Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Improv for dummies?

i was looking for a way to kick my presentation and conversational skills up a notch and I got the bright idea to take an Improv class. what is the world was I thinking? i made the mistake of telling my very pushy friend who loves to do projects together about the class and of course she pushed me to sign up by finding the class, paying for it and forcing me to do the same. i suspect that subconsciously it was my own method of motivation because left to my own devices I would have talked about it for months and then let it fade into a pile of good ideas.

someone gave me some great advice recently, he said to dive head first into something you are completely uncomfortable with doing and do your best to figure it out. this is basically taking risks and I am glad to report that the Improv 101 at Lesley Kahn Institute was a hit! there are a few key reasons why...

1) great teacher Jamie Moyer - not the Phillies pitcher- check her out at second city
2) great group of professionals...i thought we would keep in touch, but oh well, I have all the memories and because they were all actors I get to see them from time to time on TV!
3) lastly but definitely not least, my great friend Nix who encouraged me!

while I don't knock Toastmasters, I would recommend doing Improv to anyone professional wanting to up their game and have some fun while doing it.

yes and-ing and loving it
~ fleeter

Blog, cook book and sheer inspiration

I am a food blog junkie! I love the photos, the stories and the bloggers themselves. When one of my food bloggers does a series of posts that I don't like, I feel betrayed, like I don't even know them anymore. I know it's dramatic, but I take my food blogs seriously! Lick my spoon is an absolute favorite. I follow her on foodbuzz, but it wasn't until a co-worker was talking about the blog last week that I rediscovered my affinity for her style, especially when it comes to root veggies.

I found the mac and cheese with butternut squash recipe and had to make this for Valentine's Day dinner. I made a few adjustments, using whole wheat pasta and went without the gingersnaps and pecans to keep thinks simple. I served it with a classic chicken piccata and a fantastic peach and berry cobbler I picked up from my other foodie crush, Ina Garten's cookbook Barefoot Contessa at Home. Check out the ooowey goowey goodness.

For my next blog, cookbook and sheer inspiration meal I am going to make G. Garvin's slow-roasted lamb shanks, my "it's all-green" salad and these sweet potato biscuits.

It's All Green Salad
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1 large ripe avocado cubed
Diced green onions
1 diced green chilli pepper
Cracked black pepper
Toss with 1/4 cup each of extra virgin olive oil and rice vinegar

Can't wait to plate this up!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

if you could only ask for one thing...

what would that be? i have been doing a bit of networking and this always baffles me, but my truth is that listening is the most important practice. this is key to know:

1) who is asking the question... and how can they help you?
2) is your request tangible?
3) will it really get you to your ultimate goal?

i have been spending sometime lately thinking about the four agreements, based on the principles set forth by author Don Miguel Ruiz.

i haven't yet read the book, but the principles or individual mantras were relayed to me by a wise friend and i have ordered my copy.

the four agreements are:

be impeccable with your word
words are very powerful, the book of John says that words can manifest

don’t take anything personally
opinions, perspectives, biases,

don’t make assumptions
you know the old adage about when you ass u me...not worth it!

always do your best
sure mom told us this, but the key is to more than your best...your best is enough!

agreeing four times over

Inspired? Five things you should do.

The faintest smell or glimpse can inspire me so easily, but what we do with that inspiration is what might change your life. I am guilty of losing the feeling before something manifests from that lovely, warm, exciting feeling. There is something we CAN do to preserve and capitalize on the fleeting blessing of inspiration.

1) STOP, in your tracks.
Pull over the car, end the phone call, take a break and write down all your thoughts. Even if they don't make any sense at the time, just write. This purging creates a trail of breadcrumbs that will bring you as close to that feeling of inspiration as you ever will get again. Don't get me wrong, you will find inspiration in other places and for other reasons but it is unlikely for it to strike the same place twice.

2) ORGANIZE your thoughts.
Do you ever write a to do list or grocery list? If you do, follow this format in organizing your thoughts. You want to do something that has worked for you in the past. For me, I list my to do items in a loop from my house and back and I always seems to mark them off the list. You can apply the same concept to direct you to the burgeoning of a brilliant idea!

3) TAKE a first step.
Do the easiest thing on the list first. Completing the first task will give a sense of accomplishment that will make you take the next step and the next step until you are one step from achieving the goal. For example, if your inspiration is to start a blog let the first step be to open a blogger account.

4) EDUCATE yourself.
Do your research. See what's out there - competition, similar ideas, negative press, anything. Don't let your findings deter you. Your inspiration was not ill-fated. Maybe there is a class you can take or a colleague who can advise you on the matter. Just keep working through your list until your idea evolves.

5) RINSE and repeat.
This is a process and it begins with starting over at those thoughts you wrote down initially. Take a look at what you were thinking when you first were inspired and compare it to your to do list. See how far you have come and be encouraged that your project is moving. Now revise the list and start honing in on the BIG IDEA!

Helping people figure out their true path is by far my favorite thing to do. If this can help anyone in any small way I have been successful! TY

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lettuce cups of love.

my honey loves these so i am sharing...

Crab and Shrimp Lettuce Cups
1 large carrot chopped finely
½ a red onion chopped finely
½ red cabbage shredded
1 medium avocado cut into slices
5-8 sprigs of cilantro chopped finely
1 head of lettuce
2 cloves of garlic chopped finely
12 oz of crab meat
2 cups shrimp (about 2 dozen shrimp)
1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
¾ teaspoon of ginger
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 limes
½ cup of Pecans – toasted and chopped
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
pinch of salt

Serves 4.
Prep time 20 minutes.

Finely chop the carrot, cilantro, red onion and garlic. Heat a non-stick pan and add the olive oil on medium heat. Add the carrots, cilantro, red onion and garlic and sauté lightly until the carrots are glazed and start to darken in color. Rinse the shrimp and remove the shells. Chop the shrimp coarsely and wash thoroughly with water and ½ the juice of a lime. Add the shrimp and Hoisin sauce to the pan with the carrots, cilantro and garlic with the juice from the other ½ of the lime. Stir lightly until the shrimp begins to turn pink and opaque about 5 minutes. Add the crab, ginger, black pepper and salt. Toss until thoroughly mixed let simmer for 3 more minutes.

Separate and wash the full leaves of lettuce. Shred the red cabbage. Toast the pecans for 5 minutes in the broiler on a low setting and then chop coarsely. The pecans add a nice crunch to the lettuce cups.

Arrange the lettuce cups on a plate, add a heaping spoonful of the crab and shrimp and garnish with the red cabbage, avocado, pecans and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy.

Add sweet and sour ginger chili sauce.

nom nom nom

Monday, January 11, 2010

Belly grumblings and found inspiration on foodbuzz.com

I am currently obsessed with Food Buzz, I came home from a long day and worked myself up into a hunger pang just reviewing all the new recipes and witty commentary. Now I am inspired and it's getting late! Thankfully I have some Tilapia, it is such an easy fish to work with so we eat a lot of it in my household especially when the day got away like today.

Sweet Chilli Glazed Tilapia and Roasted Veggies


1 lb Tilapia Fillets
Pinch of Salt
1 Tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Zest of one small lemon
Red pepper flakes
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup water
4 tbsp butter
Oil for frying
4 - 5 Red skin potatoes
Olive oil
1 Tbsp Rosemary
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Paprika

Clean the fish and pat dry. Fry lightly (2-3 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets) in a deep fryer (if you have it) or deep pan with sufficient oil to cover the fish. Remove from oil, lightly salt and set aside on paper towel to drain.

Chop the vegetables coarsely and toss in olive oil. Add rosemary, paprika, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper and zest of one small lemon. Arrange in a baking dish and add 2 tbsp. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes.

Pour 1/2 cup of Thai sweet chili sauce in a shallow pan under low heat. Add 1/4 cup water, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp butter. Gently bring the sauce to a low boil, stir and let the sauce thicken. Add the fried tilapia fillets one by one. Coat with the sauce and let simmer. Garnish with red pepper flakes and serve with the roasted veggies.

To add a little Caribbean flavor, fry one ripe plaintain, drain on a paper towel and serve piping hot.

Serves 4

Commentary from the husband? None...just plate scraping!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


there is too much to say on this subject. weblebrity gives the average joe the opportunity to become renowned through online content. i wouldn't say it's an obsession, i just happen to know a thing or two about weblicity given that my job duties include scouting and cultivating weblebrities.

has anyone seen famous wossip's on their living room tv sets lately? i have. i must say i was in shock when TMZ popped up in my digital guide! the show is decent, room for improvement. i love the employees. the show reminds me of one of my favs from last season - a TRUE obsession - Dirt on FX.

the other example i have is one i list reluctantly. props due to perez for what he does online, but why does MTV always have to go there! celebrity rap superstar is wrong on so many levels...first off how do the 'contestants' rank as celebrities? second, why is dmc even involved with something so ridiculous?

i was discussing this idea of weblebrity with some of my coworkers and i was surprised they hadn't heard the terminology, however it's befitting since the so called weblebrities are just as notorious.

here is a prime example...

all that being said there are a few that are doing it right...nuff props to Najwa from Nitrolicious for doing big things and covering fashion week amongst a host of other fun things. and a new site that just launched with a clever idea 2 chix tv, i'll be keeping one eye on the execution, but props due all the same.

pondering standards