ManMade | The Things We Cook

My dear friend Alli Howe has accomplished something wonderful. She has illustrated a cookbook. I have always been an admirer of her work because of the free-feeling style she has. Her art is organic, yet precise and it is incredibly inviting. Most of her pieces kind of make you want to jump inside. She inspires me to be creative. And so, here is the culmination of many months of work and love.

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The cookbook is called The Things We Cook. It is full of recipes from a beautiful farm in New Hampshire called Green Hope Farm. The recipes are a collection of dishes from Molly Sheehan as well as her family and farm staff. This book is lovely to look at and you could spend many hours browsing each page. However, it is also a book that you would use daily. The recipes are approachable, yet full of flavor. These are the type of dishes you keep coming back to time and time again, eventually becoming family favorites. They’re the recipes you whip up while laughing and chatting with friends seated around your kitchen counter. This book is the perfect gift for friends and family or just for yourself. Take a look inside and then head straight to Amazon to purchase a copy.

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The book is worth every cent and you need it on your bookshelf. Right. Away.

Purchase it here.

That’s all for now. Happy Tuesday!

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Manmade: Winter Sessions

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Last week, when I was in Chocolate Spokes, Gregory directed me toward Winter Session. This small artisan shop is owned by Ron Katz and Tanya Fleisher . They have a store front slash studio space in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver where they make high quality canvas and leather goods. They began their operation in Chicago, but relocated to Denver early in 2013.

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As their mission statement presents, “They strive to design and produce thoughtful and well-made things in a responsible manner.” I certainly think they’re succeeding in their goal. And lucky for those of you not living in the Denver region, they have a great online store! They were nice enough to let me walk around and snap some shots of their well-curated space.

 

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Well, enjoy being back in the real world, after the long weekend.

Cheers!

In the Loop: Chocolate Spokes

ChocolatespokesI bought a chocolate bar at a bike shop last week and let me tell you it was an amazing one. But, why would I be buying an artisan chocolate bar at a bike shop? You got it. They sell them there.

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Gregory, the proprietor of Chocolate Spokes, has incorporated two of his passions into his business: Bikes and Chocolate. The small shop is located in an up and coming neighborhood of Denver called Five Points. Not only does Gregory fix bikes and build custom bike frames he also has a well-chosen selection of artisan chocolate bars. Most of them are single origin bars highlighting the flavor of the region the cacao beans originate from. The bar I bought was made by Dick Taylor out of San Fran and it had black figs! The flavors were wild! Here’s the block print design on the bar:

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Courtesy of the Dick Taylor Site

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Courtesy of the Dick Taylor Site

I enjoyed chatting to Gregory about his business, which will soon be expanding into the next space over. You can tell he’s very interested in the growth of his neighborhood and providing a high quality product/service that everyone can afford. This video talks more about his ambition.

Screen shot 2013-08-26 at 5.12.51 PMHe is also very knowledgeable about chocolate, which makes sense because his chocolate bar selection has caliber worth paying for. If you live in the Denver region, that’s awesome, because you can stop by. If you don’t, you can feel that loss and know what you’re missing. I’m sure you’ll mope about for the rest of the day. Or you could book your flight here!

Gregory sent me down the street towards Winter Sessions, where a small crew are crafting goods using leather and canvas. More on that later!

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Manmade: Imogene + Willie

Denim jeans: the icon of American style. They proliferate our daily wear and have become so popular they’ve shifted from simply casual to appropriate for formal wear. Jeans: we just cannot get enough of you. But where they’re made and with what material has become an important question. That’s where the well-crafted, American-made jeans come on the scene.

Interestingly, the etymology of denim and jeans derive from different origins. Jean material was more of a corduroy texture that originated in Genoa, Italy, while denim material came from Nimes, France. The word denim grew from “de Nimes,” meaning “of Nimes.” It wasn’t until Levi Strauss & Co. of San Fransisco began using denim material for the work jeans he manufactured that the two words became synonymous.

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I live in jeans – and I bet you do too – and I’m constantly on the search for jeans that fit well. Somehow those H&M/Forever 21 jeans just don’t cut it for my figure. When I found myself traveling through Nashville, TN with my Mom, heading for Denver, CO, I was fortunate to stumble upon Imogene + Willie.

Matt and Carrie of Imogene + Willie courtesy of Warby Parker's Class Trip photos

Matt and Carrie of Imogene + Willie courtesy of Warby Parker’s Class Trip photos

Their American-made denim jeans are beautifully sewn with extreme care. The entire staff has an impressive eye for denim and they fit you personally to make sure your jeans fit correctly. This may seem counter to our “clean” culture, but these jeans aren’t supposed to be washed often. In fact, they advise you not to wash them for the first 6 months to a year.

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via Warby Parker Class Trip

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via Warby Parker Class Trip

The store is split between workshop and showroom. Some of their jeans are still made in this space, but they also tailor all jeans bought in the store so they fit you perfectly. It’s pretty neat. Plus, a motorcycle in the midst of their clothing display? It makes me want to hit the road for adventure.

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These are of the jeans I own. They. are. amazing.

I was getting pretty excited wandering about the small store, listening to the whir of the sewing machines nearby. So many jeans, so little time! Seeing my excitement for these unique jeans, my dear mom bought me a pair. Honestly, I’ve never felt more confident in an article of clothing. I. can’t. take. them. off!

If you happen to be in or around Nashville stop in and take a peak around. Their store is incredibly well curated and it makes you want to hang around for the afternoon taking in the local Nashville scene.

If you want to know even more about this impressive couple, there is a wonderfully informative interview by Lizzy Garret via her blog Tomboy Style.

I also can’t get enough of these jeans (Levi’s) and I love that they’re doing some throwbacks to their original designs. Check it!