The 411

Friends, I’m a little overdue for reminding everyone of this, but don’t forget — there’s still time to register for the Chicocoa Scentsation! Join us in Chicago on Saturday, September 13 for an incredible, decadent day of fragrance and the Universe´s favorite food: chocolate!

Patty and I will be there sucking down the Caron urns and the bon bons – come play! There will be samples, raffles, treats and a casual cocktail party, featuring two niche perfume lines: Liz Zorn Perfumes and Neil Morris Fragrances.

Liz Zorn will join us at the party for a special presentation, sniffage and raffle. This is a great opportunity to meet Liz and learn more about her incredible lines of fragrances, including some from her new Studio Collection. Neil Morris will be in Paris, attending a show with his NEW EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTOR <applause!!!!> but he is graciously sending along testers of his new Vault Fragrances along with the best-sellers of his regular lines. We´ll also have samples and a raffle gift!And don´t forget the Blind Bottle Swap and the (optional) Sample Swap — a chance to unload your slightly used, mildly unloved bottles for something you might like better! I know who’s donating the Aromatics Elixir, but I ain’t tellin!

A special HUGE THANKS for Musette and Shelley, who have put a ridiculous amount of effort into organizing this puppy.

Questions/registration: chicocoascentsation (at) gmail (dot) com or click on the link in the left-hand column.

* * *

Okay, I’ll ‘fess up — I’ve spent a delightful week mostly at the pool with my kids — DC is so dead this time of year that driving through our leafy ‘burb on the way to the pool, it’s like a scene from one of those movies where they’ve dropped the bomb that eliminates all the people. I like it that way. The soundtrack: cicadas in the background, which (along with crickets at night) is the sound of summer. The scents in heavy rotation on my skin this week: sunscreen, bug spray, and tomato leaves as I battle the dang squirrels for the rights to some of my fancy tomatoes. Anyhoo, at the pool yesterday I was catching up with a friend and ended up telling her about ABE books ( — the ginormous used book website. It’s a consortium of sellers ranging from Joe’s Used Books to (more and more often) the Friends of a particular library system, or a fundraising arm of a school system. I started off on ABE buying hard-to-find books for my dad, who has esoteric tastes and a yen for something he read 25 or 50 years ago. He thinks I am the greatest daughter ever when I hand him some cheap, musty sci-fi paperback from the 50s he wanted to re-read that I paid $5 for on ABE. But it’s not just “old” books — you can get almost any book on there, including bestseller “new” books a couple of months after they’re released. I do most of my book-buying on there at this point – there is almost nothing I search for that doesn’t turn up on the site, and I’ve never been burned. I didn’t know there was anybody left who didn’t know about ABE, but that’s just because I’m so used to using it, I guess. There I was telling my friend, a big reader, about this wonderful resource that she’d never heard of.

So, today, I invite you to list in the comments any website, musician, movie, gadget, or anything else that, if you were king (queen? quing?) you would make sure everybody knew about, just because you think it’s so great. I’ve learned a lot from you all on here (etsy! who knew?! and Anthelios sunscreen! Makeup For Ever face and body liquid makeup, greatest.thing.ever!) All from you commenters. So, share away.

Hey, I FORGOT TO ASK — any of you have any experience with zipping your pillows/mattress into something hypoallergenic? Can you only do that when the mattress/pillow is brand new, to keep the dust/mites OUT, or does it help to do it later, I guess theoretically sealing them in?

  • Helen says:

    Can’t wait to discover all of these “hot tips”…lately I am taken with: lipstick from Lipstick Queen (Saint Rose and Sinner Rouge)- available at Barneys; AND Spuma di Sciampagne (italian for “champagne foam”)- they have wonderful soap (nice soft creamy soap with a lovely vintage-y scent…mmmm), handsoap, and bath products- pretty affordable too- available at several places online

    And speaking of Champagne(!)-Whole Foods is selling Stella champagne in cute little pink cans (like an energy drink), equipped with a little straw (that enhance bubbles)- but beware, I think the overall presentaion could encourage drinking and driving 😉

    ***more applause for Deadwood…sigh, wish they would bring it back

  • Brigitte says:

    What a wonderful thread — I’ve already discovered great stuff just by reading all your posts.

    Here are a few of my own can’t-live-withouts:

    Best skin care ever: Paula’s Choice. I’m not even tempted to try anything else. Been using it for over a year with the most amazing results. The skin balancing cleanser is fantastic and so is the “Slip Into Silk” body lotion (unscented, so it won’t interfere with your perfume!). No false claims, just good stuff and really well priced. Check it out at

    “The Secret History”, by Donna Tartt. I reread it every two or three years. It’s that good.

    A summer treat: take a freshly picked radish. Cut it in half lenghthwise and smear each half with a dab of unsalted butter. Add a pinch of sel de mer. Eat. Go to heaven.

  • Rappleyea says:

    I’m a little late to this party, but in case anyone comes back after dinner to read, I’ll make a contribution.
    Great book: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    Lurpak butter – Danish butter that is to die for! – great source for wild Alaskan salmon
    And in case anyone needs to polish silver (or am I still living in another century?) the Speedy Plate – a little metal plate that you just put into hot water with some washing soda. Place the silver on top of it, and within a couple of minutes the silver is miraculously tarnish free.

  • Oblitterati says:

    Here are three things I love so much I’m not ashamed to evangelize a bit.

    *Quintron – the unmaked organ lightyear of infinity man! The best live show ever. Crazy swamp-pop organ dance music.
    *Differin – the acne treatment that works
    * – most amazing web design ever

    Hmmm, the Also-online kids are also based in Chicago. I wonder if they will take part in the Chi-cocoa Sensation…

  • BlackCat says:

    Great, great thread. Loving etsy and ABEbooks!

    So I decided to unlurk and post a few.

    TV show: Everyone must rent the DVDs of Arrested Development, the most clever show ever–be patient, it usually take four shows to get hooked. (And when will they confirm the movie, already!)

    Movies: Wings of Desire; Life of Brian; Bull Durham; and everything Kurosawa made.

    Websites: (for mystery lovers); (for trashy yet witty celebrity gossip)

    Music: Aimee Mann, Regina Spektor, The Clash

    • Shelley says:

      Yay, Wings of Desire!

      • kathleen says:

        If you are a fan of Wings of Desire, then you should see Far Away, So Close. They more or less, go together. Not exactly Part I & Part II but “sister movies”.

        • Shelley says:

          Will do! I had kind of avoided it when released, because it seemed like the kind of thing that just couldn’t live up. Might be worth trying now, eh?

  • dianawr says:

    * Powells Books (
    * The tv series: Twin Peaks and Veronica Mars
    * the joys of vitamin water

    • March says:

      Powells books is so great! And I have a little Vitamin Water habit, although I try to limit it because I feel guilt about the empty bottles. 🙁

  • Shelley says:

    Nice…special treasures we should all be aware of. Many of mine are local–yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as a good bricks & mortar used book store!–but here are a few I can share with all:

    Books: general (inc. used/hard to find) = Alibris, ; cooking, with great bargains to be found = Jessica’s Biscuit,

    What’s up with the press: Romenesko. (It’s not news, it’s about how news is delivered.)

    I can’t believe it works so well on my face: Time Dimensions deep cleansing wipes ($6.99, Target); not environmentally perfect, so I save them for school…and, of course, I like the way they smell. Art Deco facial tonic, ($??, Walgreen’s); I don’t know the price, but know I like it as much as the only other facial product line I’ve liked (Awake, $$arm+leg).

    Tool porn: Lee Valley Tools, Garden porn: White Flower Farm, (From reading the Posse for a while now, I think y’all have shoe porn pretty well covered. );))

    Slow food and farmer’s markets wherever you are, of course. But for fast well-priced scandalously good stuff, you can’t beat Trader Joe’s. And in the treat column…Did you know they have peanut butter filled pretzels? And dark chocolate covered pretzels? And if you mix them together, it’s really, really, trashily good?

    And, the land of cocktails, where I am still swooning over St. Germain elderflower liqueur (hey, you who get weepy when smelling Apres L’Ondee, catch a load of the sighing kiss of romance + angels this’ll give you). Straight up, or in champagne, or….

    “Raindrops on roses and vintage on wristes…” @};-

    • Disteza says:

      Oooh, the St. Germain, really? I saw a bottle of that when I was shopping for some cheap flambe-able brandy, and was thinking hard about picking some up. I usually stray towards the Drambuie; is it comparable? I didn’t end up buying ’cause the last herbal/flowery liquer I purchased was the yellow Chartreuse, which I hated and ended up forcing on some unlucky friends.

      • Shelley says:

        Yes, really! I am a big fan of Drambuie, but if Drambuie is a thick, sticks to the walls of your nose sweet ambery thing that’s wonderful when it is cold outside…then St. Germain is what brings in spring. It dances in your nose, and for a while I kept thinking of it as a lilac (?!) liqueur. It is certainly spring flowers to Drambuie’s caramel. Uff-da! It is not like Chartreuse, which is herby–thankfully for you, it seems. 🙂

    • March says:

      The first time I ever went to Trader Joe’s, I wanted to weep. I was so delighted. My ragging of the customer base here aside, I have no idea how I would feed my big family without TJs. We have tried all sorts of their products, and I can cheerfully say that with a few exceptions that have to be bought elsewhere, probably 90% of our groceries come from TJs. Also, rumor has it that my local store is both one of the smallest and most high-volume — and I like that it’s small. I can get in and out of there really quickly. The “mega-grocery” is my idea of hell.

      • Olfacta says:

        How could I have forgotten to mention Trader Joes? We had them all over the place in LA and I couldn’t have done without their wines, coffees, frozen entrees — TJ allowed me to live well on a student budget. Then we moved here (Atlanta) and there was NO TJ! Finally, after ten years, they opened one in midtown. I was there the first day, called the DH all giddy, said “Guess where I am!”

        My favorite thing about TJ now? The people working there actually seem to be happy. They smile. They’re not sullen. They’re not bellyaching all the time. What a wonder!

  • Disteza says:

    As queen, everyone would be required to listen to Jordi Savall and the Hesperion XX/XX1 oeuvre. The period instruments and expressive playing are too beautiful for words. Everyone would be required to watch Harakiri (the best movie no-one has ever seen), and Pan’s Labyrinth (although I bet some of you have seen that one). Required reading would include mostly everything written by Anthony Burgess and Flanary O’Connor. And my shoe recommendation is Chie Mihara–a little funky, but more wearble (and comfortable!) than the Fluevogs, and such great colors!

  • rosarita says:

    Thanks to everybody for all the cool stuff to look at! I can now waste even more time everyday on the internet; abebooks has used up much of my morning.
    I think it’s been mentioned, but the series Mad Men on AMC is terrific. The meticulous attention to every detail of early 60s life is staggering, and I’d watch it for the clothes alone. Other stuff? Really working the resources of my local library, walking everywhere as much as possible and soap! Lemonbay Soap Co. lists Donna Karan Black Cashmere on their scent list; the lotion, soap & talc are fab (sadly, the “perfume spray” not so much, although I’ll use it for layering.)

    • March says:

      I adore the Black Cashmere lotion! And I am always recommending it to people who like BC in theory but find it a bit “much.” I have a little one I carry in my bag in the winter.

  • mariekel says:

    In my little monarchy, everyone would be required to listen to Jacques Brel and the aria “Au Fond du Temple Saint” from Les Pecheurs de Perles by Bizet. Required viewing would include all of Kieslwoski’s films, Les Enfants du Paradis, Hot Fuzz and Young Frankenstein. television series: I, Claudius, Dennis Potter’s television series (esp. The Singing Detective), Cracker and the original Saturday Night Live. Required reading would contain Peter Ackroyd’s mind-twisting category-defying Hawksmoor, Evelyn Waugh’s hilarious Vile Bodies, Bill Bryson (to keep everyone in a literate good humour) and Iris Murdoch.

    Shopping online would be done through IGive, by which you can give to your favourite charity when shopping at major retailers and Ebay. Everyone with a pet would own a Dyson — the only applicance ever to live up to the hype (it actually gets dog hair out of velvet). And lastly, when in Paris, my subjects would be obliged to check out the discount designer stores on the Rue D’Alesia and the fabulous vintage troves at Reciproque!

    • March says:

      Really, you love your Dyson that much? We need a good vacuum cleaner, for carpet and hardwood floors … are they that good? I feel like our Miehle didn’t live up to the hype.

      • Shelley says:

        =(( You don’t like your Miele? I’m sorry to hear that…ours has actually done quite well for us (including the uber-shedding dog and the two furry felines that sleep in front of the fishes). Of course, I was somewhat seduced by the fact that it does NOT have the big (and unnecessary) “vroom” of American models… Seriously, though, no complaints.

        • March says:

          Ours gets a ton of workout — and it was a gift, so it’s really not fair of me to complain. It’s not the vacuum itself, which has worked great. But the attachments – the special powered carpet-sweeper, the hose attachments, etc., several of them have cracked and needed to be replaced, and the carpet sweep we finally just gave up on.

      • Catherine says:

        Dyson lives up to the hype. We have five cats, a dog, hardwood floors, carpet… and the Dyson (pet version) works on everything. I use it to get the cat hair off everything, which is, in itself, a masterful feat. I even use to sweep away cobwebs on the ceiling. We’ve had ours for about three/four years now, and it still operates perfectly–and I use it almost every day. I would hate to imagine life without it.

  • Kathryn says:

    Here are two websites I go back to again and again:–our tax dollars at work for something life enhancing, this is a huge compendium of trustworthy health information from many reliable sources, all screened by the medical librarians at the U.S National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. It would be the first place I would look to answer your question about hypoallergenic mattress covers for dust mites. (Entering “dust mites’ as a seach term on medlineplus gets 134 hits, including a diagram of a pillow cover showing that it works primarily to keep the dust mite debris in, and another site that says you should wipe down the covers periodically to deal with the dust mites that land on top). The information on Medlineplus ranges from life-threatening issues,to stuff that’s not–e.g. cosmetics and perfume.–I go to this site every time I travel for reviews of places to eat and places to stay. Like Perfume Posse, it has lots of personal reviews that give a more rounded, reliable and interesting picture than the unified “expert” opinions of guide books of various kinds. It’s amazingly comprehensive. When I went to the most remote place I’ve ever been, Rapa Nui aka Easter Island, which is about 2000 miles away from the nearest inhabited places in Tahiti and Chile, tripadvisor helped me find not only a wonderful place to stay but also two phenomenal guides who were not mentioned in any of the guide books I looked at.

    I am old enough so that the information to be found on the web still seems like a miracle to me. My kids, who take the web completely for granted, laugh at my wonder.

    • March says:

      Hey, thanks very much for the medline thing! That will come in handy in various situations.

    • Shelley says:

      In case it’s not obvious to folks, the very good websites here have tails on the addresses that don’t belong if you try to link. Medline’s address, e.g., ends with “gov/”.

      Thanks also from me for this one!

  • Patricia says:

    Queen for a day and everyone would know what it feels like to scuba dive (and they’d know that sharks are NOT an issue for the most part).

    I’d also let them know about La Tropicana. its a Cuban Sandwhich shop in Ybor City up in Tampa. its built on the same land my great grandfather owned his barber shop. Aside from that, they make the most amazing Cuban sandwhichs and Cuban coffee. its the only place i will drink coffee. and there’s so much history in side the place itself. and the toasted bread is so yummy… rar! i want some for breakfast right now! stupid 250 miles between the lovely bread and my stomach.

  • Maura says:

    Speaking of chocolate….

    MarieBelle Chocolates are the most gorgeous and delicious chocolates I have ever had! They are truly works of art!

    If you ever need to *WoW* someone…this is the gift to give. Saddly, I haven’t been to the store in Soho but have ordered on-line!

    Add a great wine and you’re set 😉

  • Jennifer says:

    As far as websites go:, love the place! Perfect for reading junkies., one of my very new addictions.

  • Marilynn says:

    I’m really enjoying this post. I have nothing earth shattering to contribute, except this:
    This is a website where people can sketch pictures on their computer and publish them. The young girl, Suni, whose work I’ve (hopefully) linked, is absolutely amazing. I’ve viewed many of her sketches and they’re mind boggling. Oh, tmp00, I *must* visit Birchwood Inn. They have a gorgeous website! Thanks for the link.

  • MJ says:

    No mite/zipper experience, sorry.

    If I were Queen I’d have everyone read or patronize the Birdchick Blog (an awesome Minnesota bird watcher/teacher/rehabber and bee keeper), Upton Teas and Hub’s Peanuts. And of course, the wacked out cats at I Can Has Cheezburger.

  • Nava says:

    OK slap the big “L” on my forehead for not knowing about But, is pretty fantastic too, especially for those of us whose tastes lean towards the “esoteric”.

    Since I am a news and politics hound, I will contribute to the list. That’s the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. They’re nightly news broadcast “The National” is always worth watching, except for this time of year when Parliament is in recess until fall – it’s like DC in the summer, March, but longer. They stream a lot of their programming online FOR FREE (how long’s that gonna last?), so watch a couple of their docs or a newscast if you get a chance. Those Canucks might surprise you.


  • Erin T says:

    Love abebooks, that’s a great rec. Off the top of my head: Dior Pro Cheeks blush in Hip Peach or Must Have Brown, a sea-front room at the Hotel Suisse in Nice, bhel puri, Fluevog shoes (as previously mentioned), the perfumes of Particia de Nicolai, Caron masculines, too many books to mention, the music of Randy Newman, Arnold Palmers made with brewed ice tea and proper lemonade, sicilian cannolis, The and the third season of So You Think You Can Dance. And of course, y’all and NST and BdJ.

    • March says:

      Those Fluevogs are total shoe porn, and I have “get a pair” on my Christmas list.

      A pair of Fluevogs, that is. Certain other people would tell you they suspect I already *have* the other kind of pair.

      You’re coming to Scentsation, right? I can’t wait to meet you!

  • Eileen says:

    Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub — gentle, effective, and priced right.

    The BBC series Planet Earth and Blue Planet — stunning photography and wildlife. It amazes me how much variety there is on this planet, and how much of it I will never see in person.

    • March says:

      I keep meaning to try the Aveeno stuff — I have seen several reviews in magazines saying the line works well.

  • Musette says:


    You’re right, Abebooks is a constant source of literary delight. Food for the soul. For the body: (some of the most incredible artisanal chocolates on this planet!),, – both committed to local agriculture. Nothing quite like looking your (soon to be) food in the face. I’m allergic to chicken mites so I don’t gather my own eggs but my peeps do, right out of the chickens’ nests!

    For an alternate way of living, go to My old pal Elliot, gave up the rooted life most of us are bound to (by choice or chance) to traverse the globe. His reports are fun, funny, poignant…but never boring.

    On Beauty: My two finds of the Century: Walgreens brand Alpha-Hydroxy cream. $5.99, does EXACTLY what a $30 bottle of A-H will do, sometimes better.

    Bio-oil. A generic version of Cellex-C (I think). Killah! Light, skin-saving….great for aging skin (and whose isn’t?). Perfect for face or anywhere you have icky skin you want to repair. A whopping $11.99. I’m on my 5th bottle this year and am thinking CASE. Smoothed the wrinkles and age spots right off my face.


    • Divalano says:

      OMG Recchiuti! So, a couple wks ago I was in SF @ the Ferry Market, walking by Recchuti (where I was ultimately headed but was thinking lunch 1st). As we passed the SA caught my eye & held out a small dish of chocolates with one hand & beckoned for me to come try with the other. Well yes, of *course*! It was wonderful. And so were the salted almonds with the burnt caramel & cocoa dusting that he fed me next. You know I had to buy the almonds. And my favorite fleur de sel chocolates. And the cardamon chocolate. And the cassis one ….

      • Musette says:


        Those Fleur de Sel Caramels and the almonds are the stuff of my dreams! Next time you’re in the Ferry Building, go two doors down to Miette Patisserie. Their chocolate sables are terrifyingly good.

        Ooooh! Forgot my favorite US destination: Ventana Inn in Big Sur. So wonderful. such incredible food and an unforgettable view, from the terrace, of the sunset over (under) the Pacific. Bring a jacket, it gets chilly.


  • Olfacta says:

    OMG there is so much. Music: John Hiatt, KCRW on the internet, Gram Rabbit, Hank Williams, Little Feat, X, NIN, back-country Andalusian flamenco.
    Travel: St. George Island Florida, Spain (anywhere), Hendersonville/Flat Rock NC, Calistoga CA (mud baths),Zion National Park, Jackson Hole, Fairfax Avenue (mid-city L.A.)St. Mark’s, Venice.

    Food: Iberico ham from Spain, white acre peas from Georgia. Pink gulf shrimp. Homegrown heirloom tomatoes. Carnitas. Gazpacho. Enchiladas with tomatillo sauce. Parmesan cheese. Basil.

    Media: “Mad Men,” the best series ever. “The Sopranos” first season. “To Die For” (Gus Van Sant). Buster Keaton. The opening shot of Grace Kelly in “Rear Window.” Francois Truffaut.

    And so much more — makes me glad to be alive.

    • March says:

      I would be loving my homegrown heirloom tomatoes right now IF I COULD GET THE %%(&%@($*@!)%*# squirrels to stop eating them! Not sure I can outwit a squirrel…

      If I had a list of the 25 foods I eat most often, parmesan cheese and basil would be on there. 🙂

      • Olfacta says:

        Nobody can outwit a squirrel.

        I’ve had some success by taking my tomatoes off the vines as they’re just starting to blush, and put them in a window to finish ripening. They’re less tempting that way I guess, also to the birds. The old-timers here say just plant an extra bush or two for ’em.

      • Nika says:

        It looks ugly, but we use chainlink cages around the tomato bushes just around the time the tomatos start to ripen. I know them cages ain’t the most classy thing to look at, but I rather put up with them that those squirrels.:d

    • Teri says:

      Yay!!! Another Little Feat fan :d If not the greatest band ever, they are pretty darn close. Everyone should own at least the “Dixie Chicken” album.

      If you like blues and/or obscure blues bands, check out Duke Tomato and the All-Star Frogs, Southside Denny and the Skintones, and Saffire the Uppity Blues Women. For less obscure, but equally great blues, try Johnny Johnson’s ‘Johnny B. Bad’ or Copeland/Cray/Collins ‘Showdown’. Flat out amazing blues.

      If you or any of your SOs like baseball (particularly if you happen to be a Cubs fan), “Crazy 08” by Cait Murphy (yup, a woman) is a GREAT baseball book and one of the most well-written non-fiction books I’ve read (and I read many). It’s quintessential summer reading, every bit as enjoyable as one of those big juicy novels.

      As I’m sure you already know, books and music are all available on

      I’ve used the same facial cleanser for 10 years and amazingly enough it works on oily skin, dry skin, normal skin, clear skin, breakouts, you name it. Leave it on 3 minutes and it works as a facial mask. Everyone in my family uses it – from teens to 70s. It’s a wonder drug in a cleanser bottle — Serious Skin Care’s Glycolic Cleanser. Find it at

      And if you’re a fan of bitingly sarcastic, fierce yet funny, commentary on issues as diverse as politics, children’s rights and American Idol, look up the blog ‘Don’t Get Me Started’ by Linda Sharp.

      And finally, if you’re looking for a gift for the punny, the intellectual, or just something to amuse yourself, check out The Freudian slippers I got my son for Christmas were the hit of the holiday.

      • Olfacta says:

        I thought it was so perfect that the second-to-last song Tony Soprano ever heard was “All That You Dream” by Little Feat.

        Thanks for the music suggestions!

      • Shelley says:

        I WANTED those Freudian slippers for Christmas!! Glad to hear somebody got them! I heard of them via “The Funny Times,” which is an entertaining monthly conglomeration of cartoons…sort of The Utne Reader for comic strips and editorial cartoons.

        Thanks for the “Crazy 8” tip. Will definitely check it out…

  • Divalano says:

    Everyone should watch Serenity, the TV series at least once if not 5 times; they should all know about Yi, my massage guy at Pine Street Lodge (tiny storefront massage joint in Nolita); no one should fly without a supply of EmergenCee’s & some saline nasal spray to combat recirculated air germs & dehydration, & a tiny tin of L’Occitane shea butter for their hands; and you all need to sleep with natural latex foam pillows – fairly eliminated my morning stiff neck. Not gonna mention my perfume places b/c y’all know about them but you DO need to go shop for makeup at Space NK – the SA’s there are geniuses. Oh! And Eddie Izzard. Everyone needs to watch Dress To Kill at the very least.

    • Silvia says:

      Yes, Eddie Izzard ! Love the Death Star Canteen Lego animation version on You Tube

    • March says:

      My daughter’s in love with Eddie Izzard. And I want to kill you for your masseuse. I cannot find a good masseuse here .>. (cue tiny violin music for” Problems of the Idle Rich!!)

      And do you have a source for the pillow? It’s clear to me that I’m allergic to my down ones, I keep using the same pathetic foam pillow but need a new one.

      Hey, I FORGOT TO ASK — any of you have any experience with zipping your pillows/mattress into something hypoallergenic? Can you only do that when the mattress/pillow is brand new, to keep the dust/mites OUT, or does it help to do it later?

      • Divalano says:

        I got my pillows at, my bedding holy grail that I probably should have mentioned above. No, never used hypoallergenic cases for my bedding. Lord knows I should but I’m not quite that organized.

      • Disteza says:

        It took me forever to find a decent massage place in the DC area(what with all the dancing and fencing I sorta have special needs), but I absolutely recommend Body By Geoff’s for their sports, myofascial, and deep tissue massages. You can make appointments at their studio in Reston, or have them come to you.

    • March says:

      My daughter’s in love with Eddie Izzard. And I want to kill you for your masseuse. I cannot find a good masseuse here … (cue tiny violin music for “Problems of the Idle Rich”!!)

      And do you have a source for the pillow? It’s clear to me that I’m allergic to my down ones, I keep using the same pathetic foam pillow but need a new one.

      Hey, I FORGOT TO ASK — any of you have any experience with zipping your pillows/mattress into something hypoallergenic? Can you only do that when the mattress/pillow is brand new, to keep the dust/mites OUT, or does it help to do it later?

    • mariekel says:

      Eddie Izzard is fabulous — I saw his show here in DC a few months ago and he was in great form.

  • Silvia says:

    Queen Silvia’s gifts to the People would be Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (best cosmetic product EVER), followed by the Deadwood TV series <):), books by Fred Vargas and the fab Thermomix/Bimby (German wunder machine that chops, blends, etc and COOKS too, unbelievably useful). I am also quite evangelical about MUA, but everyone here would know of it.

    • March says:

      A BIMBY?!?!? 😕 I want something called a Bimby, even if I don’t understand it. I’m cooking for six, I bet I need one. I’ll have to go look…

      Is the Liz Earle cloth for a particular skin type? I’m really dry. I have trouble finding a “gentle” cleanser that will actually *remove* makeup without irritating my face. It’s hard to get my zinc oxide sunscreen off.

      • Divalano says:

        March, after perusing product reviews on MUA I just started experimenting w jojoba oil as a makeup remover, followed with my usual Cetaphil wash (applied without wetting my face 1st).

        • March says:

          I was using olive oil — and I still do but it was making me break out if I left it on (and I thought nothing would make me break out.) I could live without the smell, although I use it on my hair still. I wonder if jojoba/almond would be better…

          • Musette says:


            Did I tell you about Carol’s Daughter? The Lisa’s Hair Elixir is wonderful. Use sparingly. I break out if you look at me and so far I’ve had none with this stuff. And it really helps my po’ hair.


          • Lee says:

            Hon – jojoba oil is supposed to be the closest thing in nature to sebum, so I reckon you should give it a go. I use it on my ecszema patches when they flare up and I’m not in the mood for the steroids… Never on my face though, which is a greaseball by nature.

      • Silvia says:

        Honestly, the Bimby rules. It ain’t cheap but it’s totally worth it. The Liz Earle Cleanser is for all skin types and removes plutonium. Think you can only order it from the UK so if you like I can send you some to try. My whole family is hooked on it.

    • mariekel says:

      Silvia, I am completely with you on Deadwood. Everyone must watch this (sadly aborted) series. It is the closest thing to Shakepspeare ever made for television and the cast are uniformly superb.

  • sariah says:

    Really great travel blog with great articles and pics (well edited!) from this couple that travelled around the world for 13 months:

  • Anne says:

    If I were king of the foreeest! We would be served these, oh so calorie heavy – but its worth it, savory treats.

    • March says:

      Oh, I want to sing along! I love that ol’ song… wait, those look completely deadly. :-w And thanks for sharing them!

      • Musette says:

        That was just on Sunday night and El O looked at me oddly (okay ‘askance’) as I sang that entire song, word for blasted, word, with all the attendant gestures. God Bless Bert Lahr and his vaudeville heart!


    • Shelley says:

      Yum! Perhaps the thought of eating those will put the correct quavering vibrato in our voices as we draw out “foreeeeeeest” when we sing?

      Musette, how is it possible somebody not know this song? 😮


  • Louise says:

    Welllll, risking charges of criminal irreverence, there’s a site my students showed me: And anybody who doesn’t watch House compusively, just doesn’t get me. Or my son 😡 8-|

  • sylvia says:

    oo good idea! in my opinion, everyone should know about korres guava body butter, tom waits, the amazing adventures of kavalier and clay by michael chabon, northern exposure, and arrested development (the last two are tv shows)

    • March says:

      Guava body butter sounds great — I know Sephora recently started carrying a few things from the Korres line, I’ll take a look. And I keep meaning to read Kavalier & Clay.

      • Divalano says:

        Guava ANYthing sounds like heaven. I always have to have a jar of Goya Guava jam from the local bogegas uptown. Yum. On croissants, on a hot tortilla with butter … mmmmm

  • tmp00 says:

    well, there about six bookstores I could mention in LA that my queenly powers would bring back..

    As far as a website, here’s one for a place that I’ve stayed at a couple of times and I can more than recommend it: even if the breakfast and teas weren’t delicious and the rooms great and the owner a joy, she has Quinn, her service-dog in residence, a Golden Retriever I defy you not to fall in love with. Last time I was there with my friend Bitsy and our borrowed roadster I think we were thisclose to stealing her away!

    • March says:

      All the used book and record stores here have gone kaput — rents too high. Sad.

      Oh, I love recommendations for places! I’ll check it out, thanks very much!

      • Divalano says:

        Oh wait! I forgot my fave used cd/DVD sources. In NYC, Academy on W 18 St. Online, Both places are also great to sell stuff too. Turn your old music into perfume funds!!

      • Robin says:

        I just found out last weekend that Second Story Books was gone! I used to love it, in the old warehouse location before it moved down to it’s last location. Very sad.