What’s a shopper to do when she can’t go shopping? She goes online of course! Did you ever have one of those projects that just had a little more to do and you were so tired that you thought you should stop and finish on another day? Well, about two weeks ago I was spreading mulch down at the community garden when I got this exact feeling. I should have listened to my body but just the thought of not finishing this mulching project and moving my schedule around so I could come back and finish it the next day was not appealing so I muscled my way through and finished spreading the mulch anyway. By bag number sixteen, I was really dragging and most of my upper body strength had already gone home. Did I mention the bags were very heavy due to the record rain we received in September and October? By bag seventeen, I was no longer even trying to lift the bags very far off the ground instead I was just lifting them enough so I could use my legs to help me get the bags to the position I needed to empty and spread them. Somewhere in all this activity I managed to strain the ligaments in my right knee. However, the pain was ninja-like in its appearance sneaking up and intensifying as the week went on and not at all helped by our new-found enthusiasm for walking on the treadmill at the gym. To make a long story even longer, by Thursday the pain was finally annoying enough that I needed help. After almost a full day in the emergency room and a second day seeing my regular doctor for follow-up, I can report that my knee will be fine but I have been grounded (sitting with my legs up and minimal walking). As I was sitting there wishing I could be anywhere other than stuck in the house and thinking of all the things that needed to get done, I decided to check out some of my favorite sites online. See, I can still shop even if online shopping is not my favorite way to do it.
At least once a year for the last few years I have received a cute little catalog from a company called Uncommon Goods. I decided their website, www.uncommongoods.com would be a good place to start this online shopping exploration. As much as I have enjoyed the catalogs, the website is so much better. They have so many unique items to offer. This is a company that spotlights and supports small businesses and amazing entrepreneurs. The website is full of stories about the people that make the goods they carry. Some of the goods that you can buy trigger donations to a related good cause.
When I first looked at the site, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of goods offered for sale, so I decided to look it as if I was gift shopping for Christmas. The first category I looked at was kitchen and barware because the people in my family all like to eat and drink. I narrowed down my search to things for a sports fan. I could have just as easily chosen math nerd, beer drinker, gardener or dog lover because there are a lot of choices for all these people. Just looking at sports related items, I found bottle openers for baseball, hockey, golf, bike riding, boating, skateboarding, fishing and skiing. There are also glasses, coasters, wine racks, chillers and mugs for just about all these sports as well. It seems as if football and basketball are under represented but that may be due to the equipment they use. Most of the bottle openers and wine racks are made from repurposed sports equipment.
There are almost as many items for beer drinkers ranging from beer totes to specialty beer brewing kits. My personal favorite (if I even liked beer) would be the Texas Chipotle Amber Beer Brewing Kit.
Math nerds (and science nerds) fare well with selections such as Circuit Board Coasters, Mathematical Glasses and Personalized Family Math Cutting Boards.
My personal wish list contains a few items for the kitchen as well. I would love to explore kimchi making and they have a kit for that. I like salt cellars and they have several to choose from made from stone, glass or ceramics. There’s a people feeder for all those M&Ms we love to munch on and a microwavable bagel and egg cooker that would come in handy as well. (I don’t like eggs but I can think of plenty of yummy cheesy bagel sandwiches I could make in this thing. My favorite thing on the site that I really must order is a ceramic rolling pin that is also a flour duster. Anyone who bakes pastry of any kind will see the wisdom in this choice.
I have only scratched the surface of the variety of things that this site carries. I urge you to check them out and read some of the articles in the section called Uncommon Impact as some of them are quite moving. Go ahead and check out this site while I explore more online shopping sites to share with you.