Monthly Archives

July 2007

HOME + GARDEN MODERN architecture

Trend report: Pod living by Jade Jagger calls for stress-free entertaining

Pod living at The Jade 16 West 19 Street, Central Chelsea in New York

What is interesting about the Pod living concept is really the fact that you can quickly hide your mess by just closing the doors. It works like a charm if you suddenly have the urge to host a cocktail party at your place.

When you watch the media you feel that a key feature of the The Jade, a 57-unit condominium building in New York City is definitely the Pods. Developed by Yoo, a venture lead by John Hitchcox, Philippe Starck and Jade Jagger, the Pod is the realization of a principle we explored in my interior design education ten years ago.

What is the concept behind the Pod?

Enclosed within a single cube are meticulously laid-out utility rooms for the apartment. One Pod hosts the kitchen, the bathroom, the storage unit and even a washer/dryer closet as a free standing unit. Everything is hidden away with floor to ceiling doors. This design is tailored for small open space living.

If you are living in a loft, you can custom made your own Pod living. Choose the kitchen unit that you like, a closet for the entrance next to a storage unit. The pod does not have to be a perfectly rectangular shape either. This will give you more flexibility in the design of the space.

Like I said earlier, the Pod concept is nothing new. It has been studied before to find efficient way to live in small spaces over the modern eras. You can examine how luxury yacht kitchen units and RV are made to get ideas on how to place things in limited spaces.

Just remember that the idea behind the Pod is to centralize the utilities and to use it as a room separator. The more practical design will enable walking around the unit for all sides. Talk to kitchen cabinet makers to help you with the design of the unit. And make sure to include your contractor and your architect in the discussions for the technical aspects.

Not just for small kitchen

The bottom-to-top kitchen doors are not just for small spaces. You can build a regular size kitchen around that same principle. It looks sleek and neat. The door must disappear inside the unit while you are using the kitchen. The hardware is widely available nowadays.

My kitchen will be designed this way when we will be ready to build our summer house. My husband and I want a modern architecture 2-story house. I want as much as possible to integrate all the storage neatly around the perimeter of the house. I plan to use pod inspired block as room divider for the public area.

About Yoo

John Hitchcox is one of Europe’s most innovative design-based property developers. If you like design, Philippe Starck does not introduction with successful creations as diverse as packaging, everyday household products to restaurant interiors and hotel designs. Jade Jagger is a jewelry designer. Being the daughter of Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger and former fashion model Bianca Jagger, Jade is a globe trotter and a jet setter with an interesting life. Andy Warhol teaches her color theory when she was 4.

For my night post, I will introduce the second exquisite features of The Jade: its urban oasis roof terrace done in a totally different style. Be ready to get inspired by Ibiza, Spain and the Mediterranean hip lifestyle.

Sourcing:
Learn more: The Jade 16 West 19 Street, Central Chelsea in New York
Learn more: Web site of Yoo

FAMILY KIDS party

Boys and Girls birthday party themes by Pottery Barn Kids

Polka dot collection and kid decors by Pottery Barn Kids

If you have ever shop at Pottery Barn Kids, you know that the store is all about creating cute and almost fairytale environments for your children.

With all the fun kid accessories in the store, it is easy to design a theme birthday party if you shop there. Because their staff is fully aware that your kids love to entertain, Tabletop and Birthday Parties are spotlighted in their catalogue.

For play dates and celebrations, why not organize a Carnival event where kids can alternate between the acting roles of a concession seller and a Carnival visitor? Or if you entertain the kid at the beach, go with a friendly Shark luau party.

Pink and green birthday party theme

From table runners, dinnerware, table and chairs to personalized decorative items, this is the place where the kids are kings and queens. I am showing you the Polka Dot collection. The Hibiscus luau party is fun for a summer event.

Make sure to grab a Happy Birthday banner with the classic party hanging décor and a white cake stand. These items represent money well spent since you will be able to reuse them with new accessories. From a few basic elements you will can create many more new party themes for girls.

Personalized gift ideas

One thing for which Pottery barn is strong is the fact that we can put our name or initial in a lot of their exclusive products.

The rustic Thomas step stool and the personalized terry travel bag are two gift ideas that I like a lot for the young children. At this age, kids want to be treated as grownups. They are thrilled when you give them things that look like the grownup stuff.

Lots of other party themes

soccer party, baseball party, pirate party, shark luau party by Pottery Barn Kids

Other themes are the Soccer party, the Baseball party, the Shark Party and the Pirate party. In our modern society, these themes amuse boys and active girls.

The Pirates theme is well executed. It looks classier that the plates and place mats available at Toys R Us or from Disney.

One stop party central for kids

For each theme, you will find tablecloths, place mats, runners, plates, glasses, photo op canvas, hanging pennant flags, activity games and more party supplies.

This is not all. Their Birthday stationery from themed invitations, thank you cards and gift wrapping supplies look original and fun. If you are short on time, I suggest you visit a Pottery Barn Kids near you to find almost everything for your kid celebrations in one place.

A small lesson in marketing history

I assisted to a direct marketing conference in 2000 where the president (I think) of Pottery Barn was a guest speaker. I was impressed by the company approach at that event. They continue to inspire me today.

Did you know that the kid division at Pottery Barn existed because of a group of employees were desperately seeking great furniture to decorate their baby and kid rooms? They worked hard to persuade the direction that there was a market for better and more fun kid furniture. Today it sounds so obvious.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Birthday parties and celebrations at Pottery Barn Kids

BABY showers CAKES + desserts FAMILY FOOD + DRINK KIDS party

Be the queen of cupcakes in time for your next kid birthday party

Stylish cupcakes decorations by Cuppacakes and Cupcakes by Joanna Farrow

We are seeing the popularity of cupcakes at birthday parties, baby showers and even as wedding cakes.

The Cupcake wave caught Montreal over the last twelve months with the opening of several cupcake shops; we had none before. We are more used to the taste of French pastries here. So we may judge cupcakes from a different viewpoint than most Americans.

My mom often baked cupcakes for me when I was a little girl. The icing was a nicely done frosting of the right thickest and she even put sprinkles. So I fully understand the nostalgia and the deep feeling towards cupcakes that is all over the cupcakes industry. But the stylish hostess is worried.

Go for stylish cupcakes

Nostalgia is one thing but the world has evolved and even more on how we present food. I am showing you different alternatives in cupcake decoration in order for you to avoid my DON’T version taken from the style shot of Sur La Table Web site.

The stand can work but I do prefer tiered cake stands. The Wilton Cupcakes ‘N’ More Dessert Stands are available in two formats: one for mini cupcakes, ones for standard size cupcakes.

Why the DON’T cupcakes are bad and should be avoid at all costs? From a taste and health matter, there is far too much icing and sugar treats. Style wise, the decoration has no focus. It seems chaotic at best. You can do better than that when entertaining children and grownups.

So I crossed the vast universe of cupcakes to find you nicer alternatives. Strangely, a small cupcake shop in Malaysia called Cuppacakes is the winner of my style competition this morning. All pictures from the left are Cuppacakes’s creations. You have to admit that we are on a higher plain of cupcake design here.

This book (top pictures) with different cupcake decoration ideas can teach new tricks. So people complained that the recipes in Cupcakes by Joanna Farrow are so so but everyone agrees that the decorations were great.

The art of mix and match cupcake designs

What is great about cupcakes are an event is that you can mix and match flavors and decorations. The key elements are that all your decorations must share a common theme and the same color palette.

Apply the same theory that when you mix and match patterns when decorating a room to cupcake design. The effects are more interesting if you do not limit yourself to a single decorative look on all your cupcakes. Cuppacakes’s pictures clearly illustrate that fact.

Stylish with healthy choices

There is more in frosting than the rich butter cream icing. Be creative and use ingredients in moderation. Why not top your cupcake with a delicious Mango meringue, a Matcha tea cream cheese frosting or a Raspberry flavored handmade whipped cream icing? These will add new flavors for the guests to enjoy.

Making whipped creams for icing

Personally, I used icing sugar instead of superfine sugar to add consistence and put it back to the fridge before icing my cake.

Others cooked 2 tablespoons of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of milk while stirring continuously, let it cool down and add the mixture at the end to the whipped cream. I also discovered that you can stabilize whipped cream with gelatin.

If you are new to whipping cream, start with an extremely cold stainless steel bowl to whip your cold whipping (heavy) cream. Use an electric beater or an immersion blender with special attachment. Stay alert to not overbeat because you will end up with butter. Always store whipped creams in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

The commercial formula Oaetker Whip It is a popular method to stabilize handmade whipped cream. Many use gelatin, so I give you the recipe here.

How to make stabilized whipped cream?

The steps from Baking911.com to stabilize your whipped cream are:

  • Use 1 teaspoon gelatin soaked in 2 tablespoons cold water for 2 cups of cream.
  • Place water in a small pan. Sprinkle plain gelatin over its surface. Let it sit for 5 minutes while the gelatin absorbs the water and softens.
  • Stir the gelatin over low heat, until completely dissolved. Let cool, but not get cold.
  • Then, whip the heavy cream with superfine sugar until barely stiff. Add cooled gelatin all at once to cream during whipping. Stop whipping when it forms soft peaks.

I gave you enough ideas to start making stylish cupcakes. I will continue to inspire you as I will come across other amazing design ideas or recipes for your cupcakes.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Wilton Cupcakes n More Dessert Stands available at Sur La Table store
Cupcakes: For COACH 65th anniversary / legacy collection soiree designed by Cuppacakes on Flickr
Cupcakes: Baby’s day out soufflé by Cuppacakes on Flickr
Cupcakes: Secret garden – special engagement with satin ribbons by Cuppacakes on Flickr
Buy online: Blog of Cuppacakes
Buy online: Cupcakes by Joanna Farrow at Amazon.com
Recipe via: How to make you own whipped cream on Baking911.com

RELATED POSTS:
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+ Sprinkles cupcakes
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GIFT IDEAS Gifts for HER

Running errands in style with the Oktak bags that are now on sale

Oktak purses, magazine bags and pouches

I usually suggest kitchenware as hostess gift ideas. But etiquette does not rule out bringing something else. If you are staying for the weekend at a friend house, you can give her something more personal.

Magazine bags, tote bags and wallets will thrill the fashionista and the ones that like to be organized. I received an email from Oktak announcing that everything in the store is 10 to 30% off until August 7, 2007.

For a hostess gift, take a look at the Pink Kitchen fabric. Select either the magazine bag or the square rainy day bag. Or you can choose zipped pouches or framed mini pouches in other fun and colorful fabric.

Arriving with a handmade product is usually perceived as more thoughtful gift. It feels more special. And you are almost sure that the hostess does not own the exact same thing.

About Oktak

Oktak produce handmade bags designed by Manhattan-based Aki Takada. All bags are made of 100% cotton fabric with a few in rare vintage textiles from the 60’s or 70’s. One exception is the line of “rainy day bags” made of bright-colored, water-repellent fabric.

I am the proud owner of an Oktak going out purse. I adore it. Have a look at their summer collection while the quantity lasts.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Bags at Oktak

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

My new Friday’s night column: Small points on my notebook 2007.07.27

Skinny laMink teatowels :: housemartin echinacia cone bouquet :: oxo corn stripper :: Waste and want cutting board

Starting now, my Friday’s night post will be about the little things I bookmarked through the week on my notebook. Things that did not have make my editorial schedule. This way, we will start the week with fresh ideas.

Yesterday, I received an email from Heather at Skinny laMink to tell me about her new floral pattern tea towels called Summer Weeds on her etsy shop. Available in Burnt butter and smoke blue.

Oxo launched a new corn stripper. One innovation is a holder that also calculates individual portions of the corn kernels. This handheld device got the attention of Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen and NOTCOT.

Pam from Housemartin displayed more of her exquisite bouquets this week. One flower caught my attention so I asked Pam what variety it was. It happens to be an echinacia cone which is the center of the flower after the large pink daisy – like petals have fallen off. Wow! Something gorgeous and ecological at the same time.

An idea that sounds good on paper but that needs some refinements to satisfy me. Waste and Want is a chopping board that allows you to store your chopped vegetables on one side and the waste on the other. The trays are held in place by magnets to allow easy removal. Designed by Peter D’Alessandro, the problem is that the thing is too bulky and the railing is a nuisance when you cut food. Waste and Want board still manage to make it to Yanko Design, Core 77 and Josh Spear. I find it funny that Yanko Design and Josh Spear used the same title for their post: Waste not, Want not. A little bit of creativity, messieurs.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Summer Weeds Tea Towels in burnt butter on shinnylamink etsy shop
Learn more: TODA Industrial Design work on OXO corn stripper
Flowers: Summer brights on Housemartin blog
Learn more: Waste and Want by UK designer Peter D’Alessandro

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Wonderful party supplies at Cox and Cox

Wonderful party supplies at Cox and Cox

I am a North American girl who dreams of living her old days in a small and charming European village. I am often scouring the Web for great European stockists.

This morning, I came across the wonderful party collection at Cox and Cox Mail-order Company. I discovered at Cox and Cox an impressive source of products for entertaining in style.

Celebrating a wedding, a birthday or an anniversary

What is great is that if you are crafty and have the time and energy, you can make your own confetti cones in a box. You can shop around for a charming wooden box or go to a stationery store to decide on a fine paper box. Insert a simple top tray on which you drilled some holes. Make the cones by rolling square pieces of fine heavy weighted paper like for Belgian French fries.

Forget about the paper confetti. Simply fill the cones with the delightful mixture of delicate lilac, ivory blue and pink delphinium petals. That is what you get in the Confetti Box kit at Cox and Cox for £45. In fact, you can visit the garden market or a florist to grab small flower petals. Think about using lavender or other garden herb flowers.

Having fun with an Origami game

The Love Origami pack is a sweet little game to do at a wedding and a wedding anniversary party. When you sit at the table for dinner, have fun with the other guests. Choose a colored heart and lift the flap to discover a romantic love phrase underneath.

If you are crafting your own Origami fortune cootie catcher pack, you can do it for any occasion. For a baby shower, read out baby facts or fortunes for the parents to be. At a sport team party, you can write predictions for the new seasons or anecdotes about the last season.

The idea here is to write about something that people will have fun reading and discussing. Think about it as an ice breaker or a party starter.

Adding flavors to the grill

The Fragrant Outdoor Firelighters are great for BBQ grilling. Each pot is filled with bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and chili so they smell delicious. Their aromatic smoke gives food fabulous flavor to whatever you will be cook on the barbecue. At £10 for a pack of 12, bring these Fragrant Outdoor Firelighters over to the hostess the next time you got invited to an outdoor party.

Creating ambiance with lights and fire

I talked often about the importance of a magical entrance to your party. These wood flares certainly add drama. There wooden logs are impregnated with flammable liquid. I simply adore this look for a party at the cottage.

These fire-retardant paper bag candle lanterns are adorable. Sold in pack of 10 for £10, they are a cheap way to create a magical entrance.

Outdoor Table Clips are a must for windy days to hold in place your tablecloth. Opt for simple designs because they will not interfere with your tabletop decor. Glass droplets look more stylish so I prefer them. These grape table clips can be dressed up or down to make it works for all occasions.

There are many more interesting products at Cox and Cox Mail-order so I invite you to have a look. I am pretty sure you find some inspirations for your next party. I shown you stuff from two categories: the Garden section and the Gorgeous Weddings & Parties.

Sourcing:
Learn more: Predict Your Future: Girl Power! Cootie Catcher instructions
Buy online: Web site of UK stockist Cox and Cox

COCKTAILS + wine FOOD + DRINK

Surubaotini: the best raspberry martini in the universe

suburaotini :: a raspberry martini by Jerome ParadisMy husband, Jerome Paradis, created this recipe after I told him about the Surubao drink that I saw on David Rocco’s Dolce Vitae. The way to go when you want to create a martini from another cocktail recipe is to adjust the alcohol and juice proportions. This is a trial and error situation to find the right balance.

We made these raspberry martinis for many events over the last year. Our recipe is perfect as it is. So much that our friends do not wish that Jerome’s invents a new martini; they want our Surubaotini.

Freshness is key

Since raspberries are in season, it is the best time and cheaper to try it now. The better the raspberry, the better the drink will be. People often think that the quality of alcohol is not important when you are making a cocktail. Wrong! Premium liquors always make better cocktails.

There is no shortcut for excellence. You squeeze the lime juice as you go and you crush the raspberries one batch at a time. That is where having two 3-piece shakers come handy because you can prepare 4 martinis at a time.

What brand of vodka goes in a Surubaotini?

If you are a true vodka fan, you know every brand of vodka tastes different. I will tell you another time all about how to host a vodka testing event. It is fun and easy to do.

We tested a few vodkas to find the perfect match. We prefer Wyborowa vodka for the lively dry taste it brings to this raspberry martini. In a New York Times article about a vodka taste test, you can read about this vodka from Poland:

The Wyborowa, which comes in a striking bottle designed by the architect Frank Gehry, was elegant and mysterious and seemed to keep drawing us in.

Ingredients for 2 large Surubaotini:

  • 13 x fresh organic raspberries
  • 1 tbsp of raspberry syrup – we use Teisseire
  • 1 tbsp fruit sugar (superfine) or regular refined sugar
  • 1 lime
  • 2 ounces of light cranberry juice – we use Ocean’s Spray
  • 4 to 5 ounces of Wyborowa vodka – adjust to your taste
  • 2 slices of lime to garnish
  • about 4-6 ice cubes

Instructions:

  • Combine 7 raspberries, the raspberry syrup, the sugar and the freshly squeezed juice of a lime on the previous ingredients. This is where the lemon reamer comes handy on your bar kit.
  • Use a pestle (muddler) to crush and mix the ingredients
  • Add vodka and cranberry juice
  • Add ice and shake vigorously in a metal shaker until the mixture is quite cold
  • Put 3 raspberries in the bottom of each martini glass (use large glasses if available, otherwise you might have a bit of mixture left)
  • Pour the mixture in two martini glasses with a tea strainer on top to filter out the raspberries remains and the ice cubes
  • Garnish each glass with a slice of lime
  • Serve and look at your friends while they take their first sip

Virgin Surubaotini

Jerome created a virgin version of his martini. You prepare the virgin cocktail exactly the same way except for two things:

  • you replace the vodka by soda water
  • you stir instead of shake to avoid the soda water splashing on you.

Enjoy both versions in good company.

Sourcing:
Via: Surubao recipe from David Rocco’s Dolce Vitae
Link: A Humble Old Label Ices Its Rivals published on the New York Times – Dining and Wine section

COCKTAILS + wine FOOD + DRINK

My list of must-have bar tools

must-have bar toolsCocktails are a big part of at home entertaining. Before you can aspire to become a mixologist, you need to start with the tools of the trade.

I bought my first barware essentials while I was attending University. My husband is the official bartender in our friend groups. Often, he must bring his gears because many people are poorly equipped for making cocktails at home. To help you set up your bar, I compiled the must-have bar tools.

Shaker

I prefer the 3-piece shaker to the Boston shaker (half stainless steel, half glass). The 3-piece shaker is definitely more stylish. I do have both styles at home. Since I suggest that you own two shakers for efficiency reason, you can one of each if you are not sure which one you prefer.

A strainer is usually integrated on the cup of the 3-piece strainer. So if you afford one good item, this is the bar tool to get first.

Like everything in life, better quality shakers perform best. Try to get a double insulated shaker; it is cleaner to operate because it does not produce condensation.

Jigger

The advantage of the 3-piece shaker is that you get one measuring cup. I suggest you also get the modern double jigger as you need more than one measuring cup. The double jigger is quite practical because both measures (1 ounce and 2 ounces) are in your hands.

Strainer, bar spoon, bar knife and ice tongs

These are the basic tools with the jigger that is cheaper to buy in set. The stand is useless in my opinion as you can store the cocktail tools in the Boston shaker, the ice bucket or a stainless steel bowl for condiments.

I am showing you the Janssen Bar Set on sale right now at Crate and Barrel for $39.99 (reg. $59.99). It even has a basic ice bucket. This is a utilitarian cocktail hour kit.

Ice bucket

You cannot make cocktails without ice cubes. You will also need a sink or a waterproof bowl nearby to throw away the ice cubes. That is a basic technique of making martinis.

I prefer ice bucket with a cover. Again, I recommend a double insulated ice bucket to avoid condensation leak.

Fruit tools: Lemon squeezer / reamer, a juicer and a zester

Pure juices and real fruits make the best drinks. If you do not own a zester, a bar knife will do the job if you are skillful.

Fruit Muddler / Caipirinha Pestle

Muddler is required to prepare modern martinis, mojitos and caipirinhas. Check out my blog later because I will post the recipe of the best raspberry martini in the universe. You need a muddler to do it.

I bought the Fruit Muddler / Caipirinha Pestle from Rosle at Cooking.com and I like it a lot. Rosle produces quality kitchen utensils. I prefer to buy better quality kitchen tools. It is money well spent because they will perform well for a very long time.

Tea strainer

Since you use pure juices and real fruits, you cannot make the best looking cocktail drinks without a tea strainer. That is an essential tool for the chic hostess.

If you get these bar tools you can prepare many drinks that will impress your guests.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Janssen Bar Set at Crate and Barrel
Buy online: Rosle Cocktail tools at Cooking.com

ENTERTAINING PAPER goods

Personalized avatars invade the social stationery market at PosePrints.com

personalized invitation cards by PosePrints.com

Personalization is hot these days. Social stationery does not escape this trend. The mother and daughter team of PosePrints.com launched a new instant-order approach to customized stationery. In plain English, your printed stationery has a character that looks like you.

PosePrints.com wizard allows consumers to create a digital look-alike pose image or cute caricature of themselves or their friends from a wide range of pre-drawn facial features and accessories.  This is the same principle as when you design your Mii but with a nicer look. I tried the interface on PosePrints.com and it is easy to do.

If you are not familiar with the concept of avatar and Mii, you can read on wikipedia

A Mii (IPA: [mi]) is a digital avatar created by Nintendo for the Wii’s Mii Channel. Miis are customizable and allow the user to capture a likeness or caricature, or capture the personality of themselves and others.

A sweet deal for my readers

Jennifer Harland of PosePoints.com contacted me yesterday to announce her new product. I got a nice deal for all At Home with Kim Vallee readers. Simply type the code KV5POSE into the comment field at the check-out process to receive an extra 5 cards per 25-card order.  A $10 value! 🙂

PosePrints.com has developed a nice concept in social stationery, invitations and announcements. Design options will be continually updated to include new elements, models and seasonal styles. These are a little subset of the caricatures you can create right now.

some of the look-like pose you can create at PosePrints.com

More design options starting next week

In fact, if you have funky short hair like me, Jennifer told me that by next week the customization wizard will offer more short hairstyles for females. It made me realized that my mother had beautiful short hair all her life. So maybe that is why I like having short hair; this and the fact that it suits my face better.

The order takes three to five days to be custom-made. Your order is shipped directly from the printer to the customer. PosePrints.com only fulfills shipping in the United States for the moment. Have fun customizing you next invite card to your image.

Buy online: Put your personalized pose on invitations, announcements and stationery of PosePrints.com

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

The raw organic style viewed through Blue Nature furniture

Blue nature furniture and accessories at Hotel Mystique

Following my last week trend report on raw material, I noticed that July-August 2007 issue of French Elle Décoration published several articles about this design style.

Once I reviewed my inspirational styled photographs it became clear that Blue Nature designed most of the pieces I wish to highlight.

Bleu Nature is born out of a wondrous exploration of driftwood-a free-spirited, untamed material by Frank Lefebvre in 1995. They got many lines including one inspired by the novel of Robinson Crusoe.

To keep things simple in this post, I am only showing you the work of Blue Nature for the new Mystique Hotel located in Oia on the Santori Island, Greece. The hotel shows that charms and simplicity can feel luxurious.

A collection of raw material furniture

The raw material trend works so well in bare white rooms of these villas. Many of the furniture and accessories were designed for the Hotel. Forget faux-bois, here all the pieces are made of old wood often found on sea shore.

Here the design is real wood mixed with manmade pebble furniture used as benches and tables. The dining set is the piece of resistance for me. Imagine a romantic dinner or lunch with this view. Beluga is name of the living room table, also shown of the top left picture with ceramic accessories.

The Marie Crusoette candelabrum is amazing. This is a conservation piece that you will cherish for a long time.

Igloolik plates on Nagori skin place mats for Blue Nature

A tableware line and ceramic accessories

The ceramics collection of Bleu Nature is based on simplicity of form and color. Flat surfaces and the natural curves of stone slabs meet each other half-way in many accessories.

The raw look can continue with the tableware. Igloolik plates on Nagori Dapple-grey skin place mats reveal a Nordic feeling.

I will take about this look later this fall when the weather drops down. Furniture and accessories complete this look. Some of these pieces have been introduced in the Summer 2007 collection.

Sourcing:
Learn more: Web site of Blue Nature
Vacation: Web site of Mystique Hotel located in Oia on the Santori Island, Greece
Photo credits: Tendance Blanc, Bleu, Bois. in July-August 2007 issue of Elle Décoration magazine and Blue Nature’s Web site

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

No more guesswork about the age of leftovers with DaysAgo

DaysAgo Digital Day Counter

I went to DemoCamp Montreal 3 tonight. Jerome, my husband, presented one of his software creations. That is why I am so late on my blog schedule.

Maybe it is the result of being around geeks all night long but this nifty digital kitchen gadget starts to grow on me. Named DaysAgo, this unique device counts the days so you do not have too. Winner of several awards including the Good Housekeeping Good Buy Award 2007, it was featured last February on Oprah.

How does DaysAgo work?

You activate the device before placing it on the food container. There is no need to attach it to another unit or system. The device will display the number of days since you activate it. It is battery operated – a battery can run for about 18 months.

Not just for food, Days Ago simplifies your life by keeping track of the last time you watered your plants, you cleaned the fish tank, and you did litter box refreshment and so on. This is perfect for a household with many occupants.

Even if you are not interested by this product, visit their Web site for the Refrigerator Storage Chart that was reproduced from the US Food & Drug Administration.

The magnetic DaysAgo Digital Day Counter works best for jar lids and refrigerators. Get the suction for plastic and glass containers. They are sold in package of 2 for $10 USD.

Another example of technology that is beneficial for humanity. That is it for now. To stay sharp, I am going to play a round of Brain Age on my Nintendo DS.

Sourcing:
For Americans, buy online: Web site of DaysAgo – howmanydaysago.com 
For Canadians, buy online: Days Ago Digital Day Counter at GoneShoppoing.ca
Learn more: Refrigerator Storage Chart – Fresh Tips on howmanydaysago.com