Monday, February 28, 2011

Music Monday (Sunday's Song)

My internet would not work at all over the weekend, which is both good and bad. I was unable to blog the way that I wanted matter how smart my smart phone is...I just could not embed this video for the life of me! (no options for embedding youtube videos while using Android).

Bad things about the internet not working:
-not as fun to research recipes on my phone as it is the computer
-unable to do any (easy) research for lesson planning for the week
-cannot download any documents from work without my work computer hooked up to the internet

Good things about the internet not working:
-no wasted time watching True Blood or Hulu
-no wasted time on facebook I do not care enough to look at facebook on my phone
-a lot more reading accomplished
-a chance to unplug, even if forced, is always a good thing!

AND...Sunday's Song,...well, it became Music Monday!

Fionn Regan's voice is so soothing, and I absolutely LOVE the way this video is shot. I really want to see him live but have not had the pleasure yet.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday V.1

I always had a hard time keeping a journal, but never a hard time keeping a planner or a sketchbook. The sketchbook is easy, I am always thinking of new things that I want to create, or seeing something that I want to draw or jot down. Sketchbooks have pretty much been engrained into my persona from High School on. The place where the sketchbook was permanently entered into my daily life though was at RISD. Especially during my trip to France where I filled multiple sketchbooks. During grad school at RISD again I was brought back to keeping a sketchbook not just for me, but I was held accountable for keeping it up...for someone else to check in on.


I was talking to my friend the other day about how hard it is to keep a blog when you first start. I mean, what I really want is a virtual scrapbook of sorts...and if someone comes on and grabs a recipe or likes one of my photos or something that I've written...then that is great too!

In order to keep myself in check, I decided that I need some weekly or bi-weekly features in order to keep myself on track and make sure I don't slack off!

This is my first post for Thankful Thursdays!

Thursday is a really difficult day often at school for me, the scholars are revved up and often it is a hard day behavior wise. It is the second to last day before the weekend comes, and It feels sometimes life if I can just get through this day, all will be well. I decided that instead of looking at Thursdays as something to get through, I should look for each thing I am thankful for in this day!

Today was a relatively easy day at school. We had a refresher course on behavior management during Professional Development day, and it rejuvenated me to re-set my expectations in my classroom and to never settle for less than 100%!

I am thankful for my refresher course, for being a lifelong learner and for never giving up on my students. I am thankful that I work in a school where I am constantly reminded that students come first, and that our scholars can do great things.

3rd grade self-portraits

Today I had to venture to the DMV to try to get my car registered in NY. This was my 3rd trip to the DMV this week and I was determined to leave there without crying and without swearing at someone that worked there (yes I know, terrible...but I really had to make a conscious effort to keep my cool at that place). I almost lost it when after waiting an hour and a half, I was told that my insurance documents did not have the right date on them. Yesterday my insurance documents said the wrong thing on them and so I had new ones, so you can imagine my disdain for the lady behind the counter. "Why didn't they tell me that yesterday!" My phone was dying and I was unable to make a call to Geico from the DMV, so I did what anyone with an amazing supportive family would do. I texted my sister. I gave her all of the information and honestly, as she was meeting a client she called Geico and had them fax the proper documents to the DMV for me.

I cannot get over how thankful I am to my sister for her unwavering support, and her ability to help me no matter what. I am getting teary eyed just thinking about my sister and how wonderful she is. I really hope everyone has someone in their life that is to them what my sister is to me!

And if my sister was unable to do it, my mom was right there with me. When my wallet went missing on my trip to Rhode Island, my mom was the first one trying to find a way in which she could help. She was there on the other line of text messages making sure that I stay calm and get those damn plates...and not go back to the DMV a fourth time!

I am thankful for my mother for always being there for me, even if we drive each other crazy sometimes, she loves me and it shows!

My sister, me and my Mom at the Czech festival this summer.

In an effort to keep my cool, I was trying to find a way to reward myself if I successfully finished what needed to be done at the DMV (register my car), and got out in one piece, dignity in tact. On the way home I thought of all different things: extra long bath tonight, go running with Malomar, build a fort, drink a shirley temple, oh wait I have beer...what if I make cookies....

Then I came in my door, saw my animals and smelled my fresh flowers and realized that my life is pretty sweet without any extra rewards anyway.

But if that satisfaction wasn't enough...there was a striped shirt waiting for me! I had been hyping how much I want a striped shirt after seeing the cute cover of Whole Living magazine and realizing that I do not have the basic black and white striped tee...and just LOOK at what was waiting at home for me!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday Recap: Museum of Natural History

After sleeping in a sufficient amount for a day off...a lazy morning was spent getting brunch...kind...of...(?) at LaBagel Delight where they have tofu spread and a really awesome selection of bagels and Five Guys Burgers and Fries
where I messed up my "no fried food" rule on Health Month because I ate a few of their hand cut french fries. Whoops! (by the way the french fries were awesome!)

The afternoon was spent at the Museum of Natural History...where my mind was completely blown away as always by dinosaurs! It does not matter how many books I read, fossils I see, or times I teach it to my students:! AMAZING!

Here are some photos from the visit:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday Recap & Vegan Chili Recipe

On Sunday, Malomar and I headed up to Westchester, with a hike planned with my sister and her hubby. The plans were changed a bit by circumstance, so the hike turned into a walk and then a veggie chili dinner, yum!

Nicole and Honza in the kitchen...prepping veggies for the chili, Honza pouring his homemade beer!

chili prep

yum! ingredients below! (Honza says chili never looks appetizing...but that it tastes awesome!)

Honza's homemade good!

Quick Easy Vegan Chili Recipe:

garlic (1 or 2 cloves: up to you)
dried red chili
1 yellow onion
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
any combo of fajita or taco seasoning. We used organic seasoning with raisins in it!
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 pkg Smart Ground Mexican flavor
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 cups brown rice

Cook brown rice according to directions, adding spice and flavor to it. We like to add a bit of olive oil and saffron flavor or to spice it up with peppery seasoning.

Saute onion, garlic and chili over medium low heat in EVOO until onion is translucent and garlic is aromatic. Add Smart Ground and saute for a few minutes "browning" the ground meat substitute. Add seasoning and stir thoroughly until blended for two minutes. Once mixture is coated well, add peppers and beans. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and cook over medium low heat until entire mixture is bubbling, but not boiling and beans are easily pierced with a fork and heated through.

Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to season. If mixture is too thick for your liking, add a bit of water to thin it out.

Once chili is cooked thoroughly, add a handful of chopped fresh cilantro to liven it up and add some green and freshness to the meal!

Serve piping hot over rice.

Other things you may want to add to your chili:

-brussel sprouts
-any other combo of peppers: green, purple, yellow etc

Play around and have fun with it! Chili is a great filling meal which is easy to add any leftover produce that may be on it's last leg!


Malomar and I took the train home. I fit him into a Vermont coop bag because in NY dogs must be in "carriers" in order to go on the train. I guess this passed because we didn't get in trouble! By the way, if you are ever in White River Junction...check out their vegan BLT rules!

Malomar is a serious trooper on the train. It takes a few hours train-wise to get from Westchester the whole way back to Brooklyn and he stayed in that damn bag the whole time! We stopped on Canal and went over to Whole Foods to snack it up...and Malomar was so exhausted that he passed out in the bag on the F train. I took about a thousand pictures, but I spared you and only put two here!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

the value of Pandora

I love Pandora for opening me up to new music, and lately I am so happy with Pandora because it reminded me just how much I love John Frusciante. With all of my computer crashes and moves and losing music to roommates and friends...I sometimes forget about artists that were once staples in my listening collection.

Thank you Pandora for reminding me! I was listening to this song over and over as I was finishing up my painting this week that I showed at Gallery Bar on Friday.

John Frusciante - Murderers - MyVideo

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Art Happenings: NYC: Hermann Nitsch

Here are some snapshots from the live action painting at the Mike Weiss Gallery from Tuesday.

Hermann Nitsch and his assistants are continuing the painting today until 6PM and the paintings will be shown Friday at the opening reception. I am anxious to see how they change from where they were last night when I left!

It was wonderful to see Hermann Nitsch in person. I can only describe him as an absolute character! Watching the assistants dip their hands into the paint and spread the paint over the canvasses was awesome! It looked so satisfying and peaceful and almost like spreading copious amounts of lotion or vaseline over a smooth babies body.

Opening Reception Friday February 19th at Mike Weiss Gallery.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekend Recap

Saturday I spent time in Rhode Island with my very best friend Missy. Malomar was so excited to have a play date with his pal Ulysses! I had to sneak Malomar into their place when Ulysses was ready for bed so that they wouldn't stay up all night playing!

Here are pictures of the pups and Mark and Missy!

I HAD to take a picture of my crazy hair! I woke up and it looked like this, like a lion! I have wavy hair and so on days right after I wash can get really big and insane. Check out how bright and fun Missy's bathroom is! Her entire place is painted so nicely. It was awesome to wake up in a bright blue room surrounded by awesome artwork and music!

We did a lot of secret girl things that I cannot share at this time...covert mission style! shhhhhh!

Here is Ashley and Missy at Garden Grille. I hae been frequenting that place for so long. If you are in the Providence/Pawtucket area I suggest you eat there. They even sold my mom on their vegan desserts!

Such beautiful ladies!