Found @ Etsy » Fall for Autumnal Vintage

October 18, 2012

Bright Wall Vintage Ceramic Mug Trio
Bright Wall Vintage King ThermosBright Wall Vintage American Tourister SuitcaseBright Wall Vintage SX-70 Polaroid Camera
Bright Wall Vintage Red Enamel SaucepanBright Wall Vintage Renauld Tortoiseshell GlassesBright Wall Vintage Green Enamel Fondue Pot
Bright Wall Vintage Smith-Corona Galaxie Twelve TypewriterBright Wall Vintage Southwestern Wool BlanketBright Wall Vintage Children's Book Trio

Chilly nights, cozy blankets, steaming mugs of cocoa…
It’s Autumn on Lo’s List!

The air’s turning brisk, the leaves are changing, school is back in session… it must be autumn! I’m already missing those long, lazy days of summer, but there’s something so delicious about the season of cozy wool sweaters and steaming mugs of tea. The onset of chilly nights calls for a bit of warmth around the house, and these fabulous finds over at Bright Wall Vintage are just the ticket for creating that autumnal charm.

1. Mug Trio:One of my favorite cold-weather treats is a cup of hot cocoa — especially the ultra-luxurious dark hot chocolate from Burdick. Sip that chocolatey indulgence in these cheery floral mugs.

2. King Thermos: Always on the go? Take your cocoa with you in this air pot Thermos from King. Hold enough cocoa for you and your friends whether you’re romping through the woods or swimming in a sea of cubicles.

3. American Tourister Suitcase: Go away for the weekend in style with this covetable American Tourister suitcase. It’s just the right size for a couple days of drinking in gorgeous fall foliage, or a getaway to wine country to celebrate the harvest.

4. SX-70 Alpha 1 Polaroid Camera: Capture the beauty of autumn leaves with a classic collectible like this SX-70 Alpha 1. Instagram may be the way of the future, but nothing is as magical as seeing a Polaroid snapshot develop before your eyes.

5. Enamel Sauce Pan: Nothing says welcome home like a pot of something delicious simmering away on the stove. Let this sweet saucepan fill your kitchen with the scent of spiced cider or mulled wine.

6. Fondue Pot: Speaking of kitchens, I’m a sucker for cold-weather comfort foods. Whether you think it’s classic or hopelessly retro, hot melty cheese never fails to delight. This darling avocado-green pot is its own excuse for a fondue party. And don’t forget the forks!

7. Renauld Eye Glasses: Ease your strained eyes with these fabulous vintage frames. Back-to-school chic never looked so good!

8. Smith-Corona Galaxie Twelve Typewriter: There’s something writerly about autumn, isn’t there? When inclement weather keeps you indoors, unleash your inner Hemingway with a wordsmith’s classic tool. With a pop of sky blue, this Smith-Corona Galaxie Twelve is the perfect addition to our growing typewriter collection…

9. Southwestern Wool Blanket: As temperatures drop, snuggle up with a luxuriant flannel blanket. Don’t you feel cozy just looking at it?

10. Vintage Children’s Books: What better way to spend an autumn day than curled up with a good book?  This picturesque set of vintage hardbacks is perfect for sharing with the young ones in your family — or the young at heart!

Go for the Gold » Grin and Bear It

August 5, 2012

Frédéric Perigot Gold Bear Bag Large Shopper

Just the right size for a heptathlon
of Olympics-watching treats!

Care about the planet? Might as well be cute about it. Let your green credentials shine with this golden shopping bag by French designer Frédéric Perigot. It tucks away adorably into a little matching golden bear when not in use. We’d bust it out to shlep around our farmer’s market provender – or, better yet, to hold a heptathlon of Olympics-watching treats: Ritter Sports bar, Kind snacks, Volvic, TJ’s trail mix, watermelon, gum and Ella’s Kitchen squishies for the little guy.

The Perigot site is definitely worth a perusal, full of utilitarian-gone-chic household wares and minimalist bags made from one of our favorite materials, Tyvek!

Go for the Gold » Bust out the Bubbly!

July 31, 2012

Sieger by Fürstenberg Sip of Gold Champagne Tumblers

Congratulations, Michael Phelps! You’ve just won your 19th medal and become the greatest Olympian ever. So now what? Bust out the Champers and get celebrating! Of course, your victorious glass of bubbly demands a vessel that’s suitably elevated. You want nothing less than Sieger’s Sip of Gold collection. These sumptuous Fürstenberg porcelain Champagne goblets come in glossy white, black or silver – and with their rim and interior gilding of 24kt gold, they should quench any Olympian’s thirst (for decadence). Yes, even yours. Snag ‘em here for a modest $200 a pop.

Eco-Friendlies » KeepCups in the Cupboard

July 21, 2012

KeepCups: BPA-free and non-toxic reusable coffee cups

So you’re a city dweller on the go. And a coffee fiend.  And a tree-hugger. You can’t do without your daily brew (or two… or three…), but you hate seeing to-go cups piling up in the recycling bin. What you need is a KeepCup – the nifty, reusable coffee cup from Melbourne, Australia.

Siblings Abigail and Jamie Forsyth were owners of a string of take-away cafés, and they worried about their contribution to our global trash problem (we have a global trash problem). Seeing no acceptable cup designs on the market (too big, too ugly), they set out to design and produce their own. The result is a line of slick cups, available in four sizes and totally customizable (so much time already wasted playing with color swatches on the super-fun site).

Our own cups will soon be making an appearance at our local Lula Bean (we ♥ you guys!). The itty bitty size, while great for YZ’s macchiato, is also perfectly toddler-appropriate. What’s more, your teething terror can chew on the rubbery bits. Not convinced reusing/reducing is for you?! Read these frightening facts and do your part already.

Kawaii! » Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake, Baker’s Man. Bake Me a (Cup)cake as Fast as You Can!

February 17, 2011

Ming Makes Cupcakes: Blueberry with Maple Brown Butter FrostingMing Makes Cupcakes: Sour Cream Fig with Cream Cheese FrostingMing Makes Cupcakes: Red Velvet with Buttercream
Ming Makes Cupcakes: Vanilla with Lemon Filling and Meringue FrostingMing Makes Cupcakes: Graham with Key Lime Cream Cheese FrostingMing Makes Cupcakes: Chocolate with Chocolate Ganache and Cream Filling
Ming Makes Cupcakes: Peanut Butter with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate GanacheMing Makes Cupcakes: Lemon with Jam FillingMing Makes Cupcakes: Apple with Caramel Frosting
Ming Makes Cupcakes: Vanilla with Strawberry Filling and Chocolate GlazeMing Makes Cupcakes: Carrot with Cream Cheese FrostingMing Makes Cupcakes: Flourless Beet Chocolate with Whipped Cream
first: Blueberry with Maple Brown Butter Frosting, Sour Cream Fig with Cream Cheese Frosting, and Red Velvet with Buttercream second: Vanilla with Lemon Filling and Meringue Frosting, Graham with Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting, and Chocolate with Chocolate Ganache and Cream Filling third: Peanut Butter with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Ganache, Lemon with Jam Filling, and Apple with Caramel Frosting fourth: Vanilla with Strawberry Filling and Chocolate Glaze, Carrot with Cream Cheese Frosting, and Flourless Beet Chocolate with Whipped Cream

I hold a very dear place in my heart for cupcakes. My own bergamot lavender cupcakes were a hit in the East Village when my friend Jodi of Sympathy for the Kettle would serve them up with frothy matcha lattes and endless pots of Ti Kuan Yin. Lately, I’ve had the growing desire to get back into the kitchen and bake up a storm (motherly instincts?). On the to-bake list are my tried and true favorite sweet-tooth recipes: navettes, speculaas, and, of course, cupcakes of all kinds.

It was thus a sweet coincidence that, over the weekend, YZ found this bonanza of cupcake ides on a perfect little site modestly titled Ming Makes Cupcakes. Each straightforward recipe is accompanied by an oozing, dripping, frosted little cake – begging for a chance in my kitchen. The only problem is: where to start?! YZ’s pining for the graham/key lime number but I’m more of a carrot cake girl myself… Guess we’re stuck making 2 batches…

Eco-Friendlies » Chop-Chop!

February 15, 2011

Geoffrey Lilge Walnut Culina Tray
Geoffrey Lilge Maple Culina PaddleGeoffrey Lilge Full Walnut Culina Tray
top: Walnut Culina Tray
bottom: Maple Culina Paddle and Walnut Culina Tray

The kitchen is such a happy place in our house: full of anticipation, tempting aromas and (mostly) great results – thanks to head chef YZ. I’ve always had quite the weak spot for kitchen supplies but, with my klutzy husband breaking most of the japanese glassware and ceramic treasures of my past life, I realize that my attention should now turn to accessories of a less breakable nature. Already a big fan of beautiful wood objects, cutting boards are a great culinary object to focus on.

For the absolute cream of the crop of artisan cutting and serving boards, look no further than Canadian Geoffrey Lilge’s sumptuous FSC-certified walnut and maple offerings. Use the x-large walnut Slab (love the huge hanging hole) to wow your dinner guests with an endless spread of charcuterie & fromage or whip out a maple Culina paddle if you’ve got some serious chopping to do. Each board is handmade to order and ships from Canada so expect about 4-5 weeks for delivery…. Hmmm, plenty of time to arrive before my birthday {ahem}.

“I happened to grow up on a commune in northern Alberta and first gained a feel for natural materials by sanding maple cutting boards in my mother’s woodshop. Growing up surrounded by woodworkers, potters and musicians introduced me not only to bushy nudists but more importantly to the gratifying acts of making and collaboration. The one object that I have held onto from that time is one of her boards, and I have come to appreciate what it symbolizes to me – the passionate spirit of the craftsperson.” — Geoffrey Lilge (read the full text here)

Geoffrey Lilge Long Walnut Hole SlabGeoffrey Lilge X-Large Walnut Hole Slab
Geoffrey Lilge Long Walnut Hole SlabGeoffrey Lilge X-Large Walnut Hole Slab
top: Long Walnut Hole Slab and X-Large Maple Hole Slab
bottom: Long Walnut Hole Slab and X-Large Walnut Hole Slab

Welcome Home » King of the Cupboard

February 7, 2011

Weck Asparagus Jar
Weck Short JarWeck Rubber Seal and Lid

I’m not going to suggest I spend my weekends canning or preserving peaches — this isn’t that kind of blog — but I can’t help loving a classic glass jar. Forget the fussy, sticky, sweaty days of making marmalade. Jars are perfect for everyday storage around the kitchen, and for those of us without much cupboard or pantry space, they’re a great way to make the usually-hidden presentable. In fact, a neat row of jars filled with nuts or grains or pasta often adds a touch of dare-I-say rustic charm to a countertop.

So while browsing one of my favorite Manhattan shops, Fishs Eddy, I was delighted to discover this affordable collection of glassware by Weck. The century-old German canning company makes sturdy jars with wide openings and replaceable rubber rings. An adorable strawberry logo on each lid completes their old-world charm.

And yes, of course, they can be hermetically sealed: you can boil and preserve to your heart’s content. Get them at Fishs Eddy, Kaufmann Mercantile, or directly through the Weck site!

Eco-Friendlies » Tenugui @ Tenukore

January 18, 2011

Tenukore Tenegui
Suwa Miya "A Delightful Moment" TenuguiSuwa Miya "A Delightful Moment" Tenugui
top: Shima Uma by Tonerico Inc., Morning in Snowy Mountains by Yuruliku, Toasts by Matsushita Kei, and Oooohashi by Noguchi Yoko Yamaguchi Yoko
bottom: A Delightful Moment by Suwa Miya

I’m a big advocate of cloth over paper products, if only that it nurtures yet another one of my collections: dish towels. So, like our inaugural Lo’s List post on the little Japanese cloth squares called Furoshiki (commonly used for gift-wrapping), its textile-sibling, the Tenugui (手拭い), is a shot to the heart. Better yet, like, there’s a site dedicated to this 35 x 90 cm cotton hand towel: Tenukore. The site sells designs by about two dozen talented designers the world around. Use your Tenukore in any number of situations: wash cloth, belt, scarf, headband, gym towel, door hanging, etc…

Tenukore Tenegui
Drill Design "Sea Bream" TenuguiDrill Design "Sea Bream" Tenugui
top: Mountain Climbing at Night by Nakamura Sachiyo, Memories Zoo by Terada Naoki, Scaffolding Builder by Emmanuelle Moureaux, and Cloudy Sky Patterns by Kashiwagi Eriko
bottom: Sea Bream by Drill Design

Top Ten » Thank You Santa!

December 28, 2010

DKNY Shaped Down Jacket
Alexander Wang Rocco DuffleBarney's SocksMaison Scotch Toggle Poncho
Mariage Fréres Lapsang Souchong TeaRestoration Hardware Cashmere HandwarmersLili's Truffles
Tretorn Snow JoggerShel Silverstein's Falling UpKanoodles
top: DKNY Shaped Down Jacket
first row: Alexander Wang Rocco Duffle, Barney's Socks, and Maison Scotch Toggle Poncho
Second row: Mariage Fréres Lapsang Souchong Tea, Restoration Hardware Hand-warmers, Lili's Truffles
Third row: Tretorn Snow Jogger, Shel Silverstein's Falling Up, and Kanoodles

Oh Santa! I almost forgive you for that flu you plagued YZ and I with this Xmas, what with all the juicy gifts you lugged down our chimney along with it. All in all, the 25th was a veritable indulge-fest, with everything on my list neatly wrapped in recycled paper under the tree. Top that with a visit from our niece Lir – who also benefited from being more nice than naughty this year – and her parents, a magnificent brunch orchestrated by YZ, and an all-out blizzard (albeit a day late) – 2010 was a keeper in the Book of Holidays.

1DKNY Shaped Down Jacket$2295

DKNY Shaped Down JacketNot that I didn’t love my very loud Burton pixel jacket, it was high time for a new winter coat. And, seeing that there’s a bun in the oven (just going to slip that one under the radar), I needed something with a wee bit of room to grow. DKNY’s classy collection of outerwear was just the place…

2Alexander Wang Rocco Duffle$875

Alexander Wang Rocco DuffleI don’t want to tell you how much time I’ve wasted drooling over the Alexander Wang Rocco bag. And now it’s mine. Santa searched high and wide for the exact model I wanted and found it at a Barney’s in Chicago. It did come with a Claus(e) teehee: no more bags ’till next Christmas. That’ll be tough.

3Lots ‘o’ Socksvar.

Barney's SocksAnyone who knows me is aware of my weakness for loud socks and this year I got a massive dose of the accessory. Thanks to Itamar & Nessa for the stunning Vivienne Westwood over-the-knee pair and to Santa for the Barney’s and Happy Socks numbers.

4Maison Scotch Toggle Poncho$93

Maison Scotch Toggle PonchoI’m a sucker for big, knitted sweaters and usually find some greats in the men’s department of some of my favorite chains. But, for a change, this Fair Isle Toggle Poncho from Amsterdam’s Maison Scotch has all the snuggle factor with a bit more femininity.

5Mariage Fréres Lapsang Souchong Tea$9.50

Mariage Fréres Lapsang Souchong TeaIf you’re a tea lover like YZ and I, then you know that any old Twinings just won’t do. And, when you’re plowing through the holidays abstaining from all the tasty Champagne, wine, Hot Toddies, and Egg Nog, it’s good to know you have the very king of tea purveyors – Mariage Fréres – to keep you warm.

6Restoration Hardware Cashmere Handwarmers$10

Restoration Hardware Cashmere HandwarmersJust in time for the big blizzard, these snuggly cashmere-covered hand-warmers from Restoration Hardware are the perfect remedy to walking in a winter wonderland. They’re still available in four of the original colors and at half price – just $10 a pop! You can also purchase replacement gel packs.

7Lili's Truffles

Lili's TrufflesI think we can all agree that Christmas and homemade goodies go hand in hand. We can always count on or favorite neighbors Lili & Thomas for a sampling of Lili’s scrumptious truffles. Check out one of our favorite foodie blogs, Smitten Kitchen, for a hazelnut/chocolate version.

8Tretorn Snow Jogger$75

Tretorn Snow JoggerI’m a total Tretorn junkie – been wearing the same style sneaker for years now – they’re just too comfy. So, it came as no surprise that these Tretorn Snow Joggers are the most foot-friendly pair of winter boots I’ve ever donned. Go on weather. Show me what you’ve got.

9Shel Silverstein Booksvar.

Shel Silverstein's Falling UpIn anticipation of our Summer bundle of joy, I’ve taken a head start on building the little one’s personal library. Alongside several Coralie Bickford-Smith designed editions, Pipsqueek will of course need all the Shel Silverstein classics. So, under the tree we found Runny Babbit and Falling Up.


KanoodlesKanoodle is the most addictive game since I first set my paws on Tetris. Colorful, compact, and with two puzzles to solve – one 2D and one 3D, this will provide you with hours of fun. Perfect for all those airport delays and that long trip back home.

Gift Guide » Buy the Best for Your Bookworm!

December 7, 2010

Blurb Gift Card
Established & Sons Landmark Table LampCampomaggi Leather Messenger BagTarget's Fish Bowl Bookends
Knock Knock Personal Library KitCustom Embossed Monogram SealMontblanc Fountain Pens
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David MitchelliBride Junior Polar Bear BookshelfOut of Print Tees The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
top: Blurb Gift Card
first row: Established & Sons Table Lamp, Campomaggi Messenger Bag, and Target’s Fish Bowl Bookends
second row: Knock Knock Personal Library Kit, Custom Embossed Monogram Seal, and Montblanc Pens
third row: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell, iBride Junior Polar Bear Bookshelf, and Out of Print Clothing’s The Catcher in the RyeTee

For some of us, the holiday season is about one thing and one thing only. Ok, two things. Ok, a bunch of things—all nicely wrapped and book-related. Because there is nothing more satisfying than winter reading, whether it’s the classic you know almost by heart, the novel everybody else already read six months ago, or the thriller you’ll never admit you couldn’t put down.

So check your friends and family. Who’s been stacking books around the chair beside the radiator? Who keeps slipping away for chapter-shaped intervals? Take note—and give them something from this list.

1Blurb Gift Cardvar.

Blurb Gift CardEverybody has a story to tell. Whether you’re sharing yours with someone you love, or you just want to give that gifted nephew his first chance to see himself in print, Blurb makes it easy to edit your own oeuvre.

2Established & Sons Landmark Table Lamp$835

Established & Sons Landmark Table LampGood books on winter nights require a good lamp. With the Landmark Table Lamp, Established & Sons sheds a whimsical light on even the most serious page. And should your eyelids flutter and your hand get heavy, guess where you can rest your book?

3Campomaggi Leather Messenger Bag$725

Campomaggi Leather Messenger BagTrain platforms, airport waiting rooms, the sticky chairs in take-out restaurants, the benches outside dressing rooms: the world is full of places where you’ll want a book. Have one always at hand in this elegantly rumpled messenger bag from Italian designer Campomaggi.

4Target’s Fish Bowl Bookends$30

Target's Fish Bowl BookendsWhile we applaud the idea of propping up Moby Dick with a goldfish, we’d probably repurpose these Fish Bowl Bookends from Target as terrariums, leaning a collected Keats against selected titanopses. Kudos to Target for always having something design-savvy at a super-reasonable price!

5Knock Knock Personal Library Kit$16

Knock Knock Personal Library KitMost of us have lent or borrowed books that never made it back. This
kit by Knock Knock is no guarantee that your set of Boys Own Adventures will remain whole in the future, but it may serve as a gentle reminder to some close, forgetful or unscrupulous friend that you know exactly where that volume’s gone…

6Custom Embossed Monogram Seal$66

Custom Embossed Monogram SealAnd even if you’ve resigned yourself to lending books that end up gifts, at least you can leave a subtle and distinctive mark on the flyleaf. There are endless sources on the web where you can have a custom seal made – just Google it! Or click here…

7Montblanc Pensvar.

Montblanc Fountain PensOf course a pencil usually does the trick. But sometimes we just give in to the pleasure of an extravagantly well-made thing. We all choose our excesses: mine’s a Meisterstück Le Grand rollerball: warm in the hand, smooth on the page, an engagement present from my fiancée.

8The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell$13

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David MitchellIn this case you can safely ignore the old chestnut about books and their covers. It looks and reads beautifully. Set in turn-of-the-19th-century Japan at the first, tentative point of meeting between Dutch traders and an isolated island nation, this new book is David Mitchell’s masterpiece.

9iBride Junior Polar Bear Bookshelf$1882

iBride Junior Polar Bear BookshelfFor readers of every age, a bookshelf (like this one by iBride) properly stocked is an object of wonder and adventure. We’re glad to see that, at last, form is following function. Two suggestions to start off a collection here: Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez and The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.

10Out of Print Clothing’s The Catcher in the Rye Tee$28

Out of Print Tees The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. SalingerNot just another crummy t-shirt. Our favorites from the collection include The Catcher in the Rye, 1984, The Hound of the Baskervilles (priced six shillings) and, dare we say it, the Hardy Boys classic The Mark on the Door. More about Out of Print Clothing here…

Found @ Etsy » Colorful Collectibles at The Sunday Times Market

November 1, 2010

top: The Sunday Times Market Front number stamp and japanese Foo Dog statuettes
bottom: The Sunday Times Market spice box and 1957 Kay Bojesen rabbit

What is a tchotchke? I would say it’s an object that you just don’t need but, somehow, are drawn towards. In the world of flea markets, antique shops, Ebay, and strange gift-givers, it’s hard to avoid the constant barrage of doodads that are daring you to find room for them in your 4th floor railroad walk-up. As our little house has started filling up with bowls of Italian glass marbles, stacks of vintage flashcards, turn-of-the-century typewriters and so forth, I’m realizing that I must become more strict with my collection curating.

So, from now on, by way of vintage, it’s only the crème de la crème of the brocante. Although Ebay has always been a fantastic resource for old school finds, I wouldn’t say it is the most pleasant of shopping experiences. Between the crap photos and the stress of bidding on something you desperately want, the pleasure of the purchase disappears. Enter Etsy. With an ever-growing group of vintage sellers, this crafter’s marketplace has become my new go-to one-stop-antique-shop. One of my favorite dealers of late is The Sunday Times Market. The Seattle-based storefront, run by husband and wife team David and Ashley, has a bright and humorous assortment of boxes, bins, signs, creatures, and kitchenwares… Their impeccable sense of taste, combined with superb photographing skills, makes perusing the pages of The Sunday Times a true pleasure. Check out the Lo’s List favorites above!

Duck Duck Goose » Brave Souls Dream of Peace

October 7, 2010

Smiling Planet’s melamine plate collection

An earthy little reminder at the bottom of a bowl of organic fruit or veg is a great way to start and end a day. Smiling Planet’s collection of 100% recycled and 100% recyclable bowls and plates, printed with non-toxic inks and free of bpa, phthalates, pvc, and lead, allows your little one to nosh, worry-free, and get in touch with his or her inner conservationist at the earliest age.

The shop’s wares are illustrated by Freddy Deane — one half of the husband & wife team that runs the entreprise. His simple, pastel-hued drawings bring to mind Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s unforgettable illustrations from The Little Prince and are accompanied by quirky one-liners like “some roar I just smile” and “am I still an elephant if I’m really small?”. Oh, and the best part? It’s Baby Lir-approved!

The current catalog of plates, bowls, and baby tees is due to expand — be sure to check back for upcoming collections of fine china, placemats, cups, bedding, posters, and more!

Welcome Home » It’s Not That You Need It: Kiosk Store

September 14, 2010

top: On/Off Switch from Mexico City, Mexico and Plastic Pocket Flask from Lohja, Finland
bottom: Cotton Kite String from Kowloon, Hong Kong and Zinc Plated Wire Basket from Texas, USA

We’ll be the first to admit it. Blogging at Lo’s List, it’s sometimes easy to get carried away in the pursuit of the top ten next best things. It’s easy to get caught on the twin, sophisticated prongs of design & marketing. Luckily, just when we need it, a site like Kiosk Store will pop up on our radar and rebuke the faster-better-brighter habits of our industry.

The Kiosk Store is probably best described as a curation of objects from around the world that you might, unexpectedly, like. Although most of the objects have some enduring history of localized production, no single style, source or category dominates here. Among the featured items you’ll find toy submarines from the States, wire dish covers from Provence, kite string out of Hong Kong and Finnish candles. While some of them might be recognizably iconic, these are not the objects you never knew you ought to want, or things you have that someone’s re-perfected. Kiosk’s presentation of plastic flasks and on-off switches is an extended paean to the persistence of the well-enough and simply made thing.

It’s also a disarmingly straightforward reflection on the links between the stuff we buy and use and the places we go. Its arrangement of products and geography feels sweetly nostalgic but honest, and its embrace of a more homely, ‘anonymous’ design-aesthetic invites us to write our own history onto the every-day things we use. Sound like a stretch? Ok — then just admire this shrimper or this wax book!

top: Beechwood Cheese Slicer from Norway and Plastic Diving Submarine from Washington, USA
bottom: 10" Wire Plate Cover from France and Beeswax Candles from Lintula Convent, Finland

Special Feature » Top Ten Tips for Allergy Relief!

June 2, 2010

If you’ve ever been an allergy sufferer or lived with one or witnessed one trying to walk from one side of a park to the other you probably know that the whole thing is just a miserable cross to bear. Although I don’t seem to be allergic to a damned thing, my little sidekick of ten years, Goobie the Cat, was pretty much deathly allergic to it all. Dealing with his terminal asthma was a daily battle of vacuuming, humidifying, checking pollen levels, and coaxing herbal supplements down Goob’s throat. I began keeping a calendar of The Goob’s daily asthma attacks, trying to find the pattern (or at least get a better idea of what was working and what wasn’t). Pair the Goobie-Cal with endless questions for our wonderful vet, Sara at Vinegar Hill, and the result was that all of us here at 16 Judge Street became asthma & allergy fighting experts.

Sadly, we couldn’t stave off the inevitable forever, and although The Goob battled his end-stage asthma for much longer than YZ & I expected, we lost our dear cat last weekend. But, he would be truly miffed if we didn’t share the wealth of allergy-fighting tricks we’ve learned from him throughout the years… Now, we’ve obviously modified the list from cat-centric to human-centric products, so PLEASE: don’t feed your cat honey, or any of the edibles in the list below. Consult your vet for the cat-friendly equivalent of those allergy fighters!!!

Dyson’s DC25 Animal Vacuum

The first step towards fighting allergens is keeping your home and office as sparkly clean & dust-free as possible. Investing in a quality vacuum cleaner will save you time and money in the long run and, certainly in my case, makes the whole tri-weekly vacuuming routine almost fun (!?!). Our pick (by leaps and bounds) is Dyson’s DC25 Animal Vacuum: not only is it the Goliath of any housekeeping lineup, the vac’s not half bad to look at either (it’s gray, purple, and red for Pete’s sake!). Aside from the obligatory lifetime HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, here are some of our favorite Dyson Animal features:

  • Mini turbine head attachment: This little add-on absolutely obliterates kitty hair and dust on upholstery – something often overlooked in the daily cleaning grind.
  • Dyson’s Ball™ technology: Although we found it a bit odd at first, the easy swivel of the base makes corners and crannies much less of an obstacle.
  • Quick-draw Telescope Reach™ wand: Sure, some of you have houses with multiple floors and staircases that connect them… For this, the Dyson extendable wand contraption would be perfect. For the rest of us living in cramped NYC apartments, the wand is a stellar way to get to those high-up spots like bookshelves, doorway frames, and the like. We dig it – our bookshelves are grateful.

Bee Raw Honey
Bee Raw Honey

Next step (and loads more fun than vacuuming) is getting your paws on some local honey. In the same way that those nasty immunization shots work by giving you a minute dose of the real thing, local honey is a great way to build your tolerance against pollen native to your area. The trick is starting with small amounts (try 1 tbsp a day at first) and slowly building up your tolerance. You need to find non-pasteurized honey, which should be easy to get at your local green market or from a local beekeeper. There are also a few websites — Local Harvest is a great one — that help you hunt down honey (and gobs of other organics) produced in your area. If you happen to live in one of the states that Bee Raw’s selection is produced in (New York, Maine, Washington, Wisconsin, Florida, California, North Carolina, and Colorado) then we suggest trying their line of honey as it is sublime, smooth, and comes in adorably designed jars!

Coway Air Purifier
Coway’s AP-1008CH Air Purifier

If you live in a bustling metropolis then chances are a whole litany of pollutants are sneaking through your windows and doors throughout the day. Enter the air purifier. Something I once considered an unnecessary luxury that only ConEd could love, a good, quiet air purifier is a must for both allergy sufferers and their cohabitants. Coway’s AP-1008CH is a super slick choice for you uncompromising design geeks out there: with a simple, flat body and little light loop at the top that changes hues according air pollutant levels. Say au revoir to that black goo up your nose…

PlusMinusZero Humidifier
PlusMinusZero Humidifier

Many asthmatics and allergy sufferers find great relief from higher humidity levels around the house (40 – 60%). YZ & I have a prehistoric central heating system in our apartment complex that makes the air so unbearably dry that we would wake up each morning with sore, scratchy throats. When Sara, Goobie’s vet, suggested trying a humidifier to help with Cat Cat’s allergies, we really had no idea what a positive effect balanced humidity levels would have on our sleep (and mornings which we’re already not so good at). Goobie loved it too: we saw his attacks reduce immediately after using the humidifier and I would often come into his room to find him snoozing right where the mist was being directed. But again, the conundrum: who wants to put another clunky, off-white appliance in the middle of a room?! Well, if you’ve got a nice wad of cash in your pocket, here’s the solution: PlusMinusZero’s humidifier is beyond lust-worthy. With almost a dozen hues to choose from, ±0’s donut-shaped humidifier sits so elegantly on the floor, you might even forget it serves a function!

Ultra Fresh Hypoallergenic Pillow
Ultra Fresh Hypoallergenic Pillow 4-Pack

Another great trick (with extra benefits) is investing in hypoallergenic bedding. Whether it’s asthma you’re fighting, or, worse: mites, bedbugs, or other household pests, having bedding that keep pollutants and creepy crawlers from finding their way to the inner fluff of it all will help you rest easy. Get started with hypoallergenic pillows like the ones above from Ultra Fresh. They’re super soft and don’t get lumpy over time like traditional down-filled cushions do. If you’re convinced, go the extra step with a hypoallergenic duvet and a hypoallergenic mattress cover.

Chamomile Tea
Chamomile Tea

There are a handful of tisanes (herbal teas) that help ease the symptoms of allergy sufferers. Just pair your local honey with a few cups of chamomile, thyme, or eucalyptus tea each day to help relieve runny noses, sneezing, etc. You can use dried or fresh herbs, just throw a tablespoon of dry or some sprigs of fresh!

Domaine D'Uby Colombard
Domaine D’Uby Colombard

Wine for allergy relief!? Yes, indeed. A certain flavonol (and natural anti-inflammatory) called quercetin is found in several foodstuffs including green, black and rooibos tea, apples, onions, apricots, cranberries, and grapes, just to name a few (there’s a nice list of quercetin foods here). The more the grapes are exposed to sunlight, the higher the levels of quercetin making wine a great source of the super-supplement. This lovely white wine from Domaine D’Uby is a great, budget way to enjoy the warming weather and stunt your allergy & asthma annoyances. If you live in the ‘Burg, head over to DOC Wine Shop for a bottle (just $10!) or get it on several online wine sites. Chin chin!

Smith's Menthol and Eucalyptus Balm
Smith’s Menthol and Eucalyptus Balm

For quick, on-the-go relief, just rub a smidge of Smith’s Menthol and Eucalyptus Balm from Rosebud Perfume Company under your snout and say achoo adieu to allergy- and cold-induced redness and skin irritation. Not only is this compact little balm cheap ($8 from Amazon) and perfectly purse-sized, the tin, designed by G.F. Smith’s niece, Linda, is to die for!

Walnuts & other Omega-3's
Walnuts & Other Omega-3’s

Omega 3’s, full of essential fatty acids, have also proven to be effective as an anti-inflammatory. More great news, foods rich in Omega 3’s are scrumptious: caviar, salmon, basil, and yes, walnuts (for a full list check here). Like the Smith family balm, this remedy is nice and portable: just tuck a small ziplock of walnuts in your bag for an afternoon allergy assault/snack. Cheap and natural, walnuts totally win over those man-made allergy drugs that just leave you exhausted and unfocused.

Innocent Probiotic Yogurt Shakes
Innocent Probiotic Yogurt Shakes

Last but not least, another delicious device for the allergy doldrums: yogurt. This, and other cultured dairy (kefir, for example) provide your body with probiotics – a living organism full of good bacterias which fight the antibody that causes allergy symptoms. Make sure to choose a yogurt that does indeed contain probiotics, as not all yogurts do. They would be listed in the ingredients as one of the following: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus reuteri and Bifidobacterium bifidum. Phew, that’s a Latin bonanza! Some of our favorites are the tried and true Fage Greek yogurt or UK brand Innocent’s line of tasty probiotic yogurt shakes, adorably called Thickies!

Found @ Etsy » So Dutch! Upcycled Plates & Friends!

April 26, 2010

Nina Invorm’s Custom Plates

The Dutch really know how to pinch a penny — something I learned over and over from my mother growing up. Sometimes the philosophy doesn’t work (ie. having to sport knock-off Converse All Stars from Payless during the painful years of junior high) but other times hits it on the nose: like these adorable polka dot- and garland-clad vintage plates, pitchers and other kitchenwares by Nina Invorm. The buck doesn’t stop there: check out her brighter-than-a-rainbow blog for eye candy galore!

Nina Invorm’s Bird Plate, Cake Plate Set, Lots of Dots Pitcher, and Postcard Set

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