The very first time I wore these sandals Scott and I played hookey on a weekday, took a long bike ride, pushed our bicycles three blocks up an impressively steep hill to get barbecue and beer (worth it!) and biked all the way back home. Never once did I notice my sandals, they worked like I’d spent a summer breaking them in. I have fussy old lady feet and annoyingly tender skin so this lack of a breaking in period was amazing.
I bought these to work as a comfortable, functional sandal that doesn’t look too sporty. (At least not here in Seattle where we tend to look like we’re just coming back from a Class 2 hike and/or a shopping spree at REI.) I’ve been surprised at the number of times women stop to ask me where I got them.
The straps on top look decorative but offer distributed support so none of the areas rub or pinch. The sole of these shoes is all business with lightweight and very flexible rubber, you can bend your foot all the way to stand on tippy toe without the shoe giving any trouble. The straps around the ankle aren’t so high that they hit underneath my ankle and they are adjustable with velcro, this is a rare exception to my zero-Velcro tolerance.
There are a few versions of the Kayenta. I have the Kayenta Suede and the Kaytenta Studded. The suede version will probably stand up to getting wet but not soaked. It’s a nice black all over look and the logo is subtle, the sole is lined in suede. The studded version has dark gray rubber soles and the pattern in the straps is actually metallic gold, something that doesn’t come across in the pictures online. The Kayenta and Kaytenta Studded have fabric straps lined with leather. Both the Suede and Studded versions are equally comfortable to me, though I did buy one pair at size 7 and the other at size 7.5 so it’s worth trying a few sizes to be sure. As you can tell I’m really really happy with these and recommend them if you’re looking for an everyday summer sandal that you can walk (and bike) miles in.
· comments  · 06-6-2013 · categories:shopping ·
I’d had a crush on Scarfshop scarves for a while. They are on blogs a lot but it wasn’t until I got to see Ugly Green Chair‘s growing collection that I ordered my first one. Very shortly followed by two more. They are a crinkly cotton that manages to be soft and lofty and warm all at the same time. They are hand dyed in small batches and in addition to the 20 regular colors there is monthly special color. I have Fog, Eggplant and Teal in the Giant size which is long enough to wrap around my neck twice, or once if I want it to drape dramatically. I love them more than seems entirely reasonable.
· comments  · 05-22-2013 · categories:shopping ·
Lucy Knisley is a comic book artist who writes about her food, travel and her life. I’ve been a fan for a number of years so I was extra excited for her newest book, Relish to come out. (And I was excited to meet her when she came to Seattle on her book tour which is now, sadly, over.)
Relish is a memoir of how food has shaped her life as she was growing up and she tells funny and touching stories, ending each chapter with an illustrated recipe. I love this and now find myself wishing I could get illustrated versions of all recipes. I especially like the way she laid out the Huevos Rancheros, shown above. I made her Spaghetti Carbonara and it was the best I’ve ever tasted.
She’s got a bunch of other books as well as a collection of what anthologies she’s done work for. I really must check out her book French Milk, and I have been meaning to get myself her Cheeses Is Love poster for a while now. Relish, by the way, is the perfect thing to have to read on that electronics-less period of time during airplane take off and landing. I have to admit even when I could pull out my iPhone I kept reading the book. I’m looking forward to seeing what she is up to next.
· comments  · 05-6-2013 · categories:books ·
After out Reidel O wine tumblers finally all cracked I set out to find wine glasses that were perfect and landed on these Reidel Vivant Pinot Noir glasses sold at Target. We live near pinot growing country and find ourselves drinking that most often but I think this shape works just fine for all varietals, we don’t get too fussy around here. I looked at all the fancy brands at various kitchen stores but kept coming back to surreptitiously open a box of these in the aisle at Target to hold them.
These glasses have everything I like: a dramatic bowl, a nice thin lip, and they are easy to replace. They are a nice height too, the stem isn’t too long (I tend to knock over taller wine glasses) or so short you cannot get your fingers around it when you’re feeling like holding the glass properly. We bought ours in a set of 8 and all but one has held up to hand washing for well over a year now. And most pleasingly, they made a beautiful ringing noise when clinked. For how much these get used in our house the price is worth it, and they were even more affordable because we used a few Target gift cards for the purchase.
· comments  · 03-12-2013 · categories:shopping ·
Muji touchscreen knit striped gloves, tragically they are sold out. Via Girls of a Certain Age.
all buttoned up.: Printz. Three online photo printing services compared, with one clear winner.
Thermoworks Thermapen and Oven Thermometer – Cooking For Engineers. This links to a giveaway, and I wanted to note that this is their favorite.
GABIFRESH: Totally InStyle. Congrats on Gabifresh who announced her plus-sized fashion column in InStyle!
Baguette Bag | The Urban Grocer. It’s perfect! A zip up bag to keep your fresh baguette warm on the way home from the bakery.
Links from the Food Universe, delicious:days. I’m looking right at her recommendation for the GIR Spatula here. I love spatulas that don’t need to be taken apart to be cleaned, and this one comes in so many great colors.
Not too serious, not too silly board games | Ask MetaFilter. I like the cooperative games like Pandemic, it’s the players against the game itself.
· comments  · 01-25-2013 · categories:links · shopping ·
We bought a microwave! I’ve often said that we didn’t have room in our tiny kitchen but this one is a microwave that fits into a corner (queue triumphant music). The back is rounded (shown below) and since it’s as tall as it is wide it doesn’t take up too much countertop space. It’s cute right? It looks like those big tvs some of us grew up watching. When we were surveying the kitchen trying to figure out where we could put a microwave we decided the corner was really the only option and I was shocked to find out that somebody actually makes one.
This little number goes by the sexy name of the Whirlpool WMC20005YW which is white. There are also black and brushed silver options.
Showing the rounded back of the microwave, cute huh?
The back of the inside of the microwave is also rounded, there is a turntable inside. The microwave is tiny but it does fit an 11-inch dinner place. In the picture above I showed some plates from Ikea (the Ikea 365 brand) that feel like really large plates but fit just fine inside. It’s got buttons for Defrost, Reheat and Popcorn and you can choose your power level.
Note: This is what I originally said, see the next paragraph for why the microwave is awesome and I’m dumb. It’s not all perfect though. The inside of the microwave is only six inches high from the surface of the turntable to the top of the inside and it looks like it might be a bit cramped. That said, the orange mixing bowls shown above are pretty tall and fit inside with plenty of clearance. When I am taking a soup bowl out of the microwave it does take a little more care since I have to grab it from both sides to ease it out. The microwave lacks a keypad so you cannot just type in “2-0-0″ to zap something for two minutes, you have to hold down the time button. It doesn’t take long for it to count up to the 2:00 mark (it counts by five second increments for the first minute, 15 second increments for the second minute and then thirty seconds after that) but it’s not quite as convenient as being able to hit a few buttons. There is an “add 30 seconds” option for when things area already heating and I’ve already started taking the lazy girls option of hitting the heating button just once, hitting start and then pressing the “add 30″ button a few times once it’s already going. These are all compromises I was happy to make for something that doesn’t take up all my countertop space.
Update: Martha mentioned in the comments that you can put food inside, close the door and hit the start button to get 30 seconds going, then you can just hit the start button again for 30 second increments. Which is perfect! Huge thanks to Martha for pointing out the lazy shortcut I was apparently too lazy to find on my own. I will note that this is in the manual, I just didn’t actually read it.
It’s the first time in years and years that we’ve had a microwave. We decided to get one because we’ve pretty much cut bread out of our diets and the toaster wasn’t getting much use. Up until now we’ve reheated leftovers by steaming them on the stovetop, a process which works out nicely but does take a wee bit more time than a microwave. Aaaand since our schedules mean we don’t end up home together for dinner most nights having the option to zap leftovers was sounding better and better. Since we got it I’ve been making excuses to heat things up and I stand there watching them turn around and around like I’m six years old again.
· comments  · 01-23-2013 · categories:shopping ·
Which post-Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories are worth reading? | Ask MetaFilter.
The First Canon Lenses You Should Buy | The Wirecutter.
ThinkGeek :: Static Electricity Eliminator. A small battery-less gadget that attaches to your keychain and helps you dispel (or know when to) static electricity. I need this because during dry conditions I grow fearful of the pain that I associate with touching my car door. Via Ask Metafilter in a question regarding dry winter air and getting continuously shocked by pushing a cart at Costco.
outgrow.me, a marketplace for the successfully funded and produced Kickstarter campaigns. Via Swiss Miss.
MAKR. A shop full of simple leather, canvas and metal goods. I like all the bags and wallets but what I’m really drooling over is those hooks! Via Freshly Picked.
· comments  · 01-8-2013 · categories:links · shopping ·
My friends Freshly Picked and The Alison Show got together as The Craft Pack and made a book full of delightful and easy (really, seriously) DIY holiday gifts. The book is called A Hip Handmade Holiday: Gifts For Everyone On You List For $10 Or Less and I super duper love it. It’s a PDF download and includes nine how-to videos, pro tips and lots and lots of printables.
Susan and Alison gave a presentation at Camp Mighty last month and Alison said (to applause) that if your idea of crafting is printing something onto sticker paper and slapping it on a jar, then this book is for you. There are also project with great instructions that teach you a technique and give some room to improvise if you’d like.
There are projects for women, men, pets, the house, things to treasure for years and those gifts for last minute print-and-glue moments. Susan and Alison have curated their offerings incredibly well so the book offers just a few projects for each category but every single one is gorgeous, clever and well explained. If you want to follow each project by the numbers they’re great, but there is also room to use the technique as a starting point. There are pro tips and how-to videos scattered throughout the book. The printables include every holiday card you could wish for, all the stencils you need and stickers to cover treats served in jars, paint cans and bottles.
I’m highly impressed with the balance they’ve struck here and if this is the type of quality that can come through non-traditional forms of publishing I clearly need to be paying closer attention. Susan and Alison have labeled this book “No. 1″ and I hope there are many more to come.
I’m a little obsessed with the Ho Ho Ho pillows.
Just so you know: If you buy the book through the link here I get a percentage. That percentage goes right back into hosting costs for this here website which are doubling due to higher traffic. This isn’t something I’m complaining about. Just, you know, noting. So thanks.
As a way of saying hello The Craft Pack is offering a $50 Michael’s gift card to Not Martha readers. Yay, thank you The Craft Pack!
If you’d like to enter just leave a message with this post, and if you want answer this question: Have you ever sent a DIY gift to a family member? What was the most successful or the least? (My answer: a trio of candied nuts were beloved, but the hand knit scarves mostly got a polite thank you.) You’ve got until next Tuesday, Dec. 18th at 12 noon Pacific (my) time to enter, at that point I’ll close comments. The fine print applies. Good luck! Closed, thanks to everybody for entering!
· comments  · 12-13-2012 · categories:books · christmas ·
Earlier this year I accidentally donated our pepper grinder to Goodwill. Don’t worry, it was clean. We’d been decluttering the kitchen and my just washed and reassembled clear lucite pepper grinder went into the donate box. I replaced it with this OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder which isn’t as pretty but I love it. The part you grab to turn is rubberized so it’s easy to grind. But most importantly for me, the actual grinding bits are at the top. You have to flip it over to grind over food but this means that when I retrieve it from it’s little kitchen shelf any loose pepper doesn’t fall out. Which is great because in my awkward and tiny kitchen I store the pepper grinder on a spot over my head. It’s easy to set the grind, and the other end unscrews so there is a nice wide opening for refilling. Two kitchen gadget thumbs up.
· comments  · 12-4-2012 · categories:food · shopping ·
Urban Craft Uprising, the winter edition, is coming up very soon here in Seattle! It’s December 1st and 2nd, 11am to 5pm at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. As usual there are free craft demos and book signings as well as a swag bag for the first 100 people. Don’t wory, if you cannot make it in time to grab a bag they have have an hourly raffle. And this year there is a $1 coat check, so hopefully those aisles will be a little easier to navigate (the show is nearly too popular for it’s own good). I’m excited by all the artisan food vendors they have, and the number of new vendors as well. This is my favorite sort of shopping!
· comments  · 11-26-2012 · categories:holidays · seattle · shopping ·
swissmiss | Pixel Ruler. Why did this not come into my life earlier?
Klein Bottle Openers | Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.
General Store & Community Market | MARKET | west elm. I’m digging West Elm’s curated marketplace.
ThinkGeek :: Portal Cookie Cutters. I want these!
Introducing Mark and Graham at Apartment 34. Erin invites us to see Williams-Sonoma’s latest shop, that will fill your life with awesome monogrammed goods.
My New Hygge and West Wallpaper is HERE!, Lisa Congdon. I am absolutely loving this wallpaper and eyeing my house to see if it might fit somewhere.
Get Cabiria High End Plus Size Into Stores by Cabiria Style — Kickstarter. This campaign looks worth backing, I even fell for the very first dress they show on their Kickstarter page. I love that one of the extras is a coloring book.
· comments  · 11-12-2012 · categories:links · shopping ·
I have serious cardigan envy. I cannot wear wool, not even cashmere, so each year I gaze longingly at the cozy sweaters other people wrap themselves in. This year I decided I needed a big, enveloping Vince-like sweater coat. (A note to Vince: I will pay your Vince-prices if you make me a wool- and yak-free sweater to buy. Please?) I need this sweater so I have something appropriate to snuggle into when I am inevitably seated too close to the front door of a restaurant where the oh so cold air keeps getting let in, my current plan of many layers of fleece and multiple scarves is getting old. Here is what I’ve found so far:
On the left: The Manon cardigan by Line, at Saks Fifth Avenue. I love this sweater so much I’m considering buying a second. The collar is snuggly like a scarf, the sleeves are tight enough that they don’t get in the way when you’re eating dinner, and the nice deep pockets give you a spot to hide your phone. This looks dark gray from a distance but it’s made up of teal and taupe yarns that add some nice depth up close.
(You can also find the Manon in charcoal being sold under the John&Jenn label right now. It’s on sale, so no returns, and note that shipping from that Line specific site, which is in Canada, to the US will be about $30.)
On the right: The Hinge Scallop Cardigan at Nordstrom. This is nice and slouchy, the knit is dense and it feels like it’s hugging you. The sleeve cuffs won’t get in the way, but there aren’t any pockets. As far as beige goes this is a cool toned beige (Stone Cobbler is the listed color). The only reason I won’t be keeping this one is that I personally look terrible in the color no matter how much I keep trying to convince myself I can pull it off.
Does anybody out there have any secret spots where one can find cozy knitwear that is great looking and doesn’t have any wool? Please do share, I’m running out of places to look!
· comments  · 11-1-2012 · categories:shopping ·
Looking for some serious, stylish, comfortable shoes that are New York fashion AND all-day-walking compatible. | Ask MetaFilter. “Here’s a secret for you. One of the reasons New York women carry big hand bags is for their shoes.”
Sally J Shim – Talking Hands Tattoos. Pretty brilliant temporary tattoos.
swissmiss | String Art Necklace.
New at Purl Soho: Utility Canvas! – the purl bee. I love the Utility Canvas bags, and they come in a bunch more colors than last time I checked in on them.
· comments  · 09-28-2012 · categories:links · shopping ·
When I was getting ready to head off to NYC for the HP/Project Runway trip I ran into a neat series of coincidences. I asked Rena Tom for a recommendation and she pointed me towards Sarah Loertscher, a jewelry designer right here in Seattle. Rena wasn’t aware of this but it turns out that Mila Hermanovski (who appeared on Season 7 of Project Runway as well as Project Runway All Stars) had commissioned Sarah to create a jewelry line for her Fall/Winter 2012 runway show. Sarah has a set of earrings, Structure Earrings No.25, from the runway collection for sale on her site which happened to be the same as the pair of earrings Mila wore when she appeared on Episode 3 of the current season of Project Runway. And then I found out that Mila was working with Jamie of Design Milk and would be joining us for the trip.
Mila was delightful and I really enjoyed chatting with her. And on the first day of the trip she wore Sarah’s Hex Bracelets.
Sarah told me that Mila snagged this necklace off of one of the models after the runway show so it became known as Mila’s necklace. She was wearing it at the Project Runway 10th Anniversary Party, shown above.
The earring that Mila wore in episode three of season ten of Project Runway.
The three images above belong to Sarah Loertscher, used with permission. Top image, Left: Mila Hermanovski and Jamie Derringer at the Project Runway 10th Anniversary Party, Mila is wearing a necklace made by Sarah Loertscher. Right: Mila Hermanovski wearing Sarah Loertscher’s Hex Bracelets, photo taken with permission, obviously. Apologies for the small images, both are from my Instagram stream.
· comments  · 09-26-2012 · categories:shopping ·
My friend (and old conference roommate) Gayla Trail has published a delightful book called Drinking In The Summer Garden which is available in both paperback and e-book format. If you’re in the midst of gathering what has grown in your garden, or if you are like me and a little clueless on where to start, this book will be incredibly helpful. It is full of recipes for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, infusions and syrups and a spread of both sweet and savory foods. You can take a peek at some pages over here.
Gayla’s site You Grow Girl keeps up with her gardening and she’s published three books that make even me think gardening and container gardening is something I might be able to handle: You Grow Girl, Grow Great Grub: Organic Food From Small Spaces and Easy Growing: Organic Herbs and Edible Flowers from Small Spaces. She’s pretty awesome.
· comments  · 09-6-2012 · categories:books · food ·