Snacks, Sales, Swords.

This evening after work, I met up with some lady friends at Snack Bar for dinner and drinks. Snack Bar is one of those quintessentially “Austin” kinds of places – foodie-friendly, creative menu & drink selections, locally-sourced ingredients as much as possible, dogs on the patio… you get the idea (in fact, I should probably just let the first page of their menu do the talking for me).  I like the vibe of the place and the food a lot but for some reason, I hardly ever find the occasion to eat there so it was a welcome treat.

Last time I was at Snack Bar, I had a shandy (beer & lemonade) so I decided to keep the beer-mixing thing going and picked a concoction called Oats & Apples (Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout and apple cider) from the drink menu. I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect from the order but the server brought me the bottle of beer and a glass about 3/4 full of the apple cider. The stout literally blackened the cider as I poured it in so I was a little nervous (especially since I have only recently came to the realization that I like dark beers) but it ended up being a delicious combo. Now, speaking of delicious combos – I had the Scallop & Belly Ramen and oh boy:

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Yes, that’s pork belly, scallops, noodles and a soft boiled egg in one beautiful, delicious bowl. I can’t even begin to describe how happy this made my belly. Before I even took my first bite, I apologized to my friends because I was going to have to be obnoxious and take a picture of my food  (but trust, I only do that when it’s really good). It was a little pricier than I would normally spend on a meal out with friends but it was totally worth it. The best kind of comfort food.

Prior to us finalizing plans for a lady date, I had found out about this clearance event at Maya Star and their sister (brother?) store, Co-Star and had suggested we check it out. I really like Maya Star as they carry a lot cute clothes, shoes, accessories and tchotchkes, they haven’t minded the couple of occasions I brought Cooper in the store with me and it’s a fun mix of higher end labels (ex. Rebecca Minkoff) and things that even I can afford.

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I highly recommend checking it out. The longer you wait, the better the savings, although, I guess there’s no guarantee that all the good stuff isn’t going to be gone by Sunday! As for me, I got this sweet little black triangle necklace…

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…and this badass sword bracelet!

 

 

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All in all, a pretty successful Thursday night. So much so, I almost forgot that I still have another whole day of work ahead of me before the weekend. -__-

Recovering Musicalaholic

I am no stranger to talking about my guilty pleasures on this blog so it should come as no surprise to anyone for me to announce that I LOVE MUSICALS. Some of my fondest memories as a kid are watching and singing along with The Sound of Music (and Mary Poppins and Bedknobs & Broomsticks & The Wiz, et al.) with my mom. To this day, I still think Julie Andrews is the Queen Bee. When I got older, I joined choir and I even dabbled a bit in musical theater (chorus member in high school productions of Fiddler on the Roof and Fame, here) and even got a lead role as Lucy in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown in a community theater production. But by the time I was a sophomore in high school, my interests had shifted from performing to writing so I haven’t danced or sang for an audience since (outside of karaoke).

Despite my lack of performing within the last 12 (!) years, musicals still hold a soft spot in my heart. While I am not a big fan of say, Glee (although I can see myself being really into it if it had debuted when I was 14), when I saw the preview to NBC’s Smash after last spring’s upfronts to say that I was immediately hooked from the first few notes of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” would be an understatement. I knew that this was a guilty pleasure show right up there with True Blood (which thankfully comes back next month) for me, regardless of how bad it turned out… which as it turns out, can be pretty bad sometimes a lot of the time. So maybe Katherine McPhee isn’t a good actress and it isn’t always believable or even entirely coherent or but when Smash is good, it’s really good, which is almost entirely thanks to the original music. The songs are so well-written that I would actually pay to see “Bombshell” (the show within the show based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, for the uninitiated) if it were real. I may or may not have caught myself listening to some of the songs during a Spotify private listening sessions, that’s all I’m saying.

But regardless of my feelings about the show, what I really wanted to write about was Karen Cartwright’s (Katherine McPhee) dreamy boyfriend black handbag with gold studs that I’ve been lusting after for the past few episodes. Apparently, I’m not the only one because the first result for my Google search of “karen cartwright purse handbag” came up with a link to the blog Justified Obsession, who tracked it down.

The brand is ROMYGOLD and the Drew Stud Hobo costs $495. Karen’s version is black with rose gold studs but it comes in a few other color combinations. But really, Smash? Struggling up and coming performer, $200-a-week-workshop-salary Karen can splurge on a $500 bag? Or was it a gift from her dreamy successful boyfriend or the movie star, Rebecca Duvall? I had at least an inkling of hope it might be the kind of bag that I a girl like Karen could pick up at Macy’s or JC Penney or Forever 21, you know, somewhere where poors shop. Way to dash my dreams, television. Truly nothing in the entertainment industry is what is seems.

Anyway, Smash just wrapped up for the season so now most shows are going on summer hiatus, you can probably catch up on Hulu or NBC.com, if you’re so inclined. And what the hell, this post also gives me an excuse to post a picture of Raza Jaffery, who plays Karen’s boyfriend, Dev, on the show. I forgive him for that embarrassing Bollywood number because he looks really good a suit.

Lately I’m Into…

Flipboard for iPad + the whole Internet

I got an iPad earlier this year and this is definitely my favorite app. Flipboard‘s primary function is as a news reader but I think it’s best way to view almost any content on the web. When you first sign up, you get to pick feeds from sites that are relevant to your interests from several outlets, whether it’s news, tech, entertainment or fashion and it’s delivered to you in a pretty, easy to digest format. However, my favorite feature is the ability to import my personal feeds from other services. It’s not secret that I’m a Google Reader junkie (although I am really sad about them doing away with the social aspects of the service earlier this year) and I love that I can sign in and view all my feeds (200+) and folders (22) are organized and ready to flip through in a gorgeous-magazine style UI. In fact, I actually prefer catching up on my unread blog posts this way (curled up in bed or on the couch with iPad, flipping through) instead of the Google site on my laptop or the mobile version of the Reader, which leaves something to be desired. I can quickly save an article to Pocket* for later reading or share a blog post directly from Flipboard to my Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

I also love viewing my Instagram feed via Flipboard (I actually prefer it over the Instagram iPhone app interface, which is already pretty much perfect). You can view photos in your feed at full-size, comment and like friends’ photos as much as you want and view the “popular” feed – everything you need, just short of actually being able to take photos, edit and upload them from within the app. It’s like getting to flip through a magazine with fresh daily content curated just for you. And it’s freeeee!

I ordered these little prints months ago but they’ve sat collecting dust until recently because I was convinced I had accidentally thrown away Girl Reporter Friday & couldn’t bear the thought of displaying an incomplete set. She turned up when I cleaned my room but I haven’t figured out how I’ll put them up yet. Ming Doyle is exceptionally talented (check out her other work)! I love these sassy ladies and at $12 for the whole set, they’re a steal.

This ring.

Y’all know how I love my jewelry, the bigger the better. I seem to have misplaced** my favorite ring – doubly sad for the facts that 1) I bought it last year so it’s probably no longer in stores and 2) I bought it at H&M which until recently has eluded the state of Texas but hell if I’m driving to Dallas to find out. On the plus side, I found a ridiculous suitable replacement at Forever 21 yesterday. I love it but I do not love retailers being so unimaginative and lazy the last few seasons that they slap the label of “tribal” or “ethnic” on just about everything.

Finally mastering cat-eye eyeliner after forever.

People keep asking me for tips or pointers but really all I can say is gel eyeliner (I used e.l.f. cream eyeliner – no particular reason other than because it’s $3) + an angled brush + a lot of practice. I DON’T KNOW, GUYS, IT’S MAGIC.

* Another free app that I love!
** There seems to be a pattern here…

Ahem.

I think that’s enough radio silence for now.

Hi, remember me? I think I might actually be ready to start writing again. I’m still working a ridiculous amount between jobs uno y dos but why not pile on more to my sense of responsibility and obligation, right?

In the meantime, I’m going to update the lazy man’s way: things I bought fairly recently, c/o Instagram.

Jason Wu for Target dress, 50% off! I still haven’t had the occasion to wear it yet, though.
Banana Puddin’ cupcake from Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop. Only on the menu on Wednesdays, highly recommended.
Labradorite crystal necklace from Mana Culture. It came with a helpful card of the “properties” of the crystal. I may not buy into all that, but I liked the way it sparkled and I’ll take whatever good juju I can get.
Gold Chrome Slider iPhone case from Incase. Gold on the outside, pink on the inside, makes a decent mirror in a pinch.
Pigasus bank from Open Sky. Because why not?
OMG, Spring, you guys!