Best Gifting Practices – Uncommonly Good

For a long time now we have had a present cabinet. Yes, as in gifts. And, no, I am not super organized. It’s for when I need an emergency gift, you know, when you’ve forgotten an event is coming up – What, you don’t do that? Well, I do and sometimes the cabinet is stocked and I breathe a sigh of relief, and sometimes I am down to some hair ties and a pen.

So I clearly can’t leave special events like birthdays, graduations, weddings or anniversaries to chance, those need more planning, and, well, I have that covered, too. Actually, UncommonGoods does. When they contacted me to share my gift giving practices, I was thrilled – I love their site because they have cool, creative gifts in a wide range of prices, and make shopping by occasion super easy. Located in Brooklyn, NY, they select works from talented artists and artisans, and, as an added bonus, they’re a B Corporation. What is that? It means they do work on social and environmental problems, including wage levels, environmental impact, and giving back to the community. That’s to the good of everyone.

But you need gifts.

Our family just wrapped up one graduation season, and while the next is a ways off, the holidays are around the corner and I’m betting on UncommonGoods to help with my list. Love this dreamy retro camera that takes romantic, light soaked photos and will charm any photographer, artist or film student. The Diana Camera is super cool, dare I say hipster? – and uses 120 film.

The Diana Camera at from Capabilitymom








Math mug Uncommongoods from capabilitymom

Less art and more math? There’s fun with numbers in this math-y mug or great geeking out clock (equations included).

geek equation clock uncommongoods from capabilitymom

Looking for something a bit more personal? You’re covered there, too, with gifts that can be made to honor a special someone. And I love that the Uncommongoods site lets you search by occasion, interest, price, and category. No small feat, that.

And having just reached a milestone wedding anniversary, I also know a bit about great gifts for anniversaries (or weddings). Keeping it personal is key, and so easy to do here. My favorites for couples include these gorgeous faux bois personalized mugs, just pair with your favorite fair trade coffee.










A new go-to gift: Put together a mixed six pack of local craft beer, the beer labels are cool and the names are usually funny, and if you put that together with these wordy glasses, you have a really thoughtful gift. And you might even pick up a vocab word or two.uncommon goods wordy beer glasses







Feeling the sentiment? Me, too. Love this company,



Check out their blog  which features their artists, design inspiration, and even more gift guides.


Disclaimer: While I did receive payment for sharing this post, all opinions are always my own.

All about the Pi(e)

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary:

The mathematical value of π, or pi, begins “3.14…” so March 14 (3/14) is considered to be International Pi Day.

Pi is the English spelling of the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet. It means “the symbol π denoting the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter,” and also means “the ratio itself : a transcendental number having a value rounded to eight decimal places of 3.14159265.” This means that the outside measurement of a circle is a little more than three times its width. This ratio is one of the most important constants in mathematics.

Pi is probably used to stand for this number because it is the first letter of the Greek word that is the origin of periphery. And don’t miss the weird and wonderful things they’re doing over on Twitter. Funny, creative and inventive. You’re welcome.

This variant form of cauliflower is the ultimate fractal vegetable. Its pattern is a natural representation of the Fibonacci or golden spiral, a logarithmic spiral where every quarter turn is farther from the origin by a factor of phi, the golden ratio.

So, I really want to give a shout out to math on Pi Day.  We use math every day, even when we don’t realize it. Now head over to Live Science to see some really cool math. And really, much as I  respect math, I respect that wonderful, versatile food choice, pie.  Sweet or savory, I am all about the pie. So when my intrepid blogger friends invited me to a pie photo morning/tasting (because who would go to just the photo shoot anyway?) –  I ran right out and grabbed some pies. Because more is more.

We fanned out across the city and suburbs in search of our favorite types of pie. Undaunted by the amount of research this would take, we were committed to our quest, and you reap the results of our labors. Why, yes, I did try most, but not all, of these delicious pies. It was an early release day or I would have, though. Pacing. Here’s the rundown. Honestly, the things I do for this blog.

Hi-Rise Bakery – This is one of my favorite places for everything – sandwiches, baked goods, bread and jams, and I every so often make the Vanilla Bean Loaf – we call it Vanilla Bread.  We sampled the lemon meringue – next time it might not make it home.

Leah brought some of her favorite pies from Petsi Pies and they were all inhaled.  I had heard of Petsi Pies but this was my first time and the Bourbon Chocolate Pecan may have been one of my tops favorite pies ever.

More Cambridge? Pemberton Farms Marketplace is a sweet grocery/bakery/garden center that has everything you could need plus pies from The Pie Guy’s – the key lime pie is off the hook. So when I head back for that particular confection, I’ll be picking up a few hostess gifts, some wine and a plant or two next time I go.

Craving a savory pie with a flaky out of this world crust? Look no further than  KO Catering & Pies in South Boston.  Mostly meat pies here but some veggies find their way in, and  a lovely veggie pie or the Classic Beef Pie will warm you right up. We were hosted to try these yummy hand pies and sample we did. Then we ordered a bunch to go – great for the freezer for an easy dinner you almost made.

And from Shoofly Pie Baking Company, an unbelievably delicious and pretty – no one wanted me to cut it but I did anyway – cherry pie. She delivers – yes, delivers pie to Jamaica Plain, Roslindale and Hyde Park. with a trial run in Brookline going on now. Hopefully Newton is next! I’m not going to lie, when Kelli handed me still warm from the oven cherry pie, I doubted that it would make it to our pie morning. Yet it did, and it was whole. I  know. All the will power.

Freshly baked, incredibly delicious pies from the Ever So Humble Pie Company can be found at both Volante Farms and Brothers Marketplace.


So what do we do? Go Local Boston is our hashtag. We find things, we share our finds.

Follow these blogs for more fun finds – pie and otherwise.

A Little Bit about a lot of Things

Kim World

Leah’s Life: Pearls and Oysters

For the Patriots, Red Sox and Bruins fans in your life…OYO Sports

 Sports Fans Unite! Oyo Sports has you covered!


IMG_8144Being from New England, our family has some serious life-long sports allegiances, and I’m guessing maybe your family does, too. And if you have little sports fans who are into Legos, you are going to love this. OYO Sports is a local Massachusetts company that makes licensed collectible mini-figures that fit with all major building sets (that means Legos)  They’re collectibles but not precious collectibles which adds up to terrific gifts for my nephews (who are into both Legos and sports teams). Phew, I am all set with my shopping for them. Local company, check. Sports fans, check. Legos fans, check. Wow. I wish all of my holiday shopping was this easy. These cool sets and figurines are a great way to connect your sports fans with the fun of building and open ended play. And, yes, older fans are fans, too. Tough to think of a gift for Dad or Grandpa? A favorite player figure is a great start. Share the fun and get a family gift of the hockey set.

So for us? It’s the Patriots Trainer Cart, Pat Patriot (the mascot) and not to be missed Tom Brady and Gronkowski figures for one nephew, and Wally (the mascot), Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz figures and the Infield set for another. IMG_4281Don’t worry. I have it on good authority that they don’t read my blog – no surprises will be ruined.









Check out Oyo in nearby stores – available at local Target, Modell’s, Bob’s Dick’s and Kohl’s.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post but did receive some OYO Sports items to facilitate this review. And, yes, I am giving them to my nephews. All opinions are always,and always will be, unabashedly my own.

Think It Up! Staples Donates to Local Area Schools

Thank you, Staples, for making me like you even more. Truth be told you had me, years ago, with this ad:
It’s not enough that you are our go to for all things school and office, but now this?

Staples and Joe Kelly Support Boston, Cambridge and MetroWest Teachers with Think It Up™

Joe Kelly, Kirk Saville

Staples announced that it has funded 214 local classroom projects in the Boston, Cambridge and MetroWest communities, as part of its recent pledge (in the amount of $10 million) to Think it Up™, a new national initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) is looking to start a new movement in support of students, teachers and schools, by creating a culture of excitement about learning everywhere in America. This fall, Think It Up, in partnership with, will look to fund student-powered, teacher-led learning projects in classrooms across the country.

Red Sox Pitcher and Think It Up ambassador Joe Kelly attended the announcement in support of Boston’s students and teachers. “It’s great knowing this generous donation will help make meaningful learning projects happen in classrooms throughout the Boston area, thanks to Think It Up,, and Staples’ commitment to supporting students,” Kelly said.  was founded in 2000, and has helped fund more than 236,000 classroom projects for teachers and helped more than 14 million students. Today, in the Greater Boston area, Staples fully funded every project on in Boston Public Schools, Cambridge Public Schools and MetroWest communities. More than $204,000 was donated to help 173 teachers fulfill classroom needs and helped 14,063 students across 85 schools in the Greater Boston area.

“We’re thrilled to fund all of the projects in the Boston, Cambridge and Metrowest communities and to work with the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Think It Up initiative and to ensure classrooms have the supplies and resources they need,” said Alison Corcoran, senior vice president, North American stores and online marketing, Staples. “Through our Staples for Students program, we’re proud to build on our rich history of supporting education with our $10 million pledge to Think It Up that will make a difference in America’s classrooms.”

I know a few teachers (I’m even related to a few) so I know it’s true that teachers spend their own money for their classrooms so this is an especially important initiative.

How can you help? Support Think It Up, you can donate a dollar at a Staples store or visit to learn more.

I did receive a gift card from Staples (oh, happy day) which I plan on using immediately. Thank you, Staples. All opinions are, and always will be, my own, and my love for that ad is for always.

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