Wednesday, December 9, 2009

If You're Shopping For Me...

This striped couch is perfect for winter. It looks happy, it looks warm, and who doesn't need something stripey and colorful when we are having some kind of sick nor'easter and it isn't even the shortest day of the year??? Available at Anthropologie online, they take credit cards and will deliver it right to my doorstep. You don't even have to wrap it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gift Guide Part 4...Let Them Eat CAKE!

Checkerboard cake? $14 at Sur la Table. Don't forget the checkerboard ice cream. Or maybe striped print mixing.

Bundt cake eludes me. Although this castle shaped bundt cake pan could persuede me to reconsider the entire movement. Sur la Table, $36.

Simple and perfect cake stand, appropriate for all occaisions and design. Conran Shop. Available in 6", 8.5", and 11" diameters.
Now you're in business. Striped cupcake cute! Great for the homemade happy cake gift giving. Sur la Table for next to nothing.
Tartan cupcake liners. I'll write it again in case you missed the point. TARTAN cupcake liners. They match your grandmother's taffeta skirt that you'll be donning as gay apparel with your gray t-shirt and duck boots. You cannot put a price on tradition. But if you did, the cupcake liners are $7.99.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gift Guide Part III - Coolest Kitchen

This could be the coolest toaster I have ever seen. Even you minimalist people can appreciate this kind of countertop clutter. Leave it out, toast at will, toast for design. MoMA store, $225.
Brilliant glass half-pint creamer. Available for $14 (!!!) at the MoMA store online. This is an inexpensive and witty gift. Who wouldn't appreciate this?

I'm not sure if this is exactly the kind of message you want to send this festive holiday season...but I do love some humor in domestic life. Knife Guy, on sale $158 at A+R Store.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gift Guide - Part Two - I Smell Bacon

Let us begin the Parade of Bacon. Slightly odd, mostly funny.

Well, I guess because wearing a real strip of bacon over a wound may raise a few eyebrows and cause an irritating and obvious following of flying insects and dogs. Bacon Bandages, $9.

I am not 100% sure that this bacon flavored floss will help prevent any kind of major dental issue. I think it may assist in landing someone in an asylum (do they still have asylums?).

In order to smell like bacon at all times since you cannot eat it continuously...bacon soap, $8.

To carry all of the money around to buy bacon. Bacon Wallet, $16.

Those are bacon flavored jelly beans. I suppose for snacking, craving bacon and something sweet, and also for reviving the bacon flavor in your mouth after flossing with bacon floss and also eating real cooked bacon. $5.95.
And finally (I could keep going with bacon products, scary but true) - for the person so bacon-obsessed that they have ceased making any rational decision and now must refer to the "What Would Bacon Do?" ($4.95) decision wheel. This one thing taken seriously plus any of the above will certainly land you in a bacon-free zone monitored by friends, loved ones, or men in white coats.
All kidding aside, I think these are hilarious gifts for that meat lover (or vegetarian that has a decent sense of humor) who has everything except some Bacon Accoutrements. Obviously these are not terribly kosher or approved for any kind of Hannukah celebration or hostess gift.

Gift Guide - Part One - Inexpensive Jewelry for the Girls

Grill for your wrist, $112. Far less expensive and less intrusive than getting one for your actual mouth. This plus the Brooklyn Bridge ring would be a statement and a half. More statement than possibly most average towns and people could really handle.
This Paper Plane necklace is fantastic. I'm at such a loss for words over this I should stop narrating the blog photos. $68

Eiffel Tower earrings at $13...since you cannot fly your Paper Airplane necklace over the big blue sea.

These "Critter Earrings" (above) are only $16, and you get six pairs of little studs! What a great thing to buy and divide up into sets for friends.
All jewelry available on

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Day Off Island...Providence

It is the time of year where Dockwise has made it's last pick up in Newport Harbor (this past Tuesday)...sure restaurants are offering weekday specials and there is no wait for a table any longer. All of it makes me sad for the summer we didn't really have here this year due to Mother Nature's incongruent decision to offer rain and chill and a teaser of sun and a chilly fall.
More importantly, we can run off to Providence as an escape to a "city" without dragging ourselves North on Rt 24 into Boston driving madness. Design*Sponge has aWONDERFUL Providence Guide online that features the cityby neighborhood. I say choose one and explore. This is excellent for the doldrums blowing down with the Canadian air... Pick one this weekend! I am going up there today to scout some of my favorite vintage stores and make a much needed hit on Sephora for skin survival gear.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Possible Dream Job, But For Now A Cool Show On TV...

With the recent conclusion of some borderline trashy but possibly inspiring reality shows (Rachel Zoe Project and Flipping Out), I have been seaching for something different... Alas! The Sundance Channel answers my tele-box frustration with Man Shops Globe airing new episodes Wednesdays at 10 p.m. can we talk about that Union Jack lampshade please? (above)
Here is the best part...Keith Johnson (the man shopper) is titled "Buyer At Large" for Anthropolgie. Are you joking? This could be the coolest job (and most untouchable) I have heard of in a loooong time. Hats off to you, Keith.
DVR or watch this show On-Demand immediately. Maybe it will inspire you to create a cool job like this to spread your own style influence into a growing empire like Anthropologie.

Monday, November 2, 2009

More Than A Pet Peeve

I absolutely cannot contain myself one more second about this subject. Therefore I am starting a new month of entries with a little note to all of you about my very severe and yet-still-growing distain for the phrase: "to be honest with you".
I would not hire someone who uses the phrase, and I am seriously considering de-friending people (in real life not on that faux life website) who are using this phrase. Whether you are little George Washington (below) or Honest Abe, the bottom line is that when this cliche is used I think that you are: a) about to lie to me, or b) have already told me a lie somewhere in your previous words.
I know some of you may argue that it is not your intention to make the listener feel so betrayed when you thoughtlessly blurt out the cliche: "to be honest with you". Please, argue. Use more cliches to prove your point. But I will still think you are lying or have lied in some capacity.
So do all of us a favor, including your founding fathers, and stop saying "to be honest with you" and "honestly". They are trash words taking up space where thoughtfulness and intellegence should be instead.
Tomorrow my entry will be colorful and aesthetically pleasing.
*The GW is for you may need to send me pictures of your "Washington Monument" to is inspiring and makes that chore so entertaining.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Giddy Up

I mean, come on. Fabulous. Stirrup cufflinks. Vintage.I hesitated posting this because even though I am not a wearer of cufflinks I think it would be a good deed to have these remade to improve the Lives of Men. And the women who look at them. It's all in the details, guys, in case you didn't already get that memo.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home...
If you want to visit Newport, here is a great guide on Design*Sponge written by a one-year resident**. **good job Andrea McHugh, whomever you are...glad you are enjoying the Fishbowl.

Just Chillin'

This is the coolest ice bucket I have ever seen. It is also handmade from sterling silver. Available on Ralph Lauren's Gift Vault site.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Change Purse Has Whiskers

This mouse. Is brilliant.
It has whiskers*.
I love a dash of humor, especially one that involves animal shapes.

Available on the Colette website.
I have to say, bringing the superbly edited finds from Colette's brick and mortar in Paris right into my computer is possibly one of the greatest bits about this thing called the internet.
*Whiskers: a favorite word...say it out loud right now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cuff 'Em

I am not a huge fan of the live, roving, squawking, mating Peacock. When I lived in the Village on Longboat Key there was a throng of "wild" Peacocks. They had been driven out of every other block by annoyed neighbors into a six house radius at which my house was the center. They are endangered or might come after you in the night since they are the size of Great Danes; so my neighbors protected them. It wasn't even the tourists stopping to take pictures of them in my yard, it was the mess and the loud squawking. I can still imitate them, it is quite a party favor for anyone who has lived with Peacocks. However, I do approve of the Peacock cuff above. Designed by Pippa Small and made of 14k gold and Labradorite (!!!), it is finally a Peacock related item that I can stomach after a decade of distain. It is also 14,000 Pounds on Astley Clarke.
Next is something more affordable and less Peacock. A Carnelian cuff by Asha by ADM. It is listed as approximately $995 also on Astley Clarke. But the designer Ashley Dodgen-McCormick's current collection is on her website. She is the next collectible and elegant jewelry designer, at very affordable prices using high quality stones in timeless designs. I encourage the purchase of some of her jewelry. The cuff below is a brilliant start.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Tony Duquette's new book More Is More is available now...combine this with Assouline's lifestyle book GYPSET about the designer-hippie-brocade-Ibiza-gold-tan-private jet set...and we have a recipe for getting through the next week or two with a little more inspiration than these grey New England skies can provide. Add in the Tony Duquette ring above and, well, we should call it a lifejacket.
It's no secret that I am not a fan of the cold weather (unless it involves a chic shearling, two feet of snow, and a roaring Vermont stone fireplace).
Signing off: Looking for Inspiration to Keep Me Afloat...HB

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I'm not insanely fond of the Walrus. Except that cartoon Walruses are cute. And I do like their tusks. Things with fangs and tusks are pretty adorable. It's like a helpless super-bad overbite.
That said, I am not sure I would wear this cuff. But I sure admire the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into making this little guy.
David Webb...again.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rings on Parade, Part One...

I never fully got the concept of "cocktail ring" since my Grandmother, who owned the rings and allowed me to wear them to picnic dinners (sometimes), was no longer "cocktailing". The term confused me...
...Until later when I heard stories about all of the previous cocktailing she and my Grandfather had done during the summers in the 50s and 60s. Two solid decades of cocktailing. It skips a generation; my parents did not go out and tie one on.
My love for occaision jewelry was born. To wear everyday to picnic dinners, and to wish I could have been a firefly in the yard at some of my Grandfather's Mint Julep parties.
Tony Duquette Cabochon Ring - coral, turquoise, peridot, and amethyst.
Vintage David Webb Labradorite and Diamond ring. One word: Phe-nom-i-nal.

And finally with a regal but subdued presence, another vintage David Webb ring (do you detect a theme? Yes, he was a genius). Carved onyx with rose cut Rock Crystal. So good!
Happy Monday.
p.s. These are actually all for sale right now ($$$$$$) on 1st Dibs.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

If You Believe That, I Have A Bridge I'd Like To Sell You...

Brooklyn Bridge knuckle ring...need I say more?

Friday, October 2, 2009


Peabody's Beach, aka Third Beach.
I clearly cannot just let summer go so easily. I like fall. But it also is a precursor to something more ominous. That other season that is looming down from the North. It already snowed in Vermont. That creates an awful lot of conversation about premature winter, solid precipitation, and temperature. Now is the time where I panic and begin to frantically plan mini-breaks. Where could I go by car in less than two day's drive and end up on a beach? How much is a flight to Paris (I know it's cold there, too, but it is different...)? Who said they were getting a ski house for the winter? Anything to break up anticipated monotony of the dreaded season of sleep.
It's sunny out now so I am going to try my hardest to relish in the moment and bask in the sun...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall is Knocking

I got slightly distracted by summer...and now there is no hesitating to say that on this sunny and chilly October morning Fall has arrived in Newport. (It is 50 degrees!)
This is my favorite door knocker in Newport. I think it's on 99 Spring Street. The house is nearly falling down, but there are lights on at night so it appears someone lives there. I don't believe they use the front door, and if someone knocked with this the door may split into shards before their eyes.
Now that the obvious beauty of summer is behind me it is time to walk slowly with a large scarf and enjoy the little details. Happy October!

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Filet Of Sole, Baby, It's My Favorite Dish..."

Delicious fish earrings! I love oddities and these are scrumptious. I don't even like to eat fish, maybe it's the Pisces in me.
But in honor of a friend's "Fish Luck" party tomorrow - a Top Chef-like cookoff where the contestants choose a meat of their choice (tomorrow the dish is fish, baby) and then the flavor and presentation is judged and something is awarded besides Pride although I am not sure what - I have chosen Fish Earrings. These would be perfect to wear to the backyard extravaganza! Instead I will dig up something else nautical and fishy.
Available at Anthropologie online for $178, they are 3 1/2" long!

*Title quote from Dead Milkmen's ballad "Filet of Sole".
P.S. I majorly heart the Dead Milkmen mascot cow logo!!! (below)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cut. It. Out.

Brilliant! Scissor cuff made by Georgo Phillip Pecenikov. They open and close! Available on A+R online for $550.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Venice, Sunset...
Posted by The Sartorialist, July 1, 2009.

Go Ahead, Flash Me.

My latest concern has been the lack of fireflies on Aquidneck Island (aka: Newport). Since moving here in 2001 I have never ever seen one neon flash in the grass. Growing up in Northeastern Ohio, many summer twlights were consumed with capturing "lightening bugs" (as we called them in the Midwest) in jars with holey lids. My sisters-by-association, Melissa, Tammy, and I, would dart around the lawn capturing our fascinating friends that we were sure would continue flashing throughout the night while perched on our bedside tables. They never did, by the way. If they had it would have meant they were trying to mate with us. Better off.
An article in the Projo yesterday shared a concern that pollution and fertilizers may be the cause of dwindling firefly populations. The Museum of Science in Boston has been doing a study with participants from around the world who are keeping track of firefly activity. To participate and learn more, visit their Firefly Watch.
I urge you to do so since I cannot dart around any lawns in Newport capturing lightening bugs. Now is the time; neon is so in this year!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Third Beach Plans Foiled? Stay Tuned

Third Beach...
Mother Nature's Latest Miracle in Precipitation that is Forecast for Newport later this afternoon and evening...

It is true that the forecast for Newport this weekend, weekend = Sat-Sun, is SUN and 70s. Tonight however I do not believe that anyone will let us forget who is really in charge and may unleash some kind of downpour similar to the one experienced on Wednesday at the Newport Shipyard.
Here's to hoping for clear skies, a delicious moonrise, and fireflies. It rhymed. We don't have fireflies here and no one can seem to tell me why not. They fly, don't they? Well cross a bay once in a while. We need some lightening bugs pronto.
Happy July 3rd.
p.s. Third Beach on the 3rd was a flaming success (in case this was keeping any of you up at night). We had a great time, a fire pit, stars in the sky, the whole nine years. I hope it was a great 4th of July weekend everywhere!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Keep Calm and Carry On

This poster, shown below, has recently seen heaps of press. It has been photographed tacked to the walls of hipster dwellings on both sides of the pond. For one I am fascinated by the clean design: reverse print, sans serif Century Gothic font, normally alarming color that takes on a soothing quality induced by the text.
Beyond style, the origin of this poster is what is truly interesting. In 1939 on the cusp of an inevitable war with Germany, King George VI wanted to issue propaganda posters to reassure his people. No one knows who coined the slogan, and interestingly, the posters were not widely displayed. 50 years later a tattered copy resurfaced in a book and they are now reproduced and for sale on the UK-based site: Keep Calm and Carry On.To me this statement is an historical reminder that if you keep mucking ahead survival and success are an inevitable reward.
On this Fourth of July let us remember the Americans who mucked ahead for our independence in 1776-ish (ironically against the very country that issued the poster above...) and that their determination, tenacity, and passion created a nation unlike any other in the World.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Glove

While searching for information on who designed and made the legendary White Glove for Michael, I found an article by John Kehe on the Christian Science Monitor's website. Kehe designed a video for the Jackson's in 1980 and says that he witnessed the epiphany that was Michael's White Glove. While on tour of the studios Michael was interested in the white cotton glove worn by the film editor used to protect his hand from the running film. MJ asked if he could have one from the box. Later the glove was covered in Swarovski Crystal "loch rosen" crystals (Michael's actual glove shown above). The Glove was infamously worn in his 1983 performance of "Billie Jean", oft declared the moment he became the King of Pop.
In a 1986 article Michael was quoted as saying that the reason he often wore stage costumes offstage (specifically the Glove while in a burn unit) he said "this way I am never offstage". An appropriate insight to someone who was clearly himself the most while entertaining the world.

Long Live Michael.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thoughts On Our 80s Legend

My love for the 80's, enthusiastically celebrated in this blog already, should prepare all of you for a tribute to the Man Himself, Michael Jackson.
Of course he was troubled and confused, in public and private. Most Influential Artists live in an otherworldly fog that mere mortals will never know; most of us are lucky that we will never experience their struggle of mind and spirit. Instead we are allowed to be the recipients of incredible gifts beladen on us by these immensely gifted people who sacrifice their sanity and a long life in order to make our worlds inherently better, inspiring, and magical.

Michael wasn't meant to live forever; someone like him never grows old in our minds and hearts. Alternatively he has been given a gift upon his departure: a celebration of his life, work, and unparalleled talent. Since Thursday I have heard MJ songs played on nearly every genre of radio station, and out of every kind of car imaginable. MJ may never have truly known the love and admiration his friends and fans had for him while he was here, I can only hope that he is now experiencing the world-wide outpouring of music and memories in these days after his death.
Now go jam out to some P.Y.T. or a little Human Nature. 'Til tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How To: Avoid The Cobble-Wobble

The espadrille or wedge is really the only Newport-appropriate shoe in the summer. Therefore those of us who live here and visit here (packing proper attire*) are pleased that the wedge is still in fashion and easily attained. Though we try to wear other cute sandals from seasons past and present, it is often that we turn to the wedge to provide extra height plus assistance in maneuvering the cobblestones, bricks, lawns, and docks that we often navigate on an evening out.
Stubbs and Wootton Grace Espadrille, a favorite of mine although they do not offer them in as many wonderful colors as years past. How about Mimosa, S&W? It is Color of the Year afterall!
*please note that "proper attire" in Newport requires packing several layers including foul weather gear in anticipation of the temperature and precipitation variances that occur on a normal day. Clearly I have a preoccupation with the weather combined with fact that I am usually "dressed inappropriately" for the weather, ask the friends. Maybe it's wishful thinking.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The 19th Hole

Summer things: The Tervis Tumbler.Dedicated to Miqui, someone full of brilliant ideas, insight, and wit. Cheers to you in my 19th Hole Tervis!
...still waiting for summer in Newport although this is allegedly the "first day of summer"...