Friday, August 29, 2008

Patisserie Ring

Petit four anyone? This adorable dessert is made of PVC and brass. It should be worn not eaten! The Chocolat De Rose Patisserie Ring by Tadaaki Wakamatsu is the latest addition to the designer's collection of dessert-inspired jewelry. Wakamatsu pays careful attention to detail and scale, creating authentic-looking desserts that inspire glances and gasps.

Check out more of Wakamatsu's sweet concoctions at the MoMA Design Store. Love this fresh blueberry bauble, too!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wear Your Beer

You will never have to ask where your beer is with this clever invention sold at Urban Outfitters. The "beer belt" is perfect for the fraternity party, outdoor BBQ, or tailgating. Its simple black design allows the wearer to go from day to night, how classy! Wear it low-slung on the hips or cinched high around the waist. The fashion possibilities are endless, and so are the beer choices! If beer is not for you, fill the belt with cool adult sodas like Vignette or Fizzy Lizzy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

479 Degrees, Please

Popped corn is quite tasty lately. San Francisco-based 479 Popcorn has mastered the perfect puff (at 479 degress of course) and offers some of the most interesting flavors out there. I fell in love with 479's great packaging and luckily the organic popcorn is amazing, too. The Globetrotter Collection featured here really does take you on a trip around the pop world (L to R):

Chipotle Caramel & Almond
Ginger Sesame Caramel
Pimenton de la Vera
Black Truffle & White Cheddar
Madras Curry Coconut & Cashews

I cannot wait to sample the Madras Curry Coconut & Cashew flavor! My friend Leslie introduced me to 479 with a gift box of Vietnamese Cinnamon Sugar. It was just brilliant! Thanks, Les!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Small Smart Bar

This "modern bistro" bar by CB2 sits almost 24 inches wide and 43 inches high -- making it large enough to hold 15 bottles of wine and other select bottles yet small enough to be a welcome addition to any shoebox-sized apartment.

White and gray marble shelves add a touch of nostalgic luxury while the chrome-plated iron frame keeps the design cool and modern. The price tag is suprisingly low considering the use of high-quality materials and sleek design. See the bar in detail and room settings here.

Crate and Barrel's cheaper and younger urban brand is faring quite well in Chicago, New York City and San Francisco. For those of you living elsewhere, most of their offerings are available online.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lather up a Fortune

These cute soaps in the shape of fortune cookies caught my eye while online window shopping at Uncommon Goods, a site for unique gifts and housewares. My friends Jenny and Dana introduced it to me years ago, and it has really grown to offer a great variety of useful novelties.

These soaps are handmade by Shannon and Justin Prokop, a cool couple who started making these soaps for fun in their California apartment and moved Oklahoma to expand their cleanly dreams of making all-natural soaps that are fun for everyone. Read more about them and order their soaps at Fortune Cookie Soap. I may have to try the "Chill Pill" and "Zen Garden" flavors.

For just $3.33 you can get six fortune soaps - just 50 cents each! These would be a fun decorative feature at an Asian-themed dinner party, not to mention a a great conversation starter or parting gift. Washing your hands just got fun!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Amazing X-Panding Table

One of my favorite pastimes is checking out dining tables for my future dream home. While window shopping in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco a few weeks ago, I ran into this cool table at Propeller, a modern furniture and home accessories boutique.

Instead of using a traditional leaf to lengthen a dining table, the X-Pand Dining Table features a delicately cut, wooden design feature that can be pushed in and out like an accordian to create 18 more inches of space. The more you expand the table, the cooler the center design. When you don't need the space, you can close the accordian design shut. Check out Propeller's web site to see the X-Pand table in action! The table comes in a variety of sizes and finishes, so it would look great in any home.

P.S. I tested the table's strength with the accordian wood slats pulled out all the way and it's quite sturdy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sharp Edges

This lovely oak knife block by Pascal Chamolou and Jon Eliason blends utility and design. My friend Cindy at Azaleas in New York City picked this up at Scandinavian Details while visiting San Francisco this weekend. A clear acrylic base clicks into the wood to showcase your sharp knives and protect you from the blades. Seven slots of varying sizes allow for a traditional knife collection and there is even a slot for your knife sharpener. It's on sale now for $48. Global knives would look great in this block!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tea Towel Fun for Kids

I love the modern yet rustic representation of kitchen tools on this tea towel by Danish design house Ferm Living. They are made from 100% linen which will soak up a hot mess, but wouldn't you rather hang it in your kitchen as an affordable piece of art? The tea towel comes in a yellow version too, creating a colorful pair.

This towel could serve as a fun teaching tool for your nephew who would rather play chef than doctor. Couple it with Ikea's Duktig Series of kitchen toys and you've got hours of fun ahead!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tiffin Trend

Remember in elementary school when you and your friends compared lunchboxes at the lunch table? Did you covet little Johnny's Transformers lunchbox or adore Emily's Strawberry Shortcake set? No matter which lunchbox you carried, you were creating less waste and reusing your lunchbox everyday. Why not return to the trend of BYOL and invest in a tiffin? It will inspire you to make lunch a social event again and bring good karma.

Tiffins are the latest craze in lunch containers and a favorite topic of many food blogs right now. Bento boxes are a close second, but not as practical as a tiffin which can lock, hold hot/cold food and is easier to carry. Below is a comparison of the high and low of the tiffin world so you can choose what is best for you. Stop eating at your desk and enjoy a proper lunch with friends for once! You may have the coolest lunch box again...

Tiffins at World Market
$7.99 - $9.99 each

- Cheap!
- Dishwasher safe
- Plastic comfort handle
- Cute, but not sophisticated
- 5" diameter is a squeeze
- In-store purchase only

Tiffin Set at DWR
$85 for set of three

- So so lovely with its curved edges
- Larger 5.5" to 6.5" diameter
- Available for purchase online
- Must buy the whole set
- Priced for the yuppie, not the starving artist

Visit World Wide Words for an amusing history lesson on the tiffin. Let me know if you get one!