Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This Year I'll Keep My New Years Resolution


Guilty as charged. Year after year I have the best intentions. I make resolutions to be healthier, or more understanding, more charitable, or less sensitive. On the 2nd day of the year I have clearly delineated means to achieve my seemingly realistic goals. By the 2nd week of the year I'm slipping, and when the 2nd month of the year roles around, I've fallen off the wagon. I always feel the same - let down, disappointed, and overly self-critical.

My resolutions are never overly-ambitious, they are typically good lifestyle goals. I, like many others, use the new year to jump start the me I really want to be, next November, next year, or ten years from now. So, why am I so overwhelmed and destined for faltering?

Management expert Peter Drucker recommends the acronym SMART when formulating your new year's plan.
S - think of specific, not general, goals.
M - measure your success
A - set achievable goals
R - be realistic
T - timing, in other words, set time lines.

Instead of approaching my new years resolution with lackadaisical effort and setting myself up for disappointment, I plan to treat my endeavor as carefully as I would an important assignment. After all, if I'm willing to commit to it, it better be important. Otherwise, it is a waste of time. Here's to 2009! Good luck.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pack 'Em Up!

I am always overwhelmed by packing. So many things to remember - phone charger, contact solution, my favorite lip gloss, bobby pins... You get the point. Packing for New Years is pretty simple, but I always find comfort when I refer to the Real Simple packing list. It's no secret that I'm somewhat of an organizational freak, but these travel lists are really wonderful.

See for yourself.

I suggest, making your own and saving it on your computer for repeated printing.
Happy Travels!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Home Style Pedicure


I love a mani and a pedi. Usually, I splurge on starbucks (extra shot, one equal, skim cappaccino) and then head to the salon, slip into a massage chair with trashy magazine in hand. At the end of my self-indulgent soiree, I'm fifty dollars poorer, but feeling pampered. Unfortunately, after the holiday spending, I can't rationalize spending that kind of dough. Especially, when my toes are either clad in closed toe pumps, or my favorite ugg slippers. Here is at home instructions for an at home pedi.

Pedicure
  1. Remove last week's OPI color with nail polish remover.
  2. Fill a shallow basin with warm water and add baking soda and massage oil. The mixture will thoroughly clean and soften your feet. Or, if you are a milk lover, add about a quarter cup of milk. (The lactic acid in milk softens skin).
  3. Soak for about 7 minutes or in between commercials while watching Lipstick Jungle or Law and Order.
  4. Trim your nails with a high-end nail clipper by first cutting across the center of the nail. Be sure to cut straight, otherwise you may be producing the catalyst for ingrown toenails which don't pair well with your favorite Prada Heels.
  5. Next, file your nails. First, use an emery board to soften the edges by only filing in one direction. Then, take the file across the top of the nail to smooth any edges created by the clipping.
  6. Apply cuticle cream to the based of your nail. Rub across and then up along the sides. If you don't have cuticle cream, I have found conditioner is a great, always on hand, substitute. Use cuticle clippers to remove the loose skin. Don't get clip happy.
  7. Use an exfoliating scrub and pumice stone to smooth your foot, focusing on the ball of your feet and the heels.
  8. Now, you're all set to apply this weeks hot color from Essie. But, be sure to remove the oils from your nail by swabbing each nail with remover, before applying polish.
Voila, a pedicure from the comfort of your couch, while watching your favorite tv show! You don't have to worry about scuzzy foot baths or germ infested tools. Put away the 50 dollars you saved for flip flop season. Since you don't have to drive, feel free to throw in some vino.

For an at home manicure use the same methods for your fingers.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Holidays!


After a very painful internet hiatus, I would like to wish you and yours happy holidays. I hope that chrismukkah filled your closets, wallets, and apartments with everything you desired and, of course, needed.  But more importantly, I hope that the spirit of the season filled your hearts and your living rooms with family, loved ones, and joy.  





Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stemware Identification

What would college be without memories of Red Solo Cups littering an apartment apr├Ęs fete? I remember how convenient it was to label that red cup with a magic marker so that I could claim and identify my cup in order to avoid swapping spit with the “accomplished” rugby team. But we’ve graduated from college and now it is time to upgrade from Solo Cups to stemware.

Applying a sharpie to a wine glass may upset some, so, instead, use a wine tag. In light of the recent financial situation and numerous holiday obligations, may I suggest making your own or bringing them as a lovely hostess gift. You can find all of the materials at any office supply and craft store.

Use beading wire to create a coil which can easily slip around the wine stem. String various beads onto the coil, and then slip on a metal rimmed circular price tag with a name or cute symbol/picture/stamp on the paper portion of the tag. Follow with more beads. Be sure to loop the ends of the wire so that the beads don’t fall off. Or, ditch the beads and the wire, and just use the price tag with string. Voila, vino identified!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Root!

Dave is always seeking new eclectic restaurants which force me to stretch my pallet's comfort zone. Last night we finally got to try Root located at 10th and Spring Garded.

I had read some promising reviews, so I was excited and expectations were high. With 2 bottles of wine in hand (It's BYOB) we entered through the high gloss orange doors into an insanely intimate setting. The only electric light is from the kitchen, but each table is illuminated by tea lights. The setting is minimalistic, but not cold, and the owner-chef, adds personality and emotion to the setting, as well as the amazing food. Top it all off with great, soft playing music and I would say this place has it all for a 1st date, 52nd date, or dinner with friends.

We started with a tar-tar flight, foie gras, and a mushroom flat bread with bacon and scallon chutney finished with a poached egg. For my entree I had a risotto with arugala and crispy pork belly. Dave had the goulash. Dessert was delicious and light, not too overwhelming, but I forget the exact dish. I do remember Dave's dessert had a full-sized milkshake that would have made me lick th glass if my tongue were long enough. Each bite was so complex with fresh, perfectly paired flavors that you just wanted to chew a bit longer.

The food is local, extremely fresh and organic. It seemed to me that the organic quality was not to be with the times, but rather to optimize flavor.This was confirmed when Chris, the owner, amended the menu according to the availabilty of quality items this week.

All the items were reasonably priced considering the cullinary expertise they displayed and quality ingredients they contained. Why go to a repeat restaurant with predictable dishes and obnoxious service when you could go here? Also, there are rumors weekend brunch is to begin. I can only imagine.

We will certianly be returning and not just because I left my wine tote there.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Crackberry?

As earlier stated, verizon fios and I had a very nasty break up. Luckily, unlike most dissolutions, I was able to get out of our temporary union with de minimus monetary penalties and virtually no hard feelings. In the wake, I am left with no internet, just my faithful blackberry, which short of laundry does it all. But can it blog?

Grillz Cheez

I love grilled cheese. There is nothing better than slapping some bread and cheese on the foreman and then indulging in gooey deliciousness. Nonetheless, I am somewhat embarrassed when I have to admit to someone that I had grilled cheese for dinner the previous night. When the situation arises, I think of my friend that requested grilled cheese for her wedding reception, and I have the courage to come clean. (She's my hero.)

In the name of growing up (at least pretending to...) Here are several suggestions to force maturity on your grilled cheese.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/4-easy-ways-to-dress-up-your-grilled-cheese-323411/

(I do aplogize for not properly linking. Verizon and I had a fight and I'm waiting for Comcast to pick up the pieces. In the meantime, I'm posting via iGoogle from a remote location.)

Follow-Up: Good Bacteria

Several people reacted positively to my article about immunity boosting good bacteria. But who knew that the same yogurt that claims to be good for your stomach is also good for your immunity? Well...lots...I just didn't. DanActive yogurt which boasts being good for your digestive system is also a great source of teh good bacteria that helps you fight those pesky winter colds.

Arm yourself with a spoon and some yogurt.