…trying a new recipe?
Anne and Taylor’s (and Christina’s) Quinoa Chili, which I finally tried after Tay posted it months ago, was delicious. Matt couldn’t stop talking about it. Some of our kids were a little lukewarm (predictably), but Ben, our hands-down fussiest eater, actually liked it. Definitely going in the regular rotation.
Also, I tried this Martha Stewart recipe a few months ago. I would never have thought to put potatoes and ground beef in a burrito, but this was very, very good. Don’t leave anything out — the fresh cilantro and lime really make the dish. Oh, but I did replace the iceberg lettuce (do you think MS actually eats iceberg?) with leaf or romaine, which was great.
…using the right tool for the job?
After thinking (and talking) about it for months, I finally replaced my 10-year-old drugstore flat-iron with a higher-quality ceramic plate version (mine is a Hai). I had always balked at the price, but my helpful hairdresser found one on clearance for me (around $50 instead of closer to $100) and I think it might have changed my life. Faster. Better. Smoother. Totally worth the money. What was I waiting for?
Also you should get a microplane.
…forgoing the hour wait at Olive Garden and supporting a small business?
If you live in northern Utah, you need to try Nuch’s (2819 S 2300 E), a tiny new restaurant with delicious pizza, pasta, and calzone. Not your typical pizza parlor, but a little romantic place for a date-night. I wouldn’t necessarily take kids there. But I would call and order take-out if I didn’t have a babysitter.
Also for Salt Lakers, we tried O’Falafel, Etc. (790 E 2100 S) last weekend, and it was pretty wonderful, too. Very casual (order at the counter), fine for kids, reasonable prices, and terrific fresh mediterranean food. I had a falafel sandwich, which I loved. Matt, as usual, tried something we couldn’t pronounce, which was also good. We’ll be back.
New restaurants have such a high failure rate, we like to see the good ones succeed. And really, do you want your neighborhood to be full of big chains, or fun little places where you don’t know what to expect?
…buying something handmade?
This is a hard one for me, since I buy most of my fashion and home decor at TJ Maxx and Target. But there is something to be said for buying something truly unique. Do you love wandering around a seasonal boutique like I do? I haven’t figured out how to reconcile my desire for something special with my careful budget, but I guess buying a little something once in awhile is one solution. This weekend, I bought two little somethings:
…shopping on Etsy?
Speaking of something handmade, this website seems to be the answer to all of my consumer dilemmas lately. Remember the discussion about mom jewelry? Nettie pointed me to the perfect thing in this shop. I love this because it is so simple (and was also very reasonably priced).
Then, last week I was working on a baby announcement (in your mailbox soon) and learned an excellent thing. I was trying to incorporate multiple pictures and don’ t have the software or skills to put something like that together. Did you know there are people who will design you a custom card for only $15 and email it to you as a jpeg? Then you can have them printed as photos somewhere like Wal-Mart or Costco. Stylish and cheap — what could be better? I’ll never go back to using the cheesy designs offered for photo Christmas cards at regular photo places. I used this person, because she had the best design for multiple photos. But there are tons more if you do a search.
What I cannot recommend…
…either of the movies I saw last week.
Seven Pounds — morbid, dark, and depressing (I’m sorry, was that redundant?). Tried to have an air of mystery, but was ultimately completely predictable. The acting was fine, but the story was a lo-ser.
He’s Just Not That Into You — We should have known better. (Selected because it was showing at the dollar theater — which is now 2$ — at the right time.) A few funny moments, and even spawned an interesting drive-home discussion between Matt and me (yes, honey, single girls really are that pathetic sometimes), but definitely too crass to be worth it. Couldn’t bring myself to watch my current Blockbuster online selection “Girl With a Pearl Earring” after this, as both feature Scarlett Johanssen “the other woman”!