Friday, December 02, 2011

Miss me yet?

I stopped blogging for a while, because I found it wasn't very fulfilling. There are thousands and thousands of blogs out there; why would anyone want to read my rambling rants? I guess I will try to post some more, since it is nice to complain to an audience that is not my husband.

In the wings:
  • It would appear that I actually got accepted to do a product test/review/giveaway through tomoson.com, thanks to some sort of management-related snafu. I won't tell you what the product is, but I can tell you it has nothing to do with coffee.

  • Most likely, I will ramble about shoes. One of my Facebook friends told me that my frequent posting about ShoeDazzle and Sole Society "had the potential to be annoying" to some people, so I'm taking that here. I have 16 times fewer friends here than on Facebook, and I'm probably easier to ignore on my blog.

  • I will probably post regularly about some dental issues. I don't want to give away too much, but you'll read about it soon.

  • I might compile some more humorous police blotter entries. Depends if you folks want to read them. Or, I could just make stuff up like James Lileks did here.

  • Whatever else I think of. Anyone have something they'd like to see me write about?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dear eBay sellers:

If the item you're selling has small, shiny discs on it, they are called "sequins". They are not, however, called "sequence".

From merriam-webster.com:

se·quin
noun \ˈsē-kwən\

Definition of SEQUIN
1: an old gold coin of Italy and Turkey
2: a small plate of shining metal or plastic used for ornamentation especially on clothing

vs.

se·quence
noun \ˈsē-kwən(t)s, -ˌkwen(t)s\

Definition of SEQUENCE
1: a hymn in irregular meter between the gradual and Gospel in masses for special occasions (as Easter)
2: a continuous or connected series
[redacted because the definitions took up too darned much space]


NOT THE SAME

The raspberry beret is covered in sequins.
This game is called Sequence.



To make a long story short, sequins ≠ sequence. That is all.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Getting jewelry on the cheap

I used to like Fantasy Jewelry Box, until I realized they were getting a lot of their products from Chinese wholesalers.

I discovered that after I found "Wendelyn's CZ Leaf Design Genuine Tahitian Pearl Solitaire Necklace", which FBJ sells for $38.95, for sale on eBay for $12.95 with free shipping (it has since risen to $14.71 + $6.14 shipping). If I did some more diligent searching, I could probably find it for less. I wouldn't want to, because this is actually a very unattractive necklace in person, but still.

I've since spotted a handful of other dupes. You could get "Willetta's Antique Gold Nature Theme & Ribbon Tie Necklace" for $21.95 at FJB, or you could get it off eBay for $4.99. If you want 240 of them, you could buy them off Alibaba.com for $2 apiece. FJB gets the shipping advantage here, since the eBay seller is located in China. It's a difference of about a week, based on my prior experiences with both FJB and Chinese resellers.

Don't want to drop $69.95 (marked down from $109.95!) on "Marie's Fancy Multi Color Crystal Peacock Bracelet" or "Maylen's Fancy Purple & Blue Crystal Peacock Bracelet"? You could get this blue one, red one, or this green one off eBay for as low as 1 cent starting bid. Heck, you can get the multicolored one or the purple one for $15.95 plus $6.95 shipping. Don't want to buy from that seller? You could buy the multicolored bracelet from this seller too. Or from this seller, who actually lives in the US. None of those costs more than $20, including shipping.

If you see something you like on Fantasy Jewelry Box, it would behoove you to take a look around at other options before settling on FBJ.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The customer is always right... right?

WARNING: the below post contains some instances of potty language. If you're easily offended, why are you even reading my blog in the first place?


As anyone who knows me can attest, one of my biggest pet peeves is having to deal with rude cashiers.

Having been a cashier several times in my life, I've had to put up with awful customers: people constantly treat you as though you're mentally inferior because you're "just a cashier". They seem to think it's acceptable to belittle you, make unreasonable requests, or bitch you out for trying to be helpful. When I was a cashier at Target, I asked a little old lady if she needed help bringing her groceries out to her car. She replied, "Unless you're also going to bring them into my apartment, don't even bother!" Another time, I had to buy a woman a new pair of underwear and shorts because she shit herself and got it all over the floor while waddling from the cafe to the bathroom. I've had customers make me cry on more than one occasion, though I always managed to hold back the tears until no one could see me.

Nowadays, it seems like cashiers are getting rude and nasty in response to customers' constant denigration. I'm not suggesting that they blithely accept this treatment, but would it kill people to just be nice?

I try to be nice to every cashier I meet, since I know what kind of crap they have to put up with (or up with which they have to put, I guess, if you're into the whole "not ending sentences with prepositions" thing). However, I have encountered my fair share of petulant little twits who need a serious attitude adjustment. Why are there some cashiers who won't greet customers or even make eye contact with them? When did it become acceptable to throw decency and respect to the wayside? When you work in customer service, you need to at least pretend like you give two craps about the customer. That's YOUR JOB. If you're having a bad day, I'm sorry, but don't feel like you're entitled to take it out on me. Your personal piss-offs are barred from entering the store where you work.

Let's make a deal between all the cashiers and all the customers in the world: just freakin' be nice to each other.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

International Delight coupon winners

I am Internationally Delighted to announce the winners of my giveaway: in first place, winning three coupons, is Kristen; in second place, winning two coupons, is Chandra. Winners have been notified and have 48 hours to respond, lest their prize be awarded to someone else.

Since there were only ten entries, I wrote everyone's name on a little slip of paper and tossed them into my Twins baseball cap:


I then had my husband draw two names:


I also took a picture of him drawing the names, but he didn't want his disembodied, ghostly hand posted on the internet, so you'll just have to imagine a man's hand in a hat.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Gimme S'more handcrafted marshmallows

Where have these been all my life?


I need to buy a dozen of these S'mores gourmet marshmallows from softlysweetly's Etsy shop.

I bought a 12-piece sampler from her a few weeks ago and they did not last long. Handmade marshmallows are stupendous. You'll never want to eat another rubbery, powder-coated, store-bought mallow again -- the texture, mouthfeel, everything is so much better with handmade. Of course, that tends to hold true for most handmade things, with the exception of arts and crafts. They might look tasty, but don't put them in your mouth.

On second thought..... I should get the Create Your Own Adventure, er, Flavor Assortment, with S'mores, dark chocolate raspberry, and coconut lime. Oh, yes. I still have about a pound and a half of Binky's fudge in the fridge, but I think I can make room for marshmallows. I'm kinda fudged out, actually. I think I might stick the rest in the freezer and nom on it at a later date.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Bad flats strike again

If you ever wanted to know what your foot would look like if it got jammed inside a meat grinder, look no further. Sole Society, which usually has some decent-looking heels each month, has had its Facebook cadre all a-Twitter (ha, see what I did there?) about the "Darlene" suede ruffle flat.

First of all, why does anyone think THIS looks good?


Secondly, I hate suede. That's just a matter of personal preference, but eww. Seriously.

Finally, I made this graphic to illustrate what I think of these shoes:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

International Delight Breve Crème review and giveaway!


CONTEST ENDED June 5th, 2011 at 3 PM CST
Winners can be found here.

Many thanks to all who entered!


Several weeks ago, the postman left me a coffee cup. I was on the phone when he knocked, so I didn't answer. When I opened the door later, I found a plastic-wrapped paper cup sitting there.

Inside the cup was a handful of items from Vocalpoint, which, according to their website, is "A community of moms who love talking to other people, get energized when they are asked for their opinions, like searching for new knowledge and sharing it with others, [and] enjoy making a difference in people's lives." I meet all those criteria, except the "mom" part. Oops. Anyway, they sent me a coupon for a free pint of International Delight Breve Crème coffee creamer, as well as several 55 cent-off coupons. So, being the benevolent and generous soul I am, I am going to share these with you! Yay!

The Review
First of all, I would like to share my thoughts about this creamer. I used to practically drink flavored creamers straight from the bottle. I started drinking coffee at a young age; I remember bringing a travel mug of coffee (laced with chocolate raspberry creamer) on the bus with me in 5th grade and drinking it in front of the school before class started. This may be why I'm only 5'-almost-5"-tall, but hey, at least I can wear 5" heels and not feel like an Amazon giantess. At any rate, I use turbinado sugar and half and half in my coffee now. I've always liked my coffee hot and strong, like I like my men: hot and strong... with a spoon in them (apologies to Eddie Izzard).

On one of our last grocery shopping trips, I picked up a bottle of the Vanilla Caramel Cream flavor, since I had tried the Dark Chocolate Cream before and had a hard time finishing the bottle. Ever since I stopped using flavored creamers a while ago, it's been tough for me to want to try them again. They have a lot of calories and ingredients that I'd rather not be eating. I thought the Breve Crème line sounded like a good option, as they are made with real milk and cream. Unfortunately, they still have essentially the same nutritional profile as the partially hydrogenated oil-filled creamers; they've got 35 calories per tablespoon and more fat than an equivalent amount of half and half.

The Vanilla Caramel Cream flavor smells like caramel-corn and has a very rich, sweet taste. Although it does have artificial flavors, it doesn't have the same chemical aftertaste that other flavored creamers have. On its own, this creamer is extremely sweet; however, it's a little difficult to taste in coffee. This may be due to my making coffee strong enough to strip the paint off a car; I'm sure if you make coffee the way my husband does, a little splash of this creamer would suffice. I discovered that mixing it with an equal amount of half and half really enhances the caramel flavor, especially when the coffee has been sitting in the pot for a while.

If you enjoy flavored creamers, these would be worth trying. Since I prefer to drink coffee with sugar and half and half, I probably won't be getting another Breve Crème product unless they come out with a new and/or unusual flavor.

International Delight Breve Crème comes in three flavors: Dark Chocolate Cream, Vanilla Caramel Cream, and Hazelnut Cream. If you have a grocery store nearby, chances are they stock these; however, you can check here for availability.





The Giveaway
I have five coupons for 55 cents off any ONE Coffee House Inspirations or International Delight pint (any flavor). That's right, you could get a bottle of Breve Crème or you could get the limited edition Cinnabon flavor. The only limitation is that these coupons are void in dairy states (Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, and North Dakota). Coupons expire 7/31/2011.

One lucky winner will receive THREE of these coupons (you'd better like International Delight!) and a second winner will receive TWO coupons. All other entrants will receive nothing but the knowledge that they probably made me smile by commenting on my blog.

To enter, leave a comment below describing your favorite way to drink coffee.

I'd appreciate a follow via Google Friend Connect, but this isn't necessary to enter.

Contest ends June 5th, 2011 at 3 PM CST.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Like Arnold said in "Kindergarten Cop", STOP WHINING!

The only reason I like to read the opinion section on MSNBC is so I can find fodder for blog posts. So, when I found this article titled "Dove body wash ad stirs controversy", I had to write my own little harangue.

Let me start by reiterating the title of this post: STOP WHINING.


People who think this ad is racist probably thrive on finding "racism" in everything. Heck, my sister-in-law, who is black, does this. When my husband tried to explain to her the difference between Yahtzee and Kismet, he said, "Well, the only difference is that Kismet has colored dice" and her head just about exploded. She didn't say anything, but the smoke pouring out of her ears made it clear that she was incensed (man, am I a master of punning, or what?).

The article quotes another source's criticism of the ad as "turning Black Women into Latino Women into White Women." Yeah, I'm sure Dove's intent was to piss you off. Darned elitist soap company, thinking that white women are the ideal form of beauty! Why not be happy that Dove actually uses models who have different skin tones? Most other ads for body care products use skinny white women, so it's refreshing to see something different.

I did find an interesting comment below this article, however. Someone mentioned that Unilever owns Dove. Not a big deal, until you consider Unilever also owns Axe. Dove promotes beauty in all shapes, sizes, colors, etc. and wants to change the way women are portrayed, while Axe pretty much suggests that if you use their products, hot skinny white women will fall from the sky and onto your penis. That's pretty slick marketing right there, people. Create a problem and pretend to fix it.

What this all boils down to is this: people need to lighten up. Oh snap, there's another pun. I'd better stop before I get myself in trouble.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Make mine medium-rare... please?

All right, I need to get off this fashion kick that I've been on lately and write complain about something else.

Now, this is something that probably wouldn't ire too many people, but it certainly got to me. Last week, my husband and I went out to eat before catching a play (we've got more culture than yogurt, I tell ya what) and I ordered a steak. As always, I ordered it medium-rare. The waitress brought us our food, and my first cut into the steak revealed a well-done edge. I didn't think anything of it, until I made another incision into the meat. The entire thing was well-done.
When the waitress came by to see how we were enjoying our meals, I said this was not what I had ordered. She apologized, took my plate, and went back to the kitchen. Several minutes later, she returned with a new steak and said, "The chef even checked this one!" (as evidenced by the large knife wound in the middle of the steak)

It was medium-well.

When she came back again, she asked how the steak was. I said it wasn't what I had asked for, but I wasn't going to send it back again (for fear of the chef sliding my new steak between his buttcheeks before serving it). I ate the steak anyway, even though it was hard to chew (I have a tough time with that because of my teeth, which is why I tend toward soft, squishy, mooing steaks). The waitress deducted $5 from our bill for the inconvenience, but I would rather have had my steak prepared properly. Even with the discount, I'm still shelling out $12.99 for a piece of shoe leather. That being said, the steak did taste good, much in the same way that Jack Link's teriyaki jerky tastes good.

Another trend I dislike: burnout

I was in Maurices the other day and noticed how remarkably thin all the material is. I've also noticed the proliferation of "burnout", or devoré, fabric in garments. It looks like the fashion industry is trying to convince us that cheap, threadbare clothes are trendy.

When I was a kid, I remember my Dad wearing a lot of shirts like this (not in this color, of course, because it's kinda icky) not because they were trendy, but because he would wear them out completely. All of his t-shirts went from their thick, high-quality splendor to something resembling a "burnout" tee, until they were finally holier than a block of Swiss. The same thing goes for jeans. Why is it trendy to look like your pants got caught in a weedwhacker? My brother-in-law buys brand new, $120 Armani Express jeans that look like my husband's years-old, $40 Levi's he wears to work. My brother-in-law hasn't worked a day in his life (in fact, he even went to grad school just so he could stay out of the workforce as long as possible).

This all makes me wonder: why can't we have nice things anymore? Why are we being convinced that ratty old t-shirts and slumpy, shredded jeans shouldn't be used as rags to wash the car? And why are so many people buying into this nonsense?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Newest obsession: Kandee Shoes


KANDEE SHOES

I only recently found out about Kandee Shoes, but I'm totally in lust with everything they sell.

Kandee was founded in 2009 by Josh Wayman (Princess Dominique did a great interview with Josh in April 2011). The line is described on their Facebook fanpage as "fun, bold, feminine and sexy", which is absolutely spot-on.

I mean, just look at these heels!


They're called Peanut Crunch and have a towering 6" heel and 2" platform. They also come in bootie form, which I am definitely coveting. I don't think I'd be able to walk a dog while wearing these, but they're still gorgeous.

The detail on these is magnificent. This is an extreme close-up of the gold stud-embellished, cowhide cheetah print Peanut Crunch Booties:



If you really want to stand out, you could pair the Lime Sours or Raspberry Sours with a plain black dress and let your feet do the talking. And if you're not feeling that fierce, Kandee even has the black patent Liquorice Allsoles that are anything but plain.



Out of all the styles offered by Kandee, I think my favorite has to be the Glace Cherry.


These, like all of Kandee's shoes, are a definite statement piece. The statement they make is, "I have excellent taste in footwear!" I don't have anything to wear these with, but that's never stopped me before. I like to pick out a killer pair of heels and create an outfit around them.

Bad news in Boston

I want to take a moment to let you all know about a company I am choosing never to do business with again, the clothier Boston Proper.

If you're not familiar with their line, Boston Proper makes a lot of things that only look good on the models. Their target demographic falls in the range of 35-55 years of age and is "college educated, owns her own home, and her average household income is $100,000 ... She's savvy, works, travels a lot, and is active; she wants to find clothes quickly and efficiently when she's shopping" (excerpted from http://www.retail-merchandiser.com/retail-reports/1064-boston-proper-know-your-brand.html). Clearly, I am not their target, though I do tend toward stores that cater to people older than 30 (for example, I love Eddie Bauer... then again, I also love Maurices, and that's geared toward 20-somethings. I wish Maurices was my closet.). Seriously, though, go take a look at the clothes on their website and tell me if you want to see your Mom wearing any of them (no offense, Mom).

Take this dress, for example. My Mom would never wear this. Your Mom would never wear this. It only hits their target age of 47 because Boston Proper caters to Mrs. Robinson. Oh, hey, that lady's on hubby's yacht in her clingy dress and totally impractical heels!

So, here's my real beef with Boston Proper. Their customer service sucks. About a week ago, I found a shirt in the clearance section for $19.99 (a steal compared to the rest of their items, which could set you back $129 dollars for a freakin' tank top). They had it in my size and the color I wanted, so I added it to my cart, clicked to check out, and got to the payment page. At the bottom of the page, it showed the item as "In Stock and Reserved!" I got up to get my wallet, came back, entered my credit card number, clicked "submit order", and....... the item was sold out. If it's in "in stock and reserved", how in God's holy name did it sell out? It's like going shopping at Christmastime, grabbing the last shirt off the rack, and having someone snatch it out of your cart while you're waiting to check out.

I sent Boston Proper an @reply on Twitter saying "I tried to place an order yesterday and the items "reserved" in my cart "sold out" when I clicked the submit order button. :(" to which they replied "We're sorry! Please DM us your name/email & we'll see if there's anything we can do." I sent them a direct message shortly after I received that reply, but they never got back to me on Twitter or via email. That's fine, I thought. They probably wouldn't do anything anyway. I contacted them later to say I had never received a response, to which they did not respond. The shirt I had previously tried to order mysteriously showed up in the clearance section again. I tried to order it again and it said, "This item is backordered 30 days." Fine, fine. I click through to the order screen and once again it tells me the item is sold out. *head explodes*

I then sent @boston_proper the following messages:
"It happened again. Tried to order http://bit.ly/lpOA2l & it said it was on back order. Then, it disappeared from my cart!" (12:12 PM Apr 28th via web)
"Now, it shows that shirt is "No longer available for purchase". It seems to mysteriously flip-flop from available to not." (12:13 PM Apr 28th via web)
"Since no one will bother responding to my comments, I think it would be wise of me to take my business elsewhere." (12:15 PM Apr 28th via web)

Never heard a word from them.

Nevertheless, I did end up ordering this shirt because I found the secret $20-off code (*cough*S1PC142*cough*) that brought the price plus shipping down to a reasonable $27. And if it doesn't fit, I'll sell it on eBay. No harm in that, right? NB: the aforementioned code only works once per mailing address/name/lifetime, and if you try to use it more times, you will get a personalized email from Boston Proper advising you not to do that, mmmkay.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Introducing One Cup Connection!


I found out recently that the word keurig, which you're probably familiar with from the extremely popular line of brewers, is derived from the Dutch word for "excellence". Interestingly enough, the website One Cup Connection is also derived from a word meaning "excellence"!

One Cup Connection carries some of the most popular one-cup coffee machines. You can peruse their wide selection of K-Cups for coffees, teas, and hot chocolate -- they've got all the good, tasty brands like Caribou, Donut House, Gloria Jean's, and more! They also have Green Mountain Coffee, which you may recognize as my favorite coffee brand ever.

One Cup Connection is family-owned and operated with over 50 years of experience in the coffee industry and more than 100 years delivering quality products to its customers.

If you're on the prowl for sales and deals, check out their specials page. And if you're of the Facebook persuasion, One Cup Connection has a Facebook page where you can scope out their latest promotions!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another day in our litigious society

From the City Pages blog: "Steve Uhr says Linda Zinter 'forced' to take wrong classes"

Linda Zinter, a former graduate student in the U's Master's of Liberal Arts degree program, sued the university after her adviser, as we put it, "suggested" she take courses to complete her degree. But Zinter's attorney points out that the classes weren't just a suggestion--Zinter had the impression that they were a requirement for her to graduate. ... The whole problem started when Zinter had only one course left to complete for her master's degree. Her adviser recommended (or forced) her to take two classes that weren't required, wasting her time and money. Zinter received a "C+" in one, and then dropped out of the second, leading her to get an "F" ... Zinter sued for $6,775 in tuition damages, and she and her lawyer have said they may also seek damages for lost wages suffered as a result of not completing her master's degree.


SERIOUSLY!? I went to the U of M and I had no trouble figuring out degree requirements. Here's a list of the graduate programs in the College of Liberal Arts. Pick one and look at what classes are required. This lady is acting like she was majoring in Feminist Studies and her academic adviser told her to take STAT 5302, Applied Regression Analysis and ESci 5353, Electron Microprobe Theory and Practice, in order to complete her degree. I realize that probably sounds like I'm attempting to perpetuate the commonly-held view that women suck at science, but I only picked those because of how far removed they are from liberal arts. I'm a woman with a science degree and I guess I just like to poke fun at people like that.

I think this woman is upset because she expected the adviser to do everything for her. All the academic adviser is responsible for is advising you on what classes to take, not dragging you down to the registrar and forcing you at knifepoint to sign up for certain courses. If you have questions, ask them. Look in the student handbook. Check online. Do your research. Don't be stupid.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Be nice to yourself, mmmkay?

Everyday Health has a recently-published article titled "6 Unhealthy Things You Should Stop Saying Now". Presented for your enjoyment, the six things and my rebuttal (huh huh huh, I said rebuttal):

1. "Look at my arm jiggle."
Not everyone who makes negative comments about their body is fishing for compliments. Some of us legitimately have jiggly arms and floppy asses to complain about. If no one else is blunt enough to tell me, "Hey, you have droopy knees!", I'll do it for myself.

2. "You always..." or "You never..."
But my husband always farts in bed! What if I am being as specific as possible with my comment? I don't think that's going to cause things to spiral out of control, to the point where he's pooping on the comforter. However, this is the one point in the article that I disagree with least, mainly because guys don't seem to "get it" if you speak in anything other than definitive, black-or-white statements.

3. "I'm such a pig."
First of all, the example given in the article doesn't really seem that bad. A whole bag of pretzel M&Ms? God forbid you eat 150 calories beyond the saltines and applesauce you've been subsisting on. Seriously, pretzel M&Ms? How about "I'm such a pig because I accidentally the whole thing! Is this bad?" If you inhale an entire Pizza Hut, that's something to be concerned about. But pretzel M&Ms? Feh. Eating candy from the vending machine in the break room is nothing to beat yourself up over. As for calling yourself a pig, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

4. "I'm soooo sorry."
What's wrong with apologizing for bumping into someone in the elevator? Saying nothing makes you look like an inconsiderate ass. I definitely don't see this as damaging my self-worth. What this article should really have for point #4 is overuse of the word "love". You do not "love" that necklace or yogurt or end table or whatever. I do realize that one of the word's many meanings is "strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything", but I doubt people who habitually overuse "love" are that passionate about everything. I see nothing wrong with people loving Mom, apple pie, and Elvis, but I do have a problem with people who "love" everything. It devalues the word. The same goes for the word "hate"; everyone is always spouting "oh, I hate this" and "I hate that". What's wrong with "like" and "dislike"?

5. "Ugh, I'm beyond stressed."
Like, ohmigosh. The author of the article says that admitting you're stressed out "[implies] incompetence." No, it doesn't. It implies that YOU'RE STRESSED OUT. There's a difference between "I am so stressed about the metric ton of stuff I have to do" and "meh, I'm not gonna do any of this bullschwa so I can chillax."

6. "I can't afford this."
The article says that if you pick up a pair of $1195 Louboutins and say, "I can't afford this," it means you're not in control of your own situation. Um, no, I think that shows I'm in pretty damned good control of my situation. If I look at how much it costs to take a trip to Rio or how many hours of work it would take to pay off an iPad, there's no amount of creativity that's going to get me to buy those things. If I can't afford a luxury item, I don't need it. This is why Americans are in debt -- they buy crap they don't need with money they don't have.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I think I'm getting old


Last night, my husband's friend was in town for a business meeting and said he'd stop by afterward to visit. I don't have a problem with things like this, since my husband is normally fairly antisocial (his words, not mine). The only problem is, his friend didn't come over until 9:15 PM. Am I getting old, or is that not an appropriate time for a friend to drop by? I was getting tired at 8:30 PM. But we all sat around BSing, drinking Shock Top raspberry ale, and eating fudge until close to 11.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Isle of Eden loves seals

I know there are 80 bajillion websites out there that have done a review of Isle of Eden's products, but I've found few that mention this company's "Scrubs for a Cause" line.

Enter.....

Baby Harp Seal Love.


I recently received my order from Isle of Eden: an 8 oz. jar of Baby Harp Seal Love. I'm not a fan of vanilla, but this product has a nice, baked goods-type of vanilla scent. The bottom layer smells like butter mints. Overall, the scent is pleasant, and if I liked vanilla, I'd love this product more. Even six hours after a shower, I can still smell the faintest trace of seal scrub. The scrub itself is not particularly abrasive, though I wouldn't use it on my puss. The crystals don't dissolve immediately, and the scrub washes cleanly and completely off my skin. My skin feels noticeably smoother and I didn't even use lotion. The very best thing about Baby Harp Seal Love is that all the proceeds go toward saving these sweet little creatures! It doesn't specify outright, but it looks like Isle of Eden makes a donation to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a non-profit organization whose mission is "to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species."

As many people have commented, Isle of Eden's turnaround time (TAT) is not the greatest. However, I received this handmade product in a little over 2 weeks (12 business days), so I think that's pretty decent. I won an Isle of Eden gift certificate in a blog contest a while ago and decided to use it toward the purchase of 3 more items: the Whipped Bath Frosting in Her Name Was Lola ("Real Italian Blood Orange Oil blended with Creamy Vanillas and Coconut Milk, and a finishing touch of Sweet Orange Oil"), the Bee So Soft Body Creme in Amour d'Coconut ("Fresh-Cracked Coconut blended with French Pastry, Almond Sugars, Exotic Vanilla-Infused Marshmallows and Plush Candied Almond Silk"), and the Gourmet Body Scrub in Pumpkin Moon ("sweet, gently spiced ripe pumpkin, toasted Bourbon vanilla beans, brown sugar, molasses and incandescent golden amber on a comforting bed of vanilla buttercream").

Conclusion: show the baby harp seals some love and buy some Baby Harp Seal Love.

Are people really this rude?

I was just reading an article hosted on KevinMD.com, titled "Why answering a cell phone during an office visit is a problem". It's an erudite, James Bond-esque take on patients who are inconsiderate enough to think their cell phone call is more important than the 15 minutes out of their oh-so-busy week spent at a scheduled doctor appointment.

I silence my phone on the way to my appointments. While I'm waiting to be seen, I dink around with my phone. However, the moment the nurse calls my name, the phone goes back in my purse. Nothing in my life -- and perhaps I'm fortunate for this -- is so pressing it can't wait for my appointment to end. I prefer to treat people with the respect they deserve.

I found it interesting that, when I had a tooth pulled in February, the dental assistant asked if I had a cell phone to occupy my time while the dentist was seeing another patient. I was too nervous about the impending extraction that the last thing I wanted to do was read FMyLife or send text messages to everyone I know, so I politely said no (though it probably sounded more like "nurrr" because of all the Novocaine).

What are your thoughts on this? Would you ever answer your cell phone during a doctor appointment (or other appointment, for that matter)? Have you ever had a doctor answer his phone during your appointment?

Friday, April 08, 2011

Guess who won a pair of heels!

Check out this post from Princess Dominique: The Dolce Vita Briar Pumps Winner. Those are my feet! :D

Don't forget to stop by her blog for the Weekly Shoe Giveaway! There's only one day left to win a pair of Streetzie's High Heel Bunny Slippers.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Monday, April 04, 2011

Fuzzy pink bunny slippers

Have you ever had that nightmare where you've gotten up, gotten dressed, and gone to work, only to realize you're still wearing your fuzzy pink bunny slippers? Now, you can live out that dream in Streetzie's high heel bunny slippers. No kidding.


I'm not quite sure why these exist and if I should love them or hate them. I mean, they're kind of cute in a Peggy Bundy sort of way, in the same way marabou slippers are. And lord knows, I wouldn't wear those out of the house. Since we have carpet, I'm not sure I'd wear them inside the house, either. Speaking of marabou slippers, I tried to get rid of a pair of them at a white elephant Christmas party at the office two years ago and ended up getting them back. It's not that I didn't like them, but they were a half size too small and they made a perfect gag gift. Too bad I was the one gagged by them. Anyway, bunny slippers. The more I look at these, the more I like them. Sure, they're not practical, but they're cute shoes and they don't have to be practical. Well, these Pleaser USA boots are neither cute nor practical, but that's a matter of taste (and it looks like one of the creepy fetish models is tasting the other's heel; that's a big bucket of "ewww" right there. didn't your mother teach you not to put weird shit in your mouth?).

Anyway, my lovely friend Princess Dominique is giving away not one, but TWO pairs of high heel bunny slippers in her Weekly Shoe Giveaway. I'm in her posse, which is pretty sweet. I've learned about tons of interesting shoes, thanks to Princess Dom, including Kandee (if I had $231 going spare, I would totally get the GLACE CHERRY heels) and Ms. Mary Mac (Wonka, anyone?).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I ♥ colors


Valspar is giving away a free paint sample to the first 1000 people each day who request one!

According to their Facebook page, you will receive an 8-ounce sample, a mini-roller and tray, coordinating color chips, and a coupon for $5 off your next Valspar purchase at Lowe's.

Monday, March 21, 2011

More criminal mischief

From the Dakota County police blotter, March 14, 2011:

"Drug activity. A 45-year-old Burnsville man was arrested for manufacturing methamphetamine, indecent exposure and disorderly conduct in the 200 block of Burnsville Circle."

Naked and cooking meth is no way to go through life, son.


From the North metro police blotter, February 10, 2011:

"Disorderly conduct. Officers went to a business on the 7900 block of Sunwood Drive NW. regarding a customer who had presented an obscene picture to a clerk. Police contacted the suspect by phone and issued the suspect a citation for lewd and disorderly conduct."

So, a guy walks into a business and schleps a picture of his junk onto the counter...


From the West metro police blotter, February 5, 2011:

"Animal complaint. A man called police to report there was a weasel in the garage at his home on Trista Court. An officer was unable to locate the animal."

Yes, well, who hasn't had a weasel in the garage?


From the West metro police blotter, February 11, 2011:

"Theft. Officers responded to a parking lot on the 3800 block of Hwy. 169 regarding a theft. Someone had stolen $800 worth of meat from a delivery van that was parked in the parking lot."

And, to add insult to injury...

February 19, 2011:
"Theft. A barbecue grill was stolen from the yard of a home on the 14000 block of 37th Place N."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The diet of a business traveler

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm actually tired of going out to eat. I sincerely enjoyed the potato sausage and roasted carrots I had for dinner tonight, because it was food I made myself, for myself (plus, the roasted carrots were amazing). It's not that I don't enjoy eating in a restaurant, but look at what I ate while I was on my business trip:

Thursday: see my post titled "The one where Erin finally does something nice for herself"

Friday: my husband took me out to eat at the same restaurant I had been to the previous night and I had a half a rack of BBQ ribs, mashed sweet potatoes, and mixed vegetables

Saturday: a nice, normal, unmemorable eat-at-home day. Until that evening, when we got invited to go to the movie "Battle: Los Angeles" with some friends and ended up having pie and coffee at McDonald's afterward.

Sunday: oatmeal, an orange, and half a hard-boiled egg for breakfast; a low-fat cranberry-orange scone for "lunch" (traveling); and a package of beef jerky from the gas station for "dinner"; a tangerine and a piece of toast at my parent's house (yeah, this wasn't the best day, but it's hard to eat healthy food when you're traveling... I will take solace in the fact that I ate the fruit and toast for a movie snack while my brother ate potato chips and fun-sized Snickers bars)

Monday: oatmeal for breakfast; blue cheese hamburger and Caesar salad for dinner in the hotel restaurant (had a late start that day, so missed lunch)

Tuesday: ham, bacon, onion, and mushroom omelet, whole wheat toast, and copious amounts of fruit for breakfast (hotel restaurant); vegetable soup and an Odwalla bar for lunch; and a beer-battered cod fillet BLT with sweet potato fries and a Caesar salad for dinner (hotel restaurant)

Wednesday: Odwalla bar and coffee for breakfast; roast beef, smoked turkey, lettuce, and banana pepper sub for lunch (cafeteria); and potstickers, crab rangoon, mini spring rolls, and a piece of chocolate raspberry cheesecake for dinner (I had a pretty disappointing day, hence the fatty dinner in the hotel restaurant)

Thursday: scrambled eggs, bacon, English muffin, and fruit for breakfast (hotel restaurant); a huge salad with buffalo chicken for lunch (cafeteria); and sushi for dinner (from Target... don't laugh, I like theirs even though it doesn't taste like "real" sushi)

Friday (travel day): oatmeal for breakfast; Indian buffet for lunch (met up with a friend while in the area); aaaand it was pretty much all downhill from there, with "dinner" consisting of coffee, a donut, and some cheese and crackers. When I got home, I noticed that my husband had eaten all the food in the fridge while I was away, except for half a carton of eggs, a gallon of orange juice, and all the condiments in the door. The freezer was still jam-packed because he didn't feel like cooking anything.

Before anyone comments, yes, I know I ate a lot. But it was all for legitimate hunger, not boredom or anger or frustration or any other reason people eat when they're not hungry. At any rate, everything was back to normal yesterday: a bagel with PB&J for breakfast, a chicken burger with tomatoes and jalapenos for lunch, and chicken, mixed vegetables, and dumplings for dinner. I need to add more fruit, but this was the best I could do considering my husband ate everything else over the past week. And now I can't wait to go grocery shopping! Haha.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Big-time business

Well, my apologies for the lack of posts over the past week and a half... I was on a business trip! In all the years I've worked in an office setting, I've never gotten to say that. I've been to off-site meetings and conferences, but never an honest-to-God business trip. Last week, I got to stay in a hotel, eat hotel food, and take the hotel shuttle. It was a great experience -- everything was so posh and the people were fabulous. The only bad part of the entire week was not getting carded in the hotel restaurant when I ordered a glass of wine; especially since everyone seems to think I'm in my early 20s. I will chalk it up to my deportment, rather than the aging process... haha. Of course, they probably figured they'd be getting $9 out of me for a glass of $7 wine (yes, we found out later that the wine sells for $7.19 per bottle at MGM) and didn't much care how old I was.

At any rate, I had a fantastic week. Not only did I get to experience the life of a business traveler, I got to visit my family for a couple days. My Mom said it looked like all I did was shop when I was in town because I came back with a case of beer and a grocery bag full of stuff from Trader Joe's (it's true, but only because I live in the middle of BFE and there aren't many signs of civilized life around here). I'm hoping to take more business trips in the future!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The one where Erin finally does something nice for herself

I never do anything just for me. While other girls go out for drinks and manicures and hot waxes and whatever else they do, I'm cooking dinner for my husband. If I'm serving pie, I'll take the deformed, messy piece that gets cut first so everyone else can have a picture-perfect slice. I'm used to putting everyone else's needs above my own, which would be a great trait if I ever wanted to be a mother.

Last night, I got some great news about work. My husband was so non-plussed about the whole thing, which really disappointed me. I had hoped he would be as happy for me as I was, but he gave me a half-hearted, "Oh. That's great." After he left for work, I called my parents to gripe about the situation. My Mom suggested, "Why don't you go to [local restaurant] and have a glass of wine and dessert?"

Brilliant!

So, I got dressed up and walked to the restaurant. By the time I got there, I was starting to get hungry. To start, I had a Caesar salad (which was pretty hard to eat because of my missing molar), warm bread with herbed garlic butter, and a glass of Robert Mondavi riesling. The main course was applewood-smoked salmon with cherry cheesecake mashed sweet potatoes (oh my god, were those good!). Finally, they brought out the dessert tray and I picked out a slice of French silk pie. At the end of my meal, the waitress asked if I lived around here. I thought that was sort of an odd question, but I figured she asked because I was wearing nice clothes and was very polite (there are a lot of rough characters around these parts). After I paid, I walked back home and capped off the evening by reading for a while and then trying on outfits for my upcoming business trip.

The point of this? It felt so good to actually do something purely selfish, purely for me. I needed someone to congratulate me on my good news, and that someone ended up being me.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Tales of crime and punishment

I've been browsing the police blotter at StarTribune.com and found some interesting snippets....

From the North Metro police blotter, February 9, 2011:

"Suspicious activity. A woman from an apartment on the 100 block of 83rd Avenue NE. called police to report that her neighbor below was sending electrical currents through the floorboards. An officer investigated and determined that the complaint was unfounded."

Paranoid much?


From the Dakota County police blotter, February 14, 2011:

"Weapons. A customer pulled a knife on a Sonic employee at 1701 Robert St. S. The customer left immediately after the incident, but employees reported that this customer has done this to other employees in the past."

I'm not sure why they haven't had this fool arrested yet, if he's been habitually threatening Sonic employees. "Oh, that's just ol' knife-slinging Billy. He comes in here all the time waving that thing around asking for chili cheese fries."


From the Washington County police blotter, January 29, 2011:

"Loose dog. Police responded to a report of a brown dog running in and out of traffic in the area of St. Croix Trail and 50th Street. An officer finally contained the dog after 30 minutes, with the help of bystanders and a breakfast sandwich. The dog's owner was contacted."

Was it a Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit? 'Cause if I was a dog, that'd have me running.


From the North Metro police blotter, January 22, 2011:

"Counterfeit money. According to police reports, a guest staying at the LiveInn Suites, 5201 Central Av. NE., brought a pile of counterfeit money to the front desk after finding it in his room. The man said the money fell from the ceiling tiles. The bills were taken as evidence by police."

I wonder if he rolled around in it like Scrooge McDuck before turning the money over to the cops...


From the South Metro police blotter, February 2, 2011:

"Disturbance. In the checkout line of Rainbow Foods, 1660 S. Robert St., a man reportedly hit the woman in front of him twice with his shopping cart because she was 'taking too long.'"

If anyone ever did that to me in a grocery store, I'd probably end up being charged with assault.


From the Dakota County police blotter, January 29, 2011:

"Unwanted guests. Customers at the Great Moon Buffet, 1200 S. Robert St., were trying to get a free meal by saying their food was bad. The manager said they had done the same things several times before. When officers arrived, the customers were escorted out."

They Chinese/We play joke/Pretend there's pee-pee in our Coke! On another note, it looks like S. Robert Street is a hotbed of petty crime.


And finally, from the North Metro police blotter, December 23, 2010:

"Disorderly conduct. Officers were called to the LivINN Hotel at 5201 Central Av. NE. regarding a disorderly male who had been kicked out earlier in the day. According to police reports, the 43-year-old man was intoxicated and had returned to the hotel, where he passed out in a second-floor hallway with his buttocks exposed. The man had harassed guests and staff, police said. Due to his high level of intoxication, he was transported to a hospital and served with a trespassing notice."

Oh, come on. If I had a dollar for every time I've passed out drunk with my buttocks exposed.... er... I'd have no dollars.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Playing with Polyvore

I can see how Polyvore can eat up a lot of your time if you're interested in fashion. Here's the first set I made... it's just a quick and easy outfit. I saw the shirt and the shoes and thought, "Yep, those should go together somehow." What do you gals think?
Oh la la, c'est romantique

Steve Madden stiletto shoes
$68 - endless.com

Forever21 leaf jewelry
$5.80 - forever21.com

Romantic Reminder Top
$23 - downeastbasics.com



As a fun aside, Shop With Me Mama is giving away an item of the winner's choice from the DownEast Basics new Spring arrivals collection. That's where I found the Romantic Reminder Top featured above. Her giveaway ends on March 9, 2011, so you'd better hurry if you want to enter!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Chocolate and summer squash

The title doesn't sound like a very appealing combination, does it? Don't worry, I'm not pregnant -- just recipe-surfing. I found a recipe for chocolate zucchini bread from Madhuram's Eggless Cooking and thought I would try it, since I used up all the eggs making lemon lava cakes yesterday.

Changes: I used summer squash instead of zucchini, since that was on hand. AP flour instead of whole wheat; again, it was on hand. No buttermilk, so subbed in regular milk plus vinegar. Don't have allspice, so used pumpkin pie spice. Also, I made it in my trusty muffin tin.

The batter tastes sinfully good. The best part is it's eggless (so I can eat as much of the batter as I want, until my eyes go all googly) and only has 1/4 c oil for the fat.

Drink your coffee like a notorious boozer

There's an ad on my page for "Two and a Half Men mugs". I was curious, so I clicked on it.... it goes to a company selling the same mugs that the Harpers use on "Two and a Half Men". Pretty cool, I think. I'm not suggesting anyone go out and buy this; it's not like I'm getting a commission for posting this (although... if you buy an orchid from 1-888-Orchids, I do get 8%).



I could be drinking coffee out of this!

Salvaging the lemon cakes

I was complaining yesterday about how my little lemon lava cakes didn't turn out quite how I had planned. Well, I figured out how to make them uber-delicious! Instead of attempting to cook them in the custard cups, I poured the remaining batter into three of the six wells of a non-stick muffin tin, which I still buttered until it was greasier than a teenage boy. I refrigerated the muffin tin for a few hours, though I'm sure a half-hour would have sufficed. In addition to letting the cakes firm up, it also allowed the lemon flavor to perfuse the entire batter.

About 20 minutes before I wanted to put the cakes in the oven, I took them out of the fridge and heated the oven to 425 F. I put the muffin tin into a 13x9 Pyrex dish, poured water into the Pyrex until it almost reached the overhanging lip of the muffin tin, and put the whole contraption in the oven for 20 minutes.

When the timer finally beeped, I took the dish out of the oven. The tops of the cakes were nicely browned and there was a minimal amount of jiggle, much as I wish for in my everyday life. I let the muffin tin rest out of the water for about 5 minutes and then carefully inverted the tin onto a baking sheet. A few taps later, and two perfectly-formed, perfectly-cooked lemon lava cakes slid right out. What happened to the third, you may ask? It exploded. I had gotten a little bit of water in the batter when I was putting the tin into the Pyrex dish. When I tried to unmold it - BLAM - lemon goo everywhere. It was still very tasty, but it looked like if you've ever dropped a carton of eggs on the kitchen floor while putting away groceries.

The unmolded lemon cakes looked more like individual cheesecakes, since they were a pale yellow with a barely-visible browned bottom. To really amp up the lemon flavor, I made a simple syrup and imbued it with the juice of an entire lemon (the one I had zested the bejeebus out of earlier). My husband liked the syrup so much that he went back and put 3 more spoonfuls on his cake. Certainly, the cakes don't need the additional sugary calories, but it really does enhance the flavor. I have to say, too, that the colors in this dish were fab -- a soft maize-colored exterior giving way to a vivid lemon goo. I wanted to serve it with a molded spoonful of green tea ice cream (to look like a little leaf), but my husband pooh-poohed the idea. I ended up making a quick double cartwheel twist garnish instead. The cakes actually did look like the ones that Omaha Steaks sells (for $14.99 plus shipping!).


I think if I make these cakes again, I will

1. Reduce the amount of butter from a whole stick to 5-6 Tablespoons (the recipe's author claims it's "because you're worth it". I have to disagree; I'd rather preserve the integrity of my arteries);
2. Beat the sugar and eggs in a separate bowl and slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture;
3. Increase the amount of lemon zest from 1/2 tsp. to an entire lemon's worth;
4. Bake with the changes noted above.

That's a lot of revamping for a recipe that supposedly works as-is, especially when the author claims to have baked them four nights in a row. A dessert like this, with its huge amount of butter, sugar, and eggs, should be at most a once-a-month thing. I like to, you know, BE HEALTHY.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The lemon cake fiasco

All right, I'm not going to name fingers or point names, but I recently found a recipe for white chocolate lemon lava cakes on someone's blog and they were awful. Since a) today is my husband's birthday and b) he loves white chocolate and lemon, I thought I'd whip up a batch of these cakes to serve after our pot roast dinner (which, by the way, smells amazing. Never sit at home when you're cooking something in a crockpot).

I knew there was going to be trouble when the recipe called for the addition of one cup of powdered sugar to my butter and chocolate mixture, and the chocolate seized. I had a bowl full of white paste with a glistening yellow liquid on top. Already, this recipe sucked! Sighing, I plowed forward through the recipe. After I whisked in the eggs, the mixture came back together, with the addition of flour thickening it up nicely. The batter had a really nice lemon yellow color, but almost no lemon flavor. I had to use the zest of an entire lemon, rather than the measly 1/2 tsp. called for in the recipe. It still had a weak flavor, sort of like when Niles Crane orders a latte with "the faintest whisper of cinnamon."

I heavy-handedly buttered four custard cups. Sensing the cakes might not turn out well, I only filled one of the cups with batter. I baked it for 15 minutes, per the recipe's instructions, and the cake was a thin, goopy mess. So, I baked it a little longer. The center started to set up, but by that point, the outside of the cake turned into a yellow kitchen sponge.

I then tried a different tack. I filled another custard cup with batter, placed it in a larger dish, and poured water into said dish until it was halfway up the side of the cup. I had another lava cake recipe that called for this method and those had turned out flawlessly, so I figured it might work for the new recipe. Wrong again. I baked it for 23 minutes, until the top turned a medium golden brown. The entire cake was still liquid under the crust, literally making these into liquid hot magma cakes. I'm sure the mantle would have been delicious, but it was not what I was looking for. I took the custard cup out of the water bath, placed it on a cookie sheet, and baked it for another couple minutes. This turned out fairly well, though the cake still looked like I had baked SpongeBob Squarepants.

Now it's T-minus 4.5 hours until my husband gets home from work, I'm out of eggs, and there is a greasy muffin tin full of yellow batter sitting in the fridge. I plan to drench the cakes in raspberry sauce and hope he doesn't mind my utter failure of a dessert.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Like Charlie Sheen, I'm winning

The lovely Julie from the eponymous The Daily Julie informed me yesterday that I won her Amrita Singh giveaway! Soon to be in my possession is the Ray Cuff:

Hopefully, this looks as nice in person as it does online. I won something else from Amrita Singh a while back and it was just god awful (*cough*Chinolli necklace*cough*). Sorry, Amrita, but not everything you design looks good on a "skinny white girl" (as my brother is fond of calling me).

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Why, helloooo Daarling

I found these shoes at SteveMadden.com and I'm having a bit of a "not sure if want" moment:



They're cute, but I'm at a loss for what to wear them with. I don't own a single pair of shorts, crops, capris, highwaters, floods, or otherwise truncated pants, which sort of eliminates, oh, pretty much any outfit I could incorporate these heels into. Also, I hate skinny jeans because they make me look like an ice cream cone. Unfortunately, the black and natural versions of this shoe are very "meh"; not to mention, I already own about 8 million pairs of shoes like that.

They're currently on sale for $29.99, with the code "SALE50" netting you an additional 50% off.

The disintegration of Charlie Sheen

Yesterday, my husband got his renewed driver's license in the mail. He opened the envelope and shied away from me when I asked to see his picture. I asked, "What's wrong? Is everything ok?" He turned to me and exclaimed, "I LOOK LIKE CHARLIE SHEEN!" I looked at his card and holy crap, he was right. He looks like Charlie Sheen. I wish I could post the picture here, but that's just wouldn't be kosher. So, I'll post a picture of Charlie Sheen and let you draw your own conclusions.

Heck, we've got booze in the fridge, a half-smoked cigar on the desk, and more pairs of women's underwear than you can shake a stick at. It does sound like we're living in Charlie Sheen's house.

All joking aside, I have some conflicting feelings about Sheen. On one hand, I feel sorry for him: everyone on Earth except the man himself can see that he's suffering from some kind of manic delusion that he's a "Vatican assassin warlock" and a "total bitchin' rockstar from Mars" with "Adonis DNA". You can just see him dissolving in front of the whole world. After all this went down, it just makes "Two and a Half Men" read like a documentary of Sheen's life. For all any of us knows, he may have had mental problems his entire life. After all, we only know what the media tell us; we're not privy to his private life, regardless of how many of his coke-fueled sex binges are reported in the news.



On the other hand.... he brought a lot of this on himself. He's a drug addict. He's a sex addict. No one forced him to start "using", a term Sheen decries for its association with the "cult" of Alcoholics Anonymous, and no one forced him to start poking everything with breasts and a pulse. He's irreversibly altered his brain chemistry with the "7 gram rocks [of crack cocaine]" and countless other substances he's smoked, snorted, injected, eaten, and otherwise introduced into his body. He's a hedonist of the highest order.

Maybe the manic persona we're seeing in the myriad interviews is a clean Sheen, the man at his baseline. Maybe he does drugs to keep his "tiger blood" from boiling, or to quiet the Vatican assassin voices in his head. Personally, I think Sheen has always had something wrong with him -- after all, some of the symptoms of (hypo)mania are hypersexuality or engaging in risky sexual behavior, impulsiveness, use of recreational drugs, and squandering of money. He could have been hypomanic his entire life. Whatever the case, I hope Charlie Sheen gets the help he needs.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Everybody needs a little weirdness in their life

I just found the website OffBeatTreats.com and had to share a couple of their strange sweets with you guys (even though all 10 people who follow my blog are female, I still call you "guys").



No, these aren't my periodontal disease-ridden teeth.
This... is BUBBA GUM. They also sell a bigga blacka moustache (it's best if you imagine Chico Marx saying that), so you can look like an old-timey villain.




Hey, liquor-filled chocolate bottles! I haven't had these since I was a kid... er... wait a minute.




Stage a delicious, delicious battle with these gummy army men.
This is my rifle, this is my gun! This one's for fighting, these ones... are yum? R. Lee Ermey wouldn't approve, but he'd probably eat these.

That's just a small sampling of the outrageous goodies OffBeatTreats.com sells. They also have face-shrivelingly sour Toxic Waste Candy, a 4.5-inch Marshmallow Hot Dog, and the best-tasting candy urine you'll find anywhere.

Guess what? I wasn't paid, bribed, or otherwise manipulated to write this. I just thought I'd share a neat website with you.

I need gelato, STAT

Check out this recipe for creamy mango gelato, from My Man's Belly. I really wish we had an ice cream maker!


Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 large ripe mangoes (peeled and diced – 1 1/2 pounds of fruit)
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2/3 cup Le Crème Original Flavor Creamer

Directions

1. Prepare a large bowl or pan of ice water for an ice bath. The container you use should fit the pan used to make the simple syrup.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally, cook until all of the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear (this is simple syrup). Place the hot pan in the ice bath and stir the mixture occasionally until the mixture cools to room temperature.
3. Purée the mangoes in a blender or food processor with the lime juice and simple syrup. Transfer to a sealable container and whisk in the creamer. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours.
4. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to another container, cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

The mush chronicles

Ever since my traumatic tooth extraction, I've been eating soft, mushy foods. I constantly feel hungry because of it. I guess you never really realize how unsatisfying it is to be limited to one texture.

However, one good thing did come from my tooth's untimely departure. My husband and I found a recipe for "rustic potato-leek soup" in an America's Test Kitchen cookbook. It's basically a super-unrefined vichysoisse, served warm. When we went to the grocery store to pick up the leeks for the recipe (which calls for five pounds of leeks), we were only able to find three leeks hidden behind the kale. At the checkout, the cashier picked up the bag of leeks and said, "What are these?" I said, "They're leeks!" to which she replied, "Uh. How do you spell that?" She had also asked us about the rutabaga we bought ("Can you tell I don't eat a lot of vegetables?" she quipped, patting her ample gut).

Let me tell you, that soup was capital-A awesome. Even though I was unable to chew or taste on the right side of my mouth, the left side sure got a treat. I was even able to eat a mini croissant with dinner! It definitely surpassed all the mashed potatoes, Malt-o-Meal, and pudding I had been eating previously.

On another note, I got to use the scale at my in-laws' house the other day and was disappointed. My husband said he thought I looked like I had lost a few pounds, yet I'm still 4.5 lbs. heavier than I was when we got married (and a whopping 11.5 lbs. heavier than him, the guy who inhales frozen pizzas and McDonald's and doesn't think twice about what that might do to his waistline. Although... his waistline is almost 10 inches bigger than mine, so what do I know?). It doesn't sound like much, but it's concerning for me. He suggested that it was probably muscle, since we've been going to the gym 5 days a week and I seem to bulk up from lifting. The dentist told me to take it easy and not work out for about 4 days after the extraction, so maybe the combination of mush food and not exercising will cause me to drop a few pounds. I'm concerned that my husband said he thought my "ideal weight range" was about 140-155 lbs., and that if I got to 160, he'd think I was overweight. I can't help but think that means he wants me to lose weight, but is trying to be nice about it. I mean, there's really no other way to take that, is there? I think I'd rather have him just say, "Yeah, you need to lose about 10 lbs." so I can guilt myself into doing that.

Meh. I'm rambling and should go to sleep.

Monday, February 28, 2011

What's the point?

I have 10 followers and no one comments on my posts anymore. Am I really that boring? What do I need to change to make my blog more interesting and relevant?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Green Mountain Coffee makes me happy

The blog Tatum's Family Reviews is giving away a Green Mountain Coffee Roasters sampler pack. *swoon*

My husband and I had the fortune of visiting the Green Mountain Coffee museum/cafe when we were on our honeymoon in Vermont. While we were there, I had a coffee drink I knew I'd never find in Minnesota -- they blended their delicious coffee with steamed cream, maple syrup, and possibly some cocaine (ok, I'm joking about that, but it was REALLY GOOD). Yeah, yeah, yeah, heavy cream... as if the trip to the Ben and Jerry's Factory earlier that day wasn't enough to plug up my arteries and widen my hips. We brought home a bag of their Fair Trade Vermont Country Blend, which, aside from giving me unprecedented caffeine jitters, was pretty tasty. We got my parents the Signature Sampler for Christmas last year. My Mom said it was good enough to drink without cream and sugar, and THAT is significant.

Giveaway ends Feb. 26 at 11:59 PM EST.