spicebox: inspired gift-giving

Shop SpiceboxI’m so excited to tell you about a brand new company called Spicebox – which was founded by two women under 30 and recently launched one of the cutest websites I’ve ever seen! Spicebox offers creative & modern themed gift packages for Him, Her, Tots, and Family. Each gift comes adorably wrapped and delivered with a hand-written note. A few of my personal favorites (pictured here) are the Bayleaf Baker, Savory Surroundings, and Tarragon Tubtime. Click here to visit the Spicebox website and check out their entire collection of gift packages – just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Shop SpiceboxShop SpiceboxShop Spicebox

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Tagged! Yikes…

I recently got “tagged” by Jessica and Holly – which means I’m supposed to post 6 strange, weird, or interesting things about myself on my blog for all the world to see…yikes! It’s a game/epidemic that’s hit the blogging world…so I’ll succumb to the peer pressure and play along :) Here goes:

1. I went bungee jumping at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe when I was 17. What was I thinking?! I was tempted to bail once I got to the top of the tower, but the lady going before me kept freezing up when they told her to jump and wouldn’t go, and there was literally a 6-year old making fun of her down below – so I was determined not to be mocked by a 6-year old (!). I was so scared when I first jumped that I tried to scream and nothing came out – but about half-way through it I realized I was (thankfully) still alive and suddenly it was so much fun :)

2. I met my husband on spring break in Cabo San Lucas my junior year of college. We’ve been married for 6 and a half years now. Guess some “flings” on spring break really do last!

3. I’m absolutely addicted to Diet Coke and Low-Carb Monster energy drinks. I probably keep them in business by myself!

4. I’m a semi-certified insomniac because I can’t get my brain to calm down and stop thinking when I’m trying to go to sleep (the Diet Coke and Monsters probably don’t help much either!) But sometimes I’ll get up and 2 or 3 in the morning and have to write an idea down or go on the computer because I’m not sleeping anyways, so might as well be productive!

5. I can’t whistle and am endlessly frustrated with trying to figure it out :0

6. I let my 2 yellow labs take over my side of the bed at night. (probably not helping with the sleeping either). But they’re just so darn cute I can’t bring myself to make them move!

Okay…so now I’m supposed tag some people myself…so I choose Leslie and Suzy. Let’s see if they play along!

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sam the cooking guy

Sam the Cooking GuySonny and I had the best time last night at a cooking class by Sam the Cooking Guy – a self-proclaimed “regular guy” from San Diego who also happens to have a popular TV show, a book deal, and more exciting ventures coming up including a new show on The Discovery Channel and a promotion with Newcastle Brown Ale. Despite all this success, I have to say Sam really does come off as a “regular guy” who genuinely loves what he does and just wants to share it with anyone who’s interested.

Sam’s classes take place in “The Red Kitchen” – which is the same place his show is shot and great for attendees because it immediately feels familiar if you’ve seen the show. The atmosphere was warm and casual and Sam was just as down-to-earth and charismatic as he is on the show. Last night’s class was called “I’ve Got the Munchies” and we learned how to make 3-Cheese Garlic Pizza, Hot/Sweet Wings, Meatball Sands (mini meatball sandwiches), Fried Rice, Tortilla Soup, and something called “Shrimpy”, which was basically lots of butter and shrimp and oh-so-good! Come hungry, because you’ll be treated to a little plate or bowl of everything on the menu…not to mention a few tasty cocktails in-between. Besides how good everything tasted, the next-best-part about the recipes was how easy they were. Most of them incorporate frozen or pre-cooked ingredients to make life easier on you – and you’d never know the difference when it came to the end result. 

Sam the Cooking GuyIf you happen to live in the San Diego area and would like to attend a class yourself, visit his website to view the upcoming schedule. They sell out fast – but keep checking back because he’s always adding new ones. And if you’re interested in seeing the Sam the Cooking Guy show, here is a list of markets where it can be found. If the show isn’t available in your area, you can still view a lot of recipes with videos on his website. Have fun!

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Vinotagz Kat from Modern-twist recently introduced me to new her line of contemporary entertaining products. When I visited her website I was immediately impressed with the fantastic modern-minimalist design! One of my favorite products – sets of wine markers called "Vinotagz" – is shown here. Each set of 6 basic or designed Vinotagz comes packaged in a fantastic storage case that cleverly fits on the neck of a wine bottle. (perfect gift idea!) You can even write on the tags with a ballpoint pen and the ink will erase with a damp cloth – or use them as super-cute napkin rings!


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ivy dinnerware

cb2‘s new ivy dinnerware is modern design to the core…a canvas of pure white with a pop of color and a few abstract graphics – these could just as easily be hanging on my wall! {…and for $2.95 – $3.95 per piece, maybe they will be!}

Ivy DinnerwareIvy Dinnerware

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back to reality…

So here we are in the Honolulu airport – waiting for our connector flight to take us back to San Diego…and back to reality… It was a great 9 days in the Aloha state though! It’s hard to believe that barely 24 hours ago I was swimming about 20 inches (literally!) from giant sea turtles, touring volcanic sea caves, and bouncing around the pontoons of our Blue Water Rafting boat (which is why it’s painful to sit down today!)…and now here I am back on dry land, laptop in hand – and now it’s my head that’s swimming with all the things I need to accomplish in the next few days before the site launches…yikes! {Note to self: stock up on energy drinks on the way home from the airport}

Anyways, I’m so, so sorry that I wasn’t able to post as much as usual while we were away. I had planned to keep blogging as usual and even brought a bunch of things to post on, but when we got here I had to jump through so many hoops to get the internet to work on my laptop – literally carrying everything from room to room, trying to get the signal to last for more than 2 seconds – that I finally decided to take it as a sign that on Hawaiian vacations you’re supposed to spend more time staring at the beach and less time staring at the screen :) So the posts will be back to normal come Monday…hope to see you all then!

Jenn :)

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russell + hazel

I can’t think of a much cooler way to store & organize recipes than these super-modern recipe binders from Russell + Hazel…Each set includes 2 slim binders – either Charcoal/White or Blue/Red (my personal favorite!) – and goodies like recipe tabs, menu planning sheets, and more. At $110/set, they’re a little pricier than your average recipe organizers – so I guess we can consider them recipe holder “couture” :)
{Available at Velocity Art & Design}

Russell + Hazel

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orla kiely

The bold & energetic patterns from Orla Kiely always make me so happy…thank goodness she adorns a few homeware products with her designs too…like these fun, modern mugs – sold in sets of 4 or 6 at http://www.orlakiely.com/. Happy sipping!

orla kiely

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pinkerton design

Pinkerton DesignsHow great are these ultra-mod “flips” stationery sets {shown above} from Pinkerton Design? Perfect hostess gift idea – or even as a decorative accent to incorporate into your tabletop design or party decór. And Pinkerton helps you say thanks in the cutest way too…click here to check out all of their fabulous designs in hip graphic patterns – definitley a modern design-lover’s dream!

Pinkerton DesignsPinkerton Designs

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Pinkerton Designs…from Hawaii!!! So here I am in Maui with my husband, parents, aunt & uncle and cousins – and I’m thinking that life really doesn’t get much better than this! There’s just something about “island living” that puts you in a good mood, isn’t there? The Mai Tais maybe? :)

Anyways, I’m taking this time for a little R&R from my “day job” but also to focus on lots of writing, posting, and getting ready for the launch of hwtm.com – just a few days after we get back from our trip! If anyone has any entertaining-related questions you’d like answered or topics you’d like to read about, please do to send them – or any other suggestions – to info@hwtm.com this week. I want the site to be as resourceful as possible for you – so it helps to hear what you’re interested in learning about!

Okay – aloha for tonight – more to come tomorrow – but dinner – and the Mai Tais – are calling about now!

Pinkerton DesignsPinkerton Designs{sunset views from backyard}

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michael’s cookies

Michael's CookiesNeed to send a gift but tired of the typical (and expensive!) flower bouquets and fancy gourmet gift baskets? Well, how do Fudge Nut Brownie, All-Butter Almond, and Chunky Chocolate Cookies sound for starters? Hungry, yet?! Then check out this next pic and keep reading…

Michael's CookiesI’m excited to introduce you to Michael’s Cookies – a San Diego-based company that delivers freshly-baked gourmet cookies by the bakers dozen in amazing flavors that taste just as good as they sound (let the rate at which they disappeared in my house be a testament to that!) Even better, the cookies arrive in equally yummy, modern gift packaging – vertical “towers” enveloped in hip stripes and metallic silver – the graphic designer in me was seriously impressed! Click here to learn more and check out all of the flavors Michael’s has to offer. Sometimes you just GOTTA indulge, right? :)

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iFuseSolution at Etsy

iFuseSolutionI was checking out my friend Suzy‘s luscious Etsy Treasury today and fell in love with the shop by iFuseSolution. As a certified jewelry fanatic, I first clicked on the gorgeous glass pendant featured in the treasury – and I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the hip, modern, fused glass coasters and platters they carry too! The bold patterns and vibrant hues are fantastic! Click here to check out all the iFuseSolution goods and see for yourself :)


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american bungalow

If you’re a fan of mid-century modern design, then you might just fall in love with the American Bungalow collection from Rosanna, Inc! I’m definitely in love with the prices too…only $40 for sets of 5 color or white mini-vases! Vases range from 4.5″ – 7″ and come packaged in beautiful round gift boxes – just like the gorgeous pitchers and nesting bowls!

Rosanna Inc.Rosanna Inc.Rosanna Inc.

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a great way to start your day…

…drink your morning pick-me-up from an ultra-cool designer mug like the ones shown here by LSA International – available in sets of 6 from Tart on the Web!

Tart mugsTart mugsTart mugs

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