Year: 2010

My System: The Perfect Pantry

Who: Don Gaile, an award-winning filmmaker, food lover and entrepreneur. He says he’s been a stickler for uniformity “ever since I wore my first clip-on-tie to kindergarten photo day.” System: To create the perfect pantry, visual uniformity was key. Don says he first had to amass the exact same containers. He found the perfect container in the ClickClack brand. “I ordered them straight from New Zealand when it appeared I bought out [all NYC stores].” says Don. How many do you now have?“83.” Wow. Ok, this system must really work for you! “It solves two problems. 1. Aesthetics: Just because it’s behind a door doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be beautiful and clean. 2. Organizational clarity: I know what I’m out of and know when to buy more rather than attempt to open a box only to find a scant of an ingredient. Also, I can fit a lot more in my pantry by eliminating oversized boxes.” Any system to your labeling? I’m assuming it’s alphabetized. Can you share your funniest label? “Of course they’re all labeled with a P-touch. Lower case lettering. …

My System: I Dress to Match My Makeup (Not the Other Way Around)

  Some people, like me, wear the same damn makeup every day. Mascara-foundation-lipstick, repeat.  And the last thing I do is slather makeup on my face before heading out for the day. This beauty expert, however, does it in reverse. Who: Elke Von Freudenberg – celeb makeup artist & eyebrow specialist, NYC System:  ”I do my makeup based on how I feel that morning and then choose my outfit based on my makeup, ” says Elke. “I’ve always gotten way more excited over my makeup look than what I am actually wearing.” And then you carefully put your clothes on? “Yes. I don’t really have a strategy for that.” How many different “looks” do you have? “I have 3 basic looks that I vary: 1. My pretty, natural, run-around-town errands look, with lipgloss, a touch of blush, mascara. 2. My business look: Foundation, a neutral lip, blush and a smoky bronzed eye 3. A more made-up look for evening or events, with a darker eye and a glossier lip.” And then how many variations on makeup? …

My System: The Crazy Songs I Make Up For My Cat

Who: Martha Sullivan Job: Designer for Hounds of Hell, clothing for dogs that rock. Hair stylist. Animal lover. System: It has come to my attention that many of us have thoroughly embarrassing pet-feeding songs we sing to our animals. Martha Sullivan, pet clothing designer extraordinaire, is no exception. Here’s her pet-feeding-song system: “I wake up. I put on the coffee, I open the can and Harry comes running. I let him sniff the food and lick it in the can while I sing a special song, which is all about his favorite flavor of Fancy Feast. It goes like this: Ocean Whitefish Tuna Feast/ Is what Harry likes to eat/ Classic. I say ‘classic’ because that’s the only one he likes.” That’s quite an advertisement for Fancy Feast! Have you always had songs for your animals? “Oh yeah. I remember hanging out under the dining room able with my brother and our dog and singing to the tune of Paradise City, “Take me down to the Paradise City where the grass is green and the Billie is Chilly.” Cause our dog’s name …

My System: How to Get More Juice From Citrus

Who: The Vamp Job: Food blogger for VittlesVamp.com System: “If I need to juice a lemon, lime or any sort of citrus fruit, I microwave the little buggers on medium for 45 seconds, so they’re warm and squishy inside, and are much more amenable to juicing.  I usually find I get more juice out of the fruit that way.” How much juice does this get me? ”One regular-sized lemon should produce about 2 tablespoons of juice, if not more.” Best use of this system? ”It’s particularly useful when you’re prepping cocktails for a large group.  It is amazing how much citrus you can go through when making a batch of drinks.” Favorite citrus-enhanced party cocktail?  Vamp’s all-time fave is the classic Gin & Tonic – served with a wedge of lime. Natch!  But she also recommends the Zombie as a great party drink. Here are Vamp’s Zombie particulars: The Zombie 1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice 1 oz. pineapple juice 1 oz. passionfruit nectar 1 tsp. brown sugar 1 oz. white rum 1 oz. gold …

My System: I Think of My Ideal Reader

Who: David Cole, sleepoversf Job: Web designer. Makes Tumblr templates (like this one) System:  To create great stuff (for his blog, a design or a website), Cole imagines whether or not his favorite people or heroes would dig it. Simply, he envisions creating things for his ideal reader, and that’s his filter. When have you used this system? For this post on Sleepover SF, Cole wrote about clever containers and designed his post as a clever container. He says when he wrote it, he thought about people like San Francisco writer and “media inventor” Robin Sloan. Did he read it?  Yup. Check it out. Modeled system after: This talk that Merlin Mann and John Gruber delivered at South by Southwest 2009. Mann says, “Ask yourself, who do I want to delight?’ Can you think about one face behind your monitor that you see when you’re making something?… The truth is once you figure out who those faces are it gets a lot easier to make something you’re really, really proud of.” Mann, in turn, was inspired by Stephen King’s …

My System: Bribing the Kids to Bed

Who: Robin Marshall Job: Brand Strategist, Brooklyn Mom, Zipcar enthusiast How does it work? Robin says she created this system to eliminate night-time battles. “Every night our four-and-a-half-year old has the opportunity to earn three quarters. 1) for going to sleep without a fuss, 2) for sleeping IN HIS OWN BED all night (no 3 a.m. visits), and 3) for staying in bed, or at least staying quiet until 7 a.m. Each morning he gets to put stars on his chart and mom and dad pay up. After three weeks, he’s earned 40 quarters (his self-imposed goal) to buy a book of knight stickers at the Scholastic Store.” How long have you been doing this? About three weeks. Does your son actually like it? ”He loves it.  He feels good about his accomplishments, is learning about saving and spending. We’ve only had one night where he didn’t earn any stars. You’re raising a little capitalist, in his sleep! Yes, well, he likes feeling in control and ‘choosing’ to earn his reward.