Wednesday, June 29, 2011


As promised I was more creative tonight than a silly orville reddenbacher commercial (although it's still making me laugh).  Still working through those Germany pictures.  There's so many of them and I don't think it's right to only pick a few. I have plenty of paper. I'm always afraid to use my good paper or my good scrapbooking stuff but I need to get over that. I paid for it and its useless sitting in a basket in my living room.

Tonight I scrapbooked pictures of the Berlin bears. When we first got to Berlin, we decide to walk down the big shopping area.  I noticed all these silly animated statues and started taking pictures of them.  Then as we went on tours and explored other areas of Berlin...I saw the bears everywhere. Apparently the bear is the symbol of Berlin although I honestly can't remember why. Walking tours are always interesting but I barely ever retain any of the information.

Here is the layout then. If you have a sharp memory you will notice that the paper I used on the left side was also used in my last Berlin page.  I try to save and use all my scraps...although most of the time I just end up with a giant pile of half cut up paper...that I eventually discard.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Risotto Redeemed

I made attempt #2 at making risotto tonight and it was successful!  Thanks Giada.  It was creamy and cheesy and did not involve garlic or corn..gross.  I didn't take a picture of it because let's face it..risotto is not very photogenic. Sorry risotto...I don't think I'm very photogenic either if it makes you feel better.

I'm writing tonight because I promised to write more frequently.  I'm working on a scrapbook page tonight but it won't be finished in time to I'm exhausted. My throat is hurting a bit and I'm hoping so hard I don't have a cold. Only I would get a cold at the end of June. 

Since I don't have anything interesting to write about I thought I'd post a little video of a commercial that is so stupid it makes me laugh everytime I see it.

Creativity will be shown tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

flowers lots of flowers

I spilled black nail polish all over my hand tonight. It's impossible to get it all off so now my hand is tinted black sigh.  I'm such an ass sometimes.

Because of my inability to paint my nails tonight (actually I want to blame this on Sally Hansen's nail art pens...they are not as great as they seem) I didn't have time to do many creative things. I do , however have some pictures from the weekend to share.

My dad's passion in life is gardening.  Along with a pond (and 3 waterfalls) he built from scratch many years ago, he has a million different flowers in our backyard.  When we sit outside to eat dinner, it feels like we are eating in an exotic jungle.  In fact, the only time I ever see my dad sit still (aside from him sleeping in his green chair) is when he's sitting outside staring at his flowers.  If I bring people over to my parent's for the first time he always ask "did you show them my garden?". He's quite proud. Fun fact, sometimes my dad wears an old dress shirt when he's gardening. It's quite fitting since he's in a suit most of the time.

Anyway, when I was home I was able to take pictures of some of his flowers (my dad's reaction..."wow that's a fancy camera! is that a movie camera? did you take a picture of this flower? hey Heather, look at this flower, did you take a picture of this flower?").

I took a picture of this flower...then Oliver ate it:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Scribble Books

I'm going to share a secret with you.  I keep a scribble book.  I hide it when people come over, but it's true.  What? You don't know what a scribble book is?  It's exactly as it sounds. A book with innermost scribbles. 

There's a picture of my scribble book.  In it I write down things I want to do, random ideas I have (even if they are in no way feasible), I sketch for scrapbook layouts, I cut out things from magazines that I want or write quotes I like.  As a kid, I was a total notebook hoarder. I loved to doodle or write my name over and over again.  As I got older, I still secretly liked to cut things out and paste them into the notebook or write my thoughts down (I keep a journal but this is more of a list version of silly ideas). 

Then I stopped writing because I was embarrassed and thought there was no point in doing it.  I don't know why I was embarrassed, no one saw me writing in it. I'm silly like that i guess. Now I love writing in it and jotting notes.  I heard a quote once that "a dream not written down is merely a wish." I think that's true. I find that when I write down something that I want to own or do in it, the universe brings them to me (or opportunities to get them).  I wrote down I wanted to take pole dancing class, and a week later there was a Groupon for pole dancing class. I wrote down countries I want to visit and sometime later my friend told me about the Contiki travel group.  I guess it's kind of like The Secret...although I don't think I can cure cancer by watching a lot of Charlie Chaplin movies.

I thought I'd share my scribble book with my reader(s) because I think everyone should have one. Perhaps you recall one of the most famous scribble books...Leonardo Da Vinci's? 
View Image  View Image

 It's fun and relaxing! I put the silliest things in it from "I want a new teapot" to a cut out of the USA with states colored in that I've been to to a cut out of an engagement ring from a magazine. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Trying to Get Creative Again

Ack, I burned my wrist pretty bad tonight when hot oil splashed back up at me.  It was completely my stupidity.  The oil was still steaming hot when I tried to pour a teaspoon of water into the pan. It made a nice little fire ball in the kitchen. Thank goodness I only got oil splatter burns. Painful, but not serious.

On a lighter note, I actually did some scrapbooking tonight.  I really am trying to write in this blog everyday even though I don't have much of a following.  I wish I did. I wish there were comments from supportive strangers but there's not and that's OK. I really want to write in it everyday because it helps me focus on doing at least one creative thing during the day. It keeps my brain stimulated...and God knows it needs stimulating after I kill it every weekend with alcohol, fatty foods and tv marathons. 

Still scrapbooking my Germany pictures. Hopefully I'll finish them before my next vacation.  Slow and steady.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Get Your Umbrella, I'm Cooking Up A Storm

Back to the Italian cooking tonight.  I'm actually also going to try to do some crafting tonight but I'm not sure. I haven't been that motivated to create anything new.  This recipe came from my Giada De Laurentis cookbook, Everyday Italian.  A lot of people hate on Giada but I love her.  I don't watch a lot (if any) Food Network shows, but I've seen her show once or twice.  She's beautiful, Italian and her recipes are relatively easy to make. 

In her cookbook, she calls this "Orecchiette with Toasted Bread Crumbs".  I've also known this recipe to be called "Sand Pasta" because the toasted crumbs make a gritty, sandy texture coating the outside of the pasta.  It's good but slightly dry.  She added in prosciutto to cut the dryness, a nice touch.  I think mine needed a bit more prosciutto and a little bit more olive oil.

Olive Oil
Italian Style Bread Crumbs
Parmesan Cheese

1. Boil water and pour in pasta.  Follow instructions for cooking time. 
2. About 5 minutes before the pasta is finished heat olive oil in a skillet.  Add in bread crumbs and stir frequently until they are a toasted golden brown color. Add a bit of salt and pepper.
3. Drain pasta and quickly add it to the toasted bread crumb mixture.  Try to keep a little bit of the pasta water so it doesn't get too dry. 
4. Add in prosciutto and parmesan. Serve.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Easy Chinese Food...without the delivery fees

I've been really into cooking this week.  I just bought two new cookbooks and usually that motivates me, but I've actually been really into cooking and food since my grandma passed away last month.  My grandmother and my great-aunt (who passed a few years ago) were excellent cooks.  Very old school Italian.  No one made lasagna like my grandmother (she rolled tiny meatballs for the meat layer - all the meatballs needed to be the same size). No one baked pies like my great aunt. My mom is also a great cook. Her friends can't believe she cooks dinner 7 nights a week (that's unheard of in a Long Island dinner once a week is unheard of in some households). 

Obviously the above dish is not Italian, it's Chinese but that's OK.  Stir fry is the easiest meal in the world.  This recipe came from my Mark Bittman's Quick and Easy Cookbook (an excellent cookbook to make easy but still slightly gourmet meals). 

Peppers (I buy them pre-sliced at the grocery store.  My knife skills are not impressive)
Thin-sliced chicken (cut into thin strips)
Hoisin Sauce (I've never heard of this but it's delicious and I'm happy its now in my fridge)
Vegetable Oil

1. Heat vegetable oil over high heat in a large skillet.  I used my brand new 5 quart skillet. It takes up half my stove and I love it.  Add peppers.  Cook until slightly blackened at the edges (about a minute)
2. Add chicken.  Stir once or twice until cooked through (on high heat the chicken takes about 2-3 minutes to cook). 
3. Add Cashews and 3 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce.  Add a tiny bit of water.  Stir until the sauce coats all the chicken.  I leave it simmering for a few minutes while I wait for the rice to finish cooking.

This tasted like super fresh Chinese food.  The cashews give it the crunch that I love and the sauce is absolutely perfect.  Yum :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mondays are for Food Shopping and Deep Thoughts

What's the worst advice you can get in life?  To me it's the line often spoken "Find what your passionate about and turn it into a career."  In our generation you hear this advice often.  Back when my dad was young the goal of a job was to provide for your family.  Liking it was just a bonus.  Now, we tell kids they need to find their passions, do what your best at, if you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life. Yes, all these things are true but I feel like they put enormous pressure on people.

When I first started working, I used to take a million tests online to find what I'm passionate about, what my career should be.  I used to get depressed at night because I was not good enough at anything. For a long time I didn't want to buy the dslr camera because I thought there was no point. I was never going to be a professional photographer so what was the point of learning? I stopped writing in a few of my past blogs because if they weren't going to get popular  there was no point in writing.  This is what society taught me. If you can't make your passion into a career, it's not worth pursuing.  Maybe not everyone takes it that way but I did. Sometimes it's hard for me not to think that way still.

Now, I've tried to shake those voices off of me.  Sure, I would love to wake up everyday excited to go to work. Everyone wants that...but I'm good at my job, and it pays the bills.  I get satisfaction from other things in life.  I love to go food shopping. Cooking a delicious meal is completely satisfying to me.  Do I need to be a chef? Absolutely not.  I love to watch tv and movies. I take pleasure in reading magazines on the couch.  Does it seem lazy? Maybe.  Does it make me happy? Yes. 

I don't ever want to feel the pressure to find my passion again. I have many do you pick just one? Also, just because they are passions doesn't mean I'm good at them.  I'm passionate about photography but I'm not great at it. I'm getting better.  And that's OK.  It makes me happy. Even if all my pictures turn out blurry, it makes me happy...and that's what matters most <3

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A photography tour of my Sunday

Ok, ok...I know I haven't been writing regulary. There's only 3 of you who read this so I didn't think it was such a big deal.  If you really enjoy my blog then you will be excited to hear that I plan on updating frequently this week.  I need to get out of my head. I got some shit going on.  Some boy shit and in order to get out of my head I tend to stay so busy that I can't think...hence the reason my apartment is sparkling clean, I spent way too much money at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and why you are seeing an update to my blog. 

I've been getting better at photography (well, I think I'm getting better at least).  I took a photography class in Bryant Park. It mostly helped me figure out what all the buttons do on my camera...there's a lot of fucking buttons. My Goddaughter's christening is in a few weeks and I will take that time to practice photographing people.  But for now, here's a preview of what I've been up to:

I love taking pictures of flowers. It's the easiest subject to practice here's one more:

A shot from Bryant Park:
I also organized my closet today in an attempt to keep my mind occupied.  I used it as an opportunity to take some more practice shots of my favorite shoes:

I'm planning on doing a lot of cooking and scrapping...and probably some drinking (that won't be blogged about) this week. So stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chicken in Heat

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, what is this cheesy deliciousness I'm looking at right now? This my friends is a recipe that I made up tonight..and I'm quite proud of.  It's called "using things in my fridge" or a prettier name "Pesto Ricotta Chicken".

I was using a recipe that I ripped out of a magazine, probably a long time ago. I keep a binder of recipes that I find in magazines, newspapers, etc. I thought I'd bought all the ingredients but I must've read it wrong and didn't realize that it was a pizza...and I had no pizza dough.  So I was frustrated and left with a bunch of random ingredients so instead I made this creation.

Thin Sliced Chicken

I started by mixing the parsley, oregano and ricotta in a bowl.  Then I covered the chicken on both sides with a bit of pesto and laid it in a pyrex baking dish.  I covered each chicken slice in the ricotta mixture and then put it in the oven at 450 degrees.  When it was just about done I covered it all in mozzarella and baked it for 2 more minutes.  The result is cheesy and yummy. I feel like a chef...kind of...

Having the oven up to 450 was not a really great idea considering its sweltering hot outside and I've yet to get my air conditioners.  My face is so flushed from heat. I'm sitting in front of a fan in my living room and not moving for a while now.