Sunday, June 29, 2008

Penhaligon's London

Since I've been posting some more serious things lately, I thought I'd post something on the softer this is a post about perfume: specifically, Penhaligon's.

They have beautiful stores in Paris- dark and dimly lit with candles, and rows and rows of perfume bottles and a few little silver or leather things here and there.

Their most famous perfume is Bluebell, shown above.

Some Favorite Local Businesses

For geraniums for the front porch, and maybe even some lavender to plant in the backyard:
City People's Garden Store
2939 E. Madison St.
Seattle, WA 98112

For all the random little things I need to fix things up around the house:
Madison Park Hardware
1837 42nd Ave. East
Seattle, Wa 98112

(206) 322-5331

Friday, June 27, 2008

European Design and the laissezfaire blog

Found the laissezfaire blog recently, and am loving these European furniture companies:

Sweatpea and Willow
and I especially love The French Bedroom Company

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tools For Life, from the 'not martha' blog

Pulled from the 'not martha' blog, here are my favorites of user entries for "Tools for Life":

Swiss Army watches
Zippo lighter
Swing Away Can Opener
Starr Bottle Opener
Swingline Stapler
Tweezerman Tools

And, generally, both Costco and LL Bean got several votes from people who mentioned generous return policies (and, by the way, LL Bean offers free shipping and free monogramming if you use the LL Bean Visa Card).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cast Iron Pans

Cast iron pans are superior to other pans in many ways. They are non-stick, retain heat well to brown food in a way that other pans do not, are incredibly inexpensive and last forever. Care can be somewhat tricky but I've found that now that I've got it down it really isn't so bad.

The key is to properly season the pans. I actually had to go through the seasoning process I found on a website twice with mine before I got the right non-stick finish. But the results are worth it.

Lodge has many different types and sizes of cast-iron pans (the Lodge site includes instructions for seasoning and caring for cast iron). I bought an 8" Lodge skillet at the Sur La Table in the Pike Place Market, and I use it for everything, including omelettes. I also have a larger one that I bought at Crate and Barrel.

Someday I might even cook stew over an open fire with one of those big cast iron pots (not the Le Creuset kind, although these are also wonderful, but the kind you get at the general store out somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula with a handle on it so it can hang over the fire).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Uses for Old Jars

When I was a kid, we never threw away jars because my grandmother would clean them and use them for jams, jellies, and assorted other things. I love glass because of its reusability- whatever it was used for before, it can be cleaned and repurposed.

Photo from

Favorite Renovation and Furniture Stores

Here's a list of some of my favorite renovation and furniture stores. I hope to continue to add to it as I find more places and possibly even add a GMap.

Antique Liquidators
503 Westlake Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: 206-623-2740

Rockler Woodworking
3823 Stone Way N
Seattle, Washington 98103
(206) 634-3222

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Found this site and, apparently, they have a store in Seattle:

I'll be visiting soon and shopping for new doorknobs.

Cole Haan

The shoes here are sort of on the expensive side, but they last forever and look lovely when they get old. Also, they have sales- I think they have one right now- that sometimes reach 40% off or so. Great deals can be had on boots post-season. Sometimes the photos online do not do the shoes justice. I go to the store at U Village, and apparently there is an outlet up in Marysville although I have never been there. I only have one Cole Haan bag, and although I love the design I prefer the quality of Coach, and find that the prices on bags are about the same at the two stores.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Volkswagon Vanagon

When I was a teenager, I imagined that someday when I had 10 kids I would have a red Volkswagon Vanagon like this one. The 10 kids idea has lost its luster but I still like the idea of the Vanagon.

Monday, June 9, 2008


I love the idea of Wabi-sabi, which I first read about in the book, The Architecture of Happiness, by Alain de Botton. (I've linked to the hardcover edition here because I think it is such a beautiful book.)

And, related- here are some links to Seattle salvage companies:

Second Use Building Materials -- 7953 Second Ave. S. (west side of Duwamish Waterway); 206-763-6929

Earthwise Building Salvage -- 2462 First Ave. S.; 206-624-4510

The RE Store -- 1440 N.W. 52nd St. (just north of the Ballard Bridge); 206-297-9119

Seattle Building Salvage -- 2114 Hewitt Ave., Everett; 425-303-8500

Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Drawing Home", by Lauren Hirt

"Everything homeowners, contractors and students need to know to easily design and create construction and permit drawings"

Paris Vogue

Love this magazine. You can subscribe to it on for about $150/year.

If you know a little French reading this magazine is great for sharpening your language skills. A college French professor of mine advised us to read out loud even when just reading to ourselves in order to practice speaking.