Friday, May 8, 2015

Own your life

Slowly I am coming back to life, in my creative world. I have been watching the show "Younger" and find it hilarious. What is not too funny is how the main character chose family life over her career. Yes, the ongoing middle aged woman cliche. She gives up her publishing career for a husband and child. Then years or decades later, she is divorced and broke, looking to get back into her field of work.

I do not want to be that girl.

For months... or about a year, I have written less and less material. I am not sure why, but it has happened. Maybe I am enjoying my life in relationship bliss too much? Focusing on my family? Day job? Whatever it is, it needs to come to a halt. I love writing and managing businesses. However I now understand the constant struggle of balancing work and home life. I don't want to neglect my family or significant other to go to networking events. At the same time, I don't want to deny myself that thrill of a first Image Session with a new client.

We can make so many excuses about why we aren't doing the things we "want" to do, but have we asked ourselves, "Do we actually want these things?' For myself, I know I am passionate about writing. My distraction has been excelling at my day job and starting my own family. Therefore writing has taken a serious back burner. Do I want to write? Yes. I also want to travel and thoroughly enjoy my life. This is not negotiable.

Lets all take a few minutes and think about what is it that we want. Not make excuses why we aren't doing things and blaming it on external distractions. Take ownership of the direction your life takes.

Are you with me?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chef Anissa: Cooking For Bae

As a young woman and even a little girl I was always  told the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. You will see in my next blog if that's true or not but right now we're talking about cooking for babe. I'm not that big on Instagram  I have an account I even have pictures on it and I love those Meemee post but there was something that caught my eye that was horrifying. It is the #cookingforbae page. I know as a woman when I prepare a dish for my significant other I'm very proud of my work and I would love for him to be just as proud of it and sometimes I do display on my social media pages. I also get a lot of inbox messages from various women and some men asking me what do I think about their dish or their presentation. Some I'm pretty damn good I must admit but then there are some that just really make me say WTF. In my reply to the the person I am never going to insult someone's creativity or down their efforts but in the back of my mind I am begging the person who this dish was prepared for to run and run fast. I have been a witness to some of the dishes that look like glorified dog food or vomit on warm plate. I know I am NOT the only one that thinks this way. Sometimes I even get tempted to ask the person WTF is this or if they tell me what it is i am tempted to ask how the hell did you get that out of this? But being a professional and also a person that has to work on her presentation skills I digress but I'm still confused sometimes. I know there are alot of Grandma and Nanas that are rolling around in the grave trying to claw their way out beat them with a rolling pin. My suggestion is before you post the picture or even send the picture take a good look at the picture really analyze the picture and ask yourself would I really eat this myself or is this fit for human consumption. Then ask do I really wanna keep my man or woman or do I want to scare them to death. Because if some of this was put it in front of me and someone ask me to eat it  i would be very offended and think they were trying to poison me, that's just me. But I will always give it an A for effort, while shaking my head.

Chef Anissa YouTube

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

#PROJECTMOVEOUT : Are we too good or not good enough?

"This IS about empowering the Millennials to be amazing in every aspect of their lives and not just business. We are making ground-breaking stats as a generation... creating Facebook, breaking records in the NBA, and so much more. Granted we aren't all making millions or billions like those people, but we all have that potential in us. So why settle for living with mom and dad when we could be living with friends and struggling together? Or making ourselves SO uncomfortable that we strive and push to find solutions to regain comfort? I'm just putting a voice to our potential as a generation."

I wrote this March 22, 2012 and believe in them just as much as I did then. 

An hour ago, I called a best friend to vent about my current 9 to 5 job predicament. No matter how much a excel or show my worth, my butt has stayed in the same position for three years. Many could say that this is still no one's fault but my own, and I could agree with them. However, there seems to be a trend. My best friend went on to say that he's been doing work worth $10,000 more than he actually gets paid. No recognition, well maybe enough to make him think that he's an asset to the team. Sounds familiar? 

We asked ourselves, is it our ages? "I don't think that can hold true anymore because we're literally pushing 30" He said. And I agree. I'm not getting younger and in fact have worked in administrative, fast paced, decision making and supervising positions for about 12 years now. My resume starts at 2005, which makes it 10 years. And I'm still someone's pawn at work. As a teammate of mine said once, Where's our recognition from the CEO? He has personally called people (from another department) and thanked them. That's all she's asking for. And that's not really asking for much when you think about it. 

These supervisors, managers, directors and CEOs see millennials as assets. Most definitely. However, they see us as tools they can use to guarantee a job well done and rely on. That's not a bad thing, its actually complimenting. With that said, you have to make you take care of your tools.

So I ask, what is your work story? Is it just myself and my associates that have experienced this? Do you want more tangible praise? I know I do. "Don't just speak about it, be about it." 

Food for thought: At 26 years old, Hugh Hefner's request to get a $5 raise was denied by his employer Esquire. He then left the magazine and decided to start a magazine called Playboy

Monday, March 2, 2015

What shall I write?

Since the year has started, I have occupied my mind with the thoughts about what is next. I am a writer and not writing. An entrepreneur that's not currently the owner of any businesses. And my social media talents aren't being used for much.

"Get up and get out there" Haley Scott said.

Yup I'm watching One Tree Hill as I stare at my computer screen wondering what I should post on my blog today. And Haley was just telling Mia that she needs to get a life, so she can have something to put in a song. That's her cure for writers block. Well, I think I have a life. What's my excuse? Not enough exciting experiences maybe? Not traveling enough? I'm not sure. What I do know is that my life is a lot different than it was just a year ago.

Our lives are so precious but we don't care for it like we do our waistlines, vehicles, romances, homes or even children. But our lives take a back burner. And by lives I mean open the shades, let the sun shine through to light up a room. Hmm... that probably didn't help. Maybe more like our soul, energy and spirit. Not just the physical but the emotional, spiritual and mental.

I have a life, but still not writing much. So that can't be the reason why I'm not writing or much of anything else these days. Even so, I'm not too hard on myself because I have interests in working on a few projects. Investing in businesses instead of owning, publishing a children's book, and taking a small trip in a week from now. 2015 is about me. What I want, what I want to do, what I desire. I spend way too much time taking care of other people's companies. Managing others' social media. Going where everyone else wants to go. It's time that I do what makes me happy. Live my own life.

Go out there and learn what you want to do. Live.

*Took me the whole episode to finish this blog. Haha it's going to be a while until I finish my next novel. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chef Anissa: Food Safety Rules

There are certain food-safety rules that health experts and agencies, such as the USDA, repeat often.
I was in a meeting with food experts. One might argue that these statements are conservative, and 
we found that even some of our experts are a little relaxed about the rules. Take the survey yourself, 
then visit to learn more. 

1. I use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep my food stored at a safe temperature (below 40°F).

People I've poled: 37% agree. | Experts: 78% agree."Knowing the temperature of your refrigerator is critical to keeping food safe. The warmer foods are stored, the more quickly bacteria can grow." Catherine Donnelly

2. I defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave or in cold water, never on the counter. People I've poled: 70% agree. | Experts: 56% agree. "Yes. When defrosting meat, poultry or seafood in the refrigerator it is important to make sure it is on a tray and cannot drip juices onto foods below as it defrosts." Donna Rosenbaum

3. I always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and produce/cooked foods. People 
I've poled: 72% agree. | Experts: 56% agree. "No, but I will thoroughly clean and use the same cutting board for both raw and cooked products." Rich Vergili

4. I always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make 
sure. People I've poled: 42% agree. | Experts: 33% agree. "I love my burgers rare and my lamb and steak medium-rare. I will be struck by lightning or chomped by a Great White before under-cooked meats get me." Ming Tsai

In some cases, different Test Kitchens recommends cooking meats to temperatures that are lower than the USDA’s recommended safe minimums, but people at high risk for developing 
food-borne illness pregnant women, young children, older adults and people with weakened immune systems should follow the guidelines closely.

5. I avoid unpasteurized ("raw") milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less 
than 60 days. People I've poled : 86% agree. | Experts: 71% agree. "Not worth the risk especially for pregnant women." Doug Powell

6. I never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs. People 
I've poled: 47% agree. | Experts: 33% agree. "Don’t be silly. I’m human." Marion Nestle

Like Marion Nestle, many people consume under-cooked eggs. 

7. I always wash my hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and 
after touching raw meat, poultry or eggs. People I've poled: 81% agree. | Experts: 67% agree. "I must admit that at my home, I may not get through ‘Happy Birthday’ twice before working with some food items, but absolutely always after working with raw meats and poultry."  Linda Kender

8. I always heat leftover foods to 165oF. People 
I've poled: 50% agree. | Experts: 38% agree. "No. This is one of the most misunderstood recommendations. If you reheat a serving of prime rib to 165°F it would become like pot roast." Rich Vergili

So long as leftovers have been properly cooked and cooled, you can reheat them to any temperature 
just before serving.

9. I never eat meat, poultry, eggs or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for 
more than 2 hours (1 hour in temperatures hotter than 90°F). people I've poled: 64% agree. | Experts: 63% agree. "The rule in our house is ‘when in doubt, throw it out!’" Donna Rosenbaum

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, I check products stored at home to make sure they are safe. People 
I've poled: 82% agree. | Experts: 100% agree. "I just returned cookie dough to a retail outlet for a refund." Catherine Donnelly

Meet Our Expert Panel:

Catherine W. Donnelly, Ph.D., is a professor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of 
Vermont and an expert on listeria.

Scott Donnelly, Ph.D., is a microbiologist and independent food inspector based in Burlington, 

Linda Kender is an associate professor in the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University.

Bill Marler, J.D., is an attorney and food-safety advocate.

Marion Nestle, Ph.D., M.P.H., one of EatingWell’s nutrition advisers, is a professor of nutrition, food 
studies and public health at New York University. Her most recent book is Pet Food Politics (2008).

Douglas Powell, Ph.D., is an associate professor of food safety at Kansas State University and founder 
of the hilarious

Donna Rosenbaum is the executive director of Safe Tables Our Priority (S.T.O.P.).

Ming Tsai is chef-owner of the award-winning restaurant Blue Ginger in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and 

the host and executive producer of the cooking show Simply Ming.

Rich Vergili is professor of hospitality management at The Culinary Institute of America. He lectures on 

nutrition and food safety.

Written by Chef Anissa 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Office Fashionista: Animal Print



Excuse my frizzy hair in these pictures. It was POURING in NYC the day these pictures were taken. My hair was not cooperating with the weather. Anyway, if you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I LOVE anything animal print. I'm back on my animal print kick. This tunic was a Christmas gift & I'm obsessed with it. It's long enough to wear with leggings but can still be tucked into a pencil skirt or jeans. 

I've been wanting a hat like this one forever. I finally found one that didn't look huge on my small head and was a good price. The first day I wore this hat, a big gust of wind took it right off my head. I ran after the hat down the streets of NYC and almost got hit by a car. Oh, the things I do for fashion...

My blog has hit over 10,000 views and I couldn't be happier! Thank you so much to all my readers, my friends who are constantly sharing my website, and to my lovely photographer Jessi. This blog has grown way more than what I had imagined it would ever be. I hope it continues to grow this year!

I'll be taking a brief hiatus from posting to travel and catch up on life. I'll be back in a few weeks! :)

Top: Gifted 
Leggings: Forever21
Hat: Forever21
Coat: SheInside, Similar Here (Almost Identical!)
Boots: ShoeMint
Lipstick: Blissful Berry by Maybelline  

Photos by Jessi

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Year, New..

Happy New Year!
Yup I'm a couple of weeks late but guess what? It's still 2015.

I had to feel out the year so far and I think I like it. It's been full of good times already, planning for vacations, moving and more. The year is young and I'm trying to take advantage of it.

Something that has been keeping my spirits up is writing. My passion has become more important to me. Not just making everyone else's dreams come true. I look back at all the clients I've helped in 2014 and I'm a little disappointed. Not by the money, but the fading of my impact on them. They lack "ganas" as my seventh grade Math teacher use to say. And it's true. There has been a lack there of, and it's shown even in my work for my entrepreneurial clients. My last one would probably like to blame his lack of website traffic on me, but he can only truly blame himself. He's had no focus or desire to make his business better.

In 2015, my desire will be my sole purpose. I'm happier at my day job when I know I have writing in the works. I have been putting together ideas for the last book for the My Blank Life trilogy. Thinking about where I want to send my books. Who I want to do presentations for. My memoir. Desire has been leading the way.

What's your desire? I'm curious to hear what's moving you.