Time for another edition of one of my favorite subjects: a look at what’s new in everything from kid’s fashions to outdoor gear, just in time for a pre-holiday, pre-escape-from winter look.
Pies and pasties
First up, Michigan-based Grand Traverse Pie Company has announced its newest menu item, and what could be more apropos than the pasty. This Cornish-based enclosed meat and veggie pie is on the menu of hundreds of restaurants in the state, especially in the Upper Peninsula.
Now, the GT Pie features beef with all the traditional accompaniments of carrots, rutabaga, potatoes and onion and spices, all the good stuff, wrapped in a traditional crust and served with gravy on the side.
GT Pie also announced a new dessert, chocolate pecan pie, laced with Michigan-made bourbon, just in time for the holidays and available until mid-January only. Pies can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. by going to gtpie.com. Doing so also helps GT Pie benefit Gleaners Food Banks and other pantries around Michigan.
Cross-country skiing made easier
Remember trying those clunky cross-country skis years ago, and telling yourself never again after feeling like you had zero control over where your boards were headed next. Enter the Alpina R60, says Bob Frye of Roscommon, MI’s Cross-Country Ski Headquarters, one of the country’s top retail suppliers of fun-in-the-snow equipment.The R60 is the first cross-country ski with metal edges-like downhill skis-that is inexpensive. Check them out at CCskihq’s site.
Okie Dokie apparel for kids
Keep your toddler or pre-schooler comfy this season with new Disney-themed clothes from Okie Dokie. The new collection launched this October includes playful, mix-and-match long sleeve tees, fleece hoodies, pants, leggings, dresses, and tutus featuring Elsa and Anna from Disney Pixar’s animated films. The line is updated each season and is available in sizes 2T to 7 at jcp.com and in all JCPenney stores.
The number of bicycle-based commuters has increased by 60 percent in the last decade as gridlock grows, gas prices rise—and they will again, folks—and people look for an alternative to fossil-fuel-based transportation, and switch to both people-powered and electric bikes to get around.
Enter Telenav. Working with auto supplier Bosch, Telenav has developed Open Street Maps, a way to map the route you want and determine how much of a charge you need for your e-bike to get from here to there efficiently.
More bike stuff
LifeBEAM has added more health monitoring gizmos to its line of bicycle helmets. Just fit one of its heart rate tracking kits to its Lazer line of helmets and you’ll be able to track your calories burned and heart rate by connecting to your phone wirelessly.
Rather run than bike? There’s a hat for that, too, offering the same kind of performance feedback as the helmet.If you ride bikes at night, you want to be all visible, all the time. Zackees turn signal gloves help signal your intentions and keep auto drivers aware that you’re there. They come with rechargeable batteries for the built-in arrow-shaped LED lights and are totally washable once the battery pack is removed.
More visibility the better, and Blackburn’s series of front, rear and even side lights offer multiple ways to keep you noticed on your bike. Slip on a pair of Torch reflective socks, or Crosspoint waterproof hi-viz socks, and you’re good to go. Tired of wet shoes when biking, or when you’re caught in a storm while riding? Here’s the solution: The H2O promises to be the first seam-sealed waterproof biking shoe.
Now that you’re all set on a bike, consider a Trek Travel two-wheel tour. Tours include guides, a Trek bike to use equipped with a Garmin GPS, hotels each night and most meals. Right now, Trek Travel is offering a complimentary bike upgrade to an electric-assist model. Check out its website for details.
Now, if you do have a mishap while biking, or hiking whenever you or your kids encounter the odd scrape, there’s Green Goo. It’s an all natural, all purpose first-aid kit in a can, made with natural herbal remedials to help heal cuts and scrapes and take the sting out of insect bites.
Sun hat from Stetson
The name Stetson says hats, and quality, and if you’re planning on some time on the sunny side of the country this winter, the Outback Soka is for you. It’s crushable, keeps the sun off, and it’s inexpensive. Wet it down, and it acts as your own personal air conditioner.
On the road again…
Perfect for sloshing around the ski area is Sperry’s new Boatyard Chukka, featuring the same construction as its Sea Kite moc, but with waterproof leather, a mesh upper and a grippy, wraparound sole.
It seems lots of shoe sellers are changing styles-of course-from runners to more casual looks. They’ve got to sell shoes, right? Such is the case with Ridgemont Outfitters. It has introduced the Monty, which, it says, is a revamped hiker from the 70s and 80s.
Traveling over the…etc., with the kids in the back seat this holiday? Here are a couple of items to keep them—and especially you-happy on the road. MyBuckleMate stops the fumbling for the seat belt buckle, and stops you from having to contend with it all from the front seat. An easy-to-use inflatable BubbleBum booster seat is made for kids aged 3 to 11 and keeps kids comfy for all lengths of car rides. And, since it’s lightweight, THEY can carry it instead.
Once you’ve got’em seated and buckled, it’s entertainment time, and the best thing to keep your vehicle free from that ‘a tornado just went through’ look is the aptly named Junkie, an expandable organizer that keeps your kids travel entertainment in one place.
Or, for those plane flights, or car trips this holiday, check out these great themed backpacks for tykes from daphdaph. The SuperME packs are especially cute, and come with their own superhero cape.
If you’re the owner of a big RV, this one’s for you. Keep that rig free of road grime and crud with the Spotless RV washer for home use or when you’re on the road. The system uses an ionizing process that eliminates spots.
Fix that zip!
How many times has this happened to you? Either the handle on a coat or bag zipper breaks, or the whole zipper thinger separates from the teeth. I’ve mentioned these before, and they deserve another mention, the FixnZip. No tools or sewing needed.