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Leticia’s Recent Favorites November 20, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Haphazard, Places, Things.
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Recently Oprah has done her Favorite Things episode. So I finally decided to my Favorites Thing post, but I’ve been thinking about it for awhile. Unfortunately for you I’m not giving anything away, I’m just going to talk about things I’ve discovered and enjoyed these past few weeks.

  • I have rediscovered Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula: This makes your skin feel like butter and makes you smell like a chocolate bar. And it’s very light too, I don’t smell like a bakery or a garden of flowers. And it’s cheap, under $4 at most places like Target or Wal-Mart.
  • Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Soap: I really hate to buy anything with harsh Sulfate detergents, and something in my mind feels like the more cocoa butter products I use the softer I will be… I’m working towards being a silky cloud.
  • Thai Square: I LOVE Thai food and if you have intelligent taste buds you do, too. I love the combination of flavors: sour, salty, sweet and spicy. Most people try Pad Thai first (noodles with eggs, scallions, peanuts, and a choice of meat) but there is SO much more to Thai food than that. This place is all about the food, a ‘hole-in-the-wall’ you could say. It’s not about design and overdressed tables and snooty waiters like other Americanized Thai food restaurants.
  • Rodrigo y Gabriela: Their album 11:11 is amazing. Two guitarists, all acoustics with some use of distortion. They are truly a talented pair, and it’s all about the music, there are no lyrics… so when you listen you can create your own poetry, your own thoughts and design the song for the moment you are living. Plus, they are fantastic live. If you don’t want to dish out $9.99 for the album, check them out on YouTube… and you can start off with my favorite song on the album.
  • V8 Fusion, now in cans! I always have this vision that I’m going to fill some of my water bottles with juice and I never do… mostly because I’m too lazy, and I don’t want to ruin perfectly good water bottles because I forgot to wash out all the juice. I’m not a filthy person, I’m just trying to avoid the inevitable. I’m kind of sad that they don’t come in my favorite flavors yet… but if you like Strawberry Banana (yuck) or Pomegranate Blueberry (good, but a little strong for me) you should go buy some. It’s much healthier than soda or fake fruit juices, and be sure to recycle the can when you’re done.
  • Modern Family: I saw advertisements for this show a few times on Hulu, but I kept putting it off. If I hadn’t put it off for so long… I would’ve been much happier long ago! This show reminds me a lot of Arrested Development, even down to the black and orange title. If you are a fan of comedy, dysfunctional families, and thoroughly enjoy references to weird things that happen in everyday life… you need to watch this. I’m not very good at catching a series at their scheduled time; I’m one of those Netflix/Hulu people that catch up with episodes later… but if you have the time watch this on ABC, Wednesdays at 9pm.

This isn’t the most thorough of reviews lists… these are just a handful of recent favorites. Maybe I’ll make a products year in review, my favorite things for all of 2010. I can probably do this after I copy Mrs. Simmons’ best brownies in the universe (I dubbed them that name, because they truly are!) recipe and purchasing Pureology shampoo and conditioner. My tired, Saturday afternoon post is over now. Enjoy the leaves!

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“Finally My Saviour is Here” November 12, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Haphazard, Things.
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There are few things I love better than live music. Unfortunately  I have zero talents for singing or playing any sort of instrument, but I do have ears that could listen for hours to any and all music (except Country, that’s where I draw the line).

I have been waiting to see La Roux since I first discovered her song, “Bulletproof” on a drive to work, a peppy Spring day, with the windows down and the radio up. Her voice and the sound was unlike a lot of other music on the pop scene these days, and fans of classic rock, glamorous 80s and other eccentric music desperately needed to be saved from the Lady Gaga’s infesting the radio. I know that sounds harsh, but it is what it is. I had been waiting to hear music that really tugged at my musical heart strings, because I’d practically exhausted all the tunes from the 50s-90s and I needed something new to make me happy and La Roux was and IS the perfect fit.

I can’t even put into words how much I adore her. She is beautiful. Her style is original and impeccable. Her personality, at least in interviews, seems genuine and quite hilarious. It’s borderline crazy how obsessed I am with her, so I’m not going to dig myself a hole and delve into it further. But hey, everyone has these healthy obsessions, right?

Needless to say, after I bought the album, loved every song, and listened to the album for two months straight (maybe longer, and I wouldn’t even click the FM/AM button) I was anxious to see her live! I heard she was scheduled to perform at 9:30 club, but the show had been cancelled, sold out and rescheduled… so when I saw she was going to be in Baltimore at Ram’s Head Live I bought them right away! The show ended up being cancelled as well, because she had been sick with bronchitis. So essentially, I had waited since June to see her, and finally saw her on Sunday, November 7th.

La Roux's Elly Jackson

Blurred La Roux

I took very few pictures because I was dancing/singing the entire time. Except when I stopped to record her cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb”, which is awesome. But again, it’s worth saying she is beautiful and very talented.

For those that aren’t into the whole neo 80s, synth pop deal, all of her songs are made with acoustic guitar and sounds just as brilliant. I cannot wait until she has an acoustic album. To me, music is more than just the actual sound, but the lyrics, and the feelings they bring. She awakens so much within me, and I will openly thank her here for that.

I drove 3 hours, back and forth, to see her live at a very nice, spacious venue – kudos to Ram’s Head. If you haven’t checked out her music, other than listening to “Bulletproof” radio over and over again, check her out on YouTube. I’ll be here, anxiously awaiting her next performance.

My Halloweekend 2010 November 1, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Places, Things.
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Just when I thought my studies and lack of finances was going to be the end of me… an enchanting weekend saves my social life! On Wednesday night, my heroine clad with beautiful tattoos, Miss Margaret Cho posted a contest on Twitter for two free tickets and meet and greet passes for her show at Warner Theater! I had already gotten over the fact that I couldn’t afford the tickets, and since I’d seen her before in Richmond I knew I’d have to pass this time around. But when I saw the tweet, I knew it would be worth a shot (a blind shot, but a shot nonetheless). There is no strategy to luck, it’s all chance… and I’m the type of person that will fill out surveys for Target or Wal-Mart in hopes of winning $500 gift cards or buy a lottery ticket on a day I’m feeling ‘lucky’… but even though I participate I never actually win! It’s always disappointing. So when I saw my Twitter direct message ‘inbox’ with two new messages telling me that I won the contest I was ecstatic! I couldn’t even believe it. I was worried I would show up to the box office and they’d turn me away… but sure enough I get there and it took the lady a few minutes to find my tickets, but they were there and once they were in my hands nothing could take the smile off my cheesy, half-moon eyes face.

Mendy and I at Margaret Cho's Show

All of Friday, the day of the show, I could barely focus on anything. I felt like I was going on a first date, struggling to pick out the right outfit and accessories without looking like I tried too hard, figuring out the right things to say so that I wouldn’t just spaz out the moment I saw her, and just counting down the hours until I was actually seated in the theater. I decided to just make a card for her and write down exactly how I felt about her and expressed my gratitude for being able to meet her because I knew I would forget half the things I wanted to say in person (which I did!) along with one of my favorite books.

OMG, I'm standing next to the one and only Margaret Cho!

Just as I thought, I did freak out a little bit… I couldn’t believe she was right there and I was so nervous. I asked her if I could have a hug, I told her “I love you” and graciously thanked her for having us, gave her my gift, stuttered over my explanation a little bit, and bothered her for an autograph… all in what felt like a matter of seconds. But she was very, very sweet about it… very humble and soft spoken, a different side of her stand up persona. I really wanted to just ditch the place and take her to eat some Korean BBQ in Annandale, but alas the meet and greet came to a close, and we were politely sent on our way. I was on a natural high for the rest of the night.

Margaret Cho's Tour Bus

Saturday, the Halloween night for adults, was the cherry on top to a great Friday. I’ll keep this one short in sweet, because Halloween is really just about dressing up, people watching, and a few (or a lot) of drinks in between. I went to Georgetown, and checking out all the different costumes was very interesting, especially behind all my face paint.

La Calavera Leticia

La Calavera means skull in Spanish. I’ve always been fascinated by Mexican Day of the Dead art. This face paint was inspired by La Calavera Catrina (an elegant skeleton woman with formal clothing and intricate face paint). I spent under $14 for my “costume”. I bought a black and white skirt at the thrift store for $3.99, lace gloves and some face paint makeup for under $10. Unfortunately, the face makeup pretty much failed me… what do you expect for makeup under $10? So I ended up just using the white face cream, waiting for this to dry took up the most time. I tried using the face paint sticks to draw on myself, but that does NOT work for those of you who want to try painting your face one day. I ended up using black eyeliner and black eyeshadow for the outlines, red lipstick for the rose on my chin, and all other colors were colored in with powder eye shadow. Eye shadow really came in handy, because powder “sets” the cream makeup and prevents the color from fading/melting. Surprisingly, the makeup stayed put the entire night, even after hours of drinking and dancing. I really enjoyed drawing on my face, it was sort of an out of body experience and it made me feel like a kid again! But taking all that makeup off at 4:30 in the morning was a real pain, it was so thick and cake-y by the end of the night it took about ten minutes to wash off the stuff really well… but it was worth totally worth it.

Shopping for Professional Attire Experience October 3, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Things.
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To the left are my professional attire rejects: pencil skirts, straight leg pants, wide leg pants, and uncomfortable button downs. Don’t worry, I neatly hanged all of my rejects when I was finished. I’ve worked in a department store, so I know what a pain it is to pick up and put back piles, and piles, and piles, AND PILES of clothes… that is another not so fun experience.

I feel so out of place in a suit. I’ve always been a jeans and hoodie kind of girl, but we all know that’s unacceptable in the workplace. So trying to find a suit that made me feel like a million bucks without spending a million bucks (vast exaggeration, I know) was a daunting task.

I had planned on going to all the discount department stores like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross, Loehmann’s and Nordstrom Rack… but even thinking about all those places made me exhausted. If I had been looking for fun clothes and home goods, I would be excited… but I wasn’t. So, I went straight to Macy’s. Unlucky for me I only need something at Macy’s when I don’t have a coupon and with no sales going on. Anyways, I found an amazing Calvin Klein suit that really put me in the career woman spirit, but I don’t have the career woman budget. So I opted for my fifth find, a nice Style & Co. blazer and dress and I have to be honest, my favorite part about the blazer and the dress are – they have front pockets! I cannot stress enough how much fake pockets bother me. I want, actually need, a pocket to put my hands in, to hold my Chapstick, or an extra pen. I’m actually pretty happy that I found a dress because now I don’t have to waste, er spend, extra time and money trying to look for button down shirts!

To the right is my winner but I’m definitely not going to wear it with my walking flip flops. Which brings me to another uncomfortable subject, high heels. I have these really comfortable Mary Jane Soft Walks, but I can already feel the nerd factor creeping up on me just thinking about this outfit. I chose this life path, so I need to dress the part and until I’m on top of the game, pocketing a hefty business woman’s salary I’ll have to settle for mediocre professional attire. It also makes me wonder if I’m getting old, or growing up, because I did think some two-piece suits were cute and they weren’t from the bathing suit section.

This suit needs to last me awhile because I plan on wearing it to every interview I get until I find a “real job”. I just hope all of the interviewers don’t find out my secret, but if they found my blog from LinkedIn and are currently reading this… then the cat’s out of the bag! I’m a broke, college student looking for a job, what more do they expect?

Anyways, now I’ve got the suit and the nerdy but very comfortable shoes (I might wear killer heels if it looks too nerdy). All I need is a nice, black leather purse to hold my cheap binder carrying my notes and resumes. This will be easy to find but not easy to pay for.

My question of the day is: do any college students actually enjoy shopping for professional attire?

Trader Joe’s Spicy Chai Latte. September 27, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Things.
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This is the best chai I’ve ever had in my life! I’ve tried quite a few, so I know what I’m talking about. This beats Starbucks by a long shot. Those “baristas” don’t make their hot or iced chai lattes with any love… more like, too much ice and too much milk. And those chai tea bags may be more authentic or healthier… but if I’m going to have a chai latte I’m going to go full force with it. Trader Joe’s Spicy Chai latte is the best, because if you follow the instructions to a tee (pun intended) it will be the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and creamy. I hate coffee, so this is my favorite pick me up… often with a side of Stacy’s Plain Pita chips and Sabra’s Supremely Spicy hummus.

Intak Hydration Bottle by Thermos September 21, 2010

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I found this little gem at Target. Often times I go to Target just to see what’s out there, which isn’t always so good for my wallet. I also enjoy comparing products and prices on my free time. I guess to some that seems like a lame hobby, but I enjoy it.

I’ve come a long way to my favorite “hydration bottle”, here’s a brief summary of my passage…

1. I went from using a Sigg Aluminum can and as pretty (and expensive!) as they are, I didn’t like it for a few reasons. One, the thing was too freaking loud, if you tipped it over accidentally it would make a huge commotion. Two, I could have purchased a sports cap but I had just spent $23.99+tax on the bottle alone, I wasn’t about to spend another $5-10 on a freaking cap and it should have come with one for convenience considering the ridiculous price tag. Three, I only used my Sigg for water but it always had this weird smell to it and gave my water a metallic taste. As cool as the designs are on these bottles and as much as I appreciate their efforts as an alternative to plastic bottles, this thing was just too inconvenient for me. Right now it’s a collecting dust on my television shelf.

2. After giving up on the Sigg, I purchased two cheap-o Rubbermaid Chug water bottles. They are “supposedly” leak-proof but I beg to differ, and so do all the damp items in my backpack! I still have them, but I only use them at home because they’re about as leak-proof as a mug.

3. I don’t even know the name of the last water bottle I used before my Intak so I’ll just describe it to the best of my abilities. You know that big chunk of plastic with a big mouth spout and a twist off cap attached to the bottle? Well, yeah, it was one of those and for anyone who has tried to exercise and take a sip knows that you’ve got to come to a screeching halt to gulp from one of these monster mouths because if you don’t you will be drenched in water.

4. I occasionally purchase bottled water, but only when I forget to fill my Intak or leave it at home because I’m running late. I feel guilty whenever I purchase bottled water, but I always recycle my used water bottles!

I took a chance on the Intak because it was pretty cheap, $9.99+tax at Target, came in fun colors (pink, blue, red, green, and grey), holds about 3 cups of water, has this cool refill tracker right on the bottle so you know how many times you’ve refilled the bottle, and my favorite part… it’s ultra leak-proof thanks to a suction like cap and a lock for extra security! It’s made me happy, so I want to spread the good news.