site we’re psyched about: poketo

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For a few years now, I’ve been spotting these super-groovy vinyl wallets designed by a bunch of different artists all made by Poketo. I’ve always thought they were great, but I knew nothing about who made them at all. So when browsing around one of my favorite shops the other day, I ran across some of the grooviest stationery products I’d ever seen, made by, you guessed it, Poketo. So much more than wallets, Poketo (named after a mispronunciation of the word “pocket”) is, as they call themselves, “art for your everyday” — that means smart and whimsical stationery, housewares, and oh so much more. It’s easy to get lost in this art-filled wonderland; but a couple of points of interest are the brilliant Desk-it calendar (a weekly calendar post-it note pad), the open-dated Clover planner, the rechargeable Music Balloon portable speaker, and the perfect gift for dad: a Cast Iron Tool bottle opener.

Best part? All this “everyday art” is priced affordably for just about everyone. And if they sound familiar, they designed a hyper-popular line for Target last year that went in a flash. Thankfully for us though, they’re sticking around. — Megan B.

From our partners

five things we learned last week

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1) Our edible gardens are on their way. Angela just planted hers and is looking for inspiration. Js says: “I have about 8 different herbs, cherry & regular tomatoes, cucumber, and assorted flowers, all still in pots. I thought I planted them early enough but they are still so tiny! I hope they grow super fast super soon so we can actually eat from them this summer. Raspberry bushes are wonderful to eat from, but they spread like weeds. Almost as bad as mint.” What’s in your garden?

2) We’re divided on the outdoor art by Cumulus Studios. Beth Ellen says: “That dead animal swing is a little bit cool and a little bit creepy….” Weigh in here.

3) Plastic wrap, ice cube trays and paper towel tubes are integral to these simple kitchen tricks from professional chefs. Julie says: “Good tips! Although I’m not familiar with one phrase you used…”leftover wine.” What is that? ;]”

4) Shelterrific readers are expert centerpiece designers. Sarah C. asked for inexpensive ideas for a bridal shower and it’s clear once again that our readers are not short on creativity. Submerged flowers, purple kale, potted miniature roses…the list goes on in comments.

5) Kartell Plastic Cleaner: Shelterrific-approved. Mary T. gave it a try and shared her endorsement. Ellie says: “Ooh, interesting. Anyone have feedback on how it does on the clearer pieces, I’m thinking about my Louis Ghosts with dog nose prints and some scratches.” Anyone know?

From our partners

blogwatch: where we’ve been clicking this week

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ModFruGal shows us how to create a groovy outdoor space and fire-ring that may just be temporary, but has got style and functionality in spades. Oh — and IKEA has re-released the fabulous Vago chair!!!

Over at Green is Universal, find instructions on how to make your own Cork-covered monograms that can pull double duty as message boards. Via Re-Nest.

Gizmodo is featuring the world’s most perfect picnic table — with convertible seats for maximum comfort in eating and relaxing.

We’re in LOVE with these bright, shiny and fun duck decoys by Tommy Hilfiger we spotted at CasaSugar.

A Design*Sponge sneak peek into the Seattle home of Textile artist Ashley Helvey. Such clean, open spaces — and can we talk about that bed?

Proof positive that all of the most beautiful hotels are in Spain, at WebUrbanist.

Peas, carrots, and corn — and we’re not talking about food. Examples of orange, green and yellow together that work, at sfgirlbybay.

Cannelle et Vanille has the perfect thing for a springtime sunday breakfast: Mulberry and rhubarb crumb cake.

From our partners

new obsession: eatpastry vegan cookie dough

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As someone who has a heartbreaking egg allergy, most traditional cookies and pastries are often verboten. Unless I bake them myself or go to a special bakery, I go without. (SOB!) So when I was tooting around the local Whole Foods last week, I saw this beautifully packaged refrigerated cookie dough on special by EatPastry. VEGAN! Yes. So I took it home to test it out. We bought the “Chocolate Chunk” Cookie dough after perusing the ingredients and being impressed with its lack of impronounceables.

Because it’s vegan, you can eat the dough unbaked, straight from the container — which is what we did. Heaven. Though they were fantastic in that form, there is nothing, I mean nothing better than a warm chocolate chip cookie from the oven — sprinkled with a touch of sea salt on the top. EatPastry has a wide range of more drool-inducing dairy-free flavors, like peanut butter and even a gluten-free chocolate chocolate chunk. West coasters can find them in their local groceries, but sadly, the rest of the states will have to be patient — they’re on their way soon. — Megan B.

From our partners

real life test kitchen: chocolate banana bread

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A dear friend of mine used to live in Maui, and when ever I visited (which was never often enough) he would have just-baked chocolate banana bread to greet me upon arrival. Bananas are omnipresent wherever you go in Hawaii, and they get overly ripe fast in the humidity. Baking banana bread is a great use for the super sweet fruits. Fast forward to my own kitchen, where there now always seems to be about three bananas on the verge of turning brown. I hunted down an easy recipe for chocolate banana bread (on food.com) and modified it slightly. It’s pretty simple pantry fare: mix butter with sugar and vanilla, add in eggs, mashed bananas and milk, flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt. My secret twist? Replace the 1/2 cup of walnuts with chocolate chips. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes. The results are just as moist and lovely as the ones I remember from Maui. This recipe makes two small loaves. One for eating, one for sharing. Here’s the recipe — Chocolate Banana Bread — definitely one for the files! — Angela M.

P.S. Here’s another banana bread recipe from our archives that’s not chocolate, but also very yummy!

From our partners