09 November 2012

New York City 2012

I heart SANDY

Last week, we were in New York City visiting Keov. Keov is a significant person in my life. She was an answer to my dreams and prayers last year and I hers. Together we traveled to Cambodia and Thailand and fulfilled one of our life goals, living and volunteering in Cambodia. My encounter with her was anything but coincidence and perhaps our latest encounter in NYC during Sandy was the same. We seem to find ourselves in life-changing, environment-altering situations and I'm glad the universe has deemed her my partner for moments like that. 

John came along which I'm so happy about. It was his first time in the Big Apple and we ate it all up together. We covered most of Manhattan, spent a day in Queens, and shopped in little Brooklyn. Like Keov, John is an excellent travel partner as he has traveled throughout Europe and Peru. He gets the best deals, loves to talk to new people, and carries my bags. Also, if it weren't for him several international tourists, especially the French-speaking ones, would never have known a hurricane was on its way. Thanks for being so friendly and helpful and bringing out the best in public transit users.

Four days turned into seven days because of Hurricane Sandy. We made the last three as memorable as possible. We covered a lot of ground in Harlem and Queens. Keov has the privilege of living around the corner from Harlem, so we walked there one day for some great shopping and Sylvia's chicken and waffles. While walking toward the bus, an egg splattered six inches in front of us. It didn't just splatter, it smacked to the ground. It had to have been chucked from a window in the high rise adjacent to us. As we looked down at the sidewalk then up to the sky in shock, a man next to us assured us that "that is what happens when you walk past the projects in Harlem." So I ask myself was Harlem worth it? Definitely. Two pairs of shoes, cacti, and one Harlem-balanced meal later and I would welcome more eggs to be hurled at my head. Thank you, Harlem.

Highlights of the trip:

  • Shake Shack
  • Ni**as in Paris
  • Spa Castle
  • The Walking Dead
  • The 1 Line
  • Kuru Karma Cafe
  • Pisticci's
  • Guggenheim
  • MOMA
  • Barbara Walters's personal driver

LDS Manhattan Temple after piano competition at Julliard

Keov and I in Times Square

Adirondack tour of Central Park

Everyone has a dog and a friend in NYC. [Brooklyn]

Biggie Smalls

Lady Liberty [Staten Island]

9/11 Memorial

Morningside Park and St. John's Cathedral

Sandy's remnants

St. John's

Columbia University's 24-hour library

Guggenheim [I got in trouble for this picture]

Near Julliard 

Central Park Fifth Ave. [handsome]

9/11 Memorial near Survivor Tree [my survivor]

24 October 2012

Something to Remember

Two weeks ago I went to a funeral for a coworker. She died suddenly from a second battle with cancer. It was shocking to come to work and hear that she had died after knowing her for only three months. Even in that short time, she made work so enjoyable. How enjoyable? Enjoyable in the way that she would ask me what the criteria is for a good butt was and if I had seen one that day. She was funny. So at the funeral, one of her daughters told a story about her and quoted her for saying "It's never going to get better than this." That saying has resonated in my mind ever since. It is the anecdote for discontentment. It is the opposite of "The grass is greener on the other side." It helps you make the most of any situation you are in and prevents you from expecting something better or hoping for something more. It changes your perspective of your circumstances. At first it sounds pessimistic like you have lost ambition or are submitting to whatever life has thrown at you, but when I think about how often I say to myself that things will be better when .... I get a different a job .... the next paycheck comes .... I go back to school, this sentiment cures those destructive apathetic thoughts by helping me accept my current status. Make the most of your time and embrace who you are and where you are and let go of expectations, self-loathing, and disappointment. I'm glad I met Rhonda and saw how she believed and lived this value. She was really happy and made time move slower and cherished every minute. I witnessed it.

It really can't get better than this. This being sitting by the fire in the living room among the crumbs of freshly devoured smores and the calming conversation between roommates sitting on the couch and lying on the floor. Yea they may be talking about children with auto immune disorders and crippling injuries .... and Russia .... but we are here and we are cozy and we are talking and it doesn't get any better than this.

14 August 2012

Tried a new thing

yesterday and today.

Yesterday I made Cucumber-Tahini Open-face Sandwiches. I liked them a lot, but I didn't anticipate how much my roommates would like them as well, and that is why I'm sharing the recipe:

1 cucumber, thinly sliced (pick one from our garden!)
Ciabatta or french baguette, sliced
1/4 c. Tahini
2 Tbs. Rice vinegar
4 oz. mandarin oranges
Sunflower sprouts
2 tsp. white miso or Miso Mayo
1-2 Tbs. water

In a small bowl, whisk tahini, oranges, vinegar, miso, and water. Spread evenly on bread and top with cucumber and sprouts.

It's pretty wild, tangy, a little bitter, but mostly fresh and crisp.
Tip: put the sprouts on before the cucumber so that they stick to the spread and don't slide around. 
Tip 2: Miso Mayo is the best thing after Veganaise. I'm never going back.

Today I am trying a new hairdo. It is inspired by the Friendship Bread I am currently nursing. The directions for the bread warn that if I fail to keep a starter for the bread after distributing my friendship bread bags, then I will be permanently left without a starter and thus without friendship bread because the starter can only be acquired from the Amish, for they are the only ones who can produce this particular bread. Well today I pay my respects to the Amish and will cherish that starter. #thankgodfortheamish #friendshipbreadconcept #weird #yetmoistandsweet #notpc

17 July 2012

Psychic game

Tonight I learned of this new game. You and a partner individually think of a word and then you countdown "3-2-1" and say the words at the same time. Once you say the words, you try to connect the words on the next round. The object of the game is to say the same word in as few rounds as possible. Tonight Kerianne and I played this game and it was PSYCHIC (well, we felt like psychic telepathic mind readers):

shoe ... angles
stiletto ... rock climbing
lead climbing ... bouldering pad

We both said belayer. I think it's fascinating how we got there, from "shoe" and "angles." 

An important rule to remember when playing this game is you can't think too hard about it. You should say the first word that comes to your mind.

14 July 2012

Day 3 Juice Fast

Today I made my favorite juice thus far:
It was so sweet and both fruits yielded so much juice, which was very satisfying. The most frustrating thing with the juice fast, apart from a cloudy mind and a hungry stomach, is how much of each food you end up throwing away. I'm finding that the juiciest foods are grapefruits, grapes, celery, apples, and blueberries. The problem here is that these are packed with sugar and dumping sugars into your body will give you great energy for about 30 minutes and then you will crash. Just like when eating a candy bar or drinking maple syrup... It's important to balance the fruits with the vegetables. Lots of vegetables. Lots of organic vegetables. Needless to say, it's getting pretty expensive. But worth it, I think...

Today was my first day of training, which made juicing really difficult. The trainer gave us a task to find groceries to match specific diets. We were assigned vegan, vegetarian, raw, dairy-free, sugar-free, and gluten-free. I had dairy-free and grabbed vegan cheese to bring back to the break room. We had to learn all we could about the product and answer questions. When everyone returned with their food items, the trainer announced that we would each be sampling all the foods! What a nightmare! People brought the most delicious things like sweet potato hummus, fresh local guacamole, dark chocolate coconut bars, etc. I couldnt/didn't try any of it because I was juicing. The thought came to me that if I want to be an informed employee, I should sample these things, but then I thought, "No, it's better to continue juicing because I'll inevitably come across a whole foodian who wants to learn about juicing. In the end, I didn't feel bad about bringing nasty vegan cheese to the table—at least I didn't miss out on that. Apart from that one long activity, I'm enjoying training and even getting a lot of support with the juicing. I'm going to like working here.

11 July 2012

Juice Fast Day Two

Today was the second day of juice fasting and it went much better than yesterday. I made three juices:
  1. Spinach, grape, apple
  2. Apple, lemon, ginger
  3. Spinach, carrot, apple
All three were delicious, except I have a harder time with carrot juices. The first couple sips are easy and even enjoyable, but as I get to the bottom of the cup I want to gag. Why? I'm not sure. Carrot juice has the same effect on me as whole carrots—if you eat them to fast, you feel like your choking? Maybe this is just me. As far as side effects and feelings went, I felt good today. Not great, but good. I felt a perpetual throbbing in my head that was signaling I was on the verge of a food headache but I never quite got the headache. When the throbbing got more intense, I would drink another juice or lots of water and it subsided for a while. My real success of the day was attending yoga in the park with my roommates. I felt energized the whole time. I was afraid I might crash or have to sit through some poses because I would not have enough strength or energy but that was not that case. I didn't feel like I was overexerting myself at all. I felt fine, which makes sense because I'm getting bursts of vitamins, energy, and nutrient-rich juice going straight into my bloodstream. I'm excited to see the benefits in my skin and sleep. Today was a good day just like yesterday. I hope I can keep feeling this way for the next 8 days.

Juice Fast Day One

I'm going on a juice fast. My goal is to fast for 10 days, but I won't feel like a failure if I only make it to 5 or even 3. There is something about reaching this goal that motivates me, though, and I don't want to let that fire go. Yesterday was technically day one. I spent most of the day trying to procure a juicer, so I was drinking water with the exception of Tropicana Grapefruit Juice and a Juice 'n Java freshly pressed apple juice. (Did you know Juice 'n Java presses apples everyday for fresh apple juice? Try it. Juice 'n Java—the only place I consistently go to for both their drinks and poor customer service. It's worth it.) I finally retrieved a juicer around 9 p.m.—a Jack Lalanne Power Juicer Model MT1000 from this couple that was selling it on Craigslist. Annie was so sweet to let me borrow hers but as soon as I saw the one for sale, I had to have it. That was an impulse buy for sure, but I've been using it ever since, so justified.... I got home past midnight one juicer richer and one stomach hungrier. However, all in all, the day went really well for drinking mostly water. a.k.a. I wasn't hangry and could concentrate on a conversation for a decent amount of time.

29 April 2012

Best Practice

I can't take it sometimes. I can't take myself sometimes. When things get too heavy in my life, I clam up. Instead of talking about these things, I think about them. And then I get flustered which begets frustration which begets anxiety which begets fear which begets losing sleep which begets anger, and before I know it I've given birth to generations of mental pandimonia that doesn't even look like me. Who is this baby's daddy? Where did this all come from? 

My future. Frankly, I'm concerned about my future. I'm afraid of missing out and not being successful. I had so much fun in college. I also had the best friends. I have to remind myself that I'm not going to lose friends over pursuing my future, and if I do then they are not my friends. But even with that logic in my arsenal, there is still the ever-present loneliness and homesickness. I can't get over it, what is wrong with me? Those feelings put me on edge, looking for the next time slot and cheapest flight out. That is not the person I want to be. I want to be cozy and well-placed...yet mobile. Ha! See, I can't escape it. I'm 22 and young, wild, and free and it terrifies me. 

Well, I don't want to talk about this anymore. Let's talk about tonight. Tonight, I had to stay an extra hour at work to wait out a tornado watch. As the tornado siren sounded miles away, everything got dark and the wind blew something fierce. Then it finally started raining. There were 5 of us left in the store resigned to the idea of waiting out the storm with what was leftover of Mimosa Saturday. Mallarie set aside the diet coke for me, kindly. One lady watched through the window and yelled at the cars that were still driving, "Your'e making bad choices! Pull over and have a margarita. Anything, but drive!" She was right, it was a terrible choice to drive in that weather. Then I thought of the torrential downpours in Cambodia and how people would walk their bikes and push their cars through the floods if they had to. Of course, they didn't have a tornado on their tail, but nonetheless, I came to the conclusion that we freak out too much in America. But despite all this, I love storms. I love being sheltered from storms, feeling cozy and secure in a warm, dry place. With minimal incandescent lighting. I recognize storms are dangerous but they're not totally unpredictable, the weather channel app tells me so and because of that, I feel totally calm in a storm. I wish I could feel this way in my mind. I need a weather channel app and a big cozy retail venue stocked with Mimosas floating around in my brain so I can go there every time I get overwhelmed and down on myself. This is my new happy place.

20 April 2012


I received a very kind compliment tonight. My friend Jonathon told me that I reminded him of movie characters that he thought were cool and wished were actual persons because he thinks they would be nice people to meet. I know what he means—you watch a movie and you meet a character that is well-rounded and fits the bill for "a genuinely nice person." I'm really flattered he told me that. It's such a peculiar thing to say but, because of that, it makes me feel great. His girlfriend also really likes me and they want to go out with me next weekend for frozen yogurt. Just the three of us. That's pretty cute.

17 February 2012

What doesn't kill you makes you Taller

I will wear heels this summer.


I'm serious
gianni bini

11 February 2012

Guess what.

I got a job. I am now a part-part-time employee at Rung Boutique. Rung is a high-end second-hand clothing store for career women. One hundred percent of their proceeds go to the Women's Foundation of St. Louis. By "part-part-time," I mean that I work once or twice a week, but I am not complaining. I need a job and this is a great place, so I'll take it and do my best. 

To get this job, I had to piece together three outfits from items in the store: 1) lady going in for an interview, 2) lady going on a date, 3) lady in springtime. I guess she was one good-looking lady.

Also, these are the people who asked me the superhero question. I'm glad I have the chance to tell them my real answer.

07 February 2012

super bowl

I really enjoyed the Super Bowl. I've made it a goal to get into sports some more . . . or just more because I've never been into them up to this point. I suppose after watching 5 seasons of Friday Night Lights, anyone might make that same decision. Sports have a way of bringing people together, even if it is for something short-lived and unproductive in the grand scheme of things. Why watch people fight each other over a ball or a score to which we give arbitrary meaning? Why watch as people get injured, damaged, sometimes permanently? Why lose your voice while cheering for something that won't matter tomorrow or five years from now? But, perhaps, it will matter days and months from now. For instance, I seriously regret never attending a single Jimmer game at BYU. I attended BYU while Jimmer was making history, but I never made the time or spent the cash to go see him in action. My friends will talk about those games for years to come, most likely, and I won't be able to talk with them. More importantly, I won't be able to share the memories of experiencing the thrill, adrenaline, and camaraderie in the moment.

I think sports are powerful. In FNL, the football coach was deemed a molder of men. As the series unfolded and developed, you could see how he did, in fact, shape men into being leaders on the field and off the field, partners with their team members, men of integrity and empathy, men who were gracious and kind. Yes, it was scripted and, yes, it was not real life, but real people wrote that story. I think the point of Friday Night Lights was to show how people can reach their very best potential and it was delivered through the medium of high school football, high school, marriage, family, and friendships. Recently, I watched an episode of GLEE where Coach Beast said that the point of football is not to win big games or gain a reputation but to bring a community together. Again, I realize the incredibility of my sources, but it's what I got to work with. 

So, I want to get into sports and give them a real shot. Sports really do bring people together in the stands or in the living room, and it is good to be together. 

So, now to some technical things of sports that I do not understand yet: Why was Eli Manning named MVP of NYG if he wasn't even on the field when they won the game? Why wasn't he on the field at the same time as Tom Brady? Why do they get paid so much money? Can anyone answer these questions? I'd really appreciate it.

I realize sports can bring out the best and worst in people, but I'm going to keep the faith that sports are inspired and fun.
lana del ray >>> blue jeans

More silly interview questions

What is something about yourself that I wouldn't know from looking at your resume?
Isn't the resume there to inform you of all you need to know about me, but whatever... you asked:

  • I'm a natural red head
  • I can hold my breath for over a minute
  • I want to become an expert pottery lady
  • I won't be taking any smoke breaks because I quit cold turkey after one cig in 10th grade
  • I've never been drunk, but I think it might be fun, once
  • I love rock climbing
  • I hate holding grudges
  • I take fish oil supplements
  • I'm LDS
  • I don't wear anti-perspirant
  • I'm afraid of being alone
  • When I was little, I believed in ghosts
  • I'm a spelling bee champion
  • I'm taking sewing lessons and guitar lessons
  • In theory, I never eat red meat
  • I've never kissed a girl. No, that's not true
  • I like country music
  • I love to dance
  • I have a thing for short guys
  • You will probably love me when you get to know me

03 February 2012

my ideal job for right now

would be something that includes an element of art/design and power tools, which leads me to one place I can think of . . . the framing department in Michael's.

you think you're ready for a job interview

but then the employer asks you something stupid like, "If you were a superhero, which superhero would you be?" My first thought was, "Well, I'm morally against answering Wonder Woman because she's unrealistic in so many ways and her lasso of truth is too kinky for me," so I answered something stupid like Batman . . . as a woman. Whatever, I don't even know where I was going with that. 

But after having a couple days of to think the question over and remain unemployed, I've decided my official answer:

Jennifer Hudson.

I love my internship in St. Louis. Today, I interviewed a chef who recently opened a new restaurant. They do a No Menu Monday and I got to ask her questions about it while the photographer took pictures. Apparently, the guests fill out a questionnaire indicating if they have food allergies, what foods they love or hate, and if they are going for taste or fewer calories. I think No Menu Mondays is a brilliant risk and a lot of fun, but the best part was that I, the lowly unpaid intern, was asked to interview her for a spread in the magazine. That's not all, though. When we got back to the office, David briefly showed me how he shoots pictures for feature stories then asked me to style two shoots. I was thrilled.

Today was the first day in a long time that I have felt useful, productive, appreciated, and happy. 

31 January 2012

try looking past their (creepy) eyes because this is actually really cute. I woke up one morning to Jack and Jodi patiently waiting for me to leave my room. They must have dragged their bed to my door in the middle of the night because it's usually on the other side of the room. 

wax museum

taking the metro to downtown stl with friend, Andy