Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blogging Hiatus

I seem to have gone on a bit of a blogging-hiatus.  Life got a little crazy, work piled up, & my apartment was a mess.

With a new month, I've began to write a new chapter in life.  No better way to start my new chapter than giving a favorite life quote :)

"Finish each day & be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well & serenely & with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsenseRalph Waldo Emerson

Monday, October 12, 2009

Low Fat Delish Pumpkin Muffins


1/3 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. splenda
1/4 c. brown sugar (or you can use splenda brown sugar blend)
1 tb. cinnamon

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup splenda
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup natural applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract


1 (8 ounce) package fat free cream cheese
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons splenda


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pam the muffin pan you plan to use.
Mix topping ingredients together in a separate bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and splenda. Beat until smooth, then set aside. (Don't worry if it's a little lumpy.)
In a large bowl, mix flour, splenda, baking soda, and spice. Add egg, pumpkin, applesauce and vanilla. Beat together until smooth. Set aside.
Place pumpkin batter in muffin cups about 1/4 full. Then add one to two tablespoons of the cream cheese filling. Top with more pumpkin batter and sprinkle with pecan topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until done. Makes 12 moist muffins.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive." Howard Thurman

Dorothy's Ruby Slippers!

CharityFolks.com is hosting the 2009 Ruby Slippers Collection which benefits the
Elizabeth Glaser  Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Top shoe designers all over the world are coming together to reinvent Dorothy's kicks for a good cause.

If I had one the lottery yesterday - I would put a heffftyyy bid on those beauties that Oscar De La Renta did.

ABC's new show Modern Family.  A mockumentary much like "The Office" but 100 times funnier. (I know what you're thinking. What the hell is a 'mockumentary'?  A mockumentary is a way of presenting a recording as a real life documentary, but it is actually fictional. It's commonly used as a medium for parody and satire.)
The half-hour show airs at 9 p.m. EST on ABC & will leave you with sore abs from laughing so hard, seriously.

This recipe:
Not all of us are Rosie Riches who can afford to eat at The Ritz on a nightly basis, some of us actually cook for ourselves on occasion. Maybe we even cook for our boyfriend after we "accidentally forgot to call him when we got back from happy hour the day before". Whatever the reason is, I've got the recipe to go with it.

I'm not sure how, or even why, but this recipe is idiot proof. It was my Mother's go-to dish for a spontaneous dinner party, for last minute hungry kids, for everything - & now I know why. The best part of the dish isn't how easy the recipe is, or that you probably already have the ingredients - it's that it tastes even BETTER the next day...hello bag lunch for work!

7 Roma tomatoes
Canned artichoke hearts (not in oil)
> 1 cup grated cheese (parmesan, romano, or asiago)
Linguine pasta
Olive Oil
>4 cloves of garlic
Basil (fresh – at least 6 leaves)
Chicken breasts

Wash & chop tomatoes into large chunks.
Add into a large pot with olive oil covering bottom (generous amount).
Stir in chopped garlic cloves, oregano, salt, and chopped basil. Heat low adding artichoke hearts.
Cut two chicken breasts into bite sized chunks, cook in a pan over medium heat with salt & pepper (or our family’s favorite: Goya Adobo)
Bring sauce to a slow boil, stirring occasionally.
20 minutes prior to meal, add cheese to sauce (too soon & it will stick to the bottom of pot). Low heat & let simmer. Add Adobo as needed.

Cook pasta – al dente!
Pour sauce on top of linguine, add chicken, toss & serve.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I envy:

...a timeless, classic beauty.

More than just reggae music!

Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around.
You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul & they absorb everything you say & actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up & show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself & not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colors seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work & always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
-Bob Marley

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, & it is only by this meeting that a new world is born"

Time & time again, I have found that surrounding yourself with those you love does make the sun shine brighter, & your world that much better.

I live by this mantra literally & figuratively.
I have an obsession with black & white photos --&
cannot live or work in a space where there aren't
photos of those I love surrounding me.  When life
gets a little too stressful, it's easy to revert back to
a time of pure bliss by looking at photos of happy
moments.  I couldn't be more thankful for the vast
library of happy moments with those that I love to
think back to in times of need.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Every woman should have a black lace bra, a cordless drill,
& a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age.

Every woman should know how to fall in love without losing herself,
when to try harder & when to walk away,
& where to go when her soul needs soothing.

-Pamela Satran

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Flair is a primitive kind of style. It is innate & cannot be taught. It can be polished & refined.

I highly suggest you take a peek at my favorite décor company. Think Anthropologie mixed with a little Restoration Hardware.  I would die to have this bedroom. I love the simplicity of the colors, but the complexity of the detail.  No room / piece is unsuitable to stand alone, yet also throwing together any combination of things can create a unique gorgeous room. In my next life I want to be an design consultant (instead of worshipper) for Brocade Home.

One or two pieces from their collection has the ability to change the look & feel of any room.  They even sell wallpaper! (I have a small obsession with baroque / rococo style wallpaper).  I swear you won't be disappointed.

..If I had a million dollar$ - I'd buy me a: ...

Disclaimer: It ain't cheap.  but sooooooo worth it !

Monday, September 21, 2009

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace, as I have seen in one autumnal face. - John Donne

The first glimpse of fall foliage brings one thing to mind:


Pumpkin lattés, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes!

I will almost immediately trek over to Starbucks for a warm Pumpkin Spice latté.
The only setback?  Five bucks!

I managed to find an easy recipe for a surprisingly better-tasting version of my favorite fall beverage.

Not only can I make them in the comfort of my own home, but I also save myself $25 bucks a week!
( I know what you're thinking...I drink aaaLOT of pumpkin lattés a week. )  & I'll be the first to admit it - I can't get enough of them!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

1 tablespoon canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup milk
1/2 cup of your favorite coffee
*cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice for sprinkling over the top

In a saucepan, heat milk and pumpkin until steaming, or even easier–mix the milk and pumpkin in a 2 cup measuring cup and microwave for 2 1/2 minutes.

Stir in vanilla and cinnamon.

Pour the milk mixture in a blender, and blend 20 seconds until it's all foamy and pretty.

Pour into your favorite mug, then add coffee.

Add splenda to taste, if you like (and I do!).

A sprinkle of nutmeg, cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice over the top, and drink up!
Nothing sounds better than a warm pumpkin muffin to go with this.  I'll be experimenting with recipes for those - & will post here as soon as I find a recipe worthy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sugah' Pie Honey Bunch

Breakfast Casserole


 1 lb Sliced Turkey Bacon Diced
1 Medium Sweet Onion
6 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
4 cups Frozen Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes
2 cups Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
1 1/2 cups Small Curd Fat Free Cottage Cheese 
1  1/4 cups Shredded PepperJack Cheese


1. In large skillet, cook bacon and onion until bacon is crisp, drain. Mix together the remaining ingredients, stir in bacon mixture. Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 pan.

2. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until eggs are set and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

*I should post pictures of a certain-somebodyy laying in bed, scarfing this casserole down with his messy hair & beard.  Hmmm

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

“I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. & it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” - Coco Chanel

"Don’t get too invested too early. Yes, you love the college, but until you get in, don’t make your heart set on it. Yes, the job is perfect, but until you get the interview, don’t get too excited. Of course he is the cutest boy in the world–but until he asks you on a date & treats you sweetly, who cares about him?"
                                                                                          -Smart, Pretty, & (Less) Awkward

"A life without love is no life at all"

"Love Happens" A romantic drama about a widower (Aaron Eckhart- so handsome) whose book, "A-Okay!", about coping with loss turns him into a best-selling self-help guru. On a business trip to Seattle, he falls for a florist (J.Aniston) , only to learn through dating her that he hasn't yet truly confronted his wife's passing.

The movie was light & easy, I laughed & cried, but the plot lacked a little depth.  I must say,  I loved Aniston's wardrobe, & found myself envying her closet throughout the whole film. Greatt boots & gorgeous scarves. Perfect fall attire. 

I intended to write a movie-review & here I am talking about accessories....ugh

I personally love any romantic comedy with a happy-sappy ending.  If you give me a few good laughs & make me cry a little, I'll give you a passing grade ;)

Easy to please.

"..she had big pouty lips & a concentrated expression that broke apart radiantly when she smiled"

It's no secret that the 'pouty' look  has hit the runways & red carpets, virtually transforming the way people present themselves in front of the camera. 

A simple way to achieve this look?

Say the word "prune" just before the flash.  You'll join the likes of models, Olsen twins, and Fox -y ladies who pout their lips for the camera, slimming your face & showcasing your cheekbones.

Scratch the cheese & gimme a prune!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can’t buy"

..but what money can buy is great designer clothes. Even better, Rue La La allows members to buy glorious designer duds for 80% off. I am addicted to this site, & willing to throw myself at them for an employment opportunity.

Today's purchase:

A Vera Wang Lavendar label olive & plum tank with adorable gold belt.
*Retail: $325
*Rue La La: $49

Can't beat it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A little bit of madness never hurt anyone.
I enjoy surrounding myself with people who
cherish their little idiosyncrasies & know that
it makes them fun & unique.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

*Loving right now:

Shipyard Pumpkin Ale: I do not feel love through seasons, but instead through seasons of beer.

This motto (I even have it hanging next to my computer at work!) :

Ice water, a lemon wedge, & a dash of splenda. Great any time of day.

Mayflower Beach - Dennis, Cape Cod, MA

Tim Walker's Photography

Personas. I am addicted & slightly envious of all the other great people in the world with my name.

I swear by this recipe.

Baked Penne with Corn, Zucchini and Basil
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 lb. penne
6 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
Kernels cut from 2 ears of corn
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 zucchini, about 2 lb. total, cut into half-moons
1 small eggplant cut into half-moons
1 small summer yellow squash cut into half-moons
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 Tbs. sliced garlic
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
6 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Preheat an oven to 400ºF. In a 12-inch nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the corn, season with salt and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside. Return the pan to medium-high heat and warm the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Working in batches, add the zucchini, eggplant, & summer squash season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add to the bowl with the corn. Repeat with the remaining zucchini, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Set the pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, 1 tsp. salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften and begin to form a sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced and the sauce is fairly thick, about 3 minutes more.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold running water. Set aside.
Add the pasta, tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella and half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano to the bowl with the vegetables and stir to combine. Transfer to the fry pan and sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 8.
Sausage & Bowtie Pasta


2 tbl olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage (casing removed & crumbled)
½ tsp dried red pepper
½ C onion diced
3 minced garlic cloves
1 28oz can italian plum tomatoes (drained & chopped)
1 ½ C whipping cream
½ tsp salt
12 oz bowtie pasta
3 tbl minced fresh parsley


Heat oil, add sausage & red pepper. Cook 7 minutes. Add onion and garlic, cook until onion is tender & sausage is light brown. Add tomatoes, cream, & salt. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly ~4 minutes.

Cook pasta, add to sausage and cream mixture til thick. Serve with parsley & grated cheese.

A favorite of mine...

Meandering throughout the internet world one early morning at work, I stumbled upon a blog that managed to provide a wealth of inspiration through its simplicity. I've compiled a few of my favorites :)
How to be (less) Awkward: Be with a guy that likes you enough to brag about your accomplishments independent of his own to people in his life.

How to be Smarter: Spend ten minutes a day doing something that will help you reach your ultimate goal. Ten minutes a day writing your novel; ten minutes a day doing jumping jacks; ten minutes a day researching better career options. Time adds up in a real, quantifiable way.

How to be Smarter: Clutter isn’t about too much stuff; its about being indecisive about what you really need in your life. This applies to both physical and mental clutter.

How to be (less) Awkward: When meeting the boyfriend’s ex/old hookup buddy, you must compliment her on one specific thing. Its so much harder to talk badly about someone behind their back if they have made the effort to be nice to you.

How to be Smarter: When you stop having fun, get out. This applies to jobs, relationships, and shopping trips.

How to be (less) Awkward: Always say thank you to your bus driver, cab driver, retail helpers, teachers as you leave their class, party hosts, and more.

How to be (less) Awkward: A friend once told me that a retort that no one can argue with is, “I do what I want” said with a mischievous yet sweet smile; she is right.

How to be Smarter:
Stop wasting your precious time. If a guy is looking at his phone while he’s talking to you, he’s not interested. Next.

How to be (less) Awkward: Just because you are sitting with a group, doesn’t mean everything has to be a group decision. I don’t care what kind of sushi you are thinking of ordering, and I certainly don’t want to hear a ten minute discussion about it. Exceptions: if I have crush on you or you employ me. Or both.
How to be Prettier: No black tights after April 15. No exceptions. Its summer girls!

How to be (less) Awkward: At a minimum, you are required to be as careful with other people’s hearts as they are with yours. If someone is holding your heart with two hands, treat theirs like glass as well. If someone is juggling your heart, tossing it up in the air, and dropping it on occasion, it’s okay to clutch theirs less tightly.
How to be (less) Awkward: Does anybody ever like a complainer? Are your problems really interesting to everyone else, all of the time? Does talking about things, instead of fixing them, ever work?

How to be Smarter: All financial advice can seem so complicated and long winded. It all boils down to: Live within your means, save for retirement, have an emergency fund, and pay off credit card debt. If all four at once seem daunting, your goal should be to start doing one more of those things a month, and, after four months, you should be on track, doing all of them.

How to be (less) Awkward: Awkwardness is a mental state only; it is not physical; and you create it in your head. Remembering this is helpful in a state of uncomfortableness.

The rest of this fabulous blog can be found here

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Defying a reputation.

I am unfortunately the renowned owner of the title ‘worst cook in the history of humans’. I was born with anything BUT a green-thumb for cooking. As a matter of fact, I would say I have two BLACK thumbs, which is what most of my food turns out looking like. Dating a ‘foodie’ has made me experiment with my own tastes, and eventually…my horrendous cooking. Lo-and-behold, I’m not too bad anymore!

I have found cooking somewhat enjoyable, if not therapeutic, rather than a miserable chore I’d do anything to avoid. I’ll do my best to post recipes I have found to be incredibly easy (they are required to be if I’m expected to make them) as well as tasty (satisfying my beau who scrutinizes everything!).

Wish me luck & enjoy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"I travel light. I think the most important thing is to be in a good mood and enjoy life, wherever you are" — Diane von Furstenberg

A little bit of me

1. I am currently watching Jon & Kate + 8 wishing I could borrow the Gosselin sextuplets for one day.      ..just one.
2. Upon completion of college, I moved to the wonderful city of Boston, Massachusetts. 
3. I love red wine - feel free to recommend great finds!
4. After burning 97% of attempted "meals", I am now happy to report I am actually cooking - & cooking well!  I hope to post my favorite recipes.
5. I go stir crazy if my bedroom doesn't get rearranged every three months, or stay in the same residence for too long.
I will open my insanely sporadic, non-unified blog with a short sampling from a very inspirational article written by the brilliant Kate Carraway. I go in & out of bouts with struggling through mini-quarter-life-crises WEEKLY people! I am the walking textbook definition of it. I want to be rich, famous, giving, caring, confident, appealing, witty, funny, intelligent, mysterious, a great daughter, the perfect girlfriend, a model employee, the best older sister, ingenious chef, a stunning mother (obviously way, wayy, down the road), & the best of a friend. Within these groups of identities I seek are sub-groups!! It’s a wonder I have time to think about anything else but myself. So here is my quest to be me, find me, & reach my goal in life – whatever that may be. I’m going to kick the QuarterLife Crisis right in the knees, & just live. Live without rules, without panic attacks, without to-do lists, & without perfection. If I set my sights on being perfect, I’m going to land no-where but flat on my ass, & probably alone with cats.

[[“The phenomenon, known as the “Quarterlife Crisis,” is as ubiquitous as it is intangible. Unrelenting indecision, isolation, confusion and anxiety about working, relationships and direction is reported by people in their mid-twenties to early thirties who are usually urban, middle class and well-educated; those who should be able to capitalize on their youth, unparalleled freedom and free-for-all individuation. They can’t make any decisions, because they don’t know what they want, and they don’t know what they want because they don’t know who they are, and they don’t know who they are because they’re allowed to be anyone they want.]]

When a contemporary 25-year-old’s parents were 25, they weren’t concerned with keeping their options open: they were purposefully buying houses, making babies and making partner. Now, who we are and what we do is up to us, unbound to existing communities, families and class structures that offer leisure and self-determination to just a few. Boomer and post-boom parents with more money and autonomy than their predecessors has resulted in benignly self-indulgent children who were sold on their own uniqueness, place in the world and right to fulfillment in a way no previous generation has felt entitled to, and an increasingly entrepreneurial, self-driven creation myth based on personal branding, social networking and untethered lifestyle spending is now responsible for our identities. Part of the Quarterlife Crisis is a kind of malaise that the end of your youth is really the end of fun. And that you’re never going to have any fun again, because you have to work. You’re never going to have sex again because you’re going to get married. Your life is over. There is life on the other side of this, and it’s actually a pretty good one. Growing up may be hard to do, but in the end, the gains outweigh the losses.” In other words: it might just be time to grow the f--k up.”
                               - Kate Carraway & Michael Kimmel
'Because nobody likes a crotchety old spinster with cats.

Welp..here goes nothing ... Stay tuned!

(The fish below will follow your mouse...and if you click within their pond you can drop food for them! (so cute) )
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