Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Love a Sense of Humor

You've got to love when a company has a sense of humor. It's rare enough that when someone embraces humor, you remember it (Allstate Insurance, anyone?). I'm talking cleverness, of course, I don't count Axe Body Wash among the products that use actual humor in advertising.

Think of the possibilities!

There's a way to do lowbrow humor so that it's still humorous. Case in point, Sealy Mattresses. They've created a very funny free app based on the fortune cookie bit where you add "in bed" on the end of your fortune. Now you can add "in bed" to any picture you take thanks to Sealy. 
Now that's what I call good advertising.

Pictures from Sealy website and InBed Mobile App page.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Face Off

           Good morning, gentlemen. Did I interrupt a something?                                    A staring contest, perhaps?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quick(ish) and Different

Sometimes when I feel like our dinners are in a rut, Nathan and I break out the Fish Tacos. They're the perfect thing to remind you that summer's not too far away, and it's definitely a nice change from the usual go-to meals.

It doesn't take much work to make them because it's mostly just chopping vegetables. We like to add in tons of vegetables-tomatoes, peppers, jalapenos, onions, and avocados. We also make a sort of cabbage slaw to go on top of everything. 

The cabbage slaw consists of nearly half of either a red or a regular cabbage, depending on my whim, sliced very thinly.
I add:
3 T. chopped cilantro
4-5 green onions (including white parts)
1 chopped jalapeno
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t cayenne
2 t. vinegar
1/3 c. olive oil
2 limes, zest and juice

Most of these measurements are a complete estimate, so feel free to add less or more of anything as you go.

We use any light fish we have on hand, which usually ends up being Tilapia. I break the fillets up into large chunks before breading them (but you could leave them whole fillets and let people break them up themselves after they're cooked), salt and pepper each, bread it in flour, and saute it in a pan with some olive oil or butter until it's lightly browned on both sides.

Serve when fish are fully cooked with all the fixings and tortillas. (Or just mix it all together on one plate McArdle-style).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Found Treasure

I haven't gone thrifting since before Christmas, but this past weekend I had the urge. I must have had the gift because I struck the mother load, and I found a pile of fantastic stuff from two or three different thrift stores.

The trick to success when thrifting is to be looking for items from more than one category. This time, I kept an eye out for teacups and saucers, bowls, and linens. The lovely little hat was one of my favorite finds; it's a 1950's grey wool cloche.

I'll show you the project I'm using all the teacups for soon. They're going to play a role in my sister's bridal shower this summer.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Clever Clogs

I don't remember who said this to me, but I do remember hearing this phrase when I lived in Scotland. "Well done, clever clogs." It refers to a smart idea though, not just cute shoes. In this case, I am referring to the inventor of these adorable handbags.

Picture taken from video on fuzfarm.com

I came across these handbags, and I just can't get over how clever they are. Click on the picture on the site, and you'll see that they all unzip to lie completely flat. Fascinating! I definitely encourage you to go see it in live action because it is very fun to watch. Still pictures just don't do it justice.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Playing it by Ear

Having Nathan in my life, I've certainly had to become comfortable with not knowing the plan much in advance. He likes to say that he'll "wait and see" what's going to happen. This means that I rarely, nor anyone else, ever get a yes or no when trying to organize plans, only at best a maybe. I've gotten good at identifying what maybes are truly no's, but invariably there comes a weekend where I am surprised midday by unexpected Saturday evening plans. I've learned to roll with it.

Still, the latest developments in Japan mean that our honeymoon trip to Japan in just over a month are more up in the air than even I have had to deal with before. It's hard to be too disappointed in our situation when you see image after image of the devastation that the Japanese people are suffering so stoically and courageously.

With a whole month before we leave, there's certainly time for the reactors to be calmed, people to return home, and our original plans to remain possible, especially since our trip plans did not include travel in the northeast of Japan to begin with. Hopefully, things will work themselves out. As Nathan often tells me, it's not worth worrying about this far in advance. In the meantime, I will follow the stories of a brave and resilient nation, hope for the nation's recovery, and donate to help a nation that has been a major donor to those in need in the past.

This news article that I read over breakfast this morning makes me hope we get to visit this nation of courageous and proud people so much.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why I Might Give Up on Glee

The last two episodes of Glee have left me feeling very disturbed. I am not usually a person who takes any television show seriously; in fact, rarely am I offended even when watching Family Guy or South Park, which I'm sure their writers would find disappointing. But after watching the Blame it on the... and Sexy episodes of Glee, I am left feeling so disappointed in the treatment of these incredibly important teen issues (alcohol and sex) that if one more episode leaves a bad taste in my mouth, it will permanently end my love affair with the show.

Glee has tackled big issues in the past and managed to have a balanced and respectful take on more than one side of an issue (ie. Grilled Cheesus/religion episode), but all of a sudden they seem to be going for the "cool" route when it comes to alcohol and sex. And as we all know, the cool route doesn't (often) appreciate those who decide to wait.

Hungover in the halls of McKinley High.
I found the negative outlook on those high schoolers who might be hesitant to engage in drinking or having sex to be incredibly offensive. The Glee writers are perpetuating the negative attitude against these responsible kids that these students often deal with from their popular peers every day. This show has often featured bullies and bullying in such a negative light and now, all of a sudden, they are okay with an adult (the sex ed teacher, no less) calling a student who chooses to abstain from sex, "frigid." It's one thing for one of the characters that we don't take seriously, such as Santana or Brittany to say such a thing, but for an adult to address such a comment to a student is completely unacceptable.

Rachel's reaction to being told she is
"naive and possibly frigid" by the sex ed teacher.

 For a program that so delicately handles gay and lesbian issues (which I wholeheartedly applaud) they are certainly bull-dozing mature choices as unrealistic and old-fashioned. Sure, many more students may be drinking and having sex these days, but not every kid out there is doing it. To belittle those students who are choosing to abstain from sex until they are truly in love or following the law by not drinking is directly negating any good they do in changing student attitudes regarding sexual orientation.

Glee writers can't have it both ways. They can't hope to improve the climate for students who don't fit in with the popular crowd if they continue to pass judgment on students who make uncommon choices about alcohol and sex. It's just not funny.

1. Glee Logo from Fox Broadcasting via www.thechinabeat.com
2. Blame it on the...from Fox Broadcasting via www.rickey.org
3. Sexy from Fox Broadcasting via www.fanpop.com

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's Finally Here!

It's here! The long-awaited day of the year that every good Chicagoan looks forward to with excitement. Paczki Day! (Which this year just happens to fall the day after Casimir Pulaski Day, another Chicago tradition.)


Monday, March 7, 2011

Yes to Vegetables!

I don't know how I came across this blog, but I'm sure it had something to do with a recent pin. I was sucked in by her lovely pictures, but stayed to read about a great idea she mentioned, Meatless Mondays.

After a weekend of intense meat-eating, Nathan and I were needing to focus on vegetables last week. I threw together a little plant-based meal of roast beets and sweet potatoes, quinoa, arugula, and goat cheese. It was just the light meal we needed to recharge. By the way, if you've never had roasted beets before, I definitely recommend them. They are SO good!

We liked the idea of meatless Mondays so we're going to try to do this every week. Tonight's menu? I'm thinking a vegetable stir-fry with bok choy, carrots, pea pods, and bean sprouts.

Photos taken at night using our iPod Touch,  so forgive the poor quality.
1. Quinoa
2. Roasted sweet potatoes and red beets
3. The finished dish

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Handcrafted Love

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, here are five of my emerald-hued favorites from Etsy...

1. Air plant in green blown glass bottle, $25 from tohold 
2. Stained glass aspen leaf (made from Carlsberg beer bottle), $52 from westernartglass
3. Oh Darling poster, $25 from fifiduvie 
4. Hoppiness note card, $4.25 from smilelifestyle
5. Knotted Dots Bracelet, $138 from tqbdesigns