Tag Archives: domestica

Domestica: Breaking In New Shoes

I am not a girly-girl.  I hate dresses, skirts and heels.  This isn’t to say that I’m not feminine.  I love blouses and cute tops.  I just tend to pair them with jeans.

I also have very problematic feet to shop for as a woman.  I’m a 9 1/2 wide on one foot, just over 9 wide with the other.  It’s not quite enough of a disparity to need two pairs, particularly with running shoes (my mainstay) or flip flops.  But dress shoes… ugh.  I have four pairs I’ve barely worn because I always end up with brutal blisters on my heels or the bottom of my feet.

In having recently acquired a new job, I am faced with the annoyance of business casual.  I already brutalized my heels for the interview and am still nursing them.  Since I must now find a way not to become homicidal over shoes, I thought I’d share some tips and tricks dug up around the internet.

1.  The tried and true many people suggest is wearing two pairs of socks to stretch out shoes and break them in.  One suggestion specifically states to wear an inside out pair, dust with talcum powder, then put on another pair as per normal on top.  This will work for home stretching or shoes where you can get away with socks, but it likely won’t help with strappy heels you need to wear tomorrow.

2.  Placing blister protection strips, bandaids or tape over places you expect will rub.  I think most of us have gone this route.  I know I did it for a long walk tonight to spare my healing feet.

3.  Placing athletic tape/duct tape/something inside the shoe itself to keep it from rubbing.  I’d wondered about this and am glad it’s not a foolish notion.  Others have also suggested a blister block stick product – like a deodorant stick for feet and blisters.

4.  Using Bodyglide or a similar product from a runner’s shop on feet prior to wearing.  I’m very keen to investigate, as this especially works for bare foot in shoe situations.

5.  Get enough money to order custom shoes.  Ha.

 

What do you do to break in your shoes?  How do you manage blistering?  Why do women’s shoes tend to suck for comfort?  Come tell me more and save me from painful hell.

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Domestica: Cleaning up that A/C unit

It’s been a brutal summer where I’m at and my two window A/C’s have been getting quite the workout – meaning extra rounds of cleaning.  With the weather cooling (just a little), it’s time to remember proper storage.

Yes, that means cleaning.  It’s not very hard, though.  Trust our queen of bras to also clean an A/C filter and unit quickly!

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Domestica: Cleaning (Overpriced Fragile Stained) Bras

Sorry guys, sometimes these tips are for the female-identified.  The gorgeous drag queens I know probably possess these skills, much to my shame.

Bras are expensive.  Guys always ask, “Why do women have so few bras compared to panties?” in my circle, and I’m always answering, “I can get eight pairs of panties for twelve bucks.  Bras are forty EACH if you’re lucky.  Enough said.”  It’s disgusting.  It’s highway robbery, as the saying goes.  Oh sure, if you’re lucky to have smaller breasts (no bigger than a 36C), you may get to score $10 and $20 bras at sales now and then.  Ironically, the bigger you are (and the more essential a bra), the worse you’re pillaged.  No one makes cheap bras for a 40DD (trust me, I know).  You’re stuck going to Victoria’s Secret, where it’s a miracle if they even STOCK a DD of any band size.  No, somehow you’re expected to order them by mail, pay shipping charges too, and guess what?  You might hate the fit, or the look, because strangely, I’ve found that the bigger my cup size gets, the more bras seem to want to flatten my cleavage.

Enough ranting:  you came here to clean a bra.  Because the things are so damn expensive and fragile, you want to keep them beautiful and make them last.

Sweat stains, deodorant stains, red wine on the white bra – you name it, it happens.  There’s a reason I prefer black bras.  Minimal issues.  However, lighter tops require lighter bras, alas.  Recently, I had a bra that I just could NOT get a stain out of.  I’d worn it to an outdoor music fest in the summer’s boiling heat.  Enough said.

Thankfully, I found this link, which helped do wonders for my bra.  A little Oxyclean treatment in the mix and voila!  Good as new.  Precious $50 cargo saved!

Ladies, the things we suffer through to look and feel good…  While male executives rob us blind.

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Domestica: “Balmy Days, Sweet Sangria…”

As summer continues to scorch us, I am drawn, as always, to the fruitier alcoholic beverages.  One of my absolute favourites is sangria.

If you’ve never had sangria, the easiest way to describe it is “wine+fruit juices/pieces”.  Oversimplified, but it conveys the vibe of the drink.  Not only is it a way to drink many glasses without becoming ridiculously drunk early in the evening, it’s also incredibly tasty and refreshing.  Extra bonus:  it’s my favourite way to get rid of wine leftover from a day or two ago –  you know, when it’s still good but you can tell it’s not quite the same as it was when you opened it?

Life Hack has 11 recipes for sangria variants and all of them are making me thirsty.  Each has its own spin, allowing for you to choose the sangria that suits your mood.  Enjoy!

Starving students:  Got a half bottle of wine leftover from Friday?  Unable to hit the store or find fresh fruit, but craving a fix?  Sunday brunch it, half-assed and tasty.  Blend the wine on a 1:1 ratio with any fruit juice you have handy.  Fruitopia, Crystal Light (acai white peach flavour works well), anything berry-ish.  You end up with a fruity alcoholic drink that stretches the wine out for sharing.

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Domestica: Cheap and Tasty Korean Chicken Recipe

When you’re on a budget, food can get pretty boring.  You find yourself eating the same thing over and over again, to the point where eating becomes a chore.  Not cool.

In the spirit of budgets, here’s a recipe I was given six years ago, passed on from a soldier’s son.  He’d picked it up from locals while over in Vietnam.  The ingredients are pretty basic, but the end result is uber tasty.

AMBER’S SOOPER-SEKRIT KOREAN CHICKEN RECIPE

Take one to two bottles of low sodium soy sauce (one works fine up to four large breasts; low sodium is CRUCIAL), a teaspoon of crushed red pepper, one medium onion (chopped), one clove of garlic (finely chopped) and half a stick of butter or margarine (unsalted is best – the soy has plenty of salt).  Combine in a medium pot.

Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer for at least ten minutes so that the onion and garlic pieces become tender.

Take a baking dish and put in thawed boneless chicken breasts. Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts once it’s finished simmering. The simmering sauce will cook the outside of the chicken a bit and that’s fine.

Place in fridge and let it marinate from an hour to overnight. I suggest and recommend overnight cause the longer it’s marinated, the better.  I’ve found that at least two hours works best.

Now you can either grill the chicken breasts and use the leftover sauce to baste or you can place the baking dish in the oven and cook at around 300 to 350 degrees til the chicken breasts are cooked all the way through. Cooking time depends on how many
breasts are being prepared. I’ve always baked the dish personally, but my recipe source has grilled in the past.

Voila!  Serve with rice or salad.  I often chop the baked breasts up and serve it stir-fry style.

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Domestica: Invest In Cool Cleaning Gadgets

In university, I stayed in residence for three years.  The residences at our campus were essentially 4-bedroom townhouses, with locking bedrooms and shared common areas.  It was pretty awesome and cost efficient:  no meal plans, since we had a full kitchen.  You can live off $28/week if you really try, by the way.  *innocent whistle*

Anyway, once a month our advisors would come in and check our units and give us hell if they weren’t spotless.  Why they felt this compulsive need to babysit our bathrooms, I don’t know.  Maybe they felt it was wiser than waiting until the final check-out examination and discovering a unit was completely destroyed?  The phase of residence I was in was also used in summer, so it needed to be good to go year round.  Yes, I went to university year round, and it was awesome, because I did a five-year program in four years, with the bare minimum course load for full-time status.  I still got three weeks off, too.

ANYWAY depending on your advisor, these monthly checks could be rather tiresome.  You’re busting your ass for your midterms and then boom!  Scramble to scrub the mold off the shower tiles because you’ve all been lazy and also, the bathroom’s so old it practically attracts dirt.  I was fortunate to mostly have roomies who would agree to a weekly cleaning schedule on rotation, with the “week off” being putting the garbage and recycling out Thursday morning.  However, the checks always seemed to fall when I had the bathroom and well…. my roomies never competently maintained it.  Result:  two hours of taking a specially reserved toothbrush to the grout and hurting my back.

Learn well from my lessons:  don’t cheap out on cleaning supplies.  Get gadgets and products that actually work.  Save time and pain.

For example, acquire a telescopic shower tile and tub cleaner.  This one gives you an idea of what I mean.  My future mother-in-law bought me one two years ago and I LOVE HER SO MUCH.  I spray mildew cleaner every few weeks or otherwise opt for the usual bathroom cleaner, let sit for a few minutes then la-la-la, glide the brush over the tiles.  I do the same with the tub then hit the shower on, rinsing and sloshing the water around with the brush.  Less than five minutes versus the 30-40 spent in university.

Money well spent, my friends.

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Domestica: Jeweled Rice Recipe

I absolutely love rice.

As a kid, I used to make myself bowls of rice – just rice – for lunch, devouring them with soy sauce.  As an adult, I broke free of my mother’s devotion to Minute Rice and discovered a world of rice:  jasmine; basmati; arborio (technically a pasta); bamboo-wrapped sticky rice.  Gah!  Rice is a miracle food.

When I learned of my wheat intolerance (which I ignore in the name of certain foods – oops!), I began to research new recipes without the evil grain.  Of course, I came back to rice.  How could I not?  That’s when I found this recipe.

I won’t lie to you:  it takes a significant amount of prep time.  However, it makes a ridiculous quantity you can enjoy all week.  Y’know, if you like rice as much as I do.  The blend of sweet and spicy flavours truly makes it.

Voila!  Jeweled Rice!

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Domestica: Happy Canada Day! Have A Beaver Tail!

It’s Canada’s birthday, baby (and also Pride Parade day in Toronto)!  What better way to celebrate than with a beaver tail?

No, not one of these:

One of THESE:

Om nomm nomm!  And you know, calorie-wise, they’re not terrible until you load on half a jar of Nutella (oops) or a metric ton of candy (the mister).  The trouble is, Beaver Tails are not, for some reason, available on every street corner.  I know, right?

That’s okay:  I have found a decent recipe.  Indulge baby!  You’re welcome.

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Domestica(-ish): How Not To Be THAT Customer

Sometimes, a gal just doesn’t have any fucks to give when it’s time to make dinner.  If she’s lucky like me, she looks at her “burns Kraft dinner” husband and pouts, which means he takes her out or orders in.  Everything is beautiful and no dishes are dirtied.

(Yes, I’m excited about The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.  Aren’t you?)

Anyway, I thought I’d draw your attention this week to a couple of blogs specializing in the special hell that is being a server in a restaurant/bar.  Learn from these wise snarky people how to be a GOOD customer – the kind that gets special treatment and is remembered with a smile when entering Boston Pizza for the 7726823672673th time in four years.

Jim Treliving should hire us and give us free food for all the cash we blow there.  Anyway…

First up, the blog of a Red Lobster server somewhere in the US.  I love Red Lobster.  When we go, it’s when we have MONEY and want to blow it on enough food to take home a second meal and snag biscuits for the morning after.  This blog is brilliant.  I stumbled onto it while trying to find out when Lobsterfest was on.

Red Lobster Blog

Second, a blog about a chain that shall remain nameless due to the fact I know the person in question.  She sees crazy shit and reports back on it, and also reblogs classics like Clerks 2.  Bless her.  She’s just getting started.

Retail Goddess

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Domestica: Need A Recipe? Find One Fast!

Ever been stuck staring at the cupboards, trying to think of a recipe for what you have on hand while also juggling diet restrictions?  I have – far too often.  Whenever I’m screwed, here’s my solution:

Epicurious

The recipes are usually great (or great with a tiny tweak) and the search options are very thorough.  For someone like me with multiple restrictions who tries to eat healthier, it’s an awesome solution!  Give it a whirl, and share your best finds with me.

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