Monday, May 31, 2010

That Perfect Bath

Ahhhhhh. Baths. Even my doctor spoke of the restorative power of baths and noted that people generally don't take enough baths these days. In the last few years, I've become more of a bath taker... a soaker, if you will. In that span of time, I have come to realize some baths are better than others (and some more extravagant than others). This post is dedicated to That Perfect Bath. In involves the sum of a few perfect elements to total That Perfect Bath. Step (1) The Lush Karma Bubble Bar. While I love many Lush products, this is my current favorite. It smells so very clean and somehow exotic at the same time. Perfect combination for a bath, yes? An honorable mention for Step (1) goes out to the Lush Ma Bar Bubble Bar, which I've happily used many many times Step (2) Evolution. Does the wine matter? Yes. You will never go wrong with this one. It is far and away my favorite. It probably deserves its own post, as a matter of fact. We'll save that one for another day. Suffice it to say, this wine is the best choice to comprise step (2) of That Perfect Bath. But, if you're wanting to spend a little less, here's a good alternative: Step (3) Your favorite current read, of course. I'm currently working on Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Those of you who view my Facebook page from time to time know I recently completed The Fountainhead and found it to be a marvelous read. (Indeed, The Fountainhead took part in a number of Perfect Baths as I traversed its pages.) Atlas is proving to be a lovely read as well, though I'm only about 200 pages in (it's over 1000). (4) Any other bath products you like that won't fall flat in comparison to the awesomeness that is the Lush bubble bar you used in step (1). I prefer Brocato and Aveda products for the most part (there's a couple playing a bit part in the background of the photo). I'll spare the details on those products here as they, too, are deserving of posts in their own right. And, if you're in a boat like mine, start this bath in the evening AFTER you've cuddled your little one to bed, and it is a perfectly lovely way to end the day.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

That Perfect Rum

So, a dear friend asked me to post about That Perfect Rum. I cannot do so without remembering who influenced my opinion most on this subject. My grandfather, Theodore Louis Drell, Jr., or as more affectionately known in our family as G.P. (Grand Pa), introduced me to Cruzan Rum some time ago. I believe he learned to love it on many visits to St. Croix in his earlier years (though I am not entirely sure if he began his love of Cruzan there or simply rum in general...). While he preferred to drink his rum in a Rum Old Fashioned, I did so only one time... with him... the day of my grandmother's funeral. I forced it down for the sake of living in that moment with him but did not partake in the second round. However, it was the Bitters in the drink that turned me off, not the rum. Cruzan rum, of which he often (always?) had a couple of jugs stowed away in the cabinet, was his staple rum. It's now also mine. In the years before he died, my husband and I enjoyed many moments sipping Cruzan with him when we'd go stay the night with him in New Orleans and spend wonderful evenings chatting for hours about art, life, and love. While Cruzan is easy to recommend because it is one of the more reasonably priced liquors, it's also got a sentimental place in my heart. It is probably the only liquor that does. When something is tied to the heart, it becomes a little more perfect.

Here's a photo of G.P. long before I knew him:

Nowadays, I like Cruzan with Coke (but, whoa, not Diet Coke), and it's also lovely in a mojito. Maybe I'll post a recipe for That Perfect Mojito sometime....

And here's the Cruzan:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

That Perfect Yogurt

I eat yogurt for breakfast almost every day. That is just how much I love it. But the disturbing thing about yogurt is that most of the yogurts at your ordinary every day grocery store are made of all sorts of things that should not be in yogurt... things that practically transform it from being yogurt into something else. Don't get me started on other dairy products at the store either... I used to use fat free half and half for my morning coffee, but when I read that label, wow. I threw out the quart I had and replaced it with the real stuff. (I used to buy flavored coffee to grind at home but don't do that anymore either since I learned they use propylene glycol as a binding agent in a bunch of them... we only grind plain coffee beans now.) But back to yogurt... Just stop and read the ingredients in yogurt sometime, and you'll see what I am talking about. You'll find all sorts of modified this and that, high fructose corn syrup, fake sweeteners, and loads of things that should not go into a body. In That Perfect Yogurt, the makers aren't trying to fill up yogurt eaters with useless sugary corn or chemical sweeteners. Instead, it's just the loveliest yogurt. Mmmmm. And the kicker? Eating the real stuff is more satisfying, so you eat less. Go figure -- not hungry anymore after eating real food. That's a novel idea for this generation. Ever wonder why you feel yucky but oddly not full after eating fast food? It's because they've sucked out all of the nutritional value from it and given you a shell of a meal loaded with fat and fat and fat and some salt. Same thing with yogurt... a low fat major brand of yogurt always left me unsatisfied, but I eat That Perfect Yogurt in the morning, and I am good for three hours before it's time for lunch. Try it for yourself, and you'll see. Brown Cow: That Perfect Yogurt.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

That Perfect Lip Gloss

That Perfect Lip Gloss is actually Lip Glass. That's glass, not a typo. And this stuff really does make your lips look like glass that's just been buffed with Windex. Super shiny. I first learned of this stuff when I worked at the Gap back in the day and a girl who worked there with me had it on. It's rare that I'd notice someone's lip gloss, but Lip Glass is just that eye-catching.

As you can see, I tried to take a photo of myself wearing That Perfect Lip Gloss, and this poor shot was the best one I was able to take. It's pretty darn difficult to take a picture of lip gloss on yourself, but I think you'll get the idea. Trust me, this is That Perfect Lip Gloss.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

That Perfect Sofa

Although it's not too often that people are in the market for a new sofa, this one is so fabulous, I think it deserves a post. I have this sofa -- bought it last year after we bought our house. The photo is my That Perfect Sofa, in action. We sat on sofa after sofa after sofa all over Dallas, and when we nuzzled our bums into this one at our local Z Gallerie, we immediately fell in love. I think they were running a sale at the time, too, which made it that much more perfect. This sofa is stuffed to the brim with feathers, and your body just melts into it. And, you can seat four across it comfortably (our other couch, though comfortable of course, feels a little awkward with three). I've always believed, steadfastly I might add, that furniture must be COMFORTABLE, without exception. I am always astounded at how uncomfortable so much furniture is... beds and couches, especially, ought to cuddle you and not make you want to get up - ever. This sofa does just that.

Here's where you can get yours:

Monday, May 10, 2010

That Perfect Salsa

Amongst my nearest and dearest, I have become known for my salsa. Not dancing... the tomatoey loveliness that you eat on chips. People request that I make it for all kinds of functions and dinners. I literally never tire of good salsa. I am surprised this wasn't my first blog post, as a matter of fact.

Well, here it is - the recipe for That Perfect Salsa:

1 14 oz. can of tomatoes (buy the generic brand -- better than the costlier ones)
1 decent sized fistful of fresh cilantro
the juice of 1/2 of a lime
a very large garlic clove
1/2 of a poblano pepper
1/2 to 2 jalapenos or serranos (Depending upon how hot they are... I always make my husband try the peppers to gauge the level of their pain inducing heat. If they're too hot, they give him the hiccups almost immediately. In such a case, only 1/2 of the jalapeno or serrano. If he gives me a bored expression and a shoulder shrug, I may throw in a whole one or two of the "hot" peppers. Regardless, I always include the 1/2 poblano so that it still maintains a peppery flavor.)
salt to taste
(I used to add a smidge of white onion or shallot; however, lately, I've found that it makes the salsa too sweet and overwhelms the other flavors after the salsa has had some time to mingle with itself in the fridge, so I've been cutting this out.)

Blend in blender until the chunks are all gone.

That Perfect Salsa is best served immediately. And, though I considered drafting a separate post for That Perfect Tortilla Chip to accompany That Perfect Salsa, I'll just include them here - Xochitl Chips are the bomb.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

That Perfect Fancy Shoe

I simply cannot rave enough about Fluevogs. I have had crushes on so many pairs of Fluevogs and still do -- on the ones I have and many that I don't (yet...). I never understood why there are so many boring shoes walking around. It's so unnecessary when there are so many interesting shoes out there.

I've attached pictures of a few I'm currently drooling over. Not only do these look utterly fabulous, all of the Fluevogs I've ever worn are very comfortable (for heels anyway). I used to wear Birkenstocks and flip flops exclusively when I had jobs where I had to stand all day long (still wear them sometimes, of course, for pure comfort's sake), but now that I have to dress up for work, I've had to expand my footwear. If you've got to wear heels, at least make them cool.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

That Perfect Soap

My best friend once pointed out to me how brand-loyal I am... how much I love to share what I have with others... and how much I love to rave about something I think is worth raving about. This blog is going to do just that. I'm going to post, whenever the mood strikes me, about "that perfect [fill in the blank]." Let's begin with soap.

Just before I stepped into the shower last night, I opened a fresh bar of my favorite soap. It is perfect soap. It is mild and soft enough to use on your face, but it is also hearty enough to use anywhere else. Now, it doesn't have the grease-fighting action of Dawn (I'm not recommending this soap to clean paintbrushes or birds covered in oil in the Gulf, though Dawn could handle either of those tasks quite nicely), but this post is dedicated to that perfect body soap. You can't buy it in a grocery store, which is a good thing as far as I am concerned. (As an aside, I would certainly not recommend buying very many bath and body products at the same store where you can buy chicken, for instance... except maybe toothpaste or deodorant.) If you live in a small town (like the one I hail from originally), you will probably have to order it off of Amazon. If you're lucky enough to live in a big city like I currently do, you can hop on over to your local L'Occitane shop (or Sephora) to buy it for yourself. (I think the first L'Occitane shops I ever encountered were in Europe, which somehow tends to heighten my opinion of this particular soap, at least in some worldy sense. I've seen more Body Shops in Europe than in America, mainly in train stations, and somehow the products there are more appealing when overseas, as well. Funny that.) Back to the soap at hand.... That perfect soap is (drumroll please): L'Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Milk Soap. The bar smells sweetly clean and has a soft quality. Think milk + soap, in fact. Man, this is some lovely stuff. A giant bar of the stuff is $10.00, which may seem steep for soap (if you are used to tossing soap in your cart next to your dinner), or it may seem like a steal if you're accustomed to purchasing your soap at Nieman's or some other department store. It doesn't matter who you are, this soap rocks.