Restoration Hardware's new garden lines

I got an email announcing Resto's new garden products for this spring, so at the end of my workday I took a few minutes to look around the website. I run hot and cold on Resto, but there are some things I like.

I think the Spartan daybed has Raina written all over it.

This round dining table from the Klimos collection comes in a smaller and larger size. The accompanying side chairs are just as good looking and I can totally see this on our patio.

Along with the lounge chair from the same collection.
Hit the website for the other new offerings, there's lots of goodness to see.
***UPDATE*** There's way more than I realized in addition to the outdoor furniture. Planters, fountains, pedestals, pots, tools, even some ivy and boxwood topiary.

Are you watching?

Not only are we now obsessed with visiting Vancouver, and probably Whistler, but Brett and I are also obsessed with curling. We've watched hours of it, marveling at the skill and finesse required. Ok, and also a fair number of cute guys. Look up hot Canadian curler John Morris. If that doesn't make you say Oh Canada! nothing will.

My friend Jim was going to watch the Kansas City Curling Club today. Brett has researched and they have clinics where you can learn, we're totally thinking we need to give it a try.

Put the Bedazzler down. Now.

What the hell is going on with mens figure skating? I can appreciate the talent and drive and athleticism required to skate at the olympic level. But the drama, and the commentators, and worst of all, the costumes. Enough with the ridiculous outfits already.

Johnny Weir, I'm talking to you. You certainly didn't start it, but you're a big part of the problem. First you arrive at the venue carrying the same purse favored by half the women in my office. (Don't you say man bag to me, I know what I saw. I'm betting it was Gucci or Jimmy Choo.) Then someone in the audience throws you a heart-shaped pillow that just happens to match what you're wearing, down to the pink straps and a tassel. Good God man, it's too much, even for a big mo like me.

And you, Kevin van der Perren, sequined skeleton? WTF?

Samuel Contesti, I'm giving you props for changing it up with some country music, but faux-dirty bibs? You're Italian, we expect better. Fail.

Evan Lysacek, you rocked the rink, and since you were skating to The Firebird I'll forgive you the feathers on your gloves, but those shoulder things are awful, as were the little see-thru panels on your back. The commentators went into great detail about how hard you train, its time you require a similar effort from your costumer.

You, Patrick Chan, get big points from me for this. It's a performance, I know, so I'm expecting some sequins. But you reined them in and it totally works. You looked great, classic even, and we could watch what you were doing without being distracted by what you had on. If this is how you present yourself at 19, I can't wait to see you at 23 or 27.

And finally, you're my favorite Takahiko Kozuka. Your outfit wasn't so far from the distressed jeans and party shirt you'd see on any guy out at a club. But in figure skating, that's innovative. No flesh colored panels or sailor suits. No gimmicks. Just something like normal clothing, but amp'd up just a bit, and built for skating. You could kick your skates off, put some boots on, and head out into the night. You wouldn't look "costumed," you'd just look good.

Remodeling Show Recap

Sunday morning we went to the Remodeling show down at the American Royal building. And while it annoys me that they have exhibitors selling stray things like jewelry or clothing or nuts, we did get some useful information.

There were tons of replacement window people so we talked to a few and got lots of brochures. We also talked to an insulation guy, and met our next door neighbor who runs the kitchen remodeling part of her husbands hardware store. We've met her husband when he was outside, but as it's been cold we're not out much and had yet to meet her face to face. Having been in the house she said "Oh yeah, you need a new kitchen," scoring her major points in my book.

Most useful, in my mind anyway, was talking to the guys from Overhead Door.

My mom bought me a new garage door at my first little house in Brookside, and it was all done by Overhead Door. Their products work beautifully and hold up well, but have always lacked a bit in the style department unless you wanted the basic sort of door that everyone else has. Until now.

What drew us over to their booth in the first place was a really sweet door with an aluminum frame and frosted glass panels. It looked like the door above, but that photo is not theirs because they don't seem to have the aluminum and glass line on their website yet.

Whats even better is that you can also get mirrored or reeded (my favorite) glass, and nearly 200 colors of aluminum, so we could match the frame to the rest of the trim on the house. Best of all, it was a third of the price of the other glass and steel door I've been lobbying for. I also learned that they now make openers that mount at the upper corner of the door rather than dangle from the ceiling, and overhead lights that just plug in and are turned on wirelessly by the opener.

I think the modern glass and aluminum would be great with our 50s stone, and have been planning on glass panels in our exterior doors as we replace them. You know how I like continuity. It seems like Brett's on board as well as he was trying to figure out a way to backlight the glass so that it would look good at night. Now I just have to figure out how to pay for it.

MidMal recommends: Jack Gage American Tavern

Locals, especially those of you in the Plaza/Brookside neighborhoods, Brett and I enjoyed our dinner tonight at Jack Gage American Tavern at 50th and Main. In that stand alone brick building that has been everything from a gay bar to a chinese buffet.

It's a dark and casual atmosphere, and the staff is attentive without being intrusive. You can see the menu at the link above. Prices aren't shown, we had two call cocktails and two dinners and it was 40 before tip.

Brett had the Black & Bleu Burger and enjoyed it although he didn't think there was enough bleu. I had the Roadhouse Chicken, which is braised in a wine sauce with pearl onions and mushrooms, and comes with spatzle in brown butter. I thought the sauce was slightly strong, and the spatzle was a little salty, but overall enjoyed both.

Having had a blah breakfast at Ingredient (new, on the Plaza) this morning we hoped we'd like Jack Gage, and we both did. There are a few southern/soul dishes on the menu, and I'm looking forward to either shrimp and grits or chicken and waffles next time.

From my valentine

We're horrible about waiting until the actual holiday. We both get it from our mothers, so at least we come by it honestly. Once we were both back home today it was "so do you want your present now or do you want to wait until tomorrow?"

You might remember when I posted about our Chinese cabinet from Kincaid's that I loved this turquoise glazed reproduction horse figure. I love his fat body and neck with his slender legs and tiny head. He's got some kiln dirt on him at the moment which I might clean up a bit, but I'll leave the red wax stamp on his forehead. We've set him on each of our cabinets and he looks fab on both, but I'm thinking he'll eventually live on the dark one that I plan to use in the entry.

Brett's gift was in two parts. The bottles of his favorite wine are chilling away in the fridge (we've suddenly and inexplicably turned into wine drinkers), and he's reading the manual for his new copy of Wii Resort Sports.

The Olympics are set to record tonight as the KU basketball game begins at 7pm. Beef stew is thawing for the dinner we'll have before, and my "toss in what ya got" cheese dip is warming in the little crock pot for during the game.

Tomorrow we're off to the remodeling show down at the American Royal. Here's hoping you enjoy your weekend with your valentine just as much.

I really should be working

But Stefan posted this and I can't tear myself away from the furniture.

I did not know about Flamant when we went to Paris, but after Stefan's review it's high on my list of places to visit next time. It's great knowing their designs are now available here through Copper Strawberry.

Pricing seems very reasonable. The breakfront cupboard above is $6100, but it's also three inches shy of 8 feet wide. I can't wait to explore the rest of the website this weekend. Click on through and take a look. pointless

Gilt's Mens Final Sale started at 11am central this morning.

By 11:03 I had clicked on a pair of WeSC jeans, a pair of AG jeans, and an RRL belt. ALL THREE were in another members cart.

Also, the belt should have been on my waitlist from the last RRL sale. I never received an email that they got additional stock.

Now one pair of jeans is showing available for purchase, but when I click to view the size I waitlisted is X'd out.

Does anyone ever get the opportunity to buy anything at Gilt?


Via Buzzfeed

Catching up with Craigslist

Generally speaking the furniture listings on craigslist here are dreadful. Chris at StyleNorth regularly finds all sorts of goodness up in Canada, but I've never had great luck here in KC. That said, I keep looking. Even though I'm not selling now and I've got way too much to do here before I think about furnishing rooms, I like to keep on top of whats out there in the second hand market. And who am I kidding, not being ready to decorate doesn't mean I don't think about decorating. A lot.

Remember all that pale furniture with the sort of pinkish cast to it, maybe from the 80s? Someone in Leawood would like to unload theirs. The armoire looks like something right out of an airport motel, but I thought this piece had potential.

The post says it's by Century so its probably decently put together, and I like the lines. Painted white (white? pale gray?) with some chrome hardware I think it could be interesting. They're asking $275 though, and that's too much. $150 and I would have already called.

We're planning to use the corner bedroom as a place for Brett's desk and a project table for me. The bedrooms here are roomy, we're replacing an old built-in desk with a window seat, it'll be a nice space. This next cabinet would be great for storage. Office supplies and such in the bottom, my sewing machines and craft stuff up top.

From up in Excelsior Springs, the post states the piece is made of antique lumber but does not call it an antique. Home woodworker I'm betting, which is great. There are a lot of basement craftsmen out there, and some of them are really good. I'd paint it to try to take away some of the "primitive" feel, but I like the simple shape and panel doors. No measurements are given but the size looks about right to me for the space. I'd have to change the hardware. The ask is $750, which seems sort of okay for custom furniture, but high for craigslist. I'm going to have to think a while about what I'd offer.

Finally I noticed this, an Eames Aluminum Group lounge by Herman Miller. The soft pad chair is my absolute favorite Eames design, but this one is a close second.

The post says it was manufactured in September 2009, and it appears to be in like-new condition. The upholstery is described as "chocolate leatherette." They start at $1400 in fabric at Design Within Reach, so it's a good deal even if the "leatherette" is a bit of a let-down. Sadly I don't have anywhere here I can use anything brown. Somebody will snatch it up quickly though, and I can't blame them.

Out of towners, how's your craigslist, anything good?

Basque chicken stew

One of the things I made on Crock Pot Weekend a couple weeks ago was a recipe I found called Basque Chicken Stew. I followed the recipe, well, as close as I follow any recipe, and it was just ok. Last Sunday I thought I'd try again as the weather refuses to warm up any and we've had enough intermittent snow or rain to make washing the car pointless.

When this batch was done I divided it up and froze it, and we pulled some out tonight for dinner. A couple of additions (capers and wine) made a difference so I thought I'd share.


2 tablespoons olive oil
6 slices bacon, chopped
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1 inch squares
1 green bell pepper, cut in 1 inch squares
1 bunch green onions, sliced into half inch sections, white and half the green part
4 chicken brest halves, cut into 1 inch dice
1 can (4 oz) sliced ripe olives
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried ground marjoram
1/2 teaspoon salt (I like kosher salt)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Heat olive oil in large skillet and saute bacon until browned. Add mushrooms, peppers, and onion and saute for another minute. Add vinegar (honestly I don't measure, I just pour what seems right) and cook one minute more, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Place chicken in the bottom of a 3.5 quart or larger slow cooker. (It seems like you might want to brown the chicken, but I didn't and it's fine) Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix. At this point I added a handful of capers and a big slosh of the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc we'd opened. I also added a bit more of the chicken broth since I'd opened the can and only used a quarter cup. Pour everything over the chicken and vegetables.

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. I cooked on medium for between 5 and 6 hours, which also worked). We like it better reheated the next day, or frozen for later on.