Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Franzone's pizza, in Plymouth Township, PA.
Their pizza is a work of art. Absolute brilliance.
The actual establishment is kind of homey. I mean, it's not some fancy restaurant where you're going to have someone show you to your seat and ask you whether you'd like the red or the white.
No. This is a little hole in the wall, almost impossible to find due to the fact that there is, apparently, more than one Franzone's pizza in the area. The formica tables are clean, however, and the joint just reeks of pizza sauce.
Oh tomatoey goodness.
Franzone's pizza is different - they put the sauce on top of the pizza. Which makes it carmelize. Which makes it sweet and yummy and full of the deliciousness.
It's not for the savory fans - it's much sweeter than many a pizza pie.
But SO worth it.
Go. Now. Go forth and partake in the deliciousness. Seriously...the picture doesn't do them justice.
I love you, little scrubby. I do.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
At least, I'm pretty sure he does. Everyday I go to work (I work at a pet-store, you can see my rants here, here, here, and here, something invariably winds up getting my panties into a twist.
One thing that really...REALLY bothers me is Fancy Feast canned cat food. Not only do I have to re-arrange the ENTIRE wall of Fancy Feast (what, you thought those cans re-arranged themselves? PFT all me kiddies...all me), but I have to explain the difference between marinated morsels and chunky. Grilled and roasted. Flaked and sliced. Gourmet and minced. They even have an Elegant Medleys line, with countless more varieties.
You get the drift.
Why the hell do we need all these options? I understand that cats like variety. But DAMN.
My biggest beef with Fancy Feast, however, is not the amount of options available to the consumer. No, that's not my issue at all - people love their pets, and they want to have as many options as possible to help care for them. See? I get it.
No world, my biggest problem with Fancy Feast is that IT'S HORRIBLE FOR YOUR CAT.
The majority of Fancy Feast products list some sort of by-product in the top five ingredients, which is a definate no-no. More on that later, though.
I'd say that the most condemning aspect of the food is that it doesn't offer a complete and nutritionally sound diet for cats. It's really high in calories (which means your precious Fluffy may be prone to weight gain), and what you're really paying for is water - since water makes up a good percentage of the content. Cats are carnivores people. They need meat. Lots of protein. That means lots of meat. And those meat by-products I mentioned earlier?
Urk. By-product, in case you didn't know, are the leftovers of the meat industry. Fancy Feast will usually list these as "meat by-products." Personally, I'd like to know what type of meat my cat is getting. If it's listed as "poultry by-products" you could, theorhetically, be feeding your cat pigeon beaks. Or seagull feet. Doesn't that sound yummy? By-products are the hooves, intestines, stomaches, bones, ears, blood, etc. that are left-over from the meat-producing industry. Slaughter-house crap that no one else will touch, basically.
All in all, it's not the most horrible food that's offered on the market, and it's great for people who have cats that
My recommendation? Use it as a topper on some dry food for kitty, if you have to. Dry food is also usually cheaper than wet food, on a monthly basis. I usually only spend about thirteen dollars a month on my cat food, and that's for the ultra-premium dry food. You'll also see a turd decrease - because it usually doesn't have as many fillers in it, a good quality dry food will usually produce less fecal matter because more of it is being absorbed by the cat's intestinal tract.
And who doesn't like scooping less?
Beware of any brightly-colored dry (and wet) foods though - they've usually got high amounts of food dye, and those can be bad for Fluffy.
Fancy Feast, unfortunately, fails in the dry-food category as well. Brewer's rice is the number one ingredient - that's leftover rice from the beer industry, in case you were wondering. Also, it's rice. You're feeding rice to your carnivore.
The point is, ALWAYS check your ingredients. You might be surprised at what you find - that shrimp feast you bought kitty may not even have shrimp in the top five ingredients (the ingredient list is sorted by weight).
I really like these foods, rather than Fancy Feast:
My top three dry foods (the wet foods in all three are pretty spiffy too, if you absolutely insist on wet food):
Wellness Core - Really awesome food. Jacked-up price though - be prepared to pay out the nose for this one. With a protein anaylsis of 50%, Core has one of the highest protein analysis that I've seen in cat food (excluding raw diets), and it's completely grain-free. All of the ingredients used are top-notch, however the steep price tag associated with it tends to put people off. We retail it for 11 dollars for a 2 lb. bag.
Innova Evo - We don't sell this food at my store, but I've heard good things about it. Visiting the website only solidified my opinion even further, and vetrinarians and consumers alike seem to love it. This one also features a 50% protein analysis. It's also grain-free, but also carries a hefty price tag.
Solid Gold Indigo Moon - This food has a 46% protein analysis, which puts it at the higher end of the spectrum. On the website it says that it's $10.89 per 4 lb. bag ($31.69 for a 15lb bag), but at our store it retails for 12.99 a bag, so be prepared for that (then again, I've been told our store is quite pricey). And notice...no by-products. My only beef with it is the kibble size - extremely small. So be warned about that. Out of the three, this one is the most economically friendly.
Bottom line? Even if you can't afford my top three (I'm a bit of a food snob, even when it comes to my animals, and I will fully admit it), make sure to read the ingredient list.
Look at the analysis on the back of the bag. Look at the ingredients. Some sort of recognizable meat should be the first ingredient. Stay away from too many fillers. And, if you feel like you're completely clueless, ask the sales associate - we're there to help you find the right food for you, not try to swindle you into buying the most expensive food on the market.
:) Have a nice day!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I know you're all stoked for it. Today's movie is Julie and Julia.
Some background on Julia Child and me.
My mother was a Julia Child fanatic. I remember growing up and watching her on WHYY, trying to figure out whether or not her voice really was that shrill. My mother would tell me stories about how she and her sisters (she has five sisters) would drive my grandmother nuts by watching that show (apparently grandmom isn't a fan).
So, it was with great anticipation that I decided to go see Julie and Julia. I grabbed my favorite movie partner (who is, of course, my loving Pookie...he was the only male in the audience), and off we went. I think we were the only people in there under forty, but hey, that's ok. I didn't care. I think Pookie was a little more disconcerted because he was surrounded by females.
In all honesty, it was ok. Not great. But, worth the ten bucks we spent to get in nonetheless. So, I rate it as a sucess. It's a light fun-hearted film with a gooey marshmellow center.
I like the way that the film was set up - it basically tells two people's stories simultaneously.
This layout provides the viewer with an insight on how one person's life can dramatically affect another's, without the two ever even having met.
The one complaint I have about the movie is that it leaned more towards Julie Powell's perspective. This kind of makes me wonder whether or not that was their intention all along - to make it from Powell's perspective and just put Julia in when needed. After all, Powell's husband tells her that it's the Julia in her head that's important, not the Julia in real life. Which makes me wonder if maybe the Julia portion of the film was supposed to be styled after what Powell thought of her.
However, the movie is quoted as being influenced from both Julie Powell's memoir and My Life in France, by Julia Child. So I'm probably just grasping at straws there. I'm guessing that the more likely explaination is that they decided to just do a movie about Child's life whist writing the book, and the line was unintentionally thought-provoking.
Meryl Streep's performance is pretty spiffy. The resemblence to Juilia Child is scarily accurate, and I'm pretty sure she must have spent a good bit of time pouring over The French Chef, along with all of Child's other televised performances. From her height in the movie (she easily towers over all the other characters) to the warbling of her voice, Streep does Child proud.
Amy Adams' performance was ok. It wasn't on the caliber of Meryl Streep's (that is, I never forgot that it was Amy Adams playing Powell), but it wasn't an altogether horrible performance either. Because honestly, let's face it, Amy Adams is freaking adorable in everything that she does. She's always reminded me of a little pixie.
So there you have it world. I rate the movie at three and a half stars. It was light, fluffy, and not a bad way to spend a rainy afternoon.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
So, for this most momentous occasion I figured that I'd do a review of a product that has lately consumed me. Well, it'll start out as a review of the company, but I'll get to the product part of it in a bit.
Recently, I discovered Lush. It's a store that recently opened up in the Christiana Mall (the mall nearest to me...most people in the area know of it because Delaware is sales-tax free). Mostly, I would just walk by the store and ignore it. honestly, I don't have time or money to spend on 'miracle' products that are supposed to somehow make my life better by fixing my complexion.
And then one day I got bored. And walked in. And the heavens opened up and sunlight bathed me in a warm glow and the angels sung and...well, you get it.
Ok. So it wasn't exactly like that. But it was pretty damn close. Lush has all their products displayed in a very home-grown sort of way. Tables hold gigantic blocks of soap, which can be cut and weighed to order. Solid bubble bath pieces (that's right, solid bubble bath) lay perfectly arranged on what appears to be cake plates. Mounds of bath bombs lay in containers lining the walls. Everything is handmade by the company in an ecologically friendly way.
In fact, a whole lot about the company is ecologically friendly. They advertise that they don't engage in animal testing, and that they use fresh ingredients.
Hey, I can get behind that. In addition to this, 100% of their products are vegetarian (70% of which are vegan), and the reason that a good majority of their products are solid (they even sell solid shampoo and massage oils) is because they want to try to cut down on packaging.
But are the products worth it? I can hardly be called an expert, but from what I've tried I've liked.
Specifically their Coalface cleanser. It's designed as a solid bar of soap that's made for the face.
And it is FANTASTIC. Seriously. I've fallen in love. My face tends to rebel against me and breakout whenever I switch my cleansers.
This didn't happen with Coalface. At all. It features charcoal in it, which supposedly helps draw out impurities. The company's official statement on Coalface reads thusly:
Removes impurities and tones combination skin
Who would have thought charcoal and liquorice could get along? One is tough and gritty, the other sweet and syrupy. But charcoal and liquorice could just be the odd couple of skin care, teaming up to fight oily, troubled skin in our Coalface cleanser. Powdered charcoal removes impurities and mildly exfoliates while liquorice heals naturally. Sandalwood oil tones the skin (and mediates should charcoal and liquorice disagree about anything).
Ok. So the description is a little cheesy. But results don't lie - I've been using the cleanser for about two weeks now, and my face always feel so nice and smooth and lovely when I get out of the shower, with no sign of dryness. Which makes me giddy. Which makes me start the day off positively.
Huh. Maybe there is something to the whole 'cosmetics = happiness' theory of thought after all.
To visit Lush, go to http://lush.com/
All images were used from Lush's website.
Monday, September 14, 2009
That's right world. I'm starting a review blog.
I'm sure I'm probably going about this all wrong. I'm sure that there's some guidebook on how to write a review. I think I've just about decided that I don't care.
That's right world. You heard me. I. Don't. Care.
I don't have any qualifications to do this. I'm not an expert in anything. Hell, I'm not even a shopaholic. But I do know I'm sick and tired of reading reviews from people who are experts. And I want an unbiased opinion when I read a review.
Hence the creation of this blog.
As for what this blog will be reviewing...well, simply everything.
I plan on reviewing EVERYTHING under the sun that I deem review-worthy.
Uh-huh. Nothing's off limits. Nothing's safe. This is the part where I start cackling and thunder and lightning cracks.
Watch out retailers of the world...watch out!