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Friday, May 29, 2009

Welcome to Foodie Friday!

Welcome to Foodie Friday, a whole day of blog dedicated to food, my absolute favorite thing! In Friday posts I will focus on various aspects of eating: recipes, new food ideas, restaurants, and cool things you can do with olives.
The rules for Foodie Friday are:
1. You are encouraged to post whatever you want, paragraphs and paragraphs if you like!
2. But it has to be about food!

Today's topic is a wonderful new idea for hors d'oeurvres. I stumbled upon a delightful basil-infused Havarti cheese at the grocery, and thought it would make a stand-out snack while my guests and I chatted before dinner.
Havarti is a semi-soft, mild cheese with a nutty tang to it. This particular cheese has small pieces of fresh - not dried - basil leaf throughout. The slight sweetness of the basil is a pleasant contrast to the tang of the cheese. The brand I bought is called "Saga" but you may have another brand available in your area.
The perfect before-dinner pairing? A cream sherry or tawny port, which is unexpected but fabulous before the meal.
Serve both before a lighter summer dinner. The combination can also be enjoyed as a dessert (unless your crowd must have something sweet) or it is very nice as an accompanyment to a good book on the porch swing.
Doesn't it look delicious?

Tip: Serve sherry in champagne glasses to avoid looking like an after-dinner drink.
Tip #2: Ugh, take the wrapper off your cheese of course, I just left mine on so you could see the brand. Tacky!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ballet flats for WIDE feet

I have very wide feet (and I kind of have bunions, too, which doesn't help), so ballet flats are usually too narrow in the toe area for me. When I mentioned this to a friend, she pulled of her cute ballet flat to show me deep ugly red marks on her feet! Since then I've heard many complaints that ballet flats are only made for people who have the twiggy version of feet.
Of course I do love a good problem simply so I can solve it. I'm happy to announce this problem can be filed in the "solved" folder.

There is only one caveat: You have to only buy flats with cute goop on the toe like buckles, bows, or gigantic rhinestone jewels.
Note above my buckle-toe patent flats, far too narrow for my flippers.
I simply pull back the decorate buckle and snip a tiny cut that allows the flat to stretch outward. Make the cut about 1/8" to start, then adjust the length by fit (I cut about 1/4"). If you have to cut a long enough cut that you cut through the stitching, make sure it does not unravel by touching clear nail polish to the ends of the thread.
See? Now my shoe fits my big fat wide foot.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Open letter to dog-walkers in Audubon Park

Dear dog owners,
It's time we had a long-overdue chat. We need you to understand a few basics about dog walking.

1. Yes, your dog is very cute. But I am not going to agree with you about that one while he is actively eating my sock. I think he's cute, but he needs to keep the ol' canines to himself.

2. Your leash is 39 feet long. The path around the park is 12 feet wide. That means your dog may be playing limbo with all runners and joggers. Frankly, you are so in the way, and I am not going to go off the track and run all the way down by the ducks just to go around your leash. Reign'r in.

3. You do look funny walking around carrying a plastic bag full of poo!

4. I hate to burst your bubble, but stopping in the middle of the path so your dog can make "friends" with a fellow dog is just not going to have a happy ending. Your dog will do one of two things:
I. Try to mate with its new "friend"
II. Try to eat its new "friend"
Or both. Meanwhile you are taking up the whole path, forcing me to scoot in the biking lane, where I will be run over by a man in a tight neon onesie.

5. Oh barf, I just saw your dog eat its own poo and now it is drinking out of the people water fountain. Can you not see the doggie water fountain RIGHT BELOW IT?!

6. For crying out loud, it's 98 degrees out here and your dog has a built in fur coat! Take the poor soul indoors already! His eyes are rolling back into his head!

Thanks, pooch people. I know you love your dog and both you and your dog have a right to use the park too, but let's try to share the space, please?

PS - That's the park on a very quiet empty day - must be right before a hurricane. Remind me to tell you about how hubby and I stayed for Gustav and had like no food at all in the house. It was actually fun in a weird, Little House on the Prairie sort of way.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Growing out bangs?

I am! What a pain, too, they keep falling in my eyes while I'm SUPPOSED to be studying for the pharmacy boards (notice the sudden blog activity? Yeah, I really can't concentrate on studying).
My bangs are at the stage where they're about 2" short of reaching a ponytail - the worst length really, since they just flop around my ears in an annoying, messy way.

One solution I've come up with is the teeny cornrow. Only it's kind of a mix between a braid and a cornrow. I was inspired by the photo above - specifically, the braid on Ms. Bilson's right. Basically I start out with a simple braid, then add in short fly away hair sections (like you would on a cornrow) as I go. I tuck the end under a lock of hair and secure it with a small barrette (the kind hair dressers use).

Cute and can be a little dressy even! I'd show you my version but the hubby took the camera today, who knows what for.

Since we're talking bangs, any other cute styles for growing out bangs? Share, share!

Victory! Take that, NOPD!

Did I ever tall you about the ticket I got for OBEYING traffic laws? Yeah. Only in New Orleans.
I was driving home - from Bible study, no less!!- when I happened upon an intersection with a flashing yellow light. Now perhaps you have such intersections in your own city - during the day, they are functional stoplights. At night, however, the main road switches to flashing yellow and the side streets become flashing red.

Flashing red = stop sign.
Flashing yellow = slow down, proceed with caution.

Am I right? Yes, I am right. Despite this obvious fact, I slowly cruised through the yellow and got pulled over and ticketed for failure to yield! I gently explained to the officer (and I am going to go ahead and be mean here. There were two officers and they were both obese, rude, and not very bright. Seriously, this is our protection from crime?! And we wonder why the murder rate is so high. I wouldn't be scared either!)... anyway, I explained that the light was flashing yellow and in driver's ed I learned that flashing yellow meant to proceed with caution. He snapped back, "Yeah, well, in cop ed we learned it means come to a complete stop!".

So I had to go to court and guess what? Of course they threw the ticket out! So there, mean and ill-informed police officers! I think you need to go back and take a refresher course since it's your job to know the traffic laws!
And by the way I no longer blindly trust NOPD. I think they just might be corrupt like everyone says.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Here's a complicated scenario for ya.
My older, misguided brother gave me a Rolex for graduation - or so it seemed.
I was promised a "used, from Ebay, but still very nice" watch from said brother and when it arrived in the mail I was surprised to find a Rolex box with all the appropriate paperwork and a Rolex-looking watch. However, research has led me to believe that this watch is not a Rolex, but an excellent counterfeit (it actually works exactly like a real Rolex, so it was very difficult to distinguish.) My dilemma is how I should respond. There are a couple of scenarios here:
1. Brother bought watch on Ebay thinking it was a real Rolex.
2. Brother bought watch on Ebay knowing it was a counterfeit but hoping I'd think it was real.
3. Brother bought watch on Ebay fully aware it was a counterfeit and assuming I'd enjoy a Rolex "replica" (the nice word for fake).

A few other facts - Ebay does not allow the sale of fake Rolexes; my brother is known for extravagant gift-giving; my brother and his wife are not really well-off (bordering on poor).

So how does one respond? If Scenario 2 or 3 were true my response will be vague and effusive thanks. But if scenario 1 is true, would he like to know so he can get his money back, especially since money is rather tight at his house?

My husband thinks I should insinuate by, the next time brother asks for the time, answering, "Well do you want the REAL time???" but I think this would take way too much planning...especially since brotehr lives in another state.

I do have a sneaky way I could gather info. My brother's wife and my sister are pals (they used to work together and my sister introduced the happy couple). My sister may be able to get a little extra info out of brother's wife.
Gah, why does this happen to me?
ANd what exactly does one do with a very good counterfeit of a Rolex?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Let's talk about LIPS

Let's hear some lip tips. Specifically...
1. You have thin lips. How do you amplify them? What look works best with narrow lips? Do you enjoy looks that fuller lips might have trouble pulling off?
Jessica Alba has full lips, and she usually wears a nude or warm rosy color. The image above is one of her darker lip colors.
2. You have big lips. Do you try to minimize them? How do you wear lipstick but avoid the clown look?
Kate Hudson, besides having a scary flat nose, has thinner lips and usually also wears pale tones. But that probably has more to do with her overall coloring.

So what's your lip look like? (hee hee) And what's your lipstick, lip gloss, or warm natural untouched beauty lip philosophy?

Friday, May 15, 2009

I graduated!

This is the story of my schooling.
1. Highschool: nonexistant. Homeschooled but "dropped out" of homeschool.
2. College: Had to persuade my way into a private college based on a good ACT score. I took time off to work before college so I could afford it.
I went to art school on art scholarships - all of which were won in competitions - for 2 years before changing my major to pre-pharmacy! The only class that transferred majors with me was my basic English!
3. I got accepted to several pharmacy schools and ended up in Monroe, La for one semester, but I transferred to Xavier in New Orleans to be closer to my then-boyfriend (I married him!).
4. Now I graduated with a 4.0! That's quite the long trail, no?

The picture is a photo of Xavier University's 4.0 graduates with the college president and the two commencement speakers, Donna Brazile (BOOOOO!) and Forest Whitaker. I'm in the middle of the back row.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Graduation party outfit

As promised, here's my outfit for my graduation party. Please excuse the no makeup/bedhead - I was trying to take a picture before I got dressed this morning so I wouldn't have to keep changing my clothes. I'm soooo lazy.
I made the necklace nad earrings last night. They are natural mother-of-pearl with Czech glass accents in kind of beachy colors since the party is at a house on the beach.

fake cop alert!

I'm taking a break from useful, helpful posts about how I fix my wardrobe to fit my not-so-orthodox body shape to tell you another complicated life story.
The other day I got pulled over by a fake police car!
I was driving on the highway and decreased my speed when I got to a bridge (long bridge over marsh - we call it the spillway - it is maybe 10 miles of alternating bridges and highway). I decreased my speed because - duh - the speed limit changed! Out of the blue this white Crown Vic hopped on my tail and started obnoxiously flashing headlights and tailgating. I got over as soon as I could, but there were slow dump trucks in the right lane so it took me a minute or two. To my surprise, the Crown Vic turned on an internal flashing light and pulled me over!
What did I do? Well, I was pretty sure this was not a police car because:
1. It was an older car
2. It had a tinted FRONT windshield, so dark I couldn't see in
3. It had HUBCAPS! Police cars don't have hubcaps!
But just in case, I pulled over anyway. However, I locked my doors! When the man in the car approached, it turned out to be a middle aged macho-looking guy in a T-shirt. I cracked my window and asked to see his badge - and he got very angry. He shouted at me that "slow grandmas [please, I'm 26] need to get off the road" and stormed away. But get this - when he pulled off, I saw that he did not have public plates. This was a "cop wannabe" who tries to make his car look like a police car just so he can pull girls over on the highway and feel important.
Now this was a potentially very dangerous situation, so I called 911 and reported the incident. Here is the advice the dispatcher gave me:
1. If you are being pulled over and you don't think this is a policeman, call the police and ask for a second squad car.
2. Don't get out of your car. Lock your doors and crack your window until you see a badge and know this is for real (once you're sure it is a real policeman do what he says!).
3. Fake pull-overs and impersonating a police officer are crimes!
So that's my drama for the week. Be safe gals!

I hesitate to wear strapless dresses because my I'm a major pear shape - my hips are way larger than my chest, so the tops are usually too big. I spend all day hiking up the top (totally tacky).
However, I dug deep into my inner Little House on the Prairie to come up with an easy solution to the problem that you can do even if you're not much of a seamstress. It only takes a minute!
I've illustrated it above using contrasting fabric and thread, but of course you'll want to match your thread closely to the color of the dress.
1. The idea is to sew a line of straight stitches in 2 places on the dress and gently gather them. So that the gathers are hidden, start sewing at the underarm seam and sew for about 3" towards the front of the dress. A good guidelines is start at the loops used to hang the dress and end where you'd attach removeable straps in the front (see first picture).
2. Sew a straight line about 1/4" from the top of the bodice. DON'T tie the thread off yet! (picture 2).
3. Pull the thread out 3/4" only (picture 3). Don't pull out any more than this of you will be able to see puckers in the finished product.
4. Tie the thread off by sewing the same stitch in place about 6 times and trim the end; arrange the gathers evenly (picture 4).
5. Repeat on the other side of the dress. This will take the bodice in a full 1.5" and you won't be able to see it when the dress is worn because the gathers are very slight and are hidden under your arm.