Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Little Rest

I've been running myself ragged lately, so now, it's time for a much needed break. I'll see you in a couple of days my darlings.

The Perfect Lunch

I find nothing more satisfying than munching on a warm crusty-chewy French baguette. Coupled with a steaming bowl of French onion soup, artisanal cheeses, antipasti and fresh fruits...I'm in déjeuner heaven.
 
It just doesn't get any better than my little spread, but in case I'm wrong, what's your idea of the perfect lunch?

Friday, January 27, 2012

List-ings - Turning 30 Checklist

I’m reading this charming little book by Colleen Rush, Swim Naked, Defy Gravity & 99 Other Essential Things to Accomplish Before Turning 30, quite a lengthy title, right?
Although, I still have four more years to go, I decided to compile my very own checklist before turning the big 3-0. Do you have a checklist?      

  1. Make amends with an old friend
  2. Embrace all of me
  3. Fall madly in love…fall in lust first
  4. Develop a higher tolerance for alcohol
  5. Master all of my mother’s recipes
  6. Talk to strangers
  7. Find a kick-ass hobby
  8. Travel a lot more
  9. Eat better
  10. Make a perceptible difference

Eat Green: Do It For Mother Earth

Want to improve the health of the planet? It isn’t as daunting a task as it might seem.

It would be so easy for me to tell you that I always eat sustainably and make daily trips to my local farmers market. I don’t, because life has a way of making the simplest tasks seem like a chore. However, I make a conscious choice to incorporate a healthy dose of green living into my daily life.

What can you do help our planet? You can start by eating more fruits and vegetables. By consuming more plant based foods, you are helping to curb greenhouse gas emissions and delay the process of deforestation.

 I told you it was simple. Let’s all work together to maintain a GREENER planet.

Who's Always There For You?

Do you have at least one person in your life you can always count on? I sure hope so. We all need a support system, especially during those times when life seems to be throwing more blows than we can possibly catch. I’m just glad to have so many sturdy backs to catch me the very instance I begin to sway. This heartfelt little picture reminds me of my good fortune.

Regrets

We all have regrets and don’t give me that whole schpeel about not believing in having them.
Whether it’s a missed opportunity to bid farewell to a loved one, letting that special someone get away or something as simple as feeling guilty for taking an unnecessary sick day from work - they are just a part of this complex thing called life. 
So my darlings, what kind of regrets do you find are hardest to bear? The ones stemming from something you did or a missed opportunity?

Wallflower Or Vixen

I reconnected with my cousin Nancy last night. She took me shopping and then I wore my brand new dress to Cloak, a quaint little lounge in the lower east side.
A few of her co-workers tagged along and they were so much fun to be around. Despite being older than me, they had such an air of whimsy which became utterly infectious. I hadn’t felt that free and relaxed in a long time.
Nancy’s confidence was palpable, men just flocked to her. She had just the right amount of allure and knew just what to say to get those fellas underneath her manicured little finger. As a result, we had quite a few drink offers. I’m not much of a drinker, so of course being the fun loving and vivacious gal that she is, she downed most of mine in fear of letting them go to waste.
So my darlings, when you find yourselves in new and unfamiliar surroundings, are you more of a wallflower like me or a brazen vixen like Nancy?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Reading Den: Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome

I appreciate the simplicity of Ethan Frome. There aren’t any convoluted subplots to deter you from the core of the storyline. In this tragic romance novel, Edith Wharton delivers a straight forward plot, focusing solely on the love triangle between Frome, his ailing yet spiteful wife Zeena and Mattie, the youthful, spirited girl who is the representation of everything Frome desires in his monotonous life.
I thoroughly enjoy seeing the many stages of the human experience through Ethan Frome’s sorrowful eyes. His unfulfilled affection for Mattie, the resentment he feels towards his wife, his inability to grasp the kind of life he’s always wanted, is just heart-wrenching.
Frome is so ensnared by societal expectations. Although he has thoughts of being unfaithful to his wife, as a reader, you know the idea will remain just that, an idea, never to be realized. Towards the end of the novel, It would have been so easy for him to declare his love for Mattie, instead he drives his sled into an elm tree (Mattie’s frivolous idea) rather than risk disappointing society.
The saddest part of the novel for me is going forward twenty years and finding that Frome still resides in Starkfield, the tiny fictional Massachusetts town. He is seen with two feeble women, his wife Zeena and a crippled, Mattie. As it turns out, poor Ethan Frome is just destined to play the role of the dutiful husband.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Guilty Pleasures: Pork Potstickers With Spicy Dipping Sauce

Whenever I see potstickers of any kind on a menu, you can guarantee those little mouthfuls of scrumptiousness are going to end up on my table. There are so many different varieties, veggies, chicken, seafood but I’m especially partial to pork. These crescent-shaped little delights are just the perfect bite-size appetizers.

The recipe below is courtesy of chef Tyler Florence from the Food Network. Enjoy!
Ingredients
Dipping sauce:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili oil
Filling:
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of cooking oil (olive)
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • Potsticker wrappers
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth or water
Directions
The sauce: Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, chili-garlic sauce and hot chili oil. Mix well and set aside.
The filling: In a large bowl, combine, the pork, egg white, celery, cilantro, ginger, sugar, salt and sesame oil. Season with a little pepper and mix, stirring rapidly until the mixture is well incorporated.
The potstickers: Lay potsticker wrappers on a clean surface. Keep the remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Put a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each of the wrappers. Brush the edges with water. Fold the wrappers in half over the filling, pinching the edges together to form semi-circles. Put the potstickers on a baking sheet seam-side up and cover with a clean towel. Repeat until all have been formed.
To cook the potstickers: Heat a large skillet over medium. Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot add half the potstickers, seam-side up. Cook the potstickers until the bottoms are golden and crisp. Add 1/3 cup broth. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer the cooked potstickers to a platter and voila! Serve them warm accompanied by the dipping sauce.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cute Ways to Wear a School Uniform

 
I remember wearing uniforms when I was younger and always wanting to differentiate myself from every other student walking down the hall.
 

Outrageous Fashion: Harajuku Girls

Last week, I spotted a young lady with the most unique fashion style. I must admit, her ensemble was a little out there but the fact that she completely owned her unconventional look made her so fierce. This reminded me of an article I wrote about a year ago about Harajuku girls. Take a look!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

List-ings -The Stupidest Things Ever Said (Courtesy of Ross & Kathryn Petras)


1.      I can’t tell you how grateful I am – I am filled with humidity. (Texas House of Representatives Speaker Gib Lewis)
 
2.      I am so glad that you showed a beautiful vulnerability and it­ – you are great ­– in front of the guitar, and leaving it down. That – I – you know, there’s something – first of all, let’s give – all the guys – you’re great so far, great job! (American Idol judge Paula Abdul)
 
3.      Stand up, Chuck, let’em see ya! (Vice President Joe Biden, to wheelchair-bound Missouri state Senator Chuck Graham)
 
4.      Anyone can be elected governor. I’m proof of that. (Georgia governor Joe Frank Harris)
 

5.      It’s so bad being homeless in the winter. They should go somewhere warm like the Caribbean where they can eat fresh fish all day. (model-socialite Lady Victoria Hervey)
 
 
6.      It’s been a long time since I caught crabs. The last occasion was 15 years ago on the Isle of Wight. Oh, what a long, hot summer that was. (journalist Bryony Gordon, in a Daily Telegraph story)
 
 
7.      One of the very difficult parts of the decision I made on the financial crisis was to use hardworking people’s money to help prevent there to be a crisis. (President George W. Bush)

 
8.      Respect are country! Speak English! (anti-immigrant political sign, held by a protester)

 
9.      The sound of snoring is due to vibration of the soft palate and the vulva at the back of the throat. (from the Evening Times Globe, Saint John, New  Brunswick, Canada)

 
10.  The only way to stop this suicide wave is to make it a capital offense, punishable by death. (Irish member of Parliament during a debate)

Nap Time? Yes Please

It was a lazy winter afternoon, with freshly fallen snow still blanketing the asphalt outside, thus, with nothing better to do, my family and I all gathered around our living room to re-watch the latest Harry Potter flick.
 
Like a chain reaction, we all fell into a deep slumber, with legs intertwined and heads resting on any available appendage. In retrospect, the orchestra of zzz's could have had something to do with the pile of food that my mother practically stuffed down our throats. 
 
It was one of the most relaxing naps I've had in quite awhile. It took me back to a simpler time, the days of yesteryear when nap time was a necessary part of my daily schedule. So my darlings, do you still take those lazy afternoon naps? If so, aren't they just lovely?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Auras: Which Color Are You?

Have you ever been inexplicably drawn to someone or walked into a house or a place of business with a pervading aura? Whether it be a positive or negative experience, I think we've all found ourselves in that situation at one point or another. And of course when the unexplainable happens, we tend to react in a similar fashion, by either ignoring it altogether or chalking it up to something more credible.
 
Color can be so indicative of a person’s personality so it’s no surprise that I associate some colors with certain individuals in my life. For example, one of my friends always seems to radiate the color yellow due to her effervescent personality, whereas, another is all about green, the color of compassion and dependability.
While everyone has an aura, I do believe that they are unique to each being and can never be replicated. Next time you find yourself either attracted or repelled by another’s personality, see where he/she fits in the aura color chart.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Do You Embrace Your Flaws?

Everyone has flaws. I tend to gravitate towards people who are different from what society deems as ideal because let's face it, flaws do make us more interesting. I have a gap between my teeth, it's not too wide but it is noticeable. I simply couldn't imagine not having it because I think it gives my smile more character. So my darlings, do you embrace your flaws or cower in shame from prying eyes?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We have not reached the promised land MLK spoke about nearly half a century ago but because of his influence, we have made extraordinary progress in the battle against inequality.
The African American community can honor his legacy by simply living the American dream. He gave his life to make those dreams accessible to all, it's a shame some individuals are wasting those privileged opportunities by merely sitting on the sidelines.
 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What Dreams May Come

I've been having quite a few cryptic dreams lately and with each passing day, they seem to get curiouser and curiouser! It's almost like I've fallen down the rabbit hole.
 
I've read that dreams shouldn't be interpreted literally so I'm more than a little confused on how to even begin to analyze those involuntary symbols from my...nightmares, for lack of a better word. Symbols which I must admit, are beginning to mess with my head a bit. I won't bore you with the details but have you ever had a dream that made you view someone in your life differently? If so, how do you put those unwanted feelings behind you?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

High School Love Note

I was rummaging through some old high school notebooks today and I stumbled upon something that put a huge grin on my face, a sweet note from a high school sweetheart. Take a look and see, I'm sure he won't mind me sharing it with you all, besides, I crossed his name out.

Style Crush: Michelle Williams

Not everyone will appreciate Michelle Williams’ style but I think she’s such a picture to behold. She has an air of vintage charm that looks almost ethereal. Despite her minimalist style, she is always a show-stopper on the red carpet. And doesn’t that adorable pixie haircut of hers complement her simple elegance flawlessly?

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's The Little Things

Lately, I’ve been collecting greeting cards, mostly the ones that stir something within me. Here’s my latest find, I picked it up a few days before Christmas.

Teenage Angst


Remember all those transitional phases you experienced as a teenager? There are definitely a few moments I wish I could do over. You know, those cringe worthy moments when you wish the ground would expand and engulf you.
If you had the chance to relieve those awkward periods of your past, would you go back? If so, would you do anything differently?

Rising Above The Bustle

Do you ever feel lost in the bustle of life? I'm sure you're familiar with that feeling of being just another nameless face paving your way through the crowd -- a crowd travelling down a similar road.
 
After all, we all have corresponding goals, family, success, happiness, etc...they merely manifest their way through different avenues. The difficult part is figuring out how to obtain those coveted goals without losing ourselves through the long and sometimes arduous journey.
 
How do you cope when life's woes threaten to trap you in its sticky web?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thumbs Way Down For The Lynbrook Diner

I got kicked out from the Lynbrook Diner on Sunrise Highway last night. Since it was my first time ever being expelled from an establishment, I thought I would be more upset -- instead I found the entire situation sad and a bit laughable. But, it's not what you think. I didn't go berserk and had to be escorted out by a couple of over-sized wannabe security guards or anything. Probably because they couldn't afford it, that was a low blow but Lynbrook Diner wholly deserves it.

I stopped by the Lynbrook Diner with a friend after seeing the latest Mission Impossible movie for a bit of a midnight breakfast, if you will. We both ordered the same meal, corn beef hash with two fried eggs, which conveniently came with two sides, hash browns and buttered toast. Sounds simple enough right?

So a few minutes lapsed, we were chatting it up and having a good time, when suddenly my focus was redirected elsewhere. To the massive pile of gunk that the sleazy waiter practically threw on our table. This rancid odor immediately wafted up to my nostrils, it was then that I realized that the culprits were the corn beef hash, which resembled Alpo and the hash browns, which tasted like they were prepared the week before and slathered all over the kitchen floor for good measure.

I brought my dislike for the food to my friend's attention and he too agreed that it was unacceptable. He looked at me and said,  "I've got to say something." The next thing I knew, the manager was leaning towards our table, listening to his complaints. Then, I found myself joining the conversation and reinforcing just how horrible the food was.

The manager seemed calm at first, shaking his head in agreement to every complaint we made and then it happened. It was a complete Jekyll/Hyde reaction because just a mere second later, he completely lost his marbles. "You're not welcomed here," he said and relentlessly proclaimed to the entire diner, "The food here is always good." In case you were wondering, he also hurled a few expletives our way.

We left the crummy diner shocked and totally confused by the manager's unprofessional reaction and swore never to return. The only tolerable thing we were served at the Lynbrook Diner were the buttered toasts and that isn't saying much. Worst service ever!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Do You Prefer Red Roses?

I don't have a problem with red roses, they are quite appealing and have been represented in countless works of art throughout history --  but why are they predominantly the go to flowers for every occasion? 
 
You can always expect a bouquet of red roses for birthdays, anniversaries, valentine's day, even a stint in the hospital. Granted, they are the universal symbol of love but every now and then, your recipient might appreciate some different varieties. My personal favorites are calla lilies, gardenias and orchids.
 
Other than red roses, what kind flowers do you prefer?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wanderlust: Paris

J'adore Paris, even more so lately. I have an overwhelming urge to do all things Parisian. To laze on the freshly cut green grass underneath the Eiffel tower, nibbling on crusty baguettes, a variety of stinky cheeses, fresh fruits and a great quality bottle of red wine.
 
Can you think of anything better? I wish I was basking in the French culture at this very moment, but alas, I'm here, bundled up in weighty layers -- trying to keep New York's frigid temperature from seeping into my marrow -- C'est la vie.
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