Monday, February 28, 2011

Victoria's Secret Wishlist

Victoria's Secret is known for is bras and lingerie, but you can find some really cute clothes and shoes there as well.

1. Silk Twist-sleeve Tee ($68)

2. Long-sleeve Dolman Tee ($39.50)

3. Belted Cowlneck Top ($48)

4. Full Skirt ($39.50)

5. Strapless Ruffle Party Dress ($88)

6. Luichiny Cross-front Wedge Sandal from Victoria's Secret ($139)

7. Colin Stuart Floral-print Pump ($68)

8. Steve Madden Jewel-embellished Sandal from Victoria's Secret ($90)

Oscar Wins 2011

4 Wins for King's Speech
1. Best Picture
2. Best Leading Role for an Actor - Colin Firth
3. Best Director - Tom Hooper
4. Best Original Screenplay - David Seidler

I haven't seen this movie yet, so I can't offer my opinion on how good/well deserved it is, but it is on my list of movies to see.

4 Wins for Inception
1. Best Sound Editing
2. Best Sound Mixing
3. Best Visual Effects
4. Best Cinematography

I saw this movie in the theater and then bought it on Blu-Ray. It is a great movie, really makes you think, but you have to watch it more than once. I feel it was well deserving of its Oscar wins

3 Wins for The Social Network
1. Best Adapted Screenplay - Aaron Sorkin
2. Best Film Editing
3. Best Original Score - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

I really loved this movie. I joined facebook when I was a sophomore in college, right at its beginnings (dates me huh?) so this movie represented something that I could directly relate to. As you know from my previous post, after I saw this movie, I went and bought the book. Its a really interesting story that applies to my generation as something that revolutionized it.

2 Wins for The Fighter
1. Best Supporting Actor - Christian Bale
2. Best Supporting Actress - Melissa Leo

I haven't seen this movie yet either, but did you see Christian Bale's acceptance speech? So sweet how he choked up when thanking his wife!

2 Wins for Alice in Wonderland
1. Best Art Direction
2. Best Costume Design

I saw this movie because I love anything with Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. You cannot go wrong with that combination. I thought that it was well deserving of the Art Direction and Costume Design Oscars.

2 Wins for Toy Story 3
1. Best Original Song - "We Belong Together" by Randy Newman
2. Best Animated Feature

I saw this movie and loved it. Its been 15 years since the first 2 Toy Story movies were out and I loved those movies growing up, so this movie took me back to a simpler place.

1 Win for Black Swan
1. Best Actress in a Lead Role - Natalie Portman

I haven't seen this movie yet (I can't convince the bf to go see a movie about the ballet) but with all its hype, I expected it to take home more Oscars. I guess we will see how my opinion changes once I see it.

1 Win for Wolfman
1. Best MakeUp

This movie was not a good movie in my opinion, though the makeup had to be amazing to produce it. I am just a bit surprised that it took home and Oscar.

Beauty Item I Crave

I love Urban Decay cosmetics (as you can guess by last weeks Beauty Item I Swear By). This pencil set is in honor of their 15 year anniversary and it is a great deal for some great colors. I just can't justify spending almost $100 on makeup in one shot.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

1 Week in Perspective

In honor of my 1 week blogging anniversary, I wanted to create a post that summed up just why I love blogging and to see if anyone else feels the same way!

1. As a recent graduate school graduate, I do not have tons of money. However, I have lots of desire for clothes. I often find myself "window shopping" websites, putting things in my cart, and then not buying them. Blogging lets me share with the world the things I would love to buy!

2. I also often have a strong reaction to a news story or event and no one around to share with. Blogging lets me share with whoever will listen!

3. Blogging lets me explore new websites that I would not normally find and make some great discoveries.

4. Finally, blogging lets me meet some great new friends!

Recipes of the Week

Sunday: Chicken Enchilada

2 cans chicken, shredded
1 can enchilada sauce
1 cup cheese of your choice
1 can of diced chilles
1 (8oz) package cream cheese
8 flour or corn tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 11x7-inch baking dish.

2. Blend together cream cheese, cheese, chilies, and enchilada sauce with a mixer until creamy. Stir in chicken. Spread over tortillas and place fold down in baking dish.

3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Monday: Chicken and Rice

       1     (16oz) can of Progresso Cream of Chicken Soup
     1     pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast
     1     box of Uncle Ben's wild rice

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9x13-inch dish with cooking spray.

2. Place chicken breasts in bottom of pan and add enough water to just coat the bottom.

3. Pour entire can of soup over the chicken breasts.

4. Cook for 30-45 minutes until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165°F.

5. Meanwhile, pour rice into a 2-quart stovetop sauce pan.

6. Add enough water to cover rice with about 1 inch over top of rice.

7. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and let rice cook until water is gone.

8. Place a chicken breast on a bed of rice and serve.

Tuesday: My Brother's Birthday

We will be going out where ever he chooses, probably hibachi

Wednesday: Buffalo Mac and Cheese from The Girl Who Ate Everything

7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound (16 oz) elbow macaroni 
1 small onion, finely chopped 
2 stalks celery, finely chopped 
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
3/4 cup Buffalo wing sauce (preferably Frank's. If you are worried about the heat factor add half the amount)
2 tablespoons  flour 
2 teaspoons dry mustard 
2 1/2 cups half-and-half 
1 pound (16 oz) yellow sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
                          8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups) 
                          2/3 cup sour cream 
                          1 cup panko breadcrumbs (found in the grocery store next to
                           regular breadcrumbs) 
                          1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese 
                          2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain. 

Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Then add 1/2 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute. 

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half and add the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth. 

Combine the chicken mixture, cooked pasta, and cheese sauce and toss to combine.

Put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday: Fettuccine Alfredo

 1 package Fettuccine noodles
 1 (4 oz) container Heavy Whipping Cream
 2 Tbls of butter
 1 and 1/2 cup parmesean cheese
 Italian Seasoning
 Black Pepper

1. Cook pasta until al dente and drain water.

2. Return pasta to warm pan.

3. Add butter, cream, cheese and seasonings to taste.

4. Stir until combined.

Friday: Tacos

1 box of hard shell tacos
2 pouches of taco seasoning mix
1 pound of ground beef
Sour Cream
Taco Sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cook ground beef in frying pan.

3. After beef is cooked add 2 pouches of seasoning mix to pan along with water.

4. Simmer in seasoning mix for 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile place taco shells on cookie sheet and cook until golden brown on edges

6. Add beef, cheese and other toppings to taco shells.

Saturday: Leftovers

Dessert: Red Velvet Cake - My brother's favorite for his birthday

  •  1/2 cup shortening
  •  1 1/2 cups white sugar
  •  2 eggs
  •  2 tablespoons cocoa
  •  4 tablespoons red food coloring
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1 cup buttermilk
  •  2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  •                               1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  •                               1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  •                               5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  •                               1 cup milk
  •                               1 cup white sugar
  •                               1 cup butter
  •                               1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Grease two 9 inch round pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Cream shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar WELL. Add eggs and beat well.
  3. Make a paste of cocoa and red food coloring. Add to creamed mixture. Mix salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla and buttermilk together. Add alternately the flour with the milk mixture to the creamed mixture. Mix soda and vinegar and FOLD INTO CAKE BATTER. DON'T BEAT OR STIR NOW.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. To Make Icing: Cook 5 Tablespoons flour and milk over low heat till thick, stirring constantly. LET COOL THOROUGHLY! While cooling, cream 1 cups sugar, butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat this well till light and fluffy. Add to flour mixture and beat until of a good spreading consistency.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Movie Review

This past week I rented two movies (this one and Cyrus - to see my review). I enjoy the guilty pleasure of a romantic comedy even if I know they aren't the most thought provoking. This movie follows two high school rivals that meet again when the popular one announces her engagement to the nerdy one's brother. To make matters worse, the popular girl's aunt and the nerdy girl's mom were rivals as well.

The movie overall held my attention through out. It followed the typical cliches that are found in romantic comedies, but I expect that out of a romantic comedy and want that when I pick that type of movie to watch. The only part that truly disappointed me was the ending.

Spoiler Alert!!!!

I did not like how suddenly the four girls became friends and how suddenly the brother forgave his fiancĂ©e. There was a lack of plot development between the big end fight and the making up. A several year rivalry is not going to just be OK because you catch the other girl eating cheese out of can.

Overall, I recommend this as a good romantic comedy, but do not have higher expectations than that.

Meet My Doggies

I have two very cute, sweet and loveable dogs. I don't know what I would do without them, and I spoil them way too much!


Peanut is a 4 year old black Lab mix. I found her at the pound 4 years ago as a puppy. She was part of a litter of 9 puppies and their mom who had been found abandoned. I instantly fell in love. She look like a little peanut as a puppy, hence the name.

However, she grew into a large, tall dog who appears to be mixed more with a Greyhound or Great Dane. She enjoys playing fetch, toys with squeakers and napping as much as possible!


Buddy is my boyfriend's dog and Peanut's best friend. He is a 4 year old Jack Russel mix who was also adopted from the pound. He was found wandering the road and had been abused. We took him in and rehabbed him and now he is a sweet, well adjusted dog. He still is a bit skittish, but he warms up to you quickly and loves a great belly rub!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Going Away Party

My beautiful cake!

The traditional signed frame that is given when you leave.

Steve tries on my bag!

The lab had a party last night to celebrate my last days here in the lab before I move on to my new job. It was a great time with some great friends/co-workers who will be missed!

Book Review

The Facebook Effect
by: David Kirkpatrick

After watching The Social Network, I was interested in learning more about the story behind the beginnings of  Facebook. I remember when I set up my profile in my sophomore year of college, and I have been loving it ever since. I heard that the book by David Kirkpatrick was a more accurate account of the story behind Facebook than The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich which is the book from which the movie is actually based so I choose to read The Facebook Effect.

The inside story of Facebook, told with the full, exclusive cooperation of founder Mark Zuckerberg and the company's other leaders.
IN LITTLE MORE THAN HALF A DECADE, Facebook has gone from a dorm-room novelty to a company with 500 million users. It is one of the fastest growing companies in history, an essential part of the social life not only of teenagers but hundreds of millions of adults worldwide. As Facebook spreads around the globe, it creates surprising effects even becoming instrumental in political protests from Colombia to Iran.
Veteran technology reporter David Kirkpatrick had the full cooperation of Facebook s key executives in researching this fascinating history of the company and its impact on our lives. Kirkpatrick tells us how Facebook was created, why it has flourished, and where it is going next. He chronicles its successes and missteps, and gives readers the most complete assessment anywhere of founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the central figure in the company s remarkable ascent. This is the Facebook story that can be found nowhere else.
How did a nineteen-year-old Harvard student create a company that has transformed the Internet and how did he grow it to its current enormous size? Kirkpatrick shows how Zuckerberg steadfastly refused to compromise his vision, insistently focusing on growth over profits and preaching that Facebook must dominate (his word) communication on the Internet. In the process, he and a small group of key executives have created a company that has changed social life in the United States and elsewhere, a company that has become a ubiquitous presence in marketing, altering politics, business, and even our sense of our own identity. This is the Facebook Effect.

My Review:

I enjoyed digging deeper into the business behind one of the most popular sites on the internet today. Facebook is closely associated with college for me and a way that I am able to keep up with friends who have moved away. I also love learning more about the behind the scenes of things I am interested in. This book delved into the way that Facebook was started in the Harvard dorm and how it moved out to California and grew. Learning about the decisions that Mark Zukerberg made in the course of the business as an accidental CEO helped me understand the changes that Facebook as gone through over the years and took me down memory lane. If not for the personal relation to this story, this would not be a book I would have typically enjoyed because it is focused much more on the business aspects of the company than on the changes that occurred to the site or the personal feelings of Mark Zuckerberg.

Overall, I recommend this book if you are into business or if you, like me, want to learn more of how Facebook came to be. Don't expect this to be a more detailed account of the movie.

Hot Topics In Science Week of 2/20/2011

The news reported this week that are science related that I found interesting.

Image from BBC
Spice Drug Fights Stroke - Tumeric is a component of Indian curry and has been known for awhile to have health benefits. Only recently has researchers began to discover ways to make drugs out of this compound. In this report, the component of tumeric, curcumin was modified to cross the blood brain barrier and is effective up to 3 hours after a stroke in repairing four of the signaling pathways damaged in stroke cases. 

In my opinion, the use of tumeric as a potential source to create drugs provides a two fold benefit, providing new drugs and increasing interest in "natural" substances. Some natural substances may provide great health benefits, but without the studies behind them regarding their safety and efficacy they should not be taken without caution.
Image from BBC

This study found that the medial prefrontal cortex is the area involved in state dependent heroin relapse. When rats were given heroin, allowed to rehab, and then given inhibitors to this area of the brain and exposed to heroin again, then did not take the heroin. This same mechanism does not apply to cocaine as cocaine relapse acts differently.

There are a few issues with this study in my opinion. First, it only applys to heroin in rats which needs to be remembered. Humans are often on several drugs at once and finding a brain area for relapse in all of them will take some time. Also, I am not sure that this suggests lack of relapse or lack of liking for the heroin which are two different things. That being said, anyone who has ever been addicted to anything (even cigarettes or coffee), knows the power of relapse and finding a way to lessen this power would be great.

Image from
K. Ma/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Genezyme, a biotech company known for designing drugs and other therapies for rare diseases has signed a deal with the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis. This is a $20 billion deal and the largest deal in 2 years. 

Concerns with large pharmaceutical companies acquiring small (or not so small in the case of Genezyme) biotech companies include the conflict of interest that can occur in instances of this. The small biotechs now have to answer to the desires of the pharmaceutical company which narrows the research field for different diseases. This does provide an avenue for small biotechs which may have great idea but lack resources to create items they would not have normally been able to design.

Image from AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A

In Patancheru India, large amounts of antibiotics were found dumbed in the rivers. These antibiotics are being discarded as waste and then they build up in the drinking supply and create bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. 

This is a huge concern currently in America, and even though this study was done in India, it could have far reaching effects.  Bacteria are capable of becoming resistant to the available antibiotics more quickly than we can design new ones and this is causing a rise in things such as MRSA. If this continues unchecked, more and more diseases will be antibiotic resistant and an increase in deaths will occur. We need to realize that bacteria are more efficient at what they do than we are at defeating them and we need to figure out a way to outsmart them.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Forever 21 Sale

Forever 21 is having a Grab and Go Sale today and these are my picks for the sale. What are you thinking about?

1. Casual Callings Knit Top (Originally $17.80; On Sale for $8.99)

2. Abstract Animal Print Top (Originally $15.80; On Sale for $12.64)

3. Pintuck Pleated Top (Originally $17.00; On Sale for $14.24)

4. Striped Sweater Tunic (Originally $14.00; On Sale for $6.99)

5. Striped Angora Blend Sweater (Originally $24.80; On Sale for $12.99)

6. Floral Handkerchief Skirt (Originally 27.80; On Sale for $13.99)

7. Plaid Skirt (Originally $18.90; On Sale for $9.99)

8. Harness Cowgirl Boots (Originally $32.80; On Sale for 16.99)

9. Suedette Open Toe Heels (Originally $25.80; On Sale for $13.99)

How I Keep My Life In Order

by momAgenda $23.40

Being a postdoc is busy enough. Add to that my love for cooking and fashion and my serious attempts at being more active, and I need a planner that can keep up with the task. I still love having a planner that you can actually see and carry around, I haven't switched over to the planner on my Palm. There is something more tangible about holding it in your hand. The myAgenda from momAgenda is perfect for keeping up with my life and so cute. I currently have the pink one, but they come in several colors to meet your style desires.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Restaurant Review

With all the great restaurants located in Athens, I am making an active attempt at visiting as many as I can. I will share my experience with you guys so that you don't miss out on some great places!

Located in the Bottleworks on Prince Ave.

Address: 227 Prince Ave. Athens, GA 30601

Phone: (706) 543-5514
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11a-9p; Fri-Say 11a-10p

 I went here on a Friday night with a group of friends. This place is known for its wide selection of meat choices (Elk, Venison, Alligator to name a few) in mini burger forms. The mini burger (3oz) is a great way to try several meats at once, but is too small to be considered a meal. When we went (6:30), it was busy but not so busy that you couldn't get a table for 6. The one draw back is they didn't renew their liquor licence, so no adult beverages. Amongst our group, we tried several of the premium and exotic meats.

Gator - wasn't well received due to the onions mixed in. The member of our group who had tried gator before  thought the previous gator was much better.

Bison - tasted like a regular burger.

Elk - really moist and juicy, worth the money!

Tuna - a bit dry and lacking in flavor.

Duck - tasted like a regular burger.

Overall, the place had a nice atmosphere, but the exotic meats were not worth the money in burger form. The curly fries and onion rings were great and the Cobb salad with ranch dressing was very delicious. This place is a nice relaxing place to grab a small burger or salad, but don't expect to be blown away by the meats.