Friday Favorites

Party Down 2009 Key art

Party Down, Starz Network Original
Party Down, a half-hour comedy series that ran on Starz network from 2009-2010, is the funniest damn show you’ve never seen. Sadly, though it was a favorite of television critics, Starz cancelled the show after only two seasons due to low ratings. The series features an oddball group of aspiring actors and screenwriters in Los Angeles who work as catering waiters to pay the bills. The cast reads like a “who’s who” of some of the best comedic actors working today. It includes, Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Lizzy Caplan and Megan Mullally along with an assemblage of amazing guest stars. It is laugh-until-you-cry funny. And, lucky you, Party Down is streaming on Netflix.

L'Occitane_shower_oil

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil
L’Occitane’s Almond Shower Oil is heavenly! Like so many of L’Occitane’s products, this stuff smells divine and the light, almond scent stays with you all day. It’s darn near magical as well. When you pour out Almond Shower Oil, it has the consistency of a thick body oil, but mix it with water and rub your hands together, and it transforms into a foamy body wash. Amazing, I tell you! It moisturizes like an oil, but doesn’t leave you feeling slimy. This shower oil is the absolute best thing for keeping your skin from getting dry and flakey in the dry winter air, so stock up now.

Vidalia_Chop_Wizard

Vidalia Chop Wizard
OK, I’m not one who falls for “As Seen on TV” gadgets and I probably would have pooh-poohed this one if a friend hadn’t recommended it to me. I love my Chop Wizard! As the name indicates, It’s wonderful for dicing onions quickly and easily, but you can really use it to chop virtually any vegetable or firm fruit. You should see how fast I can whip up a batch of veggie chili using this baby! I like to chop up a couple onions all at once and then freeze them in separate zip-lock freezer bags. That way, I always have diced onions ready when I’m trying to throw together a quick meal on a weeknight. The Chop Wizard can be thrown in the dishwasher and all the parts pack up together for storage. Good lord, have I officially turned into a housewife, or what?

BedtimeMath

Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late by Laura Overdeck
I never thought I’d see two children fighting over who gets a book of math problems next, but Biggie and Smalls both love Bedtime Math (and will argue about any damn thing, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised). Biggie is an avid reader with simply no time for math. The sight of a math worksheet is enough to throw her into an instant homework tizzy. Smalls, on the other hand, adores math and could do word problems all day long. Amazingly, I found this series of books that’s perfect for both girls. The problems in Bedtime Math are humorous and the illustrations are fun and colorful. Also, each “story” is followed by three different levels of problems, so the books work well for a range of ages.

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
I consider myself a bit of an ice cream aficionado. Hell, the amount of it I ate during my two pregnancies alone gives me the right to judge. And, in my humble opinion, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are the absolute best. They’re insanely creamy and chock full of the world’s freshest, yummiest ingredients. (Sorry…I’m prone to hyperbole when it comes to Jeni’s ice cream.) Jeni’s has some amazing year-round flavors like my two favorites: Salty Caramel and Brown Butter Almond Brittle. Jeni (yes, there is a real, live Jeni) also does a range of seasonal flavors that you sure as heck won’t find in your usual grocery store freezer section. The recent “Late Summer Harvest Collection” included Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk, Backyard Mint, Sweet Cream Biscuits and Peach Jam, and Sweet Corn and Black Raspberries. I mean, come on! Jeni’s, which is based in Columbus, OH, has opened a handful of “Scoop Shops” in the US, but can also be found in gourmet stores and ordered online from Jeni’s website.

Friday Favorites

Because I really should have skipped law school and become a personal shopper instead, MommyEnnui will have a new weekly feature starting today. In Friday Favorites, I will feature a random selection of my favorite things…five favorite things to be exact because, well, it’s fun to say. Feel free to comment with a few of your favorite things. I may just include them in a future list.

Working_Hands1. O’Keefe’s Working Hands Hand Cream
I have to give a shout-out to my dad and step-mom for introducing me to this amazing hand cream. I’ve tried so many different creams, cuticle oils and even moisturizing gloves looking for something that would heal my dry, ragged cuticles, to no avail. That was until I tried O’Keefe’s hand cream. This stuff truly is magic! Also check out O’Keefe’s Healthy Feet Moisturizing Foot Cream. Ad Man swears by it.
leather_baggu_bag2. Leather Baggu bag
I’m a huge fan of Baggu’s ripstop nylon reusable bags. They come in lots of fun colors and patterns, are practically indestructible, fit tons of stuff, are machine washable and fold up tiny so you can carry a bunch of them in your purse or stuff them in your car’s glove compartment. But you know what I love even more than Baggu’s reusable bags? This luscious version they’re now making in leather! Isn’t it gorgeous? I soooo need one. Ad Man, are you listening?

Fiona Bra by Moving Comfort? - Blush/Crimson3. Moving Comfort sports bras
I’m a 34D which makes it difficult to find supportive sports bras that aren’t absolutely hideous. When I started a running program a while ago, I made do by either layering two tank-style compression sports bras or even ran with my hands across my chest at times trying to keep those babies from bouncing me right off the treadmill. Then, I discovered Moving Comfort bras. I’ve since worn a couple different styles from Moving Comfort and they’ve all been wonderful. They’re cute, supportive enough for high impact sports and don’t squash your boobs beyond all recognition.

A_for_Abigail4. A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynne Cheney
After you’ve gotten over the shock of me recommending something written by a member of the Cheney family, hear me out. This is a fantastic book that celebrates a diverse group of history-making American women. Every girl will be able to find a hero here. Honorees include founding mothers, artists, scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs, journalists, educators, feminists and sportswomen. Biggie and Smalls love this book and I so wish I’d had one like it growing up.

duralex_picardie5. Duralex Picardie glass tumblers
Duralex’s Picardie tumblers are a French design classic for a reason. They come in a wide range of sizes from a tiny juice glass to a tumbler that’s perfect for a decadently large, ice cold beer. When Biggie was transitioning from a sippy cup to a “big-girl” glass, I bought the small size tumblers for her. Duralex uses tempered-glass, so they’re perfect for kids, they hold both hot and cold drinks, and can be thrown in the dishwasher or microwave. I brew hot tea directly in a large size glass and then dump in a bunch of ice to make iced tea. I also love that the bottoms are completely flat, so you don’t get an annoying puddle of water in each one that you have to dry when unloading the dishwasher. It’s the little things that make me happy.

Cool Stuff That…

…Kept Me From Doing Laundry and Exercising This Week

warped_childhood_rest_hardwareFree tattoos inspired by visits to Portland Art Museum.
http://www.lostateminor.com/2013/09/12/art-is-forever-museum-art-inspires-tattoos/

Projection-mapping is so cool!  Check out this mindblowing live performance.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX6JcybgDFo&feature=share

These jeans are perfection!  They have the perfect rise and actually make me look like I have a butt which is no easy feat.  (I bought mine at Nordstrom.)
http://www.hudsonjeans.com/Collin_MidRise_Skinny/pd/np/1122/p/11353.html

Dad who is far more creative than I am photographs his kids and it’s stinkin’ adorable.
http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/a-father-who-creatively?id=2100445%3ABlogPost%3A289958

Warped Childhood, Restoration Hardware-Style.  Growing up in a land of beige.  (Photo above.)
http://suburbanturmoil.com/warped-childhood-restoration-hardware-style/2012/12/03/

I’m not a big sci-fi fan, but I thought this was super cool.
http://dirkloechel.deviantart.com/art/Size-Comparison-Science-Fiction-spaceships-398790051

‘Need a House, Call Ms. Mouse’: Vintage Children’s Book Starring a Female Architect.  I’m always looking for empowering, princess-free books for my daughters.  It’s such a bummer that this one is out-of-print.
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/10/10/need-a-house-call-ms-mouse/

50 Mighty Girl Halloween costumes.  No sexy Dorothy here!
http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=4818