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A Top Ten List of Alison’s Favorite Brands Right Now.

SHELF Founder and Creative Director Alison loves kids’ food!
A packaging expert weighs in with her favorite brands.

A Designer’s Graphic Thoughts

Before diving into brands I love, I’d like to share my love for some very basic things. Like electricity, running water, meals, and a warm home. You see, the catastrophic winter storms that struck Texas last week left millions of residents (yours truly included) without power, food, and water for days. It was a life-or-death struggle for many, and I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate to have gotten through so comfortably with the help of family and friends. 

The harrowing experience also made me keenly aware of the things we take for granted, and the often overlooked people we rely on for our daily lives: EMS Personnel, Neighbors, Grocery Store Employees, Electrical Workers, Volunteers, Water Service Personnel, and others too numerous to name. To all these people who brought light, warmth, and food to me and my fellow Texans, I love you!

And now a few thoughts on brands that have a special place in my heart.

1

Plant Camp Mac & Cheese

I LOVE kids’ food. I’ve been known to steal chicken nuggets and mac & cheese during my aunty babysitting time, and at meals with kids of friends and family. Plant Camp is campy fun and totally delicious. It lets me enjoy my favorite childhood meal, and its extra veggie nutrition makes me feel a little less guilty eating kids’ food.

2

Kevin’s Thai Lemongrass Chicken

This stuff tastes like it came right out of a Thai food truck. Amazingly creamy and fresh, with chicken cooked “sous vide” so it’s super tender and not at all rubbery. I could eat this every day (in between stolen bites of mac & cheese).

3

Cece’s Veggie Cauliflower Rice

I like to mix this with Kevin’s Thai Lemongrass Chicken (above) and stir-fried snap peas. It makes an amazing DIY Thai food truck meal. Cece’s makes it so easy to enjoy the next best thing to rice. Perfect for us 40+ folks looking for a cleaner, lower-carb diet.

4

Diptyque LYS Lily-Scented Candle

THE MOST potent, gorgeous-smelling candle I’ve ever lit–like a bundle of just-picked lilies laying on your desk. They’re made with exceptional quality French oils, and last up to 3 months (depending on how often you light it). Diptyques are a world apart from the cheap stuff that only includes fragrance in 20% of the candle. Seriously, that’s why they’re cheap.

5

Araza Foundation

Their all-in-one coconut cream foundation is the smoothest and easiest I’ve ever used. They make finding your skin tone super easy, and you can even contact them directly for color samples to test out. This stuff smells lovely and texture feels like icing. One small tub lasts about 3 months!

6

Milkstreet Cookbook

This is the unicorn of cookbooks: One with easy-to-prepare ethnic recipes and limited ingredients. What a find! You’ll rejoice at the delectable range of ethnic recipes, without  blowing your grocery budget.

7

Q-Tonic & DrinkMonday

This healthy drink combo promotes gut health, and is oh so tasty over ice with a squeeze of fresh lime–a perfect end-of-day alternative when you’re craving a gin cocktail, but not the booze.

8

Full Circle Sponges

This whiter-than-white sponge offers an interior-design-friendly cleaning option that even matches my kitchen decor! If you want a clean-looking sponge on display atop your sink, you can’t beat this durable coconut fiber beauty–complete with a pretty white base. It’s even sustainably made, thanks to the natural coconut fibers.

9

Mod Podge

The ultimate glue for collaging! You’ll be amazed how easily this glue holds down thin and thick papers without using an anvil or other weighted object to make pieces stick. And I ask you: Who doesn’t love a hippy dippy 70s-branded design for inspiration when carving out art time?

10

Monocle Magazine

If you’re like me, finding a source for global news beyond BBC yields slim pickins. Here’s a rare gem: Monocle has been around for over a decade and covers global news with a focus on design. They celebrate the best innovations in design from around the globe, with a keen, easy-to-digest perspective on the woes and delights of international news.

Alison chases the things she wants most — even if she doesn’t exactly know how to get there. And that’s exactly what brought her to creating SHELF Studio. But let’s go back to the start: It begins with her passion for packaging. "I’m a gift giver, and there is nothing more beautiful to me than a thoughtfully designed package."

alison@shelfstudio.com

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