revisit! the best chocolate chip cookies, ever

This post was published last year on Sept 5th and has taken on a life of its own. Enjoy and happy Labor Day!

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I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist, but I do think that there are a few things in life worth perfecting. The chocolate chip cookie is one of them. If I’m going to go to the effort of pulling out my Kitchen Aid mixer, I want nothing less than the best chewy, crispy, chocolate-y results. My friend Lesley agrees. Four years ago, we were excited to find a recipe with potential in the The New York Times; and after test runs at home, we agreed that it was “the one.” All the credit goes to Wendy Gaynor, who runs the beloved cookie shop Ruby et Violette at 457 West 50th Street in Manhattan. My only personal tweak to her recipe, shocking as it may sound, is to cut down on the chocolate chunks by a cup to let the rich, buttery dough do some talking, too. Aside from that, these cookies need little more than a tall glass of cold milk. —Megan K.

Click through to next page for recipe! (more…)

help! i need house inspection advice

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I’ve been writing all this week about our lovely vacation, but I have some (potentially) big news looming that I’m quite nervous about: We put an offer in on a little house upstate, and this weekend is the inspection. Now, after being an apartment dweller for the past fifteen years, I have NO IDEA how a house runs. When something breaks here in our city pad, we call the super. I am aware of how crucial the house inspection is (thanks in part to this great book that Chad got me, called The Virgin Homemaker), but I must admit I’m mildly terrified. It’s so much more fun to think about beds and chandeliers than septic tanks. What if they find something majorly wrong? What if I don’t understand everything? How much wiggle room will I have after the inspection? I know that some of you are homeowners and have been through this yourself….any advice or wisdom or calming thoughts would be greatly appreciated. What’s the most important thing you learned from your house inspection? — Angela M.

P.S. The really big news? Chad & I got engaged. Yippee!

post off: where are your favorite flea markets?

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It’s spring, so my thoughts turn to, “Where can I buy cool, kitschy stuff that I don’t (necessarily) need?” Ah, the season of the outdoor antique show—I’m not talking flea markets selling big box store closeouts; I’m talking entire fairgrounds of vendors offering everything from Pee-wee Herman dolls “mint in box” to vintage Bertoia chairs. Two exceptional fleas near my hometown of Cincinnati are Kentucky’s Burlington Antique Show—where a friend scored the weird and wonderful fake food and doll heads from old store window displays—and the Tri-State Antique Market in Lawrenceburg, IN. Since moving to Seattle, I’ve become a regular at the Fremont Sunday Market (Open year-round!), but I’m itching to find the really big shows. So out with it—where’s the best outdoor antique show in your neck of the woods? And what’s your favorite thing you’ve found there? — Mary T.

what’s your favorite movie home decor?

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In honor of the biggest TV-event of the year, the Academy Awards on Sunday night, we want to take a moment to ponder the merging of our two favorite subjects: decor and the movies! Sometimes our love of interior design can even get in the way of enjoying a film (remember those pillows in the Lake House?) but more often than not, we’re just inspired. Take for example, the house where Curtis (Jamie Fox) and Deena (Beyonce) live in near the end of the Dreamgirls. Who could be angry when you’re dining at a gorgeous Lucite table? We’d probably feel more comfy at the wood-paneled home seen in Little Miss Sunshine. So what about you? What’s your favorite movie home? You know, the house you’ve seen on the big screen that you wish was yours, or that at least could be yours for a night or two?

Angela M. says:
Where do I begin?! I remember that Apartment Therapy Los Angeles did a list of their top ten decor inspiration films a while ago, and a few on their list (Contempt, Clockwork Orange, Far From Heaven) are indisputably influential. But my all time favorite has to be the amazing Dakota classic six that Mia Farrow decorates in Rosemary’s Baby. This year, I loved all the homes in Friends with Money (especially the one that Frances McDormand’s character Jane lived in with her “gay” husband). I always love the LA homes in movies, like Laurel Canyon (more Frances McDormand!) and The Anniversary Party. There’s too many. I may have to weigh in again on this one.

Allison R. says:
No holds bar. Tony’s house in Santa Monica in Scarface. Say no to drugs!

Click through to read more of our favorites and tell us about yours!
(more…)

what's your favorite movie home decor?

shelter_dreamgirls.jpgshelter_sunshine.jpg

In honor of the biggest TV-event of the year, the Academy Awards on Sunday night, we want to take a moment to ponder the merging of our two favorite subjects: decor and the movies! Sometimes our love of interior design can even get in the way of enjoying a film (remember those pillows in the Lake House?) but more often than not, we’re just inspired. Take for example, the house where Curtis (Jamie Fox) and Deena (Beyonce) live in near the end of the Dreamgirls. Who could be angry when you’re dining at a gorgeous Lucite table? We’d probably feel more comfy at the wood-paneled home seen in Little Miss Sunshine. So what about you? What’s your favorite movie home? You know, the house you’ve seen on the big screen that you wish was yours, or that at least could be yours for a night or two?

Angela M. says:
Where do I begin?! I remember that Apartment Therapy Los Angeles did a list of their top ten decor inspiration films a while ago, and a few on their list (Contempt, Clockwork Orange, Far From Heaven) are indisputably influential. But my all time favorite has to be the amazing Dakota classic six that Mia Farrow decorates in Rosemary’s Baby. This year, I loved all the homes in Friends with Money (especially the one that Frances McDormand’s character Jane lived in with her “gay” husband). I always love the LA homes in movies, like Laurel Canyon (more Frances McDormand!) and The Anniversary Party. There’s too many. I may have to weigh in again on this one.

Allison R. says:
No holds bar. Tony’s house in Santa Monica in Scarface. Say no to drugs!

Click through to read more of our favorites and tell us about yours!
(more…)