Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fish Frenzy: Bill's Tacos

Foodie Fish

This place may also be referred as “heaven”, for me or any other lovers of Mexican food. This place is a huge supermarket geared towards Mexicans, sort of like the Asian food market except it was created by a white man trying to make money. The point is, this place is great and it made me feel like a kid in a candy store! It was the perfect place to collect fresh ingredients for Mexican cuisine.

I was introduced to this wonderful place by my mom’s friend’s boyfriend Bill in Arizona. He was even more passionate about Mexican food than anyone I have ever known (including myself!) He would eat and cook Mexican morning, noon, and night if he had the choice. While we stayed at my mom’s friend’s house, Bill wanted to impress his guests by making his famous tacos (or what he calls the best tacos ever.)


These tacos are easy to make and they are perfect to prepare for a crowd.

Taco Filling


  • High quality ground pork
  • Canned black beans, strained and rinsed (or dried black beans that have been soaked overnight)
  • Chipotle peppers, sliced
  • Taco seasoning


  1. Heat up a skillet on the stove, then put it on medium heat. Place the high quality ground pork on the skillet until browned, but not yet cooked all the way
  2. Fill the skillet up with water to cover the pork
  3. Add beans and peppers
  4. Season the mix with roasted ground cumin, paprika, black pepper, and plenty of garlic powder. You could also season with store bought taco seasoning then add spices to your taste
  5. Put the heat on low and let the mixture simmer for about half an hour

Preparation for Tacos

  1. Slice tomatoes, roasted peppers, and avocado to put into your tacos
  2. Shred Cojita cheese (which is almost like queso fresca
  3. Pick leaves of fresh cilantro off of the stem
  4. Heat up soft tortillas in wrapped in wax paper in the microwave or crispy taco shells on a piece of paper towel
  5. Place all the vegetables and cheese in separate bowls
  6. Put the taco filling in a separate bowl
  7. Lay out the heated shells and you are done with a make-it-yourself taco bar!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Alien-inspired hair

Remember how I posted about Star Wars-inspired hair a while ago? Well, I'm back with more sci-fi hair, this time inspired by the big-headed aliens from Indiana Jones 4. What do you think?

All I did was gather some hair from the crown, as if making a thin partial ponytail, then clip it out of the way while I made a high bun with the rest of my hair (make a high ponytail, twist it around into a bun, pin with all pins facing in). Next, I took that top piece and pulled it down over the bun, securing it on top of the bun with a pin. I then looped the remaining hair around the bun, securing it in place with more pins (and the usual gallon of hairspray). And voila! Katy Perry's not the only E.T. out there.

~mode mare

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'm Back! With loot from Hong Kong

So I got sent to a conference in Hong Kong at the last minute last week, and what did I do in my spare time? SHOPPING. They say that Hong Kong is a shopper's paradise, and that's certainly true if you're into luxury goods. Most of the luxury stores were brimming with Chinese tourists, since the goods cost half in Hong Kong what they do in China (because of taxes). There was actually a long line outside the Chanel store. Can you imagine? People standing outside for an hour or more to spend $4000 on a handbag.

People in Hong Kong, like people in China, are very much into luxury brands, although it's more because of status than quality or style. I saw some EGREGIOUS examples of luxury abuse. People who walked around, for example, wearing a Burberry printed dress with an LV belt carrying a giant Gucci bag, all emblazoned with brand logos. They looked like neon advertisements.

I steered clear of the full-priced luxury stores and instead took the trek out to Citygate Outlets, where I promptly found the Burberry outlet. Originally, I planned to get a classic khaki trench, but after wandering and hemming and hawing for ages, I found that my heart was set on a white one instead. What can I say. I'm a rebel.

I also went to the Chanel cosmetics counter and stocked up on make-up. I find that Chanel eyeshadow really stands out from other brands, even other luxury brands. The powder just glistens more and blends better. Especially when used with the flesh-toned base, which adds some extra sparkle and makes the shadow last longer. In addition, I picked up some eyeliner, blush, and mascara. And just to complete the set, I got a lipstick from the Rouge Coco selection. I'm sure you've already heard amazing things about Rouge Coco- how smooth it is, how it actually stays on, how rich the colors are. It's all true. To the left, you can see the damage from my first day in Hong Kong.

I had already spent about a month's rent on the first day's purchases, so I was determined not to buy any more. However, my trip to the airport was so hellish and upsetting that I ended up engaging in a little retail therapy at one of the luxury perfume stores....

~mode mare

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring color combo: coral, white, and royal purple

Beijing finally decided that it was spring and therefore time to bring out the sun! And I found the perfect color combo to herald the coming of sunnier times: coral, white, and royal purple! Ok, ok, so it's really just a fancy way of saying "purple and pink."

As you can probably tell, I'm headed for the office. There's not much of a dress code where I work, but sometimes I still want to look the part of an office lady, y'know? But to put my own spin on things, I replaced the customary black pencil skirt with this royal purple mini and added a scarf to give my rigid white blazer some flare.

~mode mare

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Angelfish

The lady who cuts my family's hair is always delighted to see me and Angelfish... she loves to go on about how awesome it is that our hair is so different. Mine is sleek and stick-straight; hers is voluminous and curly. Well, today I decided to see what it's like to have HER hair for a change! That's right. I copied my little sister's hair.

All I had to do was divide my wet hair into 4 sections, twist each until it curled up onto itself, secure it into place, and sleep on it. The next morning, I let them out and then used a big brush to tease them out. And there ya go! The Angelfish.

~mode mare

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekly Lunch Recipe

ie Fish

Well at times there is nothing better than your classic sandwich. You know—bread, cheese, meat? So I was in the mood for the old fashioned sandwich, but I still want great flavor. All the flavor of this sandwich comes from the meat component, so I would suggest using some sort of roasted meat with color on the edges. That usually means it was covered with spices. The meat I used was spicy, sweet, and sharp:

• Sharp Cheddar Cheese
• Peppercorn roasted turkey

• Romaine Lettuce

• Multigrain bread

Simple and delicious. Serve with a pickle for the full effect.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Snacks Pre-Track

Foodie Fish

Well it is spring time, and in case you

didn’t know that means time for track in my case. The down side of track, however, is that you are hungry more often and have to worry about getting cramps on your run. Luckily, here are some of the perfect snack and breakfast ideas for right before your run:

1.) Yogurt coated almonds: This is a personal favorite of mine. I am addicted to these babies. They also just happen to be a terrific snack before you go on a 5 mile run. Almonds are packed with vitamin E, which is good for your eyes, and protein as well. As you may know, protein is very important for an athlete since it is essential for muscle development. Another provider of protein here is the yogurt. Not only is a sweet creamy layer that completely covers the almond adding to both texture and flavor, but it is also really good for you. It adds on to the energy intake, the amount of protein, and contains calcium as well. Certain exercises increase bone density, making getting calcium all the more important here.

2.) Odwalla/Cliff bars: I run on nutrition bars. Get the big, flavorful, part-organic bars such as Odwalla or Cliff. Odwalla bars contain no refined sugars, but plenty of flavor. The strawberry pomegranate one tastes like a smoothie. Odwalla bars are also a good source of antioxidants and beta-carotene. Cliff bars now come in great flavors such as carrot cake and white chocolate macadamia nut. Carrot cake tastes just like delicious cake batter, but it is also nourishing. It also has many vitamins, fiber, and protein. The white chocolate macadamia nut, along with many other types of Cliff bars, tastes just like a cookie. A great treat that won’t slow you down.

3.) Soymilk: I always start my day with a glass of milk. But Saturday mornings right before track practice just isn’t the right time. That is when I resort to soymilk. It is a little more filling since it has so much protein and tastes great on its own. It also doesn’t give you cramps!

4.) Banana: Potassium so important for your joint. It helps them operate more smoothly, so you don’t have to feel as though you have arthritis. Bananas are also one of the few foods that you can eat right before you run since they actually prevent cramps as opposed to causing them.

5.) Chocolate: Okay, so don’t start nagging me about sweets making you hyper and are not very healthy. Things that make you happy and boost your mood are automatically healthy. After all, 90% of illnesses are stress related. Chocolate is also one of the best sources of antioxidants. It happens to be good for both the heart and brain as well. I eat it because it gives me enough energy to keep going long and strong on 8-mile runs without filling up my stomach and giving me cramps.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Today's hairstyle was an accidental discovery. I was attempting a classic French Twist, except my super-straight and considerably long hair wasn't cooperating. No matter which way I twisted and twirled and otherwise entwined my hair, it would always end up crooked with pieces splaying out all over the place. FAIL.

Finally, in frustration, I pulled all my hair to one side above the ear, as if I was about to make a ridiculously high side pony like the one that girl in Napoleon Dynamite wore. I twisted it all the way down the back of my head diagonally and down to my neck, then stuck it in place with the usual 92372 pins, almost as a joke. I actually liked the result! From the front, it looks like a short side ponytail, and from the back it looks like a crooked French Twist. For a final touch, I curled the tips and, of course, dumped a gallon of hairspray on. It was surprisingly stable, remaining intact in spite of me smashing it up against the back of my office chair this afternoon as I effectively napped with my eyes open...

~mode mare

Coral and Emerald

"I refuse to wear anything in my size or appropriate for my age." -Angie Jordan, 30 Rock

I could say something very similar about my makeup choices- I refuse to wear anything for my skin tone or appropriate for my line of work (office drone). Some may scold me for wearing bright colors when my skin tone is an odd mix of goldish-yellow and pink. Oh well.

Today, I chose to combine two of my favorite colors: emerald green and coral pink. For the eyeshadow, I used a classic smoky eye technique- highlight brow, surround eyes with smudgy color, line with eyeliner. Except instead of using classic gray or silver, I used a rich emerald green. I then contrasted it with coral blush and lipstick. I actually really liked the result! A bit on the flamboyant side, but as anyone who knows me will tell you, that's to be expected ;-). Besides, someone needs to brighten up the office!

~mode mare

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sundae Sunday

Foodie Fish

I must say that I am thankful for the fact that Google is sure to represent every possible historical event that occurred each day by making a new logo. I had no idea that today was the day the first ice cream sundae was made!!!!

Ice cream sundaes, like many great inventions, was created practically by mistake. Originally, in the late 1800’s the traditional frozen treat was an ice cream soda. The ice cream soda was sold at almost every drug store at the time due to its raging popularity. Sounds good to me—ice cream, soda, and syrup? Yum. It was in fact so good that religious figures began to say that ice cream sodas were too sinful of a treat to have on a Sunday, for it is a day reserved for god. Drug stores still wanted to make money on a Sunday, however, so they came up with the ice cream sundae to replace the ice cream soda. All they did was take out the soda. Eventually, toppings such as berries, nuts, and whipped cream were added. Ironically, nowadays more ice cream is consumed on a Sunday than any other day of the week!

I love ice cream. I am seriously an addict. Don’t talk to me about my health when it comes to ice cream. I hadn’t had an actually ice cream sundae in a while, so luckily Google gave me the perfect excuse/reminder to get myself one.

Today, for sundae day part one I went to Häagen-Dazs. In my opinion Häagen-Dazs is one of the best places to get ice cream. I created a delicious sundae with brownie a la mode ice cream, peanuts, whipped cream, and hot fudge. It was amazing! However, that was certainly not enough on an occasion such as today. So, later my mom and I split a classic banana split with my own twist. I chose my own flavors of cake & ice cream (yellow cake bits, frosting bits, and frosting flavored ice cream), cookies ‘n cream, and just for old times sake I got strawberry too. The place we got it was called Bistro Express and they didn’t even have a banana split on the menu. They just had a picture of a smiling cartoon banana split on the glass in front of their ice cream! Anyways, that was really good as well. Random people came up to us saying it looked really good.

Both my parents recognize my love of ice cream, so now I’m limited to ice cream once a week. Oh well. I’ll just have to make do with what I got.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekly Lunch Recipe

Foodie Fish

Who doesn’t love a good pita pocket? I admit that I’m not a big fan of pita myself. I have always had a tendency to like foods too often associated with health nuts or dieters such as frozen yogurt (as an ice cream purist myself). But these pita pockets are loaded with beans, lettuce, and feta cheese. Those are just a few of my favorite ingredients.

Minted Veggie and Feta Pita Pockets:

· Sliced pita bread (to make the pocket)

· Romaine lettuce

· Feta cheese

· Red bell pepper

· Canned organic garbanzo beans

· Scallion

· Fresh mint

· Roasted ground cumin

· Cayenne pepper

Line the pita pocket with torn pieces of romaine. Mash garbanzo beans, then combine it with minced red bell pepper, chopped scallion, and chopped fresh mint. Season with cumin and cayenne to taste. Crumble the feta cheese, then add it to the mixture. Stuff all of that into your pita pocket and enjoy!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Next Great Fashion Commentator: Rush Limbaugh

Did anyone hear about Rush Limbaugh's anti-Michelle Obama radio rant this week? Among other things, he and his listener criticized her yellow dress for making her look like a "bowl of mustard," and her body type as being like that of a lumberjack. Well, let me be the first to say: well done! Whether people acknowledge it or not, fashion and politics have always gone hand in hand, and I think we have just found Anna Wintour of political couture.

Some people might say, wait Rush Limbaugh? What would he know about fashion? Well, for one thing, you have to live it to know it, and Rush has been proving himself quite capable of staying chic for some time now. It's not many who can rock the rotund-and-balding look, but Rush has successfully dressed for his type with great panache.

For example, look at this picture of him! The dirty pinkish shade of his shirt is wonderful masculine version of this spring's popular coral trend. And look how it offsets his pallid doughboy skin! Furthermore, it accentuates the gentle roundness of his stomach without overemphasizing the meatiness of his shoulders, all the while flattering the natural chunkiness of his head. And keep in mind, folks, that this was just for a backroom radio program. As he has proven on many occasions, he has an arsenal of suits that pay homage to the frenetic political culture by looking simultaneously arrogant and pieced together in two minutes. And he is an expert at deploying them to for maximum body boxiness.

So bravo, Rush, for bringing appearance back into the political conversation! Of course a fiercely real man who rocks his shock of silver and unique, boulder-like bone structure is just the guy to criticize our overly adulated First Lady and her perfectly toned athletic build! And the natural candidate to opine about her classy sheath dresses and elegantly layered ensembles is the guy who knows what works for him and wears it over and over again in different incarnations!

So there you have it, guys. The Andre Leon Tally of talk radio. Fashionistas and political junkies everywhere, rejoice!

~mode mare


Not your mom's pink and gray!

Pink and gray is an excellent color combination for spring, especially in paler shades. It's classic, elegant, and ethereal. It can also get a little boring and stuffy, especially since it has become a staple among middle-aged office women, who pair their old-fashioned button-downs with frumpy excuses for pencil skirts.

Today was Casual Friday at my office, and I decided to take a younger, more streetwise approach to the color combo. Instead of the usual gray office pants, I opted for distressed gray jeans. Well, technically they're black jeans that have been washed about 100 times to many and otherwise tortured to make them look artsy. And in place of a yawn-inducing collared shirt, I wore a light pink lace shirt over a white tank top. And to cap it all off (har har har), I added a gray (well, black and white mottled together to look gray) fedora. Et voila!

~mode mare