One of the funniest things Cathy and I did in London was get a pedicure. But not just any kind of pedicure… a fish pedicure. We were checking out the antique stalls on Portobello Road and were both thinking that a drink and a little sit down to rest our feet sounded like a good idea. I’m not sure which of us spotted the Coco Nail Bar first but when I saw Cathy’s expression when she saw the fish tanks I knew we were in for a treat.
The premise is that you dip your feet into a shallow tank of water filled with “doctor fish” and they eat off the dead skin. The result is feet as smooth as a baby’s bottom feet.
This is the view when you are sitting with your feet in the water. The fish nibble at your soles, heels, between your toes, and the tops of your feet. It doesn’t hurt but it does tickle. Cathy had a harder time keeping her feet in the water. We thought maybe a cocktail might help.
People off the street popped in to ask us what we were doing and how it felt. A lot of guys were super curious and their ladies looked disgusted. I say if you have the chance, do it. You might LOVE it!
Birthday Scavenger Hunt/Surprise Party
So this happened the Wednesday before my 40th birthday:
I was supposed to have a meeting at 4:30 last Wednesday afternoon, but when I arrived to the meeting spot, this note was there. I was cracking up. After reading the note, I knew right away that the next location was the recently closed Honey Bear’s restaurant right across the street from my office. My friend Nicci decided to come with me and help me find the rest of the clues.
This is what I found at Honey Bear’s:
Off to Walmart we went where I picked up a pack of orange Tic-tacs (note: they don’t taste as good as I remember)
Once I made my purchase, I texted Paul to let him know that I was ready for my next clue:
It’s clear that my co-workers can pull a fast one like the best of them. I honestly thought someone went into my car and hid a clue without me knowing. Turns out, sneaky Nicci came along for the ride to plant the clue. I will never be a detective.
The next clue instructed me to drive to the Circle K (not the Square J or Triangle L) and make a phone call using the payphone. There was an envelope with $5 and $1 in quarters. I was intrigued and grossed out all at once.
I called the number and someone with a crazy voice answered and instructed me to go inside, but a 40 oz. beer and the cashier would hand me the next clue. (Turns out it was our newest coworker, Abby, who altered her voice for the phone call.)
I have never, ever, in my life, bought a forty, so Nicci suggested Micky’s. Here I am waiting to buy my beer.
The next clue sent me to IKEA to pick up a tape measure. When we got back to my car, the final clue was taped to my window:
Finally, the end point was revealed: My Wine Cellar in Tempe. When we got there, I was led to a table with co-workers, their spouses, and my guy. They decorated the table with flowers, balloons, and cupcakes. Someone ordered a glass of bubbly champagne for me and I relayed the story of my adventure.
Big thanks to db, Paul, Nicci, Summer, Sheridan, Mackenzie, Adrienne, Mike, Julie, Johnny, Criselda, and Abby. It was a huge surprise and so much fun!
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Not only is October Blogtoberfest, but it is also Breast Cancer Awareness month. We have a coworker going through chemo right now as part of her breast cancer battle, so it has been top-of-mind lately. I spotted this limited edition Method hand soap at Walgreens last week and picked up a bottle. The scent is mimosa sun, a lovely citrus fragrance perfect for the kitchen or bathroom. It’s a great way to “pink your sink” for breast cancer awareness.
Spotted this paper crane napkin holder at Target today. They have a cool line of plastic ware that includes appetizer plates in the shape of a vintage camera and dipping bowls that look like old school cassette tapes. Too cool!
I jumped on the Hunger Games bandwagon late. The books had been loaded onto my iPad for about a year before I cracked them open. But once I did, I was hooked. I read all three over Thanksgiving weekend. They were completely unputdownable for me. Some people dismiss YA Fiction as fluff, but I find some to be compelling and thoughtful. That was the case with this trilogy. And now I am super excited for the movie. I have plans to see it on Monday after work. (Hopefully after the opening weekend rush.) The trailer is already exciting and I can’t wait to see how they bring Katniss’ world to life.
If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, here it is.
40×40 List #16: Get published
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by my friend Joe over at Bradford Woodworking. He asked if they could use one of the photos I took at their workshop as the cover of their 2012 catalog. Of course I was thrilled and agreed immediately. Here’s the cover:
I totally love the simplicity of the cover. It’s so clean and really makes me want to check out what’s inside.
If you’re interested in the whole catalog, you can check out the PDF here.
I love all of the unique and interesting pieces that Bradford Woodworking hand crafts. I own a set of their Pure & Simple Stools and I get compliments on them all the time. Someday I’ll add one of the pitchfork benches to my collection!
Oscars 2012- The Party!
I hosted a girl’s night tonight in honor of the Academy Awards! It was great fun! My punny foods were a hit and everyone left with a movie themed swag bag!
Because I wanted to enjoy the party, I tried to keep the cooking and prep to a minimum. I used a lot of store-bought items and made a few things that I couldn’t find or thought were too processed. Read on to see how I pulled it all together!
I found these free printables here from Gwynn Wasson Designs. I love the color scheme and how the Oscar statuette is incorporated into the design!
I filled swag bags with bottles of Coca Cola, movie candy like Twizzlers, Milk Duds, Whoppers, Raisinettes and Goobers, microwave popcorn, peanuts, Jelly Bellys and Cracker Jacks. They were decorated with foam glitter stars from Target. That’s where I picked up the bags, too. I printed up a ballot (they can be found all over the internet) and had my guests complete it during the red carpet show. The winner went home with a $25 AMC movie theater gift certificate.
The Girl with the Dragon Fondue: I used two packets of the prepared fondue from Trader Joe’s. You can find it in the cheese section in a box. It doesn’t look like the most appetizing stuff when you’re squeezing the cheese from the pouch, but once it’s melted, it’s quite delicious. I picked up a bag of broccoli florets and haricot vert and steamed them. I also bought a bag of baby carrots, three peppers (red, yellow, orange), and some celery that was cut into sticks.
The Artist’ian Bread: I bought a loaf of rosemary bread and sour dough bread from Trader Joe’s and cut them into bite-sized cubes along with a few honey crisp apples and bosc pears.
Tinker Tailor Sausage Spy: These were Chicken Apple sausages from Trader Joe’s grilled whole and then cut into bite-sized pieces. They were great on their own or dipped in the cheese!
Midnight in Pear’is Tarte: This was from the frozen food section at Trader Joe’s. Ten minutes in the oven and done.
Minnie’s “Terrible Awful” Chocolate Pie (sans “secret ingredient”): I couldn’t find a pie that wasn’t filled with crap like high fructose corn syrup and tons of preservatives, so I searched the internet for Minnie’s Pie and found the one I linked to. I was skeptical because it did not call for flour and only filled up the crust half-way. But I followed the recipe plus the additional tips in the comments (including a pinch of salt, extra chocolate and baking it longer) and it got rave reviews, even if it looked a little funky right out of the oven. Nothing a little whipped cream couldn’t help!
War Horseradish Hummus: I was all set to pick up a tub of this at Trader Joe’s. A quick internet search showed that they carried (at one time) a Horseradish Hummus. Apparently it is either discontinued or my TJs doesn’t carry it. Instead I bought a tub of their original hummus and stirred in two tablespoons of prepared horseradish. Easy peasy. I linked to a recipe that was my back up in case the short-cut didn’t work. I am sure it is yummy.
Billy Beane Dip: I knew with the light colored hummus that I wanted to do a black bean dip. A quick search on the internet yielded this recipe. I had pretty much everything on hand, so it was a quick whizz in the processor and done.
Eggstremely Loud and Incredibly Delicious Deviled Eggs: I bought a bag of hard-boiled, peeled eggs at Trader Joe’s and mixed up the yolk filling with a little mayo, relish and mustard. A sprinkle of paprika finished them off. I loved not having to peel a dozen eggs!
I bought three bags of the “Movie Popcorn” from Trader Joe’s and filled up some popcorn boxes that I picked up at Target. The candy is from my most recent Foodzie box delivery. It was all movie night related in honor of the Academy Awards. Fun!
The Gin & Tin Tin Tonic was one part Bombay Sapphire and two parts tonic. I had ice and lime slices for garnish.
Not pictured: The Tea of Life Iced Tea which was made from two Green Tea tea bags and two spiced herbal tea bags. I steeped the bags in hot water to make a tea concentrate and then added ice and water to the pitcher before service. Crazy Stupid Punch which was so delicious. I followed this recipe and doubled it. I stored the extra punch in the apple juice containers.
All in all, I was happy that I didn’t try to make everything and that I used shortcuts where appropriate. I was really pleased that I was done in the kitchen by the time my first guest arrived. This allowed me to have a drink and enjoy my friends without the hassle of being in the kitchen all night.
Madonna still reigns as Queen of Pop
Sorry haters, but Madonna killed it during the Super Bowl Halftime show. Don’t believe me? Watch her dance and sing her way through four songs with the help of Cee-lo Green, LMFAO, M.I.A., and Nikki Minaj.
I love the whole production and didn’t expect anything less from her. I was actually really nervous that she was going to do something really controversial and there was going to be a ton of backlash, but I was pleasantly surprised that A. she didn’t wear just a leotard or bra and knee high boots, B. There were no wardrobe malfunctions C. She didn’t drop any F-bombs (though M.I.A. thought it would be cool to flip the bird at the end of her rap. mmmkay.)
Of course Twitter had to weigh in and not surprising, there were people, who have nothing nice to say about anyone, chiming in with their opinions. Here are a few of my favorite (positive) tweets of the night:
So what did you think? Madonna: fabulous or a flop? Weigh in with your opinion in the comments!
Introducing TOMS Ballet Flats. Plus a Book Giveaway!
It’s no secret that I love my TOMS shoes. They are the first pair of shoes that I put on after I got out of the walking boot in September and I’ve worn them pretty much every day since. It’s safe to say that it’s time for a new pair.
So when I heard about the new line of ballet flats TOMS was about to unveil, I was superpsyched!
They range in price from $74-$84 and come in a variety of patterns and colors, as well as a really nice black leather style. Plus they are all part of the “one-for-one” program that TOMS is most famous for.
To celebrate the new line of TOMS shoes, I’m giving away a copy of Blake Mycoskie’s book, Start Something that Matters that they sent to me to share with you.
All you have to do is leave a comment with how you plan to “pay it forward” in 2012. That could mean volunteer time, recycling more, charitable donations, or whatever YOU think is a best way to pay it forward within your community.
Leave a comment by Saturday, February 4th. I’ll pick a random comment using the WordPress Contest Generator widget that I’ve been wanting to try out! Winner must have a valid email address to be contacted.
Please note: This giveaway is only for the Start Something that Matters hardcover book. You’re on your own for the ballet flats.
Good Media Day.
Yesterday was a good media day. I downloaded the Steve Jobs bio and the new Coldplay record. Hooray for a new book and new music!