go ahead, write!

postcard-setsWriting an actual postcard may be obsolete these days with texts, email & social media in our pockets at all times but these little beauties give a reason to write and post an actual hand-penned note. Each boxed set contains 100 unique themed postcards — 100 Pantone colors, 100 classic Penguin book covers, 100 Marimekko patterns.

Ready. Set. Write!

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chocxo tour

By ChocxoI’m a good researcher but I didn’t realize that when I found a local chocolate factory tour for a work outing, that I had stumbled upon a world class bean to bar chocolate company right here in my own backyard. Not only is their award winning chocolate beautiful to look at but their packaging is as well — a double bonus for a team of designers.

Choxco Tour 1_ Mrs Ropers MusingsIf you don’t know anything about the chocolate making process the educational tour ($7/person) is interesting. And it comes complete with small tastings of cocoa nibs, warm chocolate mini-shots and a goodie bag of chocolate tasting squares to sample their various finished chocolate bar offerings.

Choxco Tour 2_Mrs Ropers MusingsThe behind the scenes tour ($17/person) adds on a quick loop through the factory floor (not yet so active as they are still short on enough demand to keep them producing regularly) and 3 truffles of your choice from the chocolate case. Honestly, you are going to want to buy some chocolates anyway, so put your money towards that vs. paying more for the expensive tour.

Here are the spoils:Choxco_MrsRopersMusingsNice, huh? It’s good stuff!! And if you feel like splurging even more, they have a $20  2.8 oz chocolate bar made from a private crop of cocoa beans that no other manufacturer had access to. Just 500 bars were made, each signed & numbered with 2 different awards to their credit.

Opened by a team of 3 earlier this year, in addition to the factory location in Irvine they have also opened 2 coffee & chocolate shops also in Orange County, CA with more to come I’m sure. The team is very knowledgeable and super friendly. I even stepped behind the counter to show them some tips on tying ribbons more efficiently for their gift boxes — always happy to help I am.

Check them out. Take a tour, visit a shop or order online. It will be nice to see this little business make it big.

Choxco — Irvine Chocolate Factory
9461 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 825-5781

Hours:  Tues to Sat  10 am – 6 pm

image one, courtesy Choxco.com

modern currency

50 100 200 Norges nye seddelserie: havet - utstillingskatalog 1000Let’s face it, compared to the rest of the world US currency is boring — all the same color, all the same size (I actually like that part as it makes for a clean wallet). But it could be so much better. Look where Norway is heading come 2017.

These pixelated images of Norwegian coastal regions represent a modern take perfect for our digital age. Did you notice how the pixels get larger as the note amount gets larger? Brilliant!

Designed by the multi-disciplinary firm, Snohetta, who recently designed the World Trade Center Memorial Pavillion in NYC and a stunning Aesop store in Oslo. Every project these guys do is not only stunning but with purpose. The basis of good design. Me likey.

would you pay good money for this?

Splash

Seems sexy doesn’t it? The perfect perfume for your designer friends. Ahhhh, but in reality it’s only water. Pure distilled water bottled and branded with the purest, most recognizable font in all of font history. Pure for pure. An “objet d’art” and the ultimate marketing ploy you could say. I think the perfect desk tchotchke for any graphic designer. So yes, I would pay money for this. $28 for a limited edition bottle with 24kt gold printing. Available here.

say hello

Moo designsWhen I travel, I always carry little calling cards that say who I am, where I’m from and give my email and blog addresses. It’s a nice way to allow people you meet along the way to contact you in the future. The challenge is creating something great looking in small quantities. Enter MOO — a digital online print house that offers just that capability.

Choose from business cards, mini cards, letter head, stickers and so much more! Pick from one of their umpteen existing designs (all with a modern sensibility and a touch of whimsy) or create and upload your own. The possibilities are endless. Square corners, round corners, matte, glossy, one sided or two sided print, colored edges, eco-conscious even. Want more than one color/design/image?  No problem, you can create each card in your order uniquely with their printfinity technology.

Let’s talk quality. I think you’ll be impressed. The standard card stock is thick and luxurious. I recently ordered a pack of 50 square business cards with rounded corners on matte stock and I just want to touch them all the time. Not to mention, they came in the cutest little box. No detail has gone undone with this company. And most of all, I love that I didn’t need to order a lifetime supply.

sweetest dreams

3 dreamsEvery time see these I get goosebumps. They are brilliant sheet sets by Snurk Bedding out of Amsterdam. What kid wouldn’t want to sleep under these covers? I kinda wish the girl version were a ballerina instead of a princess because that at least takes hard work to achieve. But some dreams are just universal.

a rose is a rose is a rose

a selection of rosesFrom left to right:  1. A giant rose wall cling as high as a person at nearly 5’5″. As beautiful as it is tall.  2. We haven’t much taken to Turkish Delight here in this country but its subtle rose flavor is well, delightful. 3. Stunning rose dessert plates by John Derian make the most of any afternoon tea.  4. Fragrance to swoon over, Red Roses by Jo Malone.

destination yesteryear

Travel A Travel B Travel CWhat better wall art for the seasoned traveler . . .  or the arm chair dreamer. These large scale framed luggage tag prints celebrate the look of a bygone era in travel and add a graphic punch to any room.

Available from Room & Board, 29″w x 37″h, $329 ea.