Monday, June 07, 2010

Stuff for summer

I don’t normally review actual products on this blog. This is not a money-making venture.  I have no ads, have never accepted any free anythings in return for a review or any advertising.  Not that I have the sort of readership to support something like that.  Hah. Readership. I think I tripled my exposure by pushing the blog posts through to Facebook (Hi random Facebook friends, including high school classmates I haven’t seen in 15 years…welcome to my rambling!)
I’m not changing my normal habits today. But I am mentioning stuff. Stuff I like. Stuff I bought myself and feel like talking about.
Fancy Walking Shoes. I’m talking about the round-bottomed walking shoes that are supposed to be extra toning/shaping/etc while you walk. There are a bunch of brands of these being advertised everywhere.  Sketchers is especially prolific (or maybe I’m just their target market because I see their shoe ads everywhere). I don’t have Sketchers (sorry folks, love the looks of your shoes, not paying $120 for a pair).  I did buy a pair of Aspire-brand walking/fitness shoes at Sports Authority last month for less than half the price of the Sketchers.  And I get stopped by strangers on the street every time I wear them out. (Well, twice. But its kind of weird to be approached by strangers in the mall asking where I got my shoes.)
Yes, I like my rolling/toning/whatever shoes. And yes they do feel different when I walk. They remind me of high school marching band, the way they force your toes up and to roll your feet as you walk. In fact, I think the band may have worn shoes with rounded soles for the purpose of getting everyone’s toes up and feet rolling.  Am I toner or more in shape with the fancy new (and pink and silver) shoes?  Meh.  But they work different muscles in your calves and your lower abs.  And if you do a lot of walking, they might be worthwhile just to mix up which muscles you’re working out.
Clinical Strength Antiperspirant.  All the deodorant brands seem to be selling this lately. These are a fairly liquid (either roll on or similar) that you put on once a day and they claim to work for 24 hours. I was afraid to try it for a while (certain brands of “extra-strength” stuff makes me break out in hives). I finally got brave and tried it.  Wow, this stuff works.  And no hives. You can literally put it on before bed and not sweat for a day, which is really nice when you’re wearing tank tops and sleeveless dresses.  When I say it works, I mean that I can go to the gym, do an hour-long workout, and leave with my hair dripping wet and the back of my shirt soaked, and completely dry underarms.
Pizza Crust Yeast.  (Hey, I never promised a coherent theme to this list…).  Pizza Crust Yeast is different somehow than regular bread yeast. I’m not sure how exactly, but it promises that you can make and bake a from-scratch pizza in 30 minutes, without all of the rise and rest time of a typical pizza dough.  It is not supposed to be good for actual bread baking. Since my regular pizza dough takes either 1-2 hours of hot rise and rest time, or 24 hours of slow-rising in the fridge, I figured it was worth the $1.50 to try.

It seemed to work.  I sort of followed the recipe on the yeast package, but changed it to a honey wheat crust (swapped three-quarters of a cup of flour for wheat flour, and used honey instead of the sugar).  I made the pizzas thin crusts, and their flavor and texture were just fine.  There is a warning about not using it for bread baking, but I may try it for last-minute yeast cinnamon rolls some morning (if it works, that would be a very diet-unfriendly recipe to have in the repertoire).  If I do, Ill report back how it worked.

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