It has been a while since I’ve posted about one of my favorite retail outlets – the fine folks at CB2. However, I recently checked them out online to see what they are up to and was please to fine their Outdoor Collection – just in time for spring.

There are many items to love in CB2’s outdoor collection – but I am coveting their Brava Dining-Lounge Wicker Chair:

“All-weather wicker hand woven into a modern diamond pattern in elegant black and white. Designed by Mermelada Estudio to give personality and energy to any space outdoors or in. Solid aluminum frame is hand-welded into a soft curve that’s both sculptural and comfortable.”

Explore CB2’s outdoor shop.

Find CB2’s Brava Dining-Lounge Wicker Chair.

Visit CB2 online.

It’s the time of year I pull my bicycles out of storage and get them ready for the riding season. I have two bikes, and I love them both. However, every spring I am tempted to buy a new bike when I see all the cool new models. Soon I realize there is no reason to upgrade as the bikes I have are just fine. That said, I do like to spruce up my bikes with a spring tune up and the addition of a new add-on, like a new bell, or a new basket – like the awesome Bicycle Baskets I found from the fine folks at Goodee.

About the Bicycle Baskets from Goodee:

“In search of a robust front basket that adds flair to your bike rides? Beautifully handwoven in Ghana from locally-sourced straws, Baba Tree’s fair-trade bicycle basket is ideal for daily errands and picnics in the parks. Two adjustable leather straps with brass buckles tightly secure your basket to the handlebars for a smooth ride, with exceptional craftsmanship ensuring long-lasting quality. The baskets are hand-woven and hand-dyed so there may be slight variations in color.”

Find the Bicycle Baskets from Goodee.

Visit Goodee online.

OK, I have no idea exactly what L’Objet Lito Vide Poche means, but I am pretty sure it means something like “very cool object of art that is basically a plate with an eye”. I am also pretty sure that I really need the L’Objet Lito Vide Poche I found from the fine folks at FX Dougherty.

About L’Objet Lito Vide Poche from FX Dougherty:

“The L’Objet Lito gift collection featuring the ‘eye” as a surrealistic symbol of good luck and a traditional symbol of protection. The eye serves as a constant reminder to be aware, to dispel negative energy, and to seek beauty in the everyday, as a point of connection between two souls. These whimsical and surreal L’Objet Lito decorative objects are handcrafted in porcelain with 24-karat gold plating and inlaid with resin details.”

Find the L’Objet Lito Vide Poche from FX Dougherty.

Visit FX Dougherty online.

I have posted before about my deep regret for not purchasing a walking stick with a brass whale as a handle which I found at a church thrift shop many years ago. That experience has sent me on a quest to find a walking stick that I could live with, even if it means paying way more than that whale cane would have set me back. I have a big choice to make now that I found the Setter Walking Stick designed by Bolcas and available from the fine folks at Artemest.

About the Bolcas Setter Walking Stick:

“Showcasing the brand’s signature conical shaft in black-lacquered beechwood with a glossy finish, this exquisite cane enchants with its sterling silver handgrip resembling the head of a setter. Unadvisable for support, this piece is perfect to stand out in an exclusive walking sticks’ collection. An hand-applied tip in bovine horn completes this refined piece, which is shipped in a gift box and it is available in brown lacquer on request.”

The Bolcas Setter Walking Stick is available from the fine folks at Artermest.

Visit Artemest online.

A couple of weeks ago a package from Amazon showed up on my front porch. This is not an unusual event, I have many packages delivered. However, this particular package was one I did not order. When I opened it, I found a book sent as a gift from a dear friend and it was a very nice surprise. The book was Olive, Mabel & Me: Life and Adventures with Two Very Good Dogs by Andrew Cotter, which is a total delight. Andrew Cotter, a Scottish sports broadcaster for the BBC, became a viral pandemic celebrity over the past year with his delightful videos with commentary on the antics of his two dogs, Olive and Mabel. Now, Mr. Cotter and his charges take their internet fame and tell their story in a new memoir, which is funny and touching and the perfect balm for our isolation wary souls.

About Olive, Mabel & Me: Life and Adventures with Two Very Good Dogs by Andrew Cotter:

“When sporting events were put on hold in March 2020, commentator Andrew Cotter shifted to working from home. The one-on-one competitors? His two Labrador retrievers, Olive and Mabel. In the hilarious videos that ensued, the dogs engage in various contests, from bone-snatching and breakfast-eating to crushing it on the dog walk, while Cotter narrates to hilarious effect. The scene of Mabel, simply standing still in a fetid pond was one of the most popular. Why? Because this is how dogs live, and Cotter captured it with humor and joy. It’s why the series has been viewed more than 50 million times, entertaining dog owners, sports fans and celebrities around the world. Olive and Mabel are more than online celebrities, however, as revealed in this charming narrative. Filled with stories about how Cotter fell in love with his dogs, his passion for hiking with them through the glens and over the peaks of his native Scotland, and the ongoing relationship between Olive and Mabel (particularly the “competitive fire” lit during these days of quarantine), the memoir is by turns side-splittingly funny and thoughtfully tender. It’s sure to resonate with all dog lovers.”

Olive, Mabel & Me: Life and Adventures with Two Very Good Dogs by Andrew Cotter is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

Whet you appetite – check out one of Andrew’s viral videos with Olive and Mabel.

If you are like me, a year into working from home you are still working at the “desk” that seemed like the best solution when trying to set up a work space overnight. For me it’s a corner of my dining room table. I think I have been in denial thinking this work from home thing was going to be short lived. Now it is clear that working from home at the very least is going to be more of a regular thing if not all the time. So I am looking to invest in a high quality desk. Enter the fine folks at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (who only know how to make high end stylish products) with their great line of office desks.

About the Office Desks from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams:

“Create an inspiring home office with our collection of modern and contemporary office tables. Available in a selection of base materials, including warm woods and lustrous metallics, with sophisticated tops including quartz, marble and glass.”

I have my eye on Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams’ Scribe Desk:

“A perfect clean-lined mix of wood and metal creates a flexible and functional desk at home in many rooms of the house and with many decors. Pretty and practical – the top offers ample workspace. Three drawers (two with faux-double drawer fronts and a center pencil drawer) sport polished nickel pulls.”

See Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Office Desk collection.

Check out Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams’ Scribe Desk.

Visit Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams online.

I can’t get enough of the fun pop culture mugs I found from the fine folks at Cain Sloan – like their Shark Mug which will be perfect vessel for the best hot chocolate in the world.

About the Shark Mug from Cain Sloan:

“This is a handmade ceramic mug with an image of a shark and swimmer. This is a representative image, the mug you receive may vary slightly from the photo. Each mug is microwave and dishwasher safe. Approximately 4″ tall. Earthenware clay, white glaze, decal transferred image.”

Find the Shark Mug from Cain Sloan.

Visit Cain Sloan online.

When it comes to cast iron in the kitchen we usually think about cast iron pans – a must have for every well appointed kitchen. But I am here to make the case for cast iron bowls, like the Cast Iron Bowl Sets I found from the fine folks at Hawkins New York.

About the Cast Iron Bowl Sets from Hawkins New York:

“Our Simple Cast Iron Bowls are available in two nesting sets – the small set of three or all five. Both useful and charmingly rustic, these bowls work well as a mis en place set, condiment and salt + pepper dishes, or as catchall bowls for change and jewelry.”

Not only do Hawkins New York’s Cast Iron Bowl Sets look great just sitting on a shelf – they are perfect for serving guacomole and salsa in the larger bowls, or your favorite pinching salts in the smaller bowls.

Find the Cast Iron Bowl Sets from Hawkins New York.

Visit Hawkins New York online.

I used a shoehorn just about every day. With the popularity of slip-on shoes and my desire to never untie traditional shoes, I find a shoehorn a indispensable tool in my life. My Nana used to always say you should never go cheap on things that you use a lot and add to your well being. She was talking about things like food and mattresses. However, I realized that this philosophy should be applied to things like my shoehorn – which is why I plan to replace the $5 plastic shoehorn I’ve been using with the very cool, and definitely upscale, French Bulldog Shoehorn designed by Pasotti and available from the fine folks at Artemest.

About the Pasotti French Bulldog Shoehorn:

“The French Bulldog Shoehorn features an enameled brass handle representing the head of the well-natured dog in black and white. Handmade in Italy, this unique and elegant accessory has a wooden shaft, an ABS end and measures 50 cm in length.”

The Pasotti French Bulldog Shoehorn is available from the fine folks at Artermest.

Visit Artemest online.

I have often posted about my love of reading about the creative process and those who have been major influences on our culture. Few people have had displayed the creativity and cultural impact in the second half of the 20th century than the late great Mike Nichols. I had long been an admirer of the celebrated theater, film and television director, but knew very little about the man and what was behind his brilliant mind. Now in the epic Mike Nichols – A Life, biographer Mark Harris peels back the man behind the art in a wonderfully satisfying exploration of the celebrated and complicated life of a great talent.

About Mike Nichols – A Life by Mark Harris:

“Mike Nichols burst onto the scene as a wunderkind: while still in his twenties, he was half of a hit improv duo with Elaine May that was the talk of the country. Next he directed four consecutive hit plays, won back-to-back Tonys, ushered in a new era of Hollywood moviemaking with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and followed it with The Graduate, which won him an Oscar and became the third-highest-grossing movie ever. At thirty-five, he lived in a three-story Central Park West penthouse, drove a Rolls-Royce, collected Arabian horses, and counted Jacqueline Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Leonard Bernstein, and Richard Avedon as friends.”

Mike Nichols – A Life by Mark Harris is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

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