Holiday Gifts From Uncommon Goods

uncommon goods pick punchIt’s mid-November, which means that Christmas is about 6 weeks away. Not only has life been hectic with the holidays fast approaching, but our family is in the middle of a cross-country move.

We know that a lot of our Christmas shopping will be done online this year.

I was contacted by UncommonGoods to see if I would be willing to feature some of their products in a holiday gift post. I was already a fan of their site, so I was excited for the opportunity to explore their products and review some gifts that called my name.

homemade guitar picks

UncommonGoods is an privately-owned retailer that features unique products and handcrafted gifts. They specifically showcase products that are created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. Most of the products they carry are created in the USA, and about one-third of their collection incorporates recycled and/or upcycled materials. I love the variety of items on the website, and found some things that you can’t just buy at a big box store.

The Pick Punch

The first item I selected was the Pick Punch, which calls to the inner band groupie in me. The Pick Punch allows you to make your own guitar picks by recycling old credit cards, ID cards, plastic lids, and gift cards. Although I don’t play guitar myself, I have a lot of musician friends. I plan to use the Pick Punch to make some custom guitar picks for them.

uncommongoods pick punch

To make the pick, you position the credit card (or other card) in the device so that you see the design that you want, and press down. It takes a little bit of muscle, but it pops through quickly.

To demonstrate, I used a hotel room key card. I liked the pink designs on the card, so I positioned the punch to make a pink kaleidoscopey pick.

Have you ever seen a pick like that in a store? I  haven’t.

The Pick Punch is available on the site for $25.00.

periodic table of the elements building blocks

Elemental Blocks

The next item I chose were the Uncle Goose Elemental Blocks by Uncle Goose. There are 20 hand-crafted wooden cubes with the entire Periodic Table of the Elements printed on them. The building blocks are non-toxic, use child-safe inks, and are good for children (and other budding scientists) aged 2 and up. These blocks are created out of replenishable basswood and made in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

It seems like so many children’s toys are made out of plastic now. It felt good to play with wooden building blocks. Not only does it help your dexterity, you learn all about the elements in the Periodic Table. I love bright colors of the ink and the printing is very easy to read. Who knows…maybe the world’s next Einstein will get his start playing with these blocks.

The Periodic Table Building blocks are $31.00.

Other Gift Ideas

Needs some other ideas? There are plenty of options for adults and children. Check out some of these products. Happy shopping!

The Chillsner
Kinetic Sand


Disclosure: I received free products from UncommonGoods for the purpose of this post. I received no other financial compensation. All opinions are my own.

Wordless Wednesday: Sunrise in Virgin River Gorge

20131023-083006.jpgFiled Under: Misc Tagged With:

Mayan Doomsday Memes

end of the world facebook meme

Today is December 21, 2012 – Mayan Doomsday

Leave it to the interwebz to create a fiasco over something that probably won’t be a fiasco. This week, I think I’ve heard “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” by REM more times than in the last year. Nothing can make fun of impending doom like a meme, and I’ve come across so many this week, it’s ridiculous. I love me some memes, because it’s a fun and witty look into current pop culture.

When it comes to memes, you can always count on the most popular ones.

We’ve got Philosoraptor

philosoraptor end of the world marty mcfly

We’ve got Sarcastic Wonka

sarcastic wonka end of the world

We’ve got a couple Someecards

well played, mayans
Even Google is getting into the fun with a Mayan Google Doodle

Here are few more choice bits of meme humor for today:

toy story end of the world

oreo cookie mayans

marty mcfly traveled to 2015

cheer up, it's not the end of the world



The end of the world is serious stuff, as is cleaning out the smelly refrigerator at work. My coworker Mike sent this email out the the office today regarding fridge cleanout:
fridge cleanout for the end of the world

Of all the memes I’ve seen, I think this movie poster meme made by College Humor is my favorite. If the movie industry is to be believed, you’d better avoid the Statue of Liberty today. According to my friend Kia, movie poster designers “use a 2-3x larger head in movies because whenever it’s to scale, people complain its unbelievable.”
And…what the heck. How about a little REM?

The Halloween Candy Conundrum

nicole bullock weight lossSo far in 2012, I’ve lost 114 pounds. I’ve been really happy with my success, I’ve made a lot of changes in my lifestyle and eating habits.

Now it’s October. And I’m struggling. It’s Halloween candy season.

There is something about Halloween candy that’s insatiable for me. The variety, the nostalgia, the candies that you can only find seasonally. Since my gastric bypass, candy is supposed to be totally off limits. But man, those “fun-size” candy bars are tempting. Even just a tiny bite can make me soooo sick. So why am I obsessing about it?

This week at work, my coworker Joseph made this infographic about Halloween candy. He bought a huge stash of candy, took detailed photos, and made it into this awesome graphic. Click on the image for a better view.

Trick or Treat [infographic]

Ever since he started making the infographic, I’ve had candy on the brain. I can still smell the sugar in my office. I can’t stop thinking about candy. But instead of guilting myself about how much I love candy, I’m just going to own up to it (even though I’m not going to eat it). This year I will miss my KitKats, Caramellos, vanilla Tootsie Rolls, Almond Joys, and Reeses peanut butter cups. But my health is so much more important. And that’s why I’m going to be trying as hard as I can to resist temptation.

What are your favorite Halloween candies?

Wordless Wednesday – City Creek Center in Salt Lake City

city creek center utah

City Creek Center

Wordless Wednesday – Sprinkles 24-Hour Cupcake ATM

sprinkles cupcake atm beverly hills

(PS Just so you know, the cupcake was for Rosie. I just went to the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM just to say that I’d been there. Not going to sabotage myself like that yet. I’m down 40 lbs.)

Flashback Friday – “Crazy” by Seal

“Oh we’re never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy…”

Seal (AKA Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel) is a British musician with a Nigerian and Brazilian background. Seal has enjoyed a very successful musical career over the last 20 years, and is best known for his Grammy award winning song “Kiss from a Rose.”

In 1991, Seal’s single “Crazy” was released in the U.S., just a few months after it was released in the U.K. I remember loving it from the first time I heard it on Z100 in Portland. The next time I heard it on the radio, I recorded it on a cassette tape and played it on my Walkman over and over. I also recorded the music video off  VH1, along with other songs like “Silent All These Years,” “More Than Words,” and “Faith.

There’s something about Seal’s voice that I totally love. It’s soulful and kinda raspy, and he just soars on the high notes. I’ve also though that he has a very interesting look to him, with all the scars on his face, and just found out that they were caused by Lupus. He’s been married to the German model Heidi Klum for 7 years, but they recently announced their separation.

Isn’t that crazy?

A few years ago, Alanis Morissette covered “Crazy”, and it was almost as good as the original in my opinion. I love the lyrics to “Crazy,” even though I’m pretty sure it’s a drug song.

“And through a fractal on a breaking wall, I see you my friend, and touch your face again. Miracles will happen as we trip. But we’re never gonna survive, unless we get a little crazy.”

I’d embed the video into the blog post, but it’s been disabled. But you can watch “Crazy” here. Did anyone else listen to this song on their WalkMan?


Wordless Wednesday: Stop SOPA and PIPA

For more information, check out, SOPA Strike, Stop Online Piracy Act,  or this blog post on Please contact your local representatives and make your voice heard.

Wordless Wednesday: Salt Lake City Library and County Building

SLC Library and SL City County Building

Flashback Friday – “More Than Words” by Extreme

“Saying ‘I Love You’ is not the words I want to hear from you” – The grammar may be atrocious, but oh….how this song makes my heart melt! This acoustic power ballad became a number one hit on the Billboard charts, released on the album titled “Extreme II – Pornograffiti.” Due to the title of the album, my dad would only let me purchase the cassette single (after reluctantly listening to it with me on VH1.)
extreme more than words“More Than Words” by Extreme came out in 1991, at the height of my crush on a boy who could play the guitar. Not only did he have flowing golden blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes…he could play “More Than Words” on the guitar! He could sing *almost* as good as singer Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt, who wrote this song warning that saying “I love you” was becoming meaningless: “People use it so easily and so lightly that they think you can say that and fix everything, or you can say that and everything’s OK. Sometimes you have to do more and you have to show it – there’s other ways to say ‘I love you.'” This song become popular on stations from Hard Rock to Easy Listening, and it was even a theme song to one of  the formal dances I attended in high school. The song has been parodied by performers from Weird Al to the How I Met Your Mother cast.

Time to fess up: who’s kissed a crush while listening to this song?