Stylish Reclaimed Hardwood Fresco Paddles by Merriment Hardware

frescobol set

paddle ball


merriment hardware

A leisure sport long enjoyed by Brazilians and starting to make a comeback on California beaches, parks and backyards, Frescobol is the original paddle-ball. Since just about everything 80’s is making a big comeback, why not smashball? At least these beautifully crafted paddles will bring some class and style to a game commonly associated with plastic and out-of-control kids.

Merriment Hardware is a San Francisco company that handcrafts each reclaimed hardwood fresco paddle to order in their small workshop. To show their support for play, they donate 10% of their profits to the California State Parks Foundation to make sure you will always have a place for Frescobol.

Each set includes two paddles, a rubber racquetball and a sweet cotton carrying bag. They also make some pretty unique park towels made with selvedge denim for your fresco filled outing.

$115 per frescobol set from Merriment Hardware

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Plumen Exposed CFL Bulb Art

designer energy efficient bulb

Plumen Bulb

pretty lightbulb

Twisted CFL Bulb

Lower wattage artsy exposed filament bulbs are all the rage, just look at any trendy wine bar, whiskey bar or haute gourmet restaurant. They provide soft, pleasing light in twisted shapes and forms sans shade. Pendants, desk lamps, industrial fixtures, anything which exposed bulbs can model their beautiful filaments sculpted curves have always been the domain of incandescents and neon… no longer!

Enter the PLUMEN 001, a first in energy efficient Compact Florescent Light (CFL) light bulbs with design in mind. Now you can power that ritzy new gastro pub in energy efficient style.

“The dynamic, sculptured form contrasts to the dull regular shapes of existing low energy bulbs, in an attempt to make the Plumen a centrepiece, not afterthought. The PLUMEN 001 works like any other high quality low energy bulb – saving you 80% on your energy bills and lasting 8 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb.”

$29.95 from Plumen US

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images by Tom Mannion and Ian Nolan

Classic Modern Floating Lamp by Light-Light

Silhouette floating lamp


Eclipse floating lamp

crealev modern lighting

Now this is cool. I love modern lamps with a touch of technology, but Angela Jansen and Ger Jansen at Light-Light do it right! Their two offerings (so far) are the Eclipse and Silhouette Floating Lamps, by Crealev (Crealev Levitation Technology). Extraordinarily clean design paired with touch on/off function and of course, the trademark floating halves of the lampshade provide for a near perfect lamp.

Combining classic styling with modern technology, the Design Academy Eindhoven graduate designer, and mechanical and electrical engineer developer have managed to define modern lighting. The secret is the electromagnetic technology which separates the two halves of the lamp, leaving the top floating. Exquisite!

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Eclipse & Silhouette Floating Lamps by Crealev from $1,477

Blue Bottle Coffee

Coffee CoBest Espresso

Caffe Cup

I know, it’s only coffee you are saying, but that’s only because you haven’t tried it! I liken it to a great scotch, it’s all about the flavor and the buzz. I have never had a coffee buzz like this before, and believe me, it was fantastic. I generally stay away from drip brew coffee in favor of the espresso variety (Caffe Americano’s, Cappuccino’s, Macchiato’s, etc…), and wow did I find heaven in a cup.

Browse Blue Bottle Coffee Companies espresso blends on their website, or find it at a local non-chain cafe.

~$16 a pound from Blue Bottle Coffee

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The Bachelorette’s Jean-Paul – What Was He Wearing?

Jean-Paul ABC Season 8

Bachelorette OutfitABCs The Bachelorette

I’m sure there are some people out there asking, what are the guys on ABC’s The Bachelorette wearing? Well I do have insight on one of the Bachelors- Jean-Paul.

What was he wearing on that first night where he met Emily Maynard? Let’s break it down:

    Suit: Custom tailored bespoke two button, two piece charcoal suit
    Shirt: Hugo Boss maroon and black striped dress shirt with white patterning
    Tie: Hugo Boss skinny argyle patterned sheer silk tie
    Shoes: Antonio Maurizi grey perforated wingtip oxfords.
    Socks: Happy Socks black, pink and powder blue stripes.
    Timepiece (watch): IWC Pilots Chronometer

It seems there was a lot of Hugo Boss formal wear on the first night, and at least 3 more of the Bachelors were wearing at least one Boss piece. Sources say much of Jean-Paul’s outfit was bought from Mario’s in downtown Seattle.

Learn more about Jean-Paul LaCount on his digital marketing website –

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NICE Collective Hunters Henley

N.I.C.E. Collective cotton henley

There is something rugged and nostalgic about leather elbow patches, shoulders, and hunting gear. Even though I am not a hunter, I do appreciate the style influenced by the function and practicality of reinforced areas. This cotton henley by N.I.C.E. Collective is no exception, featuring the contrast collar with extended contrast shoulder panel and netted cotton overlay.

I have been taken by this San Francisco based designer on several occasions (I own and love my NICE Collective wool peacoat) and tend to snap up their rare and hard to find designs, too bad I missed this one!

Hunters henley by NICE Collective

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Antique Floor Globe Bar

Floor Globe Bar with Drink Storage

Atlas serves you drinks

It’s happy hour somewhere in the world. With a bar globe you can actually back that statement up while you fetch yourself a drink. Having a bar in your office is somewhat Mad Men ‘esque, but having it contained within a vintage globe, it would do just as well in your home library or sunken living room.

I’m partial to these since they are made in Italy with 16th century maps using traditional paper gores, and contain illustrated constellations within the inner dome. Bellissimo!

Vintage Floor Globe bar – from $725 at

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The Glenlivet 15 Year French Oak Reserve Scotch

Speyside Single Malt Scotch

15yr French Oak Reserve

There is something about a great Islay single malt scotch that really captures me. Traditionally I am a fan of Ardberg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig (the really smokey and peaty scotchs) but it can be difficult to drink a lot of those throughout the evening as they can overwhelm the palate. This is when I usually switch to a smoother blend, such as a Johnny Walker Gold or Black, or even my everyday classic: The Glenlivet 12 year. That is until now.

The Glenlivet 15 Year French Oak Reserve is a Speyside scotch that is smooth and easy drinking, but has a flavor and character that sets it apart. It is a bit more expensive that the 12 year, but provides a pleasurable twist with hints of rich, spicy notes from French Oak aging. Well worth a try to mix up your everyday if you find it!

The Glenlivet 15 Year French Oak Reserve single malt speyside scotch from The Glenlivet

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Himalayan Salt Block – Cooking and Culinary Uses

pink salt brick

Salad on a Salt Brick

grilling with salt

presenting with salt

Recently I happened upon a curious pink marbled block at an upscale grocery store which caught my attention. What was this odd culinary delight, why is it here, and how does it work? It happened to be a huge brick of what I usually keep pebble sized in a grinder next to my stove, pink Himalayan salt.

As useful as it is beautiful, these blocks an bricks can be used for baking, curing, flavoring and for presentation. I even saw one carved into a bowl for preparing and presenting salads, imparting a hint of salt and further enhancing its flavor.

The blocks can be used as a cooking element in the oven since they are able to hold and retain heat up to 800 degrees. Use it to cure meats in front of your eyes at a party as an elegant serving plate. The uses are practically endless, but that won’t stop me from trying. The bloggers over at Salt News have figured out some great uses…

Himalayan Salt Bricks from $19.95 on Amazon

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Money Clip or Card Wallet?

James Bond Sliver Money Clip

Tod's Leather Wallet

Spade Leather Wallet

I often find myself in this predicament, do I want the style of a card wallet or the simplicity of a money clip? I traditionally find it is best to just carry 3 cards, an ID and some cash, all of which fit nice and tightly into either device. Situation usually dictates my choice, am I wearing slimmer fitting slacks or more roomy clothes that can absorb the extra bulk without bulging out. More often than not, I pair a money clip with more formal attire since it tends to be more fitted and thinner fabric and thus would accommodate a card wallet less elegantly.

I believe this may just be a part of the evolution of the wallet in an effort to simplify our lives. Gone are the billfolds with family photos, handfuls of receipts, business cards of every contact and change pockets. Just as phones are becoming smaller and slimmer to fit in or pockets, we must make room for them by reducing other pocket accessories. Wallet carrying has also moved to the front pocket, for convenience, safety and sitting comfort.

If you haven’t yet upgraded to this style of slimming down your wallet, you should try it on for size. It may be difficult the first few days, but will find later that it suits you. It could also improve your back and blown out pocket situations too!

My favorites, and the ones I carry are the card Tods card carrier and one by Jack Spade. As money clips go, they are so simple, yet can be so customized to taste with monograms, varying shapes and sizes, etc. I would suggest making it a personal item unique to you. However, if you would prefer to share styles with James Bond and me, you can always get the handmade sterling silver Douglas Pell money clip (via James Bond Lifestyle).

Douglas Pell money clip – £98 from Douglas Pell

Tod’s Leather Card Holder – $95 from Tod’s

Jack Spade Card Holder – $115 from Jack Spade