goodbye, Lost

I meant to blog this a few days ago to be more timely. So Sunday night was the finale of ABC’s Lost, one of the most amazing series ever on television.

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I personally only started watching Lost during the fall of last year (per my boyfriend’s strong recommendation) and was instantly hooked. So much so that from late September until early April I hungrily tore through all 5 of the past seasons and the first few episodes of season 6 so I could catch up and (work schedule finally permuting) join Josh on Tuesday nights for collaborative cooking and watching Lost as a group with his friends and roommates. Granted, this awesome ritual didn’t last long but I so appreciated the thrill of fresh Lost weekly as it came. Regardless of the format, I took it all in and became obsessed with all things Lost.

On somewhat of a side note, I came across these photos of Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly (Jack Shephard and Kate Austen) and I just love them. So perfect, and finally together in the end.





We said farewell on Sunday, May 23rd with a group viewing at one of Josh’s friend’s houses. We all watched, riveted to the story. I’m pretty sure that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house by the final frames–and this was a group of big tough men, plus me, the only girl. I won’t write a recap, but I do recommend reading this post if you’d like one. I was struck by the care with which the writers wrapped up the loose ends. The writers did well with balancing humor and sentiment and staying true to the story. The “flash sideways” dual storyline was a brilliant way to connect the characters in their afterlife. It was realistic enough to engage and dreamy enough to lead into a peaceful and fitting way to end the series. We get to see all the core characters move on. This show was so epic and amazing, so deep and dynamic. I will so miss Kate, Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Locke, Desmond…all of them. There will never be a show like it again. (DVD release in August!)

Long live Lost.

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bacon broccoli salad

This is something I’ve wanted to start doing for awhile now…food blogging! I’ve gotten pretty into cooking in the past year or so and just very recently began contemplating sharing my creations. There are so many fabulous food blogs out there. Poor Girl Eats Well is my biggest inspiration: Her whole deal is creating gourmet, healthy meals on a budget. So smart, right? Anyway, I’m passionate about food–especially trying out vegetarian (sometimes vegan…although I like to add cheese to everything) dishes. This dish, however, is not at all vegetarian, and contains one of my favorite indulgences: Bacon! It was for a work potluck with a “Memorial Day foods” theme. This was picnic-like, still vegetable based but with cheese and bacon so everyone should enjoy it. (After my avocado chickpea salad, there’s expectation to fulfill!) So without further ado.

Ingredients:
2 large broccoli crowns
1/8 (approx) red onion
1 medium tomato
sprinkling of freshly grated carrot (optional)
1/4 cup shredded cheese (your choice; I used some Mexican blend I had in the fridge)
1/4 cup mayonnaise* (I prefer Kraft olive oil mayo)
1 cup light sour cream*
1 packet dry ranch dip mix
5-10 strips bacon

First, preheat oven to 400 degrees. I bake my bacon; it’s far the easiest and neatest way. I line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and raise the sides to contain the grease. I bake each batch for about 15 minutes, keeping an eye on it. For this dish you want the bacon to be crispy and crumbly.

Chop up the broccoli into small florets. You can chop the stems too if you want. Dice the onion and tomato. Add all the veggies, including the carrot (if you like) to a large bowl or container.

For the dressing, combine mayonnaise and sour cream. Mix together until smooth and blended. Add powdered dip mix and stir together. By this time, your bacon should be done. Using tongs, remove from baking sheet onto a plate with paper towels; blot. (Tip: Drain the bacon grease into an empty tin can. Bacon grease once cooled can clog drains, and when it’s hot it will melt your garbage bags, so be careful.) Crumble and break the bacon into small pieces over the veggie mixture. Now spoon the dressing on top, stir thoroughly to combine and coat. Cover, refrigerate, then serve!

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colors of Oaxaca, Mexico

I’ve had this as a draft in my WordPress account for two years, no lie. This is a post filled with gorgeous images of Oaxaca (wa-ha-ka), Mexico. I’m so inspired by the colors, especially the breathtaking blue.

women preparing produce market day at ocotla‡n, oaxaca, mexico

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bartering for pots, ocotlan market, oaxaca, mexico

Oh, how I wish I could afford to go to Mexico. My grandparents live in Mission, Texas, which is at the southern tip of the state on the border. In case you were wondering, Oaxaca is its own state at the southernmost part of Mexico. Read more

lumberjack chic: it’s a thing

This is totally out-of-season, but I had to make a post on my love of the lumberjack look. I’m really fond of a certain man in flannel (Paul Bunyan?) so it seems only natural to blog about the explosion of plaid looks in modern fashion.

At the crest of all things trendy, we have the ladies of The Hills in plaid: Lauren Conrad, Audrina Patridge and Whitney Port. They all look stunning but my vote goes to Whitney…she looks the most genuine of the bunch when it comes to authenticating a Western vibe. Audrina maintains her rocker-girl edge while Lauren and Stephanie keep the look polished and trendy.

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And we have the always hot Kristin Cavallari (her bag! bestillmyheart!) in all her bombshell-ness…and to even things out, our girl Lauren on the go again in a lovely green checked number.

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Try: BDG’s plaid shirt from Urban Outfitters. I like the grey plaid, below. I also love the ruffles on the Juicy Couture top below. At $138 it’s insane for something like that, but I like the feminine touch on something inherently masculine.

Juicy Couture Crinkle Plaid 3/4 Sleeve Ruffle Shirt

And of course, I looooove plaid on boys. And men. Oh yes.

Then there’s the lumberjack of all lumberjacks. Mr. Paul Bunyan. And who wouldn’t want to pay a visit to the Forks Timber Museum in Forks, WA? Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of logging.

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And last but not least, perhaps the source of inspiration for this post, the super talented Timber Preservation Society. You can check out his work at his website or at his Etsy shop. Oh how I love his gorgeous gorgeous designs.

This is the man.  You can read an interview about him here.

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thanks, Mom.

I was reading this article over at Etsy and had to say a few words about moms. I know I’m not alone in owing a large portion of who I am to my mother. And although we have had our difficult times and continue to clash now and then, I only get one mom, and I’m exceptionally grateful for the sacrifices she made to improve my life. My mom is talented and strong, and she’s taught me both directly and indirectly what I do and don’t want my life to be. I’ve learned from my mom’s imperfections as well as her strengths.

My mom instilled in me a love for art, nature and literature. She showed me the value of independence at a young age and has never once pressured me into “getting married and having babies.” She has encouraged me to do more with my life, reminding me that having children in itself is not an accomplishment. (She was 35 when she had me, and never “planned” on having children.) She and my father had a difficult marriage and a worse divorce, and she did everything she could to protect me as I grew up–sometimes too much. I’ve adopted more than a few of her neuroses, too–but I’m working on that.

I guess in a lot of ways, I’m becoming my mother.

So thanks, Mom.

P.S. For great “crazy mom” reads, check out The Center of The Universe by Nancy Bachrach and Her Last Death by Susanna Sonnenberg.

add more ~ing with Gabrielle Bernstein

One of my new positive role models: Gabrielle Bernstein. I stumbled across her book one day (at work and less than focused) and I deemed it a must-read and ordered it through Amazon that day. I’m about midway through, reading it on and off. At first I wasn’t crazy about her writing style, but soon warmed to the ~ing philosophy. After all, happiness is hip and it’s something everybody wants. Everyone battles negative thoughts and Gabrielle teaches you, through a cocktail approach of meditation, free writing and movement based on a combination of Buddhism and metaphysics with a modern twist. With the right attitude, her methods have the potential to be transformational. As a sweet bonus, you can download Podcast versions of her wonderful guided meditations, which really help along the way to getting in touch with your own ~ing.

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In addition to Add More ~ing: A Hip Guide to Happines, Gabrielle has founded Her Future, a social networking site dedicated to helping young women connect with and become mentors. She continues to work as a motivational speaker and life coach, and resides in Manhattan’s West Village. In her spare time she can be seen riding her skateboard, surfboard or even a unicycle.

Read more at her website: addmoreing.com, and for Pete’s sake, buy the book! Let the good vibes flow. 🙂

bella

I watched this movie and reviewed it about a month ago. I barely ever take the time to review movies these days, but this one made an impression on me that lasted.

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Some viewers might find Bella too saccharine for their tastes. But like it or not, Bella pulls you where a movie should; it makes you think about what’s important without employing faded cliches. The acting is true and delicate and the cinematography is compelling but not distracting. Eduardo Verastegui and Tammy Blanchard have powerful chemistry but it’s done with such intentional restraint, making their stories more real and meaningful. Also adding depth to the film is the rich Mexican-Puerto Rican culture: gorgeous food, language, tradition. It’s the absolute creme de la creme of indie filmmaking. It’s anti-Hollywood, anti-blockbuster, anti-romantic comedy. Pro-life? Perhaps it could be interpreted that way, but until I read reviews online that concept Bella steers away from pigeonholing itself into a category, yet still wears its heart on its sleeve, in the best way a movie can. It’s a feat for a movie to tell a love story without showing kissing or love scenes. The “love” conveyed in this movie is more visceral, more profound than fleeting boy-girl attraction. Bella is about redemption, hope, and most importantly: Life.

Watch the trailer: