Monthly Archives: December 2009

FOOD - "The Delicious" - Homemade

Dancing makes you hungry

December 24, 2009


Happy Holidays people!! Hope everyone is having a lovely break right now.

So, I’m in Chicago for a family wedding, and everyone’s in super dance practice mode. Which basically means I have all of 1.5 days to learn my parts. Story of my life.

ANYWAY. My friend Shafaq knows just what motivates me, so she sent me a pic of her post-practice meal:



A (healthy) midnight snack of sliced asiago peppercorn sour dough bread, scrambled eggs and turkey, topped vine ripe tomatoes cooked on the stove and sprinkled with basil, olive oil, and chalula Mexican sauce; side of arugula with balsamic vinegarette.

I think I’m ready for a second round :)

I know she is…

Guess. just guess.


FOOD - "The Delicious" - Japanese - Tea/Drinks

Tea and sugary things at Cha An tea house – East Village

December 21, 2009

Darjeeling tea

Darjeeling tea

My friend Marie recently introduced me to a hidden oasis — Japanese tea house in the East Village, Cha An. It’s really easy to pass right by it since it’s perched on the second floor of the building. But climb up a flight of steps and the dimly-lit tea house is perfect for an intimate get together.

They offer appetizers, desserts, and a full tea menu. We had chocolate-filled mochi balls with tea. If you’re not a fan of dessert of the sticky textures, you should probably skip the mochi and opt for their ice cream instead.



Chai Latte

Chai Latte

Very cozy and cute place. Only thing is, not all the drinks are exactly cheap. Prices start at about $5, which includes a pot full of tea for most. Though, my one cup of chai latte was $8! It was good, but paired with the ambiance is probably what makes it worth it. For most.

Restaurant Info:
Cha An Japanese Tea House

230 E. 9th St. 2ND FL.
New York, NY 10003
East Village


Beauty - "The Lovely" - Beauty Tip of the Day - Hair - Spas and Salons

Winter hair tips from new Chicago salon, Sparrow


New Chicago salon, Sparrow, located in Logan Square, has been creating buzz since owners Bathsheba Nemerovski and Susan Flaga opened its doors earlier this year. Already receiving praise from The New York Times, Chicago Reader, and InStyle, the salon also has their own indie following, including artists and musicians like Wilco frontman, Jeff Tweedy.

After leaving Sine Qua Non salon where they met, they stumbled upon a 120-year-old building, and former barbershop space.

Stylist and co-owner of Sparrow, Susan Flaga

Stylist and co-owner of Sparrow, Susan Flaga

Stylist and co-owner of Sparrow, Bathsheba Nemerovski

Stylist and co-owner of Sparrow, Bathsheba Nemerovski

“I don’t know what made Susan call the number in the front because this place really wasn’t anything to look at,” Nemerovski said. “It was really old and decrepit. We called it the murder hole.

‘But we saw the tin ceiling and the brick wall, and we realized there was potential in the space and location.”

“That was it,” Flaga adds. “From there it was just like, Let’s go.”

Combining the vintage elements they found in the shambles (including a salon chair that was part of the old babershop) and adding on their own new fixtures (chandeliers and hand-made wall dividers), they seemed to transform the space using a philosophy similar to their approach to hair: working with natural textures to create a more updated, modern style.

“We cater to people looking for low-maintenance cuts,” says Nemerovski. “We’re not a downtown salon interested in doing crazy, angled Vidal Sassoon looks.”

“We really consider what people look like, and even the sense of balance and shape of the face,” says Flaga, “That’s our priority.”

Sparrow exclusively carries UMI as well as Kevin.Murphy products

Sparrow exclusively carries UMI as well as Kevin.Murphy products

And who better to ask to give us their best winter hair care tips than seasoned stylists who live and breathe the (cold!) Windy City? Here are some of Bathsheba’s and Susan’s favorite winter tips and products:

  • Use a heat protecting leave-in before blow drying or flat ironing, such as Kevin.Murphy Leave-In Protection, and prolong your blowdry by using a dry shampoo, like Umi Powder.
  • Beat winter static with Kevin Murphy’s delicious “Staying Alive” . “This Super light spray conditioner not only seems to repair damaged or color-treated hair, it has the most fantastic smell ever! ever!” says Flaga. “It’s so versatile, I use it on every head.”
  • Use a clarifying shampoo to remove impurities once a week. Follow with a moisturizing shampoo and deep conditioner such as Kevin.Murphy Born Again. Your dry winter hair will feel much better, ” says Nemerovski.
  • For healthy, shiny hair, use argan oil. “Moroccan oil is really blowing my mind right now. I still don’t understand it, but this thick combination of oils, including linseed and argan oil, makes even the finest hair weightlessly silky and straight,” says Flaga. “It’s also perfect for effortlessly taming course, wild manes.”
  • The key to adding volume is a mix of the right products and how you blowdry. “Use a thickening product and blow drying up from the root I use a paddle brush wrap hair around head, instead of going insane with a round brush — it’s a lot easier than just going crazy with a round brush.” advises Nemrovski. “I also love Umi Foam (we’re the only salon in Chicago that carries it). It’s not only super volumizing, but also very moisturizing.
  • Salon Info:

    2545 N. Milwaukee Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60647
    Logan Square

    Price range: Men’s cuts, $56; Women’s cuts $66; Single process color, $80+; Highlights, $100+.


    All photos by Shyema Azam

    Inspiration of the Day - MUSIC - RANDOM

    My feel good Song of the Day

    December 20, 2009

    The Prodigy – Stand Up

    Anyone else snowed in??

    What a perfect weekend to lounge around at home, catch up on reading, episodes of Lost, and music, yeah?

    Ok fine. The snow is just an excuse to take advantage of my loserness. Sigh.



    Beautifully Delicious Links, 12/18/09

    December 18, 2009

    Is snail secretion the next magic beauty ingredient? Photo Credit: Jiri Bohdal

    Is snail secretion the next magic beauty ingredient? Photo Credit: Jiri Bohdal

    BATF Avatar

    Happy Friday! I’m sorry I’ve been slacking this week — my circadian rhythms have still not caught up from my whirlwind trip. I promise more beauty and feasting next week! Until then…..

  • Is snail secretion the next IT beauty ingredient? – StyeList
  • The new Domino’s recipe — good or bad? – Slice
  • 4 Tips for Flawless Foundation – BellaSugar
  • General Mills to cut down on sugar in kids’ cereals –
  • The new pill that can give you curly hair — who said you curly heads get no love?– College Candy
  • The 10 best cookbooks of 2009 – Serious Eats
  • The product that will make your skin look airbrushed in your holiday pics – Glamour’s The Girl’s in the Beauty Closet
  • RECIPE: Mediterranean Poached Eggs – Serious Eats
  • x

    American - Breakfast/Brunch - Burger Guy - FOOD - "The Delicious"

    The Elephant & Castle fail.

    December 17, 2009

    One of my friends (the same one who reviewed RARE for us) was super hyped up to check out this brunch place in the West Village. His thoughts? Check it:

    On Saturday, we went to this place Elephant & Castle which has ridiculously good reviews on Yelp and long lines for brunch. It’s supposedly THE brunch place in the West Village.

    So, basically in our group, some people were whelmed but most were underwhelmed by the taste and portion size. The hashbrowns were OK, but everything tasted kind of healthy and bland.

    Avocado and Wild Mushrooms, and Toasted English Muffin, $11.50

    Avocado and Wild Mushrooms, and Toasted English Muffin, $11.50

    Canyonland Poached Eggs, with Balsamic Jus, Fresh Tarragon, Tomatoes, $11.50

    Canyonland Poached Eggs, with Balsamic Jus, Fresh Tarragon, Tomatoes, $11.50

    Yukon Brunch with Country Eggs, Spinach Puree, Hash Browns and Grilled Tomatoes, $12

    Yukon Brunch with Country Eggs, Spinach Puree, Hash Browns and Grilled Tomatoes, $12

    OH, the only great thing was the hot chocolate which is thin but somehow retains a very rich chocolatey flavor. It also comes out in a bowl.

    Overall, this place was really meh. Especially considering we waited an hour to get a table since there were a bunch of people before us and our group had nine people.

    Also, no cute waitress. WTF.

    Restaurant Info:
    Elephant & Castle

    68 Greenwich Ave
    (between 11th St & S 7th Ave)
    New York, NY 10011
    West Village