Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chicken Little.

So, like I said in previous posts - I've been trying to eat healthier, which is just not so simple living at school, with a limited budget, and a meal plan in the dining commons where the average meal has about 8,000 calories and 5 bagillion mg of sodium (slight exaggeration, but just slight).

I've never really been a huge red meat fan - occasionally I'll crave a burger (usually something unbearably healthy, like the McDouble from McDonald's), but usually I'm a chicken kind of gal. I think I could probably eat chicken every single day, and because of that, I am constantly seeking out new ways that I can cook it, so I'm not eating the same old thing every day. I have blown through all (seriously, no exaggeration there) recipe in my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks involving chicken, and the rest of the cookbooks in the apartment.

I have been to Trader Joe's/Whole Foods at least twice every week, stocking up on free-range, organic chicken, and spend a good amount of time five nights a week trying new things, tweaking recipes, and coming up with kick ass side dishes to go along with my chicken (like yesterday, I made white rice, and added feta cheese with pine nuts and mixed it all up together. Perfection - especially paired with asparagus sauteed in olive oil with sea salt).

But my dilemma has been to find creative ways to cook the friggin thing so that I'm not chickened out, which would just be a horrible tragedy in my life. Once again, I went onto Martha Stewart's website in my spare time when I was exceptionally bored in my apartment the other night (all alone, and J was away for the weekend), and what was the first thing that popped up? 100 EASY ways to cook chicken. I swear, it's like she spoke to me.

Some of the recipes did not excite me very much, but some... ohhhh my goodness, I cannot wait to make my bi-weekly Whole Foods trip (seriously, the one cashier knows me by name at this point, and may or may not have let me get a few things for free...) so that I can make some of these fantastic recipes! Now if only I could find a magic potion to dramatically increase the size of my kitchen in my apartment, I'd be golden ;)

I'm a fan of spicy food, so this Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa sounds absolutely perfect!
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Sometimes, I think that making things in a rush can equal me making bad choices in what I eat. By simply buying a rotisserie chicken, I can make these perfect looking Asian-Style Chicken Wraps.
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This Chicken Parm is ready in thirty five minutes! While it's not the healthiest option, who doesn't love a good chicken parm, right?
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I love, love, love Thai food. Honestly, I could probably eat it every day and not complain once (especially mango sticky rice, but I digress...). This Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad only takes 20 minutes to prep, and according to Martha is the perfect blend of spicy, sweet, salty and sour packed in one.
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I've been sauteing up a storm here at school - so this Sauteed Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce really jumped out to me... and yum, any chance to eat asparagus (as seen in the picture) is great for me!
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I'm also a big pasta fan - I've switched to whole wheat, so that it's more of a healthy carb. Martha posted a recipe for a Chicken Fettucini with Pesto Cream Sauce - yummo!
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Just by substituting whole wheat wraps in place of plain ones with enriched flour (white flour which causes the body to break down the wheat differently), you can still enjoy yummy Grilled Chicken Tostadas! Plus, depending on the vegetables you put in it, you can get 2+ servings of veggies (1 serving = 1 cup) in one simple 30-minute meal =)
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Edamame is not only delicousss (I eat it just as a snack!) but it's ridiculously good for you. By pairing edamame (soybeans) with chicken and noodles (I'm planning on substituting whole wheat linguine, instead of trying to find an Asian grocery store for the noodles) you can have this perfecttt combo of Chicken, Edamame, and Noodle Stir-Fry.
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Next up? Maybe a little seafood? We'll have to see where Martha leads me next... ;)

P.S. And really, I really love you all. So very much =) I'm still so overwhelmed by all the support I received from you! Love, love, love you. And my inbox/cell phone is always open for ANY of you! xox

Currently listening to: Imogen Heap - Hide and Seek (Probably because I've been listening to Jason Derulo's "Whatcha Say" nonstop so I missed the original!).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hottie of the Week #10.

I think it's apparent by now that I love The OC. I have talked about it constantly, and I hope you're all not totally sick of it yet.

Since it is time for a girl crush "hottie of the week," I am offic. making my girl (and maybe one of my biggest girl crushes), Rachel Bilson my tenth hottie of the week =)

Rachel, who played Summer on The OC, got her start acting in high school plays - though she had a rocky start in high school, when she went through a self-described "rebellious and self destructive phase." This phase resulted in her getting in a head-on car accident, from which she suffers memory loss and migraines to this day! (Who knew!).

Bilson appeared on episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, breaking into the acting world, but remained relatively unknown until she was cast as Summer on The OC. Summer was originally going to be a small part, but the character evolved, and her relationship with Seth Cohen was one of the highlights of the show.

While Bilson has won Teen Choice Awards for "Choice Female Hottie," was called "the hottest chick in Hollywood" by Howard Stern, was one of People's 100 Most Beautiful, and was one of the Maxim Hottest, Bilson has refused to pose nude in men's magazines, simply stating that her body is sacred, and not something she wants everyone to see. You go, girl!

Bilson has taken her love of fashion, and boho style and created her own line with DKNY called Edie Rose. Unfortunately a lot of her fashion collection was lost in 2009, when her home was burglarized (poor thing!).

Currently Bilson is engaged to Hayden Christensen (though I still prefer her with ex boyfriend Adam Brody), and is appearing on-screen in New York, I Love You. She is also seen looking gorgeous no matter what, which makes me unbelievably jealous, obvs.

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Exclusive: Hayden Christensen And Rachel Bilson Spending Time Together (No Germany)

P.S. I love you all so very much. Thank you for all your kind words, and support about my last post - I was writing more for myself, and to replace some of the burden I was feeling. I'm just overwhelmed by the kindness of all of you. I love you all, I really do. I wish I could say more besides just saying thank you and I love you, but I just don't have the words...maybe I'm still just overwhelmed by your kindness = )

Currently: Watching Entourage; missing J since he went home for the weekend; and feeling a little sick. Let's hope it's not swine! ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Out of Touch With Myself.

So, when I first started this blog, I always assumed I'd be kind of superficial with it... blog about fashion, or art, or interior design....letting in little glimpses of my life without really diving in and sharing anything too personal. This lasted like, five seconds, and I'm really glad that I didn't go about doing things on a more superficial basis. By opening up, I've gotten to "know" a lot of you, and I do consider a number of you to be friends, which I am so fortunate to have!

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I kind of consider my blog to be somewhat of a diary - I like the idea of being completely open and honest with people who I don't interact with every day face to face, because it seems like there is just less of a chance of judgment, or rejection, or all those other icky things that scare me and hold me back from opening up.

So lately, I've been feeling this gray cloud just looming over me... I mean, I'm sure that happens to everyone, where things aren't going so well - everyone has bad days, I know. But I've been having more of a bad week, maybe a little over that. And the worst part is, that I can't really pinpoint exactly what is going on to make me feel that way. And, to make matters even worse, I feel like I've been taking out that frustration on J, even though he hasn't been doing anything wrong at ALL to make me feel this way.

I've never really been that needy girl - the one who constantly needs reassurance, or doubts herself all the time, or is in this bitchy, horrible mood, but I just can't seem to shake it. Every morning I wake up and I'm like, "Okay, I'm definitely going to feel better and more like myself today" - you know, keep that positive attitude. But then something will happen... I'll get an email from my mom where she'll subtly drop in that she is just SHOCKED J hasn't broken up with me yet... or find out that something for student teaching is past due and it's screwing up my placement... or get an email from my advisor saying that it's about that time where I need to make my resume and send it out, because really, do I want to be living on the streets? (At this point, I'm ready to just say yes).

I think I'm scared that like, this is it. This is the last year where I have this security blanket of school - where I have my friends, my comfortable lifestyle, my parents still paying for big expenses, like my tuition. But after this - I'm on my own. And the thought of that is liberating, yeah, but it is also really scary to me. I don't feel like I'm old enough to have to be worrying about making rent payments, or finding a job that pays a decent amount, or going and looking at dealerships to lease a car... it is just beyond overwhelming to me, especially since it's all just happening so soon after graduation. I know it should be an exciting time...and to an extent it is...

I'm going to be thrilled to get out of my house, and see if I can make it, and where life is going to lead me.... but then there are just those nagging thoughts like, "What if I never make enough money to live comfortably?"..."What if I have to move to the middle of nowhere to get a job?" I like where I live...I like being near the city. .... "What if I have to panhandle on the side of the street, or sell my body to make ends meet?" I don't think I'm the type of girl who could be a stripper. I'm just not curvy enough. And I have no rhythm. And I don't know how to swing on a pole. Ugh. So that is just one of the stresses I've been feeling lately...(the future...not the lack of pole swinging abilities).

And piled on top of that, things at home are just a mess. A huge mess. This summer had its ups, but there were mostly downs...downs that I feel have caused permanent destruction with my relationship with my parents and brother. It sucks to feel like there is a 99% possibility that I will never be good enough in their eyes. Especially when I'm the good one, you know? My mom seems to get off on masking her insecurities by putting me down - hence, all her comments about J being MUCH too good for me, and "Really now Al, what does the boy see in you?".... "I am just shocked he hasn't realized he can do better yet! He's actually a good, sweet boy!" (As opposed to me, Satan in the flesh, obv).

I feel like a mom should be telling me how beautiful I am, even when I have days when I look like I went through the garbage disposal and was spit back up.... or sit on my bed with me and excitedly ask me about my dates... or I don't know... just be supportive. I'm so jealous of all of you who have these kick ass relationships with your moms...I guess I've just never had that, but have always wanted it. Sometimes these things are just not within our controls, and I guess I just have to view it as a learning opportunity...because if and when I have kids, I will never be cold and reserved. And I don't say that for pity, but it just contributes to the hurt I've been feeling lately... and a good percentage of my friends (including J, who has an amazing relationship with his mom), would usually turn to their moms during times when you just need a shoulder, so it feels a little lonely not having that support system.

I've been taking out a bit of my frustrating on J - not in like a yelling way, but I feel like I've become un-fun...very mopey, and just not myself. He has told me that it's okay, I've been feeling sick and overwhelmed and he understands, but it's frustrating for me...probably because I just can't pinpoint my emotions exactly and I HATE that!

For now, I'm just trying to unburden myself of all the bullshit. Take it as it comes, and try not to worry. I'm trying to figure myself out...get out of my head and trying to stop over analyzing. It's beyond exhausting. This new outlook is definitely not easy, and sometimes things aren't fair or aren't right, but I guess that all comes with the territory of growing up. The people who love you will stick with you, even when you're horrible, even when you're crying and moping around, even when you're not sure what is going on with you.... then there are ones who will teach you that you never, ever want to live a life like theirs. And I think both types of people you encounter will impact your life, sometimes for nothing more than to serve as an example of what you do not want to be, but that's okay.

Thank you all for just bearing with me - I know this post is just terrible and not at all the usual for me (hopefully). Sometimes a girl just has to get it all off her chest, you know? I apologize for the long post where all I did was bitch - I still love my life, I do. And I love all of you, so thank you for sticking it out with me... all of you really do mean so much!

Currently listening to: Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up on Me (How old am I, 56? But seriously, it's fitting).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Joie de Vivre.

Wow, it has been a super, super busy past two weeks. And I'm going to apologize right now for the overwhelming amount of pictures on this post!

Two weeks ago, my friends R and C and myself drove into Philly for the night, since it was R's sister L's sweet 16. Rather than have a big party (like I did for mine), L opted to go into Philly with her 5 best girlfriends for a fun dinner out, and staying overnight in a hotel. We stayed at the Westin in Philadelphia, which is conveniently located near Walnut street, which has some of the best shopping (and a HUGE Urban Outfitters).

I had like, the perfect outfit picked out. This gorgeous, organic cotton one shoulder green dress that I was going to wear with brown Louboutins and a pretty brown belt. The only problem was that in my rush to leave for Philly, I left the silly dress on my couch. So C and I (who arrived earlier than the other girls) had to hop on over to Urban, where I tried on about 15 dresses until I found one that would go with my shoes, actually fit, and didn't hang off of me (since of course, my gorgeous belt was also forgotten at the apartment).

The next two hours were spent getting ready - and let me tell you, this group of sixteen year old girls were some of the most fashionable girls I have ever seen. When I was sixteen, I'm pretty sure I always wore Abercrombie, like every day... or Lacoste polos to school (since I had a uniform). These girls were gorgeous, in these fabulous, fabulous dresses (though they were shooooort), super high heels, and perfect hair and makeup. Seriously, when I was sixteen, I was awkward, had bad skin, didn't know how to properly apply makeup, and the fashion sense was just not so up to par.

We headed to Pod - which is this amazing Asian fusion restaurant in Philly, where we actually got to sit in one of the three "pods" in the restaurant - a private room that overlooks the rest of the restaurant. On each of the walls in the "pod" were colored buttons, and when they were pressed, they would change the color of the entire room (the worst was red - I seriously felt like I was in hell).

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R, with the green lighting in the pod!
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The food was delicious - all family style, and just scrumptious. Between me, C and R, we split chicken lettuce wraps (which were beyonddd amazing), crab fried rice (again, perfection), a house salad, and ginger macadamia nut chicken, and we were STUFFED. (I think the rest of the girls split sushi platter). Then dessert arrived, which included peanut butter/fluffernutter spring rolls with chocolate sauce, and a plate that was appropriately named "Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate", which included a chocolate shot, chocolate tart, and chocolate bread pudding. I swear, I gained forty eight pounds from dinner.

When we headed back to the hotel, we were wired... and proceeded to act like fourteen year olds, taking pictures in the hotel room, and then we watched The Hangover - which, I do not know why, but none of us had seen! (That movie is beyond perfect...I cannot tell you how hard I laughed...and J hadn't seen it, so I actually ended up watching it with him the next day again!).
It's always fun to get out with your girlfriends, and be silly, and get dressed up and have fun... it was one of the most fun nights I've had with them in the four years I've known them!

This past Thursday and Friday at our school was our Fall Break, which was absolutely perfect, because the weather was horrible, and I probably would have had zero motivation to go to class. On Wednesday, R's boyfriend had texted me, her and J to say that we should all have a fun double date over break. We decided to head to Baltimore on Friday, and spend the day at the aquarium, since none of us had ever been. R and I were shocked when the boys actually ended up waking up so that we could leave by 9 a.m., and we spent the entire day at the aquarium, where we saw sea turtles, lots of sharks, and a dolphin show! Plus, it was just fun to get off campus and spend time with each other.

At the dolphin show:
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We rushed back from Baltimore (and by rushed, I mean sat in rush hour traffic, adding an additional hour and a half onto our trip time), to get home in time for a Halloween party at our roommate's boyfriend Kyle's house. It was a mad rush, since R still hadn't decided on a costume, I had no freaking clue how to do my hair for mine, and R's boyfriend A had said he was going to be Wall-E but still had no costume.
R ended up going as white trash (though her boyfriend and J both said she looked like a crackwhore), A ended up going as a preppy, Harvard boy - and J and I made an interestinggg Patty Mayonnaise and Doug Funny (but I think we looked cute!).

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I am very pleased to say that there were no horrible party fouls at this party (some of you may remember the lovely experience that I had at my friend Alex's party this summer that I blogged about here). (Though, immediately after having one shot of SoCo with lime, J knocked a drink over on my gorgeousss Patty Mayonnaise leggings!). ;)
P.S., I spent much of the night making new friends and telling everyone how pretty/funny/sweet they were...whoops!

Hope you're all doing so well - can't waittt to catch up on your blogs! =) And I hope you all had beautiful weekends!

Also, I apologize if there are spelling errors...the heat in our apartment is broken (this is after we didn't have water for two days), so my fingers may possibly be completely numb and ready for amputation ;)

Currently listening to: Magnet - Lay Lady Lay. Maybe my current new favorite song, everrrr.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hottie of the Week #9.

I feel like I'm so partial to nerds with these "hottie of the week" posts, and I apologize. I am who I am though, and I like who I like, and I'm such a fan of these nerdy, funny boys.

This week, our hottie of the week is none other than my boy Michael Cera. The prime example of a cute and lovable nerd, Cera had minor roles in various TV shows, finally catching his big break as George Michael Bluth on (one of my favorites) the TV show Arrested Development.

In 2007, Cera starred alongside Jonah Hill in the movie Superbad, as Evan, the lovable virgin, which as trashy as I'm going to sound, is one of my favorite movies. Also in 2007, Cera starred as Paulie Bleeker in the hit comedy Juno, where he was reunited with Jason Bateman, who played his father on Arrested Development. In both Superbad and Juno, Cera won "Breakthrough Artist" in Austin's Film Critics Association Awards. Next up, Cera played Nick in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

2009 brought about Cera starring in the Sundance Film Festival award winner Paper Heart, a movie that he (alongside costar Charlyne Yi) composed the soundtrack for.

The most exciting upcoming project that Michael Cera will be involved with is the alleged upcoming Arrested Development movie - which has been "on" and "off" for so long, so who knows if it will actually happen, but my fingers are definitely crossed! :)

I think that Cera is so awkward that it is just adorable beyond words.

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Actor Michael Cera attends the premiere of Superbad at Grauman's

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Thoughts?


Currently listening to: Shiny Toy Guns - Le Disko
[on the perfecttttt CD I made for a Halloween party I'm going to on Friday (I know it's early for a Halloween party, but my bff R's 21st bday is on Oct. 30th, so we made sure nothinggg would interfere with that!). True story though, I make some amazinggg CD's.]

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Weekend Inspiration.

Phew, it's been quite the week! Let me start out by telling you guys that our power was out for eighteen hours on Wednesday - it went out at 1:30 p.m., so we spent an entire day being completely and totally without electricity (actually, J and I didn't make it long - we booked it to It's a Grind, where we sat for over five hours watching TV online. Sad, sad, I know...but I just love The Biggest Loser!).
After we came back, we took advantage of the fact that we completely charged our computer batteries to sit in the dark, with only our cell phones to light the way, and watch I Love You, Man on my roommate R's computer (our other two roommates were smart, and have boyfriends who live off campus, so they were out of there, enjoying electricity). Seriously, I don't know how the Amish survive, I really don't.
The next change came when I went to this lovely salon, in desperate need of a haircut (because unfortunately it was taking me 45 minutes to just blow dry my hair, which is farrrr too long). I explained to my stylist that I wanted my hair to fall to just about my collarbone, so she could cut about five inches off. Wellll, as I should know by now, things never quite end up the way you imagine, and hairdressers usually cut off more than you ask, so I now have layers that falls right under my shoulders. Ah, quite the adjustment, but I like it a lottt (I'll put pictures up soon!).

Anyway....today is homecoming, and it is a very, very dreary day for it. I spent the most perfect night at a hotel in Philly with R and C last night (more super fun pictures and info to come soon!), so driving from Philly back to school in the pouring rain, with gray clouds looming overhead was just not the best way to wake up. I thought that a dreary and kind of miserable day like today would be perfect for another picture of some of my favorites from my inspiration folder - I hope you guys aren't sick of it yet!

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If I ever have a little girl, I want her room to be like this =)
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Uhm, why can't I just look like this:
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P.S. I'll have a super hot Hottie of the Week post up on Tuesday maybe....I'm getting a little behind on everything!

Currently listening to - Fiona Apple - Criminal (flashback to the 90's much?...but she's just sooo good).