Maybe summer fever is to blame, but thoughts of the life aquatic have been filling our household. Marine biology lessons mix with tales of water fairies and mermaids; doodles of starfish and whales dot our sketchpads. We may be stranded on land this holiday week, but this hysterical tentacle doorstop makes us feel like the great sea is knocking. Made of hand-painted urethane resin, this tough toe jam works on all kinds of floors. It’s like an octopus is inviting itself for dinner — and he’s hungry! A little silly, but we love. $19 at neatoshop.com (via papermag.com). (Also available as a wine stop.
One of our favorite midday distractions is getting an email from a flash sale site. Gilt, One King’s Lane, Fab — we love them all. Even though we don’t often bite the bullet and plunk down our credit card digits, their sites’ design and offerings is always inspiring eye candy. We’re excited to meet the new kid in this swank block, 55 Downing Street. What an address! To celebrate their launch, they are offering Shelterrific readers a one-day 30% off discount deal. Since they’re prices are already marked down a lot (almost 70% on some items) this could put that Moroccan ottoman or daisy print indoor outdoor rug right in your grasp. To get the discount, click through to this link, and the 30% will automatically be applied to your shopping cart. Offer expires at midnight on the 29th, so don’t hesitate!
After reading the Real Life Test Kitchen on the perfect lemon cake, you might be saying to yourself, a 1/4 cup of lemon zest! That’s a lot of zesting! Well, I have to share a new gadget that made the zesting of half a dozen lemons a breeze: the palm zester. I had been using traditional handheld graters, but often scraped my knuckles along with the fruit’s skin. This little guy slips through your fingers of one hand, while the other holds the lemon. Circle round and the attached container catches all the zest for you. To get a 1/4 of a cup, I had to fill this baby up about four times. But it went fast. It’s $8 at Target, and I recommend you get one to help with your next lemony creation!
Do you have kitchen gadget you love? Please tell us about it!
Finding a place to plug in our growing number of devices is a constant quest. This is especially true in our home office, where book shelves line one wall and hide a couple of much needed outlets. This little genius invention solves the problem with a smile. It’s created by Dave Hakkens, a student at the Design Academy in the Netherlands and it’s called Plugbook. He’s launched a Kickstarter campaign that’s helping to raise the funds for production. Pledge just $25 dollars and you’ll get a Plugbook sent to you, no shipping charges! Here’s Dave’s scoop on what it does: “It’s more or less an in-house extension cord. But it has 2 power sockets, 2 USB ports to charge your devices (also iPad) and a cable which automatically rewinds(like in a vacuum cleaner). On top of that it’s shaped like a book so you can always hide it in the middle of your living room.”
Looking for a last minute Father’s Day gift? Why not make a pledge for this so the dad in your life will have a cool new tech accessory, and feel good because you helped him help a bright idea.
More cool tech solutions:
Portable Phone Charger
One of my favorite gifts to give friends is a certificate to some sort of fun experience. Here in New York, that usually takes the form of a class; wine and cheese pairing at Murray’s Cheese, or a pie making class at The Brooklyn Kitchen. (New Yorkers, check’em out!) I love taking classes but many of the mainstream options, especially the professional ones are expensive, hard to schedule or both. Skillshare endeavors to solve that problem by creating an online community that connects you to teachers and class opportunities in your offline life.
Much like an education-based Meetup.com, Skillshare allows you to “learn anything from anybody” by hosting a space for teachers to post and prospective students to browse classes, making it easy to find unique, local learning experiences virtually any day of the week. Courses are organized into five categories: Culinary Arts, Entreprenuership, Lifestyle, Creative Arts and Technology. From project management to creating crochet jewelry, to letterpress printing or finding Hipster Happiness (I kid you not,), odds are there is a class that suits your interest taking place right in your neighborhood. And if there’s not, why not teach one? You couldn’t possibly be the only one looking to print your own skateboard, for example. So go ahead: upholster that chair you’ve been staring at for years or arrange that bouquet like Martha Stewart herself. Our readers have many talents. Would you take a class listed on Skillshare near you? Would you teach one?