Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Out and About in Philly: Cyrano at the Arden theatre

Our night on the town Chocolate group photo

Lovely Tuesday here in Philly today! Yes, I'll admit we were being spoiled by the unseasonal warm weather from last week. Sandals were on, coats were off and I ran off to the local specialty store to make my occasional "Shea Butter purchase" For those of you who don't know about shea butter, it helps to keep the chocolate skin nice, smooth, hydrated, and glistening in the warm sun! It is an absolute necessity for this upcoming summer. Tee hee

Amongst those things I was blessed to catch up with my good friends/ fellow Chocolate Representative member Christopher! (Pictured on the right hand side of our group photo with the pearly whites showing *Pinches his little cheeks*) 
Chris has recently sent to me his review for a play called Cyrano which is at the Arden Theatre from March 8th through April 15th. He has inspired me to take a day to myself to see this since it has been a while since I've been to an enjoyable play. Arden Theatre is located in the Olde City area of Philly. It promotes productions, drama school to children and teens, workshops as well as showcases. With that being said, I shall say no more and let Chris have the floor. 
Take a look at his review! 

In theater, they say that performing comedy is much harder than performing drama. Comedic timing is something tremendously hard to master. But be that as it may, the Arden Theatre Company did a highly competent job in their current adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s French classic Cyrano. 

For the uninitiated, Cyrano is the timeless story of the swashbuckling hero with the legendarily huge nose. Cyrano falls in love with the beautiful Roxane, who unfortunately only has eyes for the dashingly good-looking Christian. However, he uses the seductive power of his poetry to selflessly help Christian win Roxane’s affection. 

This production, translated by Michael Hollinger and directed by Aaron Posner, has been ruthlessly whittled down to a cast of only nine. But each actor’s skill definitely keeps the audience invested despite the fact that it was originally written to be played by a cast of dozens. The charming set design, courtesy of Daniel Conway is very whimsical and reminiscent of something out of a Tim Burton film and the actors use every inch of it very handily. Audiences should also be aware that they use the entire theater for the show (prepare to get heckled once or twice by the performers if you’re sitting in the front row).  So the whole experience is very intimate. And given the setup of the theater, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

The lead actors – Eric Hissom, Jessica Cumming, and Luigi Sottile – do an excellent job in their roles (Cyrano, Roxane, and Christian respectively). But the best one-liners belong to Scott Greer when he’s cross-dressing onstage as Desiree, Roxane’s dutiful nursemaid.

The only slightly disappointing element in this production is the fight choreography. The first fight scene set viewers up to believe it was going to be as elegant and lyrical as the translation. But after the brilliant initial battle that introduces Cyrano to the audience, it subsequently fell flat. Nonetheless, the wordplay in the rest of the show far outweighs the swordplay, and everyone who comes to see the performance will be pleased. This is not to be missed by anyone who is a fan of Rostand’s beloved original and fans of a straightforward, well-orchestrated comedy.

Cyrano will play on the Otto Hass Stage at the Arden Theatre Company through April 15, 2012. Tickets are $29-45 (discounts available).

By: Christopher-Sebastian McJetters

Friday, March 23, 2012

Green with Envy

I have been in absolute love with this green! It looks so pretty against chocolate skin too. This "lizard like" green pairs nicely with a gold accessory or a white tube dress (shown below) Try going green this summer :-)
Green with Envy

Friday, March 16, 2012

Im lovin It this Friday: Try Influenster.com

Yesssss! Another work week has been completed. (I can now breath a sigh of relief) This Friday is going to lead way into a weekend full of some good times. St Patty's day is this Saturday! And you know what that means.... green everything! Green attire, green decor and most importantly.. green beverages!!
Im am not sure if they still do Shamrock Shakes at McDonalds but I would really like to try one just for the hell of it lol Its been such a long time since I've had one! 

Anywho,  I would like to share with you one of my most recent findings online. While cruising around on the web I happen to come across this fun little site thats completely free. The web is crawling full of so many fun, little unconventional ways to make a little extra money get free products and try different companies. The fun part is seeking them out. I've come across Influenster.com
This site encourages people to try out products. What you first do when after you've created your log in and profile, is to take a few short surveys about your life style (Don't worry they won't get too personal with the questions). They review this information after you've completed the surveys they randomly select people to review certain products. You can also earn "badges" which certifies you to be selected for other items to review. Influenster will send you something called a "VoxBox" through the mail. A VoxBox usually contains common products that you can find in stores like Wal Mart, Target or perhaps Rite Aid and Walgreens. Once you've tried the products you can do a review on them by writing it, doing a video about it or either blogging about it. Influenster is a fun way to try something new and receive some cool things. Heres a really good video that explains the how it works and what she received in her VoxBox.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Likable Libations

So this weekend was fun! Good drinks, some laughs, dancing and now the reality of working is setting back in *sheds tear and sniffles*. However, while breezing through my weekend shenanigans, I'd thought it would be kool to post this beauty of a drink that I drank on Saturday night. I was told it was called a "Trash Can". Or if you are being politically correct you can call it a "GarbagĂ© Can" (I must say it with the utmost dignity lol) The reason for its name is because like, a long island ice tea, it has a lot of different strong liquors that are crammed into one glass. I am unsure about the exact ingredients of this concoction but I do know (obviously ) it does contain a full can of Red Bull. It also may possibly Blue Curaco, a schnapps, maybe a rum and a vodka in it as well. This little blue drink was really tasty and when the Red Bull kicked in, it definitely got me up and going on the dance floor to cut a quick rug and act a plum-fool for a second lol. It was all in good fun and I had a ball while out and about If you are looking for a fun drink for the weekend to try while getting your groove on, having a good time or even just chilling out; this will be worth trying out. Every bar does a different variation of drinks so upon your next visit ask for one!

Here are a few variations of recipes:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pasta Night!!

You know how sometimes you just get the craving to do things? Well, that's definitely how I've felt recently. I love get-togethers and I love to eat. I wanted to see family and friends have a good time so I decided to have Pasta Night at my place. One of my friends referred to me as the Black Martha Stewart lol. Although I'm not making hand carved bread bowls out of sourdough bread with home made soup in it, I'll take that title! And I'll hopefully improve on my craft as I go along.Hosting things are fun. I think right now in my life this is the happiest that I have been. I've moved to a location which is closer to my family and it really makes me even happier to cook, host and see everyone full and enjoying themselves. With no further due, I bring you Pasta Night! 
Some of my ingredients from the Reading Market Terminal

My initial Set up


Hot sausages, Lasagna Rolls in progress (& my cell phone for some reason)

The picture above is a shot of me the beginning stages of my Lasagna Rolls. I decided on making these because I never have tried my hand at making a full lasagna and I figured that this would probably not be the best time to try and experiment with making one because I did not want to disappoint my friends and family with a crappy lasagna. While online looking for alternative items for my pasta night I came across a delightful little recipe for something called "Lasagna Rolls" from a website, myrecipes.com.
For a first timer, I must say that making the Lasagna Rolls is pretty simple. The shortened version of the process is shown below.

1.) Fully cook the lasagna noodles and lay them on a flat surface.
(I put foil under them so I wouldn't make a complete mess)

2.)Lightly spread Ricotta Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese, Tomato Sauce onto the Lasagna
(and any other ingredient of your choice such as spinach, peppers or mushrooms)

3.) Slowly roll the lasagna noodle forward and make sure the seams are facing down.
(Don't forget to oil the bottom before placing them into the baking pan. Will help them not to stick)

The table in the midst of the craziness

Dig in everyone!

I got a little excited and cut it before the pic was taken

Thinking of having your own pasta night? Don't think about it. Do it! It will be so much fun and your guest will have a blast sampling all the various pasta dishes you will prepare. Try to include dishes that have different sauces like Alfredo sauces, tomato sauces, meat, vegetable sauces and various cheeses like Parmesan, asiago and mozzarella Also, try to use various types of pasta such as penne, angel hair, bow tie, fettuccine and linguine. (I am getting hungry just thinking about it) When it comes to incorporating meats into your pasta night, aim for things like sausages with peppers, grilled chicken, meatballs, veal, mussels and shrimp. These meats always turns up the meal a notch. Side dishes are also essentials for any pasta night always should include some type of garlic bread, and perhaps a salad. At my pasta night my aunt made a delicious crab salad (I will post the recipe soon)
For pasta night decor you can go as mild or wild as you'd like depending on the nature of the gathering. Because my gathering was just for a good time and not a special event, I kept it simple with the traditional red and white checkered table cloth for that "restaurant" feel. The key is, have fun with your event and you can be sure that others will too.

Out and About in Philly: Market Reading Terminal

Still somewhat rainy here today (sad face) but I can't complain, at least its not snowing! When the weather is kinda crappy like this it drives me to cook for some reason so visiting the Market Reading Terminal in Center City to buy my fruits, veggies and meats is a must! 

The Reading Terminal is like a hidden gem farmers market that collaborated with other eateries, bakeries, fish market, and other little trinket stores. I used to just walk by it in passing but I started going there for my shopping when I saw the all the goodies that my boss used to find there.

He would come from his lunch break with arms full of bags that contained fresh strawberries and blueberries for $1, fresh herbs, candy and nuts. I wanted a piece of the action so I visited them for the first time a long while back and have been going there ever since then! A lot of times their prices will beat the supermarket's prices for fruit and vegetables so I go there to save a few pennies when I can.
Additionally, despite the customer traffic that you'll probably encounter when visiting, it actually is pretty relaxing. Seeing all these fresh items displayed out for you and swapping quick food convo with other customers always makes my visits to the Terminal worthwhile. My favorite part of the Terminal is Iovine Brothers (which is where I get my fruits/veggies)
There is bakery not too far from the Iovine Brothers that has really delicious food. I swear if I lived by this place I'd be there everyday of the week lol (Its just that good!) There's also a bunch of great places to sit down and eat here. If you are ever in the area swing on in and try Deliah's. They have all kinds of goodies like sweet potatoes, greens, mac and cheese, ribs and fried chicken. The people that work there are super nice too and makes sure you get served.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I Lovin It this Friday

I am thanking ALL of my lucky stars that is it is finally Friday! For some reason this week seemed sooooo very long and now that its over its time to slip out of work mode into weekend mode. "Weekend Mode" means that I have time to do some of the things I love. This week definitely find myself loving a few of these small delights.

1.) Freebies! Ahh yes. Its the small things in life that can really make you happy. Okay, first it started out with me trying my hand at extreme couponing. That didn't work out as well so I moved on to a new love, freebies. During my web surfing I've stumbled upon a great freebie website that actually works and you can get a lot of cool things from it, for free! www.shop4freebies.com

2.) The Shark Tank on ABC. I can't begin to tell you the last time Iv'e been so excited and into a television show. I absolutely love this show so much! It has a individuals that present a product, idea or company to group of self made millionares that may have an interest in investing. Its educational, entertaining, and it keeps me on the edge of my seat in every episode. Shark tank is pretty inspiring to watch because it shows people with these interesting ideas and a dream to put it out there and make it become a reality. It comes on Fridays at 8:00 pm EST.

3.) Liplicious Bubble Gum Lip Gloss. This lip gloss has to be at the top of my list when it comes to glosses. It smells great. You're never too old to appreciate the sweet smell of bubble gum. It also stays on very long so you don't have to worry about reapplying it so often. I like to wear this lip gloss over my Revlon lip stain color. They make a winning team because it has a little shimmer to it and that makes your lip color pop! For $8.00 at Bath & Body Works you can find this little gem.