Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Revenge!

I am not sure if any of you watch Revenge, but I do and I officially don't know why. I keep thinking it will get better, but as soon as it starts to get a little better it then, in the same episode turns weird and boring. Every episode makes me crazy on so many different levels I don't even know where to start, but I guess I do so here are my suggestions to make Revenge a little more watchable and enjoyable for us the viewers.


Emily/Amanda - While she is very pretty, she has only two facial expressions and it's getting harder each episode for me to care if she every gets her revenge. She treats her BF Nolan like crap, she continues to not trust anyone and in the process screws things up and when she apologizes its more along the lines of "I am sorry you are such an ass that you made me do it". It's starting to get old and her character has the potential to be so much better. Let's try to make her a little more likable and go from there.


Nolan - He is my favorite character. He provides comic relief, dresses like a Tommy Hilfiger ad on crack and has tons of awesomeness up his sleeve. Then all of a sudden this season they made him wear pants and go to the office and become a boring lap dog of Emily's. I want the old Nolan back and like right now!


Daniel and Ashley - OK I looked for a decent photo and couldn't find one easily which just further proving my thoughts that no one cares about them as a couple. I mean outside the fact that Ashley has fantastic dresses on the show I could care less about her. She was supposed to be BFF's with Emily and then the minute Emily breaks her engagement to Daniel, Ashley starts moving in on him. Weird. Then on the other hand Daniel, the mouth breather, is sleeping with the scheming help and can't seem to figure out just how much he shouldn't trust her. And then there is the chemistry, oh wait sorry, there is none. Break up and move on. Please.


Jack - Snore. Most boring character ever. Let's give him a storyline that doesn't involve a stupid broken bar or a baby mama he doesn't really care about. Please. I don't even pay attention when he comes on the screen and he's cute so let's get on making him interesting by having him sell the bar completely and get a job working for Nolan or even crazier the Grayson's!


Amanda/Emily - Liked her better before the baby mainly because she gave Emily a run for her money. Would like to see the bad ass back again. Although the baby shower scene where she showed up with her stripper friends like a bunch of mean girls was awesome. More of that please.

Charlotte and Declan - Don't care to even look for a picture or talk about them. Wallflower characters.


Victoria - Fabulously scheming, impeccably dressed and the best actor on the show. Never change.


Conrad - He's perfect as a rich and evil white guy. Perhaps he should run for Senate. Drink more and carry one.

And there you have it. This is how I would change Revenge so I can watch it again. Am I wrong? What would you change.

All photos via ABC

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dealz

Imagine if Etsy and Groupon had a baby website and that site brought you cute handmade and other items at great reduced rates. How awesome would that be? Well the good news is you don't have to imagine it, during one of my shopping rabbit holes for awesome gifts I ran across GroopDealz. GroopDealz is exactly like an Etsy/Groupon mix with a wee bit of new items mixed in. I have seen a few sites like this, but of all of them this site has the most handmade stuff. Plus I love, love, love the necklace I ordered a few months ago from it (Love. So cute. Really.). Just fair warning that you will get a lot of mails from them if you sign up for the newsletter, it's the one thing that bugs the crap out of me. Oh well, deleting is easy.

Don't you totally want to check it out? Well to get you started here are a few of my favorites items that are currently up for sale.

Glitter clutch for $14? Yes please.

Little girl boot socks with lace. $6.50 and sooo cute!

Chevron reindeer Pillow Cover $19.
Because everyone needs one or maybe two.

Now go check it out yourself (as there is more available) and feel free to purchase the pillow for me. I could totally use a whole set of them!

All photos via GroopDealz

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lazy Days



We had just about the laziest of lazy weekends. We went to the movies to see Lincoln and to dinner at a friends house. Other than that we did nothing. Well I guess I did make some eggs in toast. That was pretty delicious. All in all a pretty satisfying weekend if you ask me.

I do recommend seeing Lincoln. It reminds me a bit of the movie 1776, in the sense that you know how it ends, but you are still anxious about how it gets there. It centers around the end of his first term as president and the end of the war and how it effects the passing of the 13th amendment. Excellent actors. I was even able to tolerate Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, but just barely. Definitely not a movie that has to be seen in the theaters so you can wait a few catch it DVD or stream it on release.

Now it's just time to focus on getting through the next few days and then Thanksgiving. My favorite meal is almost here!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Must

Even though my Internet went down earlier this week, my phone got me through the withdrawal, I was finally able to get caught up on the Walking Dead and life as I know has been restored to the mild chaotic mess I call everyday. Lucky enough Friday is finally here and it's almost time for a well deserved cocktail and the weekend! For me the latter will include prepping for my first 5k since I was 15 (for reals), seeing the new movie Lincoln (DDL looks more like Lincoln then Lincoln in this movie. Excited!) and a fabulous dinner made by a former chef friend. Doesn't get much better them that. Hope you have a great weekend planned as well!

This weeks Must items:

Image via Skyfall/MGM-Sony


Skyfall - Go see it. I have not been known to be a Bond fan in the past, but a little Daniel Craig can turn pretty much anything around and Skyfall was one of my favorites. It was definitely a more personal look at Bond and his past, but still had action, sexy time and Javier Bardem (creepy, but he is a spectacular actor). All in all, good fun!

Image via Birchbox

Beauty Blenders - I saw these featured in magazines and online awhile go, but totally dismissed them because the price seems a bit much for make-up sponges. Then I received one in my Birchbox last month and now I am kicking myself for not taking them more seriously. With a little water, you use it to apply your tinted moisturizer or foundation quickly, evenly and mess free like nothing else I have ever tried. Ignore the price tag and just try it. It truly works like a charm.

Image via Birchbox

Birchbox Home Pop Up Shop - Speaking of Birchbox, they have unveiled their Home Pop Up and first ever Brichbox Home Box. With delights like truffle salt (shown) and Prosecco home fragrance I definitely think it's worth a look. Who knows you may be able to cross off some holiday gifts on your list or maybe even grab an item or two for yourself!


image via eventjuice

eventjuice - In case you missed it, I wrote a little something over on eventjuice about how customer service is dead and how to bully get around such issues. While the content is aimed at the event industry (my crazy background lies deeply in conferences, corporate schmooze fests and other craziness) I think it really can be applied to pretty much any industry or private life issues along these lines. Plus I do really want to know your worst story. Particularly if it has a funny ending!


Image via Gawker
Reddit Troll - Even if you never have been on Reddit this story is fascinating from every angle. Wondering what an Internet troll is? Click here. Wanna know what Reddit is? Click here. Need to restore your faith in humanity? Click here

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Frenched



If you hate onions, this is not going to be your post. It's ok I don't blame you for not liking them. I blame your taste buds. Onions are delicious and fantastic in just about every meal I cook and I am sorry you don't feel the same way.

If you like onions this is your post, because this is all about French onion soup. I am not sure if I like the soup for the sweet onion taste or if it is just an excuse to have copious amounts of cheese and bread doused over a richly delicious broth that is made by cooking the crap out of onions and adding beef broth. Either way it's crazy good.

As I mentioned last week the weather here in SoCal has turned fall like and my need for cool weather foods has been activated. The other morning I woke up craving a rich and yummy French onion soup. I have two go to recipes that I use, one that uses red wine as a base and another that uses white. There are subtle differences, but both are amazing. After a quick poll on Facebook, red won out (with a splash of cognac, not included in the original red recipe, but found in the white) and the BF and I had an amazing dinner that night. Writing this I want to make it again, but considering this uses a stick of butter I better keep it to only every once in awhile.

Cook, cook and cook. In the red wine recipe count on adding
about 30 minutes more of onion caramelizing then mentioned.
Totally worth it.

Get the onions nice and drunk with yummy red wine. Then add
some to your glass.

Dig in!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Crockpot Love

As the weather turns cooler I immediately crap my crock-pot and start thinking about what delights I am going to try this season. To start things off, I wanted to share my delicious pork roast recipe that I mentioned last Friday, unfortunately I only have the one picture since I got so distracted by the smell I totally forgot to take any other pictures before we consumed and destroyed it! It was so good it practically melted in your mouth.

This is one of those recipes that I have tweaked and adjusted over the years to my tastes, so feel free to change as you see fit. I actually don't even know where I got the original recipe, it has been so long.

Ingredients

1 large onion, sliced
2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin
2 tsp olive oil or butter
Sauce
1 1/2 cup beef broth
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard
Dash of hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire to taste

Layer onions in bottom of crock-pot. In a heavy skillet or pan heat oil until hot. Add pork and brown on all sides. Remove and place on top of onions in crock pot.

In same pan that you used to brown roast, add all ingredients and stir until well mixed. Pour on top of roast. Cover, and cook on low 6 - 8 hours, or on high for 3 - 4 hours. Then enjoy.

So awesome and easy, it's ridiculous


I forgot to add the link to the crockpot recipes of love last Friday, so to make up for it here it is care of Chef in Training. There are some definite tasty looking recipes!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Black out

I am a super lucky girl, in that I have some of the fastestInternet available in my house. We zip around the Internet and download HDmovies and shows like it is no big deal. That is until it all came to a stop.

The BF and I both work from home and the Internet is prettymuch the gateway to the world both professionally and private. We make callsthrough Skype, email our clients and do 99% of our research online. We arewired throughout the house and plugged in just about every room. So you canonly imagine what happens to us when it all goes down…

Me – Call the cable company, assure lady that we have resetthe modem several times, and schedule someone to come out today to fix whateveris wrong. I then use the phone to answer some emails and then start writingarticles and posts in Word on my laptop. Lunchtime arrives and I make veggiepizza, post some stuff on Facebook via phone and go back to writing.

Him – Starts doing things, I am not entirely sure what, but itinvolves lots of speed tests and things being plugged and unplugged. Goesupstairs and pulls out the tools and then proceeds to take apart every piece ofInternet related modem, router and other things I don’t know the names of. Sayslots of swear words under breath. Tells me what he is doing (I try to lookinterested and then remind him the cable guy is coming today) and then he realizesI have no idea what he is talking about and goes upstairs to the patch box(where the cables come into the house). Spends an hour with the patch box,comes down and declares that it has to be the modem or the line that comes intothe house. Tries to get a little bit of bandwidth to create an Internetconnection, creates 5 different networks and one works enough for him to getsome work done. Eats lunch. He then starts messing around with the cablesagain, takes down the mini internet and puts all the stuff back in place forthe cable guy to arrive.

Cable Guy – Arrives, finds issue within 5 minutes (it's the line coming into the house) and wewon’t have full Internet until Wednesday.

Him – “That’s what I thought.” Sets up mini Internet again.

Me – “One whole day and a half without full speed Internet?!How can I catch up on the Walking Dead that I missed last night?”*

Gee talk about first world problems. I also have shown where my priorities are with Internet usage. I should be ashamed, but I am not.

Then to round out our day, the oven stopped working and I didn't find out until I had prepped the chicken to go into the oven. At this point I have decided vodka is a much better dinner than whatever I was going to prepare. Crap.


*I have both basic cable and lights, so I donated to the RedCross as punishment for my Walking Dead comment.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Pretty Sure Someone was Killed in my Kitchen

In my house I usually do the cooking for dinner and such, not because I have to, but because I want to. I enjoy cooking, I love trying new recipes (good and bad) and lucky me the BF enjoys eating. That is not to say he can't cook, in fact sometimes he does and it's good. The only issue I have with his cooking is that butter (and a lot of it) is one of his main ingredients. I like to try and keep my butt size down so his cooking is restricted to only every once in awhile.

That is of course unless I am out for the evening and he needs to fend for himself. Which is not a big deal for him, but turns out it is for me. Before I go to far into this story I need to preface it with the fact that I have a bit of a cleaning and putting things away in the correct spot problem. By problem I mean it has to be done my way. I am getting better and not freaking out on people any more, but I do re-clean and put everything back in the right spot the moment they walk away. This is considered progress. Trust me.

So back to the BF, last week I went out for the evening and he decided to make himself tomato soup, which I am sure was delicious, and he cleaned up. Well kinda cleaned up. Is there something about domesticated men that render them unable to properly clean the counters after using the kitchen? When I got home I noticed there were small red splotches all over the counters. Before I realized what it was I thought he had cut himself. Then I saw it on the stove and sink and it started to dawn on me what happened. He must have killed someone and boiled the head (as a side note I thought the same exact thing about our neighbors. Turns out they are just divorcing.). After a moment of panic and a Starburst (left over Halloween candy) I spotted the soup can and was relieved I didn't have any additional body parts to worry about, but now I had to re-clean the counters, with bleach.

Now I realize that I am a complete freak about my kitchen, but surely I can't be the only one that wants to ban someone from the kitchen. Am I?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

You Must

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking of a weekly wrap up that I can add here that includes some of the fabulous things I come across on a weekly basis. After much deliberation I have decided on a Must list. This list will be made up of things that I tried, made, saw or did in any given week and highly recommend you do (disclaimer notice: You and I may not have the same taste and if you feel it sucks feel free to let me know, but realize you have free will to try or not try. I am not your mama).

After putting together the list this week I realized it was mostly food related items. I guess it gives you a bit of an idea of where my head was at. I think a lot of it came from the fact that we started to get a little bit of Fall weather down here in SoCal and comfy and cozy are always my first response when the temperature drops. Nothing is better than comfort food and a fire to keep the chill away.

Rachel Allen's Risotto Verde - Last weekend I was really looking to make something a little out of the ordinary so I pulled out one of Rachel's cookbooks and realized it had been way too long since I cooked one of her recipes. She, in my opinion, is the master of flavor filled, easy dishes that have a comfort food kind of feel. This dish in particular will change the way you think about cooking risotto forever as it is baked and not stirred to death on the stove. This received thumbs up from everyone and I spent only a handful of minutes over the stove.

So good and chock full of veggies!

Left over Halloween Candy  - I was trying to get creative to get rid of my candy stash so I took all the M&M's out of the bag and made some cookies. They were yummy!



Food & Cooking Secrets - Check out this list from My Organized Chaos (not to mention the awesome site) of great tips and secrets in the kitchen. While I knew a few, I had forgotten some and never heard of others. You can never have too many tips!

Crock-pot It - Tis' the time of year to break out your crock-pot for quick and easy meals. There are so many recipes and I have a good one that I will share next week, but in the mean time here is a good resource for crock-pot meals and here is my delicious looking picture.

It looks tiny in this picture. So good though.


Give a Little - If you haven't donated yet to hurricane relief, there is no time like the present. The American Red Cross is now ramping up to provide relief to the Northeast AGAIN as the nor'easter blows through the just recovering New Jersey and New York areas. Remember it doesn't take a lot to give. Just by texting REDCROSS to 90999 you can give $10 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and if it doesn't get used now, it will go towards the main disaster fund. They can always use a little cushion!



Keep warm and have a good weekend!


Spot-i-what?

I see a lot of you have Spotify through the feeds on Facebook, but do any of you actually use it like you should?

I was at a party recently where my friend and I had to describe it to so many people that I thought a little information might be helpful to others. Those that understand Spotify you can put your hands down, the rest of you should pull up a chair and listen carefully.

Spotify is millions of songs, records and artists at your finger tips that you can play, play and play until your little heart bursts from the pleasure of hearing any song you want, when you want on your computer. It's like a little piece of joy. You can create playlists, check out friends (or strangers) playlists, listen to the absolute latest music and you don't have to purchase a thing. Too good to be true? Well actually for free the only downside is that you have ads, can only listen via your computer, and you are stuck to your country. Doesn't sound bad, does it?

Now if you are willing to shell out a little cash there is way more. For $9.99* per month I get everything above, but also the full mobile experience on my phone (play it in the car, on the docking station) and iPad (same as the other one, but this way I don't burn my phone battery) and play it in most countries, you know like I would on my iTunes, but I don't have to purchase every little thing. Oh and my playlists can be played offline. Hello airplane.

You may be saying why would I spend money when it's free. Well truly that is up to you, but when I am running I like to mix up my tracks and purchasing them through iTunes adds up to way more than the $9.99 a month I spend on Spotify to create playlists like they are going out of style. Think of it this way, are you really going to be playing Taylor Swift's**, "We are Never Ever Getting Back Together", like, ever again after a week or so? That's what I thought.

So to kick things off for you here is my playlist from this summer and fall that I keep annoying the BF with. Enjoy and seriously get on Spotify. It's just ridiculous not to.



* There is a $4.99 option, but I think you are worth $5 more.
** Not saying you would purchase it, but I would, because I love terrible pop music. For like, a week at a time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

French Woman Don't

Years ago I read the book French Women Don't get Fat by Mireille Guiliano, former President and CEO of Clicquot Inc. (Yes THE Clicquot as in Veuve, the champagne). While the book had a great way of looking at food and toward the end does not restrict anything, I found a bit of it to be a bit tiresome. Particularly the part where she mentions she only pretend to drink her second glass of champagne at dinner. Who does that? I couldn't pretend to sip Veuve any more than I could stop breathing. That my friend is the true definition of self-control in my book. Which I guess is why I am not the president or CEO of any Champagne or wine label.

Back to the book, moderation really is what the key take away for me is from this book, well that and the glorious homemade yogurt. There is a recipe that is included in the book for  homemade yogurt (with or without a yogurt maker, but for $25 bucks you can pick up the machine, which is basically a temperature controlled box) and I immediately became addicted and made yogurt all the time. Then I packed up my maker, moved to SoCal and forgot about my yogurt maker. Then while cleaning out the garage I came across my maker and was immediately inspired to make some yogurt and oh it is truly wonderful and the best part is that you know exactly what goes into it. In the past I have normally just made the plain type from the book and then add fruit, honey or granola just prior to eating, but this time I wanted to give it a little flavor of vanilla and honey. I looked all around on the internet for a recipe, but didn't find one I liked so I simply made the plain yogurt recipe from the book, with one additional step adding in a little vanilla and honey, perfect!

Give it a try, you may be surprised at how much you like it! Here is the recipe with a yogurt maker and here it is without. As soon as you have the milk cooled and have added in the starter, add 2 tablespoons of honey (can add more or less depending on your taste) and 1 tablespoon of vanilla (I used mexican vanilla in case you were wondering) or the seeds of one vanilla bean if you are feeling fancy. Oh it is soooo good.


You first heat and then bring down the temp
of your milk. The alien salt and pepper
are supervising in the background.

As you add in your starter you can
add in the vanilla and honey as well.
I like my yogurt a little firmer so I leave it in the
incubator longer.
This is my favorite way to start the day with food!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Because Your Totally Indie

Don't hate me, but I am about to use the C word.

That's right Christmas* is right around the corner and of course you want to give the best and most unique gifts possible and I think I might have have found the perfect site for you. To break it down, this site contains all the ideas that you were too lazy, too busy or just plain forgot to follow up on, not to mention things you never in a million years would have thought of and now that you know about it you can't live without it. Well lucky you (or unlucky if it was your idea first) somebody took their idea to the next level via Kickstarter or Indiegogo, actually produced the product and now you can buy it or weep about not getting to it first, or both. The site is called Outgrow.me and it is worth a look.

Here are some of the more brilliant products that I need to purchase now!

Honey Badger BBQ Sauce - Combines the tastes of real honey and freshly chopped Habanero chilli peppers in a tangy barbeque sauce ready for your burgers, ribs, chicken and even king cobra!

This is so brilliant that I can't believe I didn't even think about this first. I can cry about it later, meanwhile I need to purchase this for all the honey badgers in my life.

For real I should have thought of this.
Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker - A unique four piece cocktail shaker based around the iconic mason jar.

Like I need another reason to add another mason jar to my collection (thanks Pinterest).


LuminAID Light - Inflatable Solar Light. Charges in the sun and inflates to diffuse like a lantern.

I am not even sure why I need this, but I want it. Maybe to add to my earthquake preparedness kit. I think I will get two.


Kioky - Perfect fit applicators apply screen protectors in seconds to the iPhone.

This is bloody brilliant. SERIOUSLY. Do you know how many swear words I might have used trying to get a screen protector on my phone? I almost threw it at the wall. I plan on getting one for everyone I know.

Out of Print eBook Jackets - It's time to put the "book" back in eBooks. Made by the oldest book bindery in the U.S. to look, feel and wear like an actual book.

I tried to pick my  favorite one and I can't. I love this idea so very much and know a few people that need this in their stocking!



This is truly just scratching the surface, you really need to go to the site and check out all the different products yourself. I am pretty sure there will be a few that you will kick yourself for not pursing first!

*Did you think I was going to use another word? I suggest you wash your mouth out right now.

All photos via Outgrow.me

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Steps

The last few weeks I have been a little distracted and this ole blog has been painfully neglected. Sometimes when trying to decide how to move forward you have to clear out everything in your path to see really which direction you want to go. That's kind of what I have done the last few weeks and let me tell you how hard it is to do all that. It's like cleaning out the box of crap that has been sitting in your garage so long you just keep hoping it disappears, but since magic isn't on this realm, you have to face it and get it done.

My problem was that I got distracted by things I thought I needed to do and lost sight of what I wanted to do. Now that the focus has been returned to where it should be, I feel a bit like a large weight has been lifted ever so slightly and I have some new friends (and an old one) to thank for this. While nothing happens overnight, remembering that I am the only one in charge of making things happen for me was step one. Sometimes we get lazy, distracted or busy and forget our destiny is up to us. I was distracted, but consider me back on task!

I have some really great projects in the works and can't wait to share them, until then I will just annoy you with posts about positivity. I am one cat poster away from being a total cliche.

Image via the Indie Chicks



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