Friday, December 29, 2006

Blood on my pillow!



My lips get crazy chapped in the winter. Also, I have this habit where I bite my bottom lip non-stop whenever I write. The combination is deadly for cute soft lips. In fact, Christmas eve morning, I woke up with blood on my pillow because I bit my lips while I slept and they were so chapped they started bleeding in the middle of the night. Ew, right? Blood on my pillow should remain an old-timey indicator that I have tuberculosis, and NOT that I have icky dry crackle-lips from hell.

My elbows, knuckles and knees also get very dry in the winter. It feels tight and crackly and I hate how it looks.

Luckily, there are two great products I have found make my skin and lips smooth and soft and awesome.

One is Sephora's amazing Body Butter. It is full of yummy moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, Italian olive oil, and Brazilian cupuacu. What is cupuacu, you ask? I looked it up on wikipedia.

"Cupuaçu seeds can be made into cupulate, which looks and tastes just like chocolate but is cheaper and more resistant to heat. Asahi Foods, a Japanese company, once tried to patent the production and use of Cupuaçu seed fat, but they failed."

I will totally smear that shit on my body.

It is super moisturizing, but unlike other super moisturizing lotions like Lubriderm, it doesn't have a medicinal smell, nor is it perfume-y like most cosmetic brand lotion. It's even better than Kiehl's Creme de la Corps, which I used to hold as the gold standard for all things moisturizer (and which is very pricey, at $42 for a large bottle). The Body Butter has a nice, clean scent of an honest person. And your skin gets so soft everyone will want to touch you all day. I'd buy it online, because twice when I have gone to Sephora they have run out of it.

As for lips, nobody does it better than Kiehls. I've tried Carmex and whatever but that shit tingles too much and when you kiss a person wearing Carmex, it makes your lips all vaseliney and tingly too. Yuck. Also, I'm basically against those kind of balms where you have to carry a tiny tub around and get your index finger covered in it every time you use it.

Also, this lip balm has SPF, so awesome.

Price: $15 for 5oz, $25 for 16oz available at Sephora.com

Price: $7.50 for a .5oz tube, available at Kiehls.com or in stores.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Solar ipod + Phone charger


I don't own this yet, it's in the mail.

I'm very psyched to be posting about a gadget because I don't usually. And since this one utilizes solar power and charges both your cell phone AND your iPod... that pretty much makes me Chloe from "24", doesn't it?

"This small and lightweight device has three wings that expand to catch sunlight for solar power. The solar battery efficiently recharges iPods® and cell phones using the latest solar technology. Weatherproof and portable, Better Energy Systems' Solio collects solar energy in town or out in the field—anywhere the sun is shining. And it's simple to use—a red LED indicates the level of charge."

So now even if I forget to charge something, my good buddy Helios the Sun God can help me out. Solar power is so fucking cool. Leonardo diCaprio taught me that.


This is the best.

I'll have to update you when I receive it.


Price: $100

at www.redenvelope.com

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Slingbox

This year my favorite present was an electronic device called a Slingbox. My mom and dad got it for me.

Basically what a Slingbox does is sits by your TV and hooks up to both your DVR and your internet connection. Then it allows you to access your DVR from anywhere you can get online. Pretty cool, right?

Since I do a lot of traveling for work, it will be great to watch my DVR'd shows in another city. Plus, when I get back to New York I'll no longer have a bunch of entertainment debt I feel obligated to pay off.

Price: About $220

You can read more about the Slingbox here or see me give a live demonstration of it here.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Fever Pitch, you guys!


My uncle, my dad, my brother and I are going to the Red Sox-Angels game on April 15th at Fenway Park.

For Christmas presents for the men in my family, I was going to get Sox-Yankees tickets but four tickets in the *bleachers* is like $800!!

So I compromised and got pretty cool seats for the Angels games. Right Field Box 19, Row B.

I did some extensive googling of Fenway park seating charts and even got a free consultation from some experts from Fire Joe Morgan.

For those of you not familar with it, Fire Joe Morgan is a sports blog so unbelievably difficult to understand and so full of dude references and boring baseball shit, I only check it to see if Mrs. Tremendous is mentioned doing something fabulous (and sometimes there are funny jokes too.) Anyway, two FJM bloggers kindly pulled themselves from their caves at espn.com or whatever, and gave me tips about how to buy seats at Fenway.

Ken Tremendous recommended seats below grandstand level, because above that, the seats are in the shade and very cold. These seats are around $300. Murbles told me the best seats are above the Green Monster, which, upon research, are like $2000 each! Apparently blogging for Fire Joe Morgan is an amazingly lucrative job. Ken Tremendous did tell me that right field is super fun, as long as you're not blocked by the Pesky Pole or other weird poles. That was very helpful in buying my tickets.

It's probably fine no matter what, because in truth, I don't know very much about baseball, except I believe that the chances of someone rushing on the field and proposing to me are really high, right? That happens like every game at least once, right?

Price: it's a range. I think Yankees games at Fenway are pretty much only for the super-rich or personal relations of Tom Werner. For non Yankees games, I think you can get pretty good seats for around $150 a person.

To find out more about Fire Joe Morgan, go to www.firejoemorgan.blogspot.com.

You can't buy love!




Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Kate's Paperie.



Oh, Kate. I've got it so bad for you.

When you love to shop as much as I do, it seems silly to not wrap the presents you spent so much time selecting in a totally fucking dope way.

Kate's Paperie is one of the most fun stores in Manhattan. If you have no disposable income, it's one of the worst stores ever. Truly, there is not a single item in the store that is reasonably priced. But a visit to Kate's, like Dean and DeLuca, or ABC Carpet & Home, lets you imagine yourself if you were Manhattan-rich and had your life in total stylish order, and that is worth every penny.



I love their wrapping paper. Believe me, most of the time I use whatever is around my apartment, and I'm embarassed to reveal that up until around age 23 I would use the x-rated phone sex section of the Village Voice to wrap presents... but Christmas is different, because the gifts sit under the blinking pretty lights of a Christmas tree and everyone gets to look at them!

And so if I happen to be near Kate's, which I am, and feeling rich, which eh, feh, whatever, I'll pick up some of their wrapping paper.

Personally I think the bows here are a little much and overpriced, so I'd just stick to the pre-curled stringlets at Rite-Aid or CVS. Let's not get carried away, people.

Price: $3.50 a sheet or around $9 a roll.

Kate's Paperie
Soho
561 Broadway
(between Prince and Spring Streets)
New York, NY 10012
(there are about 4 more in Manhattan)
or:

www.katespaperie.com

Friday, December 22, 2006

All About Grandmothers.

Grandmothers, huh?

If your grandmother likes to read, it's easier. I have given my grandmother "Pride & Prejudice" in every conceivable form there is: book, unabridged book, audio tape, DVD starring Colin Firth, DVD starring Keira Knightley, novelization of the Keira Knightley movie. Well no, I didn't give her that. But I would if it existed.




Grandmothers seem to like Jane Austen (coincedentally, so do I). "Persuasion" and "Mansfield Park" are good choices too. When my grandmother, Amita, finished all of the Jane Austen, it was on to Edith Wharton (my favorite author of all time, coincedentally). Then it was modern-day romantic novels like Bridges of Madison County and Cold Mountain.

If books are no good, there are other options. I kind of think the store Crabtree & Evelyn was invented so that young men and women can buy things for elderly women.



Have you tried there? They have really nice hand creams, and my grandmother always complains about her hands being too brittle or chapped all the time. There's one in Rockefeller Center, actually. (You will hate it there, by the way. It's done up like the inside of the ladies house in Arsenic and Old Lace.)

Shawls are also a good option, if your grandmother is always chilly, like mine is.



I got my grandmother this one from Eileen Fisher (great store for gifts for moms and grandmothers). It was even on sale for $79 and comes in a lot of pretty colors.

If you want to give a pricier gift, I think bracelets are nice presents. I personally love charm bracelets, and they're trinket-y enough that I think grandmothers like them as well. This juicy one is only $35, and you can personalize it with charms.


Presents for Grandmothers

Yo. Anyone have any ideas on what the get grandmothers for Christmas? Wait, I'll stop being so mysterious. I mean, what should I get my grandmother for Christmas?

She's 88.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Gwen Stefani! U R SO AWESOME!


Look at this fucking awesome L.A.M.B. watch. It's a charm watch, with a tiny lamb engraved on it. Sooo cute. Sooo unusual. What I don't get is how Gwen Stefani manages to sing weird and totally cool songs, have her rasta-and-harajaku fusion clothing line, be married to a completely hot guy, have a baby, have an rocking body, and MAKE ACCESSORIES THIS CUTE!

I don't own it. But I want it.


To answer some of my readers questions, yes, I am at work, and no, I have not done any work in the past three days.

Price: $275

www.revolveclothing.com

You look hot here. Why is your hair so long, is it fake?

http://www.nbc.com/The_Office/video/nod31003_PLgj92slGHGIW0925.shtml#video

Yoga Booty Ballet


"You gon' back that thing up or should i push up on it?" asked 50 Cent in his awesome hit "Candy Shop".

Either way, 50 Cent is going to have his way from behind. It's important!

Having a nice, bouncy - and not jiggly - rear is important to most girls, and especially to frivolous-minded minority women. That is why I was delighted to receive a gift certificate to Yoga Booty Ballet.

It's pretty much the simultaneously stupid and awesome thing I could get involved with. It's a yoga-based weight training class in West Hollywood that focuses entirely on your ass. I can't believe how excited I am. I heard it about from Jamie Pressly at some press event, and oh my god, she has the best ass ever.


The class is taught by two really fun, peppy-looking ladies, Gillian and Leigh.

I honestly have no idea how this might be useful to any of you guys except Leila. And uh, I'm not sure this is Leila's style (but I hope it is!).

Price: $15 a class, but you can buy packs

Good for girlfriends, dilettantes, black, latino and indian girls.

www.yogabootyballet.com

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Affordable bling


Do you have a girlfriend or wife or baby mama you love but can't afford to buy real bling?

Banana Republic can solve all your problems, friends.

Banana Republic is taking a cue from Kimora Lee (Simmons still?) and has a sick costume jewelry line now. You can give your lady a new ring EVERY MEAL if you wanted to. I lied to my co-worker Lee about my ring being fake, and he believed me. It's designed to look like estate jewels that your rich granny left you. Delish.

Price: range of $30-$78 for fun, flirty chunky costume jewelry.
www.bananarepublic.com or at stores.

Antworks


My brother got this from Thinkgeek.com and it was so cool that this year I bought it for all my agents. It's a great gift for kids too, once they're old enough to not be ant-eating morons. Instead of sand, the substrate is this clear gel. Best of all, the gel is also the ants' food and water source. It's 20 bucks, 30 if you want a light that goes underneath the farm.

Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling's Gross Master


Okay these next two posts are gonna solve all your kid gift-buying problems. I went to dinner on monday at my co-worker Stewart's house. He has 2 awesome daughters, Carissa (4) and Sophia (2). And I wanted to bring some sort of gift but he is a crazy wine expert so that was out of the question. I decided to get something for his kids, so I went to the Discovery Channel Store at the mall. Everything looked really boring or choke-tastic except for this funny green box with 3 buttons on it. It was the Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling Gross Master. And who do toddlers like more than Howard Stern's least charming sidekick? So I bought it and gave it to Carissa. When you press the eyes, it makes gross noises (fart sounds, toilet splashing, belching). When you press the nose, it tells gross jokes and sings songs about pooping. No foul language though.

The kids LOVED it. They walked around all night pressing the buttons over and over again, laughing hysterically at the jokes before the punchline was even told. At one point, Carissa asked me, "Will this last forever?" I told her that the toy would but she wouldn't.

What do I wear to the Golden Globes?



What do I wear? I wore a white backless sequins dress last year. i thought it was cool, and I looked like a jazzy barely-dressed Vegas bride. But this year, dare I wear, say yellow? I don't know you guys. Please advise.

Gifts that I've Bought that I love, part 3

My friend Caroline and I went to the Grove last night and did some excellent Christmas shopping. I bought great gifts for relatives. We also bought a shitload for ourselves, like this hot little purple satin party dress from Forever 21. But I won't blog about that, that's selfish.


J.Crew isn't really my style, it's a little too preppy for me (I don't get preppy. I only like it on black hip-hop moguls, like when Jay-Z wears argyle sweater vests.) but they do cashmere really, really well. It's very dense cashmere. It retains its shape even though it slips on like butter. Their "boyfriend" style sweater has a comfy, drapey Diane-Keaton-in-Annie-Hall feel to it. Also, if you match it with like a copper or shimmery tank, it's not preppy at all.



I bought the first season of Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist, which is completely cute and charming show and where I first realized how amazingly funny Louis C.K. is.



Prices:
Boyfriend Sweater: $99 (on sale from $158 if you buy it at the store) J.Crew
Dr. Katz DVD: $13.99 Amazon.com

Friday, December 15, 2006

Gifts I've Bought that I love, part 1

Of all the people in my immediate family, the person I love buying gifts for most is my mom. She shares a blingy sensibility with me.

She also gets why I like patent leather vs. regular leather. She's so much fun.
So my mom loves going to the gym and doing the elliptical machine. My dad helped her download a lot of Rodgers & Hammerstein and ABBA but she won't spring for an iPod because she finds the dials too complicated. So I got her this pink nano. It's so fucking cute you guys. It's so tiny and pink. I have to wait til I get home and sneak on the songs. Then I promised myself I will spend thirty minutes Christmas morning and show her how to use it.

I got it inscribed: "Please don't steal Swati's Nano. Worst music ever."



Next I'm going to bling out her cell phone.

price: $199, and I'm sure you guys can figure out where to buy an iPod.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Chocolate.


I am in New York right now, where I am supposed to be writing. I haven't done any work though and I'm actually a little worried about it.

Luckily I stopped by Chocolate Bar on 8th Avenue earlier today and bought this chocolate bonbon called an Atomic. Isn't it pretty? It's huge too. It's half the size of my palm. Anyway it's good and rich and sweet and is totally calming me down.

"PBJ: Leave the bread behind! Crunchy peanutbutter & grape jelly enrobed in dark chocolate." I have been nibbling at it all day. The peanut butter is that oaty freshly ground kind and luckily there's only a hint of jelly, because otherwise the whole thing would be too sweet.

Chocolate Bar is this mod little chocolate shop with not entirely friendly Amanda Hesser-ish chocolatier hipsters. I have been meaning to do a report on a chocolate crawl (Jacques Torres, Dylan's Candy bar, Li-Lac, Chocolate Bar) but I haven't had time because of my stupid work.

I can't believe the amount of work I have to accomplish so I can continue to buy things I love. I'm kind of in a terrible mood.


Price: an Atomic is $5.75. You can get good stuff for less though.

Chocolate Bar
48 Eighth Ave., New York, NY 10014
between Horatio and Jane Sts.
212-367-7181

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Agent Provocateur


The famous upscale-and-scandalous lingerie company has a terrific perfume.

"Agent Provocateur is an intoxicating Eau De Parfum epitomising pure seduction, radiating irresistible attraction and ultimate elegance."

It's a tad pricier than, say, a nice department store brand (Chanel, Issey Miyake) but I got it and it's outrageous. It's denser on the skin than other perfumes (a higher oil content) so be careful not to spray directly on clothes. This should be sprayed on skin - that's what she said! sorry - .I would say that it's for 7PM and later or people think you're kind of a ho.

Good for girlfriends and girls you wanna "be" with. Bad for moms, sisters or cleaning ladies.

Price: $50 for 25ml, $100 for 50, etc..

www.agentprovocateur.com

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Food Dehydrator


my mom makes really amazing beef jerky with this machine. it's easy and, over time, cheaper (if you eat as much beef jerky as i do). you can also dehydrate some other things that don't really excite me that much. if you buy one of these, ask me how to make beef jerky. you will never tolerate store-bought beef jerky again. $53.

Hentai!


Pornographic anime, you guys!

I really love it. I was introduced to it by someone who isn't a pervert, just very creative and cute. I dunno. I think it's kind of funny, though I'll admit it's not as visceral and awesome as real human pornography. This chick has green hair. How cool is that?? I want hentai holiday cards!

My one complaint about this series, is that the girl is cute but the guy...ugh. Who likes muscular guys with blond hair? Make him a little brunette or something. Yummmm.

Price: hmm, not sure. This was one of a few jpegs emailed to me. I bet you can buy hentai comic books though, for less then 10 bucks online.

DC, someone I wish I could buy



Danny just dropped me off after an extremely fun afternoon and evening of Christmas shopping. He had a 30% Friends & Family discount to Banana Republic and The Gap and invited me to share it with him. He's so generous of spirit. (He also invited Vali along, who hates shopping and kind of wanders around stores with a grimace on his face looking helpless and put-upon. God, I hate him so much.)

Danny was also receptive to clothing suggestions. Which is why Danny looks really hot most of time. He bought this tie (which I also bought for my brother) which looks good on basically any dress shirt. It's dark slate grey with a kind of very subtle shimmeryness to it. Not gay! Hot and Daniel Craigish (another hot "Danny").



I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I got these completely sick rhinestone thong sandals at Banana Republic which are totally Beyonce-in-St.Tropez - but at a fraction of the price of Miu Miu, which they are knocking off.



Danny also bought this fine sweater from the Gap.

The Gap! It's very Marc Jacobs (college stripes in wool but whimsical cute colors, you know?) but it's not exorbitant.

Then Danny and I drove to KTown for soon-tofu at the Beverly Tofu House and he advised me how to text message people in a sexy way. Apparently the secret is being concise. Concise is the sexiest thing you can be. Less is more. How very DC, huh?

Price: to own Danny, Sotheby's estimates aprox. $1,000,000,000 plus you must listen to cool music, have good taste in comedy, and not be a fucking loser

Mani's Bakery on Fairfax


I spend a lot of time at Mani's Bakery on Fairfax. I live around the corner, so I think I am lucky to have such a find very close to me. Other smart people like Mani's too. For instance, my co-worker and friend Michael. He goes there with his wife and I see them there all the time, talking about their cats or something.

Mani's is a very healthy restaurant. On the surface it seems like one of those dippy L.A. places, because they're whole thing is that they don't use white sugar or white flour, which seems insufferable and full of Hollywood lame-os. But Mani's, is, happily more of a lesbian book club and screenwriter hangout, which are two groups of people I think are super cute.

And surprisingly, the pastries actually taste better because there's not a lot of preservatives in it, which is a huge endorsement from me because I fucking love preservativey sweets and stuff (although that was an acquired, maturing of my palate).

Mani's also has a 400 calorie menu that is awesome. There are 400 calories dinners that are delicious and fill you up and don't make you feel like you just had Thanksgiving dinner. They're all under 10 bucks and I have one of them about 3 times a week. My favorites are the Foutain of Youth (Tuna salad made with apple, celery, green onion, non-fat yogurt & lemon juice, wrapped in a soy multigrain wrap and a leaf of romaine lettuce) and then maybe a cup of their turkey chili, also a Mani's must.

Today I saw my boss and his wife there, so I can safely say, if you want to run into someone who works on the writing staff of The Office, go to Mani's!

Price: $10-12 dollars (for a 400 calorie menu item.)
$4 (over-sized cookie, good for splitting)
$6 (a large pint of soup, good for splitting, or eating later during L&O)

Mani's Bakery
519 South Fairfax
Los Angeles, California 90036
323.938.8800

Walden pics #2


When we went swimming in Walden this Thanksgiving, it really was the most horrible thing ever. I remembered thinking of those folks from Titanic who froze to death in the water, and realizing I had misjudged them. Water that cold... it hoits!

I learned a lot is what I'm saying, from that movie "Titanic".

Friday, December 01, 2006

Waffles wins (win?)



I meant to talk about my favorite meals from New York. It was a good time to eat in New York, I think. Restaurants are unveiling big hearty wintry foods, which is hard to find in Los Angeles. Things like Boeuf Bourguignon, gourmet mac & cheese, crab cakes, etc... I had zero interest in sushi, even if Nobu is sexy and downtown and all that.

Near the top of my list was a completely memorable bowl of pureed pumpkin soup from The Mercer Kitchen. It was so fucking delicious you guys. I loved it so much I had them fax me the recipe - the key ingredient as it turns out is chicken stock as a base... and um, a generous amount of half & half cream.

I also had an extremely tasty, and burn-the-roof-of-your-mouth hot piece of battered haddock from A Salt And Battery. It was drenched in vinegar and dipped in curry sauce. I enjoyed that so much I didn't even get chips with it.

My friend Jen was staying at the Mandarin Oriental, and we were treated to a box of sinfully rich Jacques Torres chocolates that melted in my mouth. They were tiny, and elaborately painted with sugar-paint. I love tiny little Japanese sweets. They are so obsessed with things being tiny and perfect. I just want to smash them and eat them with my paws. This is what Jen and I did with our Jacques Torres truffles.

But the winner was these waffles from Balthazar Bakery. I know, right? They're just waffles. But I kept thinking about them afterwards. Crunchy and brown on the outside, soft and barely cooked inside, with strawberries and hazelnuts all over it. I wasn't even going to order them (they have great Eggs en Cotte here - eggs baked in a ramekin with spices), but my breakfast companion was staunch about waffles, and I'm easily persuaded. My companion was right. Nice work, companion.

The serving is big so definitely bring someone to share them with.

That's all. :)


Price: $12

Balthazar
80 Spring Street
New York, NY.

Thanksgiving buyings


I was in New York and did a great deal of sample sale shopping. My purchases are pretty amazing (Cynthia Rowley gown for $150, J.Brand slouchy leg jeans for $40, Marc Jacobs patent pumps for $200) but I know my audience. You guys just want to hear about gadgets and Battlestar Gallactica, you fucking nerds.

What I did buy which was even better, was a pass for Walden Pond on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. Walden is very close to my dad's house in Boston. First we filled up on yummy leftovers (stuffing, turkey, shrimp curry, samosas... we have an Indian fusion Thanksgiving cuz I love Indian food but my older brother can't stand it), we got in swimsuits and headed to Concord. My best friends from college (from my A Cappella group, anyone have anything to say about that??) Jocelyn and Christina visited me for Thanksgiving and as is our tradition, we went on a Polar Bear swim in Walden. Basically we did it for the pictures, and to prove to people how badass we are, but as we learned, documenting something too much takes a great deal of the badass element out of it.

I scared us by making up a story about how Henry Thoreau haunts the depths of the pond and his icy skeletal ghost hand reaches out to grab the ankles of young women to make them his watery bride. It didn't work though because Jocelyn and Christina know alot about Thoreau, and I kinda don't. Supposedly he's not a scary figure in history, more of a kindly eccentric early environmentalist. Whatever. I like my envisioning of him better, don't you?

Price: $5 (cash you put in an envelope on your car - honor system!)