Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What's Another Word for "Rawr"?

Although I've been accused in the past of lacking a sense of humor, it's just 1) different than others' and 2) not as loose as most people's. I don't really see this as a problem, but apparently it is, because I keep getting crap about it from people who think life is a joke or whose sense of humor is crude. I'm not high-brow by any means (my favorite joke is about a talking muffin), but I do appreciate a more intellectual approach to humor. So when I saw this tee-shirt, I almost fell out of my chair laughing:

The great thing about this is that everyone loves dinosaurs (obviously), and so it has an immediate visual appeal, and for those of us who have to spend our lives consulting dictionaries and thesauri to write papers, it also has an academic appeal. And, bonus? The lettering of "Thesaurus" is inspired by the (totally awesome) artwork from Jurassic Park, so we get a pop culture reference, as well. What's not to love about that?

Buy through Snorg Tees for $18.95.

Photo via Snorg Tees.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Hulu Girl

Most of you probably know about Hulu by now--that fantastic media repository that airs television shows, films, and movie trailers (my favorite, as you know). If you don't, allow me to talk it up a little.

Hulu airs clips of shows such as Saturday Night Live as well as full episodes of certain series, both current and past; for example, I can watch full episodes of something as far out of reach as The Dick Van Dyke Show and as current as Lie to Me. For current shows, you will usually find that the five most recent episodes are available, so if you want to check out a new series but missed the premier, you can take a look at it online.

That particular feature is useful for me, because if I didn't have Hulu, I would (literally) never get to watch Community. You see, Community comes on at 8:00 on Thursday. And I have a long-standing commitment at that very same time. It's a tragedy. But that's the true beauty of Hulu--I can catch up with my favorite (current) show within two days of the original airing, so I'm never really very far behind. And that, my friends, is fantastic.

The one thing I will warn you about is that if you intend to use Hulu, you will need a good Internet connection; otherwise the streaming will freeze up. But if you are able to use it, and are willing to sit through a few commercials (almost all of them are less than one minute long, and are an important part of keeping Hulu alive), this is the place for you. Enjoy!

Visit Hulu.


PS If you enjoyed my Lady Gaga post the other day, you'll really love her Halloween costumes, available for pre-order at her official store!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The United States Postal Service Should Be So Lucky

 Back in June, I wrote about the Balenciaga First Classic and City Classic handbags produced for Neiman Marcus. Today, I bring you another Balenciaga beauty: the Giant Envelope clutch.

What I love about this bag is the sheer simplicity. Although it is very clearly a motorcycle bag along the lines of the First and City bags, the lack of frills makes it so clean. Don't let the motorcycle label scare you away, though, because it's available in a pale pink, a bright pink (called Peony), and purple, among other, less "ladylike"--but still really fashionable--shades, including the green in the picture above (called Palm).

Can't you just imagine it next to a little black dress or dark jeans and spiky black heels on a Saturday night? I sure can. If only I had one for myself!

Buy through Balenciaga for $1,025.00.

Photo via Balenciaga.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Mexican Touch

My friend Noelle sometimes stays in my apartment for a night or two, and when she does, she always brings the best stuff with her. Sometimes it's a DVD for us to watch; one time, after she stayed there while I was out of town, I found that she had left me several tea bags in a variety of flavors. My favorite thing she's brought so far, though, is a recipe for a black bean and corn salad.

While I wrote about a white bean salad on Wednesday, I still wanted to share this black bean salad with you because it has a totally different vibe but is very delicious, as well. I don't know where Noelle found the recipe, but I got it from her, and so I'll repeat it exactly as I learned it from her:

1 can black beans, drained
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 package cherry tomatoes, halved
Cilantro to taste
Fresh lemon juice to taste
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Now, I'm not a big fan of buying fresh lemons, because I only ever need one half at a time and can never figure out what to do with the other half of the lemon afterward, so I almost always use the bottled stuff (you know, the kind that is in the shape of a lemon). And let me tell you, I am a madwoman with that stuff. I can't get enough. You could also use lime juice, since this has a Mexican taste to it anyway, thanks to the black beans and cilantro. As far as the salt is concerned, I don't think you need very much, especially if you let the salad marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

This salad will keep for two or three days, so if you're cooking for just yourself, you can pair it with different entrees (for example, grilled chicken or fajita/skirt steak) across several meals. And it is super-easy to make, which makes me very happy. Try it today!

Photo via here.


New Ironsides

Generally speaking, when it comes to things I covet, we have four categories. 1) Things I can afford. 2) Things I don't really need. 3) Things I can't afford. 4) Things I can't have. An example of 1 would be a fantastic pair of blue shoes. An example of 2 would be a wall mural. Today, I'm focusing on numbers 3 and 4, since I have found the perfect intersection of the two: the Stuart Weitzman Ironlady Bootie in fog suede.

These boots are just, you know, totally genius. But given the price, they fit into my third category. And they fit into the fourth because they are not practical for my life here in North Carolina thanks to the suede. You see, it rains quite a bit here (actually, the truth is that I'm shocked by how much precipitation we get--between 40 and 50 inches per year in my region of the state), and suede isn't really a good material for life in a wet place. So I'll have to live without these beauties, but I very much hope that one of my dear readers may be able to enjoy them!

Buy through Zappos for $525.00.


Friday, August 27, 2010

"I'd Really Love to Break Your Heart"

For those of you who don't remember the 80s, either legitimately or via VH1, I feel really bad for you. Because, quite frankly, the 1980s produced some of the greatest songs and musicians in the history of popular music. Of course, for every Madonna, there were about 15 one-hit wonders, but there were also plenty of bands in the middle, who did solid work that still holds up today. Tears for Fears is one of those bands.

While their "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" probably gets more airplay (and not without reason), I'm more a fan of "Shout." You know that song--the one with the boss percussion that has a video featuring the duo singing by the sea, a bunch of close-ups of instruments, and a group of people (including some rhythmless children) singing along at the end even though they don't belong there at all. Really, it's a terrible--and terribly 80s--video. Luckily, the video will probably not outlast the song itself.

And that's awesome, because the song is so much better than that. It tells a great tale of teenage angst, if you want to look at it that way, or if you're feeling very grown up, a protest against the class system and adult arrogance. We are told that "you shouldn't have to sell your soul," and also that They (who are never directly identified) have "those one-track minds." Of course, there is also some  (probably emotional) violence perpetrated by the speaker--"and in return you gave them hell" and "I'd really love to break your heart"--but those actions are actually quite understandable.

If you're not looking for a deep analysis of the lyrics, that's fine, too, because "Shout" has a great singalong chorus as well as a good guitar riff and bridge. I recommend checking this one out today if you don't know it and downloading it if you do; either way, you won't regret it.

Buy through Amazon for $0.99.

Photo via VH1.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

We're Having a Baby

As you all know by now if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, there's a baby on the way. Not mine, thank God--I have enough on my plate as it is. But my future niece or nephew is very much on my mind, partly because we're starting to work on plans for the baby shower. And since my brother let me help name his Rottweiler two years ago, I'm kind of hoping that he'll ask me to do the same for the baby. (Clearly those two things are not on the same level as each other, but a girl can dream, all right?) 

You see, the thing is, I LOVE baby name books. No joke. I own one that I use for my fiction writing, and it is pretty spectacular. It's called The Greatest Baby Name Book Ever by Carol McD. Wallace, and it more or less lives up to its name. There are plenty of names listed, with definitions and alternate spellings galore. The names are separated by gender and given in alphabetical order, and many notations are made when names are suitably unisex.

Although this particular book is not very good if you need guidance--it just throws you in--it IS good if you have the time and energy to explore all of your options. I highly recommend it and hope that it will be useful for you!

Buy through Barnes and Noble for $7.19.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lemony Fresh for Late Summer

One of my new favorite blogs is The Cilantropist, who recently adapted a recipe for Lemony White Bean and Tomato Salad with Dill from Bon Appetit, which I then adapted for my own uses.

Here's the situation: I ended up using a regular old white onion, as the red onions at the store that day were way too huge for my purposes. I used garlic from a jar rather than a fresh clove thanks to a bad experience with garlic earlier this year. And I omitted the lemon zest, since I didn't have a whole lemon on hand, which meant that I also used bottled lemon juice rather than just-squeezed. But all in all, the final product was absolutely delicious, and in fact (as the Cilantropist notes), the longer it sat, the better it tasted. And it was good at room temperature as well as chilled. 

I recommend this versatile salad as a good late-summer side dish. It also goes very well with the tuna sandwich I wrote about last week!

Photo via here


People We Covet: Lady Gaga

You all know this already: I love Lady Gaga.

I have a pretty serious problem with what radio stations do to my beloved Gaga. As with other artists, Lady Gaga's songs are sped up a little bit--this saves time, which means that stations can include more programming and (most importantly to them) advertising. Some artists don't suffer from this, usually because their voices are not the greatest instruments ever. But certain artists do take a hit. I've heard people say that they don't understand the appeal of Lady Gaga; usually these people don't think that she is a very good singer. And I blame that on the practice of speeding songs up. In doing this, they alter her voice to the point where she doesn't sound the same as she does on an album or in a live performance, and this is a real disservice to her. I've noticed this effect most prominently in the radio edit of "Alejandro," which totally blows, because, well, that's my favorite song of hers.

But that's really beside the point.

You might be wondering why I love Lady Gaga so much. Well, kids, it's because her songs are pretty awesome (even if they're not the most original ever, they ARE good pop songs), her Fame Monster videos are the shit, and she collaborates with truly talented people. To illustrate each of these points, I give you Exhibit A (a really boss acoustic version of "Paparazzi," live at 95.8, Capital FM Radio), Exhibit B (the glittering dystopia that is "Bad Romance"), and Exhibit C:

(Basically what I'm telling you is that anyone who puts Alexander Skarsgard in front of me in all his Swedish glory is okay in my book.) Plus, while I don't necessarily agree with all of her fashion choices--the heel-less boots come to mind--I do appreciate that she stands by each and every one of her outfits and isn't afraid to be herself.

I understand that some people think Gaga is too over-the-top. And maybe she is. But not any more so than, say, Madonna or even Beethoven (seriously). Besides, she's totally adorable (skip ahead to about 5:17 for the interview portion). So if you're holding out, I highly recommend that you give her a chance today. She's not so bad. I promise.

Lady Gaga photo via LadyGaga.com.

Alexander Skarsgard photo via here.


PS I recently re-watched the video for "Alejandro," and visual references keep coming to mind, even after seeing it about 10 times. Calvin Klein ads, Chicago, Equus, Annie (the movie musical--and here I'm really thinking of Lily St. Regis, Rooster's girlfried), Madonna's "Open Your Heart" video, Metropolis (which, ultimately, can also be attributed to Madonna's "Express Yourself" video, which was mentioned in my first analysis of "Alejandro" and heavily influenced by that same film), Elizabeth, Karl Lagerfeld, Gwen Stefani, Judas Priest (or at least Rob Halford), Swing Kids, and the house mother from the film adaptation of Memoirs of a Geisha (specifically, the way she holds her pipe) are the latest, and I'm sure that there are many more to follow!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hieroglyphic Style

When I was younger, I really loved Egyptian things. So when I found a place that would turn your name into hieroglyphs and make a pendant out of them, like so:

How pretty are those necklaces? I find them to be elegant and intriguing with an exotic flair. Either would be the perfect accent for a little black dress or a power suit. And think of all the conversations that would get started when people see your name in such a pretty way!


PS Since making my post on Jem yesterday, I have found what would appear to be a Jem Choose Your Own Adventure book for sale at Barnes and Noble!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Truly Outrageous

Just in case you ever wondered what some of the formative influences were in my early life, here's a partial list: Pablo Picasso, The Little Mermaid, books, Nancy Kerrigan, the Detroit Tigers, and Inspector Gadget. But chief among these was a little jewel of a terrible animated television series, Jem. Some of you may recall Jem, and maybe even fondly, but probably not so enthusiastically as I do.

For the uninitiated, perhaps we should start with the opening sequence of the show:

Tell me what's not to love about that whole situation. Seriously. The girl has pink hair and a dress that I swear to you I would buy right now if it was for sale. So it's thoroughly 80s. So it's not necessarily the best animation on the block. Not the point. Jem is a freaking fashion genius and even today I still want to be exactly like her. Also, word on the street is that the woman who provided Jem's singing voice, Britta Phillips, is from Michigan, so there may be hope for me yet!

Who did you want to be when you were a kid?


Sunday, August 22, 2010

There's a Monster Here

Although I try very hard to stay a day or two ahead of myself when it comes to writing my blog posts, it occasionally happens that I have to find something to covet at the last minute. Today was one of those days. Luckily, though, Zappos is usually good for times like these, since they sell goods from so many different brands. And so we have another triumph. 

This bag, from See by Chloe, has no name, but it is a huge canvas tote and it comes in a super-awesome teal (called Lunar). And it comes with an illustration, as well, of some kind of monster:

I didn't choose this bag purely for convenience, you see. Ultimately, I chose it because sometimes you need something ridiculous to brighten your day. And since it brought a smile to my face, I think that it might bring one to yours, as well.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Purple Power

From time to time, my culinary experimentation goes awry. There's a simple reason for this: I have no training whatsoever. The simple truth is that I don't even know how to boil an egg (seriously). But I usually fare well, or at least reasonably so. And this time around, I was pleasantly surprised. 

I decided a couple of weeks back that I wanted to try to work with eggplant, figuring that since I'm such a huge fan of eggplant parmigiana, I might like eggplant in other dishes, as well. (Eventually, I would like to work my way up to ratatouille, as I'm also a fan of zucchini, as well as the peppers that are usually included in most ratatouille dishes, but for now, I'm going to have to keep both feet on the ground.) So I realized, with a little help from Martha Stewart, that roasted eggplant was probably the way to go, but I didn't really like the plainness of that recipe, so I wanted to tweak it.

My garlic roasted eggplant recipe is, to say the least, imprecise: I simply mixed an unknown amount of McCormick California Style Garlic Salt with Parsley with a bit of salt (because I forgot that it was garlic salt, not garlic powder) and a bit of extra-virgin olive oil in a bag, then threw some eggplant slices in, shook them up to coat, and threw them on an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet, because if there's only one valuable thing I've ever learned in my kitchen, it's to use aluminum foil when roasting vegetables or baking chicken in the oven. Seriously. 

ANYWAY, throw them in until they start turning brown, and make sure to take them out before they dry up. They're not so bad. I would recommend using the garlic salt and nixing the regular salt (obviously). The temperature and duration will vary based on your equipment; I set mine to 425 and left the eggplant in for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan occasionally, but my oven is about half the size of a normal oven.

I paired the eggplant with Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad Classic. While that was probably not the most beneficial combination, the salad itself is not terrible, although I have to say that it's a little too intense if you serve it straightaway; you might want to refrigerate the finished salad for awhile to take the edge off. (Because specific mixes are proprietary, I can't find a breakdown of the exact spices used, but I can tell you that there seems to be an awful lot of oregano in the dressing.) In the future, I might make a dinner of roasted chicken and eggplant instead.

If anyone has any other (simple) eggplant recipes, I'd love to hear them!


PS If you have a couple of hours on your hands, you might check out the McCormick website in its entirety. If you're any kind of fan of food, you will probably find it to be terribly fascinating.

Espadrille Days

I have a confession to make: I hate Manolo Blahnik shoes. I'm not even kidding. For the most part, they totally turn me off. I simply do not see the appeal. You may recall that I am, however, a big fan of Christian Louboutin's designs. And from time to time, I do find myself drawn to shoes from the other of the Holy Shoe Trinity, Jimmy Choo.

Some of you probably know that Jimmy Choo the man is no longer designing shoes for Jimmy Choo the line (its RTW; he still works on Jimmy Choo Couture). But many Choos still look spectacular. And since I'm desperately trying to hold onto the summer, I thought maybe y'all would like to see one last summer shoe: the Jimmy Choo Patent Leather Wedge Espadrilles.

As far as I'm concerned, there is no shoe more representative of summer than the espadrille. And this one, with its patent leather straps, is perfect for that last trip to the beach or the final cookout of the season. Do you agree?

Buy through Saks Fifth Avenue for $395.00.


Friday, August 20, 2010

(Un)American History

You learn the most fascinating things when you're on vacation. For example, I was in Boston over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, which was pretty awesome, since I got to hear the live broadcast of the Boston Pops' concert on the Esplanade, and the commentary that came along with it was at times banal but occasionally educational, as well. So when the Pops started playing Tchaikovsky's 1812, complete with Howitzer fire, I was surprised to learn that the 1812 is not, in fact, about the War of 1812. Rather, it is about Napoleon's invasion of Russia in that same year (which, of course, makes much more sense, seeing as how Tchaikovsky was Russian). 

In spite of this, the 1812 remains a central feature of many a Fourth of July celebration, and ultimately, I think that it is with good reason. After all, it is an exciting piece of music, especially when the performance is punctuated by cannons. And it is quite beautiful, even with all of its hard edges. Perhaps I'm biased--I absolutely adore certain of Tchaikovsky's works. But I think that most listeners can find something to love in the 1812.

If you aren't familiar with Tchaikovsky's work, I recommend using the 1812 as a starting point, since it combines many of Tchaikovsky's hallmark sounds. Happy listening!

Photo via Wikipedia.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fill In the Blank

There is probably nothing that will spice up a road trip quite like Mad Libs. I'm sure you all remember Mad Libs--you know, the stories have blank spaces so you can fill in your own words and create zany, incongruous tales?

Mad Libs never go out of style. And as you get older, they get funnier, because your vocabulary allows for even zanier combinations. I highly recommend buying yourself some Mad Libs today, because they will certainly brighten a rainy afternoon or boring weekend!

Buy the Original Mad Libs through Barnes and Noble for $3.59.

Photo via Barnes and Noble.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"If that doesn't fill the void, nothing will."

In May, Cate wrote about a book on the matryoshka. I, too, have been fascinated by Russian nesting dolls; I remember there being one, probably of a child-friendly design, in my kindergarten classroom.

Considerably later than kindergarten, I discovered the wonder that is Golden Girls. Old ladies! Old ladies being funny! Old ladies making lewd jokes! Blanche Devereaux, simultaneously a Southern Belle and a brazen hussy! Sophia Petrillo, herself at most a fourth the size of her wit! Rose Nylund, one of the most intelligent inhabitants of St. Olaf! And, of course, Dorothy Zbornak, extremely tall, and the sayer of the title quote.

Never did I imagine that the matryoshka and the Golden Girls could combine to create...this.

That's right. Golden Girls as nesting dolls. Complete with Dorothy as the tallest and Sophia as the smallest.

These fantastic dolls appear not to be for sale, so I only have them in my dreams. Them and and a pony.

Tuna Twist

The tuna sandwiches at Jimmy John's are kind of spectacular. They mix the tuna with celery and onions, which is more or less standard for tuna, but instead of just slapping it on the bread, they make an honest-to-God sandwich out of it, adding sliced tomatoes and cucumbers as well as lettuce and alfalfa sprouts. The end result is delicious, and super-easy to replicate at home. 

My own personal tuna salad is made with StarKist solid white albacore tuna (although I occasionally use chunk light, depending on what's available), Hellmann's mayonnaise (which, as far as I'm concerned, is the only mayonnaise worth using), Mt. Olive dill relish (because I don't like sweet relish), and a little bit of regular yellow mustard (any brand will do). Lately, I've been putting my tuna on sourdough bread, although I normally go for lightly-toasted wheat. And then I streamline the sandwich by adding only the tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts, which still turns out to be very good, and a little easier to manage without so much stuffing. You can pair the sandwich with some okra chips and Orangina for a great, light late-summer lunch.

How do you make your tuna salad?

Check out the Jimmy John's website.


Dorm Decorations

About a month and a half ago, I saw a couple of funny articles online discussing the most overused posters in college dorm rooms. (One was at A.V. Club Austin, the other at College Candy.) Having lived in residence halls and worked in residence life, I can tell you with some amount of certainty that the people who wrote these articles are, in fact, correct. (I think that they also left out a few of the worst offenders. For example, the A.V. article cites Pulp Fiction posters, which are supposed to indicate a love of gratuitous violence, but I would argue that Scarface posters are much more popular and would seem to say the same thing. Neither article mentions Salvador Dali prints, either, but I assure you--they are prevalent. Faux-retro alcohol signs such as this are also popular.) 

So instead of opting for one of these overexposed types, why not try something different? Perhaps a bright print of van Gogh's almond branches instead of Starry Night? Maybe an old-timey depiction of your hometown? A lesser-used image from a classic movie? Your real favorite band, as opposed to the band everyone wants you to like? (Personally, I'm still looking for the perfect Stone Temple Pilots poster.) The possibilities are endless. Really. But choose wisely! Unless you're willing to splurge for new posters every year, you may have to live with them for awhile.

Personally, I had--until very recently--the following posters on my wall: the totally boss Frank Sinatra mugshot; a photo of Marilyn Monroe (if I had to guess, I'd say that about 70 percent of all females living in residence halls have at least one picture of Marilyn Monroe on the wall, and that about 30 to 40 percent  of those have that particular image); a Queen poster, the image on which came from this album; a Pudge Rodriguez poster that I refused to take down even after he left the Tigers for the Yankees (he's now playing for the Nationals); a map of Michigan; this funny poster for personal and aesthetic reasons (it hung over my bed); and the classic "Stairway to Heaven" poster, which was my very first poster in college and was faithful to me through six long years--the four and a half of college and the year and a half afterward. I retired it last month with a tear in my eye but many fond memories.

What posters did you take to college? Which would you recommend?


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Green with Envy

I have found the ring of my dreams: the Tiffany Sparklers Praseolite Cocktail Ring.

No, I'm serious. I absolutely love it. It is simple. It is clean-cut. It makes a refined, grown-up statement. And the stone is the most beautiful pale green, like the eyes of a boy I used to know WAY back in the day, which is comforting, somehow.

Sure, for the price of this ring, I could have a Louis Vuitton Neverfull in Damier Azur, or this totally awesome Burberry tote. But--and, trust me, I can't believe I'm about to say this--handbags come and go. This ring, and really almost anything from Tiffany, is eternal.

Buy through Tiffany for $800.00.


Monday, August 16, 2010

La Araña Discoteca

For those of you who are like me and don't really keep up with current television (I mean, I'm the girl who never saw an episode of Sex and the City until--literally--a year after the first movie came out) but really want to be culturally aware, Hulu is a total godsend. If it wasn't for Hulu, I would never have been able to watch Community, a sitcom on NBC that is about to enter its second season.

This is a show about a community college, which I think resonates with me since I'm still a student. But there's more to it than that. The jokes are funny and the cast is funnier. Danny Pudi is the adorable, sympathetic Abed, living with what would appear to be Asperger's, a much-maligned and misunderstood disorder, and Pudi's portrayal is never disrespectful. Gillian Jacobs is the prickly but lovable Britta. Alison Brie is a formerly-pill-addicted goody two-shoes who's also a real sweetheart. Yvette Nicole Brown is the motherly conscience the others. Chevy Chase is the always politically incorrect but good-hearted Pierce, the oldest of the group. Donald Glover is the (super-cute) semi-dumb jock. John Oliver occasionally appears as a professor, and Ken Jeong is the really completely ridiculous and super-funny Spanish teacher. But the highlight of the show is definitely Joel McHale as the leader of the pack, Jeff.

He is often mistaken for Ryan Seacrest, and he can be insensitive, but he is really the uniting force of the misfit pack of students in his study group--the role model, the older brother, the big man on campus, and the dream boat. And while he tries so very hard to stay above it all, he is really the deepest character of the bunch.And McHale is kind enough to work in tandem with his fellow castmates, never outshining or upstaging them.

Each episode corresponds with a college course: Spanish, criminal law, debate, pottery, and so on. Episode 1.23, "Modern Warfare," is the funniest shit I've seen in a really long time. No, I mean it. I couldn't stop laughing. The send-up of Die Hard particularly killed me, as Die Hard is one of my very favorite movies. I highly recommend watching the first season--or at least what you can catch of it on Hulu--before the second season premieres in September. I guarantee you will find at least something to like about it.

In the meantime, for your viewing pleasure, I've included a video of my favorite moment from the series (so far). Enjoy!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Little Cowboys

As most Americans will tell you, anything British is inherently fascinating. Maybe it's because of the accent. Maybe it's because we're fascinated by the fact that, if only it wasn't for some nasty little dispute, WE COULD HAVE BEEN JUST LIKE THEM. I don't know. Anyway, whatever the reason, I simply adore Cath Kidston, a UK designer with her own chain of stores.

Some of you may recall (because you know me personally or have kept up with this blog) that my sister-in-law is pregnant with my brother's (and, of course, her) first child. So when I saw the Cath Kidston Cowboy Nappy Bag, of course I was thrilled.

We don't actually know what the sex of the baby is--although I'm absolutely convinced that it's going to be a girl--but for the sake of the blog, I wanted to share a male-oriented product, since so many of the things I covet are blatantly girly. And since the Cowboy Nappy Bag has a totally cute and retro cowboy print (what else), the joy of this bag, then, is that it is not only cute for little boys, but also for fathers.

It's shaped like a messenger bag, making it not only more unisex but also easier to carry, and comes with a changing pad and insulated bottle holder, both of which have the same print as the bag. Also, the inside is lined in easy-to-clean PVC, making it the absolute perfect option for moms--and dads--on the go!

Buy through Cath Kidston for 60.00GPB (approximately $95.00).


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Looking for Something New? Try Okra Chips

When I was growing up, my mom would occasionally serve fried okra. My brother loved it, and it grew on me; this was a little unusual, since we lived in the North and fried okra is really a Southern thing, but given our family history (my father is from the South, and  my parents briefly lived in the South when my brother was quite young), it's not so surprising. Years later, when I moved to the South for college, I was terribly excited to find that fried okra was sometimes a menu item in the dining hall at my school. Last week, when I discovered okra chips, I absolutely flipped out.

I was walking through the local Fresh Market last week and saw a bin of uncut okra. When I read the label, I learned that the okra had been fried kind of like a batch of potato chips; traditional fried okra is cut, breaded, and then fried, like a fried mushroom. And it turns out that okra chips taste just like regular fried okra, but with less fat and none of the ooze, which is dried out in the chip-making process. It's the perfect solution for someone like me who is looking to ditch the bad parts of my favorite foods without losing the good parts.

Okra chips make a great snack as well as a good side for sandwiches, barbecue fare, or chicken nuggets, since okra has a good, but not particularly strong, taste that will not overpower the main dish. Try some today!


Drive Me Home

Last time I was at the airport, I saw a woman wearing drivers, and suddenly I knew: these are the shoes I need to be wearing. They're a cross between moccasins and loafers--comfort and prep coming together in perfect congress. If I could afford them, I would probably start a drivers collection with the classic ones that Tod's makes, which are even better because they come in navy, literally allowing you to wear blue suede shoes. Alas, at $475.00 (for flats!), they are utterly out of reach.

But have no fear. I have found four acceptable substitutes, all at between 25 and 40 percent of the cost of the Tod's option. First, we have another suede option, this one brown, from Elie Tahari. The Janine Driver costs $198.00 and has a cute little bow at the front, making it stand out from plain drivers. Next, the Frye Reagan Campus Driver brings in a little bit of sunshine for fall with great colors like Banana and will run you $138.00. Then there's Geox's D Grin 39 in red, which is on sale right now for $125.96 and could brighten up any fall outfit. Lastly we have the Keel in black for $145.00, from the ultimate arbiters of prep, Lacoste.

I think that my personal favorites are the Janine for shape and the Reagan for color. Which do you prefer?


Friday, August 13, 2010

"He Looked Kind of Nice"

There's something about girl groups from the '60s that makes me really happy. The sound, the look--everything is awesome and fascinating. One girl group song stands out to me above all the others, though, maybe because I've liked it since childhood, thanks largely to this:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Adventures in Babysitting changed my life. I so wanted to be Elisabeth Shue, dancing around in that black dress, and I made some serious attempts at recreating her moves. Nowadays, I still love the song, even though I haven't seen the movie in its entirety since I was very young. In fact, it's one of my Top 100.

The lyrics aren't much to scream about. But the song is joyous and lovely in that very Phil Spector way, full of sound and produced to within an inch of its life (which, believe me, is what makes the song worth hearing). And besides--don't we all want to be kissed "in a way that I've never been kissed before"? I think so. And so do the Crystals.

Buy through Amazon for $0.99.


PS To hear something you never thought possible, click here. (Hint: it's a totally unexpected--and quite good--over of the aforementioned song.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Spin Me 'Round

Ann Jonas is a genius of the highest order and I think that you should all find a copy of her book Round Trip right now.

The story itself is not terribly profound--actually, it's just a simple account of how a child has spent his day. However, the book is truly worthwhile because it is one of the more visually stunning things you will ever encounter. This story is told front to back and then back to front by flipping the book over. The illustrations, when viewed front to back/right side up, show a daytime scene--what the narrator sees along the way from his house in the country to the city. Those very same illustrations, when viewed back to front/upside down, show the trip home--at nighttime.

Seriously, it's something that you have to see. The black-and-white illustrations are triumphs of graphic art and are worthy of your time and awe.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Does This Make Me Look Vain?

I want a vanity table. Right now, I don't really have a good place to put one, which is good for my bank account, I'm sure, but I still want one. And I think I might want this one:

The simplicity is fantastic, and the lack of flourishes feels so clean and exactly what a vanity should be: a place to prepare yourself or decompress. The little mirror is in perfect proportion to the table, and the streamlined drawer pulls are sleek. Overall, the whole look is wonderful, and totally my style. Maybe someday I will have to find a way to add this vanity to my new adult bedroom!

Buy through West Elm for $299.00.

Photo via West Elm.


Easy Pizza?

I'm the first to admit that mine is not the most refined of palates. I love Chinese buffets and chain restaurants. Pop-Tarts make me very happy. And take-out pizza is a great pleasure. Unfortunately, neither my bank account nor my body can support very much in the way of take-out pizza. So I have to make my own using store-bought ingredients. And from time to time, I even like to experiment, branching out beyond my usual pineapple-only slices. Last week, I was making faux tomato and spinach pizza.

The inspiration came from slices sold by an Italian food store in the town in which I grew up.* The official name is Roasted Garlic Spinach Pizza, and it is delicious but geographically inaccessible. Of course, that doesn't stop me from craving it! Hence the (largely disastrous but not inedible) experiments.

The ingredients of the pizza are listed thus: extra virgin olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, spinach, onion, mozzarella cheese, and an unidentified mixture of seasonings. All right, that's not so bad. But without the exact recipe at my disposal, it's not easy, either. So I tried various combinations thereof without ever hitting the (really) sweet spot. But for your benefit, I'd like to share the most successful combination: sliced regular tomatoes (on-the-vine), sliced onions, a few pieces of baby spinach, some garlic from a jar (but only because I hate the way my fingers smell after I slice a fresh garlic clove), and mozzarella on sourdough bread if you want a quick, microwaveable option or store-bought pizza dough mix if you want an actual meal.

You can tweak all of the ingredients to your liking, of course, and if anyone has any tips for me, I'd love to hear them!

*Although I would very much like to give credit where it is due, in order to protect my anonymity, I've chosen not to share the name of the store. I hope that all involved will understand and forgive me!

Photo via here.


PS Speaking of Pop-Tarts, click here to read the greatest news a Pop-Tarts girl ever heard.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cool Down

You remember that time I was away on business during what turned out to be the worst part of the summer? Well, it turns out that the biggest room in the complex I was at is on the third floor of a semi-air conditioned building, so on hot days, it's really hard to tell that there's any cool air at all. But the presenters seemed to be fond of folding fans--a more streamlined version of the fans ladies used to use to speak to gentlemen. It's totally brilliant. Since I've been a little bit obsessed with such fans at certain points in my life, and because in the dying days of summer one can never be sure of the weather, I thought that now would be the perfect time to discuss them!

My pick is the wood and green fabric option from A Cool Breeze:

The color is versatile, so it will span all seasons, and the construction is durable, which means that the fan is worth all the money you'll spend on it. This simple, useful accessory is a new must-have for me!

Photo via A Cool Breeze.


Monday, August 9, 2010

"When One Only Remembers to Turn on the Light"

Here's a movie formula for you: take Alan Rickman, with his delicious penchant for diabolical characters; Gary Oldman, whose barely-below-the-surface craziness is tempered by his (usually) quiet delivery; Emma Thompson in a spectacularly over-the-top role; Alfonso Cuaron, whose visual style is absolutely to die for; all sorts of whimsical and fantastical details; and AN EFFING TIME-TURNER; and you have the makings of a classic.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The accuracy of the adaptation is debatable, but given the challenges of translating part of one of the biggest pop-culture phenomenons of our time, I think that the movie is, ultimately, a very admirable piece of work. As far as I'm concerned, it's the first "real" film of the series; the first two, while capturing the spirit of the early books, are really, ultimately, movies for children, both in subject matter and visual style. Starting with Prisoner of Azkaban, though, we get a series that everyone can enjoy without feeling (too) guilty: kids, teens, adults, film buffs, and fans of the books.

Plus, Prisoner of Azkaban works as a transition piece: it is the last Harry Potter film (as of right now) with a happy ending, and it is also the beginning of Harry having something real to fight for--his family, which starts to form  here with the continuing help of Ron and Hermione, increased guidance from the Weasleys, mentoring offered by Lupin, and revelation that he has a godfather. Up until now, Harry only had some vague idea of what it meant to be willing to put your life on the line. Now he knows for sure, and that understanding pushes him toward adulthood and the events of the next films/books. (There is also a spectacular amount of foreshadowing in this film, but I won't go into detail.)

Of course, there are more stunning effects in the later films, such as the dragon chase (Goblet of Fire), the duel between Voldemort and Dumbledore in the Ministry of Magic (Order of the Phoenix), and pretty much every Death Eater entrance/exit (Half-Blood Prince), and both parts of Deathly Hallows are sure to blow our minds, but for now, and maybe for always, I will prefer Prisoner of Azkaban. Which film is your favorite?

Buy through Best Buy for $12.99.

Photo via here.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Time to Hit the Books

Normally, I don't advocate buying utilitarian things (maybe you've noticed?). But since it is almost back-to-school time, I feel that the best use of my covetousness today would be to share with you the most fantastic backpacks in the whole wide world. No, seriously.

I've been using Eddie Bauer backpacks for about a decade now, and I have never once had one fail me. In fact, the one I'm using (only very occasionally) now has been my backpack since I started college six years ago. There's not a single hole anywhere, and even the "worn" spots are really in very good shape. Eddie Bauer backpacks are made of heavy-duty nylon, and they come with plenty of pockets, compartments, and clips for keeping all of your things secure. If you're a student who travels a lot, this is really, truly the place you should look.

Right now, there is a backpack sale on at Eddie Bauer. My recommendation is that you check out the Adventurer model, available in four color schemes. Truly, they will withstand anything at all, including air travel, heavy textbooks, and anything else a college student might encounter.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

It Was the Best Day Ever

Yesterday I went to the small, locally-owned bookshop and spent a hundred dollars. A hundred dollars of other people's money. Because I had gift certificates.

It was basically the best day ever. I have never spent more than maybe twenty or thirty dollars on books at a time. And then it was my money. This time it was everyone else's money. And it was great. I bought four books for my little brother (he just turned sixteen) and two for my mother and three for me. I would have gotten more, and I still have about fifty dollars on my certificates, but I have never had that much money in my book budget. I was addled.

Two of the books I bought were Looking for Alaska by John Green and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

I first learned of John Green by watching YouTube vloggers Sister Salad, when Salad Sister Lizz talked about his latest book Paper Towns. Then I finally got around to watching the Vlog Brothers, of which John is one. The other is Hank Green. If you want to know a secret, I like John's vlogs more. Hank is an eco guy. He's all about being nice to the earth. Which is cool and all, but John Green writes books! Books are what interest me.

Sister Salad was, of course, inspired by the Green brothers. The vlog is run by three sisters: Alexandra, Lizz, and Invisisis. They don't reveal Invisisis's full name or face because she's too young. It's very considerate. The Vlog Brothers are much better about the vlogging than Sister Salad, but that's probably because they engineered the siblings-communicating-through-video thing, and don't have traditional jobs. The sisters have to do things like go to work and school and stuff.

Go to YouTube to watch the Vlog Brothers and Sister Salad.

And buy the books from the nearest locally-owned bookshop.

Best wishes!

Eating Out: Shogun of Racine

At the beginning of the summer, I took a trip to Wisconsin for a wedding and was invited to the bachelorette party. It started at a restaurant, Shogun of Racine.

Shogun is a Japanese steakhouse along the lines of Benihana, where the chefs cook the food on a flat grill right in front of you. That particular night, there were eight of us girls, and I was the only one who didn't order up the "regular" fare; instead, I opted for sushi from Shogun's small bar. And let me tell you, their Philadelphia rolls were a revelation.

Most Philly rolls I've had before consist of smoked salmon, cream cheese, and maybe a bit of cucumber. I've heard that occasionally chefs will add a little bit of chopped green onion to the top. Shogun's Philly rolls have scallions incorporated right into the interior. And the scallions punch up the roll just enough to take it from good to great.

If you're ever in Racine, I recommend checking this place out! Take a look at Shogun's website for more information.


PS This is the first post in a monthly series called Eating Out, which will focus on (what else?) restaurants and my favorite dishes outside my home kitchen. Look for Eating Out on the first Saturday of each month!

As Sensible As I Can Manage

Just so you know, I'm not really the first person you should turn to for advice on sensible shoes. I will point you toward the more outrageous, more glamorous option almost every time, because I like the visual impact of a great pair of shoes. Brian Atwood has made an adorable pair of 5.5-inch heels? Go for it. What's that you say? Alexander McQueen has a lace-up pseudo-bootie with an etched platform? Why aren't you wearing them yet? You fell in love with the Sculpture Lace Pump from Valentino? I hope they take credit, because YOU NEED THOSE.

Okay, well, maybe I would tell you to think twice about the Valentinos. The point is, the higher, the more intricate, the prettier the shoes, I'm all over them. But a girl can't run around in such footwear all the time, right? So here I am to offer a more down-to-earth selection.

Ann Taylor, as a company, has been plagued with a problem or two of late, but we all make mistakes, and I believe in forgiveness (at least to an extent), and so I'm happy to bring you their Corinne Pointy Platform Pump, which is actually not that pointy, like, say, a Stacy London degree of pointy (you What Not to Wear devotees will know what I mean); rather, it is much more subdued and, I think, more attractive. They are black, making them versatile, and they are constructed of lizard-stamped leather, adding some visual interest, so they are in no way staid or boring. Pair them with a nice wrap dress and a few bangles and you're well on your way to looking like a professional, or wear them out at night with a pencil skirt and shiny top for some fun on the town!

Buy through Ann Taylor for $198.


Friday, August 6, 2010

"It's All In Me"

Today we're going to take a walk through the (not-so-distant) past and explore a song from Nelly Furtado that really moves me. While the Portuguese-Canadian singer's musical style has evolved over the years, she is still unmistakeably Nelly, and my first introduction to her, as it was for so many others, was via "I'm like a Bird," the lead single off of her solo debut, Whoa, Nelly! That particular song never spoke to me until years after the fact, but at the time, I was very taken with the second single, "Turn Off the Light," and I still very much love it.

Furtado has an interesting way of putting songs together, and I think that "Turn Off the Light" is a prime example of that. From the opening, with its near-chant-and-chime to the very brief pauses to the little flourishes that abound, everything about the song is interesting, including the lyrics. They tell the story of a girl who is very different than people think, which is not an uncommon tale in itself, but thanks to Furtado's insistent way of delivering the lines, it is elevated to the point where we, the listeners, care.

And, at its core, it is a very affirming song. Furtado sings, "I'm running, I'm running; / Catch up with me, life. [...]Can't you see, why can't you, why can't you see / It's all in me?" She KNOWS it is. By the end of the song, so do we, and we maybe even begin to think that it's all in us, too.

Buy through Amazon for $0.99.

Photo via here.


PS By the way, the "official" music video (as opposed to the less-coherent, unpolished "underground" one), is two parts block party, one part peep show, one part Dagoba--and 100% Sophie Muller, which in this case does not work entirely to Furtado's advantage but is visually interesting, at the very least. Watch it via Vevo on YouTube.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Proposition 8 Overturned

Today was meant to have been book day here at What We Covet, nd I may have mentioned before that I try not to get too political here, but in light of a certain event yesterday, I would very much like to share with you a very important piece of legislation.

On Wednesday, 4 August 2010, United States District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled California Proposition 8 unconstitutional in a federal court. The 136-page decision gives a history of the legal battle and a response to the evidence presented by both sides. Below you will find a selection of important highlights from the ruling.

"The court asked the parties to identify a difference between heterosexuals and homosexuals that the government might fairly need to take into account when crafting legislation. Proponents pointed only to a difference between same-sex couples (who are incapable through sexual intercourse of producing offspring biologically related to both parties) and opposite-sex couples (some of whom are capable through sexual intercourse of producing such offspring). Proponents did not, however, advance any reason why the government may use sexual orientation as a proxy for fertility or why the government may need to take into account fertility when legislating" (121-2).

"All classifications based on sexual orientation appear suspect, as the evidence shows that California would rarely, if ever, have a reason to categorize individuals based on their sexual orientation" (122).

"Proposition 8 cannot withstand any level of scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause, as excluding same-sex couples from marriage is simply not rationally related to a legitimate state interest" (123). 

"Tradition alone, however, cannot form a rational basis for a law. The 'ancient lineage' of a classification does not make it rational. Rather, the state must have an interest apart from the fact of the tradition itself" (124).

"Proposition 8 [...] enshrines in the California Constitution a gender restriction that the evidence shows to be nothing more than an artifact of a foregone notion that men and women fulfill different roles in civic life. The tradition of restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples does not further any state interest. Rather, the evidence shows that Proposition 8 harms the state's interest in equality, because it mandates that men and women be treated differently based only on antiquated and discredited notions of gender" (124). 

"Moreover, the evidence shows that the rights of those opposed to homosexuality or same-sex couples will remain unaffected if the state ceases to enforce Proposition 8. [...] Indeed, proponents presented no reliable evidence that allowing same-sex couples to marry will have any negative effects on society or on the institution of marriage" (126).

"The inability to marry denies same-sex couples the benefits, including stability, attendant to marriage" (128).

"Proposition 8 is not rationally related to an interest in protecting the rights of those opposed to same-sex couples, because, as a matter of law, Proposition 8 does not affect the rights of those opposed to homosexuality or to marriage for couples of the same sex" (130).

"The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples. The evidence fatally undermines any purported state interest in treating couples differently; thus, these interests do not provide a rational basis for supporting Proposition 8" (130-1).

"Many of the purported interests identified by proponents are nothing more than a fear or unarticulated dislike of same-sex couples" (132).


"The evidence at trial regarding the campaign to pass Proposition 8 uncloaks the most likely explanation for its passage: a desire to advance the belief that opposite sex couples are morally superior to same-sex couples" The campaign relied heavily on negative stereotypes about gays and lesbians and focused on protecting children from inchoate threats vaguely associated with gays and lesbians. [...] The evidence shows [...] that  Proposition 8 played on a fear that exposure to homosexuality would turn children into homosexuals and that parents should dread having children who are not heterosexual" (133-4).

"Because Proposition 8 disadvantages gays and lesbians without any rational justification, Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment" (135).

Although the battle is far from over (an appeal is an inevitability), and while the ban on same-sex marriage remains in place for the time being (due to a temporary stay on the ruling), Judge Walker has nevertheless taken an important step to protect the rights of a group who have long suffered discrimination and injury and are finally making headway toward equality. As a bisexual woman with a transgendered best friend and numerous gay and lesbian friends and acquaintances, I cannot begin to say how much I truly appreciate Judge Walker's efforts, as well as the efforts of all those men and women who have come before him and will continue to blaze ahead.

Read the entire decision here.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Welcome to Food We Covet!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is my kitchen:

No, seriously, that's it. Excluding the refrigerator, it is about the size of two and a half linen closets. It consists of a single built-in unit (cabinets with three shelves; a half-sized sink; an electric stovetop with three burners; an electric oven with broken door; an under-sink storage area; and a mini-fridge--on the right side, behind the wooden cart--that is out of commission and in fact has never been opened by me or, as far as I know, the previous tenants). I also have a lovely wooden cart, generously left for me by the couple who lived in my apartment before I did, who are colleagues of mine; it provides much-needed storage for my flatware, utensils, bakeware, and cookware. You cannot see them, but there is a microwave, a toaster, and a coffee maker on top of the cart. And that's it.

This is the place where all of my cooking adventures happen. And I want to share them with you. 

My foci here will be on small dishes suitable for individuals or pairs, as I live alone and rarely need to prepare very much food at once; on imitating (to the best of my abilities) favorite restaurant and family foods; and on simple culinary experimentation. I hope you'll come along for the ride. For the time being, you can expect posts every Wednesday and Saturday. Enjoy!


Redecorating Blues

My redecoration project started out simply enough. All I wanted to do was give myself an adult bedroom. I thought I deserved it. After all, I'd been living like a college student since the age of 18. So I wanted to paint my bedroom, get a new bed, and hang some art on the walls. While I was trying to accomplish those things, though, everything went wrong.

My parents were good enough to come down to North Carolina from their home in Michigan during a pretty hot part of the summer to help me (and by help me, I mean do everything, because I'm totally useless when it comes to redecorating, although it turns out that I'm pretty handy with an Allen wrench). They painted the walls of my bedroom, but the color was wrong, which wasn't anyone's fault, really--it was just about two shades lighter than I expected, and while I definitely don't HATE the color, it will still take me awhile to get used to it. We tried to put my bed together, but a piece was broken, so we had to make a four-hour (round-trip) journey to replace it after I had already made that same trek with my friend Melissa just days before. We got all the way back home to find out that I was missing an essential piece, and my dad almost got into a fight with customer service over it, but the good news is that the part is now on its way to me. My brand-new comforter turned out to be way too big for the bed, but I'm making it work, since I really do like it. My (three-room) apartment was a holy wreck right up until the night before Mom and Dad left. Everything was in the wrong place. My bedroom reeked of paint fumes. There was a spider living in my curtains. I couldn't open my closet door. My new throw blanket hasn't even been shipped yet. I'm still finding packing Styrofoam all over my living room.

But the upshot is that I have a much more mature bedroom now. Of course, there were some logistical problems. The building in which I live is constructed of concrete block and has drop ceilings with hideous tiles, like the kind you see in classrooms. There is a window air unit that makes furniture placement kind of a challenge at times. The floors are institutional tile over slab concrete. It's never going to be the prettiest place. But for right now, it's mine, and while I did have to ask permission from some higher authorities to paint the walls, that, at least, was a relatively painless process. And my room strikes me as more peaceful now that it's been updated.

So what I really want you to take away from my post is this: paint can do amazing things, even when it turns out that the shade isn't what you expected. We used Valspar paint, which was purchased at the local Lowe's. The color I chose is part of the Eddie Bauer Home collection; it's called Stonewashed, # EB42-3. It went onto the walls relatively well, considering the texture; I can only imagine that it would be stellar on drywall.

And if you absolutely need another point to this story, I would have to say that you shouldn't let the troublesome parts of your project get you down. The end result will (probably) be worth the effort.

Explore Valspar at Lowe's.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

That's a Wrap

When I was away on business last month, I noticed several of my colleagues wearing (presumably) faux-pashmina wraps, a defense against the over-zealous AC in some of our conference rooms. Bijoux Terner sells a viscose version in an array of colors for $10.00 each. And while they are not as luxurious as the real thing, they do hold up quite well to abuse. I bought mine at the Monarch gift shop at Detroit-Wayne County Metropolitan Airport (for the record, my favorite airport). Since that time, it has been shuttled back and forth with me and never once looked less than spectacular, even when somewhat wrinkled, making it the perfect option for a traveler.

Unfortunately, Bijoux Terner doesn't sell their items online. However, there is a site called the Pashmina Store that sells true pashminas, as well as blended and printed wraps, in a wide variety of colors. Check them out today if you're looking for the perfect accessory!


PS  Since writing my post yesterday, I discovered this awesome Bill and Ted t-shirt from Snorg Tees. Enjoy!

Also, if you love food, check out my new blog, Food We Covet. I started it to accommodate my recent food obsession. Posts will come about twice a week for now. Thanks for supporting my covetousness!

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Be Excellent to Each Other"

I won't lie. I'm a sucker for many things in this world. One is nostalgia. Another is Abraham Lincoln. Hence the reasons I covet Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure: it combines those two things.

1) Nostalgia
I grew up watching Bill and Ted. And I loved every second of it: the romance between the guys and medieval babes; Napoleon eating a huge bowlful of ice cream; Billy the Kid, Sigmund Freud, and Socrates hitting on girls in the mall; and so on. Every time I stumble across something about George Carlin, I can't help but think of Rufus. And occasionally, I just like to yell, for no truly apparent reason, "San Dimas High School football rules!" It's like the best trip back to childhood ever, which is appropriate, given the time-traveling theme of the film.

2) Abraham Lincoln
Really, just the fact that it's Abe should be enough. And if it's not, consider the following. A) The man is on the penny AND the five-dollar bill. B) He has his own (very beautiful and moving) memorial AND has been immortalized on Mount Rushmore. C) Come on; he's totally adorable. D) Have you read this lately? E) He very eloquently delivers the message of the film: "Be excellent to each other and PARTY ON, DUDES!"

Buy through Best Buy for $5.99.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Neon Details

As you know, I am a fan of L.A.M.B. handbags and, I think, with good reason. So you can expect that I'll write about them quite often. Today, I bring you the Signature Haughton Acid Houndstooth.


There is nothing about this clutch that I don't love. It folds over! It has a classic pattern that has been punched up! It has cute zipper details! And it's on sale! Oh, Gwen Stefani, how you make my heart flutter. If only I didn't have too many clutches that I don't use often enough, I would have ordered this one already.

Buy through Zappos for $126.65.

Photo: Zappos.


PS Speaking of handbags, I am hardcore regretting not buying the Rebecca Minkoff Easy Rider Devote Tote when I found it on sale. Why? Because 1) the white version is really, truly beautiful and 2) I KNOW I'm never going to find that kind of a deal on a handbag ever again. For as long as I live. Seriously.