Archive for July, 2010

Xmas in July? Wha??

July 31, 2010 1 comment

When I came home, it felt like Xmas.  Mostly a bunch of stuff I ordered online regardless of when I ordered it came today.  Even though I paid for it all, it still felt like Xmas.  And since there was so much, it really did because my birthday is just around that time as well.  And it was uber fun to open it all.

So, what came today?  The largest package was from Costco — my new knife set.  Because of a very nice little birdie, I was able to snag the set for the low low price of $199.99 before tax. The Saber knives are of top quality without the insane price that usually comes along with it.  I had toyed about the other set that is normally $199, but decided that I had no use for 8 steak knives.  My favorite part of the new set that wasn’t in the other one?  Shears!  I actually have a couple shears so I’ll be testing each one out.  What I wish were in this set but was in the other set?  I like the sharpening tool of the other set — the kind that you set down and pull the knife against.  Instead, this set has a sharpening steel.  I’m sure once I learn how to use it properly it won’t be as much of a problem but it seemed the other sharpener was far more idiot proof.  Idiot proofing that I adore: labeling the knives for what it is (chef or santoku or boning or paring etc)  I’d like to put a review down when I have time to test it all out, but in the meantime, you can go to Cooking For Engineers‘s excellent review of the knives.  I won’t go into nearly as much detail as them but scientists have just as valid opinion as engineers!  🙂  The new block swivels which I like but I think I may just buy a magnetic strip and place the knives there instead.  The block really could be better and it takes a huge amount of room up.  I like the more counter space I can manage AND a sexy place for my sexy tools.  (Are you listening, Rich?  🙂 )

I also got some multivitamins from Centrum, specifically the Centrum Performance Line.  This purchase was actually important in many ways: 1) I bought it through through the United Mall so I will be able to keep my expiring miles from…expiring.  2)  I have not had multivitamin support in over a month at this point as I ran out and haven’t gotten around to finding a suitable replacement (on sale!).  3) This will be third “performance” vitamin I have tried: GNC, One-a-Day, and now Centrum.  My hope is after a month to give a detailed account of the pros and cons of each of these multivitamins.  Remember, its very important not to go cheap on vitamins and often how much you pay correlates to the quality, so don’t go too bargain on these purchases.  Groups like Centrum and GNC spend a fair bit of money for the quality control — as does Kirkland so it doesn’t mean you have to pay out the nose either.  Just keep on eye on the baddies.

The last package was my first purchase from 6pm.  I got some Taryn Rose heels for an upcoming wedding.  At first, I wasn’t impressed with them and was questioning whether it was worth the high price tag (a huge percentage off of a high price is still a high price — but at least I got it during a day sale where there was more of a price cut).  But I have to say the shoe is comfortable.  Still not sure on the price…it’s a very plain shoe but a comfortable heel.  I also finally got some jeans!  In petites as well (I’m super short).  I was a bit saddened when I put them on.  They fit, but they were very tight.  My size 8 clothing have been pretty comfortable on my lately, but it is my first DKNY jeans so maybe their sizes run small.  The big winner?  These $10 shoes I saw and said, why the hell not?  Not super gorgeous, but a good professional shoe that also was pretty comfy!

I would have gotten something else but it was insured and required a signature so the post office left the slip for redelivery.  I can’t wait to get some more Youngblood, my latest obsession…

A nice way to start the weekend!  Coupled with the fact that today was National Cheesecake Day, so my husband and I stopped by the Cheesecake factory for dinner and some half off slices of cheesecake.  (But don’t worry, we brought something back from the Three Dog Bakery for my poochie.)

There should be more Xmases in July!


STS: Week 8 Complete!

Ugh, this week was hard.  It didn’t start out hard, but it seems that I have one week of PMSing followed by one week of TOM.  By midweek, I was bloated and depressed and going into a place I didn’t care for.  It seemed so NOT what I wanted!  I even asked one of my online exercise check in buddies if it was her TOM because we tend to be TOM buddies (thankfully, she confirmed).  But I did eventually get all my workouts done this week and most of them on schedule. Read more…

Categories: fitness Tags: , , ,

Review: Enter the Youngblood…

July 24, 2010 3 comments

For those of you who have known me in real life, you would know I’ve been pushing Jane Iredale for years.   And this was before the mineral makeup craze of Bare Escentuals and Sephora-gaga fans were buying everything in sight.  Why did I love mineral makeup?  It was the first time I felt there was makeup that worked for my ethnic skin.  Over the year, it seems that the big counters in the beauty department of Macys or Nordstorm only tailored to white people, some other white people, OMG, there’s a whole MAC counter now for black women, more white people, super fair Asians that wish their skin was whiter than white people, and old white people.  I’m Indian so my brown (GORGEOUS!) tanned skin has golden undertones.  You go too neutral, I wash out.  You go to yellow, I look like those fake baked tan people.  And god forbid natural coverage.  I’d wear makeup in college and my gosh people were just mean to me when I wore makeup that I just stopped dressing up completely and accepted myself as someone who could never be or feel beautiful and just rely on my smarts.  A couple years later, I was a med spa where I bemoaned the lack of makeup for people of my skin-tone where this wonderful esthetician introduced me to Jane Iredale.  Now, not all mineral makeup is the same. Jane Iredale, at the time, not only made high quality mineral makeup but she made it for so many different kinds of global shades.  You go back a few years into the Sephora in Hollywood, I’d still come out with empty bags despite the mineral makeup craze.  Jane Iredale was almost like a goddess to me — presenting me with fun and play and piece of mind.  But times have changed. Read more…

Top Chef: lamest. cold. war. ever.

I actually got pretty upset this week with Top Chef.  It started out simple enough, where the chefs were given exotic food items from emu eggs to duck liver which turned out to be duck testicles and everyone had a giggle at Angelo’s expense who chose the offending item.  Halfway through the quickfire challenge, Padma comes in and tells all the chefs to take the station to the right of them so now Kevin gets stuck with the duck testicles and Kelly has the emu egg.  I thought it was sort of a lame twist.  I actually wanted to see what the hell they could do with their dish.  Kelly ended up winning immunity by having an omelet with emu egg.  I love omelets so I was happy for her win.

The side drama: the guest judge is a competitor of Andreas.  Not cool.  Out of all the judges they could have gotten, they pluck one out with a conflict of interest with one of the chefs?  I understand that in the past sometimes people had previously worked under guest judges, but that relationship had ended by the time of the competition.  It wouldn’t be nice to have a chef with a current positive relationship and same goes with the negative.  What, nobody wants to play with Padma?

Then the elimination dish: to prepare a meal best served cold, hence cold wars.  They were in two different teams, Group A with Kenny, Kevin, Ed, Amanda, and Alex and Group B with Angelo, Tamesha, Tiffany, Andrea, and Stephen.  Each group would get to nominate someone for the win and someone for the loss.  Hmm…I wonder if there is going to be some strategy in play here?

We watch them cook and plan and be pissy and then the judging happens.  How long did it take Angelo to start attacking Kenny’s dish?  (Kenny’s not even that awesome anym0re!  I mean, he has the inflated of Angelo but sent to the bottom wayyyy too many times to justify it.  At least Angelo has only been there when HE HAD IMMUNITY.)  Angelo needs to think of a better enemy.  The group mostly votes against Kenny except for Andrea who points out that she got cartilage stuck in Amanda’s dish (which Alex had noticed and not bothered to mention).  Majority rules so Kenny is at the bottom.  Kevin is placed at the top despite being accused that it lacked acidity (though Tom was quick to point out that Kevin had indeed taken that into account when preparing the dish with lemons and tomatoes).

The second group comes in.  Everybody loves Tiffany’s dish – ahi tuna in gazpacho sauce – and she comes out on top.  Everyone else except for Andrea sorta sucked it seemed.  But they singled out Tamesha which made me smile because her attitude had been grating on me lately.  Her being sent to the bottom also makes the audience wonder if Angelo sabotaged her.  It doesn’t seem that he would do that to her this early in the game, but he was acting LIKE the executive chef and he made some bad calls about her dish.

So, Kenny whines and moans about how he’s only sent to the bottom because people are afraid of him.  Really?  How many times have you been sent here?  The guest judge ripped a new one for him.  Tamesha got ripped as well and for someone so young to be such an uppity little bitch on screen to get ripped like that was pleasurable.  I mean, seriously, at first she seemed like she was classy but then she just seemed to be a quieter, egomaniac with no record to prove it.  I’m the first person to say it could be editing by the TV people to have transformed her this way but in the end, you know you’re on camera, don’t talk about you’d kill another chef so easily WHEN YOU SUCK.  And part of becoming better is to admit when you make mistakes.  I don’t recall her doing that at all this season.  So Angelo’s little buddy got sent home.  Come back when you grow up.

But what really pissed me off?  No one, not even I’m-so-Asian-despite-not-being-sexy-Asian Angelo, tried sushi or sashimi.  I understand its actually very difficult to be trained in this arts but why is it on this show when I see a challenge best suited for Asian cooking, the best I see are Asian “influences?”  But seriously, when I think I want a cold dinner, I think I’m going to eat some sushi tonight.  (Actually, I really want to have sushi tonight!)  Can the judges shake things up and give them an Asian challenge?

Categories: Dining, recap Tags: ,

STS: Week 7 done!

I am THRILLING to this Mesocycle.  This week was my favorite so far!! Read more…

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Top Chef Double Recap: Chefs collide

I actually thought I had posted last week, but it seems to have gotten eaten in the ether. Both of the last episodes showed the chefs getting contentious with each other. I know its reality television and all but am I the only to miss the camaraderie that existed in the last season?  I know there were definitely egos bashing but the Voltaggio brothers, Kevin, Jennifer, and Eli really made it seem near the end that there were chefs making good food as opposed to Survivor like flanks.  I miss that a lot. Read more…

Categories: Dining, recap Tags: ,

STS: Week 6 Complete!

Wow, this week sort of flew by.  But I stuck to STS almost perfectly and I’m glad I did. Read more…

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