Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Perfume Sticks!

Perfume sticks are now appearing at Lalalita Body Co!

What are perfume sticks?  They're compact (lip balm-sized containers), and made from a combination of natural waxes and oils.  As with everything else at Lalalita, they're paraben- and phthalate-free, with skin-safe flavor oils, and no ingredients have been tested on animals.  Which is good, because Pippi doesn't like to wear perfume. ;)

Below are a couple of "Ooo, I Smell Good!" perfume sticks already at Lalalita: "I Love You", which is a Love Spell-type fragrance, and "Suntan Oil", which smells so much like a leading-brand suntan oil.

Other scents that will be coming in the next few weeks include Little Black Dress, He's So Sexy, Glazed Donut, Basket of Berries (pearberry-type), Margarita, Monkey Farts, Peanut Butter & Bananas, Coconut Cream Easter Egg, and so many more!  Please stop by the shop daily to see what new fragrance is in store. :)

Monday, October 29, 2012


I keep forgetting to mention that YD's boyfriend was in his very first group art show several weeks ago. We (and his mom and stepdad) went downtown to support him. The group that put on the show has an annual fundraiser, and it's called "Glow". Every piece entered has to glow under a black light in some way or another. It's a pretty cool show. And I should add, YD's situation is sort of hilariously like "out of the frying pan and into the fire". She grows up with a mom who's an artist... and then falls in love with an artist. Har har har! Well, at least he's calmer than me. There's a reason we say that I'm the Drama Mama to Mr. Calm. ;)

Here's T. in his volunteer position at the front doors, handing out flyers to passersby:

And here's his art.  I forget the title... and I'm the one who suggested it to him! :/  But it's very good.  His style is like mine, with the decoupaging drawings onto canvasses, but it's also 3D.

And here I am.  I'd had NO idea my dress would look like this under a black light.  Pretty cool, huh?

T. didn't sell his piece-- no one did that night (so it's pretty good that there was a cover charge to get in, or NO fundraising would have happened).  I told him these shows were like that, and to not get discouraged if he didn't sell.  He was so nervous before the show that he couldn't even eat dinner at the restaurant we went to beforehand.  I think with encouragement, and more shows, it'll get a lot easier for him as time goes by. :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Food of Santorini

I was inspired by another blogger's post about the (delicious-looking) food she had on her recent trip to Prague to write my own food-inspired post. Some of you have already seen these pictures on Facebook, but I thought I'd add a little more explanation about the food we ate on our dream trip to Santorini, Greece, in May. Munch on!

These are tomatokeftedes, or fried tomato fritters.  I knew they were a popular dish, so I wanted to try them out.  Even fried, they're very fresh, as Santorini grows a lot of tomatoes.

This is a Greek hamburger.  It's nothing what we're (in the U.S.) used to in a hamburger.  In fact, I don't recommend it unless you've had a few drinks and there's nothing else around to eat.  It's like meatloaf, but... mushier.  I'd had a couple of drinks myself, and was seriously hungry, but after a quarter of it, I gave up.

The "Greek sausages" are like Polska kielbasa, which I like, and I'll eat potatoes in just about any form, so this was a tasty lunch.

This is Pastitzio, a favorite Greek comfort food: pasta and sauce, topped with a beschamel sauce faintly tasting of nutmeg.  Different places cook it in different ways: some in a souffle dish, others in a sheet pan, and I think I had this three times, but it was all SO good.  I was so happy to come home and see that I have a recipe for it in our Greek cookbook.

Greek salad: Mr. Calm had one at pretty much every restaurant we went to.  The feta cheese on Santorini is shipped in from Crete or another island, where there are a lot of sheep farms.

Gyros: a bit different there!  They stuff the fries into the sandwich.

I don't remember what this is: I could really understand the baker (the farther you get from the coast and tourist areas, the less English you'll find).  All I know is that it was one of the tastiest desserts I've ever had.  The outside of the croissant is basted with honey, there is a light lemony cream inside, and it's "fronted" with whipped cream and honeyed almonds.

The soft drink choices seemed to be: Coke, Coke Light, Sprite, and Fanta.  Who cares, when you've got that view to eat against?  By the way, eat at Kamari Beach at your own risk.  It's along a boardwalk with hotels and restaurants, and the proprietors will come out and get in your face, asking you to stop and eat at their establishment.  I chose one whose owner didn't breathe on my face and nearly stuff his forefinger into my shirt.

This was my typical breakfast at the hotel: fresh bread, peaches and Greek yogurt with honey, a very thin quiche, and coffee.  The cream I used... well, I'm just not sure what animal it came from, but I know it wasn't a cow.

Mr. Calm and I ate three times for lunch at Restaurant Poseidon at Perissa Beach.  By the time we left, the owner would come out to shake our hand when we arrived, and he gave us a tablecloth as a souvenir.  This is Spaghetti Poseidon, which Mr. Calm gobbled down.

One thing about service: when you arrive, they set the table with the tablecloth, glasses, condiments, and your bread.  The only time you see the server is when they either bring your food, or you want them to come to the table.  No asking if you want more or if you're doing okay, and you know what?  I liked that just fine.  Service was always prompt.  We also always got a freebie: either a dessert, or a glass of vinsanto (a wine made from raisins).

Mythos beer: why oh why is this not more readily available here?  I think the closest store to me is in *Michigan*.  I loved it.  Other than wine, this was my choice to drink when we'd go to downtown Fira (the capital city) in the evenings.

These are Swiss Cheese Cheetos.  Oh.  My God.  SO tasty!  I wish they'd sell these here, too.  I brought some home for OD.  She didn't eat them.  Guess who did? ;)

This is some kind of eggplant mousse.  I'm picky, but in the interest of, eh, exploration, I tried it.  Mr. Calm enjoyed it more than I did.  And I really tried to like olives: tried one whole one, and some tapenade that we got with our bread.  It just ain't happenin' for me.

Like I said, we'd go to downtown Fira (Fira center) in the evenings (we were staying next door in Firostefani, overlooking the caldera), and we'd generally find a place to sit, have a drink, and people- and car-watch.  This was at the Internet Cafe.  Got my Mythos!  And we would watch every single car, bus, and motorcycle go through the one stop sign in the center.  NO ONE stopped.  Thank goodness they're only going about eight miles an hour.

Another favorite place of ours was the Corner Creperie.  Crepes are very different there: a bit thinner, and pretty popular.  This is Mr. Calm's garden crepe.  We also had some sweet ones at another creperie.

There are a lot of bakeries on Santorini: open all day, selling all kinds of goodies.  Every croissant I got was about ten inches long.  I'm a bread freak, and I was in heaven.

This is kadaifi, a traditional dessert.  We got this free our last day at Perissa Beach.  Yes, it looks like Shredded Wheat, and tasted like it, too.  I wasn't such a fan, but it was okay.  It's got honey in it, and nuts.

These beef fritters were some of my favorites.  Ever since our trip, I've used Greek yogurt as sour cream, because it tastes just like it.  There was a little too much paprika on this dish, but otherwise I really enjoyed them.

And Mr. Calm got his seafood.  This is his culinary heaven. :)

Even with all that food-- three squares a day-- we managed to come home a few pounds lighter, because with the exception of driving to the beaches, we walked everywhere, at least two or three miles a day.

Full yet? ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New at Lalalita - Lip Balms!

I've had a love affair with lip balms for a loooong time. I'm one of those people who's said, "I'm addicted to lip balms." I totally am. LOVE finding good ones. I get distressed when I can't find my Favorite O' the Moment in the recesses of my purse. I sure don't like discovering that I've wasted my money on one that doesn't work, or tastes too waxy.

A few weeks ago, I started working on lip balms here in the "Lalalita Lab". I'm happy to say I am in LOVE with the way this lip balm feels. Not too greasy or oily; not too heavy, but not so light that you can't feel its on your lips. And it really works itself in there and makes your lips feel soft and moisturized. With a combination of oils and wax, how could it not?

Right now, at the Lalalita Body Co Etsy shop, two "Lick My Lips" lip balms are currently for sale: Cotton Candy, and Pink Icing, which is my biggest seller in lip scrubs.  In the coming weeks, more scents will be released, like Peanut Butter Cup, Cherry Limeade, Marshmallow, Double Mint, and Red Velvet Cake.  As with my other products, the lip balms are paraben- and phthalate-free, mineral oil-free, smell great, and they're lightly sweetened.  And have I mentioned that they make great, affordable stocking stuffers? ;)

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Back from Chicago!

Hey, gang! Mr. Calm and I are back from our weekend in Chicago/Indiana to celebrate our anniversary (which is the 30th, but we always get started early ;)). We had a great time; I'm so glad we went. Even the excitement of seeing a new major city helped tamp down the pain in our butts from the seven-hour car ride.

Here are some highlights from the trip:

We stayed downtown, about two blocks from Michigan Avenue ("The Magnificent Mile"), on the 7th floor of our hotel.  This was our view.  Down below was Nordstrom's.  I liked to look out the window at the people and cars below.  Mr. Calm liked to growl out the window, "I'm BATMAN!"

Our first evening in town, we wandered around on Michigan Avenue, and off it we found a piano bar that we went to later.  STRONG drinks, cool place.  We felt very attended to... I found many people in Chicago to be really nice.
View just before dawn, from our hotel.

Saturday morning we walked toward the lake and the pier (because of the rain, we nixed going up Rush Street, our original plan).  Here's some city-approved graffiti.  Approved by me, too; if you're going to spray paint stuff, at least do a good job.

Mr. Calm at the shore of Lake Michigan.

And moi.  My toes were cold.

After we went to Navy Pier (eh), we took a cab down to Ed Debevic's, a diner that's been around since 1947 and apparently famous for its surly waiters.  Our server started off with a bang, and we were dotty old people through the entire meal (just for the record, I'm barely 42, and Mr. Calm is a senile 43).  Food was diner food, but the brown gravy I had to dip my fries in was delicious.

Okay, what's not to love about brownstones??


After lunch and a bit of lounging/resting footsies at the hotel, we walked over the Museum of Contemporary Art.  This is me playing with the multiple exposure feature on my Hipstamatic app.  We ended up getting in for free (!!) since we got there thirty minutes before the museum closed, and I was even more surprised that you could take pictures inside the museum.  Wha-wha-WHAT?

We left Chicago around 8:30 Sunday morning.  Along the way back is Fair Oaks Farms, one of the largest dairy farms in the country.  We took the tour, which takes you around the farm and to the milking carousel.

This is inside the birthing barn.  She seems to be pregnant with twins, because she was twice as large as the cow behind her.  And yes, we got to see a baby calf being born!  I booked it over there as soon as I saw that it was happening, and it took about twenty, twenty-five minutes.  Not gross at all, either.  Toward the end, with the baby most of the way out, I was whispering, "Come on, momma!", although I also felt bad for her: when you've gone through labor, it's hard not to feel bad when you know how much pain they're in.  And maybe bewilderment, since this was her first calf.

Our last stop was Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville, Kentucky.  I've been wanting to go there for years, and it didn't disappoint in the kitsch factor.  Ugly lamps, Formica tables and chairs, all kinds of retro knick knacks and doodads.  Unfortunately, the food really did disappoint me.  So, if you like kitsch, give it a try... but the food ain't worth a second trip.

Aaaand... that's our trip to Chicago!  Loved getting away to a new place with the love of my life. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mrs. Grumpypants

I have been Mrs. Grumpypants the past few days. Call it hormonal, call it a certain misalignment of the planets, but until yesterday evening, I was in a foul mood. Some things that can lift my spirits, get me into a better mood:

•Chocolate (see below)
•America's Funniest Home Videos/Impractical Jokers/Community
•My husband dancing for me

What gets you out of a funk?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Don't Get it Stuck in a Tree!

Mr. Calm has a plane.  Well, it's technically a glider, and can go up to 60 mph.  It's meant to "glide with the birds".  Most likely, it's going to glide right into the top of a tall tree.

It's not the first time we'll deal with a little catastrophe.  There was a not-so-little crash landing years ago.  This sucker was a big hobby plane... don't remember the cost, but it was probably a pretty penny.  He took it out to the soccer fields near our house, and we went along to watch its inaugural flight.  Up, up, UP into the air it went... and then, I don't know, it decided it wanted to sing opera rather than fly, and plummeted back to Earth.  Alas, it would not sing any arias, as it crashed into pieces on the ground.

It was disappointing.  I'm sorry to say it was also hard not to laugh.  Not meanly, you know.  Just surprised that the life of his plane was so ridiculously short.

He's also played around with building his own type of "rocket"plane.  He has the fuselage built from scratch, and part of an engine.  Well, you know how it goes... work, life, boredom.  It's in a box somewhere in the attic.

Here he is several weeks ago.  Bought a plane that was "specifically" for beginners.  We found a field near the dam that had tall grass: perfect for bracing the landing.  And he did well that day, only losing a wheel.  Not so fortunate was he-- or the plane-- the next time he went back, with OD.  See, he also bought a computer program that teaches you how to fly all types and sizes of model planes and helicopters.  But he didn't learn enough, because this time, the plane flew straight into the top of a thirty-foot-tall tree.  And yes, it's still there.  So is the Coke bottle OD threw to knock it loose.  That's stuck right under the plane.

Here is Mr. Calm with his glider.  While he's had it for about four years, I've never seen it, and my exclamation was loud and seriously surprised when he showed it to me.  He's not ready to fly it yet; he still has practicing to do on the computer program.  And then he has to find a damn big, empty, clear field.  I suggested the soccer fields, the scene of the original crime.

Last night he found out that there is a model plane flying club here in town.  They have a park, and a long runway.  Maybe he can go out there and get tips.  Maybe he can learn how to avoid crashing this glider into someone's head or rear end before he initially flies it.  I do hope that the life of this glider is substantially longer than the last planes he's flown.  I love him dearly, but after all the crashes and snafus, it seems like such a... futile hobby! ;)

Friday, October 5, 2012

What Do You Smell Like?

This week marked the start of the release of Lalalita Body Co's winter scents. Already released is "A Wonderful Gingerbread Cookie", and today begins the launch of "A Spiced Cranberry Story". Both are great, bold scents that I love, and would choose myself to wear in colder months. Almost like styles of clothing, changing from shorts to pants, short sleeves to sweaters, my tastes in scents vary with the seasons. In the spring and summer, I wear more tropical, light scents like coconut and fruit, or satsuma. As soon as the third week of September rolls around, however, I get out the cinnamon. The pumpkin. The fudge brownie (scents, of course. I don't rub a pumpkin on my wrists! ;)). And that's the way I roll, until spring rolls around again and the short sleeves come out.

Do you do the same thing? What are your favorite scents for the warmer months? What about when the air has a crisp snap to it, or snowflakes are swirling around your head? Or are you a one-scent kind of person year-round?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy October!

Happy October! "It's the most wonderful time... of the year..." Definitely one of our favorite times in this household. If the weather only matched that of New England's, it'd be perfect. Despite the light rain yesterday, I got out the Halloween stuff (nowhere near the amount that I used to haul out when the girls were growing up) and decorated inside, and on and around the front porch.

Happy October, everyone!