Cashed Out: My weekend without shopping

story by Suzanne LevySometimes, I’m just astonished. I look at the credit card bill and think—how did we spend that much? The evidence is on the page—a latte, a run to the office supply store, a visit to the hardware store. It’s not exactly an extravagant lifestyle, yet cumulatively these small purchases seem to gang up and kick us in the financial groin.
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The Feed

Vernick Food & Drink | 2031 Walnut St. | vernickphilly.com

A newcomer to the Rittenhouse neighborhood, Vernick Food & Drink is the latest in restaurants serving local ingredients. Chef Gregory Vernick—a Cherry Hill, NJ native—is sourcing from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative as well as the Rittenhouse Farmers Market. Don’t miss the homemade sodas and unique cocktails.  

Little Baby's Ice Cream | 2311 Frankford Ave. | littlebabysicecream.com
Little Baby’s is expanding from their ice cream-toting tricycles. Their new flagship location in East Kensington opened August 3, and serves an extended menu of the unusual flavors you already love, plus milkshakes, soda floats and ice cream sandwiches.   
Hours: Closed on Mon., Tues.-Thurs. 5-10 p.m., Fri. 5-11 p.m., Sat. 2-11 p.m., Sun. 2-10 p.m. 
 
SAGE | 116 N. Third St. | artintheage.com
Art in the Age, the makers of ROOT, SNAP and RHUBY, bring you a new spirit to enjoy during the last weeks of summer. Inspired by the horticulturist Bernard McMahon, who moved to Philadelphia in 1796 and published the country’s first seed list, SAGE is made with organic American botanicals, including thyme, rosemary, lavender, fennel and sage.

Hidden Gems: The vivid milk snake still lives in Philadelphia, but where?

story by Bernard BrownThe birds and the butterflies get the majority of attention, and rightly so. You can’t ignore a scarlet cardinal or a swallowtail butterfly flashing its way across your garden. Our more brilliantly colored birds and insects have evolved to be seen. Almost as a rule, our native reptiles and amphibians have evolved to avoid notice. No one is dazzled by garter snakes or brown snakes, and the redback salamanders, however cute, will never take your breath away. Anything that we find beautiful about these creatures is subtle: elegant patterns in greens and earth tones, but nothing poster-worthy.
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Cheese of the Month: Havilah

story by Tenaya DarlingtonHere’s a cheese perfect for the onset of fall, a raw-milk beauty that pairs well with apples, nuts and even chocolate. Havilah, from Lawrenceville, N.J., is a firm, nutty cheese that’s somewhere between a mild Cheddar and a mountain-style Swiss. It’s sweet and milky with a pleasantly bright finish similar to apples. If you’re setting out a snack plate or looking for a good munching cheese, this is a good choice. Havilah is also great cubed and tossed onto a salad, alongside dried cranberries and pecans.
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Canned Goods: Five ways to preserve your delicious tomatoes

story by Marisa McClellanFresh corn and juicy peaches are great, but there is no summer food more versatile than plump, sun-ripened tomatoes. Because their season is fleeting, I make a point of preserving as many tomatoes as possible in as many ways as I can. Here are some ways I stash away enough Romas, Sungolds, heirlooms and grape tomatoes to hold me through the winter and beyond.
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Recycling Challenge: Fire Extinguishers

story by Samantha WittchenFACT: Fire extinguishers should be inspected annually to make sure they’re charged properly and in working order. Every six years, an extinguisher must be taken apart, examined and recharged.
 
PROBLEM: Fire extinguishers in the U.S. are often filled with Halon 1211, the trade name for an ozone depleting gas that is hazardous to breathe. When empty, fire extinguishers are completely recyclable since the bodies are made of steel. Empty canisters can also be recharged. When full, they’re treated as hazardous waste.
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The Tide Is Turning: Save money by making your own toxin-free laundry detergent

story by Leah R. TroianoAs with many household products, we rarely look closely at the ingredients. But next time you’re in the laundry room, check out your detergent. Some common ingredients are:
  • Phenols Can damage your lungs, heart, kidneys and liver, and are easily absorbed into the skin. Deemed toxic by the National Institutes of Health
  • Optical brighteners Can trigger strong allergic reactions in humans, and are extremely toxic to fish (can cause mutations). 
  • Ethanol, benzyl alcohol, linalool, phosphorus, ammonia, naphthalene, phenol, sodium nitilotriacetate Can cause skin irritation and respiratory issues.
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