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The Uncommon Life

The Uncommon Life

Warm Spring Salad with Potatoes and Green Beans

April 12, 2012

Whitney Porter, blogger at Throwing Cake, offered up this spring salad recipe that had us emptying our bowls and going back for seconds.

There are some things, like sandwiches and salads, that you think you should be able to create without a recipe. But then something so great happens that you need to share it with the world, and next thing you know, you’re passing a salad recipe out to everyone who will listen to you.

Add an awesome new serving dish from UncommonGoods to the mix and I was ready to show off something new.

Meet my warm salad recipe. For those who think a warm salad sounds odd, prepare to have your mind blown. Sauteing your ingredients together not only creates the base of a hearty salad, but also forms the dressing to bind it all together. I have done this recipe with steak and without, and as a friend put it “it’s an explosion of flavors.”

Not only it is amazing, but it was pretty amazing looking in the wheelbarrow. It was solid, super cute, made the salad look better then normal, and it gave my roommate and I great joy as we wheeled it around the dining room table. A whole to meaning to, “please pass the salad.”

Warm Spring Salad
served 4-6 people

1 c. shallots, diced
12 oz. haricot verts (french style green beans)
12 fingerling potatoes, sliced
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 c white wine
salt and pepper, to taste
drizzle of balsamic vinegar

for the salad
1/2 lb of mixed baby greens
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 c. blue cheese, crumbled

Pour 3 tbsp of olive into a large skillet and saute the shallots and potatoes. When they are almost complete, add green beans and white wine and allow to simmer until the green beans are cooked, but still crisp. Salt and pepper to taste. When the mixture is complete, drizzle approximately 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar over the top and let rest while you prepare the salad base.

In a large bowl (or in my case an awesome wheelbarrow), toss the mixed greens, radishes and blue cheese together.

Take the warm mixture from the skillet and pour over the lettuce mixture. Toss and serve.

** tip: I precook the potatoes in the microwave to make the process go a bit faster. Just place the sliced potatoes in the microwave and cook until fork tender.

The Uncommon Life

Can Diana F+ Come Out and Play? by Alli of Kisses & Chaos

March 28, 2012

Photographer and blogger Alli wrote about her Diana Camera on her blog, Kisses & Chaos, not too long ago. We loved her tips and stories so much that we asked her if she would kindly share her experience with you.

I have recently had the pleasure of partnering with Uncommon Goods…purveyors of all things quirky and awesome. If they don’t have it then you don’t need it… there’s a little something for everyone. They have amazing gift ideas for women. Have a hard to shop for man in your life? They’ve got you covered with great gifts for him too…but I’m getting away from the point and my point is a good one…

A few weeks ago they were kind enough to send me the Diana F+ camera kit (which I have been wanting for ages) with some Lomography 120 black and white film (I already had the color film), asked me to go play and then tell you guys what I think. Seriously? You don’t have to ask me twice, no sir. So play I did.

The instruction manual was actually helpful! Say what? I know! A helpful instruction manual? Bust out your ice skates ’cause hell froze over. It’s short, sweet and to the point. That’s my kind of instruction manual. No long explanations – just quick and easy. It explained the settings and (surprising) features. A toy camera with features? Yup. You heard right. It has the basics you find with any toy camera with one exception: it has a pinhole setting. It’s like someone getting their peanut butter in my chocolate. This camera is Bruce Wayne by day and Batman by night…your average toy camera with vignetting and saturated colors but then BAM! it also has this secret pinhole identity which creates dreamy photographic goodness. This revelation brought about the infamous “Alli Happy Dance-Dance-Dance of Joy and Happiness™.” +1

property of Kisses & Chaos
(Good god, I’m an idiot.)

Ok. Playtime details:

I have other toy cameras (Holgas, quad cams, polaroids, etc) but I have never had the chance to play with a Diana. Though really lightweight it felt sturdier than my other toy cameras. I was impressed that the back plate actually has a good locking mechanism so it doesn’t accidentally pop off and expose your film. (I have had this happen with my Holga -which is why it is now held shut with electrical tape- and it is very frustrating to have a roll of film ruined due to poor construction…I’m just sayin’…some people say it’s part of the “charm” of a toy camera…I think those people must have a lot of disposable income cause I get m-a-a-a-a-a-d when my film gets ruined in the name of “charm.”) Safe and secure film makes Alli a happy camper. +1

The film was easy to load (unlike my Holga, which you have to man handle and knock around) : +1. The locking back plate, lens and other accessories were easy to get on and off : +1. As I wound the black and white film I noticed that I had to strain to see the exposure number on my film and it was a VERY bright sunny day. I initially thought this was a flaw with the camera, but after shooting with a different brand of film I discovered the fault actually lay with the black & white film I was using. (The extremely dark paper made it impossible to read the film. Boo.)

So as I traipsed around the countryside taking photos of cows’ butts, camera around my neck, I discovered that the lens cap had fallen off somewhere amid the tall grass. I spent the next 5 minutes retracing my steps trying to find it (which I did). Loose lens cap: –1.

I decided to try out the pinhole feature using the bulb setting (which means the shutter stays open until you release it). The Diana comes with this little, well, to use the technical term, thingy-ma-bob that you pop into place to keep the shutter open for long exposures. Brilliant idea! I didn’t have to hold the shutter release manually which can cause camera shake. Fantastic! +1. But it was awkward to use and kept falling out…which subsequently caused camera shake. Damn! Hopefully it will be easier to use with practice but for now it counts as a –1.

above and below: playing with the pinhole settings

Since the camera is a toy camera, the film has to be advanced manually. This has its advantages and its drawbacks. Drawback? If you forget to wind your film you wind up with double exposures. Advantage? The film doesn’t wind automatically so you can have double exposures. I like to play with double exposures, so for me this was a total perk. +1

I would love to try the Diana with a flash and shoot indoors. The kit, sadly, doesn’t come with a Diana flash…it has to be bought separately (-1)…of course you can also buy a hotshoe adaptor which means you can a non-Diana flash if you like, but I think I will, since I am all anal & matchy-matchy, buy the Diana flash (and the adaptor because I’m a weirdo like that).

The kit did come with a hardback book – Diana F+: More True Tales & Short Stores, which is a collection of essays and images of, you guessed it, the infamous Diana camera. I doubt I would ever buy the book separately, but I enjoyed skimming it (even if I think the book’s claim of being filled with work by “Diana masters” was over-selling it a bit… Okay…totally overselling it. I think the “shoot from the hip” photo movement is absolute rubbish and an insult to photography. It’s best not to get me started). +1

So let’s tally up the score. The Diana F+ camera receives a grand total of…*drum roll please*… 4 points! What does this mean? Absolutely nothing. I have no point scale… but here are my final thoughts:

I will not use the film again… between the dark paper making it impossible to read the frame number and what I consider to be poor quality film I’ll be sticking with my Kodak 120 for all my medium format photographic needs. I must say, however, that I do love this camera to bits and it will likely replace my Holga as my toy camera of choice. It was fun and easy to use. Thank you, UncommonGoods for giving me such a wonderful new toy! (And to dear friends and family who are reading this: I know what I’m getting you for your birthdays… whether you think you want one or not. You’ll thank me later. The great and powerful Oz has spoken.)

Kisses & Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick

image/video credits: image #1 © uncommon goods

all other images © 2012 Alli Woods Frederick. all rights reserved. use without express written permission is prohibited.

The Uncommon Life

UG Team: Meet Jackie and Philomena

March 22, 2012

The UncommonGoods team is just as quirky, fun and uncommon as the products we sell. With a current total of 113 awesome UGooders, our diverse team is expanding with over a dozen new positions open in various departments.

So who have we recently welcomed among the many new faces in the Brooklyn Army Terminal?

Meet Jackie.

Jackie started as a seasonal team member in October 2011 within the Purchasing department. Since her arrival, Jackie has impressed her team all across the board and made a dent in our Merchandising team. Jackie is now the new Assistant Buyer in Jewelry and Accessories.

What is your UncommonFact?

My two children are Swedish citizens, but I am not!

What made you choose UG?

I was looking to get into retail after years of working in manufacturing, and was extremely interested in the idea of working with a web-based retailer. A friend of mine, who works specifically with B-Corp companies, recommended that I look into job opportunities at UG. I was already familiar with the company as a customer but after reading about the vision and mission, including B-Corp accountability, I was very impressed.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up not far from NYC, in Pequannock Township, NJ. I have lived in Manhattan for 18 years – five different apartments in four different neighborhoods.

And what do you like to do on the weekends?

Hang with friends, go to the beach, farmer’s market, and cook Swedish goodies with the kids!

Along with Jackie, meet Philomena.

Philomena started as our Purchasing Administrative Assistant in September 2011 and has joined our team as the Inventory Planning Assistant. We were very impressed with her infectious can-do attitude and fun-loving spirit.

What is your UncommonFact?

People say that I’m strange because I own over 100 pairs of socks. What can I say? Keeping my feet warm makes me feel good all over! Also, I lived in Repulse Bay, Hong Kong for 1 month in 2005 – it was the experience of a lifetime. It may not be too uncommon, but to me, it was the most exciting thing I have ever done.

What has been your most rewarding experience at UG?

Working in the Purchasing department, and with UG as a whole, is a reward in itself. From day one, the people here have made me feel a part of something more than myself. What I most enjoy is the opportunity to continuously learn about the company’s operation on a day to day basis. The one thing that I admire most about this company is that there are no limits.

What did you do before coming to UG?

I worked as a coordinator for a food corporation, handling the daily operations of ordering food, paper products, condiments and other products for sale to the company’s customers. I was solely responsible for reporting the weekly, monthly and quarterly reports of all products sold within our district.

Describe yourself in four words.

Family-oriented, easygoing, fun and outdoor-loving!

These ladies are among the many new faces to join the UG team permanently.

If you are interested or know anybody that might fit in well with the UG culture, check out all of our current open positions at www.uncommongoods.com/careers. There are plenty of opportunities within Operations, Merchandising, Purchasing, Technology, and more!

The Uncommon Life

Winning Wordsmiths: Our Favorite Uncommon Haiku

March 22, 2012

When we announced our haiku contest, we knew our clever readers would present some great poetry, but we were blown away by the number (more than 250!) of uncommonly creative submissions we received!

The winners earned spots in our most recent email and took home the products they praised in their 17-syllable poems. Only one poet could win in each category, but we’re pleased to share some amusing honorable mentions.

Haiku email

We’re glad MaryAnne Kate took a moment to show off her haiku skills, even though she wasn’t interested in any of the prizes!

We also received this haiku by Carol Thurman after the contest.

Love Uncommon Goods
Always worth a second look
I missed the contest?!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We’re sorry to hear that Carol didn’t know about the contest. As you can see, she definitely has haiku skills! But, you never know, she may get another chance. We had so much fun reading everyone’s haiku, we might just have to hold another contest in the future.

As bloggers for The Goods, we also got a chuckle out of Nate Biddick’s clever name drop in his poem about the Tipping Teacups.

Uncommon tea cup
swings and steeps and swings and steeps
and you sip the goods.

And Diana McCartney’s haiku made us thirsty.

One cup black or white.
Hot, green, black or chamomile.
I like mine at night.

But Reanna Reiner took the prize by making us long for tea time.

tipping tea cups

While Reanna will have a new cup at her table the next time she sits down for tea, the winner of a new set of building blocks, Amanda Francis, is enjoying another table. She submitted this very uncommon entry:

Flourine Uranium Nitrogen – Carbon Uranium Boron Einsteinium – Sulfur Helium – Tungsten Hydrogen Iodine Sulfure Phospherous Erbium Sulfur
Yitrium Oxygen Uranium Thorium – Phosphorous Lanthanum Yitrium – Tungsten Iodine Thorium – Boron Arsenic Iodine Carbon Sulfur – Oxygen Flourine – Lithium Irone
Carbon Rhenium Astatine Electron – Germanium Nickel Uranium Sulfur Einsteinium

“Yes! That’s a haiku!” She explained. “Here it is translated into the elemental symbols:”

periodic table blocks

The last line of Amanda’s haiku is quite encouraging, but some folks chose to end their poems with punchlines. Kelly Brooks’ Owl Nightlight haiku started deep, but made us laugh in the end.

Oh, wise one who hoots
Light the pathway to the truth.
Or to the bathroom.

And Eve Schuyler’s winning words made us thankful for safe, well-lit walkways.

Owl Light

We also received some humorous entries for the coveted Stump Ring, but many poets took the sentimental route.

Farida Doblado’s rhyming haiku might also work as pop love song.

This stump may not grow
But my love for you does so
This I always know…

And Darla DeNyse’s haiku captures why the ring makes a great gift for a loved one.

Tree mighty and tall
Deep grows the roots in the earth
What a stable life

But Kat McNally’s winning haiku really captures what this beautiful design is all about.

Kat’s salute to the Stump Ring and the other winning haiku are just a few of the clever poems featured in our latest email. You can click here to read a variety of verses, or sign-up to have our uncommon emails sent right to your inbox.

The Uncommon Life

Rainy Days with Amy of A is for Ampersand

March 18, 2012

Hey there, champions! My name is Amy, and I run a silly little corner of the internet called A is for Ampersand where I blog about thrifting escapades, cats, diet coke, and adventures in my 1984 Westfalia Vanagon. I’m a designer and a writer, but mostly just a hoarder in the making with a raging predilection for all things pre-1980.

For the entire sum of my 25 years of life, I’ve always sworn by rain. And to be honest, I might be the only one in the entire universe that doesn’t worship the sun. I’m kind of like that witch in Sword in the Stone that hates sun. Know what I’m talking about? I’ve always dreamed about living in Seattle where it always rains. Seattle natives like to battle me on this, saying I’ll get sick of it. To them I say, yeah right.


Goggles Umbrella

So, here are five reasons why rain is THE coolest weather you know. All you sunshine lovers, get ready for a run for your money.

1. Gutter Boat Races
My #1 most awesome childhood memory is making little boats and racing them down the street gutters when it rained. We’d start those boats at our cul-de-sac and follow them alllll the way to the park, which was three blocks away. Why don’t adults do this? Lame.

2. Glorious Thunder
You can fight it all you want, but thunder and lightening storms are pretty much as gorgeous as it gets. Plus, sometimes the power goes out and you get out of work/school, which is always optimum.

3. Slothful Behavior Justification
Sometimes when it’s sunny, you feel like you really need to go out and do something. Yeah, that’s fine, but what about the days when you just want to have a bed-in for peace and start a Grey’s Anatomy marathon? On those days, rain makes this perfectly ok.

4. The Smell. THE SMELL!
You can’t fight it. Rain is THE best smell in the universe. It’s right up there with freshly baked cinnamon rolls and coffee, which both are great things to have on a rainy day.

5. Rain Painting
If you’re a rain hater, it’s probably because you’ve never rain painted. Set out some white construction paper and sprinkle powdered tempera paint on it. Watch as the rain drops blur the powdered paint and create magnificent art.

See? Rain is the BEST. So, next time it rains, grab your best umbrella, get those galoshes, and enjoy it. Happy spring!

The Uncommon Life

Sláinte! Here’s to the ‘Water of Life’ on St. Paddy’s

March 15, 2012

You might not feel particularly lively the morning after a festive St. Patrick’s celebration, but that doesn’t stop many from partaking in the “water of life” in celebration of Ireland. In other words, the rivers of Whiskey will flow on March, 17.

This golden-brown beverage has a rich history, so we thought we’d share a little more about Irish Whiskey.

Whiskey Stones

Whiskey Stones Gift Set

Uisce on the rocks, please.
Actually, whiskey as we know it came to be in Ireland. In the 6th century Monks used distilled grains as the base for medicines. They called it “Uisce Beatha,” in Goidelic, or “water of life,” thanks to its healing properties. (While some may argue that whiskey doesn’t have any healing properties, keep in mind that it is antiseptic and a pain killer.) Over time, the spirit became known as “whiskey,” a mispronunciation of “Uisce.”

Irish Spirit
Whiskey love spread across Europe over time. For example, to Scotland, where it developed in to Scotch. It’s said that Queen Elizabeth I enjoyed imbibing in the distilled drink, and Peter the Great once proclaimed, “of all the wines, the Irish spirit is the best.”

clover and little white flowers image by roens

Spell it how you want–just don’t spill it!
Irish Whiskey remains a favorite, and will certainly be enjoyed the world over on St. Paddy’s, but it’s competition has grown over time. English Whisky, and North American rivals like Canadian Whisky, Bourbon, and Tennessee Whiskey now compete with the original.

Each variety is unique, since the recipes are different. While we can’t help you distinguish the subtle taste differences between a Straight Bourbon and a single-malt Scotch, we can provide a little tip to help you determine wither it’s whiskey or whisky. Countries with an “e” in their name produce whiskey–like Ireland’s Whiskey. No “e” in the country means no “e” in the drink–like Scotch Whisky.

Whiskey Business
Since you won’t want to be caught drinking the wrong whiskey on St. Patrick’s Day, here are a few notes on what makes the original malt masterpiece truly Irish. First, as Tennessee Whiskey must come from Tennessee and Scotch must come from Scotland, Irish Whiskey must be distilled in Ireland or Northern Ireland from native ingredients. Also, true Irish Whiskey comes from a yeast-fermented grain mash that is aged in an oak barrel for a minimum of 3 years. Different brands of Irish Whiskey do have their own subtle flavors, so you’ll have options when it comes time to toast to good health. Sláinte!

Shot Spilz Glasses

Sources: Little Shamrocks, Tullamore Dew, Whiskey Guild, Real Men Drink Whiskey, The Kitchn

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Film Festivals

March 14, 2012

A couple of UncommonGoods people are at SXSW this week; at the interactive part, not for film. But some of us who aren’t going (passive-aggressive pouting alert: orange) were perusing the SXSW site, looking at the film festival schedule, and saw this: “Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with some major and rising names in cinema.”

Well, fine. Stars and red carpets help deals get made and careers get started. However, they are not exactly… uncommon. You can see them at Sundance. You can see them at Cannes. And now you can see them at SXSW.

But at none of the three big film festivals can you see “Downstream: Testing Trout,” (an underground cult of hardcore fly anglers in Ontario obsess over mayfly hatches and spinnerfalls while casting for trout in untouched waters),“The Bicycle Cap Made With Love by a Bike” (a bike and a sewing machine fall in love) “My Very Own Death (a man contests the claim by a scandal sheet that he died from an outdated yogurt), or “Self-Assembly of Bio-Inspired Peptoid Polymers,” (about the discovery of amphiphilic peptoid polymers of specific sequence that, in aqueous solution, spontaneously assemble into one of the thinnest two-dimensional organic crystalline materials known).

For those, you’d have to go to the International Fly Fishing Film Festival, the Bicycle Film Festival, the Atlanta Philosophy Film Festival, and the RidgeDance NanoScience Film Festival, respectively.

Welcome to the world of uncommon film festivals, where red carpets, major names and million-dollar deals are scarce and passionate devotion is in ample supply.

Just for fun, we made a list of some of the most intriguing-sounding film festivals we could find.
Grouped (somewhat) thematically, here they are:

DepicT! 90 Second Film Festival
The 15 Second Film Festival
The Ten Second Film Festival
A.D.D. Short Film Festival (sadly but kind of appropriately, this one was postponed indefinitely)
The 48 Hour Film Project (“you and a team make a movie—write, shoot, edit and score it—in just 48 hours”)
New York Cat Art Film Festival
Pet Film Festival
International Bat Film Festival
International Wildlife Film Festival
Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

San Francisco Ocean Film Festival
International Year of Forests Film Festival

Princeton Environmental Film Festival
American Conservation Film Festival (ACFF)
Sustainability Film Festival
Possible Futures Film Festival (“film visions of the positive future that hundreds of millions of people are already living into and creating right now”)

Bicycle Film Festival
California Surf Festival
International Skateboard Film Festival
International Aquatic History Symposium & Film Festival (put on by the International Swimming Hall of Fame)
International Fly Fishing Film Festival
Action Sports Film Festival
Los Angeles All Sports Film Festival (films with “mental and physical competition for the sake of winning a prize,” with “sports” defined as “anything from auto racing to badminton and spelling bees to chess”

Food Film Festival (in association with the James Beard Foundation)
Food Justice Film Festival
Farm Film Fest (“documentary films about our food — who produces it, how it reaches us, and how it affects our health, our environment, and our local and global communities”)
Farm Film Fest (Chatham Agriculture Partnership (CAP – “films that focus on farms, farming, and farming issues”)
Farming Film Festival Video Contest (“Farmers need game changing solutions to meet rising expectations and costs. If you are a farmer, create a video that tells us about a game changing idea or technology on your farm. If you’re not a farmer, find one and help tell their story.”)

Handmade Puppet Dreams (“a touring festival of independent artist films exploring their handmade craft specifically for the camera”)
Strange Beauty Film Festival (films which are “strangely beautiful” and “beautifully strange”)

Rose City Steampunk Film Festival
Viscera Film Festival (female genre filmmakers)
Pollygrind Film Festival (“all about the darker side of cinema and the artists that bring those films to life;” held in Las Vegas)
International Festival of Darkness (“the best and the most macabre that the horror and sci-fi genres have to offer”)

NYC Mental Health Film Festival
Psychiatry Ethics Film Festival
Biomedical ethics film festival
Neuro Film Festival (put on by the American Academy of Neurology Foundation “to help raise awareness about why more research is needed to cure brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, autism, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis”)
RidgeDance NanoScience Film Festival
Nanofest: The Nanoscience Film Festival
YPOP Film Festival (solar films: solar flares, eclipses, etc.)

The Atlanta Philosophy Film Festival
San Francisco Atheist Film Festival
Interfaith Film Festival
Sikhnet Online Youth  Film Festival
International Buddhist Film Festival
San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival
New York Jewish Film Festival
Nihilist Film Festival

Politics on Film (“an annual, bipartisan film festival based in Washington DC dedicated to providing a platform for films that tell stories of America’s politics and policies”)
Magic Lantern Video & Book Store Political Film Festival

BRIEFS: Erotic Shorts Film Competition

DisABILITIES Film Festival
NY Disabilities Film Festival
Sprout Film Festival (“film and video related to the field of developmental disabilities”)
Deaf Rochester Film Festival

GI Film Festival (“the first film festival in the nation to exclusively celebrate the successes and sacrifices of the service member through the medium of film”)

San Francisco Transgender Film Festival
Lost Aneles Transgender Festival
Post Alley Film Festival (“female-centric and eccentric”)

Legacy Film Festival on Aging
ALFA (Assisted Living Federation of America) Short Film Competition on Ageism

American Indian Film Festival
Los Angeles Asian-Pacific Film Festival
Black History Film Festival
Black Panther Film Festival
Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza
South Asian Film Festival
Urbanworld Multicultural Film Festival  (“dedicated to redefining the multicultural roles in contemporary cinema, television, and online by supporting the urban content creation community”)
Margaret Mead Film Festival (“the longest-running showcase for international documentaries in the US; from indigenous community media to experimental nonfiction”)

Black-Rock-City-Film-Festival at Burning Man

Found Footage Festival
San Francisco Silent Film Festival
The Disposable Film Festival (“short films made on everyday equipment like cell phones, pocket cameras, and other inexpensive video capture devices”)
Century City Cell Phone (Film) Festival

YouTube Your Film Festival
Vimeo Festival and Awards

And finally, we would be remiss not to mention UncommonGoods’s own

Film Festival in a Box

The Uncommon Life

10 Ways to Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day

March 12, 2012

Whether you’re Irish by blood, have the luck of the Irish, or just love a good celebration on St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll probably be going green on March 17. Of course, we’re all about celebrating another kind of green here at UncommonGoods. So we figured, why not take a double-edged approach with these green (and green!) goods.

Wearing green on St. Paddy’s will prevent you from getting pinched, but you don’t have to go overboard. Adding a few green accents to your outfit is a great way to show your Irish pride. (1.) Heli Belt’s are handmade using leftover fabric from tatami floor mats and (2.)Ellen Thurmond’s Tree of Life–Renewal necklace features green peridot on hand-shaped recycled sterling silver wire.

Whether you plan on dying your hair green or skipping the food-coloring-infused shampoo, a (3.)Recycled Glass Barrette will look lovely accenting your locks.

Once your perfect St. Patrick’s Day outfit is complete, you can start the party. Serve up green beer in (4.) Recycled Beer Glasses, which also happen to have a slight green tint, since they’re made from glass from car windows. And, if you prefer a mixed drink or something alcohol free, your beverage of choice will look nice in (5.) Protect Our Earth Glasses. These recycled Bordeaux bottle glasses were even called party “must-haves” by HelloGiggles.com.

When it comes to your centerpiece, take a cue from the lush landscape of the Emerald Isle and add a little vegetation to your St. Pat’s. Fresh-cut flowers aren’t always the greenest choice, but our (6.) Moss Terrarium Bottle is a fun DIY alternative. If your thumb is far from green, visit Local Harvest to find sustainably grown blooms and show them off in a (7.)Recycled Wine Bottle Vase, or skip the flowers all together and go with a handmade recycled glass (8.)Four Seasons Globe to ring in Spring.

The centerpiece won’t be the most enticing thing on the table, though. Celebrate with a traditional Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage, then use the (9.) Fresh Air Compost Collector to save the cabbage hearts and other unused portions for composting. And for dessert? These Beer Mug Cupcakes from I am Baker are too cute not to make.

From green beer to cupcakes that look like green beer, you don’t need luck (or a pot of gold) for your St. Paddy’s Party to be a success. But, the fun can only last one night, so don’t forget to take a few photos to capture the evening. Fittingly, your favorite will look fabulous on display in one of Margaret Taylor’s handmade (10.)Recycled Ceiling Tin Frames.

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