I love buying gifts for the people in my life. Unfortunately, I’m saddled with people that are really hard to buy for. They either (a) already seem to have everything, (b) have a habit of just going out and buying the things that they want for themselves when Christmas or birthday time rolls around instead of making a list for me or (c) have been in my life for so long that I feel like I have gotten them everything I won’t mention any names. These people know who they are and how much they annoy me.
Fortunately, the Brooklyn-based company UncommonGoods has saved me from resorting to the impersonal gift card more than a few times. With creatively designed housewares, jewelry, art and gift items at affordable prices, there is truly something for everyone. Even better, in my opinion, is the company’s commitment to making a positive impact on the world by providing a platform to tell the stories of talented artists and designers, focusing on products that are environmentally friendly and supporting a variety of non-profit organizations.
Recently, UncommonGoods invited me to review a few items in a post. I basically wanted all of the things, but chose just two.
First up was the Cusipro Mini Ice Cream Sandwich Press. You might remember that I tried to make ice cream sandwiches from scratch a couple of years ago, and it was a hot mess. This handy gadget made the process a heck of a lot easier.
The kit includes three molds
Cut out a cookie for the base
Scoop some ice cream into the mold
Cut out another cookie for the top
Pop the finished product out of the mold
It took a few tries for me to get the scooping technique down, but the press was pretty easy to use overall and the mini sandwiches were super cute. I kept it pretty simple, and used store-bought ice cream and Pillsbury cookie dough, but if you have more time, you could definitely be fancy and make your own sandwich fixings. These would be a fun dessert for a summer barbecue or kid’s birthday party.
Next was the Diana Camera, a plastic-bodied camera that uses 120 format film. It was first made in the 1960s at a small firm in Hong Kong, but failed in the market and was discontinued in the 1970s. This, of course boosted its status to collector’s item and it was re-issued several years ago.
Because of its construction, light leaks, film advance issues and other problems are sometimes associated with the camera. But, these flaws lend themselves to a variety of artistic effects in photographs. Unlike a digital camera, where you can instantly see your photo on the screen, you don’t know what you are going to get until you get your film developed. This is all part of the fun–and frustration–I suppose.
I was disappointed that I only got one semi-decent photograph from the two rolls of film I shot. Although the guy at the photo lab seemed to think that maybe something was wrong with the camera itself, I’m thinking that there must have been some degree of user error at play, since I had never used this kind of camera before. I want to continue playing around with it, to see if I can improve my skills. Although I don’t think it will replace my digital camera for day-to-day projects, I could see using it for a more artistic project (like some cool food photos for the blog!).
This is Rittenhouse Square. Seriously.
In spite of the fact that winter seems to be hanging on until the very end, spring, and all of its holidays and special occasions are just around the corner. You are sure to find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list–and maybe even a few things for yourself–at UncommonGoods
Disclosure: I received the two items discussed in this post for free from UncommonGoods in exchange for writing a review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.