For Your Backyard: The Blaze Tower, Made in the USA

As we reach the end of July, there is still plenty of time to be outside enjoying the summer. Here’s a new way to “gather around the hearth” with family and friends.

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post: Please do! When I saw the Blaze Tower Kit, it was love at first sight. A fire pit, a grill and smoker all rolled into one! Made of 3/16″ thick American steel, the Blaze includes a thermometer for getting the perfect cooking temperature, a hanger for smoking meats and screens if you just want to sit back, relax and be mesmerized by the fire.If you have a few clear square feet to set the unit up (it takes two people to assemble the Blaze), then it really doesn’t matter if you are sitting water side, mountain side or in a small backyard with your nosey neighbors looking over the fence -because you will have your very own private outdoor fire pit.While my cooking skills over an open fire are pretty much limited to potatoes wrapped in foil, hot dogs and marshmallows (I love it when they go up in a ball of fire and you wait till every inch is covered in black), I can’t help but think that this multi purpose unit might inspire me to try something really daring like double stuffed baked potatoes or anything smoked.

If you are serious about the outdoors and spending time with your loved ones or best buds, then give this unit a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed..




Lots of American-Made Guy-Stuff on Sale at Huckberry

Be sure to check out the Made-in-USA page at Huckberry, where you’ll see discounts as high as 70%.  Some of the most appealing selections are shown below:

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post: Please do!
Flint and Tinder Breaker Trunks
Filson Day Packs
Chippewa Service Boots
Waltzing Matilda sandals.
Pillbox Bats

And lots more!

Regards, Kathy

Minuteman Watches: Call To Arms.

Much of the joy of writing this blog comes from all of the wonderful products we discover and the people behind them. Occasionally we find ourselves getting sad news, like an American manufacturer closing down or struggling.

We received such a notice from the owner of Minuteman Watches, who has found himself in the “struggling” category but will be able to recover with a little more support from the “Buy American” crowd.

Like many people in the American-Made field, Thomas Carey creates his very good-looking watches as a part-time labor of love, while maintaining a full-time job. He has always donated a portion of his profits to veteran groups. To date those funds have supported: The Gary Sinise Foundation, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Mercury One, and Fisher House.

I realize that watches are a very personal choice where style sometimes beats functionality and low price often beats quality and workmanship. The purpose of this blog is for us to bring things to your attention that are made/assembled in America and put American people to work. So if you are in the market for a watch, you owe it to yourself to at least check out the offerings from Minuteman. In buying from them, you know that you are supporting  a good small business and some important charities.Most of the watches offered by Minuteman feature: double-domed sapphire crystal, screw-down crown, water resistant to 200 meters and a Miyota 9015 automatic mechanical movement.Not many people will ever see the back of your watch but you will know what is there: this is cool graphic of an original Minuteman.You will also find on the site a very nice selection of American-made knives. The Red, White and Blue model shown above features:1/8 inch thick 154CM stainless steel blade, a red white and blue Kirinite handle and a neck sheath made of Kydex.



Old Bull Lee: Board Shorts and More

The other day Kathy commented on the fact that I am still wearing cargo shorts and suggested it was time for an upgrade. So, off we went in search of American-made shorts and we came across Old Bull Lee. This California-based firm produces a line of shorts, Oxford shirts and some pretty uniquely-patterned board shorts. I really liked what I saw and decided to give owner Lee Johnson a call to hear a little back story:For starters, I asked where the name Old Bull Lee came from. It’s a bit of a long story but Lee started his career as an architect and realized that he didn’t want to work in a place where somebody else’s name was “on the door”. Thinking about potential names for a business of his own, he wanted to use his first name, Lee, but also remembered that something had struck him about the character “Old Bull Lee” in the book On The Road by Jack Kerouac. The character was modeled on William F Burrows, which just spoke to him.
Lee grew up on the East Coast and was one of those guys who would pretty much wear shorts year-round. So, as he put it, he woke up one morning and said to himself, ‘I’m going to start a company making shorts. Easy right?”

Now, he admits it was a lot more difficult than he thought. Lee made the first pair of shorts himself, but they were a bit of a train wreck, so he started utilizing American contract manufacturers to produce his wares. The company is 6 years old and has three full time employees.By the way, if you’re like me and don’t know what board shorts are, think of them as swim trunks without the elastic waistband – the kind surfers wear.While Old Bull Lee products are produced in America, like many other makers, Lee’s search for fabrics took him overseas. There is a fairly detailed explanation of the process behind the printing and manufacturing of the clothing on the site if you’d like to know more.Lee feels that, American-Made is part of the appeal of a product, it is the uniqueness of the designs that draws people in. When I asked whether there is anything new on the horizon, he stated that changes will be organic and over time, more of an extension of the existing product offerings.

Finally, Lee spoke about his interaction with his customers. He said he enjoys making sure that each person gets just  the right fit and is satisfied with their purchase because  a “happy customer is the best advertisement”



American-Products-Only Sale at Sur La Table

We’ve noticed, for the first time this year, that retailers are pulling together their American-made merchandise for Independence Day Sales. We’ve found another one for you.

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post: Please do!Through July 5, save big at the American Sale featuring top U.S. brands up to 60% off only at!  The choice of merchandise is pretty extensive (just a few brands are shown above), giving you a chance to stock up on some kitchen essentials or pick up a generous wedding or shower gift.

Regards, Kathy


One couple's search for a Made-in-USA lifestyle