I love to cook, it runs in the family. My grandfather was a restaurant owner and chef and one of my cousins is an executive chef in NYC so overall there are definitely some genes that I like to think I got. The past two years I hovered by my dad changing this and that all afternoon so this year I sad, "ya know what?! I am going to do it all." Well, not all, but most. I want to share with you all my ingredients and prep for each dish. Overall, this was way easier than I expected.
The night before
So, I have decided the key to a successful Thanksgiving dinner is spending an hour the night before prepping. It makes the next day less chaotic and keeps the kitchen clean. One of my top tips is to clean as you go. Having an overwhelming amount to clean up at once is no fun.
I was sick of and grossed out by the canned cranberry sauce that old people find weirdly nostalgic. Why are we eating this? It takes the shape of the can on the table, ridges and all. I will never understand why people continue to consume high fructose corn syrup, sugar and maybe 1 cranberry. It took me maybe 10 minutes to make this fresh and delicious cranberry sauce from scratch. And, everyone loved it. So take that ya nasty, jiggly Ocean Spray garbage!
- 1 bag of cranberries (12 oz)
- 1 orange for zesting
- 1/2 cup of honey
- Orange Juice
All you do is put the honey and orange juice in in a pot on the stove. When it starts to heat up, add all of the cranberries. Continuously stir until it looks like a jam. Lastly, add some orange zest. Zesting is simply LIGHTLY grating the orange peal over the pot. Pour the sauce into a bowl of your choosing. Something pretty if you have it. It needs to sit in the fridge for 6 hours so that is why you'll want to do it the night before. That's all, folks.
I prepped the seasoning for the turkey the night before because I figured it would taste better if all the ingredients marinated together overnight. Simple and fresh ingredients are key, don't overdo it.
- Fresh basil
- Fresh rosemary
- Garlic ( I kinda just poured a bunch in haha..)
- 1 cup Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Italian seasoning
All I did was chop this up and put it in a Tupperware to sit overnight. Probably took me 5 minutes total.
This was another quick and easy day-before prep. I just put it in a plastic bag and called it a night! Seriously, it was very easy.
- 1 tbs Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbs Honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
Just put it in the fridge and that's it!
Green beans were my first "famous" thanksgiving dish. They are really easy and if you prep them the night before, which takes 5 minutes. Then the next day all you have to do is throw them in a frying pan 30 minutes on high before dinner and you have delicious green beans. But make sure you are stirring them around every now and then. I also often put a pot cover on top of the frying pan to hurry along the process. I never measure these ingredients out, but just put your beans in a gallon bag and add these ingredients.
- Olive Oil
- Diced Onion
- Red pepper flakes
Sometimes I sprinkle Parmesan cheese over them when they are done cooking.
The next morning I woke up to the turkey already having the gross giblets taken out. Thanks, Dad.
I was pretty nervous about this part. A turkey can go wrong and who hasn't heard a horror story about one catching on fire? I just really didn't want it to be dry because nothing is worse. Well, besides the fire thing. I grabbed the seasoning out of the fridge and added a little more olive oil and stirred it really well. Next, and kind of a gross part, I spread the seasoning under the skin of the turkey. It wasn't too bad really. Then I put a toothpick in to hold the skin down tight. I spread the rest of the seasoning all over the turkey. Then before I put it in the oven, I put water in the base, probably 3 cups and a half stick of butter. My dad made the stuffing the night before, it is kind of his thing, so I just stuffed it in the turkey and stuck it in the oven around 11 a.m. at 325 degrees Fahrenheit with a thermometer in. You'll want to keep checking the temperature because it is done at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, be sure to baste it a few times. This means you take the liquid from the pan and put it all over the turkey. But don't take too long and let all of the heat out of the oven! Once it reaches the internal 165 degrees Fahrenheit turn the oven off but don't open it. You'll want the turkey to sit for about an hour. I also covered it in tinfoil. In total, this 18-pound bird took about 3.5 hours.
Sweet Potato Casserole
This is a new favorite in my family. Everyone was skeptical last year when I insisted on it, but I quickly turned them into a sweet potato enthusiasts.
- 3 lbs of sweet potato chopped into pieces
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (but I always sprinkle extra in.)
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup mini marshmallows (aka the best part)
First, you will want to peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Place them in a pot of water and bring them to a boil. Once they are tender and easy to mash, strain the water out and start mashing the sweet potato in the pot. Add everything but the marshmallows and make sure it is all stirred in. Next, put this mixture into an oven-safe pan. I used a rectangular Pyrex pan. Put the marshmallows on top and toss it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 min or until the marshmallows are golden brown.
This is one of my favorite salads of all time and it's basically the Cosi signature salad. See the dressing above if you need a reminder.
- Diced Pear
- Halved Grapes
- Goat Cheese
- Mixed Greens
I used 2 pears for 8 people and it was more than enough. Just toss everything together and add the dressing right before you sit down for dinner.
Things we bought
Ok, so not everything was made by me. We have this grocery store called Crown Market in West Hartford and it is amazing. But if you live somewhere else, Whole Foods has some delicious prepared foods. I got cornbread, mashed potatoes and gravy at the Crown Market because they are just all so good.
Wait, what about dessert?
My sister Claire made an apple pie (secret family recipe, sorry) and we asked our guests to bring dessert. This is always a good thing to ask people to bring if they ask...Makes it easier on you and who doesn't love choosing a dessert? Your guests feel helpful and then you don't have to worry about baking. Win-win situation.
So there you have it! A stress-free Thanksgiving feast. If you're wondering, my dad makes the stuffing with Italian sausage, cranberries and celery...definitely the way to do it. Also, I used Pillsbury crescent rolls as the other bread choice. Maybe that's the canned cranberry sauce of my generation. Whatever, definitely not giving that up :)
Feel free to comment or message me any questions if you're making any of these dishes!
The other day I awoke to the birds chirping, the sun shining and my pup snuggling up in my bed. A seemingly beautiful morning until I started scrolling through my Twitter feed to find a photo of a gravestone that had "Teen Vogue" on it. Pause. My heart skipped a beat. I quickly clicked on this New York Times article and found to my devastation that Teen Vogue print will be discontinued by Conde Nast.
If you have been following my blog for the past year, you will know that my senior independent study project focused on Teen Vogue and their fearless pursuit to revolutionize women's pages. With the hiring of their current editor Elaine Welteroth, the magazine transformed from exclusively beauty and fashion to a #woke philosophy. People started to notice them after their article, "Donald Trump is Gaslighting America" went viral. You can read about all of this in my previous blog post.
Teen Vogue has now been about news, politics and social justice. It has featured women of all colors, shapes and sizes. Featured LGBTQ+ topics and ethnically diverse beauty tips. An overall shift to focusing on ALL women.
After school ended, my obsession with Teen Vogue grew as I started to follow them more closely and low-key stalk Elaine's social media every day, multiple times a day. I have never experienced a more brilliantly fearless, trendy and down to earth human. She embodies everything I believe women in journalism should be.
So, the news that Conde Nast was DISCONTINUING the print of Teen Vogue, aka the part Eliane is in charge of, has me SHOOK for so many reasons. Here are those reasons and questions I have surrounding them.
I am very confused why they would do this not only because of how popular the magazine has become over the past year but because of how amazing she has been at this job. It is baffling as to why they would want to stop any part of her team from producing this revolutionized magazine. Or in any way, shape or form possibly lose her and her image alongside the publication. Do they understand without her, this magazine is not as cool? This is disrespectful to her, and her team's fearless work! Another Times article reads, "Condé Nast is also considering an additional role for her." Considering?
Elaine, girl. If you ever bless me with a read, I am 100 percent down for a start-up.
IS PRINT REALLY DEAD?
We all have seen the massive shift publications are taking from print to digital, but when it comes to magazines this does not really make sense to me. I understand the shift for newspapers. I love the look of newspapers, I loved designing pages for a newspaper. But let's be honest, newspapers are very difficult and awkward to hold. Reading news does not have to be in physical print to get the point. But magazines are an entirely different beast. They are not just their content but the art and creativity that surrounds it. The look of a magazine is a huge factor in the experience of reading one. The creativity of their design is vital to their demographic and style. Print magazines are an ART.
Why can't they cancel some other print?
Why Teen Vogue? I don't know anything about the analytics of their magazines but I feel that if you put them all on a line chart with years on the x-axis and popularity on the y-axis, Teen Vogue would look something like a plane taking off while the others would be more like a hilly bike ride. Is it because of the controversy? What is going on? Also, there are definitely magazines with far less significant content that does not need a print addition. Let's take a look at our standards here people...
A question you may have for me -- Ok Allie, so why does it really matter if the publication is still online?
It matters to me because I believe that a movement like this deserves print documentation. I love the internet as much as any other millennial, but the internet and it's content is not tangible. Anyone can post something online and people's videos, photos, blog posts and so on go viral every day. But only a select few writers have the capacity to physically print their work. I feel like things disappear on the internet. They get covered by new stories every hour. Teen Vogue has created a platform for more young people to feel like they are in the know. Teen Vogue is a publication that WE own together as a collection of people who has never had this outlet before. It's finally a place where we own the discussion and our voices are heard. A place where we know the people making the magazine want to hear us because we are smart. They encourage our questions, curiosities, empowerment and empower us. AND give us tips on glitter nail polish. All of this combined is to help us prove and show the world that we are complex and we are smart. We are boss!
A publication changing the way we all see the importance of and open discussion on women's rights, LGBTQ+, people of color and politics deserves to be printed because of the significance of its history. It deserves to be printed for us.
Take a look at the most recent Teen Vogue cover. TELL ME THIS ISN'T REVOLUTIONARY? I am framing it.
IS NOTHING SACRED?
Sometimes I read something and forget the context .5 seconds later. Partly due to it not really resonating, or it just being another piece of news that is here one day and gone from my mind the next. And sometimes, it's due to my lack of short-term memory. But, every once in a while I read something and think about it for days, in this case, weeks. I recently shared a Vogue piece published in their living section titled, How I Learned to Stop Being a "Chill Girl" and Start Being Me, and just can't get it out of my mind. So naturally, I decided to write about it.
"Somewhere along the trek between girlhood and womanhood, I went through a phase of trying excessively hard to be the most chill, fabulously blasé person ever. The problem was that I was not chill."
I feel like we can all relate to this, although we don't want to admit it. Whether we have been there or are there, it happens to everyone at some point. It's natural to want to fit in, be part of a cool crowd. But what isn't natural is being anything short of ourselves and what Martine Thompson and I have in common is that we both agree with that. But there are a few elements I feel need to be added to her mantra of chillness. Or un-chillness...Or finding self-chillness.
I wonder what being chill even means? Does this mean you always go with the flow? Does it mean you smoke weed? Does it mean you never complain about anything? I don't really know who defines being "chill" but I do know that I too have struggled with the want to be this undefined chill girl. Sometimes I feel that we go too far to look as if we don't really care, but then I wonder when not caring became cool? And what are the not cool things to care about?
Pause. None of that matters.
It took me a while to realize the only way to feel cool is to just be myself. And I still never feel cool all the time...does anyone?
Surprisingly, the hardest thing to do in life is be yourself because that means you need to find yourself. It means you have to un-become everything you aren't and start becoming everything your soul wants you to be. But that is really scary because it means exposing yourself to the possibility of people criticizing who you truly are and not just a fad that everyone is doing.
I'll let you in on a secret, those people don't matter.
I don't think I've ever felt like I have a perfect life. I've always felt that I am too uptight about this and that, and it stopped me for so long from really being me. It stopped me from writing this blog and it stopped me from sharing it. I actually started this blog, originally named New England Girl, when I was in high school. No one would ever know that because it was only until recently I stopped worrying about what "other people" would think and just worried about what I love to do.
And I think that's pretty chill while still knowing there are so many parts of me I need to find.
Here are some tips from Martine Thompson's article with my experience and love added in for extra help. If you want the full experience of this post read, How I learned to Stop Being a Chill Girl and Start Being Me, first.
"Get Comfortable Saying No"
But also, get comfortable with saying yes...
"Once a people-pleaser realizes the world won’t crumble into smithereens if she says no or changes her mind, it’s a new day. “I’m not crazy about it.” “I don’t like that.” “I don’t want to go.” “That doesn’t work for me.” “I’m uncomfortable.” “I’m not happy.” “Stop.” “I’m going to pass.” “No, thanks.” “NO.” These are all great responses to start practicing. Your friend won’t hate you for choosing a night in alone over partying. The stranger pestering you at the bar isn’t owed a dissertation or elaborate excuse as to why you won’t be giving them your number or engaging in conversation."
I agree with part of this. I think being able to say no is a good thing but I got way too comfortable with saying no at one point that I didn't know why I was saying it. There are times I made an excuse for not going somewhere because I didn't really know anyone and ended up just watching Netflix until 3 a.m. and SnapChat stories of everyone else having fun wondering why I was the one in bed. Then recently, I mean really recent, I started saying yes to going places where I didn't really know anyone. I mean, part of this is because I don't know many people in NYC but part of it is because I decided to switch this habit. I think we get too used to wanting to be comfortable, but allowing yourself to step out of your comfort zone is important. This is how we learn new things about ourselves, likes and dislikes. This is how we make new friends and experience things we never thought we would before. Stay safe, but surprise yourself every now and then.
"Push Through Imposter Syndrome"
Take a second to compliment yourself.
"Ever feel like a complete fraud who’s weaseled her way into opportunities she’s undeserving of? And it’s only a matter of time before your contemporaries discover you aren’t supposed to be there? Yeah, that bitchy little nuisance is known as imposter syndrome. It shrouds you in self-doubt and whispers, “You don’t belong,” while undermining your talents. It’s that worrisome feeling of, Okay, but really, do I suck?...While in the midst of the chill girl routine, it’s easy to put on a brave face and avoid interrogating the root of your doubts. Unpack it! Push through while giving yourself as many positive affirmations as you need, and know this too shall pass. Those hiccups along the way aren’t proof you’re a fraud; they’re confirmation you’re human. Keep going."
I think everyone has moments of self-doubt. It is so easy to think about what you aren't good at and what other people are better at. I think I've felt this most when looking for a job. I question my abilities, wonder why I didn't do more when I could, think about the other people who probably went to a better school or had better grades. But none of that is very productive in becoming your best "cool" self. Someone will always be smarter than you, someone will always be prettier than you but no one will ever or can ever be you.
And don't forget it.
"Get to Know Yourself"
"Funnily enough, once I vowed to live in my truth (whatever that happens to be at the moment) and to invest time in figuring out who the heck I am, doing so in turn made me genuinely more chill. Think of it this way: The same way you’re at ease when lounging at home in sweats or whatever your go-to comfy clothes are is the same internal result when you’re your authentic self. You breathe a bit easier and navigate a bit smoother, which translates into everything."
To know oneself is a life-long pursuit. Realizing what you truly like and don't just like because everyone else does is a challenge. It really is. The honest truth is that no matter what you do in life, you'll probably be judged by someone so you might as well be yourself. Your quirks are what people will remember and the ones who love them are the ones who should be in your life. Anyone else is so irrelevant, you just can't let them bother you. Easier said than done but, practicing that mindset is so important to reaching full self-chillness potential.
"Don’t Apologize for Your Quirks, Embrace Them"
"Despite the allure of chill tricking us into thinking otherwise, we don’t have to morph into something disingenuous for the sake of appeasing others. Stop giving apologies you don’t owe. Rightfully take up space. Know you have something of value to add to the conversation. Know when to shush and just listen. Rustle feathers. Do more things that make you nervous."
There is NOTHING wrong with agreeing to disagree with people, even friends, and even best friends. Never apologize for your inner beliefs and say them out loud. And don't forget that your opinion can change and evolve. So many of my ideas have shifted over time from just talking about them with my friends. New people bring new perspectives and can only make your thoughts stronger and more defined.
"Breathe It Out"
...and let that shit gooooo.
"Stop. Take a breath. Life as you know it has likely ended and restarted your fair share of times, and you’re still standing. It’s hurled unimaginable detours, and yet here you are, still breathing, still pushing, still going... You’ll learn to reckon with a lack of closure and unanswered questions simply being a part of this peculiar, wondrous journey called life. And none of these curveballs will ever require the utmost poise or chill-ness."
Sometimes we just need to let things go. There are times where we can't control what bothers us and there is nothing we can do to make it stop. Just let it go. It's so hard to let things go. Have a quick rant to a friend or write it all down and then stop. Being a salt shaker will never make you feel the chillness we crave.
No blog (like mine) or person (like me) can ever tell you the exact secret to feeling self-worth. It is something we must all find ourselves and come to the realization of on our own time and through our own experiences.
Accept who you are and embrace it. Let go of what was and have faith in everything that will be you...And already is whether you know it yet or not.
So I took a short hiatus from my weekly açai expedition but I am back. I ventured into Brooklyn after doing some research on the best of the best and stumbled upon Little Choc Apothecary in Williamsburg. After looking at the website and location tag photos on Insta, I knew that I needed to adventure to this spot. I haven't spent much time in Williamsburg, but I have only heard good things. Partly from friends but mostly from Gossip Girl because Williamsburg is where the Humphry family loft is and who could forget that. I am actually here right now and just finished eating the bowl, so all of the details are fresh in my mouth...Literally.
Name: Little Choco Apothecary
Their claim to fame is that they are NYC's 1st fully vegan creperie.
Location: 141 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Ok, I have to say the base definitely isn't the best I've had. It wasn't very thick and it melted really quickly. To their defense, it isn't specifically an açai bowl place. I was really tempted to just ditch the whole açai thing and get a crêpe because they look really good and I can rarely get them because they always have dairy. So I will be coming back to get one, but for the sake of journalism consistency, I got the bowl. Although, it is taking all my strength to sit here right now and not order one.
I got the pb&J which was described as açai, peanut butter, homemade chia jam, banana, date, coconut milk, Anita's yogurt, homemade buckwheat granola. I hate to say I was a little disappointed because the bowl was so incredibly beautiful, but I'm not here to write an advertisement. I was a little disappointed because I thought it would taste like a pb&j but it really didn't. I wish it had a glob of PB and way more jam because I couldn't really taste it. Don't get me wrong it was good but I think a few adjustments could make it way better.
Ok, I didn't even finish it because it was so big and I was full! It was served in a beautiful bowl that sat on a dish and it looked like a work of art. However, I was thinking it better be huge considering the price...
Like...Woah. That's pretty pricey. The granola was really good and there were a lot of homemade elements so I understand but that's a bit crazy if you ask me.
I could sit here for hours because it is so beautiful. Downstairs where you walk in is a counter where you can order to-go but then upstairs (where I am right now) is like a little restaurant cafe with wood floors and a brick wall. All along the wall are shelves with glass jars of different herbs and tea blends. The tables are wooden with little yellow wooden chairs and the natural light is beautiful. The people I have interacted with who work here are very sweet and hip. Overall it's a great vibe and a great place to come with friends or to do a few hours of work.
Overall Tastiness: 3
So, it wasn't the best açai bowl I've had but it wasn't bad. I'm trying to be more critical with my reviews of food and I am always bad at being mean, but I wouldn't consider this to be "mean" per say. I just think that there are way better options here and they specialize in crêpes so if you come by, which I do highly recommend, I'd go with that instead.
So there you have it, my first açai of Brooklyn. I'll be back for crepes soon.
Let me start by saying I'm no "expert" in fashion. I've never worked in fashion, never studied it in school. But, I like to think that I have an above average sense of fashion. My friends like borrowing my clothes and my sisters steal them so I'd say that's a good telltale. Recently, New York Fashion Week hit the streets and I followed the new styles and shows via Snapchat, Instagram stories and of course, Vogue's photo slideshows. Vogue has an index with clickable links to photos of each designer's show. It is very helpful when one is deprived of a ticket, as most of us common folk are.
I wouldn't consider myself a fashionista because that seems very professional, I've come up with my own term, fashion-ish-ta. Seems more fitting. Before I get to my runway review...Story time.
I did have one fashion week experience of my own and I must say I was feeling pretty glamorous. One my favorite bloggers, Amber Fillerup Clark, was walking in the Rebecca Minkoff show and posted that she would be having a meet and greet after she hit the runway (ugh, the life.) So I thought, "umm amazing I'll go and meet Amber and my life will be close to complete... this is awesome." I was struttin' myself down to 96 Greene Street, trying to feel confident in my Free People skirt and $3 Charlotte Russe crop top as I passed a man in a full Gucci jumpsuit, when I approached a very long line outside of the Rebecca Minkoff store.
I approached a security guard outside the Rebecca Minkoff store. "Umm hi, is this the line to see Amber?" He looked very confused and replied, "this is the line for the Rebecca Minkoff after party."
I paused thinking my dreams of meeting Amber were crushed. But, I figured I'd ask to go inside anyway...And he said yes. To be fair, I think anyone could go in but small details like that aren't important.
So there I stood, inside the Rebecca Minkoff after party holding a glass of champagne.
And there she was in all her glory...Amber! I definitely cut the line to meet her but I wasn't taking any chances and one must be assertive when meeting a celebrity. Luckily it seemed quite organic because the girl talking to her asked me to take their photo. Hopefully, I didn't act too weird or awkward as I low key...Ok, high key fangirled over her to her. But I told her about my blog and how I love her style and how she is an inspiration and she was just so sweet. I even tweeted at her later and she responded so that's when you know you've made it. I thought all the excitement was over and I was still shaking a little from talking to her when a photographer approached me and asked if I wanted a photo with Rebecca. I embarrassingly said, "Rebecca Minkoff?" as if there was another Rebecca to take a photo with. So in one day, I met two amazing people and I feel that this is a true fashion week accomplishment.
Now to the runway, back to the fashion-ish-ta take. I have picked my favorite and not-so-favorite looks of 2017 New York Fashion Week for you all and again, not an expert but who doesn't love playing fashion police every now and then? Sorry if I offend ~fashion~ but let's be honest, some of these "designs" are quite unsightly.
* All photos are from Vogue and AOL...I have linked the photo slideshows to each.
Best Trend: Sparkle and Shine
So I was into that whole matte trend for .5 seconds but I've always been a glitter kind of girl. I mean seriously who doesn't love a little shine in their life? I've noticed a lot of shimmer and glittery looks in many shows and I am very excited about it.
Worst Trend: The Way oversized
OKAY WHAT IS WITH THE OVERSIZED BAGGY LOOK? Like seriously I don't get what is appealing about an outfit that looks 50 sizes too big. I get form fitting and not skin tight but the whole, "I'm wearing my dad's Sunday best" thing is not cute and it never will be.
Oh, please no trend: Orange is the new black
I'm just not a fan of orange and I see quite a lot of it on the runway...Please fashion gods, please no.
Best: Rebecca Minkoff
Let's start with Rebecca Minkoff because I kinda-sorta know her.
First off, here is the jacket I tried on which I absolutely LOVE but was upwards of $500. By the way, the back says "feminista" and the lettering artist, Brian Kaspr, was at the party with a booth painting anything anyone wanted on the back which was one of the most creative and seriously impressive things I've ever seen. Check out his website because I'm now obsessed with him. Inside the store, there were really cute t-shirts also but I don't see them on the website or in the show. Overall, her clothing and accessories are super wearable. It's not anything insane that only a celebrity could wear, which I think is very appealing. Floral for spring is really nothing new but I love a good floral rocker-chic look. (I also think I need one of those fuzz jackets...thoughts?)
Worst: Jeremy Scott
I don't want to shit on Jeremy too much because I do like some of his looks. That being said, I really don't understand this one trend he used for 3 of his designs. It kind of reminds me of the gems I would use to decorate journals and picture frames when I was 8? Do you feel me on that? It's like those gems were magnified x20 and then glued on black outfits. I just honestly think it looks tacky. I feel like the only reason someone would think this is fashion is the fact it was made by Jeremy Scott. If you saw this in a thrift shop or even TJMaxx wouldn't you send it via Snapchat to all of your friends with the caption "wtf" because I would. Also, do we like the monster thing? Because I could see it being a big thing just not on me.
Gucci wore a tracksuit with loafers, so I wore a tracksuit with loafers. I mean seriously, could there be any better news than tracksuits being back? Should I have saved my Juicy velour sets circa 2008? Mmmm, ok maybe I should not get too ahead of myself. I feel like it's cliche to like the Gucci line but I am also slightly surprised because I expected something insane. Matter of fact, although these pieces are very high fashion, to the right occasion, like when I get invited to a magical ball, I would ask my fairy godmother to put me in that gown. Maybe minus the purple crystal swim cap.
Hahaha haha ha ok sorry what? What's cookin' good lookin? (Sorry, had to.) I really just don't understand how people who design clothes like this get a show in Fashion Week. Honestly, if I was at this show I would have laughed out loud when the lady with the giant floral bow ?shirt? start walking down the runway. Clearly a re-gift. This takes the whole baggy trend to a new level. That dress shirt is legitimately for a giant. And the giant bathrobe? Okay, maybe that is comfortable but seriously wut? The half khaki half black pants would have gone great in the notorious Norfeldt Elementary School Opposite Day. This is a day in kindergarten where people wear things like one sneaker and one sandal. I remember the creative parents taking two pairs of pants and sewing them just like that. So, Norfeldt saw it first, nice try Vaquera. Please send me a list of what buyers said yes to this collection. Please send me the phone number or email of anyone who purchases these clothes because I would really love to understand the appeal. Also, going through this slideshow is scary because many of the model's facial expressions are terrifying! I would start by laughing but then stop right away in fear of being turned into a zombie.
Best: Alice + Olivia
I already like Alice + Olivia, not that I own anything, but in general, this designer Stacey Bendet has always stood out to me as having really cute looks and I am very pleased with the use of embroidery. I have been loving the embroidery look for a while and I am so pumped that it is starting to pop up everywhere. I mean these jeans are killer. I have to admit, my sister Erin was way ahead of the whole bell bottoms thing because she asked for them for Christmas in 2011. I found it questionable then, but the 60s and 70s styles are definitely coming back...and I am not mad about it. Also, check out the second look in the slideshow below. How amazing is that dress? That jacket? And the boots? Everything! Dead. 11/10, Stacey.
Worst: Marc Jacobs
I really wanted to love the Marc Jacobs looks. My first designer purchase was from a Marc by Marc Jacobs store in Providence Town, Cape Cod and I always love his stuff. I was honestly going to look at his show to put it in as a best but then wow was I surprised. These patterns remind me of the 60s disco dress I wore in a High School Pops n' Jazz show that was from a Party City costume set. Also, Marc, why are you on that baggy trend? What has the world come to where women's fashion is an oversized men's collared shirt? What is the Horton Hears A Who Sally O'Malley collar vibe going on? Let's leave that look to the Dr. Seuss character...She wore it better.
That's about all I have for my fashion takes. If you saw any worst or best looks you believe are worthy of sharing, let me know. I can start an ongoing gallery of contributing fashion-ish-ta thoughts because there will never be enough.
It always fascinates me to hear about people's first memories. How do we remember certain experiences from such a young age? My very first memory is from age 3 or 4, I was putting on a puppet show for my mom while she was in the kitchen. In this brief snapshot, there is chair between the entrance of the kitchen opening and living room right by the stairs up to the main level, we lived in a raised ranch at this point, and I had pigtails. But that's all I can remember. Another very early memory I have is of visiting New York City when I was 6 years old. I remember being on the Staten Island Ferry and then on some steps dancing around with my sister Erin by the bay. I remember the skyline because my parents were sure to make a point of the Statue of Liberty and the famous "twin towers." Although we do have photos from this trip, I still remember these two small snapshots. I think sometimes we mix up true memories with photographs or home videos of memories, so it is important to clarify the difference to oneself. But I also think photos can bring back details of memories we have.
In the very first episode of the podcast Serial, Sarah Koenig discusses the reason why we remember certain events and why we also often forget events from only a few days prior. I've often found myself pondering this opening sequence, although it has been about 2 years since I listened to Serial. She opens episode 1 discussing how it is very hard to account for your time. Mundane daily tasks such as, "how you got to work on Monday" and what the weather was, who did you talk to and did you go to a store? If so, did you buy anything? Trying to account for a day is difficult, let alone a day that was 16 years ago. With social media, phone photo archives and text messages, this has become easier because we can look back to spark memories. Only a few photographs document this trip I took to New York in August of 2001, but I am positive that I have a vivid memory of the skyline with the towers.
Sarah Koenig asks teenagers about a day weeks back, and they struggle to remember certain days. She separately asks her nephew Sam and his friends about one day and they all recall it differently. One friend remembers being at a movie with her nephew but he recalls working that night. However, one friend remembers the day clearly because it was the last day of state testing and he had saved up to go to a nightclub. She concludes that if a significant event happens, you remember that plus events that happened throughout the day much better. When nothing significant happens you are not likely to remember.
5 weeks after this visit to New York City, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center. I think people underestimate how much children pick up on because I very clearly remember my mother calling my family frantically. She was so worried because my uncle was in New York City that day. I never got the full story, so I called him yesterday to ask what really happened and what it was like to be there. I have heard versions of the story, but never asked myself.
"Part of the reason everyone was freaking out, is because they couldn't reach me and part of the reason they couldn't reach me is that they were all talking to each other and I couldn't get through. I called a million times but everyone's phone was busy. No one had a mobile phone."
I remember everyone freaking out, and I remember my mom being on the phone the entire time, so that memory checks out.
He was on what is called a "road show" which apparently is when you take a company and list them on a stock exchange before they are owned by multiple institutions. So when you are in this process you travel around the world and tell the company story. The week of 9/11/2001 was the week they happened to be on their New York stop.
This road show was actually the trip he met his wife on. She was a flight attendant and he gave her his card, how cute is that.
Back to the story.
They got to New York the company he was meeting with had an office in the World Trade Center. Now, he can't remember what time or what floor the meeting was on exactly but he does know it was in the morning. So that was the original plan, morning meeting in the World Trade Center on 9/11. At the last second, there was another meeting scheduled for a location in Midtown and since the first company had an office in Midtown as well, they switched the location.
"We had the meeting in the Midtown office and when we walked out of that meeting to go to the next I could see the Twin Towers, even from Midtown, looking down and I was like, 'look there's a fire at the top of the Twin Tower' it was only one tower at this point, but I was like, 'that Tower is on fire.' No one knew what was the cause of the fire. Then we went into the second meeting and it was on a trading floor so there were all glass walls and while the CEO was making the presentation, I could see through the walls that everyone was crowded around a TV. I went over and figured out what was going on so we stopped the meeting and all left."
As they were walking outside, the second plane hit.
"What I remember most was the smell, it smelled so powerfully of burning plastic. It was much more than just the visual of the towers on fire."
Everyone was trying to figure out what to do but he knew they had to get back to the hotel and re-book the rooms since they had already checked out with plans to fly to the next location later in the day. He knew that was not going to happen anymore. Luckily they got the rooms back. At that point, everyone was just trying to figure out what to do. No one had any idea what was really going on.
Once the visuals of the planes came through they were sure it was terrorists but it was terrifying because everything was just so unclear. Everything in New York City was closed and they couldn't leave for two days. The only way to get out of the city was walking because the subways were shut down. They were able to leave two days later because the company had a private jet and flew out in the 45 minute period the sky was open again.
"I was lucky...I'm pretty sure we were going to be halfway up. I don't think we were going to be at the top... But I'm glad I never had to know."
When I asked what was going on my parents told me what happened. My dad also showed me the footage of the planes a few days later. Everyone was talking about it so there was really no hiding this from a kid who clearly knew something was going on. I remember thinking this was an accident and I was confused when I started to figure out it was on purpose. Of course, my parents didn't go into detail about what terrorism was but for the first time, I knew that there are bad people in the world. I always consider this a loss of innocence moment in my life.
On September 11, 2017, I visited the memorial. I wanted to talk to people, ask them why they were there, use their quotes in this post, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. This is one element of journalism I struggle with the most, the compassion for people's emotions. I just didn't want to ruin the day or moment for anyone even though I just want to share a story for the sake of storytelling. As I walked up to the memorial I felt an overwhelming wave of emotion. The kind you feel in the back of your eyes before you tear up. But once I looked over the edge and heard the water and saw the flowers placed out all around the memorial, I felt differently. I could feel the sense of unity and community, it was very special and unique to feel that everyone was there for different reasons, yet all the same to show a pride and respect for the country and the people who not only lost their lives but the people who lost their loved ones.
I feel very fortunate to have this memory of the skyline with the towers, and in a way, I feel that this has always given me a special connection with the City. I imagine that being only 6 years old, I am one of the last generations and age groups to possibly be able to remember the day. Although September 11, 2001, it is a blur of traumatic snapshots, it has also engraved the skyline into my memory. I feel that the reason I have wanted to move here for so long is that I have held onto this compassion for New York my entire life.
So in trying to wrap up all of these thoughts and stories into one, I suppose I'll just leave you with this:
We rarely ever think anything is the last time, we always think there will be more. We think we have forever, but we don't. We never know the significance of a moment in our lives until it becomes a memory. Life is beautiful, then it's ugly, then it's spectacular once again. It can be mundane and routine and then it can shine brighter than every moment before it. But at any moment, whether it be sparkling or seemingly just another day, it is important to remember that just the significance of it existing another second in the universe is a reason to feel blessed to breathe in life itself.
Ok so, remember that time last week I said I wanted to find a place that is more independently owned and less of a chain but still really amazing? I found it. Its name is Loco Coco and it's pretty adorable. My friend Morgan and I were on the hunt for a perfect birthday bowl to celebrate turning 23 and (in quotes) "thriving" and came across Loco Coco a few shops down on the corner of Lexington and East 64th Street. As we stood at the doorway with pink neon lights shining on our faces, we were greeted by a man sitting on the bench outside wearing a Loco Coco's t-shirt. We would soon find out this was the founder/owner, Max. He is only 23 years old and had recently graduated from Northeastern University. He told us that he created this place to add a more healthy and natural spot in the city. He was sick of the chain-like açai bowl spots in New York and thought something different and fresh needed to be born. So here he is now, running the cutest little Açai place I've ever seen. And, I have a feeling there are more to come. (Yes, ever category is going to be 5/5.)
Name: Loco Coco
Location: 835 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10065
There were so many base options to choose from I was almost overwhelmed but with help from Max, I came to the decision of their most popular Açai bowl, "Purple Rain" which has a base of Acai, Banana, Blueberry, Pineapple and Coconut Mylk. I like how they spelled it "mylk" because to be honest I've always been confused why non-dairy products are labeled "milk" because they aren't. Anywho, I have never had a base that has pineapple in it and it was definitely different. It had this sweet and tangy taste to it that, at first, Morgan and I couldn't figure out. But after looking back at the menu and seeing pineapple we had one of those "ah-ha" moments and decided we like it.
The add-ons "purple rain" came with were granola, blueberry, banana, raspberry, chia seeds and coconut flakes but I ended up swapping the raspberries for strawberries and we both added PB because...Well, PB is life and I'm grateful I have a friend who understands this. But, the PB was extra. All of the dry ingredients were in little glass bowls displayed on the counter and it just looked so instagrammable and fresh.
FINALLY. That's all I have to say about this.
Price: $12.51 (With the PB add-on and tax)
This is the most expenive I have gotten, but also the largest by far. And, I didn't have to add the PB.
For starters, Max was really nice but then the people working inside were equally as kind and energetic. One of the guys working saw me taking photos of the place and he goes, "ohhh, yeah! Instagram straight flexin?!" With a huge smile and in a non-judgemental way. I'm like yes, you understand me. Then the girl who was making our bowl was like an artist putting everything on so beautifully and she even asked if we wanted the lids off because she already knew we wanted to take a photo. The inside was all white tile with a neon pink "Loco Coco" sign which is very hip and in. I mean, if you own an açai bowl place you have to know it needs to be a place people can take good photos. If you didn't take a photo of your bowl, did you even have one?
Overall tastiness: 5
Overall, I would say Loco Coco Açai is a huge success on all levels. If I have to take someone in the city to an Açai bowl place, I would come here for said reasons above. I just really love how original and clean the entire design feels and looks. It is also in short walking distance from Central Park, the perfect place to enjoy a bowl. The bar-like area inside has stools, which is always a plus for me and there is a bench outside. They also have pitaya bowls, which I am dying to try. So Max, if you are reading this, we loved your place. 2 thumbs up at 5/5 all around.
Next week I think I am going to try and make my own...Wish me luck.
After the presidential election and my time as exec at TNH, I needed a break from writing about politics. For an entire year, I wrote twice-weekly editorials which could have been on anything, but the world was too hard for me to ignore. I had too large of a platform not to bring issues of freedom of speech, women's rights and overall human rights to print. At first, I was so nervous. I never thought that I could form a political opinion in print. But once I started typing, seeing my words in print and interacting with community opinions (good, bad and ugly) I not only realized a passion but a future career. I have missed writing about politics and realized that I need to bring that back to my blog.
Politics is sexy. Being informed is empowering, and there is nothing more attractive than a gal who knows her sh*t. Think of it like pop-culture gossip except for real-life topics that matter and affect your future. I mean, taking in the buzz on Kim Kardashian West's photo shoot posing as Jackie Kennedy and possibly darkening her skin is one thing (...ok, another post for another day -- that could get political) but having knowledge and opinions about the world matters a lot.
So yesterday as I was going through my daily ritual of viewing Twitter Moments (great feature) and started reading an article from the Teen Vogue news and politics section...Aka my absolute favorite section of the web. The article was "Trump Administration Stayed Rule Targeting Ending the Wage Gap," and I thought, "Oh of fuc**ng course! The Trump administration making the world less transparent! I am shocked! Wow!" And I also thought, "Oh wow! this is targeting women, gender, and race equality! I am shocked!"
Really, I'm not shocked if you didn't pick up on the sarcasm. I am shook.
If you haven't heard yet, the White House recently announced it was going to stop Baerack Obama's wage discrimination protections that were supposed to take effect this spring. If you aren't mad about this, we can't be friends.
What I learned from the Teen Vogue article was that according to a study done at the Pew Research center, women earned 83 percent of what men did in 2015. Aka they would need to work an extra 44 days to make up for the gap. But for women of color, the gap is larger. Reading this and now typing it just makes my heart sink.
A great progression to this issue was addressed by Obama by making this transparency rule. Numbers don't lie, people and business can get called out. This decision by Donald Trump is a direct attack on women...again. Trump is telling companies that it is fine to discriminate based on race and gender.
But what really got me in a tizzy was Ivanka Trump's response published in Newsweek: "Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results,” the statement said. “We look forward to continuing to work with EEOC, [the Office of Management and Budget], Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.”
How would transparency not give results? Explain further, I beg it.
Also, what would you propose, Ivanka? This rule was created by Obama and the then chair women of the EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Jenny Yang. So I would really like to understand how a rule that would have required businesses to record and report how much they pay employees of various genders, races, and ethnicities, "would not yield the intended results."
But, the EEOC thought it would so...
Not too far back in April, PBS reported this quote by Ivanka:
“I’m listening, I’m learning, I’m defining the ways in which I think that I’ll be able to have impact,” regarding empowering women in the U.S. economy.
Also, see her Tweet above if you missed it.
For a very, very long time, I have not understood Ivanka Trump. I have wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt so many times. I have a weakness giving people chances even after they blow it, especially when it comes to other powerful women. But I just don't get it anymore. Ivanka could be such a changing force for women but she instead has strings holding her limbs with an orange hand dancing her mouth and body across the stage...Or maybe she actually believes in what she is portraying to the entire world...Which contradicts her entire brand.
Ivanka's website has a great message and the brand has a great meaning. It is supposed to be empowering for working women, how they can run a business, family, how to add style into the workday and live a healthy but fun lifestyle all at the same time. There are definitely parts of her company that I find disheartening, like her lack of staff diversity (insert eye roll here) and OH YEAH, THE FACT THAT SHE DOESN'T LIVE UP TO HER LIFE MESSAGE.
About Ivanka Trump on her blog: "...dedicated to the mission of inspiring and empowering women to create the lives they want to lead."
Um, Ivanka please explain to me how women getting paid less than men in the same job is empowering. Explain how supporting non-transparency is inspiring.
Ok here goes nothing...
An open letter to Ivanka Trump. From one gal to another.
I can see the good message you have held in your heart once before. Your personal brand is pretty cool, a message to empower women in the workplace but also be the boss of the home -- all with great style. Not to mention, the clothes you have in your collection are really cute! The LNDE booty, love that. But I am really confused about what you're doing with your life. Look, if you weren't the president's daughter or a key member of the administration, I wouldn't care about what you do. But you have the power to change a lot for women in the United States.
Do you understand what you can be for us? You can be our advocate that has ties closer to the leader of this country than anyone in the world has. You can speak on behalf of women's rights, gender and race equality directly into your father's ear.
I can sympathize with the fact that family is family. Your devotion to Donald Trump makes complete sense but being family means being honest and I truly do not believe you think this is right.
Look at the millions of Americans who fight for equality every day. See the women's marches, the progression of women's pages, the increasing number of women becoming CEO's and breaking barriers. This is the living example of your personal brand. We want you to help us. I want you on our team.
But supporting the decision to dismiss rules on the prevention of pay discrimination is you simultaneously turning your back and throwing a grenade into the group of millions who are fighting for wage equality.
I am just really disappointed with everything you haven't done. I'm over defending the possibility that you can do something good for women in America. Please stop allowing yourself to be controlled by male power. Feminism isn't a brand, and I'm done with your fake feminism. Oh, and so is everyone else.
Week 2 of the best Açaí search has continued and I have come across what I can tell will be a top contender. Juice Generation is a spot that my cousins, Chloe and Kate, requested after I wrote about my Açaí journey. These are all over the city and have other options of smoothies, juice, bakery items, healthy salads and veggie sushi, juice shots and "Juice Farmacy" which is supposed to fight off illness. You can also do some sort of home delievery where they send you frozen things to pop in your own blender and make at home.
Back to the Açaí though.
Name: Juice Generation
Location: 1486 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028
This was the perfect thickness of Açaí to me. It wasn't watery or too frozen and I probably could have eaten the entire thing in 5 seconds but I had to pace myself.
Ok, so they do the option where they have different set bowls and you pick one. What has me shook is the fact that they have 6 options to choose from and most places have 1-3. I chose the PB Açaí because, as you all know, I love peanut butter! This bowl was peanut butter, cacao, banana, strawberry and hemp granola which is exactly what I love in my bowls! I wouldn't have even added anything if I had the option to. If and when I go back, I might try the Aloha Açaí but it will be difficult to choose something else. Honestly, everyone should check out their website and check out their options because it is so cute and well made!
Maybe Açaí in New Hampshire is just bigger in general but so far Juice Generation and the Juice Press have had just about the same size. I just feel like for $10+ it should be bigger than this possible NYC standard.
Price: $11.92 (with tax)
Very cute inside but pretty small. They have one of those standing bars by the window but I wish they would just put in bar seats. I ate at the standing bar but obviously I'd rather sit down. The people were really nice and the place looked very clean. After I ordered it got really busy but it seemed like no one waited very long for their order. I would give it a 5 if it had seats.
Overall tastiness: 5
Ok, I know a 5 is a bit aggressive but they deserve it. I loved this bowl, the strawberries and bananas were super fresh, the granola was really tasty and the Açaí was blended so well. Highly recommend this to anyone visiting or living in NYC! I know they are everywhere but I understand why. Açaí empire? Looks like it...I would like to find a non-chain that is just as good. Maybe this upcoming week! Stay tuned.
Where should I go next? If you have any suggestions please let me know!
Week 1: The Juice Press
Welcome to the new series...Allie's Aaçi? Not nearly a catchy enough or creative name. I'm still thinking about it and suggestions are welcomed. Every week I am going to find a new place to get an Acai bowl and will rate them on this scale:
Thickness: 1-5 1 being watery and 5 being the perfect Açai.
Add ons: 1-5 1 being they have limited to no choices 5 being it was exactly what I wanted.
Size: 1-5 1 being way too small 5 being very happy with the price to size ratio.
Price: I will just list the price here. My standard is around $10.
Location atmosphere: 1-4 1 being it was gross and the people were rude and 5 being super Instagramable and friendly. Also, how the people act when I ask questions. Are they nice? Are they rude?
Overall tastiness: Did I love it? Will I come back? Should you go?
I think maybe I should explain what Açai is, for those of you who have not experienced the tastiness. To be honest, it is a relatively new food to me as well. Açai is, in the easiest of terms, a smoothie bowl. What makes it special and gives it the funky name ("ah-sigh-EE") is the berry it is made from. Açaí palm trees are found in South American rainforests and produce a small berry that is about the size of a grape. These bowls have become somewhat of a superfood craze because they are packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. They look and have the consistency of a smoothie and ice cream so because of these two qualities combined, they have become very popular. Acai berries can be bought as a frozen puree in the freezer section of health food stores such as Whole Foods. Açai bowls are almost always paired with fruits, granola, coconut flakes, peanut or almond butter, chopped nuts, goji berries, cocoa nibs and anything relatively healthy that you can think of.
So, let's get started!
Name: Juice Press
Location: 1474 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028
It was a little melty, but not too bad.
I have to only give a 3 for add-ons because there was not a ton of options but the options were solid. You could choose three add-ons and I ended up only picking two because those were the only ones that really spoke to me. I loved the coconut flakes they were definitely the best part. I also added on goji berries which were really big and a choice I ended up being happy with. They had almond butter but I was going back home to eat it (only 3 blocks) and knew I was just going to add-on my own PB.
It could have been bigger for the price, but I wasn't disappointed by the size. The circumference is small but the bowl isn't shallow.
It is really small in here and it was very stuffy. There were not many options for sitting but the overall look of the place was earthy. There were fridges with juice in bottles and some healthy foods. The guys working there were nice but I was the only person in there and we had no conversation after I ordered and before I got the bowl.
Overall I really enjoyed this bowl but I've also had better. I wish they had a PB option because I personally really like peanut butter in my bowls. They also didn't have cocoa nibs -- another one of my favorite add ons. The Juice Press is clearly more of a juice place rather than wanting to be known for Açai.
Stay tuned for the next!