Blow Dry Bar and the “World’s Best Chicken”?

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had a fabulous weekend! This weekend was a very special one as we had a fun family event celebration- but more on that in another post. In prepping for the event, my mom and I decided to visit the new blow-out bar in Walnut Creek- BDB.  If you’ve never been to a blow-out bar, basically the premise is this: for a set amount of money (usually around $35) stylists will wash your hair and blow dry/curl/straighten it in a desired style! They have been popping up all over the country and I was excited to give it a try. Side note: This particular blow dry bar was started by two 22 and 23 year-old girls in the bay area… Jeez, do I feel like I’m behind here!

Upon arrival we were greeted with mimosas which are a fantastic first step in my book. We were then were instructed to fill out a card with what we were looking for, and our hair type and texture. Here’s the weird thing about my hair: it is very curly and I straighten it every day which works fine but on the odd occasion that I want to curl it with a curling iron- the curl does not stay! Unfortunately, that very thing happened this weekend after my blow-out. But at least it looked like this for a little while…

All in all, it was a great experience at BDB and I will definitely be back. The stylists are able to complete blowouts super quickly and for only $35, it would be fun to do before a night out. My only suggestion would be to really know what you want going in to your appointment as they don’t have a hair menu as some other blow dry bars do and it can be difficult to describe your vision to your stylist without images.

And on a completely unrelated note, last night I made dinner using a Pinterest find. I’ve mentioned before that I usually cook only vegetarian foods. You see, my lovely best friend scared me in college because she never trusted the chicken from restaurants, fearing it was undercooked. As it turns out, this rubbed off on me when it came to cooking meat and I was always too nervous to give it a try. But last night that all changed. Finding chicken breast in the fridge, I knew it was time to give it a go. The other day I saw a recipe on Pinterest claiming to be “The World’s Best Chicken” which I thought boded well for my first chicken cooking attempt. The ingredients are super simple (dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt & pepper and red wine vinegar, though I used white since it was what I had on hand.)

After pouring the mixture over the chicken breasts, I put it in the oven and got to work on the rest of dinner. To avoid my usual uncooked fear, I decided to use a meat thermometer, which might be my new favorite tool. For once, I was able to see clearly when it got to 165 degrees, without even having to prematurely cut into it. When it came out, it looked a little like this…

“World’s best chicken”, tri-color quinoa, and roasted veggies

I think it’s because I used whole grain dijon mustard, but my chicken definitely didn’t look like Rachel’s finished product. But despite that fact, I thought the chicken was delicious. It was super quick and easy to make and the chicken was moist and flavorful. It does taste sweet with a fairly strong mustard flavor though, so it might not be for everyone. I’ll definitely make it again and it’s a great recipe to have on hand. I wouldn’t say it was the world’s best (that award goes to the amazing chicken marsala from Carmines in NYC) but it was a great dinner and the perfect way to end a fun weekend.

Questions:

-Have you been to a blow-dry bar?

-If you started your own business, what would it be?

-Do you make any Pinterest recipes?

 

Change of Plans

Hi lovelies! I had originally planned that today’s post would be about the incredible, healthy Easter dinner that I made for my family. It was going to be full of amazing pictures, delicious sounding recipes and a story about how the whole thing came together. It was also going to be the first time that I had cooked a holiday meal all by myself.

But as you can see, that’s not what today’s post is about because the big meal didn’t happen. So here’s that story instead. It all started with the family photo shoot that we had planned. In December, my mom and I saw a Living Social deal for a photo shoot. We both immediately thought it would be a great idea to do a generational one, with my mom, myself and my Grandma. However, we weren’t counting on how hectic it would be preparing for it. Nights after work were spent shopping for the perfect outfits for the three of us, rather than grocery shopping and preparing for my meal. Then on Friday, I realized that I was sick with a bad cold but not one to admit defeat, I  still hoped to push through it and make the Easter meal. However, when we spent from 9 am-7 pm on the photoshoot, which was fantastic, I knew the meal was just not going to happen.

Grandma getting her make-up done on set!

The below is what I had planned on making. Most of the recipes were found on blogs and my favorite recipe finder, Pinterest.

Sadly my healthy menu was never made, however, I plan on making it as a spring dinner for my family sometime soon. In the end, I know that I made the right decision and instead of getting sicker by stressing out by trying to make it all work, we spent time as a family and enjoyed each others company. And when it comes down to it, isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Questions:

-What’s your favorite source to find recipes?

-Did you celebrate Easter/Passover/the weekend with any special foods?

The Return of Fave 5 Friday

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had a great week and now it’s finally the weekend! I thought that in honor of putting a new post up on a Friday (it hasn’t happened in quite a while) I’d bring back Fave Five Friday!

1. 2012 National Figure Skating Championships!

(That’s last year’s gold-medalist, Alissa Czisny!)

Tomorrow my mom and I are going to the National Figure Skating Championships which just so happen to be held in San Jose this year! We got tickets about a year ago and have been looking forward to it ever since! We get to see the Championship Free Dance, Ladies Free Skate, Pair’s Free Skate, Men’s Free Skate and watch it all conclude with something called the Skating Spectacular! It’s going to be so much fun and since I have been so busy lately, I’m so excited to spend this time with my mom (and Daddy Jeff who’s coming for the last event) and catch up.

2. Pinterest!

Ok, so I’m a little late to the game, but I’ve finally jointed Pinterest! I never really understood the attraction before I joined but now I want to make boards of everything and pin all day long! I feel like it is also a blogger heaven as I keep discovering great quotes, fashion, recipes and workouts!

3. Blender Bottle!

I have the purple one 🙂

I’ve had my blender bottle for a few months now, but forgot about it in the back of my cabinet. The other night when searching for something edible (no, I still haven’t gone grocery shopping) I found it and thought I’d give it a try. Since I don’t have a blender at work (nor would my coworkers appreciate the noise pollution) I figured a blended faux-smoothie would be a great lunch option and the perfect way to use my new tool. My favorite combo so far is: vanilla protein powder, cold coffee, vanilla almond milk and reduced fat, unsweetened coconut. It tastes like a non-icy, healthy frappuccino and is pretty amazing!

4. Dine About Town in SF!

We sat at the long red table!

On Wednesday night I went with some sorority sisters to celebrate San Francisco’s Dine About Town– a time when pricier restaurants create an affordable, multi-course, prix fix menu. Given that we had a large group, Cupola Pizzeria created a feast for us that consisted of an antipasta, salad, cheese course, prawns, 3 different pastas, 3 different pizzas and a sampling of all dessert. Oh yes, and multiple wine carafes. Needless to say, I was a bad blogger and didn’t take any pictures but let’s face it, I was too busy chatting and eating!

5. The Daily Puppy!

My dream dog!

The other day I discovered a new-to-me website, The Daily Puppy. To be honest, I don’t understand the point of the website, other than to highlight adorable puppies. Get ready for your new time suck as they feature a different breed every day and each one is more adorable than the last.

Questions:

-Do you ever watch ice-skating?

-Are you on Pinterest?

-What’s your favorite type of dog?

Leaving the Picky Eater Behind

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all are having a wonderful week so far. It occurred to me today that we are now over half-way through January and I still haven’t told you about my goals for the year. To be honest, I’ve sat down to write them a few times but haven’t really been feeling it. So rather than write an official list, I wanted to highlight a particular goal I have for the year: to stop being a picky eater.

I’ve touched on it before, but I’ve always been kind of picky when it comes to food. Growing up, I would seldom touch vegetables besides butternut squash (yes, I was obsessed even then) and my ideal diet consisted of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. My mom made sure that I ate healthy of course, but it was always a struggle. In fact, she first convinced me to eat salads because, “one day, a boy was going to take me out on a date and it would be embarrassing if I didn’t eat salad.” And voila, I started liking them.

Roasted brussels sprouts from Delerosa

But even though I eat a healthy diet full of lean proteins, fruits, veggies and whole grains, there are still certain foods that I just don’t touch. I avoid eggs, seafood, shellfish and brussels sprouts all because I don’t think I will like them. But really, I don’t actually know how I feel about them because I’ve never tried them as an adult.

Over the past few years expanding my eating habits has been a true goal of mine. I discovered that I love mushrooms and am starting to come around to sushi. (Sashimi and I still aren’t friends yet, but I’m working on it!) So the other night I decided to go to head-to-head or more appropriately fork-to-mouth with brussels sprouts. One of my girlfriends loved them so I decided to be brave and give them a shot. I’m not sure what I expected them to taste like, but I was flabbergasted  (such an underated word!) when I realized how much I liked them!

So after a year of trying new foods once and a while, I’m committing to really making an effort in 2012. I love food and trying new restaurants, so what a shame to hold myself back from trying the house specialty just because I think I don’t like it! In the past, I’ve let this fear of the unknown hold me back and I’m starting to realize that if we let that fear hold us back in any area of our lives, we might find we’re missing out on some pretty great things. Because after all…

(Source)

(Discovered on my new obessession Piterest: http://pinterest.com/emilyatggg/)

Questions:

-Are there any foods you don’t like? Or are afraid to try?

-Have you let fear hold you back in any area of your life?