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Cook Like A Pro by Ina Garten

Always fun when the shop gets a big stack of books the day the actual, much anticipated book is released. Such was the case yesterday when Olivia sent me this image from the Home store. Cook Like A Pro by the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, is the latest cookbook in a long line of best-selling books by the much adored author/tv host. She distills recipes down to their very essence, making her cooking always approachable. She is known for testing her dishes over and over again before publishing them, and you can certainly tell. Foolproof is a word that comes to mind. If I am working off one of her recipes, I always know it will be spot on. This is sure to be a winning gift for the upcoming gift giving season.



 

 

Stacks of Magazines

I love staying in a guest room that has a stack of magazines waiting to be flipped through or landing on an article I can’t wait to read before I fall asleep. It is a creative design element that enhances really just about any room, but especially a guest room. We sell a variety of magazines at Watson Kennedy, some of my favorites like the Paris Review and Flower. To make it easier to accomplish a spiffy stack of mags, awhile back we started selling all of our back issues at half off. It is fun seeing customers sort through the stacks finding the issues that resonate with them, finding an assortment.



 

 

Joyful

We stayed in town this week-end and one of the things I did was start this book by Ingrid Fetell Lee, Joyful. With a subtitle of ‘The Surprising Power Of Ordinary Things To Create Extraordinary Happiness’ I knew the moment I cracked it open it would be right up my alley. A gift from my friend Jeanne, whose beyond beautiful watercolors we show at the shops. The word ‘things’ should also mean ‘moments’ as the book is not solely about objects. It is a concept that pervades my life, so incredibly interesting getting another perspective. Drawing on insights from neuroscience and psychology, her research absolutely fascinating and spot on. Lee explains why some experiences are laden with joy, explores how we can cultivate these experiences every day, and shows us how to identify the most joy-inspiring people, places, and objects in our lives. Cheers to that! Look for copies arriving soon at both shops.



 

 

My Favorite Things Today

On this first day of September, Saturday, all sorts of goodies have been coming in that caught my eye as My Favorite Things Today.



 

 

A Rested Mind & Body

We flew to Seattle yesterday afternoon, fully refreshed from a few weeks of rest and relaxation, mixed in with buying at the show and vintage shopping here & there. The above my rotation of books for the stay. I like to jump around and read a few at a time when we are at Hawthorne. Some I finish while others I will pick up where I left off in October. I raced right through Famous Father Girl which was written by Leonard Bernstein’s oldest daughter, Jamie. I found it fascinating and sad all at the same time.

We hit peak tomato season right on the head and tomato sandwiches were on the menu often. Bartlett House makes this seeded loaf of bread that proved awesome for making them. You need a hearty bread to stand up to all the juices of the tomato once you start in on it. The simplicity, heaven.

Folks often ask how we don’t take everything home that we see when out shopping for vintage goods for the shops. Short answer, sometimes, we do! Not really, but when something catches my eye enough that I go back to a store to buy something, then I know it was meant to be. Red Chair on Warren almost always has a gem I can’t pass up. This pair of English plates heading to WestWard this week-end and I can hardly wait to put them into action.

The plums this visit were out of this world. Above a still life from Talbott & Arding. Eaten just as they are is perfection. I also like roasting them while next to a chicken along with green olives for a simple, simple supper.

Bailey waiting by the door when TPS goes for a bike ride watching over things and waiting for his return gets me right in the heart. She is such a good traveler. You can see the limelight hydrangea a bit poking up from the windows on the right. Seems like they grew a foot while we were there. It was hot, humid, sunny then super rainy at times, which they seem to love. They were an amazing part of the enjoyment on this incredibly restful, reviving stay.

The flight back uneventful (which my Dad always joked and said was the only way to fly) until we got close to Seattle and the smoke from all the fires out West just heartbreaking. We had read all about them while in the Hudson Valley but when you see what it is like from the air, it is sobering. Sending love and safe thoughts for all battling the fires and a speedy recovery.



 

 

Mr. Boddington’s Etiquette

Just landed at both shops, Mr. Boddington’s Etiquette: Charm And Civility For Every Occasion. Manners are always important and that importance grows each day as civility is put into question. The witty and eloquent Mr. Boddington offers ideas/suggestions for polite society in this comprehensive and thoroughly amusing guide that provides modern advice with a traditional perspective. From weddings to gift giving, social events, hosting guests, to name a few–Mr. Boddington shares the basic etiquette one needs to know and presents it all in his signature jaunty style.



 

 

My Favorite Things Today

Lots of goodies arriving daily. The Summer months are such a busy time at the shops. Fun to meet folks from all over the world who are coming to Seattle for a visit. Above and below some new favorites.



 

 

Like a Puzzle

I liken doing the shop displays to working on a puzzle. In this case a very layered, product heavy visual puzzle. You try a piece, it does not fit, you try another. Last week was a string of non-stop display work days, moving lots of product from the front of the store to the back area display, to condense and have the ‘bar food’ be mixed in with all the glassware and cookbooks. Abundance is a big part of my design philosophy for WK, as I think options for customers is key. But it is easy to have all those options become overwhelming. That is where a nice, pleasing to the eye display comes in. The cohesiveness allows the eye to rest on a certain area and not be overwhelmed. I am sure there are many schools of thought on this subject, but I have always approached it personally. It is what pleases me visually so in turn I hope it resonates with our customers. Here is what got a little re-do.



 

 

A Singular Sensation 

Sometimes you need just one to stop you in your tracks. As the tulip season marches along, this singular sensation and the beauty it possesses was all that was needed to spruce up this spot in the bookcase. Absolutely, I swoon over an overflowing vase of blooms. But sometimes one just does the trick. Happy Flower Friday all. A lovely May week-end awaits!



 

 

Charlotte Moss ENTERTAINS 

Charlotte Moss ENTERTAINS is one of the new titles to land at both shops this past week. Wow, just wow, this is one seriously beautiful visual journey into the world of entertaining & table settings. This, her 10th book, is filled with page after page of inspiration and ideas. In typical lovely Charlotte Moss fashion, her words come across like a friend sharing her stylish tips with you over coffee.