I am completely, utterly, madly, and deeply in love with gardening. The feeling of the earth between my fingers, watching my plants grow from tiny seeds to big leafy plants, eating fresh fruits and vegetables whenever I please, the smells of fresh flowers mixed with musky tomato leaves...there are too many things that I find completely pleasing about it to list in full. My backyard is kind of my zen-zone, and like the inside of my house, I want it to be functional, but to look nice, too. That's where Gardener's Supply Company comes in. They have the NEATEST stuff to put in your backyard. Beautiful hummingbird feeders, pollinating bee nests, squirrel-proof regular bird-feeders (NO FOOD FOR YOU, SQUIRRELS.), beneficial bug houses, and an adorable toad house are among the many things I love on this site. They have incredibly useful garden tools at reasonable prices, all of them designed in a way that's as pleasing to the eye as it is functional. Really, one look at this hanging art basket tells you all you need to know.
I love getting my seeds from this company because, while they do sell an amazing variety of rare and heirloom seeds, their end goal is not sales, it is seed preservation. Victory Seeds Co. also is one of the few seed companies out there that actually farms their seeds themselves to make sure the seeds measure up to their own high standard for quality. They ship the seeds very quickly after you order them, (mine got to me within a week), and the pricing is incredibly reasonable (I purchased Moon & Stars Watermelon seeds here for $1.55 and at Park Seed they're $1.85). But my favorite part of victory seeds is reading about the stories that accompany many of the plants. For example: "This new introduction for the 2012 gardening season is another example of our core mission to protect family heirlooms. After being contacted by Robert Schiavone in the winter of 2011, he sent us seed to grow out here on the farm...Robert recounted the history of the variety to us as follows, 'My grandfather came over to America when he was just seven years old (in around 1910). He came from a small town just outside of Palermo (Sicily) called Borgetto. When he and his seven brothers came over, they brought various things from the homeland and one of them were these tomato seeds. This was a special type of tomato that they used for sauces and they wanted to grow it in America.' Robert's grandfather passed away in 2003 and Robert, as well as his late father, took over growing the seed. We are thankful for people like Robert who have the foresight to protect old seed varieties, like this one, by submitting them to our stewardship and allowing us to make them available to you." How amazing is that?!?!
I like to unwind by listening to some good ol' stand-up comedy from time to time, and Maria Bamford is my all-time favorite person to listen to. The first time I heard her act, my sides were incredibly sore the next day from laughing so hard (and this was back in college when I actually went to the gym, mind you!) Her humor is weird and off beat, (sound familiarrrrrrr?), and her situational descriptions are strangely and incredibly accurate. She also does pretty much the best voices, ever. So if you're looking for something fun to listen to or watch, go check out her stuff! She also travels a lot for shows, and I'd definitely recommend seeing her live if you can. Also, she adores pugs, and if that's not a reason to love a person, I don't know what is.
It may be kind of weird to have one of the things I like be a place where I can catalogue other things that I like, but so be it! Pinterest is basically a visual bookmarking site where you can create different "boards" and then "pin" pictures of things you like to the corresponding board you created, and the pinned picture links back to the site you pinned the photo from. I have found this AMAZINGLY useful when it comes to bookmarking recipes. Before I would just have hundreds upon hundreds (no exaggeration here people) of text entries in my recipes bookmark folder in my internet browser, so if I wanted to find a specific recipe I'd bookmarked I'd have to read through ALL OF THEM. I'm a very visual person when it comes to food, so being able to see a picture of the dish, rather than reading through a bunch of similarly named cheesecake recipes, is super helpful. Pinterest was invite-only at one point, and I'm not sure if it still is...but if it is, feel free to email me with your email address and I'd be happy to invite you! Seriously, it is that incredible.
Mars Water is a laid-back, surf rock band headed by my brother, Ponny. Some people may assume that this is sibling bias, but me and my brother have the kind of relationship where if I didn't actually like his band's music I would just tell him and it'd be no big deal. But the fact is, I love their music. When I'm stressed out from work and life here in L.A. I just put some of their tracks on and it makes me feel like I'm laying out on Cannon Beach back home on a sunny day. My favorite tracks are The Great Northwest, Anemone, Chills, I Dream of the Ocean, and Something About Home. If you're ever having a gloomy day, put some of their music in the background and feel the surfy tunes take you away to a happier, brighter place.
My cat is slightly chubby and likes to lay around and sleep all day. He was pretty disengaged with all of his toys and I was having a hard time getting him to exercise. I scoured amazon.com looking at reviews of cat toys that might get him to move around a bit, and I found this little wonder. As soon as I took it out of the box, he immediately began scratching the pad in the middle contentedly, and once I flicked the little ball around the track, he was obsessed. It's nice because he plays with this all by himself, and it gets him to move around swatting at stuff. I'm kind of surprised he's entertained by this, but he is a cat, so...
Monticello was Thomas Jefferson's home and plantation. He was an avid gardener, and collected seeds and plant specimens from all over the world and our country (he's the President who sent Lewis and Clark out to the west). His garden was huge and he was very particular about the quality of the plants he grew. Today, Monticello is a national historic site, and the seeds from Thomas Jefferson's plants have been harvested and replanted, year after year, to retain the hardiness and quality of his garden. Now the seeds are available to purchase commercially, and the money spent on the seeds and plants goes towards maintaining and preserving the Monticello grounds.
I have never been so motivated as to write a letter to a company about how much I loved their product until I used this little number. I originally bought it when I accidentally spilled costume mustache glue all over the carpet in my apartment (long story). I thought I wouldn't get the deposit back, so I bought this with the vague hope that it would work, and it took the glue off within a matter of seconds. Since then I've used it to get bicycle grease off of a beige carpet (no problem!) and a wide variety of bright and concentrated water colors out of the same carpet after Gabel (my cat) knocked my painter's palette over (easy as pie!). If you have kids, pets, or are clumsy like myself, this will make your life much, much easier.
Came across these at over at Emma in the Kitchen. Not only are these the cutest wall decals I've ever seen, but they're fabric, which means they're washable and reusable, which is great if you have kids. There are so many more fun decals than the ones I posted here. They have dinosaurs, the alphabet, spooky bugs and bats, "paper" dolls with outfits, the circus...the list of adorable things goes on and on. Seriously, go to their site and check it out, you will not be disappointed.
I love this camera for two reasons. One, because it has different frame settings, and two, because there are only two "aperture" settings, cloudy and sunny, so whatever I get from the 35mm roll is essentially a surprise. The frame settings are especially awesome because I can either A) Expose the entire negative, including film sprockets, B) Expose a normal rectangle photograph, or C) Expose a perfect square like the old TLRs used to. It's also really light and small, so I always take it with me when I travel.
I saw this at a store in France a few years ago and wrote down the name of the company that made them. My mom got this for me for Christmas that year, and it's probably one of the best gifts I've ever gotten. I can toss it in the dishwasher just fine, and the plastic lady at the top is really easy and comfortable to grab a hold of when you're grating something. My parent's grater has a flat metal handle that kind of hurts the palm of your hand after a while, but this one feels just fine. There are three different types of grate holes too, so you can grate things into a fine powder or different-sized thin strips.
I like perfumes a lot and have quite a few of them, but this one is by far my favorite. Tokyomilk has a line of numbered perfumes that have really unique scents and smell just like the ingredients described on their labels. #13 is my favorite because it has a nice soft floral scent (you can definitely smell the gardenia in it) but it's not too overpowering and lasts for a long time. They have lines of soap, candles and bubble bath that match the smells of their perfumes, too.
I used to get a body wave, (light perm), put into my hair about every six months, and the first time I got it done the lady used a harsh solution that made my hair really dry and knotty. I came home quite sad and saw that my mom had some of this in her shower, so I put it in my hair, left it on for five minutes, rinsed it out and was shocked at how soft my hair was after being so brittle just a few minutes before. I never buy salon stuff because it is usually really expensive, but this isn't bad at all (about $11), and it lasts for months. The downside is that it isn't available for purchase anywhere online, you can only get it at Regis salon locations :(
The Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick has a really mild shine and sparkle to it, and it has a wide variety of natural shades, which I like because bright colors tend to look kind of tacky on me because all my facial features are kind of big (eyes, nose, lips, you name it!). It's also pretty affordable as far as lipstick goes, they're about $14 a tube and last for a looooong time. I got the smashbox lipgloss in a promotional make-up kit Jeremy got from work. The magenta end is too bright for me, but the soft pink end (baby pout) is great. Shiny, but not too shiny, doesn't go on too thick, looks natural and has a really appealing smell to it. It is kind of expensive though, but on the other hand it lasts a while and does a great job.
I was in dire need of new sneakers about a year ago and kept hearing about this "New Balance" brand, so I looked them up online and found a pair on sale. I am VERY happy I did. The thing I love about these shoes is how comfy they are, and how great they look. A lot of tennis shoes are kind of bulky-looking and make you sacrifice style for comfort, but these are nice, thin, stretchy, breathable and make your feet look small. The colors and overall style are great too, I liked the retro feel I get from them and the bright color palette is really fun.
I started using this about six months ago after a recommendation from a friend. It's great because it allows you to control the coverage really well and the olay part helps keep your skin soft. I like to keep the coverage light and natural looking, but if I have a blemish I can dab a little extra over it and it blends right out.
Want to see more of my favorite things? Peek at my Pinterest