I apologize in advance to the men: The P.S. Top Five is decidedly girly this time around (with the exception of number four, so guys, you’ll have to keep reading to find out why). But with all of this very burly snow everywhere I turn, I find myself longing for the more delicate, precious days of spring, and the things on this list make me feel just a little bit lighter in my Uggs. (Next time, I promise: Nothing but mulch, gym socks, and buzzsaws.) To borrow from the Bard, here’s to hoping that the “daises pied/and violets blue/And lady-smocks all silver-white/And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue/Do paint the meadows with delight” really, really soon.
Noodle & Boo at Luxaby Baby & Child: Nothing smells better than the top of a freshly bathed baby’s head (well, at least my wee one’s nugget smells lovely), and thus, I have found a new scent obsession: the Noodle & Boo product line for sensitive skin. They’ve got everything to make your scooplet (and you, too) smell divine: Bouncing Baby Bubble Bath, Extra Gentle Shampoo, Soothing Body Wash, Super Soft Lotion. And the real gems? The Ultimate Ointment, perfect for everything from baby’s tush to your painfully chapped hands (because we are all in a state of constant hand-washing during this aggressive cold and flu season) and the Instant Hand Sanitizer, which smells like a baby’s powdered belly and not like a vodka gimlet (available via special order). Luxaby Baby & Child, 67 Palmer Square West, Princeton; 609.921.0065 or luxabybaby.com.
Notepads by Pussywillow at greendesign: By now, you know at least two things about me: I live to make lists, and I am partial to beautiful paper products (and not of the plate and towel variety). Thus, when I was given this Pussywillow notepad as a gift, it made me want to reenact that scene from The Lion King when Simba is lifted into the air and presented to the pride of lions. The notepad is the perfect length and width for making lists (and lists and lists), and has a hearty paperweight that beautifully sustains the ink of my beloved Sharpie Pens. And, the muted yet eye-catching design means it’s more than okay to leave it out in plain view, if necessary (and with a penchant for placing sticky notes on every free surface of my house, believe me, it’s necessary to have a notepad at the ready). Like a little gift from the papermaking gods. greendesign, 42 Witherspoon Street, Princeton; 609.651.4643 or shopgreendesign.com.
Mudstar Ceramics “Tweet” Candleholder: I don’t think I’ve seen anything sweeter, lovelier, or more evocative of the spring season that is sort of just around the corner than these darling “Tweet” candleholders. Made by Princeton artist and creative guru Rae Padulo, each are crafted of stoneware, built and thrown by hand, and then glazed and fired to cone 6 (I have no idea what “cone 6” means, but color me intrigued and delighted). Every piece is, in her words, “perfectly imperfect and made with love and a sense of fun.” And they come in a custom gift box handmade by the artist. Can you say “j’adorable”? Rae’s gorgeous pottery is available on Etsy at mudstarceramics.etsy.com (check out her stunning “Rosie” candles, too), or you can e-mail her at email@example.com.
The Grilled Chicken Flatbread Sandwich at Mediterra: Have you ever eaten something that makes you not only want to sigh, but crawl inside of its scrumptiousness and take a nap? That is the way I feel about the grilled chicken flatbread sandwich at Mediterra (which is inexplicably not on their online menu, but that just means it can be our little secret). Chicken sliced and grilled to perfection, caramelized onions, subtle hints of bacon, tomato, and melted Gruyere cheese come to life within an envelope of freshly baked flatbread. The sandwich requires two hands, but since it is accompanied by a charming side salad of mixed greens, there is no guilt. And frankly, I don’t do “food guilt,” so it doesn’t matter to me, anyway. Mediterra, 29 Hullfish Street, Princeton; 609.252.9680 or terramomo.com.
“I Got Sick Then I Got Better” at The Arts Council of Princeton: A woman, a disease, and three words. Sounds like the set-up for a joke, doesn’t it? While this one-woman play, featuring writer-actress Jenny Allen, may be at times hilarious, it is also furious and poignant, as Allen relates her battle with ovarian cancer through the lens of language. “Everyone feels compelled to say something, and nobody knows what to say,” she says during the course of the show. And the “something” they all say? “You look great.” For anyone who has been through with an illness, either personally or with a loved one, you know how awkward dealing with the well-intended can be—and how refreshing it can be when, in the face of a life-and-death situation, you can choose snarky humor. I Got Sick… played to sold-out houses at New York’s East 4th Street Theater, and now it breezes through The Arts Council on Saturday, February 20 for two shows only (11 a.m. and 5 p.m.). The Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton; 609.924.8777 or artscouncilofprinceton.org.
And Just Because, A Number Six…
Stella McCartney Falabella Tote at Zoë: As my shopping companion said after laying eyes on this bag: “It makes my heart sing.” Indeed, I very nearly scaled the wall display and burst into a medley from Singin’ in the Rain at the mere sight of it. Metallic gunmetal faux suede trimmed in chain, this tote is chic enough to carry to a gallery opening yet large enough to hold your wallet, your computer, and your small pet. The tote doesn’t have to make a statement because that would be redundant: Its beauty simply is. So, why question it? However, like many things that make us swoon like lovestruck teenagers, making the bag your own will require an investment. If you want to know the actual number, call the store, because for now, I’d just like to dream. Zoë, 11 Hullfish Street, Princeton; 609.497.0704 or shopzoeonline.com. —JH