Friday, January 30, 2009

There is a reason why Siren songs should be ignored

Typically, I'm not one to get any of the baked goods that Starbucks serves. In fact, I usually don't buy any food there, although I do enjoy their oatmeal from time to time.

This morning, however, I could not resist the siren song of the Reduced-fat Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake. It looked tasty with its chocolate chips sprinkled throughout and, while I know that reduced-fat baked goods still have plenty o' fat, it was still reduced-fat. So, I couldn't feel SO horrible about it - right?

at least the latte was good

Oy. I will not be ordering it again. It was moist and cakey, as coffee cake should be. But, the overpowering fake banana taste could not be surmounted. Blech.

Don't let the siren song of chocolate chips and reduced-fatness trick you, people!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A foodie's worst fear realized

Food Poisoning.

Yeah, it doesn't get much worse than that.

Over the holidays, I decided to check out one of the newish restaurants to hit Atlanta. I was excited, tried a lot of dishes, and got very, very sick later that night. So sick, in fact, that I didn't leave my bed for several days. It was miserable. (On the bright side, it did give me uninterrupted time to watch all of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in one sitting!)

I should point out that my date also got sick that same night. Which is why I feel positive it was food poisoning from the restaurant.

a picture from the offending restaurant

Almost everyone I talked to asked me if I got in touch with the restaurant to let them know. Some even asked if I contacted the health department. It was my intention to do both but, instead, I did neither. Through the worst of it, I was just too ill to do it. Then, once I was feeling better, there was much to catch up on. Plus, the holidays were over and, with work starting, I let it go. They're all excuses but also somewhat valid, I think.

So I began to wonder what other people have done in similar situations. Have you gotten food poisioning? What did you do about it? Did you contact the restaurant or the health department? What do you think I should have done?

a scene from the happier times that fateful night

Sad News- Tracy Ewell Store Closing!

I have been really happy about all the sales and great deals out there... but my tune changes when great people with a beautiful vision are forced to close their stores due to the economic times. Sadly, Tracy Ewell Cosmetics and Skincare are closing their doors very soon. Go ahead and visit them for last minute make-up tips and to stock up on some of your favorite products that are now on sale.

Tracy and Natalie- you will be greatly missed and we wish you the best of luck on your next endeavors!!!

We are offering 50-75% off the following:
Caudalie (body care)
Lexi Lu Jewelry
Charles Albert Jewelry
Lamp Berger (we mostly have lamps)
Makeup Brushes
Makeup Bags
Better get 'em while they're still around! Closing has been the hardest thing Natalie hand I have ever done. Everyone has been so kind with their hopes and wishes for us. We want all of you to know we love you and are grateful for your undying support!
Our hours are 10-6pm Tuesday-Saturday. Call if you need to come in later
We hope to see you very soon
Tracy & Natalie

New Wave of Pricing?

Check out this article.... It will be interesting if prices in the coming year really do shift.

A Glimpse of the Future of Luxury: Expect Lower Prices, Bargain Outlets, More Outsourcing

-source: Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What to do this weekend- SHOP!

Here are 4 great opportunities going on this weekend:

1) Don't forget about the Local Designer Trunk Show this weekend. Click here for more information. Try to stopping by to support some amazing local artists and see what they have created for spring.

NOTE! There is a venue change for this event-
It is now being held at Vino Libro in Glenwood Park:
933 Garrett Street
Atlanta, GA 30316

2) And so it begins.... the parade of Boutique Warehouse sales for the winter season kicks off this weekend. This one is being held at Atlantic Station, above Z Gallery. Over 25 local boutiques are participating and this is a great way to stock up on gorgeous items at ridiculously low prices. And although stores are starting to push out their winter merch and bring in sundresses for spring... it is still 20 degrees outside. So you will get lots of wear out of the items that are being sold at this warehouse sale.

3) Both Saks and Neimans have done their final mark-downs of the winter this past week, so swing by for some really low prices. Granted, the selection will be really, really picked through, but if you are willing to put in the time, you may find some great stuff.

4) Taste Boutique in Atlantic Station is doing "Half Store, Half Off" starting today. I believe this includes not only winter items, but their new spring merchandise. I would def check them out. They always have a really well- edited selection of premium designers.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Miracle Concealer- I kid you not!

I think one of the things that bothers me about my complexion are the dark circles under my eyes. No matter how much water I drink, potions I slather on (my derm says there is nothing you can put on that can fix them) or how much sleep I get, I always have these purple circles plaguing me.
My sweet friends all say they have never noticed, but I'm not buying it. Up until this point, I have not found a concealer that does a good job of covering up the circles. They are either too cake-y, too yellow, not heavy enough, too sticky... I could go on and on.

BUT I have now found the best concealer product in the world (yes, that is a bold statement, but I am making it).
Bobby Brown Concealer kit plus Corrector. Ok, it take 2 products, but it is worth every penny and the extra 10 seconds.

I went to Woo Skincare and Cosmetics in Buckhead (more on them in a later post) and had a crash course in concealer. The lovely make-up artist explained that almost all concealers out there have a yellow base. And when you have very dark circles (blue or purple), layering on a yellow concealers just makes them drab and greenish (think back to kindergarten- yellow + blue makes green).

Bobby Brown as identified this flaw and has made a Corrector product that you put under the concealer as a base. It has more of a peach color and cancels out the blue circles.
Here is what her site says:

"For very dark circles and extra coverage Bobbi's secret is her Correctors. Designed to be layered under your regular, yellow-based concealer shade, Correctors come in Bisque and Peach shades. Bisque neutralizes pinky-blue undereye darkness and is ideal for most skin tones. Peach neutralizes purple-brown undereye darkness common in olive, golden and tan skin tones. Use the Corrector daily or just when you need extra coverage."

I am a bisque and use that under the Bobby Brown concealer. The concealers comes in a little kit with a traditional creamy concealers and then a powder to set everything. The creamy concealer goes on very easily because of the great texture and the setting powder does a good job of keeping it in place all day:

"This kit includes Creamy Concealer on top and Sheer Finish Loose Powder on bottom to set concealer for long-lasting wear. This concealer has skin conditioning ingredients like Vitamin A, which helps minimize the appearance of fine dry lines and wrinkles and Vitamin E, which moisturizes and provides antioxidant protection."

I went out last night and when I came home and looked in the mirror, my make-up still looked fresh like I just did it!

I'm sold- Check out Woo for a great experience and color match.
Peachtree Battle Shoppping Center
2339-A Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30305

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Tazo® Tea drinks at Starbucks + a DI Giveaway!

If you've been to Starbucks lately, you've probably seen the new Tazo® Tea drinks on the menu. According to a friend at Starbucks, these drinks are super healthy for you:

"Loaded with antioxidants, which are essential to protecting the body's immune system, tea makes for the ultimate soothing and good-for-you beverage.

Most of Starbucks new tea offerings are less than 200 calories for a tall size (12 fl oz) and provide more antioxidants than an 8-ounce glass of orange juice. (Starbucks Black Tea Latte has more than three times the amount of antioxidants than orange juice!)"

If you're not sure whether these new drinks are something you would like, you can try a sample for free today at 2pm at all company-operated locations in Atlanta. (That means everything but the locations at Target, hotels, etc.)

To celebrate their new drinks, Starbucks is offering a giveaway to a few lucky Disposable Income readers: two $10 gift cards (so two readers can enjoy tea with a friend) and five one-time-use cards good for one complimentary cup of tea!

I'm gonna make this super, super easy! The first two people who write me at Disposable Income and mention this post will be the lucky recipients of the gift cards. The next five who write me at Disposable Income and mention this post will be the lucky recipients of the one-time-use cards good for one complimentary cup of tea. So write me now!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pizza Fusion pinch hits lunch

Running out for errands during the lunch hour has its perks. Like grabbing lunch from H&F Bread Co.!

There were three sandwich choices - ham, fried turkey, and roasted beets - and everyone in my lunch party (Yenta Girl, Rachel, & I) fancied the beet sandwich. To our great consternation, there was only enough roasted beets to make one sandwich and none of us were too excited by the other choices.

Can I vent for a moment here? I love Holeman & Finch and adore the baked goods that come out of H&F Bread Co. but I'm feeling dismayed by their lunch. Why don't I get those weekly lunch menus I signed up for? What is going on with their website? And out of their veggie sandwich during (what appeared to us, anyway) a slow lunch on a Monday? Lame. Okay, yes, this is sacrilege for me to be saying this about anything related to Holeman & Finch but - come on!

Alright, I'm done venting. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I feel better already!

Luckily for us, Pizza Fusion is now open right up the block from H&F Bread Co. So, we decided to give it a go.

Pizza Fusion is a national pizza chain in 12 states and their first location for Georgia is the one on Peachtree right up the block from the Aramore. The chain prides itself on its gluten-free offerings (pizza, brownies, and beer), as well as its earth friendly attitude. From their website:

"While you might see Pizza Fusion as a fun place to eat delicious food, we see ourselves as players in the transition to a healthier, cleaner society. It’s this desire to make a difference that lead us to deliver our food in company-owned hybrid cars, purchase renewable energy certificates to offset 100% of our power consumption and build LEED certified restaurants, among many other environmental initiatives."

the bar at Pizza Fusion

All three of us decided to take advantage of their lunch special where $9.99 buys you a personal pizza, a side salad, and a drink. And, possibly due to the small lunch crowd, the pizzas where ready in 15 minutes.

my personal pizza - a veggie with no cheese
yeah, I said no cheese. deal.

I'm happy to report that it was pretty good. It's not going to change your life but there is no denying the fresh ingredients and toppings. Yenta Girl even noted that the pineapple on her pizza was fresh and not from a can. And for those who cannot eat gluten, this pizza will be a refreshing sight. (At least when it's available.)

Pizza Fusion
2233 Peachtree Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30309

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Bruncheon at Pura Vida

In our quest to find more places that do brunch and booze, we tried out the brunch at Pura Vida this morning. Pura Vida has been serving brunch for the past few months but it still seems like a well-kept secret, as the crowd was minimal.

the only picture I got of the coveted mimosa was with my phone for twitter.
clearly, I have priorities.

I thought the brunch was fantastic, really. The tapas are a nice change of pace for the typical brunch in town. You'll still get your eggs, meat, and potatoes fix - just with a twist.

tortilla espanola "deconstructed": fried potatoes, pearl onion confit,
slow cooked eggs & pimenton de la vera

fried papitas con sofrito: potatoes, onions, peppers & garlic

And, if you're more of a sweet tooth bruncher, they have quite a few delicious options for you.

ETK proudly displays the sweet corn masa pancakes with the citrus pilon sugar syrup

pineapple roll french toast with bananas, currants, and coco cajeta espuma

For something that you won't find at other typical Atlanta brunch spots, Pura Vida has yuca fries, shrimp ceviche, and caramelized maduros that were all quite scrumptious.

in the background is the partially devoured ceviche "a la piedra": sizzling shrimp ceviche,
yuca, onions, cilantro & cirtus aji broth
in the foreground is the churros con chocolate

yuca fries with rocoto ketchup and cotija crema

carmelized maduros with mexican cajeta, fried peanuts, and goat cheese foam

No complaints at brunch today! Only full bellies and satisfied faces.

Pura Vida
656 North Highland Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30306

Thursday, January 8, 2009

brunch + mimosas = no other way to live

My friends and I have turned one impromptu bruncheon date into a standing affair every Sunday. There are plenty of good places for brunch in town (places that do NOT have the word "biscuit" in their name) but, you see, we're a bunch of lushes. We need alcohol to have a good time and brunch is no exception.

"another mimosa, miss?"
"by now, do you even have to ask?"

I'm pretty sick of Murphy's, enjoyed Watershed, and was quite disappointed by the brunch at Solstice Cafe last Sunday.

So I ask you, lovely blog readers, what is your favorite bruncheon place in town that serves booze? We need suggestions!

30% off EVERYTHING at Loft of Syle

I think the title pretty much sums it up, but every item in the store is 30% now through Saturday. It does not include their $19 bin, but everything else is 30% off.

They are a pretty cool store- very similar to Sage or Fabrik, but with more well-known brands like 3J, Hale Bop and Plenty. I feel that Loft of Style is a great place to purchase cute tops and sweet dresses. Additionally, they have a solid jewelry selection.

Loft of Style
1441 Dresden Dr
Atlanta, Georgia 30319

Sale is going on now through Saturday.

Local Designer Trunk Show- Jan. 24 & 25

D.I. readers are invited to check out this fun trunk show event featuring great local Atlanta designers. Feel free to invite your friends for a preview of Spring 2009 collections and enjoy cocktails and snacks all day. GrabMol and I will be there!

The trunk show will be held
Saturday 1/24/09 1:00 - 7:00pm & Sunday 1/25/09 1:00 - 6:00pm

Glenwood Green Clubhouse
951 Glenwood Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30316
***Gate Code Access: 027***
Telephone Number: 404.254.4371

Some of our favorite designers will be there including:
Nikita Lynn Designs ~ handbags & accessories
Concrete Lace ~ letterpress & mandala coloring books
Breathless Paper Co. ~ customizable invitations
Talulah B ~ vintage jewelry & accessories
Lastnight Designs ~ one of a kind vintage jewelry
Will Randall Designs ~ handmade jewelry
Coleccion Luna ~ handbags & accessories

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2 Hair Products You NEED- trust me

OK, you really need to get these 2 hair products, no matter what type of hair you have. I'm serious, you will thank me.

1) Dry Hair Shampoo- This is a lifesaver product- it allows you to save your blow-outs. It also does a great job of refreshing your hair if you don't have the time to wash and style (this should live in your gym bag). I would not say that it is a substitute for real shampoo, but rather lets you go a little longer between washes (which is much healthier for your hair).

This stuff has been around forever, but up until recently, most hair powers were in shake-on containers which made application very tricky (no one wants to look like they are wearing a George Washington-inspired powdered wig). Now, lots of brands come in aerosol versions. My favorite brand out there is René Furterer; though Oscar Blandi does make a decent product.
You can get both brands at a variety of salons, or Sephora.

Bumble and bumble makes a dry shampoo line for different hair colors, which would be great for darker shades. Note- I am blond and the one that is made for blonds in the B&B line was way too dark, so you may want to try a shade lighter than you actually are.

2) Elnett Hairspray- I hate hairspray. I even hate the name- it conjures up visions of 80s prom queens, hard hair, and memories of being a bridesmaid. Well, this product changes everything. Last year I read in a few fashion magazines that this stylist favorite was going to be finally available in the US. Apparently top stylists have been using this product for years and had to bring it back in their suitcases from Europe. Now it is available at Target! (reason #403 why I love Target).

Unlike most hairspray, the mist is SUPER fine and not sticky at all (really I promise). You can run a comb through your hair even after it is sprayed. It also adds shine without weighing it down with silicone like many products. The best part is that it helps keep humidity out- I really put it through that test the last 5 days here in Atlanta. Click here to see if your Target carries it. They have an extra hold formula, but the regular one works just fine in my opinion. This shouldn't even be called "hairspray", it should get a better name (suggestions welcome!).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How would you like cook your steak?

It's not food or fashion but it sure is a fun way to spend your money...

Peelander-Z is coming back to town on Friday, April 24th at The Earl!

"us laughing watching this"

If you've never been to one of their shows, you really owe it to yourself to go. They are a fucking BLAST! (Take a gander at some of the pictures I took from last April when they played The Earl with Attractive Eighties Women.)

You can preorder tickets through Ticket Alternative here,as well as at all Ticket Alternative outlets (including Fantasyland Recods, Decatur CD, and Ella Guru) and The Earl.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Store to watch- Gilly Hicks Sydney

So while in Miami for New Years, I checked out Abercrombie and Fitch's new store concept called Gilly Hicks. Basically it is a women's intimates and lounge-wear store- think Victoria Secret meets Abercrombie. Now, I will not wax on about my personal feelings for Abercrombie and will not take those into consideration for the purpose of this review.

I actually do love the store. As with any of the Abercrombie brand stores, they go above and beyond to create a concept, physical store and overall shopping experience. In the spirit of Hollister and Ruehl (we don't have a Ruehl in Atlanta, but think an older version of Abercrombie, as in the Banana Republic of Abercrombie) the space is not just your average store. It is a gorgeous, dimly lit maze, filled with with dark cherry wood, small separate rooms with antique furniture, and crystal chandeliers.

Abercrombie likes to come up with a back-story or concept for all their stores. Here is the one that was conjured up for Gilly Hicks (click here for source info and complete article)

"The inspiration for Gilly Hicks came about from an Australian-themed concept two years in the making. Named after a fictional English girl named Gilly, the store’s layout and design is a reflection of her British colonial-style manor house on the shoreline of her home in Australia.

In the story, created by Abercrombie & Fitch CEO and Chairman, Michael Jeffries, the Hicks family traveled from England to Sydney in 1932. Years later, Gilly’s granddaughter returned to her grandmother Gilly’s historic manor house and opened up an underwear shop in the modern day."

In the middle of the store is their fragrance section with old apothecary-style glass jars and elaborate displays of their signature fragrances and body care products. (I purchased the house scent called Le Perouse- it has a lilac base note which I love. My friend KJF hated the scent, so to each is own... I personally can't get enough of it).

The pièce de résistance of the whole experience is their "bra library" where they have over 40 different style to choose from. Shockingly, the sales associates (A&F likes to call them "brand reps") are actually very helpful and write down all the styles and sizes you try on, so that you can remember what worked of you.

As far as quality, I think that the prices are very reasonable for the product they deliver- ranging from $10-$55. If you happen to be in the Miami area (Aventura Mall), they are having a major sale now (along with the rest of the retail world).

I personally would recommend checking them out, if for nothing else than seeing the physical store, it really is amazing. Unfortunately, you cannot order their items online yet. I heard a rumor that the e-commerce portion of the site is going to be up in Feb., but I cannot confirm that. As of now, you can either shop at one of their 13 stores or on eBay (if you dare). I will update when you can shop online.