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Yesterday, at some point…


Last night, One Kings Lane threw a party to celebrate their collaboration with Sister Parish Design. An elegant capsule collection of upholstered furniture that brings new life to Sister Parish’s decorating legacy. The guests were all invited to build their own bouquets, and needless to say, we came home with an armful.

May all future party favors include fresh flowers of some sort of another…

(and may you all go check out the Sister Parish for One Kings Lane collection before it sells out!)

Yesterday, at some point is a series of photographs that describe a moment I experienced during the previous day (or thereabouts). The posts are meant to be stand alone images, though at times I can’t control myself, and I end up expanding the caption into a more lengthy bit of text. Hopefully the extra information is useful, or at least interesting. If not, feel free to ignore it.

In my world utilitarian does not automatically mean ugly, damn it.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a huge difference. Why not insert a little beauty into the things we use everyday?

fire extinguisher

If I had this fire extinguisher, I wouldn’t feel the need to hide it under the sink. This solves two issues: First off, moving the extinguisher to an exposed shelf somewhere means I will now have a bit more space under the sink and might be motivated to actually organize the chaos that reigns in that forlorn area. Second, one is always more motivated to use a piece of equipment that one finds attractive. (This also goes for file folders and garbage cans, by the way.)

nest smoke detector

I can’t believe it took so long to design a good looking smoke alarm. Especially since we are ALL required to have A WHOLE BUNCH of these babies in our homes. The Nest alarm even hooks up to your phone and sends you text messages when problems arise. I actually smile now when I notice my smoke detector in the kitchen. It’s a whole new world. They also make a nice thermostat. Just sayin…

door stop

I’ve written about this before, but this door wedge is worth mentioning again. Such a huge step up from the random wooden shim or brown plastic wedge we so often encounter. It’s like moving up to business class.

plus minus zero humidifier

Finally a humidifier that you can leave out even when you have company. Brilliantly designed by Plus Minus Zero. Thank you Japan, for this and so many other things…

enamel pail from ebay

If you upgrade your plastic hardware store bucket to a (preferably vintage) enamel pail like the one above (currently on eBay) you will suddenly find yourself transported back to a simpler time when people shared things and everyone had gardens and smiles for their neighbors and there weren’t huge luxury condos going up all around you and… but wait… I digress…

And the winner is…

Poturo kettle

Our cheerful new Poturo kettle. At long last.

Finally finally, we have a new tea kettle. Our former, burnt-on-the-inside model, which I have been looking to replace for months, has been retired and this new, smaller elegant Japanese version sits in it’s place.

The beauty of the Portoru kettle lies in its simplicity. It’s just the right size, beautifully proportioned and makes me happy every time I look at it. (is that weird?) It is not super fast and modern, like an electric kettle, nor does it have a whistle, so I have to pay attention to ensure I don’t repeat my old mistakes. It’s handle is made of the same enamel as the rest of the pot, allowing for a beautiful uniformity but requiring the use of a pot holder.

And yet, despite all of it’s shortcomings, I am smitten.

As I type this, a white version is on sale on One Kings Lane, which is where we bought ours. But if you miss that opening, or are interested in a different color, try Creatures Of Comfort, where a full range is currently available, albeit without the discount.

May all of our futures be filled with delicious cups of tea.

Another thing I really don’t need but totally want, regardless

Hand turned glass jars by Boston Bottle. On Food52. Photo by Bobbi Lin

Hand turned glass jars by Boston Bottle. Available at Food52.com. Photo by Bobbi Lin

Actually, I do sort of need these glass containers because I am slowly trying to wean myself of any plastic storage for my food. And those ubiquitous mason jars can only take a person so far. That said, there is no gun bearing down on my head forcing me to buy these particular jars. But man are they lovely. And they would look so nice on my kitchen shelves. I might even be more motivated to soak and cook the growing collection of dried beans I am amassing… if only they were stored with the dignity these Boston Bottle hand turned jars afford.

Or maybe I’m just kidding myself.

Whatever. I’m sure I’ll cave within the next month and buy one or two.

At least I know myself.

Another thing I really don’t need but toally want, regardless

butter box

This item comes from a land where people get big hunks of butter from farms and put them in boxes like this one that they leave unrefrigerated on the counter, not at all worried about the butter going bad. These people are secure in the knowledge that their food is good.

I would like to live in this land.

But from the looks of this website, I should probably be moving to Denmark, which isn’t happening any time soon.

This does not stop me from admiring this butter box from afar, however. Or any of the other lovely things in the Helkak webstore…

How to fold a fitted sheet

fitted sheet

This is my husband’s version of a properly folded fitted sheet.

We tend to do our laundry on the weekends, when there is more time to spread out, and somehow it feels more OK to leave a huge pile of unfolded laundry on the extra bed for 24 hours. (Don’t ask me why, it just does. Maybe it’s because we spend most weekends in a house where there is an extra bed…) This weekend, my husband (who, it should be noted, began folding his clothes before bed at age two) took on the job of folding everything and putting it neatly in the laundry bag for transportation back to Brooklyn. He’s very organized and has recently really gotten into storing complete sets of sheets inside one of the pillowcases, so you just pull out one neat bundle and you’re all good for making the bed. A great idea if I do say so myself.

This morning I pulled out one of the aforementioned pillowcase bundles and discovered that, evidently, Josh’s folding skills do not extend to fitted sheets. (see photo above) This is ironic, as not only is he a folding fanatic, but he also oversaw the production of the incredibly useful One Kings Lane video called, appropriately: How To Fold A Fitted Sheet.

At the risk of being accused of trying to be the next Martha Stewart, I am posting this video here. Because most of us, no matter what we think, don’t really know how to fold a fitted sheet properly. And all of our lives would be vastly improved once we mastered this skill. Which takes about 5 seconds, by the way.

You can thank me later.

Another thing I really don’t need but totally want, regardless

hotpad by Alessandra Taccia

Oh just another, but way more beautiful than what I currently have, thing to place hot plates and pots on… photo courtesy of Remodelista.com

I do have a trivet made of wood and ceramic tile… I bought it in the 80′s I think, but it does the job. And usually, when I need to put a hot pot down on a wooden surface, I just use one of our felt pot holders, which work perfectly.

Neither option, however, is as attractive as this hand crafted hot pad by Alessandra Taccia which I spotted whilst trolling through old Remodelista posts instead of doing all of the other things I am supposed to be doing.

I then spent way too much time trying to figure out how to get my hands on one, but all of my attempts thus far have failed. There is an online shop, called Knots, but they don’t seem to have any products currently available.

If any of you have any better luck, please let me know. In the meantime, we can all dream…

How to fold a napkin

Ummm…I know it looks like I am turning into some kind of Thanksgiving obsessed Martha Stewart-style preacher, but I swear this is the last post of this kind for at least a few more weeks (when the next slew of holidays will be upon us and we’ll need more drink recipes and gift wrapping ideas to get us through).

My husband showed my daughter and me this video the other night, and not only did we actually find it charming and funny, but we then spent the next 20 minutes or so on the One Kings Lane blog, learning how to actually fold these various napkin styles and figuring out which one we’re going to use for our dinner table tomorrow. And by “our” table, I mean the table at my parent’s house, which is where we’re all eating our Thanksgiving meal. My mother is all about decorating a table, but luckily she seems more than willing to give up the folding of the napkins and the making of the place cards to the next generations.

Lets hope we do her proud.

Monday, Monday, or, It’s almost too late to be thinking about this but here’s some more Thanksgving related stuff

pine cone place cards

Imagine how cute these would look with little kid writing and decorations on them… photo courtesy of projectwedding.com

Here’s a great idea for placecards. And if you have kids, make them do the writing and decorating– it’ll keep them busy for at least a couple of minutes!

If you’re still looking for some kind of inspiration for your table, start with this Pinterest board to get the juices flowing!

No Turkey Day prep time is complete without a visit to Martha… Here’s a lovely idea she has for making leaf shaped trivets out of cork.

Worried that you and the family won’t have enough to talk about? Just watch movies instead. The Huffington Post serves up 13 ideas for great family(ish) films on Netflix.

I know we’re all non-commercial here and the idea of shopping with the masses on Black Friday turns our stomachs, but maybe just one teeny tiny trip to Taproot Magazine’s online shop to pick up some incredibly cute paper dolls or handmade recipe cards is fine, right?

Have you only just realized that Thanksgiving is THIS THURSDAY??? Run don’t walk over to Barnes and Noble and pick up Sam Sifton’s comprehensive Thanksgiving survival guide and cookbook. It’ll give you something to read whilst on line at Whole Foods.

Or, just relax, and start the holidays off right with a lovely hot mug of wassail. Nothing like a little spiked apple cider to help Thanksgiving (seem to) run a bit more smoothly.