Love it // IKEA Kullar Flask

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The week before last, I popped into Ikea to look for stuff for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. It’s really hard for me to walk through the Marketplace without overdoing it. Have you seen those really cute Chinese New Year inspired dishes? Gah! Anyway, I have been desperate for a travel mug/flask forever. We have a number of plastic ones that my husband has collected over time, but I can’t stand drinking coffee out of a plastic cup. It ruins the taste, and it gives me the creeps. Ceramic mugs never keep my drinks warm long enough. I just have such struggles!

I spotted the Kullar flask immediately upon entering the mugs and flasks area. The colours are awesome. Kind of a robin’s egg/milk glass blue, with a nice red lid. For $9, I was willing to risk that it may not keep my drink warm long enough, because look at it! It looks like a perfectly preserved vintage flask, and it’s stainless steel inside. No plastic leeching weirdness.

When put to the test, the Kullar flask outdid itself.

I had tickets to see Ane Brun and Linnea Olsson last week. I was feeling under the weather, but there was no way I would miss the show!

At 5:30pm I chopped up some ginger and threw it into the flask with lemon juice and freshly boiled water, and put the lid on it. At 6:30, I left the house, got into the car, and tried to take a sip of my drink. Yowch! Too hot.

I got into Vancouver and decided to leave the flask in my car while we were at the show. After all, a cool ginger drink would be lovely on the drive home. I didn’t get back to my car until 1:30, and the drink was still hot. Piping hot!

That’s right ladies and gentlemen. The Kullar flask from Ikea is not just a good looking vessel. It also keeps your beverage hot for upwards of eight hours. I would imagine it has the same power with cold drinks, but I have yet to test that. Maybe when the snow thaws.

Sunday Morning

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Burdock & Co.It’s officially fall. The weather is blustery and wet. The leaves are turning, and cluttering the sidewalks and gutters. This is my favourite time of year. It’s time to start foraging for mushrooms, stocking up on summer preserves, and filling the freezer up with food for the winter. It’s not like we can’t go to the store, of course, but it is nice to save all the wonderful foods that have grown up around us. So this morning/afternoon, I’m hunting around for inspiring ideas, recipes and new ways to make the most of this season, in the kitchen.

Last night, I had a lovely dinner with some dear friends at Vancouver eatery, Burdock & Co. Seasonal, fresh, locally sourced foods. Outstanding flavours and gorgeous plating. We had some beautiful pickled vegetables, Farmhouse cheese and honey, seared halibut, and a grilled beef brisket ramen, served with seasonal vegetables. I felt really inspired afterwards, and spent the morning clearing out the fridge to make way for all the fresh vegetables that I’m going to pickup later today. If you’re in town, I’d highly recommend Burdock & Co.

FävikenI’ve never been to Fäviken, but I devour the book like it’s a sacred tome. It is one of my greatest passions to go out into the woods and forage for foods. The earthy smell of the wet forest, the all-consuming quiet… it’s an intoxicating and exhausting quest. Reading of Fäviken Head Chef Magnus Nilsson’s hunting and foraging, and how he prepares the meals for the restaurant, is tremendously awe-inspiring. He creates dishes using ingredients that only one who is so connected to his environment would dream of using. One day, I will make the journey. Until then, I can live vicariously through the written word, and the stunning photographs in the Fäviken book, and online.

Northern BushcraftThis coming week marks the first Chanterelle hunt of the year. My intrepid explorer friends and I will pack up our Laguiole knives, cameras and field guides, and head out into the wild woods to find our beloved Chanterelle mushrooms. I’ve been snooting around the internet to look for more resources on foraging in the Pacific Northwest. This ain’t our first time to the rodeo, but it never hurts to learn as much as you can about what’s out there. Northern Bushcraft has some great tips, and notes on preparation, on everything from blackberries to snails. Mmmmm, snails.

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Saje Advice

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Somewhere between my 18th and 20th year, I became quite obsessed with making my own beauty products. It was the turn of the century, and bath bombs were all the rage. After a long day of browsing the Geocities websites on Netscape 4.0, there was nothing quite like slipping out of those Miss Sixtys, and enjoying a fizzy soak in the tub.

I started taking classes at the community center, and learned how to make lip balm, shampoo, conditioner, soap and the ever fabulous bath bombs. I would set up in my kitchen, crank up the Chicks on Speed, and get to work.

Chicks on Speed Will Save Us AllMy homemade hair products smelled nice, but were never powerful enough to tame the beast that is my hair. The lip balm always tasted like stevia, and was never moisturizing enough to undo the damage of years of Lip Smacker addiction. I will always love handmade soaps, but I haven’t laid eyes on a bath bomb in nearly 15 years. That is, until now.

This past weekend, my daughter and I went on a nice long walk to the beach. There was a festival going on, and we thought we’d check it out. It was cool when we set out, but by the time we made it down to the beach, it was roasting. Swarming with people, and roasting. We walked, and we walked, and then I saw it: Saje.

Actually, I smelled it before I saw it. The unmistakable perfume of pure essential oils took me back to my DIY beauty product days, and I practically ran inside.

We were greeted by an absolutely gorgeous and ridiculously tall (jealous!) woman who recognized that I was about to pass out from heat, and kindly spritzed me with a Carrot Mist. Oh, it smelled so good. I’m quite fond of the smell of carrot oil. Throw some geraniums in there, and honey, I’m sold! Perhaps it was witchcraft, or the power of suggestion, but I actually felt quite refreshed after a few spritzes.

We wandered about the shop, sniffing everything possible, when the shiny foil wrappers of the Bath Swishes caught little B’s eye, and she wanted to smell them all. Aha! Little cakes that fizz away in your tub, releasing gorgeous fragrances as you bathe. Miss B became rather enamoured of the Tantra Bath Swish, so I treated her to one. Any incentive to get the kid in the bath!

Saje Tantra Bath SwishLast night, she used the swish, and let me tell you, never (ever) have I had such positive feelings about patchouli. It smelled like a rich hippie in the bathroom, and I mean that in a really good way. I feel like an old love has been rekindled. Bath bombs, I missed you all this time, and I didn’t even know it.

You can buy their products online, but if you find yourself in the Greater Vancouver Area, pop in to one of their shops. The people that work there are incredibly helpful and super friendly, and the scents are heavenly. You will find me in the section with the shiny foil wrapped bath swishes, reliving the halcyon days of my youth.

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