Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Smart Shoes and Jewelry at Colette

One of my favorite shops in Paris is Colette on Rue Saint-Honore. It is a very cool boutique, which features great pieces from women's wear and shoes, to items for your home and for your soul. Just walking around in the store is an experience! Recently, while browsing around on their website ( I haven't had the chance to get back to Paris for a few years now), I came across this interesting pair of shoes by Melissa---a Brazilian shoe label known for its unique shoes made from recyclable plastic. These shoes were designed as a special project for the company that makes SMART cars. The company selected five designer labels, and asked them to make a product exclusive to Smart, that had urban mobility, design, and sustainability as their inspiration. All products are recyclable, and limited in production to 150 pieces.

Now I'm not usually one who likes "jelly" shoes, but these are just really cool! The spidery webs all around the shoe are beautiful, and you could wear these in any kind of weather and not worry about messing them up. They come in silver, which is also wearable with almost everything, and these days, it's always a plus to find things that are earth friendly.
I also came across these necklaces by Paris based fashion collective Andrea Crews, which were also created for the Smart project. Each piece is hand made from vintage parts and are one of a kind. Cute, colorful, and lots of fun, you can wear them as necklaces, use them as keychains, or even hang them on the rear view mirror of your Smart car, so check them out at Colette, along with all the other great stuff Colette carries. They even have a great selection of tunes that play while you shop!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Wee Scotsdogs

Okay, so he's not a Scottish Deerhound, but he is Scottish, and sooooo cute! Look at this little guy all dressed for his very own Scottish Festival. You can buy a wee scottish outfit for your little (or big) guy at Puppy Dog Plaids or The Heelan Hound. Puppy Dog Plaids sells plaid collars, kilts, and even these little bagpipes, while The Heelan Hound specializes in authentic tartan coats, kilts, collars, and leashes. You can have a coat custom made for your dog in your own tartan. Great for those of you who are really into your Scottish or Irish ancestry!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cutest dish!

I found these really cute dishes at The Brick Kiln. They would make the perfect gift for a baby shower, housewarming, new dog, or birthday. Each dish is customized with your recipient's name and hair or fur color (when applies). The bowls are organic in form, and the pictures----so cute!!! Faux bois is so popular these days, and I really love their little wood grain dish too. I think anyone would be pleased as punch to receive their own, one of a kind, present! I'd like to order some just for our house too :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ryno Glass

My mom and dad went to the C.A.C in Temple, TX (where they've lived since 1976), and an exhibit from one of my Temple High School classmates was on display. Knowing I'd be interested, they sent me a few pictures of his glasswork, and I was blown away. Robert Rynearson (he was Bobby when we were in school) has become a top notch glass artisan. His pieces--organic and simple in form---have stunning color, and have gained national recognition, and were even showcased at the 2002 Winter Olympics. His studio, Ryno Glass, is located in a revitalized, downtown building in Temple, TX. They incorporate both blown glass and fused glass to create significant architectural and decorative works. Here are just a few examples of his work. His studio also creates glass tile and lighting. Check out his website to view his portfolio---you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Love Shack

Well, we made it to the Love Shack, and had Dirty Love on Father's Day-----the Dirty Love burger that is! The Love Shack is the new burger joint by chef Tim Love in the Ft. Worth Stockyards. It was recently named one of the top new restaurants in Conde Nast's Traveler magazine, and reviews in the Ft. Worth Star and Dallas Morning Newspapers called their burgers "quite possibly the most perfect burger on the planet." The Love Shack is located in a cool, step down courtyard right in the middle of the Stockyards, and we enjoyed live music by a local solo artist while we chowed down on this incredibly yummy food. Our burger, the Dirty Love burger, had bacon, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, love sauce, and a fried quail egg on top. The burgers are made fresh daily from a 50/50 combo of prime tenderloin and beef brisket and are thick and juicy. The love sauce and fried quail egg add an extra kick! We also had the love shack fries, which are homemade, sliced thin, and fried in trans-fat free oil. They are delicious! The Crazy Good onion rings are just that---crazy good, and the fresh squeezed lemonade and homemade rootbeer are perfect for washing it all down on a warm summer afternoon. The atmosphere was fun and relaxed, and we hung out for a while listening to the music and enjoying the cool courtyard. I can't wait to go back!!!

A Day at the Beach

We have a puppy, Astrid, who now lives in Victoria, British Columbia with the Lamb family and her uncle Havoc. They recently took a trip to the beaches in Oregon, and sent us these pictures. It looks like Deerhound heaven! With the hot weather upon us, I'm ready for a trip to the beach myself.....wonder if I can bring my eight dogs too? :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Modern Canine

Ok, so it's not really big enough to fit a Deerhound, but you gotta look at this fab modern dog house by Madshome that doubles as a bedside table. You can order it in your own custom color, but I rather like this bright orange. The "house" comes with a matching cushion, and the "terrace" has its own comfy sheepskin to keep your little guy cosy. I think it looks perfect for our Pug. Now I've just got to convince the husband.......

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Feeling Goth?

You have to visit AllSaints if you love goth inspired looks. Here, you can find the perfect pieces for women, men, kids, and your home. I'm in love with so many things from them, but here are some of my top picks: the Anata dress
the Bryony dressJolanta long waistcoatLimora cardiganDaria jacketthe Mimi mac, which converts into a cropped jacket
the Melanie sandalPorto bootand even a cool dog collar and lead! :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Keeping cool

It's summer down here in Texas, and the dogs always like to keep cool on our concrete floor. Here are a couple pictures of Ziggy, our Pug, chilling out.
I may be tired, but I've still got my eye on you!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Texas Scottish Festival

On Sunday, we went to the Texas Scottish Festival in Arlington, TX. It's been going on for 23 years now, and we go every year----with a husband named Duncan McPhail, how could you not? Anyway, this event is one of the largest Scottish gatherings in the U.S, and is hailed as the preeminent Scottish entertainment festival in North America. Maddy dressed for the occasion in her kilt and Scottish Deerhound t-shirt and earrings. I had my Scottish Deerhound shirt and earrings too. Duncan wore his formula one shirt, though it was not for McClaren or David Coulthard (sorry guys, but Ferrari all the way!).

It promised to be a warm day, so we decided to leave the Deerhounds at home in the A/C. We often bring the dogs, and it's surprising to see how many people at the Scottish Festival don't know what a Scottish Deerhound is. Our poor "Royal dogs of Scotland" often get called Irish Wolfhounds, Greyhounds, Borzoi, Afghans, and even Airedale Terriers! They do have an all Scottish Breed dog show, which we have entered before and won Best in Show, but it is always held on Saturday, and this year we were only able to make it on Sunday. We did see a number of Scotties, Westies, Border Collies, and Goldens (plus a handful of Scottish wannabes), but were glad we decided to leave the dogs at home, as it did get hot and muggy!

We started the day browsing through the numerous arts and crafts booths. Madolyn enjoyed looking for all the McPhail items, and even got to see the numerous versions of the McPhail tartan. Apparently, the McPhails, apart from having their own clan, were also part of the Donald, Cameron, McKay, and Mackintosh clans (depending on where they originated), so you could wear whichever tartan was your favorite from those choices-----and there were many!

For lunch, we had a nice sampling of fish and chips, shepherd's pie, and mince, tatties, and gravy (meatballs, mashed potatoes, and gravy). The meatballs were made from Highland cows, which are supposed to have leaner beef, and everything was delicious! Maddy couldn't believe how much she loved the shepherd's pie.

Next, we watched the Highland games for a while, which is always a favorite of Madolyn's. They have a professional and amateur division, so you get to see events all day long. We saw the professionals do the caber toss, and boy, can those guys hurl those huge logs! We also watched the hammer throw, and something we hadn't seen before---the beer keg toss. This was lots of fun, especially when one of the kegs would get a hole and start spewing beer!

At the children's tent, they always hold the children's games, and Maddy never misses them. She gets so excited about competing, and always makes sure that she wears her lucky rabbit's foot for good luck :) They have a foot race, sack race, three legged race, and tug of war. This year, she was in the oldest age group, so competition was stiff. Maddy came in 2nd in the foot race, 4th in the sack race, and you should have seen the three legged race! Maddy's partner, early on, had problems figuring out the timing of the legs and started complaining and wanting to stop. Maddy, though, would have no part in quitting, so she started hopping on her free leg and saying "we have to finish!" The other girl started hopping too, and they ended up still finishing second depite their rather unique technique :) Madolyn had lots of fun, and was happy to get her goody bag filled with cracker sandwiches, candy, gum, and a bottle of water, and of course all of her ribbons. She also got to try a childrens version of the caber toss, and after a few tries, managed to toss it just like the pros!
Next, we decided to listen to some of our favorite Celtic rock bands----The Rogues and The Killdares. I love the way they use the bagpipes and fiddle along with their electric guitars and drums. This kind of music has so much energy, and really gets you going. There were even some people in the audience doing Scottish dancing along to the music. We wanted to stay for a new group that we hadn't heard before----Brother--- but it started getting too late, so we took a chance and bought the CD to listen to on the way home. The program described the group as celtic tribal, and having a unique, edgy sound, so it sounded just like something I'd like anyway!

On the way out, we didn't forget to stop by my favorite bakery tent for their super delicious shortbread cookies. I never leave the festival without them! The last tent we went by had the best stuff in the fair. The owner hand makes all of her items, and she had all kinds of unique jewelry, dresses, skirts, camis, flower brooches, scarves, and hats. They were hand dyed and embellished. I got an adorable tartan cap adorned with a tartan flower and silver dagger pin ( the dagger looked just like the kind the men keep in their socks under their kilts). It was so cool, I couldn't pass it up!

Then we were on our way home after a great day at the Scottish Festival. Oh yes, and the Brother CD was great!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cool Custom by Kay Lim

I love the cool casual wear that Kay Lim custom designs. Her pieces are fun, pretty, and a little edgy all at the same time. Take a look at the Two Tone Tunic. It has a beautiful color combo of lilac and dusty pink, raw edge finishes that will roll naturally, an irregular hem, and a lovely arrangement of flowers around the neckline. A great melding of pretty and tough!I also love this cool Denim Hip Pouch. With its patches of denim in multiple finishes, grommets and black suede, zippers, and sequined embellishment in the back, it is a quirky, artsy, jean "apron", that I'd wear just as a cool accessory even if I didn't have anything to store in it :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tiny Texas Houses

These days, with all the focus on reducing your carbon footprint and being green, it seems like smaller homes are becoming the new trend, and Tiny Texas Houses is a perfect example. Each home is constructed using almost entirely pure salvage. Brad Kittel describes his company philosophy best:Each Tiny House is lovingly built to be a one of a kind creation constructed to fit the customer's needs and desires. Vintage doors, windows, flooring, and other architectural details ensure that the homes have soul and a unique flavor. The homes are built at the company warehouse, and then shipped to your site when completed. Discover the joys of living small----a simpler lifestyle, where you live with what you love most, and let go of the pressure to own more "things." Quality of life, not quantity of stuff!