Clean Up on Aisle Cute
When it comes to adorable dish-drying methods, West Elm’s beach-themed tea towel wipes out the competition ($9, Westelm.com). The kitchen cloth, part of a tabletop series from Brooklyn artist Claudia Person that also includes nautical plates and dachshund dishes ($3-$16), features renderings of all things summer: beach balls, popsicles, straw hats and, of course, hot dogs. It’s made of 100 percent cotton and is washing machine-safe, though its good looks mean it may never come close to a messy spill.
High Style, Low Impact
Yes, CFL bulbs save the planet. But they’re about as attractive as a chem lab coat. But Plumen’s new low-energy, mod bulbs ($30 each, Homebody, 715 8th St. SE; 202-544-8445) banish images of police interrogation rooms and dental offices with their sinuous, snakey curves. Use them solo or in multiples (cord kits are also coming to Homebody soon) for a big statement with a very small footprint — they use 80 percent less juice than regular bulbs.
Project Summer Anti-Frizz began in earnest this week, necessitating deployment of a megasized flattening iron and countless bottles of goop at home. But for at-the-desk touch-ups, we’ll now employ the tiny-but-tough H20Pro Mini ($50, Hairwigbeautysupply.com). The gadget, which resembles a skinny stapler, comes in hues like kiwi and pink. It heated up quickly and nicely smoothed our short, piece-y frazzle of hair. Rapunzels, however, might find using the thing time-consuming.
Better off Ped?
Shoe insoles are not in the slightest bit sexy. At least Summer Soles tried, with two new designs in their “Softness of Suede” designs, right ($7-$8, Summersoles.com). Then again, sweaty, squishy flats, dirty sandal beds and stinky feet are also not in the slightest bit sexy. These insoles’ adhesive is aggressive, which is great for higher heels and less-great for closed-toe flats.
Brew, Meet Goo
In our coupledom, one person’s sin is candy, the other’s beer. But now that Vosges has poured out its new Smoke & Stout Caramel Bar ($7.50, Vosgeschocolate.com and Neiman Marcus stores), a domestic rumble may ensue. What sounds like an unholy marriage — Rogue Ale’s dark beer, smoked salt, burned-sugar caramel and chocolate — turns out to be a melty, messy delight. And the only buzz it gives is, well, a sweet one.