I Went: Tres Image

As a lady, one of the important things I needed to figure out when I moved to a new city was to find a salon. I had one in Ann Arbor, I had one in Tuscaloosa, and Tres Image is my salon in Reno.

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I first found this salon because it was the closest place to where I live to get brow waxing done, honestly. I cannot be trusted to handle my own eyebrows…I can’t follow an arch and so I continually try to even one up with the other until they are both shadows of their former selves. It’s not a good luck. So I’ve always had someone else wax them. And when I needed it done not long after I moved out here, I called Tres Image up because it’s like a mile from the apartment. And I found Lori, who might honestly be the best person I’ve ever had do my brows.

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They’re always perfectly shaped when she gets through with them, and always seem to manage to grow back in such that I can go longer than usual before needing them done again. It’s magic, she’s a magic person. Now that I’m finally starting to live like an adult professional again, I’m planning to come here for my hair appointments and such as well. I don’t cut my hair very often because it’s all one length all the way around (boring haircuts are cheap to maintain, okay?), but it’ll be that time soon. They also have the usual compliment of salon products for purchase, if you’re not a total cheapskate like yours truly and spend more than $7 on shampoo.

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Tres Image is located at 9660 South McCarran Boulevard in Reno, NV. That’s the area at the intersection of 4th and McCarran, in Northwest Reno. Prices, at least for brow waxing, are very typical for salons: it costs about $15 to get my brows done and it’s worth every penny, and it looks like haircuts are also very typically priced, starting around $40. Parking is available in the lot in front of the building. This is honestly the best brow wax I’ve ever gotten, so I recommend it very highly!

20 Things I Learned In My 20s: This Is The Only Body You Have

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I’m naturally curvy. Always have been. There is nothing about me that’s long or lean. My body likes to hold onto fat. I have a history (mostly in high school, but off and on afterwards) of disordered eating…I tried to starve my body into the shape I wanted because I didn’t like the shape I had. But what I’ve come to realize, throughout my twenties, is that my body is what it is. I can refine it and build muscle through diet or exercise, but I’m not going to fundamentally alter the thick thighs, love handles, and prominent bust by anything I do. And learning to be okay with that is something that’s been a really important part of my 20s.

My weight has seesawed all over the place. After a bad breakup with Sean in college when I was 20, I was too distressed to eat and got down to about 110 pounds…I could squeeze into size 2 jeans. Stress eating (and not exercising) before my first trial when I was 26 saw me up to 145 pounds and on the verge of a size 12. There’s been a lot of in-between as well…I think the best shape I’ve ever been in was when I spent the summer with Scott and wakeboarded like crazy…I weighed 120 pounds, but I lost a lot of fat. My weight seems to have settled around 125 exercising three times a week, and while I bobble up and down depending on how closely I’m watching my eating, that’s about where I usually am. Like everyone else in the world, I’d like to drop 5 pounds, but 125 is a decent weight for me.

One of the things that was the biggest help to me in accepting my body was learning how to dress it. Throughout college, like I had in high school, I wanted to wear the things that were trendy, to look like everyone else, to fit in. It wasn’t until I got to law school and people dressed differently than I was used to that I stopped thinking about the way my peers dressed in college as the only normal way to dress. I discovered dresses! My thighs might be sturdy, but they’re shapely, as are my calves. I don’t need to be freaked out about showing leg! Belted dresses make me look like Betty Draper in the best possible way because I have a 50s figure! I should do this more often. Who gives a shit if ponchos are a thing? They make me look huge because they bag out over my boobs! You wear your poncho, I’ll be over here in my v-neck fitted sheath looking amazing!

As my 20s have gone on, it takes more and more work just to keep my body in the same place. What used to be maintained by walking around campus and cutting out junk food for a bit now requires an eye to my calorie counting app and at least two days of cardio and one of strength training per week. I am never again going to be able to snarf down an entire box of Kraft Dinner without consequences. That’s just the way it goes.

As a lady, I spend so much time thinking about my body, because everything geared towards me tells me that it’s one of the most important things about me. I am constantly considering what might be wrong with it and how to fix that. Which isn’t going to change, because we live in a culture where I am socialized to think that and it’s very difficult to break out of that mindset. What can change is how I react to that. I can make sure that I exercise to keep my body strong and flexible. I can watch what I eat both to make sure I’m not overindulging and give myself the fuel I need to get through my day. I can despair over the cellulite that’s been hanging out on my upper thighs for close to a decade now, and then shrug and put on my swimsuit, because there’s nothing I can do about it and if you’re horrified by the sight of some dimpled flesh, you’ve got problems bigger than my cellulite. But mostly, I can just be okay with the fact that my body will never be perfect, but it’s the one I’ve got and working with it is a hell of a lot easier than working against it.

I Cooked: Herby Quinoa Salad with Roast Cherry Tomatoes and Feta

Quinoa has been becoming a favorite of mine since I actually started eating it a little over a year ago. Easy to prepare, tasty, and filling…for this vegetarian, that’s pretty much perfect. When I came across this recipe that combines quinoa with spinach (another favorite for me), avocado (a favorite of Drew’s), and cheese (a favorite of everyone in this apartment), I knew I had to make it! Yasmin posts a wide variety of recipes over on La Gourmande, both vegetarian and with meat, so click on over to check out what else she makes that you might like!

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1 cup organic white grain quinoa
1 cube chicken or veg stock
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 serrano pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
Lime juice
1 bag spinach
1 avocado
1 package cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup feta
Olive oil
Salt/pepper

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1. Turn oven on to 200 degrees. Halve cherry tomatoes, season with salt/pepper and a spray of olive oil and roast for 20 mins.

2. Add vegetable stock to 2 cups water, and prepare quinoa according to package directions. Allow to cool for 5 mins & then move into larger bowl.

3. Finely chop parsley, red onion, chilli & dice avocado into squares. Mix into warm quinoa along with squirt of lime juice and season with salt/pepper.

4. Spread out spinach leaves on a platter (or whatever you have available), cover with quinoa mix followed by roast cherry tomatoes & crumbled feta.

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This was actually the first dinner salad I’ve ever made, and it was a total success! The quinoa gives it protein for filling-ness, the avocado gives it fat for that satisfied feeling, and the spinach gives it a nice crunch! Everything else? Flavor! I made some modifications to the original recipe: I omitted the mint because I don’t like the way mint tastes (Drew thinks mint would have tasted good here, so if you agree, totally add it back!) and I decreased the amount of parsley pretty significantly, because parsley has never been anything special for me and an entire cup seemed like a lot. It turned out really good, Drew and I both went back for seconds, but I think if I were to make it again, and I probably will, I’d prep the quinoa the traditional way (cover and simmer) because it seemed a little undercooked, and I’d saute the onions because everything is better sauteed. But this is a healthy, hearty dinner salad and will make an excellent addition to the rotation!

I Ate: Campo

Campo is actually one of my favorite Reno restaurants (I’ve been here for lunch a few times before, and one time got a little blackout at the bottomless prosecco Easter brunch…I woke up hours later in bed with my shoes still on), and happily for me, it’s just a few blocks from work, so one day when we had a client meeting, we took them out here for lunch. Yay!

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Campo does Italian food, and they pride themselves on using locally sourced ingredients, which is pretty awesome. I haven’t ventured around the menu too much, but what I have had here has been great. My favorite is just simple spaghetti. The marinara is to die for, and they put a good dollop of ricotta on top and I always eat the whole plate whenever I go, even if I’m not that hungry, because it’s so good I just can’t stop eating it. Simple food done well has always been my favorite thing, so I’m a big fan.

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Although you can’t tell from these pictures because we ate inside, one of the best things about Campo is the outdoor dining. They’re right on the banks of the Truckee, so sitting outside and watching the water and feeling the breeze while filling your belly with delicious food is pretty much perfect. Inside is cozy and rustic and it’s perfectly nice and everything, but it doesn’t compare to outside.

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Campo is located at 50 N Sierra St in Reno, NV. There is no parking lot, but there is plenty of street parking nearby. The food is amazing and the prices are reasonable, so this place is highly recommended!

Being a Grown-Up Blows

Several months ago, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about how I know I’m not a real adult yet. Sadly, the reality is that I pretty much am. Well, apart from the bike helmet thing. But anyways, and I know this is a super-original thought, being a grown-up sucks.

You have to deal with and accept the things you can’t change. For example, Drew and I were planning on moving a few months ago. Our apartment has long since been too small for us. It’s not even 650 square feet, and we want more space. We need more space. I’ve been over this tiny-ass apartment for well over a year. I was SO EXCITED that we were going to find a new place. But then we sat down and talked and we would have been moving over the last weekend in September…except that’s when we were going to Michigan. We’d have had to do it the weekend before, which would have meant paying pro-rated rent at the new place for a few weeks, and with Drew’s job, September is a bad time anyways. And then given the holidays, then session, the first realistic time to move will be…the end of June. Womp womp. That is not what I wanted. That is not what I wanted AT ALL. But that’s being a grown-up, because what you want isn’t always what you can have.

You have to actually think about how other people feel. This isn’t a bad thing, obviously. But it really takes the edge off the kind of self-righteous indignation that’s so fun to indulge in every so often. Right when I’m about to unleash a furious rant, I start to think about why the other person might have done the thing that so offended me. How they might be feeling. They probably don’t understand how I feel either, but that doesn’t make either of us right or wrong. Which deflates that balloon of white-hot rage and all of the moral superiority that comes with it. Which blows.

You have responsibilities. You have to pay rent and bills and buy food, and in order to do that you have to wake up early and go to work and do your job for 40 hours every week. There’s no hiding under the covers and escaping the world. The world is still going on out there and the longer you try to put it off, the harder you’re going to have to hustle to catch up when you do rejoin everyone else.

It was all so simple once upon a time. Didn’t want to go to school? Tell your mom that you’re not feeling well, and you’d get to stay in bed at home and read or watch movies, and she’d probably even make you something to help you feel better. Said something you shouldn’t have? An apology usually cleared it right up and then everyone moved on. Some days it’s hard to deal when life throws speed bumps into your little neatly carved out path. Sometimes you just want to sit in the corner and cry and scream about how it’s not fair. But there’s no time for that. It’s time to be a grown up.

I Cooked: Potato, Chickpea, and Greens Casserole

I’ve been very vocal about my chickpea love, and as a good Polish girl, I’m also a big potato fan. So I saw this recipe and I felt like this was definitely something I should make. The part I was worried about here was kale: I’ve got no beef with the taste of kale, but the chewy texture is really, deeply, not my jam. So, spinach! Green and healthy and delicious enough that I’ll eat it straight out the bag!

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1 can chickpeas
4 yukon gold or red skin potatoes
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 pound spinach
1/3 cup breadcrumbs

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Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Put a pot of salted water on the stove over high heat.

Rinse and drain the chickpeas, and set them aside.

Wash your potatoes. With a sharp knife, cut all the potatoes into thin slices. When the water is boiling, add the sliced potatoes and boil for 5 minutes. Move on to the next step, but when done, drain the potatoes immediately, and set them on a clean towel or paper towels to dry. Careful, they’ll be hot.

Mince your garlic, and add it to a small bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir this mixture well with a fork for a few seconds.

Chop your spinach into bite-sized pieces, and add to a medium-sized bowl. Add about half of the garlic-olive oil mixture to the spinach. Mix until the spinach is coated with the olive oil and spices.

Add the breadcrumbs to the remaining garlic-olive oil mixture and stir with a fork.

Prepare your ramekins or baking dish by spreading just a little olive oil in each. Layering time! Start by covering the bottom of your dish with the sliced potatoes. Top with some garlicky spinach. Then chickpeas, then breadcrumbs. Potatoes, spinach, chickpeas, breadcrumbs. Repeat until you reach the top of your dish. Finish with a last layer of potatoes covered with breadcrumbs.

Cover the dish(es) with foil. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes with the foil on, then for 10 minutes more with the foil off. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

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This…hmm. This wasn’t bad. I’ve made some duds before (sometimes through my own incompetence, other times not), but I wouldn’t call this a dud. I liked it. Just…not very much. Drew actually liked it more than I did. Even though he’s the one that squirts sriracha on pretty much everything I’ve ever made, I was the one that found this kind of bland. It had so many good things in it, I wanted it to be better than it was. But besides the garlic, none of the main ingredients (potatoes, chickpeas, spinach) are very flavorful in and of themselves…maybe adding in some additional spices would have spruced it up? As written though, it wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn’t really actively good either.

I Ate: Stone House Cafe

I’d been here once before, for lunch with Nicole and Misty one day when the latter was in town, but Drew had never been before. We were going out with his parents for dinner, and Drew really wanted to go here so he could try a new restaurant. So off to Stone House Cafe we went!

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The atmosphere is amazing outside in the summer, which is the only context I’ve ever been there in. There’s a good amount of greenery that screen you from the road and looks really pretty, the tables are spaced far enough apart that you don’t feel right on top of each other, there was live music (singer/songwriter type) the night we were there at a pleasant volume.  Service was good but not great…we were there on quite a busy night so things took a little longer than they should have.

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About the food itself, I’m of two minds. The non-vegetarians in the party were all very satisfied with their meals. Me, I felt kind of “meh” about mine, which was a pasta primavera. There wasn’t exactly a lot of choice. It’s probably not entirely fair to rant about this because of Stone House Cafe, because they are far from alone, but I do not understand why so many restaurants have 8-10 meat entrees and only 1 or 2 vegetarian ones. I make a vegetarian dish every weekend, and haven’t made the same one twice. They generally take less time to prep and cost less to make than meat. I really would like to have multiple choices when I go out to eat, and before anyone thinks it, no, salad is not a choice for a dinner meal. Anyways, this has been my long and rant-y way to say that the pasta primavera was completely lackluster and I wished I could have ordered something else.

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Stone House Cafe is located at 1907 S Arlington Ave in Reno, NV. Parking is located nearby. It’s generally regarded as a good restaurant and my dining partners enjoyed their meals, so if you eat meat, I’d recommend it. I would not recommend for vegetarians.

Birchbox: December 2014

This, for me, was a solid box but not especially amazing or anything. I certainly wasn’t disappointed, but I wasn’t blown away either.

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Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Ruffian Red: This is my second Ruffian polish, and my review is pretty much the same…it’s fine, whatever.

Vasanti Kajal Extreme Intense Eye Pencil in Rose Gold: This was my sample choice for this month, and not because I need another eyeliner (I barely wear them as is…I’m very blinky when putting on eyeliner, which is both frustrating and also makes my makeup look like crap, so I don’t usually wear any unless it’s a special occasion), but mostly because I was intrigued by the color. I’ve only ever worn dark liners (black or dark green). Sadly, I was unimpressed. It’s very flaky, it got into my eyelashes and since they are naturally dark, this was very noticable. Also, the color was so subtle as to be not particularly visible. I ended up just coating my whole lid in this for a a shimmery color and then tossing it because I will for sure never use it again.

SeaRX Anti-Wrinkle Facial Lift Treatment Serum: I’m not huge into serums (I usually find them too sticky and they often irritate my skin), but the frown line between my eyes drives me crazy, so I was intrigued. And while I don’t think it made an especial different on my wrinkle (I think botox is in my future if I want to fix that) or any real appreciable difference to my skin generally, it certainly didn’t do any harm to my skin either. I happily used up the sample, but I wouldn’t buy any more.

Manna Kadar Lip Locked: I’m always down for new lip stuff (lip stuff is my favorite kind of makeup), but this was honestly pretty disappointing. The product itself wasn’t anything to write home about (it’s pretty much a standard issue lip gloss, better color than some, maybe, but sticky and tacky and I have totally outgrown that time in my life), but the color was just completely wrong for me. Which isn’t about the product, I know, but since everything about the product was so meh, it was just the cherry on the disappointment sundae.

Davines Replumping Shampoo: Volumizing shampoo! Yay! Except apparently no one has ever realized that fine hair can be oily, because this was more of that “low lather” bullshit that does zero in terms of actually cleaning my hair, like shampoo is supposed to. HATE.

Davines Replumping Conditioner: This, on the other hand, wasn’t bad. My hair felt a little lighter and fluffier than usual when I used this conditioner. Not enough so that I’m going to spend $25 on new conditioner, but enough that I liked using the sample and was sad when it was gone.

Davines Replumping Superactive: This was also good, but unspectacular. It didn’t weigh down my very fine hair at all, which is always appreciated, and my hair felt silky and shiny when I used it, but it wasn’t any sort of significant step up from my usual product, so I’m using it on rotation until it’s gone.

I Cooked: Chickpea Ratatouillie

I’ve fallen down a Pinterest k-hole lately (on my personal Pinterest, not my blog Pinterest so much) and I’m rediscovering things I pinned literally years ago. Sadly, many of the things I once coveted are now no longer available (eBay, here I come!), but recipes can be made anytime! Like this one! Livvy over at 86 Lemons posts DIYs and lots of vegan and gluten-free recipes, so if those are things you’re into, you should get over there and check it out!

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1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
.5 lb. spinach
1 lb. zucchini/squash, cut into large chunks
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 red or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp. salt
.25 cup olive oil
3 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

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Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine tomatoes, spinach, squash, onion, bell peppers, garlic, salt and oil in casserole dish.

Roast 30 to 40 minutes, or until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, and some water has released from tomatoes to create a sauce, stirring occasionally (I did every ten minutes).

Stir in chickpeas, and roast 5 to 10 minutes more, or until chickpeas are heated through. Serve and enjoy!

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OMG you guys. SO. GOOD. It was hearty and satisfying and vegetable-y in the best possible way. It doesn’t look amazing, I know, but it tasted so good. I went back for thirds I was so in love with it (Drew had seconds, so I’m not alone here). And while there’s a decent amount of ye olde slice and dice that goes into it (I buy everything pre-cut that I can and I regret nothing because I hate cutting stuff), it’s not overwhelming or anything and there’s no individual ingredient that’s difficult to slice up. And once that part is over, it’s pretty low-maintenance. I did make some swaps from the original recipe…I added spinach because I love it and took out the eggplant because I hate eggplant, so I added more squash than originally called for to make up for the volume. It does take a while to come together, between the prep work and the long roasting time, but when it comes out it is warm and delicious and you should make this now.

I Saw: December 2014

Despite plenty of time off around Christmas and New Years, I only managed to get through four movies this month. Such is the perils of having a boyfriend who likes to play video games (i.e. dominates the screen time at our apartment). But he’s going out of town for work later this month, so I should be able to get the year started on a strong note.

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First Position: 9/10

I may be a failed dancer (damn you, pigeon toes), but that doesn’t mean I don’t still love dance. There’s nothing I can think so say about it that’s not cliche about beauty and grace and whatnot, so let’s just get to the part where I tell you that this documentary, about gifted young dancers, is wonderful. I think it would still be compelling even if dance isn’t your deal: it’s about extraordinary athletes competing to be at the top levels of their sport, and what they (and their parents) give up along the way to help them achieve their dreams. It’s not just crazy stage parents, either: some of the parents shown are heavily invested, others seem mostly confused but supportive of their children’s goals. It’s a great look at some crazy talented kids, though, and worth 90 or so minutes of your time to check out.

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Clerks: 6/10

Somehow, I’d managed to go this long without seeing this cult classic. No, I don’t know how that happened either, especially considering that I was once a video store clerk myself. I totally understand why this movie launched Kevin Smith’s career: it’s funny, sharp, and completely captures that aimlessness you can feel of the end of your teens and beginning of your twenties, where the number of choices and possibilities out there in the world scare rather than inspire you. That being said, I liked it but didn’t love it. It just didn’t click with me the way the movies I love do.

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Team America World Police: 7/10

In light of the whole Sony hacking/North Korea/The Interview thing, this seemed like an appropriate watch, and again, somehow, I’d never seen it (I abuse commas, sorry not sorry). I feel like this movie would have been amazing to watch while stoned…it was funny if not uproarious when sober, but has that ridiculousness that would be best appreciated under the influence. The songs were pretty great, and the run time was quick enough that it didn’t wear out its welcome before it was over.

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A Muppet Christmas Carol: 8/10

This was so familiar, in parts, that I felt like I’d seen it before even when I’m sure I hadn’t. Then again, we’ve all seen multiple adaptations of A Christmas Carol, haven’t we? Anyways, this is charming and delightful in that way that Muppet movies are; a solid third of the jokes are things that would almost certainly go sailing over kid’s heads, Michael Caine is deliciously cranky as Ebenezer Scrooge, it moves along quickly and with liveliness. Definitely a Christmas staple, especially for the parental set.