In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

How do I make Steve buy a tiny house on wheels?

OK, so Steve has been given acreage in the woods where he grew up, with access to the gorgeous, icy mountain stream that runs through it. It's void of all infrastructure, and he's thinking about what kind of house to build, on the cheap. We've had many discussions. The land is heavily wooded, and I favor an Ewok type village of raised paths -- docks really -- between the trees, with little structures perched here and there. Hither and yon, if you will. They would all lead to a large communal deck. This kind of plan can grow over time, and minimizes the effect on the trees and landscape, and, not incidentally, is based on a public bathroom on the roadside in southern New Mexico. So there's that.

Anyway, clicking around I found THIS marvelous structure -- ready to go and just $20,000. It's about 7 X 13, is on a trailer, and is already plumbed and electrified. I LOVE it. There is a sleeping loft above, a generous desk below, a kitchenette and a bathroom with a shower. What could be better? tow it inot the woods and structure 1 is done. Done done done. Observe:

Leave it to me to only download pics of the kitchen. sigh. Pink fridge!

There's a remarkable amount of light thanks to big windows, a skylight, and lofted ceilings. I refuse to give you a link because I want HIM to buy it. And furnish it thusly: everything is collapsible, moveable. The teak chairs can be dining chairs inside in inclement weather, but can live outside on the communal deck most all the other times.

Also, how about that sauna? he loves saunas. $7,000.

I rule. You're welcome, Steve.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to make your house smell like green heaven:

You know what the best smell in the world is? No, not Pumpkin Spice Latte or whatever it is you people drink.

It's the smell of the green leaves on a tomato plant. It's so clean and fresh, the very essence of what green should smell like. I think its the smell of chlorophyl. It's just... perfect. Wonderful. Smells nothing like a tomato itself... And its only something you can enjoy if you bother to grow tomatoes yourself.

Remarkably, Jonathan Adler understands this, and has somehow captured the scent in his (ahem) $38 candle. Worth every penny. Now if I only had the pennies.

I am normally a sucker for all things grapefruit -- but this. Heavy sigh. I'd roll in it if I could.