not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cauliflower Soup for a Rainy Day.

The only reason I tolerate rainy days is because I have a great music library and because it gives me an excuse to cook up new recipes. I have been obsessed with cauliflower lately and have been having a blast in the kitchen as I find out new ways to enjoy it. I had a bowl of roasted cauliflower soup last week at Steve + Cookies which was the inspiration for my own creation. I walked around the kitchen and filled my arms with whatever we had around.

  • 3/4 of a head of Cauliflower
  • 2 random potatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can of Cannelini (white) beans
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Dried Sage, Thyme and Rosemary (unfortunately no fresh herbs...)

I ALWAYS have "Better Than Bouillon" vegetable stock concentrate in my is the best thing that you'll get if you aren't using a homemade stock. I still don't know much about cooking with wine, but I figured that it was too early to have a glass of wine (not to mention that I still have one more class to teach later today) but if I had to open it for cooking that I could at least enjoy a few sips....

One soup pot. Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom. Toss in 2 cloves of garlic, diced onion, diced cauliflower, and peeled + diced potatoes. Salt and pepper. Let it sautee in the pot for a bit and then add the dried herbs. After about 20minutes of sauteeing I add in a generous pour of white wine (1/2 cup? 1 cup?). I let that cook down for about 10 minutes over medium heat before adding a heaping tablespoon of the vegetable broth concentrate and adding water (so that it just covered what was in the pot). I let this cook over medium heat for awhile longer until everything in the pot was tender. Puree in batches using a food processor then return to the burner to simmer *this is an important step because it allows all the flavors to marry.

This is dairy-free, gluten free, vegan friendly and it is goddamn delicious. I gotta say, I'm pretty damn good in the kitchen.....

1. Sauteeing the diced ingredients

2. Adding stock to sauteed ingredients and letting simmer

3. Puree in batches and return to stovetop

4. Enjoy (preferably with the leftover wine that you used to cook with...)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Beach, Bridget, Barley and Blindfolds.

The sun was shining, so I texted my friend Bridget and asked if she wanted to hang out...maybe take Barley down to the beach. It wasn't Costa Rica, thats for sure, but it felt so good to feel the sand between my toes and let the sunshine warm my face. Bridget and I scoured the beach for treasures (she loves collecting sea-paraphernalia) while Barley chased the ball and ran through the ocean. Afterwards we headed back to her and her husbands new house!! It's adorable and cozy, and you feel at home as soon as you walk through the door. Since we are both avid yogi's we started to mess around with some concepts for the nights class that we had discussed on our walk. We both love Mark Whitwell, so the ramble part of my class was inspired by some of what we've connected with in his book Yoga of Heart: The Healing Power of Intimate Connection.

"Enlightenment does not look like anything or conform to any cultural model of perfect behavior or beatitude. It is simply an understanding and enjoyment of the obvious perfection, which is Life."

So often EVERYONE in class is looking around - assessing their neighbors, comparing their poses and their bodies with those of the people around them, instead of realizing that each body and personality and yoga practice is totally authentic. I have been wanting to do a blindfolded class for a while now, so I figured that this would play into the lesson that I wanted to get across. With a blindfold on you can't try to conform to the exact interpretation of the pose from my perspective, or to your neighbors. It is completely and utterly your own. Another great lesson that comes along with the blindfold is the connection to your BREATH.

"To be with the breath is to be with that which is breathing us."

I constantly ramble on about how important your breath is: how it takes you into poses, and out of massages you deeper and tells you when to back off...and it allows your body to relax and absorb any sensations that arise. In LIFE, in YOGA, your breath is EVERYTHING. With your sight removed your whole yoga experience changes, and you realize that your breath is the only thing that will be able to guide you through practice.

Bridget, being my blindfolded guinea pig....

Anywho - Bridget and I messed around at the house, figuring out what worked and what was too confusing or challenging. I also had to be VERY specific with my cues - afterall you weren't able to just look up and find the posture that I was talking you into!

Barley and Bridget in Down DOG....

After coming up with a flow we enjoyed some coffee, snacked a bit, then Bridget read some Nat Geo while I came up with an [instrumental] playlist.

Circling with the breath, blindfolded....

Simply standing in Tadasana becomes a whole new experience with the blindfold....

A blindfolded Bridget binding....

Class was a GREAT success. Of the 11 people there was only one person who said that they DID NOT like it and would love it if he never did blindfolded yoga ever again. Two people approached me about how apprehensive and anxious they were about it during the first several minutes of class. One woman even said that she thought about walking out. But once she relaxed with her breath and TRUSTED her body and breath she was able to simply BE with her experience. I also received 5 text messages after class saying that blindfolded yoga was pretty much the most epic thing that they have ever done in the classroom! All in all, a totally unique yoga experience. Next weeks Wednesday morning Yin we will experiment with eliminating another sense: sound. The yin practice will be TOTALLY silent...the transitions being signaled with my tibetan singing bowl. The practice will be written out on little sheets for everyone and the room will be completely quiet. Yeeeww!! Thanks to my yoga students and to my friends for the constant inspiration to take our classes to the next level!!!

"Simply BE with your experience."

Monday, February 27, 2012

You Are What You Eat

You are what you take the time to find out where you're food is coming from...

Sunday Funday

Well...Friday night I had to take a bunch of Benadryl. I managed to rally for my powerful vinyasa class the next morning, but as soon as I got home I took more Benadryl and the day was kind of a wash. Well - there was SOME excitement. I went out for lunch with my parents, kinda in a benadryl-haze, when my Dad proclaimed that my mom spilled coffee all over the place upstairs because she knocked it off the bedstand when they were having sex. I was crying because the laughter was so hard, my cheeks were red with embarrassment and I just kept trying to say "Dad, thats enough!!". God bless them...though I find it totally disturbing. 30 years together and a failing body and my Dad still loves to "Diddle" *Yes, embarrassingly enough, this is what he refers to it as. So, after all of THAT excitement, I came home and crashed again. I had plans to go see my friends band play but I simply wasn't up for it. Woke up yesterday with yet another Benadryl hangover and still some itching around my arms and neck. What to do, what to do? I messaged Kylee about going to see a movie, but I couldn't decide which one. Wanderlust @ 11am at Franks theatres on Tilton road, or The Grey @ 1:45pm at Tilton9 theatres on Tilton road? WHY NOT BOTH? I have to say, both movies were AMAZING. Wanderlust was hysterical, about a young couple who has had to make some major changes and somehow ends up in a free-love, hippy commune. It was awesome. After scouring all of northfield for a coffee shop (there are none, by the way) we ended up at McDonalds at their McCafe for Lattes. Kylee threatened to take a picture of me walking into the dreaded McD's, so I figure I'd better admit it upfront. The lattes were actually pretty damn delicious, and I've heard from some fellow foodies that they are actually using Newmans Own Organic beans...? I'll pretend that's fact. After our coffee we made our way to the Tilton 9 for the thrilling, intense new Liam Neeson (*SIGH* ilovehimsomuchitsborderlineedwardcullen) film THE GREY. This is about a broken man taking a job on in Alaska, working with the lowest of lows at an oil refinery. The plane thats taking them back to Anchorage goes down and it's about their journey trying to make it out of the most wicked of conditions, being stalked by wolves. Holy shitballs. I literally sat on the edge of my seat the whole movie.

And now, why let Sunday Funday end there? We headed to the Tilton Bar next for some late afternoon pints of Guinness. Our friend Joe joined us, I left my number for the cute guy who was sitting two down from me - who left when I was playing pool, and then my friend Pam joined as well. Joe went home and then us ladies went to the Bonefish Grill for some appetizers and chit chat.

Home by 9, watched the rest of the Oscars with my family, took ANOTHER bendryl because I was rashing on my chest, and slept in til 10:30 this morning.

....time for Monday Funday?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Benadryl Hangovers and Birthday Plans

So it's one week until my birthday. 25 years old. Ayeyaya. The last birthday that I celebrated in the US was my 20th, so I'm grateful to be able to celebrate with my family. All my yoga girls have planned some pretty fun stuff for me, actually TWO weekends worth of celebrations, which really touched me. Unfortunately we won't be doing Friday night Yin for the next two weeks though because Little Saigon will be closed for a vacation!!

This is probably for the better- apparently I've developed a food a llergy, and one (of the 7 different things) we ordered set me off. So for the past 36 hours I've been fighting off the itchy hives with Benadryl. I was worried about teaching my Saturday morning powerful vinyasa with the Benadryl hangover I had, but everyone in the circle was amazing and inspired me to push through. It was a great class and a great group of women. I hope that everyone's having a great February :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yeeew Yoga

Tonights class was binding: here's Jelly in a bound 1/2 Lord of the Fishes.

And the amazing Marja!

A Wednesday night tradition has begun. All levels vinyasa followed by oysters on the half shell at Steve and Cookies, white wine and oracle cards.

Wianno Oysters @ Steve and Cookies Oyster Bar

Me, making the bar pick oracle cards...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Moon Intentions

Tonight at 5:30pm is the New Moon. Two years ago when I was in california, a friend had told me to set my intentions on the new moon...writing them down in a notebook, because this was an auspicious time of the month that is very powerful. I've never forgotten about it and each month I try to make a list of my intentions. Here's a bit of info I pulled from the web about this moon cycle:


(when the moon is between the sun and the earth)
The new moon is the phase of the moon when the moon is not visible from Earth, because the side of the moon that is facing us is not being lit by the sun.

Many Hindus believe that if you’re to begin a new task, project, or intention, the new moon is the perfect time to start.

When the moon wanes, it is a time of reflection and introspective thinking. When the moon waxes it is a time to receive what you have sowed. Once the new moon begins to wax (meaning it gets bigger), the start of receiving begins. This is the perfect time to start new things and is also a wonderful occasion to set forth your intentions and manifestations.

On the day of the new moon, WRITE DOWN YOUR INTENTIONS. You may choose to do so in a special journal of yours or you may take a piece of paper and keep it safe.

Remember that you’re setting intentions. Not asking a genie for 3 wishes. This means that you have to put in some effort. Meditate, keep clear of negative thought, purify your mind and body, focus your energy on your intentions, day dream vividly about what would it feel, look, smell, and taste like if your intention came true. Look for the opportunities the Universe is throwing at you. Don’t sit idly by and think that what you want will just fall onto your lap the instant the moon goes dark.

Wishing vs Intending

When you wish for something to happen you’re accepting defeat. You’re saying to the Universe, “I can’t do this for myself so can you pretty please, with a cherry on top, do it for me?” Intending, on the other hand, implies that YOU are incredible, powerful, and have the ability to create your own reality. When you write down your intentions make sure to use verbs such as intend, plan to, am determined to, will, aim to. Don’t use verbs such as wish or hope.

A few days before the new moon, keep your body and mind pure. This means no negative thinking, drop the gossiping, eat right (avoid fast food), and continue with whatever spiritual or personal growth practices you’re doing. This could be meditation, creative visualization, or reading. During this time think about what you truly want to manifest.
On the day of the new moon, go outside where you are physically connected to nature. The moon after all is an element of nature. If possible, find a place near water and light a candle. This way you’ll be surrounded by all four elements: fire, water, air, and earth.
Sitting in a quiet spot, relax yourself by focusing on your breath or doing a short meditation.
Once you feel sufficiently relaxed, take out your journal or a piece of paper and handwrite your intentions. Don’t feel silly if you’ve put down smaller intentions, such as, “I intend to make my orchid bloom.”
After you finish you may recite your intentions followed by an affirmation such as, “I will receive the things that I have intended.”

Monday, February 20, 2012


The morning dawns
late night soon follows.
Life transient as dew.
Yet the morning glory
goes on blooming, blooming
it's short complete life.


An excerpt from Osho's "Zen: the Path of Paradox":

Let the phrase sink into you: it's short complete life. Short but complete. The morning glory is loved very much by Zen people, and the reason is that it opens in the morning and by the evening it is gone. In the morning it was there, so beautiful, so authentic, so real, and by the evening the flower has faded, dropped into the earth, ready to disappear. The morning glory is an exact symbol for life. When the morning glory blooms, in that small life, in that short span, it is complete. It is total; it lacks nothing. Those few moments are enough. Eternity is touched.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Adele: Girl, let me tell you - YOU are powerful and amazing.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Had a date with my mom today at Sushi Ocean favorite sush place of all time. Faith is always hooking us up with delicious rolls, and this lettuce wrap was freaking eppppic. Good times, good food, good place, great mom.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Save Me.

Someone please save me from myself. My friend (and yoga student) Kaitlin baked me some gluten free cupcakes for valentines. And they are just as freaking delicious as the ones that Jelly baked me-- which means I have just as little will power to walk away from these little bites of deliciousness. I hope that in the future my students buy me celery or carrot sticks....but, kinda not really ....hahaha.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Home from Florida.

My parents arrive home today and I'm so excited!!!! I missed them so much, but I'm grateful that they were able to get away and have some time together. Thanks to my Aunt Nelly for taking such good care of them down in Florida!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Julia!

Happy Birthday to my oldest (and bestest) friend, Julisa. As Edward says to Bella...I promise to love you every moment of forever.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Safe + Sacred Space's been a heavy week. Family, friends, life ... sometimes it feels like the universe has handed me more than I'm able to properly handle. But then, there's my yoga mat. 72" x 24" of natural rubber. I often say in class that we practice in a circle to create a safe and sacred space -- a place where you can be fully yourself...where you are free to express any angry, sadness, anxiety or happiness that is pulsing within you. Sometimes I have to remind MYSELF of this as well.... Today I went to Ari's 9:30am vinyasa class. I was fine driving to the studio, chatting with the other yogi's before class, and then the second we began our practice I felt a rush of emotions. The next hour and a half followed with me choking back tears, letting a few escape here and there when we were tucked into childs pose where no one could see my face. And to add to the emotions, the class was full of back-bending, working on opening the heart and the heart chakra -- which just intensified everything I was feeling. When we finally came to savasana I was able to hold back the sobs for a few minutes before they finally bullied their way through. Thinking back I'm not sure why I fought so hard against them...I'm not necessarily worried if others perceive me as weak or vulnerable, it was more of how I was seeing myself as such. I pretty much ran out of the studio after class and got into my car, a private place where I could let it all out. And let it out I did. The whole way home I was having some serious conversations with myself in my head. Fuck, I'm so grateful for yoga and for that damn rubber is the one place that I stop pretending to be so tough and allow myself to be vulnerable and available to really feel exactly what it is I'm feeling. So next time you feel like you don't know where to turn, or feel like you have no one to talk to....take it to your mat. This safe and sacred space is open for whatever you need to release. Thanks to Ari for helping me to work through it and therefore out of it, and thanks to my mat for supporting me - yet again - in this gloriously challenging and exciting adventure of life. Happy Valentines Day everyone <3

"The best way out is always through." - Robert Frost

Monday, February 13, 2012

Jelly Cupcake Love.

I love yoga. I love teaching yoga, and I love the people that I get to share this passion with. Jelly (Angelica, whom we lovingly call by her fathers nickname) is one of these very special individuals. She makes it out for most of my Zen Den classes, and I always make sure that she sets up near me. She is an itty bitty petite yogini, but she's got sass for days-- and I love that! For Valentines Day she baked me cupcakes with strawberry icing and O.M.G. they are freaking deeeeelicious. Namaste friends...have an amazing Valentines Day ... you're fucking amazing.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I heart e.c.

The yoga ladies and me, cuddling up to Edward.

John, surprisingly not feeling threatened by Edwards presence...



oooolala thankful for Pinterest !

EC Love.

Who got a cardboard life size standup of Edward Cullen?! THIS GIRL!! Thanks to my bestest friend Julia out in Seattle for knowing how to bring some sunshine into my world.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Amazing Ari.

Ari is so so so amazing. She is the owner of The Zen Den, where I teach in margate. A major bonus of working for her is that I get to practice at the ZD for free!! Her classes are insanely challenging but as long as you go to class WITHOUT an ego, you'll be fine. Ari does an amazing job at breaking down difficult poses to make them accessible. Today we were fucking around with all sorts of inversions. The first picture is Ari showing us some craziness ( that I clearly chose to skip - and instead acted as photographer ). The second photo is Aris awwwwesone hubby, Adam getting into another inversion that just wasn't for me. And the third photo is my friend Michelle. We practiced next to each other today. Practicing next to someone you love always gives more meaning to your practice. We laughed at each other when we fell, we encouraged each other when we found our way into difficult postures, and of course we held hands in savasana. Thanks to Ari for hosting another awesome class!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


If you eat meat, then THIS is why you should know where it's coming from. Take the extra second and spend the extra buck to buy from companies with integrity.

Turkish Coffee.

Holy shitballs.

I am so caffeinated right now I feel like I'm buzzing likea bee. Flying. Yeeeew.

Had an EPIC day today -- did a power yoga class with Ari at the Zen Den, followed up by lunch and lattes with one of my besties, Miss Jamie D, at Who's on First Cafe, and then got in some Q.T. with ROB Kulisek. Rob and I are obsessed with all-things-coffee, so I was super stoked when he offered to brew me a turkish coffee. I've had java every which way...vietnamese, iced, french press, percolated, espresso, americano, latte, cappucino, this way that way and every other way -- but never turkish. CHEERS.

1. Using on of these cool stove top thing-a-ma-jiggers (technical name: "CEZVE") put in one teaspoon sugar, and fill with cold water.

2. Grind coffee to a powder. *If you are using whole beans: grind, grind, grind. If you are using ground coffee, grind grind grind. You want a powder.

3. Pour powder into little thing-a-ma-jigger. 3 heaping tablespoons for 2 people.

And now I will reference the professionals:

1. Pour in cold water in the coffee pot. You should use one cup of cold water for each cup you are making and then add an extra half cup “for the pot”. Add a teaspoonful of the ground Turkish coffee per cup in the water while the water is cold and stir. The amount of coffee may be varied to taste, but do not forget, there will be a thick layer of coffee grounds left at the bottom of your cup for properly made Turkish coffee. Don’t fill the pot too much. If you need to add sugar this is the time to do it.

2. Heat the pot as slowly as you can. The slower the heat the better it is. Make sure you watch it to prevent overflowing when the coffee boils.

3. When the water boils pour some (not all) of the coffee equally between the cups, filling each cup about a quarter to a third of the way. This will make sure that everybody gets a fair share of the foam forming on top of the pot, without which coffee loses much of its taste. Continue heating until coffee boils again (which will be very short now that it has already boiled). Then distribute the rest of the coffee between the cups.

Since there is no filtering of coffee at any time during this process, you should wait for a few minutes before drinking your delicious Turkish coffee while the coffee grounds settle at the bottom of the cup.

Brewing: Traditionally, and for the best taste, expect the brewing process to take 15-20 minutes. Slowly bring the mixture to a frothing boil on the stovetop. As the froth gets close to the top, just before it boils over, remove the ibrik from the heat, allow the froth to go down (you can do this by stirring), then replace it on the heat. After the third frothing boil, serve the froth in equal portions into each cup, replace it on the heat for a fourth frothing boil, then serve. (Although it has become commonplace to make Turkish coffee with only 3, 2 or just a single frothing boil, it generally tastes best with the traditional 4.)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

This just in: I'm adding an extra class at the Zen Den!! Monday nights, 7pm-8:30pm YIN. Yeeewww!! Hope to see you there!