Archives for posts with tag: review

Below, my sister (Sad Robots) begins her guest blogging series entitled Lunch Downtown with her favorite lunch place, The Embassy.

Maybe you have jury duty. Or maybe you have to go to some lame corporate meeting. Or maybe you just have the genuine misfortune of having to work in Downtown Dayton. Either way, you’ll need some good lunch suggestions so you don’t end up at Uno’s.

I should explain that there are a ton of places to have lunch downtown, but I’m only going to recommend a few of them because I have stupidly high standards for eateries I would consider my favorites. For example, one requirement is that they have to know my name and greet me when I walk in. See, lunchtime competition is so fierce, that this is what you should expect from the service at these places. It’s the only way they can stay in business. The other qualifications are, of course, amazing food, good prices, and being able to get me in and out of there in a decent amount of time, so I’ll be commenting on the success of those three aspects of each place I review. I have several honorable mentions that do not meet all of these qualifications, but may meet some of them, and are definitely worth a try.

The Embassy

Note: The official name is “Moraine Embassy” even though it’s not in Moraine and no one calls it that. It’s usually just shortened to “Embassy” at my work.

The first lunch place I was introduced to when I got my job was The Embassy. I like to describe it as a fancy Waffle House with better food. So not Waffle House at all, really. It’s kind of a hole-in-the-wall place with a mix of nice and not-nice decor, with CRT televisions in the corners that always play the Weather Channel. There’s a full bar, too, even though it’s mostly a lunch place.


I only go to The Embassy on Mondays and/or Fridays. Mondays are omelet day and Fridays are macaroni and cheese day. My usual routine is walking the block and a half from work to The Embassy on Friday, sit at the bar, order whatever the special is with macaroni and cheese, and watch the Weather Channel while listening to 90s alternative on my iPhone. It’s always very peaceful. My recommendation, of course, is to order the special. It is indeed always very special, kind of like Sunday dinner at your grandma’s house. The Embassy’s specialty is homestyle cooking of the Midwest, with a little bit of Hungarian food thrown in there for kicks (the restaurant is owned by Hungarians). If you’re not into whatever the special is, the sandwiches and salads that they have every day are good too. The best part is that if something on their menu doesn’t go over well, the servers will be the first to tell you that you probably shouldn’t order it. It is impossible to get a bad meal there (although I’ve never enjoyed their desserts, but that’s okay because usually the food is too filling to order dessert anyway).


If you get the special, expect to spend around $10 for the whole meal including tip. If you get a sandwich or salad, it’ll probably be around $8.


The flow of this restaurant is different from other sit-down places. Their priority is speed because everyone comes in on their lunch between meetings and calls and whatever else they have going on. The second (quite literally) you sit down, someone is at your table getting you water and asking what you want to order (because you either always get the same thing or you always get the special. You usually only have to go there a few times to get your order down). Don’t worry, they’re not trying to rush you, they’re trying to make sure that they are serving you on your schedule. They give you your bill with your food, which is always out in about five minutes. Generally, you can go there for a sit-down, homecooked meal and be back to work in a half hour.

In closing, The Embassy is the first place I recommend to everyone who has to eat lunch downtown. Most people haven’t heard of it. There’s no website where you can look at the menu (which is a piece of paper they make copies of every day and highlight), no Facebook page to like or Twitter to follow. The servers are all older than 50 and so are the owners. When you get back to work, you still smell like somebody’s grandma’s house (in a good way) and are just the perfect amount of full. It’s close to everything but hard to notice unless you’re looking for it, so try it out and enjoy your lunch!

Moraine Embassy
25 South Ludlow Street
Dayton, OH  45402

When you’re a teenager and you get visited regularly by the acne fairy/monster, the solution is Proactiv.  Just use it as directed and you’ll be fine.  Ok, now that we’ve set the youth straight, it’s time to talk about the horrors of adult acne.  I hate my acne problem but what I hate more is the fact that old standbys like Proactiv don’t cut it after a certain age.  My skin became more sensitive and more prone to drying completely out, rendering go-to products for teens nearly useless – or worse, they would even create new breakouts.  So what’s a girl woman to do?

The answer for me has been to improve my skin as much as possible by using grown-up products that can do double duty – prevent breakouts and wrinkles while using good-for-skin ingredients with none of the fillers.  Of course this is obscenely expensive, but the products last a long time.  My system is from Somme Institute, a skin care company that specializes in creating luxurious beauty products using MDT5 technology (Molecular Dispersal Technology 5) and mark their products with a simple colored circle to indicate the magic stuff inside.

I mentioned the steps in a previous post about using them for an at-home spa day.  They are that luxurious, for sure, but I also use these every day.  The steps are as follows:

  1. Cleanse – I don’t use the cleanser Somme makes so I substitute one from the drugstore packed with benzoyl peroxide.
  2. Transport – glycolic acid pads to exfoliate
  3. Serum – Vitamin C for brightness and clarity
  4. A-Bomb – rich moisturizer that doesn’t clog pores
  5. Sunscreen – I don’t use the one they make so I improvise with Bare Minerals, which has SPF 30 built in

Now my skin looks worlds better but nothing will knock out my acne for good except (hopefully) menopause.

I pick up my Somme products at Preen Apothecary.

I have loved Fresh Sugar lip gloss since 2006 – the smell is lemony fresh, the consistency is perfect and non-sticky, the colors are sheer.  However, as wonderful as this product truly is, it has one flaw.  For some reason, it leaks everywhere all the time.  Never throw this lip gloss in your purse and go or you’ll have an icky mess to try to clean out later.  I keep this lip gloss on my counter in the bathroom or wrapped in a paper towel in a ziploc if I decide I have to take it with me somewhere.

This lip gloss is normally available around $18 either from their website or Sephora – the shade in the picture is Sugar Shag, a perfect sheer true red.  Also in the mix is SPF 15 – and there is really sugar in the formula!

So as it turns out, I like German food!  I went to Boulevard Haus mostly because I wanted to try German food for the first time and had heard that BH made vegetarian dishes.  I ordered the vegetarian sampler to try a little of everything and loved it!  Now, if only all of the Oktoberfests in the area would start serving vegetarian cabbage rolls, I would be all set.   I read the reviews of Boulevard Haus online before I went and have to agree that the service was a little slow considering we were one of three tables, so I would recommend this restaurant to groups and families who are looking for a quiet place to catch up, eat, and drink (they have a great beer and wine selection as well as a full bar with a creative seasonal drink menu).

Boulevard Haus
329 East 5th Street, Dayton, OH 45402
(937) 824-2722 ‎ 

When I saw these in my inbox from Kate Spade, I was overjoyed.  I remember spending an enormous part of my summer vacations reading these books and now here they are in purse form!  Now all I need is $325 of fun money…

When you are cursed with bad skin, makeup is not an option – it’s a necessity.  Taking off makeup at the end of the day is the most important thing you do for your skin.  However, I hate hate hate washing my face at night.  The last thing I want to do right before bed is get soaked at the sink – nothing wakes you up faster than ice cold water trailing all the way down your arms.  Luckily, I found these Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes

They strip off your makeup – even eye shadow and mascara – with ease and don’t cause irritation.  Somehow they even break the cycle of most facial wipes by staying moist down the very last towelette in the pack.  I can’t recommend these facial towelettes enough.  They are priced at $5.99 and available at local drug stores and their own website here.

When I was in high school, I used Carmex in either the squeeze tube or the pot mostly for the shine but also for the healing properties (ok, the tingly/burny feeling).  Sure, it was messy but I had a trick for that:  I’d stealthily wipe off the excess on the inside of my pant leg.  I cringe just thinking about it.  Bleck.

Luckily for me (and my jeans) Carmex developed a new stick version of their product that still packs a lot of shine and tingly-feeling, now in a slim, pewter grey tube (the yellow was getting so tired).  They even added tinted lip balms to their line – sheer pink and sheer peach (available at Walgreen’s).  I have several that I use and also a ready supply in the event I should ever run out of lip balm.

Priced at around $3, it’s neither the cheapest nor the most expensive lip balm I’ve ever purchased.  I usually buy in bulk on eBay to really save money on my lip balm dependency. Of course, if you’d like to buy just one, head over to your local drugstore or grocery.