Groovystuff to unveil “Collage is the New Color” Collection at the Summer Las Vegas World Market

Sustainable home furnishing company, Groovystuff, will showcase its newest home furnishing “Collage is the New Color” Collection at the Summer Las Vegas World Market. The Las Vegas World Market is host to more than 1,500 world-class manufacturers showing the latest industry trends at one state-of-the-art campus. Groovystuff exhibits on the Ground Floor of Building B, Showroom Number B-0146.

The “Collage is the New Color“ Collection of coffee tables, sofa tables and end tables are direct from the Chris Bruning Signature Series of Designer Products for Groovystuff. Continuing their use of sustainable and re-claimed materials, these tables highlight salvaged steel drums in an array of eye catching color patterns.

According to Time Magazine’s A Brief History of the Oil Barrel, the oil drum has historically been an industry standard since the mid-1800’s. In the early days, due to the number of Moonshiners on the market, Pennsylvania oilmen used whiskey barrels to collect oil after striking their first oil gushers. Despite currently being transported through tankers and pipelines, oil is still measured by the 42-gallon barrel on the world market today. To celebrate these early Pioneers, Designer Chris Bruning has dedicated an entire collection of over 50 furniture, lighting and home décor products titled the “Moonshine Collection” and is pleased to include the latest “Collage is the New Color” tables to the signature line.

The “Moonshine Collection” includes bar tables, side tables, lighting, wall art, mirrors and other home décor. The brilliant blues, greens, reds and oranges set the newest trend in sustainable home furniture, lighting, and home décor by adding a dash of color to the neutral palette of the reclaimed materials.

Outdoor Living a Growing Trend

Casual Living Magazine has a nice commentary right now about recent reports that tell us more about a trend we’d all sensed — that we’re more comfortable with doing more of our living in outdoor “rooms.” I drove through an Orlando neighborhood last year and was surprised to see how many homes had most of their backyards enclosed in screened porches. Folks had obviously invested heavily in a lifestyle that includes large amounts of time cooking, eating, visiting and probably even sleeping in the outdoors and didn’t want to be bothered by insect pests.

As this commentary points out, manufacturers of casual furniture are not behindhand on supplying the weather-resistant casual furniture, the firepits and outdoor cooking appliances that go along with this. The same magazine includes a preview of one manufacturer’s plans to debut 21 outdoor furniture groups at the Las Vegas Market, coming up next week. The story quotes Emerald Home President David Beckmann’s opinion that outdoor furniture will be a growth category in the next few years, and his company is planning to supply products that it hopes will be embraced by the mid-market at retail prices ranging from $799 for a table and five to $3,499 for a seven-piece set.

IKEA to Add Augmented Reality App to New Catalog

When IKEA rolls out its 2014 catalog this August, shoppers will be able to use the combination of a mobile app and the paper catalog to get a better picture of how the IKEA products will work in their own homes. According to Mobile Commerce, “The free app version of the catalog carries out the theme ‘All Moments Count’ by allowing users to virtually place and view IKEA furniture in their homes via augmented reality.

“The feature lets consumers explore a room in 360 or 180 degrees using the device sensors. Consumers will be able to view a room both vertically and horizontally.”

We’re going to be able to get a look at how the technology works on a YouTube video that’s scheduled to be released at the same time that the app is launched, but so far, what it looks like is that you’ll be able to click on a product in the IKEA catalog and use your tablet or smartphone to superimpose the picture of that item onto a view of the room that you’re planning to put it in.

Massachusetts Furniture Retailer Collects Clothing for Needy Children

Until September 9, all Jordan’s Furniture store locations will accept like-new and new clothes and shoes for children infant to 12 years old to go toward the Cradles to Crayons “Ready For School” program. Through partnering social service agencies, the donations will go to children in homeless or low-income situations. This will be the second year for the partnership between the retailer and the organization.

“We are so proud to be working together with Cradles to Crayons. They run an incredibly impressive and efficient operation, ensuring the dignity of the children and families that they serve,” said Eliot Tatelman, Jordan’s President and CEO. “It is so important for every child to feel important and worthy. By working with the team at Cradles to Crayons, we hope to do our part in helping area children get ready for school and be prepared to learn. We know that our donation drive made an impact last year. We hope for the same success this year.”

Cradles to Crayons was founded in 2002 and provides for children from birth through 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive at home, school, and play. Items are distributed to the children via social service agencies such as MSPCC, Horizons For Homeless Children, Head Start Programs, and more.

Lynn Margherio founded Cradles to Crayons 11 years ago in Quincy, Mass. The organization moved to a bigger location in Brighton, where the donations are assembled by staff and volunteers for individual KidPacks. “We are thrilled to partner again with Jordan’sto help get local children ready for school from head to toe. Jordan’s is a true champion and advocate for children. I applaud them for their commitment to assist local children in-need. Cradles to Crayons is grateful for the shared belief that the first day of school should be an exciting new endeavor for all children. The items collected in the retail stores will ensure thousands of local children will receive the essential items they deserve and need to start the new school year ready and excited to learn.” For more information, log onto or


Stunning Wine Stoppers by EcoSea Tile

I ran across some beautiful wine stoppers here. They’re made by EcoSea Tile, which uses recycled shells from marine life along with other materials from the Earth to make several lines of gorgeous products, including tiles, doorknobs, switch plates and more. These wine stoppers are made with silicone gaskets and thick chrome plating over zinc alloy to provides a rugged piece that can easily be cleaned to give you a lot of years to bring them out at your parties, where they’d surely become a conversation piece. They’re available in abalone, mussel/abalone, lobster, mussel/lobster, oyster, mother-of-pearl, aluminum and copper, and they retail for $24 apiece.

Trade Association Pushes for More Transparency in Bedding Materials

Furniture Today, a trade newspaper for the furniture industry, is reporting that an organization of bedding manufacturers, the Specialty Sleep Association, is changing its mission from promoting what the association calls specialty sleep products to becoming an information resource that consumers can trust for information about the construction materials of different beds. To that end, they’re pushing for better labeling. Consumers with allergies will be rooting for them on this.

“Our motto, ‘The Future of Sleep’ remains the same, but the vision of that future is changing,” said Dale Read, SSA president, who is quoted in the Furniture Today article. “Over the next few months and years we want to transition from a group that merely markets and promotes innovative technologies labeled as specialty sleep to become a trusted authority for consumers to turn to when they want to know about the contents, the health, the wellness aspects and the safety features of specialty sleep products. We want to assist in educating mattress/bedding consumers about what is going on with the materials, components, construction and finished products of sleep products.

“To do this we have to help both our manufacturers and the retailers carrying their products,” Read added. “We have to offer a mattress label/contents or consumer disclosure label that is not ‘green’ oriented, but covers all materials in the sleep products category.”

Great Grilling Tips

The Saturday Evening Post has a terrific article on grilling in its July/August online issue.

An exclusive video sharing Post staffers’ grilling tips can be found here:

The July/August 2013 online edition of The Saturday Evening Post covers:

  • The differences between barbecuing (indirect grilling)direct grilling, and two-zone direct grilling
  • Steven Raichlen’s, author of The Barbecue! Bible, three-day grilling workshop in Sulpher Springs, WV
  • Grilling tips from Post staffers
  • Six essential rules of open-fire cooking

Plus, the Best of Barbecue from Emeril Lagasse, Curtis Stone, and Barton Seaver.

Save and share more of the Post’s favorite open-fire recipes by visiting its Grilling Recipe (Smorgas)Board on Pinterest!

Survey Finds Americans Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Hot Dogs

As National Hot Dog Month approaches in July and Americans prepare to gather around the backyard grill for casual meals of hamburgers and hot dogs, a new survey sponsored by Applegate, a producer of organic and natural meats, finds Americans need a “wienervention” when it comes to their dysfunctional feelings about franks.  While virtually every American has bought a package of hot dogs (a whopping 92 percent!) in the last year, 71 percent don’t think those franks are high quality. In addition, 34 percent of parents want to say no when their kids whine for wieners.

However, the survey found that 85 percent of people who consume hot dogs would rather purchase franks with a short ingredient statement that listed beef, water, sea salt and spices versus one with items like sodium phosphate and sodium nitrite. Additionally, 65 percent of respondents thought it was important for hot dogs to be made from animals that were not administered antibiotics or hormones, underscoring just how important this issue has become for shoppers.

“Hot dogs and summer are synonymous, but it’s no wonder that with ingredients like sodium diacetate and partially hydrolyzed beef stock on many conventional hot dog labels, most Americans don’t think much of what’s in them,” says Stephen McDonnell, founder and CEO of Applegate. “I think the survey shows a certain level of guilt when it comes to enjoying a hot dog, but if you know what you’re looking for on a label, it doesn’t have to be that way. Applegate’s ingredients are straightforward: beef, water, sea salt and spices.”

Applegate makes a full line of natural and organic hot dogs: beef, beef and pork, turkey and chicken.  All of Applegate’s hot dogs are antibiotic- and hormone-free, with no added chemical nitrites. Applegate hot dogs generally have fewer calories, 50 percent less fat and 40 percent less sodium per serving than conventional hot dogs.

In an effort to give Americans permission to enjoy a cleaner wiener, Applegate is inviting consumers to “wienervene” and eat hot dogs that aren’t on drugs. By visiting, consumers can learn more about what’s in their hot dogs and send a “wienervention” to friends and receive $2-off coupons.

More Survey Results
The Applegate “Permission to Enjoy Hot Dogs” showed that only 8 percent of Americans claim to “never buy hot dogs.”  Other survey findings:

  • Grill, baby, grill:  91 percent agree that hot dogs cooked on the grill are delicious.
  • Wait, wait, do tell me: 68 percent really want to know what’s in hot dogs and how they are made.

Drizzle a Healthy Oil to Amp up the Flavors in your Food

A good quality extra virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar contain many health benefits, can enrich the flavor of food, and have the necessary cooking versatility to make a sumptuous meal. Finesse your summer menu with Louianna Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Certified Organic Balsamic Vinegar – two pantry staples that were utilized in many of the recipes created by the competing chefs on season three of Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada. Recipes featured on the show can be found on the Food Network Canada website.

“Be it a simple dinner for two or large family gathering, using high quality, fine ingredients such as Louianna Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar, will elevate the flavour and experience every time,” commented Mark McEwan, celebrity chef, restaurateur (One Restaurant, North 44, Bymark, Fabbrica) and head judge on Top Chef Canada. “What I love about experimenting in the kitchen is that you can take something as simple as everyday comfort foods and demonstrate inventiveness and vitality with a simple drizzle of a fine oil, balsamic, or even a sprinkle of fresh herbs.” McEwan has chosen to sell the Louianna Certified PDO Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and PDO Organic Balsamic Vinegar at his McEwan gourmet marketplace at The Shops at Don Mills in Toronto, ON.

For an even more unusual pick-me-up for a family meal, look for the Stoger Seed Oils, a line of four finishing oils that are new to the American market. Brought the the U.S. by Marietta DeAngelo of Culinary Imports from the Austrian family farm where she spent time as an exchange student when she was 15 years old, these seed oils are cold-pressed from pumpkin, chile, tomato, and cherry seeds. The cherry seed oil won a sofi Award from the Specialty Food Association a few days ago. The sofi Award recognizes outstanding innovation and quality and is essentially the equivalent of an Academy Award for the gourmet food industry. Thousands of products are nominated for the awards each year, and only a couple dozen or so go home with the sofi Gold Awards that represent the best of the best. These oils are just coming onto the American market, so don’t expect them to be easy to find on your local supermarket shelves yet, but keep an eye out. Then when you get your hands on them, they can be drizzled across a wide variety of foods, made into salad dressings or used as dipping oils for bread to add an extra layer of flavor and a dazzling change of pace.

New Healthy Gourmet Food Products

By Lorrie Baumann

I’ve just returned from the Summer Fancy Food Show, a trade show attended by gourmet food retailers who go there to shop for goodies for their stores directly from the makers of these products. Many of these producers are small family businesses — it’s not unusual to talk to someone there who’s the third or fourth generation in the same business. Whether they make pickles, gourmet chocolates, or granola from natural organic grains, these products are, in general, artisan-made with a concern both for the well-being of the people who will eventually eat them and for the land from which they originate.

Their product selection also shows us that you can be self-indulgent and enjoy your life and your food while you eat things that are actually good for you. Take, for instance, the Go Organic line of candies that I saw in the Hillside Candy booth. The Go Organic line includes nine different products that are organic and certified to contain no GMO ingredients. Brand new in the line are Ginger Xtreme hard candies and Ginger Chews organic chewy candies. All products are kosher, gluten-free and made in the USA. Visit at

I also saw a new Grain Berry line of cereals and baking mixes from The Silver Palate. I didn’t get to taste, so I can’t be sure they’re delicious, but there are a whole line of products that are made with natural berries of grain and antioxidants to support heart health.

I saw quite a few vendors there who were talking about products made without any of the most common allergens. That’s not to say that it’s going to be easy to feed a child who suffers from food allergies, but it does at least look like there are folks out there making products that’ll make that a little easier. Enjoy Life, at, has a whole line of gluten-free baking chocolate, cookies, chewy bars and lentil chips that are designed for just this purpose. Imagine being able to give your kid a convenient snack food without having to worry too much about an unexpected allergic reaction. I also found crackers from Suzie’s, a brand of the Good Groceries Company, that are made from ancient grains, including quinoa, amaranth, Kamut, spelt, buckwheat and oats. You can find them at

Getting away from grains a little bit, I also found Snapz, a brand of freeze-dried apple snacks. These low-calorie, fat-free crispy treats are made without added salt, sugar or fat. There’s a serving of fruit in each .7-ounce bag, and they’re a source of Vitamin C. Visit at