Not Martha

happy leap day!

photo of palm trees and blue skies

This leap day finds me in a sunny place where there are things like palm trees and cactus and swimming pools. Wish you were here but since you’re not I’m hoping you are someplace awesome too.

· comments [9] · 02-29-2012 · categories:misc ·

I heart kale

frozen and boxed kale

I have been known to prep and freeze kale but I have to admit there are long stretches of time where my laziness wins over. Rather than be a kaleless household I’ve found some convenient options. The first is chopped frozen and bagged kale from Whole Foods. This is chopped a little smaller than I prefer but it’s good sauteed with a little garlic and hot pepper flakes or mixed in with pasta and olive oil. The other option is shredded kale from Cut ‘n Clean. It has a good recipe on the back of the package and we also use it for steak salad, or just mash some avocado into it for the simplest salad ever. Kale 4ever!

· comments [19] · 02-28-2012 · categories:food ·

links: shopping

the UGC: Spec-tacular. Whitney updates us on where to buy prescription glasses online, which I’m going to do really soon.

How can we recreate/mimic the Anthropologie fashion look, but on a budget? | Ask MetaFilter.

A CUP OF JO: Lookmatic glasses. This is a reminder to myself to get myself some new glasses this year.

· comments [10] · 02-27-2012 · categories:links · shopping ·

guilt-free cookie

cookie with a sticker that says Vegan - Bike Delivered

Scott found this, the most guilt-free cookie I have ever seen. Bike delivered! He spotted it in, where else, Portland.

· comments [12] · 02-24-2012 · categories:misc ·

links: misc

I work for a large multinational tech company, I regularly hire woman for 65% to 75% of what males make. I am sick of it, here is why it happens, and how you can avoid it. : TwoXChromosomes. At Reddit.

The secret language of stamps, at Kottke.

moop :: handmade: Victory in a small space… What an order of 300 bags looks like. The stacks are so inviting and exhausting at the same time. Good work people of Moop!

Botanists agree to loosen Latin’s grip – The Washington Post. “Latin is a bit like a zombie: dead but still clamoring to get into our brains.” Via The Morning News.

20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes | LitReactor. Via The Morning News.

· comments [4] · 02-22-2012 · categories:links · misc ·

links: travel

Recommendations for unusual travel experiences (not just places) in or near Paris? | Ask MetaFilter. I love the list of things they hope to do.

36 hours in Vancouver, British Columbia – NYTimes.com. Via Maggi over at Pinterest.

Ask Someone Who Recently Went to Iceland | The Hairpin.

The Book Larder « Tea & Cookies. A whole store devoted to cookbooks and cooking demonstrations here in Seattle.

· comments [4] · 02-20-2012 · categories:links · travel ·

fortunes

fortunes from cookies

We had a light installed in our kitchen last week (yay for being able to see what we’re chopping) and I decided to clear away this stack of fortunes that has been collecting on our magnet board for a while. Most of the fortunes are sweet but there is one that is a little haunting: “All is not yet lost.” Somehow that just doesn’t strike me as upbeat.

  • Someone is speaking well of you.
  • Your road will be made smooth for you by good friends.
  • Luck is coming your way.
  • The current year will bring you much happiness.
  • Your love life will change for the better.
  • You will have a happy adventure soon.
  • A television program will give you great impetus.
  • You will enjoy good health, that is your form of wealth.
  • You will read some information that will help you.
  • You will soon be involved in many gatherings, parties and communications.
  • The time is right to make new friends.
  • You will receive constructive advice today.
  • Your popularity will increase.
  • Gain a fresh viewpoint, as such should be very helpful.
  • You may have to be patient: think, listen and heed signs.
  • Everything is not yet lost.

· comments [25] · 02-17-2012 · categories:misc ·

links: the home

DIY vertical garden tool from flora grubb | Design*Sponge. I love this.

Tempaper, Self Adhesive, Repositionable, Temporary Wallpaper. Via Fab.

swissmiss | Polaboy. A giant photo in a frame, I need this.

jk jk: DIY: Nail and String Letters. I love this! Via Petite Elefant over at Pinterest.

From Candlestick to Succulent Garden: How to Make Mini Color-Dipped Planters! » Curbly.

Accenting Walls with Temporary Wallpaper and Fabric « Real Estate News & Tips.

Cleaning a Mercury Spill – TodaysMama. How to deal when you break a CFL bulb.

Little Green Notebook: Bedroom. How to hang really big artwork, via Craftzine.

· comments [4] · 02-16-2012 · categories:links · the home ·

links: food

Happy Birthday! | at One Food and Life. For Top Pot Donut’s 10 birthday Jess shares the recipe that started it all: Top Pot’s Glazed Sour Cream Old Fashioned Doughnuts. Yum.

Shaping Up Seven-Layer Dip | The Feed.

How To Make a Sourdough Starter « Tea & Cookies, and Part Two, with delightfully detailed photographs of how it should look at all stages.

Clove-Scented Sidecar › shutterbean. Yes please!

Milk Tea with Tapioca Pearl Ice Pops Recipe – CHOW.

Citrus Salt Recipe – 101 Cookbooks.

lasagna bolognese | smitten kitchen. Oh my goodness, I am going to make the heck out of this.

Party Popcorn | She Wears Many Hats. Colorful sprinkles on popcorn, so smart!

· comments [5] · 02-15-2012 · categories:food · links ·

ooh la Rue La La [a sponsored post]

Rue La La

In addition to having me along for their party at Alt Summit earlier this year Rue La La gave me a bit of store credit to spend so that I could report on what the experience was like. Sounds like a crazy good dream right? I’m not going to lie to you, it completely was.

In case you’re not already familiar with them here are the basics: Rue La La is a curated shopping site that offers impressive discounts on goods or coupons for women, men, kids and household stuff on a daily basis and travel and local finds for a bunch of cities on a weekly basis. In addition to shops featuring single brands they have collections of things like winter boots or summer dresses or, a recent favorite of mine, things that will get you ready for Sunday brunch (they had everything from specialty coffee to electric griddles). They carry a lot of high end brands and I have to admit I was a little afraid I might not find anything for our mostly practical household but it turns out that I shouldn’t have worried, they have a great mix of both the things you need and delicious eye candy (at impressive discounts). Rue La La is one of the oldest quick sales sites, have a huge number of shoppers and, I can say with confidence, are super nice people.

Rue La La

One of the things I like about Rue La La is that when you buy your first item you pay $9.95 for shipping and for the next 30 days your shipping is covered. I bought a good featherbed, pictured above, which came in a ginormous heavy box and I was grateful for that shipping price. And, oh my gosh people, having a featherbed is like sleeping on a cloud that is warm but not too warm and puffy but not too puffy. When it arrived we unpacked it and laid it out on the bed to let it fluff up (I hereby heart baffles). Scott flopped down on it and refused to leave for a solid ten minutes. We love it.

It is good to keep in mind that shipping is covered when you find something you like because things get sold out very quickly. One morning I found a fantastically priced Diane Von Furstenberg dress (silk print with a twist front, I could have worn it for so many occasions) and in the time it took me to decide between two sizes they were both sold out. Urgh. I refilled my coffee cup and by the time I got back to the table all of the sizes were sold out. Poof. The site has a shopping bag but they also wisely offer a “Quick! Buy It” button that I learned to use for items I was certain about. Each of the shops stay up for 48 hours and if you spot something you wanted but is sold out there is a “Still Want It?” option you can use and the folks at Rue La La told me that about 50% of the time they are still able to get the deal for you.

Rue La La

Rue La La has mobile apps for iPhone and Android and I found the iPhone app was very easy to navigate. I used my phone to buy the gold flats pictured above while lying in bed, it kinda made me feel like a princess so I took a photo from the same spot. If there is one thing I learned at Alt Summit it’s that I’ll use gold flats far more often than I might have thought. (You are secretly jealous of my pink polka dot pajama pants.)

Sales go up daily and most appear at 11 a.m. East coast time, meaning they are at 8 a.m. here on the West Coast. At first I was feeling a little like “everything has to happen so early here” but then a friend pointed out that she was able to shop Rue La La on her phone while on the bus on her way to work in the mornings. Another friend chimed in to say that she browses the new arrivals while she is walking her dog in the morning. I find this completely charming. It’s like we are living in the future.

Rue La La

Scott’s rubber boots got a hole in them so we replaced them with this far nicer looking pair of slip on shoes. These were meant to serve as mud shoes for chores but he reports they are so comfortable they might become shoes for trekking around the city on particularly rainy days instead.

To help you stay on top of sales that you’re interested in Rue La La lets you set up notices. They show you what’s coming up in the week or so ahead and you can choose to have the site email or text you when the shop goes live, and there is a nice little checklist layout for it so it takes seconds to do. I was really impressed with how easy they made it. When you do order something your confirmation and shipping notice emails come from “the Rue La La Concierge” which made me laugh.

Rue La La

Rue La La surprised me with the variety of what they have. I knew they offered lots of clothing and accessories but I also found kitchen appliances and gadgets, home decor, luggage and even modern fireplaces (which I wish we had a spot for, I’d be all over that). I have to admit I was not expecting to find wine among the sales. The bottles pictured above are two single vineyard varieties and I’m sort of in love with the dramatic labels. We’re planning on having friends over to share. I feel weirdly grown up to have such an abundance of matching wine in my house.

One of the things I was most surprised by was how helpful I started to find the weekly travel sales as they introduce me to new hotels or destinations. We’re headed to New England in the fall and twice now lovely inns have been featured that would be perfect (and I swear sound like they are located right inside Stars Hollow). While the dates of the deals didn’t coincide with our trip I am still happy to have learned about a great place I didn’t know about before. Also, I have to admit, the island getaways are like travel porn in the middle of a gloomy day here. Rue La La also has a selection of local deals for the cities of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington DC and (hooray) Seattle (we’re usually not on those sorts of lists). As with travel I’ve been introduced to spots around Seattle that I wasn’t familiar with yet.

Thanks for letting me a have a good look inside what you do, Rue La La!

Rue La La gave me credit to use to purchase the items I talk about above but all the opinions and observations are my own.

· comments [81] · 02-13-2012 · categories:shopping ·

links: Valentine’s Day

Homemade Candy Necklaces – Bakingdom. Wow! Via Recipe Girl on Twitter.

1st Annual Valentine’s Day Tea Party at Sweet Anthem, an indie perfume shop here in Seattle. Sip tea and sniff perfumes? Sounds lovely.

My Funny Valentine – Our Finds. I love all of the cards they collected here.

make grow gather – valentine’s day cookie packaging.

Hungry Happenings: A sweet Valentine’s Day dessert – Conversation Heart Cheesecakes. Cute!

Valentine’s Day Drinking Straws @Craftzine.com blog. A simple and festive idea. And I already have those red and white straws!

Ask a Clean Person: This Valentine’s Day, Say It With Jewelry Cleaner | The Hairpin. A Clean Person shares a recipe for DIY jewelry cleaner, yay!

DIY: You Blow Me Away Valentines, at Design Mom.

Easy Homemade Peppermint Candies | A Chow Life. So sweet!

Sally J Shim – Fabric Heart Valentines.

· comments [6] · 02-10-2012 · categories:holidays · links ·

Valentine’s Day Surprise Cracker

My love of traditional English Christmas Crackers (the paper sort, not the edible sort) has been well documented. Since it takes two people to open one they seem like a good choice as a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day as well. (With my apologies to traditionalists, sorry about that.)

I found the supplies I needed at a local shop and decided it was meant to be. I added a few decorative details in my instructions below that can be skipped to make it easier. All you really need are a tube (a paper towel tube will work great), some cracker snaps (a specialty crafts store should have them), some decorative paper (crepe or tissue paper) to wrap it all up in and some fun little things to put inside. I decided to go for a few handmade details:

[Read more →]

· comments [33] · 02-8-2012 · categories:holidays ·

links: food

Cakes Throughout U.S. History [INFOGRAPHIC] | The Feed. The page has lots of links to recipes, yum.

Orangette: I am here to tell you, at Orangette. “…that a person can never have too many granola recipes. Or, I don’t know, maybe you can, but hey, four is a totally reasonable number.”

What cookies go well with scotch? | Ask MetaFilter.

How to make bacon | Poise.cc.

Bake and Shake: How to make Really Great, Really Wonderful No-Knead Sourdough Bread.

Chocolate Royal Icing · Edible Crafts.

· comments [5] · 02-7-2012 · categories:food · links ·

links: holidays

How To Make Scratch-Off Polaroids (V-Day Idea!) – Hello Brig. Simple and very very good idea. (I’m thinking naughty photos would work well here, aren’t you? C’mon, you know you are.)

Mini Crepe Paper Flower Favors DIY at Oh Happy Day. So sweet.

Easy DIY: Heart-shaped Surprise Ball | Celebrate the Big & Small. You know how much I like surprise balls.

Nerds in Love: Top 10 Valentines for Geeks  | Mighty Girl.

· comments [3] · 02-6-2012 · categories:holidays · links ·

thing I like: Dorot frozen garlic and herbs

Dorot frozen herbs

I have to admit something to you, I only found these because I was attracted to the packaging which is just so European-y. I was walking down the frozen foods aisle at Trader Joe’s trying to avoid looking all the delicious cookies straight in the eye and these bright red trays just screamed, “We are imported! Come fondle our clever packaging!” But I’m glad I found them because I love this stuff. These are small frozen cubes of minced garlic or herbs which you pop out of their tray like ice cubes. So darn easy. You might not think that mincing some garlic is all that much work but my lazy self only sees a cutting board, knife and garlic press that I’ll have to wash later and on a weeknight I’d rather not. I’ll still prep fresh garlic for our slower paced weekend meals but for now I love my frozen stash. I found these at Trader Joes and, ooh, according to Dorot’s website they also have ginger, cilantro, dill and chili.

Dorot frozen herbs

· comments [58] · 02-3-2012 · categories:uncategorized ·