Monday, February 28, 2011

"To Serve Man", it's... it's a cookbook!

Big news on the recipe blog about the new O.G. comic book...it's a cookbook!

Unlike O.G. books in the past, she actually approved this one and was very happy with how it came out. Whew. More info on the release of the book to come...

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

expecto patronum!

The kids are really into Harry Potter right now, which is odd since I've only read them a little of the books, and they've seen a couple of the movies - but only to a point, because it is way too scary for them in my opinion. But the idea of the characters really stayed with them and I think they like to imagine the world of Harry Potter. Of course, having Lego pieces helps a lot too.

Since I can't make it to Florida for a fantastic trip the real world of Harry Potter, luckily we have our own Hogwarts world right here in L.A.!

Whimsic Alley is right in the heart of Wilshire Blvd and when you enter the doors you really do feel like you enter the world of Harry Potter. The stores are themed out just like Diagon Alley, with robe shops, owls, wands and even a small sweets shop.

It's really well done but what I liked was the Great Hall. A party room complete with floating candles - just like in the book! That day there were kids having a party in there, they all got to wear robes, carry wands and it looked like a great magical birthday. Whimsic Alley also offers monthly teas in the Great Hall, which we will have to try someday.

The kids enjoyed themselves and felt like they had stepped into pages from the books. It was a nice treat to find such a well thought out whimsical place so close to home. Of course now the Kid's head is filled with ideas for a Harry Potter party. Oh, what have I done...

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Double your money and make a stack. On to the next one, on to the next one

Money's tight, yo. And people are always asking me how I save. I'm no expert, but here's a little insight into a recent trip I took to Target. Extreme Couponing? That's totally my bag. Although I don't buy things like 128 toothbrushes, I do buy PRACTICAL things I actually use.

First I go online to see if there are any printable coupons. I compare it to my shopping list and print the ones that are on my list. We all know how a 'quick' Target trip can turn into $100 gone. Planning is best.

Yes - that is me and my zillion coupons heading into the store. All I can say is, don't get behind me in line, sucka.

First of all, I try to bring my own bags because Target gives you 5 cents off for every one you bring - already you're ahead.

On this particular trip I wanted to try out the Target UP&UP brand Ibuprofen, comparable to Advil. I get a lot of headaches, man. At just $1.77 for a 50 count bottle + my $1 off coupon, it only came to 77 cents.

These are Target Up&UP brand wipes comparable to Clorox wipes - If you know me, I am a CLEAN FREAK. I've been known to get up at 3am and scrub my counters with a toothbrush. So I like these wipes and for $2.24 + a $1 off coupon, this was $1.24.

Reeses Peanut Butter cups. Did I need these? Heck no. But man are they tasty. AND I can use them for Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcakes if I want. Who are we kidding, I just sat and ate them. The coupon was a 'buy one get one free' so these came to 35 cents a piece.

Jell-o. So versatile. Whether you are making Broken Glass Jell-o or freezing poor Han Solo in a carbonite dessert, you should always have Jell-o on hand. These were 63 cents a piece, I bought four and got $1 off making them 38 cents a piece.

All in all, not bad, plus the money back for bringing my own bags puts me at a 50% savings.

As you could tell from the above pic of allll my coupons, I bought a lot more than what you see here but as it was people were wondering what the heck I was taking pictures of in the store, so this is all you get.

Overall I saved over 50%. Anyway, this gives you a good idea of how to save on simple things you use everyday. It's EASY. Pardon me while I go finish off my 35 cent peanut butter cup...

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Warm and toasty

My favorite Maid Cafe/Art Gallery in the city always hosts the best in-store events. I try to go to every single opening, my favorite being the Hello Kitty anniversary party.

This week is the final run for the Mr. Toast exhibit at Royal T in Culver City and since my kids and I are big fans, we had to stop by! Over the years I have bought a lot of Mr. Toast merchandise at the L.A. bookfair and Comic Con, it was very cool to see it's very own pop-up!

First we had a delicious Sunday brunch featuring some Mr. Toast inspired specialties. I passed on the all you can drink mimosas, but had a fantastic breakfast sandwich while the Kid had his absolute fave Brioche French Toast. Mmm. Toast.

Right as we finished eating were lucky enough to catch a seat for the drawing lesson from Mr. Toast creator himself, Dan Goodsell.

The kids got to draw Mr. Toast characters and create their own worlds and spaces with pen and crayon. The Baby really had a great time and even got his pic up on the Royal T facebook page!

While the main store sells some of my personal faves (~wink) the pop-up store was transformed too, selling Mr. Toast plush and limited edition prints. But the Baby took a liking to the GIANT Mr. Toast, though I don't think it will fit in my living room.

Hurry in before Mr. Toast leaves - and get yourself a Royal T iced Milk Tea, my drink of choice! The tea makes for great cupcakes too, jes' sayin'.

Royal T info, here.
Mr. Toast info, here.

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Ray: Listen... do you smell something?

It's lemon week!! Go over to the recipe blog and check out a different lemon recipe everyday!

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

In the Ferrari or Jaguar switchin four lanes with the top down screamin out money ain't a thang

I took the kids to Target the other day to take a look around. Hey it was raining, there's nothing else to do in L.A. but go to Target. It turned out to be a lesson in money and math. Since they got money from the inlaws$10 to be exact) we talked about what you could you buy with $10. What WOULD you buy with $10?

It was interesting because we spent a long time in the aisles and we looked at the cost of things, compared how much you'd get for your value, etc. I had them add up the cost of : "Well, if a Clone Trooper is $8 and a LEGO is $5...can you buy that for under ten?" Answer: nope.

How it was spent was interesting too. An insight into personality, perhaps? The Baby decided to blow it all on one $10 item. The Kid made the most of it and bought lots of little things to make the $10 work for it's value. Personally, I'd save it up and pair it with birthday money and go for something HUGE - but I think it will take a billion birthdays for me to save up for that iPad...

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

remembering you standing quiet in the rain as i ran to your heart to be near

I was going through my camera phone and I have 1600 pictures on there. 1600. Good lord. I need to dump a bunch of them, but as I scroll through I get a look back on my life...through food. I take a lot of pictures of food with my real camera phone because I don't want to bring out my camera so that every can say "ha ha food blogger" and point. Or...something.

Here is a selection of what I found on my phone and what I ate, apparently. Man, now I'm hungry.

Tito's Tacos
This isn't a surprise as I go here A LOT. I think I was picking up lunch for O.G on this day. I always get extra salsa because neither of us wants to share. The Baby likes to sing this annoying yet catchy theme song constantly. You're welcome for putting that in your head.

Birthday Ice Cream
This was on O.G.'s birthday, we had gone to breakfast and they brought this out. At 9am. Ice Cream for breakfast. Ok, then. The ironic thing is she doesn't like ice cream. More for me.

Langer's Pastrami
You may have seen this on 'Best Thing I Ever Ate' and let me tell you, it truly is. There is nothing more delicious. I often run into friends here but that's cause I'm totally Jewish. Not really, but I do love a good deli.

Fenton's Ice Cream
Apparently I was in Oakland? I don't even remember when that was but I DO remember this being some of the most delicious ice cream I've ever had.

Green Lantern GloBalls
Green Lantern's balls, anyone? I did NOT eat these and I don't think Hal Jordan would either.

Tamale Cone from Border Grill Truck
Is this the most glorious picture you've ever seen? Mexican food street food on a warm winter's day in my blinged out shoes. That's the life.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bear with us

If you remember back when the Kid was in kindergarten, he got to take home the "Class Bear" to document the weekend. Well, you know germaphobe-me, the first thing I did was give him a bath. Tons of kids, dragging around a plush bear every weekend? No. Total ew.

So a few weeks ago when the Baby got his Class Bear, I cringed because that thing looked ROUGH. So I near boiled it to give it it's yearly bath. Once that was done, he was a welcome guest at our house.

While we didn't go anywhere, we made cupcakes and played LEGOs. A pretty awesome playdate. I think the highlight though, was a ride on an AT-AT. What other bear can say he's done that?


Now that I have no more kids going through kindergarten, the Bear is on his own as far as bathtime. We'll miss you bear. Good luck. Stay clean.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!
Check out the recipe blog for lots of 'heart' themed recipes!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Winner, winner chicken dinner

The random integer generator tell me that the winner of the Ninja Valentine's Day giveaway is...

Blogger Malia said...

I'd love a slice of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting! Yum!

Monday, February 07, 2011 12:45:00 PM
Congrats! Email me with your mailing address!

There were SO many tasty desserts, I want all of them. Thanks everyone for reading and Happy Valentine's Day~!

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Fantastic Four...teen?

When I made the Superhero Cupcakes for my in-store at the Comic Bug, one of my faves was the Fantastic Four. Yes, it was simple, but so striking. And darn it, it looked good on a cupcake.

Now things are changing and while I quite like the look of the new Fantastic Four - as @KurtBusiek pointed out on twitter...there are 14 characters on the cover. So I made a new logo in case they needed it:


Or maybe it should be this now that they are a man down. Sad.



Look at Spidey! Read all about the new look, here.
Superhero Cupcakes how-to, here.

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Sunday, February 06, 2011

~sweet (um, sour) giveaway~

This week I am debuting my new line of kawaii Ninja cards. I heart ninjas, Ninjas love ice cream, and my favorite - Knock, knock, ninja.

Since the cards have hearts and it just happens to be around Valentine's Day - I gave some out to people along with little bags of See's Sour Hearts that I separated into smaller bags.

I realized just now what a bad idea that was, because in the bags they look like sweet sugary hearts, but once I've separated them out, with NO label, er...people are in for SOUR surprise. D'oh.

So I'm offering this as a Valentine's treat: a Ninja card and a whole (labeled) bag of Sour Hearts. Just leave a comment on this post saying what SWEET dessert you'd love to have for Valentine's Day. I have plenty of sweet treat ideas on my recipe blog if you need some inspiration.

You have until Wednesday midnite. Good luck!

Ninja cards availiable here, online.

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further.

Every year I decide I hate all the crap Valentines at the store so I'm going to make my own. No big deal. I'm just going to recycle the same idea as last year because nothing says Valentine's Day like Batman and Star Wars, right? Plus I hate giving candy, so pencils it is.

Yeah, well just as I pick up my x-acto, the kids tell me they need to bring 25 Valentines each. EACH. And some for other friends. What.

That's 75.
75 handmade, hand-cut Valentines.
Welcome back carpal tunnel, my old friend.

*People have been asking for printables of these so here's a pdf, have fun!

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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

From the ashes

My friend Sarah loves Phoenix. You know, Marvel Girl? Jean Grey? X-Men?? Oh nevermind. If you don't know - then you are in the same boat as the lady at the store because of course, for Sarah's bday I had to go to my fave pinata store and get a custom made 4 foot tall Phoenix pinata. Hey, pinatas are the new black...or something.

Just like when I ordered my O.G. pinata, once again La Pinata Party did an amazing job from just a printed image that I gave to them. I wish they would have done the Phoenix emblem but beggars can't be choosers. Just look at the sash, whee!!
The best part was when I picked up the pinata the cashier said, "Here is your Superman-Lady." DAHAH Love it.

No wait. The best part was that I had the Phoenix pinata in the car when I picked up the kids from school and the Kid got in the car, took one look and said, "What." Then the Baby got in the car and yelled, "PHOENIX!!!!! OHHH IT'S A PHOENIX PINATAAAA!!!"

Ok hang on. The real best part was that I had to walk this thing into a bar where the birthday party was being held and when I rolled up, the bouncer was all, "Hey. Phoenix pinata." What? Like he sees one everyday?? THIS WAS CUSTOM MADE, YO.
No, no. The for real best part was giving the pinata to the birthday girl, who I knew would appreciate my flair for detail. I also made her some Phoenix cupcakes to complete the ensemble. Now I kinda want to do alllll the X-Men in pinata form. Or at least a Scott to match.

Phoenix cupcakes recipe, here.

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