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MadeInEarnest City Guides: Helsinki

The good folks over at
have started to produce some new city guides. Free to download and full of insiders’ tips, they’re sure to be handy for those of you planning a visit. First city: Helsinki. (various pictures above taken from wikipedia.)

“These will obviously be focussed more on the art and design side of each city, but they will also include anything else we find interesting or amusing. We are going to try to make these guides as useful as we can – with the relevant links wherever possible – so if you have anything to add to any Guide just let us know. Keeping them up-to-date and relevant will make them all the more useful. We are viewing them as invaluable companions to your travel books and the trips themselves and we hope you will do too.” –

[posted by katie]

Wallpaper* Design Awards of 2008: Best City, Los Angeles

Much to my surprise, while perusing my new Wallpaper* magazine, I discovered that Wallpaper* awarded Los Angeles with “Best City”. It’s not that I don’t love Los Angeles, it’s just when I moved hear exactly one year ago, I got a lot of flack from a lot of people. It has a bad reputation, but I’m finding it’s really a great place to be.

“It’s long been easy to knock LA, but a slow bounce-back began with the new millennium. House prices have gone through the roof and tourism is at record post-9/11 levels. The city of Eames, Neutra and ‘Googie’ has always had few equals in its appreciation of challenging design, and it shows in the star status given to the people creating the look of today’s LA, from Kelly Wearstler to Thom Mayne and, of course, Frank Gehry. “

Verana Hotel- Yelapa, Mexico

Our travel section was mainly created as a place to put travel gear, yet we also thought that maybe it could be a good space to feature certain places we’ve been to. Now I haven’t been to this place (yet), but
I’m completely smitten with the images of this hotel located in Yelapa, Mexico. While perusing many travel sites* in order to find a vacation spot later on this year, I happened upon this one and found quite a bit of photographs that seem to categorize this one as a viable candidate. If anyone’s been here, please pass on your thoughts- I’d like to know what you thought of it.

* has a rather thorough review on the hotel- take a look.

There’s also an interesting travel site that was born from the Verana experience:
Been/Seen “approaches travel from a creative and visually artistic point of view. We roam the world in search of places remote and beautiful, created with imagination and vision, and that reflect simple luxury.”

8 Rooms & Suites, prices range from $380 – $610 USD

Activities available: Jungle Treks, Bird Walks, Mule Back Riding, Day Trips & Whales, Kayaking & Fishing, Beaches, Spa Treatments, Cooking Classes, etc.

Hip Hotels Ski by Herbert Ypma

If you’re a skier or a snowboarder you might find this mighty useful in picking out a place to stay this season, or maybe find it as inspiration to save for next year.

‘Forget crowded lodges and cookie-cutter condos-the latest installment in the Hip Hotels series proves there’s a world of style in après-ski accommodations. This glossy volume profiles 40 swanky and funky hotels in 24 of the best ski towns in North America and Europe. In his typical fashion, Ypma, a photographer and writer, avoids obvious luxury locales, opting instead for hidden jewels and off-the-wall treasures…Over 500 sumptuous photographs (379 in color) support his claims and beckon travelers to shun conformity. Ypma’s in-the-know descriptions introduce readers to the quirky history of these unconventional abodes.’ -Publishers Weekly

Purchase Information:

Price: $21.86
Availability: Buy Hip Hotels Ski by Herbert Ypma here

Point It

I sincerely hope that no one will completely rely upon this for all communication when visiting a foreign land, but I do know that no matter how much you prepare, sometimes you just forget certain necessary words. This might be handy to have just in case your memory fails you.

‘You may be fluent in multiple languages but still sometimes find yourself “off the beaten path ” and unable to communicate effectively. “Point It ” is the solution, with images of 1200 items to which you can indicate for universal understanding.’

Purchase Information:

Price: $7.95
Availability: Buy Point It here

Hotel Rival- Stockholm, Sweden

We recently went to Stockholm for a friend’s wedding and I do have to say everything was absolutely lovely. We stayed at Hotel Rival, which is known not only for being Stockholm’s first boutique hotel, but also for one of its owners: Benny Andersson of Abba.

The rooms were excellent- the beds were superb, flat screen TVs (you can check out movies from the front desk) in each room, minimalist bathrooms… it just felt like a luxury hotel. There are tons of shops and sightseeing to be had within walking distance around the Södermalm district (Stockholm’s got good design coming out of its ears) and you can’t miss the sense of history with all the cobblestone streets and buildings that have survived hundreds of years. I recommend a visit if you ever get a chance.

Purchase Information:

Price: $200
Availability: Buy Hotel Rival- Stockholm, Sweden here

Travel Yoga Mat

If you’re the type to do yoga while traveling, this would make things much easier. A “deluxe” carrying bag is included.

“The travel mat is 24-inches by 68-inches by three-millimeters and rather than rolling it, you just fold it and go.”

24″ x 68″ x 3mm
[posted by katie]

More information:

View Travel Yoga Mat here

Offsetting your flight’s Carbon use

Traveling has an environmental impact, and you can offset that impact by purchasing carbon credits. For example, you can offset a flight from LAX to Hawaii is as little as twenty dollars.

Stainless Steel Pocket Maps by Suck UK

These stainless steel pocket maps are perfect for navigating the Tube in London, or the Metro in Paris or the subway in NYC. Also doubles as a mirror.

Wallpaper City Guides

Do you get to travel a lot for work? Or even better, just for fun? These Wallpaper City Guides make aimless wandering a thing of the past with these 20 guides which find the best restaurants, bars, hotels, stores, sites, architecture and design.

20 City Guides available including: Amsterdam, Bangkok, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Istanbul, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, New York, Paris, Rio De Janero, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo

$8.95 for each guide or $175.95 for all 20 guides

Buy it here.

Purchase Information:

Price: $8.95
Availability: Buy Wallpaper City Guides here

Eva Solo Thermos, Black

Considering this will last a lifetime, it might be an item to put on your wishlist (or your ‘when i’ve got money to burn’ list)…

“Eva Solo’s patented two-piece lid creates a channel so that every last drop will pour into your glass and not onto the table. This stainless-steel thermos keeps both hot and cold beverages at their preferred temperature and holds up to 1.1 litre of refreshment. Extremely sturdy, if not unbreakable, and available in either brushed steel or black lacquer finish, the Vacuum Jug offers both a flask design or a jug with an ergonomically tapered plastic handle.”

stainless steel
v 34 oz

Purchase Information:

Price: $90.00
Availability: Buy Eva Solo Thermos, Black here