Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Find: Like You Really Need Another Reason to Love Imogen

This week's find was released last September, but wow am I glad I finally found it. (Thank you Adrienne for sending it!) Check out Imogen Heap creative genius at work.

You might give some serious thought to buying her album if you haven't already.

Fabulous Stationery

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Big Cheese Giveaway

I met this wonderful person named James last week in New York who raved about Murry's Cheese Shop in the West Village. Then, as things tend to happen, the HcQ and I accidentally found ourselves at its doorstep Friday night. It was wonderful. And they know cheese. So, of course, we love them. Plus they have this thing called a cheese blog.

I'm in heaven.

And you're in luck. You can win their complete guide to cheese right here at Cool Stuff con Queso. The cheese book from the Queso. Just leave a comment, and you are entered in the Hurricane drawing for your very own copy of The Murray's Cheese Handbook containing everything you'd want to know about cheese. Behold the power. Comments will be open until Wednesday night at midnight.

AND WE HAVE A WINNER: Mark!...who said Yes Please, for totally won! Email me at helloqueso at gmail dot com to claim your cheese, brah.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Friday Finds: Blogher Business Style

Well, as you might have read on the Queso, I'm at Blogher Business for my day job. It's excellent. I've met a ton of smart, interesting people and found some excellent finds along the way. Here are a just a few...

Simply the Greatest Recipe Site Ever.
Simply Recipes may not be new to you, because it's, um, HUGE! But if you haven't discovered it, you must check this site out. I met Elise, the brainchild and muscles behind it, earlier today. She's brilliant. In both the American and British version of brilliant. She takes all the photos for the site herself, and I'm almost positive she makes every recipe. If you haven't already done so, you must add this to your bookmarks.

Natural Beauty
Terralina is a skin care product line that "offer the best from nature, avoiding the use of harsh or potentially harmful ingredients." It has no parabens, no PEGs, no ethoxylates, no glycols, no acrylates, no silicones, and no artificial fragance I don't even know what half of that is, but I know this...I put some of the lotion on today, and it's fantastic. And it smells amazing. You can have them send you a free sample from their Web site. And Gina Garrubbo, the CEO and Co-founder is a gem of a wonderful person.

Smart Ass and Sassy Maternity Tees

I went to dinner tonight with a group that included a girl (and her darling six-week old boy) named Kristen who sells some cute maternity Tshirts. I really like the "Drinking for Two" shirt for dads.

A Find That Finds
And now, a find that keeps on finding. She Finds dot com. An excellent place to find stuff. They shop the Web so you don't have to. I met Michelle, founder of She Finds, today, and she's as excellently cool as this fab site. Check it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Words Are Good.

I like words. In fact, I love them.
I like to read them, to write them, to speak them.

I like them so much, I want them everywhere. Even on my dishes.

Check out these great Word Dishes from Clio.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Welcome to Cool Stuff con Queso. A place where cool stuff comes with cheese. At no extra charge. A sister (with better clothes) site to Blog con Queso, it's chock full of product, reviews, giveaways, and more giveaways. You won't be disappointed.

And to prove it, we're launching with a Darlybird giveaway.

Last year, Design Mom introduced me to Darlybird, and oh how I'm glad she did.Visiting the San Francisco-based site is like walking into the coolest little boutique, looking around, and literally wanting everything.

The excellent collection of the "hard-to-find, one-of-a-kind and the brainchild of a stay-at-home mom slash creative-guru-wannabe who decided to take a risk and have fun at the same time."

How can you not love that? Especially when she's giving us the greatest bag ever...a bag that doesn't cost $, it's less than $50...and it's completely free to a lucky winner.

Don't you just LOVE Lucy? Leave a comment, and you're registered to win it. Comments will be open until Tuesday night at midnight. And as always, the Hurricane will draw the winner. I can't explain to you how much I hope you win.

And thanks for stopping by.


Hey there! Emily, you who said "I would love to win a fantastic red bag," well, you totally won! Email me at helloqueso at gmail dot com to claim your awesome red bag.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Marimekko has been around since 1951 creating clothes, interior designs and bags that are made to last. In fact, I have a friend who has some stylin' Marimekko sheets from the 1970s. Very nice.

Friday Finds: For the Blues

Me: What's the name of that site where you get your iPod cover things?

HcQ: Hm?

Me: Because I said that this week's Friday Finds would focus on guys. And I need guy stuff.

HcQ: Oh. Well. Guys like kegerators. And electronics. And sports. And beer. And hot chicks.

Me: Not helpful.

HcQ: Oh, I know! You should write about Xbox 360 Gears of War.

Me: No.

And so it began. A few weeks ago, I said I'd do Friday Finds for the single gal and then for guys. (Specifically guys that fish) (For you, Bones). But as it turns out, being from Venus and all, I apparently know very little about what guys really like.

But here's my shot and my shout out to the blues. And it's done just as the blues like it. Featuring shiny photos and links. But no words. Only grunts.

Excellent watch with radar.
Or tracking systems.
Or something like that.

Ridiculously Expensive Games.

A Cool Desk.

A Really Cool Desk.

And I'm now grunting you wishes for a happy weekend...and good tidings for early next week's excellent Darlybird giveaway. You'll like it.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Friday Finds: A Toast to the Single Girl

A Woman Needs a Man Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle.
--Irina Dunn

Last week, I promised Super Zoe that this week’s finds would be a shout out to the single gal.


I loved being single. Loved it. So sometime, let’s meet for beverages, swap stories, and toast to the fab singleton lifestyle. Cheers! As my friend Valerie’s grandmother said…”It takes a really good man to beat no man at all.” So here’s to no man at all. And then, here’s to the men past, present, and future who are fab enough to have caught us and to keep catching us.

And now finally, here are a few fab finds for the single girl in all of us.

A Book.
Speaking of Super Zoe, once upon a time, she gave me this book, Even God is Single, so stop giving me a hard time. Bones, you will like this, because it directly addresses the idiots who ask us when we’re going to get married. And then it gives them some darn good responses to point out their obvious idiocy. I love this book. I loved it when I was single. I love it still. So stop giving me a hard time.

Some Bags.
Before I had so many under my eyes, I sported different kinds of bags. And while I do dig hauling diapers around in this excellent number, I’m often a bit jelly of the dreamy bags a fantastic single girl in my office flings on her desk each morning. That’s right, she came in with this one yesterday. I’m dying over here!

Now, if you’re like me and not ready to shell out the the cash for the splash, check out Bag, Borrow or Steal. Think of it as a library for the style. It’s a giant closet of excellent bags and accessories that you can borrow from for as little as $5 a month (although, it’s more for the good stuff). I’ve never done this, but I think the concept is brilliant. If any of you try it and like it, let me know.

Some Shoes.
A few weeks ago, the Brilliant Laurie of Leap Design was in town to visit some of her college friends for a girls weekend. So I thought, while she was here, I’d steal her for a few hours of lemon drops and laughter. And even though she’s married (and up to her eyeballs in smart twin girls), earlier this week, she wrote a fantastic fairy tale that I think really honors single life. Plus, she introduced me to these bad boys.

Some Cubes.
We use these cool flashing light cubes at a lot of parties we throw. For openings, for companies, for individuals, for whatever. And they're always a hit with any crowd. Plus, they make all beverages…even water…extremely fun. And. I don’t know why these make me think of single gals, but they do. Because they’re so flashy? So refreshing? So fun? Maybe.

And For Traveling Anywhere you Choose.

Let’s face it, packing up and going somewhere is always easier when you’re packing for one. So, if any of you are up for Italy next week, start packing. Because Women's Travel Club offers girlfriend getaways. And next week, they're going to Tuscany. I think this is cool. After all, traveling is always more fun with friends. And although this organization was started by married women with children who were wanting to travel, until I understand how those women do it, I'm going to suggest this for my moving, shaking single friends. Or, on the other hand, does anyone want to go to Italy next week? And I'm probably going to need a babysitter. Anyone?

Friday Finds: The Terminally Cool Parent Edition

There’s been some talk on the street that “hip” or “cool” parents (you know, parents who feed their kids that darn-blasted trendy hummus or dress their little punks in something other than pastel ducky and bunny wear) deserve about 72 eye rolls and a good lashing. Maybe. But around here, we prefer spring rolls to eye rolls. So, I say if parents want their kids to wear smocked duckies and listen to classical music, fine. No problem. To each his own. But for me and my house, we wear the Roses.

So here’s a Friday Find tribute to those kids, parents, aunts, uncles and punks who are alergic to pastels. And bunnies.

It Makes the People Come Together
As far as I'm concerned, it all starts and ends with music, so we started the Hurricane early on the Charlatans. But if you're into the latest, check out this beaut. Mary Had a Little Amp features kid songs from R.E.M, the Dixie Chicks, Moby, Indigo Girls, Jack Johnson and more.

And for you older types, if you haven't already, add Torr to you list. The dude knows the latest good music.

Swell Clothes
Everyday there are new great places to buy kids clothes...places that don't think you'd like to pay $32.99 to advertise for them. I have a variety of favorites, and Swell Baby is one of them.

Have you found a favorite kids clothes shop/online shop? If so, do please share.

More Than Just a Drink With Jam and Bread
We live and breathe in tees around here. And I can't get enough of them. Holly at Holly's Top Five recently emailed me her favorite. And this chick knows stuff. Check it.

"Threadless is a designer T-shirt website. People can submit their own T-shirt designs (they're really cool) and then others visiting the website vote on which ones they'd like to have printed. Threadless will then print the shirt and sell it. Every once in a while, they'll have $10 sales on all shirts. If a shirt sells out, you can vote to have it reprinted as well. I own this one, but covet many others. Also, Zach Braff loves Threadless, so of course I do as well. They've also started printing shirts for kids - a fun way to throw in some alternative flare to the otherwise Gap-For-Kids wardrobe! (Says I, the childless unmarried grad student). " You say it Holly!

I say if Holly likes it and ZB likes it, it's good enough for me. Great find, Holly. Thanks!


On a related note, I'm realizing it's starting to look like a mall around here. And for that, I apologize. Between the Friday Finds and the different reviews I've been asked to do, well, that's a lot of product.

And we all know what happens when you wear too much product.

So, I'll come up with a solution. I'm just not sure what it is yet. I could ditch the Friday Finds, but I have heard from a lot of you that you dig them.

Hm. We'll see.

Still working on the Queso ingredients. Getting closer.


On another related note, my little bio blurb thing is up at The Parenting Network. This is a group that has asked me (and about 187 others) to review things every once in a while. They send me free stuff too, and I usually give it away here. So that means, they give you free stuff. So you should totally let them sit at your lunch table and share your algebra homework with them. I'm just saying.

Happy Weekend, people.

Friday Finds: Yeeehaw, Candles, and Acceptance Speeches

There are so many things going on in the next few days, I’m exhausted already.

First of all, today is “Go Texan” day ‘round these parts. Which really means nothing except that half of the Htown workforce went to the gigantic beef cookoff or beer cookoff or something last night and more than half of my coworkers will come in hungover. It also means that a variety of people around town will be dressed up like cowpeople. I’m wearing pigtails. And I may go see Sheryl Crow or Beyonce. That’s my extent of participation. Well, you know, besides riding my horse to work, spitting a lot, and shooting my guns in the air like I just don’t care.

So here’s a Rodeo find inspired by the largest corporate event for education on the planet.

It's style that will help you keep your pants on.

And God knows we all need that.

Vicious Style offers some excellent beltbuckles built for all kinds of cowpeople. Even cowpeople who are scared of cows.

I get that. I grew up on a ranch, and I'm kind-of scared of cows. They're big. And they can kick. They best be left alone.

But I'm quite sure in almost all situations I'd feel braver and cooler with Bob Marley around my waist.


Plus, then, I’m saving up my breath for Saturday, because I’m blowing out 36 candles on a cake. And I hope my cake comes from here.


Then Sunday, it’s the day we’ll all gather to watch Helen Mirren win her 8,754th gold medal for acting. Oh and to see what people are wearing, what George Clooney is doing, etc. Me, I watch for the acceptance speeches. And I start kicking the TV when anyone goes up there, acts all flustered, and says they didn't prepare anything. (Here's some advice for any one of you who may someday be up for an award on national television...get a speechwriter to write your speech, just in case. If you spend two months picking out the perfect Harry Winston, spend two minutes with someone writing your dumb speech. So you don't look dumb.) Ya hear that, Marcia? I can almost guarantee I'm going to kick your TV at your party on Sunday. But I'm also going to make Beergaritas, so it will all work out.

Speaking of kicking, please watch this video. I don't really get football rivalries. But I do really like the kicking guy.

And speaking of the Oscars, if you're not looking forward to Beergaritas but instead looking forward to watching the awards madness with your children, Kids off the Couch has some groovy ideas how to make the red carpet fun for the whole family.


Happy Oscar weekend from the Queso.

Friday Finds: Queso Reader Picks

This week, the fabulous Friday Finds come from fabulous Queso readers.

First of all, I jumped the gun on one yesterday. The lovely Janey the Great sent me a heads up on the merriest bakery around. Don't forget to visit yesterday's post in order to enter the great Champagne Chocolate giveaway from ShoeBox Oven. Just leave a comment before midnight CST tonight, and you're entered.

But back to the Finds.

Your Secret's Out. "I have a Friday Find for you." This came from the exceptionally Brilliant Bones, who could write a book on the depressing history of Valentine's Day.

Thankfully though, he didn't talk about the big VD; he kept talking about his find. "It's really a Sunday find, but every Sunday, posts a new set of Post Secrets- people write their deepest darkest secrets on postcards and mail them. Then posts the photos of them. Many are funny, many are sad. All of them tell people that they aren't alone in their secrets, though."

I love this.

It's the Friday Find that keeps on finding.


Guitar Town.
"I'm betting that this is so fabulous, that only I can appreciate its true fabulousness," said the ridiculously talented Docdebone, orthopedic surgeon to the stars.

Introducing the T5 Thinline Fiveway from Taylor Guitars. If you are a guitar person, the coolness of this will be obvious to you. If you're not (and sadly I'm not), as far as I can tell, with this bad boy, you can be as versatile and multi-talented as Dick van Dyke when he's playing that one man band show at the beginning of Mary Poppins. It's that cool.


Yet Another Reason to Like Strawberries
"This is my favourite website on earth! I even tell ladies about it in Department stores when I am aimlessly hanging around the Chanel counter," said the fabulous LaLa/JulaBerry. And this girl knows her stuff.

Our favorite Aussie was talking about Strawberry Net.

She went on to say, "you get a discount the more times you use it, and every now and then you may score a free gift, my last one was a Stila lippie! I can recommend their free post service, their office is in Hong Kong and everything gets to me in Sydney within 2 days. You just need to remember to select which currency you want to browse in at the top!"

Great tip! Great find! Thanks LaLa!


Fashionistas Unite.
"Hey. I love She She Me. It's a fashion/beauty blog. It even has a section for moms. God knows you people need help."

Okay, so she didn't say that last sentence. But she might have been thinking it. Maybe.

The ultimate fashionista herself, Super Zoe, shared one of her secrets with us. She She Me.

There's lots to see in there.


Taking Valentines To A Whole New Level
This one is actually mine. Because in my next life, I want to come back as one of Design Mom's kids. Seriously. First of all, I'd be guaranteed a cool name. Secondly, I'd get to do brilliant things all the time. Also, my room would no-doubt be cool. And lastly, well, my mom would be THE Design Mom. So there you go. And because the Design Kids don't fall far from the tree, Ralph and Maude's creations are my Friday Find pick.

Instead buying Batman Valentines and beyond making Valentines, these two geniuses made beautiful bookmarks for their classmates. Isn't that so smart? The creations are so cool, the designs are fantastic and their friends have something they can keep to use throughout the year.

Ralph and Maude, we're totally going to copy your idea someday (when the Hurricane gets a little bigger).

So there you go. And, as always, send your future Friday Finds to helloqueso at gmail dot com. Hope you all had a great Valentines Week and that your weekend is even better.


Friday Finds: Valentines Edition

If you ask me, there's no better gift to give than a book. And on Valentines, I'd pick one of these two.

No, actually, I'd get both...

The New InterCourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook by Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge.

A long time ago in a world far away, I went to school with Martha Hopkins. And, I must report that she was one of those people who was always far beyond cool. In a good way. Even when we were all young and stupid, she was somehow above it. Goodness seems to follow her. Because my friends, to this day, EVERYTHING about her is cool. Where she lives is cool. Her job is cool. Her parties are cool. Her book collection is cool. Hell, even her fireplace lighter is cool. And her latest venture is no different.

Meet InterCourses. It’s where beautiful meets sensual. And it’s delicious.

It takes the best of the original book…which Martha wrote with her writing partner Randall a decade ago…and expands it, enhances it, elongates it, etc. You get what I’m saying? It’s good.

Last Fall, I was at Martha’s fantastic house (celebrating the Divine Alli and Baby Lydia) when she mentioned they would be releasing a new and improved version of the original just in time for Valentines. At the time, judging by the book’s gorgeous cover and press kit, I knew it was going to be amazing. And it definitely is. It’s hard to think they could improve on perfection, but as is the case with certain things, it’s really just gotten better with time.

And the grapes, my got the grapes! There’s this one recipe…grapes rolled in almonds and ginger (that involves purple grapes, cream cheese and candied ginger) and it’s almost the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. Almost.Well, the new book serves up the grapes again. Plus, each chapter delves into the history of aphrodisiacs, alongside true reports, results and hints drafted by couples that tested and tasted some of the 65 new dishes featured. (And I’m thrilled that one of the best reports came from one of my very favorite people on the planet. Betty, you’re so published! And so dirty!)

Bottom line: it’s beautiful and it’s so good. I hope you’re following me here.

Plus, the new edition includes a whopping 135 yummy recipes. So, even if you have the original InterCourses, you should definitely pick up this new edition. It’s delish.

Booty Food by Liz Gumbinner and Jacqui Malouf.

If Carrie Bradshaw were to have written a cookbook (only with the actual ability to cook) this would be it. But so much better than something typed by the fab and fictitious puntard Carrie B., this one was written by our favorite Mom101, Liz G.

That’s right. The very one.

Liz cowrote this fantastically fun book with Jacqui Malouf, the long-time co-host/sidekick of “Hot off the Grill with Bobby Flay” on the Food Network. And these girls know what they’re talking about. Combined, they have survived 47 blind dates, 28 boyfriends, 4 1/2 live-ins, one marriage and a confidential number of one-night stands. There's some experience for you.

And they serve it up for the love-hungry in such a great way. From proscuitto-wrapped melon to lobster eggs benedict with champagne hollandaise sauce, this book is delicious. But you don't need a culinary degree to cook things up because the recipes are completely doable. If you know what I mean.

According to brilliant Liz, “The idea is that booty food is anything that gets you in the mood. And anything can be booty food. It doesn't have to be oysters and caviar. It has more to do with the love you put into making it, serving it and enjoying, or the memories you have associated with it, it than the actual ingredients. So it can be take-out Chinese that you eat on the floor on a picnic blanket. Or mac and cheese in bed. Or whatever the first meal was that you and your husband fell in love over, recreated for valentine's day, from Nathan's hot dogs to beef Wellington.”

The book not only gives more than 70 recipes for romance, it takes you through every phase of a long-lasting relationship with sound but clever advice and recipes to compliment each one, like:

-If you pick at your salad, you're not going to come across as a woman who brings men to their knees on a regular basis.

-Don’t be afraid to try new things or admit you're in unexplored territory. Both at meals and in the bedroom, being yourself is sexy.

-If you cooked homemade noodles for dinner, don't make the chocolate soufflé cake too! It may lead your date to believe you're already picking out china patterns and a wedding singer.

Most importantly, I love that the recipes DO NOT have stupid names like "fetishini alfredo" or "ooh-la-lasagna." Because no one wants to eat something with a stupid name. Usually.


So take my advice, get one (or both) of these books. They are, of course, the gifts that keep on giving, and giving, and giving. You really shouldn't be disappointed. But if for some reason you're such a giver that you need to give even more, let me give you my mailing address, and here are some additional ideas.

A few years ago, the HcQ gave me a cast iron tea set from Teavana for Valentines. I loved it. And, to this day, I use it almost ritually.

With a great tea set, you need great tea. I fell in love with Marie Belle some time ago for their chocolate, but I’ve recently discovered their tea options. Very nice.

Love life need a kick? Why not trick out the bed. Get rid of those sheets from your wedding registry. Invest in your passion. Buy new sheets. You won’t be disappointed. And if nothing else, you'll sleep better at night.

And if you absolutely must buy chocolate, do it a bit differently. Resist the temptation to purchase a drugstore heart and try something more interesting like one of these treats from Dean & Deluca.


Thanks to so many of you for sending me exceptionally cool Friday Finds ideas. I loved them all. But since none happened to be all that Valentinesy, I'm waiting to start sharing your finds until next week. And there were some doozies. As always, if you have a find to share, send 'em on to helloqueso at gmail dot com. And have a very happy weekend before Valentines to all of you....