Monday, March 31, 2008

There are lots of advantages to a virtual Spring Break

Down in the dumps because you feel like you are the only one not on a Spring Break vacation this week? Think of all of the bad things that you get to miss; leg cramps and contagious viruses on the plane, heart palpitations as you fill up your gas tank, fighting among travel companions, getting lost, etc. Plus, you're workload might be a little lighter since so many people are off of work. So, take a gander at some of our favorite webcams and enjoy a little desktop getaway without having your luggage get lost or getting stuck in the middle seat. we particularly like the Duval St. cam on this page ah, the soothing sounds of bustling traffic in Times Square
The earthcam network has lots of other cams too, everywhere from Cancun to San Francisco.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Women on the Web

You'll hear women of a certain age say that they start to feel "invisible" to society. There is no doubt that we have a youth focused culture and it seems that the ladies really feel that. There is wisdom to be gained from these ladies and the years generally give them a wonderful perspective and a clarity of who they are and what is important. Wouldn't you like to be in a coffee klatch with Candice Bergen, Lily Tomlin, Liz Smith, Marlo Thomas, Lesley Stahl, and many other accomplished women authors and CEOs? It is as easy as going to the recently launched The blog is a fun read and it is so nice to check in with these vibrant women who make us look forward to getting older.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Stroganoff recipe

We're not vegetarians but each year, for various reasons, we get a little closer to it. Our latest recipe makeover was Beef Stroganoff, which we never had with beef since we gave up red meat years ago, but we used to make with ground turkey. We have discovered that it is just as delicious substituting mushrooms for meat and we thought we'd share.

You'll need:
2 packets McCormick's Stroganoff mix (any brand if fine- this is just what we have found)
3/4 package Ronzoni Healthy Harvest extra wide noodle style pasta (we like this because it is a whole wheat blend pasta- we find it at Kroger)
1 12oz. package sliced button mushrooms
1 12 oz package sliced portabello mushrooms
3/4 cup skim milk
1 1/2 tsp light cream cheese
grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Mix 2 cups water w/2 packets of sauce mix in a large skillet.
  2. Add 3/4 cup of skim milk, 1 1/2 tsp. of light cream cheese and bring to boil. Whisk the mixture periodically. Add pepper to taste.
  3. Reduce heat.
  4. Add all of the mushrooms, simmer until mushrooms soften.
  5. In a separate pot, boil noodles until al dente (around 6 minutes).
  6. Put noodles in a bowl. Ladle mushroom mixture over them. Added grated Parmesan or the tasty 3 Cheese Blend sold under the Premium Selection name at Kroger (that is our new favorite for this).

It's quick, easy, healthy and makes a lot! Plus, it is almost even better the next day. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Customized clothes

It is great how easy it is nowadays to get clothes with what you want printed on them. There is that method where you can make your own iron on with just your computer, a printer, and the special transfer sheet that you can buy at the office supply store but we never had great luck with that. Our latest try was with the Customized Girl website at We found them through a simple Google search for a customized organic onesie (because, big surprise, there evidently isn't a big enough demand to mass market onesies with Anais Nin quotes). Their site was so easy to navigate letting us choose between lots of fonts and spacing the words out on our piece. We are very pleased with the above result and we think it will make a great gift. We also think the grand total of $23.22 is a pretty good price for it and worth the money considering how much better it looks than if we would have tried to do it ourselves.

Hello Kitty at the IMA

Just a quick note if you are looking for something to do tonight. The Indianapolis Art Museum is having a free lecture about Hello Kitty (we love her)! It's actually about her effective branding by the Sanrio company and is given by Ken Belson who wrote Hello Kitty: The Global Brand with Nine Lives. The lecture is from 6:30PM- 7:30PM with a book signing and raffle of Sanrio goodies from 7:30PM- 8:30PM.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tea's Me

It's almost an embarrassment of riches that we have 2 fabulous tea houses in Indianapolis. Yes, we know that there are even more places that do a tea service, but these are spots that we feel like cool urbanites in, not like we're in the middle of a Beatrix Potter illustration. We've raved about International Tea and Coffee so we need to give equal time to Tea's Me. We go way back with Tea's Me Cafe. For a brief time, they had a tiny spot in the Fashion Mall that provided a much appreciated respite from the bustle of the mall. For awhile now they have been in a wonderful space in the absolutely charming Fall Creek neighborhood. You can't help but be impressed by the beauty of the cafe as soon as you walk inside. The gorgeous wood matched with the yellow walls creates a stunning interior. There is a TV and there are magazines to peruse if you wish. It is usually hopping when we are there and there are frequently groups of people seeming to have important meetings-even on Saturdays. They have a huge variety of tea and a nice variety of food too. You can check out the tea and food menus on their website at We love that we get our own pretty colored pot of tea and a clear cup with a saucer so we can admire the color of the tea. We love that the owner checked in with us to make sure we were enjoying our tea and apologized because there was a slight wait since the place was so busy. In short, we love Tea's Me. We only wish that we lived closer to it since we don't get there as often as we'd liked. Those adorable Fall Creek houses are looking more and more inviting...

Teas Me Cafe & Gifts on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Have Mercy Gnarls Barkley

As you may or may have not known, a new Gnarls Barkley CD came out last week. We really weren't intending to buy it and the only thing we really knew about them was that we liked the song "Crazy" that was popular awhile back. However, one thing led to another (as tends to happen on iTunes), and we started listening to the samples of songs. We liked the first song we selected, we liked the next, and the next, and by that point, it was more financially savvy to buy the whole darn thing. This is good stuff. We'll take artists any day who take chances to be original. While they seem to have both feet firmly planted in the present, there is a nod to the past and its funk/soul predecessors. The first several songs are really catchy so, if you are trying to get motivated to get back into the cardio swing of things with the arrival of spring, you'd be wise to download some or all of these into your iPod. Our only complaint is that it is too short, coming in at around 40 minutes.
Here's a shout out to the post office for speedy work. We already received our free card that we told you about last week and it is lovely. Sure enough, it came with a stamped envelope. The offer ends on March 31st.

Monday, March 24, 2008

So you think you can watch dance?

Look, you couldn't fill up a ballet slipper with what we know about the art of dance. We know that Martha Graham is a big deal but we aren't really sure why. We know that we loved it when Ballet Internationale sent us free season tickets as part of a promotion a few years ago and we were bummed when they dissolved. However, mention Edith Piaf, Toulouse-Lautrec, and 2 for 1 tickets and we are there! Finding ourselves with no Easter obligations, we checked out Dance Kaleidoscope's The French Connection at the Indiana Repertory Theatre.
We are admittedly frugal so a big motivator for us getting out was our Indy Arts card. If you don't have one of these already, you really should sign up for one at It is free and you get emails so you know what is going on and what discounts are available for cardholders. So, we got 2 tickets for The French Connection for $34- we love that!

Now, we don't want to rave too much about the production since Sunday was the last performance and, if you missed it, you are out of luck. However, you can learn a lesson in this and be more watchful about upcoming Dance Kaleidoscope productions. Being more used to Broadway style shows, opera, and the ballet, we went in expecting that the whole show was going to be very Edith Piaf and Moulin Rouge intensive. It was not. However, the first 2 dances were absolutely lovely. Compared to other types of shows, it goes very quickly. There was already an intermission after the second dance which we appreciated since it is always nice to stretch the legs periodically. Then came the big draw, the number with the beautiful costumes, the Piaf music, and 1890s Paris. It was so lively, so gorgeous, and so graceful. There was one more intermission and then a last dance that was stripped down to simple white costumes and artistry. The whole show came in slightly under 2 hours. C'mon, it is Indiana in March; almost everything still looks dead and the sun is usually MIA. It is so worth it to seek out beauty like the Dance Kaleidoscope gave us.

Now for a few words about the venue. Shame on us, this was the first time that we have seen anything at the Indiana Repertory Theatre; although we have admired the facade for years. It was more intimate than we expected. Not that it is Theatre on the Square tiny, but it is not Murat massive either. It was actually pretty perfect. We enjoyed a great view from the balcony. We really appreciated that bottled water was allowed in the auditorium. They offer stronger libations but you have to consume those in the lobby during the intermissions. We sincerely hope that the small crowd was due to the fact that it was a holiday. The Circle Centre Mall parking lot was extremely convenient and extremely affordable at $1.50 since we were there less than 3 hours. We will seek other shows out that come to the IRT now that we know what a nifty theatre they have.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

New REM streaming

Starting tomorrow, March 24th, will start streaming the new REM album, Accelerate, for free and in its entirety, a week before the album's April 1st release date. While we aren't familiar with the website, it might be worth checking out since REM is one of the very few artists from the 1980s that we can still stand to listen to.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wouldn't the kiddies like to be published authors?

The people at can make it happen in a quite attractive way. The professional illustrations act as a launching pad for your child's imagination. The little ones create a story to go with the pictures and can write it in a softcover workbook or, turn it into a custom hardcover book- complete with their "author's photo" on the back! That is pretty cool for $29.95. Hmm, I wonder if they'd mind a grown-ups submission?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Foodie? Aspiring Foodie? Just want to sound impressive to foodie friends?

Well, it is as easy as listening to a very enjoyable radio show out of New York City. Mike Colameco presents the very informative and entertaining show, Food Talk, for an hour on weekdays and 2 hours on Sundays. Thanks to him, we now not only know how to pronounce charcuterie but we know what it is (warning: sweetbreads are not what they sound like) and we know that the hip place to get it in New York City is Bar Boulud. Sure, the show can sometimes get a bit New York-centric but, if you have a trip coming up there, what a great resource for where the locals are eating. If you don't have a trip planned for NYC, why not? What a great city. Anyway, the Sunday show is a national show he takes that into consideration. He also has themes for each day. Monday his guest is usually a food writer, On Tuesdays it is usually a chef, Wednesdays are baking days and a pastry chef usually joins him, Thursdays are wine days with a sommelier or other wine expert, and Fridays are restaurant days. He will spark your enthusiasm for cooking and using fresh ingredients. He also has great bumper music and sometimes waxes poetic about great guitarists. The really fabulous thing is, you can listen to his show on your own timetable. His home station, WOR, has a really nice website where you can listen live, listen via iTunes, or go back into the Audio Archive and play the show on your computer when it is a good time for you. Bon Appetit!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Need a quick/healthy/tasty pancake for Easter Brunch?

You don't have to reserve these tasty pancakes just for Easter but, since it is so near, we thought we'd bring them to your attention for your brunch menu planning or for a great mate for leftover ham. Bruce's sweet potato pancake mix just outright rocks. The pancakes are so delicious and we just scarf them down with impunity because they are certified by the American Heart Association. That's right, they meet the AHA's criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol for healthy people over age 2. Who-hoo!!! Not to mention they are super easy to make. All you do is whisk in water and slap them on a lightly oiled griddle. There is also a recipe on the bag for sweet potato muffins which look yummy but we haven't tried those yet. For those, you do add an egg and milk and you could get really decadent and add pecans or blueberries- oh my. We pick this mix up at our local Meijer for a mere $1.89 in the cereal aisle.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bakehouse in Broad Ripple

In our excitement over the nearness of spring, we often find ourselves walking the trek from Nora to Broad Ripple via the Monon Trail. Since the walk is not a short one, sustenance is, of course, a part of the walk ritual. The Scholars Inn Bakehouse faithfully and dependably provides that. The Bakehouse is a warm, comfy place that invites crowds to gather and chat over food, or, if you are alone, they have flat screen TVs so you can watch the news (or pretend to, and people watch).
This past weekend, we punctuated our walk with a Bakehouse visit, and saw new additions to the beloved sandwich family. We ordered the Sweet Bay Ham sandwich. Since the sandwiches can be kind of large, we ordered the 1/2 sandwich. Chips or pretzels come as a side. The Sweet Bay is special indeed. It is served on rosemary olive bread (which is a treat all by itself) and has layers of ham, provolone cheese, greens, Sweet Bay mustard and slices of tart green apple. The tangy apple provided the perfect little crunch for the sandwich. The 1/2 sandwich and chips are filling enough, and if you still have a hollow spot, the Bakehouse dessert counter is the perfect place to fill it. Their coffee/tea/soda area is self serve, so be sure to rehydrate before you hit the trail for the walk home.
Also, their website has greatly improved since the last time we visited it, which has probably been awhile. Their menu is now online in case you are trying to avoid that "deer caught in the headlights" look when you walk in and are overcome by the huge menu posted behind the counter.

Scholars Inn Bakehouse on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Free card!

Although we love the convenience of email, who doesn't still love getting regular mail? Think of how nice it is when you go to the mailbox and there is something personal mixed in with the bills and the catalogs. Well HBO and the Post Office are making it really easy for you to make some one's day and let them know that you were thinking of them. Just go to and click the box that reads "customize and send a free John Adams greeting card". You can choose the card design that you like, choose the quote for the front, then even choose to add photos to the inside. When we tried it this morning, the customizing portion was slow but hang in there. Eventually, you'll get through it and even have an opportunity to win a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. This offer is good until March 31st and is limited to one per customer. You will receive not only a free card but also the postage is included. Certainly you can think of someone who'd like to hear from you?

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Baldrick's update

Last week, we raved about the St. Baldrick's Foundation that raises awareness and funds to cure kid's cancer by supporting research and fellowships. Not knowing anyone personally involved, we checked out the locals who were raising money to shave their heads on the website We found Connor who was recently diagnosed with alopecia which was causing his hair to fall out, so he could really relate to the cancer patients who lose their hair. St. Baldrick's has a great website so we were easily able to donate online. Connor had already reached his goal amount- and then some. His goal amount was $500 and he raised $1626. His dad, Greg, made a side bet with him that if he made it to $1500 he would shave his head too. So, this past weekend, they both got shaved. There are more shaving events through the end of the month in Indiana, and even one in May in Elkhart so check out the website and see whose fundraising efforts you can help. You look great Connor and Greg- we are inspired!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cafe Petite Chou

I love French food. There, I said it. You can't find it easily in America, so when you do, you have to go and try it.

Cafe' Petite Chou, located in Broad Ripple on Westfield Blvd, is a sister restaurant of Patachou, the Indianapolis restaurant known for their excellent breakfasts and more.
We went to Petite Chou for lunch on a busy Saturday, the restaurant is small and, due to the popularity, crowded. You enter the restaurant, and since there is virtually no wasted space, you wait in the doorway with the other parties waiting for their table. You feel in the way of people wanting to enter and exit, because you are. The day was chilly and blustery, so the outdoor seating wasn't an option. The restaurant has a European feel to it, where people linger and chat long after their meal, which seems nice in a Hemingway novel, but the reality is, the person waiting would really like you to give up the table.
We were seated shortly, though. The table was high, and the stools were backless and hard. The table could easily accommodate 6 people. And, of course, 4 other people were ushered to our table. It had a Benihana-like feel. If you don't like the noise and conversation fragments of other people, this may not be a place for you. Everyone is in extremely close quarters, and everyone is chatting. The chef is in view of the diners (again, no wasted space) and there was were just a few hooks by the front door for coats and umbrellas. We had and extra stool were were using to hold these, but the hostess had to take it for other diners, as they were seating diners at tables that looked like they couldn't possibly accommodate them.
As for the food, the tomato artichoke soup was served in a cup, steam was rising from it in a very pleasing way. A large crouton was inserted in the side of the cup and a generous amount of cheese topped it. A chicken crepe followed it, this was very tasty too. The combination of chicken, asparagus and mushrooms were seasoned perfectly and were the perfect filling for this delicate little pancake. The Croque Monsieur was also very good. The Croque was originally French peasant food, but has evolved over the years. It is basically a French ham and cheese sandwich. The ham was thick, and the bechamel sauce that adorned it was as good as any I've had. It was topped with melted Gruyere cheese. The only negative I would say, is maybe this dish doesn't need the signature Patachou "thick bread", and they might have been a little heavy handed with the Dijon. It was still very tasty, however, and easier than flying to France for lunch. Both the crepe and the sandwich were served with field greens covered with an incredibly delicate vinaigrette.
The service was cordial, but they were incredibly rushed. If you demand attention, don't go during peak times. The server would come by and promise drink refills, which didn't come. But the coffee and water were within reach, so we refilled waters for the table.
The food was splendid, and the service wasn't awful (As I said, they were incredibly busy when we dined). I would definitely return on a spring or fall day (when the outdoor seating is available).

Cafe Patachou on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 15, 2008

If you find yourself hungry in the Ft. Wayne area

A good vege burger is hard to find so, whenever we find ourselves up north, we try to make it to what we still call Munchie's but is also now known as the Mad Anthony Brewing Company at Broadway and Taylor St. in Fort Wayne, IN The menu is expansive and the atmosphere is casual and originial. They were putting interesting things on their walls way before chain restaurants thought of it. It's also fun to check out the ceiling where, back in the day, drinking 12 Heinekens brought you the immortality of having your name painted on it. Their menu has a lot to offer but, we have a hard time ordering anything other than the black and bleu vege burger when we are there. With the treacherous driving weather hopefully behind us now, take a day trip there. Then, you can walk it off at nearby Foster Park.

Munchie Emporium on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 14, 2008

Attention Yogis and Yoginis- Rolf Gates coming to Louisville

If you caught Rolf Gates in Indy in December and need another fix or, if you missed him then, the closest that his website shows him coming back to this area this year is in Louisville on April 4th-6th at That is a convenient day trip and you can just do one session instead of the whole weekend if you don't want to spend the night. Who is Rolf Gates? He is a very inspiring yoga teacher and author of "Meditations from the Mat" which covers everything beyond the physical aspects of yoga poses. It is a great read for someone looking for a spiritual lift even if they don't practice yoga (yet). It's written as daily readings so it is a nice daily dose of zen that you easily can find time to read. Rolf has quite an interesting history of being a military man and a recovering alcoholic so you get the sense that he has really been through it and come out the other side. He was recommended to me by one of my favorite yoga teachers, Gina at Invoke ( so that it how I came to learn about him. Check out the Louisville workshop or take a look at his book.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Welcome Friend- Patties of Jamaica

This little local gem, located at 5172 Allisonville Road ( the AAA is in this little strip), is a dirt cheap ,tasty mini vacation. It's small, unassuming and dynamite. There is a sign on the door that says "Welcome Friend" and you can usually expect the same greeting when you enter. The menu is small, like the restaurant ( there are a few small tables, but most food gets carried out)
I had the Goat Stew with Rice, it was a flavorful curry broth with large chunks of goat and potatoes (the food is so fresh, you will find a bone or two in your goat, no processed meat here). The stew was seasoned perfectly, spicy, yet not hot. I almost regretted eating it, since it would have been a treat to just smell it all day. The real stars here are the patties, large empanada-like dough pockets (the crust is so golden and flaky) filled with a meat/onion/spice combo that is so good, they have a refrigerated case of them so, if you are a true junkie, you can buy a whole bag and cook them as you need them.
The food is inexpensive (stew is $3.75, the rice, and extra 60 cents, and patties are a budget saving $1.10 each), the service is super cordial, you feel welcomed and at home throughout your stay. And you get to keep our community diverse and funky. Instead of hitting the McDonalds Dollar menu, grab yourself a pattie. You will be glad you did.

Patties of Jamaica on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Set your Tivo, DVR, or VCR to "Sweet Smell"

So much of what advertisers and the entertainment industry produced in the 1950s was so idyllic (think Life magazine ads with the perfect clean cut family standing by their new Chevrolet or shows of the Leave It To Beaver or Father Knows Best ilk) that, when you get a glimpse of the decade's grittier side, it is especially delicious. The 1957 movie Sweet Smell of Success (airing at 4:15AM on Thursday, March 13th is one such tasty morsel. Burt Lancaster is JJ Hunsecker, a Walter Winchell-esque columnist and Tony Curtis is Sidney Falco, an ambitious (to put it mildly) publicity man. I won't give you the plot synopsis, as you can get that at, and I won't write a lengthy review, since much more savvy film scholars already have and are easily Googled. I will tell you that both of the lead actors are fascinating to watch (that's right, even Tony Curtis!) and, as a lover of New York City, the location shots of 1950s Manhattan are worth viewing the film alone. The characters take us with them to visit the smoky 21 Club and Toot's Shores. If you think that the cruelty of the tabloids is a recent phenomenon, this movie will be an eye opener for you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

St. Baldrick

Racking your brain trying to remember this Saint? Let's see, is this the one that I am supposed to bury a statue of in my front yard to get my house to sell? Is it the patron saint of lost causes that Sean Connery believed in during The Untouchables? No, it is a made up saint for a good cause. This is a foundation that has created the world's largest volunteer driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research. As St. Patty's Day nears, so does the time that "shavees" will shave their heads to raise money and show support for kids battling cancer. Do you have to bid adieu to your hair to help? Not at all. You can help not only by being a shavee, but also by being a barber, organizing an event, volunteering, or donating. These events are happening all over the country so check out the website and see what is near you. Most are around St. Patrick's Day but dates vary. Locally, we have events at the 96th St. Claddaugh (c'mon, you don't need an excuse to go there, do you?) and Pat Flynn's at 5198 Allisonville Rd. among others. You can even check out pictures of some of the brave souls who are going to get their heads shaved and how much they have raised so far. So, this year, maybe go watch and donate and, next year, maybe shave it all off yourself.

Monday, March 10, 2008

We heart Redbox!

Does it get any better for the frugal movie lover than Redbox? These are those red movie rental vending type machines that you may have seen at Marsh or McDonald's in the Indianapolis area. They are all over the country and you just type in your zip code on their website to see where they are set up in your area. Sure, the selection is limited but what a great way to catch mainstream new releases (sometimes you can even catch a more artsy film as we recently did with Paris, Je T'aime). Swipe your credit card and they will email you confirmation and, when you return it, they will email you again with your total charge. If you get it returned by 9PM the next night, it is $1. If you need to keep it another night, it is just another $1. You can return it to any Redbox so, rent it in Indy to watch on a flight and return it in Atlanta, GA. You can type in your zip code to see what titles the closest machines to you carry as they vary slightly from machine to machine. We checked for Into the Wild this weekend and found out that it was at our usual machine but it was out when we got there. We now know if you have a specific title that you really want, you can guarantee that it is waiting at the Box for you by initiating an online rental on their website. Wow! Also, newbies can go to their site, type in their email address and get a promotional code for a free movie. How exactly is Blockbuster still in business?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Thai Taste- Castleton

I had just finished shopping at Trader Joes and was ready to get some Indian carryout for our dinner and a movie night. Taj of India is one of my faves for that, but much to my dismay, my timing was off...way off. It was a mere 4:15, and my old friend Taj doesn't open until 5pm. What to do? Wait in Castleton while my Trader Joes perishables go bad? Nope, I stepped into Thai Taste. (5353 E.82nd Street, in the Trader Joes strip mall area).

I had not been there before, so I wasn't feeling risky, so I ordered Shrimp Pad Thai (#50 on the menu) and a chicken dish, the name escapes me, but it was #54 or #55 on the menu. The tab came to a little over $20.

I got the styrofoam containers home and opened them, the pad thai smell was overwhelming (in a good way). The pad thai was spot on, with just the right amount of shrimp, the tasty rice noodles covered in the nutty sauce did not disappoint. The chicken dish was tasty and peppery, with plenty of broccoli, woodears and water chestnuts. I swear, the noodle in that dish was plain old ramen noodles, but if I could make them that good, I would open a restaurant too.

Much to my delight, our to go bag had all the things necessary- plastic utensils, paper napkins and 2 perfect almond cookies. The cookies were a complete surprise and a perfect finish for the meal.

The servings were generous, so lunch the next day was taken care of.

If you can't get Indian food on a cold winter day, Thai is a pretty good substitute.

Thai Taste on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Friday Night the chopping block?

Time to do your favorite football celebration dance, one of the best shows the networks think no one watches (Jericho is in there too) may get a reprieve. If the rumors at are true, it looks like a season 3 is going to happen. NBC shopped for, and found, a partner to share with the costs and found it in the unlikeliest of places.....Direct TV. When the deal goes down, Direct TV may get to run the season before NBC, but that is OK. I can bide my time by watching the original movie, season 1 and season 2 on DVD. All available on Netflix.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.

On a sadder note, David Edwards, who was paralyzed in a 2003 game and was the inspiration for the Jason Street character in the series, has died of pneumonia at the age of 20.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Girly guilty pleasures

OK, sometimes I feel like a cliche (which is my least favorite thing to feel like) when, as a Sex and the City fan, I go to New York and see all of the other Midwestern tourist ladies visiting locations from the series (Magnolia Bakery, Carrie's stoop on Perry St.) and shopping for faux designer purses on Canal St. The phenomenon has only gotten bigger since the show ended because so many more people see it now on TBS and other channels. However, despite the fact there will be even too much estrogen for this girl in the theater, I can't help but to be really excited about the upcoming movie. I'm nervous about their transition to the big screen and nervous about where they are taking these girls' lives, but this trailer looks promising. It's so nice to see Mario Cantone again!

Second guilty pleasure, a new dance album from Madonna to be released on April 29th called Hard Candy (does she know The Counting Crows already have a great album with that title?). Anyway, despite Warner Brothers best efforts, you can usually find the first single, 4 Minutes, somewhere on You Tube before they block it. One that worked this morning was You might find it catchy or you might find it grating but, as someone who has been evolving with her since the 80s, I am usually rooting her on.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Energy Bar- DIY or Custom Made

We bring to your attention 2 options for healthy energy bar type snacks and which one appeals to you most depends on whether you are a "do-it-yourselfer", who likes to be involved in the process of things and feel the sense of accomplishment afterwards, or the "I don't want to have what everyone else does, customize my purchases for me" person. For the "do-it-yourselfer", Women's Health magazine printed a great recipe from the company that makes Chunks of Energy snacks ( We can say from experience that these are delicious and the healthy carob completely controls our chocolate cravings.

1 cup honey

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup carob powder

1 cup sesame seeds

1 cup sunflower seeds

  1. Heat honey until warm, then add peanut butter slowly, until just mixable.

  2. Stir in remaining ingredients and press into oiled 8-by-8-inch pan.

  3. Chill for 1 hour. Cut into 25 small squares. Keep in fridge for up to 1 month; freeze indefinitely.

As easy as that recipe is (the hardest part is finding carob powder, which we get at Wild Oats), if you'd rather have someone else do it, but to your specifications, check out where you can build-a-bar from their lists of ingredient options. The minimum order is a box of 12 and that costs $40 which is a little pricey but you also get to name your bar. Wouldn't that be impressive to hand to your friend after your next mini-marathon training run?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The art of shopping

Coinciding with the new exhibit at the IMA, Contemporary Fashion from the Permanent Collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Saks Fifth Avenue, who is sponsoring the exhibit, is also generously offering their shoppers a big incentive to make a purchase on Thursday, March 13th from 10AM to 9PM. Saks at Keystone at the Crossing will give each shopper an electronic gift card in return for their purchase. The gift cards will range in value from $25 to $450. Saks will contribute a portion of their sales to the museum during this customer event. We aren't generally Saks shoppers but this tempts even us to find a trinket to purchase there that day. The exhibit sounds like one not to miss and runs from March 16th - June 1st, 2008.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Enjoy the Fashion Mall buffet (but buy some cheaper tea)

You might already be aware that you can generally nosh your way through the Fashion Mall at Keystone at the Crossing. There is always a dip for sampling at The Cheese Shop, there are frequently samples at Williams Sonoma (if nothing else they have their bread cubes and oils). However, you might have missed the amazing tea at Aveda (because why would you check Aveda for a beverage??). We were treated to a sample on a recent trip there and not only was it delicious but we both swore that we felt very mellow after consuming it. They do say, after all, that it is calming to the senses and promotes a sense of well-being. We decided we needed to buy some despite the exorbitant price (a box of 20 teabags is $14, $24 for a bottle of loose leaf).

Not too long after discovering it, we also purchased a box of Yogi Tea's Mexican Sweet Chili and we found it to taste pretty similar to the Aveda tea. It doesn't have the peppermint but it does have the tasty licorice root and, ringing up at under $5, we feel like it doesn't have to be a special occasion to drink it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

American Greetings contest

So, you roll your eyes when you read the lame greeting cards at the store, right? Well, sharpen your wits and check out this caption contest from American Greetings You have until May 11th, 2008 to come up with a clever caption and you could win $1000 and the honor of having them publish your card.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The risks far outweigh the benefits here...

What am I talking about? Nuclear power? Global warming? No, far more insidious than that. I am talking about the literary dead zone where a studio is so bereft of ideas, they make a movie based on a TV series. Since "Get Smart" is due out soon and "Dallas" is in production, I thought I would run down some stinkers, clinkers and a few that work on some level.

Dragnet (1987)- Playing the Joe Friday role for comedy was ill advised for Dan Ackroyd, and Tom Hanks as the wacky partner? Did this film work for anyone?

Wild Wild West (1999)- Everyone loves Will Smith, but wouldn't George Clooney have been a better Jim West- again, although Wild Wild West was never a straight up drama- too many futile attempts to be funny. A little bit of real danger and drama would have been nice.

Maverick (1994)- I can't imagine why this film didn't work, the cast was there, but the writing was so abysmal, Jodie Foster seemed to be embarrassed in this film.

Dukes of Hazzard (2005)- Awful film, but it was meant to be awful. Just not that awful.

My Favorite Martian (1999)- Christopher Lloyd is no Ray Walston

Beverly Hillbillies (1993)- With Jim Varney as Jed, it would have been a better films if it was yet another "Ernest" film.

Now, quickly, a few that worked for me..a little. Starsky and Hutch (Snoop Dogg saves the day as Huggy Bear), Addams Family (Raul Julia was the perfect big screen Gomez), Charlies Angels ( I liked them, and I dont know why)

Now, the ones that actually worked for me...a lot. Mission Impossible ( a few things I could live without, but not bad). Twin Peaks-Fire Walk with Me (a good way to fill out a story of a cancelled series). X-Files (more of an extra episode, rather than a resurrection). The Fugitive (better than the series, in my opinion), and the great grandaddy of them all...........Star Trek (some nearly awful films, but it's kind of like a drug addict scoring product, it may not have been the quality you wanted, but you won't turn it down).