Sunday, August 7, 2011

Miles of Books

It was the end of my freshman year, and I was about to collapse under the stress of finals, papers, projects and extra curriculars. Despite the fact that I had probably consumed over 30 books within the past 10 months, I felt deprived of literature. The textbooks, philosophy books and lab manuals did not come close to the intriguing novels I would pick up in bulk from the closest Barnes & Noble or Borders (Rest In Peace).
It was in this distress that I chose to reward myself after my last final with a Barnes & Noble trip, knowing I would have all summer to devour books of my liking.

In exhaustion, I instantly picked up books whose titles jumped out at me. Among these were The Omnivore's Dilemma (Michael Pollan), The Red Queen (Phillipa Gregory - who also wrote The Other Boleyn Girl) and The Blue Sweater (Jacqueline Novogratz). The Omnivore's Dilemma gave me a great insight into the food industry as it currently stands, and the mistakes American's are making about being an observer to their food production (even though he doesn't outwardly say it). I just recently finished The Blue Sweater, which is a look into Novogratiz's global experience to erradicate poverty by helping one potential business person at a time.
She also introduces the Acumen Fund, (of which she is the CEO) which appears to be filled with highly intelligent and driven people who want to make a serious impact on global poverty. You can find more information about her organization here ( and the fellowships that the fund offers to young adults who want to be a part of change. I will definitely reevaluate if this program is right for me after (hopefully) getting my MBA.

While I still have a backpack full of books to read before school starts, it does not surprise me that I continued to pick up books at different opportunities, exponentially increasing my unread pile. In Costco, I picked up Sarah's Key by de Rosnay, and a songbird yellow novel titled, India. My passion to devour books is unfortunately much greater than the speed at which I read. I came home today with Food Rules by Michael Pollan, and two Austin books, Persuasion and Mansfield Park (inspired by my desire to reread P&P and S&S). I should get a better handle on the books I have already purchased, but I cannot stop searching for literature that evokes the same sort of imagery and passion as books such as the Harry Potter series, all the way to The Catcher and the Rye, did. As a child, I remember getting lost in books, and being genuinely disappointed when the bell rang and I realized I had not actually raised a wand in class, futhermore, that I would most certainly not be riding a broomstick home (I think many of us felt this).

It was this passion of mine that I recognized and respected in other people. I often found myself staring at the bookkeeper while I was checking out and muttering, "I should definitely marry a book store owner," as he looked over his glasses to point the woman who requested a book I've never heard of to the 7th isle, second self, on the right.
If that's not passion I don't know what is. Despite the fact he may be a little socially awkward, he would be extremely knowledgeable, and I bet would have a great store discount.

It is also during this time, as I am getting ready to go back to school, I am resolving to change the way I do things in school to extract more pleasure from the minimal free time I have. Visiting a famous used book store, The Strand, and reading more pleasure books will definitely be on my list of things to do. And hopefully keep me sane from the stress September will be sure to bring. I may even get that pile down to less than 10 books.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


It seems to be the latest trend these days to sport vintage to some degree in your wardrobe. Whether it is an actual vintage piece found from a thrift store (find of a century-burberry scarf!), or a new article inspired by a vintage trend, you sport entire vintage outfits, or just a piece here and there, it doesn't really matter, just as long as you are rockin' something.
If you look on top of someone's head this year, 7 out of ten times it's going to be a pair of classic Ray Bans. If you look in a girl's closet, you will probably find one or more pairs of espadrilles. You can only imagine my excitement when I heard my Dad exclaim from across the store, "I used to to wear these!" while holding up brightly colored board shorts. Birdwells.

Not only were these a newly made vintage article, but they also captured the essence of the boyfriend trend that I have only started dipping my toes into. Boyfriend jeans, and long black boyfriend blazers have already hit the commercial market, and I was determined to add board shorts to that list. They were popular on guys and gals back then, so they have to be popular for girls now as well, right? Of course, I had to rock them in purple. However, they also come in an array of colors: yellow, light teal (gorgeous), dark teal, black, red, orange, carolina blue. Be sure to check them out if you're at a Berts, or surf shop, and see if you like the vintage "surfer" look!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oh, for the love of Cereal

There is probably nothing better than a good bowl of cereal to get you out of bed in the morning. During school, for my 9:30 classes, it was the only thing that pulled me out of bed (wait, there's an 8 o'clock class? Please.).

During the colder months I would microwave warm cereal (better known as oatmeal). I found a gluten free brand at Whole Foods (best place on earth), which I loved because it was much thicker than normal oatmeal.

I didn't add anything to it because it already had raisins in it, but Morgan ( put additional bananas, cranberries and nuts in hers (yum!). I also added cold milk and sugar.

During the warm months, I just stick to some Special K. Throw some sliced bananas on the top and skim milk and you're set! You can add whatever fruit makes you happy, get creative (strawberries, blueberries, etc)! The crunchiness of the cereal and the soft texture of the bananas make a wonderful combination, but other fruit is scrumptious as well.

To make it even a bit sweeter, pour skim milk 3/4 of the way in and then fill the rest with whole milk. The small amount of whole milk will make it creamier and sweeter without having all those extra cals and fat.

Happy Rise n' Shine!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"It, too, shall pass."

Throughout my adolescence, and still to this day, I have searched for the perfect quote. This perfect quote will fully encompass who I am as a person and help me to not only define who I am, but discover the inner nooks and crannies of my undiscovered personality as well. Having something I wouldn't regret later as a tattoo would have been nice too.

It was in this search that I stumbled across, "It, too, shall pass" through a story (from a friend, a book, I'm not sure, it escapes me now). A few days ago, I went to find the fable again to see if I was correct in my recollection of the story, but it only brought up people I didn't remember being there, and it was much longer, so I decided to share my memory of the story, seeing as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" (whoop, there's another one).

I remember it going a little something like this...A young king, who had only newly gained the thrown, sat puzzled one day. He had seen his father go through times of war, and times of peace, and knowing that he would have struggles during both, he summoned his head advisor. "Sire," he asked, " Create something so grand for me that will keep me wise through the turmoils that lay ahead in my reign, in both good times and bad times." His advisor nodded and came back only a few weeks later with a tiny box. Disappointed, the young King opened it to behold a simple silver ring, with no designs or embellishments. On the inside, only, "It, too, shall pass." Confused, the King look to his advisor who stated,"Whether you are in the lows of war, or the highs of peace, know that it is only temporary, and do not worry, yet act accordingly."

While I did not get the full story out there, definitely not in the most eloquent manner, hopefully you understood the essence of the story. In times of trouble, do not fret, it shall get better, and in times of happiness, do not take it for granted, because it is only temporary.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Omnivore's Dilemma

As I was curling my toes in the sand of my favorite beach (the multicolored mirage of Emerald Isle, NC), gripping the pages of my new favorite read, The Omnivore's Dilemma, I felt moved to write my first blog post... again.

My first attempt at a blog was inspired by my suitemates in college, Katina and Morgan ( and ) but I lacked the knowledge of myself to be able to write cohesively and persuasively about something else. Not to say I'll do any better this post- but we shall see!

As I looked over the expansive water, I became quickly frustrated with many of the groups that Michael Pollan pointed out as the reasons for the gaining distance between what nature has provided us to eat and what business have marketed us to eat. Look at the ingredients on the back of a cereal box and you will struggle to pronounce half of them... Pollan has narrowed down these ingredients to corn derivatives. This corn is produced by farmers who only become poorer as they go against the laws of supply and demand to produce more corn- to make more money.
This frantic production lowers the cost to food companies who easily make a profit off of uneducated Americans. Frustrated at the lack of knowledge I, too, held about what I was eating I started pointing fingers at the food companies who pocketed the extra money instead of letting it flow back to the farmers, the government for subsidizing corn and corn derivatives and the too many americans who view life as a spectator sport. I decided that I did not want that to be me.

I promised my self I would start shopping at Whole Foods and farmers markets Morgan introduced me to. This past year I even tried veganism for a month (which is where you eat no foods consisting of or made from animals). It wasn't right for me, but even at this time I would still prefer a veggie burger over a meat burger- maybe vegetarianism is in my future. I did, however, finish my beach read with a strong desire to continue putting healthy, organic foods into my body.