Not Martha

giveaway: boygirlparty package of goodies

You lucky people, you. Susie Ghahremani is going to give a prize package of some cute boygirlparty goods to one happy winner.

Included are a set of squirrel/bunny recipe cards:

A large owl magnet:

And an octopus to-do list:

I just love the the inclusion of a “not yet” check box, you at least get to check something!

If you’re not already familiar with boygirlparty (of course you are, you’re cool like that) you can see everything Susie has to offer in the shop, including pouches, t-shirts and necklaces made from her own work. Please allow me to direct your attention to the many awesome prints of her original art work. I’m currently eyeing a few of the musical themed prints including the hedgehog piano and record bears. You can read interviews with her at The Sampler, Craftzine, IndieShopping and Design Taxi.

If you’d like to enter to win this fantabulous collection of boygirlparty goods please leave a comment with this entry, you have until 9 a.m. PST on Monday, June 16th.
All done, thanks for entering!

the fine print:

– You don’t need to leave your real name, but do leave a valid email address. I’ll be the only one who can see your email address (just don’t put it in the actual comment box as well). I’ll write to get a shipping address when you’ve won.

– If you have never left a comment here before I’ll need to approve it before it publishes so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. That said, you might not end up being the comment number you see so know that if you want to say “pick 35!” you might not be comment number 35. I don’t know why it works that way, and I’m sorry, there is very little certainty left in this world and this isn’t helping any.

– If I have not heard from an initial winner by June 20th another winner will be chosen.

– The winners will be picked by the cold, unfeeling random number generator.

Good luck!

· comments [1,012] · 06-11-2008 · categories:shopping ·

more about Privo shoes

Here’s a lesson I have to learn: When both the shipping and return shipping is free, order more than one size of the shoes. The whole idea is that you get to try them on at home.

After asking about the Privos last week I decided the back of that heel was just too high and would rub in the wrong way, so I returned them. Thanks for all the responses! There were enough both for and against that I was left a little more undecided than when I set out, but it was helpful to hear the variety of experiences. Shortly afterwards I was in a Nordstrom Rack and found the Privo Trumpet flats (well, the right one, at NR they only put out the right shoes and you have to ask for the left if you’d like to purchase the pair).

I wore the right shoe around for a while and rather liked it, the back of the heel is lower than the Acacias and it stayed on surprisingly well. But, I decided I needed a size larger than Nordstrom Rack had. I ordered them from Endless (Zappos, and Piper Lime had them as well) and now they are on my feet. And I think I’ll keep them. Despite having a ballet flat shape they manage to stay on quite easily and bend nicely when I walk, and I think I ended up with just the right size. I wear 7 or 8 and these are a 7.5, which I mention because some of the other Privo shoes run very large.

Here’s another lesson I have to learn: Endless may sell the shoes at a lower price, but Zappos doesn’t have any WA sales tax, making Zappos the winner there.

· comments [23] · 06-10-2008 · categories:shopping ·

links: tech

How to find images on the internet, via Kottke

Are there other documented cases of people finding themselves on Google Maps Street View? at Ask Metafilter, very interesting how many people have found themselves.

Help me with Wii + Projector + 18 foot wall = Massive Fun at Ask Metafilter

I’d like to get an entry level DSLR with *only* a basic prime lens for under $600. Is this doable? at Ask Metafilter

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3S 7.2MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Silver), a friend of mine had this and I was jealous of the zoom capabilities. It also has a Leica DC lens, combined with the image stabilization and I’m nearly sold.

My German car is ruining my perfect American Date, cute, at Ask Metafilter

What is that new open source tool for audio recording amd processing? (answer: Reaper), at Ask Metafilter

Book I want: Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA’s Spytechs, from Communism to al-Qaeda, via Uncrate.

· comments [6] · 06-10-2008 · categories:technology ·

links: beauty and shopping

What should I do to replicate the looks of Trinny and Susannah? at Ask Metafilter

O Hive Mind, point me to a fanny pack/belt bag/handsfree totage system that doesn’t suck. at Ask Metafilter

Anyone know how to get “mad scientist hair?” at Ask Metafilter

So what’s the protocol on switching stylists within a salon? at Ask Metafilter

Land’s End medium slouch tote, marked here because there is something I like about the basic shape.

Krystalyn Kae Monarch Hobo Bag, I’ve been eyeing this bag for a while now. Maybe the Foxtrot?

Matt’s Etsy picks. I’d love to see more Etsy lists from guys.

Tools for Life: The last [blank] you’ll ever need to buy. at Ask Metafilter

Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher that won’t make me break out? at Ask Metafilter

keep cool: a roundup of summer classics, drinks, outdoor projects, travel and style, at Shelterrific

Do pheromone colognes really work? at Ask Metafilter

Best Toilet Paper Evar at Ask Metafilter

Busywork points us towards this little green 6-Way Opener at Crate and Barrell. I think I need one.

What do I wear in central Italy this July so that I don’t instantly look like a North American (Canadian) tourist. at Ask Metafilter

· comments [12] · 06-9-2008 · categories:beauty · shopping ·

links: the home

How can I create lighting in my room that simulates the patterns made when the sunlight shines through a tree? at Ask Metafilter

Is there anything we can do to keep our apartment a bit quieter? at Ask Metafilter

Fluorescent tube (large one) broke in kitchen. I am freaking out now and didn’t follow proper procedures to clean it up. Am I going to get sick and die of mercury poisoning? at Ask Metafilter

Help me keep my hot water heater from exploding at Ask Metafilter

Where to buy furniture/home accessories online for small spaces? at Ask Metafilter

truck part as a soap dish, at Cool Tools

LED light sculpture, at ReadyMade

plant nannies, at LJC FYI. I wondered what these were called.

Rochelle Sofa by Gus Design, I like this one, at Better Living Through Design

Nite Bedside Table, it’s $$ but the idea is perfect for our bedroom, at Nite Bedside Table

Where to get a good push lawnmower? at Ask Metafilter. We thrashed around with the same thing a while back. Eventually we just bought the smaller one from Home Depot, which works well enough for our small lawn.

Free Vector World Maps Collection, at Swiss Miss

raindrops, lighting that is so perfect for our dining room, why are you so expensive? at Swiss Miss

coat/shoe hanger entrance of my dreams, at Swiss Miss

10 Best Non-VOC, Low-Toxic Interior Paints at Re-Nest

· comments [3] · 06-6-2008 · categories:the home ·

travel accessories for a red eye flight

I hate flying, so when I do fly I tend to freak out and buy things I think will make the trip more bearable. Here is what I bought last month for my first red eye:

Bucky 14 Blinks Sleep Mask

I’m the dork who stands in the travel store and tries on all the sleep masks, and this one was my favorite. I bought it in plain black, but there were plenty of bright colors and patterns (which look suspiciously bra-like to me, thus the black). This mask is made of very light weight molded foam and has deep pockets where your eyes go so there isn’t any pressure on my eyelids or tickling of my eyelashes. The foam conforms to your face and blocks out light very effectively, Scott even used it to take a mid-bright-day nap in our hotel room. The elastic strap has some velcro at the back so you can adjust it but it’s not too intrusive. Of all my freak out purchases this was the one I liked the best.

I bought this at Wide World Books and Maps, whom I love dearly, in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle.

Lug Nap Sac

I was looking into travel pillows when I remembered a blanket that folds into a pillow that I read about a few years back. The Nap Sac goes one step further. It’s a travel blanket that folds up into a pouch which acts as a pillow, but it also comes with an inflatable pillow insert so you can use the blanket and pillow at the same time. It’s made of muppet-cuddly material and it has a handy wrist strap so you can hang it from your luggage or your hand. It’s also, I found after the fact, Oprah approved.

I used the pillow at a hotel where the feathers in the down pillows kept poking me in the cheek, the blanket on the plane, and hugged the whole thing to me during a particularly rough landing. The blanket has a pocket in the middle of it that can hold an iPod or cell phone. I’m glad I got this, I think it will be handy to have for car trips as well.

I called around to find a place that carried this and ended up going a little ways to get one, only to see it innocently hanging at a nearby Whole Foods after we’d returned from our trip.

Thermarest Neck Pillow

I hated this. When looking at neck pillows I was warned that the inflatable ones don’t offer much support when you lean on one side and all the air moves to the other side. The Bucky pillows were widely recommended but I was reluctant to buy another bulky thing to bring on the plane, and I found the seam along the center back cut into my neck a bit. I hoped the Thermarest pillow, which is an outer layer of foam over an inflatable chamber, would be the best answer but it was too small to offer much support at all and only served to make me frustrated. Lesson learned: listen to the people who clutch their Bucky pillows to their hearts. If I ever find myself needing to sleep on a red eye flight again I’ll try the Bucky Fuzzy Wuzzy.

One last note: The girl in the travel shop highly recommended the Thermarest Compressible Pillow. She said she’s used it for lumbar support on planes, as seat padding on rickety buses in South America and for both airplane and tent sleeping as a regular pillow. She says it hasn’t gotten flat no matter what she puts it through and washes really well.

· comments [12] · 06-6-2008 · categories:shopping ·

pies baked in tiny jars

I recently made pies baked in tiny jars. They were perfection.

The dessert in a jar thing came at me in a few different ways. First was the mention of cakes baked in a jar over at Angry Chicken, and then with pretty frosting at Super Eggplant. What a brilliant present, an already baked cake all sealed up and ready to eat.

Later I came across these pies baked in jars at LloydAndLauren. Little pies, which you construct in jars and freeze to bake later so you have individual freshly baked pies basically on demand. This is genius. I was overcome with the need to make my own immediately.

Above, just out of the freezer. Below, just out of the oven.

Go see my page on the making of the pies baked in tiny jars.

Since I made them Lauren has displayed more genius, as well as an affinity for the tiny jars, in the form of individual frozen desserts in jars ready to pop out and eat. Oh, the goodness is almost too much for me.

· comments [29] · 06-5-2008 · categories:food ·

links: food

Help me improve the texture/crumb/density of my cupcakes! at Ask Metafilter

1. Peeps 2. ???? 3. Chocolate-covered peeps! at Ask Metafilter

Best practices on home canning? at Ask Metafilter

Lemmon Pepper Pork at Joyful Abode. I love the cooking posts she is putting up while they are living in a residence hotel during some house remodeling, it’s simple food that I don’t find too intimidating.

Chocolate-Filled Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies at Baking Bites

Baked Egg Cups, at Baking Bites. I have eggs, I have cups, I should do more of this.

precooked, ready to eat, bacon in a can, at The Stranger

Eat Food, but which leaves, and how? at Ask Metafilter

Ooh, Williams-Sonoma has animal cracker cookie cutters, at LJC FYI

bacon aioli! at Splatgirl

Help me make/find a good stir-fry sauce at Ask Metafilter

ice cream cupcakes at Joy the Baker

ice cream stacks, not scoops at Baking Bites. Me want.

· comments [10] · 06-4-2008 · categories:food ·

up to

bargain sunglasses from Target
After the tragic loss of my favorite sunglasses last week I went hunting for more. These ones from Target are big sunglasses that give me the combination of glare reduction and peripheral vision I like, and they’re $6 or $7 so I won’t weep when I, inevitably, lose them. These were more comfortable than the branded sunglasses I found on nearby racks, and at this price they are perfect for being the extra pair stashed in the car or desk at the office.

Revels chocolates
Some dear friends in the UK brought these for us. The chocolates inside all have different flavors in the center and apparantly everybody has at least one flavor they don’t like, which of course makes you keep eaing them. Like Bertie Bott’s but chocolate and witout the fear of finding a vomit flavored one. H2G2 calls them chocolate roulette.

Cover Girl Lash Exact Mascara
This formula doesn’t run on me, and the smaller brush means I don’t smudge it around my eyes when trying to apply it pre-coffee (I’m looking at you, Lash Blast and Bad Gal). It’s a very good daytime mascara, and a second coat is dramatic enough for the evening too.

Maritime Pacific Brewing Company Imperial Pale Ale
A really good citrusy, hoppy beer. I hope I can find this one in bottles. Their Jolly Roger Taproom in Ballard has a giant pirate map painted on the floor, it’s pretty darn cool.

Tic Tac Bold Mint
Truly horrible, tastes like mouthwash.

· comments [19] · 06-3-2008 · categories:up to ·

my very own lavender

Last weekend we managed to get some lavender planted before it started raining. This is a spike lavender called Grosso, the label said it is often grown for oil production and I was sold. We planted three plants and they already smell pretty nice. We put these in on our front yard along the walk to the door. They get full sun here so hopefully they’ll live despite the less than ideal soil.

· comments [16] · 06-2-2008 · categories:the home ·