Friday, July 21, 2017

Four Star Find: Trader Joe’s Chocolate Coconut Almonds

This product is widely available at Trader Joe's stores. For more information,
click here

Whether it’s skin serum or a new dessert, I enjoy trying different products. Most of the time, it doesn’t work out, but I persist because finding a “gem” makes me so happy. Because I enjoy eating candy so much, I like trying new ones but tend to be pretty picky because I don’t like foods that are too rich or cloyingly sweet.

Trader Joe’s Chocolate Coconut Almonds are perfect. Consisting of whole almonds enrobed in coconut then covered with dark chocolate, they have the right combination of flavor, texture and crunch. There’s a synergy when these three items are combined, and the result is to-die-for!

As always, I receive no compensation for this endorsement

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Travel: Nordstrom Seattle Flagship Store

Don't be fooled, though this building isn't impressive
on the outside, it's stunning inside. For more information
on this store, click here

Founded as a shoe store in 1901 Nordstrom is a name known by serious shoppers. Beautifully renovated in 2016 and located near the original site, the downtown Seattle store is a destination in itself. With its light terrazzo floors and numerous windows, the store is bright, airy and the most beautiful store I’ve visited.

This Immense retail establishment (almost 400,000 square foot) carries something for everyone. It has merchandise widely stocked throughout the company and also has an impressive collection of designer goods. In addition to Louis Vuitton and Chanel boutiques, this store also sells uncommon brands like Hermes and Azzedine Alaia. This flagship store is also home to a nail salon, lounge and a pop-up shop. If you’re a shopper, the downtown Seattle Nordstrom store is must-visit!

Since most shoppers know what the inside of Nordstrom
looks like, I took photos of things unique to this store

an innovative Hermes display

Azzedine Alaia shoes

the lounge

the Chanel boutique

Monday, July 17, 2017

Movie Reviews: "Despicable Me 3," "The Beguiled," "Spider-Man: Homecoming" & "The Big Sick"

Despicable Me 3
Rated PG

After being fired by the Anti-Villain League, Gru discovers and meets his long-lost brother, Dru. Together they work to take down Balthazar Bratt, a former 1980s child star turned criminal mastermind.

This animated film is sweet and uncomplicated, yet cheeky. If you liked the other Despicable Me movies, you’ll enjoy Despicable Me 3.

The Beguiled
Rated R

When an injured Union soldier turns up at a girls’ boarding school located in the Confederacy, they take him in and nurse him back to health. Soon, competition and rivalries ensue as the women fight for this charmer’s affections.

There were two things about The Beguiled that threw me off. First, this film is very different than the previews led me to believe. It’s a drama, not a psychological thriller. Second, after watching the entire film, I was a little bothered because the women fought over a man. After giving it some thought, I realized it showed just how dependent women at the time were on men. That said, this film is well-written, unpredictable and has impeccable acting.

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Rated PG-13

After his adventures with The Avengers, Peter Parker returns home to Aunt May and with Tony Stark as his mentor, tries to earn himself a place as a permanent Avenger.

I don’t normally give action movies 4 stars, but Spider-Man: Homecoming deserves my highest rating. It has a great story, is filled with adventure and humor and contains astounding special effects. This movie has something for everyone!

The Big Sick
Rated R

The Big Sick chronicles the love story of Pakistani comedian Kumail Nanjiani and now-wife Emily V. Gordon. After Emily is admitted to the hospital and placed in a medically-induced coma, Nanjiani spends time with her parents and eventually wins them over. His traditional family who expect him to take part in an arranged marriage, however, are another challenge.

I liked The Big Sick so much that I saw it twice, one by myself and a week later with Kevin. This film is more than a funny love story; it gently addresses social issues like interracial dating and Islamophobia. If you see one movie this summer, The Big Sick is the one to see!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Book Review: “Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food”


Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food
Megan Kimble

In this memoir, author Megan Kimble gave up processed, non-local food for a year. Not only did she eschew sugar and Cheetos (which is hard enough), she, among other things, ground her own wheat and baked bread, made chocolate, slaughtered a lamb, milked goats, and prepared sea salt. What’s more, she did all of this on a graduate student’s budget.

In addition to writing about her adventures, Kimble also provides valuable information on the processing, history and nutritional value of many types of food and beverages. She also points out that because food production and preparation is time consuming, man specialized tasks for time efficiency and that completely avoiding all types of processed food is near impossible. After all, not everyone can raise cows, milk them and make their own cheese.

To me, Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food is aspirational reading-I admire Kimble’s conviction and dedication for doing something that seems impossible for me!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Home: My Little Steamer

Click here for more information about this product

I’m probably the only person who will say this, but I like caring for clothes-I enjoy doing the laundry, folding clothes and ironing them. It makes me so happy to go to my closet and think, “I can wear anything I want because it’s all clean and pressed.” That said, I found a wonderful product to make wrinkle removal much easier-a My Little Steamer. Though I’ve owned a different steamer for a long time, I didn’t use it much because it required distilled water, took a long time to preheat and didn’t work that well. My Little Steamer is a much better product.

Now I’ll go into the long version of why I decided to purchase another steamer. There was a lot of internet buzz about the My Little Steamer travel size, so I bought it as one of Kevin’s birthday gifts since he travels a lot for work and presses his clothes once he’s arrived at the hotel. He took it on our vacation, and we both loved it. It is easy to use, quickly removed the creases and only required tap water. Because the travel size worked so well, I decided to buy a full-sized steamer with a larger tank for home use. What a great purchase-though it won’t produce crisp creases, this steamer is perfect for making clothes look more polished.