Saturday, June 19, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

OK. I don't usually do this. And for good reason. I hate selling. BUT I have to share.

A long time ago, on a blog I happened upon by accident, I ran across a stunning bedding set that was credited to Rue La La. Which at the time I had not heard of. It was such gorgeous bedding, I took the blogger up on the invite and signed up to the site to look at more. Well, now I am hooked. I used her code to get onto the members only site which was good marketing on her part because for every person who signed up, she got a discount. On the one hand, I was impressed at her sneaky way of getting people to sign up under her.. on the other, I had that "sneaky salesman" feeling that comes from falling for the pitch. Either way, I go over there regularly to imagine owning a $2000 gown, or toying with the idea of adding to my (amazingly pared down) shoe collection. I don't do much shopping anymore, but the near latent fashion industry side of me still likes to look. And yesterday I came very close to dropping $400 on about $1200 worth of Le Creuset pots and pans. And then today, just to torture myself, I got back on there to see if my pots had sold already (most sales last only two to three days) and I came across some summer stuff that is just too good not to share with you.

First, I am a total sucker for picnics and the adorable and funky carry-alls that go with them and these sets are pretty nifty.

I love the colours and the neato shapes. I also think that at $40 ish they are worth consideration if you are in the market. My kids love to go on picnics, even just at the park down the street. We use a vintage "bubble" basket that I love, but if I were needing one, I think I would go for the last, round one. So much fun and sophisticated looking too.

Next up, from the same sale, is a portable picnic table. THIS I LOVE! I can see so many uses for this, not the least of which might be encouraging that friend of mine who has sworn off camping to give it another go. A sleek number like this, a few decent bottles of vino and some great cheese... she might let the stigma go. Probably not, but hey, you never know.

Add to this incentive a super cute sunhat and shoes, and the camping trip may look appealing. Just saying...

... and everyone needs a hammock in a bag. That I can vouch for personally.

So, in summation, if ridiculously sweet deals on labels, designers and even vacations (they had a PHENOMENAL Father's Day lineup last week that included lessons with a professional race car driver and trekking across mountain ranges,) appeal to you in any way shape or form, you may want to check out Rue La La. If you are not already a member, feel free to use MY code ( and get me points towards my cookware the next time it goes on sale. I would even invite you over for dinner, but you might want to give me some time to learn how to use it adequately. I am all for you using the code as long as you don't feel like I was being all shady about it. It really is fun, even if just for a good browse. Happy picnicing!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I have a new love.

I really should have started this affair months ago when my good friend Lara tried her best to introduce us, but I was preoccupied and a little arrogant and figured he would wait around for me. Well, I am not sure that he noticed, because he is a man coveted by many (according to the number of comments he receives daily,) and I am not going to pretend that he has been pining away the days, as he has kept himself very busy... but I finally went over and introduced myself today and I couldn't be happier with the results :)

Meet Joel. A man of great taste, imagination, devotion and love for his children (and, I am sure, his darling looking wife). Joel is an at home dad who takes his role very seriously in a not so serious manner. An artist in residence, he has taken it upon himself to enrich his life, the lives of his three year old twins and thankfully, through his blog Made by Joel, our lives as well. An almost daily account of his simple and manageable but stylin' projects is not only supremely useful to any parent... but hugely inspiring!

Joel is very good at taking a good sense of design and showing the rest of us that it really is a good thing to keep things simple and doable. It is a product of a consumer based society to believe that things must be complicated and expensive to be worthwhile. I like to think I am less consumer minded than many, but I always take things that are simple and do my best to complicate them. As a parent of two boys, it is so good to be reminded that this doesn't need to be the case.

I found myself scrolling through Joel's simple yet stunning ideas and realizing how many areas of my life are more complicated than they need to be. While he does not skimp on quality design-wise, he uses such simple techniques and supplies in each of his projects that the reader is left with no other conclusion than to say "I can do this.... and I want to." And this, my friends, is good.

More playing with our kids, less stressing out. Yes, thank you! Joel and I will be spending a great deal of time together from here on in. And he can wear what he wants, doesn't need to be fancy. It is about time I found a good man.