23 December 2009

Quote of the Day - Albert Einstein

If At First An Idea Isn't Absurd,
There Is No Hope For It.
Albert Einstein

22 December 2009

12 December 2009

One More Before I Forget

Joe Pug's Picks
(1) The Byrds "Sweetheart of the Rodeo"
(2) Curtis Evans "More Songs About Lonliness"
(3) The Sadies "In Concer VI"
(4) Tom Waits "Closing Time"
(5) King Khan & The Shrines "May 15th - Bottom"

Vinyl Records

So I have had this tear out from some magazine lingering around my apartment, my office, my car, tucked away in my planner for way too long now - I need to throw it out. But not the info. Here it is. Vinyls you should have:
(1) Akron/Family "Everyone Is Guilty"
(2) Camera Obscura "French Navy"
(3) The Flaming Lips & the Black Keys "Borderline" / "Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles"
(4) Lykke Li and El Perro Del Mar "After Laughter (Comes Tears)" / "At Your Best (You Are Love)"
(5) Modest Mouse "Satellite Skin"
(6) My Morning Jacket "Celebracion de la Ciudad Natal"
(7) Pavement "Live In Germany 1998"
(8) Radiohead - 10" EP series
(9) Sonic Youth and Beck "Pay No Mind" / "Green Light"
(10) Various Artists "This LP Crashes Hard Drives"
(11) Wilco "Ashes of American Flags"
Now let's see how long it takes me to check them out.

19 November 2009

26 October 2009

TOMS Shoes

Had the opportunity to go see Blake Mycoskie speak about his company TOMS Shoes at Steelcase this past week. What an amazing guy - and what an amazing way to live. He travels the world with a purpose - to help put shoes on little children's feet in developing countries. It is inspiring to see the impact a simple idea with a follow through has. TOMS Shoes

28 September 2009

Alyssa Monks

06 August 2009


TIME: 15 minutes

8 ounces buckwheat soba

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons light agave nectar

2 teaspoons mirin

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1/4 cup neutral oil (grapeseed)

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds or Eden Shake (a prepared mixture of sesame seeds and seaweed)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

4 scallions, thinly sliced

Cook the soba in boiling water, according to the package directions (about 6 minutes). Immediately rinse the soba under cold water. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, agave, mirin, vinegar and oils in a large bowl. Toss the cold soba with the dressing and mix in the sesame seeds, cilantro and scallions.

05 August 2009

CookOff Battle Begins

Last night we (who else?  Blachnos and myself - and a stray neighborhood man/boy) started a new Food Battle - I made Fish Tacos for the first time and think they turned out pretty damn good.  Recipe As Follow:
For the Fish (I used tilapia but meatier white fish would be even better - think Mahi Mahi):
- Salt & Peppered the Tilapia and then soaked in marinade
- Marinade (pureed first):  OJ, lime juice, basil, cilantro, oil
Side 1 - Avocado Salso
- Avocado, Cherry Tomatoes, Mango, Jalepeno, Lime Juice, Cilantro, salt & pepper
Side 2 - Red Cabbage Slaw
- Red Cabbage, Carrot, Cilantro, Rice Wine Vinegar, Little Oil, Sugar, salt & pepper
Serve in corn tortillas with some hot sauce :)

30 July 2009

Louise Fili Ltd.

This is a woman who has been inducted into the Art Director's Hall of Fame.  Louise Fili Ltd. specializes in logo, package, restaurant and book design.  The work is simple and straightforward and has the air of tangibility that I always love.  

Chipotle Sweet Potato and Chicken Tacos


  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo (these vary in heat)
  • 2 limes (about 4 tbsp.)
  • 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  •  2 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • 2 large chicken breasts (about 1-1.5 lbs.)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches chard, stems removed


  • Tortillas
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Salsa or Rick’s Picks Handy Corn


  1. In a blender, mix garlic, chipotle peppers, lime juice, vinegar, and salt. Slowly add the olive while blending. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice the sweet potatoes (I use a mandolin). Place on cooking sheets (try not to overlap), drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake the sweet potatoes until nice and done, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, cook the chicken breasts in boiling water. When cooled, shred into small pieces with your hands or a fork. 
  4. Wash the chard, remove the stems and roughly chop. Sauté chard in 1 tbsp. olive oil with a little salt.
  5. Combine sweet potatoes, chicken, chard and red onion in a large bowl. Pour on sauce and mix well.
  6. To serve, warm the tortillas (I used my gas burner) and pile high with the chicken/sweet potato mix. Garnish with cilantro, yogurt, and salsa

20 Super Foods!

1. blueberries  2. apples  3. sardines  4. quinoa  5. yogurt  6. steak  7. pomegranates  8. olive oil  9. buckwheat pasta  10. almond butter  11. wild salmon  12. goji berries  13. tarragon  14. chiles  15. eggs  16. kale  17. oats  18. lentils  19. parmesan  20. avocado  |  read article    

20 July 2009

A Calendar Project By Oscar Diaz.

Spanish designer Oscar Diaz has designed a calendar that uses the capillary action of ink spreading across the paper to display the date.  Each month, a bottle of colored ink spreads across a sheet of paper embossed with numbers, coloring them in as it goes.

17 July 2009

Peacock Feathers On Your Floor.

British fashion designer Matthew Williamson's free-spirited gypsy patterns and vibrant colors dance across the Peacock Light rug. Hand-knotted in Kathmandu, the flamboyant wool and silk piece sports a pattern inspired by, as its name suggests, the exotic bird's feathers against a cream or navy ground.

A Sketch I Once Had.

So I was once on a plane home from somewhere a couple years back when I quickly got the vision of the store I will someday own.  I sketched it all out - down to what the floors will look like, how the light will shine in through the transom windows - thinking about it, I should find that sketch.  The main focal point in the space though was a huge tree sculpture - it was going to be painted in a rich gold.  Any way, this email came across today and I had to include it on my blog because this is the closest thing I have seen - definitely more natural and organic than my original thought but the concept is there.  The artificial trees can be commissioned from Nature Maker in California.

16 July 2009


STRANGE CLOSETS : Tate Gunnerson's blog.  He describes himself as a "mild-mannered freelance writer, location scout and trend consultant who discovered his passion for design while rehabbing a pre-war Chicago building."  In addition to publishing Strange Closets, he contributes regularly to Chicago Home + Garden, CS Interiors and the Huffington Post.  BLOG

12 July 2009

Reminders From Regina Brett (90 Years Old) of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good. 2. When in doubt, just take the next small step. 3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone... 4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch. 5. Pay off your credit cards every month. 6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. 7. Cry wi th someone. It's more healing than crying alone. 8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it. 9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck. 10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. 11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present. 12. It's OK to let your children see you cry. 13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it. 15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks. 16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. 17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. 18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. 19.. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer. 21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special. 22. Over prepare, then go with the flow. 23. Be eccentric now.  Don't wait for old age to wear purple. 24. The most important sex organ is the brain. 25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you. 26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words "In five years, will this matter?" 27. Always choose life. 28. Forgive everyone everything. 29. What other people think of you is none of your business. 30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time. 31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. 32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. 33. Believe in miracles. 34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do. 35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now. 36. Growing old beats the alternative--dying young. 37. Your children get only one childhood. 38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved. 39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere. 40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back. 41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. 42. The best is yet to come. 43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. 44. Yield. 45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.                         

10 July 2009

Quote of the Day - Albert Einstein

"Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance you must keep moving."

08 July 2009

Herbal Delight

Just ran across a really cool idea... an herb garden built into your kitchen design (lined with stainless - even the drainage goes through your sink plumbing).  Jim Dase - a designer at Abruzzo Kitchens - thought of the idea for a Glencoe family who loves to cook.  They even put grow light bulbs in the can lights and decorative fixtures.  Purpose within design - or, more simply stated - design with purpose - I like that.   

Quote of the Day - Albert Camus

"You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life."

Chunk A Lunk Singing D Happy Birthday!!!

30 June 2009


Cool site I stumbled across today while trying to figure out what to do about my shit box apartment...  ferm living

25 June 2009


Stumbled upon this furniture site - like the simplicity of natural elements with a hint of glamour.  lawson-fenning.

Chunky Charlie!

Love this little thing...

22 June 2009

Bladon Connor - Furniture Designer

A friend of mine works with the up-and-coming furniture designer, Bladon Connor - really cool stuff.  Click here to read Intelligent Design article on the Strange Closets website.

05 June 2009

From Shaun.

30 March 2009

i love i hate i think i believe i feel i wish

may be seen as a complete waste of time.   to each his own.

26 March 2009

Harper Reed : Tech, Mobile, Yo-yoing and Death Metal

Check blog out here - created by threadless CTO. 

25 March 2009

Shaun 2 Point 0

A friend of mine recently started an experiment in social marketing strategy on his blog - Shaun 2.0. The plan (in his own words): 

"I suppose I should start with the purpose of this thing. Over the next month I will be tracking my internet popularity compared to my involvement in the social network community. Here’s the plan: After a week of recording my ‘normal’ popularity rate* I will begin Phase 1. Every day I will be updating my Facebook profile, sending one tweet and following one more person on Twitter, and reviewing one website on Stumbleupon. In Phase 2, I step it up to sending three tweets, following three more people and reviewing three websites per day. Facebook will continue to be updated daily. Phase 3 involves sending five tweets per day, following five more people on Twitter and reviewing five more websites for Stumbleupon. This blog will be updated daily as well and I will provide a weekly wrap-up after each phase. (Expect graphs) Please feel free to stumble and/or tweet the heck out of me and this blog, but while I appreciate your Facebook friend requests, I probably will not accept unless I have at least shaken your hand. Enjoy!"

FaceOut Books

FaceOut Books : Edited by Charles Brock. Every Monday he adds a new entry that celebrates the form and form-makers of book packaging. Entries usually include analysis, interviews with designers, alternative and rejected designs, and finishes (all well illustrated).

24 March 2009

Peter Zumthor

Peter Zumthor : Swiss Architect
"There was a time when I experienced architecture without thinking about it. Sometimes I can almost feel a particular door handle in my hand, a piece of metal shaped like the back of a spoon. I used to take hold of it when I went into my aunt's garden. That door handle still seems to me like a special sign of entry into a world of different moods and smells. I remember the sound of the gravel under my feet, the soft gleam of the waxed oak staircase, I can hear the heavy front door closing behind me as I walk along the dark corridor and enter the kitchen, the only really brightly lit room in the house."

12 March 2009

John Wayne Quote

"Life is Hard.  It's harder if you're stupid."

04 March 2009

03 March 2009

Alien Trespass Poster

Song Sung Blue

Working out of the Box: Audra DiSimone

Director of Design with Starwood Hotels & Resorts for LeMeridien (above)
A friend of mine pointed me to this series of THINKING OUT OF THE BOX - trained architects who branched out into other professions.  I picked the article dealing with Audra DiSimone because I liked the picture displayed - simple as that.  I am not one to be envious - but her job is pretty sweet in my book (and I may be a little in regards to this one).  Starwood Hotels, Design Director, "constantly driving a visual language to build the brand" - she deals with the big - interior space - to the minute - small packaging - and everything in between.   This is something I need to strive toward.  Read article here.

19 January 2009

09 January 2009

08 January 2009

Goop.com - Gwenyth Paltrow's Website

Ran across this site... Right up my alley. Click here to see.

Smart Home - "The Greenest Home in Chicago"

It is funny how I fail to remember that Chicago is a pretty damn cool city. I ran across the Smart Home exhibit on some website (that sadly closed just a few days ago at the Museum of Science and Industry but will reopen in March) and thought I would take an online gander. Not only does the museum have the Smart Home but many handfuls of other ridiculous exhibits like Cabaret Mechanical Theatre and Fast Forward, an immersive multimedia exploration of how our future lives are being shaped today. This exhibit spotlights some of today’s visionaries working toward a limitless, sustainable future. This is really just a posting reminding myself to go to the museum this weekend.