Friday, February 26, 2010

happy weekend!

so happy it's friday, aren't you?

here are some great clicks for this cold, cold day. and even if you're not in a cold, snowy place, click around.

check out this incredible apartment building in downtown manhattan.

have you seen this coca cola commercial during the olympics? made me all teary-eyed, and made me feel good about all those years i consumed diet coke by the fluid ton.

and while we're on that song...if you, like me, were profoundly moved by the end of the six feet under finale (and by profoundly moved, i mean i just sobbed like a baby watching it on youtube), then revisit it here, if you can handle it.

are you okay? i'm recovering.

this is a really interesting article about walmart and organic produce. who knew? for a shortcut to the main ideas, watch the embedded video. and if you can, please tell me why corby kummer pronouces it "praaaaaahduce." generally, i love the idea that healthy and fresh foods are being made available to so many people that have been without it before.

and speaking of the retail behemoth, have you shopped or browsed walmart's new foray into the trendy style market? it's called hometrends, and items start at $11. i, for one, am loving the zebra runner, below. it's $39 and would probably be complete perfection for our entryway. i'd love to know what you think of the collection. take a look.
have a great weekend, and i'll see you on monday.

top photo from, six feet under photo from, walmart photos from

the gift

i heard the nicest thing that i just had to share with you. i rode home the other day with a woman i know from the train, and she was telling me about her daughter's upcoming birthday party. for the second time in this little girl's young life, the family has requested that in lieu of birthday gifts, guests bring non-perishable food items to be donated to a local hunger charity.

my friend told me how the first year they did it, it was her suggestion to her daughter and came along with assurances that she would still get plenty of birthday gifts from her family. but this year, her daughter came to her about it...the idea came from a little girl turning eight. i thought this was the most beautiful thing. not only for the good her thoughtfulness will do, but for the promise that is born when a child is exposed to ideals of kindness and generosity.

i love that they decided to forgo presents to benefit people with so much less. and i love that my train friend shared it with me - i am considering it an introduction to possibilities in generosity that i haven't yet discovered, courtesy of a soon-to-be-eight year old girl.

photo from

Thursday, February 25, 2010

tiny treasures...breathe deeply

as you know, a tiny treasure is a little luxury (under $5) that can have a profoundly positive impact on your home, your life or your day. so often, scents are an example of that for me, and i know for many of you. i guess it's not surprising since it's often said that the olfactory sense is the strongest in regard to memory and feelings. so when i rediscovered dried eucalyptus a few weeks ago, i knew i had to make it a tiny treasure.

now, i personally have very positive memories of the smell - i always had it in my room when i was younger, and the fragrance wafted through the home of a childhood friend i had where i was always happy and creative and laughing. but even without my memories, the smell of eucalyptus is wonderfully relaxing and spa-like. the minty, herbal qualities makes you inhale extra deeply to breathe it all in, and the scent is far-reaching. we have two bunches right now on opposite sides of our living room, and while i'm not knocked over by the scent, i definitely catch waves of it now and then and it is really lovely when i do. i can actually feel my muscles loosen and a smile emerge.

there are also all kinds of environmental reasons to be a purchaser of eucalyptus and its byproducts, which you can read about here if you find yourself interested.

the really nice thing about dried eucalyptus is that it's very easy to find, and very inexpensive. many grocery stores carry it, as well as many of the corner delis here in nyc that have flowers. if neither of those options work, michael's and other craft stores always have it, in a few different colors too. you can usually just follow your nose when you enter the store to find the right aisle. and i don't think i have ever seen a bunch for over $4.

i think pier 1 often carries it too, and that's another one of my memory associations for eucalyptus - the days of my papasan chair. why i wanted to sit in a padded bowl while smelling my eucalyptus...not sure about that.

i think of it like this - why have your home smell neither here nor there when it can smell amazing, feel me?

photos from save-on-crafts

back to bed

if you are in one of the many states in the midst of this winter weather, you probably wish you were lounging around at home in cozy clothes sipping the warm beverage of your choice. me too! these bedroom photos which i've had bookmarked for a while make me want to just curl up this morning.

i love the mix of patterns and textures in each room - they all play with color and shape in interesting ways, and in all cases, it makes for a very layered and the coziest kind of cozy imaginable.

my favorite source for patterned bedding is anthropologie, by far. and i can say from my own personal experience, their quilts are incredibly soft and comfortable.

we have this one, and i still love it as much as i did five years ago when i got it. and while we're on the topic, check out this incredible balinese style duvet.

it was actually these photos, and other ones like them, that made me change my bedroom plan from blacks, whites, grays and silvers to a much warmer, multi-colored look which is just so much more me. so i'm back to the anthro quilt and am in the process of adding pillowcases and blankets in different patterns to get this pieced together look, and i couldn't be happier about it.

what elements do you think make a cozy bed and bedroom?

top photo from country living, 2nd photo from apartment therapy, 3rd and 4th photos designed by david prince via real simple, last photo designed by lucas allen via real simple.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

stay the night (or forever)

my visits to the emerson resort have introduced me to a feeling should i say it...never wanting to leave the hotel i'm staying in. yeah, that works. and so when i came upon a few pictures of the crosby street hotel right here in new york, i felt phantom "never want to leave" pangs, even though i'm not staying there (but i SHOULD be).

i just had to share with you how gorgeous every space in this boutique hotel is. here is how firmdale hotels, the british company which owns the crosby, puts it: "hotels should be living things, not stuffy institution... kit kemp [one of the owners] has designed all of the interiors in a fresh contemporary english style. her mixture of colour and texture, modern and antique together with an impressive art collection, has combined to create a unique look and style."


the common areas of the hotel include the lobby, a bar where all-day afternoon tea is served in the english style, a private garden, a drawing room where one can also enjoy their tea, private meeting and event rooms, a screening room and a gym, all impeccably appointed in the most non-hotel hotel style i've ever seen, and one of the first LEED certified hotels in new york city. to me, a place like this being green makes it infinitely better.

i'd be pretty thrilled if i arrived on a soho street (best neighborhood for shopping and dining in nyc, many would say) and checked into this lobby. you?

and the rest of the guest common spaces are just as interestingly appointed. what's nice is that the whole hotel gives the vibe of a very cool home - collected over time, not out of a single catalog page like some decor can be - especially hotel decor.

and then, and THEN...the guest rooms. there are 96 rooms and suites, each uniquely decorated with such whimsy and charm that i just feel like i want to stay in every room. here are a just a few...

now of course, this kind of style doesn't come cheap, but i know you could have guessed that. so especially if you live in new york, and winning the lottery isn't an experience you've had, you might not end up staying here. i feel you.

but i will definitely be keeping the crosby street hotel in mind for something like a small-scale baby or bridal shower - like a lady's tea or brunch. (i wasn't crazy about the way their wedding ceremonies or receptions looked and they're probably mara lago kind of money anyway).

all photos from

a bowl(ed) idea

my post about rachael ray's lazy cooking utensils yesterday got me thinking...what are the best tips you've learned from cooking shows?

i feel like i've learned so many. one of the best ones is the use of a "garbage bowl," also from rachael ray. of course she sells them, as shown here in both confetti and marble styles, but i find that to be highly unnecessary. i just use any large mixing bowl and it works just fine, obvi.

and if you really like the confetti look, i'd much sooner go for this zak designs set of confetti nesting bowls which is the same price as the rachael ray garbage bowl (sorry rach) -- so much more bang for the buck, and so fun looking! it also comes in quarry brown , which is gorg.

the idea of the garbage bowl is that when you're doing prep work, you dump all your garbage into the bowl and then empty it when full. this avoids the need for several potentially messy trips back and forth to the garbage, keeps your work area neat and keeps the garbage can in its rightful spot, not lugged over to the counter looking all messy and gross. it's a tip i've come to use every time i cook and i love it. totally one of those aha type of tips.

even if it sounds really simple and blah to you, try it. i wonder if you'd like it and feel that it makes your kitchen work easier and more efficient - i was surprised how useful a tip it was. and isn't that why we watch the experts at work?

what are some tips you've come to appreciate?

all photos from

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

lazy days

am i the last person on the planet to become aware of the "lazy spoon?" i saw rachael ray using them on her show and thought they were very cool, and probably a good solution to a consistently dirty spoonrest (or stovetop when the spoonrest isn't handy).

hers were made of plastic and had notches which allowed them to hook onto the edge of pots and pans and rest there until needed.

so of course i googled, and of course like a true branding machine, rachael has the products in her cookware line, easily found at kohl's, amazon and the rachael ray online store, and available in orange, lime green and blue.

if wood is more your thing, a company called jonathan's spoons makes an assortment of wood varieties.

necessary? certainly not. cool? very.

photos from,
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