How clean are you?

If there was a soap that your mother used to wash your mouth out with, it probably wasn’t this one. In fact, Whiskey River Soaps might encourage just the kind of foul language that got you a mouth full of suds in the first place.

IMG_20170308_155230_253 Made here in the US of A, these sassy glycerine soaps will leaving you feeling clean, and a bit dirty, at the same time. There is a scent to suit any personality. Morning people? Watch out, they can cut you. Hipsters? Smells like coffee, bacon, craft beer, and your beard. Then of course is the middle child, featuring a largely invisible scent. The hysterical packaging still has me in stitches. Just wait until you read the directions for use. They think of everything.

Now it’s your turn to let someone know just what you think of them. The only question is how to choose just one.

Coloring Books for Grown Ups.

Van GoghThey’re not just for kids anymore.  A new trend is starting in the adult world bringing us all back to the crayon boxes of our youth: coloring books for grown ups. If you thought coloring was just a tool to learn motor skills in kindergarten, think again.

Coloring can be a great way to relax and unwind, especially for those of us who lack the talent to draw a picture from scratch.  Playing with colors can open Zenup your creative mind and transport you to any scene of your choosing.

As an adult, you’ll probably want to leave those thicker crayons behind and invest in a nice set of colored pencils or fine tipped markers. Let your inner artist shine bright and give your mind a rest after a stressful day. And best of all, when you are finished, you’ll have a lovely piece of art to keep or to give. Whether you are apprenticing with Van Gogh  or meditation over a mandala, go ahead and let your inner child out to play. You’ll thank yourself.

$5.99 each at our Bethel location.

Becoming a Better Cyclist

 

About a decade ago, I started road riding. Over the years, I’ve upgraded bikes twice, participated in various biking events, and started riding with a group. Each time I get on my bike I think of all the tips I’ve gathered over the years and how they have shaped me into the cyclist I am today. So, I’m here to share with you some of the things I’ve learned, both the hard way, and the easy way.


 

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Enjoying the Women’s Ride in Freeport, Maine.

1. Pump it up. Your tires, that is.

This was a lesson learned the hard way. The very first Trek Across Maine that I ever participated in, I had no idea what I was doing. I was on an old cyclocross bike with little knobby tires and not nearly enough gears for my liking. I was trudging myself up a hill when a fellow biker told me I was looking a little flat in the rear. At the next rest stop, I checked in with a mechanic and found out I was nearly 40 psi under inflated. It didn’t sound like much, but when I hopped back on my bike, I couldn’t believe the difference. It was like I had a whole new set of legs.

When your tires are underinflated, you are working harder than you have to. Your tire should tell you the maximum air pressure. You certainly don’t need to inflate it to the max, but make sure it is close to that. It’s ok to leave a little wiggle room for rolling over things without popping your tire. If you are on a mountain bike, you will want to inflate much less than the max as to not get bounced over rocks, roots, and such. Even if you haven’t been riding recently, tires can lose air pressure due to temperature fluctuations. Invest in a good bike pump and use it.

 

 

 

 

 

Bike, Bike, Baby.

Biking life20141101_163258 started in my grandparent’s driveway on a classic model that had taught all those in my family before me. Its blue frame took me on two wheels for the first time and tasted freedom. My first mountain bike came at Christmas during my 6th grade year. Though I was tentative on anything resembling mountain rocks, dirt, etc., (some things never change) its multiple speeds kept me cruising right through to my 20’s.

Eight years ago, as many know, my love for road biking began. On a borrowed cyclocross bike with skinny knobbed tires and only two big rings up front, I road my first Trek Across Maine. 180 20141101_163502miles from the mountains of Bethel to the sea. The next year I upgraded to a classic seafoam green Bianchi bought off a friend. It was a transforming upgrade. Who knew I had been pedaling so hard. A few years after that I joined up with a local bike group which is when my passion for riding really began. I spent a couple of years as the youngest and the slowest rider, but one sweet upgrade to a Felt later (thanks to one of my besties at the Green Machine) and I was leading the pack.

My Felt and I got asked to be the stars of a video showing off all the great rides around the Bethel area. What a thrill. The best part? I got a car ride all the way to the top of Evan’s Notch and all I had to do wa20141101_163819s enjoy the cruise back down. Yes, you may be asking for my autograph soon. See for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3sAAPSofXo

The season for biking may be coming to a rapid close, but I hold it in my heart all year long. So when you’re thinking of a cool gift for the biking enthusiast in your life, look no further. We’ve got you covered.

It’s Easy Being Green

IMG_20140508_144506I’m sure it doesn’t always feel easy to be green. Just ask Kermit. But as far as I’m concerned, once you change your habits, it is pretty easy after all. Even just a little bit greener is better. Bethel recently hosted it’s annual Green Up day, a citizen initiative put on by environmental and community evangelists Jessie Perkins and Jackie Cressy. The turnout was strong and the weather, after a cold spring and downright frigid winter, was just right for picking up trash. After a good hour or so of trash hauling I was beginning to feel like a hobo, complete with bag (which I found in the woods) slung over my shoulder and an empty bottle of Sutter Home in my pack. The feeling was good.

Sure, you can buy a hybrid car, some solar panels, and a whole host of other environmentally friendly options, but these are not always affordable. Remember, being green is in the little things. One of my favorite stories comes from my Mother’s kindergarten classroom where a child would occasionally come up to her asking which side of the paper they were supposed to be working on.  Instead of using freshly processed white paper,my mother would make copies on reusedpaper from school notices, letters, etc. The kids quickly caught on, and I hope still remember that subtle lesson. My girlfriend, Sarah, reuses envelopes from the mail for list making. They are the perfect size for the weekly grocery list. I always try to find a second life for an item and am an avid composter, much like my dad.

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Start today with one small thing. Invest in a travel cup instead of buying bottles of water. Throw your hershey’s kiss wrapper in the recycling instead of the trash. (Yep, they’re aluminum.) Read a book or blog on green practices. Reuse something.Walk or bike somewhere instead of driving. Pick up one piece of trash. Inflate the tires on your car, which will help you save gas. Turn out the lights when you leave a room. Each of these by themselves may not seem like much, but the more good habits we form, the more we all save. Really, it is easy being green. Sorry Kermit.