Monday, February 28, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 28th, 2011

Free Sprinkles Cupcakes!

Woohoo- great news brought to you by DC food blogger metrocurean:

Sprinkles Cupcakes, slated to open its DC shop in Georgetown on March 3rd, will be driving around DC beginning February 28th, giving away free cupcakes!

Since I've already had Sprinkles before, I already know that they are good but can't beat Georgetown Cupcake in my book.  But HELLO- FREE CUPCAKES! Of course I'm going to be stalking them.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 25th, 2011

Lady Gaga + Pittsburgh!

This weekend I'll be heading out to Pittsburgh for a fun weekend of friends, food, and of course, LADY GAGA LIVE!!! WOO! 

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend and play "Born This Way" a few times to get into the spirit ;o)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 24th, 2011

Martha Stewart's Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a huge fan of cream cheese in baked goods - brownies, cupcake frosting, cake frosting, etc.  That being said, it was only a matter of time before I'd try out Martha Stewart's cream cheese swirl blondies- yum!  This is another recipe from the Martha Stewart Cookies book, which I am slowly making my way through.

Mise en place

The great thing about blondies is that the ingredients are pretty much items that any semi-regular baker would have on hand.  Luckily, with a sale on cream cheese at Harris Teeter recently, I also have a few blocks of cream cheese on hand for these occasions as well, haha. 

The recipe came together easily, but one issue I had was with the consistency of the cream cheese mixture.  I can't blame Martha for bad instructions, because I a) don't own multiple bowls that fit into my stand mixer; and b) was too lazy to wash out the blondie batter bowl to use for the cream cheese mixture.  You can clearly see from the photo below that the hand-mixing method didn't turn out so well- haha.  Also, my attempts at creating a swirl pattern on the chunky cream cheese mixture resulted in a "dirt bike racing track" look that did not melt away in the baking process, ha.  

All that aside, these blondies tasted great, and I loved the addition of cream cheese with the blondie.  My co-workers were not too thrown off by the look of these, and seemed to enjoy them a lot.  If you'd like to add some texture, feel free to add chopped nuts, or whatever else strikes your fancy :o)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 23rd, 2011

Bath & Body Works Island Escape Hand Soaps

Yay for new scents at Bath & Body Works!  I'm a huge fan of their hand soaps and hand sanitizers, and was happy to see these cheery-looking items on my last visit to the store.  The three scents I bought are: Pomegranate Passion, Mango Margarita, and Citrus Crush.  I love that the bottles have sun, summery patterns on them- they remind me of Lilly Pulitzer designs, haha.  They'll add a nice hit of color to your bathroom or kitchen, and smell great too!  Bath & Body Works regularly has promotions for their hand soaps, so I'd recommend waiting until one of those comes up and use a coupon with it too if you have one on hand. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 22nd, 2011

Jersey Shore Recap

Thanks for the recap, B! 

The only things certain in life are death and taxes...:  And Ronnie crying.

“Listening to Mike about relationships is like listening to a sailor fly an airplane”:  Or like you giving advice on the Violence Against Women Act Ronnie.

(Record scratching...):  Hey look...we're at...Sammie's...Mom'  I thought you left.

Jack of all trades:  Sitch is very versatile.  He can be uncle sitch, chef sitch, and bang-a-girl sitch.  Easy on that last one Mike, you don't spend much time in the smoosh room...
In honor of President's Day:  How many presidents could the entire J Shore cast name in 10 minutes?  Could they get past Obama?

You're getting soft Ronnie:  The girls are taking Sam's side, are you gonna take that?  Throw some stuff around!  Maybe you could start with Snooki...

Maybe it was when you threw her bed while she was still on it?:  You think you destroyed the relationship Ron? 

Like a tanner, greasier, drunker version of summer camp:  Prank War!

And also a lamer, dumber version of summer camp:  Cool pranks guys.  You're hiding dog poop pads under each others pillows and hanging a stuffed animal off the balcony?

Signs your prank war sucks:  Your best prank was thwarted by two midgets hiding under their beds

More signs your prank war sucks:  Your second best prank is ruined by the Snitchuation.

And the loser is...:  The viewers.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ:  Sorry, I passed out from all the boringness.

Worst Super Mario Sequel:  Some Italian plumbers get to save a princess, others get to save the house from Ronnie's gigantic turd.

Side Effects include...:  I don't think clogging toilets is a side effect of steroids, but has anyone check the label for the side effects to the diet supplement Ronnie is endorsing??

Correction, here's the worst Super Mario sequel:  Ronnie locks himself in the t-shirt shop bathroom to cry.  Again.

Things I could have gone without:  Knowing Snooki has to poop.

More things I could have gone without:  Knowing that Snooki has a tiny turtle in her pants.

No matter how hard you try:  I'm really not going to see Big Mommas Like Father Like Son.

And we would've gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids and that dog:  The girls move all of Sammie's things downstairs while Ronnie is out.  Surprisingly, he figures it out pretty quickly.

Deena, It's a good thing you're cute...err that's not's a good thing you're dumb...:  So you can be on reality TV, otherwise I don't know how you'd make a living.  Your attempt to lie about hiding Sammie's things was just terrible.

I'm sorry I destroyed all your stuff:  Please accept these three dozen roses (pink, red, and white!).  You know, better play it safe, I did break her glasses.  Let's throw in a balloon, chocolates, and a teddy bear.  We good now?

Poopapolooza continues:  Now Deena is backed up.  Quick Ron, get her some Xenadrine!

Even more things I could have gone without:  All Snooki needs to get her butthole flowing like a freakin rainstorm is some coffee.

Paging Scooby Doo and Ronnie:  It's time to solve the mystery of the Dirty Underwear.  We know it's not Snooki's, because there's no bronzer in it.  It's also not one of Vinny's girls, because they're skanks and go commando.

Ohhh, it's bros before hoes:  Really Mike, you're trying to pull the robbery on Pauly D's ex?  Weren't you the guy talking about human code last week?

There's nothing like a first impression:  Unless that second impression involves you banging Snooki, getting called the wrong name by Snooki mid-hook up, and having the boys interrupt your session to remind them how you cock-blocked Vinny with his cousin.  Should have stuck with the first impression Bernard.

After further review:  Can we get these kids some more booze, or drugs, or maybe a schizophrenic roommate because I'm seriously getting bor...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 21st, 2011

Tabatha Coffey: It's Not Really About The Hair

A big "Thank you!" to Barnes and Noble for hosting a Twitter chat + book giveaway with Tabatha Coffey recently; thanks to them I'm now a proud owner of an autographed copy of her book, It's Not Really About the Hair. 

If any of you have seen Tabatha on her season of "Shear Genius" or the currently running "Tabatha's Salon Takeover", you'll know about this amazeballs hairstylist with the no-nonsense attitude.  I personally think that Tabatha is a phenomenal hairstylist and businesswoman, and fantastic overall.  This book is an interesting read into the life of Tabatha, with tips on tackling all of life's obstacles (big and small).  I read this book in a few short days and was amazed at the life Tabatha has led so far, and how she got to the successful position she is in now.  Give this book a try if you're a fan of Tabatha!   

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 18th, 2011

Georgetown Cupcake: Valentine's Day Cupcake

I got a lovely surprise from my friend S over Valentine's Day weekend- 2 cupcakes waiting for me at Georgetown Cupcake!  She got me a red velvet cupcake and this Valentine's Day one, a Chocolate Squared cupcake with cute heart fondant decorations.  SO cute!  Thank you S!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 17th, 2011

Katy Perry + OPI Teenage Dream

I had heard about the new Katy Perry + OPI nail polish collection online for a while, and was looking forward to trying out the Black Shatter nail polish.  The Black Shatter goes on over your regular nail polish and "cracks" once it dries, giving your nails this cool shattered look to them.  Unfortunately, when I went to Ulta to buy it, they were all out of those :o( 

However, I saw the Teenage Dream polish and figured I'd pick that one up instead.

How fun is this polish?!  It's super glittery and sparkly, but the pink base is not too crazy, so it combines for a cute shade of polish.  It took about 3 coats to get the color and coverage I wanted, although it may vary based on your skin tone and color preferences.  I can definitely see myself using this in the summer especially!  It looks great on short nails, and I can see this being a fun pedicure option as well.  I'm still on the hunt for the Black Shatter polish, but I'm definitely happy that I got the Teenage Dream polish as well :o)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 16th, 2011

Lady Gaga: Born This Way

I'm assuming by virtue of being my friend slash not living under a rock, you've heard Lady Gaga's new single, "Born This Way" by now.


And before you start talking about the whole "Madonna/'Express Yourself'" comparison, yes, she is aware of it, and yes, she addressed it on Jay Leno on Valentine's Day. 

Anyway, the song is amazing and just super fun, and I cannot WAIT to see her perform it live next Saturday in Pittsburgh!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 15th, 2011

Jersey Shore Recap

New week, new Jersey Shore recap from B!  *FISTPUMP*
Best. News. Ever:  Ronnie and Sam are breaking up!
On second thought:  This is going to mean 30 more minutes of air time devoted to Ronnie and Sam.
Although for every dark cloud, there is a silver lining:  Ronnie's gonna cry!  A lot.
Obi-wan Situation:  Apparently all you need to do to make Ronnie shut up is apologize and change the topic.  Would that have been too hard Sam?  I don't care if you crossed your fingers every time so it never would count, but it would have saved us a lot of time from listening to you two.
If Men are from Mars, and women are from Venus, Jerseyites must be from Uranus :  "I got girls cooking me dinner.  I've been with you for one year and how many times have you cooked for me.  Not once, because you're a uesless, spoiled bitch!"  (Editor's note:  Huh?)
For the last time people:  Ronnie doesn't want pizza or cotton candy, he wants a protein shake! 
Sometimes it's easy to forget the real victims in these situations:  Pauly D's sneakers are dirty!
"The staircase is really small, and the bed is large.  It's an analogy of Vinny's penis going in my pin whole.":  I'm completely stunned...Snooki knows what an analogy is???
Nothing like trying to enrage a guy with a Napoleon complex and a bad case of roid rage:   Ronnie and Sam get into another fight, and to prove his point, he throws all of Sam's things out of her closet.   I know what you're thinking, does he really need to throw her things around?  You're absiolutely right, but if you keep that talk up Ronnie is going to come to your house and throw things around as well.  So pipe down.
What are the odds something bad could happen at a place named Aztec?:  I'm going to ignore how proud the Aztecs would be to know they didn't die in vain.  Sammi decides to go to the same bar Ronnie is at to meet "hot guys" in an effort to make him jealous.  This will end well ...
Hey Ron, do you know the side effects of steriods?:  Here's one, breast tissue can grow in men.  I'm just saying those pecs do seem a little flabby.
And can increase baldness...:  You are starting to thin some on the top.
Of course there are violent outbursts:  Hey Ron I totally agree, Sam won't get the message if you throw her clothes all over the floor.  Hell, you did that last week and look what happened at Aztec.  I think you need to really let her know how you feel.  How about you break as much of her stuff as possible?  Oh, you already did that?   Nevermind then, carry on.
At least he doesn't have acne, which is another side effect:  Wait a minute...
Or bacne:  Uh......
And steriods can stunt your growth:  (head shaking)
This doesn't loo...oh no, more rage!:  Yeah Ron, I thought that bed frame was talking shit to you the whole time also.  Good call putting it outside.
Pssst, Ron, one other thing you should know about steriods, they can shrink your balls:  Sammie, can you verify please?
I don't think that's what respect means:  Cheating on your girlfriend behind her back does not seem respectful, despite how many times you claim it does.
While you're looking up respect...:  You should probably check out the definition of embarrassment, because you should definitely be embarrassed.
Oooh, speaking of embarrassing:  Even the girls who work the day shift at a strip club wouldn't wear the outfit JWoww got for Roger.
Cabs are finally here:  Sammie decides she is going home.  Don't let the door hit you on the way out girl.
If at first you don't succeed, try try again:  Except in this case Sammie and Ron.  How about you don't try again.  You're officially the worst couple ever, even beating out the time Zack dated Torry motorcycle chick in the bizarro last season of Saved by the Bell.  That says something, because she sucked...
Right back at you pal:  Ronnie regrets it all (I assume for his worthless life).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 14th, 2011

Happy Hearts Day!

Just wanted to take a minute to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day! 

It's easy to get jaded/annoyed at all of the cheesy ads, cards, and pressure to buy a million dozen roses for the one day in the year, but I for one have always been a fan of the holiday.  It's a nice time to send cards out to friends and family, letting them know that you are thinking of them, plus it's a holiday that is mostly about flowers, chocolate, and cute things! 

No matter what your plans might be for today/tonight, hope it's fun and yummy desserts are involved!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 11th, 2011

Popchips Parmesan Garlic Potato Flavor

Ah, finally, one of the elusive popchips flavors- Parmesan Garlic!  And I say elusive strictly based on the fact that I've never seen it at my local Target, haha.  This snack bag was one of the flavors that came in the holiday gift box that I was able to get from their giveaway.  Thanks popchips!  

True to its name, these popchips are super parmesan + garlic-y, haha.  Seriously though, I was surprised and impressed by how real the flavors were, especially for a mass-marketed chip.  Garlic-y enough to make you reconsider eating these before a meeting, haha.  But don't get me wrong, I mean that in a good way, as a big garlic fan :o)  I could also see crushing these up and using them as a coating for oven-baked chicken or fish, yum.  If you come across this flavor and like cheesy garlicy flavors, definitely give it a try!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 10th, 2011

Bayou Bakery Beignets

Earlier in January, I was in Arlington, VA for my friend A's baby shower.  I drove around for a little while trying to find street parking, then finally found the courthouse parking which is free for most of the weekend, score!  As an extra bonus, right across from where I parked was Bayou Bakery, which I had heard about but not yet had a chance to try.  Double score!

Since I needed to be at a hair appointment shortly after the baby shower ended, this trip was solely to check out the digs and pick up an order of beignets.  Unfortunately getting beignets to-go isn't really the best way to eat them, but since I was right there I figured I might as well try them.

The place was pretty packed for the middle of the afternoon- looked like lots of people were grabbing coffees and snacks, either catching up with friends or working on their laptops.  I liked that it had a casual feel of a local coffeeshop but a wider selection in terms of food. 

The beignets came in this cute bag :o)

The beignets are three to an order, for $3.00.  Liberally dusted (or should I say coated) with powdered sugar, they're card-sized pillows of tasty dough.  As you can see the sugar + heat didnt' do much for the appearance of these beignets on my drive back, haha. 

These were super tasty and I can only imagine how much awesome-r they'd be if I ate them fresh out of the fryer.  One personal issue is that I think there's too much powdered sugar on these- a little lighter hand on these could add the sweetness without completely caking the fried dough.  But then again I don't like powdered doughnuts much, so that probably is why I think that, haha.  Can't wait to come back and try out their other menu items!

Bayou Bakery
1515 North Courthouse Road
Arlington, VA 22201

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 9th, 2011

Jersey Shore Recap

Recap #2 from my friend B- enjoy!

And when I say "I love you", I really mean "I still hate you":  I totally believe you are friends Sammie and JWoww

Apparently we didn't learn our lesson:  You forgot the protein shake again Sam?!?!?

Nothing like smooshing to the romantic sounds of your roommate puking:  Ronnie got a little drunk at Karma, and most likely killed the Situations chances of getting laid (the first time in a long time that someone else killed his game)

Last night my dog tried to sleep in my laundry basket...:  Speaking of something equally stupid, Snooki passed out on the floor in the dog pen.  No one noticed until the next day...

Rectum?  I nearly killed 'em (inset canned laughter):  Ronnie wakes up pooping blood

I think I'd want a second opinion:
  After a thorough anal exam, the doctor tells Ronnie his bleeding was caused by drinking too much.  As I mentioned last week, I'm no doctor, but those two things seem unrelated.  Isn't that like blaming World War II on the invention of the slurpee?

Drinking 101:  You know the bottle goes in your mouth, right Ron?

What Mexican medical school did you get your degree from doctor?:  We've seen the people who hang out on the Jersey Shore.  Would you really trust one of them to be your doctor?

I don't want to point any fingers (pun absolutely intended):  Shouldn't we look in Deena's direction about Ronnie's backdoor issues?  We know she has a fetish for that spot...

Time for SAT math:  Deena threatened to "tear Dean a new asshole".  Fake Ronnie looks like real Ronnie.  Just saying...

Medical Mystery:  So far we've had pink eye and a rectal issue, but no STD?

I think you're looking for Teen Mom 2:  Hey Dora the Explorer, you're advertising on the wrong show.  This is the one where people smoosh but don't have the kids

Yo guys, I totally was on TV, it was awesome!:  Uh, yeah Jeff we saw you there.  But you had to have sex with Snooki in order to be on the show.  Getting across the bridge by banging the troll that lives under it isn't much of an accomplishment...
Yeah, but it's not like I was into her or anything.  I just wanted to be on TV:  Um, you hung out with her the whole next day and told her some really personal things like how you were once engaged.  It's not surprising that she ended it right there, but we figured it was because you are a douche.  Not because she thought you lied to her and were all into a relationship and kids.

Look guys, it was the only way I could check out the house and be on the show:  So um, why did you call her later that night to apologize?  And why did you call back after she told you to fuck yourself?  And why did you call back again after Pauly D made you look like a dumbass.  Face it Jeff, you like Snooki.  Douche.

Dude, even God himself tried to intervene:  She had her period, and you still tried to sleep with her!

"I'm not handing out Candy for free.  You need a golden ticket to get into these drawers":  Uh. Huh. Let's just call Dario Charlie Bucket then Deena.

"I look like a hot drunk baseball player...":  agreed Snooki, if that baseball player recently stopped taking steriods.

Sometimes there is such a thing as bad publicity:  Really Danielle?  They literally spell out "the stalker" under your name.  Please take a hint (actually, please don't take a hint.  I'm secretly hoping you show up in Italy for the next season)

Danielle, you tried your best and failed miserably.  The lesson is never try:  Because sitting there for an hour as Vinny and Pauly D make fun of you can't be considered a "success" on your end.

A personal plea:  Can we stop using Vinny and Pauly D as comic relief?  What kind of bird delivers the baby?  What did Jack climb up?  Classic comedy!  Hey MTV, less Ronnie and Sam, more MVP sans P.

Can you guys just make a decision, I'm starting to run out of jokes:  Ronnie and Sam may actually have broken up.  I seriously don't care. 

Ronnie, you're starting to sound like your ass doctor:
  You didn't carry Sam through Miami, you caused that clusterfuck.  You're seriously like the hemorrhoids ravaging your body.  If only a cream could make you go away...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 8th, 2011

Bella Nutella Website

Mmmmmmmmmmm... NUTELLA!!!

Now that I've got your attention, I'd like to introduce you all to a lovely, brand-new site called Bella Nutella, which launched over the weekend.   In the short couple of days that it's been live, there's already a lot of fantastic photos and recipes to ogle, all including Nutella!  But be forewarned, don't look at this site if you are hungry at all and don't have any Nutella on hand, because it might literally kill you out of frustration, haha.  Hope you all go take a look and enjoy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 7th, 2011

Food Bloggers' Brunch at Dino, DC - 01.30.2011

I recently joined a ton of local food bloggers + friends for a delicious and lively brunch at Dino in Cleveland Park, DC, organized by Thrifty DC Cook.  I've enjoyed eating at Dino in the past but had not yet been there for brunch, so it was a great chance to see other bloggers and try out their non-dinner menu!

Sunday brunch at Dino consists of the following options: Choose a starter or half pasta;  a brunch plate, full pasta or secondi; and a cocktail, prosecco or a dessert.  So many choices!  You can see the full brunch menu here.  After a lot of going back and forth in my decision-making, I finally decided to go with a breakfast-y plate instead of pasta, since I wanted a "real" brunch experience haha.

We were given an amuse bouche of cold butternut squash soup in a shot glass:


Then each table received two salads to share:

I enjoyed both salads, but liked the refreshing crunch of the different radishes in the top salad just a little bit more.  Head cheese isn't something I eat very often, but it was tasty in the second salad. 

After the salads, we also received a plate of Baci Italiani to share: crispy pancetta, scallop, duck liver, date, citrus & ginger glaze.  Yup, ALL that in one little skewered bite, haha.  This was really rich and delicious- I probably could've polished off a few of these, easily.

Ok so after all that food, we finally got started on the food we had ordered- haha!  I couldn't resist one of my favorite appetizers, so I went with the Burrata: "Pugliese bufala cheese air shipped 2x a week - curds & cream inside, fresh mozzarella outside, kalamata olive & red pepper oven roasted tomato, olio".  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!  The cheese is so creamy and soft, unlike any sort of regular mozzarella you might be used to.  SO good! 

For my entree, I went with the San Benedetto: "Eggs Benedict Italian Style- grilled ciabata, poached Hare’s Valley eggs, orange & rosemary scented butter, Pio Tosini Prosciuto". 

And some Tuscan roasted potatoes on the side:

My entree was good, but not great.  I was disappointed that the eggs were not runny like I expected from poached eggs, and the potatoes were pretty mushy.  However, I really liked the lemon-y Hollandaise sauce, and the generous serving of prosciuto on top of the eggs.

For dessert, I went with the Gianduia "Nico": "Inspired by Gelateria Nico in Venezia ~ bittersweet chocolate gelato with chopped chocolate, hazelnut gelato with toasted hazelnuts, chocolate sauce & amaretto whipped cream". 

This was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good.  I really enjoyed the matching of the chocolate and hazelnut gelato- super delicious!  I definitely didn't *need* such a large slab of dessert after everything else I ate, but c'mon, I couldn't just let it melt there uneaten!

Overall it was a great brunch with lots of fun people with a passion for food.  Dean, the owner, was friendly, informative, and clearly passionate about the food that he was serving us.  I would like to come back again and try out another entree, maybe this time go with my gut and get a pasta dish this time around, haha :o)  Thank you again to Dean, his friendly and helpful servers, and Thrifty DC Cook for a great brunch!

3435 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
202.686.2966 // On OpenTable

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 4th, 2011

Momofuku Milk Bar Cookies

My love of all things Momofuku, chef David Chang's delicious empire in NYC, should not be a surprise to anyone.  So clearly during my day trip to NYC over the holidays a stop in Momofuku Milk Bar was on the agenda!  Luckily, there's an outpost of Milk Bar that's conveniently located in Midtown, close to where we were. 

As much as I wanted to get "one of everything", I picked up three cookies this time, because they were the easiest to carry back to NJ, haha.  I got a Compost cookie (top left), Corn cookie (middle), and a Peanut Butter cookie (top right).  For those of you unfamiliar with the famous Compost cookie, here's a post from The Amateur Gourmet with the recipe.  It's a rediculous and delicious cookie, packed with sweet, salty, smooth, crunchy EVERYTHING, haha.  The corn and peanut butter cookies were a little less exciting but still yummy.  The strength of both of these cookies is in the pure flavor- the corn cookie really tastes like a sweeter cornbread, baked until the edges are crisp, whereas the peanut butter cookie smells and tastes like pure roasted peanuts (with chopped peanuts throughout).  I would definitely get any of these cookies again - assuming I didn't already get too many cake slices, cake balls, or soft-serve.  I would wholeheartedly recommend a stop in the Milk Bar for anyone that's visiting NYC! 

Momofuku Milk Bar- Midtown
15 W. 56th Street (between 5th and 6th)
New York, NY 10019    

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 3rd, 2011

Too Faced Pixie Pin-Ups Set

I was super excited when I found out I won a Pixie Pin-Ups set from Too Faced via a Twitter contest, even though I had no idea what it was, haha!  I received it in the mail a while back and found out:

All the cute extra decorative touches aside, I think this is a great collection of products from Too Faced.  I love all of the eyeshadows, especially the Leading Lady and Exotica shades.  The box also comes with a tube of Shadow Insurance, Lash Injection Pinpoint Mascara, and Lava Gloss Eye Liner.  I don't really see myself traveling much with this box since it's pretty large for what it contains, but it's a pretty and fun kit to have around in my apartment.  Because of the pop-up elements and universally flattering shades, I also think it'd be a great, reasonably priced ($25.00) gift for anyone that's into beauty products.  Thank you Too Faced for a great prize!  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 2nd, 2011

Restaurant Week Brunch @ CoCo Sala, DC

I'll be the first to admit that I'm generally not a fan of Restaurant Week.  Yes, some restaurants handle things well with good service, an extensive-to-full menu offering, and an eagerness to see you back when it's not Restaurant Week.  And to those restaurants- Thank you.  However, all too often we find restaurants with bitter servers who assume only the tightwads come out for RW, rushed service, or a severely limited menu that doesn't give you a good idea of what the restaurant has to offer.  

That being said, I still wound up going to brunch at Co Co. Sala with M during Restaurant Week.  Why?  Because a) I love Co Co. Sala and have enjoyed brunch here before; b) M hadn't had their brunch before and I hadn't been in a while; c) The RW brunch menu wasn't that different from their regular brunch menu, just a little cheaper; and d) HELLLLLLLLLO IT'S CHOCOLATE.


I started with a Peanut Butter co co. hot chocolate- the marshmallow was pillowy, and the drink was like a smooth, rich, melted Reece's cup in a mug.  However, the sweetness of the drink came mostly from the peanut butter so the drink itself wasn't overly sweet, which I liked.  My only criticism is that I wish they came in a bigger mug, haha.

Our amuse was some form of an artichoke-based tart, I believe?  Sorry, I wasn't really paying attention when they brought it over.... haha.  The crust was nice and sturdy and didnt' get soggy from the tart filling, which I liked.  I know this might look huge because I was really close to the tart, but really it was about 2"x2" or so, haha.

M and I both decided on the Crispy Creole Crabcake as our entree, which comes with: mango salsa, chipotle chocolate tomato glaze, avocado cilantro emulsion, plus the salad and the avocado slices as you can see above.  I really liked this entree, because it has a lot of flavors that I normally enjoy- crab, tomato, avocado, mango, mmmmm.  I also thought it was sort of interesting how the crabcake was more of a tennis ball shape vs. the usual burger-patty shape that I'm using to seeing for crab cakes.  Clearly plating is one of CoCo. Sala's strengths- it definitely added to the visual appeal. 

For dessert, I got the PB Cheesecake, which comes with milk chocolate & peanut brittle crunch, as well as a chocolate truffle on the side.  This dessert was really rich and decadent, like having my PB co co. on steroids, haha.  The cheesecake portion was v. smooth which I liked, because sometimes peanut butter desserts can be grainy from the peanut butter and sugar.  So good!   

Overall this was a great meal, and the leftovers were tasty too- especially the PB cheesecake!  If anyone's looking for a stylish and unique brunch in the DC area, definitely check out Co Co. Sala!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lunchtime Links for February 1st, 2011

The Return of the Jersey Shore Recaps

It's been quite a while since the last one, but my friend B has taken on the admirable task of hilariously recapping the current season of Jersey Shore, one episode at a time.  RECAPS ARE HEREEEEEEEEEEE (DJ Pauly D voice, natch).  Take it away, B!:

Time to update your Facebook relationship status to "it's complicated":  Ronnie and Sammi get into a relationship altering fight because Ronnie talked to his buddy's wife...that or Sammi has a fear of C-sections.  I really didn't care enough

Oh come on, this has to be a dealbreaker: "You brought me piece of a pizza...not a protein shake?"  (Editor's note:  I think that's actually a dealbreaker for Sammi)

Uh...easy on the steroids there Ron:  Sammi threatens to leave Seaside, so Ronnie violently empties her closet to help her pack.  I'm no doctor, but I think we call that 'roid rage  (By the way Sam, how did you not notice your entire wardrobe sitting in the middle of the floor?  Again, I'm no doctor, but I think we call that being a dumbass)

Hmmm, maybe we should make that status "single":  Uh oh, Ronnie is talking to JWoww.  Hopefully Sammi will react in a mature and responsible manner...

Well, so much for mature and responsible...:  Sammi just clocked Ronnie in the jaw.  Time for MTV to get the "it's not funny to punch someone" PSA rolling.

Can I get the definition of "keeping it real" Ronnie:  Because that was a lot of crying.

I also need a definition of "family":  Why the the hell was Ryder in the family meeting to convince Sammi to stay?  Can the Situation's girl join in also?  What about Roger?  Can we put J420 and Joey Yanks on speakerphone? killed 30 minutes of air time and you're not going to break up?:  We glossed over Ryder ("Season 1 Guest Star MVP") visiting town fresh off screwing Vinny, the stripper pole (which I can only imagine will win "Season 2 Guest Star MVP") and the possibility of a  Ryder-Snooki-Vinny threesome so we could watch Ronnie and Sam not break up.  MTV owes me an apology and a protein shake!

Mother of the year?:  Sammi's mom, I would probably let my drunk and crying daughter sleep it off as well, but I'm not sure I would ignore the part where she hit a guy who takes steriods and has zero emotional stability

Movie I can't wait not to see:  Big Mommas Like Father Like Son

Best use of a vuvuzela:  Grenade whistle!

Worst use of a vuvuzela:  Any other time you're using a vuvuzela

Seems about right:  Plan B advertises on Jersey Shore.  The only thing more fitting would be if pedophilia was sponsored by paneled vans and promises of candy.

Yeah, the stereotype is totally unfair...:
   So Vinny's girl Gina is of Sicillian descent...and was at Karma with her 50-ish year old uncle...and someone named Nicky Ducks... ...and they were all wearing Ed Hardy t-shirts... and had enough hair gel to put Pauly D to shame... and then the uncle randomly shows up at the JShore house with a small entourage to force Gina to go home.  I know Italian groups are mad about how the show portrays them, but all that was missing in this scenario were two plumbers named Mario and Luigi
Someone didn't read Romeo and Juliet:  Getting cock blocked by Tony Danza isn't the same thing as Romeo and Juliet.  It's not even like an episode of Who's the Boss...
Sammi's back-handed apology to her roommates: "It turns out you guys are cool and good people". 

What Sammi actually meant by her apology:  "I want to be famous and not have to actually work for money, so I'm going to pretend to be your friends so I don't get kicked off like everyone wants.  I mean, does anyone even know where Angelina is now?"

I wish I could have been in the production meeting for Deena's fetish:  So, uh...can we say "rim job" on the air?

Well, it is MTV...:  You can't say rim job, but you can give hints including "it got cleaned out in the hot tub"
Be careful what you wish for Deena...:
  It's probably a good idea not to tear Dean a new asshole, considering you like giving...well, you know.