Autumn Leaves

Currently listening to: Autumn Leaves by Nat King Cole

If you follow me on Twitter/ Instagram, you know that I played hooky this weekend and went to Expo East in Baltimore. I had an amazing time educating people about Deya’s Gluten-Free Flour, understanding the natural food industry a bit more, and – most importantly – tasting delicious things. (Some of my favorites were Deception Salsa and Uncle Dougie’s BBQ sauce.) I was blown away by all of the tastes at the show, but saved some room for the evening: I treated myself to a California roll with fresh Baltimore crab from Whole Foods. Another WF find? Fall apples.

Whole Foods apples

Whole Foods apples

Have I mentioned that fall is my favorite season? From soups to hearty sauces to pumpkin decorations, everything screams comfort and home.

Corn grinder

Corn grinder

I can’t help but wonder about New England this time of year. The 80 degree days of North Carolina start to lose their comfort. I’m desperate for a drive through Long Island to see the changing leaves and smell the freshly lit fireplaces, returning home to feel the warmth of the stove as my mom cooks off what seems to be a whole bag of onions for a vat of tomato sauce that will be replenished every Sunday.

A 2012 fall N.C. day

A 2012 fall N.C. day

There’s a certain renaissance that’s associated with fall.  The leaves the change color and then fall to the ground are accompanied by a change of mentalities.

Boot weather

Boot weather

Recently, I cleared my mind of things that have been plaguing me since I got back from Paris. When I was in Baltimore, I had such a realization of my age. I felt so young as a college student in a pool of eager late-20-somethings trying to launch the project to which they’ve dedicated years. I felt so old in the thought that I am in the same decade of serious relationships, weddings, and first homes.

Pumpkins and squash

Pumpkins and squash

It’s important to switch out your summer dresses for sweaters, your cherry red polishes for “Wicked” and “Lacy Not Racy,” and relieve your mind of the things that have been plaguing you. For me, He’s Just Not That Into You and some Pioneer Woman did just the trick. It’s better for me to clear my mind before carrying heavy burdens into the colder seasons.

Fall 2012 apple picking on Long Island

Fall 2012 apple picking on Long Island

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Serving Life

*When my computer stalks my online shopping tendencies and taunts me in the form of Modcloth Facebook ads, I usually freak out. But I love that my new Netflix’s user profile picks up on my movie-watching habits! So long to suggestions for other members who use my account!*

Is it weird that I love prison and psychiatric movies?

From Girl, Interrupted to Shawshank Redemption, for some reason, I can’t get enough. I love getting into the characters’ often elusive and complex mindsets.

Serving Life is an eye-opening story about second chances. At a Louisiana prison notorious for occupants with long sentences, the warden emphasizes a program in which inmates take care of prisoners in hospice care. It’s a voluntary program with a selective application process, and the positions are coveted.

Courtesy of AOL TV

One prisoner had been pre-med before his sentencing. Another had been in-and-out of jail since stints in juvie. But no matter what the background, the cycle of watching a fellow prisoner die in hospice has a profound effect on each volunteer. They find purpose in their lives again and chip away at the guilt that haunts them in the stone cold halls of prison.

You’ll smile, laugh, and cry through this documentary guided by the soothing voice of Forest Whitaker. Be sure to add this one to your ” List,” (another new Netflix feature that’s like bookmarking).

Suggestions? Comment below with any suggestions for documentaries/ movies you think I should check out!

Chocolate-Dipped Palmiers

It’s funny how so much can change in just one year.

Fall semester of my sophomore year, I was yearning for my Spring in Paris, not fully allowing myself to get involved because I knew that soon, I’d be off in the City of Lights. I was under-involved and bored.

chocolate dipped palmiers 2

Now, I’m probably too involved in my academics and school activities.  I never have a free moment, but when I get to incorporate relaxation into my crazy schedule, I jump on the chance. The “me-time” this week? Baking for my school’s Org Fair.

chocolate dipped palmiers

For the French Club booth (a way that I always hope will transplant me back into the 15ème, drinking du vin with mes amies and taking les balades by the Canal St. Martin), I baked palmiers, also known as elephant ear cookies. Until I actually get to go back to my deuxième home, these will have to suffice.

chocolate dipped palmiers 1

Recipe via Pepperidge Farm