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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, April 17, 2014

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In Marketplace Commentary

Bobby's been mystifying his kids by growing mushrooms with his Mushroom Mini Farm.

In Marketplace Commentary

Molly's been raiding Fischberger's for all of her holiday gifts.

In Marketplace Commentary

Eron Laber has been impressed with Baxter of California's hard cream pomade.

OnMilwaukee.com recommends, Dec. 7, 2013


It's a loaded set of recommendations this week from OnMilwaukee, featuring everything from sporting events to soulful folk songs to fun with fungi and Fischberger's.

Bucks vs. Nets/Wave vs. Blast – I tend to recommend the sporting events in and around Milwaukee in this space … and this weekend is no different. Well, slightly. Normally, I'd tell you to go see the Bucks host the Brooklyn Nets. But I think your time might be better served heading down the street to U.S. Cellular Arena to catch the Wave host the Baltimore Blast in their home opener at 6 p.m. Of course, the Bucks tip off at 7:30, so you could do both, but if you stick around after the Wave match is concluded, you can catch Daughtry play. – Jim Owczarski

Vera Wang Collection Holiday Peace Bouquet – Vera Wang: not just for wearable fashion anymore! The Vera Wang Holiday Collection, which you can order online via FTD (prices begin at $49.99) and have delivered pretty much anywhere in the world, has a handful of gorgeous bouquets for that special someone on your list. You know, the someone that adores beautiful, scent-producing floral gifts.

I got the red rose-laden Holiday Peace bouquet, and it was a big hit at home, thanks in large part to the alluring aroma of the varieties of evergreens included in this low-height, but big wow-factor arrangement. Tired of giving useless gadgets, tired old pajamas and unimaginative gift cards? Why not give one of these stunners instead? You can see the full range of options at http://www.ftd.com/vera-wang-ctg/product-verawang Bobby Tanzilo

Fischberger's for holiday giftsFischberger's Variety, 2445 N. Holton St., is my absolute favorite place to shop for gifts all year 'round, but especially for the holidays. This year, they have tons of fun stuff, from mustache mood rings to an old school Spirograph that comes in a tin container to a great selection of books for all ages. It's also a fab place for stocking stuffers. With that in mind, I just cleaned 'em out of pop pop firecrackers yesterday. Seriously, if you go to Fischbergers and don't like it, write to me and I will send you a box of pop pops. – Molly Snyder

"Inside Llewyn Davis" soundtrack – If you're anything like me, you're a bit tired of today's pop folk music. Yeah, I get it Mumford and Sons, Lumineers, etc.; you all found your dad's old suspenders and banjo; now please play something different. But if this folk trend has one last gasp for me, it's with the "Inside Llewyn Davis" soundtrack.

Now, I'm not quite sure where I land on the Coen Brothers' latest movie yet. However, the soundtrack, reconnecting the Coens with legendary producer T Bone Burnett ("O Brother, Where Art Thou?"), is filled with warm sound and emotion, along with some upsettingly catchy little '60s folk tunes. My two favorites are "Fare Thee Well," featuring star Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford, and "Please Mr. Kennedy," which is wonderfully, hilariously kitschy – even without the recently released YouTube clip (though you should watch the clip too). – Matt Mueller

Mushroom Mini Farm – Thanks to Back to the Roots' certified organic Mushroom Mini Farm in a box, the route from (mushroom) farm to table has gotten shorter than ever. In fact, I have a slew of edible gourmet oyster mushrooms growing on my kitchen counter as we speak (you can see the proof in the photo above).

For $12, you get the box, which you pop open, cut back the plastic and add the tiniest bit of water twice a day and in about a week, the box is sprouting mushrooms. The kids, who seemed to get a bit bored after the first few days, were wowed when the fungi started popping out. I might even be able to get them to try a mushroom now (not likely). Plus, the shrooms are organic, and the growing medium is made of 100 percent recycled wheat bran, sawdust and corn cobs. You can find 'em at Whole Foods, Fresh Market and Home Depot. – Bobby Tanzilo

Baxter of California Hard Cream Pomade – Baxter's pomade is clearly very high quality. Each version varies the sense and consistency, but each is pleasing. The hard cream provides a solid but soft hold all day. And even though Baxter gives control all day, with proper distribution and emulsification, there is no stickiness or crunchiness in this pink pomade. It's $18 at birchbox.com. – Eron Laber

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