I suspect I’ll be gifting the DIY Grow Your Own Shiitake Mushroom Log to a few people this holiday season. Offered at $30 on Food52, it’s a guilt-free present that offers a sizeable “wow factor”. The logs “are hand-cut and inoculated with shiitake mushroom spores in visible drill holes that are covered in cheese wax” and will yield mushrooms for two years. It only takes 4-10 days to see your first harvest on the 12″ tall log and a small metal plaque on the underside lists date of inoculation. Simply soak the log for 24-hours in cold water while providing the occasional mist and the fungi will grow.

DIY Grow Your Own Shiitake Mushroom Log (1)

DIY Grow Your Own Shiitake Mushroom Log (2)


High-quality bedding has always been a pet cause of mine and the statement doesn’t solely originate from the beautiful dog in the first picture below (though I do enjoy the pseudo-pun). I’ve featured a lot of content guiding toward the perfect bedroom because 1/3rd of life is spent sleeping, to say nothing of the overall time spent in the bedroom. I previously wrote this lengthy article on understanding bedding terminology and choosing the right set of sheets but textiles can only go so far when your bed doesn’t match your needs.

Duxiana’s bed collection is synonymous with luxury and style (even though the style portion is somewhat moot as the bed will usually be covered) but a luxurious bed by itself is hardly unique. Duxiana’s Pascal System is what draws me to their collection and really sets them apart from other high-end sleeping solutions. The Pascal System features six cassette-style slots where clients can insert panels that range in firmness. Unlike other mattresses where people must choose a single firmness that best suits their body, the Pascal System allows clients to choose a different firmness for shoulders, hips, and legs. Two panels wide and three long means that both occupants can customize their side of the bed in whatever way they see fit. The panels are ultimately zipped into their own enclosure (shown in the second picture below) which is then attached atop the bed.

Additional features include a lumbar support system for further customization, a small hidden compartment in the mattress to stow a fire extinguisher or hide small goods, and a variety of leg styles on which your bed can stand. Impeccable service, outstanding quality, and an incredible amount of internal springs leads to a hefty price premium but the warranty and expected life expectancy help mitigate cost over time. Assuming the money spent won’t have the ironic effect of keeping you awake at night, you can lull to sleep knowing that your bed is possibly the best-looking bed on the market, even if you only see it during the brief moments you wash (or dry-clean) your sheets.

Duxiana's Pascal System (1)
Duxiana's Pascal System (2) Duxiana's Pascal System (3)Duxiana's Pascal System (4) Duxiana's Pascal System (5)


The Archetto Lighting System (.pdf), designed by Theo Sogni for Antonoangeli, is as versatile as it is aesthetic. Suitable for both in- and outdoor placement, the light comes in a variety of colors and, most notably, bends. The pliability lends itself to an infinite number of possibilities, some of which are shown below, and creates a modern touch that can act as your main, auxiliary, or decorative light source.

Archetto Lighting System by Theo Sogni for Antonoangeli (1)

Archetto Lighting System by Theo Sogni for Antonoangeli (2)

Archetto Lighting System by Theo Sogni for Antonoangeli (3)

Archetto Lighting System by Theo Sogni for Antonoangeli (4)

Archetto Lighting System by Theo Sogni for Antonoangeli (5)


It’s been over two months since my last post. I’m still very passionate about modern design but the time I normally spend updating this blog has been re-purposed for cooking and baking: homemade ricotta inside raviolis, a 7-layer wedding cake covered in hand-painted gum paste hydrangeas, oatmeal cookie ice cream with mini-chocolate chips, breads, desserts, cocktails, and so much more. With today’s post, I hope to become more active.

I found the Multi-Basket Picnic Basket from Menu on The Kitchn and, given my recent foray toward food, it acts as a perfect segue back into ˈmä-dərn. Available on the A+R website, the $150 basket is designed by New Norm and features two air-tight containers with bamboo lids that double as butter boards. The basket also includes two cooling pads that can be frozen in the freezer to keep your food chilled while a felt liner adds a soft and luxurious touch. Picnics don’t seem entirely common but the right gear could be catalyst for change.

Multi Basket Picnic Basket (1) Multi Basket Picnic Basket (2) Multi Basket Picnic Basket (3) Multi Basket Picnic Basket (4)


As someone who loves to cook and entertain, the new cooking table from Bulthaup couldn’t be a better addition to the home. It reminds me of the Korean BBQ restaurant in Los Angeles where I ate years ago during a camping trip to Joshua Tree. If you haven’t been to an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ, it’s definitely worth a visit. You and your group order plate after plate of mixed veggies and meats that the servers bring alongside various sauces. You cook the meat on the scorching hot portion of the table in front of you and enjoy the food until you’re on the brink of purging. As you can see in the last picture below, the two wood portions of the table slide together to hide the cooking portion until needed. Bulthaup focuses particular attention on the social aspect of cooking at the table:

The cooking table is a further element for the kitchen as a living space. It places cooking at the center of communication. The design of the cooking table also picks up on the fascinating interplay between open and closed surfaces. Functionality takes a step back to allow wood, aluminum and concrete to create a sensuous experience. 

Cooking Table from Bulthaup (1) Cooking Table from Bulthaup (2) Cooking Table from Bulthaup (3)


I’ve been wanting a straight razor for a while but I suspect I’d hardly use it because they’re so time-consuming. That said, it would be great to achieve a closer shave for big events or important meetings, or just the occasional luxurious shave. I’ve previously featured the 45th Anniversary Razor from Baxter of California but the Paddle Strop Razor and Case from Bison Made is $96 cheaper with a price tag of $249. Unlike most razors, you wont need to buy a separate strop for sharpening and the cocobolo hardwood case with solid brass hardware makes for a a modern display ready for home or travel.

Bison Made Paddle Strop Razor Case (1)

Bison Made Paddle Strop Razor Case (2)

 


Saveur is one of my favorite websites for discovering incredible recipes and interesting cocktails. I’ve made a few passing mentions of my love for cooking and I’m considering starting a second blog oriented toward food. Most recently I created homemade ricotta cheese with the recipe pulled from Smitten Kitchen. The cheese was paired with cremini mushrooms and spinach for my homemade raviolis with the dough recipe found in the French Laundry Cookbook (the same recipe was also featured on Epicurious). The idea for raviolis came from my recently purchased Ravioli Mold with Roller from Williams-Sonoma, which I highly recommend. With my remaining dough, I want to put quail eggs in each ravioli and compliment with the extra ricotta cheese. Or perhaps I’ll use the wine-braised oxtail recipe from The NYTs to replicate a filling I once had at an Italian restaurant. Raviolis are incredibly fun because the options are limitless.

Anyway, back to Saveur. They recently named the recipients of their Best Food Blog Awards. There are 13 different categories and each category lists the readers’ choice, the editors’ choice, and four additional finalists. In total, readers are presented with a list of 51 incredibly blogs from which to pull food and/or cocktail recipes (for the math conscious, the number would have indeed been 52 but the readers’ and editors’ choices were the same for “Best Photography”). For both the readers of this blog and for future reference for myself, I’m sharing my favorite blogs discovered through Saveur’s awards.

  • i am a food blogThe first website, i am a food blog, won Editors’ Choice for the very broad category, “Best Cooking Blog”. The photography is sublime, the recipes are fantastic, and the layout is fun to navigate. The first two pictures below are featured from the blog and showcase the Okonomiyaki Burger and Brussels Sprout Grilled Cheese
  • Broad Appetite: Under the category of “Best New Blog”, Broad Appetite won the Readers’ Choice award. The blog offers pictures of both recipes for readers to reproduce and anecdotes (with pictures) from various restaurants. The third image below shows sea scallops with peas and carrots from the spring menu of Saison in Richmond, Virginia. The fourth and fifth pictures are from a recipe that is absolutely ridiculous for combining so many precious flavors in a single bite. Called theOmbré Pumpkin Brûlée Crepe Cake, the cake’s mash-up of incredible flavors is only matched by the beautiful ombré pattern.
  • Loving Cup: Only coming in as a finalist, Loving Cup is my favorite website under the “Best Cocktails” category. Their drinks are ridiculously unique which correlates strongly with being a bit difficult and/or expensive to make. Hey… if they were easy, they would be commonplace, right? Featured in pictures five and six is the Sour Grapes Cocktail which combines whiskey with pink peppercorn infused syrup, egg white, and red wine (with additional ingredients you’ll have to discover on Loving Cup). The second cocktail, the Cherry Bomb Cocktail, is “based on a classic Pimms cup using seasonal stone fruits”. Loving Cup includes ingredients in their drinks that range from Earl grey infused Irish whiskey and fennel apple shrub to chocolate balsamic reduction and even bee pollen (for garnish).
  • Culinary Bro-Down: As a finalist for “Best Writing”, Culinary Bro-Down is as ridiculous as it sounds. Following a 21-year-old political science major (that was my major!) at UCLA who is also on the track and field team, the website is unlike anything I have ever seen before. Teaching you how to glaze chicken wings with different flavors of Red Bull and titles such as “Pork Belly Bahn Mi and I Did It All for the Gains, Bro”, the author states: “I don’t believe in terms like ‘body mass index’, or ‘carcinogen’, or ‘regular check-up'” but favors “terms like ‘freedom’, and ‘monosodium glutamate’, and ‘buy one get one half off'”. It’s one of the funnest blogs I’ve ever seen which makes up for it’s (presumably purposeful) lack of aesthetic, bro.
Okonomiyaki Burger from "i am a food blog"

Okonomiyaki Burger | i am a food blog

Brussels Sprout Grilled Cheese from "i am a food blog"

Brussels Sprout Grilled Cheese | i am a food blog

Sea Scallops with Peas and Carrots from Saison

Sea Scallops with Peas and Carrots | Saison, Richmond, VA | Photography: Broad Appetite

Ombré Pumpkin Brûlée Crepe Cake from Broad Appetite

Ombré Pumpkin Brûlée Crepe Cake | Broad Appetite

Ombré Pumpkin Brûlée Crepe Cake from Broad Appetite

Ombré Pumpkin Brûlée Crepe Cake | Broad Appetite

Sour Grapes Cocktail from Loving Cup

Sour Grapes Cocktail | Loving Cup

Cherry Bomb Cocktail from Loving Cup

Cherry Bomb Cocktail | Loving Cup


I originally reported on RPMWEST and their Kickstarter campaign back in May of 2013. Their attempt to undercut the cost of high-quality Japanese selvedge denim through a straight-to-consumer distribution model has proved wildly successful. RPMWEST made their offer increasingly attractive by offering to “send 3 pairs of [their] premium Japanese selvedge jeans to the comfort of your home” where clients can “keep the pair [they] like the best and send the others back free of charge”.

A second Kickstarter campaign was launched three days ago to raise an additional $20,000 and RPMWEST’s target was achieved in less than two hours. I imagine a good number of pledges are coming from repeat customers which should serve as testament to their commitment to high-quality textiles and great service.

According to their current Kickstarter campaign, the Japanese Classic #4508 jeans use the same denim as APC whose jeans start at $185 which is nearly double the $95 price offered through RPMWEST. All pairs of light gray have been sold out and at their current rate of funding, I suspect other colors will go out-of-stock before their campaign ends in 36 days. Jump to their Kickstarter page here to reserve your pair before it’s too late.

Visit RPMWEST’s Kickstarter campaign here.

RPMWEST - Perfect Jeans Delivered (1) RPMWEST - Perfect Jeans Delivered (2)


I’ve previously featured short-term London-based rentals found on Airbnb and, in a very similar fashion, today’s homes come from VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner). The home in the first, fifth, and sixth pictures sleeps 10 in a 5 bedroom and 5.5 bath. “A welcome pack will be provided on arrival and an iPhone will be available for you during the duration of your stay” as well as a live-in maid (named Grace). Alongside a swimming pool and steam room, the home features a beautiful wine cellar, cinema room, and gym for £3,400/night.

I love the home in pictures two and seven for its incredibly high ceilings and golden columns. The home also includes a house keeper while the home theater offers individual Eames lounge chairs for nine people. The 4 bedroom and 3.5 bath home sleeps 8 and costs £3,165/night. The home in pictures three and four is, by far, the most affordable at £850/night. Featuring 6 bedrooms and 5.5 baths, the home can sleep 10 and, like the first home, includes both an iPhone and housekeeper.

I also found a short but fun article on Thought Catalog talking about life in London that you can read here.

Modern London Vacation Rentals from VRBO (1) Modern London Vacation Rentals from VRBO (2) Modern London Vacation Rentals from VRBO (3) Modern London Vacation Rentals from VRBO (4) Modern London Vacation Rentals from VRBO (5) Modern London Vacation Rentals from VRBO (6) Modern London Vacation Rentals from VRBO (7)


The DAS Keyboard 4 Ultimate is an all-black set that’s geared toward both everyday users and gamers. Found on Uncrate, the keyboard allows users to easily adjust music through the knob on the upper-right while sporting USB 3.0 connectivity. Buyers have the option to choose between two switches (the pieces immediately under the the key that compress). The Cherry MX Blue Switch offers a clicky tactile bump and the “feedback helps to increase typing speed by reducing effort needed to push the keys all the way down” while the Cherry MX Brown Switch offers a soft tactile bump halfway through the key press. Prices range from $139 to $173 and can be bought on the Das Keyboard website.

Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate (1)

Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate (2)

Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate (3)




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