Michael Giroux | Photographer

Every Friday we compile a list of fun stuff from around the web and publish it here for all to see. It’s our way of sharing what we like, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll like some of it too. To see what we have for you this week, browse through the categories below.

Helen Saves the Day — it’s like wandering through forgotten about towns and fields. Dreamy and charming.

Ari Weiss — gargoyles, birds, bridges and so much more.

Michael Giroux – a Pacific Northwest wet dream.

Laura E. Pritchett — she dances and twirls in beautiful, rural landscapes.

Mark Lobo — an Aussie photog that makes living down under look really fun.

Hailey Bartholomew – a color-rich, cheerful love letter from a young woman to her family. Tree climbing, polka dot dresses, sunny skies…

Hiroaki Fukuda – Tokyo mixed with some delicious food shots and incredible nature scenes.

Mike Martinez — his tagline says “from Seattle to Denver.”

Sharon — a caffeinated love affair of coffee and other mouthwatering goodness.

Elisabeth Erin – reminds me of why I really do love Oregon so very much.

Ciunkz – people commuting by train, bicycle, boat and their own two feet.

Lindsay Crowder – San Francisco and the nearby foggy, coastal woods.

Most traveling folk know about AirBnB by now, but if you’re a designer or visual artist and you own a lovely house/apartment/studio, then you have another place to find your next home away from home: Behomm. The home exchange service has some jaw dropping listings that bring the words of Liz Lemon to mind — “I want to go to there.” Of course, if you’re not rollin’ in the kind of dough it takes to buy and trick out a house, take a gander at the homes for sale on Tiny House Listings. For anyone that ever thought the gypsy lifestyle looked like the best adventure ever, THL is a fun place to start your new chapter.

Because it’s Valentines Day, and because wedding season is approaching, I’m going to share a few tools for all you ladies and gents out there who are planning your nuptials. Here’s the list:

1). Rock and Roll Bride is a wedding blog and magazine dedicated to showcasing beautiful weddings from around the globe. Weddings vary from diy to professionally planned, and all are photographed really well. The founder is a kick butt British chick with pink hair and a make-no-apologies attitude, which I double love. It’s definitely a refreshing take on the whole wedding world that typically makes me gag a little. 

2). Loverly’s tagline is “Search, Save, Share and Shop Wedding Ideas.” Discover the latest wedding trends, save your favorite ideas and shop for all sorts of stuff.

3). Thankful is a an online registry system that allows you to set up a free account and save/bookmark items from any online store so that your friends and family can give you exactly what you want. So yay to not being forced to spend several Saturdays walking around department stores while you tag items for your wedding registry that you maybe need but can’t decide because you haven’t eaten in 6 hours and you’re about to die. 

4). Wedding Party is a mobile/tablet app that you can use to document your journey from newly engaged to Mrs and Mrs. Invite guests, share photos, keep everyone updated on events and so on. Remember when the trend was to give guests disposable cameras so that they could take pictures of the reception? Well this app is kinda like that, except way more advanced.

5). With the following services, you can build your very own wedding website to keep guests informed about the festivities: Wedding JoJo and Weduary.

I’m not sure why the advertising execs for LEGO think that young girls would rather play with pink dolls and build cars with interior vanity sets than build pirate ships and intergalactic space stations. We like adventure too, after all. Playing with a news van toy that has a vanity inside, not broadcasting equipment, sounds like the most boring toy ever. Accusations that LEGO is sexist have went viral on social media this past week with women everywhere asking what the heck LEGO is thinking, but this young woman challenged LEGO product design and marketing over two years ago. 

Zaron Burnett asks us to rethink race and racism. His message is that bigotry, not racism, is the real problem. I really liked this article because race is an uncomfortable subject that I encounter every time I visit family in Alabama. When a story is being told at dinner, a teacher is referred to as a “black teacher,” a neighborhood is referred to as “where the blacks live,” and a baby is referred to as a “Mexican baby.” My family sees race, and although it makes my body tense up to hear their flippant remarks and it embarrasses me to my very core, I have to confess that I see race as well. I might not see the world as my family sees it and I may not say the same things, but I am aware of race. I think most of us are to a certain extent, but we’re too ashamed to admit it.

I’ve decided to theme the reading lists because one of my favorite bookstores (that’s now closed) did this with their shelves. If I wanted to get lost in a story set in Paris, there was a shelf for that. I loved their system because it made so much sense to me; when I read a book, I want an experience, not just a story.

With that in mind, this week’s theme is: the Jazz Age.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

The Last Madame by Christine Wiltz

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

The Nature Conservancy has posted 8 stunning videos that explore the many ways that nature matters to people across the globe. From a rancher-farmer in the Pacific flyway who relies on bird migrations for soil fertility to a small Alaskan community who relies on salmon for sustenance and their way of life, the videos show how connected people are to their environment.

Leyla Acaroglu stands in front of a room full of product designers and challenges them to design products in a more sustainable way. She discusses why paper bags aren’t always better than plastic, how electric tea kettles and refrigerators are draining the power grid and how our complicated world demand more than black and white solutions. A few words from her bio on TED Talks: “At Eco Innovators, an ecologically-minded Australian design studio, Acaroglu’s team makes award-winning designs and projects that tap into a sense of play in order to educate. From animations explaining the lifecycle of a cell phone to bookshelves made from construction scrap wood to workshops that help rebuild and repurpose broken everyday items, the goal is building savvy, science-based sustainability practices.” And here’s a blog post about a discussion she led on dissecting mobile phones and other tech to see how the internal pieces can be recycled.

Eastern Turkey is famous for its pure honey, but these bees and way of life are under threat from non-native species and over commercialization. Watch this video and then do a simple Google search to learn more about the bee crisis that is rocking the globe. Imagine a world in which there are no bees to pollinate our crops — what will we do?

The Tastemade crew visited Morocco and stayed in a cave with a nomadic goat herding family. What’a gal got to do to work with these guys?

Photo Source: Michael Giroux 

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