saturday night: the bad and the (kinda’) good

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You wouldn’t know it by looking at these photos, but…

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Saturday night was kind of miserable. Why? Because of:

1.) Tension between good friends (awkward)
2.) Tension between a married couple (more awkward)
3.) Lots of tension all around really
4.) A cranky birthday girl
5.) $40 cover charges for trendy clubs (on principle alone, I never pay covers)
6.) Walking long distances in heels
7.) Self-important 19 year-olds working the door of every club scoffing at the fact that you refuse to pay a $200 tab fee up front.

My buzz was not strong enough to deal with all that in good spirits.

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 Sushi and duck at Morimoto’s | A birthday card that describes Tanya to a tee

Did I ever tell you I really hate going to clubs? Though I’ll make exceptions for someone’s birthday or a special occasion. Case in point.

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Check out that bathroom though! Spotted at Morimoto.

Now here were the good things about that night:

1.) It was light-jacket weather.
2.) A remarkable meal at Morimoto. The duck, duck, duck (that’s what it’s called) is highly recommended. The sushi is fresh and melts in your mouth like butter.
3.) I got a ride home.
4.) Home! Oh, it was so good to finally be home.

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Lesson learned: Don’t casually go bar-hopping in the Meatpacking District, which is essentially club-hopping or lounge-hopping or however you’d like to put it, unless you’re willing to drop an exorbitant amount of dough. In which case, this is your swanky playground.

Weekends. They can’t all be winners.

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click on these

buildings

  • Attempted Heidi’s saag paneer last week week for dinner and it was wonderful. I subbed the spice mix with my own homemade garam masala (basically a dried mix of cumin, chili powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander and cloves) and made my own buttermilk (easy how-to here),  and it was still incredibly tasty and an easy meal for a weeknight. And since I’m on the topic of weeknight dinners, this 5-ingredient enchilada casserole also needs to be made very soon.

Happy weekend!

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jen’s birthday, told in orange-tinted pictures and short captions

This is how we model. Tyra, take note.me and jen

Feliz Cumpleaños!
jen and mike

Gift for Jen: a Heisenberg travel mug.heisenberg mug

Jen’s coworkers trying to get it together for a group pose.
teachers3

And still…teachers

And still!teachers2

I’m tip-toeing in this picture.
me and bob2

In which Bob (lovingly) crushes my head.me and bob1

The lighting of the candles aka a single lighter for Jen to blow out.bday cakeThe end.

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a breaking bad cake

Happy Birthday Bitch

Last weekend, Jennifer‘s husband Anthony designed her this AMAZING Breaking Bad-themed cake for her birthday.

Breaking Bad cake 4

You’ve got your blue meth. Of course.

You’ve got your birthday bacon and eggs.

Breaking Bad cake 3

You’ve got your metaphoric fly. By the way, one of my favorite episodes.

Breaking Bad cake 1

You’ve got Tuco’s grill, the pink one-eyed teddy bear, a beaker, Walt’s undies (not pictured), the tank symbols, Hector’s bell, the Stevia and Heisenberg’s famously bad-ass hat.

Breaking Bad cake 2

But what you’ve really got here…is a damn awesome cake.

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click on these

Paleo Banana Bread

Banana-date bread. Flourless, butter-less, sugar-free and absolutely heavenly served warm!
  • Ten 90′s commercials you may have forgotten about. Embarrasingly enough, that Mentos song was my jam back in the day.
  • An island where wild pigs swim with humans. So cool!

Happy weekend!

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how to unclog your drain cheaply and naturally (aka diy drano)

How to unclog your drain naturally and cheaply (aka DIY Drano)Every few months, the drain will clog and I’ll run to the drugstore for some Drano to clear it up. It does the job, but after a while, spending almost $10 on a bottle every couple or so months seemed needless. Being the cheap mulitasking cleaning wonder baking soda is, I knew there had to be some kind of baking soda mix that would effectively rise to the task. After some research, I came across two trusted sites (here and here) that endorsed a baking soda + vinegar + boiling water solution and once I tried it, I knew I wouldn’t be buying harsh and expensive Drano again.

You Will Need:

1/2 cup baking soda
2/3 cup white vinegar
Large pot of boiling water
Drain cap (or anything that will keep the fizzing soda-vinegar solution from bubbling up, i.e. a small plate or large bottlecap)

What To Do:

Funnel the baking soda down the drain. I found that some of the baking soda sat at the top, so I used a long toothpick to gently push it down.
Slowly pour in  the vinegar, covering the hole with your drain cap every so often, so that the bubbly fizz stays inside the drain.
Let sit for about 20 minutes, and then pour the entire pot of boiling water down the drain.

It’s that easy. And it really works! For me, it was one-shot deal. But if you have more stubborn buildup, then repeating the process one or more times should serve you well.

*Sources are hyperlinked within post.
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janey’s bday brunch

janey

A few weekends ago, we celebrated my sister’s birthday at Pane E Vino for the second year in a row. This place is just fantastic. The servers are attentive, the food delectable and the patio has a really bright and airy ambiance that makes your skin look all glowy and youthful (love that!).

And that lasagna? I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. TOP-NOTCH.

lasagna

After being engaged for about 5 years and together for 14, Janey and Tre announced that they set a date for their wedding next year! Knowing their style, it’s going to be a fabulously chic and offbeat affair. It’s relieving to know that I won’t have to dress in some hideous puke-green taffetta bridesmaid getup. But really, does this actually happen in real life? Who are these brides that make their bridesmaids dress like that? Friends don’t let friends wear puke green taffetta, I always say (not really).

It’s terribly exciting and it has made me so eager for my own (imaginary) wedding, so much so that I’ve been very active on my Pinterest wedding board lately, pinning everything from vintage dresses to non-floral centerpieces to practical spreadsheets on what questions to ask your photographer. Realistically, I probably won’t even come close to doing 1/3 of the ideas once it comes, but still…I like dreaming. I’m very thankful that Bob isn’t one of those guys who’s intimidated by my “When I Get Married” board. Or by my shameful consumption of Four Weddings for that matter. I admit it—I love that show!

Anyway. Back to brunch pics. Obligatory mimosa shots and all.magie and mike

tre

taking pics

steak

magie and the boys

janey, magie and the kids

The birthday girl came away with lots of hugs and kisses from the kids, a new sparkly wallet and a local spa package from yours truly.

Also! A quick tip from the lazy girl’s guide to gifting: If you’re ever in a bind about what to get someone as a gift (story of my life), or if you’re one of those people who waits until the last-minute (me again), then Groupon! Groupon is the answer! Yes, I’m sure this is old news to most of of you. But recently I was reminded that it serves as a fantastic source for gifts. Spa packages for under $40! City walking tours, yoga classes, play tickets, mani-pedi combos—all ridiculously affordable. Not to mention that buying an experience, as opposed to a tangible item, is surprising and wonderful to the person who receives it. Thumbs up for being a better gift-giver without ever leaving the house!

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