Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#LetsBlogOff - Thank goodness for books about football...

So I'm not the literary type... This is the opening week of the college football season after all and contrary to what some may think, I do actually read books(without pictures).

Fortunately for me, there are plenty of good football books to read and I can knock one out in seemingly no time as long as I don't think the team of topic is vile.

One of the bookcases at work...

So most of my books have pictures... Sheesh.

One of my all-time favorite authors is pot-stirrer extraordinaire Clay Travis. His first big hit(my opinion) is the epitome of modern Southern culture. When I picked up Dixieland Delight for the first time, I think I ran through half a dozen chapters without realizing it.

Dixieland Delight is Travis' documentation of a season in the Southeastern Conference. Without any tickets, hotel rooms or little other planning, Clay sets out to see each SEC stadium in a single season(12 venues in 14 weeks. Tough sledding for anyone). The people he meets on the journey are what sets Southeastern Conference football apart from any other conference in the country- he captures them brilliantly. I laughed out loud more than once and even got a little blurry eyed.

my personal copy is out on loan... 

The book could not better represent the passion of fans or their willingness to share the bounty of a tailgate with others. It was also refreshing to see how the traditions of one team even stirs passion among opponents. We have no shortage of traditions- Here are a couple of my favorites:

At Auburn, Toomer's Corner is probably what most people would think... If you haven't seen the pregame eagle flight before a rival game, it's completely overwhelming.

In Knoxville, there's nothing like the opening of the T!

And of course tailgating in the Grove at Ole Miss.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. It's bigger and better every year and Dixieland Delight is a crash course in what Southeastern Conference football fans do from Labor Day until Christmas each year.

So as any good Alabamian will do, I'll ask. Who do you cheer for?

This football related post is my little bit of Let's Blog Off for the week. Let's Blog Off is a bi-weekly coming together of bloggers around a common topic and this week's question was, "What is your favorite book?"

It's too close to football season for me to be thinking about much else.

Read everyone else's posts and leave them some comments... Hey, write one for yourself, too!

Monday, August 29, 2011


If you didn't wake up today thinking that Monday should be Friday and that the first glorious football Saturday should be tomorrow, you probably don't like football quite as much as I do.


After what seems like years and years of scandal and off-season antics, college football starts this week. I can't be happier. Finally, sports radio has something to talk about other than RBIs and the sights/sounds/smells of tailgate season reach a fever pitch(too bad it's still 95 degrees outside).

This might be what heaven looks like... 

So in honor of the impending autumn awesomeness, we'll be joining in with the throngs of other college football fans by wearing our favorite teams colors on Friday, September 2. It's called College Colors Day and has grown like wildfire since its first event in 2005. 

Go register your company at College Colors Day and you might even win a big tailgate party on them! 
Especially in the South, sporting your team's colors in the fall is a given(sometimes even at church). Weddings are postponed(or have flat screens at the reception), businesses close in the middle of the day, families divide, even your best friend may not speak to you until after the New Year.... all for football.

The blog will be all football/tailgate, all week! So dust off that shaker and get your grill ready... Football is here at last!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Scanapalooza: QR Codes

Lab42 conducted a survey last month to see what 500 social media users knew about QR Codes... It's a growing technology that is becoming quite mainstream.

Do you use them?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Compost in Style! Blanco Solon

If you've read this blog for any length of time you know that composting is near and dear to my heart... See here, here and here.

While composting has plenty of upside, there are still those that either don't want a potentially smelly bin of scraps on their counter or have no where else to strategically hide it without forgetting it and really growing some wild stuff. Funky!

Blanco(one of my favorite kitchen and bathroom suppliers) has a considerably more stylish(and smell-reducing) option. 

Check out the Solon Compost System.

The Solon is available in  inset or flush-mount installation making it perfect to plan for when installing stone counters. 

The bin is 7.5" wide and 8.25" deep and completely stainless steel. Besides being easy on the eyes, it's easy to clean(dishwasher-safe)!

The hygienic seal traps in any unwanted odors of kitchen scraps before you easily remove the entire bin to transport to your outdoor compost system.

Blanco demonstrates how easy the Solon is to use in this short video... Take a look:

If you're a composter already or thinking about incorporating composting in to your kitchen, take a close look at the Solon Compost System.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Support Lee County Humane Society(and vote for Dolly)!

A member of the Cupboards family is one of many pets with the opportunity to be on the cover of the Best Friends Calendar that benefits the Lee County(AL) Humane Society. 

The LCHS does a great deal for the East Alabama community and survives with support from community members and animal lovers. Last year, the calendar raised over $14,000 to help provide animals with long-term homes. 

Here is the picture of Dolly that your votes can put on the cover of the Best Friends Calendar!

Here's how you can help... Go to the Lee County Humane Society site and cast your votes for Dolly. Each vote is $1 and every bit helps! The form will ask for what name you want to vote for(Dolly) and the pet's number(13). 

Thanks for helping support a great local cause!

Guest Post: 8 Tips to Create Your Charming Cozy Space

Big thanks to the kind folks at HomeInteriorsZone.com for taking over the blog today... Get ready for some great tips!


What does cozy mean? Most probably it means something else for every person, but in order for a room to become cozy it should be comfortable, warm and inviting. There are many ways to achieve this, for example through the kind of furniture that you choose, the colors that you opt for and so on.

1. Vintage air

In case you are dealing with a vintage style room, you could be thinking about a white sofa and neutral walls. The right atmosphere could be added through the mid century-style art, furnishing and fabrics.

2. Marine motifs

Each room should have a certain kind of personality and this is why the majority of people tend to choose a theme. A really popular one is the sea theme. To achieve a cozy room of this kind consider the floor-to-ceiling shelves. Look for the nautical theme items that come in emerald hues because these spice up the antique-finished pottery and basins.

3. Wooden touch and natural tones

In case your purpose is to relax in the room, think about the natural tones and a muted color palette. If you happen to have a really nice sight, these colors will allow it to become the center stage of the room, not competing with it. The sight of wood always adds a warm touch to a room, so you should leave the wooden ceiling visible.

4. Western air meets country feeling

Do you want to feel the western vibe? There are some details that you have to be careful about. You could add some items, such as a metal washbasin and a straw hat. These add the country feeling even to the most modern rooms. To make the room inviting, you could use some out of the ordinary elements, like hanging lights and as a decoration you could be using a collection of postcards.

5. Literary hideaway

Do you want to make sure that the people living in the house will enjoy reading? Add a cushy sectional and a lot of pillows. The books could be stored in low, built-in shelves. To make the room warmer, you could add some other items that are suitable for the style, like a collection of globes and maps that charm the readers. In this case the best colors to opt for are the bright ones.

6. Monochromatic touch

Going for something bold? Think about monochromatic designs. The best idea is to keep the walls white and the color should be implemented through the furniture, accessories and lighting. Naturally you will need a focal point that adds some other color to the room, and that grabs the attention of people.

7. Warm color notes

It is said that the warmest colors are brown and orange. This is why it might be suitable to opt for a sofa in sandy colors, add some orange end tables and other accessories and don’t forget about using wood either to make sure that you will feel comfortable at the end of a long day.

8. Natural inspiration

Another color that you shouldn’t forget about is green. This reminds us of nature and it works very well when combined with brown colors and wood. You could opt for a brick colored couch and add green rugs and accessories in the room.


Author Bio:
This is a guest post by HomeInteriorsZone.com. The blog helps its readers give their home a beautiful look through some real useful articles on home interiors.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Miele Futura Slimline Dishwashers

Bigger is not always better. Many home products and appliances have grown(literally) in past years and even though we are seeing a trend toward smaller homes, there are still a limited amount of quality appliance products that are truly small-home friendly.

A good friend of Cupboards, Paul Anater from Kitchen and Residential Design shared some awesome information last week on the Futura Series of dishwashers from Miele. The technological advances from Miele in Futura Series is nothing short of remarkable. From capacity improvements to completely blowing away efficiency markers, the Futura really has set itself apart. Take a look at Paul's post- he covers lots of the technical specs.

One of the shining features of the Futura Series is option to have a Slimline model. Trimming down the standard 24" model to 18" without sacrificing capacity is an amazing feat!

Are you counting dishes? Think there'd be no room in a dishwasher that's only 18" wide? 

The silverware tray on top is a convertible of sorts, accommodating a variety of utensils and flatware. The upper tray is also adjustable for varied heights.

The Slimline Futura is available in both a prefinished  door(above) or a fully-integrated version(below).

While perfect for condos and apartment living, I think the Miele Futura Slimline is also ideal for small families. There doesn't seem to be a better model for efficiency! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Inspiration - House Among Trees

Growing up near a national forest allowed me to develop a great respect of wooded areas and natural habitats. There's a special relationship between a home that compliments the world around it, instead of creating a space that otherwise would have never happened in nature.

This home in coastal Mar Azul, Argentina exists without disrupting the forest it was built in- Great care was taken(partly out of necessity, due to code restrictions) to maintain the wooded area.

The incorporation of the trees in to the structure and use of materials makes this one of my favorite houses... Perfect Sunday Inspiration!

Source: ArchDaily

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Find - Scrabble Pillows

I love Scrabble(and Words with Friends on iPhone). These nifty throw pillows are going to be gracing my world sooner than later... 

You can get them on Etsy and the prices are shockingly reasonable. For a fun update to your den or guest room, add a couple of letters. If only I had a duvet that had a triple word score!

Have a fun Friday and a super weekend! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

On Nick's Wish List: Capital Culinarian

Cooking on top notch equipment can make you feel like a culinary wiz. Contrary to what some may say, better cooking tools does make a better cook simply because of the capabilities of said tools.

With that said, I could cook up a storm on a Capital Culinarian

When Capital launched the Culinarian, the first thing that caught my attention was the open burner system. With the ability to really heat up(23,000 BTUs) as well as maintain a true simmer(145 degrees Fahrenheit) on EVERY burner, the cooking possibilities are endless!

Not familiar with how an open burner works? Check out this video... 

It makes a bigger difference than you think. Not only is an open burner better for heat distribution across a pot or pan, but also for speed cooking. 

The Culinarian Series offers a 30", 36", 48" and 60" Self Cleaning Oven Range, 30", 36" and 48" in a Manual Clean Oven Range and 30", 36", 48" and 60" Rangetop only model.

The optional cabernet handles really add to an already timeless design.

Here are just a few of the features on a Culinarian Range:
  • Powerful OPEN TOP BURNERS RATED AT 23,000 BTUs/hr for All Burners
  • All burners are capable of turning down to provide True Simmer of 145°
  • CAST IRON WOK GRATE available as an accessory.
  • Thermo-Griddle™- 18,000 BTU, 3/8" thick thermostatically controlled Stainless Steel Griddle Plate
  • (CGSR362G2 models)
  • HYBRID RADIANTS with Ceramic Rods encased in Stainless Steel Sheet Metal for Reduced Flares and longer life. included in the BBQ-Grill sections
  • EZ-Glides™- Full extension removable drip trays mounted on ball bearing rails.
  • Stay-Cool™- Die cast, chrome plated metal knobs with Black Trims (cabernet red optional)
  • Moto-Rotis™ - Motorized rotisserie system in Self Clean Ranges (primary oven only)*
  • Flex-Roll™ - Oven racks for smooth operation in Self Clean Ranges CAPITAL PATENTED.
  • Auto-ignition/re-ignition on all open top burners
  • COMMERCIAL QUALITY CAST IRON GRATES with easy to clean matte porcelain finish
  • Island trim included
  • 18,000 BTU infrared broiler in Large Oven behind glass*
  • 30,000 BTU primary oven for uniform baking
  • Heavy-duty cast stainless steel rotisserie prongs*
  • Stainless steel rotisserie spit rod*
  • Adjustable rear casters for easy installation*
  • Adjustable front legs for easy leveling
  • Titanium speck porcelain oven interior
  • 40-watt bright oven lights
  • 5 rack positions w/ 3 racks provided
  • Broil pan provided
  • 1-1/4" diameter professional-style handle
  • Heavy-duty oven door hinges
  • Extra large viewing windows w/ embossed design

Before you decide on your next cooking center purchase, make sure to give the Capital Culinarian a look. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Next-Gen - Mono Dishwasher

With the movement toward smaller homes and smaller spaces, it's only sensible that appliances follow suit. One of the proto-types out now for small living dish washing is the Mono Dishwasher. Designed by Daniel Simonini, the Mono is suited for singles or couples as well as office situations.

The Mono can hold four plates, four glasses and place settings of silverware- perfect for a small family! 

Perhaps the best feature of the Mono is that the pressurized water not only cleans the dishes but also powers the internal battery... No power cord!

Check out this video that shows some of the inspiration behind the Mono.

What do you think? Pretty sweet, huh?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Inspiration - Shaft House

Talk about an interesting addition to the neighborhood!

The "Shaft House" was built in Toronto in 2010. Design by Reza Aliabadi, the home occupies a slim spot on a seemingly normal neighborhood street.

From the architects project notes:

"The Shaft House is an unexpected and exciting spatial experience that survives the limits of our ordinary living spaces. The two and a half storey detached house reevaluates functional arrangements within a narrow building while creating bright and airy spaces. Affordability is a value that the building successfully owns by integrating well thought low-cost strategies in the design process; from purchasing a modest lot of about 20 feet wide to choosing sustainable and cost efficient materials. Aluminum siding, untreated wood and recyclable rusted steel for the exterior of the house not only help reduce the costs of the design but t also tried to make a statement on organic behaviors of buildings by changing color while aging along with the house."

"The Shaft House generates spaces without walls. Circulation and services surround a void of light that is called “The Shaft”. Floors on either side overlook each other allowing light and sight to travel deep inside the house. The staircase circulates around the central shaft and cause rooms to emerge in space by changing levels. The levels have been shifted in section resulting in a canopy facing the street, and a south facing deck on the rooftop."

"While the construction cost of the shaft house is almost as affordable as a ready-made design set of standard housings in Toronto, it is yet a surprise for the neighborhood and perhaps for many other neighborhoods in the city. But atelier rzlbd’s aspiration towards changing the face of Toronto by creating innovative and affordable designs for single family houses, is a goal that Shaft House successfully represents."

Would this fit in on your street? Is it somewhere that you'd like to live?

Design Architect: Reza Aliabadi [rzlbd]

Design Team: Reza Aliabadi & Ali Malekzadeh
Project Manager: Ali Malekzadeh
Architectural Photography: borXu Design
Building Type: Single family house
Location: Toronto
Basics: Three story wood structure
Lot: 20'X100'
Living Area: 1400 sqft
Completion: Summer 2010

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Old MacDonald had a... Bathtub?

Check out the AWESOME leather-wrapped bathtubs from PSCBATH. Think one of these would be the top conversation piece of a home?


Do you ever get the feeling that you're being watched in the bathtub? Mooooooo! The next time that some one asks me what my design style is, I'm going to tell them 'Holstein'.

Get them in a couple of different prints... Cows, zebras... oh, my!

So what do you think? 

Will you be singing E-I-E-I-O in the bath?

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