink with your name on it.

It’s all in the mindset, homies. Now make this the best summer you’ve had yet, and jump on that lazy river of melted ice cream and ride your giant donut until the sun sets…

ice cream sandwich floatydonut floatypalm tree drink island setbaseball glove pool float


Retro Rocket Shaped Cocktail Shaker

Rocket ShakerLooking for the perfect retro inspired cocktail shaker? Blast off with this swanky 1950s rocket shaped cocktail shaker, and just sit back and enjoy the ride…

Made of stainless steel and able to hold 24 ounces of the “rocket fuel” of your choice, this cocktail shaker is ready to launch you and your party guests back to a more space-fascinated time.

$34.99 @ ModCloth

Nature Inspired Home Decor

serving platter
When it comes to beauty you really can’t improve on nature. Have you seen Root of the Earth? Such a perfect example. They’re home decor accents carved from a single piece of wood, and they are just stunning. Each one is totally unique.

My favorite is the serving platter, because the shape and size make it so versatile. We have a constant supply of fresh fruit at our house, and I love how this tray cradles them with its swirling wood grain. Makes fruit and veg look like a boho centerpiece. Instant cute, zero effort ;)

While the unique design of these natural products is rather rustic and earthy, just a few simple flowers transforms them into sophisticated pieces of art. Can you imagine how gorgeous the baskets would look full of fresh herbs or blooms from your garden?! Or how the wine caddy would lend a relaxed feel to a room with beachy decor? Any of the pieces could add warmth and grounding to an otherwise pristinely decorated room. Thanks to mother nature – and your creativity – the options are truly endless.

serving traybowlsbasketswine caddy


Automatic Pet Feeders and Water Fountains

The Microchip Activated Pet Feeder.
Like so many of our readers, the Mable’s Crew does a bit of traveling for both pleasure and business. Even when we’re at home we tend to take frequent trips that can last most of the day. Before discovering automatic pet feeders and pet drinking fountains, this always caused a problem for our cats, who insist on timely meals! We’d come home and have 3 antsy cats circling our feet, meowing continuously until we refilled their food and water dishes. Thank goodness for automatic pet feeders, amirite?

Healthy Pet Water Station, MediumConvenience is definitely a key selling point for these pet products, but better pet health and longevity are also very important to note. As is common with male cats, our 2 boys (Mable, our namesake, and mc chris) were having urinary tract problems, and after purchasing a pet drinking fountain they began drinking TONS more water and their health problems have since disappeared.

Good To Know: If you are feeding your cat or dog dry food such as kibble, then their lifespan is being reduced simply due to the reduction of water intake. Automatic drinking fountains can increase your pet’s water intake several times over their usual consumption “thereby reducing the risk of urinary tract infection and kidney disease”. It’s a very small investment with huge payoffs for you and your companion animals.

A little PSA: If you are gone for more than a couple days, please ensure that you have someone come over to interact with, and checkup on your pets health and safety. No matter how unsocial your pets can be, animals don’t like sudden changes and even a reclusive cat may tear up your house in protest!


Go Green: New Year’s Resolutions

Go Green: New Year’s Resolutions
You’ve heard it phrased a million different ways: essentially, green is the new black. 2013 brought us many new options for livin’ the green lifestyle. Whether you switched to a hybrid vehicle or didn’t get a chance to “go green” last year, there are lots of ways to easily transition to a more eco-friendly way of life.

Here are a few of the easiest, most impactful, and most affordable green ideas;

FOOD
Eco Friendly DietSurprisingly, what we eat has more impact on the environment than the kind of vehicle we drive! But how can we know what the most eco-friendly diet is? There is so much conflicting information out there!

Well, let’s take a look at the facts and see which foods are kindest on Mother Nature while also providing us with absolutely radiant health.

Surprise, Surprise: organic fruits and veggies always come out on top!

Want a planet and a body that are fit for a king? Focus on eating more fruits and vegetables, and slowly reduce your consumption of animal products and grains.

MEDICINE
Pharmaceuticals are wack, on so many levels. One of the quickest ways to take back control of your health and stop financially supporting chemicals as “medicine” is to go natural. Homeopathic Treatments are a powerful, natural way to heal just about any illness. Plus, they are far more affordable than prescription medicine and don’t have any dangerous side effects.

COUPON: Save 12.5% on homeopathic remedies from Forces of Nature using coupon code “tweetdeal2″ :)

BOTTLED WATER
our favorite water bottleYou already know what happens when you leave a water bottle in a hot car, right? If water bottles are proven to be that toxic, then why would you gamble your health by using them at all? You deserve a better bottle, bro!

The Mable’s Team upgraded our water bottles in 2010 and we’ve been pleasantly astounded by the results. Our VibesUP water bottles have a funny little coaster glued to the bottom of the bottle, which uses simple quantum technology to make the water easier to drink. But here’s the really weird part… we’re not sure how, but this weird “vibration raising” technology makes it so that our water bottles never smell. You know how often you have to clean reusable water bottles, right? Not with VibesUP!

CLOTHING
Recycled green goods Here’s a fun way to make a stylish and eco-friendly change: update your closet. When the time comes to replace any part of your wardrobe- from shoes to jeans to accessories- look for sustainable style. According to the Organic Consumers Association, “Cotton accounts for 50% of the world’s fiber needs, 24% of the world’s insecticide market and 11% of sale of global pesticides, making cotton the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet.”

Thankfully, there are many great retailers of organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo clothing such as XYLME, and Blue Canoe. Amazon also has a growing selection of more affordable organic clothes, as does magical eBay

There’s a new company, Fashioning Change, that we’re really interested in, because they help us find eco friendly clothes based on our unique style preferences. Just choose your favorite style icons and designers, and Fashioning Change will match you up with gorgeous choices.

Plus, if you share the love and invite a friend to shop at fashioning Change, both you and your homie get $10 off.

Stylish. Safe. Sweatshop Free. Save Money. Give Back. It is our vision to help shoppers make better purchases and create bottom-up change in the fashion industry. ~ Fashioning Change

Another rad option is 10 Tree, which plants a whopping TEN trees for every item purchased. When people ask you how much your top cost you can be like, “$35, and it came with ten free trees. No big deal.”

10 trees planted with each item

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Upcycle?
Recycled green goodsThis is a broader concept that challenges how we think about every area of our lives. You’re probably familiar with the first 3 concepts, but “upcycling” is quickly gaining momentum in the handmade community. Etsy has a great article that discusses how everyone can learn to “repurpose” trash-bound items into something useful. Not only can you upcycle your own goods, but you can also purchase products that are made of upcycled or recycled material.

Feeling DIY? Upcycle That will keep you inspired all year long.

Have you decided to go green this year? We’d love to hear your experiences and tips; please leave us a comment!

New Year’s Resolutions

Take More Pictures: New Year’s Resolutions

resolve to take more photos

Continuing our series of New Year’s Resolutions from the previous Get In Shape article, Take More Pictures is next. Most people enjoy looking at pics on Facebook, Picasa (or other preferred photo viewing option) and reliving some great memories. As much as I enjoy doing this, I often wish I’d taken more pictures during trips, events, and especially everyday pics.

Here are some reasons I didn’t take more pictures throughout the year and the possible solutions. Maybe you can relate?

Problem: Wrong camera
If you’re bummed about how your camera is too slow, too bulky, poor-quality pics, not enough features, low battery life, etc., then a camera upgrade is going to be a weight off your shoulders. How do you know which camera is for you? Common sense wisdom: evaluate what your needs are and choose the best camera for you. Read the specifications and other people’s reviews and pay attention to their details (e.g. Did it capture good in low light? Quick to boot up? Easy to navigate menu?) Also, start asking your friends about what they do and don’t like about their digital cameras. The Amazon carousel o’ magic below can also help you find the perrrfect camera.

Problem: Don’t get to ENJOY digital photos
Not everyone is computer savvy and can manipulate digital photos into works of art, or simply print one out to frame. You can buy your own printer and photo paper and try it on your computer, or you can visit a web site, upload some pictures and have them delivered to you in many different forms. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy my digital photos are to have them printed out in different formats and displayed around the house to become a part of my everyday life.
- ImageKind: They offer framed prints, canvas, posters, cards, laptop skins, water bottles, and other fun surfaces for your favorite photos.
- Snapfish (first 50 prints FREE!)

Problem: Forgot the camera
Okay, this one’s easy. You always remember to bring your phone with you, right? Make sure your phone has a good camera, so even if you forget to bring your primary camera with you, you have a reliable backup.

Problem: I’m not a good photographer
Yes you are! You just don’t know it yet. I promise, the more you take pictures and flip through them with your favorite software the more you’ll become aware of what looks good and what doesn’t. Besides, the point of the photo is to capture a moment in time, not to see who can take the “best picture”. Believe me, getting an oddly cropped/slightly blurry photo is still better than getting no photo. But if you feel you need some training, you can take a FREE digital photography class online. How easy is that?

For more choices and crazy-awesome digital camera deals be sure to check out eBay!

Now get out there and take some pictures!

New Year’s Resolutions

Photo Credit: Edwin Pijpe

Get In Shape: New Year’s Resolutions

Get In Shape: New Year’s ResolutionsWith last year just days away, you’ve probably got New Year’s resolutions on the brain. Amirite? There’s definitely something about a fresh calendar year that jump starts our desire to make positive changes. Being surrounded by friends, family, and co-workers who are also brainstorming ways to improve makes this an especially ideal time for such endeavors. Bonus!

Over the next few weeks we will be exploring some of the most popular New Years resolutions in a new series of blog posts. Be sure to come back and let us know which of the featured resolutions that you will be committing to, or to suggest tips for sticking to new resolutions.

The most popular New Years resolution is always… drumroll please… Get In Shape!
There are countless ways to do this, and here are a few of my favorite tips and fitness products.


Get Fit this year

The best in-person fitness option is Groupon
Seriously, Groupon just obliterates your excuses for not trying something new.
The discounts are insane, and you get lots of local options to choose from.
Bootcamps, personal trainers, and unlimited fitness classes for a month are just a few of the fitness related Groupons I’ve seen listed.
Why not try a new style of exercise this year? Who knows, maybe you’re a Capoeira master and you just don’t know it yet ;)

Xbox 360 plus Kinect
The best at-home fitness option is a Kinect.
An Xbox 360 with Kinect was totally The Best gift I got this Christmas!
Nike+ Kinect and Hip Hop Dance Experience are my favorites for straight up fitness.
There’s just something about workin’ and twerkin’ at home in my undies :)
But you know what? Even the non-fitness game titles – like Adventures – give a pretty decent workout, too.
Plus, there is a huge variety of niche exercise games like Zumba, UFC training, and of course lots of dance games.

No matter what option you choose, be sure to set clear fitness goals for yourself, get plenty of rest and pure water, and maybe most importantly…

Be playful about fitness!

Studies show that when we approach a task with a playful mentality – also called “beginners mind” – we reach our goals faster and have a better time along the journey.

So speak kindly to yourself as you’re transforming your body, and remember to approach exercise like a game.
You’ll have more fun :)

New Year’s Resolutions

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