Not-So-Angry Birds: Little plush chickens are so ubiquitous at Easter time that they blend right into the scenery. This year, take a good hard look at one. That’s easy, thanks to Home Rule (1807 14th St. NW; 202-797-5544), which is selling eight-packs of the fuzzy things, mounted on mini-clothespins, for $6. Their uneven eyes suggest derangement, or perhaps recent, heavy drug use. Those askew plastic beaks give the birds an air of permanent alarm. Maybe we should stop boiling their eggs?

Here’s the Gam Plan: Get a leg-up on summer strutting with shorts from Violet Boutique (2439 18th St. NW; 202-621-9225). The AdMo shop currently stocks a big collection of stem-bearing varieties including our favorites: skimpy silk Aztec pull-ons by My Beloved (shown, $32), Ya’s flirty beauties in lightweight linen with ruffle pockets and a precious pair of crocheted high-waisters from Ark & Co. More of a damsel in a dress? Violet carries plenty of those, too, from minis to maxis.

Lofty Ambitions: You know you’re a renter if: You can reach the fridge without leaving the couch; your bed folds, deflates or retracts; you use sporks to conserve drawer space. But just because your pad is cramped doesn’t mean your style has to be. Janet Lee’s new “Living in a Nutshell” (Harper Design, $25) is full of genius DIY decor projects that had Express ediors gunning for their craft supplies, like turning place mats into throw pillows or building a portable fireplace on wheels.

Forecast: Drizzled: Man (and woman) cannot live by vegetable, viands and bread alone. One needs condiments to season things up, a need sleekly met by Capitol Hill’s new Sapore (660 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; 202-544-4133). The sunny purveyor of fresh olive oils (most $15.95), vinegars and fancy salts lets customers taste before they buy via round steel vats called fusti. With the turn of a spigot, sample all-purpose oils like a peppery Sicilian EVOO or unusual infusions like Ripe Tomato, plus interesting vinegars (blackberry, peach).


Yes We Cane: We’re not going to sugarcoat the way we feel about your skin. That’s a job for Cane + Austin’s Retexturizing Treatment Pads ($60 for 30 single-use pads, The cotton rounds contain glycolic acid derived from sugar cane for a deep clean and gentle exfoliation on-the-go. After using them daily for one week, our dermis felt tighter, more toned and smoother. Pretty sweet if you ask us.