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DIY iPhone Case

I’ve been unhappy with the choices of iPhone cases lately.  Why do I feel compelled to have my iPhone case be identified with me?  Maybe because I tend toward the visual and if something I see every day is visually “off” it truly bothers me.  After dropping a case I liked 10 too many times and having the bits and pieces break off until only half a case remained, I knew I needed to do some serious case shopping.

I found a great case last night by Dannijo.  But at $98, and with the distinct probability that I will break it, I couldn’t pull the trigger.  Still it rocks!


Image via

I have a friend who has an adorable case that is a picture of her even more adorable kids.  My kids probably wouldn’t want to be honored in such a way, but I was thinking how my daughter’s awesome photography would make a really cool iPhone case.

I used her photo of Paris Tree Tops and uploaded it to Shutterfly.  I ended up pretty quickly creating 3 different cases.  Shhhhh…these are going to be Christmas gifts!


Paris Tree Tops. © Madeline Wilson. All rights reserved.

I also used this picture of a Leland, Michigan sunset to create another one:


It’s graphic, it’s abstract, it’s nature.

My only problem will now be which one to keep for myself!

Time for More Etsy Finds: Wood and More Wood

My obsession with Etsy lives on.  Combine that with another current interest, faux bois, and I’ve developed quite a shopping list.

Here are my latest, most favorite finds in the “wood” themed category:

Ocean Swept:  I’ve been a little obsessed with drift wood and birch trees in my Etsy searches.  Ocean Swept offers a combo of products, from vintage chandeliers to drift wood shelves, that create an interesting visual palate.

Ocean Swept’s driftwood shelf

2.  Ball & Chain:  The wood theme lives in the medium of jewelry.  Check out the “plywood” and “oak” rings.

3.  urbanplusforest:  Another fun, wood-centric store.  I love the light and the shelf.  I’ve got my eye on a custom sized wall hanging as well.  The non-rustic feel of the items is amazing.

Wouldn’t this be great over a bed for a reading light?

4.  Recycled Brooklyn:  I love their use of wood/steel/and old sacks, like the burlap coffee bags featured in the bench below:

Would look great at the end of a boy’s bed or in an entry way area

So much on Etsy, so little time….

Best. Cookies. Ever.

My friend, Nae, brought these cookies to our cottage this summer.  I’ve made them multiple times since.  They are gluten free– huge bonus!  And while the preparation is not traditional, it works!  I feel like if I squint they might be considered half way healthy.  Maybe in a world where donuts are eaten for breakfast, these would be a good substitute!

Nae’s Freshly Baked Monster Cookies

Monster Cookies

3 eggs

1 1/4 c light brown sugar

1 c sugar

1/4 t salt

1/4 t vanilla

1 1/2 c peanut butter

1/2 c  softened butter

2 t baking soda

4 1/2 c quick cooking oats

3 or so cups of assorted goodies–M & Ms, Peanut Butter M & Ms, Mini Snickers–cut into quarters, chips of all varieties (I always use semi sweet and high quality white chocolate chips).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine eggs and sugars.  Mix well.  Add salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter.  Mix well.  Add baking soda and oats.  Mix well.  Stir in the goodies!  Drop by tablespoonful onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Cool on the pan slightly before removing the cookies to a wire rack.

Extra dough can be made into balls and frozen.  Makes around 3-3 1/2 dozen cookies.

This Month’s Favorite Cookbook

I have a cookbook problem.  I have too many.  I like food–what can I say?  I like to read about food and look at pictures of food.

The latest addition to my collection is “Town/Country” by Geoffrey Zakarian of Lambs Club in NYC.  What I am obsessing about as I drool over this cookbook is the combination of the rustic and sophisticated, the simple and the sublime (which aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive).

Interior of the Lambs Club. Image via Lambs Club web site.

The pasta dishes really have caught my eye–Ziti with Arugula Pesto and Crispy Prosciutto, Parmesan and Pancetta Gnocchi with White Truffle Oil (which my daughter made for a family dinner this summer–lucky us!), and Penne with Fresh Tomato Sauce.  I am also planning on making the Raspberry and Honey Crisps with Greek Yogurt soon and blow someone’s socks off–it seems delicious, simple AND beautiful all in one dessert.

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With fall in the air, it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get back in the kitchen!



Movie Festival Recommendations

I was so fortunate this year to attend both the Sundance Film Festival in January and the Traverse City Film Festival in August.  As I picked up my Sunday NY Times this past week, I saw mention of a variety of movies that I got to see at these venues.  Here is my list of movies to see that are now trickling out at a theater near you (in no particular order):

1.  “The Intouchables“–see my earlier post devoted solely to this marvel.

2.  “Robot & Frank.”  Charming, delightful, thought provoking, and refreshing.

3.  “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”  I’m liking this one more as the days go by.  It gets under your skin.  Beautiful in that “Tree of Life” way.   Disturbing as well.  I’ve seen the word “magical” used.  I would agree.  You’ve gotta be in the mood though.  If you click through the link and watch,  you will get the vibe.

4.  “Whole Lotta Sole.”  Funny.  Brendan Fraser is a really good actor.  Why does that surprise me every time I see him become a role–even in “George of the Jungle”?  So interesting to see Belfast be the setting for a comedy.

5.  “Missed Connections.”  I hope this gem gets a distribution deal.  It is the classic film that will spread by word of mouth.  It just needs some big wig to see it and push it forward.  It is one smart comedy in the Judd Apatow-esque genre. You almost can’t laugh for fear you will miss the next hysterical line.

The “Missed Connections” gang at the TCFF

6.  “Hit n Run.”  Movie fun–car chases, unexpected violence, romance.  Fun cameos.  You can tell these guys are all great friends.

7. “Compliance.”  Wow.  What a disturbing show.  Being a psych major, I was so intrigued by the implications of this subject.  I read every article I see about it.  How audiences react to it is in itself a psychological study.  Hard to forget this one.

8.  “2 Days in New York.”  Very fun, adult comedy about family and relationships.  I had no idea Chris Rock could act and Julie Delpy is always a charming.

I wanted to see “Margaret,” “5 Broken Cameras,” “Detropia,”  and “Searching for Sugar Man” but can at least add them to my list.  That’s the great thing about a film festival–getting exposed to so many great films in so little time and then anticipating their releases.  Hoping to try out Tribeca and Toronto some day, but I will always remain faithful to Traverse City–so well run and so many great movies.

Macy’s Hotel Collection–Sheets & Towels

This is my shout out to Macy’s Hotel Collection.  I read about them in a decorating magazine once upon a time and stored the info away in my brain files.  I stayed with a friend who had made the purchase and got to experience the luxury of the 700 thread count sheets and the sumptuous absorbability of the towels.  All I can say is I’m hooked and I’ve placed my order.

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My philosophy is if we spend 1/3 of our lives in our beds they should be like heaven on earth.

Image via Wikipedia

Shop the sales and look for free shipping!  It happens so frequently you won’t have to wait long.

TCFF–Caramel Corn Sundae


Sweet corn ice cream with caramel sauce and nuts. OMG amazing!! At Red Ginger in honor of the Film Festival!

TCFF–what to do between all those films…

Traverse City is perfect for a stroll.  Front Street and the perpendicular streets of Cass and Union offer a variety of goodies.  Food, watering holes,shopping, a busker here and there, and a guy giving out popcorn samples–what more could you want?

As I wind my way from the State Theater to the City Opera House to Lars Hockstad Auditorium this next week, I plan to stop at the following establishments:

Red Ginger–Dorothy, I don’t think we’re in Kansas…this place is delicious and happening.  Asian fusion food with emphasis on local ingredients.  Squint a little bit and you could be in any big city in the world.  First rate.

Red Ginger is smack dab right beside the State Theater

Ella’s–for denim and vintage. Love the mix.  Men’s and women’s.

Interior of Ella’s. How does the inventory change so quickly? Amazing.

Amical–French bistro–but where to dine–the great deck in back, street watching in front, or indoors by the fireplace?

Cali’s Cottons–an institution and still going strong for women’s apparel and household items.

Cherry Republic–the TC outpost–belly up to the wine bar for a free tasting.

Typical tongue in cheek humor from Cherry Republic

GT Pie Company–second Front St. location by the State Theater.  I daresay as good as my mom’s pie!

Duneberry–heaven on earth for Lilly Pulitzer lovers!

Poppycock’s–Huge cocktail list, wonderful handmade pastas and a lovely vegetarian menu. Had dinner there last night and all 4 of us practically licked our plates.

Fustinis–We are running dangerously low on garlic olive oil.  Time to stock up.

Thought the garlic oil was the thing, but bought some butter EVOO today for popcorn! Yum!

Bistro Fou Fou–the TC outpost of Burdickville’s incredible La Becasse.  I miss Hanna’s, but am over the top excited for this to open.  Doesn’t look like it will be ready for this year’s fest, but keep your eyes peeled.

See you at the movies!

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