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.

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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!

me and Dominique

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!

Be Your Own Master

Buddha Met

As I sit here in my room, there is a blizzard going on outside! Even though I have never been more ready for the winter to end and the warm weather to come, I am enjoying being snowed in since it gives me the perfect opportunity to update my highly neglected blog! I have been so busy lately that I haven’t had the time to write but I am hoping to post more often moving forward!

I started this blog in the hopes of writing about fun and positive subjects and want to continue to do so. In light of that, I recently read something that really resonated with me

“How joyful to look upon the Awakened
and to keep company with the wise.

Follow then the shining ones,
the wise, the awakened, the loving,
for they know how to work and forbear.

But if you cannot find
friend or master to go with you,
travel on alone —
like a king who has given away his kingdom,
like an elephant in the forest.”
– Dhammapada

What I took from this is create your own wisdom, be your own awakening. Isn’t that beautiful? I am my own source of happiness! This past year didn’t start out on such a great note but I work every single day to be aware, be awake and be open. I am learning that it’s ok to be myself, to make mistakes and learn from them. I know it sounds so cliche, but the biggest lesson I am learning right now is to be sure of myself, be confident and trust in myself.

Don’t ever be too hard on yourself, we are all the products of our own thoughts. So think positively about yourself :).

What I’m Listening To…

I have such an appreciation for Mumford & Sons. Something about their songs is so raw and heartbreakingly beautiful. They always manage to perfectly capture so many different emotions/situations and translate them into music. I absolutely love BABEL but their first cd is truly one of my favorites.

This particular song just always moves me so much, and I guess now more than ever it really does. So powerful!

My Resolution

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This has been quite a year for me. I have learned so much about myself and also about others. I always like to think as optimistically and positively as I can and with that said, I just wanted to take some time so talk about the lessons I’ve learned this year and how, instead of choosing a New Year’s resolution like losing weight or something along those lines, I’m choosing to “cultivate contentment.”

That’s a Buddhist “necessity” and something I am determined to do moving forward. This year I experienced several highs and lows. My aunt passed away, I was and am still dealing with the grief of losing my grandmother, I left a job that was my WHOLE entire life and had some less than perfect moments with others. But I also stepped into a new job that allowed me to meet a wonderful mentor, I continued to strengthen the amazing friendships I have had for years, and met new people who brought me a lot of happiness.

Life always has good and bad and while it might sometimes seem as though the bad completely outweighs the good, I am working tirelessly, every single day, to see the good and to see the reason for the bad being there. So, when I say my resolution is to cultivate contentment, that means I am not going to get angry or resentful when something bad happens, instead I’m going to do my very best to figure out why it happened and how I can learn from it. It also means I am going to celebrate and appreciate every good thing I have every single day. I’m going to be aware and awake, consider others, take time to feel what I’m feeling, share, evolve and most importantly DREAM.

That is my New Years resolution.  What’s yours?

Museums are Underrated

Very recently my sister and I decided to do something I personally haven’t done in years and something I know she hasn’t done since she’s been in school…. go to a museum! And let me tell you, we had an absolute blast. One thing I really do treasure about living so close to NYC is all of the fabulous places I can go to and some of the incredible museums are a big part of of that. We went down the whole list but decided on The Met. If you haven’t been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art I suggest you go!! It’s not just art, and trust me they have some of the greats (Van Gogh, Monet), it’s a cultural and historical experience.

If you know me, you’ll know I am a complete history nerd and really can’t get enough of it. I have such a passion for it and really do believe in the importance of learning about our past in order to be able to know that much more about the world we live in today. One of my favorite parts of the museum is the Ancient Egyptian section. Of all of the different eras of history, I have a few top favorites… Ancient Egyptian, American Civil War era, French Revolution era, Ancient Roman and Greek and Renaissance. But I really dork out over anything with Ancient Egypt. And the Met really has it all. My sister and I were like kids in a candy store! Here are some of my favorite things I saw that day as a whole:

There were many many more but suffice it to say I had such a great day and learned a lot. I really find it so incredible to think that all of those things were created by/used by people once, however many years ago. It just really makes the world and time feel so much more vast. What the last good trip to a museum YOU had? Museums are so much fun and definitely shouldn’t just be reserved for school trips.

Treat Yourself To…. The Gym?

Anyone here watch Parks and Rec? It’s one of my absolute favorite shows and is so my sense of humor, I cannot get enough. One particular episode that I can never get out of my head is Treat Yo Self. Two of the characters, Tom and Donna, have an annual day, once a year, where they “treat themselves” to the most ridiculous, over-the-top things.

Is that not one of the greatest things you’ve ever seen?

Now, all hilarity aside, I LOVE the idea of treating yourself to something big and flashy once a year. But what about treating yourself on a smaller scale more often? And not just with clothes, jewelry, chocolate or trips to the spa -can you tell those are my ideas of treating myself? Haha. (P.S. – I did just buy the most AMAZING hand cream from L’Occitane along with some great new lip gloss from M.A.C.)

What about treating your mind, body and spirit too? Lately, I’ve been trying to get on a healthier eating kick and lose some weight. It’s not easy but I have been really making an effort to do it. Aside from healthier eating, I have also been more dedicated to going to the gym and have discovered something about myself in the process. I simply FEEL better after a good workout. I smile more, feel healthier, feel like my mind expands and my energy instantly boosts.

So for me, I’m treating myself to exercising. Whether it is at the gym, taking my dogs for a walk, going for a swim, or even just dancing in my room, that is going to be a constant indulgence. Anything that can make your mind and body feel better works. 🙂

Don’t forget the chocolate every now and then too though ;).

I’m Here!

I wanted to create this blog to showcase everything I am about. I love so many different aspects of life that I figured, why not explore them here and share what I find? From my love of music and fashion to food and my spirituality, animals and art, it’s all going to be here. I don’t know why I decided to do this, but I hope you enjoy it! ❤ xoxo Dy.