August 15, 2014

FLASHBACK FRIDAY : Artist Glenn Arthur

Artist Glenn Arthur

First published on My Favorite MAOI – 6/5/2009

Name: Glenn Arthur
Nickname: Glenny
Sign: Aquarius

Favorite:
Ice Cream: Strawberry
Book: The kind I can color in.
Color: Black (but only until they come out with something darker)

Q1. What animal is your spirit guide?
A1.Not sure. I hope it’s a hummingbird…and if it’s not then I’ll just lie and say it is ;)

Q2. If you had a parrot what would you teach it to say?
A2.”Get off my lawn!”

Q3. What superhero would you make your sidekick?
A3.Wonder Woman for sure. But only if i get to fly the invisible jet!

Q4. What do you admire in a person?
A4.Intelligent vulgarity.

Q5. Biggest Pet Peeve?
A5.People who drive like idiots!!!

Q6. Favorite amusement park and ride?
A6.Disneyland totally. The Pirates Of The Caribbean without a doubt. Yo Ho!

Q7. Best vacation memory?
A7.Birthday trip to San Jose for a Friday the 13th midnight flashlight tour through The Winchester Mystery House. SO RAD!!!

Q8. Childhood ambition?
A8.Coloring in the lines, climbing trees (without falling out) and launching myself farther than my sister off the swing set!!!

Q9. Best compliment ever received?
A9.You have a very attractive hairline. HAHA…WTF?!?

Q10. What do you wish was invented?
A10. A dream video recorder. Although my dreams probably aren’t suitable for public viewing.

Visit Glenn Arthur’s Website | Instagram @Glenn_Arthur_Art | Twitter @GlennArthurArt

August 15, 2014

MY NY EATS – SATURDAY

I love the term foodie as it expresses a person who appreciates and loves food, but isn’t a formal food critic. My NY Eats were a big part of my weekend in New York, and trying new restaurants is a big part of any adventure for me. I hope you enjoy reading my recap of where I ate, and I give you a sense of the space and flavors. I didn’t take notes so it’s all from memory.

Our first stop on Saturday was Williamsburg. Wei explained Williamsburg is what Los Feliz is to Los Angeles. Which, for the reader unfamiliar with both; can then compare to the hip part of town where successful architects, musicians, artists, and other creative types reside who have moved far out of the starving stage of their craft.  We got brunch at an adorable rustic looking restaurant called Rabbit Hole. It was still fastened with its late 19th century character. Molded ceiling and narrow bar running down the side. Apparently the back outdoor portion of the restaurant is really nice, but we were starved and I just wanted to be seated. So we were right in front next to a large window facing the street. It made for some great lighting, and I was seated beneath a funny sign.

brunch in williamsburg

The brunch menu was creative and hip. A balanced selection of savory and sweet. One could easily be torn between, stuffed brioche French toast with strawberry mascarpone or salmon egg benedict on an herb biscuit. Since my friend ordered lemon ricotta pancakes and was willing to share a bite. I ordered the salmon benedict.  I’m a bit of benedict addict, or in a classy sense a connoisseur.  And the Rabbit Hole’s benedict easily made my top 3 benedicts of all time. It was a good hollandaise sauce, but what stood out the most was the fantastic biscuit the salmon and poached egg rested on. It had the texture of a drop biscuit but was incredibly light and buttery. It easily crumbled just enough to get a bite on your fork and melt in your mouth. I will dream of that salmon eggs benedict. Liz’s lemon pancakes zinged with zest, but were not tart. Sweet like a lemon cake. Surprisingly I don’t like lemon desserts, but I enjoy lemon pancakes. The service was also delightful, I ordered Orange Juice and a coffee to combat last night’s mule, and our waitress was really great at keeping the joe flowing.

salmon eggs benedict on biscuit

Fast forward through a day of sightseeing and bucket list accomplishments. We met up with Wei’s friend Chris, and Liz’s boyfriend Darren at Bryant Park. Darren’s birthday was the following day, so it was his choice for where we’d go for dinner. And not sure of what he wanted to eat, his only request was that he wanted a big frosty mug of beer. There are only two types of dining establishments that sell large frosty mugs of beer, and those are German restaurants and Japanese restaurants. Chris and Wei the actual New Yorkers, were racking their brains when Darren was making his mug request. After repeating it a third time, the light bulb above Wei’s head burst and she knew exactly where to go. A Japanese restaurant called Kenka, there is a blinking badger outside of it.

— WARNING FOOD GETS GRAPHIC & NOT VEGETARIAN FRIENDLY —

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August 9, 2014

MY NY EATS – FRIDAY

I went to New York to have an epic weekend, that would be kicked off by a girls’ night at the Barclay Center seeing Katy Perry. A magical night filled with glitter, prisms, laser lights, and a giant rotating cake. I took the red eye into NY on Thursday, and arrived at 8:00 am Friday morning on the East Coast. My friend who I was staying with, a talented photographer Wei, hosted us (my awesome friend Liz was there too) and wanted us to experience delicious food and the energy of NY. We first stopped at Wei’s for a nap, Liz was exhausted and I don’t advise trying to arrive well rested from sleeping on a plane. Sleeping into the afternoon we woke up starved, and Wei suggest Dim Sum.

Walking through a crowded China town dodging small children, rolling luggage, and patrons waiting for their street vendor egg rolls. We were on the hunt for a Dim Sum restaurant called the Golden Unicorn, because it was named after a unicorn. Unfortunately due to low blood sugar, and a misguided sense of direction, we ended up at Wei’s favorite Dim Sum place, Jing Fong. Standing in front of the wrong restaurant hunger decided for us, and we rod up a long escalator illuminated by an opulent chandelier. Seated immediately, what was more surprising was the quick delivery of our delicious dumplings. One usually waits at least five minutes before a  cart full of steaming buns rolls by, but our hunger must have been throwing off signals, cause in seconds we had a table full of 5 to 7 dumplings.

To the point that when another women passed by and dropped by some char siu bao, she complained that we did not even have a card on the table to mark down the items we had requested.  Eventually one gentlemen and two women speaking in a different language discussed the error in a hushed passionate way by our table, and we were good to go.

I even said I would be willing to try chicken feet, but while the cart passed by Wei shared why she had lost her appetite for the item, and well I’d lost my adventurous appetite too.

dim sum chinatown ny adventure

After China Town we passed by Little Italy where I picked up a street cannoli. It was probably the best cannoli I have ever had in my life, or will ever have. Unless I travel to Italy. The crust was firm, it snapped in my mouth without hurting my teeth and the filling was a light sweet cheese accented by mini chocolate chips. Perfect dessert to eat while dodging people. Walking in New York is like a video game, just remind me to not be there during the Zombie Apocalypse.

Fast forward to after Katy Perry, because I don’t think my dinner of Prestel, Cheap American Beer, and Red Bull is anything to write home about. We ventured from Brooklyn to the Lower East Side to the Meatball Shop. Passing by an amazing old building with an inane amount of graffiti. Its exterior did not fit the gorgeous architecture or the rest of neighborhood. Wei’s awesome friend remembered me telling him about this building, and shared with me a story about it. I knew that building was special without knowing anything about it.

Back to food, walking into The Meatball Shop there was a small bar with stools, a communal table that ran down the middle, and a few single tables lining the walls. As you can assume the menu was filled with meatballs. I wanted to test all the combinations of balls and sauces, so I opted for their sliders.  A chicken meatball with pesto sauce, spicy pork meatball with spicy marinara, beef meatball with a mushroom sauce, and another I can’t remember. They are served on the perfect bun. It doesn’t absorb too much of the sauce, and allows the flavors to just burst. I feel like it might have been potato bread. My favorite was the spicy pork, and spicy marinara.  Also the pesto is worth mentioning as it had a nice hint of pine nuts and was not too oily. I also had a side of mashed potatoes, great texture, fluffy and buttery.

The restaurant had just got is liquor license, which apparently according to a story I heard on Good Food is very important to the success of an NY restaurant. I ordered a Moscow mule, and I’m sad to report it was disappointing. It tasted watered down, and I questioned if there was any vodka in it at all. But my friend ordered an Old Cuban that had me envious. Not only cause you could tell it wasn’t virgin, but it tasted really yummy too. After throwing back a few of those, one might go home with an old Cuban.

the meatball shop ny adventure

We headed back to my friends place after dinner, which by the way was at 2am. In NY you apparently sit down for dinner when LA bars are closing. Now at nearly 900 words, I won’t even attempt to include Saturday or Sunday meals in one post.

So basically till next time…yum yum get in my tum!

Have you visited any of these places?

August 8, 2014

Flashback Friday : Sarah Negahdari of The Happy Hallows

Sarah Negahdari Happy Hallows

First  published on My Favorite MAOI – 8/27/2009

Name: Sarah Negahdari

Nickname: Kitty, Negs, Nega

Sign: Pisces

Favorite:

Food. Sushi

Book. Inspiration Sandwich by Sark

Season. Autumn!

Q1.How many times have you been pulled over? And why?

A1.Just once. I didn’t do a full stop at a stop sign. I started crying! and the policeman let me go ticket free!

Q2.What animal if your spirit guide?

A2I Looooooveee your questions! ahhhh! So refreshing!!!!! mine is a black panther. I have had many dreams that were incredibly vivid, mystical, involving a female black panther, roaring at me to toughen up! She shows me how to be A REAL WOMAN! :)

Q3. What’s your vice?

A3.Oh gaaaaawwwddd, my indecisiveness!!! no wait, maybe it’s my day dreaminess, no wait, it’s my…just kidding…yeah, my vice is definitely that I have such a hard time making up my mind.

Q4.If you could live in a movie for a day, which movie would it be? Would you be yourself or another character?

A4.wow,, such a fabulous question!!! I would be in Labyrinth and I would be David Bowie’s character!!!!

Q5. If your art was an ice cream flavor which one would it be?

A5.Definitely rainbow swirl, with dark chocolate sharp poky pieces, and sprinkles! and a candle symbolizing a new birthday each day, like you can start fresh each day with a wish- and be reborn with a clean slate!

Q6. Did you have an imaginary friend as a child?

A6. Yes. Although i don’t remember this, but my parents told me I had an imaginary friend named Stephanie, and every time I did something bad i would tell them, “but it was Stephanie who did it!”

Q7. Personal Quote?

A7.(Charlie will send this one, he seems to remeber all of my quotes, and I am blanking out!)

Q8. Do you believe in horoscopes and zodiac signs?

A8. Yes, I think there is something to it that is quite mysterious! I believe the planets have a definite influence over our basic personality. Although I don’t think it’s good to think they have total say or power over our destiny. I do love it though! Yeah, I really do believe there is something to the whole astrology thing for sure! I just really love it!

Q9. Do you drink coffee? If so how many cups a day?

A9. I AM A COFFEE ADDICT. it’s really ridiculous. Every morning I have to have coffee otherwise I freak out!!! I only really need it in the morning, but I love it, i am a LOVER of that bean.

Q10. Best show you have ever been too?

A10. I think when I first saw Tori Amos, I was very young, and it made such a deep impact on my life. I remeber sitting in the theater and balling my eyes out, wiping loads of snot all over my chair becuase i just ran out of room on my sleve. i was just SO moved by her raw emotional honesty and balls and insanity and also vulnerable, Openess with the audience. That forever changed and inlfuenced me.

 

Fresh links and info for 2014:   Happy Hallows & Pisces 

August 2, 2014

Weekday Roundup – Goodbye July…

weekday roundup Friday favorites

HOLY CANNOLI! How is it August? Seriously, July flew by.

In July my freelance hours went up, my full time job hours went down, and thankfully I was able to squeeze out two post on this blog. I also interviewed the owner of my new favorite tea company. But between managing my new work flow and flying to New York (it was my first time) I haven’t found the time to write my intro/outro and send it off to Hello Giggles (or other websites open to contributor submissions). Though the interview is in my top 3 things to do tomorrow morning, it’s my frog.

Yes, I just said my interview was a frog. My good friend Liz, and fellow blogging sister at casualconerns.com, sent me this article on the morning routines of successful people. One of the tips was to conquer your top three objectives (the frog) in the morning, when you’re most focused and motivated. The routines of successful people varied. Though my favorite share of the article was that of Mr. Benjamin Franklin. I printed it out as a guide for myself and have it perched on my desk. I liked the way he focused his energy, and broke up his day in sections. Although he goes to bed at 10:00pm, and that is completely unrealistic for me. My goal for August is to develop a discipline of waking up, exercising, showering, clothes, makeup, breakfast with my beau, and coffee in front of my home computer working on my own thoughts and projects. Even if it’s just 15 minutes. I need to find a little slice of time for my own projects to progress.

Here is the full article if you want to refine your morning routine for success.

benjamin franklin productivity

On my list of “pending blog articles” to write was to share my favorite documentaries. I’m a documentary junkie.  They feed my voracious curiosity, and need to be inspired or stimulated. I watch movies to check out, but documentaries make me feel plugged in. I especially love a good documentary about obscure people or events, people that in some way have made their pure existence on this planet a work of art.  Paste magazine just came out with a list of the 50 best documentaries on Netflix in 2014. I’ve watched 10 of them and have debated watching 7 of them, but they didn’t include my most recent favorite documentary, The Institute.

Here are the documentaries on the list I have watched and my 2 cents in two words:

Jiro Dreams of Sushi = Work Harder

Muscle Shoals = Soul Music

Room 237 = Conspiracy Theories

Exit through The Gift Shop = New Warhol

20 Feet from Stardom = Sing It

Jesus Camp = Crazy Christians

Tabloid = MUST WATCH

Who is Harry Nilsson… = The Point

Queen of Versailles = No Debt

Shut Up and Play the Hits = Curtain Call

Lastly, my July playlist was so incredibly weak I have no words or enough music for a #SOTD recap. But I really like these songs! Here is to a more consistent August. July was awesome, amazing, I saw Katy Perry and Mood Indigo. It was filled with art, music, friendships, food…but I didn’t report any of it and that’s important to me too.

Basically until next time… Sprinkles make the world a more colorful place.  Love, Bekka

July 8, 2014

#SOTD June Playlist

June flew by! I celebrated my 2 year anniversary with my dream boat boyfriend. He made me a gourmet steak dinner and bought 15 year old Macallen Scotch. (oh yeah its true love)

IMG_20140610_195440

Also in June I celebrated the birthday of my teenage best friend. A friendship that began in an acting class and has lasted over 10 years is quite the accomplishment.  Then my sister brought into the world niece number 2, a sweet as pie little darling baby. I took on a new freelance client. And have you ever had a fresh strawberry donut? I never had till this past month! So yeah, June was not boring or slow by any means. How is it already the 8th of July?  I have some playlist catch up to do.

Well here were the musical highlights of June!

My favorite stay cool, blue toned, lounge music with slow motion smiling faces of beautiful people is New Navy. The band is from Sydney, Australia and their disheveled  hair with well styled blazers makes momentary elevator tunes sound modern and summer time champagne toast ready.

song of the day new navy

 

Are you like me and miss a good band that plays a mean guitar and bangs it out on their drums. Tired of another indie rock pop group that sounds like a FUN or FOSTER THE PEOPLE remix. Oh and doesn’t sound surf wave, or stoner, or like they are stuck in their garage.  It’s a tall order but I think I found the band for you… New Madrid! Based in Georgia,  I’ve been discovering lately that the state houses a lot of great non-country sounding bands.

Oh Rico Gagliano from Dinner Party Download gave me a brunch suggestion…

dinner party download food

I ended the month with the song Texas and Tennessee from my hands down favorite band, Lucero. They never stops touring or playing, and I would LOVE to catch them play in Memphis, Nashville, Louisville… you get the idea. I’ve seen Lucero more than I can count on one hand. But never in their own habitat, which I imagine is just anywhere in the south.  On June 30, I got some news that I could have taken badly and thrown my plans into a tail spin. Instead I’m embracing the change, as I will see Texas and Tennessee!

 

July 7, 2014

Quick Simple Healthy : Southwest Quinoa Salad

easy picnic food southwest quinoa salad

You know that western decease called anxiety. Well I have it, and when I’m invited to pot-lucks, bbqs, picnics, or any event in which I’m supposed to bring a dish. The inner 1950’s housewife and totally lazy cook in me conflict. I want to make something impressive and delicious, but I look at my schedule and realize I have max 3 hours to make something before midnight without driving myself insane.  I was invited to a birthday party that involved a picnic element, and as it was an exceptionally stressful week I decided to throw myself into making a vegetarian feast. That aside, in the midst of my stress cooking I discovered the Southwest Quinoa Salad. It is the dream side dish of my inner lazy cook, and my new favorite quick simple healthy salad. The only thing you cook is the quinoa and the rest of the steps can be done while the grain is in the pot. Total process for the most novice chef is 30minutes tops, and that’s me assuming one has no cutting skills.

So lets get to it…

Ingredients:

Quinoa

Can of Corn

Can of Black Beans (plain)

Green Onion (4 stocks)

Cilantro

Red Bell Pepper

(my trader joes didn’t have any good bell pepper so I bought the cute mini ones)

Limes (2)

Chili Powder & Garlic Salt

southwest quinoa salad ingredients

 One serving of quinoa does the trick, so cook according to the instructions on the package.

benefits of quinoa

Now while the quinoa is cooking, rinse your corn and beans.

After they have been thoroughly rinsed place in a separate bowl.

steps for making quinoa salad rinse corn and beans

Then chop up the green onion, red bell pepper, and cilantro into tiny pieces; think the same size as the corn.

vegetables for quinoa salad

  1. Combine the green onion, red bell pepper, and cilantro into the bowl with black beans and corn
  2. Toss all the ingredients together
  3. Squeeze lime juice in with the veggies an beans
  4. Sprinkle chili powder ( ¼ teaspoon is safe) and garlic salt to flavor

steps for a southwest quinoa salad

 

P.S DON’T FORGET YOUR QUINOA IN THE PROCESS

I like to place the quinoa and bowl of wonders in the same ziplock bag and mix it together; massage, shake, or wooden spoon stir. I like things that are self-contained, like a silent panic attack.

mix southwest quinoa salad

Personally I feel its best served chilled, so throw in the fridge for a bit. Also it does lack salt, but when paired with other foods like BBQ ribs or a pulled pork sandwich it’s the perfect balance.  So bring in a ziplock and throw in a bowl, or prepare individual servings of cute mason jars; this is my favorite no brainer pot luck, bbq, picnic side dish/ salad. The lazy cook loves it, and so does my perfectionist fifties housewife.

Tweet me if you remix or try this salad @basicallybekka

 

July 3, 2014

Victoria’s Secret Sports Bra Review!

VSX_1 banner

Influenster is a program where you can receive products to review based on your social influence. Those that are selected for various boxes are sent surveys to fill out in order for Influenster to connect the right person and product. When I first received the survey for the “sports bra”, I might have fudge my level of activity and said I work out twice a week (regularly). I mean I work out a solid once every other week, and am determined to bring it up. But I do love fitness and the survey was definitely hinting to a fitness box, and I wanted in. I didn’t realize it was going to be a fancy new sports bra till the end where they asked for my size, and I didn’t know it was Victoria’s Secret Sports Bra till I got the email saying I qualified. Now looking back at my white lie, karma got me in the end because I received the wrong bra size and ended up spending an additional twenty-six dollars on a new one.

You can find out the whole story in the video below

This new collection of sports bras are quite impressive. I bought a sports bra from Victoria’s Secret back in 2005 or 2006 that was intended to have maximum support. I still own the sports bra, but never wear it, and not really sure why I haven’t thrown it away. After a few washes it lost its initial support, and the material is thin making my chest look sad and frumpy. The way it was constructed created a granny like appearance. Really, why is this piece taking up space in my drawer?

Because of my terrible experience, it doubled my excitement to be selected for the Victoria Secret VSX Sports Bra box. Given it’s nearly 10 years later from my initial experience, I was sure it had improved and I was right. Since I had to go in and exchange my bra, I tried on a few different styles that allude me now and they all were very supportive. Clearly designed for different activities, like low impact yoga versus high intensity cross fit. All the different cuts, colors, and patterns made me want to over hall my life and become a fitness guru. Basically in order to justify a whole new wardrobe of yoga pants and sports bra.

victoria secret sports bra review

Since my stamina is awful and truly I am working on becoming more fit in my life right now, I wouldn’t be able to say how my new sports bra really affected my workout. I did go running in it, and follow a Tone It Up total bikini body work out video. I love those Tone It Up girls. Also when  jumping up and down for the picture you see above, they were securely fastened in the VSX seatbelt. But I’ve yet to really push this sport bra to the limit, and currently just appreciate its anti-smoosh factor while still being a secure support.

Mostly with this sports bra compared to my other ones, my boobs look amazing! It’s the bra for single ladies at the gym. Because that ideal boob shape is in the bra itself, its pretty magical. Have you tried any of the Victoria’s Secret sports bras yet?

Tweet me if you also feel the VSX line is magical at @basicallybekka.

 magical sports bra victoria secret

Found the Unicorn Illustration Here!

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June 27, 2014

“Cool Girl” Style Conspiracy

The fashion world created the “cool girl” style and I will forever be grateful. Bed-head hairstyles, or quick top knots with bold lips and an excellent hand at liquid eyeliner. The women of New York realized they needed a solution to looking chic with as minimal effort as possible, because the women of New York are exhausted!

Yes, I am calling out the editors, assistants, associates, and the ambitious mothers of invention who work all-day and then network all night. Alarm clocks set to the last possible minute before being late to work, buzzing to wake up hard working individuals, desperate for at least 6 hours of sleep. There is no time for a beauty routine longer than ten minutes when you need to get ready quickly. Throw on a simple ensemble of stylish black pants, an effortless tailored top, and maybe a jacket, if the weather calls for it, and it’s out the door. Presentable, but not haggard at their day jobs, because under those stylish glasses, below the perfect cat eye, and covered by a Nars concealer are their “bags of honor.”

Puffy and dark, the bags under one’s eye indicates a lack of sleep due to the drive and determination one has to succeed, all while not giving up their social life. By Thursday, I am rocking my own “bags of honor”… with a full time job, freelance projects, passion project, and happily the supportive girlfriend of a musician, my body and beauty routine has learned to cope on 5.5 hours of sleep.

I will not look in the mirror and judge myself for not looking like a well rested teenager, my skin a little sallow and eyes possibly glazed. No, I will see my puffy, dark circles and declare them my “bags of honor”; for my week has been filled with new connections, tending to old friendships, accomplishing fabulous projects, and being an essential member of my 9-5 team.  All while running on B-vitamins, lots of coffee, water and whatever I can remember to feed myself.

New York is a city fueled by ambition, and the fashion publishing industry. With an increase in easy hairstyle and quick beauty stories, I’m happy they dubbed what was previously known as “the rushed look” the “cool girl” style. No longer does this California girl have to look polished by spending hours on her hair for an at home blow out.  All I need is dry shampoo and a good concealer. Covering my “bags of honor” only to make every one wonder… how does she do it!

cool girl style collage

June 27, 2014

SOUNDS LIKE : Bastille’s “Bad Blood” and Lost Boys

bastille sounds like lost boys

I’ve been obsessed with vampires since I was around 5 or 6 years old. Watching vampire films, and asking my Dad to tell me about vampire lore. Most would think letting a 9 year old watch From Dusk till Dawn is in appropriate, how about a 7 year old watching Interview with a Vampire. My favorite television show as a teen was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and yes I had already watched the classic Buffy the Vampire film with Kristy Swanson around 5 years old.

But my favorite vampire film has always been Lost Boys. When Lost Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Interview with a Vampire played at the Cinespia Hollywood Cemetery screening this past summer, I squealed with excitement. So what does my obsession with vampires, pre-flippn Twilight BS, have to do with music.

Bastille’s “Bad Blood” is completely reminiscent of the title song in Lost Boys! And the fact Bastille’s song is called “Bad Blood” makes me think this isn’t just a coincidence*. I have a tendency to hear musical connections that others don’t always hear. The musical connection is not obvious, and it’s not like I’m saying Bastille’s Bad Blood is exactly like the Lost Boy’s “Cry Little Sister” by G Tom Mac. BUT they definitely both used some cinnamon in their songs, if you get my random cooking metaphor. Listen below and tell me what you think.

 

p.s. Lost Boys came out the same year I was born, so I was born with Vampire love in my blood!

*I admit that’s a bit of a reach.

(MYFAVORITEMAOI.COM WAS MY OTHER BLOG – NOW ON HIATUS)

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