Shared posts

01 Dec 22:34

A Timeless, Contemporary Salon by Tomás Alonso

by Caroline Williamson

A Timeless, Contemporary Salon by Tomás Alonso

Brussels-based Victor Hunt Designart Dealer recently unveiled the Vaalbeek Project, a contemporary salon space designed by Tomás Alonso. The interior space was created as an early peek into a renovation of a house in Belgium that Alonso is working on, where he aims to prove that you can bring a modern feel to an historic space. These unique pieces of furniture and furnishings were designed to bridge the gap and to complement the 20th century home they’ll fill. The rest of the Vaalbeek Project will be released in the Spring of 2017.

vaalbeek-project-alonso-victor-hunt-2

vaalbeek-project-alonso-victor-hunt-3

vaalbeek-project-alonso-victor-hunt-4

vaalbeek-project-alonso-victor-hunt-5

vaalbeek-project-alonso-victor-hunt-6

vaalbeek-project-alonso-victor-hunt-7

vaalbeek-project-alonso-victor-hunt-8

vaalbeek-project-alonso-victor-hunt-9

vaalbeek-project-alonso-victor-hunt-10

vaalbeek-project-alonso-victor-hunt-11

Photos by Frederik Vercruysse.

01 Dec 22:32

Signal Lighting from WORKSTEAD

by Caroline Williamson

Signal Lighting from WORKSTEAD

Brooklyn-based WORKSTEAD recently launched a collection of minimalist lighting that features acrylic globes secured by metal pins to a metal canopy giving an almost hieroglyphic look. Each fixture, which comes in brass or bronze, is outfitted with a matching pull chain that has a metal rod attached to the chain.

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-1

Signal comes in Sconce, Flush Mount, or Pendant form in either Hewn Brass or Bronze.

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-2-sconce

The collection can be purchase from WORKSTEAD, or if you’re in the UK, from Another Country.

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-3

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-4

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-5-bronze

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-6

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-7-flush

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-8

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-9

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-10

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-11-pendant

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-12

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-13

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-14

workstead-signal-lighting-another-country-15

01 Dec 22:31

The Joule: Bringing Modern Sous Vide To The Home Cook

by Nanette Wong

The following post is brought to you by ChefSteps. Our partners are hand picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.

The Joule: Bringing Modern Sous Vide To The Home Cook

Despite being a favorite of molecular gastronomists for years, only recently has sous vide cooking become achievable for the home cook. For those who aren’t as familiar with sous vide cooking, it’s similar to poaching, but much more precise. Sous vide cooking is when a chef cooks meat and vegetables in a controlled water bath at a very specific temperature. This results in the food being cooked at the right temperature, without losing moisture or flavor. Enter, the Joule. The Joule is a modern-day, affordable solution for home-cooks to bring the science and convenience of sous vide cooking into their own home. We give it a spin.

ChefSteps-Joule-NanetteWong-1

Unlike previous iterations of the home sous vide machine, which were the size of microwaves, the Joule is small, light, and sleek. It’s a simple wand with a single cord, and takes up minimal space. To get started cooking, all you need is the Joule, a large pot or container, plastic bags, clip, and your smartphone.

ChefSteps-Joule-NanetteWong-2

ChefSteps, which makes the Joule, states that it’s incredibly easy to use. I’d have to agree. I’ve used other sous vide machines before, and none were as easy to use as the Joule. There is minimal set-up—all you need to do is put it in a vat of warm water, clasp it on the side, plug it in and press a button on the top. For someone who hates reading instructions, the ease of set-up is a huge plus. You also have to download the app to be able to run the Joule, as well as create an account. While it was slightly annoying to have to sign up while I was getting ready to cook, it wasn’t by any means, a deal breaker. Once you download the app, it has a very helpful onboarding system, with an interactive step by step system to help you get acquainted with the Joule. I didn’t have this with the previous sous vide machines I used, and I felt like it made a big difference.

Screenshots from the Joule app

Screenshots from the Joule app

My only minor qualm was at one point, it seemed to be too easy. With my previous experience using sous vide machines, I knew the bags have to be airtight. I used a Foodsaver previously, and I dug around the ChefSteps website to see if I needed a Foodsaver. Everywhere I read, it said I only needed a plastic bag, which sounded a little suspicious to me. It was difficult to find (which was frustrating) but eventually I realized I can use the water dispersion method to ensure that the bag was airtight, and clip it to the container. The whole time I was cooking, I was a little iffy about this but as you’ll see, it worked.

ChefSteps-Joule-NanetteWong-3

Once I felt prepared, it was time to start cooking. With the Joule, the phrase “set it and forget it” takes on a whole new meaning. You can either set the temperature manually depending on what you want to cook, or if you’re new, simply choose a recipe, and it’ll set the temperature and timer for you. As I was doing a side-by-side comparison, I set the temperature to what I wanted. Unlike boiling water, the Joule got the water bath to be at the right temperature very quickly—in under five minutes.

I decided to test the Joule with steak and eggs because it’s easy to see how changing the temperature by a little bit can drastically alter the end result. The thing about sous vide is that it’s also supposed to work like magic, in a way. You should be able to take cheaper, rougher cuts of meat and still cook it so it’s perfectly juicy and not overcooked. ChefSteps recommends going with a thicker cut of steak, so I chose a 1.5″ top sirloin steak with minimal marbling. Normally, I personally veer away from these cuts because it tends to be dry, but it was a perfect meat for the Joule test run.

ChefSteps-Joule-NanetteWong-5

I cut the steak into three pieces and cooked it at three different temperatures, 129 degrees F (rare), 136 degrees F (medium), and 154 degrees F (well done) for one hour. The app has a timer and alerts you when your food is ready.

When you see the steak immediately after being sous vide, it has an unappetizing, slightly grayish pallor to it, which might confuse first time sous vide users but is completely normal. You are supposed to sear it afterwards to give it a nice crust on the outside. At this point, I was a little conflicted as to whether or not I should sear it, because in my thinking, it seems like you’d be cooking the steak and thus, defeating the whole purpose of cooking it precisely with the Joule. However, the sear is so brief that it doesn’t cook the inside of the steak—it merely gives it a nice brown on the outside.

RareSteak-Juice

Though the rare and medium look closer in color, the difference in texture and even juice, is palpable.

ChefSteps-Joule-NanetteWong-Medium-SteakJuice

Though rare and medium look a little closer in color, the texture was very different when slicing.

ChefSteps-Joule-NanetteWong-Well-SteakJuice

ChefSteps-Joule-NanetteWong-15

Next, we tested three different eggs at three different temperatures—64 degrees C, 68 degrees C, and 72 degrees C for one hour (We used Celsius for temperature accuracy). Though it seems like it might be easier, getting the right temperature and time for eggs was much more difficult. With eggs, you not only have to worry about the yolk being the right texture, but also the whites. The whites are the most fickle. What seems like a dramatic change in temperature can only slightly affect the whites (as you’ll see), but dramatically affect the yolks.

ChefSteps-Joule-NanetteWong-Egg Chart

As you can see, methodically cooking the eggs at 4 degrees C higher showed a consistent firming of the yolk, but for some reason the egg whites at 64 and 68 degrees C didn’t change much. The Joule app also lacked recipes for any eggs besides a poached or soft boiled egg. However, they do have an egg calculator on desktop, which would be handier in the app. I do think though, practice makes perfect in this situation. The difficulty with eggs is not a unique problem for the Joule, I also had the same issues with other sous vide machines. All three of them had sticky whites as well, and peeling them was much more difficult than peeling eggs I had cooked with a pot.

ChefSteps-Joule-NanetteWong-21

ChefSteps-Joule-NanetteWong-20

ChefSteps-Joule-NanetteWong-19

I would describe myself as a cooking enthusiast, and the Joule fits into my lifestyle perfectly, especially when I want to just “set it and forget it.” However, I would say it takes some of the experimentation out of cooking, and can also end up taking longer time than just throwing a steak on the grill. However, it also takes the guesswork and meticulous time-suck that cooking can sometimes result in. You don’t have to babysit the food while it cooks, just let it do its thing. That means one can get all fancy with the toppings, like create a rosemary clarified butter or whatever your heart desires.

Set-up was ridiculously easy, and the app was really helpful with all the videos and onboarding they do to get a user comfortable with the product. It doesn’t take a lot of space, which is a huge plus as a city dweller. My only qualm is with the recipes. The app doesn’t have all the recipes, in fact it has less than I would expect in an accompanying app. There are also “free” recipes and “premium” options, where you get more recipes and more sous vide/cooking classes as well. However, I do know that this is something they’re working on, and are about to release a whole slew of helpful guides, including a roast guide and CUSTARD guide (um whoa). I’m looking forward to seeing the new recipe guides to help me push my sous vide cooking in a new direction, beyond the classic steak and eggs.

The overall consensus? Love the Joule.

Chefsteps-Joule-NanetteWong--23

Chefsteps-Joule-NanetteWong--24

01 Dec 22:30

A Music-Inspired Boutique Hotel in Paris

by Caroline Williamson

A Music-Inspired Boutique Hotel in Paris

Located in the Rue d’Edimbourg in a music loving neighborhood, the Idol Hotel is a colorful Parisian boutique hotel that pays homage to its neighbors, like the Municipal Conservatory of Paris and nearby instrument makers. It’s no surprise that renowned hotel designer Julie Gauthron is the woman behind the bold and unforgettable interior, which meant we had to take a look for this Destination Design.

destin-idol-hotel-paris-2

Gauthron designed the interior around music, particularly funk, soul, and jungle music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, which you’ll see throughout. The hotel has 32 rooms, including 5 suites, each centered around a different color palette and theme, helping to immerse guests into a full-on music experience.

destin-idol-hotel-paris-3

destin-idol-hotel-paris-4

Joy Room

Joy Room

The dramatic rooms, each appropriately named, inspire vibes of Parisian playfulness with showers and tubs on full display.

Lady Soul Room

Lady Soul Room

Lady Soul Room

Lady Soul Room

Light my Fire Room

Light my Fire Room

Light my Fire Room

Light my Fire Room

Light my Fire Room

Light my Fire Room

Light my Fire Room

Light my Fire Room

Light my Fire Room

Light my Fire Room

Moon Blue Room

Moon Blue Room

Moon Blue Room

Moon Blue Room

Blue Sunshine Suite

Blue Sunshine Suite

Blue Sunshine Suite

Blue Sunshine Suite

Blue Sunshine Suite

Blue Sunshine Suite

Feeling Good Suite

Feeling Good Suite

Feeling Good Suite

Feeling Good Suite

Give me the Night Suite

Give me the Night Suite

Give me the Night Suite

Give me the Night Suite

My Cherie Amour Suite

My Cherie Amour Suite

My Cherie Amour Suite

My Cherie Amour Suite

My Cherie Amour Suite

My Cherie Amour Suite

destin-idol-hotel-paris-25

What: Idol Hotel Paris
Where: 16, Rue d’Edimbourg 75008 Paris, France
How much? Rooms start at approximately $119 and up per night
Highlights: Convenient location in a neighborhood of music lovers, curated rooms with a Parisian playfulness
Design draw:  A bold and colorful interior designed around music, particularly funk, soul, and jungle music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s,
Book it: Visit the Idol Hotel website.

Photos by Céline Demoux.

01 Dec 22:29

Former Auto Body Shop Transformed Into Zen Bathhouse

by Nanette Wong

Former Auto Body Shop Transformed Into Zen Bathhouse

Three years in the making, Onsen is a brand-new, Japanese-inspired bathhouse and restaurant in the heart of San Francisco. Designed and built from the ground up by husband and wife duo Sunny Simmons and Caroline Smith, Onsen gives nod to international bathhouse culture while also adding their own unique, community spin.

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-4

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-3

After purchasing the space, the couple lived in an airstream inside the previous automotive building while they completely revamped the space. As a craft builder, Sunny aimed to keep the original character of the building, while also making it fit for modern day luxuries. All the wood in the building has been carefully collected through time by Sunny himself.

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-1

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-16

The walls of the treatment rooms and throughout the restaurant are full of carefully curated art by Caroline.

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-6

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-7

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-11

Onsen has a total of six treatment rooms and a communal bathing room, complete with a cold plunge shower installation.

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-2

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-8

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-13

Each room in the bathhouse portion has its own look and feel. The dry sauna features all redwood and is more reminiscent of a traditional sauna room, while another room features graphic black and white tiles. The five head cold shower plunge installation is inspired by steampunk-era fiction.

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-17

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-10

They also collected bathhouse tickets from around the world to decorate the walls.

onsen-japanesebathhouse-sf-18

In the front of the building, Onsen has an intimate, chef-driven restaurant and tearoom featuring fresh, seasonal cuisine and tea service. Lastly, the owners and creators behind Onsen also believe in giving back to the community. They close for business on Tuesdays, but plan to open it to the neighborhood and community around them to provide services that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

Photos by Raquel Venancio Marins.

01 Dec 22:28

Illustrators Join together To Create Bookblock Notebooks

by Nanette Wong

Illustrators Join together To Create Bookblock Notebooks

Notebook lovers, rejoice! The Bookblock Editions collection is a series of colorful and fun notebooks by 12 renowned illustrators. From soft watercolor landscapes to graphic geometry to hand sketched animal studies to vector cityscapes, there is a design for everyone. The artists created four unique designs in their own, distinct style and each notebook has a soft cover, and is a great collectable item for stationery lovers. The notebooks are made by combining modern technology and traditional bookbinding methods to create a durable notebook that’s also affordable, and are cased-in by hand to ensure high quality products.

Annu Kilpelainen

Annu Kilpelainen

Annu Kilpelainen

Annu Kilpelainen

Thomas Hedger

Thomas Hedger

Thomas Hedger

Thomas Hedger

Supermundane

Supermundane

Supermundane

Supermundane

Rob Flowers

Rob Flowers

Rob Flowers

Rob Flowers

Marylou Faure

Marylou Faure

Marylou Faure

Marylou Faure

Martina Paukova

Martina Paukova

Martina Paukova

Martina Paukova

Maggie Chiang

Maggie Chiang

Maggie Chiang

Maggie Chiang

David Doran

David Doran

David Doran

David Doran

Claudine O'Sullivan

Claudine O’Sullivan

Claudine O'Sullivan

Claudine O’Sullivan

Ben O'Brien

Ben O’Brien

bookblock_editions__1

Kristen Boydstun

bookblock-editions-notebooks-grid-1

bookblock-editions-notebooks-grid

bookblock_editions_thomas_hedger

bookblock_editions_supermundane_1

bookblock_editions_maggie_chiang_2

30 Nov 18:30

Ten Years Ago on Masson’s Blog: We had big problems with health care before Obamacare

by Doug Masson

I don’t expect most “repeal and replace” advocates are arguing in good faith about the health care system, but in case they are, just a reminder — much as detractors like to complain endlessly about Obamacare, we had big problems that led to its passage in the first place. This post from November 2006:

Fort Wayne Libertarian Mike Sylvester has a good post on the healthcare crisis. Some of his stats:

Healthcare costs are rising 8 – 10% per year and are projected to rise at that rate through 2010.

For 2005 the cost of a comprehensive healthcare plan was $11,480 for a family of 4 for one year.

. . .

The United States currently spends 16% of the entire National GDP on healthcare. This will grow to 20% by 2015. The United States spends the HIGHEST percentage of GDP in the world on healthcare. 2nd and 3rd are Germany and Switzerland at 11% of GDP. In relative terms, we spend 1.5 times as much as the next most expensive country per capita on healthcare. Also please remember that EVERYONE in Germany and Switzerland have free healthcare of some sort.

In the U.S. we spend more and get less than just about anyone in terms of healthcare. We have all the bureaucracy of a government system without the equity that usually comes along with it.

Some links to past healthcare entries in this blog:

  • In Indiana, Rep. Orentlicher seemed to have been taking the lead in developing solutions, according to the minutes of the Select Joint Commission on Medicaid Oversight. He was looking to the Veteran’s Administration as a model for reengineering health care delivery.
  • Healthcare and poverty in Indiana. Hoosiers had the highest rate of “medical bankruptcies” per capita. 9 to 14% of Hoosiers are uninsured. $950 of a family’s annual insurance premium is used to pay for the uninsured. Soon to be ex-representative Troy “I’ll Never Vote For It” Woodruff blamed the problem on Hoosier smoking and obesity.
  • There is an effort to use schools as healthcare delivery centers for children.
  • Too many of our healthcare dollars get spent on bureacracy, wasteful subsidies, and treating catastrophic illnesses that could’ve been nipped in the bud if the patient had been able to afford routine medical care.
  • Eight conservative, good-for-business reasons for a single-payer healthcare system. (Short version: 1. Transaction costs; 2. Employer funding; 3. The basic idea of insurance; 4. Value; 5. Risk cost of receivables; 6. Service quality; 7. Efficiency; 8. Patriotism.)
23 Nov 15:34

Rook - Revisit

by Erin in Indy
Rook, you guys, is one of the most creative and tasty places we’ve got going around here. Hubby hadn’t been to the new location so we headed over there on one of those nights when it was still unseasonably warm and sat outside—they’ve done a nice job with the outside seating. Even though it’s pretty near the street, it feels a little calmer than many places.


We started out with the steamed pork bun ($5). A friend had insisted we get the Spam bun because she says it is amazing, but hubby couldn’t be swayed from the pure pork version. And it is really delicious. The soft doughy bun and the just right crispy pork belly with no too much fat. My favorite part is the homemade pickles giving it a fresh crunch and some acid. There’s a sprinkle of peanuts and some hoisin sauce too. So good.


We also got an order of the fried pigs’ ears with fermented black bean mayo and a 63-degree egg ($8). We have had tasty pig’s ears before, but they are often too chewy. THESE WERE SO GOOD. You couldn’t sop eating them. It was almost like eating light fried pork skins—super crispy and not at all chewy. That mayo had a little tanginess to it as well, and well, you know me, put a perfectly runny egg on top of that mayo and it may just be the perfect dish. No way we would ever pass this by if it’s on the menu. Dipping the pigs’ ears into that runny egg and mayo was just perfection.


For our second round, we had the Ora King salmon poke ($18) and the Vietnamese crepe ($17). We really enjoyed the salmon—really nice-sized cubes of raw salmon—and if you aren’t familiar with Ora King, it’s super buttery and delicious (you can get it at Caplinger’s if you want to experiment at home). And then the salmon was served in a bowl on a bed of rice and flavored with soy, charred seaweed, sesame seeds and an avocado cream. There was also a big egg yolk in the middle of the dish, which made it into a rich, decadent dish. We really enjoyed it, but it was so rich, I was glad to be sharing it. I don’t think I could have eaten this whole thing on my own.



If I was going to pick a least favorite item of the evening, it was the Vietnamese pancake. And these are typically one of my favorite things in Vietnamese cuisine. It was stuffed with a large amount of duck confit, boiled egg, bean sprouts and bacon. It was drizzled with fermented chili aioli and had a side of a fish sauce-based sauce to season with. I’m not sure what made this dish a little lackluster for me, but I think it was the fact that there was a little too much of the filling inside (you couldn’t really appreciate the crepe itself) and the fillings were on the whole cold. When I have had this elsewhere in the past, the fillings are quickly sautéed or something so they are warm. Maybe they just put so much in there, it couldn’t all get warm before the crepe was totally done. The boiled egg was a new thing for me in a crepe like this. I appreciated some of it, but still, there was just a little too much.



All in all, this was a really good dinner. The first two items blew us away and we were also really impressed with the salmon. I love the way the menu varies from visit to visit. Hubby was also really impressed with the new (ish) digs, as they just feel more sophisticated, while it remains casual and approachable still.


If you haven’t been to Rook, you owe it to yourself to check it out for sure. It is certainly one of the most interesting places we have going and the food quality (and service for that matter) is very high. Can’t wait to try some other new things.


Rook

501 Virginia Ave

Indy 46203

317/737-2293




23 Nov 15:33

Ind. Courts - "Pence, who touts openness, tries to stop document release"

by Marcia Oddi
That is the headline to Brian Slodysko's AP coverage yesterday of the oral argument in William Groth v. Mike Pence...
22 Nov 19:58

A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX

by Garrett Fleming

A Pretty, but Not Precious, Mid-Century Home in Dallas, TX

There was a time when it was in vogue to cover your sofas in plastic, keep the formal dining room spotless, and strive for perfectly-visible vacuum lines. It was the age of tupperware and pastels, when keeping things preserved was obviously the way to go. Times are changing, though. We are seeing more and more homes built to be truly lived in. No rooms are off limits, decorations are less precious and kids are more free to be creative and (dare I say it) mess things up a little.

There’s such freedom and joyfulness that comes with this feeling of letting go. And that’s exactly what Katie Sarokhanian of Rus in Urbe Home and her husband Nicholas strive to infuse into the Dallas, TX home where they’re raising their three daughters. By setting a certain tone with the decorations they bring home, Katie and Nicholas let the kiddos know that messing up a little something there or getting something dirty here isn’t a big deal. Instead of being focused on how they’re making a mess, they want their daughters to focus on things that bring them joy. In order to keep themselves from stressing when stuff gets broken or blemished, they eagerly pick through vintage shops and browse Craigslist listings. Not only is it fun, but since these thrifty finds don’t break the bank, their wear and tear is much easier to take. “My most important goal is to never be attached to any thing in my home. I want my friends’ kids to run around and have fun. I like having the house full of people, and I never ever care when wine is spilled or things are broken,” Katie tells us.

Just because these affordable finds aren’t shiny and new doesn’t mean Katie and Nicholas have sacrificed their personal style. On the contrary, their collection of pillows and textiles seems right out of a bohemian dream. Rich red blankets, patterned pillows and an eclectic mixture of layered textiles help guests and the family alike feel at home from the second they walk in the door. Click through to see just how well the couple has managed to craft a pretty home that isn’t afraid to get a little dirty. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Kris Ellis

22 Nov 19:55

Window Shopping: Retro Meets Eclectic

by Bethany Joy Foss

Make it Yours: Claire and Parker Brody on Design*SpongeClaire and Parker Brody’s 900-square-foot rental home in downtown Austin, TX is filled with natural light and unique color combinations. Each room has an unexpected flavor that highlights their love of vintage furniture and crafting inviting spaces. Claire likes to experiment by choosing playful palettes and styling elements like paint, light fixtures and window treatments to create personality, while staying within the parameters of their rental agreement. The living room feels cozy with an eggplant colored bookcase, neutral walls and blue curtains that are balanced with warm furniture and décor, whereas the guest bedroom pulls from a range of greens and embraces comfortable textures. The dining room walls are painted a soft green complemented perfectly by luscious reds and sophisticated accessories. Check out more of Claire and Parker’s colorful space in their original home tour. —Bethany

Make it Yours: Claire and Parker Brody on Design*SpongePalette 1 – Living Room
A. Igloo Blue (Behr), PMS 552; B. Velvet Beret (Valspar), PMS 668; C. Desert Clay (Behr), PMS 4635; D. Tricycle Red (Benjamin Moore), PMS 186; E. Dove White (Valspar), PMS Warm Gray 1

Roundup 1 – Living Room
1. Vintage Hollywood Regency Floor Lamp, $285; 2. Nina Charme Tan Armchair, $999; 3. Red Pocket-Sized Encyclopedias, $299; 4. Black Wool Rug, $195.19; 5. Brass Duck Bookends, $28; 6. South Seas Bar Cart, $498; 7. Vogue Cover Print, $57

The second and third room images and product roundups continue after the jump!

Make it Yours: Claire and Parker Brody on Design*SpongeMake it Yours: Claire and Parker Brody on Design*SpongePalette 2 – Guest Bedroom
A. Du Jour (Valspar), PMS Cool Gray 1; B. Sun Valley (Behr), PMS 371 ; C. Glitzy Gold (Sherwin Williams), PMS 1245; D. Eccentric Lime (Benjamin Moore), PMS 397 ; E. Purple Earth (Valspar), PMS 438

Roundup 2 – Guest Bedroom
1. Kensie Home Madison Velvet Pair of Panels, $108; 2. Yellow Roses by Redoute Poster, $9; 3. Cloudnola Trusty Gold Alarm Clock, $29.99; 4. Green Velvet Feather and Down Filled Throw Pillows, $35.99; 5. Luxe Velvet Lumbar Pillow Cover, $39; 6. Franklin Lamp Base, $26.59; 7. Velvet Cushion Cover, $9.99; 8. Blue Green Pillow Cover, $22; 9. Duval Burnished Antique Gold Frames, $29.95; 10. Seychelles Dove White Quilt, $339; 11. Slub Velvet Orianna Headboard, $1,648

Make it Yours: Claire and Parker Brody on Design*SpongeMake it Yours: Claire and Parker Brody on Design*SpongePalette 3 – Dining Room
A. Breakfast Room Green (Farrow & Ball), PMS 5565; B. Million Dollar Red (Benjamin Moore), PMS 1805; C. Royal Garnet (Valspar), PMS 4975; D. Lunar Surface (Behr), PMS Cool Gray 5; E. Autumn Surprise (Valspar), PMS 463

Roundup 3 – Dining Room
1. Four White Roses Dark 36″ x 32.65″ Framed Print, $332.85; 2. Milo Baughman 1188 Dining Chair, $1,550; 3. Seno Table, $799; 4. Darya Rugs Tribal Norene Rug, $3,190; 5. Black Polyresin Vase, $14; 6. Division Street Stardust Pendant, $118

22 Nov 19:50

How To Keep Going

by Adam J. Kurtz

How To Keep Going – Adam J. Kurtz for Design*Sponge

We’ve all faced difficult challenges before. Part of being someone who is actively engaged with their creativity is finding smart solutions to whatever problems come our way. This is especially true when you own your business (full-time or side-hustle) and ultimately have to count on yourself to get through. But sometimes – maybe even right now – you are faced with the kind of challenge that makes you question everything.

Giving up completely isn’t a real option. Shutting down is just delaying the inevitable. Feeling helpless is valid, until you need to get your s*** together again. Life moves forward whether you’re ready or not, so it’s our job to keep moving too. It won’t happen overnight, but change will come. Here’s my best advice on how to keep going so you’ll still be here when it does. –Adam J. Kurtz


How To Keep Going – Adam J. Kurtz for Design*Sponge
How To Keep Going – Adam J. Kurtz for Design*Sponge
How To Keep Going – Adam J. Kurtz for Design*Sponge
How To Keep Going – Adam J. Kurtz for Design*Sponge
How To Keep Going – Adam J. Kurtz for Design*Sponge
How To Keep Going – Adam J. Kurtz for Design*Sponge
How To Keep Going – Adam J. Kurtz for Design*Sponge
How To Keep Going – Adam J. Kurtz for Design*Sponge
How To Keep Going – Adam J. Kurtz for Design*Sponge


 

Adam J. KurtzAdam J. Kurtz (better known as ADAMJK) is an artist and author of 1 Page at a Time & Pick Me Up. His dark (but optimistic) humor comes to life in an offbeat line of gifts and small trinkets. Follow him at @ADAMJK or in real life (he lives in Brooklyn because of course he does).

 

 

 

22 Nov 15:35

On the Street…East Second St., New York

by The Sartorialist

111816JDerian6B9338IG

21 Nov 19:00

The nearly invisible president-elect: Trump’s work keeps him mostly out of view

by Philip Rucker
Trump, busy with private meetings, skips some pre-inaugural rituals of his predecessors.
18 Nov 20:47

What Now?

by Sheila
Tifmurray

Oh, the comment section.

The next two to four years are going to be very painful. Upcoming Judicial appointments will make the federal courts far less protective of our liberties (especially women’s liberties), probably for the foreseeable future. Economic policies will hurt the poor, especially women and children, and exacerbate divisions between the rich and the rest of us. […]
18 Nov 20:41

How We Should Respond

by Sheila
News outlets are reporting that the incoming Trump Administration is seriously considering establishment of a “registry” for Muslims. Politico recently quoted Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who says the effort is being modeled after the highly controversial National Security Entry-Exit Registration System implemented after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. When challenged about the constitutionality […]
18 Nov 19:33

Ind. Courts - "Does conservatives' case against RFRA fix belong in court?" Judge rules "yes" [Updated]

by Marcia Oddi
Updating this ILB post from Nov. 3rd, Stephanie Wang of the Indianapolis Star is reporting this morning:Hamilton Superior Judge Steven...
18 Nov 19:30

Ind. Courts - 250 residents plan lawsuits against East Chicago officials over lead contamination

by Marcia Oddi
Lauren Cross reported this week in the NWI Times:EAST CHICAGO — About 250 current and former West Calumet residents put...
18 Nov 19:29

Ind. Law - ABA censures Valpo Law School

by Marcia Oddi
John Scheibel reports in the NWI Times:VALPARAISO — The American Bar Association has censured the Valparaiso University Law School over...
15 Nov 20:48

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Cups

by A Beautiful Mess

Peanut butter and pumpkin cups (via abeautifulmess.com) Years ago we shared how to make homemade peanut butter cups. Which is still one of my very favorite homemade candies to make because it's SO EASY. So I thought I'd try a different version for Friendsgiving since I was planning to make a pie but I still wanted to serve something with chocolate, because, well, chocolate is holiday-worthy!

Peanut butter and pumpkin cups (via abeautifulmess.com)I changed up the filling for these just a little by adding some pumpkin and spice to the mix, and I absolutely love how they turned out, so I figured I'd share. These are great to just have in your refrigerator if you need a little pick me up, or a fun thing to take to a gathering as they are super easy to transport. Everyone at our Friendsgiving was raving about them. They are a crowd-pleaser for sure. :)

How to make peanut butter cupsPeanut Butter and Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Cups, makes 16-18 mini muffin size cups

12 oz. dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
big pinch of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of coarse sea salt for the tops
16-18 mini muffin liners

In a small bowl, stir together the pumpkin, peanut butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Then prepare your mini muffin pan by adding the liners.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt half of the chocolate chips with the oil. I've found the best way to melt chocolate in the microwave is to melt for 30 seconds, stir, melt another 30 seconds, stir, and repeat this until things are creamy. You can also do this in a double boiler if you don't want to use the microwave. Once the chocolate is melted, pour a tablespoon or so (it's not necessary to measure, I'm just giving you an idea of how much to pour) in to each cupcake liner. Give the pan a little shake so that the chocolate evenly distributes, then add a heaping teaspoon or so (again, no need to measure the exact amount here) of the pumpkin mixture. Then top with a little more chocolate so the pumpkin mixture is fully covered. And last sprinkle on the sea salt. 

Peanut butter and pumpkin cups (via abeautifulmess.com)  Once the chocolate is set (hardened), remove from the pan and refrigerate in a container with a lid or a big ziplock bag. Yay for homemade candy!

If you love making candy at home, why not try making our Dark Chocolate Almond Brittle or our Peppermint Marshmallows—both are festive and sure to get you in the holiday mood. xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman.Photography: Amber Ulmer and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions

12 Nov 16:42

Vice President-Elect Pence to Take Over Trump Transition Effort

by MICHAEL D. SHEAR, MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and MAGGIE HABERMAN
Mr. Pence will take the reins from Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, who had been in charge of the transition for the past several months.
12 Nov 16:39

What Is Lost by Burying the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

by JACKIE CALMES
Few in Washington will mourn the trade pact, but it would have set precedents in digital commerce, intellectual property rights, human rights and environmental protection.
12 Nov 16:37

Can Trump Save Their Jobs? They’re Counting on It

by NELSON D. SCHWARTZ
Tifmurray

And there it is.

Employees of a Carrier plant that is scheduled to move to Mexico in 2019 say they expect the president-elect to follow through on his vow to come to their aid.
09 Nov 20:51

Amid all the Horror, There Were Some Slivers of Good News Last Night

For all the depressed Democrats out there, here’s some much-needed good news.
09 Nov 20:12

20 Years as a Lawyer

by Doug Masson

On November 4, 1996, I was sworn in as a member of the Indiana Bar, officially making me a lawyer in the state of Indiana. By the end of the month, I started my first job as a lawyer, working in the Office of Bill Drafting and Research in the Legislative Services Agency. I honestly cannot remember if I had landed the job at the time of the induction. I think not. I do recall that I had applied for the LSA job and was rejected. Then, a week or two later, they called me in for an interview. Apparently another position had opened up. In fact, four of us started at about the same time. (One of those guys is now the director of the Office.)

Picture taken in Indianapolis at the bar induction ceremony.

Picture taken in Indianapolis at the bar induction ceremony.

I pretty much always knew I wanted to be a lawyer. When I was five years old, I recall being concerned that maybe my inability to read might be an impediment to becoming a lawyer. But, then — I reasoned — my secretaries could read to me. Problem solved! There were a couple of moments of doubt. I wanted to be a Cincinnati Red during the Big Red Machine days. My never playing baseball at any level pretty much took care of that issue. When I was maybe 12 or 13, I recall that being a lawyer was tied with “astronomer.” The last potential fork in the road was during my college search. I had it in my mind that I would either go to IU to study business (and then potentially law school) or go to Miami to study history or political science and then go to law school. (Miami had a fine business school — why I wasn’t considering business there is unclear to me now.) Mrs. Keller, my English teacher, wife of a local attorney and family friend, and Miami alumna herself put in a plug for Miami. That’s where I went, and from that point, law school was always in the cards. I majored in political science and history which didn’t exactly tempt me with non-legal career options. My grades were good but not dazzling. My LSAT scores were excellent, and I was accepted to IU-Bloomington before I got around to completing any other law school applications, and off I went. Again, at IU, my grades were good (good enough for a cum laude designation at graduation) but not dazzling.

Studying for the bar exam was a slog. It’s one of those things where you never know if you’ve done enough. And the prospects of not passing were unpleasant, so it’s possible I over-studied. I was all nerves at the bar exam until someone near by started crying. I figured I was nowhere near crying, so I’d probably be o.k. There was a brief moment of terror with respect to the results. I had the results mailed to my folks place. (At the time I was filling out the application,  having just graduated and not having a job, I didn’t know where I’d be by the end of the process). So, my mom opened the results and called me. I wasn’t home, so she left a message on the answering machine. “Hi Doug,” she said. Then she sighed. And I knew the only reason she’d be calling that day would be because of the results. My heart dropped at that sigh. But, apparently she just needed to take a breath. Because the rest of the sentence was, “you passed the bar exam.”

I kept passing out the applications, looking for a job. And, finally, I caught my break with LSA. That was a great job for a young lawyer. Mainly I was charged with writing proposed legislation for the General Assembly. That helped a great deal with becoming familiar at a very granular level with the Indiana Code. After about a year and a half, I got a promotion and became a deputy director with the Office of Code Revision at LSA. In that capacity, I was mostly editing draft legislation prepared by other LSA lawyers. Despite the errors that often riddle this blog, that helped me a great deal with my writing. You’re looking for as much clarity and precision as possible when drafting legislation. (Obviously we sometimes fell short of that goal!) Another side benefit of my time at LSA has been this blog. Long time readers know that I have deviated greatly at times, but reviewing and commenting on legislation proposed by the General Assembly has been a mainstay. The years of writing have allowed me to make a great many friends, both online and in person. (Maybe I’ll subject you to a “12 years of blogging” retrospective in about 11 days here.)

While at law school, I met Amy. I graduated before she did. But, then she graduated and, while I was still in Indy working for the General Assembly, she went north and got a job in Monticello. In 1999, I decided that I wanted to be with her, and I wanted to be in private practice. So, I papered Lafayette with resumes. I got lucky. I fell in with Hoffman, Luhman, & Busch — a small firm with some great lawyers; great, both in terms of being skilled lawyers but also in terms of being outstanding people. I’m reminded of how lucky I was when I remember that, not long after I moved to Lafayette, I saw a help-wanted ad for another area lawyer. A year or two after that, that lawyer was losing his license for unethical behavior. I didn’t know anything about the lawyers in town. I could very easily have ended up in a very challenging situation.

Instead, the job has been very rewarding. Certainly I know guys who went on to make a lot more money than me. But the work/life balance has been very good, and the work itself has been varied in a generally interesting way. I keep busy, but it’s the kind of practice where I’m able to leave early to go coach the kids’ soccer teams or do something for the school board or what have you.

The legal work started mostly with collections. That’s actually not as bad as it sounds. It gave me the opportunity to work on hundreds of generally low-stakes cases. I got to meet a lot of judges and see a lot of lawyers work under circumstances where, if I made a mistake, it generally was not consequential. Although, at some point while collecting on some Community Corrections cases, I wondered at how strange the world was. The court would generally have me see what I could work out informally with the debtors before taking up the judge’s time. So, I was standing in a room with maybe 25 convicted felons where I was trying to extract money from every one of them. When I was a mild-mannered, geeky, skinny kid in Richmond, I would not have predicted that life event. But, again, not as bad as it sounds. I learned that, mostly if you treat people with respect, they’re easy enough to get along with.

As I got more experience, the partners at the firm,

All grown up

All grown up

Dave Luhman and Tom Busch, gave me more and more of the County work. Throughout my time in Lafayette, it has been a true honor to work for Tippecanoe County.  Fred Hoffman had been County Attorney for quite sometime in, I believe, the 70s and 80s. There was a stretch where the work went elsewhere, but Dave and Tom resumed our relationship with the County maybe 3 or 4 years prior to my arrival. It’s only the last two years that I’ve considered myself “the County Attorney,” but I’ve been doing work for the County for at least 15 years. That role really stepped up in 2002. Dave and Tom had made me a partner with the firm, effective January 1, 2002. Then, three weeks later, there was the unfortunate passing of Judge George Heid in Tippecanoe County Superior Court 2. This presented an opportunity for Tom who would shortly go from “Tom” to “Judge Busch.” Due to the circumstances, he left with relatively short notice. I took on a lot of Tom’s active cases, and it felt like the training wheels were off. My first big case following his departure was handling the County’s end of Severson v. Board of Trustees. It was a relatively high profile case where a Purdue resident-advisor had been murdered by a student in his resident hall. Among other things, there were allegations against the Sheriff’s Department having to do with whether they should have done more to protect the resident-advisor after he reported the student’s drug dealing activity.

Since then, my practice has generally had a nice mix of the routine stuff that isn’t terribly interesting but pays the bills and doesn’t keep you up at nights with cases that are either high stakes or legally interesting or both. Some notable ones include “the pig case” which went on for five years before resulting in my first jury win. There was a case involving the Sheriff’s Department’s use of force when responding to another tragic case where a woman’s ex-boyfriend murdered her son and kidnapped her. There was a trial where a family friend was called to the stand as an expert witness for the opposing side. (My wife wanted assurances that this wouldn’t ruin our friendship. It did not — his expertise was perfectly valid, he was just being asked by the other side to assume the truth of certain underlying facts which where very much in question.) There was the small claims case where the defendant, representing himself, challenged my witness by asking “didn’t your friend tell you that I was an asshole?!” I objected to the relevance. But, I think the judge was having a slow day — he gave me kind of a grin and said, “I’ll allow it.” There was my first argument in front of the 7th Circuit where I drew a panel in which Judge Posner lead the questioning. Talk about trial by fire. I’ve even had the opportunity (pdf) to argue in front of the Indiana Supreme Court.

In fact, now that I sit and think about it, there have been lots and lots of cases.

And this is part of why I wanted to be a lawyer. Life and people are complicated and interesting. As a lawyer, you get to see a wide swath of what’s going on in the world — or at least in your community. And you get to see it up close. This isn’t always pleasant, of course. There was one time where I had two active cases, one featuring autopsy pictures of a little girl who had been murdered and the other involving the rape of one child by another, older child. I definitely hugged my kids a little more often when I got home during that period of time. But, seeing the good and bad of the human drama is one of the privileges of being a lawyer. It’s very rewarding when you can help your clients navigate life’s challenges, both big and small. Even as I’ve been practicing for a long time, I try to remember that — for most of my clients — being involved with the court system is a significant event in their life. The law can be terrible in its strength. It is often unforgiving, and it can be imprecise. That’s why having an advocate is so important. That is one reason why being a lawyer is a privilege, a responsibility, and a profession.

I hope to be at this for many more years.

03 Nov 20:51

Family Disputes and a Nasty Can of Beans: Hillary Clinton as Litigator

by AMY CHOZICK
A tour of Mrs. Clinton’s early work as a litigator reveals how unglamorous it often was (a suit on rat parts in a can of pork and beans). It also gives hints of what kind of politician she would become.
03 Nov 20:38

On the Street…Mail Carrier, New York

by The Sartorialist

102716Mail6B8690IG

Cropped and tapered trousers, black boots, puffer vest layered under a cardigan, tie, flipped-up sunglasses and the gloves (whether intentional or not)

 

I have to say this young man is the coolest mail carrier I’ve ever seen.

31 Oct 18:31

Cover Story: Adele, Queen of Hearts

Since her chart-topping coronation, the superstar singer has been determined to balance her real life with her record-breaking career. From behind the scenes of her world tour, she opens up about the challenges of motherhood, melancholy, and mega-stardom.
31 Oct 17:59

Ind. Law - "An announcement about Indiana Tech Law School" [Updated]

by Marcia Oddi
Tifmurray

and it's done.

Supplementing this earlier ILB post, here is a letter sent to Indiana Tech grads:Dear Warrior Alumni: I write today to...
26 Oct 21:01

Evil Eye Halloween Cocktail

by A Beautiful Mess

Evil Eye CocktailHey, friends!! The other day I got obsessed with the idea of making vanilla pudding ICE CUBES, and I'm so excited that it actually worked. This turned out to be basically a Bailey's with a pudding pop cube in it that looks like a creepy eyeball. I'd call that a win! 

If you're a Halloween freak like me, you'll have to try it this weekend! Here's how it's made!

Evil Eye pudding ice cubesOne: Most importantly, you need to freeze each layer one at a time. This is essential for getting a nice, clean shape. If you try to freeze all the layers in one step, the green and white will bleed together and the licorice may not hold its place. First, take a piece of black licorice, get it wet and stick it to the bottom of the circle ice cube mold. Stick it in the freezer until it's frozen (even just 20 minutes will do the trick on this step). Next, in a separate bowl, mix some green food dye with vanilla pudding. Spoon it into the mold right on top of the black licorice piece. If your circle isn't perfect, use a paper towel to clean it up. Then freeze the green pudding.

Two: After the green pudding is completely frozen, fill the rest of the mold with vanilla pudding. You can do the first half with just pudding. But for the second half, since you have to funnel it into that tiny hole, you'll need to water the pudding down. Mix 1 part pudding and 1 part milk (any kind of milk, I actually used half and half since that's what I had on hand). Shake it in a cocktail shaker or use a whisk to combine the pudding and milk. Then it should be thin enough to pour into the closed circle mold through the top. Then close off the top and freeze the cube (I froze mine overnight).

Three and Four: I like these clear ice cube molds because you can see that the lines are straight and that there are no bubbles.

Five: When you go to remove the cubes, they can be hard to remove, so use a little cool water as needed.

Six: LOOK HOW CUTE! Once you've completed the cubes, the hard part is over. Just pour in some Bailey's or Kahlua and serve! 

Evil Eye Cocktail So fun, right?? 

Evil Eye Cocktail  A simple and sweet cocktail for all my witches! Love you guys! xx -Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.