Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mistreses: My Attempt at Delving Back into Fictional Television

If you read this blog at all then you know of my obsession for Bravo. Well, recently those reigns have been loosening. I know I've said this before, but I'm really getting tired of the same characters arguing over the same issues and those issues splattered all across the reality blogs I read. (Maybe stop reading those blogs?) It started by me stopping my DVR from recording Watch What Happens Live. I used to record every episode and pick and choose which to watch based on who was on the show. Soon I was deleting every episode that would record! And then Housewives of Jersey started and it's just boring me. It's the same familial issues that keep getting played out and as each season passes on the only difference is that Teresa has more make-up caked on her face, even when going to the gym. 

As Bravo has been fading I've found in these last couple of months I've gotten back into reading. I was always an avid reader as a child and even through college and post graduate school. After having kids I just stopped because I didn't feel I had the time or concentration for it. As Hubby makes fun of me, it was Andy Cohen that had me start reading again, but I consider Bravo my gateway drug into reading. First I read Cohen's book then Kyle Richard's book then Bethenny Frankel's fiction book. Her fiction book got me back into reading all that I loved, chic lit books. From Emily Giffin, Jennifer Weiner, Sophie Kinsella, I love them all! I've found that reading a page here and there and then spending twenty minutes before bed reading allows me to finish a book in about a week. 

Through reading fiction it had me jonesing to watch something of the chic lit variety on the small screen. I saw a commercial for Mistresses back in May and thought it looked interesting and finally this past week I made an effort to watch the pilot on On Demand after falling asleep through an episode of RHONJ and not bothering to rewind and re-watch. I knew my Bravo passion was slowly being flushed down the drain with Andy Cohen waving goodbye to me. 

But no grief here! (Besides, once Real Housewives of Beverly Hills comes back, I'll be hooked again.) No grief because I've found a good, fictional show to occupy that almost one hour of tv watching I get at the end of the night. (Granted, one person's good is one person's bad. That other person would be Hubby.) Often times it takes me awhile to get into fictional tales, but with this one I was hooked right from the pilot! 

The show revolves around four women and how infidelity plagues their lives. Firstly there's Alyssa Milano's character, Savi. Savi and her husband are trying to get pregnant, but her husband is having infertility issues which is harming their marriage and Savi seeks solace in a one night fling with her co-worker only to shortly after find out she is pregnant. Desperate to salvage her marriage she seeks to find paternity to determine who the baby daddy is. Oh, and the man she cheats on her husband with is black and her husband is white, so there's no lying about this one, there may be a big ol' surprise in that delivery room.

And then there's my favorite story line, Karen is a psychotherapist and has an affair with one of her dying patients who is married and has an 18 year old son. The patient has passed on and the wife and son are relying on her to get through their grief, not knowing she had an affair with their husband and father. Meanwhile, the son knows his father had an affair, but doesn't know with who and is falling in love with Karen. Oh wow, typing this out makes me feel that watching this show is not necessarily a step up from the catty fights of Bravo!

Next is April whose husband passed away a few years ago and she is still grieving his death and then a woman shows up at her doorstep claiming she had an affair with her husband and this is their lovechild and she is demanding child support from his estate. This one gets my blood fuming. I just want to yell at April to lawyer up! (Which Savi, her best friend, is a lawyer!)

Lastly there's Josslyn who is Savi's younger sister. She's a real estate agent and goes around sleeping with married men. She doesn't have that significant of a story line other than to bring some lighthearted humor to the show. 

I'm a little confused on how the show will continue. I mean, how often can affairs affect their relationships? But apparently it's based on the British series entitled Mistresses and we all know what happened when The Office, a copy off of a British show did. Somehow I don't think this show will garner the same excitement as The Office. Who knows, maybe the viewers of Desperate Housewives will latch on to this show and it will be a success. 

So while the show is a great distraction from Bravo, unfortunately, when I get hooked to fictional shows either the show is cancelled after one season or it becomes a success and I claim the second season is a sophomore slump and stop watching when in actuality ratings hit a high. Which means I just may be hooked to Bravo again. Input emphatic sigh here.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

When Did Michelle and Michelle Tanner Start Dictating Fashion?

As we've all seen countless times, most child stars grow up to never achieve the same fame they do in childhood and unfortunately fall into addiction and troubles with the law. I won't even acknowledge a certain red head who we're constantly bombarded with her most recent shenanigans. (Her name rhymes with Shindsey Shohan) And then you have those that break free of the cracks and find rehab and success, like Drew Barrymore. She was drinking at 9 years old and now she's an A-lister!  Much like Drew Barrymore, the youngest Tanner, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen have truly made a name for themselves in the fashion sphere.

Now, I'm no guru on fashion (For instance, is the above pic two fans taking a photo with a fashion icon or peers merely posing together for the paparazzi?), I'm just a novice who likes to read fashion blogs and tries to keep up with trends, visually, not necessarily in my closet. (My pocketbook does not neccesarily agree with this hobby.) I say this because while Mary Kate and Ashley are quite prevalent in Vogue, I'm not sure if other professionals in the same genre would agree that they are experts or if they are more like the Richard Simmons of the fitness circuit.

The girls, excuse me women (It's hard to refer to them as women when gifs of the girls saying "You got it dude" reverberate through my mind) have four...yes, that's right, four clothing lines together. And no, they aren't lines called Michelle Tanner or Mary Kate and Ashley (That was the line of their Wal-mart brand back when they were tweens themselves, paving the way for other celebrities to have their own fashion line using their name to brand themselves),  nowadays at least they try to be a little clandestine about their couture ventures.

First up we have their couture label called The Row. It was established in 2006 and based on the prices, it really rivals Rachel Zoe's line. What, did you think I was going to say Prada? I'm not sure if they're quite to that level, although they did hire Prada's former CEO as the President and CEO of the label.

The Row 

The Row 

The Row 

The Row 

Well, these girls obviously aren't using their name hoping their former tween followers who are now in their twenties are the ones buying these clothes, if so I think their line would be in H&M. Seriously, with a brand like this they are really trying to rival the big guns out their. I'm curious to know how they had the clout to take on such a clothing line. I can't imagine that just any pesron can design and sell at this price point. 

Next up the girls have a line called Elizabeth and James which is a bit more contemporary and less couture.




Ok, so I think this line is far more catered towards their former fans who loved watching Double Touble Toil and Trouble at every slumber party they attended. Granted, the price is high, but the style is absolutely created for younger, trendy women.

For the lower price point the girls have a line for JC Penny titled Olsenboye. Obviously they were using their name on this one to garner customers, but are Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen really that relevant in pop culture that people want to buy their clothes? Are they rivaling the Kardashians? 

Olsenboye® Floral Corduroy Backpack
I think Blossom called and she's missing her backpack.

Olsenboye® Sparrow Pants
I had pants like these in middle school, are they seriously back in style? Or was I ever in style?

Olsenboye® Ruffled Eyelet Dress

Olsenboye® Season Rhinestone-Detailed Flat Thong Sandals

Interestingly, this line is for Juniors, do teens even know who Michelle Tanner was? So maybe they really are simply using their design prowess (Wait, do they design themselves?) to broaden their clothing lines and reaching out towards juniors and not hanging on to their childhood fame?

Lastly, the girls have their own t-shirt line on stylemint, which is a clothing website which lets you create a style profile and the line of t-shirts designed by the girls are suggested based on your style. Stylemint seems most similar to Elizabeth and James, in that it reaches the same audience. Which begs the question, aren't their lines competing for the same consumer?

Malibu T


So unlike the other lines, I actually like style mint, it has pieces that are similar to my own style. It's a simple concept, t-shirts (and more apparently)  but taken up a notch. I like the blouses and v-necks, great to be thrown over shorts, jeans, and leggings. So maybe Elizabeth and James and stylemint aren't competing for the same consumer? 

 From the looks of it, the Olsen girls are actually fashion moguls. The only difference between them and other designers are that they had a million dollar empire by the time they were 18 due to their little acting gig as children. I guess their passion wasn't in acting but rather couture. Regardless, I give them major props for growing up in Hollywood and not allowing themselves to turn into another E! True Hollywood story. Granted their was a Bulimia incident, highly questionable fashion styles and an older boyfriend...ok, so they would actually be a ratings goldmine for an E! True Hollywood story. 


Monday, June 24, 2013

Making the Best Out of Your Takeout Leftovers: Vegetable Fried Rice

Saturday night we got some takeout Thai food and I got my usual soft spring rolls with peanut sauce and stir fry vegetables with jasmine rice. Normally I opt for brown rice since media outlet after outlet has screamed to me that processed white rice is unhealthy and filled with toxins and that brown rice is the much better rice route to indulge. Well I chose to spit in Joy Bauer's face and order the jasmine rice. I like white rice, I've eaten it for 30 years and if I want to splurge (Although I don't consider it splurging) I'm going to go for the white rice, which I did! (As you can see, rice gets me very heated.)

Well, after eating two soft spring rolls with tofu, noodles (White noodles, sorry, Joy) and vegetables I didn't have a lot of room for my actual dinner. I ate most of the vegetables from the stir fry and a couple of bites of the tofu (Too much tofu is like eating too much of something you just accept, you don't necessarily enjoy eating it, but you don't hate it either which means there is only so much you can tolerate.) and a little bit of rice. So when I went to throw away the garbage I saw a large vat of rice sitting in the white, disposable takeout container. (Not the takeout box with the metal handle, this wasn't Chinese food!) 

Now, to know me is to know my love of a big plate of white rice. According to my mother, as a child it was all I ate, along with a heaping helping of plain yogurt, Indian style. Ok, so not just as a child even in college when everyone was eating Top Ramen, I was eating my dahi bhaat. (Yogurt rice in my native tongue).

So to throw away all that rice would just be a travesty! I threw it into the fridge thinking I would make some kind of Rice Pilaf out of it. So Sunday morning we ran to H-E-B and I grabbed all the usual vegetables that I always stock up the fridge with and as I was walking past cabbage I decided to make some vegetable fried rice! I often make chicken fried rice for Hubby with leftover chicken breasts, but today I decided to make myself a vegetarian fried rice.

 All I did was saute some onion and garlic, then threw in the broccoli, shredded carrot and shredded cabbage. After that was warm and crunchy I threw in the frozen peas and corn and then the rice. I heavily added on soy sauce for flavor but felt it was missing something. I contemplated adding Sriracha sauce like I make for Hubby, but I feared the heat would kill me. There was something missing, but I just couldn't figure it out. I decided to throw in a pinch of Chinese Five Spice and that did the trick! It gave it a little bit of needed flavor without tasting too hot.

So what was the lesson from all of this? Don't automatically throw those leftovers from your takeout away. Who knows what kind of meal you can concoct with it the next day! 

Oh, and the reason why I'm not posting the entire recipe is because I've already done so before, with chicken fried rice (click above). If you're looking for the vegetarian version just don't add the chicken!


Friday, June 21, 2013

Oreo Cookie Balls, A Recipe in Pictures

For Bambino's first birthday party I decided that rather than create a goody bag filled with potential choking hazards that were most likely produced in a sweat shop in an unknown island somewhere in the Baltic Sea where Party City does not have to follow federal regulations (what I usually do), I would follow in the footsteps of a friend of mine and just bake something as a parting gift.  Initially I was going to make some sort of Mickey Mouse pops (as Mickey was the theme) but after one attempt of trying to stick a lollipop stick into an Oreo and attaching mini Oreos as ears with hot chocolate and watching the entire thing crumble before I could even taste it, that idea went down the drain. 

Then Hubby mentioned cake balls (I was a little shocked considering how cumbersome it was to make them, but agreed since he promised to help), so as we were in HEB shopping for supplies suddenly the idea of truffles hit me! A friend of mine told me she thought they tasted much better than cake balls, so I looked up the recipe and it's actually easier to make than cake balls, no baking required. And so I decided truffles were the way to go. (Oh, truffle is the posh way of saying Oreo Cookie Balls.) 

1 package Oreo cookies (Feel free to step out of the box and try peanut butter Oreos or mint Oreos!)
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 package of candy wafers
wax paper
1 package of mini Oreos (optional)

1. Crush the big cookies in a food processor and add in cream cheese until it turns into a brown paste.

2. Take out about a tablespoon at a time and form into a ball with your hands and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Continue for all of your batter.

3. Take your candy wafers and melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals. After 30 seconds, mix together and put back in microwave if it needs to be heated more. 

Make sure you mix the chocolate! As you see in the pictures below the first one is what it looked like when it came out of the microwave, and the one on the bottom is what it looked like after mixing- it melted completely. 

I doubled the recipe and did half with dark chocolate and the other half with white chocolate.

 4. While chocolate is melting, blend together the mini Oreos  so you can sprinkle on top of the chocolate covered balls.

5. Now that the chocolate is melted, dip the balls in the chocolate and cover completely. I dropped the balls in by hand and then used a spoon to coat the balls.

6. Once the chocolate is coated, immediately sprinkle with crumbled Oreo cookie, or drizzle with opposite color chocolate. You can either put melted chocolate in a ziplock bag and cut a whole in the corner and drizzle that way, or I just took a spoon and drizzled the chocolate. Not as pretty, but quick! 

This is your chance to get creative. Hobby Lobby sells all different kinds of colored chocolate for decoration. You could even use sprinkles or crumbles of any other cookie! 

As you can see, some came out pretty and others did not.

7. Let chocolate harden and then place in designated containers.

If you use candy wafers, then the chocolate will harden quickly, otherwise, if you use chocolate chips, place in the fridge to harden. Regardless, once you are finished and have wrapped your candy to desirability keep in fridge, remember, it does have cream cheese in it!

Perfect gift for birthday parties and even holidays! For teacher's appreciation day I bought boxes at Hobby Lobby and gave some to the staff. They were well appreciated and cheap on my end, perfect!