Thursday, February 26, 2009

Is anyone else gloating?

Because I am, and I'm one of those Johnny-come-lately gentrifiers.

Frankly, the idea of moving to a neighborhood with the sole intention of changing it annoys me. I don't see how the "creative class" wanting to replace the muffler shops and martial arts studios with art galleries and coffee bars are any different than the suburbanites who move out to the exurbs and start bitching about the smells coming from the 100-year-old family dairy farm next door. Why are the latter scorned and the former hailed as saviors?

Am I a big fan of the Sysco mashed potatoes at the old-school diner down the street? Not particularly. But I do see the parking lot full of trucks and Buick sedans just about every morning, which signals that me and my biodiesel-driving brethren aren't the only life in this neighborhood. Just because we had the poor timing to pay more for our houses doesn't mean we're entitled to make over this corner of the world in our image.

I guess I have enough handmade soap, too, Mr. Waldie.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Smell it.

Most of my current perfumes are way floral (Eclat d'Arpège, Hervé Léger, Fleur de Colette). I have a fondness for spicier scents, but I'm still put off of wearing scents that remind me of my mom and her Opium addiction. No, not that opium. Yeah, okay, that opium too, but I'm specifically referring to the Proustian memory of sitting on the floor next to my mom's vanity table, choking on the heady compound fug of hairspray, chain-smoked Winstons, and Opium.

I had a fancy dinner to go to after work the other week, and, true to my, uh, "frugal" nature, I stopped at Nordstrom on my way over to take advantage of the testers in the makeup area. I also swung through the adjacent fragrance department to see if there was anything more suitable for an evening out and decided to try Annick Goutal's Mandragore:

I found myself sniffing my arm surreptitiously throughout the evening, and decided to head over to the Perfume House to check it out. After a brief flirtation with Caron Sacré – um, hello powdery old lady! – and a break to have lunch and do some window shopping, I stuck with the Mandragore. I would have preferred the smaller 1.7 oz size, but they only had the 3.4 oz and, well, I'd rather spend a little more at a local shop to make sure they're still around the next time I'm in the mood for a perfume orgy. Also, I got the more masculine version of the bottle, so maybe I can convince Michael to wear it.

I feel like I smell more, well, adult. Not in a porny way, but more grown up.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Art for the masses

Just found through one of my Hansel-and-Gretel-esque compulsive link-following expeditions.

Some favorites:

Color 14 by Paul Nelson

Daydream by Wendy Cooper

Chair by Bootsy Holler

Shake by Bob McNamara

I can't vouch for the quality of the prints, never having ordered from them, but with prices starting around $65 for an 8x10 print, it's worth the risk to have something fairly unique.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A new way to look for a house

Sometimes searching by zip code or other criteria doesn't provide enough context to find homes in the neighborhoods you really want. HomeQuest, a local Portland company, has an application that makes it a lot easier, and, frankly, more fun.

To see an example, check out Ron Ares's blog, choose a region in the left column, and start clicking on neighborhoods on the map. Not only is this a great way to see the context of a house as well as details about it, it's an easy-to-use tool for homeowners to see what's for sale near them, and how much it's listed for. Of course, integrating Google maps into your application is never a bad idea.

The expand/collapse functionality of the search filters is another great widget that more sites are using nowadays, mostly to great effect.

My only suggestion at this point is to add a feature, similar to, that allows user to draw lines on the map that would serve as boundaries. I'd love to be able to search specifically in one area that I can determine, or even exclude properties in an area.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

At the risk of sounding like Dr. Seuss,

Crockpot chicken stock effing rocks! I did an unplanned janky version, but this Chowhound thread encouraged me to let it go overnight, and I'm so glad I did. Really nice, clear, dark stock.

Urban Outfitters Sale Items

If Forever 21 sold home decor items, I'd probably buy them. Needless to say, I'm too damn old for the clothes at Urban Outfitters, but I love their bedding and other "Apartment" items. Except for the rugs. They're always too small.

Just bought:

Grobal self-watering plant pot for $10 (Amazon is selling it for $20):

Dots wall art (above the fireplace?):

Love pillowcases (we always need new pillowcases):

Oh, and use promo code "27WELCOME" to get another 10% off!

Faux Bois

I know, nautical is the new woodland, but damn if I don't still love a good faux bois.

Valentine gift for the hubby? Faux bois tie to the rescue:

Another V-Day idea, a sentimental poster with woodgrain accents:

This one has to be my favorite:

Invisible people on the internet have been trying to talk me out of this sucker for a while.

Monday, February 02, 2009

If you're in Portland...

... and you need a mirror, consider this. I've have one in the bedroom for a few years now (heh), and am still in love with it.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Gods* Help Me

I keep coming back to this craigslist post. For posterity, it's this chair with yellow upholstery:

Michael won't even talk me out of it! What the hell did I marry him for?!

* A shout-out to the frakking B*G fans.

Side Ways

After a recent incident involving a precariously perched bowl of leftover stir-fry (goddamn non-washable sisal rugs), I started compulsively window shopping online for side tables.

Some contenders, based on our decor, which is part mid-century modern, part mom's antiques, and part "I want to be Kelly Wearstler, or at least have her hair":

The Rectangle Screw Stool (heh) from Target:

Also from Target, the Branch Side Table:

The former has a nice modern yet earthy vibe, the latter is more woodsy with (hopefully) a refined take from the black finish.

I've also been on the lookout for a new table to go in the entryway. The one that used to hang out there just got moved to the recently rearranged guest room. Sadly, while moving it we discovered an unused $100 Linens 'n Shit gift card in the drawer (insert Nelson Muntz "HAW-haw" here). Which makes me think that whatever replaces it might not need a drawer in it, if I'm going to be that lame about tucking things away and then digging them up, worthless, two years later and beating myself up about it.

Whatever ends up there needs to work with the new mirror I impulse-ordered the other day:

Yes, I know. Antlers are over. Shut up, it was on sale.

Which means that my frustrated H'wood Regency urge for this entry table shall go unfulfilled. One of these days I'll be able to convince Michael to let me indulge my perverse Wearstler girl-crush, but this is not a mirrored hill I want to die on.

The reality is that the thrill of the hunt is the best part, and frankly, my White Liberal Guilt is such that I'd prefer to buy something vintage off of Craigslist anyway.