Thursday, April 29, 2010


Hi my dears! I've just been so happy today. So much so that I picked a post title solely because I like the sound of it. Maybe it was the sun; the glorious job searcher gods shining down on me? Perhaps it was the satisfying end of classes for the week, and almost forever (2 more days)? Or it could be the upcoming weekend; planned days of fun and accomplishments? 
There is also a possibility that my happiness is based on the fact that I was lucky enough to have met three special people in my first three weeks at Syracuse University and have realized how rare and amazing it is to have quality friends such as these upon chance. I fully intend to stay in touch with each one of them forever and always. For now though, I am thoroughly enjoying nostalgically looking back at freshman year photos of us and laughing/"aw"ing :).
Anywho! Let's discuss yesterday, shall we? Following an afternoon of good news, I went running. I ran hard, not particular fast, but hard, and it felt good. I've finally reached a level of strength and endurance that has allowed me to thoroughly CTFO while I'm running. By the way, I have not yet mentioned how I run yet... To ease myself back into it, I used the Galloway method: beginning with 1 minute walking and 1 minute running for 30 minutes and building myself to 30 minutes of straight running. It works for me. I don't know how far I've gone, I don't know how fast I've run and I have no desire for such logistics. A half an hour allows me to simply enjoy it and all of it's benefits (mentally and physically). Yoga and running, a match made in heaven. Who knew?
Also, since I've become such an advanced runner ;) I've noticed an increase in my appetite. I ran home yesterday to a semi-formal dinner in honor of the senior class of Alpha Chi Omega (another group of girls that I'm lucky to know). I showered first, of course, and then ran down to the meal that became my feast. We started with a small salad. It was gone in seconds.
Then, for the main course we had three options: steak, chicken, or lobster. I obviously had the latter, (it was delectable,) alongside fresh green beans and a sweet potato. I don't think words can explain how ridiculously fast I inhaled this. I think it tasted yummy.
And finally, we were greeted with the wonderful choices of blueberry, pecan, raspberry walnut, or peanut butter chocolate cheesecake. Which one would you prefer? I, again, had the last one, Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake... otherwise known as absolute heaven. I heard the others were pretty delectable too. I don't have dessert often, so when I do, it better be worth it :). 

Moving on through present and future, let's take a look at the weekend...
I'll try to stop in at some point. Either way, have a fabulous Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the driver's seat

Wow, thank you for the great response to my last post! To continue along with a similar motivational theme, I'd like to tell you about Tuesday when I had the pleasure of meeting Cathy Alter. Cathy is a writer, a journalist, a copywriter, an author, and a really amazing woman. She's cool too, like really cool. Can you tell I enjoyed listening to her speak? I wish her and I were friends.
She shared a lot with us, but what I'd like to focus on is her most recent book, Up for Renewal, a memoir of her year of rediscovery. The book sprung from a self-imposed challenge to spend 365 days improving her life based on advice from women's magazines. The ideas was that success is made up of smaller victories... victories, however, that she believed she'd reach from listening to advice from Cosmo, Glamour, InStyle, Real Simple, etc. For instance, a couple of tips from my own mag stash (paired with old photographs from a Parisian fashion exhibition in honor of my fashion design friends that will be displaying their original designs on the SU runway today and tm)...
Get Stimulated - 12:30 p.m. - "Get some sun: According to several studies, a majority of Americans are running low on vitamin D, a nutrient that protects against osteoporosis, cancer, depression, heart disease and--yes-- fatigue. Since sunlight stimulates the body to produce D, get outside for 10 to 20 minutes of sun exposure on bare arms and legs. Too chilly to show some skin? Take 1,000 to 2,000 IUs of vitamin D3 with food, suggests Babb. 'Some people will feel a significant increase in energy as soon as they start supplementing with vitamin D,' she says." Natural Health, December/January 2010. Too bad there's hardly any sun in Syracuse.
Great Hair All Season: "To instantly add body, work a palmful of volumizer... into damp roots. Then pull hair up from the scalp with a round brush as you dry, says Jessica Tingley, a celebrity hairstylist in Los Angeles... A quick easy way to stop midday frizzies: Lightly smooth a dime-size amount of hand cream over unruly strands." Fitness, February 2010. I'm pretty sure I heard all of it before. Except for the moisturizer one, that one is clever. Will do! 
Big Job, Bad Health: "Scrambling up the corporate ladder? A high-ranking job may be unhealthy. A Social Science & Medicine survey found that managers have more conflicts with coworkers and more work interferences with their home lives--both of which can lead to headaches, irritability, and psychological distress. But recognizing the downsides of big-time roles can help you set healthy boundaries so there's no need for you to stifle your ambitions." Women's Health, March 2010.  I'm not sure if that's a warning or a piece of encouragement, hmm.
Going Granola: "6 cups old fashioned oats, 1 1/4 cups nuts, 1/4 cup seeds, 1/2 cup flaxseed meal, 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 3 large egg whites, 3/4 tsp. salt, 3/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, and 1 cup dried fruit..." Body + Soul, April 2010. The recipe is simple, the instructions simpler, and the three blends, sweet + tart, crunch, and tropical, sound yummy. There are even tips and variations for those who prefer chunky, vegan, and/or freezable. If I liked granola, I might actually make use out of this information ;).
Workout Motivation: "Exercising outside may encourage more frequent physical activity, a new study suggests...the restorative quality of the environment was linked to how often participants workout. This doesn't mean that all exercise should be moved outside though, says study coauthor Terry Hartig... Simply "making exercise settings more attractive" may increase incentive to work out..." Allure, May 2010. 'Tis an interesting find although I'm not particularly impressed. I've always enjoyed being active in the great outdoors. 
So yes, they are mostly centered around health but that's what I like to read about, don't tell me you're surprised. The point is, is that magazines, especially those for women, are a business of service; they are the voices of experts, best friends, and role models. The magazines were helpful but what Cathy Alter found is that she ultimately didn't need them. "When you take an active role in your life, no matter what you're doing, it's going to be good." Another two questions for you now: What's the best/worst piece of advice you've ever received? Where from?
Speaking of the driver's seat, I don't think I ever introduced you to Philbért my new car. Isn't he pretty? :) G'night to you both!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

project real world

Hello, doves. I must first apologize for the horrendous mood that I am currently in. I blame it on the weather, a chilly mix of rain and snow. Really, Syracuse? I'm pretty sure it's springtime, and almost May, and... I digress. Since I cannot seem to be any sort of productive at the moment I will blog, and today, with a purpose.
As I briefly mentioned yesterday, I cried this past weekend once my parents had left. I cried because I didn't know what else to do in that moment. How else should I deal with the end of most things that I know and love and the beginning of the everything else? 
This overwhelming drama of feelings and thoughts is hardly new. I went through a similar thing when I graduated from high school (although, let's be serious, it was probably on a smaller scale, even if I didn't know it at the time) and then again as I embarked on my year of studying abroad (I couldn't have known it would be the best decision I've made so far). As a control freak of a perfectionist, I like to plan, and be prepared, and most definitely end up successful.
"You've achieved so much and now you're finally ready to get out and do something with it," a special someone told me this past Sunday. True. I have been in the education system for eighteen years, I have survived all of my twenty-one years of non-academic experiences, and I have done it all with flair. How. exciting. So, basically everything I already need is within me now?  
I would really like to hope so. Though, the funny thing is, the truly best parts of life just happen. Where does that leave me and the rest of us? Making the most of that early twenty something discovery, I suppose. Christie Hassler, a life coach, has a few tips:

  • Be Present. Stop Comparing. Don't Settle for Other's Expectations. Tune Into Your Intuition. Make Choices. Make mistakes. Revel in Your Independence. Build Your Tribe. Be of Service.

With that in mind, I am doing a bit of foundation building with a few measurable healthy living goals for the time being. They include creating and sustaining an exercise routine, as I've already spoken about, being conscious of food combining (because my body appreciates it), eating as many greens as possible (for overall energetic wellness), and budgeting my finances wisely.

And lets not forget about my 2010 Top Ten: make time for yoga, graduate without regrets, rediscover artistic passions, keep in touch, travel some place new, prioritize giving back, race again, find my calling, become comfortable in my own skin, and... blog with a purpose.
As far as a job, and my first apartment, and school loans, and taxes, and all other "grown-up" things go, I've accepted the fact that I'm no expert. I'll probably figure it out eventually ;). For now I will focus on going out with a bang => surrounding myself with my favorite people, doing well on final assignments and exams, and having the absolute time of my life.
Life is a series of transformations but I don't believe that we ever really change. We merely evolve, and in turn, we must allow that evolution take place. I need to let myself find happiness and fulfillment and have faith in the fact that I most definitely will. It's not going to be easy, but it will sure as hell be fun. Or interesting. Interesting works too.
"I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future." 

Take a deep breath and cheers. What changes are you dealing with? How do you handle transition? Thanks so much, in advance, for sharing :).

Monday, April 26, 2010

can't stop, won't stop

Today was, well, Monday. I woke up early, breakfasted, did work, ate lunch, went to class, ran in the rain (more about this tm), and drank at beer & wine appreciation. I really had the best sober intentions at that last part, but I couldn't resist thoroughly reviewing drinking the samples of lager (Stella Artois), pale ale (Sierra Nevada), wheat beer (Blue Moon), and IPA (Harpoon). Oy vey.
A similarly dedicated experience took place as Saturday continued. We got back to the house around 4:30 p.m. and went straight to naps. I, of course, hardly shut my eyes but I did rest and get rid of that sugar headache. Oh sweet wines, the love/hate relationship we have.
Then around 7:30ish a select few of us reunited for dinner at Carrabba's. I love these girls, and their families, oh so very much. I also thoroughly enjoyed my meal. Being the Italian food snob as I am (tisk, tisk), I was impressed at how above satisfactory my choices from the Italian chain.
I had a bowl of their Zuppa Minestrone and an Insalata Fiorucci (mixed field greens tossed with marinated artichoke hearts (hate these), roasted red bell peppers, and grilled eggplant in vinaigrette, topped with a hazelnut goat cheese medallion.) They were a bit too heavy-handed with the dressing but I  happily made it through... with my glass of Pinot Noir in hand. So typical.
Afterwards, we released the parentals to their hotels and headed next door to the neighbors. One of the fraternities was having an "Around the World"-themed semi-formal. As the party's inspiration, I obviously had to make an appearance ;). I visited Russia, England, Mexico, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, France and the United States, and even managed to make it into bed by 1 a.m.
Still, the next morning I was certainly in dire need of water, caffeine, and carbilicious food. I picked up my parents and our special guest, K, for brunch at Sugar Pearl at 10:30 a.m. Upon arrival, my first two needs were promptly answered with a delectable French-pressed coffee and glass of H20.
Next came my all-time favorites, their pumpkin and zucchini vegan pannycakes. I may have altered the vegan-factor with a few pats of butter but they were all the while incredible. I made it through a whole one, two, three of 'em and insisted on wrapping up the fourth :).
By the time one rolled around: I was satisfied, their car was packed, and we said our goodbyes. I thanked those two for the wonderful time and I cried . Not during, not immediately after, but soon enough. I am going to graduate in less than three weeks. Did you hear that people? I AM GOING TO GRADUATE IN LESS THAN THREE WEEKS. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel but the thought overwhelms me. Me, a real person?! Onward and upward Project Real World.

P.S. I only discovered this picture on my camera while downloading. They're too cute :).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

got wine?

Hi sweet peas! Hope you are well. I have been trying to sleep for the past hour but the caffeine running through my body seems to be against it, so awake I am still. Might as well be productive and read blog! This weekend was AMAZING. We shall begin with Friday...
12 pm : Highlights & Green Tea at Hair Habitat. See my previous vlog for results :).
7:30 pm: Beer tasting and dinner with the padres at Glen Loch.
[Homemade spinach pasta with garden vegetables and grilled shrimp]
Early night of vlogging and sleep, and then came Saturday...
8:30 am: Met my parents at the Renaissance Hotel for breakfast.
[Vegetable omelette, plain oatmeal, black coffee]
11 am: Welcome to the Cayuga Wine Trail.
First stop? Goose Watch Winery.
There were various wine tastings, 
with cheese (omg to die for) pairings,
and gorgeous photo opportunities.
12:30 pm: Second stop? Thirsty Owl Wine Company.
Despite their outward appearance and delectable wines, the staff was quite rude,
but at least we got some amazing sisterly photographs out of it.
2:00 pm: Lunch time at our third winery, Swedish Hill.
[Jimmy John's Vegetarian Sandwich]
Once satisfied we met "Doobie" the donkey,
took our last few group photos,
and enjoyed our final eight wine tasting.
3:00 pm: Bus-boarding to napping on the ride back to Syracuse.
To be continued...