Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Love the 80's: Vote for Kendallina's Ringtone!

Alright so I have a confession. Those of you who know me well (or at least during the period of 2003-2007 in Baton Rouge, LA) know that I have an unhealthy obsession with 80s music. In fact my friend Anna and might have seen our favorite 80s cover band The Molly Ringwalds well over 20 times in the period of my 4 years in undergrad.

Yes, I was a groupie of a cover band.

Anna, me, and our equally 80's enthused friend Jacob jamming out to The Molly Ringwalds circa 2007... as you can tell... we are intense

This is how sick my obsession is. 80's for some reason just brings me to another plane of existence. Nothing puts me in a good mood faster than a little 80s. My obsession goes as far as I plan on having an 80s cover band at my wedding reception (heaven forbid I ever get married of course). DJ's suck. There will be no YMCA or Celebrate Good Times Come On!! Every time I hear YMCA at a social function and see all the fat 50 somethings throw their hands up in letter formation I want to stab myself in the face with a fork. 

Sweet Jesus kill me now

No, for me there will only be The Cars, Mr. Big, and Journey... And of course they will open with a traditional White Wedding by Billy Idol

Nothing says "Nuptual Bliss" like a studded leather codpiece right Billy?

But alas.... I digress...

As I sit here in the Philadelphia airport for me 3 1/2 hour (kill me) layover, I BBM (Blackberry Messenger for all you children with iPhones or people stuck in the stone age with flip phones) with my friend Meghan. My old ringtone "Take Me Home Tonight" just came on the radio and alas she thought of me. Recently I upgraded from my Blackberry Curve to the Bold and sadly Eddie Money did not make the data transfer. So I realized I probably need to get a new ringtone because heaven forbid I be one of those lame people with a stock ringtone. How gauche. 

Of course it was a no brainer that the tune would be a song released from 1980-89, but so many to choose from.... how would I ever decide? I'm firmly against the cliche 80's tunes that play intermittently between crotch grinding rap songs at frat bars. Example: Jenny (867-5309) - Tommy TutoneJessie's Girl - Rick Springfield, Don't Stop Believing - JourneyPour Some Sugar On Me - Def LepppardLivin on a Prayer - Bon Jovi, etc. Although I still will take any of these over hearing Taylor Swift's annoying Romeo and Juliet song again ... my ring tone is special. It must reflect my 80's dedication with a little creativity and panache.

Here is where you, dear readers, come in. I have narrowed it down to the top 5 contenders... but
 I'm going to let you VOTE for which one you think I should make my theme song for the next year or so. Those of you without serious 80's knowledge might not be immediately familiar with all the choices ... so feel free to peruse the YouTube links I provided to make an educated choice. 

These are the 4 I think are catchy, pretty recognizable in that "oh I love this song! what is it again?" way, and aren't over saturated in commercial culture to the point I can hear it every time my phone rings and I won't get so sick of it I throw my Blackberry across the room after a week. 




ALONE - Heart



If you feel really really adamantly about a song that you think is so "me" or that you reeeeallly love that isn't on this list, you can leave it as a comment to this post and I will take it under consideration. But please do a regular vote as well as I will probably vehemently disagree with your opinion for some asinine reason. 

So will you step up to the challenge and help decide my cellular fate? I know you want to. 


Monday, March 22, 2010

Kendallina's NYC Packing Preview

My dear friend Anna Dearmon @ Do Yall Have Sweet Tea really likes when people (well.. stylish people) post their outfits for others to gain inspiration from. My last trip to Europe she seemed pretty upset that I didn't post my layered European winter travel masterpieces. To make it up to her I snapped pics of the outfits I picked out and packed for my current 5-day sojourn to New York City

Packing proved a bit tricky because the weather is going to be kind of spastic this week ranging from high 60s to high 30s. So a little creativity was in order. Keep in mind I tried to re-use pieces as often as I could to avoid packing bulk. Enjoy!

Oh before we fashionista it out. Here is a little Jetsetter Packing Tip. When you have lots of clothes you wanna keep non-wrinkled ... what do you do? You get THIS:


It comes with a nifty folding instruction board that helps reduce wrinkles:

Voila! Holds 12-15 pieces with very limited wrinkles! Also very easy to pack in your bag and takes up less room than if you packed normally. A fashionable frequent travelers dream! If you want one I included a link at the bottom of this post.

Alright on to zie outfits.... 

 *Gucci Sunglasses featured in all photos

Sanctuary Estelle Shirred Silk Tee               Jones New York Dress
 MM Couture Long Knit Cardigan                 J Crew White Cardigan
  J Brand 11 inch Denim Legging         Anne Klein Ruched Patent Heels
  Steven by Steven Madden Flats              Anthropologie Pearl Earrings
    J Crew Earrings and Necklace
                  Gucci Purse 
      J Crew black blazer                  Forever 21 chambray denim dress 
     J Crew silk crepe tank                          Gap black cardigan 
  J Crew earrings and necklace                   Spanx black legging
J Brand 11 inch Denim Legging           Steven by Steven Madden Flats  
            Brown boots                           Anthropolgie pearl earrings
            Chanel purse                           J Crew pink pearl necklace
       Zara (Paris) Dress                        80's Vintage off white sweater
    Forever 21 red cardigan             Francesca's Jewlery pearl necklace
 J Crew purple pearl necklace                     Forever 21 earrings
 Anthropologie pearl earrings             J Brand 11 inch Denim Legging
J Brand 11 inch Denim Legging                          Brown Boots
            Brown boots                        

                           Anne Klein black sheath dress
                           Forever 21 ruffled black shrug
                             Forever 21 thick black belt
                                 Forever 21 earrings
                          Anne Klein ruched patent heels

All right... off to take the Big Apple by storm!

-- Kendallina 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Everything Is Bigger In Texas: Bienvenidos a Mega Whole Foods a Park Lane

I like food. I like overpriced, yummy, organic, pretentious food. It is a no-brainer that trips to Whole Foods are a Kendallina dietary staple. Well folks, Whole Foods has officially outdone itself. In none other than the "bigger is better" state that spawned the ostentatious organic empire, Texas....Here enters:
This beast on Park Lane is a whopping 64,000 square feet of glory. Of course I had to check it out as soon as it opened. So I took along my foodie-pescatarian-shopping buddy Mrs. Lilly Neubauer and we ventured out to explore this massive marvel of American-style gluttony for ourselves.

The first thing that strikes you (or just me and perhaps every botoxed Junior Leauger with an MRS degree in a 200 mile radius) is that there is a Wine Bar INSIDE the grocery store. Seriously. So when you are tired of picking out blood oranges grown in volcanic ash and kosher meat .... you can rest your feet at the bar for a little pick me up, catch up on who's winning March Madness on the TV, and indulge in a nice little cheese flight!

Or even better... why don't you just DRINK WHILE YOU SHOP. That's right you heard me. Just ask and you can take a roadie through the aisles. After you are sufficiently buzzed and don't feel like going all the way across Egypt to the other side of the store to return your glass.... it's cool they let you set it wherever you want. Really. 

But seriously. Whoever thought of this idea was a sales genius. What does drinking do? 
1.) Lessen your better judgement
 2.) Make you hungry
So add a little Chardonay to that shopping trip and .... "well I guess I do need this Vegan Double Chocolate Brownie Orgasm .... and 3 lbs of Lobster .... and oooh this  Cheese rubbed in coffee grounds and lavender sounds amaazzzing". The guy who decided this would be a good idea should with the Sales equivalent of the GD Nobel Prize. 

Although when I was perusing my grocery items, I'm not going to lie ... I noticed a few confused/judgmental looks. I think the newness of the store and the novelty that one would never think to turn a grocery store into a watering hole really confused some WF newbies. Hence the "Did that girl REALLY bring a her own roadie from home? Is this legal? Christ, are public intoxication laws just not enforced anymore?" looks. 

Hmm I wonder which of these Domestic Cheeses (yes this is JUST the domestic section) goes best with my Sauvignon Blanc? 

Moving on .... 


Ooooh that's right. You can pick what flavor cupcake you want, what flavor icing, and what toppings you would like. You can even have the cupcake filled with an additional shot of icing. And don't worry, all the dyes used in the Icing are 100% Vegan Organic. As the cupcake-maker-lady explained the red color comes from beets! NEATO! Lilly indulged and a pretty Carrot Cake creation.

Other impressive highlights include a large RAW BAR, a FROZEN YOGURT BAR (with fancy flavors like Acai Berry and Avocado), and the biggest OLIVE BAR I have ever seen.

Lilly indulging in Olive Bar Parto Uno

No this isn't a repeat picture, this is the 2nd half. Yes every single compartment of both sides are DIFFERENT olives. I didn't even know this many varieties existed? Too bad they don't sell Martinis at the wine bar .... 

Or perhaps you would like to fill your own bottle of specialty olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world? 

Mandarin Crushed Olive Oil? I don't even know what that means but I want it.

For those with diabetes, gluten allergies, or are on the latest Anti-Gluten diet craze, this store has the chains largest gluten-free section of both dry and frozen foods and even fun little Gluten-Free Life info brochures. And for you vegans out there there is a giant section of food I don't understand with clever names like "Tofurky". 

But for the rest of us that don't discriminate against eating things with faces, in true Texan style, there is an in-house smoker and BBQ pit. 

Mmmmm hot meat ..... Looks so good I don't even care if that sounds ridiculously vulgar.

Don't feel like cooking? There is a 20 foot long chef's case of gourmet prepared items and self-serve buffet areas. There are also sushi, pizza, and panini stations. And the coffee bar and taco cart will open at 7 a.m. - An hour earlier than the actual store opens ... just for the breakfast group. There is also a smoothie and juice bar that serves this weird Hippy fermented tea called Kombucha that my hipster-lite friend Lilly thoroughly enjoyed. 

All this boozing and shopping got you tired? Well freshen up at bath and body department at the DR. HAUSCHKA COSMETICS AND SKIN BAR, where you can get everything from a hand massage to an actual legit facial.
Or perhaps just load up on your favorite scented bath salts for a soak when you get home at the ORGANIC BATH SALT BAR.

I'm sure I could make a joke about Hippies and Patchouli scented salt, but I'm gunna let it slide.

Or if you are just too busy boozing and getting your facial to be bothered to actually grocery shop you can .... get ready for this:

Give your list to the CONCIERGE SERVICE and they will DO YOUR SHOPPING FOR YOU. 
I swear to god. Welcome to Dallas folks. 

As you can see Whole Foods has clearly topped itself here in Big-D. Writhe in jealousy at your lame versions elsewhere. It's America at it's best and worst all wrapped into one pretentious mega-grocery. Revel in the glory that is Mega Whole Foods. 

But whatever delightful items you decide to procure ... PLEASE stay away from the "Green Technology/All Natural" Hair Dye. Hair is not a joke people. Especially in Texas. Leave this to the chemical laden professionals. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Book Review: Lunch In Paris - A Love Story and Recipes

Elizabeth Bard was a twenty-something New Yorker on the fast track. Then after one innocent lunch in Paris with a handsome Frenchman.. and she never looked back. Yes, there are lots of "look what happens when an American moves to Europe!" memoirs out there (Ahem, Under the Tuscan Sun anyone?), but this one is particularly "delectable" because of its lots of amaaaazing French recipes. 
Braised Veal Shank with Fresh Muscat Grapes from Elizabeth's own Blog
I'm drooling just looking at this

In her first book, Bard tracks her relationship through meals — the pasta Gwendal made after they first made love, the sausage over which he first told her je t'aime, the poached cod served when she met his parents, and the smelly French cheese at their wedding. She includes recipes at the end of each chapter for those wanting to cook up a little romance of their own.

The story itself is charming and Bard has a wonderfully down-to-earth voice. As their relationship advances and she permanently finds herself in Paris to be with him, she encounters all the typical (but somehow never tiresome) dilemmas of an American in Paris. Although the mouth-watering recipes were a close second, this for me was the most intriguing part of the book. Her careful, detailed look at the differences between the two cultures not only made me appreciate France more, it taught me a little bit more of what it means to be an American. 

As anyone who has travelled extensively knows, there is such beauty yet intense frustration and confusion when being immersed in another culture. To give you a little amuse bouche of Elizabeth's experiences, here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
In France, people often show their power by saying no - by their ability to block things, to show that nothing happens without them. To close the store, if you like, whenever they please. In the United States, people show their power by their ability to say yes - to get things done in a hurry. To keep the store open an extra hour, just for you. 
One of the great gifts of an interculteral relationship is that when you fight, you never quite know if you are mad at the person, or at their culture: Is he really too bum-ass lazy to call back the band at 8 PM on a Monday evening, or is he just being FRENCH? Is she bombarding me with lists and timetables and questions about the color of wax used to seal the invitations because she's a manic control freak, or is she just being AMERICAN?
I know the real reason French Women Don't Get Fat. It has to do a lot with stern looks from your mother in law - and the annual return of le bikini
Let me ask you something. Are you reading this on the way to your spin-class? Are you late for your acupuncturist? Your life coach? Your shrink? That is four hours already out of your week, which the French replace with the realxing and replenishing ritual of a sit-down lunch
The question permeates throughout the novel: Can you develop a taste for the new without leaving yourself behind? As Bard navigates the ups and downs of life in her adopted country, she is forced to revise her standard recipes for love, pleasure, and success. Along the way, she introduces readers to bustling markets, bad tempered butchers, and heavenly chocolate shops through the eyes of an American turned Parisienne.

I think Ms. Bard sums up the essence of her adventures in love and cultural exploration in a quote from a personal interview:
We complement each other in a lot of wonderful ways. I think I gave him a bit of my American “Just-Do-It” attitude - the sense of possibility and living his dreams, and he gave me a sense of “joie de vivre” – the idea that happiness comes before ambition – or perhaps that happiness can be a goal in and of itself.
If you would like to experience a little joie de vivre of your own, I highly recommend Lunch In Paris: A Love Story and Recipes.  :)

Annnnd if you haven't jumped on the Kindle train yet..... please consider it. This thing is the greatest invention for book lovers since Guttenburg invented the printing press. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Kindle. Get one ... yesterday!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day!! Cakeballs are sooo the new Cupcake

Tis that time of year again .... the beer turns a lovely shade of green, people get a little frisky, and the lads and lassies all around get ready for their the celebration of their favorite saint ... St. Patrick's Day. Here in Big-D there is a huge St. Patrick's Day parade where a normal street shuts down and the open container law goes out the window for 24 hours. My friend Holly is having a big party ... and I, being the ever consummate Southern lady, wouldn't dream of going empty handed. So time to break out my festive treat:


Ooooh ahhhh. You like? You wanna know how to make them? OK!

Makes about 60 cakeballs

2 boxes your favorite cake mix (I used regular white cake in order to be tinted green and Funfetti) and the ingridents to make them on the box
2 tubs of frosting
Almond Bark coating and/or Confectionary wafers (wafers come on various colors at Craft/Hobby stores)

1. Bake cake according to package instructions. If you would like to tint green like I did, use OIL BASED color (can be bought at Hobby Lobby or other craft store in the Cake/Candy section). The oil based gives a nice even bright color and also if you want to dye the almond bark later you can. DO NOT use regular liquid food coloring for the chocolate - it won't set properly...only oil base! I chose a lovely shade of Kelly Green.

2. After cake is done, while WARM crumble cake into a bowl into a fine texture.

3. Mix in frosting to make a paste, using 1/2 to 3/4 of the can, to taste. Kind of mold together into a giant lump and then chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

If at all possible try to keep three year old nieces AWAY from the the frosting!! ;)

4. After 2 hours, take batches out and using a melon baller or your hands, form the mixture in 1 - 1 1/2 inch balls. Place the balls on wax paper/foil. Pop in the freezer for 1-6 hours.

5. Ok, here is where some quick work has to be done. The easiest way to melt the almond bark/confectionary chips if you are using mulitple colors is to buy microwavable and disposalable paper melting trays. You can also find these in the Candy Aisle at Hobby Lobby. Then microwave small batches for about 30 seconds. Stir. Then 15 more seconds. The chocolate should be evenly melted. Working in small batches, remove balls from the freezer and dip them into the warm, melted Almond Bark Coating using candy forks, toothpicks, or a spoon (But do yourself a favor ... disposable plastic spoon. Clean up with this stuff sucks.)

6. Place balls on wax paper. If you want to decorate with sprinkles do it quickly! As the coating dries fast and if you don't sprinkle when wet the sprinkles won't stick! You can also drizzle alternate colors over for more decoration. Be creative!

7. Once dipped, the balls will keep at room temperature for days. If you refrigerate them, the coating will sweat. Undipped balls can be kept frozen for weeks. But I doubt they will last that long!! ;) Place in cupcake foils and VOILA!! CAKEBALLS!! Warning: These babies are RICH. Not for those without a sweet tooth!!!

Cute right? Bet you wish you were spending St. Patrick's Day with Me, these Cakeballs, my friend's awesome party with a keg of green beer, and a wild outdoor Dallas Parade with gorgeous weather: sunny mid-70s degree. Life is lookin preeeeeetty good tomorrow. ;)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Celebrating La Festa della Donna (International Women's Day): My personal female role models

So as most of you who know me know, I come from Italian heritage. In Italy they have a wonderful holiday celebrated today, March 8, called the Festa della Donna. It is essentially a day where all men (and women) celebrate the wonderful women in their lives (Moms, Wives, Girlfriends, Sisters, Aunts, Friends, etc.). In fact this "International Women's Day" is celebrated as an official holiday in over 30 countries ...... yet for some reason never really caught on in America. This is annoying. I could rant about why America doesn't celebrate it ... going on quoting some Puritanical and sexist B.S. reasons .... but rather I would like to take this post to celebrate the International holiday despite the origin of my Passport. Here are the women that I most admire and look up to in my life:


Me with my mom after one of my operas (hence the amazing wig and heavy tranny makeup)

My mother puts up with me. That should be enough to earn her numero uno on this list. She supports me in my crazy and sometimes tumultuous adventures pursuing my dreams, and has encouraged me to be the best I can be since I read my first word at age 3. In addition she is extremely accomplished woman herself working her way through three degrees, owning her own Chiropractic practice, holding the position as the President of the State Board of Chiropractic of Texas, all the while raising me and my sister. Even at a young age she was accomplished as an intense athlete making the US Olympic Team Finals in swimming and fighting to pass Title 9 in order to ensure Women's Sports go as much funding as Men's in Universities. Today she shares her medical knowledge with others as a teacher as an instructor at the Dallas Nursing Institute. Pretty great lady eh? :)


Carol singing Tosca with tenor Luciano Pavarotti

My voice teacher at Indiana University, the internationally renowned soprano Carol Vaness. She worked her butt off from an early age to achieve some of the greatest success one can ever hope for in an operatic career, singing at every major opera house in the world. Best known for her Mozart roles, where still not many today can touch her interpretations (Finally someone singing Mozart with BALLS! See her Donna Elivra or Anna). She later moved on to become one of the greatest Tosca's of her generation (Watch). Pavarotti himself requested that she star along side him at his final performance at the Metropolitan Opera. This lady is amazingly accomplished and is a wonderful teacher and friend, always encouraging me (and all of her students) along the hard road of singing.


On me dit que nos vies ne valent pas grand chose, Elle passent en un instant comme fanent les roses. On me dit que le temp qui glisse est un salaud que de nos chagrins il s'en fait des manteaux pourtant quelqu'un m'a dit... Que tu m'aimais encore, Serais ce possible alors?
(English: I'm told that our lives aren't worth much, They pass like an instant, like wilting roses. I'm told that time slipping by is a bastard, making its coat of our sorrows. Yet someone told me... That you still loved me, Could that be possible?)

A modern woman who truly has done it all. In her early years, she became highly educated excelling in archetechture and speaking three languages. She harnessed her beauty and started a modeling career excelling to be known as one of the "supermodels" of the 90s. Then moving on to channel her musical roots (the daughter of a concert pianist and classical composer) she transitioned to music. With her breathy and emotive songs (Listen: Quelqu'un m'a dit) she became one of Europe's most celebrated singer/songwriters. Now married to the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, she slipped into her role as First Lady of France with infinite grace. Always impeccably classy in manor and dress and extremely dedicated to doing good in the world with philanthropy work. She tackles issues such as illiteracy, AIDS, supporting the arts, and a unique program that creates $100 laptops to bring technology and learning to children all over the world. She truely embodies the saying "Behind every great man .... is a great woman."


One of the best lyric mezzo sopranos of all time, and in my opinion the best alive today. Her coloratura (for all you non-opera readers: all those really fast notes in a row) is second to none. She worked hard to get where she is today, fighting the political B.S. of the opera world and many discouragers early on along the way. Now she is not only one of the most famous and accoladed opera singers performing today, from what I hear she is by far one of the most gracious and friendly singers around. I look to her artistry daily as inspiration to remind me of why I pursue this crazy profession. Watch her amazing rendition of Rossini's Non Piu Mesta (fast forward to 5:35 if you wanna be blown away). You can read her adventures in singing on her Blog.


“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

Audrey will forever define feminine glamour, dignity and grace. Not only was she an actress that touched us all with her work in such films such as Breakfast at Tiffany's, Sabrina, Roman Holiday and My Fair Lady, but after her acting career ended in the mid 1960s, she devoted the remaining period of her life to humanitarian work with UNICEF. She was a woman who embodied what it is to be a truly classy lady. I wish some of today's starlets would follow her example more.


"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."

Devoting her life to the service of the poor and dispossessed Mother Teresa became a global icon for selfless service to others. Through her missionary of Charities organisation she personally cared for 1000s of sick and dying people in Calcutta. She was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1979. Her compassion should inspire us all to try our best to be better people.


"I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be the inferior sex."

An iconic figure of twentieth Century film Katharine Hepburn won 4 Oscars and received over 12 Oscar nominations. Her lifestyle was unconventional for the time and through her acting and life she helped redefine traditional views of women’s role in society. Her movies usually depicted her as a take charge kind of woman that took no guff from anyone, not even her love interests in a time. This during a period where most females on screen were just decorated "damsels in distress" waiting for a man to save and complete them or even worse... arm candy. Every man she was paired with was held accountable for their actions whether they betrayed her legally and emotionally. And she lead her real life very similarly to the characters she portrayed ... a woman who although was beautiful, was strong, independent, and who needed no help from any man to get where she wanted to go.


“Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress.”

One of the most innovative fashion designers Coco Chanel was instrumental in defining feminine style and dress during the 20th Century. Her ideas were revolutionary; in particular she often took traditionally male clothes and redesigned them for the benefit of women. Listed by TIME magazine as one of the top 100 influential people of twentieth Century, she redefined lady-like style forever in a time when fashion was a Boys Club.


"I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too. "

Queen of England during a time of great economic and social change, she saw England cemented as a Protestant country. During her reign she witnessed the defeat of the Spanish Armada leaving Britain to later become one of the world’s dominant superpowers. Never marrying to let a "King" take the credit, she became perhaps one of the first 'true feminists' and will forever be remembered as one of, if not the, most important monarch England ever had. If you want to learn more about Elizabeth's story I suggest the Cate Blanchett's tour de force in Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.