Inspirational Woman of the Day

Kate Middleton of course! Aside from her fabulous, amazing hair that I envy so very much, she just continues to prove what a refreshing and genuine person she is. I love that her choice of charity is children in need, particularly children dealing with tough issues that can affect their mental health. Being a kid and going through the difficulties that come with growing up is hard enough but with bullying, issues at home, etc. it can be even harder. It’s inspiring to me that she’s trying to make a difference in the lives of these children and for that she’s the inspirational woman of the day 🙂

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Quote of the Day

“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.” – Brene Brown

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I LOVE that! Faith is a powerful word in my life (and not just because it’s the name of one of my beloved dogs). Faith represents determination, strength, courage and allowing yourself to go places that might not always be easy or comfortable. I haven’t blogged in such a long time but I couldn’t be happier to be back!

I think I’ll kick off Awake and Open in 2015 with this quote. For me, faith has been powerful in my life in the past year because it’s guided me to a beautiful place – a place of self-love and of vulnerability. When you have faith that good things will come… they really do! 🙂 Keep believing and don’t be afraid to take that proverbial leap of faith…. you never know where it will lead.

Gaga of Oz

Lady Gaga has continued to promote APPLAUSE and I have to tell you, I am loving this whole era! From her stellar iTunes Festival performance (I vote ManiCure for the next single please!) to her latest performance on Good Morning America, it’s fun, it’s campy and it’s pop! I checked out what some of the blogs had to say about her Wizard of Oz themed performance on GMA this morning, particularly, OhNoTheyDidnt, and of course, the reviews were mixed. In my opinion, it was genius! Criticize her all you want but you cannot deny that she gives her all in these performances and does what any good popstar is supposed to do… put on a show. Check out her performance and tell me what you think!

A Word on Princess Diana

I usually try to stay away from any sad or depressing stories on my blog. I like to keep it positive and uplifting but every now and then a story will come up or something will catch my attention that might not always be in that vein. In today’s case, I wanted to briefly take a moment to remember Diana, Princess of Wales, who passed away on August 31st, 1997.  I really cannot believe it has been 16 years. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was fascinated by her for most of my childhood. I did all of my school reports on her and have read every book and seen every documentary.  She just radiated something I can’t even find words for.

She was such an inspiring woman and truly left such a light behind. She didn’t just the change the face of the British monarchy, she changed the world.  RIP Princess Diana, always in our hearts.

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p.s. – I really enjoyed this story in remembrance of her. All of her most iconic photographs.

The Best of Summer 2013

It’s Labor Day weekend and summer is coming to a close. Can you believe it?! I’m still coming to terms with it and while I’m absolutely excited for fall, I don’t love the season that follows it.  As I write this, I’m reading Facebook posts excitedly discussing the return of Pumpkin Spice latte’s and the desire to feel the cool air of autumn. I myself am even getting excited for fall shopping (how adorable is this coat?!).  With that said, I thought I’d give you a top 5 of just some of my favorite pop culture moments of this past summer, starting with the lady herself, Miss Lady Gaga!

5. Lady Gaga triumphantly returns with APPLAUSE! As you know, I am a HUGE Gaga fan and was so excited when I first heard this song. I can’t wait to hear ARTPOP (which you know I’ll be reviewing on here!)

4. The World’s End.  Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (you too Martin Freeman!) did it again with their third and final film in the Cornetto Trilogy (the other two films being the “zomedy”, Shaun of the Dead, and the hilarious play on buddy cop films, Hot Fuzz). This film is about a group of guys led by Simon Pegg’s Gary King, on their quest to finish a pub crawl they had previously attempted many years ago through their hometown of Newton Haven. Of course, trouble ensues, trouble of the sci-fi kind! With little nods to their previous films in the trilogy and a wonderful performance by Martin Freeman, it was a highlight of the summer!

3.  This moment on True Blood. Sure, the entire 6th season was all over the place and the show in its current state is completely different from the show I once loved, but this one image made it all so worth it. Am I right people?

This should be a moment on every single episode.

Eric Northman in all his glory

2.  MDNA Tour! I didn’t get to see Queen Madonna in all her live MDNA glory, BUT, I did get to watch the concert special several times on Epix! As usual, Her Madgesty delivered! Here was one of my favorites – Open Your Heart.

1. Orange is the New Black. If you know me, you know that I am very selective about the tv shows that I choose to watch but I have to say, this one is truly UH-MAZING!! It tells the story of waspy New Yorker Piper Chapman and her struggle to survive in a low-security women’s prison and still find a balance with her life on the outside. Only available to watch on Netflix, if you haven’t seen this yet, watch it now! Haha.

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There were so many incredible moments this summer spent with family and friends but these are just some of my favorite things from the season. And in case you’re wondering, the VMA’s  (aka the Justin Timberlake and Miley “I can’t twerk” Cyrus show) were a total mess and hence, weren’t included on the list! 😛

I Come Bringing Cronuts!

Hello all!

It’s tough to be a follower on this blog I know, but I do have a good reason for my disappearing act! I have been extremely busy this summer and unfortunately, I was highly neglectful towards my blog but I plan on updating with lots of goodies this weekend to make up for it! The summer is winding down, autumn is coming (with the ever-so-exciting promise of Pumpkin Spice lattes) and I am hunkering down at this computer writing anything and everything that comes to mind… or is exciting!

So with that said, let me fill you in one of the most exciting things I managed to do this summer. I GOT A CRONUT! A REAL, DELICIOUS, FLAKY, BUTTERY, CRONUT! And my goodness was it worth it!

Behold… the cronut in all its glory:

Cronut

August’s flavor was coconut.

 

So, for anyone reading this who is not from the NY Metro area or living under a rock (sorry!), cronuts are an original creation by Dominique Ansel of the Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC. They are a half-croissant, half-donut creation and are absolutely fabulous! I had debated getting one for ages but one thing stopped me… the wait. The bakery opens at 8am but people line up at starting at, no joke, 5am, to get one! So yeah…. But my friend called me telling me August’s flavor was coconut (the flavor changes every month) and for whatever reason, I decided why not?! We’d make it a fun adventure! Despite my parents pleading with me not to go (“it’s so early!” “Dunkin’ Donuts is just as good!” “it’s so far!” “I don’t understand…”) I was now determined to do it!

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Dominique Ansel and I.

And the best part? They only make 350 a day, you are only allowed two each, and if they’re gone, they’re gone. And don’t think of cutting the line, even if you are Emma Roberts! Think of it is a culinary prize! Driving over the GWB and into the West Village at 5am made me feel like I was on a quest, on a quest for cronut glory. Would we get in? Would they be delicious? Are they worth $5? Would we see some of those outrageous stories in action (People scalp these things!)? Yes, yes, yes! Not only did I get two, BUT I got another amazing pastry called the DKA, which my parents enjoyed even better than the cronut! And yes, I did see a few funny instances.

I am not kidding when I say this is a huge attraction for people. We got a great spot in line. There were about 40 people ahead of us and almost 100 behind us!  My friend and I must have gotten asked a thousand times why were on line, why we couldn’t settle for any old regular donut, the whole thing. But it WAS worth it, and there’s a DD on every corner, but only one cronut (Although, that could soon be changing…). If you want to do something fun and different and you don’t mind waking up very, very early, do it! I promise it will be fun.

Next month the flavor is Fig & Mascarpone. You can bet I’ll be there!

p.s. check out the “rules” for getting a cronut. Bon Appetit!

Wake Up and Smell the Daffodils!

Spring is finally starting to well… spring!

I live in New York and if anyone reading this is a fellow New Yorker or living in the Northeast, then you will know it has been one chilly spring season! I actually cannot believe how long it has take the weather to warm up (and looks are so deceiving.. you think it’s a beautiful sunny day only to be freezing upon walking outside). Well, luckily the weather forecast is starting to perk up! It was an absolutely beautiful week in New York this past week! Upper 70s… even hit 82! So with that said, one of my favorite things to do in the city when it’s nice out is take a walk in Chelsea’s Madison Square Park… THEN, hit up the Madison Square Market (that post will be coming in May after the opening).

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So, about the park… it’s small but absolutely beautiful. It’s right across the street from the Flatiron building. And right now one of the best things it’s showcasing are its daffodils! Yes… daffodils. And not just one kind, they have several varieties! I have such an appreciation for flowers (I actually dream of moving to France and opening a small flower shop in a beautiful small town ha) so this kind of thing really does make me smile and get excited for spring and summer!

If you can, definitely check out the park and make sure to check out the daffodils! I know I will be (And then instagramming pics haha). Here is a summary of all of the different varieties of daffodils you can see at the park right now.

This is Pretty Cool!

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While I might not talk about it too much, I really am a fan of art and art history. I could spend hours in a museum and actually have had some pretty incredible experiences at places like The Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Museum of Natural History. One particular museum that I would really like to experience again is MoMA or the Museum of Modern Art. I was only there once for a class in college. While I don’t always understand modern art, I do have an appreciation for it and some of it really does resonate with me.

SO! Enough about me… I was browsing my favorite site (nymag.com) and found this article about Tilda Swinton and her living art piece at MoMA. Sidenote: Tilda Swinton is SUCH a fierce woman. Honestly, if there is anyone I would “bow down” to it would be her (sorry Bey). She’s flawless. So back to her living art exhibition, apparently MoMA has had an affinity for these kind of pieces ever since they featured the artist Marina Abramovic (found out about her through my sister’s tumblr actually!). If you want to know more about her installation, click here. So this past weekend, Tilda Swinton joined MoMA’s list of living art performers by napping in a glass case inside the museum.

As nymag says, “It’s a re-performance of Cornelia Parker’s “The Maybe” which Swinton will be doing from time to time, unannounced, six more times. It’s cute thinking: The museum has figured out a way to turn a snoozefest into spectacle. (And without using James Franco.)”

Okay well, now here’s my question. Who’s coming with me to see this? I really want to go! How many times do you get to see an acclaimed movie star do this kind of work? I just think it’s a really cool concept and not the kind of thing that happens too often. I think it’s very bold of her to do and is a cool experience for art and movie fans alike. What are your thoughts on it? Do you think Tilda Swinton “napping” in a box in a crowded NYC museum is a big deal or is it more, who cares? Personally, I think it’s pretty awesome.

This is SO Beautiful!

I am a huge classical music fan. I love all kinds of music really but there is something about classical music that I find so soothing and relaxing. Especially on days like today when I’m snowed in. One of my favorite instruments is the harp and I just recently downloaded some absolutely gorgeous music!! The album I found is called Medieval and Renaissance Music For Harp. Below is my favorite song (this is not the version on the album, this one includes vocals):

Isn’t that stunning? It’s so ethereal, takes me to another place. What’s some of your favorite relaxation music?