1. The Grand Budapest Hotel – I caught this movie on a recent flight and thoroughly enjoyed it, even caught myself laughing out loud on the quiet plane full of sleeping passengers. Ralph Fiennes is fantastic as the lead, Monsieur Gustave H. And I was surprised that I liked it considering other Wes Anderson films have not held my interest.
2. Trader Joes Mini Ice Cream Cones – These tiny treats are perfect for summer. They are just enough to satisfy your desire for a drumstick cone, but without the guilt from eating dessert.
3. Alexandra Ferguson Pillows – If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I have two pillows from Alexandra Furguson. I first saw the “Go to the Gym” one on a spring trip to NYC, sitting on the entry bench at the SoHo Sweaty Betty store. (Side Note: I posted a photo to Instagram when I saw it, then Mindy Kaling posted a similar photo a half hour later. I “fan girl-ed” a little there when I saw that! What, was Mindy following me on my shopping trip? I digress…) Then I was able to commission one in similar colors with the same phrase used on a design made especially for the Kimpton hotel chain’s Boston properties, “Wicked Smaht.”
4. Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – When I think of family traditions, there is only one I can think of that is a consistent annual ritual. Sadly, it’s not a holiday. It’s the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Maybe it was because I grew up on the west coast, and Nordstrom was one of the dominant department store chains there. All I know is that it’s always exciting when the catalog comes in the mail. I get my pen out and start circling. Back in the day, the sale was the perfect place to get a bunch of basics to cover all back-to-school needs (e.g. Keds, mock turtlenecks, etc. – that’s right, I was an 80s/90s kid!). Admittedly, the sale has lost its luster over the years, and I find myself buying less and less because the styles of clothing Nordstrom buyers are opting to include in their stock are not appealing to my tastes or I already have similar items – seriously, I do NOT need another ankle bootie!!
5. Systematic Art Hanging System – Again, if you follow me on Instagram, you will see a video of the gallery wall I just installed in my home to display some of my favorite photos. Imagine trying to hang 20 frames in a 2×10 array and have them all be completely even and level. Never going to happen! Not with my hammer and nail skills! My cousin, who is an architect, suggested this rail gallery hanging system. It was very easy to install, and very easy to hang and adjust the photos to the right height. I’m looking forward to being able to change out photos as my collection grows and my photography skills improve!