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five things we learned last week

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1. Metal bistro chairs may look cool, but they’re not very comfortable. Tiffany S wrote with experience: “I have metal chairs and, let me tell you, you freeze your *ss off in the winter! But they’re cute!” See the chairs and decide for yourself here.

2. Toy storage is a conundrum we have yet to solve. As Aris says: “I wish all kids rooms had furniture bolted onto the wall with floors that opened like trap doors! (warning: make sure to remove children before activating stow function).” See one solution we like, here.

3. With a little know how, almost any stain will come out.
Leeners82 recommends: “Mix dish soap with hydrogen peroxide and pour on the stains. rub it in a little and let sit. the stain will disappear. also amazing on red wine stains.” Got any more advice? Leave it here.

4. There’s an easier way to cut up butternut squash. Leah suggests: “Prick the squash all over with a fork and microwave it for about 2-3 minutes. It just softens it a little and makes it so much easier to cut into.” See a couple of easy things to cook with squash once you cut it here.

5. We celebrated inauguration night with chili and cupcakes.
See these Obama-riffic ones here! Thanks Rachel from One Pretty Thing and Alpha Mom.

worth a visit: the charles m. schulz museum


A recent artlcle on an exhibition at the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Reseplace Center in Santa Rosa, Calif., reminded me of just what a fun spot this is. If you find yourself in Sonoma County, and even if you only have a glancing appreciation of the venerable Peanuts comic strip, it’s worth a visit. Designed by architect C. David Robinson, the museum opened in 2002, the year I paid my first visit. I confess I’m a Peanuts fan, but I was surprised by just how cool the museum is. It’s surprisingly modern. There are Bertoia chairs on the deck. There’s a wonderful labyrinth outside that you wouldn’t know immediately is in the shape of Snoopy’s head, and in the backyard is an actual “kite-eating tree.”


But the inside is really what counts. From the huge wall tiled with Peanuts strips that from a distance form the famous tableau of Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the football, to an actual nursery wall that Schulz painted for his children before Peanuts was even born, to rotating exhibitions featuring the themes in Schulz’s work, the museum is engaging. And it’s small enough that you can see everything even if you only have an hour or two. Once you’re done, walk across the street to enjoy the delightfully tacky/kitschy Redwood Empire Ice Arena (and large gift shop), “Snoopy’s Home Ice,” where Schulz ate two meals a day at the Warm Puppy Cafe. –Mary T.

Many thanks to Tomas N. Romero for the photos.

great source for old phones

You don’t have to live through a blackout to imagine the need for an old-fashioned telephone. Plus, we’re getting tired of phones that get HOT when we use them — What is going on there? — and miss the satisfying “brrrrrrinnngggg, brrrrrrinnnngggg” from our youth. We came across the vintage 1960s telephones at Russell Johnson Imports the other day (via Daily Candy, where you can get a 25% discount on these babies) and are suddenly craving a real telephone. They’re pricey ($250) but are certainly much more than just a communication device. Also for sale, truly stunning apothecary and seltzer bottles.

what we’re loving now: pretty porcelain

The ladies of Coe&Waito have officially created my dream line of products. The collection of porcelain items created in their Toronto studio meld the worlds of ceramics and industrial design. The clean lines and almost completely white palate would fit seamlessly into any decor. The items are sold in stores across the country and in Canada. Or, you can purchase items by contacting the designers directly through the information on their site. — Erica P.

what we're loving now: pretty porcelain

The ladies of Coe&Waito have officially created my dream line of products. The collection of porcelain items created in their Toronto studio meld the worlds of ceramics and industrial design. The clean lines and almost completely white palate would fit seamlessly into any decor. The items are sold in stores across the country and in Canada. Or, you can purchase items by contacting the designers directly through the information on their site. — Erica P.