No news is good news.

I love to read the news.  The problem with the news is that very rarely do they actually have good news.  It’s really quite upsetting, yet incredibly addictive at the same time.  Lately I’ve been sick so between the headaches and the nausea,  I’ve spent a lot of time in bed with only the internet to keep me company…

Let me just say that between Akin’s comments on “legitimate rape”, the girl with the anal tattoo, cows being fed candy, and the possibility of a constitutional amendment banning abortion, I have to wonder about the state of our country.  It’s as if madness is taking over.

On the upside though, at least I can count on blogs and people’s individual success/happy/inspiring stories to make me smile.  One of my favorite blogs lately is Glitter and Lazer’s.  During SXSW (back when she was still eating queso) I had the chance to meet and hang out with Anna, the female part of this duo, and I loved her. I find her posts refreshingly honest.

I also like to read Nikki G, the blissful wife.  We met during Social Media Day a few months back and she is as much of a delight in person as she is in her blog.  During those times when I feel like I need to read something introspective and zen, I go there.

And then, of course, when all that fails I can either grab my kindle or one of those cooking magazines that make so happy.  Lately I’ve been reading Fine Cooking: Summer Eats (again). There are so many things that I want to make from there!!! For now though, I will leave you with this link. I look forward to having that as soon as I am not afraid to eat again 🙂

Until then!

annush

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Paul Ryan is no Impressionist…

I think I have developed a crush on Mckayla Maroney and her smirk. Needless to say, McKayla is Not Impressed has become as important in my life as Texts from Hillary once was.  Before I get any shit from the copyright police, I got the above picture from the blog.  You can find the URL by clicking on the picture.  But I would think that Georges Seurat would be amused by the insertion of popular culture in a painting that is at least a hundred years old since ironically Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grand-Jatte, appears to be a depiction of the culture of the time. 

Anyway, I am sorry I have neglected this space. For the past few weeks I have been completely distracted by the Olympics, the Hunger Games, and my visit to New York.  It’s been a great time! To be completely honest, it had been a long time since I read 3 books in a week, had shown any interest in athletic pursuits other than my own, or had seen my extended family.

It was good to see my family.  I hadn’t seen everybody since my brother’s wedding a year ago, and though I like to think that I am an autonomous human being, the fact is that I really enjoy their company and appreciate their thoughts.  It was in this spirit that I wanted them so much to meet Hugh. Although I don’t need their approval, I wanted them to love him as much as my parents and my brothers do.  Though it hasn’t happened just yet, I’m sure this will happen soon.

Hugh and I had such a great time in new York! I’ll admit, it was a very busy time for him but still, we managed to do together all the little things that make New York special for us individually.  It was particularly special for me to have the opportunity to introduce him to my best friend in the world; he who is my childhood friend. I loved seeing them together and laugh as they discussed and dissected their individual evil plans 🙂

Now that we are back home and settled into our routine again, I’ve been all about the news and again engulfed in the issues that are important to me.  As it happens, Paul Ryan was selected as the Republican choice for VP and I’m absolutely terrified.  Though I have learned to separate politics from my personal relationships, the more I learn about the issues and see the direction those around me lean towards, I have become increasingly judgmental…this has given me something else to work on within myself because I don’t know how to challenge someone’s values (or even want to).

In any case, I’m excited to be back and I look forward to sharing the exciting things that are coming starting with but not limited to my birthday celebrations (YAY!), my new project, and all the amazing things Hugh shares with us all.

Until next time, please go like my best friend’s page on Facebook and if you haven’t liked me yet, go visit and say hi!

xoxo-

annush 🙂

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A free MIT education is the way to go!

I was born into a family of scholars. Both of my parents have PhDs and even despite their age, they have not lost their intellectual curiosity.  To put this in perspective, my father who is 62 years old went back to school to get his MBA at the tender age of 55 even though he already had two Master degrees and a PhD.

In my intellectual curiosity, I am very much my father’s daughter.

I love to learn and of my 32 years of life, I’ve spent about 27 as a student. Being a student is something I am good at and that allows me to make sense of the world around me.  It also provides me with the opportunity to engage with people who share my curiosity and exposes me to different viewpoints.

After I completed my MBA 2 years ago, I tried to fill the subsequent void by reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. The problem with reading “anything and everything” is that there is a lot of crap out there.  One of the many reasons why teachers/ professors are so valuable is that they know how to curate educational information and they also know how to organize it in a way that makes sense.

Lately, I’ve felt the urge to go back to school again.  But more than going back to school,  I feel like I want to learn new things and be held accountable for learning them. It is in this spirit that I have started doing classwork for 2 anthropology courses on the  MITOpenCourseware.

The course content offered on the MIT OpenCourseware is non-credit but it is completely free. It reminds you of how fun it is to be in a classroom, but it has a flexibility not possible in a traditional classroom.  It is structured, and what’s more, the course material reflects almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT.

Not a bad deal for someone who just wants to learn.

Education in America is really expensive.  For those of us out there who have a thirst for knowledge but don’t necessarily need/want degrees, this is a really good alternative.  Harvard also offers some courses as part of their Open Learning Initiative and through EdX, MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley offer free classes online that will earn you a certificate upon demonstrated mastery of a subject.

Go take a look. Knowledge is power.

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Thank you for not smoking.

I smoke.

I’ve been a smoker on and off for about 15 years.  I have quit a few times for months a time, but each time something happened and I ended up once again with a cigarette in my hand.

As you might expect, I get lectured a lot.  People seem to have a hard time registering that someone who strives to have a life as healthy and clean as humanly possible could possibly be a smoker.  I have thought about it myself and the truth is that some things in life simply don’t make sense.

For the past couple of days I’ve been thinking that maybe I should quit smoking again and for good this time.  It seems like for the first time in a long time, all the reasons that made it difficult for me to quit smoking and stick with it are no longer there so I should take advantage of this opportunity.

I read somewhere that it takes about 3 weeks to kick a physical dependence and then the rest of your life to deal with the psychological aspect of it…

The longest journey starts with a single step.

Wish me luck.

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on being fashionable and fat…

Despite my lack of interest in fashion as of late, I have always been a fashion enthusiast.  I do have to admit though that it is far easier to be a fan of fashion, when you can fit in sample sizes and can go shopping knowing that no matter what you buy, it will probably look good.

That was me for a long time.

But life happens and things change and in the span of a year, despite my best efforts, I’ve gone from a lifetime of size 0  to a size 8.  My body has changed, and as a result my self-esteem has suffered.  I can no longer decorate myself in the cute designs that just a year ago made up the bulk of the items in my closet and this makes me sad.

Still, until this issue gets resolved, I have to put my best face forward and though it hurts me to know that I am spending money on “fat clothes,” I need to make the best of a bad situation.

Yesterday,  I mustered the courage to go shopping for my upcoming trip.  I’ll admit, it wasn’t easy.  I hate trying on clothes and what’s more, for years I knew which designers were most flattering for my body type. This time around, I felt like I had to go and get to know each designer all over again and through trial and error see how they envisioned I should perceive my own body.

I must have tried on 100 pieces of clothing only to find that my new body is no longer the body I need to enjoy the designers I used to love.  I was sad, frustrated, and ultimately felt defeated but I reminded myself that this is only a temporary situation.  It was then that out of desperation, I somehow ended up trying on clothes from the Jessica Simpson Collection. 

For the record, I’d never taken Jessica Simpson very seriously.  Not once did I ever consider looking at any items from her multiple collections though I always did wonder how she ended up with a billion dollar business.  In hindsight, maybe I should have looked.

For such an affordable brand, the quality of the garments is pretty high.  I tried on and ultimately purchased 5 dresses and every item I tried on was made with nice fabrics, was properly lined, and had an above average finish. As far as the style and fit goes, I guess Jessica learned a thing or two about the female body having been on both ends of the thin and fat spectrum because her clothes work.  I felt well-dressed, fashionable, and comfortable in her designs which is ultimately what drove my decision to buy.

In the future, I can see myself buying more clothes from the collection.  If there is one thing that I have learned from watching all those seasons of Project Runway, is that clothes are intended to make you feel good about yourself.

For the first time in a few months, I didn’t feel inadequate trying on clothes and was actually excited about having an opportunity to wear them .

I think that women with bodies of average size will find that this is a good brand to keep in mind when they go shopping.   Until further notice, I recommend it 🙂

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#NoWalmartInMidtown !

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Give me a piece of that!


I don’t think I’ve ever met a fruit I didn’t like.
(Unless you count watermelons, papayas, lychees, and passion fruits).

I love them and I am convinced that my love for fruits is one of the reasons why Hugh and I are both in such good health.  Yes, we maintain a plant-based diet, but we place equal emphasis on fruits and vegetables.

A few days ago, I had a conversation with someone who told me that they didn’t eat fruit because “all those sugars and carbs are not worth the calories.” I really shouldn’t have been surprised because this came from someone whose idea of hydration is lots of ice on their caffeinated drinks, still it made me wonder how many people are out there thinking that fruits are a waste of calories.

About fruit:

Fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and many plant derived micronutrients.  While some fruits are considered to be superfoods due to
their large supply of nutrients, all edible fruits provide exceptional nutritional benefits.

Many studies show that two to five daily servings can help you significantly reduce your risk of :

  • Stroke,
  • Diabetes,
  • Heart disease,
  • And certain cancers.

Fruits are low in calories and fat and are a source of simple sugars, fiber, and vitamins, which are essential for optimizing our health. They provide plenty of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to ward of cholesterol and fats from the body.  Fruits contain many anti-oxidants like poly-phenolic flavonoids, vitamin-C, anthocyanins. These compounds help the body protect itself from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers, and  boost our immunity level.

And it’s not just the body that benefits. A recent study found that people who drank fruit and vegetable juices had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The fruit nutrition study, conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., found that people who drank fruit and vegetable juices at least three times a week reduced their risk by 76 percent. Those who drank juice twice a week saw their risk go down by 16 percent.

So, what are you waiting for? it’s summer…go eat a mango or something 🙂

 

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Poolside with frosty drink in hand!

Of all the amazingly fantabulous gadgets we own, I have to say that the most useful of them all has got to be the portable battery charger Hugh gave me the other day.

After I finally made the switch from a Blackberry to a Samsung Galaxy 2, I quickly learned that the battery situation with these smartphones is no joke, and that external battery charger cases are not only unpractical, but also a waste of money because they die after like a week (I went through 3 before I gave up).  This battery charger has been a godsend for me and kept me connected during those times when I’m neither in my car or near an electrical outlet. I highly recommend it.

Anyway, it is the beginning of a new week and I’m actually pretty happy because today Hugh and I are celebrating our 15th monthaversary. It feels like just yesterday I was moving into our place here on the Causeway, and it’s already been 7 months! Time sure flies when you are having fun!

In any case, in celebration, we will be going to our favorite Peruvian restaurant for some yummy ceviche.  As a cool added bonus, I will be one of the guest co-hosts in this week’s #foodiechats, which is tonight.  I do have to admit, I find it pretty funny that I would be invited on the week they are talking about “retro food”, but I am flattered simply to be asked.  You should check it out.

You should also check out @vicequeenmaria ‘s recap video of Social Media Day Miami. What a great day! That was a perfect example of what amazing things can be achieved with teamwork.  It was great to see the community come out and participate! I look forward to being a part of it again next year 🙂

In the next few weeks, there are some pretty cool events going on.  Though I originally intended to go into hibernation for 45 days straight, it seems more reasonable to hibernate on my days off. I will, however, admit that as much as I look forward to everything that’s happening in the upcoming days, I am looking forward to juicing, baking, and writing even more.

Until next time!

annush 🙂

** PS- I was not paid or asked to endorse any of the products mentioned in this post. 

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