Martini Bar


We love the pairing of clear glass and tarnished silver for this Martini Bar from Sunday Suppers.  Clear glass lets the beauty of the ingredients shine.  While the tarnished silver reminds us that the old and warn has a beauty all its own.  How fun to pull out your grandmother's old pieces and pair them with a simple modern arrangement.  Or to scout some vintage finds at the Goodwill or consignment shops.


Did you know that linen uses less water, insecticide, and pesticide than cotton?  Even organically grown, cotton needs to be heavily irrigated.  Bamboo is a good choice only if it is eco certified, otherwise it is often manufactured into cloth using harsh chemical solvents.  Hemp on the other hand, needs no pesticides or insecticides and actually improves the soil where it is grown.  Wool is great too because it is renewable, has lower carbon emissions than man-made fibers, and, as with linen and hemp, is biodegradable.

Mix in some aged pieces like the tarnished silver above.  It's a great excuse to go rummaging through all those forgotten treasures you've stored away.  Or call a friend to scour the local consignment shops and estate sales.  It's a ton more fun to hunt for a "find" with a past than to pick something off the shelf at Pottery Barn.

So this is the big one for me!  Occasionally, we all need to purchase something.  What if our purchases were so well designed that they didn't have any negative effect on the environment in their manufacture, their use, or their end of use?  What if instead of taking advantage of the people who made them, our products celebrated and honored craftspeople.  Make a purchase that moves us in this direction.  Purchase a piece that uses recycled materials, gives to a charity, or supports an artisan in a transparent way.  And above all make it quality, so it becomes the vintage piece your son or daughter uses.

I know, I know sometimes the price difference makes it so hard.  But if you buy organic you are greatly reducing toxic water pollution caused by the runoff of pesticides and herbicides into streams and lakes (among other environmental benefits).  Not to mention that to buy otherwise means you are ingesting those nasty chemicals.

Local spirits are a growing trend, at least here on the west coast.  Here in Seattle there are 40 licensed distilleries!  That's a lot of tasting.  I'm looking forward to trying Ebb and Flow and Single Silo Vodka, which seem to have quite a following around here.


Hope this helps as we move into party season.  Cheers!

Black Bean Soup with Avocado, Orange and Cucumber


This is one of my favorite soups of all time because it hits the 3 points that some nights call for: it's fast, it's healthy, and it's affordable.Oh and I forgot, it is also vegetarian and its delicious!  Because of its simplicity I was skeptical, but it really is the bomb.

I'm not going to detail it all out because you can find it all here .Also, if you have trouble finding Cotija, I have substituted feta and it works well.

Kale Chips


The winter holidays are over now and what’s left, but to cozy up for the long dark nights of winter.  As I write this here in Seattle the snow is coming down for the third day in a row, the roads are icy, but our fireplace is going and I’m looking forward to wrapping up in a blanket with some wine and a good movie.

What is needed is a little comfort snack food that won’t break my New Year’s resolutions.  I’ve got a good one to share with you – kale chips.  Trust me, I know you may be skeptical, but they are so good.  And they are so fast to make and kale is currently in season in most states.




bunch of kale
2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt to taste

Garlic salt
Garlic salt and shredded parmesan
Smoked paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Wash kale and dry in spinner.  It is important that the kale be dry.  Remove the stems from the kale and tear into large pieces
  3. Add olive oil and sea salt to a large bowl.  Add kale and toss to coat with olive oil mixture.
  4. Line a cooking tray with parchment paper and spread the kale in a thin layer.  Bake for 10-20 minutes.  Be sure to check at the 10 minute mark.  Kale should remain a nice deep green

I’ve included a list of optional ingredients that you can use to add a little extra zing to your batch, but really, use your imagination, almost anything goes.


Here’s the low down on kale so that you can feel extra proud of yourself.  Kale is actually a form of cabbage and is loaded with fiber.  One cup of kale gives you twice your daily vitamin A, a ton of vitamin C, and 1,000 times your RDA for vitamin K.

Amsterdam Inspired

I really have a thing for the drama that happens when you mix industrial looking pieces with rustic elements, throw in some modern lines and you have one of my favorite styles.  There is a distinctly urban and yet timeless feel that comes from the combination.  These photos come straight from a Bodie and Fou post... yes I am truly addicted to this blog.  But I thought I'd give a little style run down and include some really great sources for look a likes.  And by great you know by now that I mean those who consider their impact on the world around us!

Left to right, top to bottom: Declan Chair, Vintage Tolix Chairs - Antiquaire, Canvas ceramics - Ochre Store, Cowhide Rug, Vintage Factory Clock - Elemental, Span Gateleg Table - West Elm, Ray Komai Side Chair - Uniques and Antiques

Shoe Storage


2011 Resolution: A home where everything has its neat little place.  In a small space, this can be challenging... you have to be creative with your use of space and sometimes this means being bold enough to display your wares... instead of cramming it all into a tight little wardrobe space.  You fellow San Franciscan's and New Yorkers know what I'm talking about.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am currently working on redoing a small entryway and am looking for a good solution for shoe storage.  I thought I would share what I have found. 

Sources clockwise from top left: Savvy Shoe Storage, Double Sided Desk, 5-bin Storage Tower, via Marie Claire Maison

Here's a unique design solution for inside the closet that I couldn't resist sharing.

Available atRakku $65