Not Martha

the home

twist and spout turns a water bottle into a watering can

replacing a p-trap, at Curbly, via Action Hero

self-charging smoke alarm at Product Dose

home hacks for building a better home, at Ask Metafilter

making the informed LCD monitor choice, at Product Dose

thumb saver for when I hammer things, at Popgadget

clever cocktail pick storage, at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

gentle lead dog harness, at Cool Tools

da*xiang’s charging station

at Apartment Therapy:

non-carpet floor tiles

Alto stair treads

Marimekko wall hanging, I might get this

how to cover walls in starched fabric

reversible decor: chandelier cover up

flash based room planner

magnetic bamboo file storage

weatherproofing the home

eco-friendly mold fighters

ceiling soundproofing (so glad we don’t have to worry about that stuff anymore)

side sleeper pillows

turn an Ikea Lack shelf into a media console

how to hang all of our bags (I have a plan for mine)

what about small washers?

3M Command adhesives = good stuff

DIY hanging light bulbs

where to fit a recycling bin

DIY LED light box

· comments [2] · 02-28-2007 · categories:links · the home ·

not recipes

garlic crusher, at The Kitchen

creative mixer applications, at Ask Metafilter

interesting chocolates at Shelterrific

miracle fruit at Boing Boing

experimenting with how to peel garlic, a photo essay to discover the easiest way, at Accidental Hedonist

products to get the perfect egg, at Chow

on flour and whole grains, at Food Chronicles

the bunny vs. the blue box a revealing look at Annie’s Mac and Cheese, at Slate

kitchen clueless, resources for the very beginner, at Ask Metafilter (I need one of these too)

extra tasty, drink database (and they get the jasmine right!), from those people who do Threadless

· comments [5] · 02-28-2007 · categories:food · links ·


too cute mini bagels at Delicious Days

wafer wonderland at Smitten Kitchen

cream scones with currants and fennel seeds at Orangette

pad thai for beginners at Chez Pim

tagliatelle con ragu alla bolognese, no idea where I grabbed this from

lazy ravioli at Pip in the City

mom roblin’s potato chip cookies (scroll down a bit), at NPR

roasted sweet potato sticks with rosemary at The Kitchen

fig gorgonzola crostini wtih caramelized onions at Sundry Buzz

canned cakes at Delicious Days

my dad’s garlic bread at 101 Cookbooks

homemade kettle corn at Seattlest

late to the no knead bread party, Splatgirl Creates

Scottish oats at Everybody Likes Sandwiches, I have just discovered the good compromise in flavor vs. time that is Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oats — see also Jennie is sad to find Trader Joe’s doesn’t offer the frozen microwaveable oatmeal anymore so she makes it her own damn self

· comments [10] · 02-27-2007 · categories:food · links · recipes ·

mini egg off

We did a little taste comparison of US Mini Eggs (Hershey under license from Cadbury) to Canadian Mini Eggs (Cadbury Chocolate, Toronto) and I found the result surprising.

First the visuals.

The Candian Mini Eggs were darker in color, smaller, were a little pointier and were a smoother egg shape.

The US eggs were larger and lumpier and were more prone to those hairline fractures in the shell.

I expected them to be very much the same, but the difference in flavor were very apparent. The Candian eggs were much better, more chocolate flavor. In fact, after a Canadian egg and US egg tasted more like a creamy sweet thing than chocolate.

I also got some dark chocolate Mini Eggs (Royal Dark) in the US. The shell is darker and has a dusted appearance. The chocolate is smooth on the tongue but I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. When I eat these I mostly taste chocolate chips. There is a little bit of a nice warm finish to the chocolate flavor, but I have to wonder if there are dark chocolate Mini Eggs in Canada, and how much better the chocolate in those might be.

See also the tasting notes for Mini Eggs and Royal Dark Mini Eggs at Candyblog. Next I might have to seek out some Hershey Eggs, which she rates Supreme.

· comments [46] · 02-26-2007 · categories:food · holidays ·

up to

pink grapefruit mentos

my new pot rack

domino magazine

mac blot powder

the arrival of my
keep calm poster

· comments [0] · 02-26-2007 · categories:up to ·

more cupcakes = good

The other day I found myself near the new-ish Trophy Cupcakes and Party in the Wallingford Center here in Seattle. I had just gotten my taxes done and it was the perfect reason for a small celebration. I bought four cupcakes for myself, and for Scott, but mostly for myself. I was so pleased to find that Trophy was so charming and pretty. I asked if I could take some photographs and they were happy to let me, you can see them starting here on my Flickr stream.

The store carries letterpress cards and wrapping papers from Snow & Graham, it was like stepping back into the now gone (sniff) Flourish card shop. They also carry a bunch of charming and unusual party favors and cupcake toppers, as well as some D Sharp decorations and Cup-a-cake containers. They sell expresso drinks, and have all four flavors of Dry Soda. But the cupcakes are really splendid. Each cupcake flavor we sampled had a different texture of cake to suit the flavor, and the icings were all different and went perfectly.

Despite being in the middle of the small shopping building the space feels cozy and welcoming. If you have ever been to Wallingford Center the cupcake place is located where the old espresso stand was, but they’ve opened up the middle door that is on Wallingford Avenue. It was blocked off during the time that I lived a few blocks away and it make the building feel very unwelcoming. If you are in Wallingford Center for the first time know it wasn’t always that empty, and be sure to check out Amita. It’s located half way up the front steps off of 45th St, it’s tiny but always has purses I long for.

· comments [26] · 02-22-2007 · categories:food · seattle ·

this book makes me happy

I borrowed The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques from the library, but I think I’ll have to get my own copy. I got the book to see if I could learn some stretchier cast on and bind off techniques for making the Calorimetry. This book goes though a bunch of ways, details the advantages and draw backs of each technique, then clearly describes how to do them. The book also covers increases, decreases, selvages, seams, borders, buttonholes, and joining and weaving yarn ends. I can find all the techniques in this book online in various places, but I find having them all laid out with clear comparisons to be tremendously helpful for my scattered mind.

· comments [18] · 02-21-2007 · categories:books · knitting ·


The Pink Grapefruit Mentos were found last night at a Bartell Drugs (a local Seattle chain) in University Village mall while picking up our buffet for the dining room. My pot rack also arrived yesterday. By tonight I will be happy in only the way that having: taxes done, a place to store my mixer and hang my pots, a great lip balm and good candy all in once place could make me. I plan to make Simple Thai Chicken and Rice to celebrate.

There were a bunch of other flavors at Bartell, so many that I assume all the Mentos flavors will be appearing all over the US. I remember sour apple, strawberry, grape and cinnamon. Ooh, I hope we get the licorice flavor. Thanks to Bonney for pointing to the Mentos store, where you can buy pink grapefruit Mentos by the box (20 rolls). I wasn’t quite that committed.

· comments [11] · 02-21-2007 · categories:food ·

another reason Canada is awesome

While I was in Vancouver I sought out some Labello lip balm since it was overwhelmingly recommended. I found the regular balm kind (see this one at Chaptastic) and was pleased to discover I already own some – a friend (thanks Laura!) sent me a Nivea lip balm from the UK and it’s the same. So I grabbed a little squeezy tube of Labello CareGloss & Shine instead and found the sort of lip gloss I’d given up looking for, this makes me so happy.

I had spent some time looking for lip gloss to wear during the day and I was disappointed by nearly everything as it was either too sparkly or flavored with such an overwhelming amount of some chemical approximating “sweet” that I couldn’t stand it. Other kinds make my throat scratchy or were just too darn expensive to wear unless there was somebody around to see it. The Labello stuff is transparent, it does have a bit of pinkish mica in it but they are the type that make your lips look shiny, not sparkly. The scent is so light I do not notice it. And it has staying power. There is no SPF, but it does layer well.

I liked it so much I made sure I got some more before we headed home. You cannot buy this in US shops, but it certainly isn’t hard to find online (be aware there are a few tinted versions as well, the one shown here is called transparent). Note to Canadians, according to my receipts it’s much less expensive at London Drugs than Shoppers.

Now that I found something I want to buy again it’s likely to be immediately discontinued. You’ve been warned.

· comments [21] · 02-20-2007 · categories:beauty ·


We took a last-minute trip to Vancouver last weekend and I have a junk food hangover so here is a list:

Cupcakes on Denman

– acrylic thick and thin yarn at Daiso, chopsticks too

– London Drugs and/or Shoppers Drug Mart: Labello lip gloss, sugar Coca-Cola, Mitchum Roll-on (25%!), La Roche-Posay Effaclar K, ketchup potato chips, Cadbury Mini Eggs (for a CA/US taste off), and a Kinder Egg

– took a look around Stanley Park, so sad

– failed to do: eat a donut at Tim Horton’s, shame on us

– failed to find: pink grapefruit Mentos, though we did find sour green apple and peach

· comments [30] · 02-19-2007 · categories:mumbling · shopping ·

up to

Lego Star Wars II

Something Rotten

Cadbury Mini Eggs

The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques

elliptical trainers

· comments [0] · 02-19-2007 · categories:up to ·

things I want to have or imitate

Curtains by Nienke, via Apartment Therapy.

Seattlest makes honeycomb candy and gives up a recipe. See also: homemade Violet Crumble at Baking Sheet.

Dramatic cowl at Thrifty Knitter, via Craft.

· comments [5] · 02-16-2007 · categories:knitting · recipes · the home ·

oh noes

A commenter has reported her Chefmate cast iron pot went from a fire engine red to dark burgundy color after she baked the no knead bread. Did this happen to anybody else? I haven’t used my pot for the bread yet, and now I’m sort of afraid!

· comments [8] · 02-16-2007 · categories:food ·

true love

I spent a good part of Valentine’s Day cooking, it was perfect. I made Bolognese sauce from the Feb. 2007 Oprah magazine which we ate with No Knead Bread and arugula salad:

I make giant cupcakes the King Size Wilton Muffin Tins (which I found at a Michael’s craft store):

And Scott surprised me with a String of Pearls plant, so cool!

Thanks to everybody for voting in the silly little poll, it went way better than I expected. I’m so pleased you all were willing to play along, it was a sweet Valentines week gift! The matchups continue but I think I’ll leave it alone, contests make me nervous. I hope you got to know John Moe a bit better, for he is amazing. Also, buy his book.

· comments [21] · 02-15-2007 · categories:mumbling ·

recycle relove

The winners for the Craft Recycle Your Heart Valentine’s Day Card contest have been announced, and they are inspiring, the cleverness level of all the things created are amazing. You can see all the entries here.

· comments [0] · 02-14-2007 · categories:craft ·