Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Milkyway Above the Himalayas

I would say this beats any candy bar... by a landslide.

Devil in the Details

Vince Camuto "Jasin Black" heels

ASOS Heart Suspender Tights

Free People Vegan Leather Pleated Skirt

ASOS Heart Sheer Tights

Agent Provocateur Baby Bra

Free People Peter Pan Babydoll Top

Monday, January 30, 2012


Give yourself a gift. And spend 10 minutes watching this beautiful video :)

Can I Live Here?

...or atleast just sleep there for one night?

Top 4 Children's Books (that are also for adults)

"You With the Stars in Your Eyes: A Little Girl's Glimpse at Cosmic Consciousness" written by Deepak Chopra, illustrated by Dave Zaboski

"Zen Ghosts" by Jon J Muth

"Sweet Moon Baby" written by Karen Henry Clark, illustrated by Patrice Barton

"The Secret Lives of Princesses" written by Phillippe Lechermeier, illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer

Cory Godbey

This is Cory Godbey

He illustrates

And made this book

As soon as I watched this video, I went right to Cory Godbey's site and bought the book. I was immediately captivated by his illustrations and their internal sense of place, movement and meaning. (One of my pipe dreams would be to work with Cory collaboratively to write either a children's story or create an animated children's movie with him as illustrator.)

"Cause though the truth may vary, this ship will carry our bodies safe to the shore"

"Little Talks" - Of Monsters & Men

'Cause though the truth may vary
This ship will carry
Our bodies safe to shore

'Cause though the truth may vary
This ship will carryOur bodies safe to shore

*psst click here for interpretations of the song's meaning

Lovely Links

Photo courtesy Messymama

Fascinating article about the teenage mind (and why we need more trade schools!)

A Message To Women: YOU ARE NOT CRAZY!

My Shoe fetish...


A beautiful story about sacrifice and gain

What to say to a friend who's struggling

Bathing beauty

Friday, January 20, 2012

Crazy Fish

Here is Alex either trying to show off his mustache or how serious he is about Mexican food

Recently some friends and I went to a Mexican restaurant in Fishtown called "Loco Pez" or crazy fish. My friend Lisa described it to me as a "a trendy dive Mexican place in the city written about in the Inquirer" --- dive? Mexican place? Inquirer? Sold. I've watched enough Diners, Drive-ins & Dives with my dad to know that any low-key, off-the-radar place that's getting a lot of buzz is most likely to be awesome. And let me tell you, it WAS!

We started off with margharitas (for the girls) and cans of cold Tectate (for the boys.) The margharitas were sour and salty and zingy, but with just enough sweetness to make you want to swallow. They were not at all like the overly sweet slushy kinds you get at other places - these were more like actual drinks than slushies. (Side note: apologies for the terrible photos, but I was using my phone camera and my flash doesn't work.)

Guacamole and Margharita

Then we ordered the chips, salsa and guacamole. The chips were thick and deep fried, the salsa was chunky and fresh with shreds of cilantro, and the guacamole was the best I've ever had.

Salsa and chips

For dinner I ordered two pollo tacos and one shrimp taco. The pollo taco was made with pulled chicken seasoned with a blend of "secret spices" all piled on soft corn tortilla and was delicious. The shrimp taco was even better, made with deep-fried shrimp, shredded cabbage and topped with a mexican white cheese.

Shrimp and chicken tacos

I also ordered a side of the black beans diablo which the waitress described as more like black bean soup topped with mexican cheese. The black beans diablo were, obviously, spicy but also had a rich and deep almost chocolatey flavor. Important to note: each table gets its own basket of sauces including a bottle of Cholula hot sauce, housemade spicy green tomatillo sauce and black sauce (which I suspect was maybe a mole sauce) and other squeeze bottles that we were not daring enough to try.

The ambience of the place would remind you of a cross between the dive bar down the street and a Mexican grandmother's apartment. It was very small and cozy with a large bar, tables beside the bar and small area in the back with a few tables, an ATM (cash only, people) and a Family Guy arcade game. Threaded tapestries and Mexican kitsch line the walls of the bar area and paintings you might find at Urban Outfitters line the small dining area in the back. The bathrooms are white tiled with black and white Mexican comics plastered all over the walls. Immediately upon walking into the place I got a feeling that this place was filled with both neighboring local patrons and young, hipster types. We finished off the night by heading to a dance club/bar area on Frankford called the Barbary for 80's/90's dance night. We danced to old-time techno beats in a smoke machine with sparkle strobes light. Great Mexican food and great dancing? All in all I'd say it was a very successful night :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Won!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tickets to a Sixers game of my choice!!!!!!!!!!!!! So what if I spent 30 dollars on raffle tickets... it's still a win ;)

Weekend Bits

Though we are as close to this upcoming weekend as we are as far from this past weekend, I still wanted to share some pictures of things that made me happy this weekend...

1. Raspberry chocolate and honey lavendar macarons
2. Jeremy Jordan from Joyful Noise... marry me, please?
3. Almond croissant
4. The moon
5. White hot chocolate with buttery-yellow whipped cream
6. Banana Nut Cake (recipe below)
7. My brother's paintings. he. is. amazing.
8. The ionly reason I go out: to dance with my friends :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Joyful Noise

Uhhh yes I saw this. And yes I already bought the soundtrack. (My personal favorites are the last four.) 

Gluten-free Banana Nut Cake

I found this recipe online about 2 years ago from a woman’s website whose name is Mary Glenda. Sadly, I can’t find the website any longer or any information about her… except obituaries for a few Mary Glendas. (I hope she is not one of them.) From reading the website, she said that she cured her multiple health problems by eating a lower fat, gluten-free and sugar-free diet. (However, if she’s one of the ones in the obituaries I wonder how healthy her diet really was.)

At any rate, below is a recipe for her Go Nuts Banana Nut Cake that is - as expected - gluten-free and sugar-free. The sweetener is honey which is not considered “sugar” per se. Honey is often touted as being healthier than sugar because it contains anti-bacterial compounds and releases more slowly into your bloodstream than regular sugar. Not sure if there is any merit to that or not, but it’s what I’ve read. I don’t eat a gluten-free, sugar-free diet because frankly I am not sure if it’s possible to rule out those things entirely from my life. Thankfully I don’t have a gluten intolerance that feels like shards of glass in my stomach every time I eat gluten. I imagine that if I did, it would be easier to not eat gluten because I would not want to feel that way afterward. I do however think it’s smart to have a diet rich in variety so that you can get as many nutrients as possible from all different kinds of foods and experiment with your likes and dislikes. I think when it comes to food that moderation, joy, awareness and relaxation are key elements. I am still learning this J

Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl combine:

1 large egg
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce

(mix with spoon)

½ cup of honey (sometimes I fill a ½ cup with a mixture of honey and agave syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (gluten-free)

(mix with spoon)

2 cups ripe banana peeled and mashed
1-1/4 cups brown rice flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup spelt flour
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup purified water

(mix with spoon)

1 cup chopped walnuts (black walnuts or regular walnuts, or whichever nut you have on hand)

(mix with spoon)

Pour batter into a lightly greased 11 x 17 pyrex dish. You can also use an aluminum cake pan which is what I used this time. Place in oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, turn the oven off and let the cake sit in the oven. Check with a knife every 5 minutes until knife comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool and set before diving in to your deliciously moist, dense and filling banana nut cake!

For best results eat within 1-2 days of making and keep refrigerated.

A few words of caution…

This cake is VERY moist, and seems almost undercooked. It is not a typical cake that is light, airy and fluffy. In the center it tastes more like a wet, gooey and dense bread pudding. I think this is a result of the brown rice flour, spelt flour and honey. Also important to note: spelt is sometimes considered gluten-free and sometimes not depending on the person.

Friday, January 13, 2012

How To Be Alone

How To Be Alone
Tanya Davis

If you are at first lonely, be patient.
If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.
We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books; you’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.
There is also the gym, if you’re shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in.
Then there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.
And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.
Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principles.
The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by “chow downers”, employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town, and they, like you, will be alone.
Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.
When you are comfortable with “eat lunch and run”, take yourself out for dinner; a restaurant with linen and Silverware. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo desert and cleaning the whip cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.
Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.
And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching because they’re probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats, is after-all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things. Down your back, like a book of blessings.
Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you. Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might of never happened had you not been there by yourself. Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile nobody is dating them.
But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless,
and lonely is healing if you make it.
You can stand swathed by groups and mobs or hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company.
But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them maybe lost or perhaps it is just kept. Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those “sappy slogans” from pre-school over to high school groaning, we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay.
Cause if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed, and alone is okay.
It’s okay if no one believes like you, all experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relieved, keeps things interesting, life’s magic things in reach, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, and the community is not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it.
Take silence and respect it.
If you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it, if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.

You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it
If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it.

There is heat in freezing, be a testament.


Thank you, Tanya Davis.
I'm having a love affair with your poem.
I plan on memerizing it by heart.
I'm not even kidding.
I watched it on repeat 10 times this morning on the train.
I kept pausing the video to write down the lines I liked best.
The train conductor even stopped and asked me what I was watching.
I must have looked... enthralled.

P.S.- shout out to Janet - does the mug in the "lunch counter" part of the video (when she's at the diner) look familiar????? ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Take What Resonates, Leave the Rest

"To sit patiently with a yearning that has not yet been fulfilled, and to trust that, that fulfillment will come, is quite possibly one of the most powerful "magic skills" that human beings are capable of. It has been noted by almost every ancient wisdom tradition." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Everything we are looking for is what we are looking with." - Tony Robbins

"We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who does things – I write, I act – and I never know what I am going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun." - Stephen Fry

"Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in it's deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love." -Rainer Maria Rilke

"It is the opposite of bolting. It's walking straight into the pain with the understanding that there are worse things in life than a broken heart. That something exists beyond, something that completely saturates any pain. Something that holds the pain, is bigger than it is. And there is no fighting with either the pain or the thing that saturates the pain... As long as I believe that pain is bigger than me, as long as I define being open and vulnerable as being vulnerable to annihilation, I believe in an image of myself: that I am someone who can be annihilated. And when I believe this, I bolt from different situations by engaging in various mind-altering or body-numbing activities." - Geneen Roth

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there." - Rumi

"The size and age of the cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home... I believe our future depends on how well we know this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky." - Carl Sagan

"Oh you can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks.Yes, you can stare into the abyss, but it's starin' right back." - "When My Time Comes" by Dawes

"There's nothing like living in a bottle, and nothing like ending it all for the world. We're so glad you will come back, every living lion will lay in your lap." - "Lived in Bars" by Cat Power

"Don't surround yourself with yourself." - "I've Seen All Good People" by Yes

"Remember, don't worry about losing. If it's right it happens. The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away." - John Steinbeck

"It's not life that matters. It's the courage that we bring to it." - Yogi Tea Bag

"Fear is a friend who is misunderstood; I know the heart of life is good." - John Mayer

"Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens." - Carl Jung

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Life Lately

pewter new year sky

...oh...oh...oh...oh... stayin' alive, stayin' alive...

mariana's grey & white french manicure, buddha ring

winter wildflowers

cookie dough hummus by ChocolateCoveredKatie via SaraLiz<3

my brother, the next Van Gogh?

Conestoga house

Veuve Clicquot

CarrotCakeCheesecake from McKenzie's

me... with spa hair :-P

Friday, January 6, 2012

Marcel the Shell with Shoes on is BACK!

Don't you love her? Turns out Marcel and I have a lot more in common than you might think. For one, we both don't have cars. Unless you count her bug and really, you just have to want to go for a ride. For two, we are both scared of dogs. For three... I've always wanted a nickname but never got one. When I was little I used to beg my mom for a nickname. She chose "peanut."

Unfortunately "peanut" never caught on with my mainstream kindergarten cronies. Come to think of it neither did Julie, or Lexi, or Sally which were the other names I would also use sporadically at doctor's appointments, dentist appointments, etc. Which caused a lot of confusion. And a lot of unnecessary cavity fillings... Just kidding. They were all pretty much necessary. I didn't eat much as a kid but I did eat pixy stixx  like they were going out of style. Which they eventually did...

True story: my mom decided to choose the "on sale" candy for this past Halloween and got a boat load of pixy stix and since I came home to eat their candy for candy duty I had more than 5 kids pick up the pixy stix (pixie stik?) and ask me, with a look on their face as if it were a boiled broccoli kabob...

"What is this?"

 It's the pure essence of what is in every other piece of wrapped candy that's in your bag. Sugar. In neon colors.

Quizzical looks.

 Apparently this isn't the 90's anymore. And  pixy stix are the equivalent to what a Pay Day was to me when I was trick-or-treating. Still don't understand the difference between a Pay Day and a Snickers?

Anyway. Happy Friday. Or Happy Pay Day, if you happen to be so lucky. I hope you have a great weekend!

AND P.S. - my post is up on Operation Beautiful so go check it out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Je Ne Veux Pas Travailler

Ma chambre a la forme d'une cage
Le soleil passe son bras par la fenêtre
Les chasseurs à ma porte
Comme des petits soldats
Qui veulent me prendre

Je ne veux pas travailler
Je ne veux pas déjeuner
Je veux seulement oublier
Et puis je fume

Déjà j'ai connu le parfum de l'amour
Un millions de roses
N'embaumeraient pas autant
Maintenant une seule fleur
Dans mes entourages
Me rend malade

{au Refrain}

Je ne suis pas fière de ça
Vie qui veut me tuer
C'est magnifique
Etre sympathique
Mais je ne le connais jamais

{au Refrain}

Je ne suis pas fière de ça
Vie qui veut me tuer
C'est magnifique
Etre sympathique
Mais je ne le connais jamais

Are We Human or Are We Dancer?