Sometimes I feel like my life is in shambles. Most of the time, I feel out of control. And I hate it. My dad bought me a new car; I feel like one of the spoiled brats in My Super Sweet 16 and I don't even know how to convey how grateful I am because I am just so stressed out with everything else. Relationships are hard work, studying for the GREs is hard work, Russian classes are hard work. I need to write my personal statement, but first things first need to take the GRE on Friday. Maybe I am unprepared, maybe not. But I don't see the point in studying any more. Court is two days before Iceland. I just want to be in Reykjavik. I want to go there NOW.

Recipes I would like to try:
Zucchini Fritters
Aaaah. Baked Cinnamon-Maple Donuts
Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding

In other news, I am ravenous. I ate a Subway egg white breakfast sandwich for breakfast in about 1 minute flat. It tasted like rubber, sort of. If I made my own it would have been 100 times better. I want to get alfalfa sprouts and avocado so I can make my own breakfast sandwiches (there's one place by my boyfriend's house that does a breakfast sandwich with egg whites, peppers, onions, avocado and sprouts and it is AWESOME). But that was not in the cards this morning. I could seriously eat a dozen eggs right now.

Food/Exercise Log for Yesterday (Tuesday):
- Iced coffee with splash of whole milk and Splenda
- Quaker's Weight Control Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal
- Light and fit yogurt
- Light whole wheat English Muffin with hummus
- Bag of smoked almonds
- Low-fat pudding cup
- Light whole wheat English Muffin w/ 1 T peanut butter, cinnamon and sliced 1/2 of a Red Delicious apple
- Vegetable platter from Wawa (used about 1/4 of the dressing)
- Small bag of beef jerky
- Chai tea with splash of soy milk
- 5 mini pretzels
- some watermelon
Calories: about 1500

- Exercise: 35 minutes on the eliptical: 310 calories burned
Total calories: about 1200

Okay. Just two more weeks of this shit.


Day 1: Success


- Iced coffee with splash of whole milk and Splenda
- Quaker's Weight Control cinnamon oatmeal
- Light whole wheat English Muffin with hummus, spinach, and roasted red peppers
- Light and fit yogurt
- 1/2 C trail mix
- Two fried eggs with balsamic, broccoli, chopped onion, and green onion garnish
- Pudding cup
- Bowl of Special K Fruit and Yogurt with almond milk
- Chai tea with almond milk

Approximate total: 1350

Exercise: 40 minutes on the elliptical - 400 calories burned.
Total caloric intake: 950.

Operation Slimdown.

I feel gross. Like really, really fucking gross. I haven't been to the gym in three weeks and I am completely ashamed of myself. I've been eating crap on the weekends and feel like the world's biggest slob. So, today starts operation slimdown. Hopefully I can shave off a few pounds by Iceland (September 16th) or at least just feel a little better about myself. I plan on working out at the gym (realistically) 3-4 times a week and doing pilates 2 times a week in my bedroom. I'm going to cut out junk and stick to a strict 1500 calorie a day diet, which is how I live during the week, but need to keep at it during the weekend. Hopefully I won't hate myself as much as I do now in a couple of weeks. The GRE is this Friday and I don't even care because I'm not going to learn years of math in four days. So, fuck it.


Life in general.

I can't stop listening to Pinback's "Summer in Abaddon" album. I'm just addicted. Two weeks ago, it was Paramore, so I guess this is a step in the right direction. At least I can play it when Dave is in the car.

I hate the Russian classes I have been taking. I want to learn the language, but they're at such an inconvenient time (well, not really, just annoying) and the whole online thing is a major pain. I would get so much more out of it in person, but sadly that wasn't a possibility. I wish I could get more into it, but by 8 o'clock I am mentally checked out and ready for reality TV, not learning an entire new language with an entirely new and insane alphabet. I need to finalize my school choice this week, after talking to Dr. Frary over dinner. I'm adding Lasalle to my list and subtracting UPenn. That's all I know. I also don't expect to do well on my GRE. I also need to start writing my personal statements next week, or at least before I leave for Iceland I need to have a draft. Dr. Frary advised that I sit in front of my computer with a glass of wine and just see what happens; it's always better to have some black on white than nothing at all. Well, we'll see how that goes. I can't even think about my weight right now, because REALLY, there are so many more pressing matters (I can't believe I let real life take priority over my insane weight issues).

I dropped so many dollars at Wegman's yesterday, after leaving work early and sleeping like a rock on my couch for two hours. Last night, I made round two of my granola bars, because Dave was raving about them the other night and said "You should make them every week for the rest of our lives." OKAY, DONE. This time, I used more almonds (blanched/slivered) and peanuts (roasted/unsalted) and I used golden raisins and dried blueberries for the dried fruit. I have yet to try one, but I will be having one for breakfast momentarily.

And then, after studying for the GRE for about an hour, I decided I needed to bake more. And what a lovely coincidence that I had just bought organic pumpkin puree and applesauce. PUMPKIN BREAD! I used the Betty Crocker recipe, but subbed applesauce for oil and used about half Splenda and half white sugar.

While this is clearly a stock photo, this is more or less what mine looked like, except a little bulgier on top and with some slivered almonds. I'm surprised it's still pretty moist even without the oil. And after calculating all the calories, like the crazy person that I am, it only has about 180-200 calories per slice (I cut the loaf into 13 slices). Hurray! Can't wait to toast some in the toaster oven and top with some crunchy peanut butter or pumpkin butter (IS IT AUTUMN YET?!)



I feel huge. I need to quit smoking. I need to quit eating. Must start working out again. Must take longest nap ever when I get home from work at 5. BLARG. In other news, Dave and I performed for the first time together this weekend and though there were a few snags, we powered through. I'm pleased with the outcome. I'm quitting smoking again, for a multitude of reasons, and hope that I can stick to it.

Foodwise, my pizza came out fantastically.

Saturday, I made chai snickerdoodles, adapted from this recipe. I had a couple "oops!" moments, but the general consensus was that they were really good, so phew! Before reading through the entire recipe (like a dumbass), I originally put in the cream of tartar in the sugar/spice mixture, part of which the cookies get rolled in prior to baking. I managed to scoop out most of it and guess-timate how much more to put in. Crisis averted. Also, cardamom is disgustingly expensive. I had to buy the ones in the shells because the ground cardamom was $15. REALLY. So, I ground it myself (need a mortar and pestle). Added extra cinnamon, vanilla, and allspice - and some ground cloves. Also, added about 1/8 t of ground black pepper. I could've added more.

I need to find a recipe to make for Friday night (next dinner with Dave) and I kind of want to do different genres/protein sources each time. Meal #1 was smoked salmon quesadillas with sweet potato fries and a garnish of avocado and cherry tomato. Meal #2 was Ground Pork-Chipotle Muenster Burgers with tangy dijon coleslaw and a garnish of avocado and tomatillo. Meal #3 was Szechuan Pork and Broccoli with Sautéed Yellow Onion. Meal #4 was the fire-roasted eggplant and tomato pizza with a fried egg and balsamic reduction. What's next?!

Also, I'm taking the GRE next Friday. I'm going to bomb it. I'm meeting with my professor tomorrow night. Don't make me.

Edit: I've decided to make croque-madames for Friday, probably with an arugula side-salad, because Dave has an obsession for fried eggs on top of everything.

I've been looking for recipes that use cardamom so my $11 doesn't go to waste and here is what I'm enticed by so far:

Thick & Chewy Gingersnaps
Almond-Orange-Cardamom Cookies
Pumpkin Cookies
Chai Latte Muffins
Vegan Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Muffins


Tomorrow (?) Night's Dinner:

I'm very into the idea of making a pizza. I'm also very lazy and probably will just buy pizza dough, as opposed to making it from scratch. But I'm going to make a combination of this and this, because tweaking recipes brings me joy. I will be using a whole wheat crust, because I'm convinced that everything tastes better on whole wheat. More rustic, less cellulite (white bread contributes to cellulite, I swear).

- 1 whole wheat pizza crust
- 1 eggplant
- container of cherry or grape tomatoes
- garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper
- fresh mozzarella cheese
- shredded parmesan, to taste (we're almost out of parmesan, so this is a good opportunity to re-stock the stash)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 C balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to designated temperature.
2. Slice the tomatoes in half length-wise and add minced garlic. Stir.
3. Cut eggplant into small chunks, not too thick. Spread onto large baking sheet and spray with cooking oil and/or drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Put under the broiler (about 8 inches away from the heating element) for about three minutes. Check on them and shake them about on the pan and put them back under for three more minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes/garlic to the baking sheet, shake it around, and return to oven for two to three minutes.
5. Take vegetables off sheet once cooled, toss with balsamic vinegar to coat.
5. Coat pizza dough with olive oil lightly, using pastry brush.
6. Thinly slice mozzarella cheese and place on pizza.
7. Put vegetables and parmesan on pizza and cook for designated time.
8. While pizza is cooking, heat a pan on medium, spray with cooking spray and add egg. Fry egg until set, bubbly and brown on edges and pan is almost free of oil. Add three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and reduce slightly. Keep a watchful eye on the balsamic so it doesn't boil or burn up in the pan. Place egg on pizza. Reduce balsamic vinegar about 1 or 2 minutes more, until syrupy, then drizzle over pizza. Add crushed red pepper for a kick.

Thar she blows.

Here it is. My mental breakdown. There is simply too much shit on my plate right now for me to even function; I just literally sobbed at my desk. I have to worry about this stupid job that occupies 40 hours of my week, in which I am always getting wrong instructions and have to do 5 things at once, most of which I waste hours on and then find out that the instructions weren't correct or they no longer need the information I've spent hours working to find. I can barely take a lunch break because all of this occurs at noon and doesn't stop until 5. I have to take the GRE on September 3rd and no matter how hard I've been studying for about a month, I am still woefully unprepared. I don't understand math and never will. I have to deal with this car situation and I still don't know if my car is totalled. I have to go to court on the 13th of September to fight this ticket. I am leaving for Iceland three days later. I have to write all my personal statements before then. I have to also pay application fees for the five schools I am applying to. I have Russian classes two nights a week, have no time or energy to work out and my student membership doesn't allow me to go until 7:30, which is basically just useless. I ran out of Sinthroid and can't get an emergency prescription unless I get permission from my doctor, because I haven't had time to get bloodwork. I am butting heads with my boyfriend and sometimes I don't understand why he says things and I don't understand why my feelings are so easily shattered. I am a powder keg and I am about to explode and I can't take this anymore. I want to cry until the end of time. But I can't even stop for one minute.



mini (non)baking adventure.

I just had my first foray into no-bake cookies, based off a recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. I needed a dose of chocolate (in addition to the Ferrero Rochers that I had for breakfast this morning) and was feeling lazy and low on baking ingredients, so this is what I whipped together to satisfy my needs.

- 1/4 C Country Crock
- 1 C granulated Splenda
- 1/4 C fat free milk
- 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder

I mixed these together in a saucepan until they reached a boil, then let them boil for one minute. I then removed the pan from heat and added:

- 1/4 C crunchy reduced-fat Jif peanut butter
- 1 T vanilla (eyeballed)
- 1/2 - 1 t cinnamon (eyeballed)
- 1 1/2 quick oats

Stir, stir, stir. Then balled them up into tablespoons and put them on a wax paper-covered baking sheet. I flattened them slightly with the bottom of the spoon to make them resemble cookies and crushed some unsalted roasted peanuts and put them on top, slightly smashing them down so they were part of the cookie. I refrigerated them for about half an hour until they were set. And I must say, they satisfied my need for sweets, only have about 115 calories each, and I've already eaten 1.5. But I really want to actually bake. Like, for realsies.

I start my online Russian courses in 15 minutes. EEK!


So, it will be autumn soon, right? RIGHT?! I'm making chili, god damn it. (Food blogs like Brown Eyed Baker have taken my mind off my current automobile/financial situation, thankfully. As I sit at my desk and eat chocolate and beef jerky).

This recipe for Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins made my mouth water. Lock these in my mouth and throw away the key.


I'd want to pair this with a mind-numbingly spicy chili and HARK, the herald angels sing. I have found one.

Smokin' Turkey Chili:
This shit uses LIQUID SMOKE and INSTANT HOT CHOCOLATE MIX? Okay, I'm intrigued. Fuck it, I'm sold. Game on.

I've had enough of breakdowns and diagrams.

So, this morning I may or may not have totalled my car. This sucks. This sucks the penultimate amount of suck. According to the police report, it was my fault, but I swear to you that it absolutely was not. And the other driver was a dick who (lucky guy) was driving a Subaru and had basically no damage and drove off to go about his day, while my bumper and about 10 parts of my car were scattered across the road like a god damn Mazda massacre. Sobfest 2010. So, this is going to be really, really, really expensive. Goodbye, savings! Goodbye, shopping! Hello, insurance costs! Hello, new car(?)! Hello, court fees. And fuck you very much, driver and police officer.

On the bright side (there's got to be a bright side or I will just throw myself off a building), Amber has posted the most adorable pictures of Dave and I, which I am in love with. Here's one:

Now, back to the dark side. The GRE is in two weeks and I suck at math and fell asleep while trying to memorize shit about polygons and the damn distance formula last night. I have been taking practice exams and have been doing okay, but I fear that my score is going to be lacklustre at best and I won't make it into a Ph.D. program. Hopefully, schools will look at my GPA, awards, activities and recommendations and not focus on my inevitably crappola test scores. Standardized testing FTL. CAR ACCIDENTS, FTL.

No amount of Ferrero Rocher can get me through this day. Must have nap, chai tea and a good cry when I get home. And then Russian classes start at 8. I bought a gamer's headset last night at Best Buy and I am ready to rock this bitch like Call of Duty. Only less dying.



I don't love zucchini, but I need to bake with it before the summer is over and it is out of season. This week I plan on making zucchini chocolate chip muffins. However, I am going to tweak the recipe.

- 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 3/4 C sugar - I plan on substituting 1/4 of this with Splenda granulated sugar. The Splenda website advises that to maintain moistness in muffins, to add one or two tablespoons of honey. (So, new sugar component to recipe = 1/2 C sugar, 1/4 C Splenda, 1/2 T honey)
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t baking soda
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 C vegetable oil - I will be using half applesauce for this to reduce fat content, but to maintain the same texture. (New fat component = 1/4 C vegetable oil, 1/4 C applesauce)
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1 C shredded zucchini
- 1/4 C miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 C chopped walnuts (I think instead of walnuts, I will just use 1/2 C chocolate chips)

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Combine the egg, oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips and walnuts. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done.

I also want to find more recipes to utilize wheat germ, because I bought a package to make my granola bars last Sunday and want to explore its potential. So far, I'm finding a lot for granola, smoothies (which I have no interest in making), and health muffins. The two best recipes I've found are for Whole Wheat and Honey Pizza Dough and Poppy Seed and Banana Muffins.

This weekend many photographs were taken, many kisses and laughs were shared and many beers were drank. All in all, success. I can't wait till Amber posts all these masterpieces she has created.



My stomach hurts way too often for me to NOT have an ulcer. Anyways, finally it is Friday. Friday the 13th! Tonight, I drive with Dave to Rockville, MD to visit Amber. Photoshoots this weekend. Right now though - feeling like crap. I managed to get my nails done after work yesterday, in absolute zombie-mode, and it turns out that the last place that did my gel manicure fucked up big time. They combined products and used a soak-off lacquer and a non-soak-off top coat. Or something. Whatever it was, it took about 45 minutes to get my nail polish off and the guy felt so bad for me. He was like, "They trick you! You always come here! I do good french!" Loved him. I also think he gave me a $15 discount, which rules.

It's crunch time for grad school applications and I am freaking out. The GRE is in about three weeks, I still don't know my shit on the math section and need to essentially study for two hours every night until the test. Applications start in October and before then, I need to write out all my personal statements, gather my transcript, secure my recommendations, and plan school visits. I don't know how I'm going to find the time, now that I have these Russian courses online two nights a week. I'll pull through. It sucks that Iceland is right in the middle of all this hullabaloo, so I'm going to try and get a lot done before leaving, so I don't have to come back and have a week to do applications (I want to send mine out as early as possible). And hopefully I won't bomb the GRE and have to take it a second time. FUCK.


Listen to for amber

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


I am a fucking zombie today. Going to bed at 3 AM after eating what feels like 144,000 pounds of trail mix was a terrible, terrible decision when I knew I had to be up at 8:20 for work. No amount of iced coffee will ever get me through this day. My gel manicure (which is NOT supposed to chip) has chipped to the Nth degree and every time I look at my thumb I want to scream. On the bright side, tomorrow is Friday, I am going to Maryland to visit my cousin with Dave and Pandora is supplying me with a wonderfully eclectic mix of doo-wop, Motown, indie rock and whatever Beck would be classified as.

So, this weekend will be photo-shoot city and these are essentially the articles of clothing I am planning on bringing:

1. Deep V Halter Bodysuit

2. Grey Tie-Front Cuffed Pants:

3. Black High-Waisted Pencil Skirt

4. Black Tube Top

5. Urban Renewal Blue Floral Peter Pan Collar Dress
I can find no image of this, because for one it is a one-of-a-kind dress and I got it at a thrift store, so I have no idea how old it is.

6. Dark Grey High-Waisted Pleated Wool Skirt

7. Black Jeffrey Campbell Oxfords

8. Black Bow Belt (though mine is regrettably not leather)

9. White Ruffled Socks (I get so much shit for these, because they make me look like a 3-year old, but whatever, I LOVE THEM).

10. Black Knee High Socks

11. Beige Tank/Deep Orange Tank (self-explanatory)

12. (Possibly) Grey Shift Dress
Mine is similar to this, but much cuter.

13. (Possibly) Black Suspenders/Black Bow Headband

14. Retro-Inspired Seafoam Green Halter Bikini Top (thank you, Jess)

15. Jewelry, etc.

OY VEY, I have a lot of packing to do tonight and I'm sure I will be bringing more than this, because I have a problem with clothes. Clearly. And I'll probably bring my leather vest which makes me look like a biker. Love it.


Just for my own memory, here is my method for delicious egg salad - adapted from neverhomemaker:
1. Place 4 eggs in a pot and fill with water until the eggs are just about covered.
2. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
3. Cover and let sit for 13 minutes; place bowl in sink and fill with cold water and ice cubes, letting a little bit of water drip continuously from the faucet to keep it cold.
4. Place the eggs in the bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
5. Roll and remove shells.
6. Place in container and mix with a small handful of chopped baby spinach, a scant tablespoon of light mayo, 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, garlic salt, pepper and freeze-dried chives.
7. Mash with a fork and refrigerate.
8. Garnish with slices of red onion.

Tonight for dinner, I need to utilize all the vegetables I bought on Sunday at Wegmans so they don't go to waste when I'm away this weekend. So, the plan for dinner is a black bean veggie burger on a thin sandwich roll with avocado, salsa, and red onion, with a side of garlicky broccoli.

If my baby eggplant is still fresh, which I doubt, I will make a veggie wrap for lunch tomorrow. More than likely I will make myself a cold pasta lunch tonight with whole-wheat penne, broccoli and cannelloni (sp?) beans. Next post/edit - a playlist for Amber.


(kind of, sort of) vegan.

So, this is day 1 of my kinda sorta vegan lifestyle. I refuse to live without eggs or yogurt, but I'm going to cut out all meats, cheese and milk. And just sort of see what happens to my body.

This weekend has really gotten me back into the whole cooking/baking thing. Since I got this new job about a month ago, I haven't really been grocery shopping as much as picking up things here and there or eating out/at salad bars, which really adds up and doesn't really give me the same satisfaction as preparing a meal. So, Friday I cooked for Dave and made Pork & Muenster Chipotle Burgers (those chipotles in adobe sauce are incredible, but as I will continue to insist, they look like animal hearts) and some delicious dijon-y slaw.

This is not my burger, but this is what it looked like. Avocado makes everything so good. And the tomatillo was awesome, adding a tangy sweet crunch to the spiciness of the burger. But those things are so damn sticky when you take them out of the husk! It was the first time I'd ever actually handled one.

Then, Saturday night after a marvelous BBQ and a bite of a cannoli sent straight from heaven to Bound Brook, NJ, I got the baking bug - BAD - and decided to make these Pecan Crisp cookies.

And holy balls, they are delicious.

And then yesterday, I plumb lost my mind. I went to Wegmans (aka the Garden of Eden) and did my first real grocery shop in way too long. That bulk section is a dream come true. Except for some old dude who asked me, "What's up with your hammer and sickle tattoo? Are you aware what that means?" Fuck you, guy. I looked at him and just said, "Yes." And then he glared at me and walked away mumbling something about me being a rude/stupid little girl. Almost hurled one of those metal scoopers at his head. But, anywho. I decided to make myself some homemade granola bars after being shocked to shit at the list of ingredients in my Special K protein bars.

Homemade Granola Bars:

This is what mine looked like pre-cutting. I used crushed peanuts, crushed almonds, raisins and dried cranberries. And instead of brown sugar, I used Splenda brown sugar (which is a blend of Splenda and the real deal, apparently). They came out really delicious except they don't really stay together too well, which is fine because it's not like I'm eating them while I'm riding a bike or something. I assume that this is due to the Splenda, making the liquid mix less glue-y and more soupy.

After this, I made myself Szechuan pork with broccoli and yellow onions. I was going to use a recipe found online, where you basically make your own Szechuan sauce, but as I scoured Wegmans for peanut oil (FIVE DOLLARS?), corn starch and hoisin sauce, I saw a bottle of Szechuan sauce in the Asian food aisle and just said fuck it. It came out deliciously, though.

So, today at work, all of my bosses/superiors are out of the office, which leaves me with a day of internet trolling. Sweet.


Contemplating Veganism.

So, I think that for a week or two I would like to be vegan. Not for a political reason, not because I'm against the killing of animals, not because I hate the taste of meat, but mostly just because I'd like to see if I can do it and if it would make me feel better health-wise. I read the ingredients of my Special K protein bar this morning and was severely disturbed. Like, partially defatted peanut powder and all this crazy shit that should not be going into my body. So, this post is dedicated to vegan recipes that I would like to explore... orally.

Southwestern Tofu Scramble:

Pesto Pasta Salad:

Grilled Salt and Vinegar Potatoes:

Chana Masala:

Baked Falafel Sandwich:

Orzo Super Salad:

Sweet Potato Bake:

Artichoke Pancakes with Goat Cheese:
Oh, HOLY CRAP. Clearly, not vegan but I am soooooooooo loving the idea of this.

More to come, later.



When did I get so into trip-hop? I don't know what's HAPPENING to me. But, I decided that I needed to do some serious spring cleaning on my IPod. It's a tragedy that it only has 8G and I have to be so selective about what I can put on it. I refuse to NOT have the entire Rilo Kiley discography, along with Metric and a copious amount of Florence and the Machine, Modest Mouse, Joni Mitchell, etc. But there were so many stragglers that I was hesitant to part with, because "One of these days I am really going to want to listen to 'Put your hands where my eyes can see' by Busta Rhymes and if it's not here, I'm going to be PISSED.' Well, I put caution to the winds, deleted a slew of songs and artists and downloaded a million new things to expand my horizons. Only now I need to go on a 15 hour drive to explore all these new tunes.

New additions:
- More Architecture in Helsinki
- The entire "Guero" album by Beck
- The Black Keys
- More Cake
- Ceu (I liken her to a Brazilian Sade)
- Die Antwoord (I have a problem)
- The Exploding Hearts
- More Fleet Foxes
- Kasabian
- More Modest Mouse
- More Paramore
- Pinback
- The Replacements "Pleased to Meet Me" (this shit sounds so much better on vinyl)
- RJD2
- More Rolling stones
- She & Him "Volume 2"
- Sneaker Pimps
- Thievery Corporation
- Tom Petty "Wildflowers"
- The White Stripes "De Stijl"
- White Town

I feel fat. But what's new? I want to have a dance party.