Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Half-Birthday to Me!

Hi all - Ruby here. A few days ago I turned six months! I could not wait till my half-Birthday because I had to be six months old to have treats. I got several treats on my half-Birthday, and then I thought I'd play this new game I invented recently. I jump up and down walls, windows and corners, just like this:
Momma wonders why I jump up and down for no apparent reason. The truth is, it's fun!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's Almost Newsletter Time!

Have you signed up for the jaC Jewelry monthly newsletter yet?

The holidays are around the corner, which means it's almost time to start shopping for gifts! Don't miss out on exclusive offers and special discounts available only to newsletter recipients! The newsletter goes out on the first of every month.

Sign up now.

Monday, September 28, 2009

jaC Procures on Etsy - Greeting Cards by Rheea

A couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to find out that I won a giveaway on the very talented Rheea's blog! I have been a fan of Rheea's work for a long time, and when I found out I won the lovely gifts shown here, I headed to her shop to search for a Birthday card.

This card looked lovely in Rheea's shop. When it arrived the other day (just in time for the recipient's Birthday), I was so impressed! The packaging was absolutely beautiful, and the card was impeccable. Pictures don't do justice to just how good the quality is, and how gorgeous the artwork is! I also love the bookmark that came with the card.

I am so happy with this purchase - it is one of my absolute favorites on Etsy! Thank you, Rheea, for your stunning work and special touch that you add to your orders! I will most certainly be back again.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Unreasonables - No More Dressing

Last Thursday, I came to work to find a note on the fridge that said that the fridge would be cleaned the next day. The note also said to clearly mark anything you did not want thrown away with a sign "Do not discard".

I printed up a large "'Do not discard" sign and taped it up to the bottle of dressing I keep in the fridge.

The day after the fridge was cleaned, I found out that my dressing got thrown away. Should not have bothered with the note after all!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Receivables - Booties

While it has been very warm this week, the week before it was starting to feel like fall! In preparation for the cooler months, I went looking for appropriate footwear, and found these adorable BCBG booties.


They are so very pricey, which is why they will remain on my wish list for now. :) I do love them though!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Edibles - Falafel!

We tried making falafels for the first time, and they were a success! Here is the recipe we used; it came from here.

Ingredients
1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2-4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2-4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder*
4-6 tablespoons flour
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped tomato, diced onion and diced green pepper for garnish
Tahini sauce
Pita bread
Fresh lemon juice (optional)

Preparation
1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
3. Sprinkle in the baking powder* and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur or flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Place into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets. (I made mine flat.)
5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test**. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahini thinned with water. For more flavor, add a little fresh lemon juice to tahini.

*I skipped baking powder.
**I formed falafel into flattened patties and did not need more than an inch of oil.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Want to See my Toys?

Hi all! Hope you are having a wonderful week thus far. I've been meaning to tell you about two new fantastic toys Momma got me about a month ago. They came from casbahkitten on Etsy! I love them so.

The first one is Bluejay Fatberd Cat Toy. It's just like my first yellow bird toy, only in blue. I play with it daily.

The second one is a Pickle Cat Toy, Kosher Dill Size. I had so much fun with it, but managed to lose it somehow last week. Maybe it is under the couch?

I hope it turns up soon! In fact, I am going to search for it right now...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday Irreplaceables – MAC Paints

Until I discovered this product, I could not wear eye shadow and have it look good all day long (especially in the summer). If you have oily or combination skin, or have a hard time getting eye shadow to stay on, here is a magical product from MAC: Paints!

You need just a tiny amount; use a synthetic brush to spread a very thin layer over your eye lid and apply eye shadow. Not only will your shadow stay on for most of the day - Paints will make it pop!

I use the shade called Bare Canvas. It has a natural look to it and a tiny bit of shimmer. Remember: a little bit goes a long way with Paints! The little tube lasts me forever and is well worth $16.50. Love it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

jaC Procures at Union Square - Flying Pigs Farm Sausage

One of our favorite vendors at Union Square Farmers Market is Flying Pigs Farm! They sell the most delicious sausage made from rare heritage breeds of pigs. The farm is family-owned and managed.

My favorite sausage is Apple-Sage Farmhouse Sausage. There are a variety of flavors to choose from, and in addition to sausage, the farm sells bacon, ribs, chops, cutlets and more! You can visit the farm's site at http://www.flyingpigsfarm.com/index.html.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Miraculous Mister Softee

Mister Softee has got to be the best ice cream in the world! The trucks pictured here are all over the city in the summer (and when it's warm out), and we cannot resist getting a cone when we see one. There have been days when we have had Mister Softee on more than one occasion - it is THAT good! My favorite is the vanilla cone with chocolate sprinkles, while Husband loves the twist vanilla chocolate one.

Next time you're in NYC, try one of their cones! I promise, you will not be disappointed. ;)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Receivables - Coasters

The set of coasters that we got in Paris a couple of years ago is starting to show signs of wear and tear. We need a replacement. Since a trip to Paris is not in our near future (I wish it were... but c'est la vie!), I found a few beautiful sets on Etsy. Here are my top three favorites!

Light Blue Sugar Starfish Coaster


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Under my Umbrella

I like rain, unless I get caught in it without an umbrella, or get soaked because a car speeds through a gigantic puddle RIGHT next to me, which is exactly what happened the other day.

We had several days of rain last week, and I took this opportunity to study various umbrella styles. My teeny Sharper Image umbrella has served me well for the last 5 years, but I have a feeling it won't last too much longer. The other day, it turned inside out in strong wind, which it has NEVER done before. I've noticed a few interesting umbrellas and Googled them.

Totes Elements Clear Bubble Umbrella, $16.99, Target
It looks neat and seems to protect a person better than a regular umbrella, but do you think it really does? What if the clear plastic fogs up, and you won't be able to see anything?!

GustBuster SunBLOK 58" Umbrella, $39.95, luggage.com
This one is 58" across! That is huge, and believe it or not, I've seen people carry these things around the streets of NYC. While it's probably OK for a 7-foot-tall person to carry it around, for someone as short as I it's already hard to fight the crowds; I can see myself hitting multiple people with this monstrosity, which would be bad for everyone involved. I'd never get anywhere.

Frog Umbrella, $11.95, bltimports.comI saw an adult carrying this adorable number the other day. While this design is clearly better suited for children, I thought it deserved a mention for being cute.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where Do You Like to Play?

Hi all! Ruby here again.

I thought today I'd tell you about where I like to play most. It's the bathroom. Why, you ask? Because I can get my paws on a lot of various little makeup items, and playing in the sink is a lot of fun for no particular reason. Before Momma catches on, here is what I do every day.

First, I hide in the tub until I can make sure the coast is clear. Let's see.

Looks like it is. I think I can come out! I have to be quiet when I do this, or else I will get busted.

What?! I do not see any makeup I can steal. Hmmm...

It's OK, I can still cause mischief in the sink.

Oh, and biting the shower curtain is always a good time.

Meow until next Wednesay!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday Irreplaceables - Clinique Skin Care Line

Back in college, I did not have much of a skin care regime. A friend dragged me into Bloomingdales so she could buy Clinique skin care products. That's how I first heard of Clinique.

When I got out of college and got a little more serious about my facial skin care routine, I decided to try out Clinique. I have been using it ever since and love it! I started out with the 3-step care system (soap, toner and moisturizer) that are appropriate for my skin type. Over time, I added a facial scrub and eye makeup remover that I use when needed, and an eye cream that I use daily. I also use their City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector. I recently learned that it is best to keep the same brand for your skin care products as they are developed to complement each other. I am not a big fan of scented products, and Clinique products are fragrance-free, which is an added bonus for me.

My wedding makeup artist also uses Clinique products quite a bit in her work because they are hypoallergenic. While I am a MAC girl when it comes to makeup, I do love Clinique quickliners for eyes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Big Apple is so Big...

and yet so small. On Day 2 of moving here, Husband and I decided to take a break from unpacking and went to grab some lunch. It was the first time I went outside since we got to NY, and it was 3-4pm in the afternoon - not your typical lunch hour. TWO blocks away from our apartment, I see a college friend whom I hadn't seen since her wedding a few years ago. She works in the city but lives in NJ.

Last Friday afternoon, we were crossing the street in a relatively quiet area of the city. I saw a couple who looked familiar and recognized the girl as my friend's cousin. This friend lives nowhere near NYC, but I do know that her cousin and her husband lived in NYC. I assumed they still do. I e-mailed my friend to tell her that I saw her cousin, and it turns out that the cousin and her husband no longer live here - they happened to be visiting NYC that weekend!

Small world, isn't it?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Body Scrub on a Budget

While I was getting a facial a few weeks before my wedding, I expressed interest in getting an exfoliating body treatment. The cosmetologist said she'd be happy to schedule an appointment for me, but suggested that I can reach the same results at a much lower cost at home. I was pleasantly surprised by her honesty, and asked her to suggest her favorite homemade body scrub recipes. Here they are - I've tested them out, and they're fantastic!

Sea Salt Scrub: Mix sea salt and a little lotion (for easier application).

Brown Sugar and Honey Scrub: Mix brown sugar, honey and a little lotion (again, adding lotion will make it easier to scrub your skin).

Both of these recipes are low tech, simple and effective! Feel free to share your favorite homemade scrubs.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I was Wearing Air

My Cole Haan package came in yesterday! I ordered a pair of shoes I wasn't sure about, because it was hard to see what they really look like from the picture. They were a great price (already on clearance and an extra 20% off during Labor Day weekend), so I thought I'd check them out. I figured I could always return them.

When I took them out of the box, they looked cute! If you are wondering, the toes are rounded (you can't tell from the picture). When I put them on, I thought I was wearing air! They are soft, and it felt like I was not wearing any shoes at all. I spent a good hour walking around in them last night, and it was heavenly.

If you are looking for comphy shoes, here is a pair of flats I highly recommend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Trip to Central Park!

Hi everyone! It's Ruby! I have missed you all very much over the last week. Did you have a good Labor Day weekend? Mine was really exciting, and I cannot wait to tell you all about it.

On Saturday, I complained to Momma and Papa that they never take me outside. Every time I look out the window, I see miscellaneous dogs being walked. I am a person too. I also want to go outside!

So on Sunday, I made my debut at Central Park! Can you believe it? Momma and Papa put me in a carrier, and we went on the subway to Central Park. Once there, I got to walk around and explore! It was a little scary and stressful at first (it was my first time being out in the open like that), but overall I had a good time. Here I am, checking things out.

Those birds kept teasing me!

I was exhausted at the end, but was happy that I got to go to Central Park. Maybe Momma and Papa will take me again, if I am good!

Catnip to all,
Ruby

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday Irreplaceables – Cole Haan Loafers

Before we headed to our honeymoon, I knew I'd be doing a lot of walking in a big city, so I bought a pair of adorable Cole Haan loafers at DSW. I got an amazing deal on them, and they were the most comfortable pair I've ever owned. Better yet, they had little bows in the front - can't beat cute and comfortable at the same time!

Then, during our trip overseas this winter, I got caught in a rain storm wearing them, and they were ruined. I was so disappointed!

Now I've found a replacement: Shelby Bit! The cuteness factor is not as high, but it'll suffice. I've found these in black, and they are so comfortable! Just what I need to walk around the city in the fall.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's NOT a NYC Thing After All

Remember this post, in which I told you that our dentist (as opposed to a dental hygienist) does teeth cleanings?

I thought it was a NYC thing. Turns out it isn't. I think it's time to look for a new dentist. Do you agree?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We Have a Winner!

A big thank you to everyone who participated in Sunday Winnables - a $10 Gift Certificate to my Etsy Shop! The winner is Rheea!

Congratulations, Rheea! You get a $10 gift certificate to my shop. Contact me when you're ready to redeem it!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

When?

Usually I never give much thought to anything that has to do with haircuts. If I feel like cutting my hair short, I do it instead of agonizing over it. If I end up with a bad haircut, even that doesn't bother me. It'll grow out in a couple of weeks (or I can wear a hat until it does).

Something happened over the last few weeks. I keep going back and forth about getting a haircut or not. For reasons I do not understand, I am all of a sudden completely incapable of making a decision on this. When I first chopped my hair to a bob about a year ago, it was a longer bob. Over the year, it slowly became a very short bob. Now it's somewhere in between. My friend (who went to get the original haircut with me last summer) thinks I should wait, but I want to cut it to give it a refreshed look. Then I look at it and think that it doesn't look so bad, and think that maybe she's right.

I think I'm going to cut it tomorrow. Or maybe not.

What's a girl to do?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Wearables - Keshi Pearls!

I think by now it is no secret just how unhealthy my fascination with keshi pearls is. In addition to regular size, I found the most incredible jumbo keshi pearls here in NYC! I hurried up and made several pieces with them already. Here they are:

Glamorous Pearl Girl Earrings - Jumbo White Keshi Pearls and Sterling Silver Earrings
Simplicity Collection Necklace - Sterling Silver Chain Necklace with Jumbo Peacock Keshi Pearl

Happy long weekend! I am excited about my first day off since I started working. No big plans - we'll go to Central Park if it's as nice as it has been!