Monday, December 31, 2012

Shearling Slippers

I bought these shearling scuffs for my mom for Christmas. She had requested slippers in a neutral color in a style that she could just slip into when she gets home. These are American made from imported sheepskin, purchased locally at the Union Square Holiday Market. I was able to test them out in person before purchasing and they are definitely comfy and cozy. Mom says these are the best slippers she's ever had. I'll take that as a nod of approval.

Shown above with B.ella Erin wool and silk socks in oatmeal, another current favorite of mine.

Friday, December 28, 2012

USA! Focus on American Made - Apartment Therapy

Post from Apartment Therapy today regarding American-made home items and furniture (in their Best of 2012 series). Love the discussion and links to excellent resources.

Apartment Therapy: "USA! Focus on American Made"
(Stock photo.)


In yesterday's winter travel outfit post, you may have noticed my red nail polish. It's one of my favorite nail polishes, Essie Bordeaux. Described as "a deep red wine," it's a color that I can wear wherever and whenever. It looks just as fitting with a tee shirt and jeans as it does with a tailored suit. A true classic.

Pictured here with my Harding scarf in black and tan from Pendleton's 2011 Portland Collection.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

(Almost) From Head to Toe: The Winter Travel Outfit


This is the perfect outfit for winter travel: black skinnies, chambray tunic, cashmere socks, wool fringed scarf, and some black riding boots.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

In the Cards

In high school, I used to play cards with my friends almost every night. Don't worry... this was after I finished my homework. Or, at least, that's my official story and I'm sticking to it. Although I don't play as often as I used to, there's something that I just love about a round or ten with friends or family. No computer can match the feel of the cards in your hand.

Bee Playing Cards are just one of the iconic brands made by the United States Playing Card Company. They have that classic diamond design, are available in both red and blue, and even come in a jumbo index version. For just a few bucks at most drugstores, it's an easy way to keep a group entertained.

Tip: I often make to sure to have at least one deck with me on any long trip. I can occupy myself for quite a while with One-Handed Solitaire and it can be played almost anywhere.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

An American-Made Christmas

Merry Christmas! I hope you all are having a peaceful holiday this year.

Last year, I bought some new Christmas ornaments for the tree via Etsy. There are so many American Etsy sellers that make beautiful ornaments. I spent a lot of time picking out just the right ones, both for myself and as gifts for others. Here's a roundup of the ones I purchased:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Fort McHenry

I spent this past weekend in Baltimore to visit family and get in some holiday time a little early. While we were there, we took a little break from eating and drinking our way around the city to visit Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, best known for flying the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the "The Star-Spangled Banner." Besides being a great historical national park and having a gorgeous view of the harbor, their gift shop clearly labels the items made in the USA.

Kudos to them!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wish List

This gold leather tote from Baggu is a little too much. For whatever reason, I still can't stop thinking about it. Made in NYC.

(Photo courtesy of Baggu.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Graph Theory

To me, there is nothing sexier than a drawing made with scaled precision. I am in love with graph paper. I know, I know... it's super low-tech. It, however, it just the right thing for the job sometimes. I use it almost exclusively at work and often reach for it when I am at home as well. What do I use it for? To-do lists, maps, scaled drawings of my kitchen for renovation ideas, and, yes, even graphs.

This graph paper from Staples has 4 squares per inch, is printed on both sides, and comes in packs of 6. Perfect for everyday use.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Mask Fit for a Queen

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
With the word "Masque" in the product name, you might expect to pay $50 for the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque. Nope, it costs less than $5. Even so, it works better than most clay-based masks on the market for just a fraction of the price. This is nice to have on hand when my skin has decided to revolt and erupt into an acne chaos. If used right before bed, I usually can see a visible difference by the next morning. It can also be used as a spot treatment. Yes, it really is minty. No, it's not as tasty as a real mint julep.

PSA: Avoid product contact with any silver jewelry; due to the sulfur content it will oxidize it almost instantaneously. Not that I would know anything about that.

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Measure for Measure

Whisking eggs for a weekend breakfast

I have these Pyrex measuring cups in 1-cup, 2-cup, and 4-cup sizes. They do everything: measuring milk for my Cream of Wheat, microwaving leftovers or sauces, mixing pancake batter, and holding dry ingredients until they're ready to be added to mixing bowl. I often make muffins in this 4-cup version and then pour directly into the muffin tin. I cannot imagine a kitchen without them.

Note to self: the 8-cup version would also be nice to have.

Monday, December 17, 2012

American Apples?

Recently, Apple announced that they would be producing some of its computers in the United States. $100 million worth. I applaud the move to help invest some efforts to creating American jobs, especially in tech/computer sector.

Read more about it here:

NYTimes: "In Shift of Jobs, Apple Will Make Some Macs in U.S."

Bits Blog, NYTimes: "Why Apple Got a ‘Made in U.S.A.’ Bug"

Now if only they would make the commitment to produce iPhones and iPads in the U.S....

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Portland Collection, Fall 2012

In Fall 2011, Pendleton Woolen Mills presented the Portland Collection, fashion and home items merging archival Pendleton patterns with the fresh designs of a group of up-and-coming Portland designers. The collection featured fabric woven at the Pendleton Northeast mills and all the pieces were produced in the USA. It was one of the first fashion collections that I was truly excited about and I snapped up two wool fringed scarves and a wool trench coat.

Their sophomore collection for this fall continues the trend of pairing the heritage prints with some edgy designs. Some of my favorites from their Fall 2012 lookbook:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stacking the Cubes

I saw these Dado Cubes in the window of the adorable toy store G. Willikers Toys in Saratoga Springs, NY and knew that it was the perfect gift for my oldest nephew.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Batting Lashes

Maybelline Full 'N Soft waterproof mascara

No matter how many fancy-pants mascaras I've tried in the past, I always return to this drugstore staple. I am partial to the waterproof version in Very Black. This mascara has a nice formula that gives my lashes some much-needed volume and doesn't make them stiff or clumpy. It also doesn't undo the curl from my eyelash curler (which non-waterproof formulas tend to do). Lasts all day, all night. Apply one to 10 coats, depending on the occasion.

Mascara-wearers, is yours made in the USA? If so, please share in the comments.

Disclaimer: this post contains an affiliate link.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Stendig

2013 Stendig calendar
This statement-making calendar has been gracing the walls of my living room for a few years now. At 3'x4' with bold graphics, the Stendig calendar is not for the timid. Months alternate between black background with white text and white background with black text. The modern, simple design of Massimo Vignelli make it a timeless piece for any office or home. Published by the Cromwell Company in Nashville, Tennessee.

Bonus: Use the sheets from past months as gift wrap. You'll never have to buy wrapping paper again.

Wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree, 2009
Get your 2013 calendar before they sell out. Available here and here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

American Kicks

Looking for a good, basic pair of kicks? I have these New Balance 993 from their USA collection. Super comfortable and lightweight without looking like granny orthopedics. They are perfect for getting to and from the Pilates studio, those long power walks to work off your previous night's indulgences, or just running around the neighborhood doing errands. The tongue proudly boasts that they are made in New Balance's U.S. factories, helping to employ more than 1,300 American workers.

For a bit more money, you can even design your own with this customizable version. Say what? Personalize everything from the vamp to the laces and have them on your doorstep in 6-10 days. (These are officially on my wish list for my next pair.)

Men's version here.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Welcome to the American-Made Guide to Life

Over the past few years, I have been dedicated to finding American-made goods for myself, my friends, and my family. This blog is dedicated to highlighting quality products that are USA-made. My goal is to educate people on how to support American businesses and workers without making sacrifices to fashion or function.

Stay tuned for posts on clothing, home items, office supplies, beauty products, and gifts... all made in the USA. Want to see a post about a certain topic? Let me know.

Please be patient while I learn the blogging ropes, get some formatting, and work on some ideas.