Friday, December 19, 2014

Giveaway | Tilissimo Coaster Set

 This week's giveaway is from Tilissimo, an Athens, Greece based Etsy shop with TONS of fun printed tile coasters. I'm particularly digging the Christmas patterns!

How cute are the moose coasters??

Maya from Tilissimo is offering one lucky reader a set of coasters in their choice of print! Click through and enter via the widget below-- this giveaway is open worldwide.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 Gift Guide | For Dad

Gift ideas for your father, who frequently extolls the virtues of "old things", thinks baseball is the greatest game ever played, and earnestly believes that you can do anything you put your mind to. Above, the classic Barbour jacket, re-imagined as a dapper blazer by Norton & Sons, $535. 

A handsome, functional handcrafted wood doorstop from Fern, $70. 

 Daniel Klein's "Travels with Epicurus", ostensibly a philosophy book on making the most of older age, but so much more-- the sort of book that takes root and gives you something to muse on for weeks to come, $16. 

Because he likes the idea of trying new foods, but not going too crazy with it, Everything Bagel Fusilli, $8.

 Everyone should have a set of packing cubes, and he needs a nudge to work less and play more. Eagle Creek Pack-It Cube Set, $21.

 Bottles of cocktail bitters that he'll enjoy displaying nearly as much as putting to use, $12 a bottle.

Custom brass collar stays, to make him feel like James Bond, $30.

National Geographic's Swiss railway adventure-- a once in a lifetime experience for both of you. From $7,000.

A gift certificate to Ebbets Field Flannels, which combines made in America, baseball, and vintage appeal--in short, everything he loves.

Because he harbors secret aspirations of being a master bewer, this beer-making kit from Big Timber Brewing, $35.

 A sleek, wall mounted phone docking station with space to stow his wallet and keys, $119. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Minimalist Havana

 Every time Havana pops up in my Instagram feed, I muse that it must be impossible to take a bad photograph there! I'd love to test that theory one day, but for now, the talented Tom Blachford's colorful, minimalist photos of the city are seriously inspiring me.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Weekend Wanderlust

Weekend links to inspire your wanderlust...

- The incredible architecture of vintage South Indian movie theaters

- Beekeeping on the roofs of London

- I'm ready to take a road trip in this fabulously transformed 1970s mini travel trailer

- In case you missed it: our 2014 Gift Guides so far, with travel gifts and more!

- Touring the ruins of Detroit

- Ikea installs beds in a Moscow movie theater 

- The striking typography of Guatemala's Zone 1

- This guy proposed to his girlfriend via a very carefully planned GPS-drawn message "written" across Japan

- Win a winter adventure in Japan!

Everyday Life in North Korea

As is probably obvious by now, there's something incredibly fascinating to me about the often surreal, closed-off lives of the citizens of North Korea. So no surprise that I'm captivated by @everydaydprk, an Instagram account that pulls from multiple photographers and aims to capture everyday life in the strange least insofar as that is possible and permissible. Naturally, what is captured is largely the lives of the elite. If you're interested in peeking past the facade, Dear Leader by Jang Jin-sung, and Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick are both gripping reads. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Recommended Read | How Paris Became Paris

 Truthfully, I'm only a couple chapters in, but I'm so enjoying reading How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City by Joan DeJean, that I had to share it with you! I'm not always great with history books. My eyes go blurry pretty quickly amongst a catalog of dates and names. But I'm really having fun reading about the development of modern Paris, then looking up old and current images to compare! (I even made Pinterest board for them).

If you're interested, here's some neat tidbits about the Pont Neuf ("New Bridge") that I enjoyed:

 Completed in 1606, the bridge was the beginning of many changes that altered how Parisians interacted with their city. The most obvious difference between the Pont Neuf and other large bridges in Paris was the absence of homes and shops built on the bridge. Whereas is was previously common to finance a bridge by selling lots on it, King Henri IV instead paid for construction via a wine tax. Looking at the two paintings below, you can see how radically different the experience of crossing the Pont Neuf would have been: 

 The Pont Neuf was also the first bridge to cross the Seine in a single span, and at 75 feet wide, wider than any city street in Paris at the time. The raised sidewalks for pedestrians  were another new feature for the city--combined with the unobstructed view of the river, they turned the bridge into a communal social space.

Parisian from all classes went to the bridge to see and be seen, buy goods and be entertained--this all in addition to the cart and foot traffic from those simply trying to cross the bridge, resulting in some pretty gnarly traffic jams:

Public bathing became popular in the sweltering summer on the banks of the Seine near the much so that by the early 1700s the city had to intervene and forbid men from sunbathing naked after an incident in which nude men stormed the ladies changing rooms! (apparently none of the painters of the time saw fit to record that incident for posterity).

More photos on Pinterest, and check out the book if your interest is piqued!

2014 Gift Guide | For Your Little Sis

For your tomboy-artist little sister, who loves great design, most forms of sugar, and always has an encouraging word for people. Above, a cozy, water-resistant jacket with a pretty (but not too girly) striped lining by Warbler Olive, $220. 

 A gorgeous agate stone tealight candle holder by Brooklyn Thread, $18 (they have lots of other lovely stones as well). 

Sylvain Tesson's Consolations of the Forest is a sort of modern-day Thoreau story-- in the Siberian winter, with quite a bit more vodka, $20.

A playful Marimekko tray with a pattern inspired by old Finnish riverfront homes, $39.

Book her a Galapagos Photo Expedition, where she can indulge her science geek side while improving her photography with the help of National Geographic photographers. Starting at $6,920.

This iPhone strap attaches securely to your phone and will clip onto anything, so she can get the shot without worrying about her tech tumbling over a cliff, $35.

A beautiful handmade Black Walnut Cake & Cheese Knife, $65.

The buttah-bling lotion trio from Bliss, so she remembers to pamper herself, $39. (Pick one up for yourself too-- the Blood Orange scent is fantastic!)

 For mugs of hot cocoa (or cocktails)--a cool ampersand cork coaster by The Path Less Traveled, $4.20.

Regular shipments of the amazing Jeni's ice cream, with a subscription to Jeni's Pint Club, from $200. (Or pick a couple $12 pints for a cheaper, but still delicious option). 

 A handsome, easy-to-carry camera bag that will last forever: Ona's Bowery Bag, $129. (these inserts than turn any bag into a camera bag are pretty cool, too)

This dreamy vintage style pennant reads "Under the moonlight"-- a phrase borrowed from a French nursery rhyme, $28.

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