Tag Archives: House & Home

The Movie Theater That Fits in Your Pocket

24 Feb

There is a great highlight in the newest Details magazine (March, the one with The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield on the cover) of the new ShowWX+ projector by Microvision. They say “time will only tell if Microvision’s ShowWX+ is mentioned in the same breath as the camera obscura or IMAX, but for now it’s the palm-size reason to give up your flat-screen.  The size of a cell phone, the projector connects directly to your iPod, iPhone or iPad (or, with an adapter, to a laptop or digital camera). Aim it at a dark wall and view high-resolution photos, TV shows, sales graphs – anything you have stored – at up to 100 inches wide. Just like that, your home video collection is a movable filmfest.”

$450; www.microvision.com


Video From All Corners…Cubed

26 May

Wow.  I am in awe over here.  You gotta love GQ Magazine – even though the first article is usually located approximately 48% into the Stephen King-sized novel of a publication (you know, past all of the ads?), it has some great information in it.  One of the things that caught my eye in the March 2010 issue (Kobe Bryant on the cover) is the Boxee Box by D-Link.  Out this spring, the Boxee Box aggregates and organizes tons of free and paid TV and movies available on the web in a slick, user-friendly interface.  Want to watch LOST? No need to go to ABC.com or Netflix.  Just type “Lost” into Boxee and every episode available on the internet appears, no matter the source.  It’s like some Uber on-demand system from the future.  Get it from www.boxee.tv – it costs about $200.

Cubicle Culture – The Best Plants for Your Office

7 Jan

In the January 2010 issue of Men’s Health magazine, the one with Vampire Diaries’ Sean Faris on the cover, there is an article discussing which plant would best keep a man company in the comfort of his own cubicle.  The answers are interesting – isn’t learning fun?  Hopefully you take these words to heard and bring a leafy friend into your workspace – if for nothing else but to impress your coworkers with your knowledge of everything flora.

  1. Areca Palm – Thanks to its huge fronds (which can reach 6 ft in height and feature 60 leaflets), this palm is especially effective in filtering airborne particles.
  2. Peppermint – Sniffing mint can increase your alertness and enhance your memory, according to a study in the International Journal of Neuroscience.  Bonus: it can also help suppress your appetite.
  3. English Ivy – Tests at the University of Georgia show that English Ivy is particularly efficient at absorbing volatile organic compounds, airborne pollutants spewed by office machinery, that cause headaches and nausea.
  4. Lemon Balm – Researchers at Ohio State University found that the scent of lemon improved peoples’ moods and raised levels of norepinephrine, a brain chemical linked to mood and behavior.
  5. Golden Pothos – This hardy vine reduces indoor ozone, Penn State researchers found.  Exposure to low ozone levels can cause chest pain and throat irritation.
  6. Gardenia – It’s like a long-acting anti-depressant.  A gardenia can live for 25 years, and every time you smell its flowers, your emotional outlook improves…according to research from Rutgers.

Hard Cider: It’s Easier (To Find a Good One) Than It Sounds

27 Nov

Ask most men, and you will be told that Hard Cider is for girls.  Incorrect – the December 2009 issue of Details Magazine, the one with John Mayer on the cover, points out some good truths about hard cider.  “If you think cider comes in those six-packs you see in the Smirnoff Ice aisle of the grocery store, you’ve clearly never had the good stuff – which is quirky, elegant, and a little hard to find.  Crafted from long-forgotten apples with names like Bramtot and Nehou, in places like Austria, Spain, and Upstate New York, it combines the food-friendly refreshment of beer with the layered intensity of a top-notch bubbly. You can even serve it in a flute, if you’d like.  But guzzling it from a Mason jar while polishing off a plate of ribs is okay, too.  That’s the beauty of a first-rate cider: options.

5 Top-Notch Options:

1.  Isastegi Sagardo Naturaia (Pictured) – $10, demaisonselections.com – This classic basque cider is pungent  – right on the cusp of unlikable – and does its best work with aggressive foods such as salt cod or a rib-eye served bloody.

2.  West County Cider Refield – $13, westcountycider.com – A single-variety cider made from scarlet-fleshed redfield apples (hence the rose hue).  This Berkshire’s find makes for a smart stand-in for Prosecco or demi-sec champagne.

3.Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouche Brut de Normandie 2007 – $11, bunitedint.com – This addictive French cider may smell like plain old apple juice, but one sip reveals a winey complexity that stands up to rib-sticking stews and charcuterie.

4. Farnum Hill Extra Dry – $14, farnumhillciders.com – The driest offering from a crew of New Hampshire cider wizards, this lean concoction is versatile – so you don’t have to stress about the pairing.

5. Wandering Aengus Ciderworks Semi-Dry Cider – $16, wanderingaengus.com – With its very subtle sweetness and ginger flavors, this organic cider from Oregon is great with dessert, especially pies and tarts.

Damn Cool Guy Furniture – The Sequel

26 Nov

Coincidentally, after I took the time to write the “Modern Furniture with Storage To Boot” article that came from the November 2009 issue of DETAILS magazine, I stumble across another gem that fits right into the category.  It was in a “Wish List” section in the November 2009 issue of Men’s Journal – the one with far too big of a close-up of Tim McGraw on the cover.  Now as many of you know, Restoration Hardware is awesome.  It is a Pottery Barn-like aesthetic that leans on the masculine side that you could go to without your wife/girlfriend and not feel awkward.  One of the featured pieces in this “Wish List was  the Mayfair Steamer Secretary Trunk, pictured below.  “The [trunk] makes every day at the home office feel like a vacation.  [$2,995; restorationhardware.com]

More Modern Design with Storage To Boot

25 Nov

Here at IaMW, we have posted a couple times on modern, masculine furniture.  This post is very similar…but aside from providing yet more examples of modern furniture, this batch of mod, masculine pieces all serve a common purpose: they all have sneaky little storage places.  Pretty cool.  In the November 2009 issue of Details Magazine, the one with Adam Lambert on the cover, you can find all of the following items, plus a few more.  If you would like to know where to find any of these gems, just contact us!  Here they are…

Picture Frame Box – “If a heavy-duty safe isn’t your style, tuck your valuables (e.g., your most prized baseball cards) into the inner chamber of this wooden picture frame made especially for Britain’s coolest design shop, Thorsten Van Elten.” Picture Frame Box by Tim Parsons for Thorsten Van Elten, $97; thorstenvanelten.com

Flip Table – “Each improvisation by the aptly named Danish collective No Problem addresses a specific domestic conundrum. The flip-top compartments in this table allow a guy who works where he eats to clear the home office—and keep files Shiraz-free.” Flip Table by Signe Baadsgaard of No Problem, $650; no-problem.nu

Hallow Dining Chair – “The gaps between the layers of bamboo in the table and chairs from Brooklyn’s Brave Space not only offer cubbies for those Thai menus but also permit guests to hide their phones during dinner.” Hollow Dining Set by Brave Space Designs, $5,195-$7,495; bobbyberkhome.com

Hey Dads: Holiday Gift Idea #82

25 Nov

In the December 2009 issue of Esquire Magazine, legitimate gift ideas are sprinkled throughout.  Some are typical: Bose speaker systems, iPod touch, Esquire subscriptions, etc…but there was one that caught my eye.  The plain, big, round ball.  The reasoning is quite compelling. “It’s the perfect gift. The reason is, you can’t really play ball alone – you have to make friends to play with them. Playing is where all the kids learn what they need to succeed as grown-ups: how to cooperate and share, what’s fair and what isn’t. Video games don’t do that.  Not even educational ones.  And you know what? Neither does homework.  More balls, fewer books: Now you’ve got a New Year’s resolution, too.  Plus, ball-playing happens outside in the fresh air, so they are running around getting exercising while they are having the time of their lives.  I mean that.  What wouldn’t you give to be 10 years old, running across a field, laughing with your friends, kicking a ball?” Well-said.  In fact, I don’t have kids and I would consider buying one for myself or a friend as an excuse to see old buddies more often.

Champion Sports 10-inch playground ball, $7; dickssportinggoods.com

Drink Like a Dude: Winterize Your Bar

21 Nov

The December 2009 issue of GQ magazine has an interesting concept on cold-weather cocktails.  The thought here is that you eat and dress seasonally, so why shouldn’t you drink seasonally as well? For colder days what you need are drinks with depth and complexity, ones that pack a punch and warm you up but with a subtlety that won’t leave your throat on fire. Invest in these bottles and you will have fireside-worthy cocktails to last until spring (when its mango margarita time again).

1. Amaro – the perfect digestivo (try it with a couple ice cubes), this Italian liqueur really does help you digest after a big meal. If you find the standard variety too Jagermeistery, try Amaro Nonino – it’s just bitter and herby enough.

2. Ri (Rye) Whiskey – Less sweet than bourbon, rye holds up better in cocktails that call for whiskey.  A quality rye needs only an ice cube or two; for something smoother, try this… Old Fashioned: 1 sugar cube, 2 dashes of angostura bitters, 2 ounces Rye, 1 amarena cherry.  The sugar and bitters take just enough of the edge off the liquor.  Muddle them with just a little warm water and when the sugar dissolves, add the rye and some ice, stir vigorously and drop in a cherry – preferably not the neon red kind.

3. AppleJack – The world’s only maker of AppleJack – a cider-based spirit – is Laird’s, a distillery in New Jersey that’s been producing it since the 1600’s.  And the number one reason to stock your bar with it is to make the following…Jack Rose: 2 ounces AppleJack, 1 ounce lime juice, 1/2 ounce grenadine.  Like the sidecar, this is one of the most deceptively boozy cocktails you’ll ever drink five of.  And its not the same when made with easier-to-find apple brandy.  Shake the ingredients with ice, then strain, sip, and settle in for the night.

4. Red Vermouth – Vermouth might play a bit part, but it’s the difference between an awesome cocktail and an overly saccharine one. Dolin, a vermouth from the French town of Chambery that has just become available in the US, is so light and dry you should consider drinking it on the rocks with a twist of lemon.  Or use it to make a manhattan, the ultimate cold-weather cocktail.

5.  Brandy – Distilled from grapes and aged in French oak, this brandy is not unlike Cognac – smooth, rich and ideal for the sidecar, one of the most drinkable and warming cocktails around.  Sidecar: 1 and a half ounces of brandy, 3/4 ounce of Cointreau, 3/4 ounce of lemon juice, orange peel.  Shake the first three ingredients with ice, strain into a glass, and garnish with the orange peel.  Also try squeezing the peel over a lit match while holding it above the glass.  This gives the drink’s surface a thin layer of concentrated orange flavor, but it mostly impresses guests.

If you would like information on any of these, feel free to contact us or pick up the December 2009 issue of GQ Magazine, on newsstands now.

Cheap, Masculine Style? Shut the front Door!

20 Nov

In the December 2009 issue of GQ magazine (the one with a very old and wrinkled Clint Eastwood on the cover) there is a section that features the best stuff of 2009.  Among some fun tiny cameras and the world’s best juicer is a masculine bench that really caught my eye.  I saw it, liked it, and then immediately wondered how much this bench would run me.  Turns out it is more reasonable than you think…check it out.

Zen and the art of Ikea Assembly:

The PS Rasken bench defies all expectations of Ikea furniture.  It’s made of actual wood, not particleboard, and assembles without tools; your weight locks the pieces into place when you sit, a trick adapted from traditional African chairs. Still, you may be skeptical. Surely it will wobble, or squeak disconcertingly.  But the Rasken is rock solid.  At $100 it may not be stupid cheap, but it’s pretty damn reasonable – and like we said, easy to put together.

Essential Guy Skill: How to Wrap Presents Like a Pro

20 Nov

In the December 2009 issue of Men’s Health magazine (the one with that guy from Twilight on the cover), the “essential guy skill” is one that will come in handy over the next month or so.  It details how to wrap presents like a professional and thanks to IaMW you will get that knowledge for free!  The steps are outlined below – contact us if you would like the full article.

Step 1: “Clear a firm, flat work space and gather your tools: scissors, a ruler, transparent tape, wrapping paper (not too thick), ribbon, and a bow.  For the holidays, silver foil paper with red or blue ribbon is your go-to combo.”

Step 2: “If your gift is oddly shaped, box it up and secure any loose parts with tissue paper.  Unroll the wrapping paper, place the box on it, and wrap the paper around it allowing for an inch of overlap.  Use scissors to slice the paper in a steady, gliding motion.”

Step 3: “Center the box face-down on the paper.  Anchor one edge of the paper to the bottom of the box with a single piece of tape – more than this looks messy and could ruin a nice box.”

Step 4: “Before bringing the loose paper around, fold over 1/2″ of its lengthwise edge for a polished look.  Pull the package toward you as you wrap the remaining paper around it.  Apply double-sided tape along the perimeter of the paper’s underside and press it to the box, making sure the paper’s edges overlap.”

Step 5: “Turn one end toward you; fold down the top & bottom edges.  If they overlap more than an inch, mark the paper, unfold the flaps, and trim away the excess.  Refold the edges and adhere them to the box with tape.  Fold one flap down and use tape to secure it to the box.  Then fold the other flap’s unfinished edge over 1/2″ before securing it to the box with double-sided tape applied on the underside.  Repeat at the other end.  Then tie a ribbon around the gift, cover the knot with a matching bow, and cap things off with a hand-written note.”