Andrea Harner
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August 1, 2007

Best bed sheets - updated with confession

Update!!! The 70% pima cotton 30% seaweed sheets I mention below have been found at the 6th Ave Bed Bath & Beyond store! AND, they are now $100 instead of $200!!! The sales associate told me that they are in fact the best sheets they sell but their customers just weren't buying them at $200 so they are now clearance items for half off. I highly suggest buying a set if you are in the hood! I am going to buy another one while they are still around!

There comes a time in every blogger's life when she has to admit a mistake and apologize to her readers. My time has come. I have learned that the bed sheets I thought I was reviewing were not in fact the the sheets I was challenged to review. I have slept on the aforementioned sheets since realizing this mistake and can no longer stand behind them as the best sheets. They are fine and undoubtedly good quality but they are not nearly soft enough for my liking. The sheets I thought were the best bed sheets were sheets I purchased from Bed, Bath and Beyond a while ago. For some strange, unknown reason, BBB no longer stocks them nor can I find them anywhere online - this mention is the best I can find and as you can see the links don't satisfy. Jonah says, "they've probably been recalled!" Probably.

The good news is that this past weekend while staying at The Standard Miami I discovered delightful, heavenly sheets by Fili D'oro. I researched them and discovered they only sell to hotels (The Standard and The Ritz-Carlton among others) however I just called The Standard and asked to purchase a set and they say that upon receiving their next shipment of sheets, they will sell and send a set! The Fili D'oro sheets and the elusive Seacell sheets are truly the softest, loveliest sheets.

For those of you who bought the Thomas Lee sheets based on my recommendation (I already know of one) I truly apologize for my erroneous review. They have a 30 day return policy so that's an option or if you love the sheets, well then perfect!

Apologies again.

What's Your Poo Telling You? by Josh Richman & Anish Sheth M.D.

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This is a fantastically apt birthday present from Sally! Once in a while your friends really get you and know that all you really want is a poo book as a long-waited excuse to talk about poo till you're blue brown in the face.

Here's a sampling of the goods:

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Can you guess which doo-doo this one is??!! If so, you can join my Poopoori Club!

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July 24, 2007

'Remember you will die' watch

I love and appreciate the concept of this watch - life is short! be nice to your loved ones! live to the fullest! The face is beautiful but too bad the stainless steel case is so bulky and where the band connects to the case so airy, otherwise I would have bought one. Take note: Only a handful of the 100 limited pieces are left so act quickly!

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* Thanks to cousin Angelina for posting this first!

July 16, 2007

Paris apartment views, Paris '07

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* On the Rue des Archives in the Marais

Best psychology magazine: Scientific American Mind

My search for a good psychology magazine to subscribe to was surprisingly difficult. I quickly realized there is a dearth of mainstream psych mags. Of the slim pickings Psychology Today was hugely disappointing and highly irritating. Thank goodness I then discovered Scientific American Mind which I love and highly recommend!

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July 13, 2007

Sicko by Michael Moore

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I walked out of Sicko with an overwhelming pride for sharing a nationality with Michael Moore as he may be one of the greatest American patriots of our time. It is obvious from all his films that he is not a journalist. If you hold him to journalistic standards it is incredibly frustrating to watch his films which are about relentlessly complex problems yet that doesn't stop him from over simplifying, over romanticizing and failing to blame all culpable parties. He is however, a true patriot in the sense that he holds America to the ideals she so strongly espouses and by using the tactics he knows best and is best known for, tirelessly tries to make her live up to all of them. Even with the overstatements and oversights replete in this film, I ask you how many people are making films spotlighting our atrocious health care system and its painful consequences? Not many so I commend you, Michael Moore!

July 9, 2007

L'Ambassade d'Auvergne Restaurant, Paris '07

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* L'Ambassade d'Auvergne via TimeOut Paris.

June 22, 2007

Wd~50, a curious molecular gastronomy experience

Our dining experience last night at Wd~50 was well, quite an experience. We went all out and indulged in the tasting menu although opted out of the wine pairing. Let's just say that towards the end of the evening we equated this type of food, molecular gastronomy, to new media art: An honorable exercise in innovation, some of it's delicious and awe-inspiring and some of it fails miserably. An absolutely worthwhile experience for the curious and adventurous - you are guaranteed a memorable time!

Here it is in chronological order with dishes listed as they appear on menu.

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The hungry!

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Nice earthy, textured placemats and wooden tables to off-set the less than natural food preparation:

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A toast to the curious!

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Hamachi, fried corn, lime pickle, grapefruit - delicious:

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Shrimp and tarragon macaroons - these were divine and incredibly fun to eat (think cheese puffs):

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Foie gras in the round - hated the watercress dollops but otherwise really interesting rice crispies version of foie gras that enabled me to enjoy foie gras - the cacao balls were an incredible pairing that worked magnificently:

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"I'm now a yuppie. Not sure how I feel about that..."

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Sweetbreads, cabbage-kaffir, water chestnuts - pretty good although I am not entirely comfortable with sweetbreads, the greatest euphemism of cuisine:

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Beef tongue, fried mayo, tomato molasses - the tongue resembled a cow tongue too much for me to enjoy it - otherwise the tomato molasses and fried mayo were good:

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Miso soup, sesame "noodles":

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Interactive food!

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This Japanese-inspired dish was greatly appreciated, yummy and fun:

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DIY noodles!

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Surf clam, watermelon, garlic chive, fermented black bean - this was mediocre:

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Lamb belly, black chickpea, cherried cucumber - the lamb belly which was basically bacon was very good but otherwise the dish was only alright:

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Cameranda:

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Argan oil horchata, cantaloupe, carob - was delicious:

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Fried butterscotch pudding, mango taro, smoked macadamia - this was disgusting - the fried butterscotch tasted like hotdogs:

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Soft chocolate, avocado, licorice, lime - was remarkable:

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"Cool" black currant jelly - pretty cool:

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The chef Wylie Dufresne himself:

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The satiated foursome:

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June 21, 2007

Fantastic Flatware!

The minute I saw these and held these I was in love. It was as if I were transported to the forest where I joined my gnome friends for a feast on a large wooden table laden with goblets of wine, these utensils and whatever food gnomes eat. Jonah says "seems like we would need to listen to Bjork while we eat." Amen, JP, amen. I highly encourage everyone to fall in love with your very own, special flatware.

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June 15, 2007

Best Bed Sheets FOUND!

UPDATE: READ HERE.

In a challenge to my original post, Thomas of Thomas Lee Bedding sent me a set of his sheets and said, "see what you think!"

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Well, after two washes I can safely say that they are in fact lovely high-quality sheets - on the crispy side so perfect for summer! It must have something to do with how they're made. What was an unexpected bonus was unlike how most bed sheets are packaged, they are packaged like a gift - no plastic, wrapped in tissue in an elegant box.

If you're in search of the best bed sheets, I would encourage you to give these a try! You can request a free swatch or you can order them and if they don't work for you, return them within 90 days.

This is the blond me in my super-soft, gorgeous white sheets:

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June 8, 2007

Funny Face

Funny Face is one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time and admit to having watched it too many times to count. Audrey Hepburn is at her best and plays a book-ish, funny looking girl who gets noticed by premier fashion magazine photographer played by Fred Astaire and whisked off to Paris for fashion week - in a word, divine. Everything about this movie from gorgeous Paris in the 50's to the funny philosophical struggle in the story line to the vibrant colors ("Think Pink!") and clothing designed by Givenchy...it's a treasure.

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May 10, 2007

Prince perfume!!

On July 7th, me and Jonah's wedding anniversary, Prince is releasing his new perfume!!! Jonah says he commissioned it for me by sending the majesty in minneapolis smells that I like...of course I know he's kidding and that Prince concocted it from his own inspirations...for our wedding anniversary gift.

Hope it's not grose!

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April 27, 2007

Best water bottle: Nalgene 16 oz in purple!

It's cute and purple - there's nothing more to ask for!

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April 24, 2007

Best Juicer: Krups Citrus Juicer

This appliance is FANTASTIC and a great way to improve your quality of life. I buy organic juice oranges from the Whole Foods Mecca that just opened up across the street, chill the oranges and then juice away. It truly is one of the most delicious drinks on the planet. Major bonus: You can feed your spouse this healthy nectar and revel in the delight of feeling like a real nurturer and it only took a few minutes! Do not hesitate - great investment!!

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Thanks to John for that first taste that hooked me!

April 19, 2007

Earplugs. Love 'em.

I've noticed something peculiar as I've gotten older - I can hear things more acutely and this is not a joyous occasion (even as Jonah says I'm turning into a superhero!). As a consequence I've taken to wearing earplugs to sleep, to study (I snuck them in to my GRE test!) and to read. The effect is immediate and soothing. The world is at a safe distance and I can finally focus and relax. If you are a reader who is at all tempted right now I highly recommend it!

The best part of these particular earplugs is that once you've smushed the little fellas and fit them in your ear holes (it will become a sacred ritual in no time), the package itself becomes a real source of entertainment. Just as your spouse gets quiet and unwinds into sleep mode, firmly say your spouses name in that tone of voice that makes them think something's wrong. Then grab the package with one hand, hold it up and with your other hand point aggressively to the QUIET PLEASE! and then you and your spouse can laugh and laugh and laugh. I have endless fun doing this to Jonah every night.

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Excerpt from a fellow fan's musings and a brief history of earplugs (Thanks to Jason for the link!):

Concentrating was easier, and I began to leave the earplugs in to write. Errands in the city, or when I had to take the subway, were much more pleasant at a slight sonic remove. It's like listening to music on an iPod, but instead of filling your head with sound, you fill it with your thoughts and your own breath. continued...

P.S. If anyone can help me find cute, dangling earplugs like the ones Audrey Hepburn used in Breakfast at Tiffany's, please let me know!

March 26, 2007

Best makeup brushes: Trish McEvoy!

Although they are expensive I can wholeheartedly endorse these brushes as the best makeup brushes on the market. Ladies, your mugs will thank you!

Trish McEvoy powder brush #5:

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Trish McEvoy bronzer brush #37:

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Trish McEvoy blush brush #2B:

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February 8, 2007

Toilet for Kings, Queens and Bloggers!

If I lived alone, without a partner who would tell me this was entirely wrong, I would probably use this.

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Thanks to my bro for this link!

December 14, 2006

Best hand lotion: Glysomed. Hands down.

It's not so surprising that it's Canadian as lots of healthy, good things seems to be but thankfully Drugstore.com has it available for purchase. As does Duane Reade and probably CVS too.

It truly is the best hand lotion on the market and I've tried almost all. It coats your skin but not even in the slightest greasy way. It's as if you have nothing on your hands and they just happen not to be dry, crackly, gross-feeling. They're hydrated, happy hands (not to be confused with very cute movie Happy Feet)! Let me know how much you agree.

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Be sure to get the unscented. The scented is too strong and the lotion is so effective you won't need the extra umph of a smell.

November 28, 2006

Etsy, your place to buy and sell all things handmade

Other than the confusion caused by me thinking it's a site selling all small things (wait, I should do that) this online marketplace for all things handmade is awesome. It's designed well too which is a huge relief because you know how these craftsy things can be!

You will spend hours perusing but here are some highlights.

I want these guys - badly. I don't care if they're "reserved for Jenn!!

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Pure awesomeness. Do they only sell stuffed animals and toys, you ask? No, it's just what I'm interested in.

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Doorway Puppet Theater Set - fits into a little satchel to bring to every friend and acquaintance's apt - please share your talent!

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Thanks to BuzzFeed for the Etsy Buzz!

November 27, 2006

Best espresso machine: Nespresso D90!!

And you must say it in Italiano!! Nesprrrrreeeessssso!

The Nespresso D90 in coral red is so dreamy it's a pleasure getting up every morning to make my espresso. AUTHENTIC CREMA. I kid you not. The capsules you have to buy (nothing else will work in it) are pricier than if you made espresso the traditional way but it is so worth it (traditional is not always best!). You don't have to deal with espresso grounds all over the place, cleaning the beautiful machine or spending more than 1 minute with it before you have a delicious, piping hot espresso con crema! You might however feel like a lab rat that drinks your pod every morning but there are a lot worse things. What more could you ask for? Niente!!!

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Thanks to my mother in law Della for this fantastic 30th birthday gift! Grazie mille!!

November 17, 2006

Ray-Ban Wayfarers

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I wish sunglasses looked good on me because then I would have bought these yesterday...in white.

Sometimes you'll be fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and get a deep glimpse into the soul of a blogger. Like with this post.

September 18, 2006

In n Out twas a sweet sweet reunion

We touched down in Oakland and within an hour our eyeballs were feasting on this!

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Then my paws were all over it:

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And then my mouth cavity was all into it:

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For the record, In n Out burgers are my favorite burgers.

And I really don't need to be challenged on this.

* Near Oakland airport over Labor Day weekend 2006.

September 13, 2006

Best (untested) desk & chair system

In response to the most asked question by my readers, "what desk and chair system can we buy for your blog studio, Andrea?" my answer is the Aura offered by Poetic Tech.

It's modest:

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Has its own air circulation system:

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Chair rotation system:

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All for a modest $6000.

I.....'m waiting!!! Still waiting.

Thanks to Alex Reppen for introducing me to this little puppy!

July 6, 2006

Best Sunscreen FOUND

I have been looking for good sunscreen for years. One or two. Now I can kick back and drink an OE under my sun lamp because I've found the best.

The Helioplex technology used in this product is supposedly what the Europeans have been using for years and any suncreenie (like foodie, humor me) knows that the Europeans have superior sunscreen. That coupled with the fact that it does not feel greasy when applied on the face is great. And it's spf 55 which is good for people (me) who have recently discovered sunspots and realize tanning is not as cool as it was in the 7th grade when people (I) covered the Thriller record album (folded out, remember?) with aluminum foil and sat in the optimal sun attack spot.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55.

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Full disclosure: Neutrogena has been advertising their helioplex technology like crazy so I'm not sure to what degree their advertising has influenced my opinion on this product.

May 17, 2006

Best Eyelash Comb FOUND!

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It's made of some serious claws which does the job well, it folds up to protect you and for ease of travel and it only costs $6.50.

Every Tweezerman product is high quality, comes with a lifetime quarantee and they're big believers in social responisibility and progressive politics, so Tweezerman is a company worth supporting!

P.S. They're tweezers are the best too. I figured everyone already knows that. If you didn't, now you know that they also provide free sharpening for their tweezers therefore your one pair of tweezers could truly last you your lifetime!

May 15, 2006

Best Game FOUND: SET

This is a highly addictive game that I force on guests to determine their intelligence.

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If you become as obsessed could you tell me if you think you get better with repeated play? I'm not sure I am. Also, any secrets would be appreciated!

May 10, 2006

Underground : The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche

I am obsessed with this book right now. It's comprised of Murakami's interviews with the Sarin Gas Attack victims and the perpetrators. Can't put it down and have started taking baths every night so the book is 50% wet at any given time.

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April 10, 2006

Best Bed Sheets no longer

Updated Update! I have finally found the best bed sheets ever!

Update: I hate to have to bring this to your attention but after a few weeks of using the bed sheets I went on and on about...

I see that they PILL.

These are the softest sheets ever to be found. And I have an extensive team deployed in search of the softest sheets. They are 100% Modal which is a fiber created from the beechwood tree. I don't really understand how that creates the softest sheets but I know that these sheets are like silk and your oldest softest T-shirt combined.

If in need of sheets and you don't already have these, consider yourself having received the greatest piece of knowledge you could have received today. Roll around in them and rub your face all over them, all the while thinking, "AndreaHarner.com *does* know best!"

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April 6, 2006

Best Cereal FOUND

It is delicious:

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April 5, 2006

Cutest Mac & Cheese FOUND!

Arthur Mac & Cheese:

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Here's what it looks like raw:

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And cooked:

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The only thing that could be cuter is the cute mac and cheese in a cute Doraemon bowl!

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With a cute little utensil!

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The end:

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I'm sorry you had to live through this post.

January 24, 2006

Best bathrobe found: Barefoot Dreams Robe

Listen up folks...it's time to throw off that ratty robe you're sitting around in and lounge for real! Two christmases ago I got one for my brother and Jonah and Chelsea got one for their grandmother. This holiday season (take that, Bush!) Jonah got me one and it really is a miracle in a robe - soft, plush, extremely soft - I never leave home without it on underneath whatever sexy outfit I have on.

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September 28, 2005

My new camera.

Man, oh man, oh man!!! Who's got a new camera??!! Me, me, me!!!

Thanks to my generous, kind and awesome godbrother (apparently these unimaginative adjectives are the best I can do to demonstrate extreme gratitude), I have a new and much improved (albeit a lot bigger) camera!!! He, Hiromi Yoshida, gave me my first camera and many subsequent cameras along the way. For a wedding gift he gave me the following Nikon D50 and I am in love with it. Of course the irony is that had I been able to take a picture of the new camera with the new camera it would look better but anyway...

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!!*

* This thanks should have come earlier of course as I received the gift last month and have been taking pictures with it ever since but anyway...

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