Friday, December 7, 2012

Plover Pop-Up Shop!

Plover Organic is opening a holiday pop-up shop for one weekend only--this one! If you're in the  Seattle area, come and visit us Saturday, December 8 (10 am-5 pm) and Sunday, December 9 (10 am-4 pm) at the Field House (5465 Leary Ave. NW, Seattle WA 98107) in Ballard. You'll find all of our 100% organic bedding and table top, as well as kitchen wares like oven mitts, pot holders and aprons, not to mention one-of-a-kind and limited-edition pieces. All Plover pieces are locally designed and organically made, some come feel good about holiday shopping!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tomorrow's the Last Day....

To get Plover Organic kitchen and table top at 35% off. It's a great time to cross some hostess gifts and holiday table pieces off your list. And it's our last sale of the year...enjoy!

Flowers & Twigs Blue dish towels are $11.05 until tomorrow only!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Organic Pillow Sale!

"Green Plants" throw pillow is on sale for 50% off

Tomorrow, November 22, is the final day to find Plover Organic throw pillows at 50% off on One King's Lane. Select styles are on sale for only $19, so get them while you can! All Plover Organic throw pillows are made of 100% organic cotton with hidden zipper closures.

And before we forget: Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Our new "Blue Ottoman" 18" x 18" throw pillow 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Surprisingly Green: H & M

A look from the new Maison Martin Margiela collection at H & M
A lot of people love H & M because of their inexpensive clothes, but here's a better reason:  H & M is the top user of organic cotton in the world...two years running! This newsflash (for us, anyway—how did we not already know this??) comes via the new "Organic Cotton Market Report"by the Textile Exchange. H & M actually started using organic cotton back in 2004, when they joined with the Better Cotton Initiative, a not-for-profit aimed at making "global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector's future." (BCI's website is a great read, we highly recommend it.) Last year H & M increased their usage of organic cotton by 100% (!), and their goal is to source all cotton from sustainable sources by 2020 at the latest, with BCI's help. 

And yes, we know, we know—the Maison Martin Margiela for H & M collection went on sale today. If you needed an excuse to shop it, you've got it!

Plover Organic Holiday Sale!

It's our gift to you for two weeks only—now through Nov. 27th, 2012—all of  Plover Organic's kitchen goods and table linens are 35% off online. 

Our brand-new oven mitts and pot holders, flour sack dish towels, aprons and more are all on sale and perfect for holidays gifts. For your holiday table, shop our table cloths and napkins. 

Happy Holidays!

Plover's oven mitt and pot holder in Flowers&Twigs Green, on sale for only $12.35

Flour-sack organic cotton dish towels in Green Plants, on sale for $11.05

Monday, October 22, 2012

Recyclable Rain Boots

Kamik's "Stomp" boot for kids

The rain has started up again here in the Pacific Northwest. A great time to give a shout-out to Kamik, the Canadian pioneers of recyclable rain boots. Their PVC-free synthetic rubber is super-light, super-comfortable, and gives great traction in the rain. Adults will likely have their Kamiks for years, but for kids, constantly outgrowing them, all boots can be shipped back to Kamik, where they are recycled.

Have some old boots you're looking to recycle? It's a bit complicated (and therefore sooo much easier to just buy Kamiks), but see this article for ideas. (Thanks, Ari!)

Kamik's "Samantha" boot for kids

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Water Power

Bedol's "Squirt Alarm" in charcoal is water-powered
Have you heard of these water-powered clocks by Bedol yet? They require no batteries or electricity to run—just tap water. (Proprietary plates inside the water reservoir allow ions in the water to be turned into current that powers the clock.) It's such a brilliant design. The water only needs to be changed every 6 months! The only teeny-tiny complaint we have is aesthetic. If they could just come out with some better-looking clocks (ahem, like this one by Furni Creations, below), we'd buy them by the case!

Furni Creations' Alba clock is a favorite

Monday, September 24, 2012

Barista-Approved Reusable Cups

Twilight (top) and Dawn (above) KeepCups. You can also design your own cup...

If you're a coffee-shop frequenter who enjoys more than just drip coffee, you need to get a KeepCup. These are the "first barista-standard reusable cup," because baristas can make perfect to-go coffee drinks in them. (We can personally attest to this!) Their website says, "When your coffee is made in a KeepCup the crema on the shot is not broken and the portioning of milk to coffee will be correct." KeepCups are plastic, yes, but they are BPA-free and non-toxic—and having one cup you reuse all the time is far better than blowing through the disposable cups at most coffee shops. (Be sure to read the fantastic Sustainability page on their website if you're having any doubts, or if you're simply interested in the environmental impact of all those coffee cups we use.)

Just for fun—you can also design your own cup!

Friday, September 14, 2012

J.W. Anderson for TopShop

Zebra print by J.W. Anderson for TopShop

Love this graphic zebra print by British designer J.W. Anderson for TopShop. Available in a notebook ($15.99), iPad case ($39.99), iPhone cover, t-shirt and skirt (my favorite, $79.99). His whole collection for TopShop just debuted today and can be shopped here. (There's loads of great stuff, so watch out!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fabric Inspiration of the Day

Cotton fabric from KimoYES

From Japanese line KimoYES, featured today on True Up. It can be yours free when you purchase $30 AUD today. Hurry!

Fair + Fair

Handmade "Its Beautiful Here" wire rack from Africa
Fair Trade and organic products are ubiquitous in Portland, but it's exciting to get to travel and see that lifestyle being embraced elsewhere. I was lucky enough to stay for a few days in Amsterdam this summer, and I stumbled across an amazing store called Fair + Fair with a huge selection of high-design eco goods. (It's housed in an antique canalhouse—reason enough to stop in for a peek!) The thing I loved most was that on each price tag was the story of the product and how much they'd donate back from your purchase. So inspiring! You can shop Fair + Fair in the U.S. here. (Fair + Fair, Herengracht 211, 1016 BE Amsterdam, tel. 020-4214566.)

Gorgeous housewares in porcelain, glass, wood
Chair made from wood logs!

"Carpets From the Sahara," wool, handmade by women

Can Lights made from "rescued materials." You could even make these yourself and use them as light shades!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bunk Bed Options

Finally! An upholstered bunk bed for small heads. The Chesterfield at RH

Say what you will about Restoration Hardware—they have their finger on the pulse of what people want. Like bunk beds. There's still no better sleep solution for kids' bedrooms, right? But when you shop for them, it's slim pickings—ultra-modern, basic, or no aesthetic at all. (None of which work particularly well in the old houses we have so many of here in the Pacific Northwest.)  Last year when we Googled "upholstered bunk bed," nothing was out there. (Our kids are prone to bonking their heads on the wall...yours?) And then the new Fall 2012 catalog for Restoration Hardware arrived on our doorstep last week, and there it was. Expensive, yes, but at least now it exists.

RH has definitely mined the vintage archives to produce their latest collections, making the real thrift and vintage store finds in our homes feel less...special, and hard-won, which they were. Therein lies the bummer. But we'll admit that for pieces like bunk beds, which have no vintage counterpart, it's kind of nice to finally have some options that make decorative sense.

Check out all their bedding options for kids here.

(Other favorites for kids' beds? Room + Board and, of course, Ikea.)

Industrial Steel Pipe Bunk Bed at RH, $1149

Millbrook Iron Bunk Bed at RH, $999

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Compostable Bedding

Compostable sheets (!) from Beantown Bedding

Is this the future? Beantown Bedding, a company founded by two moms in Boston, has introduced compostable bedding aimed at the college market. Called Bedsox, the sheets are available in Twin XL for $25 and can be used for several weeks before being thrown out. (Since college students can't be relied upon to do laundry.) They're made from Tencel and are dye- and chemical-free.

I love this idea—most especially for travel, if they add Queen and King sizes in the future—but I still think college kids should be expected to do their own laundry!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

NEW Plover Sheets!

Our new "Circle Round" sheet set in Lime at Anthropologie

New for summer! Find our "Circles" sheets in four brand-new colors now at Anthropologie exclusively. These sets are in our softest organic cotton percale, at our lowest prices ever, ranging from $96 for a Twin sheet set to $126 for a King.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Flower Envy: Berkheya Purpurea

Berkheya purpurea

This flower, a member of the thistle subfamily of the Asteraceae family, is what want it in our gardens NOW. (We'll have to settle for next year.) We already have the more common Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) and Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum; I know, not actually a thistle, but it looks like one!) growing, but Berkheya Purpurea has a more exotic quality...the smoky purple hue has us hooked. Buy it here, and thanks to Kate Bryant's wonderful piece in Portland Monthly for introducing this specimen to us. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Our Favorite: Sunscreen

Arcona's ReOzone SPF 40

Today was the hottest day yet (so far, anyway) of the summer here in Portland, so when better to post about our hands-down favorite facial sunscreen: Arcona's ReOzone. We discovered this sunscreen two years ago and promptly started wearing it absolutely every day. (Not an exaggeration.) It has to be tried to be believed. They say it goes on "whisper light," and this is the stone-cold truth. It absorbs instantly and goes on matte—no greasiness, no shininess, just protection. It's also tinted, so it evens out skin tone, but doesn't look like makeup. (Men can get away with wearing it.) We've never had another facial sunscreen come close to the amazingness of this one, and we've tried them all.

Arcona is not organic, but their skin care line is capable of small miracles. The focus on live, active ingredients and have no petrochemicals, parabens, chemical stabilizers, sodium lauryl sulphates, perfumes, dyes, or any other caustic or toxic ingredients. Read more here

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Eco Swim

Teeki mix-and-match recycled plastic swimwear
UPDATE: Thanks to Meridith for introducing me to Teeki, a swimwear line made from recycled plastic bottles that's manufactured here in the U.S. Verrry cute stuff!

Emobi's "Bandeau Tie Top" bikin in Retro Purple

Why are eco-friendly bathing suits are so difficult to find? After some intensive hunting on the Web, we are proud to list a handful here that are not only eco-friendly in their own respective ways, but also super-cute. If anyone out there knows of other lines we've missed, let us know!

Emobi swimwear out of Australia. They do their own prints (which we love) and use environmentally-friendly, water-based dyes. You can order from them directly online or check for a retailer in your area here.

JUNGLEGURL is the brainchild of designer Natalie Golonka, a former model who travelled the world and collected vintage fabrics along the way. You can order a custom bikini in a wide variety of awesome vintage fabrics. Everything is made-to-order out of California.

Mikaela bikini by JUNGLEGURL, $195

Lina Rennell's pieces are ethically made, by hand, in California. Her swimsuits/bodysuits are carried by one of our favorite online stores, Beklina. We love these so much and would wear them just about everywhere!

Lina Rennell's "Shield" Swimsuit, $150 on Beklina

Fables By Barrie is for anyone lamenting the days of old-school beach glamour. Their range of swimwear is "designed, developed and manufactured in San Diego," and definitely inspired by the pin-ups of the past.

"Abigail" bikini by Fables By Barrie

Eco Swim by Aqua Green has a more conservative—but no less cute—line of swimwear basics. All their swimwear is made in the U.S. from recycled materials like water bottles, fishing nets and plastic bags. (Even their bra cups are made of biodegradable materials.) Another reason to love them: they're avid organizers of beach clean-ups. They've already hosted four in 2012 and it's only July! Shop here, but keep in mind most of their swimwear sells out early (a very good thing).

Eco Swim by Aqua Green one piece

Koru Swimwear also has a small selection of cute suits—and 100% recycled rashguards, which we are definitely buying. These suits have a dry production process: no water is used in the dyeing cycle, therefore there's no waste.
Koru's "Oamaru" pleated bikini top
La Isla is another impressive company—their factory employs head-of-household women in Columbia; they use Oeko-Tex certified fabrics; and they're extremely involved in global environmental charities. They'e got so many adorable swimsuits, it was difficult to pick which one to post here!

Some looks from La Isla—there's even more cute stuff online

Thanks to Ecouterre and TreeHugger for help with this list!

Monday, July 16, 2012

DIY Lavender Spray

photo by Janell Davidson
I've been using unscented laundry detergent for years now, and lately I've noticed that certain items never really smell clean. (Or is "good" the word I'm looking for? They are clean; they just don't smell like it.) This is especially embarrassing with guest linens. Lavender linen spray has been a sometimes indulgence that seems to help...but it's so expensive! A quick Google search revealed some recipes to try. Here's my favorite, adapted from Apartment Therapy:

—1 tsp. lavender essential oil
—Optional:1 tsp. vanilla or orange oil (to enhance the scent)
—1/4 cup grain alcohol (like Everclear or unflavored vodka)
—3.5 cups filtered water

Mix the oil/s and grain alcohol in a clean, empty spray bottle. (The alcohol is a natural disinfectant and works as an emulsifier, allowing the oil and water to mix.) Add the water to your spray bottle and shake. Shake before each use.

Some people seem to prefer a mix of oil and grain alcohol only—no water. Not as cost-effective, but apparently it dries faster.

I've got a garden full of lavender right now, and I'm currently working on a DIY lavender essential oil. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookie photo from Hemsley & Hemsley
For real! My friend Susan just turned me on to Hemsley & Hemsley, a U.K. Tumblr about "the art of eating well." So much to love—they are two lovely sisters whose Tumblr is full of amazing recipes "free of grain, gluten, high starch and sugar." Now I consider myself a heathly cook and eater, but one thing I can't turn my back on is baked goods. I love making and eating fresh-from-the-oven carbs too much. (Some things just aren't the same gluten-free, you know?) But I was intrigued by their almond meal/date/butter/chocolate cookie recipe. I love that there are only four ingredients—a cinch to make in a food processor. And I'll admit, the cookies are fabulous. They are not the same as old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies, but in this case, I actually don't miss the gluten so much.

Click here for their full recipe in British Vogue. I'm re-posting it below but with the measurements converted to U.S. as best I could.

Chocolate Chip Cookies by Hemsley & Hemsley
Ingredients (use organic ingredients where possible)
Makes 20-24 cookies

 —1/2 pound ground almonds (aka almond meal/almond flour)
—A pinch of sea salt
—½ teaspoon of baking soda
—6 tablespoons of room temperature butter (or coconut oil)
—100g of Medjool dates - about 11 of them
—**3.5 oz. (100 g.) bar of dark chocolate - Try Ombar or find the highest percentage of organic dark chocolate you can
(I used 3/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips instead—all I had on hand—and I recommend it. Add them to the food processor last and pulse them just a little so some get slightly broken up for extra melty chocolate flavor.)

Cooking Instructions

The food processor way
  • Put your bar of dark chocolate into the food processor and pulse with the "S" blade until the chocolate is roughly chopped into nuggets. Take out and tip into a bowl. (Skip this step if you're using chocolate chips like I did)
  • Add your ground almonds, baking soda and dates into the processor and pulse until the dates are broken down (add your extract/other flavourings now if using).
  • Put your butter in and pulse until a dough forms.
  • Tip your chocolate nuggets back into the processor and pulse a few times until distributed - you don't want your chocolate blended right in - although they would still look and taste lovely!
  • Scoop out 1 inch balls of the mixture, roll and flatten slighty into cookie shapes.

    By hand
  • Stir the butter on a low heat until just melted. Don't let it get too hot it will be hard to shape your cookies and melt your chocolate chunks. If in doubt, let it cool a little first.
  • Chop your dates (you could try raisins or date syrup instead) and place into a mixing bowl.
  • Add your ground almonds and baking soda and stir to combine.
  • Pour in your melted butter and mix well.
  • Chop your chocolate into small chunks and stir into the mixture.
  • Scoop out 1 inch balls of the mixture and form into cookie shapes as best you can. If it's too sloppy, chill the mixture for 10 minutes or so until it is more of a dough.

    Into the oven
  • Pop the cookies onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, leaving half an inch between each cookie.
  • Bake at 350F for 10 to 15 minutes depending on size - they should be crisp and golden on the edges
  • Remove from the oven and allow the tray to cool  - as tempting as they are (and the smell will drive you insane) they will be too soft to handle, and the molten chocolate will burn.  Allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes, during which time they'll crisp up, before moving them onto a plate/into your mouth!
  • If the cookies last more than a few days you might find they soften up somewhat - just pop them back into the oven to crisp up again. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Listen: Dirty Projectors

The new Dirty Projectors record, Swing Lo Magellan, came out on Tuesday. Buy it here. Or stream it online at the New York Times first. Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle singing together is magic.

Such a great track: "Dance For You."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Strawberries, Hot & Cold

Melty homemade organic strawberry ice cream—yum!

The summer solstice has come and gone, but we are still waiting for it to really be summer in Portland. (My two-year-old keeps eyeing the rain out the window and asking me, "Is it summer yet?") But we can't really complain, because for the past 3 weeks we've had an abundance of that most perfect of summer fruits—strawberries! Last night, in our daily attempt to keep up with the harvest, we made strawberry ice cream from my dear friend Molly Moon's new cookbook. Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream stores have a cult following in Seattle, and if you go there, you'll know why. But I have to say, the recipes in the book bring you pretty close to the ice cream store experience. Also: I don't miss the eggs in ice cream at all. I'm a Philadelphia-style convert.

My other go-to cookbook this summer: Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson. Too many nutritious, delicious recipes in here to discuss, but since we're talking about strawberries, you must try her roasted strawberries. Luckily I found the recipe posted on Design*Sponge with permission, so I will re-post it here. Now go buy these books!!

Highly recommended for the summer!

Heidi Swanson's Roasted Strawberries (Photo credit: Heidi Swanson © 2011)

Roasted Strawberries
8 ounces / 225 g small to medium strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon port wine
A few drops balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C with a rack in the middle of the oven.
It is important to use a rimmed baking sheet or large baking dish for this recipe—you don’t want the juices running off the sheet onto the floor of your oven. If you are using a baking sheet, line it with parchment paper.
Cut each strawberry in half. If your strawberries are on the large side, cut them into quarters or sixths. Add the berries to a mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. Pour this over the strawberries and very gently toss to coat the berries. Arrange the strawberries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Roast for about 40 minutes, just long enough for the berry juices to thicken, but not long enough for the juices to burn. Watch the edges of the pan in particular.
While still warm, scrape the berries and juices from the pan into a small bowl. Stir in the port and balsamic vinegar. Use immediately or let cool and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
makes about 1/2 cup / 5 oz / 140 g
Reprinted with permission from Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.”  Photo credit: Heidi Swanson © 2011

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Listen: Crocodiles

Two music posts in one week...I know. But I've been listening this song by Crocodiles for a month (thanks, Sirius XMU), and their new album Endless Flowers is finally out this week. Watch the video below and then buy the record. Does anyone still buy records?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Another Panda to Love

Panda "Monroe" sunglasses in Natural, $120
Besides giant pandas and Panda Bear, that is. My husband just brought these home with him from tour: Panda sunglasses made of bamboo and recycled polycarbonates. They are so lightweight! They're so comfortable to wear...why didn't someone think of this sooner? Black sunglasses are timeless (and they make those too), but I love the visible woodgrain of the "Natural" frames. Besides the aesthetic, they're so obviously not plastic that people might notice and maybe start to realize that, yes, there are viable alternatives to plastic out there! It just requires a bit of ingenuity. One more thing to love: for every pair of Panda glasses you purchase, they'll donate an eye exam and a pair of prescription glasses to someone in need, in collaboration with TOMA (Tribal Outreach Medical Assistance) Foundation. See their full collection here and start shopping!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Growing Farmers

Photo by Thomas J. Story for Sunset magazine's "One Block Contest"

There's a great article in the new issue of Organic Gardening about local programs meant to "incubate" a new generation of farmers. (Read the full article here.) Since most American farmers are 75 years and older (according to the last farm census, in 2007), and farmland is becoming more scarce, these programs are designed to help beginning farmers get access to land, funding, education and equipment. There is TONS more information on these programs nationwide if you're interested (check out ALBA and the USDA's program, for starters).

Portland's "15-year Food Action Plan", which launched last year, also encourages urban farming, which is what caught my eye. (Although it's a total dream of mine to live and work on a farm for a season, it's also impossible with a young family!) You can volunteer or intern at a farm to get hands-on experience on a larger scale than your backyard veggie patch. They teach you everything from organic weed control, rotating crops, starting seeds and more. Two great resources I found for Oregonians interested in this kind of thing: Friends of Family Farmers' iFarm program and Oregon Tilth.

And for those who already have the hang of urban farming and want to give back, two other great options: the Oregon Food Bank's Plant a Row program for donating produce, and Growing Gardens, where volunteers help people build their own gardens to combat hunger.

Oh, and last thing I'll mention as a source of inspiration: Sunset magazine's One-Block Contest, where neighbors created a menu for a block-party and had to grow every ingredient themselves. This is the future!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012


Martha Stewart has easy instructions for homemade paper Easter grass

I am a day late and a dollar short with this post, but I meant to write about this last year, waited, and never did. So I'll just put it out there for anyone who cares to remember: Never buy plastic Easter "grass" again! My husband told me that when he lived in Albuquerque, he saw a young bird walking around with plastic Easter grass tangled around its leg, which was deformed. Best guess is that the birds had built their nest using some plastic Easter grass they had found, and the deformation was a result. SO...if you like Easter grass, please buy the paper version. Or, better yet, make your own, which is what we did this year. (Or, better still, grow your own...!)

Eco-Grass makes a "plastic" grass from cornstarch that is fully compostable

Eco-Grass' classic paper grass, $2
Growing your own grass for Easter could not be easier! Now, to just plan in advance...