Sunday, June 10, 2012

The week in review

I really really want to be this woman in the photo, running around on a beautiful beach in what looks to be a nightgown and not caring what's left behind.

Image from Club Monaco

It's not quite that scenic around here but at least the sky is blue, the sun is shining and trees are green.


After months of living frugally, I decided a small break was in order and that a NARS x Thakoon nail polish needed to be in my life. I used a Sephora gift card to get Koliary (see review/comparison by Polish Police), a gorgeous vivid blue not unlike the sky in the pic above. Unfortunately I didn't swatch it at the store and discovered at home that it stains the nail horribly. Honestly, I expected better from NARS or Thakoon or whomever is responsible for this in the end. I never really had a great experience with NARS polish in the first place and should have stuck to my guns. Well, I won't be tricked by them again. Koliary is going back and I'm done with NARS nail polishes for good.


On Saturday I went to brunch at The Kennedy Public House in Bloor West Village where I enjoyed a fantastic 3-egg omelette stuffed with a pulled pork sandwich and topped with onion ring slivers. I wish I had taken a picture of it but was starving and wolfed it down before thinking to take a pic. I'd recommend going to Kennedy for the food rather than drinks as there are much better bar selections to be had from real bars and pubs. It's in a fantastic location, and the restaurant is wide and spacious with a decent patio. I plan on going back eventually!

Then I stopped at Indigo where I picked up a set of watercolour-print notebooks as a gift to a poet friend.


And I couldn't resist picking up a pretty mug in the exact same shade as Essie Mint Candle Apple.


I also picked up this book on a whim. I haven't read David Sedaris before though I've heard he's hilarious. The title and cover are giving me a tickle already so I hope that it's worth the bargain basement price I paid.


And then there is The Pie. I bought a lemon meringue pie for dessert on Wednesday and no one would help me eat it. So I ate a quarter or a slice every night until I finally finished it today. (Yes, I even play "empties" with food - what of it???)

Wednesday

Sunday

And today is the day I finally started a plan that's been brewing for a few weeks. I've been looking for ways to squeeze in an activity that has nothing to do with work, school, family or even blogging. And since I'm looking for ways to cut down on expenses, I figured doing some more cooking/baking from scratch would be a great way to save money and learn some new skills. Each week I'll strive to make at least one thing that I haven't before. I outdid myself by making four things this weekend. I'm not going to keep track of all of them here, but for anyone who's interested, I'm marking the progress on my Pinterest board called "Baked It; Cooked It." The two that I really liked the result of are shown below with a link to the recipe.


Best Blueberry Pancakes via Food and Family


I've made pancakes before of course but never with blueberries. I don't know why. It's so good!

Creamy Garlic Pasta via The Cheese Pusher


The beauty of this pasta dish is in its simplicity. I hate draining the pasta and having to wash the strainer after dinner. In this case, you boil the spaghetti in chicken stock and any leftover liquid turns into the sauce. Brilliant! I used basil instead of parsley because I hate keeping parsley in the fridge and love basil and throw it in almost every dish.

I also took a chance on a new wine and its light, fruity but not too sweet taste was the perfect complement to the pasta on this warm summer night. It's apparently called a "frizzante" and I equate it to what an eau fraiche is to perfume!


Overall, it was a pretty good weekend. It's always nice to see old friends, eat great food and get your hands dirty with something other than mundane tasks. I'm heading to bed earlier than usual tonight in order to wake up early to bake cinnamon buns for breakfast. Hope everyone had a great weekend and have a great week!

40 comments:

  1. Love moscato, love that pasta idea. Going to find it and put it on our menu, as well. Yay for baking and cooking! It's quite satisfying to eat good food, but even more satisfying to eat good food that you made! Of course, nothing beats an exquisite restaurant experience, but they're different things.

    Those notebooks are also beautiful. I love blank notebooks. *sigh* I like to do my writing in unlined ones, though. Lines are so restricting :P

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    1. It's so simple but good! I also threw in like quadruple the amount of garlic, lol. I threw away enough money at restaurants in the past and now am enjoying this new phase. :)

      I love those notebooks, too. Am tempted to keep one for myself! I prefer lines mostly but having some blanks are useful, too. These ones are lined - I wonder if she'll find them restricting?!?

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  2. I also bought that NARS nail polish but haven't tried it yet. I'm really curious as to how it will perform now, because I've only read raves about it! Oddly enough, staining really doesn't bother me that much... For me, streaking and unevenness are the dealbreakers!

    "No one would help me eat it" -- How is this possible? Lemon meringue pie is the best... I would've helped you eat it, Liz.

    An omelette stuffed with a PULLED PORK SANDWICH? Does it get better than that?!? I really should go downtown more. There's so many restaurants I want to try! Sounds like you had a great week! :)

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    1. I was reminded of you with this colour, actually! It performs just kind of okay. Not stellar but not bad. From that one nail swatch, it went on opaque in two coats. I HATE staining and blue polishes are especially worse. But having experienced zero staining from brands like Dior which is about the same price as NARS, I can't deal with any sort of major deficiencies like this.

      I'll call you the next time I end up alone with a pie. LOL

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  3. The creamy garlic pasta looks deelish! I'm also LOVING that mug; so cute! <3

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    1. It is delish! You should try it. :)

      The mug makes me happy. :)

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  4. Ok, so that's the first time reading one of your posts has made me HUNGRY!!! Bummer about the polish. I've had the same problem with other (very much cheaper) blue polishes and the staining is so damn difficult to remove :(

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    1. Hahaha, it's the worst when you see a food post at midnight while you're in bed.

      Blues seem to be especially prone to staining! I wouldn't mind it from a drug store nail polish but for over $20 as a part of a designer collaboration? UNACCEPTABLE!

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  5. Whoa Liz! That's awesome, I can't wait to see what kind of recipes you try out!! A good resource if you're interested is my friend Kat's blog, She Cooks, He Eats - I've made SO many delicious meals from her posts, and they've all been relatively easy without too much fuss.

    As for the rest of your weekend, it sounds positively delightful :) I'm totally envious of that omelette - yum!! It sounds like city living at its best (eating, shopping, exploring). I haven't had many days like that lately, unfortunately, sticking close to home to avoid spending money LOL, but once we move I'm going to maximize the new location and get out and explore and take it all in! I find those are the kinds of things that really make life worth living, you know? I'm so glad you had a great weekend! (sans Koliary being a disappointment - still haven't tried a NARS polish and this isn't encouraging me to do so...)

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    1. I remember looking at it way back when but have since lost track! I love easy and no fuss recipes. :)

      I'm so going back for that omelette. And I hear you - I haven't really been out or about in months so it felt really good. To think I used to go out almost every day for most of my 20s... man, that was a lot of money that should have gone to savings. You're so wise and I hope everything goes well with the move! Very exciting!

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  6. I'm glad you were able to buy yourself something nice - and so sorry it didn't turn out well! Staining nail polish is so annoying.

    I LOVE David Sedaris, but that book isn't my favorite. If you don't love it, give Me Talk Pretty One Day a try - that one is my favorite!

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    1. That's okay - so many other better things to choose from, ya know?? :)

      I keep looking at Me Talk Pretty but have yet to see it on discount. I'll give it a shot eventually, thanks!

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  7. Yay, Liz, it sounds like you had a lot of fun this week! I've also started cooking at home a lot more after we discovered how much money we were spending on eating out, and it definitely has a lot of advantages: Mr cannot eat a lot of different foods because of his sensitive tummy, and now that I'm trying to lose a bit of weight, it's a lot easier too to know what's going into your lunch/dinner. I love pasta, I have to try that recipe!

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    1. When I think of how much money I wasted on eating out, I feel like curling into a ball in a corner somewhere while rocking and whimpering, lol! I think it's definitely something that should be done regularly as a treat but cooking at home has so many benefits like you pointed out. It's a lot of work but we also gain a lot of skills! Hurray for home cooking! :)

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  8. Too bad about that polish-such a pretty shade!
    Yay for cooking and baking! It's a lot of fun. I've been baking my own bread since February over here.

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    1. Yes but it's not a totally unusual blue. I have one quite similar to it, incidentally!

      I think Larie is my bread-influencer. Soon I'll be joining you guys!

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  9. I would also love to run on the beach without a care in the world. What a bummer about the NARS Koliary but at least Sephora has a good return policy. Cooking from scratch can be alot of fun and it is a great way to save money. That garlic pasta sounds delish. Anything with garlic sounds good to me though. Glad you enjoyed your weekend :)

    Have a great week!
    Rowena @ rolala loves

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    1. Hi, Rowena! Glad to see you around and about! :)

      Sephora's return policy saved me from a lot of grief, although they are a big part of the grief in the first place by having so many awesome things! I loooove garlic and quadrupled the amount of garlic called for, lol.

      Hope you have a great week, too!

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  10. David Sedaris is amazing! I'm a huge fan of his and got to meet him at his signings a few years back!! I adore him!!

    I'm kinda glad to hear your bad experience with Koliary- I have been eyeing it but cannot get past the price:/ I'll find a cheaper dupe (and non staining for us both!)

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    1. That's awesome. I love going to see authors!

      I have OPI for Sephora "Slushied!" which is almost the same. I'll see if it stains or not!

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  11. What a lovely article! And that nail polish would lift anyone's spirits. It looks like a little bottle of oceanic magic.

    I can't believe you have never had blueberry pancakes before! Of course, growing up in New England and, at one point Maine, bloobs in the cakes are essential, required!

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    1. That's why I got it: for the magic ocean effect! I just think that if a brand were to do a designer collab, they'd go the extra mile and make it a good quality on top of just looking nice on the outside. Blech.

      I've had blueberry pancakes, of course - just never made it myself! And that, you see, dear Zuzu, is how lazy I can be. :)

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  12. Congrats on picking up a David Sedaris book! He's fantastic, although I agree with another commenter -- 'Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk' isn't one of my favourites, and it's actually a very atypical representation of his work. 'Me Talk Pretty Some Day' is probably my favourite.

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    1. Hi, Jill. I guess he was trying to branch out and do something different...? I shall report back on Me Talk Pretty when I get my hands on it. :)

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  13. Hi Liz, there's a lot to love here... meringue... mint mug... squirrel seeks chipmunk (what?!) I hope you enjoying all these treats :)

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    1. Thanks, Dovey! I came down with a 24 hour bug and haven't had a chance to enjoy the new goodies but seeing them certainly have a cheering effect. :)

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  14. I'm sorry to hear about the NARS polish, but thanks for sharing––now I know I can definitely avoid it! I definitely approve of your pie-eating skillz; I have been known to eat pie (and cake) for breakfast...

    And aren't blueberry pancakes the BEST?! I highly recommend raspberry pancakes as well--super moist and delicious. I'm really glad to hear that you're getting enjoyment from so many things and that life is looking cheerfuler (shush, it's a word). Also, now I really want that pasta...

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    1. I haven't attempted to eat a whole pie or cake since my late 20s but it was reassuring to know that I still have it in me, LOL.

      I'm not a huge fan of raspberries. But cheerfuller is totally a word and we're going to bring it into the lexicon. Go make that pasta! So good and so easy!

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  15. Koliary looks gooorgeous! I was really thinking the NARS Thakoon collection would be the one to help me break the $10-and-up polish barrier (no, really, I haven't crossed it!) but it's a shame about the staining.

    You finished the pie! I'm so proud *^^*

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    1. I think the whole collection is gorgeous though the individual shades aren't exactly groundbreaking. The only other one that really captured me is La Mirchi which is some sort of extra exclusive? Bah!

      Hee, thanks, Angela! ^^

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    1. Thanks but kindly leave off the giant signature block next time. *points to comment request below*

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  17. Mmm Liz, that's making me hungry. I was thinking of making sausage and peppers or maybe chicken with mushrooms but now I want to make pasta. I made up this recipe with ground turkey, mushrooms and tomatoes. It was so scrumptious.

    Also, I have and love Mint Candy Apple. But more importantly what is up with blue staining nail polish. I got Sally Hansen's The Sky's the Limit from the Tracy Reese collection. It's a pretty color, but stained like a mother. And back it went from whence it came. It's quite disappointing really. I've got Temptation and it looks a little like DL's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Ah well, slight difference.

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    1. Hey, you can incorporate the sausage or chicken INTO your pasta. Usually I require a meat but was feeling heavy from all that silly pie-eating!

      Oh, I really wanted something from that SH TR collection. That was very pretty. Sad about the staining but glad I didn't pick it up. I don't think we can return nail polish anywhere here except for Sephora. (The department stores might take it back if it's unused.) Blue seems to be especially prone to staining. They really need to get on that and discover what the heck Dior does to keep their polishes so perfect from start to finish.

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  18. I love Moscato! It's one of the only wines I drink :)

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    1. Yays! I usually don't drink white so haven't tried it before. Surprised by how much I like it!

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  19. I've been debating getting more Nars polishes. I have a couple that I love, but generally the formula is not my favorite. Thanls for saving me money on this one! :P

    As a side note, I actually do the visual merchandizing for an Indigo/Chapters store out here as my day job. This current collection has got to be one of my favorite ones since they started doing Gift items. I really, really want to get a bunch of those mugs you got to use as makeup brush holders. (The color is too perfect!)

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    1. I shell out to Dior for the quality and to Chanel for the innovation in shades and to Deb Lippmann for a mix of the two. Otherwise I'm quite critical of $20+ polishes. NARS rarely delivers though I have TRIED to like them!

      !!! That's such a fun job, Maggie. I went back to Indigo during lunch on Monday to a bigger location to check out the rest of the displays and it's my all-time favourite, too. I wasn't sure that I wanted to use the mug for drinking so much as something decorative. People were a bit critical of the lifestyle items expansion but frankly I love it.

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  20. mmm yeah I haven't heard too many stellar reviews of the NARS polish formula. LOVE that you play empties with food you brilliant girl! I need to start doing that too hahahha. The recipes look delicious, I'll have to try that when I get back home and have a kitchen once more.

    P.S. do let me know how you like that book. Extremely intrigued by the title :P

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    1. Hi, MM! I also play it with office supplies, LOL. Yay for empties! And I'm not sure if I'll actually get around to that book (there are so many books) but we shall see!

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