Monthly Archives: January 2012

how pinteresting…

I’m super excited to share with you my newest electronic find — Pinterest! Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you collect your favorite pictures from all over the web by using an easy-to-install “Pin It!” button in your browser (as well as photos of your own!) and organize them neatly into different “boards” that you can categorize however you like! My boards include “dress like this,” where I collect images of inspirational outfits, “da, eta russian,” for all of my Русский finds, “live like this,” for when I need a reminder of wonderful lifestyles, “inspirational interiors,” where I hoard pictures of my dream decors, “pretty little things i love,” for all of those rando but fantastic pics, “lust list,” for my unhealthily long list of things I just must have, and “quotes that mot(ivate),” for words that look as beautiful as they are uplifting. Pinterest also lets you follow other peoples’ boards (kind of like a twitter feed) so that you can find inspiration 24/7 and “repin” particularly amazing photos to your own boards! Make sure to follow me on Pinterest by using the button on the right of my blog! –>

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top-knot tutorial

I was just talking to my sister yesterday about how much I love the ridiculous but gorgeous “top-knot” hairstyle. I rocked one at the mall, but it seems I can never get mine as big and as obnoxious as I’d like. Well, clearly someone upstairs heard me because today I happened across this very helpful and fun tutorial on one of my favorite blogs, Tulip Lousie. I don’t know if my top-knots will ever be as magnificent as Anna Cottrell‘s, but practice makes perfect, right? Are you brave enough to give this daring ‘do a try!?

minding midterms

fifth-grade flashback

Last week I did a double take when my Microeconomics professor told us that our midterm would be this upcoming Thursday — did I hear him correctly!? Please note that this is the same man who says sentences like “Imagine there are lots of the gold on the Mars” when giving a particularly extraterrestrial economic example. For better or for worse, I heard him correctly, and as unimaginable as it is, this also means that we are almost half way through our winter term here at Union College. Despite the stereotypically “unfun” nature of Microeconomics, I am looking forward to (okay, maybe make that not absolutely dreading…) preparing for my exam. Econ is the perfect excuse to whip out old-school colored pencils, beautiful fine-line markers like my favorite “Le Pen,” and post-it notes of all shapes and sizes. For a girl who adores office supplies, there’s a bright side to studying!

le textbook, le pen

friday feasts

While some might believe it’s facile to be forlorn during these gloomy winter evenings, at Union it’s easy to be entertained! Last night the Europa Theme House and the East European Culture Club hosted a Russian feast complete with traditional Borshch soup (beet soup — sounds gross, looks gross, but with a dollop of sour cream is wonderfully scrumptious!), authentic Russian music (I got to play my flute!), and some good multi-lingual conversations (по-русски, конечно!). Afterwards, my friends and I feast-hopped over to the Union Chabad house for Shabbat dinner, complete with delicious matzo ball soup and uplifting week re-caps. By the end of the night I had was so stuffed that I probably looked like a matzo ball, but I made so many good memories and shared so many laughs that the winter weather was definitely the last thing on my mind!

tzveta sofronieva

Tzveta Sofronieva

This evening I went to the most magnificent poetry reading. Tzveta Sofronieva writes in her native Bulgarian as well as German and English and is the current Writer-in-Residence at MIT. With an academic background in Physics and a doctorate in Cultural Studies, she exemplifies the Liberal Arts mentality and lifestyle that we strive for here at Union College. Her poems were beautiful, but even more wonderful were her words on life and writing. She spoke a lot about the “space in between” different academic areas and the struggle to try to define oneself, when in fact the best thing to do is pursue everything you are passionate about and not tirelessly look for overlap, but simply enjoy the jumping. She also spoke about poetry versus prose and explained that while prose can be a creative struggle of getting words out onto paper, “poetry comes.” This event was just what I needed at the end of the week in so many ways — cultural, inspiring, creative — I couldn’t be happier, or more eager to write!

berry beautiful breakfast

for the patriotic palate

I’m sure you’ve heard that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” a million times by now. But, for some people it is also the most disliked meal of the day. Case-in-point: my twin sister. She detests breakfast. You’ll find her eating cheese and crackers or even Junior Mints before you’ll ever find a bowl of cereal in front of her. I think the issue is that most people find breakfast foods bland, or don’t know how to satisfy their awkward morning palate — sweet or sour? mushy or crunchy? starchy or meaty? I often find myself thinking about what I am going to eat the next morning as I am falling asleep, trying to predict whether it will be more of a “lunch-y” omelette day or a more traditional yogurt-and-granola day. And while I am much more of a breakfast person than my sister, I think this simple yet elegant recipe could delight just about anyone:

Ingredients:

– 2 slices of whole wheat bread

– a handful of fresh strawberrys

– about 2 dozen blueberries

– 1 tbsp peanut butter (creamy or chunky — your choice!)

– 1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (Chobani is my absolute favorite — you can’t even begin to imagine the obsession here…)

– a pinch of ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Toast the 2 slices of whole wheat bread to your desired crispness.

2. While the bread is in the toaster oven, rinse the fruit and cut the strawberries into thin length-wise slices.

3. When the toast is ready, transfer to a plate and apply the peanut butter and yogurt in alternating stripes.  (If you do this while the toast is still warm, the peanut butter melts beautifully!)

4. Set the strawberry slices along the yogurt stripes and the blueberries along the peanut butter stripes. (Or vice-versa!)

5. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!

The best part of this recipe is that there are so many opportunities for variations — try different spreads (other yogurt flavors, fluff, cream cheese…), different toppings (cereal pieces, veggies, chocolate…), and different garnishes (salt&pepper, fresh herbs, sprinkles…) and you have an entirely new breakfast experience! Who knows? You might even be able to whip this up in one of the dining halls…

it won't be there for long!

extremely sad but incredibly good

Last night I saw “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” at Bow-Tie Cinemas on lower State Street in Schenectady. The picture features newcomer Thomas Horn as nine-year-old Oskar Schell who is searching New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key his father Thomas Schell, played by Tom Hanks, left behind after dying in the September 11th World Trade Center attacks. The film is gut-wrenching to say the least, but beautifully executed. Thomas Horn gives a spectacular performance as broken Oskar Schell and the film does a wonderful job of weaving together past and present, bringing back to life the people and the memories of that horrific day. “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” teaches us that it is not always about finding what you’ve lost, but about finding others along the way.