Not Martha

links: shopping

Shapewear secrets | The Working Closet | Work It, Mom!.

New car air freshener | Ask MetaFilter.

Personal Shopper: Travel Trunk for Laura.

What are some ubiquitous indie grocery items? | Ask MetaFilter.

5 Reusable, Plastic-Free Straws | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn.

pedalr • A better marketplace for people who love bikes. Via Swissmiss’s Twitter (precious resource).

Please recommend books about people trapped together | Ask MetaFilter.

Design*Sponge » altangrill. A tiny grill that hangs off of a railing, I want one.

the UGC: Birthdays and Bikes. Recommendation for a bicycle gel liner for your, uh, sit bones, I’m hoping to get my bicycle soon. (Just in time for the end of summer. I do know how to procrastinate.) P.s. Happy birthday boys!

Great headphones for a noisy office in the $80-$120 range? | Ask MetaFilter.

the Ugly Green Chair: Shutterbug. She links to the most appealing camera strap I’ve seen, the RS WS-1 designed specifically for women and the stuff we have on our chests, made by Black Rapid. While watching the demonstration video I realized the background looked familiar, it was filmed at Gasworks Park here in Seattle.

· comments [6] · 09-9-2010 · categories:links · shopping ·

a warm fuzzy non-wool cardigan

purple wrap cardigan from Old Navy

I find wool and most all animal fibers (yes even cashmere, tragic) too itchy to wear. As a result I’ve missed out on a lot of cozy sweater wearing in the past. Happily manmade fibers seem to have caught up and these days I’m finding more and more acrylic/cotton blends that are soft and fuzzy and, most importantly, warm. My most recent find is this wrap cardigan from Old Navy. I might buy two.

· comments [17] · 09-8-2010 · categories:shopping ·

The Jasmine

image uploaded from my iPhone to Flickr and on to this here blog

A post about my very favorite drink, The Jasmine, is up over here at Outblush. Go forth and sip.

· comments [2] · 09-7-2010 · categories:drink ·

three words: Skull Cake Pan

a skull made of cake staring straight at the camera

Ok, look. I know it’s maybe a bit early to be talking about Halloween but I myself think that celebrating Halloween for 1/6th of the year is perfectly reasonable. Also I want you to know about this so you can made as many skull shaped cakes as possible before Halloween because a mid-November skull cake is far less acceptable to take into the office than an early-October skull cake.

(Please excuse the crumbs on his nose, you have to trim the cake after it comes out of the pan and, this being my trial run, things got a little messy.)

This is a 3-D skull cake pan sold by Wilton. You can also find it on Amazon and at the usual suspects of craft stores, at least during the Halloween season.

I went through a serious crush on the 3-D pumpkin cake pan a few years back but never bought it, and I still look fondly at the giant cupcake pan when I see it but again I’ve never inspired to buy. But when I found this skull pan in I immediately grabbed it and carried it around the store with me while looking for all the stuff I came for, just in case all three pans on the shelf were gone by the time I came back around. Even though it was, at the time, August. At first I thought I might be overreacting but when I returned to the store a few days later all the pans were gone. It justified my crazy. A bit.

side of of the skull cake showing how the top and bottom pieces fit together

The back part of the skull is molded so that it sits at just the right angle to stare up at you menacingly from the plate.

butter softening next to my orange mixing bowl, with an orange pumpkin can label and orange logo of my favorite flour

The pan comes with a pumpkin spice cake recipe, and while making it I rediscovered how much I like the color orange.

two containers of cinnamon

Also, thanks to a wonderful girl who happens to be named Cinnamon, I had two types of cinnamon to choose from to use in the cake. The cake was good but too sweet for my preferences. I hope to change it a bit and then maybe add a cream cheese frosting brain surprise inside. Or, oh oh!, cream cheese frosting maggots. Ew.

a view looking inside the pan

The pan is nicely heavy and with a little Baker’s Joy I had no trouble getting the cake to slide out. (A tip from Alton Brown: spray it over the open door of your dishwasher, it won’t leave your floor or countertops slippery and it’s a surface that will be washed anyhow.)

another view of the a skull made of cake staring straight at the camera

I’m in love with this face.

What should I name him?

· comments [69] · 09-7-2010 · categories:food · halloween · things I think are neat ·

links: travel

Down from the mountains « Busywork. Saving Switzerland as a place to visit when I’m feeling old. I love that their transit system is so well run that elderly people can use it with ease.

Pre-paid plan options for smartphone travellers, at Kottke.

Las Vegas show tickets – where to get the best discounts? | Ask MetaFilter.

NYC Summer Streets 2010, Opening Up Park Avenue.

NYC weird stuff to do for visitors. | Ask MetaFilter.

BEST Eats in Vegas? | Ask MetaFilter.

Get Out!: Meteor Showers and Gourmet Meals in Langley – Seattle.

Where can I go for a great view of the New York (Manhattan) skyline? | Ask MetaFilter.

· comments [0] · 09-6-2010 · categories:links · travel ·

Teva Montecito boots

Teva Montecito boots

I’ve talked about my Teva Montecito boots before but it looked like there were discontinued at the end of last season. I’ve gotten a handful of questions in email about them since so I thought I’d mention here that they are available again this winter.

Last winter I wore these boots all around a rainy Paris and a rainy Nottingham and a rainy Seattle and they held up beautifully. They are the most comfortable pair of shoes that I own. I think I’m in love with them.

I’ll sum up all the points from my earlier and longer review: These are mid-calf leather boots with cork soles, they are remarkably light weight and bouncy, the break in period was painless and they never gave me blisters (despite a lot of walking in Paris), I don’t miss the arch support like I expected to, the toe and arch area stretched enough to make them comfortable to the point that I simply don’t think or worry about my feet when I’m wearing them, a little overlapping flap near the button at the top means there is a lot of wiggle room so they don’t hug your calves too tightly, my feet have neither been too hot or too cold when wearing them (though I have not worn them in snowy conditions), and the pattern on the bottom of the sole is pretty. They are high on my list of things I would miss most if something happened to our house (pick one: fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, theft of just our footwear).

Another option that I’ve read very good things about and have admired being worn by others is the Merrell Tetra Launch waterproof boots with the military inspired button detail.

· comments [21] · 09-3-2010 · categories:shopping ·

links: food

Cool Tools: Restaurant Grade Sheet Pans. Like the ones in the Pioneer Woman cookbook! Being too lazy/intimidated/wary to walk into a restaurant supply store here I’m glad to know where to find them.

DIY Polka Dot Fruit Roll Ups · Edible Crafts @ CraftGossip.

Orange, Bitter, & Refreshing: 5 Classic Campari Cocktails | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn.

Tasty Planner – Article – The Problem with Ice-Planets. We were recently rewatching Firefly so I was happy to find that somebody created this dessert from the show.

Bubble gin and tonic, at Kottke. Want this.

Baked Alaska on a Stick · Edible Crafts.

Pancakes with Blueberry Butter | Not Without Salt. Blueberry butter, brilliant!

The Food Lab: Do ‘Better’ Eggs Really Taste Better? | Serious Eats. Comparing egg color (he takes them to the green place) and perception of flavor, bringing it around to New Coke.

I Baked a Mini Cherry Pie Into a Dark Chocolate Cupcake | Slog. Awesome.

3-D Waffles · Edible Crafts. An iron that makes waffle cups!

The Videos: Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Mrs. Agnes Marshall, Culinary Time Traveler – Voracious. Distinguished Lecturers series from the University of Washington with the guys who wrote Modernist Cuisine.

· comments [10] · 09-2-2010 · categories:food · links ·

links: technology

John Carmack Demos ‘Rage’ on iPhone at QuakeCon 2010 | Touch Arcade. This one is bookmarked for Scott.

Twitter / Tweet Button. They have their own button!

YouTube – Digital Makeup – PSMama’s Lip Gloss Optimizer – Part 1, from this mostly unrelated post over at Wired.

Where can I find out about browser-related issues when writing CSS/HTML/JavaScript? | Ask MetaFilter.

Cool Tools: Google Drawing. Sold: “The best simple drawing program there is is hidden away inside of Google Docs. It’s free, and completely intuitive to use. Google Drawing is the opposite of Adobe’s Illustrator…”

How do I update my iPhone to iOS 3.1.3–not iOS 4.0? | Ask MetaFilter. Very good question for those of us with 3G phones.

Craftzine.com blog : How-To: Great Small Object Photography.

· comments [2] · 09-1-2010 · categories:links · technology ·