Life Hack: Kidnapping

Here’s a quick life hack (I have a very loose grasp on the definition of “life hack”):

Consider giving your roommate or a family member an approved photo of yourself in case of your unfortunate disappearance at the hands of, no doubt, some male deviant. If your emergency contact doesn’t have a photo they can quickly hand over to the press or to the screen printer, then your “Find Samantha” t-shirts will end up with some random Huey, Duey, and Luey kissy-faced picture that was pulled from your personal Instagram account.

Like what if some journalist published this on LAist.com?

20140314-110443.jpg

Me as Hipster Ariel on Halloween taking a selfie in a bathroom mirror is not exactly the kind narrative I’d like to have portrayed to the world.

Now this picture:

20140314-110655.jpg

Aren’t I sweet? I’m wearing matching jammies with a mom who loves me very much! Don’t you want to find me??? My hair is freshly dyed, my face is looking vuuury thin, this is this is the sort of picture you want to use!

Listen, if you’re fighting for your life in the trunk of an old Honda Civic,wouldn’t you at least like the peace of mind that you have full creative control over your disappearance?

What I’ve Done Today: Part II

Screen shot 2013-05-23 at 11.08.36 AMAt the end of every day, my roommate and I usually give each other a run down of how our day went. Yesterday, my roommate came home and found me at about 5 o’clock, sitting on the couch with the shades drawn and the TV on mute. I had a lot to fill her in on:

At noon I made a really strong and impassioned statement on defying racial stereotypes by spending $13 on a breakfast sandwich and coffee, proving once and for all that not every Jew is good with their money.

The day only got more productive from there:

At 2pm I came home, sat on the couch and thought about blogging. But just thinking about blogging wasn’t enough, so I put some of my resume skills to good use by being a self-starter and doing some expert multi-tasking.

So I….

Thought about blogging…

….and picked off my gel manicure.

Thought about blogging…

….and thought about exercising.

Thought about blogging…

….and picked at a scab on my chin.

Thought about blogging…

….and read my own blog.

This went on for about 4 hours until I finally got up to go to the bathroom and toyed with the idea of parting my hair in the center because #YOLO

Spoiler Alert!!! Decided against it.

Then I sat back on the couch and looked at the Facebook’s of people I went to high school with and got really smug about how they’re still stuck in our hometown, married with stupid children who ruin their lives and love them unconditionally, and they have their dumb, steady jobs, with no hope of EVER being famous. And it’s just so sad, ‘cuz like LOOK AT ME, I’m in LA. I saw Sean and Eric from Boy Meets World at a cafe once, I have an air mattress, my roommate and I are thinking about auditioning for The Amazing Race, like, it’s all happening.

………..

So after going through that one-woman show/suicide note with my roommate, she decided it was time to go see a burger about some feelings before I started thinking about getting bangs. 968784_4938956914874_1217821939_nIt worked! Look at those happy faces! We love LA, we love a burger, but most of all, we love each other. 

But seriously, how does everyone feel about me and bangs?

Happy Weekend

One of my mom’s co-workers went to Chicago for New Year’s or something and brought me back some Nuts on Clark Chicago Mix popcorn. The Chicago mix (caramel and cheese popcorn) from either Nuts on Clark, Garret’s Popcorn, or a 6 month old bag from the shelf of a CVS in Illinois is one of my top 5 favorite foods. You just can’t find this stuff in New England, and it’s like crack in the sense that it’s so addictive, but also not like crack in the sense that it’s not legitimately addictive or has the capability to ruin your life.

photo

When I went to Vegas last year, we had a layover in Chicago. I think we had about 20 minutes to get to our next gate, and I decided it was worth the risk to find the Garret’s popcorn kiosk that I knew existed in the airport somewhere. You’ve never seen anything more an endearing than my friend with a fresh Starbucks in her hand and me with my entire arm in a bag of popcorn while we waltzed on the completely full and seated plane like, “hey, guys, we can go now! Vegas, riiight?!” as we started pouring Bailey’s nips in our coffee before we managed to get our seatbelt on. You should have seen how cute I was, like, 10 seconds before when I couldn’t find my boarding pass and had to dump the contents of my orange and pink leopard print Betsey Johnson carry on. Don’t worry, I found it- just in the front pocket hiding behind some old Forever 21 receipts! Hollaaaa! Vegaaaas!

Anyway, it’s the freakin’ weekend and I’m about to go buck wild on some $3 happy hour nachos. Hope you are doing something equally glamorous. You’re only in your 20’s for 10 years, after all.

Pros and Cons of Instagram

Twitter is a great barometer of how mad I should be at things. If everybody is tweeting about how mad they are at something, I decide how mad I’m going to be about it on a liberal Hollywood scale of Ashton Kutcher to Ronan Farrow. If Ashton or any celebrity that tweeted #KONY2012 expresses outrage or concern over something, I pretty much disregard it. If Ronan Farrow is angry about something, then I know it’s okay to be angry about it too, and then I wonder if I should tweet Ronan and is it really so crazy to think two people could fall in love over Twitter?

Today Ro-Ro did not tweet about Instagram and its new privacy policy, so now I don’t know how to feel. Looks like I’m gonna have to form this opinion all on my own.

Now, this morning everyone thought Instagram could sell their photos, which Instagram is now saying they’re not going to do. Regardless, I still don’t know whether I should delete my account, so I’m weighing my options:

PRO: Instagram is maintaining that they aren’t going to sell the pictures I’ve taken of my friends and me in Vegas for ads to Promises Recovery Center.

CON: So, Instagram does not want to sell this picture of me?

577815_4074682988566_1729265682_n

PRO: Did you see that picture of me above? That soft rosey glow didn’t radiate on its own; that was all X-Pro II.

CON: Do I really need to post pictures of myself onto a site that hasn’t earned my trust and could one day, maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday, use my pictures in a way I don’t approve of? And yet, this picture of me from the 6th grade exists on the internet, and I seem to be fine with it: sc00f144551

PRO: My outrage seems to have settled, and I don’t care enough to delete my account anymore.

It stays! Unfortunately, I’ve already hysterically deleted half of my pictures, so I guess I’d better plan brunch for this weekend so I can slowly start building back up my collection of mimosa pictures.

Sugarlyn Cakes

I have lived a very difficult life at the hands of my mother. Because of her, nearly every elementary school class birthday has been ruined for me. Since childhood, I have had an extremely refined palate for cakes due to her superior baking, which makes it impossible for me to enjoy grocery store baked goods or canned frostings, and I seemed to be the only 8 year old who knew that apple juice does not go with cake. Milk goes with cake, MILK! Who raised you, elementary school parents? Certainly not my mother.

On a weekly basis I had to politely eat the cupcakes and juice parents brought in for birthdays, wishing that like the other students, I was blissfully ignorant to the delicious cupcakes that existed in the world. Cupcakes that ruin you for all other cupcakes. The only solace I had was when my birthday rolled around and my mother could finally bring in her baked goods and MILK. We always killed it for my class birthday. In the fifth grade, I came up with the brilliant and totally unexpected plan to have a Hoodsie sundae bar. The best class birthdays always came from the chubby kids, and thanks to my size 16’s I was throwing milk-fused ragers.

I’ve always told my mother she should sell her cupcakes, and after winning the baking contest at the Fluff festival a few weeks ago, she finally decided to do it!

Introducing Sugarlyn Cakes!

 

{instagram: @daralaine}

So if you ever want to order some, let me know. For the drop-off, we can meet in a public, neutral location in case you’re using your cupcake order as an opportunity to murder me while enjoying delicious treats.

Fluff Festival in Somerville, MA

Can I interest you in a little light reading? Mostly pictures, nothing you have to think too hard about. A “FLUFF” piece, if you will?

On Saturday, I went to the Fluff* Festival in Somerville, MA (which is basically just Boston with a little bit more parking) with my saintly mother, Lynne. The hipsters and hipsters with children (apparently, their skinny jeans  have not cut off enough circulation to their genitalia to stop them from having children. Shame. Also, doesn’t Genitalia sound like something a hipster would name their kid?) were out in full force. We didn’t let that stop us, though. There was marshmallow creme product to be eaten, and we were all business.

The best of the food was the pumpkin fluff cannoli, which was essentially just a tube of fried dough. Another highlight was the coffee porter with fluff vodka and a Fluff floater, and the Shipyard Pumpkinhead with Vanilla Vodka and a Fluff floater. Both were delightful, and I can probably never drink or smell them again. 😦

{Follow me on Instagram: @daralaine}

But the best part of the day was when my mom won the baking contest with her pumpkin cupcakes with maple-Fluff cream cheese frosting!

I’m so proud!

*Does anyone reading this NOT know what Fluff is? I thought everyone did, but I think it’s just a New England thing, which means we are obnoxious about it. It’s marshmallow creme, made in Lynn, Mass… we use hot cocoa as a vessel for Fluff. Or we eat it by the spoonful. One time I made an eggo panini using two eggos, peanut butter, fluff, and a Mike Tyson grill. Is that an eating disorder? [Update: Mike Tyson doesn’t have a grill, it was a broken george foreman grill that didn’t heat up so I just smooshed the eggo’s together. Eating disorder?]

Peanut Butter Cheerios

I have some really serious cereal business to discuss with all of you.

(Am I scraping the bottom of the barrel on this one, or what?)

(It’s not lost on me that not only have I instagrammed Cheerios, but I have tried to do so with some artistic pizzaz, which I’m sure makes this all a lot worse).

This is some important breakfast time news, and as a blogger/brunch enthusiast (which encompasses things both breakfast and lunch related plus everything in between where that venn diagram meets to form ‘brunch’) it’s my responsibility to deliver you the big  stories (and hope that General Mills throws some free boxes my way. Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Dulce de Leche, and Cinnamon Burst ONLY, please. You can keep your Cheerios Crunch!)

But for reals, banana peals (that’s a little professional fruit humor) this stuff is crazy good. Really authentically peanut buttery– and I have a really delicate palate, so I’m acutely aware of artificial flavors. It also has a great mouth-feel, a nice hearty crunch, but not overly so, like a Cap’n Crunch (how do people eat that? It cuts the roof of my mouth and then I have to wear my old retainer for 2 days until it feels better).

For a real culinary adventure, try your Peanut Butter Cheerios with sliced bananas. You are welcome, foodies!

Introducing Henry and Wilbur

I thought I would take this time to introduce you all to Wilbur and Henry (chocolate and caramel, respectively).

Henry and Wilbur are a chihuahua/dachshund mix, brothers, and about a year and a half old.

I hesitated writing this post because it might not be fair to make you look at pictures of my pets because in general, I do not care to see your pictures unless your animal is doing something funny and/or dressed up as another animal or food.

Can you see why Wilbur dressed up as a banana split is a little different from you showing me a picture of an 80 pound non-human mammal doing nothing exciting? I also feel this way about babies. Unless you are a close relative or friend, then I have no interest in your child unless it’s sleeping in a hollowed out watermelon Anne Geddes-style. I will do such a good job making you believe I care, but I assure you, smiling babies and golden retrievers do nothing for me. And don’t you dare show me a picture of your cat unless it’s holding a pencil and doing long-division.

Strangely enough, though, I’m interested in holding anyone’s baby and all small dogs on the street appeal to me. I even go so far as to make a concerted effort to avoid running over the neighborhood cat that always hangs out in our front yard. What I’m trying to say is that I’m a bleeding heart animal lover, so I must show you pictures of my fur babies. Sorry if you can’t grasp this thought process.

 

Pink Ombre Cake

I’ve got a lot of time on my hands.

HOW MUCH TIME, DARA?!

This much!

I made this pink, ombre, Lisa Vanderpump homage for my mom’s birthday on February 5th. This thing took 5 hours for me to make from start to finish, but it’s worth it if you have little going on in your life and need something to feel good about.

I used this recipe (doubled. Great recipe, by the way). There’s nothing I can tell you about how to make the colors like they are, other than you need time and patience with food coloring, but you can try this for the assembly.

I’d post more, but I’m in the midst of part 2 of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion, and I’m really wrapped up in this new Brandi/Lisa alliance… There is not time to blog!

Here’s some more pictures, though. Sorry to anyone who follows me on Instagram- I was blowing up your feed yesterday. (Follow me on Instagram @daralaine)

    

NYC Trip

After yesterday’s excruciatingly long post about something that only a small group of people can understand and appreciate, (that’s a great blogging tip– write long, drawn out posts that only appeal to a small sector of your audience. Take that to the bank) I thought I’d cleanse your palates with something a little easier to read with lots of pictures.

Last Wednesday I drove to Jersey City (where I was staying) to go to an Emerson College Networking event in NYC with my friend Jillian (go read her new blog, The Cool Kid’s Table). Now, the only thing I enjoy more than making plans with friends is when the other party breaks them last minute and I can get back into my Sad Dara clothes (garments with no shape and/or elastic waist band to aid in comfortable weight fluctuation), but this time I was all pumped up to drive 4 hours to the land of the Manzos.

Why was this time so different? Well, other than the fact that I was happy to see Jill, we had reservations at The City Hall Restaurant in Tribeca for their Restaurant Week 3 courses for $35 menu. Listen, I’ll drive up to two hours for something like Sonic tater tots–even if Jill cancelled, I would have shown up for my discounted gourmet food alone.

{NYC skyline from Jersey City}

{Blood orange margarita}

{Candy cane beet salad with fried goat cheese}

{Henry braised short rib with beans and an onion ring}

{Chocolate bread pudding with Nutella ice cream and cherry compote}

The trip was a success except for the fact that despite the networking event I still don’t have a job (turns out that at these things it tends to just be a lot of people who also don’t have jobs), and I did not see one Manzo or Laurita family member.