force friday: this star wars BB-8 video deeply appeals to our design sense


There’s a great deal of excitement building in our house around the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s a little out of control, as each new trailer has tears running down my husband’s face. Today the first wave of toys is hitting stores for Force Friday. For the most part, I patiently indulge and understand these deep pangs of adolescent nostalgia, but don’t feel them myself. This video from Spherio of the new mini BB-8 droid toy changes all that. Not only is it insanely cute and programmed by an app on your smart phone but it’s gorgeously designed. And the house this video is shot in? It’s a glass and concrete modernist’s dream. Just tell me how to make that succulent garden!

If you want more info on the toy itself, and when and where it may be available for a rumored $150, see this story

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we tried it: the verdict on the “paw wash”

The Claim:
Self proclaimed the most “ingenious dog washer” in the world, the Paw Wash ($29) is meant to be an easy to way to clean your dog’s muddy feet. The instructions say you fill the wash up with soapy water, dip your dog’s feet in, and then voila! No more muddy prints. The wash also comes with a hand mitt to wipe off “any excess water.”

The Situation: This has been a muddy, slushy winter! Cupcake goes in and out of our back yard constantly, and he hates getting his paws wiped. It’s a toss up: Wrestle with a 20-lb labradoodle while crouching by the back door, or let him run in, leave paw prints everywhere and clean up after him. Perhaps the Paw Washer would solve our constant conumdrum?

The Verdict: Here’s what the Paw Wash is: An hourglass shaped plastic vase, with a rubber “washer” lid at one end. It’s kinda like the car wash, in theory. Dip the paw into the water, and the rubber top squeezies it out. What actually happens is that you dip your dog’s leg in, and you pull out a drippy, wet, soapy dog leg. Yes, you can use the mitt to dry it a bit more by hand, but it is really wet. Front legs are easier than back legs, especially if your dog is a squirmer like ours. I suppose it would be a good thing if you had a really really muddy-legged dog and the only other option was a full-body bath. Sadly, the Paw Wash didn’t save us time or struggle. I’m gonna stick with our damp towel wipe down for now.

Still Curious: Visit the for more information.

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From our partners

kinda genius: plug book charger

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

Enchanted Woods iPhone Dock

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