My current kitchen secret weapon is Japanese pepper or sanshō.  It has an amazing peppery, lemony, herby flavor that is unlike anything else I have ever tasted.  I love to add it to salad dressings and marinades or just sprinkle it directly on anything I’m eating.  The brand I use is S&B and I pick it up from Mistuwa, but you can find it online here.  S&B also sell a mean nanami togarashi too, which is great on sprinkled on popcorn or in soups for a little interesting heat.

It’s clear something is great when both Jan (the husband) and I are excited about it – and we are both way into socks by Pair of Thieves.  They are just the right combination of stretch, softness and comfort.  And the patterns!  Sold.  Go get some!




For my birthday gift to myself this year, I bought a Comme des Garcons wallet in the newly released metallic silver colorway. This is my second CdG wallet. I bought my first one (in bright red) roughly 7 years ago and it has lasted beautifully with daily use. I could still use it (though the leather pull tab on the zipper is fraying), but I thought it was time for something new. I love CdG wallets, especially this style with the zipper wrapping around two sides. It’s just the right size for the cash, coins and few cards I carry around – plus it can be pretty easily slipped into a jacket pocket, should I not want to carry my bag. They are durable, utilitarian and extremely well made. One of the few “designer” purchases that I think is really worth the $. Plus, every time I pay for something, I can pretend to channel some of the coolness that is Rei Kawakubo.