People Doing Great Work.

S. Donnelly Interiors

S. Donnelly Interiors is an interior design service in Glen Ellyn, IL. It’s my wife’s company, and while that may make me biased, it doesn’t mean she isn’t capable of crafting incredible work such as amazing kitchens. The image below is an example of her work. Click the logo, the heading above or the image below to be taken to her website.

A kitchen designed by S. Donnelly Interiors


One day I accidentally stumbled across Saxsquatch on one of his free Sunday night concerts. At that point in my life, I didn’t ever put on saxophone music, or jazz or anything similar. After having a stressful week, Saxsquatch was the mood that I never knew I needed to take the edge off. His renditions of popular tunes are made soothing by his skill and the silky, slow, smooth sounds of the saxophone, while his outfit and moves just leave you to having a good time listening.

Plenty of people are looking for something to delight them , possibly in a way they never anticipated before. Can you bring good humor to a serious job in a way that makes things better for everyone? Can you bring sensitivity to a cutthroat industry in a way that makes workers stick it out. There are so many possibilities and it’s quite often that we don’t notice them until someone shows us. Taking it upon ourselves, we have the opportunity to show our thoughts on what’s possible to others everyday, except we don’t. We think no one will care. We think we’re not that great. We think it’s not our place.

That’s the wrong way to think.

Saxsquatch shows us something different is possible. I mean the saxophone already isn’t mainstream music for most people, but the outfit on top of it?!?! Turns out, I love it. He plays a lot of great music for free, yeti never complains, so he probably loves it too(Pun intentional and stolen from a joke I saw recently on reddit).

Do you think anybody hired Saxsquatch for the job? Do you think he had to convince anyone to put him on stage in that outfit? No. He chose himself, like many of us are too afraid to do. Saxsquatch may be hiding himself in a costume, but his courage is on full display. He’s going after what he wants in life, and on the surface seems to be having a great time doing it.

Saxsquatch is the Sunday evening I never knew I needed, until he showed me. Check him out some time and perhaps while watching, think about how you could do something to delight people too.

Alvin Zhou

Alvin has a youtube channel about cooking. It only has a few videos currently, likely because all his recipes generally take multiple days, and his video seem to have high quality music to them. I imagine between trying out these recipes and producing the video each takes a while, and who knows what other commitments Alvin has.

The thing that stands out about Alvin’s videos is how calm they are. It’s like he invented a new axis on the cooking show. One that wouldn’t have been possible on a normal network where they need sound and engagement. It’s just smooth, slow music on Alvin’s channel and some subtitles. It’s a new way to take in a cooking show and just what someone stress out might need. His food looks excellent too.

If you haven’t seen his work, I highly recommend checking it out, even if just for an exercise in seeing a different way to present similar work to your contemporaries.

Here’s Alvin’s Brownie Video.

Discourse Coffee

Discourse Coffee is a small coffee shop located in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. It’s in the Door County Peninsula, a beautiful vacation destination for people during the summertime and early fall. It’s a place that forgoes all the usual, the restaurant franchises, the chain stores, and anything normal. Amongst all of that, Discourse Coffee personifies the difference of Door County.

Discourse Coffee is probably the most incredible coffee shop I’ve ever been to. It’s built for people that like to try things that are different. Look at the image to the right, and try to guess what kind of coffee that is. I’ll save the surprise for you to discover.

These guys obviously love coffee, and they tinker with it all day. While they have the standard coffees and espresso drinks to your liking, they also have a few signature drinks that are unlike anything you’ll find else where. Beyond that, they have an experimental menu where they put drinks that they are in progress of developing, where they’ve reached the tipping point of needing customer feed back. If you just like a nice cup of coffee here you’ll find it. If you like something a little different, you’ll find it. If you like something crazy off the wall, you’ll find it here.

On top of all that, they are just nice people. I’ve been here a dozen times or so, and they are always incredibly welcoming, delightfully (not annoyingly) chatty, and incredibly helpful if you’re not sure what to try from their unique menu.

If you’re ever in Door County, don’t miss it. If you’ve never been to Door County, perhaps it’s time to rethink that too. Check it out at Discourse Coffee or see their Yelp Reviews.

P.S. It would be amazing if Discourse Coffee was in the same location as The Flour Box below. Just imagine that coffee and donuts session! Unfortunately, they are half a country away.

David Ambarzumjan

Many people want something to put on their walls to make their home look good. David’s art would certainly do that, but it will also tell a story that takes place through time. Stories have the ability to move us. To start a conversation. To create interest in your home that wouldn’t be there otherwise. Someone who can paint to realistically capture a scene is a tradesmen. Someone who can paint to capture an emotion is an artist. The latter is definitely David and I recommend following his work closely. I’m sure we’ll be seeing some truly amazing work to come.

Check out more of David’s work by clicking here.


The New Petzval 58 is available in a Brass or Black Finish

I wouldn’t call myself a photographer. However, when I do take a picture, I aspire to have it be great looking and well-composed. I came across Kickstarter with their campaign for the Petzal 58 Lens. Their campaign had two attention grabbing items:

First, how carefully crafted, and aesthetically pleasing the brass model is. It looks like a piece of art. Like something you can be proud to own. Like something that if taken proper care of, would pass down as an heirloom to your family. And the second thing I noticed, is the bokeh effect it creates and how beautifully it frames a focal point of an image. It’s therapeutic to create an effect like that with analog methods these days rather than digital.

Lomography as a company is doing important work, inspiring people to capture the important (and not so important) details of life. They make it fun, they inspire, and they make you look great. If you’ve ever had an interest in photography, perhaps one of these lenses would be the catalyst to take it to the next level.

The Flour Box

The Flour Box is a fully-funded kickstarter underway by Pamela Vuong. The image to the right shows the brioche donuts that she makes. In each one the care, quality, and creativity can be seen. There are sweet versions, savory versions, and every single one looks amazing.

I contributed to Pamela’s kickstarter because we need more people like Pamela in the world. People who show up, and make something great. Something different. Something better. And who put the effort, skill, meticulousness required.

Making something and sharing it with the world is a generous act. Doing something new always draws criticism, if better quality ingredients and more skilled labor are required, the prices will be derided. It’s my hope that the Flour Box becomes a major success, creating jobs, and raising the standard for donuts.

<— Go back to Homepage