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When Tara Met Blog
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
LA cupcakes meetup take two

For my second LA Cupcakes Meetup Group organized event, we headed to SusieCakes in Brentwood. The turn out was bigger and we stayed munching on cupcakes for over an hour. SusieCakes specializes in an array of sentimental dessert favorites, which conjure up the sorely missed flavors and aromas of childhood. Each cupcake ($3) was filled with frosting and ranged from Mint Chocolate, Mocha, Lemon, Marshmallow, Strawberry, Vanilla, Chocolate, Red Velvet and Peanut butter.

I think the consensus was that the Red Velvet was moist and the best some have had and the Strawberry cupcake, which tasted like strawberry shortcake was the second favorite. I also liked their traditional vanilla cake with a blue butter cream frosting. So far this is my favorite cupcake shop out here. 

Owner Susan Sarich also came out to briefly talk to our group, which was very nice. She also complimented my new cupake tote.

Our next stop in August is at the new Vanilla cupcakery in Santa Monica.

Here are some pics:

 SusieCakes cupcakes cupcake group

Posted by Tara at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, July 30, 2007 9:28 AM PDT
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Shh I'm reading

Harry Potter 7th book costco

I picked up the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from Costco today for $18.19, beats waiting in the lines at Midnight and spending $29.99 retail. I just finished re-reading #6 so am all set to finish the series up. No spoilers please. 

Reports of online piracy and plot spoiling didn't prevent Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from selling more than 8.3 million copies during the first 24 hours the new book's release in the U.S. The record number amounted to 300,000 copies an hour or more than 50,000 copies per minute!  

Posted by Tara at 9:28 PM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:02 AM PDT
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Breasts: if you got them...

For the Blog Off's third week, I have received the word prompt of "breasts" to write about. do I know that each angle that I'm thinking of taking will most likely lead me into hot water with my boyfriend ;) Probably because of these boobie related photos (1, 2) that I posted here, which didn't go over so well with him in the past and I doubt my reposting of them will either, opps, lol.

So when I told my guy this week's topic, he goes, "Oh that should be easy for you, they speak for themselves, especially since they are always OUT." Hmm, that's debatable, but me displaying my wares wasn’t always the case.

I was very self-conscious of my boobs during my middle and high school years, causing me to hide under sweatshirts and not being able to wear cute little tops that my friends were all wearing.  Being only 5'1ish made my size seem all the more unbalanced and leaving me feeling fat and ugly. 

It didn't help having a mother who would talk about my chest in front of her girlfriends and even to the point of suggesting that I lift my shirt to show them while she questioned where I had got "them" from.  I remember one time on an airplane flying somewhere, we hit turbulence and she loudly declared that if anything went wrong I could use my bra as a parachute, causing people to naturally turn around to see. 

Eventually, once I was near the end of my college years, I started feeling more comfortable with my twins (yes, I'm going to use every similar breast reference possible). Finding the right bras and minimizers to buy helped too, as did hanging out with some well endowed friends (IE, the women in photo post 2) who encouraged me to show some cleavage and be proud of my girls. I've also lost weight since high school and my early years of college allowing me to go down a bra size thankfully. Now, I probably show my advantages a little too proudly at times, but what the hell, I can't help that I have them, I'm not going to hide them and yeah I like them now and am proud I got some oomph to me.

Posted by Tara at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2007 12:03 PM PDT
Monday, July 16, 2007
Pinkberry is the new yogurt, or is it?

I moved out here along the time of the Pinkberry craze. I had heard of the long lines outside of the dessert shops and kept meaning to try it and then finally two sprouted up near my hood in the Westside. 

Raphael and I went this weekend and yes, there was a line but it went quick. The store is small and narrow similar to NYC's Tastey Delight stores (minus the kick ass chocolate flavors). However, the shops are very modern and Hello Kitty-ish in style. The branding is everywhere from their fun colorful logo to brainwashing songs that play on the radio spelling out Pinkberry in a girlish voice--very weird. They also have cool lights and weird kitchen objects on display and for sale. 

pinkberry counterpinkberry yogurt

I think the reason why they have been so successful in L.A. is because of the buzz (some good PR work there!), long lines and low fat "yogurt" credibility. At 25 calories per ounce, a small serving (5 oz) has 125 calories, a medium serving (8 oz) has 200 calories, and a large serving (13 oz) has 325 calories.

I put "yogurt" in quotes before because there is debate if Pinkberry is a yogurt or not. The Los Angeles Times sent samples of Pinkberry's product to a lab and revealed that Pinkberry did contain active yogurt cultures, but it does not contain the minimum amount of culture to call itself frozen yogurt, according to California state law. The company may be forced to reveal its recipe. Meanwhile, Pinkberry has removed all references to frozen yogurt from its website and marketing materials. The health benefits that were previously posted on the walls of Pinkberry (e.g., cures colon cancer, fights yeast infections) have also been removed. Another controversy, which LA Eater furthers is that Pinkberry stole their idea from Red Mango. 

Anyway, back to the ... let's call it a dessert, is tart and actually tastes like real yogurt, thus my suprise to hear that it isn't. It tastes healthy, if that's possible, and the toppings are an array of fresh fruit, dried cereals (Fruity Pebbles and Capn' Crunch) to crumbled Oreos and granola. Pinkberry comes in only two flavors, original, which is just plain yogurt tasting and green tea, which is green colored and tastes like grass. My vote is with the original, which I then topped with fresh pineapples and blueberries and Raphael got his with kiwi, raspberry and mango (he's the more adventurous foodie). Anyway, we both liked it and found the yogurt refreshing, the lines amusing and the Pinkberry jingles annoying. I'll stick with my Jamba Juice.

By the way, my friend Zendi scooped me (pun intended) with her review of Pinkberry, which she posted a few months ago. 

News: The taste that launched 1000 parking tickets - Los Angeles Times

Posted by Tara at 1:55 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2007 2:11 PM PDT
Thursday, July 12, 2007

Should I blog about this or not? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself since this whole thing started. In answer to my question, Raphael said “I don’t know this is pretty personal, but then again your blog is about you.” So here I go.

Last week I had a colposcopy, not to be confused with a colonoscopy. My pap had come back abnormal and showing mild dysplasia, so they wanted to remove some pre-cancerous biopsies from my cervix to examine the extent of the abnormalities. I was of course stressed about it going into it and the entire week prior. I was told they would put vinegar on my cervix to examine trouble spots, then do a needle extraction and scrape my cervix all while I was there awake, spread eagle. The procedure was uncomfortable to say the least and it didn’t help that I fainted during it and woke up confused and in pain on an examination table. They had to use smelling salts to revive me. Raphael was there to take me home and for the next several days I experienced some cramping and bleeding. I also couldn’t workout for a week. But I at least thought the coloscopy would have been the end of it.

Anyway, my cells were sent to the lab and a week later I got a call from my doctor (not the assistant but the doctor herself, not a good sign) and she said that the results came back higher than she liked and now it looked like I had severe dysplasia and needed another procedure done immediately. So now I have to get a LEEP done in August, which removes parts of my cervix with lasers in a sort of an electrical wire loop. Lovely. Luckily, this won’t affect my future child bearing, however women who’ve had this procedure usually have weaker cervixes and earlier labors, which given my frailness I’m sure would have been the case anyway. For this procedure the full recovery time is six weeks (no hot tubs, no tampons, no …) but this will hopefully prevent the pre-cancerous cells from getting any worse and turning into the C word. This has to be done, I keep telling myself and I’m trying not to get too freaked out about it all. Just upset I have to deal with this. Ah, well.

Thus, ladies under 26 go get your Gardasil shots to help prevent some cases of cervical cancer, it’s a series of three shots in six months. I was actually aiming to get them done during my next visit, but then got the call about my test.  

Ironically, after I hung up the phone with my doctor, trying to process this all. In my inbox popped up this week’s Blog Off word and it’s HOPE. So, I’m taking that as a good sign, as I hope this time the procedure will be the end of it, that I’ll be ok and that it will all soon be a distant memory a year from now. I hope, I hope, I hope.

Posted by Tara at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Thursday, July 12, 2007 10:24 PM PDT

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