Swing: The Salsa of the West?

This past weekend was a really fun, quirky, sporadic one. I rushed to my ‘friday night groove’ hot yoga class after work and felt all of my cares (literally) melt away once I stepped into the studio. You seriously melt, it’s HOT in there. After listening to a room full of Malibu Barbie-looking girls chant their size 0 hearts out in Sanskrit (awkward), we plunged sweat-first into a great class. I still haven’t gotten used to how pretty people in California are. It’s almost as if they have some sort of inner glow that causes a bio-luminescence that draws foreign eyes toward them. Oh never mind, that’s called a tan.

After yoga, I headed to downtown Sacramento with a couple of interns to do some Swing dancing for the first time! Once I entered the antique ballroom, heard the sounds of the jazz combo, and saw the immaculately period-dressed hipsters, I was in love. The basic steps were pretty easy to pick up and I got asked to dance so courteously that I could never refuse the nerdiest/sweatiest looking people. For the record, nerdy/sweaty people are the best friends because they know what real life is about.

At a couple of times in the night I became entranced by the beautiful movement sweeping over the unlikely crowd on the dance floor. It was almost as if a bunch of odd misfits got together and decided to throw a swingin’, swayin’ soiree and I felt right at home.

Moving from Miami to Pittsburgh (where I live most of the year due to school) made me miss the vibrant Latin parties full of Salsa and Merengue dancing. I had long wondered what real American people do if they just want to go out dancing. While I may not be a fancy swing dancer (yet!), I can tell that this merge of great music and movement is going on my list of favorite things.

Oh I also went to the state fair, ate more fried goodies, took a long lone stroll through the mall, re-discovered my caffeine dependence, and cooked/baked a ton of things. Stay tuned for some cupcakes that will probably change your life.

Cheers,
M

Photo credit: http://arts2go.org/?q=node/898

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Things I currently love

This delicious shower gel that is weirdly relaxing and smells like dreams and flowers and fairies.

This adorable bag that is big enough for long day trips to San Francisco and other places that have bi-polar weather disorder. I can easily throw in a jacket, water bottle, and other gadgets for my daily use.

This amazing sunscreen that has been keeping my face protected from the sun, without causing blemishes (such a struggle).

And lastly, these seaweed snacks from Trader Joe’s that save my life whenever I don’t have time to make Kale chips!

Have a good week!

M

On keeping up a blog and other crunchy things…

This online thought journal has proven to be difficult to maintain, but I’m desperately trying to cling on to what little I own in the blog-o-sphere. Maybe it’s an inner attempt to make myself feel more hip and intellectual. I don’t really know. But what I do know is that once I can finally organize my brain, things seem to flow pretty well. I also know that crunchy food is amazing.

Unfortunately, kettle cooked potato chips, and blue corn tortilla chips pack A LOT of not-so-nice ingredients. Even if they are all-natural, the fried nature of the chips (as well as the caloric value of potato and corn) is something I try to avoid. Most of the time this avoidance is futile, because I almost always end up chowing down on that oily, crunchy goodness. Until I discovered these:

Kale Chips 

Literally just nutrient-packed kale tossed in extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper ~ baked to crunchy perfection. I used this recipe, but have been trying different seasonings as well. Garlic powder adds some nice spice and grated Parmesan cheese adds some nice flavor, but at a fattening expense. I find the taste of raw or steamed kale to be pretty bitter and not nice at all, but these chips have great flavor!

Pro-tip #1: Make sure you really dry your kale leaves after washing them. Baking moist kale will result in a steamed, soft version of the vegetable that isn’t very chip-like.

Pro-tip #2: Kale leaves shrink a lot when baked, so make sure you make a whole lot of these because I guarantee they will be eaten quickly!

Healthy hugs,

M