Campomaggi is Sending Us The Brander Book

The Brander by Campomaggi
Photo provided by Campomaggi & Caterina Lucchi

I just found out that in our next Campomaggi shipment we are going to receive a copy of The Brander. The Brander is a book about successful artisans who allowed the writers to take a look behind the scenes. I remember reading the article about Campomaggi and it was full of insights that made me love the brand even more. In a way, it affirmed and expanded on the qualities that make the brand so special, but, on the other hand, everything was already revealed by the products.

I don’t know of any other products that can convey the purpose and personality of their creator like Campomaggi products do. When I touch a Campomaggi bag I immediately feel that it is the best bag that the artisan could have made and that is something that Marco conveyed to me when he said: “when my company was up and running, I took a step back and decided to make leather bags the way I would make them for myself, without worrying about any boundaries set by market conditions.

At a later stage Marco said that his ambition is to let us experience the emotion of the passage of time. I often remind myself of that and turn to my Colombo to have my “time” moment. After a few years with your Campomaggi bag you will know what I am talking about. Marco, for sure, has accomplished his ambition.

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The 2014 Mazda CX-5 with SkyActiv Solved my Dilemma

At Marcopoloni we care a lot about our carbon footprint and the environment. Since Emi and I are married, we decided a long time ago to commute together to eliminate the need for a second car. But now that we have a second baby on the way, we know that we will need to be in two places at the same time every now and again and will need that second car. Also, we need a slightly bigger car: with just one child we could always recline one seat to get a little more cargo space, but we will not be able to do that if we have two precious passengers in the back seat. So my determination to get a car that got better gas mileage than our Mazda 3 seemed like a pipe dream when I realized that I also had to get more cargo space.

This dilemma had been on my mind for a few months until one night, a couple of weeks ago, we watched a special on the Japanese TV channel that featured the CX-5 and the progress made as they came up with the SkyActiv system.

The new 2014 Mazda CX-5 with SkyActiv next to our older Mazda 3
The new 2014 Mazda CX-5 with SkyActiv gets far better gas mileage than the 2007 Mazda 3, while offering more cargo space.

My dilemma was solved! Although the advertised gas mileage wasn’t tremendously greater than my current Mazda 3, it was about 20% better and the car was significantly roomier. We bought the CX-5 last Sunday and I have been watching our consumption very closely. The advertised gas mileage in the city is 25 mpg. Getting that required driving conservatively, but eventually I’ve been able to average about 26 mpg. The pleasant surprise came today. We had to go on the freeway for a while and averaged more than 40 mpg (41.2 to be exact), far better than the 32 mpg advertised on the sticker. Of course, I had to drive 65 mph on cruise control to achieve that, but it was such a huge improvement over the 30 mpg highway of the 2007 Mazda 3 that I was elated.

Many thanks to the fine folks at Mazda for coming up with a system that takes a big step towards conservation at a price that we could afford. Dilemma solved, the End.

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A special July 4th treat

I hope you all had a wonderful July 4th! I’ve been experimenting with baking a lot recently so I decided to spend a part of my day off making a pie from scratch! Cooking is one of my biggest passions in life and I happen to be pretty decent at it. Besides, how much more handmade can it get than cooking something from scratch? Without further ado, here is my handmade strawberry rhubarb pie.

Cutting up the rhubarb
Slicing the strawberries
Rolling out the pie dough
Cutting out strips of dough for the lattice top
Constructing the lattice top

Not bad for my first try, eh?

 

 

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