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Tuesday | May 23, 2006
Oh my. This dachshund stitch-it kit is so very cute. It's made by Egg Press -- the wonderful Portland, OR-based letterpress company. Must buy now!

Monday | May 22, 2006
This afternoon, our package of Amai Tea Sweets arrived in the mail. And tonight, Jon and I enjoyed cookie after cookie after cookie (12 total between the two of us), along with a pot of tea. They were so delicate and delicious. My favorite was the Green Tea ... No, wait ... The Lemongrass & Ginger ... Or maybe the Earl Grey & Currant ...

I think I love the packaging just as much as the sweets themselves. The tea proverbs on each wrapper -- e.g., "Enjoy life sip by sip instead of gulp by gulp" -- are too cute.

(The sweets are available online only until the end of the month, so get 'em while you can!)

Thursday | May 18, 2006
The Morning News has a winner in its plagiarism contest, "Sloppy Seconds with Opal Mehta." Here were the rules:

- Your final piece is limited to 750 of other peoples' words; none of those words may be your own.
- All material must be cited (author, work, page number). This is the only part where you have to be honest; unlike professional publishers, we're actually going to check.
- You must plagiarize from a minimum of five different books by as many authors as you wish. The only demand we make is that those books were published at some point, somewhere.
- You must lift only phrases, whole sentences, or passages. No single-word citations allowed.

In other contest news, fred flare announced the first batch of winners in this year's "The Next Big Thing!"

And Holly at decor8 called attention to a new Threadless/Blik contest. The winning t-shirt design will be turned into a wall graphic!

Sunday | May 14, 2006
Since my sister was monopolizing my mom today, Jon and I decided to head into the city. We went to the Ferry Plaza for chocolates (Scharffen Berger) and macarons (Miette). And we enjoyed the special Mother's Day brunch at Samovar's new location in the Yerba Buena Gardens (we might have been the only ones there who aren't mothers and weren't with our mothers). And we went to Beard Papa, which just opened on Friday. They're only serving vanilla cream puffs right now, but that's all I wanted anyway. Though they were quite tasty, they're not SO good that I'll be craving them (thank goodness).

Wednesday | May 10, 2006
The 80-degree weather has put Jon in a grilling mood, so I had to go to the grocery store AGAIN today to pick up some hamburger patties. (Yes, we're too lazy to make our own patties... but not too lazy to make mango margaritas.) To make my trip more worthwhile, I picked up several new home/garden magazines. Some things that caught my eye:

Lauren Saunders pillows

Cute corn holders

Clever tea towels

Monday | May 8, 2006
Wow. These have got to be THE coolest paper plates ever. (And the most expensive?) I would totally buy the pretty napkins though, to spruce up our all-white plates. And those peony place cards are swank enough for a wedding reception!

Since they're reusable, the melamine plates by Pop Ink work out to be a better deal, and they're perfect for all of those summer BBQs. The Wallpaper and Tokyo To Go patterns available are my top picks.

Sunday | May 7, 2006
Today was a LOOOOONG day. We spent most of it on campus, as it was Jon's big orientation day for incoming students -- and their partners (lucky me!). At least they fed us a lot and there were plenty of free cocktails as well. One spouse commented that she's going to have to get her tolerance up if she's going to make it through the next year. Nice.

Wednesday | May 3, 2006
We have the most awesome car wash down the street from us. What makes it better than the average car wash? The storefront is stocked with a great selection of home/garden books. Today's reading included Old and New, Flea Market Style, Eichler and Nests for Two. There's also a plethora of cookbooks, craft books, etc. No wonder I've had the car washed twice in the past week! (Okay, really, it's because the weekend drive to/from Carmel resulted in lots of bug splatters. Gross.)

Tuesday | May 2, 2006
I have no idea where Lynwood, WA, is but I want to go there. Why? Because they have a 100-yen store! And I LOVE the 100-yen store! Here's Lucky's write-up on the place:

Pedigree: There are more than 2,500 of these popular 100-yen shops (like dollar stores here, but infinitely hipper) scattered across Japan. Now that it has opened this U.S. flagship, the 28-year-old company plans to roll out loads more throughout the country later this year.
Now In: Lynwood, WA
What You'll Find: An irresistible and riotous collection of goods -- makeup bags, barrettes, prettily painted ceramics -- all labeled in Japanese. And nothing costs more than $2.

If you are anywhere remotely close to Lynwood, you HAVE to go (so I can live vicariously). When I was in Tokyo last year, I stocked up on all sorts of goodies at the Daiso store in Harajuku. It was an excellent way to rid myself of yens towards the end of my trip.

Monday | May 1, 2006
We spent an extended weekend in Carmel, celebrating my nephew’s birthday. It was a bit overcast down there, but a good time was had by all. On the way home, Jon agreed to stop in Santa Cruz to indulge my nostalgia. (I went to college there, and love going back for visits.) I was thrilled when we arrived home and it was still 80-degrees out. We enjoyed a few hours of the BEST weather of the year in the Bay Area. I think it may be time to bust out the hammock again. And start brunching al fresco on the weekends.

While we were gone, the new issue of Domino finally made its way to my mailbox. In it, there's a spread on non-matching outdoor table and chair pairings. Here’s what Jon and I chose for our patio:

The table and umbrella are from Restoration Hardware. And if you’re in the Bay Area and have your eye on something at RH, you may want to check out their Warehouse Sale -- which will be held at the Cow Palace on May 20-21.

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