Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cookware Review

A few weeks ago I mentioned I would review a product from I chose to order something functional since we really don't have the space for non-functional items. Out with the old and in with the new--I traded in some of our old warped and scratched cookware for this handy 10-piece porcelain enamel cookware set by Rachel Ray, and I got a sweet deal on it too!

The normally $250 set was already on sale at 48% off, I had a $40 promotional credit, and there is a $40 mail-in-rebate going on until March 31st. Did I mention free shipping? This brought the cost for the whole set to $50. I love a good deal!

Pros for the cookware set would be its contemporary design with bright colors (we went with the orange to match our kitchen curtains and utensils), and the non-slip, comfortable handles. Every piece is sturdy and yet not overly heavy. They all have non-stick surfaces, though I don't think it's completely necessary in a large pot and assume it will wear down over time as most non-sticks do. I made the mistake of telling Tommie to read the "care instructions" which warn you not to cook above low-medium temperature in order to preserve the integrity of the pans. Dinner will definitely take longer to cook if he keeps following the rules. I also wish the large pot was just a little larger.

All in all, I find it to be a good quality, useful cookware set at a very reasonable price.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

All Lion And No Lamb

We are at, what I hope to be, the tail end of 5+ months of cold. I am losing my patience (what little I had anyway). We are talking about almost half of an entire year of crappy weather, and it's not like we don't have days of rain throughout the rest of the year. So, here we are: March 22nd and when I look at the 7-day forecast for Boston I see no sign of warmth.
Some people think a high of 40 degrees is warm. They have frozen brain cells. I see low's all in the 20's and anticipated snow showers. We had snow yesterday too; fat, freezing flakes of unwanted, unwelcome, completely unnecessary snow. March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. Well, it's not lambing anytime soon. I want to turn my heater off . I want to take a walk in a light jacket. I want to put the ice scraper in storage. There are some people who don't mind dealing with winter...and then there's me. The northeast is a great place to live when you like to complain. It's also a very bad place to live when you like to complain.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Searching for "The" Dress

I always thought when the time came, I would enjoy shopping for a wedding dress: I'm a Libra--I love vanity, but I guess my problem is that I don't love wedding dresses. I don't like bleach white ballgowns and trains that feel like I'm dragging the weight of a dead person behind me. That eliminates 90% of the dresses out there. I'm also thrifty (okay, cheap) and can't justify spending over $500 on a one-day dress. That eliminates the remaining 10%. As for trying them on, I'm a self-sufficient gal; I don't like saleswomen pushing their way into the dressing room to help me every two seconds. I'm not having luck finding the right thing at department stores either.

So, with the clock ticking, I've come up with a plan that makes me nervous. There is a pretty, affordable dress I tried on in California. It has one shoulder with flowers and it wraps nicely. My hesitancy with this dress is that it's all white or all ivory. I was trying really hard to spice things up with some variation of typical bridal colors.
Then I came across this two-toned dress at a bridal store.
A loud woman there with her niece told me she never would have thought to have two different colors on a dress but that it really stuck out to her and she was shocked she liked it. Even though I didn't care for her loud backwards compliments, I liked that she felt it was "different." I liked that it was different, and I could see making some small adjustments to make it even more unique. The only problem was the price of $900 not including alterations.

After researching alternatives, I decided to order, should I say, a dress based on this dress online...factory direct from Taiwan. The whole thing makes me uneasy and it's not very ethical of me, but for less than a third of the price, my cheap instincts won over. It's a gamble if it comes out okay (or even comes at all!) but it's a relatively cheap gamble so I had to try. As one bride commented, "People will knock you getting a dress from overseas, but where do they think their designer dress is really coming from?"

It should take about six weeks to make and ship and at that time I can determine if it was a giant mistake and hope I have enough time to order the other dress, or just plan to walk down the isle in a potato sack.