Christmas Gifting

some gifts I will be giving

I always try to get innovative with my wrapping paper.  Being as environmental as I try to be, I can't stand the idea of buying tons of wrapping paper like we did when I was growing up.  Sure, it's cute and looks fancy, but I think there are a lot of other things you can do to save money and recycle what you already have.

In the past I have used magazine pages taped together, comics pages from the Sunday paper, brown paper bags from the grocery store, and my blue lines from my drafting final project in undergrad.  One thing I do every year is keep the bags which I receive gifts in and use them the following year for presents I give to others.  I also keep paper bags from every store and restaurant I get them from and store them for gifts.  You can dress it up with a little tissue paper or newspaper, depending on the holiday and the route you wish to go with the gift.

This year I did something which I used to spend a lot of time doing as a teenager, decorating shoe boxes.  For my work party I decorated a shoe box with pages from design magazines.  It sounds so simple, but it can be tricky getting the pages just where you want them and overlapping them in the right way.  It can really become an art piece if you let it.  For a few other boxes which I am giving to family members I did buy a small roll of Christmas wrap from Target (it was $1).  I wrapped the box tops separately from the bottoms, that way they can be held together with ribbon and reused for years to come.  This is a very economical way to wrap and obviously environmental, just as long as you give them to people who you know will save them and reuse them in the future.  Also, it is great for those of us that have to travel by plane for the holidays, because if you have typically wrapped gifts and your bag is chosen for screening, TSA will open your presents.  Who wants to have to rewrap frantically after reaching their destination?

I love wrapping presents and I hope that I have given you last minute gifters an idea or two on how to be environmental and savvy when giving gifts.


The Den: Before and After

I know I'm lucky to have an extra room in my apartment.  We call it "the den" and the people we rent from left a huge ugly desk in it that we can't get rid of.  The room is relatively small (approx. 8'x11') and it also houses our closet on one end.  When we moved in, we added a few more book shelves to what the previous owners left behind and it quickly became a storage room for us, despite Danny being a grad student and me preferring to work at a desk.  This room was not being used, and the further the semester went on, the deeper the clutter got.



You can see from the before plan that the desk was wasting the corner of the room and blocking easy access to the window.  One of the biggest issues was that your back would be to the door whenever working at the desk.  This is not conducive to working at home.  I finally had a minute to sit down and realize that this den could work with a little innovation and came up with the second plan.  I measured everything and drew it out to make sure there would be enough clearance for walking through and that everything would fit.  It works perfect, I'm totally in love with my new den!  I plan to work in there all the time and I even have a great amount of space to work out in there too!







it's obvious no one can do work here!

I love doing work here!!!

I heart my "new" den!


The Best Hotel beauty products

And the winner is...

Bliss products in W Hotels.  Of course.  How can anyone not love this stuff?  I know that as soon as I walk into my room I go straight for the lotion and put it on my nightstand, so that housekeeping will keep refilling.  Do this everyday and you should have enough lemon+sage lotions to last awhile.  I use them on the go so I always have one in my purse and one at my desk at work.
Smells so good!!!
Thanks again W Hotel's for another reason for me to love you!


Whenever, Whatever San Fransisco

First let me start by saying that W Hotels are my favorite and if I am visiting a city with a W, I will most likely stay there.  I love the funky modern design and attention to detail throughout the entirety of the hotel.  I love that they are all sort of specific to the city which they are located.  I love the service and the fact that they are super dog friendly.

My recent stay was at the W San Francisco.  Located in the heart of the SoMa district, on third street right beside the MoMA, this hotel could not be in a better location.  The Living Room (W's version of a lobby) is really cool, with a fireplace and a Pac-Man/asteroid sit down two player machine.  The bar is really cool and spills into the living room, allowing guests to hang out in comfy sofas by the fire place and still order drinks and food.  Thanksgiving night they already had the Christmas decorations up, super modern tree with a city scene and contemporary light up interpretations of snowflakes all over.

window seat is my fave

One of the best things about the W are their complementary drinks and snacks in the lobby throughout the day.  In the morning is coffee, boring.  But in the afternoon was some of the best hot chocolate I've ever had with little bites of salted brownies.  Delish.  I think I put on a few pounds from so many cups of hot chocolate every day during my stay.  It was too good.

The rooms were ok, could have been a little better but cute and we had a great view of the bay bridge and part of the city.  But of course, the most important thing is the bed, and W signature beds are the most comfortable beds in the world.  The pillows, down comforter, pillowtop mattress, oh my.

view from our window

Most important is that Napoleon liked it here.  Though I don't think he appreciated it when we left him alone in a strange room for most of the day while we toured the city, but he got over it when we gave him the many W dog treats the front desk provided for him.  He really liked the bed too.  No, not the adorable and comfortable doggy bed the hotel provided, our bed.  You think this guy would sleep on a dog bed?  You must be crazy.

you crazy if you tink ima sleep on dis


Tourista Takes San Francisco

Just a few pics from our Thanksgiving weekend in San Francisco.

Coit Tower view from North Beach

Danny and I at Coit Tower, GG Bridge behind us

Lombard Street (the crookedest street in the world)

a nice architectural detail on Nob Hill

we brought our baby along :)

my favorite view of the city

SFMoMA's design of wine exhibit

Thanksgiving (almost a month later...)

Sorry I have been in hiatus for awhile, but I'm back, just in time for the Holidays.  But what happened to Thanksgiving?  Well, Danny and I had our first Thanksgiving in a restaurant and it was a splendid experience!  I made the mistake of waiting too long to make a reservation and we found ourselves with only one option (after an extensive search on yelp.)  Luckily it was close to our hotel, not too expensive, had vegetarian options, and was super yum.

The place: Zare at Flytrap.
The food: 4 course pre fixe Thanksgiving menu.
First course: me-squash soup, Danny-sweet potato bacon soup
Second course: me-this amazing eggplant that was covered in sauces and, omg, I don't love eggplant, but I loved this!, Danny- trout with cucumber/pasta salad thing.  meh.
Main Course: me-a sort of vegetarian meatball thing, breaded and fried with beans, potatoes and veggies inside served with a side of guac, Danny- turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing.
Dessert- we shared them both.  A pumpkin cake with some sort of scrumptious sorbet and pumpkin churros.

We both got yummy drinks too.  Mine was something I can't remember the name of, but it was basically a more sophisticated version of the margarita.  Danny got about the girliest drink on the menu, but it was super good.  To put it in perspective, it had a pistachio crusted rim.  Mmmm, I would go back just for that drink.. I wish I remembered the name of it.
vegetarian kufteh tabrizi (veggie meatballs)

pumpkin cake with candied orange and pecans

nice ambiance, great Thanksgiving!


instant cheer up


One of my favorite websites.  This always cheers me up no matter what kind of a day I am having.  What can I say?  I love cute animals!


Native Foods

Happy Thanksgiving!!!  Let me tell you what I am thankful for:  A vegan place just opened in my town of Culver City, right at my bus stop (which I take at least once a week).  Native Foods Cafe is a UCLA staple that I heard about just days before I realized they closed the macrobiotic place and were putting in Native Foods.  I was psyched.  Days later I got to try it for the first time.  Not only is their food amazing, they make multiple varieties of their own seitan, have a huge menu and appeal to meat eater's as well, but they also have an awesome customer loyalty program.

You get a card and they swipe it every time you make a purchase.  You can log on to the website and check your points.  When you reach 200 points, $10 is automatically loaded on your card.  You also get a tip from Chef Tanya every time you make a purchase.  Sometimes you will get something better than a tip, such as 10% off or a free drink, something awesome like that.

New favorite place in Culver City.  Can't wait for my next meal here!!!


The best cure for a hangover?

Zico Coconut Water.  Now sold in Trader Joe's.  A hangover is not required in order to benefit from drinking coconut water.  This is great to drink before or after a workout, massage, or whenever you are parched and in need of extreme hydration.  I get a jolt of lasting energy after drinking a bottle. I have tried other brands in the past and never enjoyed them as I do Zico.  It's bottled in Hermosa Beach and it's new bottle is made from recycled material and can be fully recycled after use.  Zico has more potassium than a banana and it's the perfect natural way to hydrate.  They have three flavors, so if you just can't acquire the taste for pure coconut water, give the lima citron, pomberry, or piña tropicale a try.  So throw out those awful energy drinks full of high fructose corn syrup (America's #1 source of gmo's, by the way) and grab a few bottles of this magical juice.

I'm totally addicted.  Thank you Trader Joe's for carrying it now!  If you don't have TJ's near you, click here to see where else Zico is sold.

The grade:
Packaging:  A
Taste: (it is kind of acquired, you might not love it at first, but try try again) A
Environmentability: (not a word...yet) A+
Overall Score: A


discover money back

I love my discover card.  I get sooo much money back I kinda feel like I'm stealing.  The best part is that I usually use my money back to buy gift cards for people for birthdays/holidays.  You can get gift cards to major stores at a discount.  Example: you pay $20 for a $25 gift card, $40 for a $50 or sometimes they have $80 for $100 (I have bought this one from Sephora for myself in the past!)  Besides gift cards or money back, you can also give your cash back rewards to charity.  The only downside to Discover is that most local and/or small businesses don't accept Discover because they charge a lot of fees to the business.  But hey, you the consumer reaps the rewards of these high fees.  As said consumer, I give Discover card an A.


sephora booty

My newest sephora purchase arrived in the mail.  I LOVE sephora!  They are obsessed with giving free samples of amazing products.  Plus, I make my purchase through ebates and get money back.  I am really feeling the deals lately.


LA's best cupcakes.

If you go back to some of my posts from the beginning of the year and you check my yelp page, you will see that I am a cupcake connoisseur.  I have made it my goal to try all of the supposed best cupcake bakeries in LA.  A large task, but one I am willing to commit to.  Until now I have compared them all to Sprinkles and hadn't found any that were better overall.  Now I can compare every cupcake I taste to Frosted Cupcakery's cupcakes.  O-M-G!  I could not believe how incredibly delicious their cupcakes are.  I was lucky to purchase a groupon for 6 cupcakes for $9 (score!).

The original location is on the Belmont shore, but that is much to far for me (even for cupcakes).  Luckily they have a newer locations in Hollywood!  The store is cute with everything detailed nicely, all one of a kind.  The workers were super nice and patient in my decisions.  I mean, I could only get 6, so it took a minute to decide!!!  Here are the flavors I got (I shared with my husband so don't think I'm such a fatty)

1)  Royal White with nutella buttercream: first one I tried.  The most moist cake I've ever had in a cupcake.  The frosting was amazing, with half of a ferrero rocher in the the center (my favorite candy!) A+++
2) Red Velvet: not the best red velvet I've ever had.  Not as moist cake as the others. B-
3)  Chocolate with vanilla buttercream: Good.  Not as moist as the white cake, but I think that is common in chocolate cake.  I would say it is on par with Sprinkle's black and white. A
4)  Pumpkin: OMG, don't even get me started.  I am a pumpkin flavored anything fanatic.  This was an A+++
5) Carrot: Danny ate this one, I tried it and it was good, very spicy, but I've had better carrot cake. B+
6) Lemon with cream cheese frosting: equally as moist.  Amazingly scrumptious.  A+

Overall Grade: A+, this is my new fave cupcake bakery in LA.  Sorry Sprinkle's.


Green Wine?

I don't like white wine.  At all.  But recently at a baby shower I was handed a glass of Vinho Verde, a Portuguese white wine with just a little bit of effervescence.  I don't turn down drinks that are handed to me, so I gave it a try.  It was so good!!!  I heard from another friend that they sell said green wine at Trader Joe's.  On my next weekend shopping trip I found it, and at only $3.99 a bottle, this stuff is one of my newest fave TJ's finds.

The Grade:
Taste: A
Price: A+
Packaging: A-
Overall: A


The new Blue

Remember Crispy M&M's, in the blue bag?  Well the blue bag is back and they call them pretzel M&M's, but it's basically the same thing.

If you are thinking of trying these because you absolutely LOVE chocolate covered pretzels, don't bother.  These taste nothing close to a chocolate covered pretzel.  If you were uber sad when the crispy M&M's went away (I think there were about 5 of us in the world...) then you will probably really like these because to me, the crunch, texture, and pretzel to chocolate ratio is the same as the crispies were.

The Grade:
Taste: B-
Packaging: B
Texture: A
Overall:  B+


kindle your imagination

I love my kindle.  My mom got it for my husband for graduation, but it was really for me since he doesn't read books as often!  This thing answers my prayers about how to be green but still read books.

I always hated the fact that I would buy a book and then what?  It sits on my shelf for years and years, or I give it away.  But still, the waste of paper!  Also the cost of books is a lot, and I'm sorry I have tried, but I am just not a fan of library books (they smell!)

So along comes the Kindle.  It's small, it's cute, it's electronic.  What's not to love?  The price has gone down significantly since my mom purchased it almost 2 years ago.  The book prices are so cheap and sometimes free (in the case of classics like Shakespeare).  And, best of all, no trees are harmed when you read your book.

I'm not anti-book, and this thing is not meant to replace coffee table books or textbooks.  This is for the pleasure readers, those of us who read novels and biographies for fun.  It also allows you to read newspapers, magazines, and blogs on it.  Another neat thing is you can highlight and make notes if you are reading for a book club or school or something.  I used these on my Kindle when I was reading for a book discussion.  It is easy to use and easy to find a page you have marked.

Another great thing about the Kindle is the no glare screen.  I have been reading at a pool in Vegas on a super sunny day with absolutely no problem. It's perfect for planes and any kind of travel.  Most recently I have read The Fountainhead on my Kindle.  Overall, my Kindle really made me start reading more and I absolutely love it!

The Grade:
usability: A
aesthetics: A
price: A-
Overall Score: A


Wurstküche: a sausage kitchen

As I write this, I'm still a little buzzed from my latest restaurant adventure.  A couple of friends invited my husband and I to this great little place on the edge of Little Tokyo and the Arts District called Wurstküche.  I have been looking for an excuse to go to this sausage and beer joint for awhile, so I couldn't turn it down!  "Wait Taryn, sausage...aren't you vegetarian????"  Well thanks for remembering, yes I am.  And don't worry, I did not need to waiver in my diet because Wurstküche offers three vegetarian sausages!!  It's so cool to be able to go to a German sausage and beer place and eat more than just fries.

check out the awesome barn doors, this place is an architect's delight.

This place is a great mix of hipsters and intellectuals, and least we forget the intellectual hipsters.  Seriously, everyone in this place is young and cool, but so not "LA."  I really felt like I was in a somewhat upscale dive bar in my alma mater of Columbia, Mo.

We took the bus over after work and knew we were there when we saw a line emerging from a brick wall.  It's set up so you stand in line and order your food and libations, then you walk to the back where all of the seating is located.  We were there at a decent time so almost immediately found a table for four.  Most of the tables are community style too, or small coffin shaped metal tables.  So cool.  The place is really an eclectically modern architect's dream, with the partially brick, partially frosted glass walls, long custom tables and overall innovative layout.

We had plenty of time to drink our beers and chat while waiting for our food to come, but not so long that we were like "ok, where the hell is our food?"  Our food came, oh, it looked amazing.  My friend Emily and I both had the Vegetarian Smoked Apple Sage with caramelized onions and sweet peppers, and our male counterparts had bratwurst and chicken/turkey sun dried tomato and mozzarella.  And of course the groot double dipped fries with curry ketchup.  Mmmmmm.....

The veggie sausage was really good, not sure if I would bother trying the others because I really enjoyed this one so much.  Don't even get me started on the curry ketchup.  Ketchup and Curry are two of my most favorite things.  Put them together and OMG!

The Grade:
Food: A
Drinks: A
Price: A-
Ambiance: A
People: A
Overall Score: A

the youth as we know it

That is the name of a great line of products by Bliss, which is one of my favorite brands.  I have tried a lot of Bliss products in the past, but this one takes the cake.

It is an age-defying face lotion which does everything it claims to do.  I know, I'm only 25, why am I worried about wrinkles and aging?  Well, as someone who will never go under the knife or needle for beauty, I want to keep the wrinkles at bay for as long as I can.  So as soon as I started noticing tiny fine lines on my forehead and eyes, I went to Sephora and scoured the aisles.  I ended up in the Bliss section as usual and despite the price tag ($79 for 1.7 oz) I made the purchase.  It was worth every penny.

Even though it is a small amount of product, it lasted me for nearly 4 months.  I only used it at night and used another cheaper Bliss day lotion during the day.  I regret that I have not purchased anymore, which is only due to lack of funds, but I intend to soon because of the dramatic results.

Not only did my fine lines disappear, but my occasional acne subsided, my skin had a beautiful dewy look and I always felt like it was glowing.  My makeup went on smoother and my skin felt flawless.  I really feel like this stuff is magic!

The product also smells great, which is important in a moisturizer.  It is super thick, which helps it last because you only need a tiny bit to cover your whole face and neck.

The Grade:
Does what it claims: A+
Scent: A+
Price: C-
Packaging: A+
Overall Grade: A-


Vegans unite!!!

Veg News is a great magazine which I highly recommend.  A girl from my high school is an editor, check out her blog Saavy Abby.  Anyway, I have checked out their website frequently since I found out about it from her working there, but I had yet to see the actual magazine (in fact, I actually thought it was only an online mag...)  But alas, I was in Sprout's checking out and there it was.  I had to pick it up, and I am glad I did, it is great! There is just something so different from reading articles online and holding the actual magazine.  I am a big magazine fan.  I may just have to subscribe to this one!

I am not vegan, but as a vegetarian I appreciate vegan food and if I had the patience in the kitchen and at the grocery stores I would love to cook only vegan.  That is where Veg News comes in.  They offer great articles and recipes to help you kick-start your vegan diet, or keep it going for long time vegans.  I am of the sort who likes to be a part time vegan, and I suggest everyone try to eat vegan at least once a week, it's so much better for the environment and your health.  Plus it can be really delicious if you make it right or go to the right restaurant.  Forget fake meat and salads, there is so much more to being vegan and Veg News tells us all about it.

P.S.  If you are in LA, you have to try Real Food Daily.  Their sea cakes are to die for!

Veg News, you get an A+!


Yes! Yes! Yes!

To cucumbers and carrots!

This brand is absolutely amazing, so glad I finally decided to give it a try.  You can usually find the brand in Target, but check out their website to find out where to find the products closest to you.  I have been using the Yes to Carrots conditioner for a few months now and it seems to never run out.  It is great, makes my hair smooth and does what conditioner should.  The best find though, is definitely the Yes to Cucumbers Shampoo.  I picked it up because it is green (I'm strangely attracted to anything green) and it is labeled to protect color treated hair.  Hey, my hair is color treated!!!  I was on the market for a new shampoo anyway, and at only about $8 for 16.9 oz I thought, why not?  After only 4 days of using this deliciously scented shampoo, my hair is completely manageable.  Prior to using it, I couldn't just blow dry and go.  In order for my hair to look half way decent I had to do a blow out with a round brush and sometimes use the flat iron.  But now I can take about 2 minutes to run the blow dryer over my hair and voila, it's gorgeous.  It is soft and smooth, but not weighed down.  It definitely has body that lasts throughout the day, and hopefully my expensive highlights and lowlights are being protected as it claims.

Also, it is worth noting that this is a paraben free product, all natural of course.  Also, the company has a non-profit organization the "Yes to Carrots Seed Fund" which helps make a difference through sustainable agriculture.  I will continue to support that by buying more Yes To products!  Check them out!

The Grade:
Scent: A+
Does what it claims: A
Packaging: A-
Usability: A+
Overall: A


FIG Santa Monica

I said I wouldn't be reviewing restaurants, since that is what I use my yelp account for, but I will make the exception for superb restaurants that require a double review.

FIG is located in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows on Wilshire and Ocean.  But FIG is not a hotel restaurant.  Though it is actually in the hotel, it totally stands up for itself.  First there is the gorgeous interior, with marble table tops and big comfortable armed dining chairs, the epitome of California Style.  The bar houses many wines, knowledgeable bartenders, and a delicious looking tray of cheese.  The menu changes faster than the seasons with a careful selection of sustainable local ingredients made into innovative contemporary dishes.  The bottom of the menu informs you as to what is currently in season, what ingredients they will be getting soon, and what is going out of season, that way you can imagine what you might try the next time you return!

My favorite was the scarlet quinoa salad with chard, apple, and heirloom carrots.  I also had a yummy drink with tequila, pineapple, and strawberry, but I can't recall the name of it.  My husband enjoyed the three onion soup which was suuuuuuper cheesy (he loved that part of it)  The soup was huge, enough for a meal for some people.  We also tried the buffalo mozzarella with hand mashed pesto, tasty, but nothing special, not worth the price.  And finally we shared the pastaless lasagna.  I highly recommend it.  It is also very cheesy (the chef loves his cheese!) and the sweet potatoes, zucchini, and eggplant mixed with the sauce did not make me miss the noodles at all!

Oh, and the bread and butter they bring at the beginning of the meal, don't get me started!  It's the most crispy outside with super soft and warm inside served in a cute little FIG paper bag and a big tub of arugula butter.  Mmmmm, I HAVE to have more arugula butter!!!

Of course I had dessert.  The chocolate pot au creme with fresh berries and little butter cookies on the side.  It was good, but next time I will try the churros!

We will be back.

The Grade:
Interior: A-
Wait Staff: A+
Flavor: A
Look of Food: A
Price: B
Overall Score: A-

I heart cookbooks

Being a vegetarian and my husband not, sometimes it is hard to please the both of us without me slaving over multiple meals in the kitchen all day.  In walks this cookbook.  Almost every recipe that I have made from this 200+ page book has been a crowd pleaser to the veg and the non-veg.  It's something about the simplicity of the ingredients and the flavors which meld together perfectly in each recipe that make them so tasty.  As a vegetarian for over 3 years now, I have learned a lot of ingredients that are out of the ordinary to most American omnivores.  These ingredients are often hard to find and expensive, but this book keeps it simple with things like sweet potatoes, chickpeas, green beans, you know, the usual.

Tonight I cooked one of our faves, Moroccan-Spiced Sweet Potato Medley, which is a one pan meal that consists of onion, sweet potato, tomatoes, bulgar wheat, chickpeas, raisins, cilantro, and spices.  Along with the ingredients being relatively easy to find and inexpensive, most recipes, such as this one, are super quick and easy.

The Grade:
Readability: A+ (most recipes have a clear image of what they should look like)
Design: B-
Ease of Recipes: A
Taste of Recipes: A+
Price: A ($14.95)
Overall Grade: A

If you can't find the book yourself, check out Good Housekeeping Recipes.  The book is published by Hearst/Sterling.


click here for savings

no, click here.  What is it?  Imagine: You are shopping online and right before you check out you have to search all over the internet for a coupon code to plug in so you can get free shipping and maybe 10% off.  Well this site does most of the work for you.  With tons of stores to choose from, Ebates lets you shop a store or brand through their website and you get anywhere from 3-20% (or so) cash back after your purchase.  I'll admit, I haven't actually made any purchases yet, but my friend Jessica at The Eagle's Nest has, and she received a cold hard check in the mail.  It almost sounds too good to be true, but it's not.  I can't wait to start shopping.  I think some new boots are in store for me.  And maybe some new makeup and lotions to review.  If you are cool, you will join ebates.  Do it!

The Grade:
Usability: A
Does what it claims: A

Overall: A

Update:  I have now earned $8 just from signing up and one small order from DSW...I will never shop in stores again!!!


Whole Foods sells Shampoo??

Always on the quest for something to take my thin and limp hair to big and sexy without a lot of harsh chemicals, I stumbled upon ctonics, thanks to YDT.  Ctonics is totally natural, vegan, sold only at select Whole Foods Markets, yada yada yada...  There are different formulas with intriguing names like "tranquility," "tantra," and "passion."  Each is formulated with different natural ingredient meant to help different hair types.

Being the adventurer reviewer that I am, I went to Whole Foods and searched the whole body section for the concoction with the name "pulse."  Pulse promises to "cleanse, awaken and energize the scalp, delivering nutrients to promote and stimulate growth and strengthen hair; making it a perfect tonic for both men and women with fine, thinning or receding hairlines."  How could I not give it a try?

It has been almost two months and I just finished the 8 oz bottle this morning. (I wash my hair 6-7 times a week)  Have I noticed thicker hair?  No, but my hair is definitely looks and feels healthier, though seems even flatter (which I find to be the case any time my hair is healthy, like the time when I went au natural for a year)  It's a little different to use the first few times, but it quickly becomes second nature.  You have to shake it to ensure the ingredients are well mixed.  Then you massage a quarter sized amount into the crown of your head.  You wet your hair a little bit to help mix it around easier then add another quarter sized dollop to the rest of your head.  Leave it on for at least two minutes before rinsing.  (NOTE:  it is natural, so it doesn't lather like regular shampoos, which makes it a bit tricky to know if you are cleaning your whole head)  Also, as I'm sure is obvious since this is sold only online and at Whole Foods, it is pricey.  $25 for 8oz.  Ouch.

Here's my grade:
Packaging: A-
Ease of Use: C
Price: D-
Does as it claims: B- (because it did make my hair healthier, but not thicker)
Environmental Friendliness: A-

Overall Grade for Ctonics Pulse shampoo: C+

I'm baaaaaaaack...for now.

Ok, so here's the skinny:  I read my friend's blogs daily, and am made to feel bad whenever I don't EVER update...but the thing is that I have been brainstorming for a while now a sort of blog resurrection, focusing a bit more specifically on one particular area.  I realized that one thing I love doing is trying anything that is new and interesting and telling everyone I know about it, good or bad.  So I plan to be a savvy reviewer of many products and a few places.  I yelp, and eat out quite a lot, so I don't want to make this a repetition of my yelps.  Not to mention that I'm incredibly busy:  1)working a full time job 2)going to school at night 3)inspiring to be a yoga/aerobics instructor/personal trainer in my spare time 4)taking care of a husband who is in the midst of studying for an exam which will determine his future and 5)a little pup who is my world, but very demanding....among other things...  So bear with me as I take time from my demanding schedule a few times a week to bring you products and places that you have always wanted to try but weren't quite sure of.  I will tell you my honest opinion of how things work, look, taste, and/or feel.

Welcome to the new Eclectically Modern, still eclectic and modern, yet so much more.


the buying of the chair

this post is looooooooong overdue.  my friends tina and jannae helped me navigate the streets of 3rd and melrose to find the perfect chair one saturday nearly a month ago.  i know what i like and i know what is quality and what is a good price (i'm not a designer for nothing you know!)  the first place that we went to was enough, it is called floorplan and i really wish they had a website because you just have to see how great this place is!  for now just check out the yelp reviews, or better yet, get your ass over to 3rd street between the bev center and the grove, where you will find this quaint little store with a super friendly artist owner (who claims to be straight.  straight eye for the straight women?)  anyway, he was super nice and knocked a lot off the price, telling me he had a lot of new inventory coming in the following week and needed to make room (it is a bit crowded in there, but crowded with amazing furniture, so it's ok.)

the chair is perfect. i am happy with my first "real furniture" purchase (i don't consider ikea to be real furniture because nobody keeps that stuff for longer than they have to.)  but really, the only thing that matters is that napoleon approves.


these are my confessions...

i love earrings.  i could do without rings, bracelets, and necklaces...but when i leave the house without earrings in, i feel naked.  during college there were many days that i stumbled out of bed, tucked my sweatpants that i slept in into my fake uggs (i know, i know, but they were sooooo comfy!!!) and began walking to my morning class only to realize halfway that i forgot to put on earrings.  egad!  i would then turn around to go back to my apartment, up the three flights of stairs, open up my finicky door, storm into my bedroom to grab a pair and dash out again, hopefully to make it to class on time (my approximate walking commute time to my classes was 7 minutes, as long as they were in the architecture building, 1 minute if in the fine arts building.)

so earrings are important to me, and boy was i excited to see a great variety of my favorite accessory at unique LA this past weekend (see previous post.)  i did a good job at being frugal, purchasing only two pair.  i had to tell myself that i already owned plenty of earrings (truth) and that there will be other unique LA's or other shows in which i can buy amazing one of a kind jewelry.

from gambetta beads are these one of a kind earrings made of ceramic and glazed in some beautiful glazes that make this great color and texture on the baked clay.  i took a ceramic class and made a sculpture in a similar glaze.

And these babies are from osec.