by featured contributor Matt Lara whitetee

Celebrity Roast

It’s been making it’s debut all season. Everyone is talking about it. And if this month is one long headache to you, I can assure you that the Celebration Roast from Field Roast Grain Meat is something wonderful to look forward to. I happen to love the holidays, even though I haven’t been able to avoid sharing the table with dead birds this year. But those who tried my Celebration Roast loved it, and I would be happy to have it on my holiday table anytime. Luckily we still have time this year to impress with this deliciousness.

Caught in the Neti

There’s crappiness and cold in the air. If you’re in a big urban jungle there is smog and pollutants swirling all around you. If you’re like me you're surrounded my nasty looking air as well all sorts of pollen, dander, and allergens. Add that to winter weather and you have sinus hell. Not Sexy. Rather than jack myself up on meds, I prefer a gentler approach—Neti Pot. I know it sounds gross to rinse out your sinuses, but it has always helped me out a lot. Our pals at Crazy Sexy Life have some really great info on all things Neti.

Stir Crazy

Go ahead, call me a food snob. I freely admit to being one - I care a lot about what I eat. Sorry my fashionisto friends, but I spend more money on quality food than I do on looking dapper at the disco. And when I'm done eating one (or more) of these sandwiches—messy face and all—I reserve the right not wipe my food snob mouth. I just love this dump-and-stir: Snobby Joes. This is from a favorite cookbook I use several times a week, The Veganomicon. Natural In Bed

I share my bed with a partner who is supportive but soft, warm but not over-heated, and a natural in bed—my buckwheat pillow from Beans72. Our relationship wasn’t always perfect and took some getting used to. I do opt for the softness of a regular pillow at times, but I find these ones great for a number of reasons. A mainstay Asian countries, they are made for comforting support throughout the night. The pillows from this site are made of quality all-natural materials, and are recommended for those with allergies to synthetic pillow fillers. They also don’t get warm like other pillows stuffed with synthetics. I find them to be perfect for when you are reading in bed or watching TV. We don’t necessarily promote rampant consumption of gifts here, but this is one useful gift I have used for years now. (Don’t forget to order the matching cotton pillow case for the Japanese size.)

Gifting To-Go

While we’re on the topic of gift giving, I can’t think of a simpler gift than this set of bamboo to-go ware from Taraluna. As you may know, bamboo is a highly sustainable crop and very durable. It comes with a knife, fork, spoon, and set of chopsticks in a rolling cloth carrier. I keep them with me all the time for meals out. Taraluna is a great resource for products all made from fair-trade workers. Check out their variety of products.



Out of Closet Experience

I needed some last minute do-dads. Being on a tight budget, I decided to hit up the big pink LA thrift shop chain known as Out Of The Closet. Now, I actually like the “charm” of your average thrift store—the laudromat odor, the linoleum floors, the collage of wracks and hangers, the screaming children, etc.. However, this location was a nice change of pace. There was an actual selection of items and not an insurmountable mish-mash of crap. The staff was pleasant, helpful, and conversational. It was one of the few places I have shopped in LA where I felt a sense of community. Perhaps that is because Out of the Closet is owned and operated by Aids Healthcare Foundation with a mission to generate income to fund it’s services. Many locations offer free HIV testing as well.

. Sap Anyone?

As we pass from holiday to holiday, I have to say thanks to anyone reading this little grouping of words.  I hope some of it catches your eye. If it does, I truly cherish that there are honest gentlemen (and ladies) out there who are taking action to live as responsible humans. As I count my blessings this holiday season, I’m counting you all in. Merry wassailling!