Thursday, August 25, 2011

Project: ME

With this week's earth quake, stories left and right of people evacuating their office buildings due to impending disaster, and extreme hurricanes hitting the East Coast by Saturday night, I have started to think about my life and where I am . I've been doing that A LOT lately- I pause what I'm doing, for what seems to be just a minute and think about what I've done, what I'm going to do, what I should have done and what Bear Grylls would do in order to survive an earthquake and any situation life throws at you. (end pause-2 hours later.)

I've been really thinking about happiness lately and things that are important to me. If I were to die tomorrow would I die Happy? Satisfied with what I've done thus far or would I ask for more time?
I'd ask for more fucking time of course because the only thing that I've done well in my life has been my son. My career didn't go as planned, my marriage didn't work out, I'm not seeing anyone and the list goes on and on.

But all these things did happen and I still haven't asked myself if I'm happy or ask what's really important to me and it's because I'm afraid of the answer. I'm afraid of the little voice in the back of my head whispering "what if I've failed?" or "what if I continue to fail?"

I am letting you all know that aside from my son, I AM NOW THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO ME!
So from this moment on I am starting a new project- ME. I will dedicate time to me, idolize me, work on me until I am so damn happy I will burst. Now I'm not aiming for perfection just progress...

Monday, August 22, 2011


I have a problem.... I have this deep seeded need to help other in difficult situations. I feel like I should be the defender of all those who need a translator, advocate, body guard etc.
Of course that gets me in trouble more often than not and causes me much unwanted anger when the favor is not reciprocated.

There is only one art director at my company, but so many other people feel that they too are bosses. It is a creative field I am in and although design is subjective some people are more qualified than others to give an opinion.

I cannot stand when bosses (or pretend bosses) feel a need to put down their team in order to give a sense of authority in front of others. Especially when they are not even qualified to be in the position they are pretending to be in. 

Well this is what happened at work all last week and i just couldn't take it really has drained me emotionally and physically. Especially because the person taking the beating stood there and did nothing for herself AND AND to make things worse, instead decided to agree with her boss.

I ended up being the enemy and walking away really really pissed off. 
I need an inner alarm, something that sounds off when I'm about to stand up and defend someone. 
Something that tells me- no, yells SHUT YOUR MOUTH at me every time I'm about to open it on behalf of someone else...

...I'm tired... really really tired. I'm not just saying that metaphorically or figuratively- I REALLY AM TIRED. I can't sleep at night, I wake up every night at 3:30 am and look at my clock. I toss and turn until 6:30 am at which time my alarm starts to go off and I snooze it all the way to 7:30. Meanwhile I have 45 minutes to get ready and get to work- arghhhh!!!! Because of this vicious cycle I have been neglecting my only outlets keeping me sane: My blog and my jewelry.

I have run out of patience and gusto and i want it back!!!! I want to wake up like I can take on the world, like I can kick ass. I try to psych myself into believing that it'll be a kick ass type of day but by 10:30 am I am loosing the fight with my eyelids. 

There is no way i can be creative this way- thus this stupid entry, but I am working on it- promise. I am trying to get back into my juicing, which I will talk about in another blog, back to my regular meditation, exercising and all the other good stuff I was doing. For now please understand that although the summer is a time to relax and recharge, I am having a hard time with that notion, perhaps because it is my 40th one :(

Monday, August 15, 2011



As I have mentioned before my adventures in martial arts and meditation came about unexpectedly and by mere chance. I had enrolled my son in a Montessori School run by a wonderful Korean family where the teachers were all American via Italy, Poland, Cuba and of course Korea.

It was an international airport of knowledge and great food. I was first introduced to Kimchi back in 2000 when my Tae Kwon Do teacher/meditation instructor/Karaoke partner/Buddhist Monk/friend brought some to class. I wish I had the video of what my first attempt at working chop sticks and spicy food looked like...

...ahh memories...but anyhoo, I fell in love again. It was probably one of the strangest foods I had ever tried- rotten cabbage, peppers- OK not rotten but definitely fermented with various seasonings.

It's a dish that dates back over a thousand years and according to Koreans ate about 40 pounds per person each year back in 2008!

Traditionally, the reddish fermented cabbage dish—made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, chili peppers, and other spices is served at every meal and you can eat it solo or over rice or even as a pizza topping. Some people like to add different ingredients but regardless of the ingredients, all the veggies are chopped up and mixed together with the various spices and fermented. In the olden days, they would bury the kimchi underground (55 degrees) in earthenware pots until the lid popped.

What is really amazing about this food other than the extreme health benefits which I will list shortly, is that women would often gather together in each other's home to prepare the kimchi for the coming season.

Kimchi is high in dietary fiber while still being low in calories. It's great for the digestive system and can fight viral infections AND recent studies point to Kimchi as a potential cancer fighter. Other evidence still shows that the fermentation process the multiplies vitamins, minerals and and all other nutrients present in kimchi and indicates that the probiotics in kimchi are crucial to our well being.
Picture Thanks to
Here is one of my favorite recipes that I found on It's pretty easy since it only takes 20 min.

Quick Kimchi

Makes about 2 qt
  • Active time:20 min
  • Start to finish:3 1/2 hr (includes pickling time)
  • 1 (3-lb) head Napa cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (see Tips) and crushed with side of heavy knife
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons coarse Korean hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 (1-lb) Asian pear
  • Quarter cabbage lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Toss with 3 Tbsp salt in a large bowl and let stand, tossing occasionally, 2 hours.
  • Rinse cabbage well, then drain. Squeeze out excess water with your hands and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Purée garlic and ginger with fish sauce and vinegar in a blender until smooth, then pour over cabbage. Add scallions, sesame seeds, and red-pepper flakes and toss to coat.
  • Peel pear, then grate on large holes of a box grater (avoid core and seeds). Add to cabbage mixture and toss well. Marinate at least 1 hour.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Kimchi keeps, chilled in an airtight container, 1 month (flavor will get stronger)

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Every year there are new trends and styles that pop up for must haves each summer but the one summer essential that is a true classic is the Crisp White Button Down. It combines a classic, clean look for summer, along with the tomboy style that has been prominent all spring and will continue into this coming fall.  This top creates a laid back charm balanced by it's sophistication and casual elegance. It pairs perfectly with cute cuffed shorts, wood accessories such as bangles or wood wedges featured here.

Here is my list of a few High End Button Downs that are beautiful but when you're GIRL ON A BUDGET my 6-10 options are even better for their prices.

1. RALPH LAUREN: $1,098.00
2. CLOSED: $332.00
3. EQUIPMENT: $208.00
4. THE ROW : $890.00
5. RAG & BONE : $310.30 ( b/c the 30¢ makes a difference)

6. JcPENNY: $19.99
7. TARGET: $14.99
8. THE LIMITED : $28.14
9. THE GAP: $29.99
10. H & M : $19.95

Being a GIRL ON A BUDGET doesn't mean that you can't look fabulous! Fashion inspiration comes from everywhere, even where you least expect, so shop stores you normally don't frequent and look for sales.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

WHAT THE EFF-Rub My Belly (Adding to the List)

In trying to keep up with my list of fears and overcoming them, I remembered that there is one other fear I forgot to add..


For the longest time I've wanted to start something of my own whether it's just a creative outlet or it actually grows into something lucrative; we'll see where it goes and maybe I'll have a link to my very own shop in the future :)

But I wanted to share a few pics of the what could be the beginning of something really really great for me that for now keeps me sane.
Working with my hands brings me lots of joy 

but then #4 from my list pops into my head and I stop working, pursuing, wanting, etc. or I come up with yet another fear to add to my list:

12. RUNNING OUT OF TIME (whether it's during the day or something taking to long to take off).
I will keep thinking positively though and keep my fingers crossed.

What do you guys do as a creative outlet or just to decompress??

Monday, August 8, 2011


I've been trying to enjoy some well deserved R&R lately. It seems that the days go by so quickly right after my birthday passes and then the year is over without a formal vacation AND frustration builds.

Mostly I believe it's FEAR!!! that holds me back- the most primal of emotions. In this case it's the fear of spending money I may need for a rainy day. This rainy day, however, has yet to reveal itself. 

I've been analyzing everything lately, specifically my life. I guess it's the "turning 40" that's the driving force for my INTROSPECTION. I've come to the realization that the biggest motivating factor in my life has been F-E-A-R!!! I have done things out of fear and I have definitely NOT done things because of it.

With this blog I wanted to practice an exercise in overcoming many of my fears especially since the brain's default setting is to be "Velcro" for negative thoughts and "Teflon" for positive ones according to Dr. Rick Hanson, Ph.D., author of Buddha's Brain.

So I made a promise that I would be BRUTALLY honest with myself and with my blog and I began this list for 2 reasons: 1. to acknowledge said fears. 2. to overcome said fears. In essence this list will be my way of rubbing my own belly and comforting my inner pet.(don't ask me ask Dr. Hanson.)
1. starting my own blog
2. expressing my opinion
3. being alone
4. failing
5. getting old
6. falling in love again
7. showing my upper arms (don't ask)
8. leaving my job
9. starting a new job
10. saying no

OK I will start with these for now- i know that there are thousands more but I can't think of them right now. 

Acknowledging all these fears on my list will help me begin to get over them, I started this blog didn't I? 

In order to begin to feel less fearful one has to have many sessions of positive repetitive behavior and I think that through meditation this can be achieved. Unfortunately, it takes about 5 good interactions to make up for 1 single bad one.
I'll just take baby steps...

Remember: Meditation...It's Better Than Sitting Around Doing Nothing.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I know that I haven't been on for a couple of days now- actually it's more like 7 whole days was my nephew's birthday this weekend and the weather was absolutely perfect for being poolside and enjoying some well deserved down time with family and friends AND my hands were full with Bar-B-Q chicken so I couldn't type. But, I have been busy with my next GIRL ON A BUDGET POST. 

This week I talk about The Crossbody Bag. I saw this silhouette back in December of 2010 and predicted that it would be big for the summer. I saw it making it's way into early Spring but now that Summer is in full effect yo- it is definitely the "it" bag of the season and I'm predicting that it will cross over into Fall. The Crossbody is just that- an over the shoulder bag that crosses your body-duh! but it's also very functional and relaxed. It frees up your hands for those days of savvy shopping, concert going, or anything else you might be doing and want to look super fabulous.  

Here are a list of a few High End Crossbodies that I salivate over- But when you're a GIRL ON A BUDGET my 6-10 options are even more lovely at these prices. 

1. FREE PEOPLE: $198.00
2. NINA RICCI: $1,190.00 (it is calfskin, but still...)
3. NANETE LAPORE: $425.00
4. LINEA PELLA: $160.99

7. DEENA & OZZY @ URBAN: $39.00
8. NY & COMPANY: $29.95
9. OLD NAVY : $19.94
10. THE GAP: $39.95

Remember to shop for sales at your favorite stores or online- and even at some stores you may not frequent. Fashion inspiration comes from everywhere, even where you least expect it.