As you know, I am a sucker for lavish misspellings, particularly French ones. I recently bought a globe at T.J. Maxx that featured the continent of “Norta America.” Now I need to stalk my local HomeGoods store (the non-clothing offshoot of T.J. Maxx with a positively awful name, IMHO) until this chef d’oeuvre is reduced from its original price:

Once in a while I think about the treasures I’ll leave my daughters one day: Silver, jewelry, books – and a whole lot of tchotchkes bearing hilarious misspellings. Pretty much me in a nutshell.

Quite a while ago I commented on a French toilet paper whose slogan was “one sheet will do,” and concluded that thinking about what that meant made me not want to buy it.

I reach the same conclusion here:
Ew.
And while I’m still a bit giddy over the correct use of “fewer pieces,” I fear that only happened because someone thought “less pieces left behind” was too much of a tongue-twister.
And while I’m driving this into the ground anyway, why a bear as a toilet paper mascot? Does a bear shit in the woods and use toilet paper?
Commentary isn’t pretty, folks. What can I say?!

It’s that time of the month again (so to speak)! This month’s theme (and I apologize for not noticing there was one last month – must’ve been the excitement of the first time!) is “natural wonders.” This means “bringing things back down to earth with fresh products that take inspiration from the world around us.” Whatever you say, dear.

First up is my old pal Taylor Swift and her Wonderstruck perfume:
I’ve said everything I needed to about her before; I’ll only add here that I see no nexis whatsoever to the month’s purported theme!
Next, we have the Alima Pure Organic Nourishing Lipbalm [sic]:
That’s fine as brand names go; nothing exciting or novel here. Still, I can always use a new lip balm. My husband and daughters steal mine frequently, and it’s the number one item that survives the washing machine. We do have the cleanest lip balm in town, I always say!
J.R. Watkins Hand and Cuticle Salve is next. 
I love a good clumsy French translation, as you well know. Translating into French from English isn’t a matter of one-to-one equivalences. French simply requires more wording in order to convey a flavor or scent name. So where we say “Aloe and green tea,” in French we probably need to say “aux aloès et au thé vert” – that is, “with green tea and aloe.” Meanwhile, the French on the label rings a bit discordant alongside the J.R. Watkins brand, which sounds more like something ranch hands would use after a day of herding cattle. But since I keep harping on how dry the climate is here, you know I’ll use this.
Next up, Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Day Cream:

I’m not wild about the phonetics of “Jurlique.” The “jurl-” part reminds me unpleasantly of the slang written and spoken “gurrl,”and the “-ique” suffix alongside it just creates a mark that sounds very 60s and not in a good, Mad Men way. I got some background on the brand from my favorite resource – Beautypedia – and it seems that the M.O. of this Australian company is to capture the “life-force” of the plants that are used in the products. Beautypedia isn’t impressed with those claims, and deems this particular product merely average. What shocks me is that a day cream from Australia contains no sunscreen; any sampling I’ll do of this will only be for nighttime use.
Finally, there’s the “Lifestyle Extra” in the package – dropps laundry detergent:
The package claims because these “pacs” (nice generic term to add to your genericize-able trademark; good work!) are concentrated to contain six times less detergent than the amount normally used, energy use is correspondingly reduced. Neat idea, though the eco-friendliness comes at a price – these retail for $6 for a pack of 20. My only beef is with some of the package copy: “designed to make laundry laundr-easy” makes Jess a little queasy!

One of the things we miss most about Seattle is northwest wine. Washington and Oregon wines lined the shelves of even the tiniest grocery stores in the Seattle area (one benefit of Washington’s quirky liquor laws – wine in grocery stores, unlike here in benighted Colorado). Needless to say, a check of our cave’s inventory reveals that our cellar is just about 50% Washington and Oregon bottlings.

One of our go-to sources for information on Washington and Oregon wine was Paul Gregutt, the Seattle Times wine columnist. We even had the pleasure of meeting Paul once at McCarthy & Schiering, one of Seattle’s best wine shops, where he autographed our copy of Washington Wines and Wineries.
So I still follow Paul’s column via Twitter, and today he blogged an item about an interesting new Oregon winery. The winery is called VinMotion, and my heart sank when I read that name. I don’t like the “nm” consonant cluster – even if the name is meant to evoke “in motion,” which is confirmed by the VinMotion website and its slogan – “a different and dynamic kind of wine company” that’s accompanied by a logo showing … what is it showing? A bottle rocket? I don’t know, a flying bottle? It’s just too modern, techno-wannabe, and labored for me, and it really doesn’t say wine to me at all, regardless of the “vin-” prefix.
But I read on to the name of the actual wines reviewed, and my heart leapt – it’s “Rainstorm.” And the explanation for that name? I love it: “Rain influences almost every facet of our lives – how we dress, the foods we eat, the music we listen to, and, importantly, the wines we drink.” It’s almost four years since we left Seattle, but that statement takes me back, and certainly makes me want to taste these wines, especially based on Paul’s recommendation.
The Rainstorm website itself is just charming – it even offers weather forecasts for the Willamette and Umpqua valleys. And the label design is delightfully evocative of the region:
(image courtesy VinMotion)
So bravo to Rainstorm – may the April showers bring May flowers. And maybe, if we’re lucky, we’ll get to taste these wines in sunny Colorado.