Fun Facts About Tailgating

According to the 24th annual Weber GrillWatch™ Survey*, the top three must-have items among grill owners for a proper tailgating party are a grill (82 percent), food (80 percent) and a cooler (80 percent). Chairs (76 percent) and alcoholic beverages (66 percent) round out the top five. Just half of grill owners (50 percent) consider tickets to the game a must-have item.

The grill of choice among tailgaters is a portable model (65 percent) versus 29 percent who opt to bring full-size models to their tailgate parties.

Overall, grilling away from home has increased in popularity over the past two years, with tailgate parties ranking as the fourth most popular location to grill away from home (22 percent).  Camping is ranked as the top spot (44 percent), followed by the park (37 percent) and the beach (23 percent).

Nearly one-half (48 percent) of grill owners report they place their grill on the ground when tailgating or grilling away from home in general; approximately one-third (32 percent) of those surveyed bring a table to use as a grill stand, and 17 percent use their truck beds.

Other Tailgating Trends from the 24th annual Weber GrillWatch Survey:

  • Twenty percent of U.S. grill owners have attended a tailgate party during the past 12 months, up from 14 percent last year.
  • Sixty-seven percent of grill owners who tailgate say that grilling is always a part of their tailgating activities.
  • The top five foods to grill when tailgating are hamburgers (71 percent), hot dogs (47 percent), brats (40 percent), chicken (29 percent) and steak (25 percent).
  • On average, grill owners spend a hefty $122 for food and drinks at a tailgating party.
  • Attending the game is secondary to many tailgaters, with 57 percent revealing they have attended a tailgate in the past 12 months without going into the game. This number jumped 13 percent from last year.

For more information about Weber’s new portable grills, including the Weber Jumbo Joe; and new grilling accessories perfect for tailgating, including the Portable Charcoal Table and the Compact RapidFire® Chimney Starter visit For more tailgating tips from Weber’s Grill Master Kevin Kolman, visit

Remind Them You Care After You’ve Seen Them off to School

Harry & David is offering a wide range of gift boxes and baskets designed to make leaving home for college a little easier for both student and parent.

image001The Happy Creek Gift Box Classic includes six Royal Riviera pears, four apples, white extra-sharp cheddar cheese and Havarti cheese. It retails for $39.95.




image002The Gourmet Dried Fruit & Nut Snack Gift retails for $49.95 and contains a selection of dried fruits and nuts handpacked for snacking or holiday entertaining.

It includes dried pears, dried apricots, dried peaches, dried dates, prunes, roasted salted cahews, roasted in-shell pistachios, honey roasted peanuts and natural almonds.

Pick 12 Homemade Cookies

image004Nothing says love like homemade cookies, and Harry & David’s homemade cookies might be the next best thing to mom’s. For $19.95, you pick 12 from a list that includes gourmet versions of some of the classics and a few that’ll make a statement to the sorority.





Belfast Bay Shade Company

I’ve just gotten word that Belfast Bay Shade Company will be showing off new lines of lampshades inspired by nature at the NY Now show coming up in New York in a couple of weeks. This show is not open to the public, but I can get you an early look at these beautiful new lamp shades as soon as they’re out on view to the business. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, take a look back at this.lampshade

Online Retailer Acquires Dwell Studio, the largest online retailer of home furnishings and decor, has acquired DwellStudio, a lifestyle retailer known for groundbreaking design and impeccable quality in modern home furnishings with expertise in upholstery, case goods, furniture and textiles for baby, kids and home. The acquisition further strengthens’s leadership position in home retail by adding a popular lifestyle brand with core competencies in original design and product development. The deal will accelerate’s launch of proprietary product lines and lifestyle brands in 2013 while addressing new market segments.

Under the umbrella, DwellStudio will operate as a standalone brand joining Joss & Main and to satisfy increasing demand for unique shopping experiences in the home furnishings space.’s core strengths in selection, service, internet technologies and logistics will drive the rapid growth of DwellStudio. At the same time, will have access to DwellStudio’s world-class product design team for the development of original product lines and new lifestyle brands.

“DwellStudio has built a following of devoted customers who enthusiastically identify with a certain lifestyle and modern design aesthetic,” noted Niraj Shah, CEO and co-founder of “We look forward to expanding the DwellStudio brand through our world class e-commerce capabilities while staying true to DwellStudio’s strategy of developing and delivering trend-setting products of exceptional quality to a growing customer base through a large number of partners.”

Based in New York City with a flagship retail store at 77 Wooster Street in SoHo, DwellStudio is a catalog and e-commerce retailer with a worldwide wholesale business. The company’s products are currently sold in more than 800 high-end specialty retail stores and design oriented online retailers across the United States, Canada and throughout 40 international territories. Known for its modern sensibility, iconic textiles and forward colors, DwellStudio products can be found at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Giggle, Bel Bambini, ABC Carpet, HD Buttercup and F.A.O. Schwarz.

“We are thrilled because is truly transforming the way people shop for home goods and furniture through innovative e-commerce solutions, extraordinary customer service and state of the art logistics. They have the best backend in the business,” noted Christiane Lemieux, CEO, founder and creative director of DwellStudio. “Our design, merchant and product development teams are so excited to help fuel’s move into new market segments and additional proprietary product categories. At the same time, we want our customers to know that we remain dedicated to building the DwellStudio brand with a continued commitment to beautiful original design and impeccable construction. It’s the perfect marriage of style and substance.”

“DwellStudio is an ideal addition to’s portfolio of brands – joining Joss & Main, and to meet market demand for distinctive modern design in bedding, furnishings and decor, with a special emphasis on products for baby and children,” added John Mulliken,’s SVP of strategic initiatives. “The acquisition is a logical step on’s path to becoming the dominant retailer in home. We will enable DwellStudio to scale its core business at a much greater pace while staying true to its design DNA and commitment to the highest quality products for home.”

Hometalk Offers Tips from Social Network

Hometalk, the largest home and garden social network on the web, has released its Hometalk app for iPhone and iPad.

Hometalk connects millions home enthusiasts and home improvement professionals. Users can browse a wide range of topics related to the home for inspiration, from cleaning and plumbing to gardening and construction. They can also share their own photos and step-by-step DIY projects. Experts and peers answer questions and provide tips and feedback on anything related to home and garden. To tackle larger projects users can also search for local contractors to hire or to simply ask for advice—contractors can easily display examples of their work in project portfolios.

“Hometalk is a premiere destination for people who want to engage with their homes,” said Miriam Illions, Director of Community Development. “Our users are extremely active and want to access this content wherever they are—almost 30 percent of our traffic comes from mobile devices. With the release of the iOS app, Hometalk makes it even easier to find inspiration and share ideas. The app is especially helpful for contractors who are out on the field so they can lend help and give tips right from their pocket.”

The Hometalk app is available for free on the iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad. Download at:

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

ASK THIS OLD HOUSE Coming To Seattle in June

ASK THIS OLD HOUSE® solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by homeowners, and the show is heading to Seattle this month. The PBS series will be visiting the Seattle area June 24-28, when the cast and crew will be filming episodes featuring home repair projects with local homeowners that will appear in the 12th season of ASK THIS OLD HOUSE premiering in October on PBS (check or your local listings). Some of the projects that the crew will tackle include installing crown molding in a Seattle living room and replacing a front door in Issaquah. Show producers invited Seattle area homeowners to submit their home repair questions to in May.

Featuring some familiar faces, ASK THIS OLD HOUSE experts include host Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

“We’ve been at it for more than a decade now and have tackled hundreds of projects inside and outside the home,” says Senior Series Producer Chris Wolfe. “Our goal is not only to help the homeowners we visit, but also to show millions of viewers the tools and techniques that will allow them to complete all sorts of projects in their houses.”

Viewers can become fans of ASK THIS OLD HOUSE on Facebook or follow the show on Twitter.

Belfast Bay Shade Company: Handcrafted Lampshades and Fine Art for the Home

The Maine Botanical Series

Designer/Maker: Dina Petrillo

These artisan-made lampshades come in a variety of botanical motifs printed with a collagraph emboss—Original prints are pulled on etching presses and constructed to last. With more than 40 designs, these shades are highly versatile for use with any lamp style including swag, track, hardwire ceiling hung pendants, floor and table lamps and sconces. The company uses archival materials sourced in the United States and works with domestic distributors and manufacturers. These are fine art lampshades, and each shade is titled, dated and signed by the artist. Made in Waldo County, Maine.

Within the Botanical series there are four shade lines

Bold Graphic: mostly monochromatic inks on brightly colored papers;

A La Poupee: hand-painted plates with 3 or more ink colors;

Chine Colle: multiple translucent paper colors for a layered look;

Custom: a combination of any of the above print methods and selected motifs designed to order.

lampshadeDrum shades come in 11 sizes : 7 x 5″, 7 x 12″, 9 x 10”,  9 x 15″, 9 x 20″, 11 x 9″, 11 x 10″, 12 x 12″, 12 x 14″, 14 x 11″ and 15 x 13″.

Price Range (retail): each of the shade lines in range of sizes.

Graphic:  $180 – $340

A La Poupee: $290 – $450

Chine Colle: $270 – $350

Custom: $430 – $830

Botanical motifs comprise 14 designs: Beech, Brussels Sprouts, Geranium, Grapevine, Hydrangea, Maple, Oak, Nasturtium, Quince, Rhododendron, Squash, Sunflowers, Tomato, and Wisteria.

Materials: archival translucent papers, etching inks, lamp styrene and steel rings

Salad Zinger Heightens Healthy Eating, Culinary Creativity

Zing Anything has come up with a way to change your reliance on bottled salad dressings that may include ingredients like hydrogenated oils, colorings, sugar and other things that you’re trying to avoid. The Salad Zinger is a tool that is easy to use, eco-friendly, and gives you an edge in creating delicious, healthy dressings and oils that bring a whole new appeal to their food.

“Salad Zinger allows people to easily infuse their healthy oils and vinegars with flavors from the all-natural ingredients of their choice, resulting in dressings that are fresh, wholesome and more delicious than anything pre-made,” says Zing Anything CEO Joshua Lefkovitz. “It’s been our experience that once someone begins to see the potential of the Salad Zinger, their creativity in the kitchen goes to a whole new level, and their satisfaction with their food goes through the roof.”

Salaz ZingerThrough a bottom-mounted grinder, the Salad Zinger extracts all-natural flavors and instantly infuses them into oils and vinegars via a stainless steel screen, creating a silky, smooth, delicious dressing. You just need to add fresh ingredients, reattach the bottom cup with a twist, add some liquid, and shake. The product is made from BPA/EA-free Tritan plastics, 18/8 stainless steel blades, and is easy to clean. Best of all, the possibilities above and beyond salad dressings are endless: flavored oils and vinegars for dipping, marinating, and sauteing; delicious additions to dishes such as pastas, rice and potatoes; drizzling oils for topping favorite grilled meats.

Zing Anything’s Salad Zinger is available for purchase at Brookstone, and other fine retailers, with a suggested retail price of $24.95. For more information, visit

Cleaning Up after Pets

“We all love our pets, but we don’t love to deal with pet stains or with furniture coated with pet hair during shedding season,” Bob Kearn, president and CEO of COIT, said. “Many of our customers struggle with these common problems, so we have some cleaning tips that will help homeowners live happily side-by-side with their pets.”

Cleaning Up the Pee

The first step in dealing with one of the most common pet problems – urine spots on floors or furniture – is to locate the soiled area by sight or smell, or with the help of a black light, which you can find at a home supply store. Lightly outline the areas with chalk, and then re-train your pet using positive reinforcement techniques.
The key to proper re-training is to show your pet the appropriate place to eliminate (outdoors or in a litter box, for example), and to make the “accident zone” unattractive and/or unavailable. Re-training tips are available from The Humane Society of the United States. If you have a dog, you might want to work with a professional dog trainer, while a pet behaviorist can be helpful with both dogs and cats. If you are concerned that indoor urination is a sign of a health problem, immediately consult your veterinarian.
COIT’s online Spot Removal Guide offers step-by-step instructions for removing urine spots from carpets or upholstery. For carpets, for example, blot the damp area with a clean towel or with paper towels to prevent as much absorption as possible. A shop-vac can be used to extract any remaining urine. Using a solution made of one-quarter teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and one cup of water, use a spray bottle to spray the spot. After the solution has set, use the shop-vac, a cotton cloth, or paper towels to absorb as much remaining moisture as possible. After rinsing the area with warm water, repeat the initial steps until the spot fades. Then take two tablespoons of ammonia and mix into a cup of water, and rinse the area and repeat until the spot disappears. Or contact a professional cleaner for help with eliminating both spots and smells left by pets. If repeated urine marking in one area is a problem, it’s best to use one of the enzymatic cleaners available at pet stores.

Dealing with Shedding

Shedding is another common problem for people with pets, especially during the warmer seasons. Daily brushing will help eliminate some of the problem, but it’s also a good idea to sweep and vacuum floors and upholstery more often during shedding season. A lint roller can be helpful when removing pet hair from furniture, or you can try sweeping a hand covered in a rubber glove over the area. Rubber pet brushes can help remove pet hair from carpeting.
“Even when your pet makes mistakes, it’s important to remember that he’s not being ‘bad,’ he is behaving in a way that seems natural to him,” Kearn said. “Don’t yell or punish your pet; it will only confuse and scare him and harm your relationship. Proper training or re-training is the best way to eliminate any pet problem.”