Ooh, my favorite!

Come back, GT Dave!
June 30, 2010, 6:38 pm
Filed under: Beauty, Clean, Health

GT Dave’s Mango Kombucha, and my traffic cone orange nails.

Hi, my name is Natira and I am a ‘buchaholic. It started casually enough; I’d have a sip here and there if it was around, but before I knew it I was sneaking off to buy a bottle for myself. Then pretty soon that wasn’t enough – I wanted one before lunch, then again pre work-out…but then there was also the post work-out craving. It’s euphoric: the thirst quenching effervescence, the gorgeous array of fruit flavors, the wonderfully clean feeling. Suddenly I was in need of a separate budget item just for this little elixir. I needed help and I knew it. Now I’m down to a bottle a day, but I’ll always want just one more sip….

Recently GT Dave has voluntarily recalled his Kombucha to re-evaluate the alcohol levels that are on the label. Since the drink is fermented it has slight levels (currently labeled at .5%), but that level may be higher since it may continue to ferment during shipping.

I’m DYING! I can’t find it anywhere. I haven’t had a soda in years, I can’t take all the sugar corn syrup, but I crave carbonation. More alcohol or not, Kombucha is an amazing drink to health and balance and I can’t do without it and its natural fizziness. I’ve tried four, count ’em f-o-u-r different Kombucha brands this past week and they are all a joke. Excuse me, but why would you pasteurize your Kombucha? Oh yeah, and why would you add sweetener? No. Nice try, but that’s not what Komucha is and that is not a drink to health. Puh-leeeze hurry back GT Dave!

The benefits of GT Dave’s raw Kombucha are seemingly endless, and once you get past the strong taste you’ll start helping your body live a cleaner life. (I always feel like those little scrubby bubble guys from the commercial are washing through my body after every drink. You really do feel nice and clean afterward, and no it’s not a buzz from the alcohol.)

Some of my favorite facts about Kombucha:

  1. It’s a living culture of mico-organisms that’s fermented in order to produce a bevy of goodness for your body to restore a natural balance. Some of the goodies include amino acids, enzymes, probiotics, polyphenols, and antioxidants. Bottom line: good for the tummy, immune system, and skin!
  2. It’s a raw food. It hasn’t been heated or pasteurized, so it retains all of its nutrients.
  3. It’s organic! No icky preservatives or sprays on anything added to the bottle. In fact, the presence of the antioxidants in the body that comes from drinking Kombucha can help eliminate free-radicals that are present in the body (from pesticides and preservatives in the typical Western diet).
  4. It’s a glass bottle. No BPA leached here.

I strongly believe in the benefits of Kombucha, and the ability it has to help our bodies fight off the potential for cancerous growth. When we talk about cancer prevention this is one for the arsenal. If you’re new to Kombucha I recommend starting with the Multi-Green flavor. It’s not as intense as some other flavors, so once you get used to that you can move on to my favorites: Mango, Strawberry, and Gingerberry. Who knows, maybe I’ll be seeing you in ‘buchaholics anonymous.

I’m baaack
June 30, 2010, 11:48 am
Filed under: Personal, Shoes

My annual holiday with mom is over just as it began, and I still can’t believe how quickly it came and went. It’s a week OFF of exercise, and a week ON for shopping, eating, movies, and relaxing. We got into lots of trouble in and around town, and even hopped over to see Toy Story 3 at the Metreon. It was as wonderful as I expected; so sweet and funny.

Barney’s was having one of their big shoe sales, so mom treated me to these adorable Chloe platform wedge sneakers! I love, love, love them. I’ve already worn them a few times since last week and they’re amazing. We poked around Neiman’s and Saks too, but didn’t really find much. (There seemed to be a lot more online for the Neiman Marcus sale.)

It was the perfect holiday with my best friend. (I’m already counting down the days for the next one.) I’m still sifting through our pics from our adventures, so I’ll have plenty to share over the next week. Glad to be back!

Gone eatin’
June 24, 2010, 5:53 am
Filed under: Food, Personal

Image via we heart it

Hi friends! Mom’s down from Seattle, so I’m taking a few days off for a killer summer holiday. And yes, I sent mom a food itinerary a few weeks ago and I spent the evening getting the snacks ready. On the home front we have roasted and marinated eggplant, walnut pesto, herbed goat cheese, and flatbread for post flight snacking this afternoon. (What would I do without Deb @ Smitten Kitchen?!) As for our restaurant adventures I’ll keep that a surprise until I have pics to share.

Hope you have some lovely plans ahead of you. Be back next week!

Food errands
June 22, 2010, 2:15 pm
Filed under: Farmer's Market, Food

Rainier cherries are here! But only until early next week according to my friend at the Ferry Building farmer’s market. Funny, I remember the season being a lot longer when I was in Seattle, but it makes sense since they’re grown in Eastern WA; the best ones are anyway.

You can’t miss ’em, they’re a gorgeous golden-yellow with a rosy red blush. But as beautiful as they look they taste even better, especially cold from the fridge (for me at least). They’re very delicate, and even more temperamental during the growing and harvesting process which is why they’re typically about $5-6 a pound. They’ve been known to go for $1 a piece in Japan!

I usually have a hard time finding organic ones, but today at the market there were tons. If you haven’t yet gotten yours, or if you’ve never had them you must run to get some now! Trust me on this.

Aside from the cherries I had to stock up on some produce since I didn’t make it to the Alemany market on Saturday. Mom’s coming in for a visit this week so I wanted to be sure to have some goodies on hand. I had my list, but of course got a few extras too…

Let’s see, from the top left we have parsley, Asian eggplants, gypsy peppers, English peas, carrots, field greens, Bing cherries, Rainier cherries, peaches, plums, heirloom tomatoes, spring onions. All organic, all for about $35.  Not bad, I say! Oh yeah, I snuck over to Miette and got some strawberry and pistachio macaroons for later.

There aren’t any food vendors on Tuesday’s, and I was really, really hungry. The usual big salad for lunch just wasn’t going to cut it, so I decided to stop by The Sentinel on the way home. Just a quick take-away gourmet sandwich stop (from Dennis Leary of Canteen) I decided on the lamb and feta meatball sammie with a spicy tomato sauce, mushroom soup, and an oatmeal cookie. I saved that giant roll for another day, but it looks really good.

The soup was delicious – a richly fragrant mushroom taste with a bit of tang behind the creamy texture. The sammie was good too. The lamb was tasty and well seasoned, but the tomato sauce wasn’t as spicy as I’d hoped. Regardless, it was still a lovely lunch on the run. Oh yeah, the pickle was killer! I have half of everything left for dinner afternoon snack.

Summer Solstice
June 21, 2010, 12:51 pm
Filed under: Nature, Photography, Simply Amazing

Live it up! Today is the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. If only the weather knew this and was just a touch warmer.

I figured a good way to celebrate the sun setting at 8:34 PM here in SF was with some lovely images from National Geographic. (Seattle’s sunset time is 9:10 PM, you lucky dogs.)

See what time sunset will be in your city here.

Instabilities in the sun’s magnetic field led to an explosion visible as a loop in the lower left.

Plasma pushes and drags magnetic fields into lines that cause these loops that can reach as high as ten earths.

A quiet day on the surface of the sun, no storms, just these lovely loops.

June 21, 2010, 9:30 am
Filed under: Food, Smile, Sweets

I love Bakerella! She never ceases to amaze me with her gorgeous Cake Pops and desserts. I often dream about finding the courage to attempt to recreate these on my own, but my past experiences with cooking/baking disasters has me a bit weary; I can’t help it, I am a complete grouch when my culinary adventures don’t pan out. Her Pop Stars section does give hope since it showcases submissions from her readers. Another great resource (and confidence booster) will be her first cookbook that’s due to hit shelves in September. Hmm, maybe during Christmas cookie season I’ll set a goal to sneak these in the rotation.

Her latest creation celebrates the release of Toy Story 3 and once again she nailed it. How perfect do Mr. Potato Head and Hamm look in cake form?! Brilliant, I say.

Take a peek below at some of her other pops that I call my favorites. (Hello Kitty! and Winnie the Pooh!) And be sure to check out her wonderful site for instructions on each of the pops.

Toy Story 3, Mr. Potato Head

Toy Story 3, Hamm

Hello Kitty!

Sesame Street

Winnie the Pooh with a pot of Hunny

Frosty the Snowman

Happy Father’s Day
June 20, 2010, 9:17 am
Filed under: Personal

Happy Father’s Day Daddee!

If I was home today I would…

Get you a new Koi for your pond since Bertha kicked the bucket last time I was home…

Image via flickr: miichan

…I would make you these yummy steak sandwiches…

Image via Smitten Kitchen (a favorite!)

…and this yummy looking apple tart with rum sauce…

Image via Whisk Blog (a favorite!)

…and watch you play an old Zelda game and read from the guidebook.

Image via Zelda Dungeon
Image via we heart it

Love you so much Dad!!

Baggu bags
June 17, 2010, 12:17 pm
Filed under: Clean, Farmer's Market, Green, Home

I love my Baggu grocery bags. They’re completely functional (they hold a ton of stuff), durable (holds 50 lbs.), and most fun of all they’re gorgeous. I’ve mentioned before that when I first started bringing my own grocery bags I needed a bit of an incentive to remember them each time. I found these Baggu’s, in their rainbow of colors and knew that I’d almost never be able to leave them behind. Come on, a fashion statement while shopping…fun, right? Well, it worked; I rarely ever forget my bags and I always get lots of compliments on them.

Aside from my rainbow of grocery bags, I also have a small collection of their mesh produce bags, which I ADORE! They’re a light nylon mesh that comes in small or large sizes, so they’re the perfect accessory for farmer’s market or grocery store shopping. I just throw a few in my grocery bag and I’m off to the market. They’re especially useful at the market with the loose produce like brussel sprouts or baby potatoes.

I’m going to get a bit catty here, but it drives me crazy when I see people grabbing plastic produce bags and throwing two lemons or an onion in. I’m sorry dear friend, but where do you think that plastic ends up at the end of the day? There’s absolutely no reason to house any of your produce in a plastic bag. I say go bag-less, or grab a set of these wonderful produce bags!

Visit Baggu online and check out they’re wonderful line of reusable bags.

Grocery bag: $8.00 each / 3, 4, or 5 bags $7.50 each / 6 or more $6.50 each

Small produce bag: $3.00 each

Large produce bag: $4.00 each

Design crush: Sweden apartment
June 16, 2010, 8:34 am
Filed under: Home, Organization

We’ve been in our apartment since January, but I’m still sorting through our stuff in at attempt to purge all things unnecessary and cluttery. It’s an endless task it seems, continually organizing and then re-organizing what you just organized, but somehow it’s great fun. I’m constantly amazed and inspired by Swiss interior design philosophies. How do they do it? Always so clean and slick, but still so vibrant and comforting. I love the stark white with the pops of bright color.

Check out these pics for my latest inspiration and click through to see more. I can’t get enough pink lately, so I’m totally crushing on the couch, and I’m also loving the dreamy bedroom wallpaper. All the natural lighting throughout is key too! (And, how great is that rooftop deck.)

[via DigsDigs, images too]

June 15, 2010, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Gift guide, San Francisco

Do you remember walking into the toy store when you were young, and the wave of euphoria that would come over you as you eyed the zillions of potential items you’d have to first test out, and then decide which you wanted to persuade mom and dad to take home with you? I haven’t felt that way forever, and I’d kind of forgotten about that feeling until we went for a little Sunday trip to Japantown’s New People center.

New People is a gorgeous glass front, three story building in the heart of Japantown that boasts all things J-Pop–and not just the typical kitschy trinkets you often associate with Japanese  culture–but really cool and interesting toys that you won’t find just anywhere.

The building hosts a cinema that screens contemporary Japanese films, a small cafe serving Blue Bottle Coffee and Delica snacks, a retail space with Gothic Lolita and other Harajuku-style clothing and accessories, and the New People Store, which is where I had my flashback. Now that I think back, my sweetie and I must have looked insane, or maybe I’d even venture to say rabid with giddiness. We’d each go our separate way for a minute, then attempt to casually stroll back (when what I really wanted to do was run) to take turns showing each other what we’d found. We did this for a good hour.

One of the toys that caught my eye was the Aerobase “micro MUSEUM series” models that you assemble from pre-cut parts on a sheet of paper or metal.  They’re tiny, tiny but so cool. The perfect gift for model lovers, but it’d really be a great little project for anyone since not all of the kits are super intense.

Image via New People

Image via Aerobase

I was dying to sneak in a few pics, but they’re pretty explicit about cameras in the stores. (The packaging on some of the stuff was gorgeous!) It would have been a bit overwhelming anyway, I would have left with a ton of pics, and of course not being able to pick a few, I probably would have posted them all. Really, there was that much cool stuff! In the end, here’s a pic of the goody bag we took home. We really did a good job in practicing restraint and left with a few gifts for friends.

Our goody bag!

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