Saturday, January 31, 2009

the harem pant is back-really?


anyone remember mc hammer and the painfully terrible trend of harem pants other than me? they were generally brightly colored or glittery as shown in the above picture of a simplicity pattern from 1990 back at the height of hammertime fever. harem pants had a low extremely baggy crotch and tapered at the ankle often bulging at the hips. i was far from sylish as a teenager and definitely never owned any harem pants as a 6th grader when they were hip. in my hometown, i don't remember anyone else pulling off this fad either. even in my teen magazines, i remember this as a trend only guys were wearing. but, who can forget mc hammer and the hammertime video.
imagine my surprise as i opened up the latest issue of marie claire this afternoon and to my chagrin, there is a whole section devoted to harem pants as a big pant trend for spring 2009. this trend is frightening to me on 2 levels not only do i think it looks hideous but it is also a trend i have lived through and is now being recycled. marie claire showed pictures of pants by loeffler randall and nicole miller. perhaps this was an anomaly. just a quick internet search showed me this was certainly no anomaly. i did a search for harem pants spring 2009 and every site from foxnews to blogs by everyday people seemed to be discussing numerous designers featuring harem pants in their spring 2009 collections. msnbc has photos from phi's spring 2009 collection http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26664922/ according to numerous sources reasonable priced and always on point with trends h&m even has some in their stores now according to numerous sources though sadly as a european based chain that just happens to have stateside stores their website does not allow you to view their clothes sold in u.s. stores online. the uk version of vogue even lists them as their pants silloutte of the season with photos from several top designers runway shows http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/trends/2009-spring-summer/090106-harem-pants.aspx including chloe and diane von furstenberg(one of my fashion hero's for her invention of the wrap dress a dress considered almost universally flattering.). new york magazine even has an online article on how to wear them and look good http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2008/11/harem_pants.html.
from my searching, i have gathered in 2009 this trend is meant mainly for women. this time around for a more sophisticated look neutral colors are available and apparently more the way to go. depending on the designer the bagginess level seems to vary from just a slightly looser crotch to the extreme almost hammeresque circa 1990 look. most photos show the models and celebs wearing the harem pants with heeled gladiator sandals or booties often with cutouts.
i could perhaps see carrie pulling these off in an episode of sex and the city, but are real women going to do wear them. maybe, but i hope not. how many women want to look like their hips are wider? and tapered legs means that you may have skinny ankles but skinny ankles tends to make you look like an upside down ice cream cone with big hips and thighs. as for me, this is one time i am glad that they say if you've lived through the trend you can't do it the second time around.

today's free stuff 1/31/09

free breakfast sunday til 10:30 am printout coupon valid at all us stores except pittsburgh and houston http://info.ikea-usa.com/ikeaimages/IKE08075/g6.gif

free coffee coupon emailed to you for scooter's coffee house for joining their eclub http://www.scooterscoffeehouse.com/eclub/

free pantene sample for start sampling members(if you are not a member, just join at the top right of the screen; and they send you a member id number to take the quick survey to get the sample) http://www.startsampling.com/quickQuestion.iphtml?item=30196

free virgin mobile minutes http://www.virginmobileusa.com/stuff/sugarmama.do and you can also earn minutes on their facebook page at http://web.virginmobileusa.com/stuff/fund-my-phone

free federal tax filing with turbo tax http://turbotax.intuit.com/microsite/home.jsp;jsessionid=Y3Yz7qk-oF2pUco4WtdDQA**.g49-2?priorityCode=3468341816&cid=all_cjtto-3133584_int_3468341816&_requestid=75588 its super simple. i've used it in the past and plan on using it today now that i have my w-2.

Friday, January 30, 2009

wow a way to deal with wrinkles on the cheap and be green at the same time

i am blessed in many ways that i apparently look much younger to the rest of the world than i am supposed to for my age. breath in, exhale, ok i admit it i am now in my 30s but just barely. and, i still get carded for ridiculous things like going to a rated "r" movie. it's gotten to the point that i honestly get a bit annoyed. i wish i see what other people see. about 2 years ago, i started noticing wrinkles on my forehead aka frown lines and absolutely freaked out despite my friends telling me how unnoticeable they are. i went to walmart thinking i might find several products to help with my wrinkles. i realized when i got to the aisle (yes there was a whole daunting aisle of anti aging products) i was clueless as what to get to deal with my frown lines. my mother is not one who is hung up on aging or beauty products. she unlike me has never dyed her hair and rarely wears makeup. she was not much of a resource and had not set much of an example. so, after polling friends and searching through magazines, all i figured out was to look for alpha hydroxy acids(aha's on many labels). well, i have super sensitive skin especially on my face. i have way too many horror stories of reactions to products even those made for sensitive skin. milk is the ultimate for curing the burning sensation you can get from a reaction to products. literally dab it on your skin. i promise it will help. and, i have dry skin. the combo of the two can be a problem because a lot of these anti aging products will both dry out your skin and cause reactions for those with sensitive skin as i have found through trial and error to the point that i have almost given up on how to deal with the wrinkles other than moisturizing. well, i may have stumbled upon a natural solution in this online article for cheap beauty tips http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-organic-beauty-tips-for-under-5.html. the first tip is to rub pineaple rinds which are loaded with aha's and coenzemye q10 also found in anti aging products on your skin, and then cleanse after 10-15 minutes. since i work in a restaurant that sells fresh cut pineapple year round, i am super excited about a basically free remedy from other peoples garbage.
well, i tried it. while i think it will take a while to tell if this really works, much like storebought product i felt a slight tingling not burning and could feel my skin tightening. after, i cleansed my face, my skin did feel smoother since it is supposed to act as a mild exfoilant as well.

ways to stay healthier

this article is from webmd. most of the hints are super easy except for the exercising part which i am not exactly a fan of. and, my work has signs posted for hand washing purposes that 20 seconds is the length of one verse of bingo. pretty simple way to remember how long to wash your hands. http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/secrets-super-healthy-people?page=3

cool article on how meat consumption increases global warming

as a vegetarian, most people assume i have a problem with people killing animals. not true. i grew up living off the land as much as possible with a father who enjoyed hunting. i feell that history has proven that meat consumption is natural. we even have certain teeth namely incisors purely for that reason. however, my problem with current meat consumption is with the way we raise meat and the effects on both the overall environment as shown in this article http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-greenhouse-hamburger and the hormones we add to many of out meats. i am not one to be preachy about my beliefs as i do not wish others to preach their beliefs to me. however, i doubt providing others with information counts as being preachy. i am not saying vegetarianism is for everyone, but considering where you get your meat doesn't take as much effort as many would think. many chain grocery stores now offer free range chicken. and, farmer's markets often have meat grown by locals that are safer. i know the one here in fredericksburg does.

sexy veggie ad banned from the superbowl

as a vegetarian, i can't help but be excited that there was the possibility of pro vegetarian ad during the superbowl the biggie of ad slots. well, no surprise but nbc will not be airing the ad. i am not one for conspiracy theories and doubt this is some antivegetarian move on nbc's part. in fact, if anything i wonder if not airing the ad is getting the ad just as must if not more press than airing the ad during this year's superbowl which is expected to have some of the lowest ratings ever for a superbowl the one of the game is by many predicted to be a blowout and even if not a blowout has one of the least popular teams out there in the arizona cardinals. however, the news stories featuring the ad seems to be everywhere. each of my local news stations seemed to have a story last night had a story about the ad even featuring large portions of the ad. when i turned on aol, it was one of the features. with aol, while they did not show actual video of the ad, they have six images from the ad showing a large portion of ad which was a 30 second spot. for more on aol's coverage http://news.aol.com/article/peta-ad-super-bowl/321302. the full ad is easily viewed on youtube as long as you click a button saying you are over 18 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOEAriHlbMY.

today's free stuff 1/30/09

a free coffee mug, cap, bendy oreo man, or golf kit with one upc from the participating products http://www.kraftvendpromo.com/

free decaf coffee at caribou coffee today noon-close http://view.cariboucoffee-email.com/?j=fe8e13767065037f70&m=fef010797c640d&ls=fdfe15797163027d75177076

Free pill tote that can be attached to a key chain or lanyard http://bayer.apfco.com/w1320/index.cfm

free sample of aquaphor lotion by eucerin http://www.activetrainer.com/page2068.aspx

free sample of ibunex topical cream for joint and muscle pain http://www.coreproducts.com/core_labs/sample_request.asp

free sample meow mixx cat food http://www.startsampling.com/sm/100628/captureAddress.iphtml?item=100628


Thursday, January 29, 2009

unclogging my tub


so, in the cleaning of my tub, i must have let more gunk get down the drain then i should have because my drain slightly clogged. tired of trips to 7-11 to overpay for drano, i thought i would look online to find a homemade remedy(my latest addiction i guess you would say.) well, several sites all recommended the same thing in varying amounts. basically, you put a 1/2-3/4 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by an equal amount of vinegar. now, anyone who has made a volcano for a science fair project(which i never did but have seen plenty of times on tv) knows what happens next; a bubbly explosion as seen in the above pic i took of my attempt. so, make sure to force down the baking soda into the drain before pouring in the vinegar and cover the drain. wait anywhere from 3 hours to overnight to allow the solution to work. then, flush with hot or preferably boiling water.

i entered my 1st photo contest


in searching for microwave recipes for a blog i am working on that was inspired by my chocolate cake in a mug post http://rebos2003.blogspot.com/2009/01/chocolate-cake-in-mug.html , i came across http://www.bigoven.com/. currently, they are running a monthly contest for original photo submissions. the contest is for submission for photos for recipes that do not yet have photos to go with them. so, since they too have a recipe for chocolate cake in a mug. i decided to submit my photo, and it was accepted into the contest. they cropped out the countertop. here is its listing with my pic at the top http://www.bigoven.com/169326-5-MINUTE-CHOCOLATE-MUG-CAKE-recipe.html. the monthly prize is a $100 gift card to amazon.com. i think i may try to do this for some other recipes as i make them. wish me luck.

today's free stuff 1/29/09

free can of red bull and roaring lion energy drink http://www.roaringlionenergydrink.com/lions_challenge.htm the business tab gives an individual option

free subscription to woman's day magazine http://www.mercurymagazines.com/pr1/114/11450 i did this last time this came around and have gotten the subscription.

free model rocket kit http://www.questaerospace.com/challenge.asp

free horoscope pendant http://www.horoscopessite.com/

finding a solution to soap scum

i hate to admit it, but i had a problem with soap scum. i know i am not a clean freak, but soap scum is gross and amazingly not my fault. i thought my poor housecleaning was to blame. so, to deal with the problem i thought i would buy a product whose name i had heard of that said would clean soap scum. so, i bought the works cleaner. i tried it and it hardly anything to remove the soap scum even with a ton of scrubbing on my part. instead of asking my friends how they deal with soap scum due to my embarassment over the problem, i thought i'd look it up on the web. turns out hard water is the cause of soap scum. i assumed that since i have "city" water, i had soft water. i grew up on hard water living with well water in an area known for high iron content in the water that was so high that when i was baptized the baptismal looked muddy. apparently, our city water is hard water laden with minerals and chloramines as i found from checking out the city's website. this also explains why with certain laundry detergents my whites have started graying. so, i looked up homemade soap scum remedies. and, amazingly they work where a reputable store bought product didn't. i tried two solutions. the first was using a dryer sheet to remove the soap scum. it works pretty well but i went through several sheets. when it was super thick, i used baking soda mixed with water to make a paste and scrub it in with a sponge. i was surprised that such a simple solution worked, but i now have a smooth, soap scum free tub.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

chocolate cake in a mug


a few years ago at a work christmas party, a coworker had an idea which i thought was both unique and ingenius. ingenius yes, but as i found out tonight apparently not unique. she brought in chocolate cake that she had made in coffee mugs that had a christmas theme. when we were done eating the cake, we got to take home the christmas mugs home as our christmas gift from her so she ingeniusly managed to bring her requisite food item for the party and our christmas gifts all in one shot. i've always thought it was a great idea. but, i lost the recipe she gave me and never thought to look it up on the net.
i have several boxes of cake mix in my kitchen cabinets that i am trying to use up before they expire(got them with free coupon print outs at the checkout the a previous customer left behind). so, i thought might look up recipes for cake in a mug on the net as a way of making individual cake for me as i am off work today and tomorrow meaning i have no one to help me eat the cake. i found several cake in a mug recipes which i broke down into 3 basic recipes. the first recipe is based on boxed cake mix and can be set to make up for gifts or to use cake mix individuals for singles. here's an example of one of those recipes http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cake-in-a-Mug/Detail.aspx. the second one is from scratch and uses super simple ingredients such as hot cocoa mix, flour, an egg, oil, and water. this is by far the easiest recipe, and the one using ingredients many of use would have in our pantry anyone would have around even if you don't bake much. this is one of these http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Make_Cake_in_a_Mug. the third type uses ingredients people who bake frequently would have such as cake flour. http://www.dizzy-dee.com/recipe/chocolate-cake-in-5-minutes is one of these.
so, i tried the second type cause the idea of making cake in a microwave with hot cocoa seemed pretty cool. i only amended it by adding a few drops of peppermint extract. the pic at the top is my attempt at this recipe. reading forum responses to this some people complained about this cake being dry. i would actually disagree or recommend adding more oil the next time if one has this problem. in fact, it was moist enough that i didn't add any icing. fun and easy. plus, this only takes 3 minutes to cook and even with prep less than 5 minutes to make. good solution to quell a sweet tooth.

a new way to make your home smell great and humidify at the same time

so this week's fruit purchase for me was navel oranges as they were the big special at bottom dollar. bottom dollar is by far my least favorite grocery store which is probably why its always the least busy grocery store in our area our real reason for shopping there this week. so, i ended up with a 9lb bag of navel oranges that are each the size of a grapefruit. so, since i have a ton of orange peel each time i eat an orange; and i am battling painfully dry skin, so i thought humidfying the house might help. well, i read somewhere on the internet about placing orange peels in water and letting them simmer to make the home smell nice. i wish i could remember where i read this to give them credit, but i just don't remember. when i did this, my boyfriend made the suggestion that i should have used just orange zest. he is probably right, but i am lazy and already had the peel in the water. i made my own addition the recipe by adding cloves to the water to make it a bit more like the orange and clove pomaders we used to make when i was a kid by spiking an orange with cloves at christmas time(directions http://www.ehow.com/how_4599763_orange-clove-ornaments.html) so, i brought the water with the orange peels up to a boil to break down some of the peels and the scent. then, i just left it on to simmer checking the water to make sure it was at a safe level and adding more water when necessary. i could smell the scent all the way in my living room two rooms away from the kitchen.
this reminded me of my favorite winter party drink where i take apple cider put it in the crock pot adding cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg to taste. i recommend starting this at least an hour before the party. the whole smell will permeate your home, and you have a tasty beverage to boot. i've even brought this to work when i worked in an office for a food day. if you have any leftovers which i doubt you will, funnel into the original cider bottle. then, you can pour in individual mugs and microwave for about a minute for individual servings.

today's free stuff 1/28/09

free sample of quaker oats mini rice cakes http://www.startsampling.com/sm/100545/captureAddress.iphtml?item=100545&source=



free antibiotics with prescription at giant from 1/2/09-3/21/09 http://www.giantfood.com/antibiotics also since giant made this announcement several other pharmacies have added this including wegman's and stop n shop just go to their website and check their lists to see if your antibiotic is on the list. or to really be sure you can save as your doctor to write your prescription for an antibiotic on the list if he or she can.

free sample of playtex tampons and a coupon http://www.playtexsport.com/Demand-It.aspx

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

my first questionable ebay experience



























































































i must begin by stating i am an ebay newbie.

snow finally

well, we finally got snow today. i absolutely adore snow. but, i must say it makes me miss being a kid when school is cancelled for snow. listening with baited breath to the morning news waiting for the school cancellations to list your school. then, planning the snow activities like snow angels, drinking hot cocoa with marshmallows, watching movies or bad midday tv. but, now i have to be an adult and go to work and miss that fun and anticipation. now it means getting up early to get the car warmed up and drive scraped and driving slower to avoid having an accident. i kept looking out the windows at work wishing i was out there playing. after work, i did get lucky enough to have a snow ball fight with my managers. i wish i had my camera to get some beautiful snow pics but once i was off work the snow had changed to ice falling and i was afraid to damage my camera.

homeade products that sound neato to make and save money

so, i've been looking at ways to save money on beauty and household cleaning products as a way of saving money since relying on tips to pay the bills is not really working out so well right now. there are lots of ones i found that either sound silly or just as expensive as the stuff i am trying to avoid buying in the first place.
first, i found this recipe for making homemade laundry detergent http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/03/15/how-to-make-your-own-laundry-detergent-and-save-big-money/. i found lots of variations on this, but this was the first one i found, so i'll give credit to it. we do about 2 loads of laundry a day with work clothes having to be washed every day. i want to try it but i hitting some hangups. you need a 5 gallon bucket and in a attempt to being uber cheap, i am looking to score a free bucket. even though i work at a restaurant, we don't get any product in 5 gallon buckets. so, i thought if i tweeted that i was looking for one i might get a response from a helpful friend. people gave me suggestions for where to buy one, but only one person told me they could definitely hook me up with one and he lives in another state. so, i am going to keep talking to friends in restaurants and construction hoping i can score a free one, and i do have about 30 loads before i run out which should last me about 2 weeks. second, i haven't been able to locate washing soda. i'm planning on trying tomorrow at walmart and hopefully will have some luck there. if i can get the supplies, i will definitely try this one and post the results. there are several sites that have recipes for making powder detergent, but i don't use powder detergent.
when i was looking up info on dry skin since mine has become painfully dry and itchy with the extremely cold winter we've been having this year, i came across this recipe for making homemade baby wipes. it sounds super easy. since i don't have kids, i doubt i'll try making now. http://www.diylife.com/2007/07/18/make-your-own-baby-wipes/07/18/make-your-own-baby-wipes/
here's a list of how to make a bunch of different cleaning products like soft scrub and windex http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/03/06/spring-cleaning-time-here-are-some-tips-for-cleaning-supplies-on-the-cheap/
4 super simple lip gloss recipes http://www.allfreecrafts.com/bath-and-body/vaseline-lip-balm.shtml i really want to try the chocolate one, and i bet a few drops of peppermint essential oil would turn it into mint chocolate lip gloss. now, i just need to figure out where to find small tins for the lip gloss. any suggestions?

great free stuff

free coupon for diet dr pepper-your choice 2 liter or 2 oz bottle http://promotions.yahoo.com/drpepper/freedietdrpepper/

free coffee and samples at panera tomorrow morning http://www.panerabread.com/breakfast/index2.php?pf=coffeeflash


free dora the explorer potty training kit from pampers with stickers, sample of easy ups, coupon, free dora or diego trophy, potty progress chart, and tips
http://www.pampers.com/en_US/potty-kit-request

free sample of quaker oats Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond True Delights https://smartsource.wufoo.com/forms/x7x0k1/

free sample of cream of wheat( my fave as a kid was apple and cinnamon as a kid, and i can never find that at any grocery stores around here.) http://cow.promotionassociates.net/

free sample of dunkin donuts new dark blend https://dunkinathome.safeprocessing.com/

free sample of dole fruit dish http://thedish.icmodus.com/Default2.aspx?type=Fruit%20Buffet&bhcp=1

free tape measure http://www.helpudiet.com/

free mini mr clean magic eraser http://www.mrclean.com/en_US/sharethelove/freesignup.do

free dove hair therapy -be sure to regularly check back at dove.com as they quite frequently offer new free samples http://www.dove.us/#/haircare/free_sample.aspx/?source=doves

free sample of ob tampons and nifty carrying case https://www.obtampons.com/mightysmall/en/register.jsp;jsessionid=V8ycAfUyWK7dIpmXjOIEzaeohBo

free sippy cup http://www.juicyjuice.com/SpecialOffers/Default.aspx

free kid's toothbrush http://www.colgate.com/app/HealthyHabits/US/EN_v2/SignUp.wsp

Monday, January 26, 2009

some of my fave freebies i found today

after scanning my favorite freebie sites, these are my favorite freebies i found today.

free surf laundry detergent sample http://www.surf.com/laundry_tips/send_tips.php
free printable coupon good thru end of april for a color sample of benjamin moore paint great for crafters http://www.clubs4women.com/coupons/benjmoore-043009/coup.pdf
free sample of total cranberry crunch cereal http://freesample.totalcereal.com/TotalCranCrunch/Default.aspx?source=454
free printable coupon for a parfait from bob evans good thru mid february(please still tip your server as if you are paying for this) http://www.bobevans.com/WebSite/Homepage.nsf/Download/Jan09_YogurtParfaitCoupon.pdf/$File/Jan09_YogurtParfaitCoupon.pdf?open
free sample of crest whitestrips http://instoresnow.walmart.com/enhancedrendercontent_ektid65100.aspx
6 free photo valentines cards (i did this really cute)http://stories.scrapbooksetc.com/landings/valentine0209.php and free shipping is included.
free sample of orville reddenbacher's new lime flavored popcorn and con agra coupons http://www.startmakingchoices.com/promotions/walmart.jsp?src=Walmart_SMC_1208

anthony bourdain visits dc

so, as many people may know i love my dvr. unfortunately, it means i get behind on some shows in favor of others. anthony bourdain's no reservations is not normally one of these shows. i wait to watch it with dan, my boyfriend, as i am quite the food lover and avid reader and dan's background as being a chef makes it one of the perfect met in the middle shows for us to watch together. we were so excited to watch this particular episode considering how close we are to dc and how much time both of us have spent in this special city but have not gotten the time to watch it together with the inaguration and everything else happening this past week. so, i finally got to watching it today a week after it came on making this blog perhaps a bit behind the times but still a topic i want to talk about. i am a sucker for tv about places or people i know, so i was pysched.
before i turned on the show, we wanted to guess what some of the places both restaurants and locations anthony bourdain would visit. we both insisted he had to feature ben's chili bowl and were pleased the coverage it got during the inaguration on almost every tv station and many newspapers(i know i still read newspapers old school style as a paper not online a joy that waitressing during the day at a joint that is known for breakfast food has brought back to me. and who wants to do a crossword puzzle online.) dan is a fanatic for ben's chili bowl, and everytime we are near dc he always begs that we go there. as a vegetarian since my junior year in college, i have never eaten at ben's chili bowl. but, i am in awe of its history and importance to the city. who wouldn't want to root for a mom and pop joint that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year in a day and age where corporate monstrosities like walmart and mcdonalds seem to be making all cities and towns look like they were created from the same blueprint. i appreciate that bourdain went into the history of ben's chili bowl giving those viewer's not from around here a taste of why its so special.
i hate to say that haven't had a chance to make it to the spy museum his second stop since it opened. i've been interested in checking it out on one of my tourist trips to dc as my friend kelly and call them. even though i've lived in the fredericksburg area since college, most of my visits to dc were either for work or recreation and i've missed out on a lot of the tourist stops mainly musuems. so, kelly and try to have our tourist trips up there to take advantage of all the city has to offer. this is actually a really provocative looking musuem that i think i could even drag dan into. and having a former operative there to tell some stories, wow is anthony bourdain lucky. as a child living in the hampton roads area where he had been stationed, i remember the rick ames incident making all the news channels.
even having worked in georgetown my first job out of college, i ate at many of the area restaurants and bars. but, sadly i never even remember hearing of chadwick's bar. ergo, i agree with bourdain's description of it as being known as rather unremarkable.
the beltway, something anyone from this area knows and often complains about. so glad that he only mentions it if only for just a minute.
el pollo rico is a joint neither dan nor i had heard of here to for but he's a sucker for peruvian chicken places. we never go to any cause they truly are restaurants that have nothing for me as a vegetarian to eat. so, probably won't be a stop on our next trip to dc. this section of the show is one of the many that i feel anthony bourdain captures how many cultures are represented in dc and dc restaurants. dc is just now it seems getting buzz in the food scene as having a burgeoning food scene where i see it has long had some excellent eateries.
i almost jumped off the couch with joy when he stopped at abay an ethipian restaurant. now, there is dc. when i think of ethnic cuisine in dc i think ethiopian food. before living in this area, i had never even heard of an ethiopian restaurant much less multiple ones. as an adult, when i would go to dc my friends would always suggest going to an ethipian restaurant as it is something one rarely finds outside of the city. and maybe it is just the crowd i hang with, but people go gaga for ethipian cuisine in this area. i want to head to dc right now with a group of friends and eat now after seeing this section of the show.
speaking of textural preferences, i must say "spongy bread" was an odd thing for me to get used to the first time had it. i'm glad he did a closeup for viewers who haven't had the pleasure of trying it. it really has a lot of bubbles in it and the eye to mouth problem i had with it was that it reminded me too much of a sponge and was a bit apprehensive when i put it in my mouth. if i could get beyond the newness of the texture to me and taste the bread it is yummy like mushy bread. personally one of the few things i dislike is my food being dry. i cannot even begin to state how much i love bread but many breads especially rustic breads call for loads of beverage to wash them down. not spongy bread which almost melts in your mouth when done well.
jose andres, now this is why i watch anthony bourdain. i truly understand the meaning of food porn watching him eat chasing the dragon. this is one of the beauties of the burgeoning respect for the food scene in dc. i was inspired to check out the web page for cafe atlantico http://www.cafeatlantico.com/ and they have entrees for as little as $20. what a bargain for this quality of food and innovation. those are prices on par with what one would pay for entrees at a quality restaurant here and only a few bucks more than most corporate restaurants. oh, how lucky we are to be in the dc area unlike other cities where such food would run you 2-3xs that minimum. if i weren't a vegetarian, i would love to check out the valentine's day chef's tasting menu and at only $85 per person for valentine's day what a steal.
now, the fish market was a place i remember from working in dc. having already become a vegetarian, i didn't partake. but, oh the smell reminded me of growing up on the water and eating crabs we had just caught during the summertime on our picnic table in the backyard. the smell of old bay always makes me sentimental. i can't imagine having a spice rack without some old bay. it really is good for more than crabs and seafood. if you don't think so, go get your hands on some utz crab chips. mmm yummy.
anthony bourdain gave those viewers not living in or from dc a small glimpse into our great food, but i'm sure that's how everyone feels when he visits their city. and he missed the big slice, a slice of pizza as big as your head unique to dc. and he missed, oh well i could go on but he got a good amount in for only a one hour show.

probably the most stomach turning description of the weather

today, we got some snow flurries much to my glee. it didn't stick at all and only came down of and on for a short time. i had a customer describe in a way in which i could barely keep myself from cringing. she said it was spitting snow. i absolutely despise this way of describing precipitation. normally, i hear use it to describe rain as in its spitting. the mental image of someone spitting on me immediately comes to mind, and my stomach flips. gutterly, i feel a bit of vomit come up into my throat. why would anyone use this phrase. i never heard anyone say this growing up, so manybe its just a fredericksburg thing. even though it has been about 6 hours since my customer said this my stomach is still a bit upset. i just had to get this off my chest.

watching sober house with dr. drew is giving me new insights into me and my recovery

So, i finally caught up on some of my tv watching today and checked out the first 2 episodes of sober house with dr. drew. i got hooked on his show celebrity rehab, but not for the reason that i expect most people watch. i have a feeling most people watch this like it is another celebreality show, but for me i enjoy watching the rehab experience. watching these people struggle with sobriety reminds me that i'm not the only in the battle with addiction. and, i always intringued by dr. drew's insights into addiction and mental illness. he often reminds of the ineffable counselor i had in rehab. she cared enough to give us tough love and call our actions like she saw it.
one of drew's insights on the first episode really struck me. when i was going through rehab like many people, there was so much information coming at me at once that i am sure only 1/3 of it truly sunk in. drew said addicts have a real problem with rules and routines so living in a sober house and being forced into mundane routines and chores is good for recovery. to this day, i struggle with routines and rules. i have run away from office jobs for this reason. i am always afraid that routines mean that i am somehow missing out and becoming boring or a normie like my parents. for instance, i bought a treadmill a 2 years ago as a christmas present to myself; and it has become a glorified clothes hanger. in fact, my "going out" routines are some of the few i have been able to keep. i need to apply the diligence that i put into always have my night out with friends on tuesdays to other aspects of my life and stop making excuses. i also know that i am not one who can handle too many changes at once. if i try to change too many things at once when i begin failing at keeping up with one, i give up on them all. so, instead of making a slew of "new year's resolutions"(happy chinese new year's all!), i'll start with one and when i think i've got that down i'll move on to another. even though i feel that my weight is one of the biggest issues i want to tackle, i know me well enough to know that this cold weather makes it easy for me to make rationalizations to not workout and the economy allows easy outs to not spend money on healthier food(damn increased costs of produce during the winter).
so, i think i want to start with housekeeping. i hate cleaning. i truly cannot emphasis how much i will do to avoid it. but, unfortunately, so does dan. i will need to start with a good floor to ceiling cleaning of my house. then, create a system of maintenance. wednesdays and thursdays are my days off, but i already have plans for wedesday with trav. so, i need to live up my wednesday and stick to plans on thursday. so, wish me luck and hopefully y'all can bug me to keep up with my goal.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

photographer's block






as many people get writers's block, it appears i have photographer's block. and, i must say this is at a most inopertune time. i used to hate taking pics of anything other than friends and family, so i could make photo albums of memories. when i got my 1st digital camera, i decided to play with it trying the different settings at a bonfire. a few months later while helping my friend lisa pick photos to enlarge to sell at an art show, it was suggested that i put up some of my bonfire pics up at the show as well as one i had taken at of fireworks with a flag in the background at the fourth of july. in the last year, i've gotten back into taking pics and some of them have been quite good in my opinion and many of my friends seem to agree. the photograph of the bubbles at the top of my blog is one i took last year by blowing bubbles at night on my porch. so, a friend asked me to prepare a showing for a charity art and music show in late april. i decided then i was going to start taking my photography more seriously. i found out about restaurants and galleries in my area where i can show and sell my photography and the processes for selection for each. however, there was a problem. i had only been using a point and shoot digital camera which was only 4.1 megapixels with 3x zoom. this creates several problems actually. 1st, i am unable to blow up the photos to appropriate size for showing without pixelazation. 2nd, due to my severally limited zoom capability, i was unable to do a lot of the photography i wanted without losing focus especially since i was really becoming interested in macro photography such as this daffodil shot.

so, i decided i wanted to invested in a digital slr camera. i am blessed that my parents decided to buy me one for christmas. i still need to get a camera bag(hopefully, i have a friend who can hook me up with an old one of his.), because lugging around a the whole box to use the camera is beyond impractical. i also need to get at least one additional lens to take the pics i want. right now, all i have is the 18-55mm vr lens i got with the kit. i really want a 70-300mm but at a grand it is way out of my price range while i am starting up. so, i'm hoping to get a 55-200mm vr lens which runs approxiamately $250. here's a pic of the box for my new baby with what else but a shoe in the pic too.

so, now, i have a camera and the basic tools to get started. and, it is finally warming up enough for me to safely go out and take pics at least during the day without having to worry about my camera and the effects of the weather. woo is me though i seem to have no inspiration. nothing is jumping out to me. i had been hoping to submit at least one photo by a january 20th deadline for possible selection for a gallery show but nothing seems to be coming to me. i need something to get my juices flowing but nothing is coming. i am quite frustrated and dissapointed in myself.

btw, all photos are by me.

my shoe collection

My shoe closet shall we say is overflowing.


being a shoe lover, i thought i would start a discussion on my new shoe purchases. so, i figured i better start off with what i have now. these are just my heels and flats. i keep them upstairs in my attic as i have the worlds tiniest closet. my downstairs closet has the sneakers, flip flops, hiking boots, and work shoes. i like to have my shoes out so that i can easily see them to make the best choice. as you can see they are flowing out of the closet and i think i will have to start overflow along a wall which is easily done since i only use my attic for storage for shoes, books(there is some built in shelving.), handbags, and empty boxes. as i go, i will do features on each of the shoes, but for now i'm starting with this layout just to give a picture of where i am now in my collection.