You can imagine my delight and excitement when I stumbled upon the Good Food Awards at the Ferry Building. For $5 I had all-you-can-eat chocolate, cheese, and coffee (um, seriously a dream come true). Vendors from all over the country came together to show off their award-winning food and beverages. I documented everything I tasted . . . so be on the lookout for these products at Whole Foods and other organic food markets.
Fed up with friends who keep bragging about money? OnSugar blogger Beauty and the Budget shares some great suggestions on how to deal.
If there is anything that worsens how you feel about your financial situation, it's probably being around someone that always brags about money. For me, one of the most difficult things is to hear others bragging about their impressive salaries and benefits package, expensive getaways, and huge end-of-the-year bonuses. And of course, you try to be nice, because you're their friend and you love them, but really you just want to tell them to shut it.
Money problems can make you bitter, especially toward others with more money and success, but there are classy ways to contain yourself around a money bragger:
- Compliment them. Have you ever heard the expression "kill 'em with kindness"? Well, this goes along with that. Your friend might not be trying to hurt your feelings, but they could just be really proud of how much they've accomplished. Maybe they don't get a lot of praise from other people, so you tell them you're proud of them! That could be all they needed.
- If they're being competitive, ignore them. You can tell a friend is being competitive when he or she brags about recent purchases or income and then immediately want to know what you bought or what you make. Whether they are jealous of you or not, this is childish behavior and shouldn't be acknowledged. Simply compliment them on their recent success and change the subject.
- Never burden them with your financial troubles. When a friend starts to brag about money, it's easy to become upset and envious of them. Still, it's never a good idea to start talking about your financial problems after they've just gotten done talking about buying a $4,000 pair of shoes (or whatever). If you want to talk about your finances, wait until later. Otherwise, you'll just be a Debbie Downer.
Trying to get back on track with your budget? OnSugar blogger Beauty and the Budget shares some great suggestions.
It's 2012, and for most of us, our top New Year's resolution is to create a budget. It's a healthy resolution, of course, and if you're looking for tips on creating a budget, you can always check this site! However, you might be overlooking a few things, and it could be costing you hundreds of dollars over time.
There are more ways to adjusting your finances than just sitting down with a ledger, pay stubs, and a calculator. You should really look at every aspect of your financial lifestyle, but there are a few supereasy tips you should take into consideration first.
- Unsubscribe to mailing lists. Are you a member of discount designer shopping sites? Online shops? Your favorite stores? Budget savvy beauties are always sourcing for an amazing deal, but email alerts about sales and special discounts could make you more susceptible to spending when you don't need to. (I don't know about you, but when I'm offered a special discount or a certain dollar amount off via email, I always click on the link — even if only to see if I like the items enough to buy them.) Go through your mailbox and get rid of those mailing lists! You don't necessarily have to get rid of all of them, but it's a really good idea to unsubscribe from most mailing lists. That way when you have a little extra spending money on hand, you can check your favorite sites to see what deals they have going on at that time.
- Cancel all monthly memberships to "personalized" boutiques. Although sites like JewelMint and ShoeDazzle offer an amazing service, it's not financially savvy to subscribe to memberships like these. Why not? It takes away your spending power. Sure, you get a great product every month, but instead of spending when you want to, you're spending when they want you to. And those monthly memberships really add up over time. It's much wiser to buy on your own time, at your own convenience. This way you have the power, and that's what truly makes you in control of your finances. If you are truly pinching pennies right now (like me), I highly advise cancelling all online shopping memberships.
The first time I encountered tempeh, I was a high-schooler venturing trepidatiously into a vegetarian restaurant in Atlanta, and the soy patty sandwich blew me away.
Since then, I have never had tempeh that impressed me much, until this tempeh banh mi at Urban Picnic. The protein is savory, spiced, and layered with flavor, like a good marinated meat.
More details and photos after the jump.
This holiday season came and went like the whirlwind it always is, and I sit here in the aftermath realizing that I have plenty of recipes to catch up on. So let's take a mini jaunt down memory lane to Thanksgiving, shall we?
Being the lucky recipient of my family's turkey carcass, I ended up with about 6 quarts of homemade stock, most of which sits in the freezer waiting for a chilly night when turkey noodle soup is a quick solution to the question "What's for dinner?" Unfortunately for the stock but quite happily for the rest of us San Franciscans, warm weather has taken up temporary residence in these parts, so soup has been on the back burner, so to speak. But back in late November when temps were still brisk in the low 50s (here, my East Coast friends may shout whatever expletives come to mind), comfort foods were definitely on the brain.
Purists will say that a pot pie must be just that: a pie complete with buttery, flaky crust on the top and the bottom. I get it (admission: I love Marie Calendar's frozen chicken pot pies dumped on a pile of hot white rice), but (1) who has time to whip up pie dough on a weeknight?, and (2) it's hardly a light meal. So I substituted store-bought puff pastry for the crust and focused on a rich, hearty filling for my turkey pot pie. For the recipe, read on.
Sometimes we just need a break! OnSugar blogger Everyday Baby Steps shares free and inexpensive ways to treat yourself.
The other day I wrote about how my new hairstyle has improved my outlook. I also mentioned that I'm fortunate enough to blog for a wonderful local hair salon, and I'm able to trade my writing services for hair and beauty treatments. It's an awesome exchange! Even if you're not lucky enough to have your hairstylist on retainer, there are still tons of ways to treat and pamper yourself, as well as your family, without spending a ton of money. These are tough economic times. Throughout my working life, I've had various periods of ups and downs with my finances. The times when I was the least happy were the ones in which I constantly denied myself. Living in a mindset of lack or want is not healthy. It's no good for you, and it's no good for your loved ones. So I'm going to get you started with a list of things you can do to add some fun and pampering to your life without spending the big bucks that so many of us just don't have right now.
Health and Beauty
Going to the salon and buying beauty products can really take a chunk out of your budget. Consider these ways of pampering yourself on the cheap.
If you've never had or heard of grillades and grits, then I apologize for not mentioning them earlier. They're one of the two most wonderful things to eat for brunch in New Orleans (shrimp and grits being the other). I've never been to anyplace in town for brunch that didn't offer one or both of these goodies. Grillades (gree'-awds) are made of beef, veal, or pork; I haven't encountered a rabbit version yet, but I won't be surprised when I do. The beef is a thin, flat cut of top round or chuck — something that can withstand a long, slow cooking. It simmers in a pot with the trinity (onion, celery, bell pepper), garlic, and a little jalapeno — not traditional, but I really like it — until the rich broth thickens and intensifies, so what you get is a powerfully flavored beef "stew" that is perfect over creamy cheese grits. This is a great Louisiana recipe to try if you're hankering for some thick, rich goodness but you don't feel up to stirring a roux, because you don't have to. The small amount of flour used in the browning of the beef will produce all the roux you need.
Read ahead for the grillades and grits recipe.
For years, I've been connecting through Houston airport and longingly passing by a Schlotzsky's counter, but I never seem to end up there at meal time. This year, our stop en route to Pensacola fell around lunch hour, so we finally got to enjoy one of the muffuletta-inspired sandwiches.
It's judgment day for this deli sandwich! See its deli board score when you keep reading.
Whew! Christmas is over. What takes such a big toll on your budget, you sanity and your time is blown away in a matter of minutes while the kids rip open their presents, scurry around searching madly for batteries and try to figure out their new toys without bothering to look at the damn book. All this with barely a "Thanks, Santa." But you know what? It's worth it. We had a very nice, small Christmas at home. The kids got what they wanted (Thank you, Grandma!), and I loved watching their faces light up and spending the morning just watching their excitement as they played with their new stuff.
That being said, I must confess that for the last couple months that I've been trying to work from home without the help of part-time daycare, I've nearly pulled my hair out on a daily basis. I gave up my two day a week sitter in an attempt to save money, and I'm beginning to wonder if I gave up my sanity with that decision. Playing blocks, watching endless pre-school TV and begging Brady to, "Please, go potty." have just about sent me over the edge.
But just the other day, I saw a post on Facebook that led me to a blog I had never visited before, Girl on Saturday. The post was about how poor Karen is now known as "Penis Mom" by the parents and teachers at her kids' school, but that it's okay because she took a stand against ridiculous gender stereotypes and was a role model for her kids. Karen is pretty cool. So cool, in fact, that I took a look at her other posts. Each one spoke to me and conveyed a lesson that I needed to learn or to be reminded of. I was especially moved by this post that gave life-changing advice on surviving the first few years of raising kids. Karen reminded me that, though parenting can certainly be mind-numbing, it can also be some of the best moments of your life. She emphasized what's important, and I intend to keep those things in mind when I'm thisclose to having my next breakdown. If you feel like you just can't take one more second of the mind-numbing routine that has become your life, please head over to read Karen's advice. I guarantee it will help you out.
Hosting a New Year's Eve party? Serve up some healthier deviled eggs, courtesy of OnSugar blog Sophie's Sweeties.
Deviled eggs usually live up to their name, but these little devils come adorned with a halo and wings. Replacing more than half the mayo of typical deviled eggs with garbanzo beans makes them a little less sinful and absolutely perfect for a holiday party!
Read on for the recipe.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays from all of us here at LilSugar! We wish you and your loved ones the happiest of holidays and all the best in the New Year! Like lots of moms, MiaFT loves to show off her pride and joy! This is an excerpt from one of the latest posts on her Baby Love blog.
Just sent out our Christmas cards, so I thought I'd send holiday wishes to all of you as well!
Audrey's dress and faux fur jacket set is by Iris & Ivy, which is from Nordstrom. That's the only place to go for holiday dresses! I searched for the longest time for perfectly darling shoes, and ended up getting these at Payless. They are so cute and they were a terrific deal at only $12.99! I know it's hard to see the detail in the outfit, so I will post more pics when she wears it again on Christmas day. And if you think this outfit is cute, wait until you see her glamorous outfit for Christmas eve! Wait and see....
Want to see more? Start following Baby Love or start your own OnSugar blog. It's easy, it's free, and we just may feature your content on our site! Pictures of lil ones playing around the Christmas tree, opening presents, and enjoying their families on a holiday morning are sure to be classics. So why not share yours with us in the Sugarbabies group. We want to see them! It's super easy, and your tot will get a kick out of seeing himself on the site!
Wow, the end of the semester is actually here. Where'd the time go? I'm sure you're saying the same thing. With so much on your plate, you may be wondering how in the world you're going to find time to prepare for final exams, never mind how you'll actually manage to survive them. Trust me, mama, you can do this. Take a deep breath and consider these tips to help you get a handle on your test anxiety during this crazy time.
Schedule Study Time
I've talked about this aspect of time management, but it's especially important at finals to make sure you've set aside plenty of time for study. Write it down in your agenda or planner, and be sure to stick to it — just like any other appointment. You'll find that you're far less stressed if you know you've got the time set aside.
Break It Down
Decide which subjects are most difficult and tackle those first in your study session when your energy level is highest. Also keep in mind that it's impossible to study absolutely everything. Decide which topics are most likely to be on the exams and focus on those. Often professors will provide you with study guides. Take a moment to review the study guides, highlighting the topics that are toughest for you. Breaking things down always makes them seem less overwhelming.
OnSugar blogger Coach Lark Says encourages his pregnant clients to exercise while pregnant — safely, of course. He shares a few tips on how to exercise when pregnant below.
Here are some of the best reasons to exercise when you are pregnant, which I have gathered from a variety of sources.
- Better psychological wellbeing
- Reduced incidence of gestational diabetes
- Decreased incidence of preclampsia
- Reduced lower back pain
- Improved weight management
- Improved fetal development
- Easier or shorter labor
- Decreased risk of premature labor
- Greatly reduced incidence of abdominal surgery during delivery
Of course, it’s important to modify your workout to accommodate and support the pregnancy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work out as hard. Maintaining the workout intensity you had going into your pregnancy is exactly what you want to do. It’s not time to start a new program. It is time to work the core in three planes of motion to strengthen the abdominals for pushing during labor. When I work with expecting moms at my training facility at the Bentley Reserve in downtown San Francisco, I advise them according to the following parameters.
Read his tips after the break.
Waffles are an underrated sandwich vehicle, but I'm a big fan of salty-sweet waffle sandwiches. So when I heard about a cafe in San Francisco earning props for its waffle creations, I put it on the sand wish list. When I finally made it to Dash Cafe, the waffle sandwiches underwhelmed me, but maybe I caught them on a bad day. At least the Belgian-style waffles showed promise; click through to see.
So this is what Audrey is going to get this year for Christmas! Yes, I went a little overboard, but I couldn't help myself!
So let me give you a rundown of all of her loot. As you can see, I hit the Disney Store...hard! I bought her both nightgowns for Snow White and Belle, as well as the Animators' dolls. I also bought the Mrs. Potts tea set, from Beauty and the Beast, as well as the movie itself. It's her new favorite. I recorded it recently, and she is in love!
How cute is the little red rocking horse....I mean, moose? She saw that at Ikea and we literally had to tear her off kicking and screaming. She is going to love it! I'm sure she'll be on it all Christmas Day.
I also shopped at Buy Buy Baby and got some great stuff! The cutest Melissa and Doug clock puzzle. What a great toy! On this one little toy she can learn about numbers, shapes, colors, and time. I challenge you to find a more educational toy. I also picked up the Melissa and Doug mailbox. She is always fascinated by the mailboxes we pass on the street. I think she'll love having her own! I picked up a cute little Wizard of Oz book, which is kind of for me since it still is my favorite movie ever. Oh and I got her a VTech digital camera. Yes, you read that right, a digital camera. It is only $40, so don't think I'm crazy. But it is built kid-proof, and can actually take pictures and videos. I am looking forward to seeing the world through her little eyes!
Finally, I stopped at Kohl's. I got a little fish tank lamp. She is in love with fish (since her Nemo phase) and it will be much easier than getting a real fish tank that would have to be cleaned. While I was there, I also picked up their Nancy Tillman hardcover books. They are part of Kohl's Cares. They only cost $5 each and 100 percent of the profits will support kids' health and education initiatives in communities nationwide. It's a great deal, and it helps others. And books make the best gifts!
Christmas is really for the kids, and I can't wait to see her smiling face on Christmas Day! I guess now I have to start shopping for everyone else on my list...
Welcome to the third installment of my Christmas Hannukah bake-a-thon!
Have you ever had rugelach? Ever heard of them? They're these awesome, petite crescents of cream cheese and butter dough wrapped around a filling such as cinnamon, nuts, or preserves. The fact that the dough is almost nothing but cream cheese and butter pretty much had me hooked. But I also saw an opportunity to inject a little deep-south peppery twist on this classic cookie.
Pepper jelly. You know, the jalapeno-spiked stuff that gets poured over blocks of cream cheese? Turns out it's a remedy for someone who bakes and eats lots of cookies and, quite frankly, needs a little help preventing palate fatigue (that's Melissa Clark's term, not mine, but it's well-put). I was afraid these might be too spicy in the end, but they're just spicy enough, and a welcome change of spice from the typical holiday range of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. I think you'll like them. And let's forge ahead and put pepper jelly in all kinds of sweet things! It'll be a revolution.
For a recipe sure to stun at your next cookie exchange, read on.
I'm so excited! Bugaboo has finally come out with a snack tray! I'm thrilled!
As you can see, it doesn't attach to both sides of the stroller as the bumper bar does. I am a little disappointed about that because there are many times I will just seat Audrey in her stroller without belting her in, but she stays put because of the bumper bar. So I will have to make it a point to belt her in always. But it will be worth it. Audrey likes to snack and have her cup when we are out shopping or at the zoo for the day. It keeps her from getting too hungry and cranky. We are able to stay out longer, and have more fun! I've found it online for prices ranging from $39-$52, but I haven't found it available until January. I have been eagerly awaiting this! I just wanted to share the news in case you were too!!
When I was about 2 years old, my best friend in the whole world was Jon. He was 6 months younger, but a whole head taller than me, and while I was very quiet and shy, he could wail loud enough for the both of us (or so my mom says). Where I would scamper, he would lumber. One of the only things we seemed to agree upon was that pigeons were meant for chasing (we're city kids), but despite our differences, we were practically inseparable: JonJon and SaSa. Then his family moved down the Peninsula, and our paths wouldn't again cross until much later.
My apologies for the blurry, dark photo. It was late, and I was hungry.
In college, my Jon was my buddy Kevin. Again, he was the outgoing one, and quiet little me always seemed to be tagging along to his parties. His social sphere was only slightly smaller than the campus population, whereas I tended to stick to a very small circle of friends. So it was a strange twist of fate when I found out that Kevin and Jon were close friends, having met through the university's crew team.
Fast-forward about 15 years to last weekend when we hosted Jon, Kevin, and their awesome wives for a little dinner party conceived through my Momofuku cookbook. We enjoyed an upscale ssam dinner (Korean barbecue served as make-your-own lettuce wraps) with kalbi-style New York strip and grilled pork belly and an insalata Caprese-inspired cherry tomato salad that I was dying to try. Rather than nesting the tomatoes on soft disks of mozzarella, Chang substitutes silken tofu and replaces zesty strips of basil with equally pungent Japanese shiso.
Keep reading for a wintry take on the Caprese salad.
In need of a few good tips? Check out this great story from OnSugar blog Beauty and the Budget:
Of course, we'd all love to have a major beauty stash, but sometimes we just don't have all of those cool tools at our disposal. When you're in need of a quick beauty fix, here are a few tips to get you through!
In case you didn't know, petit fours aren't just those kinda gross square white cakes with a crusty pink flour on top that you've had at a tea or shower. Petit four is just a classy french way of saying mini dainty dessert, they can come in tarts, cookies, cakes — just make them tiny. They can even be savory (petit fours sales).
A classic french petit four is the French macaroon; more pictures of those to come later this week!