Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Cusp of Insanity...4 days before the 'big' one.

What enormous stress and pressure a wedding is. The more sane your family is the less you have to deal with. However, the more crazy your family is....an event like this creates a colossal tornado of stress and emotion. I don't know who in my family hasn't cried during the past month.

Last Friday, I came at the cusp of the madness and broke completely down. My fantastic fiance realized it was time to sober me up (no, I wasn't drunk) and snap me back into normalcy. After a lot of yelling and more crying, I am finally in a place where I'm focused on getting tasks accomplished and just letting go mentally.

I think this has been one of the hardest obstacles in my life so far, it just contains so many aspects and hidden emotional issues. I can imagine why so many brides go crazy. It's hard to plan a day that you expect to be perfect and then let go and be a guest, especially the guest of honor.

I'm okay now and am trying to stay as serene as possible until the big day approaches (a nice massage will help with that). Being around my family tightens me up immediately, not knowing what to expect, what they will say or even what will happen. At this point there is nothing you can do, I wish I could have realized this earlier, but I think it was just inevitable.

At one point, I even wondered if it was all worth it, but I know when we hit the dance floor on New Year's Eve and we see the smiling faces of all of our closest loved ones, it will be a memory that we will NEVER EVER forget.

Cheers to everyone and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's December 2011, arguably one of the most important months of my life.

So It's now December 2nd. I took time yesterday and this morning to reflect and to really think about what this all means. I've been trying to reflect more these days, given I just dove into my thirties and now...29 days away, I will become Mrs. Beno Joshua. Wow...what a big step in life. I realize now, that everything has been practice and preparation up to this point.

The stress has definitely reached a high (not in a good way), with the most minute and crazy amount of details coming to fruition with the nearing of our nuptials. We have also agreed to do a prenuptial agreement, so that takes time too. The hardest part of this whole thing is figuring out the cultural stuff without the help of other more knowledgeable people (cough cough, MOM). It would have been very nice to have some help and support there, especially because I am so amped to have a Hindu ceremony. At this point, getting too many people involved is just more organizing and time, than I have the patience to deal with.

Needless to say, I am handling things the best that I can, trying to be organized and getting increasingly nervous and excited as the wedding day approaches. The last thing I'm worried about...a crucial thing...the honeymoon. B's supposed to be on it, I'll hope for the best with some suggestive noodling. Above all, this should be a smashing party, but I can foresee some extreme moodiness this month...So be on the lookout!

Wish me luck, I'll report back soon.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I am 30.

So, this is now my reality. I am 30. I have hit the third decade of my life. Everyone insists that this one is the best one that I'll have. I have an inkling that its true.

This birthday, I was pretty overwhelmed with emotion, stress and even relief. I remember when I was 25, thinking of what I would accomplish in the next five years and my plans have not gone the way I thought. I had plans for my career, my personal life, my recreation, my self. Things did not turn out that way.

In the overall scheme of things, it all turned out much better. Maybe because it's reality. At the same time, there are so many things that have happened that I didn't expect and didn't want. The truth is, 30 makes me nervous. With this new business and my pending nuptials, the real responsibility and adulthood begins. I am nervous and excited. In a way this feels like the beginning of my life. I'm hoping for the best, but who knows what's gonna happen. Here's to the next three decades. Cheers!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Good Recipes - Salmon Tacos

Trying new recipes for my bday week this week, I never really need an excuse, as I'm sure you've seen in previous blogs. So, this week I took a week 'off' which has not quite been successful so far. I have yet to actually not work.

Nevertheless, I will make time and relax, eventually. I've decided that everyday I will try a new recipe until I hit the big mark on Thursday. Today's recipe is the simple, yet delisiou Dry-Rubbed Salmon Tacos With Tomatillo-Avocado Slaw. I've never cooked with tomatillos before, but I feel much more confident after making this.

I loved cooking this simple recipe for a dinner surprise. Check out my technique below.























**note** - you may want to add a bit of salt or even cajun seasoning to the rub, it's pretty bland.

And who could forget dessert? While I was at the store I saw these and realized we had to have them. I was right these are SOoooooo bomb. Bon Apetit!

Monday, October 3, 2011

My adventures in baking -> pumpkin bread pudding

If you know me, you know that I just adore bread pudding. More recently, I have become addicted to pumpkin spice lattes and I've always love pumpkin pie. So when I saw this recent blog post on pumpkin bread pudding, I just had to try the recipe. It is probably one of the easiest recipes I've ever made and of course...I had to add my own variation to it by
adding chocolate chips. So this is really Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread Pudding, a mouthful I know... Check out my step-by-step creation in photos below, yummm! A great easy recipe for the holidays.

Quick note: I had trouble finding the canned pumpkin, not really being the baking type an all. It's in the cake section.





Take day old baguette and chop it into 1" squares









Preheat oven to 350, let 3/4 stick unsalted butter melt in 8" pan









Mix together 1 1/2 cups whole milk (or cream), 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk, 1 pinch ground cloves, 1/8 tsp allspice, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 2 tbls maker's mark (that's right), 3/4 cup packed canned pumpkin.






Pour your bread bits into the melted butter and coat evenly. I used a glove so that my hand wouldn't get all greasy. Toss the bread and get the butter all over the pieces.







Pour your mixture over the bread, making sure that it is evenly coated. This is also when I added the chocolate chips, be generous, about 1/2 cup throughout.








After 25-30 minutes in the oven, you should have something delicious like this.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A little inspiration from @Artkinks....

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams"
- Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 10 - The Master Cleanse!

Yes, I did it. 10 days of the Master Cleanse, nothing but Salt Water Flush (SWF), Herbal Senna Tea and of course...the spicy lemonade mixture. I didn't make it widely known, because there are a lot of judgers out there. So I decided that on my last day, I would write a post to expose my entire experience. It will be a long one folks, but you can read this to know what YOU can expect during the Master Cleanse, the ups and downs, tricks of the trade, mind over matter, all that junk!

First, why?
Well, it was something I tried to start a long time ago, but thought my fiance would think I was crazy, and to be honest, I didn't think I could do it. The challenge didn't become real for me until my fiance told me he wanted to try do this cleanse (from a referral by a friend). My competitive nature kicked in and I started it immediately the next day (many do a 3 day ease-in, I say JUMP!), he is planning his for September.

Obviously, the first attraction was that I wanted to lose weight and it says that you can lose 1-2 pounds a day. If you complete the 10 days, that's 20 pounds. I need to lose 30, so there you have it. The primary goal of this cleanse, however, is not weight loss, it is detoxifying and flushing out your system. *MC Golden rule* If you think of this as a cleanse and NOT a diet, it makes sense and keeps your motivation, trust me. You have to realize that will indefinitely gain some weight back when you begin eating solid food but if you don't eat healthy afterwards, you'll gain it ALL back. It's up to you.* During the process, your mind changes into healthy mode though, you realize what is and what isn't easy to digest and how you want your body to feel.

What you need:
  • Grade B Maple Syrup (grade A is okay if you can't find the other, organic is best) - Trader Joe's is the best place to get this, comes in a big bottle $13.99.
  • Fresh lemons (*MC Golden Rule* they MUST be fresh, no lemon juice, etc. The enzymes in fresh lemons are most potent for the cleanse)
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Herbal Senna Tea
  • Herbal Peppermint Tea (as a substitute or something different in your day is okay)
  • Sea Salt (I've seen people use the celtic sea salt, I just used the one I had, you SHOULD NOT use Iodized table salt, must be sea salt)
The process
Basically it's 10 days (not 5, not 7, not 9) of fasting with this juice blend. In the morning before you do anything (you'll probably have to wake up earlier than normal) take the salt water flush.

SWF - 24 oz. of distilled/filtered water with 2 teaspoons of sea salt.
Very salty and gross. Just close your eyes and drink it fast. Plan to be around the bathroom for at least 2 hours.

Every time you get hungry, make and drink your lemonade. *MC Golden Rule* - do not pre-mix, if the lemonade sits the enzymes in the lemonade are less effective. I messed this up day 1 and tried to make it for the whole day. It's a no-no.

2 tblsp lemon juice (about half a medium lemon)
2 tblsp maple syrup
Add 8-10 oz. of distilled/filtered water
1/10 tsp cayenne pepper/to taste

Enjoy!

At night before you go to bed, drink the Herbal Senna Tea, which is actually pretty tasty in my opinion. *note* After day 2 I started to get cramps early in the morning from this. If you drink your SWF immediately in the morning the cramps will go away and you can get to 'cleansing' :).

*MC Golden Rule* You should drink plenty of water during the flush, but not more water than lemonade mixture. Not sure why, maybe it dilutes it.*

My Journey on the cleanse train
Day 1 - Day 1 starts off okay and ends with tears (okay, not really). It's hard, by the end of the day you're hungry, okay maybe by lunchtime. Nothing you can really do about this than keep yourself busy. I decided to go workout, I wasn't too weak, since it was only the first day. Only mentally hungry really, oh and heavy white film on my tongue. It's a HARD day.

Day 2 - Whiny. I threatened to quit about 20 times this day, all while persevering. Those SWF really do the trick though, I can definitely feel waste eliminating from my body. I wasn't sure I was going to get past the day, but I just whined a lot and did nothing about it. My tongue is definitely white and dry and gross. I think this was the first day that my fiance ate a big juicy burrito right in front of me. :(

Day 3 - Things are getting easier. With the hunger pains gone, now it was really just all mental. This was the first day that I noticed my sense of smell was heightened. Empty stomach at this point and only liquids coming through. Have been waking up late and going to bed early. Craving EVERYTHING I see.

Day 4 - Much easier today and feeling light, don't feel like I'm losing any weight though. Not exactly energized like some say. Just going through the motions and keeping myself busy with all the tons of work I need to do. Decide to go for yoga and feel like it will be good for my 'hungry' spirit to relax my body for a bit. Feel good but really thirsty afterwards, need to drink more water. This is the first day that I didn't run to get lemonade every couple of hours, actually I don't even think I took all the glasses I was supposed to (at least 6/day).

Day 5 - This was interesting. We went to Santa Monica to workout. I did a light stair workout, was pretty hungry, but kept drinking water. Then rushed home to change for a flower appt. (wedding planning) really hungry. I took some mixture with me because we were going to a birthday party. My senses were on high alert at the Mexican restaurant, but I sat there and had water with lemon, like a good little cleanser should. Got a lot of questions and finally told people about the cleanse, many skeptical and called it the Beyonce diet, which was not my purpose for this. I need more lemonade, but don't have access to ingredients, so I continue with water. Cupcakes, I want birthday cupcakes! :( We went to a club afterwards for a friend's event. I could smell every little last bit of alcohol on B's (my fiance's) body, no good for me that night. Those scents are SO strong, I wonder why we don't sense them normally.

Day 6 - I had a dream about buying two hamburgers, taking a bit and then feeling guilty about it. I woke up confused and realized it was a dream. Feeling pretty light and chipper. We go to yoga on the bluff, I'm pretty hungry, especially since on Day 5, I was NOT able to get to lemonade when I wanted it. I drank water but water is not great after 5 glasses. Today I feel good, getting things done, energized, finally. I was a little disappointed when I weighed myself, only 6 lbs, which means probably closer to 3 lbs. when I'm finished. We'll see how things go. Contemplated quitting this day too.

Day 7 - What a productive day for me. This cleanse is really just normal now. Apart from the occasional desire to chew yummy foods, because I do love food, I'm definitely not hungry. I'm okay for the most part, but keep looking up yummy recipes online, can't wait for Saturday. I feel really light and lifted in my body. I was very focused on my work and was thinking pretty clearly. I could get used to this. I'm now contemplating stretching the cleanse out over the weekend to save me from eating poorly at my brother's place, we'll see. I had a facial appt., my person smelled of garlic, normally I don't think I would notice, it was light, but my smelling has become like a superpower. Great day!

Day 8 - I have been feeling really good today. Got a lot of work and creative thinking done today. Finally feel the energy everyone talks about, got a GREAT workout in today! *MC Golden Rule* Listen to your body when it comes to working out on the cleanse. Some say don't do it. If your body allows it, go with the flow, just don't push yourself or be surprised when you can't really go all out. Be active but not crazy.* I am ready for the cleanse to be over, but I'm fine at the same time. Smelling all kinds of odors on the bodies of others. B reeked of garlic and spices from his carne asada tacos last night. They looked so good, but the aftermath kills me. Every time I see meat now, I think man, that is really hard to break down in the body (guessing that's where the smell comes from). Looks yummy though. I think my tongue is turning pink again, a sign that you body is nearly finished detoxifying.

Day 9 - This morning B looks at me and say's "I think I want French Toast", I was about ready to jump over the couch and punch him. I don't care if I feel good about this cleanse or not, teasing or even discussing french toast (you know the one with Hawaiian bread, coconut milk and vanilla) with me at this point is not a good idea. Today was really bad, yoga was really hard, I just started my womanly time. Cleanse + womanhood = BAD! Just when I thought I was okay. I usually comfort myself with Indian food, but nada and I'm exceptionally hungry, I think its the hormones. I am DEFINITELY quitting on Friday.

Day 10 - So this WOULD be my last day if I wasn't crazy. I have decided that I am stretching it out to Monday which would be 14 days on the cleanse. I have headaches today, but I think its the menses. I feel like weight loss ultimately plateaued very short for me but I feel good, I'm hoping a few more days may bump it up a few pounds. Mostly, I don't want to go visit my family and ruin all the work I've done, so I'll just stay on it for now.*MC Golden Rule* The ease out is a critical part of the cleanse, because it gets you back to normal. After not eating solid food you can't just jump right into it (you'll gail a lot of weight, back). You start with 1 day of OJ and water, 2nd day soups and juices (fresh), 3rd vegetables and then go from there. Afterwards continue a healthy eating and exercise plan. Or in my words, don't ruin the torture you just went through, be good!*

Overall Thoughts: When you see good food when you're on the cleanse, you want it. I wanted it but thought, damn, the work my body goes through digesting that may not be worth it. This cleanse has definitely changed my diet. I will be eating soups more often, less meat/fish, less bread products, less cheese, less everything. All organic vegetables and eliminating foods with preservatives, although it may seem like a dollar more, I think your body with thank you later. Your body works really hard to digest your food, which affects other important body functions and it makes your body feel super heavy. I definitely love the light feeling I have right now and don't want to lose it. I also noticed the shittier you eat, the more your body smells, we just don't notice because we all smell. All you people smelled really bad when I was on this thing.

However, I don't know that I would do this again, or would be able to. They say its safe to do every 4 months or so, maybe I'll do it twice a year. The first few days are pretty rough, but if you can get through Day 3, the rest is a breeze. I am certain that all the other cleanses are NOT worth it, juice cleanse BOGUS, wayyy too much sugar. This is THE ONE! Otherwise, just cut out the grease, artificial sweeteners and dairy and eat healthy.

Total Weight Loss (10 days): ~8 lbs

Total inches lost: ~6" in my waist 4" Hips

Have any questions? Want to share your experience? Go ahead and comment, I dare you. Cheers!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Did Wet N' Wild make a comeback?

It's an interesting question right?

When you first think go Wet N' Wild you think, the cheapest nail polish in town or your favorite nail polish if you're under the age of 12, need a quick color, or you're looking for something glittery. You may know by now that painting my nails is something I am pretty religious about. I am not sure when this obsession really started but, it's a nice to have freshly painted nails at the beginning of a new week. Many times, I use it as time to relieve stress and do something completely mindless. Some weeks I may even paint them like 2 or 3 times. Also, painted nails are the most economical accessory to an outfit.


Anyway, I was in Target and looking at the multitudes of nail paint colors they have and took a glance at Wet N' Wild. They have a series called Wild Shine that looks like a Tween nail polish and kind of cheap from the packaging, but since it was so cheap (something like $1.99), I got two colors Blazed (a sort of beautiful cantaloupe color) and Dreamy Poppy (a more of a hot pink/Coral) and thought it was worth it to try it out. With two generous coats and a good top coat, these colors are fantastic. This is how Blaze came out:

(It looks more dewy and light in person)

Okay, so maybe Wet N' Wild is making its comeback, but some of their line is worth taking a second look at, so don't rule them out completely and give in to your teeny bopper urges sometimes.

Warning: The polish is quite thin (almost like a tint), so you must put on generous coats. The top coat I used was Sally Hansen Insta -Dry Top Coat, which really evened out some of the streaking of the polish and keeps cheap nail polish (or any nail polish) from chipping too soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Dog's life - A Day in the life of Chaka

Hey, I'm Chaka.
I'm sure many of you have heard about me. That mom of mine, boy, she's a talker (I hope she didn't say anything embarrassing). I thought you may be curious about what I do here at 4213 Rose Ave., so I put together this schedule to give you a look inside my life. Enjoy it.

My Weekday Schedule - by Chaka

6:30 am - wake up w/mommy to go outside for the bathroom
6:35 am - go back to bed and rest w/pops
8:00 am - wake up and go see what mommy's doing in the office
8:15 am - go to the bathroom again (maybe #2), hang out outside for a few
9:00 am - have some breakfast and a drink
9:30- 10:30 am - hang out with mommy, make sure the office is secure, chew my toy, lick my feet, maybe take a nap
10:30 am - Sunbathe in the backyard, try to lure mommy to play frisbee
around 11:30 am (depending on how hot it is outside) - come back inside, play with my squeaky toy and roam around the house, maybe take a nap in the guest room or under the bed.
12:30 pm - encourage mommy or daddy to take me for a walk
1:00 pm - chill at the house in 'the office' with mommy, brainstorm about work ideas (this takes a lot out of me), grab a drink
1:30 pm - Afternoon nap, sometimes I gaze out the front door, thinking about the neighborhood
3:00 pm - snack time (sometimes), go outside, practice football, rest, chew on sticks, jumping practice (high jump).
3:45 pm - come inside take a nap under the futon or bark at the front door
4:30 pm - Work (I work security at the front door), watch some television
6:45 pm - get ready to take a walk (mommy tells me about 5 times that we're leaving before we actually do), visit Zoey (my lady down the street, she's a black lab, don't hate!)
around 7:30 pm - have some dinner, try to steal mommy and daddy's dinner
8:30 pm - play in the house, lay down
9:30 pm - cuddle with daddy, he rubs my feet and nose
11:30 pm - go check on mommy in the bed, go to sleep under the bed
2:30 am - hop on the bed to make sure everything is secure

I can't complain, my parents love me, what more could a pup want? I work hard but play harder. I have the best job on the planet and sometimes my dad shares his food, ma...she's another story. Hope you all visit real soon.

Monday, August 8, 2011

FWB vs. NSA - Movie Review(s)

No, of course don't really mean "real" Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached, I mean the extremely similarly themed movies this summer that came out about finding love in supposed 'non-committal' relationships. When I first heard these were BOTH coming out, I was really interested to see what would turn out better. The situation mildly reminds me of that movie, The Muse (with Sharon Stone), where Albert Brooks ends up writing the same exact movie as another writer in the end of it all. I digress.

Yes, I saw both these movies. Let me start by saying that Friends with Benefits (starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake) was FARRRRRR better than No Strings Attached (starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher). How can that be, you ask? Despite the fact that I find it VERY peculiar that both the stars from Black Swan ended up making very similar romantic comedies (can we say challenge?), the NSA duo just doesn't deliver the romantic comedy performance that FWB does.

Mila vs. Natalie
While there is no doubt that Natalie Portman is a great actress (proven by her roles in The Professional, V for Vendetta, Star Wars, and Black Swan), she is lacking in believability and comes off a little bratty in the movie , as Emma, the Doctor. While Mila seemed to have a better grasp and identity with her character and a more believable career as a headhunter. It is clear that years on That 70's Show, has given a Mila a bigger edge on Sarcastic comedy and she is much funnier than Natalie, although I don't know that Natalie was really trying to be. Mila wins!
Justin vs. Ashton
I want to naturally believe that Ashton is naturally more comedic than JT (who rose to fame as a member of N'Sync), but sometimes he just goes a bit over the top in NSA. This is where JT shines in this movie, he doesn't overact. This is the first movie
that I have seen JT in, where he fills the roll quite nicely (IMHO). In addition, I think that Ashton was poorly matched with Natalie, so that could have something to do with it. While there were a couple of parts in the movie that I thought he was supposed to be funny and didn't quite pull it off, Justin did a great job as a co-star and had a lot more chemistry with Mila than Ashton with Natalie. Justin Wins!

Overall, the supporting case in FWB was pretty awesome and included Emma Stone (whom I LOVE), Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Woody, Richard Jenkins, Brian Greenberg (Made In America), Andy Samberg (I love you, man) and others. NSA's cast wasn't without highlights, it included Kevin Kline, Cary Elwes, Ludracris and Minda Kaling (The Office), among a couple others. Beyond that, the story line of FWB was MUCH better and intertwined (as much as it can be for this kind of movie). FWB wins!

Let's face it, Will Gluck kicked Ivan Reitman's but on this one. These movies aren't winning any performance awards any time soon, but I will tell you FWB was not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Watch both of them, I'm sure you'll be on my side.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Things that make me right round baby, right round...

I have acquired some things that I can't live without most new, some old, but I wanted to share with everyone because they are awesome and may be interesting for you too. It would be crazy for you all to like the same things I do, wouldn't it?

Here we go. First and foremost....

(Philip Stein Large Gold Chronograph Watch, I've been dying for this thing and
finally decided to make the purchase. Woohoo!)


(Zebra Piggy Bank from Target, on sale for $5. You can find other great designs here.)


(Palmograph and Elephant posters from Urban Outfitters, for the guest room.)



(Marc Jacobs, discontinued Gardenia and Cucumber body mist. I had to find them on eBay. Perfect fresh mist when you want to smell and feel fresh.)



(Precious gold-plated floral measuring spoons set (no longer available, Urban Outfitters). UO has some really cute housewares right now that are worth taking a look at.

What are some of the things that you can't live without this month? Beauty secrets? Housewares? Gadgets?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What makes something "Vintage"?

I've been doing some shopping lately...who are we kidding I'm ALWAYS shopping and I have come across the word vintage a lot. Everyone seems to be following a vintage trend lately going to flea markets, pawn shops and thrift stores, looking for vintage items. In my case, I was looking for a vintage clutch (purse), when it hit me.

What does vintage mean? and why am I willing to pay more for it?

When retailers slap vintage in front of the description, doesn't it make you feel like its automatically a little more valuable? Well I did some research. If you want to know what vintage is, check out my descriptions below and shop smarter.

First and foremost, here's the dictionary definition of Vintage:
vin·tage (vntj)
noun
1. The yield of wine or grapes from a vineyard or district during one season.
2. Wine, usually of high quality, identified as to year and vineyard or district of origin.
3. The year or place in which a wine is bottled.

Informal
a. A group or collection of people or things sharing certain characteristics.
b. A year or period of origin: a car of 1942 vintage.
c. Length of existence; age.

Adjective
1. Of or relating to a vintage.
2. Characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal; classic.
3. Old or outmoded.


Here are some generalized and more common descriptions that I have run by for various categories, beginning with fashion, since that's the one I'm most interested in.

Fashion & Jewelry
Some say vintage is anything made between the 1920's to 1980's. Other sources say that vintage can be anything from a previous era or 7 years or older and difficult to acquire. With this definition I would definitely land in the vintage category.

I think I will stick with the more widely accepted between 1920's to 1980's, anything made before that is considered antique.

Furniture
Vintage furniture applies to many types of furniture, the most important qualities being those that show age and high attention to detail.

Antique furniture is another story. Antique furniture is made at least one hundred years before it is purchased. This definition is often stretched by retail stores and many times when you arrive at antique store, you will see items that are only 50 to 60 years old, which mostly refers to the quality than the age. Then they upcharge you.

Vehicles
Cars are a different story however. For Cars, Motorcycles or Aircrafts something vintage needs to be at least 25 years or older, antique is anything 100 years or older.

You generally see vintage/antique car enthusiasts huddled in front of Denny's on Sunday or in Long Beach, in front of Frisco's.

Perfume
Perfume from the 1900 to 1980s is considered vintage unless it is discontinued, renamed, re-released or reformulated.

Wine
Any wine with a date on the bottle, with wine, Vintage only refers to the year it was made.

So, my advice to you is, before you go buy something "Vintage" make sure what you are getting and why it is considered "Vintage" to the seller, unless of course it's totally obvious.
Happy Shopping!

Monday, July 18, 2011

5 months and counting...


The wedding is getting closer and my anxiety and stress levels are rising. For some reason, I don't think that Beno really has these same issues. I am excited about everything and most everything is planned, but there are still details to tighten up. We are getting married on Decemeber 31, 2011 at Recreation Park Golf Course in Long Beach, really cute lil' place.


Our wedding is small, just how I like it, with closest friends and family. Since it's on NYE, only really close people would probably show up anyway. Here's a list of things we still need to do:

- Meet with the florist
- Get a band/DJ
- Meet with the jeweler
- Confirm a 'priest'
- Get our clothes (we are getting these in October)
- Figure out decorations
- Plan the pre-wedding family events
- Plan the parental meet and greet on Beno's bday
- Send out the invitations

WOW that seems like a lot. Well the venue, food, cake, photographer is taken care of. Technically so is the florist. We just have to tidy up some of the other details. Oh yea and the HONEYMOON, can't forget that. We are still wavering, but feel like we'll probably head down to the Dominican Republic for our getaway. Although there's a lot going on with Thesilvertelegram.com, I am still totally stoked about this whole event and getting more glad that it's on NYE.

The band isn't really panning out, it's almost as much as the total wedding venue. I am contemplating an iTunes playlist instead, between the two of us, we definitely have enough family/wedding friendly music and we can create the mood ourselves. I dunno. Decisions, decisions...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Simple Pleasures

- Riding my bike to Trader Joe's
- SoCal in the summer time
- Playing football with Chaka
- Trying a new recipe
- Fresh-squeezed Watermelon and lime juice

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: Larry Crowne


The first mistake I made before going to see this movie was reading the reviews. I didn't mean to, they just pop up when you're looking for movie times. My fiance picked this movie which caught me off-guard actually. Anyway, we headed to see Larry Crowne and from the reviews I had pretty low expectations, which probably helps this review.

If I had to choose one word to describe Larry Crowne: Delightful.

It was a really pleasant movie about a guy that gets laid off because he didn't go to college, a reality in times of recession, like we just had. He was going through a divorce that cost a lot of money and had to change to accomodate his new life. It wasn't a sappy love story, love was really just a side note in the whole thing. I can't say much more without giving away the movie, but it was pleasant. It's a feel good movie with a quality cast. Could I have waited to see it as a rental? Probably, but it was better in the theater.

My recommendation is to go check out Larry Crowne on a lazy weekend or weekday night if you are looking for a casual outing. It's not intensely thought provoking, but just a nice movie to watch.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, June 24, 2011

Busy, busy, busy...

As you can see, I've always been somewhat of a busy bee...

It's more true now than ever. Alongside the launch of my new website and business, I've been doing a lot of re-organizing. I've been spending way too much time with Cupcake's and Cashmere's Home Improvement blogs. I have cleaned up the junk in our place and reorganized my office space, to be a more conducive work environment.

Along side reorganizing, I've been doing a lot of traveling for new business (and of course, recreation) and lining up networking events to go to. I almost forgot the most important thing...maintaining my new diet and workout regimen, which actually can be accomplished with my 'new' life.

In fact I have been so busy, I let this blog slip by for way too many days. I've lost myself in running and work. I guess that just happens when making new life changes, but I was caught off guard about how much work and time it eats up. The best thing of all is that...it's all for me. The changes I wanted to make in my career and life are slowly becoming reality and its all very tiring, but so exciting at the same time.

I can't wait to see what happens next. I gotta start working on that book of mine.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The good life - TheSilverTelegram.com


The week before last, I launched my new business, TheSilverTelegram.com a public relations consultancy, focused on brand building and good PR. This is a huge change in my life, along with helping to build another business as well (to be announced later).

It's so much hard work, but also completely rewarding. It's funny that being on your own work schedule can be so much more physically demanding, but the mentality is so different when you're working for yourself. It is definitely only for certain types of people. For so long I have wondered why my focus and interest wasn't quite right at agencies I've been at, now I know.

With my persistent ADD, running my own business feeds all aspects of my mental hunger. Now I just need to stay organized, which isn't very hard for me anyway. I am so excited to pursue my business and hopefully maintain successful relationships in the coming years. This way I can continue to travel regularly, enjoy life at home, cook more and be in better physical shape among other things.

I have also considered getting a small loft in Downtown LA, which would be nice. That may be coming soon, depending on the next few weeks. Anyway...I am officially an entrepreneur and hope to continue expanding my portfolio to the other two businesses (now three) that I hope to pursue throughout my life.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Frustrations of a chronic dieter - part 2011

AHHHHHH! This will be a short blog post, and it's probably not even a good one at that. Why can't I get my dieting act together? It's really not enough to workout, the key is what you are putting in your body, I know that but it still doesn't help.

What I decided that I need is a personal chef to make my meals and put healthy snacks at my fingertips. The best solution would be to stop eating altogether, but REALLY? That's not going to happen. I realize now, with my rapidly increasing age, if I'm going to do anything life changing about my diet and/or my body I've got to do it now. I'm definitely not getting any younger.

This weekend we went to Fiesta Hermosa, which was a wealth of small retailers and independent artisans, it was really quite lovely. We came unto a group that is a family farm and signed up to get fresh produce delivered to our place bi-weekly from Farm Fresh To You. That is the start I guess, first delivery comes on Friday. I'm pretty excited about it, but I just have to make sure to cook the stuff and not let it go to waste.

This will be the organic, nutritious part of our diet I guess. I'm really eager to try this out and see what kind of fresh produce that I get in my box. Wish me luck, I need LOTS of it and some motivation (I may just be PMS'y though, grrrr).

Cheers and happy hump day!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Being Juicy aint' easy!

This morning I had a craving for fresh-squeezed juice after my fiance prepared some cheesy eggs for us. Apparently, there is a shortage of juiceries (not sure if that's accurate) in Long Beach. After finding one on Yelp, I went there only to find that it no longer exists. Disappointed, and on my way home I thought of picking up a Naked juice, but its just not the same as some fresh-squeezed...you know what I mean?

Alas, I was about to come home empty handed, but I had already built this craving up in my head. We bought a juicer, several months ago to incorporate into a healthy diet at home. So...obviously, not being able to have someone make it for me, I refused to settle for nothing and just make it myself. I picked up some fruits at a nearby grocery on the way home. Carrots, ginger, oranges, celery and a couple of limes (ingredients I had seen them use at Whole Foods before).

Got home, and to B's surprise (and disappointment, I might add), I didn't have two tall glasses of fresh-squeezed juice after my 45 minute trip. I pulled out the juicer and started chopping. Now before we bought the juicer, I did quite a bit of research, but unless I was willing to spend around $200 (which I wasn't), all the juicers are pretty much the same. I chose the Black & Decker Juice Extractor at $40. It's actually pretty good, other than the fact it leaks a little bit, but I think they all kind of leak.


I generally chop up the fruits (just the big round ones) and get them ready before my juicing process. Carrots and Celery (long fruits and veggies) go in there smoothly. I got to juicing. 3 oranges, 3 carrots, 1 medium-sized piece of ginger, 1 lime, 2 celery sticks and an apple later....we had a delicious juice for two (and for about $5). I call it "Orange Ginger dynamo".

Why don't I do this more often? Because I hate to wash. But if you get this juicer, it's fairly simple and goes in the dishwasher. There's an area that catches the peels and seeds and stuff that you can dump right onto your plants, compost pile or trash can.

So, yes, I'm very juicy this morning and unless I'm right next to a Whole Foods, I will be making an effort to make my own fresh-squeezed juices from now on.

Try it! Great for summer and great for your soul!
(I wish I had a picture for you, but I drank it all before I realized it)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Getting my rhythm!

It's been nearly a month, before I made my big transition to a life adventure (that's what we'll call it for now). Getting myself stabilized and organized was much quicker than I thought it would be. It is surprising how much more productive you are when your life and your work are practically one in the same and both something you love. The fact that I no longer have to leave the house and sit and traffic helps A LOT.

So... I've been reading, organizing, contemplating, planning and setting somewhat of a schedule in place for everything and its tough. Despite the fact that I no longer have to go into an office, I still have to consider the fact that I may need to conference call in the car or at my desk, while my dog is howling out the back window at the cat that's running across our yard. Working for myself also gives me less need to get up and take a break. I can find myself working away at my computer for hours (and before I know it its 3 pm) without eating or getting up. This was about the same time that I realized that mid-day workouts are not likely and I'll have to stick with mornings and evenings. The biggest difference is how much less my junk food and soda intake is. Shedding that 30 lbs, is much easier than I thought it would be and although I'm not on extreme mode, its melting off in a speed that is okay with me for right now.

When did people decide to give up both their physical and mental independence to live for work, that they don't necessarily care about? Why do people feel like they HAVE to sacrifice a good life to make a living? The more I think about it, the more I feel like people have been brainwashed to be lazy. YES, lazy! America is LAZY! There I said it. We may work more than any country in the world, but we don't get too much stuff done. I guess that's what separates the Entrepreneurs and Visionaries from everyone else (and I am by NO means calling myself a visionary, entrepreneur almost).

If you're reading this blog, then you're probably a like-minded individual, so I encourage you to answer a few questions for yourself and if I've help just one person have a great life then I accomplished a goal.

1. Do you love what you're doing? Not like, not kinda sorta, LOVE.
2. Why aren't you doing what you REALLY want to do?
3. Is that really a good reason?
4. What would it take for you to LOVE what you do everyday?
5. Which do you think will reap more benefits for you in scheme of your life?

That's it 5 questions. I used to be a procrastinator and then I realized to get anything done you just have to make up your mind and go. So...just do it! (best tagline ever)



Friday, May 13, 2011

A few of my favorite things...

I was reading some of my recent blogs and saw that I've become so serious lately, which is what happens when you bury yourself in a hole to make something big happen. Anyway, to relieve some of that musk that has come over the blog, I decided I needed to be a little bit more frivolous by sharing just a few of the things that I love (partly inspired by Cupcakes and Cashmere's Five Things).

Brooks Green Silence Running Shoes, my most recent footwear purchase. I got them at Sport Chalet, but you can get them at Zappos.com. Minimalist shoes that change the way you run and make you feel barefoot without looking like an alien with those foot glove things.
I have always loved Orchids, but never know how to take care of them. This baby is nearly a month old and lookin' strong. I'm proud of myself and she is beautiful.

My version of 'the little black dress'. Diane Von Furstenberg blessed me with this little number from my favorite place, Nordstrom, of course. She didn't bless me herself, she led me to it is more like it...in spirit. LOL

What's more important to go with a fancy dress, than some great shoes!?

Vera Wang Lavender Pumps. I stalked these shoes online and waited for them to go on sale before I bought them. When I put them on my feet, it was more than worth the wait.

Okay, so I inherited this from a previous beau, but I'm so glad I did. Getting through long work days when you're working from home, is much easier with your turntable at your side. You can find them for reasonable prices on Craigslist or even from Guitar Center.


One of my more recent finds was this earring stand and the necklace stand behind it. Where did I find this phenomenal creation to organize my jewelry? Marshall's of course. I'm not so keen on going through racks of clothes at Marshall's, but when it comes to knick-knacks and home goods, its not too shabby.

Last but definitely not least (his ears must have been burning, because he came in here just now)...

My trusty sidekick Chaka. The love of your pup is something that NO person can give you. I wouldn't give this guy up for anything...unless he pees on me again...he's out tha door!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bossypants

I haven't written in a week and I feel like its been months. While I'm restructuring my life and getting ready to present my new self to you I decided to read a book! Yes, amazing, I actually FINISHED a book. It wasn't hard.

What was it?

Bossypants, by Tina Fey of course. My interest in Tina Fey was first born when I watched 'Mean Girls', a classic coming of age story for girls in the 21st century (please note the sarcastic tone), and damn hilarious. Soon after, I generated an addiction for 30 Rock. If you haven't seen it, I encourage you to catch up. Her style of comedy (sarcasm, truth, everyday quips) was exactly what my friends and I did, so henceforthwithto, I thought Bossypants would be a good choice for my reading attempt.

Now, I'm not generally a fan of books and don't get sucked in easy, but this book feels like Tina Fey is talking to you about her hysterically busy and successful progression in life. And aside from the disturbing cover art, I have come to feel like I know her and would be disgustingly disappointed, that if we met, she wouldn't treat me as an old friend and give me a hug (I smell just as good as Oprah Tina Fey).

It's an entertaining book to read and talks about her career, comedy, life as a mother, life as a (bad) wife and life as a boss, all while being very funny and telling a great story! It inspires me to stay up later, write more and work harder...well at least for today...to get what I want out of life. It is nice to see that there are people out there, that still pursue what they love to do, instead of what is convenient, conventional and expected of them. (Yes, I got all that out of this book).

Good work Tina Fey, I applaud you and good luck!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Swimming is DAMN hard!

Meet my arch nemesis.....



Yeah, so what it's a pool? This is the Lakewood YMCA pool. I have incorporated swimming into my training to build my endurance (which apparently fled from my body when I packed on the pounds at my last job). This morning was my first swim workout. The result? I am a sucky swimmer. Going just one length of the pool had me panting like my dog after a run.

Isn't waking up at 5 am hard enough, without gasping for air and choking on pool water? I couldn't cut the freestyle the whole time, that s*** is hard, so I went with the breast stroke, which is significantly easier for me. I warned the coach when I got there, that I am NOT a swimmer. The coach took pity on me and gave me some mini-goals to achieve, like not stopping between laps. Needless to say, it was VERY difficult for me to do that, today anyway.

By the end of the workout, I was controlling my breathing a lot better and interchanging freestyle and breast stroke. That's really what it was about, my breathing. Once I finally got into a rhythm, I felt like I wasn't totally anchoring everyone else and that someday I could catch up, maybe in a month or so. I am definitely going back on Wednesday! Once I learn how to breathe slower and get my strokes perfected, I can be a fish just like everyone else.

Until then, they will have to watch out for my slow a** in the right side of the lane. Right now, I do almost half the laps as everyone else, but I was getting the hang of it by the end of the hour, which gives me hope for Wed. morning. I'm stoked on this new swimming thing, not to mention the 20-minute bike ride to get to the YMCA. :) I can now project some crazy endurance in the months to come. YAY!

If you don't hear from me by next week, I probably drowned.
Interested in my workout? Check out 'The Workout Schedule' blog, to visualize my insanity.

**self censorship :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The workout schedule

This intense varied schedule should smack me around and get me into tip-top shape for events to come. I thought I would share, to make me more accountable and just in case you'd like to try and keep up with the young wipper snapper (yea right!).

Monday
6-7 am - Swim workout @ YMCA
6:30-9:00 pm - Tennis @ Rancho Cienega Tennis Courts

Tuesday
6 am Santa Monica Stairs workout/run
7-10 pm - Tennis in Bellflower

Wednesday
6-7 am - Swim workout @ YMCA
Gym (or outdoor) workout (5K-10K run/weights) (24 hour fitness)

Thursday
6 am - Long Beach beach run
Gym - lite cardio/weights (24 hour fitness)

Friday
9-10 am - Turbo Kickboxing (24 hour fitness, slauson) <--kick butt class
6:30-9:00 pm - Tennis @ Rancho Cienega Tennis Courts

Saturday
Tennis (LA)
Bike ride/Hike

Sunday
Santa Monica Stairs Workout/Gym Workout

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Adventures of a Chronic Dieter...

After a couple of great weeks of getting back into shape and eating well, I faltered. How? you ask. Those damn yogurt covered pretzels from Trader Joe's. I know you are supposed to treat yourself once in a while, so you're not too far off on deep end dieting, but I felt like I lost control. I didn't actually eat that many overall, maybe like 12. But still, I felt the lack of control, as to everything else, I have been thinking through and controlling pretty well (as far as eating goes). Especially, since I've been working out so hard, it feels like a set back.

My body is beyond sore and if I drink any more water I'm probably going to have to move my things into the bathroom. I hate being this sore, it makes me realize how out of shape that I have actually gotten. I've been working out on top of the soreness, but after I finish, I can barely move again. Getting up in the morning is tough, because my body wants that extra rest and I feel crippled when getting out of bed, crawling to the coffee pot.

Today, I took an afternoon nap (and a walk with Chaka) of about 30 minutes, amazing what a nap can do for your mind and body! Hopefully, I will be off to play tennis shortly (like in the next hour), otherwise I have to go to the gym to run, which I'd rather not do today.

Next week...it's swim time. Monday will be my first master swim class at the YMCA. I'll ride my bike to swim at 6:00 am. That's some dedication there huh? It's my first time since beng a kid, but I think the water will help me get in shape and it's only twice a week. I'm hoping it will help melt away that nastiness that has gelled around my legs.

Back to drinking my water now. Stay tuned! I will feel fantastic soon, I just know it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm going green...well more like baby blue!


I'm so excited, I have finally become totally fuel efficient. The same fuel that keeps my body running will be fueling my....wait for it....my new Schwinn Clairmont beach cruiser. LOL.



And yes, there is a basket on my bike for quick trips to Trader Joe's or Ralphs and afternoons at Starbucks or downtown. Not to mention my bike riding that will commence in Santa Monica on the weekends.

If you're in Long Beach, you may just see me riding down the street in my neato Schwinn with Chaka in a basket on the back. I look forward to riding the bike to the YMCA in the mornings for my new swim class. YAY!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Who are you?

There are times in your life where you have to make life decisions. That's what I have done. After such a long time of not really feeling the 'right' feeling, I believe I have finally figured out what is 'right' for me.

Immediately after I made the most recent decision about my life, despite a little nervousness, I felt happy and realized that good decisions always feel...well...good! There are people that follow or believe in other people's paths and there are others that create a world of their own. I have never been a kid to follow what others were doing, sometimes by force. My mother always wanted to be different, do different things and set a tone to be an example and was NEVER someone that followed others; I think I get it from her.

With my parents being fathoms opposite; my mother totally out there, creative and whimsical and my dad, precise, on-schedule and conservative; I think I turned out to be an interesting and smart combination of the both of them. (Is it ok to call yourself smart, without sounding totally vein?)

So although, I'm being really vague right now and can't reveal more at the moment, announcements will come (no, I'm not pregnant). This new chapter of my life, I can feel, will be the best one by far. With the wedding, work, life as I know it is about to change and I have a great feeling!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

#YouKnowYou'reAnIndianChildWhen

A friend of mine on Twitter started a hashtag today. It was basically just her an I, but I thought it was so funny. There are specific things that you experience when you're a kid who has parents that immigrated from India.

Since I'm sure they differ slightly for different types of Indians, I will only generalize from California Bengali's, so you all can understand us just a little bit better.

You Know You're a Southern Californian Bengali Child If:
  • Your dad is an engineer, doctor or works for Microsoft.
  • Your weekends are booked with 'family get-togethers'.
  • You are studying for the S.A.T.'s at the age of 10.
  • Your dad smells of tobacco and scotch.
  • You have never been to a summer sleep away camp.
  • Your mother doesn't or shouldn't be driving on the freeway.
  • Everyone is your dada, didi, auntie or uncle.
  • Your in math class instead of enjoying summer.
  • You are 14 in community college calculus.
  • Your school teachers don't even try to pronounce your last name...and you don't need them to.
  • You live with your parents to 'save money' at the age of 25.
  • Rice is on the menu (every night) with Fish or Chicken curry.
  • Your parent's drive a Honda, Toyota or Mercedes.
  • You start applying to UCLA, UCSD and UCI as soon as you enter high school.
  • You are a computer science, engineering major or pre-med.
  • Your parents tell you repeatedly about how Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize for literature.
  • You don't play outside or swim until 4 pm because your mother is worried you're getting too dark from the sun...
  • Your parents use adjectives as nouns, ex: "Don't be a stupid".
  • The cashiers at 7-11 look at you intently before asking "Are you Indian?" with absolutely no follow-up.
  • Kids at school ask where your red dot is (that's all Indians).
  • You either check 'other' or 'Asian' on all official documents.
  • You know that Salt Lake refers to a neighborhood in Calcutta and not Utah.
  • People don't believe you when you say you're Asian.
  • 6 hour flights seem like a picnic compared to the 16 hours it takes to get to India.
  • Kids at school mistake you for Mexican.
There's tons that I think of in 'the moment', but these are just a few. Ah, life :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sally Hansen's new idea for nail polish.


Yes, at time, I do write about things other than weight loss and fitness....sometimes. I am also obsessed with shoes and painting my nails. In this case, it's the nails. For some reason it has become a therapeutic obsession for me and removing, cleaning, shaping then painting my nails makes me feel somewhat new. A little self-pampering sometimes goes a long way.

Well..yesterday while I was pampering myself with a cupcake (yes not on the diet list, however it was celebratory), behind the counter on the cashier I saw these nails.


So different and cute. When I asked her where she got them she said they were Sally Hansen Salon Effects and that you can only find them at CVS. Well, obviously that was going to be on my list of stops for the day. Sally Hansen has GREAT nail care products. I try and stick with Sally Hansen, Essie and Opi most of the time.

So, after work I head over to CVS (I had to go to two of them to get the right design) to pick up these little nail polish wallpapers. I had read some reviews of people that didn't like them and why, but I think now that they were doing it wrong.

Here's what I got: Sally Hansen Salon effects "Cut it out".





Here are a few tricks to make this work properly. It takes a little bit of
practice.

- Warm up your hands and the nail polish strips for maximum stickiness.
- Make sure that your nails are clean and very dry.
- Do NOT use the nail file they provide, use the little cuticle stick to push back your cuticle, stick on the strip, push it down with your finger and use the cuticle stick to tap it down around the top of your nail and cut the extra part off.
- You can generally use 1 piece for two nails if you do this right.
- Be sure to put on a top coat, it does crackle a bit otherwise.

It turns out pretty cool and is different from just regular nail polish. Perfect if you're not an artist and can't make crazy designs in your nails with q-tips and toothpicks. They also have metallics.



Friday, April 15, 2011

Return of the Chronic Dieter....Part...let's just stop counting.

Hahaha... I can only start this blog by laughing at how many times I've attempted diets. Ahemm..But let's get serious now. Women's tennis season is beginning and summer is approaching in about 2 months. I have no time to waste or eat carbs and loads of sugar.

Protein and vegetables are the name of the game here people. So...During detox I finally set a nice workout pace and I have been slowly guiding myself back into workout mode. It's much harder than it used to be now that I have outside factors
to worry about (i.e. the fiance, the dog, my social life), it confuses my mind and makes it even harder.

It's all good though, tennis is firing up, however I have a rotator cuff injury. For those of you who know my tennis style, I'm a monster server, so this rotator cuff business is all bad for my game. I am not pleased about this, but there is also nothing much I can do about it.

I was finally inspired to go back to my extreme diet, when talking to a colleague of mine. She doesn't eat carbs or dairy. I did that once and I felt great. Her explanation for why was because she didn't like the way it made her feel or look. Well damn, is that all you need? I wish my will power allowed those reasons to be enough for me too. I will make it enough...Thank you colleague, you have inspired me to really be in top notch shape. I was in such great athletic prowess about two summers ago. Just because I'm aging rapidly and my 20's are behind me doesn't mean I have to lug this extra 20 pounds around.

So all in all here are some daily goals I will be adhering to for at least the next 45 days:

1) drink lots of water

2) lay off the carbs and dairy (and juices, soda and alcohol)





3) stretch
everyday
( styrafoam rollers are great for this)






4) workout everyday (gym or tennis)
Got me some new running shoes for this bad boy!












5) eat healthy, no fast food

And by the end of all this, I will look like this:











Without the head cut out of course...and maybe a few inches shorter. Watch out gentlemen! LOL

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The 'Spark'...

What makes someone want to be better than they already are? Is that something hereditary? Is it something you're taught when growing up, that you should be the best you should be?

Why is it that some people have it and others don't? Sometimes I think I'm too ambitious, and its true that I often put too many things on my plate of to-do's, which means only half of it gets done (Which is truly more than the average Joe anyhow).

Sometimes I really think I should have take some type of sociology or philosophy major that would have kept me in school for 20 years of my life getting masters' and phd's, but then I can spend my time thinking freely about inane ideologies that no one will ever really have the answers to.

I'm looking for the right 'spark' right now, the one that makes everything else make sense. It may just be adding something to my life that wasn't there, getting into a good routine or eliminating something completely. Who knows? Sometimes I think I may just need a little more Vitamin D intake and then all my energy would be well cooked and 'out there'...whatever that means.

See you when I see you!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Julie/Julia and Ronjini....

First and foremost, bacon is always the secret ingredient.

I was watching Julie/Julia the other day and saw the great scene of Julie eating that bruschetta. It made me want to make some crispy, tomatoey bruschetta. At first, it seemed like there was no way that it could be a full meal, boy, was I wrong!

Anything is possible, when bacon is your secret ingredient. Immediately, I made the recipe my own. I headed over to Trader Joe's to pick up some goods:

French Bread - check
Firm tomatoes - check
Basil - check
Garlic - check
Applewood smoked bacon - check










I got home to a spunky puppy, just waiting for a walk. We went out and then I began my cooking.

First, I made my bruschetta mixture:
2 medium tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 bunch of basil finely chopped
grated pepper
grated sea salt

Next:
for flavor and protein, grill bacon on the grill pan
I should have made it crispier, but it turned out well nontheless.











and thennnn......
grill the bread on the grill pan in the bacon grease....

Last, but definitely not least:
spoon the bruschetta onto the toasted French bread and add bacon crumbles on top. Perfection!





That was my Julia Child experiment for today. Assignment completed. I have a surprise coming this weekend though. Don't worry folks its just a phase, enjoy it while you can.