Last Sunday our neighbors hollered over the fences and invited us to come sit around their fire pit in the backyard. It was a chilly but gorgeous, evening with glowing skies. The kids romped around, occasionally swinging by for warming laptop pit-stops, while us grownups nursed a few beers and savored the last few hours of the weekend. Later back home, I loved the smoky smell that clung to my clothes, and I suddenly realized, fires aren’t just for winter anymore!
Before we rush out to HomeDepot to pick up one of our own, or invest in something as stunning as the Daze ($689 from Haskell), above, I’d love to get your take on backyard fire pits.
So tell me, fire pit owners: Are they safe? Where’s the best place to put them — on the grass? On a patio? And most importantly, what’s the secret to making perfect, gooey s’mores? ;-)
There was an upside to our move to (and back from) Chicago last summer: road trips! Having done one cross-country move previously that was all business (as in, drive from Cincinnati to Seattle in just four days), we decided to take our time in our trip back to the Midwest and see a few sites along the way. I knew there were a few places we wanted to stop, like Yellowstone and Deadwood (we’re fans of the short-lived TV series), but otherwise, we used apps to tell us what was nearby as we drove, and stopped when it sounded fun. We like odd destinations, so we relied on two iPhone apps the most: Best Road Trip Ever! and Roadside America. Which one would I recommend? Well, both.
I have been a huge fan of Roadside America since the wee days of the internet, and for the most part, their app does not disappoint. You’ll pay to see more, however — the Roadside America app breaks the U.S. into seven regions. You can choose one region for $2.99. If you want to see all of them, you’ll pay an additional $5.99 (or $1.99 ala carte). The upside of the Roadside America app is that you can find a lot of interesting backstory on many of the destinations — for instance, I would never have thought to go a few miles off track to visit FAST Corp in Sparta, Wisconsin, but thanks to a story on Roadside America, that became one of the highlights of our trip (more on that in a later post).
Where Best Road Trip Ever! takes the lead for us was not only cost — 99 cents gets you the whole shebang — but also its connectivity and easy navigation. We did a lot of driving through mountainous Montana and middle-of-nowhere South Dakota, and we found that even when our mobile coverage was spotty, Best Road Trip Ever! connected more regularly. It also seemed to have more immediate “Here’s what’s close to you right now” options than the Roadside America app. I also like that it lets you mark the places you’ve visited or save future stops in a “Wanna Go!” section. Let’s put it this way: I’m not convinced we would have found Evel Kneivel’s grave, a hilltop park filled with giant dinosaurs built in the 1930s, or an enormous statue of the Green Giant without Best Road Trip Ever! helping us out. And for that, we are grateful.
Next up: reports on some of those weird and wonderful places we visited.
Best Road Trip Ever! art via Propaganda3.
The other day I was having a delightful page turn through the new Heart + Home, a digital UK design magazine that reminds of everything I used to love about Living Etc and Elle Decor UK (which I can hardly find stateside anymore). Their combination of creative yet realistic homes plus sharp market work makes it at a true inspiration. Take for example the photo above. It is from a story about Emma Cassi, a stylist-turned-jewelry design who lives in a west London with her husband and two children. In her daughter Hope’s room, she’s cleverly taken pages of out of a vintage book and decoupaged one wall with them. What it the book? The magazine doesn’t say, but I’d think that a little Louis Carroll or C.S. Lewis would do nicely. I’ve always wanted to try this in a small half bath. Which author would you feature there? Jane Austin or Henry Miller? The mind twirls with possibilities.
Does your kid gaze up projected stars on the ceiling, dreaming of galactic travel to far away universes? Or perhaps you wish you deploy some anti-gravity techniques when it comes to cleaning up toy messes? We fell for these Astronaut bed sheets that we discovered via BoredPanda. The photo-printed linens feature an actual astronaut’s suit that was on display in the Museum Space Expo in Noordwijk, Holldand. Available at Snurk for 60 Euros. Of course, you might need to install mirrors on the ceiling to enjoy the full effect. One small step for mom, one giant leap for bedtime!
Could someone buy these chairs please? They’re on sale now at Three Potato Four, a set of four for $165. They are the perfect style and size to create the faux “dip” look we love so much. Why don’t you buy them and fix them up yourself? We would, but we just don’t have the room!
Click here for some color inspiration on how you can transform them into something mod and wonderful.