Thursday, November 20

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for...

With the dropping of temperatures to a frigid 67 degrees, we have entered the polar vortex of autumn in Los Angeles.  Tis the season of tree lightings that start November 1st, getting in verbal arguments over the last pillar candle at Home Goods, and obsessing over all things pumpkin flavor.

And with my crockpot out, my faux fur vest on and the DVR filled with Hallmark and Lifetime Xmas movies...  I have no doubt that this will be another holiday season of epic proportions.   Yet, it is those moments of a pounding eggnog hangover, the euphoria of eating a dozen sugar cookies in one sitting, and maxing out not one, but three, credit cards (and that was just on stocking stuffers) - that bring me to reflection.   Just a momentary pause from the gluttony and indulgence to remember the lessons of Christmas' poorly overshadowed cousin: Thanksgiving.  


Asking myself to dial back on the eggnog is simply a set up for failure - so I won't even bore you with a claim so pretentious.  This season, I just want to be more thankful. For family, friends, a wonderful boyfriend, a dog who only behaves when she's asleep... health, opportunity, travel, a higher IQ than the majority of the population... you know, the simple things.   So here it is.  My thanksgiving thank-ful list.  Hopefully I remember to glance back to this throughout the season so I can stay emotionally grounded while I abandon all guilt and inhale stuffing. 



This Thanksgiving I am thankful for:

  
 1. The end of the crop top trend.  I can feel it coming.  

2. George Clooney.  And each and every single one of your silver fox grey hairs. 

Tuesday, November 18

Turning Twenty Seven

I have to admit that my previous post was a bit more dramatic then it probably needed to be.  I might not truthfully even know what depression is... but I sure as hell was frustrated with life and couldn't muster enough energy to write.   Maybe depression manifests itself differently for everyone - but there still has never been a day in my life where I haven't truly smiled over something.  And for that I am grateful.

I wanted to write about despair for a number of reasons - but mostly because it's real.  It is something that all struggling actors grapple with at one point or another in their careers.  Maybe something that everyone experiences once or twice as they settle into their late twenties - and thus is important to shed light on.  But I also wanted to dial back for a moment and take a breath.  My blog is one giant neatly packaged story of adventure, travel and triumph -- but, as I pointed out yesterday -- I am just human too... and with that comes a less glamorous side of my me that I felt compelled to share.

That, and I just wanted to write again.   I wanted to finally digest the idea of turning another year older.  So here it goes.  Here's me at Twenty Seven.  

--

Birthdays afford me the ability to reflect on the past year - and what a hell of a year it has been.  Maybe the best year of my entire life.  Actually I'll scratch that - definitely the best year of my life. Lets hit on the highlights shall we?

TWENTY SIX

October - I move into a new little house with Matt and Shelly - My FIRST home! to decorate however I fancy!  And my own orange tree.. and soon my own garden with fresh strawberries and herbs and tomatoes.  And a perfect little yard for Shelly.  

November - I spend the fall auditioning like crazy and feeling so energized by it. Mom and I take an online screenwriting class...  and I churn out my very first screenplay!   I also spend every Wednesday night performing in my first ever play at some dark and jenky Hollywood theater that I absolutely fall in love with.  Shelly and I spend Thanksgiving on the beach in Newport.

Monday, November 17

The Acting Saga: Depressed.

It was during my second intensive acting session at Margie Haber Studio.  I had just watched a playback of my audition tape and I was shocked by how disgustingly unattractive I looked.  Physically yes... but it was even more than that.  My eyes were completely void of emotion... they were just... blank.   The instructor dismissed the tape as 'lifeless' and moved on to the next student.

Lifeless.  That night on my walk home from class I cried.  Hard.  I called my mom and said I wanted to get a nose job, called my dad and said I was ready to hang up this dream. By the time I got to the front door, I was too exhausted to think of anything besides drowning the day in food and wine.

I am no stranger to an occasional meltdown... especially since I started on this acting journey.  But normally the morning sun shining through the bedroom curtains and my dog snuggling her soft cold nose against my cheek usually refreshes me enough to shed the prior night's despair.

The next morning was different though.  The misery had sunk in and my body felt too heavy to pull

Sunday, November 16

Healthy Apple Crunch!

Healthy Apple Crunch Recipe! 
An alternative to Apple Crisp - great as a dessert or as a granola!

This healthy recipe will keep you more than satisfied without de-railing your diet.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats 
4 red apples, cut in small pieces 
1 green apple, cut 
1 banana (frozen or fresh) cut finely 
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp Grade B maple syrup 
1 tbsp peanut butter (any kind)
1/4 cup nuts or trail mix 
1/4 cup cranberries
3 tsp cinnamon
sprinkle of nutmeg
1 squeeze of clementine and/or lemon
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Basically combine everything and put it in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes. Remove and stir. Return to oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool before enjoying!

great paired with greek yogurt for breakfast, or frozen kefir or frozen yogurt for dessert! Also good as an on the go snack.

Friday, November 14

GET SKINNY! Cleansing Crockpot Soup Recipe!




I am not a dietician - just a girl who continually strives to maintain optimal health and a slim waistline. Before starting any diet or cleanse, you should discuss it with your doctor.  That being said, this soup could easily be named "Get Healthy" as well.  The ingredients are superfood powerhouses with some incredible healing and slimming qualities!

Get Skinny & HEALTHY Cleansing Crockpot Recipe 

-fennel (1/4 bulb)
          *Great for alleviating indigestion, flatulence, menstrual discomfort and anemia
-apple cider vinegar (1/4 cup)
          *High in fiber, increased iron absorption, mood enhancement
-cayenne pepper (3/4 tsp)
           *Anti cold/flue/allergen, reduces joint pain, revs metabolism
-lemon (1-2 squeezed)
           *Alkalize the body, high in vitamin C, relieves indigestion
-ginger (1 tbsp)
            *Anti-inflamatory, reduces nausea and indigestion, enhances fat absorption
-garlic (2 cloves, minced)
            *Boosts immune system, reduces inflammation,
-low sodium chicken or vegetable broth (1 1/2 cups)
           *Boosts immunity, great source of minerals (calcium, magnesium), aid digestion
-white wine (1/3 cup)
          *Delivers antioxidants
-sweet potatoes (2 cubed)
          *High in vitamin B6 and B12, contain iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C
-celery (3 stocks, chopped)
          *Aids digestion
-carrots (3 chopped)
          *Anti aging benefits, great for skin
-spinach (1 cup)
          *Loaded with vitamins: A, K, D and E, good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
-water to top (2-3 cups depending on slow cooker size)

ALL of these ingredients are optional!  Add or replace any spice or vegetable at will!  Zucchini, squash, peas, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, leeks, beets, potatoes, basil oregeno, basil -- you name it, it can go in!

Let all ingredients simmer on low for 6+ hours.

Eat this and drink only water and tea for three days and let me know how good you feel!  For me, I feel completely rejuvenated and my body lets go of all of my stubborn puffiness. That AND I drop unnecessary fat around my middle.   This is a great cleanse to help jumpstart a whole new healthy you!

Skinny Sweet Potato Mash -- Healthy Thanksgiving side dish!



This Thanksgiving, I'm saving my calories for the stuffing and a slice of Mom's pie -- I refuse to let my waist expand for the same ol' pile of butter and cream mashed potatoes or worse the sugar bomb sweet potato casserole that my aunt attempts to pass off as a vegetable dish!

No no, not this year.  This year on Thanksgiving I'm wearing my skinny jeans and I refuse to unbutton them after dinner God damn it!


And here's how --- healthy thanksgiving hacks from my skinny kitchen!

Today's dish: Skinny Sweet Potato Mash
Sweet Potatoes (1 large/person)
Plain Greek Yogurt (1 ounce/person)
Cinnamon Pecans (1/2 cup)
Garlic (1 clove, minced)
Cinnamon (1 tsp)
Nutmeg (pinch)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Olive Oil (1 tbsp)

1. Cook the sweet potatoes in the oven (400 degrees) until soft to the touch (about 50 minutes for medium sized).

2. While still hot, remove the skin and mash the sweet potatoes with all of the other ingredients in a mixing bowl.

3. Top with crumbled cinnamon pecans and serve warm! 


Saturday, October 25

The Monster Mash Menu - Festive Halloween food!



From spiked hot apple cider to fake fingers in the candy bowl - Halloween parties are an open canvas for creative hosts.  

I've got my second annual Ghoulish Gathering planned for this week, but while I review my favorites from last year, I thought I would share some of my best party food hits.


1.  Pumpkin  Dorito Cheese Ball:   cream cheese based dip of your choice, rolled into a ball then covered in crushed red doritos.  Top with the stem of a green pepper and serve with crackers.


2. Deviled Spider Eggs:  prepare deviled eggs per usual, make spider topping by cutting black pitted olives (I just purchased two cans) in half lengthwise for the body.  Use the other half to cut 6 legs!  Serve 'blood' dipping sauce (Tabasco) with a finger sticking out!

Sunday, September 7

O'ahu Hawaii - Your full Itinerary!

Close your eyes and envision the landscape of heaven for a moment.  Got it?  Good.  Welcome to Hawaii.

As I have yet to visit the other Hawaiian islands I can't comment on O'ahu being the best - But I can say that my trip to Honolulu surpassed any trip to the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Aruba.. or any other tropical paradise.  We chose O'ahu because, while still offering the remote lazy beach life, the island is vibrant with nightlife and restaurants in Waikiki and Honolulu. Okay, well and it was the least expensive flight from LA.  



Where to stay:
Turtle Bay on the North Shore.  Newly renovated, Turtle Bay resort offers unbelievable beach views from every room, championship

Friday, September 5

Eggplant and Zuchhini Rollatinis - Healthy!


                                    
There's nothing better than returning home to Halifax, MA in August - when the garden is over plentiful and everyone has exasperated their imagination with how to eat the baskets and baskets of fresh vegetables.  This recipe I am especially proud of - a healthy and flavorful twist on an old favorite - stuffed shells. 

Eggplant and Zucchini Rollatinis 

Ingredients: 
2 zucchini
1 eggplant

Wednesday, September 3

Pageant of the Masters



You know that feeling of pure admiration and awe that awashes you when you are truly moved by a piece of art?

Maybe it's stepping into the Sistene Chapel and being enveloped by Michelangelo... or perhaps you stumble across a dreamy Monet painting in Museo de Madrid and you find yourself rendered speechless.  But it could be more simple.  Like taking a wrong turn in Los Angeles and being humbled by graffiti of angel wings... or pausing to take another look at a photograph of rolling hills at the farmer's market.

If I could, I would enter every art gallery or museum twice.  One completely ignorant to the art inside,