Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Not So Fast, Alligator...

Has it really been over a year since my last ad post?  Le sigh.  That brings us to Lacoste.
Obviously there's some specs appeal to be had here, but I took the time to tear out this page, scan it, e-mail it to myself, color-correct it in Pixlr (thanks, One Fine A!), and post it here...whew...because just look at that tag line. Unconventional chic.  

What's so unconventional here?  It's a Caucasian man and woman wearing solid-color polos--that cost about a C-note each.  And they're sporting glasses (albeit super-cool ones) that are not really too hard to find.  

Did I miss something?  Lacoste, are you being cheeky?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pre-Spring Cleaning: Kitchen

I spend a fair amount of time in my kitchen, especially on the weekends, when I tend to bake up some treats.  Through the week the microwave gets in on most of the culinary action.  It's always nice to take the time to tidy up the workhorse of the home, though.
On the daily I use tea tree all purpose spray cleaner from Common Good because it's eco-friendly and smells nice.  Usually it takes just a few sprays, which sit for 3-4 minutes, and then a quick swipe of a towel.  Ketchup dots, rogue powdered sugar, and toasty crumbs are drawn in like magnetism.
For the pots and pans, which I don't trust to the dishwasher, I use method's clementine-scented dish soap to get the job done.  Grease is no match for this stuff.
If I need just a teensy bit of abrasion on a cookie sheet or roasting pan, I turn to the power of baking soda.  It's super cheap and green.  (In fact, I just use boxes from my baking cabinet that are not so fresh any longer.)  Drip a bit of warm water on the surface of the dish, sprinkle generously with baking soda, and rub with your fingers.  Tah dah!

You can also use baking soda to clean the sink, faucet, and stovetop.  A quick lap with the vacuum, and I'm done!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Family Fang

After my recent design book reviews, I decided to shift gears back to the ol' novel.  As some of you may have seen on Ashley's weekly Need Read Greed post a few weeks back, The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson was on my list.
I have to say that I had such great hopes for this book.  Just look at that Wes Anderson-esque cover.  And it's primarily set in the Nashville area.  What could be better?  

The first two-thirds of the story kept my attention pretty well.  Parents Caleb and Camille Fang spend much of their children's youth setting up "art" in which their whole family creates some type of public spectacle to get a reaction from onlookers.  They're famous.  They're revered.  And they're terrible parents.

As the kids (Annie and Buster) grow up to pursue their own interests, a series of random events brings them back to their Tennessee roots.  And things just get more random from there.  Seemingly more lost as young adults, "A" and "B" struggle to comprehend their childhood while moving forward and being autonomous.  

The book is not without its fun moments and decent storytelling vignettes, but overall this plot just did not do it for me.  I kept waiting for something really stellar to happen, and it never did.  However, it definitely made me revisit my ideas about what constitutes art.  (The performance pieces described within the chapters don't make the cut for me.)  Although worth a lazy-day read, I won't be picking this one up again or strongly recommending it to others.  Based on a very quick Google search, it appears that Nicole Kidman is starring in and producing the movie adaptation, coming soon.  I'll probably Redbox it.  :)

Sample quote from the prologue:

Mr. and Mrs. Fang called it art.  Their children called it mischief.  "You make a mess and then you walk away from it," their daughter, Annie, told them.  "It's a lot more complicated than that, honey," Mrs. Fang said...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pre-Spring Cleaning: Bathroom

I'm in the midst of a no-spend first quarter yet again, and so far I give myself a grade of B.  A must-have night of skee ball at Dave & Buster's plus outrageously expensive gummy bears do not a resolution make.  Whoops.

But that got me to thinking about a quote I read somewhere.  Or I may have seen it on a rerun of The Nate Show.  Anywho, it goes something like this...It doesn't cost much to have a clean home.  I know this sounds awfully trite, but think about it.  You're hopefully following a regular cleaning regimen as it is, so you're already investing in cleaning supplies, even if they're minimal.

Not much is better than walking into a clean, fresh-smelling, and tidy place.  I know I've blogged about it before, but Sundays are typically my day to make this happen.  And I try to do so in the greenest way possible.  I thought I'd start a new lil' series about pre-spring cleaning.  What better place to start than the ol' bathroom?
I have oft proclaimed my love of method.  And these three products are some of my favorites.  I (try to) use the daily shower spray every time I step out of the shower to keep mold and mildew at bay.  The ylang ylang fragrance is quite nice, and it makes the whole room smell so fresh and so clean, clean.  Don't forget to spray the shower curtain liner, too.  It really does make a huge difference.

I use the antibac toilet bowl cleanser about every 2-3 weeks with a scrub brush.  And the bathroom cleaner spray is handy for the sink, faucets, and countertop.  
That spray, along with a plain ol' toothbrush, is also good to use as follows.  Pull the drain plug in the sink; spray the stopper, basin, and faucet.  Let it soak for about 5 minutes, and then use the brush to make everything sparkle.  Run hot water to rinse.  
About once a week I use these Scrubbing Bubbles flushable toilet pads (with reusable plastic wand), just to keep things hygienic.  (Does anyone remember Ally McBeal and the guy who liked a fresh bowl?) 
When I start to see pink and black spots creeping in to the tub/tile, I douse them with a bit of this Lysol Bathroom Cleaner.  Let stand for about 10 minutes, and use a heavy-duty brush.  Turn on some hot shower water and rinse clean.  Ahhh.

I also empty the bathroom trash and run the vacuum over the bathmat and floor.  Tah dah.  Sometimes I'll spray some glass cleaner on the mirror as well.  That's really about all it takes.  Normally I'll put in a load of laundry or some other chore while the cleaners are soaking and doing their thing.  I hope this little guide helps you scrub-a-dub.

What are some of your favorite products?