14 April 2014

The Secret Language of Monograms



Monograms = My new jam.

I’m not sure why the sudden fondness as they are not exactly a new concept. But here we are, me and my initials, me and other people’s initials, me and the initials of some random dead guy embroidered on the sleeve cuff of the shirt I bought at the thrift store…all having a party together. Wahoo!

Ten years ago I associated monograms with snotty old Southern women, or some crazy shit you’d see in the Lilian Vernon catalog (is that thing still kicking?)…but that was my mistake. Now I sorta see them as cool. For a long time monograms were a just a way to label your stuff, or a theft deterant – nobody would want to steal silver with someone else’s name on it.  I mean, who would buy that stuff?

Oh yeah. Me.


This artist came across my Pinterest feed last week. My jaw dropped. She does these monogram type crests and calls them “custom heraldry” – isn’t that the most charming thing you ever heard? Heraldry. You could use it as a wedding motif (invitations, favors, thank you cards...) or just give it to someone as a wedding gift. Wouldn’t that be special? Yeah. I know.

J. Crew made this little video all about fresh and unconventional ideas about monogramming. About wearing other people's monograms, or using traditional monogram opportunities to spell out fun little things like AHA and BS. Those J Crew people are so with it. I can't stand it.



10 April 2014

Fuglometer: Shell Fruit Basket



Sometimes I like to play this game wherein I go to the thrift store, locate the least attractive thing I can find, buy it, then bring it home and love it so hard it can’t help but be magnificent. It challenges me to look at things differently, and to realize that there is something wonderful in every act of creation, even if the end results score high on the fuglometer.

Sometimes it’s a hideous old hand-thrown coffee mug. Sometimes it’s an acrylic scarf so scratchy it might as well have been woven from human hair. And sometimes, just sometimes, it’s a giant basket of fruit of fruit made entirely of seashells.

Behold!



I know, I know. You can go on and see it as ugly, and that's okay because I will see enough awesome for the both of us. I’m so excited. It’s just what I needed. Shell fruit! Now I wonder how we ever lived apart. It’s astounding how invigorating a little bad taste can be.


Even the bedazzled dinosaur loves it, and he is a hard fella to please.


09 April 2014

The Ultimate Way to Eat Chocolate



You know what’s awesome? When you write a long-winded and embarrassing blog post about doubting your ability to ever make money at blogging...and then, not ten minutes later, you get an email from a chocolate company that says, “Can we pay you to blog about eating chocolate?"

...and if that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is.

I was lucky enough to visit the Ghirardelli Manufactory when I was in San Francisco over New Years (a few of you guys specifically recommended the stop – thanks for that!). Let me tell you, if you have never eaten a hot fudge sundae at 9am, outside, in a park, overlooking the waterfront, surrounded by hippies and a dirty old man playing “Moon River” on a cigar box banjo, well, my friend, you need to get on that.  It is the second best way to eat chocolate.

What is the #1, ultimate, bestest, most fantastical way to eat chocolate?

Yeah. Let's talk about this.


For me, the hallmark of good chocolate is that moment you can taste the sweet and the bitter at the same time. Milk, dark, whatever. Doesn’t matter. If it’s good chocolate your palate will seek out two (or more) distinct notes at different ends of the sweetness spectrum. For that reason (and more) chocolate is the ultimate food for pairing purposes. Dark chocolate in particular.We all know people who get deeply invested in the concept of pairing wines with various foods, right?  Chocolate is no different. Adding small amounts of chocolate can add an unexpected depth of flavor to any meal.

My favorite combo: extra dark chocolate and avocado.

If I’m feeling lazy, I’ll just slice and salt the avocado, then use pieces of extra dark chocolate to scoop it out sorta like chips and dip. Because I’m classy like that. This is an equally slothful and decadent way to kill an evening. Don’t even ask me how it tastes because the reply will come back in pitch frequencies only rodents can hear. You'll just have to trust me: it's good. 



If I’m feeling a little more invested in making a “meal” of it, I’ll scoop the avocado out onto buttered bread, add chocolate, then cook in a frying pan on low heat for a few minutes. It’s like a grilled cheese with no cheese (unless you want cheese too, which is pretty rad).

The thing here is that you get the crunch of the bread, the creaminess of the avocado, the bittersweet chocolate awesomeness…and a pinch of salt? Ummm. HELLO.

Damn.

Look at her. Bet you can’t wait to flop a lip over that one.

And, between us, if you really want to go overboard, it also goes good with havarti cheese. And  bacon. Add some sprouts for garnish because we all need to eat our vegetables. Or just skip that part. You have other things to do.

In my not-so-humble opinion, this is *the* ultimate way to each dark chocolate. Make one just perfectly decadent sandwich for yourself, or make a batch then slice into tiny pieces to serve as appetizers at a party. Ghirardelli goes great with all kinds of drinks (click here for specific pairing suggestions). Who is going to look so impressive? Oh yeah, that's you!   

Do you have a favorite way to pair dark chocolate? Let’s talk about it. Better yet, take a picture of it and share on Instagram (#IntenseDark).

Many thanks to Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate for sponsoring today’s post and giving me the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite things. We need to do this more often!



07 April 2014

Flamingo Wallpaper I Will Never Have



Sunday was an eventful day.

There was chocolate and dragons and flesh wounds.  I met three pugs on one leash in the checkout line at Petsmart. Game of Thrones came back, and then while slicing Ghiradelli in the name of portion control, I slashed my pointer finger down the middle with a bread knife. Fun! Lots of blood. Lots.

The good news is that old black pepper trick saved me from another trip to the emergency room. The bad news is it sliced up the most critical finger for typing and taking photos. The bandage is impressive. I'm not saying there is leopard duck tape involved, but I'm not saying there isn't. I'm currently typing these words by bouncing along the keyboard with my pinky and thumb. Not that my other two fingers are incapable, however, they appear to be sticking to their friend Pointer in solidarity while Thumbkin is making up the difference. That Thumbkin, what a champ!

Anyhoo, since I am having a hard time typing and operating a camera right now so imma postpone my planned post in favor of something more important: Flamingoes. Namely, flamingo wallpaper. Specifically, pictures of flamingo wallpaper I will never have.


I know. You want it too. And here is where to get it. At $37 a roll, it's a bargain as far as wallpaper goes. Might just be fun to cover the back of a cabinet or bookcase. Hmmmm....

And lookahere, there's more!

02 April 2014

The Easter bunny dropped by last weekend, leaving a feathered path of Swedish sparkleyness in his wake.

Ooooooo! Shiny!


The Paskris went up again this year, albeit a little smaller than before. I don't know if this is because I'm feeling a little less Easter, a little less Swedish, or because I still have to wear my winter coat outside in April, and I'm justifiably ticked about that.

Either way, it feels slightly springier in here and I'm down with that.



Also, in my never ending quest to hang shit on chandeliers, this one got another makeover...
 
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