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November 8. 2010

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Happy Healthy Hottie has moved!

July 19. 2010

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Prom Time Machine Vortex

June 4. 2010

It’s astounding how silently time can slip by when you aren’t paying attention.

I don’t know if I can adequately verbalize the shocking sensation of looking at the calendar and realizing that five years have passed since my high school prom.

It’s not so much the event itself, but all that the event represents in my memory – who I was then, who I was with, where I thought I was heading.

This girl, she is no stranger to me, but I, the future incarnation, am a stranger to her.  Here, in this picture, she sees someone else in my place, five years down the road.

I want to hold her hand.  I want to hug her – because she has no idea what’s coming.  I look so young. Sometimes this girl, doesn’t seem like me.  I often refer to her as “my other life.”  Maybe in an alternate universe, there is a me who more closely resembles the person I thought I would be by now.

But here’s the secret: I’m happy  that I didn’t become that person.

At my senior prom (which, by the way, was magical, epic, just like a perfect ending to a movie), I was absolutely certain I thought I knew who I was going to grow up to become.  I was going to be an opera singer.  I was going to marry the boy I went to two proms with.  I was going to graduate college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance in four years or lessand go on to achieve a Master’s Degree and then hopefully enter the prestigious Julliard School of Opera, and go on to dominate every stage, and bring opera back to popular prominence (yes, singlehandedly).

I could not know that, within a few short months, I would decidedly abandon my operatic aspirations while simultaneously becoming sucked into the dark vortex that would be my life for the next several years.  I could not know that I would lose all sense of myself, lose my voice (to me, like losing a limb), lose all direction and hope.

I also could not know how strong I could be, how resilient.  I never envisioned a life where music was not absolutely central, and I never envisioned a life where my dependent trust on the people in my life would be brutally shattered.  I would not know, that in a fit of bitter rage, I would delete from my hard drive nearly every drop of evidence of this night in an attempt to erase the person who had hurt me the most from my memory (an act that, as I write this, I vaguely regret).  But had these things never happened, I would have never have been able to grow, I would have never have been able to explore the world and humanity the way I have been lucky to.  I cannot say with any certainty where I would be right now, had I clung to music, but I see my friends struggling and breaking themselves to try to gain a foothold in a cruel and damaging industry, and without a doubt I know that I made the right choice, even though it felt like dying at the time.

I still don’t know exactly where I’m going.  I can see a blurry shape of where I might be headed, but there is no definition, no clarity.  I used to be terrified by this, but now I understand that what I cannot see is not because it isn’t there, it is just because I am too far to see it yet.  I know that I will get there.  I know that once I get there, there will be another far-off vision that I will strain to see.  Thus is my life – all life, really.

I have no idea where I will be in five years.  That woman, the 27-year-old future me, is a mystery, a stranger, but one day I will know her, and the best I can hope is that I love her, dearly, as I have learned to love myself over the past five years.

Looking back, has your life unfolded the way you had expected? Yes, darlings, I realize this is a bit of a loaded question for a lovely Friday in June but I really am interested!

And of course, for a bit of fun, did you go to prom or a senior ball or whatever in high school? If so, what was it like? What did you wear? Who did you go with? How long ago was it?  If not, tell me!

Pretty in Pink!

June 3. 2010

I’ll say it: My favorite food is watermelon.  At my third birthday party, I sat and devoured an entire plate of watermelon – as in, half of a watermelon.  In one sitting.  The love has never faltered since.

So when there is a big fat watermelon sitting on my counter, there’s only one thing to do:

Mission: Consume Massive Quantities of Watermelon was fully under way today.  Allow me to introduce you to the Lazy Girl version of dissecting a watermelon:

Step 1: Cut watermelon in half
Step 2: Scoop out innards using an ice cream scoop
Step 3: Devour
Extra Credit: Drink juice left in bottom of rind

I definitely have an A+ in Watermelon 101.  Anyone need a tutor?

I’m pretty convinced watermelon is one of the perfect foods.  I mean, it’s specially designed by nature to sate both our hunger and our thirst.  And it’s pink!

Last summer I was really excited to discover that watermelon juice and smoothies are popular local beverages in Thailand.  I mean, it makes perfect sense, given the potential of dehydration at any given time should you not be meticulous about keeping yourself watered in such a hot climate.  I’ve thought about those juices frequently since my return, but I’ve had to wait for watermelon to come back in season before I could indulge my fantasies!

And today was *the* day.  All day, that big bowl of juicy watermelon taunted me, waiting for me to get home so I could whip up a replica of my favorite Thailand drink.  Finally, when I got home from a sweaty but relaxing two mile walk, it was time.

In my version of my oft-longed for drink,  I used unsweetened iced mint green tea to add a little extra cooling burst to the already refreshing watermelon.  You can feel free to use water, as well.  Salt is commonly used in fresh juices in Thailand, because when you sweat, you lose precious nutrients, including sodium, which, in limited amounts, actually helps keep you hydrated.  I actually usually do not use salt in any of my cooking, but I happen to be a fan of very lightly salted watermelon – it helps enhance the watermelon flavor.  If you’re not into that, though, feel free to omit!

Oh my.

Pretty Pink Chiller

  • 1 cup watermelon
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 cup iced green mint tea
  • 1/4 tbsp salt

Place all the ingredients in a blender and go to town!  Drink it up!  Also good with a splash of lemon juice, or for a fun grown-up twist, some gin or vodka (4th of July, I hear ya callin’).

It may not be June 21st yet, but if there’s watermelon, it’s summer!

When do you know that it’s definitely summer? For me, it’s when the sky stays light until late in the evening, and I spend more time trying to figure out what I can wear that will minimize sweating than I do showering or eating.

What is your all-time favorite food? I may be a chocoholic, but in a death match, watermelon comes out on top by a hair.

Hottie in the City

June 1. 2010
tags: ,

Spotted: Shorty with long brown hair and a sun dress wandering aimlessly around Midtown and taking weird pictures with her cellphone between the hours of 11-3 on Tuesday afternoon.

(ok, fine I admit this picture is from the BBQ I went to yesterday)

After an hour under the Big Blue Sky gazing up at my new favorite focal point (aka, yoga in the park), it became painfully clear to me I had nothing to do today. Summer break is in full effect, I have no job and classes don’t start for a month, so what the hell is a girl with two feet in Manhattan supposed to do?

the view from my mat. I find clarity in the balance between nature and modern development.

Walk, of course.

Sorry taxi drivers!

#1 fave musical. I've seen it 8 times

And what does she do while she walks?

Other than take endless and irrelevant photos, I mean.

Well, she could marvel in the fact that in a few short moments, she is transported from this…

to this.

Or revel in the brilliance of the notion that, if she’s hungry, she could stop for one of these…


or THIS!

Juicy green juice! Kale, apple, lemon, orange, ginger! Amaze!

Perhaps, she could uncover some brilliant hidden gems.

She could also consider the fact that there are so many things here that tourists (and locals but mostly tourists) appreciate that she never has.

I brace myself for the "I LIVE IN NEW YORK AND I LOVE MAGNOLIA" comments ... bring it!

Or she can feel smug for uncovering the fact that there is actually a designated area in a public park for people to come and read.


Or she can merely appreciate the satisfaction and simplicity that is a warm summer day with nothing important to do, in New York.

And somehow, all these things make her want to speak in third person?  Ignore.  I’m slightly obnoxious.

Where are you from?  What is your favorite thing about the place where you live? Obviously, I can’t pick just one thing I love about New York, but mostly I love how I feel like this is truly a place I belong.  I feel right.  If I weren’t afraid of glass and dirty water, I would walk barefoot around the city all day because it feels so natural to me.

What are you looking forward to most, this summer? I have to admit I’m looking forward to being right where I am this summer.  Last summer I was in Thailand, and I loved that experience, mostly because it was a really important step I wanted to accomplish in my life before I moved forward and really decided to actively participate in “growing up.”  I have always had wanderlust, but being somewhere else for two months did help me put into perspective what it means for me to be living here.  When I came back from Thailand, I had no sense of direction or where I wanted to go with my life, I just knew I needed to figure it out.  Eleven months later, I feel ready to go in a direction I never knew I would.  This summer, I begin courses towards my Master’s degree in nutrition, and I am also actively exploring certification as a Pilates instructor.  I really cannot believe this is the life I am leading, mostly because it is so divergent from all the things I have ever done in the past, but it feels right and I am so ready.

Happy Memorial Day!

May 31. 2010

Hi Hi everyone!  I hope those of you who are having a long weekend are having lovely weather today and quite enjoying it!

I’m about to head over to a friend’s barbecue but I realized it’s been a few days since I’ve stopped by Hottieville to chat with ya’ll.  Is it super hot where everyone else is?  All I’ve wanted to do these days is drink, drink, drink my meals, and fruit has basically replaced all other food groups.  Mmmmm carbs and sugar.  I wouldn’t even be having chocolate if it weren’t for the cocoa powder I dump into my smoothies (seriously, where is my mind?)!  My Magic Bullet has been getting so much play it doesn’t know what to do with itself!!

Today I whipped up this refreshing treat to cool down after tanning in the back yard for a bit.  I heard the ice cream truck rollin’ and I got in the mood for something sweet and chilly!  It’s an awful picture, I’m aware, but I use my BlackBerry to blog so whaaaaaaaateeeverr.  If you want pretty pictures, this is not the place.  This is.

Creamsicle Juice

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 orange, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2-1 cup ice cubes
  • 10 drops vanilla stevia or 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Place all the ingredients in a blender and run til smooth!  It comes out kind of creamy and fizzy and just delicious.  Sooooo hydrating and soooooo good!  I never even liked creamsicles as a kid but I have a feeling I’m making this again (as soon as I hit “publish”).

Oh, and what’s summer without some hot jams?

There’s something about 90-esque rock that just screams summer to me.  Dave, Sublime, Sister Hazel, Third Eye Blind.  Soooo happy.  My boyfriend is especially digging “Champagne High” these days.

As usual, what’s on your playlist today? Ya’ll know I love recommendations!  Give em up!

Also, I’m reading The Time Traveler’s Wife this week but I definitely am looking for summer book recommendations!  I love to read EVERYTHING so gimme the 411 – what do you recommend!?  I always used to only read classical literature so I’m a little behind on the popular literature of today.  What are you reading?  What should I read!?

Stay cool, hotties!  I’ll be back soon!

New York City’s Official Girl’s Night Out

May 29. 2010

Throngs of women descending upon the entrance.  Flashing “SOLD OUT” signs.  Shoes and fashion and sparkle.

New York Fashion Week Hits The Streets?  Rob Pattinson giving a speech on girl power?  Massive Victoria’s Secret 90% Off Sale?

No, no.  Just Sex and the City 2 Weekend in Manhattan, smack dab in the middle of Memorial Day Weekend and Fleet Week.

Why yes it was an epic amalgam of femininity and New York folklore.

thirteen dollars?! you see that?! that's how much I spend on groceries some weeks.

Just to sit in the theater, the air was swarming with estrogen and pheremones.  I felt my boobs growing just by contact high.

look close...see us?

Perfect Girl’s Night Out.

The movie?  Adorable.  If you’re going in expecting groundbreaking brilliance and deep plot and character development, stay home and watch Titanic.  If you want to have fun with your best girlfriends, go to this movie.  It was the perfect two and a half hours of extravagant frivolity and the requisite postmodern girl-power story.

By no mean is Sex and the City designed to be an epic tale which tests both the bounds of human possibility and our imagination.  It’s supposed to be ridiculous.  Honestly, though, beneath the flashy surface, there was a lovely story to be found: Independent women learning to harness and mold their independence and femininity in a difficult and complicated world, learning to accept your flaws and flaunt them.

I was also intrigued by the choice to set the plot in Abu Dhabi (filmed, of course, in Morocco).  In the post-Bush-era “war on the Middle East” American intellectual landscape, this is a bold choice for several reasons.  Despite the protracted media focus on the Middle East during the past decade or so, we as a Western society are still not entirely in touch with the nuances of Middle Eastern cultures – not surprisingly.  I was conflicted watching Kim Catrall wandering around a market in Abu Dhabi wearing a pair of shorts and a tank top – because I do believe in freedom of expression but I also believe in cultural relativity and being respectful of the needs of the society when you travel.  I was conflicted when my fave fab girls were rescued by a band of women who, in the privacy of their book club, shed their burkhas to reveal fab couture duds underneath (although I much appreciated the Reading Lolita in Tehran nod).  It is true that many women do choose to dress under their burkhas in ways that make them happy, but there are many women who choose to take up the veil because it satisfies them in many ways.  I guess I can’t complain, though.  This was HBO, Sex and the City, and mainstream American media trying to open channels of understanding to things we are still unfamiliar with.

(I majored in English and Jewish studies with a concentration on Middle Eastern affairs. Can you tell?)

In short: The movie was FUN FUN FUN.  And actually interesting.  There was definitely food for thought under the fashion and sex.  Thank you, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte.  I needed that.

Photographs of the Macy’s Herald Square Sex and the City 2 window display.

Seen any good movies lately?  If you saw Sex and the City, what did you think of it?

And what’s your idea of a perfect night out (or night in)?

A Backyard in Queens

May 28. 2010

Summer is blooming here in New York.  I can tell just  by stepping into my backyard.

Raspberries are growing, getting ready to turn sweet and red and get eaten by me.

Baby pears are getting fat!  I can’t wait for fall!

I’ve got a few random mushrooms springing up around – but I like how they look so I think they can stay.

The first rose to bloom on my several rosebushes!

And my backyard wouldn’t be complete without some cute kitty-ness.

Trust me, they love this weather just as much as I do.

PS- Click here to win some Artisana lovin’ from Katie!


May 27. 2010

Hola Hotties!

I don’t know about where you are but it is HOT in New York!  Yesterday it hit the nineties!  Yikes!  I love the heat and all so I wasn’t really complaining but when it gets this hot all I want is water, water, water, and fruit, fruit, fruit.  Ultimate: Watermelon.  Fact: At my third birthday, I ate an entire watermelon.  I am a Watermelon Monster.  But alas, I have none right now because that would require a car OR me carrying a watermelon seven city blocks, and while I love Dirty Dancing, I’m scared to carry watermelons further than up my driveway.

Anyway, in lieu of icy cold pink watermelon I’ve been making a lot of smoothies and other frozen things.  I whipped this one up yesterday morning and and I’m still dreaming of it.

I hate that this photo is so dark…but these ingredients make one delicious breakfast

Epic Antioxidant Blast Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 mango, diced
  • 1/2 cup cherries (I pitted fresh ones because that’s all I had.  I recommend you use frozen)
  • 2 stalks swiss chard
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

All in a blender, until smooth!

in an empty jar – I save all my glass jars

This is such a GORGEOUS red smoothie – even the brown and green ingredients don’t hide the color.  And it tastes phenomenal.  Tart fruit and chocolate.  My two favorite things.  Amazing.

But no, I didn’t stop there.  It has recently come to the attention of the children I babysit for that I am a lactose-intolerant vegetarian (that’s what they keep calling me – it’s hysterical).  Yesterday as I was scooping up some ice cream for those two adorable but overheating children, the nine year old boy I babysit for sweetly told me he feels sorry for me because I can’t have ice cream.

Oh yeah?  I’ll show him.

I was considering running out to the ol’ health food store and picking up a cardon of So Delicious ice cream in some amazing flavor, but instead I decided to put my newly-burgeoning knowledge of raw techniques to the test and whip up some frozen sweet treats in my own kitchen.

Into the trusty ol’ Magic Bullet:

  • 1 banana
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tbsp almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla, I prefer unsweetened unflavored)
  • 20-30 drops vanilla stevia/1 tbsp vanilla extract+2tbsp agave
  • 1 1/2 tsp mint extract

I poured this goodness into little paper cups – I knew my jello-shot making skillz would come in handy for real-life purposes one day.

Oh, but I can’t just stop there sweeties.  No no.  Mint chocolate ice cream obviously requires some more chocolate.  So I decided to concoct a chocolate coating to compliment my little ice cream cups.  I based it off of Katie’s chocolate butter and Averie’s coconut oil chocolate.  I’m amazed at how simple this is but at the same time I realize I shouldn’t be.  I mean, check your cocoa powder box.  It flat out says “3tbsp powder+1 tbsp oil=1 square baking chocolate.”  No brainer people!  If you haven’t tried this you really should!!  It’s turned into my go-to for my healthy chocolate fix.

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil (it was so hot in my kitchen that my coconut oil is LIQUID!)
  • stevia/agave to taste
  • 3-4 (or more) tbsp water, to thin

In a bowl I whisked together all the above ingredients and just kept adding water until it reached a consistency I found thin enough to spread but thick enough to properly coat the ice cream.  Of course, I used hot water to thin the mixture so suddenly the logistics of covering cold ice cream treats with hot chocolate seemed a little daunting, so I just frosted the top of each little cup with the chocolate and stuck it back in the freezer to set.

Aaand…here’s a picture of a half-eaten one:

I might be a hottie but I gotta stay cool, yo!  (Katie, I’d love to share some with you!)

I think my Magic Bullet is about ready to jump ship, by the way.  I don’t have a blender, and my food processor committed suicide a few months ago, so the Bullet has been getting a LOT of play lately (no comments please).  Everyone, cross your fingers that the Vitamix Fairy just drops one into my kitchen magically.  Thanks.

I’m loving everyone’s wonderful comments on my post about living too fast and wanting to slow down!  It’s definitely nice to know I’m not alone in feeling like the world is rushing by and I need to rush to catch up too.  Maybe if we all take a few moments to slow down, the world itself would stop seeming so fast.

What are your favorite hot-weather treats? Fruits, frozen things, whatever?  I want to spend my time this summer whipping up homemade versions of commercial favorites, so let me know what your faves are!

Later babies.


May 26. 2010

I move too fast.

crossing 42nd St

I’m always moving.  Even my brain never stops.  I walk fast.  I always have somewhere to be that is more important than where I am at the moment.

It’s not just the city I live in, it’s the world I live in.  The internet age, the fast food era, instant gratification, stat.

I always need to move.  I always need to go.  It’s a constant condition.  Stasis scares me.  Calm scares me.  Silence scares me.

I’ve never learned to just take a moment and appreciate the place I am right in the moment.

the Chrystler building

And I always miss so much like that.  The way the flowers gracefully burst off a tree, the butterfly drifting past, the miracle of throngs of people existing and surviving in such close, intense proximity all the time.  It’s so strange how we live so close to each other but we keep one another so far away.

Papyrus window display

It’s worth it – and more than that, it’s okay – to slow down once in a while.  Enjoy the scenery.

in front of the New York Public Library

I’ll never know what I’ve missed but I can try to take it slower and try to enjoy more, now.

Yesterday, I went to my beloved yoga in the park, and Janna was wonderful enough to meet me (we were bad bloggers, we took no pictures – but trust us, you don’t need to see how sweaty we were).  The instructor prompted us to imagine, in that time, that we were simply on vacation.  Nowhere to be but in the moment.

It’s not easy, not for me.  But I want to carry that with me.

Next time I get stressed out, overwhelmed, and I think the load is too heavy I can turn into my mind, my quiet space, and find that inner sense of peace I know is there waiting for me to remember it.  I can turn off my cell phone, go for a walk without my iPod, feel the grass beneath my bare feet.

I want to slow down.  So I will try.