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Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

My Own Happiness Project

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I finished my undergraduate run here at Boston University yesterday — most definitely a bitter sweet feeling to say the least. I am definitely going to miss a lot of things and people, but I am so ready to start a new page of my life. I told you guys recently about one of the books I read entitled, “The Happiness Project”. In the book, she creates various checklists of what she aims to accomplish to make herself an overall happier person, so I figured I too would make one. This is the list (free of the images of course) posted next to my computer. I think at this point, I can share my personal to do list for the future — enjoy….

1) Get back into dance — I was a dancer for more than half of my life. I did everything from jazz to hip hop to finally pointe. I loved it all — the feeling of excitement, anxiety, and nervousness overwhelmed me when the lights hit me on the stage when I performed. I would love nothing more than to get back into dance for good this time. I have tried numerous times here in Boston to take some classes, but have been overwhelmed with too much else to really stick with it.

2) Start up on my photography again — I have a Canon, I love it. It’s my soul mate. If my dad were to one day drop it or ruin my Rebel? I think our relationship would be severed for a few months. At least. I used to LOVE random fall days when I would go on photography excursions — no where in particular, just with the underlying goal of snapping some great pictures. I would love to get back into a committed relationship with my Rebel.


3) Attend more concerts, especially outdoor ones over the summer — I love concerts. The feeling of having no cares in the world, losing your shoes/ phone/ friends all seem to drift away as the music blares and blankets are shared with you by random strangers. I have and will always be a huge fan of summer nights in the open sky listening to my favorite bands play at huge open arenas.

4) Join a book club… and possibly a cooking club too– I love love love reading for leisure. Ever since I picked up the first Harry Potter in London many summers ago, I just felt this unexplainable sense of adventure and excitement when I dive into great books. I love being able to get away, mentally, for a few hours a day. The thought of battling Wizards in Harry Potter or even joining a Circus in Water For Elephants allows me to escape reality whenever I please. And for that? Sign me up.

5) Get back on the pavement– I miss more than anything the early morning runs. For one reason only, the silence that comes with being up before everyone else. The serenity is incomparable and sometimes so necessary. The feeling to be one with nature is a great feeling.

6) Go to bed earlier– sleep is such a necessity that I rarely take seriously. Getting a great nights sleep could be the difference between a good/productive day and a lazy/bummed out day. That’s why I am working towards getting more sleep as often as I can.


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Girl Scout Cookies — You Never Cease To Amaze Me

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Last night at dinner with my dear friend Pat, the topic of Girl Scout Cookies came up. Having literally stopped traffic to get three boxes of cookies on Saturday, I clearly was enthusiastic about the beloved cookies. You can’t buy them online — you also can’t buy them at the local grocery store year round. You have to find them randomly — which makes these treats which come and go highly sought after.

THIN MINTS: The most popular cookie sold by Girl Scouters — I mean, I personally enjoy these frozen. A girlfriend suggested to try them crushed in Vanilla Frozen Yogurt as well — I haven’t tried it yet but I will be as soon as a take a big ol’ Lactaid pill.

DO-SI-DOS: I love salty and sweet foods. Love love love sweet & salty. These cookies combine both flawlessly. I love the hint of salt and the utterly smooth and creamy peanut butter nestled in the middle of two cookies.

TAGALONGS: Classic favorite of mine — chocolate coating, plain vanilla cookie, and peanut butter. It adds a bit more texture and complexity than the Do-Si-Dos.You have the airy first layer then the crunch on the bottom, perfection.

SAMOAS: Vanilla cookie, caramel, chocolate, and coconut — how can you NOT love these cookies? I love these chewy insanely flavorful cookies.


My Quest For The Perfect Companion (Dog, That Is)

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2010 at 3:20 pm

No, this isn’t going to be about me finding a husband or even a boyfriend for that matter. This is merely about getting myself an animal as a companion.

I’ve lived alone for three years now, and for anyone who knows me, it’s for the better. I would be walked on way too easily and most likely clean up after anyone I lived with. I did that during summers in NYC and San Francisco and didn’t mind whatsoever, but I could see how the type A self that I am could be overwhelming I’m sure at times. With that in mind, I have been trying to convince my parents to allow me to get a dog for years. Here was my process of elimination:

1) They’re fun but not requiring too much love and affection, like a baby would be doing for instance

2) They’re not as Chelsea Handler said stupid and poop in boxes and try to cover it up with kitty litter — I also have the literal spawn of a cat, named Gray Gray, who I will not elaborate on — he’s not worth the typing of the fingers. Let’s just say no go with cats

3) I think it could be a great pick-up tool. I am hoping men do this as well in cities? If not I will start a female pick-up revolution — women getting hit on by men because of cute dogs they have in tow

I have narrowed it down to these three breeds of dogs — I want a small dog, because I am a small girl and have no interest playing with a dog who could potentially cause me harm in my sleep.  I think I would name the doggie either Norton or Dexer — perhaps Stewart. I like really dweeby awkward non-dog like names. Here are the three I love:

1) French Bulldog


2) Boston Terrier


3) Beagle

The likelihood I will be receiving one of these dogs for graduation is highly unlikely if they think I will beginning an 8-8 job come June but hey, can’t a girl dream?

Beso, LA Review

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I wanted to try Beso for two reasons: Eva Longoria and Todd English. I worked for Todd this summer/ fall and I love Eva — she’s just great. So, I figured, a “Hot Spot” Zagat restaurant funded by the two superstars wouldn’t dissapoint. The end result was a little bit of mixed feelings towards my dining experience there. Loved certain aspects, really would’ve passed on others.

For an appetizer, I had the made from scratch Tortilla Soup crafted by Eva. I always love when soups are poured in to the bowl with the other ingredients table side, so that was a perk. I didn’t like over abundance of tortilla chips in the soup however. It was a bit much and unnecessary, the soup was good without it. My mom, a connoisseur of good guacamole, had the Guacamole and Chips and was so utterly dissapointed she literally left it untouched– to leave chips and guac untouched is unheard of in my family, to put it in context.

Dinner, however, was the salvageable part of the evening. I had the Paella of course — it was a bit pricey for the dish, $35, but it was extremely flavorful and satisfying. My mom tried the fresh Shrimp in a marinade with a side of Mashed Potatoes (skins included — my favorite). We were both very happy with the entree aspect of the dinner, however, we wouldn’t really recommend coming here unless you’re hoping to see a celeb or two — i.e. those that frequent the restaurant, such as BECKS AND POSH.


Lessons Learned In LA

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I am a very finicky person — I tend to seek out flaws in people much quicker than I seek out their good attributes. This same mentality applies when I vacation and visit destination spots. I travel more than most people my age, to say the least — I am a pro at sitting on my luggage bag to get it closed, what sizes of liquids fly and which don’t, and how many days it takes me to adjust to my new surroundings (yes, I have OCD).

I went to Los Angeles with a different purpose than my last trip in 2002 — Instead of frequenting boutiques on Rodeo Drive and being sprayed with Evian at The Four Seasons,  I had an underlying purpose for this trip — to pretty much sort my life out.

I am mid way through the amazing book entitled, “The Happiness Project” and in it the author made one very relevant point — you need to make your own happiness, no one else can do that for you. With that in mind, I need to make the decision what is going to make me the happiest because, in the end, that will in fact make me most successful in my career goals.

Before having begun reading the book clearly, I went to LA this time around with the mentality — find every flaw with the people, city, atmosphere, food, and school.  To my dismay, however, I came to discover that there was not much for me to criticize. Here are the few things I left Los Angeles knowing about the city itself:

1. Women in NYC and Miami are FAR more invested in their animals than woman in LA — women here love to bring their children to extremely pricey boutiques as opposed to putting a mini poodle in their purse instead


2. Food is NOT the utmost importance to people in LA — in fact, I may even have to go as far as to say food is not on the top 3 list for people living here — I think driving, the environment, and strip malls triumph over good meals

3. Cars are extremely necessary and integrated into everyone’s daily life here — the constant babbling about traffic and an overabundance of cars in the city itself couldn’t be more spot on. There is traffic, because there are too many cars — and there are too many cars because there is no way to get anywhere otherwise — what a bad cyclical pattern they have working

4. Beaches — gorgeous, expansive, clean beaches, are left empty for those beach lovers from other parts of the country to use and indulge in

5. Bicycles are a way of life for most people at universities in Los Angeles — there is no such thing as walking to class, you ride a bike or you skate board. I don’t know how well I’d do in a flowy summer dress and Rainbows on a skateboard, so if I move to LA I would opt for the bike fad

6. Many parts of the city that used to be dilapidated are now the hot spots and the hot spots from long ago are now dilapidated

7. Celebrities, are in fact, real live people with unpainted toes and unkempt hair. After having sat next to one of the top supermodels in the world while her and her daughter shared an ice cream cone, to seeing a huge reality star chuck her Rainbow flip flops into plastic bins in LAX — celebrities are not few and far between, they are swarming the city

Locanda Veneta, Los Angeles

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I was a bit unsettled by the quiet atmosphere at Locanda Veneta at first — we were one of the few booths taken for the evening. What we realized very quickly, however, was that we hit a major foodie jackpot.

My mom had one of the specials of the day for an appetizer — the Pureed Asparagus Soup, free of cream *luckily because neither of could have done it in that case. The soup was creamy and rich without having to have cream base — I was impressed. I had the Chicken and Corn soup made with fresh venetian corn which was superb.

For an entree, my mother had been eyeing down this one dish on Menupages all week and decided on getting it — she got the Pappardelle Al Filetto E Funghetti — Homemade large fettuccine with strips of beef filet, wild mushrooms, and a marsala sauce. SO rich, SO delicious absolutely to die for dish. I had the Linguine Al Frutti Di Mare– Homemade linguine pasta with Scallops, Lobster Tails, Shrimp, and Clams in a wonderful red sauce.

To boot, apparently this is the secret Italian hidden gem restaurant for crazy hot celebs, aka Conan and Jess Biel.


What I’m Currently Watching

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I don’t know much about writing television critiques so I rarely post them. I mean, yes, I do occasionally HAVE to chime in with my two cents about crucial issues such as Nip/Tuck’s downward spiral of a season finale, or True Blood but in GENERAL I don’t delve into the TV realm with you guys. I do, however, love television — not as much of a movie fan (I have my favorites and tend to re watch my favorites until they physically fall apart). TV shows are different– I don’t like to re watch episodes but I do have shows I will make a hard ass effort to watch weekly, if new, and reruns if discontinued.

GLEE

LOVE Glee — love the musical, Broadway, High School Musical feel to it but at the same time I love how there’s an actual intriguing plot that keeps you interested for more than just the music. I hope Puck stays in the spotlight again this season, he’s the best there is. A bitttt slow, but hey, he’s not all too bad to look at. Agree with me ladies?

FAMILY GUY

I could say I didn’t THOROUGHLY enjoy this show? But I’d be lying. I click to Family Guy whenever it is on television — it’s such a sharp show. Stewie is my favorite character by far.

KING OF THE HILL

Insert jokes and chuckles here, I know I know. Why in the world am I such a big King of The Hill fan you ask? I couldn’t really answer that question. But I will say, I love Bobby Hill — sure he may be a questionable homosexual who hasn’t discovered it yet, but he is SO great and comfortable in his own skin — best character.

DEGRASSI

I think the better more reasonable question is when in fact am I NOT watching Degrassi? The show is so addicting — and childish — and I feel uncomfortable watching it because I am too old but it’s ok because I live alone. I don’t have anyone to judge — and with that in mind, I will continue to watch. For those of you closet Degrassi fans, HOW EXCITED ARE YOU FOR FRIDAY NIGHT?!?


THROW DOWN WITH BOBBY FLAY

I don’t think Bobby Flay by ANY means has the best personality on the Food Network — he is rather dull actually, but his show is clogging up most FN space and so I have been forced to watch a bit more of it than I’d like. What I have realized, however, is that the show is extremely comical. It’s a cocky chef seeing if anyone has what it takes to stack up to him. AS IF he could triumph over hefty southern black ladies who made corn bread from 6am-11pm? THAT’S FUNNY.



Snack Awards–The Best of The Best

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I have a lot of favorite foods/ snacks but I figure I should highlight the best of the best — the products that continually find their way into my shopping cart.

Special K Chocolatey Delight Cereal

It’s like a dessert and a breakfast all at once. LOVE the Special K line of cereals, they have extremely low in sugar, high in taste options for breakfast cereal. I also love their Fruit and Yogurt Cereal as well. You can’t really go wrong to be honest.

Thomas Whole Wheat English Muffins

I grew up on Thomas English Muffins slathered with Peanut Butter and Honey (my momma’s speciality).. I think English Muffins are the ideal size — you’re never left hungry or too full after eating one. I tend to scramble some eggs and make a sandwich with the muffins.


Chobani Greek Yogurt (In General)

These are the two new flavors I am DROOLING over but I do love some of their original stuff like Pineapple and Honey Greek Yogurt combinations. They’re extremely rich and creamy without the problem of dairy.

Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches

No I am not on a diet but these ice cream sandwiches are amazing, with the added bonus of being healthy. I love the Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream sandwiches the most, but couldn’t seem to find any solid pictures of them.

Joseph’s Bakery Pita Bread/ Tortillas

I have been in love with these tortillas for a few years now, they’re extremely packed with protein and dietary fiber. They are also low in fat and carbs — where can you go wrong?

Lessons Learned As A Blonde

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2010 at 7:50 pm

There were a few things I was adamantly against growing up

  1. The color pink
  2. Hugging
  3. Romantic movies
  4. Blondes

Looking back on it, I still strongly dislike hugging and romantic movies, but I will say, I have grown to like the color pink (not the tacky one that’s featured on Playboy paraphernalia) but more like a light, classy pink. I have also become a BLONDE MYSELF — who woulda thunken.

My gradual transition into a blonde:



(I’m of age to drink, I promise)

LESSONS LEARNED AS A BLONDE:

1. Assume it’s okay to Jaywalk, even when cars have a green light and are moving fast in your direction — don’t worry, they will stop for you

2. Realize you will be asked where “Your Boyfriend” or “Hubby” is on frequent occasion


3. You must work harder to prove to others (and perhaps yourself at times) you are in fact not a dumb blonde and that hair color truly is of no relevance to your intelligence

4. Doors will be opened for you, no questions asked — you can also craft up your own meals at restaurants if you choose to be “that girl”


Songs That Have Shaped My Life

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Okay, that may be an extremely STRONG/SENTIMENTAL/MUSHY title for this post but I am in a mushy mood — I am done college in less than 25 days and it is hitting me pretty hard. I didn’t realize how fast it would all come to an end.

I thought I would do something a little out of character for me, I wanted to run through some of the songs that have stuck with me throughout my life and why they mean a lot to me. Music has a way of truly affecting you — whether it be in a positive or negative way. I know the second I listen to certain songs what emotions will be evoked. I love every minute of it.

  • Home Life — John Mayer (Heavier Things) — This song just embodies so much that I feel and how I see my life. The lyrics that have stuck with me over the years are, “See, I refuse to believe that my life’s gonna be just some string of incompletes never to led me to anything remotely close to my home life”
  • Another Again — John Legend (Once Again)– John Legend is my idol, however, something about this particular song gives me chills. It is beautiful, touching, and extremely relatable

  • Tears in Heaven — Eric Clapton (Eric Clapton Unplugged)– This song bears heavy weight with me, my Uncle Terry passed away and this song was on my IPod, it will forever remind me of Ter — the lyrics couldn’t be more fitting either, heart wrenching song
  • Drops of Jupiter — Train (Drops of Jupiter)– It’s easy to love this song, it just is a favorite of mine for no particular reason. I have loved this song since it was released and most likely will continue to for years to come
  • Don’t Let It Bring You Down — Annie Lenox (Medusa)– Another very heavy hitting song for me — I grew up to this album, Medusa by Annie Lenox. Other songs of hers are also favorites such as “Another Shade of Pale” — she is a wonderful musician/singer who I spent my childhood listening to

  • Dirty Diana — Michael Jackson– I had to pick just one MJ song which took time to do seeing as that I pretty much love 30 of his top hits. I danced for the majority of my childhood / teen years and this song had just such energy and passion — you literally could NOT not dance to this song
  • I’m The Only One– Melissa Etheridge (Yes I am)– Another singer who I grew up with was Melissa Etheridge — she’s a plugger, a survivor and you can hear it in her passionate music. I love so many of her songs, they make me feel empowered on a daily basis.

  • The Miseducation of Lauryn HIll — Lauryn Hill– While L.HIll maybe crazy, certifiably crazy, she is an extraordinary singer/performer. She was such an inspiration to me growing up (cough still even though I have made it my mission to locate the now M.I.A. singer)
  • Plane– Jason Mraz (Mr. A-Z)– I guess you could say Jason Mraz is my singer. I have loved listening to since he began performing for $5.00 dollars at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park (When Maroon 5 opened for him, no joke) I’d say circa 2001? 2002? He is my favorite singer, while he has sold out lately, he still makes me warm and happy inside. Plane is a powerful, unbelievable song that will forever be a favorite of mine.

  • Piste 9– Feist (Let it Die)– Who doesn’t love Feist? Her music is angelic almost, its etherial and I love to play it to relax me and alleviate all of the cares in the world, thank you Feist for being my anti – anxiety medication on a daily basis
  • You Might Die Trying — DMB (Stand Up)– The first few lyrics of this song happened to be my high school quote under my senior picture and to this day I still truly abide by the lines, which go, “To change the world you start with one step, no matter how small, the first step is hardest of all”