Family Affair

Family. We all have at least a few. Whether it’s the one we make at school, the one we make at work, the one of lifetime friends, or the one of role models. We have groups of people that we can turn to no matter what. I’m so thankful to have many families. But I am even more thankful to love one that I was born into, no matter where I go or what I do.

As the youngest of four children, I was always shy. People could always answer for me, protect me, and and comfort me. Over the years and many school musicals and plays later, I’ve definitely come out of my shell. But whenever I come home, it’s comforting to know that we have our similar roles. My oldest sister is the intelligent, French one who gets excited over things like American oatmeal and Les Miserables movie trailers. My second oldest sister is a comidienne and aspiring actress, who has perfected the art of cheering me up. My brother is so smart, and knows the answer to every question from “how do I fix this” to “how does this work,” while still being charismatic and a great listener. I, on the other hand, feel that I have always been the little one. I sit back and listen to my other siblings, in awe as they go on about their passions.

My dad has always called me a little version of my oldest sister due to the similarity of our passions, though I think that I am a mini-mom. We are so similar, and I admire her perseverance and strength. My dad is so smart and so wise. I can go to him with any life question but still be comforted by Family Guy impersonations.

I left for college yesterday. I’m a sophomore, so I know what to expect and I have friends who I cannot wait to see. But leaving my close-knit family, however crazy and abnormal we are, has always been the hardest thing for me to do. My sister and I hope that one day, we will own a vineyard in Northern California and move our entire family there. Because as I leave, it becomes more an more clear: there’s no way you can live without your family.

As a “last supper” in the form of breakfast, we made something we’ve made every summer since our childhoods: donuts. With a few tin rolls of Pillsbury biscuit dough, this breakfast is impossible to mess up. Just open the roll, make some shapes, fry up in canola, vegetable or peanut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Advertisements

Les dessins

I find fashion to be an art. The designs are unique, the colors are captivating and the overall outcome means something. And like any piece of art, there are multiple steps the designer must take before achieving the masterpiece. My friend once took a class at FIT and taught me how to draw a clothing design. It’s much more intricate than it seems, but the results are beautiful.



Slice of Home

Ah, the midlife crisis. Some men resort to ridiculously expensive cars. Others to scandalous affairs. But in my household, with a Sicilian father and a mother who loves to cook, there was only one possible, logical indulgence: a pizza oven.

My dad had a pizza built in the backyard about 6 years ago. What seemed to some like a silly extravagance turned into a vehicle for a family tradition.

            

With my mom’s fresh tomato sauce, caramelized onions, mozzarella, various salami and prosciutto and arugula at our disposal, we create our different pizzas which my brother cooks to perfection as my dad offers unwanted input.


And in the end, it doesn’t matter how many times my dad corrects my brother on how he’s handling the pizzas or who consumed the most pizza. The most important thing is that it has remained a family tradition. With the oldest kid in my family 25 and the youngest 19, we still come together every summer to make pizza. I’m off to Elon in 1 week and 1 day and am starting to get the knots in my stomach. But nights with family friends and loved ones surrounding our crazy family, it couldn’t feel more like home.

Skins, the British One

When The O.C. and Gossip Girl were THE shows to be watching, I wouldn’t conform, claiming that I thought they were pointless. When Harry Potter was all the rage, I didn’t want to read the books (much to my future regret). And when all of my friends in high school became obsessed with Skins, I wouldn’t tune in. But this weekend, I discovered how addicting the TV show really is and spent the majority of the rainy days catching up on what I’d been missing.

This show is as addicting as all of the drugs and alcohol that the college aged characters do. You quickly realize that the episodes are about a group of about 10 university students in England. The protagonist changes each episode. You quickly figure out who your favorites of the friends are (mine were Sid and Cassie). There are a lot of plot lines to this show – from falling in love with your friend’s girlfriend, to obsessive compulsiveness, to virginity, to selling and taking lots of drugs, to pregnancy. The number of dramatic things that these kids are going through is endless. And that only makes the show that much more addicting. I just finished season 2 where the original cast just ended and the show will now focus one of their little sisters and her friends. As far as trashy, racy teenage TV shows go, this is one of the captivating.

We’ll Always Have Paris

As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized how quickly time flies. Not only am I stunned that I am already a sophomore in college (gulp), but I am that much closer to becoming a “real person” in the “real world.” It’s crazy how quickly time wastes away, and so does the limited amount of money that is dwindling in my bank account. People aren’t kidding when they talk about being a poor college student. That’s why I loved one of the pins I found this week; it captivates both of these things.

          

A dream box is an improved, more inspiring form of a piggy bank. You take any container – a box, a mason jar, an old vase – and put a picture on/ in it that inspires you. It’s supposed to be a cause of inspiration for you to save up. Since I am a double major with French at Elon University, I have to go abroad to a French-speaking country. Naturally, it would be my dream to live in Paris for a semester. So I took an old tin box in my house from a store called Fauchon in Paris. Every time I have spare change or am willing to make an investment, I’ll add a little money. The tin will remind me what it’s for and reinforce my desire to take money out to spend it on something like an iced coffee. I’d much rather save it and spend it on a macaroon in Paris than an iced coffee in America.

I was recently accepted into a program in Paris and will be off for the spring semester of this year. Whenever I get the urge to reach into my dream box, all I’ll have to remember is that soon, I’ll be in the City of Lights, thankful for this idea that came from a day of procrastination.

Fashion Forward

I started this blog to start writing about things that I loved and believed in. While food and movies may be some of my top interests, fashion is high up there. I’m a huge fan of Sex and the City, I grew up in New York City, and I have an amazing mom who dresses like Jackie O. Need I say more? Here are a few pictures of my style inspiration:

          

         

              


      

          

          

For more fashion inspiration, check out my Pinterest!

World War III: Sorority Style

For the moments where you want nothing more than a goofy, entertaining, first world problem kind of a film, this one’s for you! It had all of the PG-rated display of college parties and the message of doing the “right thing” seen in a typical Disney Channel Original movie or ABC Family flick. I first found sorority wars when I was looking forward to going to a school in the South. Also, Lucy Hale, the star of Pretty Little Liars and one of my style icons is in it. On a boring rainy Sunday, I decided to watch! It’s no award-winning film, but it had its moments and could definitely relate.

It’s similar to Sydney White: a girl is led to a certain sorority/ group of girls because she is a legacy due to her mom. Also similarly to Sydney White, Hale’s character just doesn’t fit in with the sorority that has seemed to change so much since her mother was there. Instead, she becomes an outcast, later accepted by a different group. This movie is sweet in the sense that it tells girls not to conform to what they think they should be. It’s an important message, especially since a lot of girls I know (including myself) went through rush and didn’t end up finding a match. There’s not much substance to this movie, but it was nonetheless enjoyable and gave me some insight about my upcoming year at a Greek-oriented school. It gives great advice: be true to yourself, because life is all about becoming a better version of you!

     

Candied Cinnamon & Sugar Almonds

I recently discovered the beauty of candied nuts. Last Christmas, I saw Kelsey Nixon make some on the Cooking Channel and had to try them. From then on, I’ve been hooked, but have always associated them with wintertime. It was only until recently when I took a cooking class at Sur la Table (which was AMAZING) that I realized they really are great all year around. The chef who was teaching my class made cinnamon candied walnuts that I devoured (even shamefully licking my finger to gather the excess sugar at the bottom of my bowl!). I decided this weekend to make some of my own and used an amazing recipe. Here’s my step-by-step guide of making candied almonds! Enjoy!

Recipe via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

                     

       

A Summer in Genoa

Colin Firth. Amanda Bynes’ dad in What a Girl Wants, the hopeless writer in Love Actually, the stuttering king of England in The Kind’s Speech, and of course – and maybe most importantly- Mr. Darcy (yes, in both the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones’s Diary). Need I say much more? Colin Firth is one of those actors, for me, that will draw me to any movie to see it. That’s what happened with A Summer in Genoa.

The movie follows Joe (Firth) who moves with his two daughters to Genoa after his wife dies. He becomes a professor at the university there, and puts his older daughter in charge of the younger one often. Through tests of family and trust, the family learns to live on after death. The movie had its moments where I felt like fast-forwarding a bit, but in the end, it proved to be a sweet and touching movie. Great for a rainy day with a box of tissues.

    

Brown Sugar Chocolate Ganache Bars

My favorite kind of dessert definitely has chocolate. It’s small, but if I wanted more than one, it would be within reach. It’s light and dainty and won’t make me feel guilty, but is the perfect end to a meal. Exhibit A: Ganache-Filled Brown Sugar Bars. They are exactly the kind of thing that I crave. I made them with the gluten-free flour that I talked about here. I will make sure to set you up with a link for that really soon because it really is the BEST stuff around!

Recipe courtesy of Dana Treat via Pinterest