Monthly Archives: May 2010

Oh How I Love Massages

I’m kind of a strange person.

I am not a big hugger.  I hate the fake cheek kissing that has become so normal these days.  I am not affectionate.  I get uncomfortable when people get too close to me (outside of my husband).

However… I love getting massages.  LOVE. IT.

Everytime I get a massage, I vow to make it a somewhat regular thing and never follow through.  A part of it is the hassle of going to a spa (this is also why I didn’t cut my hair for nearly 2 years).  Another part is the expense.

Back in March, a lovely blogger posted a contest on her page.  She was recently licensed as a masseuse and was giving away 2 free massages.  Obviously I entered and I was pleasantly surprised that I won!  And it took me nearly 2 months to cash it in!

So if you live in Baltimore, I highly recommend that you set up an appointment with Claire Taylor.  She operates out of her adorable row home near Patterson Park (but also out of a spa in Hampden).  She also has a frequent customer deal (when you purchase X amount of massages, you get one 50% off).  I will definitely be returning… especially at the end of June.  June is setting up to be an incredibly hectic month for me with the BAZILLION home repairs that are about to take place.

Also – you should check out Claire’s blog.  She posts lots of cute finds on Etsy, fun art finds and great fashion finds.

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Green Wine in Tetra Pak Packaging

I was piddling around a wine store the other day just because May has turned into the month of drinking lots.  I’m not sure what has brought this on but all of a sudden – I want red wine ALL THE TIME.

I’ve had a good experience with sulfite-free wine (purchased at Bin 604 in Harbor East) but haven’t had much luck locating any other sulfite-free wines elsewhere.

The particular wine store that I patronized had an article posted about sulfites and whatnot and yet the salesperson STILL couldn’t point out which ones were free of sulfites (I did an intense search of flipping over bottles and didn’t see a single one). 

When I can’t find a sulfite-free red wine, I tend to go for labels.  I picked up a fun looking one called “Red Velvet Devil” (it was a toss between that one and one called “Boom Boom” all by the same winery) and as we were checking out, I noticed a group of wines in these interesting packages (Tetra Paks).  The other thing that caught my eye was the $5 price tag.

I ran over to the table and asked the salesperson about the wine and she said it was great but unfortunately nobody was buying it because they were leary of the packaging.  So they marked it down.  I picked up 2 packs of the Green Path Shiraz:

Image of the Green Path Shiraz Wine package

Image of the side of the Green Path Shiraz wine package

Image of the size of the Green Path Shiraz wine package

The wine doesn’t seem to have its own website but I linked to an article above regarding its announcement.  Apparently Whole Foods carries this wine (unless you’re in Maryland when stupid alcohol laws prohibit the sale of alcohol in grocery stores).

So if you see it – try it!  I just wished I would have picked up ALL they had available!  $5 is a steal.

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My Husband is a Nerd

Do you remember these “magic sticks”?  They polluted my city and high school during the 90s.  These and hacky sacks.

We wandered into a store today and my husband gravitated toward these sticks and displayed his “awesome skills”.

<img src=”http://img408.yfrog.com/img408/1661/18p.th.mp4″ border=”0″ alt=”Free Image Hostin
g at www.yfrog.com”>

Upon seeing this, Kristin turned to me and said, “If you guys had met long ago, I think this union probably would have never happened.”

She is so right.

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Pizza Face!

I had always thought that the older you get – the further from weird teenage awkwardness you are…

Apparently I was wrong.

I’m not sure what the f is going on but I’ve had an acne epidemic!  And I don’t think you understand, blogosphere… I never broke out before.  Having 1 pimple on my face was rare.  And I was blessed with this until recently.

I currently have 4 pimples on my face.  4 very large pimples.  4 pimples that Jeremy loves to look at (because I never had the problem before).

It has sent me into a panic.  I went to the store to pick up a zit cream… something I’ve never purchased before.  And I stood in the aisle dumbfounded as to what to purchase.  I looked at Jeremy and said, “Help me!  I’ve never bought this stuff before.  What does this even mean?!”

I picked up Neutrogena’s On-the-Spot Acne Treatment

I used it last night with decent results.  2 of my pimples went down and one of them turned into a whitehead.  So I popped it (not even thinking about it… because in case you’ve missed the point of this post, I’ve never really dealt with pimples before).  And now I have a giant red, scabby spot on my head (thanks to popping it).

Any good pimple tips?!  I hate this so much.  I don’t know what is causing this (I’m sure it has nothing to do with the 10+ hour days I’ve been working lately…)

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How I Scored in the Bake Off

Well son of a bitch. I didn’t win. I didn’t even place top 3!

The winners?
#1 – Chocolate truffle cake. It was good, sure… but it was a little too rich. I couldn’t eat more than a bit and I love chocolate.

#2 – Baklava. Okay – this was fantastic. The woman that made this is Greek and she made it all from scratch. In fact, I voted for this dessert.

#3 – Mixed berry fruit crisp.  This was good too.  It tasted like jam.  Someone noted that me and this particular baker split the fruit dessert vote. 

Lesson learned?  Make a chocolate cake next time.

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Bake Off!

My department at work is hosting a “team building” function this week.  The function includes recreational sports/activities (no thanks), a trivia contest (yes please) and a bake-off.

Being the incredibly competitive person I am… strike that.  Being the UN-athletic incredibly competitive person that I am, I entered the bake-off.  I had recently come across a vegan dessert that looked amazing (vegan fruit tart) and decided to try my hand at baking something pretty.  This also gave me the opportunity to use the tart pan that I HAD to have when I was getting married… and have never used in the 3 years I’ve been married.

Because I’d never made this dessert before, I did a trial run last week.  My tester was Jeremy.

I mixed the crust in my food processor:
Vegan Tart Crust

I smooshed the crust into the pan:
Vegan Tart Crust - ready for filling

Vegan gelatin / fruit topping (what makes it vegan is the Agar flakes… and you find this in the Asian food aisle in Whole Foods. Or at least that was what a very frustrated Jeremy told me when I asked him to pick up the ingredients at the grocery store last week.):
Vegan gelatin stuff

Assembly (the fun part… although slicing the fruit wasn’t fun):
Assembling the Vegan Tart

Assembling the Vegan Tart

Vegan Tart - pre gelatin

The gelatin topping makes everything so shiny…
Vegan Fruit Tart - post gelatin

Vegan Fruit Tart

Want a slice?
Yum!

Think I have a shot at winning? I doubt I’ll win on flavor (although the verdict from Jeremy was that it was VERY good… but I’m going against a Mississippi Mud Pie and chocolate always wins over fruit). But I think I have a good shot at presentation.

What would you enter into a bake off?

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Shower Season

I have hit the shower season… and I’m not talking about rain here.

There are a number of weddings coming soon as well as babies!  So that means bridal and baby showers are all around.

2 weeks ago, I attended to shower of my good friend’s future sister-in-law.  And I realized that I haven’t gotten sick of wedding stuff yet (despite being married for 3 years).  I still love all the little details and games that go into showers.  I think people should just host these type of parties more often.

… graduation from graduate school shower.

… finishing p90x shower.

… hooray its Friday shower.

You get the point.  Anywho – here are some pics from the shower…

Kristin made these fantastic favors – chocolate covered pretzel sticks. It was a shame that it was so frickin’ hot that day because these bitches melted so quickly outside. But they were still delicious.
Bridal Shower Favors

The shower was hosted at a restaurant in Cockeysville:

Bridal Shower Menu
Pretty Centerpiece

Shower details that I love…

In lieu of a guestbook, the bride’s sister made this adorable heart cutouts and attached them to pipe cleaners. The guests were instructed to write a piece of marriage advice for the couple and then place them in the vase. So cute.
In Lieu of a Guestbook

Games!

My pal snapped some photos of the bride & groom “emoting” (it is our favorite thing to do. You have everyone stand for a photo then yell some crazy emotion or situation and have the people react or “emote” and snap the photo quickly. Try it – it is a lot of fun). Guests had to match the picture with the emotion.
Bridal Shower Game

One of my favorite games is “toilet paper bride“.
Toilet Paper Bride Contestants

The “bride” on the left looks like she’s wearing an adult diaper… but she’s actually supposed to be in a wedding bikini.

Our bride is in the center.  Her look?  Las Vegas Drunk Wedding.  She’s a stripper getting hitched!

And we won! Team Photo:
Oh girl... what was THAT?!

I have no idea what the team is “emoting” (well actually only the bride and my friend are emoting)… so let’s guess. 

What emotion/situation are they displaying above?

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Who Knew NYC Was So Close?

From Baltimore to NYC… it takes roughly 3-3.5 hours by bus.  I’m not sure why I always thought it was a 5+ hours trip but this recent jaunt to the big apple has made me want to pay more visits to NYC. 

Actually – I’d still like to live in NYC but that won’t happen anytime soon.  But it would be pretty cool.

Sadly – I didn’t take any pictures during my day trip but I tweeted a few photos (I’ll repost them here).

I went up with Kristin on a company bus trip.  She managed to score some tickets to see Wicked and she also made a reservation to Bobby Flay’s “Bar Americain”.  Everything else was unplanned.

We left Maryland around 7:30am and arrived in NYC around 10:45am.  Actually – the bus dropped us off right in front of Bryant Park and I squealed like a schoolgirl and rambled things like “fashion week! project runway! tim gunn!” (all things Kristin was like, “what the hell are you talking about?”).

Because I am directionally challenged, I really wanted to figure out how close we were to the Gershwin Theatre and Bar Americain.  We had 12pm reservations at the restaurant and tickets to a 2pm show.  So we walked around and stumbled into the M&M store in Times Square.   They were selling pretzel M&Ms and holy fuck, they are amazing.  My biggest regret?  I never bought a bag because apparently these aren’t out yet.

Pretzel M&M ad

Bar Americain was delicious but waaaaay overpriced.  That wasn’t a total shock since it was a Food Network chef’s restaurant but the bill was $75 for brunch… and we only ordered 2 drinks.  Hello?!

We had a short window of time so we popped into the Musuem of Modern Art store (because I pretend shop online at this store a lot).

Then we went to see Wicked.  And it did NOT disappoint.  I love love loved this show.  I would see it again.  I loved the spin on the “Wizard of Oz” and definitely want to check out the book (Kristin had read the book prior to the show).  The Wizard of Oz is one of my all-time favorite movies and I loved how the story was reinvented.

A photo of the "Wicked" stage at The Gerswhin Theatre

After Wicked, I decided I had to try the famed Pinkberry.  The closest Pinkberry was in Koreatown and we traveled through high winds to get there:

My pinkberry creation: original flavor with kiwis and strawberries

For those folks in Baltimore – Mr. Yogato (in Fells Point) is almost exactly like Pinkberry.  So while I liked my yogurt – it wasn’t anything new for me.

We didn’t have much time after that trip so we grabbed a slice of pizza and headed back to Bryant Park for pickup.  On our way back – we managed to catch this crime against fashion:

Fashion Crime in Koreatown

The best part (aside from the hairy boots) was that the girl in the black leggings was going commando.  How do I know?  The pants were SHEER.  Why oh why do girls insist on wearing leggings with short shirts??!

I know this wasn’t the best write-up – my brain is a little all over the place right now but I wanted to share my thoughts on the few tourist-y things I did over the weekend.

What do you like to do when you go to NYC?

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Idle Hands Are the Devil’s Playground… or How My Husband is Handling His Newfound Free Time

I had a BLAST in NYC… and I promise to blog a bit about that later. 

Today’s topic: My husband finished his Spring semester of law school and has decided to take the summer off (no classes!) so he feels like he has a TON of free time

What does this mean for me?

I’ve been sucked into a bajillion home projects for the summer.

I got back home from NYC around 11:30pm and Jeremy started spouting off all of the things he wanted “us” to accomplish over the summer around the house.  While there are some home projects that I definitely want to be completed, I also want to relax this summer. 

So here is the list of things Jeremy wants us to do this summer:

  1. Fix the damage done to our backyard during the snowstorm.  This includes fixing the gutters and the fence.
  2. Repaint our bedroom.  Back in January, my brother-in-law helped Jeremy put up crown molding in our bedroom.  We had purchased the crown molding when we bought our house (5 years ago!) and finally put it up.  However, we realized that most of the trim in our bedroom is off-white but the ceiling is white.  And now it just looks weird. 
  3. Rearrange/update our bedroom.  Since we’re repainting, we’re going to rearrange it.  Remove some shelves.  Get a headboard.  Blah blah blah.
  4. Have a basement waterproofer fix our basement.
  5. Re-carpet our basement.
  6. Vent our dryer outside.  Yes, we have a dryer that currently vents INTO our house so it ends up being like 100 degrees whenever we run it.  This probably has led to the moisture/mold problem in our basement.

All I want to do is finish my patio table project (I started it last summer) and plant/grow some veggies in our backyard.  We picked up a hanging tomato planter and now we just need to hang it and start the process.

While I don’t mind projects… these projects are crazy expensive.  I’d rather go on vacation or buy fun things.  :-)

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Road Trip!

I’m pretty stoked for this weekend… and not because its Mother’s Day (although I do love my mom).  I’m going up to NYC for the day on Saturday to act like a totally nerdy tourist.  I love it!

What will I be doing for the day?

I’m going to see Wicked.  Words can’t begin to describe how excited I am… and if this show sucks, I will be PISSED.

A photo of the Wicked official show poster.

Then I’ll be dining at the douche-tastic Bobby Flay‘s Bar Americain

A photo of chef Bobby Flay

One of my 101 in 1001 items was to eat at a Food Network star’s restaurant.  I created that list item when I was obsessed with the Food NEtwork.  However, being a vegetarian doesn’t lend itself to much Food Network viewing (outside of Ace of Cakes).  However, I figured there isn’t a better way to be a tourist than to spend money on an overpriced meal at a restaurant that is most likely NEVER patronized by the owner.  Wahoo!

A photo of the entrance to the Bar Americain restaurant
Everything else is up in the air… although I suspect that I’ll just go shopping since that is what I do best.  Any recommendations on some things I should do (within a short time frame… and near the theatre district?)

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