Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wedding Wednesday :-D
Cake Topper!

Isn't this so cute for a cake topper? I love it!
I love that it is simple and different. And, they're small (2" h x 1" w) - so they'd probably be perfect for the top of our little cake. I think we're going to have a small round cake at the top of our cupcake tower - so  we can do the whole cake cutting thing.

Which leads to my next thought - what do you think of couples smashing cake into each other's faces? I think it can be funny but I think we'll pass on that - I would not want cake all over my face! LOL.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August Birchbox Goodies!

Here are pics of my August Birchbox Goodies!

Cute lil' inserts:



Products!



Fix Malibu Wish Wash Exfoliating Powder Wash:



Number 4 Lumiere D'hiver Reconstructing Masque:



Number 4 L'eau de mer Hydrating Shampoo:

Goodies that were wrapped inside the box:



Zoya Touch Collection Nail Polish (in Pandora):



Caudalie Premier Cru the Eye Cream:



Twistband Hair Tie:



One more insert:


If you want to join, let me refer you to Birchbox! Email me at diaryofasmartblonde@yahoo.com!

Monday, August 29, 2011

What do you wanna do?

What do you want to do?

Let's look out the window...

Let's check out this weight bench.

Let's check out this corner of the living room!

Pyow Pyow

What's under the ottoman!?

Zach!

Zach hiding under Buster's bed!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Who needs palm fronds?

Remember the other day when I posted a picture of Zach behind an ancient, decrepit box fan? That thing was disgusting and seriously like….almost ten years old! I ordered a new one and here it is!

video

I know...what’s the big deal about a fan? Well, first, it super awesome-ly matches my living room! Look at it right next to those curtains! I ordered it from Target online and had no idea it would be that perfect! Second, check out that oscillation! It has a special feature that causes the front panel of the fan to rotate clockwise, so it gives off a breeze just like an oscillating fan but all it does is rotate! Too cool!

Man I love electronics.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wedding Wednesday :-D
Vote Vote Vote!

After ordering my wedding gown, I started to think more seriously about the bridesmaid dresses that my girls are going to wear. I started to think that I’d want something a little more flirty and fun – and also something that coordinates better with my gown. Then I saw this dress:


Cute, huh? I have to go check it out in a store because in this picture it looks ridiculously short (hopefully it’s just that that model has crazy long legs or something). I think I love it, though! I still love my original choice though…here is my original post about that dress. The dress in this post is definitely cute, flirty and playful. The dress in my original post is more chic, fashionable, and sexy. What do you think? I'm starting to lean towards the dress in this post since I think it'd be cute for a garden wedding!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Tasting Kitchen!

Recently, Robbie and I tried out a new restaurant in Venice Beach that I read about in Los Angeles Magazine. It is called The Tasting Kitchen. To put it mildly, it was AWESOME! We had such a great time. The outside of the building is fairly understated, so I didn’t know what to expect on the inside of the restaurant. Much to my delight, there was an incredibly unique and trendy atmosphere within!

The front door is gigantic, and right when you walk through there is a covered, indoor/outdoor-feel patio and two {real} trees! The patio has individual tables, and in the second room there is a bar and communal tables. The communal tables and bar have smart little stools, and next to the bar there is a chalkboard that captures drink specials and other fun anecdotes. There is a loft that overlooks the patio and bar – it boasts a large bookshelf and more tables. It was so charming!





The menus change on a daily basis and the food is eclectic and exciting, but not unfamiliar. Robbie ordered some oysters and the roasted duck, and I ordered the halibut. We also ordered a butter lettuce salad and a variation of a caprese salad. Everything was INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS! The service we received was also wonderful – the staff left us to our conversation, but was also attentive and answered all of our questions thoroughly. We sat at a communal table and enjoyed some conversation with our sociable table-mates.




The Tasting Kitchen is slightly on the pricey side, but indisputably worth the cost. I would say that the quality of the food, service, and atmosphere is on par with the prices. I would describe the ambiance as a “rustic fine dining” experience. The food was superior and the atmosphere was chic and distinctive – but relaxed at the same time. This is a great place to take a date, or to enjoy for a stylish girls’ night out!

Here are more pics!








Monday, August 22, 2011

Brothers :-D


Who knew that hiding under a pillowcase could lead to so much fun?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Funny :-D
And That's How the Fight Started...#6

My wife was standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror. She was not happy with what she saw and said to me, "I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.'

I replied, "Your eyesight's damn near perfect."

And that's how the fight started.........

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Discussion
How to be Good

One word for this book: Pseudo-cerebral (my own invented word and definition lol)

While I was reading this novel…and had a minute when I wasn’t laughing…I kept thinking that there needs to be an added definition/modification of the word cerebral – pseudo-cerebral – to encompass the writing style of this novel. This means I just made something up. Ha (call Webster!)! My definition of pseudo-cerebral has a twist – “taking place almost entirely within someone’s mind”! LOL. I think this book was pseudo-cerebral because most of the story took place almost entirely within Katie’s mind. Hence – pseudo-cerebral!

This book was about Katie, who decided she wanted to divorce her husband and had an affair (ugh…I hate reading stuff about that but I managed to stomach it this time…since it wasn’t a lot of the book). Her husband is a bitter and cynical man, and in fact writes a newspaper column called “The Angriest Man in Holloway.” Then he decides to go see an alternative medicine ‘healer’ and does a complete 180 – and from then on adopts a “holier than thou” view on life, always trying to do what is “good.” For example, he sets up a program in the neighborhood to get people to use their spare bedrooms to allow a homeless person move in with them. The healer ends up moving in with the family (and later a homeless person moves in as well), and hilariousness ensues.

This book was riotous just like all of Nick Hornby’s novels that I have read. I cracked up. Katie is so funny and I loved her. After her husband does his 180, she’s constantly trying to decide if she is “good,” and if he is “good” or just completely insane. Her husband and kids are also hilarious, and the healer is ridiculous…and then later you find out that he is HUMAN, normal-ish, and imperfect just like the rest of us! So there! I loved it when Katie was vindicated on that front. LOL. While I was reading this book, I kept thinking…now isn’t this always the way real life turns out? Never how you expect and with so many twists and turns that are ridiculous. LOL. Here are some hilarious lines from the book that made me crack up:

On what happens when you try looking at things as "the glass is half full:"
"That night I have a huge row with David, and the next day Stephen turns up at work, and all of a sudden I've spilled the half-full glass all over myself."

On finding God:
"I decide, on the spot, to let God into my heart, in the hope that my newfound faith can somehow be used as a vicious weapon in the marital war. It is true that not everyone discovers the Lord in this way; some would argue that it is distinctly unchristian, in fact, to become a convert in the hope that it might really upset somebody. But God, famously, moves in mysterious ways."

On an argument with David (her husband):
"We have only had one argument in the last few days, David and I - about a grillpan - and the kids needed counseling afterward."

HA - I cracked up when I read those!

The only thing that I would say that I didn’t really like about this book is that the ending was sort of weird and open ended. I’m not the type that needs everything tied up in a pretty bow at the end of a story – but this ending was a whole new definition of “open-ended.” Annnnddd....a few days after finishing this book, I felt bad for turning down a bum when he asked for food...and almost triend to find him to buy him a smoothie. LOL. Sorta makes you think about being good, being nice, helping people, and doing the right thing. And trying to figure out what that means. Damn.

I love Nick Hornby!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

That, My Friends, Proves That Zach is an Engineer - Just Like Mom!

Zach surprised me this week by coming up with a new way to efficiently distribute cat hair around the apartment. Observe - strategic placement behind the (100 year old, about to be sent to Goodwill) fan:


Sheer brilliance. I did not tell him that this cat probably already patented the idea, although I like his modification of being behind the fan rather than in front of it.

And here he his, letting me know that there is no way he is sitting still for another picture-without-the-flash-which-will-allow-me-to-see-him-better-behind-the-fan.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

July Birchbox Goodies - Review

Here is the link to my original post about my July Birchbox Goodies!

Redken Shine Flash - Love!
I adore this product! It really gives my hair an exceptionally shiny look. It smells wonderful (but not too strong) and it is really light. My hair felt incredibly silky, smooth, and definitely NOT weighed down (the way I feel after using most smoothing creams). Also, I love that it is a light aerosol, so I can use it even when I curl my hair - and the curls don't fall flat. Hallelujah! It worked best when I sprayed it on only the surfaces of my hair. (i.e. don’t flip your head upside down and spray all over). Would I pay premium price for this item? YES!

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-usage Dry Oil – I don’t get it!
The dry oil was fun to try, but when I saw the directions online they didn’t give enough info on it. They just showed how to use it to give your facial skin a “dewy” glow. Even though I have dry skin, the thought of putting an oil on my face freaked me out! The label says it can be used as a body wash…ummm….werid. I did like to use it on my legs when I wore shorts, it gave them a nice healthy sheen, and showed off the tone of my legs. But otherwise…I think I’ll just stick with lotion. Would I pay premium price for this product? Nope.

philosophy purity made simple one-step facial cleanser – Like
I definitely like this product. I didn’t think it was anything special, though. It felt like a really, really nice crème cleanser. It rinsed off nicely and left my skin feeling moisturized and clean. But, I have a some other crème cleansers that I love that are half the price. They don’t have built-in toner, though. I don’t use toner. I don’t get it and it seems like just one more step that I don’t feel like messing with! Would I pay premium price for this product? Maybe if all the other crème cleansers I use were discontinued. I'm glad I have it for future use as a travel size, though.

JOYA FvsS Composition No. 1 Parfum – Love!
I surprised myself in that I actually really love this fragrance! It’s very light and very “clean” smelling. I honestly feel like I have that “just stepped out of the shower” feeling the whole time I am wearing it! It’s not too strong or overpowering. The sample came in a tiny bottle with a roll-on applicator. I love the applicator because it’s a breeze to apply a small amount in exactly the right places. Would I pay premium price for this item? Maybe! It’d be nice to have some variety from my standby fragrance. But, $112 bucks is pretty steep! Hmmmmm. Maybe Santa will bring me some. :-)

ybf beauty automatic eye brow pencil – Love! But not for me!
This eyebrow pencil is soooooo lovely! It has a very fine tip, applied smoothly, had a gorgeous color (Universal Taupe) and blended beautifully. Because of the ultra-fine tip, achieving a subtle look was easy as pie (also it rolls up, so it never needs sharpening). The eyebrow comb on the opposite end is a clever and useful addition. I loved this product, but I don’t really need much help in the eyebrow department – alas, I have Robo-eyebrows. So, I will thoroughly enjoy giving it to a friend who needs a little eyebrow aid (you know who you are). Would I pay premium price for this product? Nope. But I enjoyed trying the sample and gifting it to a friend who will love it!

Let me refer you to Birchbox! If you want to sign up, email me at diaryofasmartblonde@yahoo.com!

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Favorite Shopping Site - Think Geek!!!

Have I ever mentioned that I love sci-fi, geeky things and geeky gadgets? I loooooove gadgets! So when a co-worker informed me of this website, I was extremely excited! It is called Think Geek! Just from browsing for about 5 minutes...I found two things that cracked me up and I wanted to get immediately.


First, vamipre teeth pacifier:   I love the description of this pacifer - it says "makes baby simultaneously quiet and awesome."

HA HA! Isn't it hilarious? Oh my gosh...I just realized that I haven't metnioned yet on my blog that my sister is having a baby!!!! I am soooo looking forward to buying some cute and hilarious stuff (such as this pacifier) for my new neice or nephew!

The second thing that I saw that I loved was this water powered clock! For reals!


I love it!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book(ish) Discussion
I wonder what Buster's favorite book would be?

A few weeks ago, I was watching the news and a really cute story caught my attention – people are having doggies help children learn to read! It was so cute! Here is a link to a similar program I found online: Bideawee's Reading to Dogs Program!

I love this! I think it is such a cute, sweet, unique and clever idea! Basically, the premise behind it is that the children get to practice reading aloud without fear of teasing or ridicule if they make a mistake. The dogs are non-judgmental and are there as companions while the children are practicing and learning to read. If the child makes a mistake or mispronounces a word – no worries!

The news article states that there was a study done with children who practiced with a doggie and kids who practiced without a doggie, and the children with the doggie showed a marked improvement! The kids without a canine pal didn’t show any improvement.

This sounds like a great job for Buster! I wonder what his favorite book would be…Also, I think Zach would probably look at me like I was nuts, so reading to cats probably wouldn’t take off as well. But he does love sitting with me while I’m reading. Maybe I’ll do an experiment reading aloud to Buster and Zach and see how it goes. Ha!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wedding Wednesday :-D
Ali's Wedding!

In July, I went to my friend Ali’s wedding in New York. It was really fun! It was also really interesting to me because he is Muslim and Pakistani – and I had never been to a wedding like that! It was so fun to see the ceremonies and traditions that took place. Here are some pics!


There were definitely a few things that stood out for me that were different than any other weddings I had been to in the past (I have only been to western weddings, Christian and Jewish). First, the party is 3 days long! There was an event on Friday – the Mehndi. Then Saturday was the ceremony and a reception - the Shaadi. Sunday was another event - the Valima. Most of the women in attendance were wearing the most beautiful saris ever. I loved them. Also, during the ceremony the bride was in another room when the groom said “I do.” I spoke to the bride and groom a few days later about it and they said that not everyone does that, but that some people do. It is supposed to make it a less pressured situation. Also, the bride and groom say “I do” three times (each). They want to be sure! LOL. After the ceremony, the party was hoppin’ and I don’t know if I’ve never seen so many people dancing at a wedding! I was really impressed (especially because there was no alcohol! LOL).

Overall it was such a beautiful and fun experience and it was so fun to learn more about another culture!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Lindsay-Tiffany-Cali-Minka-Zach Tiiiimeee!!!

A few weeks ago Lindsay (bff, bridesmaid, and future sister-in-law), and Tiffany (bff and bridesmaid), and Tiffany’s puppies, Cali and Minka, came for a visit! Here are some pics!



We had so much fun while they were visiting. We spent time at Venice Beach, my pool, went to dinner at The Tripel and Hot’s Kitchen, and went dancing in Hermosa Beach. Lindsay and I also did some wedding planning and ordered in Chinese food one night.

The Tripel is so awesome. It’s a new gastro pub that just opened in Playa del Rey, and it is owned by the same people who own Hudson House in Redondo Beach. The menu is eclectic and incredibly yummy – they have a lot of comfort food with an interesting and modern twist. I have been there many times and never had something I didn’t like. My favorites are the biscuits and the lamb burger – my mouth is watering just thinking about them! The décor is rustic and very unique. The only thing that makes it slightly difficult is that it is TINY (really, really tiny!) and the seating is first come first serve – so you have to be patient and also be really good at pirating tables (one of my specialties, ahem)!

Hot’s Kitchen is also amazing. I can see this restaurant being around for a loooong time. It is in Hermosa Beach near the pier, and the décor is really fun and screams SoCal. Its painted in bright, cheerful colors and there are SoCal-esque photo collages all over the place; it reminds me of a trendy diner. The huge windows slide open, which makes for a fun indoor/outdoor experience – perfect for sunny SoCal afternoons. And the best part – their menu is really unique and HUGE. They have tons of different appetizers and burgers and the entire back of the menu is dedicated to TACOS! They have every type of taco you could imagine – beef, pork, chicken, fish, you name it!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Would looking at these photos inspire you to quit smoking?

While I was in Mexico a couple months ago on vacation, I was amazed to behold the labels that they use on cigarette packages. I was incredibly disgusted but I also remember thinking that they are a darn good idea. Click here for some examples! And here is one below {cringe!!!}:


Gross, huh?

Mexico mandates that health warnings must cover 30% of the front and 100% of the back of cigarette packages - so, a grand total of 65% of the package is covered with health warnings. It is also required that each package shows messages on the sides that correspond to the health warning messages shown on the front and back of the package.

I just read an article in USA Today saying that similar labels are going to start being used on cigarette packs in the United States. Here is the link to the information on the FDA website.

I wonder if they will actually be a deterrent for smokers? I hope so - I have a few loved ones that need to stop smoking asap! You know who you are!