My iPhone case is awful and grey and dingy, and probably needed replacing six months ago. But this is just the sort of unsexy-but-necessary purchase I am capable of putting off forever (curious, given how on point I am when it comes to so very many other kinds of purchases). Recently, however, the case actually started shedding its outer layer (it’s not a hard case, but one of those gummy soft ones; never again) and this was the necessary final straw. So the search has commenced, and I have but one single non-negotiable requirement: that it be loud enough to detect at the bottom of a crowded handbag. These charming leopards from Rifle Paper Co work quite well on that count.
Clever, clever: this case unsnaps to reveal a hidden mirror.
Even though I am very much not a cat person—the fur on your clothes; the way they sit and stare at you, silently judging—I find myself transfixed by these screaming kitties from Markus Lupfer.
I have determined that it might be nice to enter the world of grown-ups by discontinuing my habit of employing magazines as coasters and stepping it up a notch. No longer will my guests have to make do with placing their drinks on water-logged copies of British Vogue: I’m taking it to the next level, and doing it with these clever embroidered cocktail napkins from Coral & Tusk. They’re not especially cheap, but since my hunch is they’re likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, I’m willing to shell out. My new coffee table is watermelon pink* and I feel these wee bugs will pop nicely against it.
But then again this camel also has its charms.
And this kind of preppy nautical-themed quartet is perfect for summertime. And yes, I am well aware that all of these are really super-twee, but I find myself caring not.
*Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
Oh, how I love Nespresso, even as I resent them for coming up with the VertuoLine, a new contraption that employs these big dumpling-size capsules to brew coffee and espresso, and suddenly makes my trusty little Pixie seem hopelessly obsolete. I know that I could just buy a straight-up Melitta for when I want coffee, but after having a little test drive at the Nespresso store in Soho, I have to say, this is like twenty times more fantabulous. Thoughts, guys? Has anyone out there talked herself into buying one? Can you walk me through it?
Mara Hoffman introduced a home collection for Anthropologie a while ago and while it is all pretty fun—I find this floor pillow delightful, and I am not a floor pillow person—it is this chair for which I am a little bit mad. Totally crazy. Wickedly cute.
I’m feeling nostalgic for those days when people hung good old-fashioned clocks in their homes, instead of relying on the cable box and microwave to tell them what time it was. I also just like clocks as objects, and have the precisely the right little patch of wall in my kitchen for one. This poppy little model, a collaboration between Heath Ceramics and the design firm House Industries, seems about right.
I’ve always been a lazypants when it comes to home decorating, so my affection for wallpaper—such a project to install (and an even bigger one to remove if you’re a renter, as I frequently am)—has largely remained vicarious. Imagine my delight, then, upon discovering that UK-based line Timorous Beasties, of which I have been a fan for some time, offers a number of other, quite wonderful, pieces that incorporate what I’d call their their abstract naturalist aesthetic. I am dying a thousand deaths over this lampshade.
Also: I’m pretty certain a moth has never looked so elegant as it does on this mug.
DL & Co make the candles I am most likely to select on aesthetic grounds alone, and this one—called Essence of Florets, which I’m sure also smells quite lovely, for those of you who prioritize such things—is a perfect object lesson in why.
The animal drawings on these coasters are so moody and wonderful.
I dig midcentury sculptor/ceramicist Waylande Gregory’s plates, even though they are on the fussy Palm Beach side of things, because they’re also rather witty. This fearsome tiger is a delight.
This little black box is a Mini Boom wireless Bluetooth speaker; a friend just gave me one, and it’s the new best thing I own. You just charge it, choose your favorite music from iTunes or Spotify or Pandora or wherever, and tote it with you wherever around your house you may roam. Remember when you could only hear your music when you were in the same room as the speakers? Such quaint times.
One day, I will feel sufficiently grown up to stop employing magazines and books as coasters and get myself the real deal. And when I do, I might very well go for this set: four butterflies on melamine, for an astonishing $18.
People are always surprised when I tell them I am a good cook—which makes sense, because I rarely engage in the actual act of cooking. But in my twenties and for much of my thirties, I pretty much expressed all of my nesting instincts in the kitchen, and delighted in mastering new recipes and feeding my friends. Then I got the big job, got married, and bought the brownstone in Brooklyn—with its enormous Viking range and double Miele ovens—and stopped cooking altogether. In retrospect, I can see that the fact that I lost one of my strongest domestic impulses the moment I became a wife should have been viewed as a sign. But at the time it just felt like the culprit was exhaustion and entropy.
In the years since then, I’ve graduated from long periods of nonstop takeout to the kind of cooking that could more accurately be referred to as “heating up”—lots of pasta, and meals pre-made in the kitchens of Fresh Direct. But my new place has a great kitchen, and this has awakened in me a desire to use it, and to learn how to be a real cook—the kind who goes into Whole Foods and fills up her cart off the top of her head. And so I shall become one, with the help of Blue Apron, a service that once a week delivers to your door all the ingredients and recipes necessary for three meals. The more you cook, the more you learn, and the more confident—and fluent in new recipes—you become. Aside from specifying whether or not you’re a vegetarian, you don’t get to choose what you get, which turns out to be a great way of stretching yourself: I never would have made potstickers if they hadn’t arrived in the box, but now I want to try them again with my nephew Henry, the budding chef. It’s also genius for company: my friend Craig texted the other day at the last minute to see if I had dinner plans, and it was so cool to text back and tell him I’d cook for him, knowing all the necessary ingredients were already on hand. Some of the recipes have a lot of steps, but they’re all super-easy, and it’s so satisfying when they turn out right—which I think is one of the things I loved about cooking in the first place.