#30DayChallenge Day 30 Make Fucking Dinner!

 

Okay so we’ve come to an end of this month’s 30 day challenge and here’s what I think

How did it go?

Honestly, it went okay. I definitely didn’t cook every night, but when I did cook it was bomb af. Also, my boyfiend got a deep fryer which he was STOKED ON (to say the least) so he ended up cooking a ton of fried chicken.

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What was hard?

It was kind of hard. (That’s what she said) I think the hardest part was coming up with new shit to cool. I tend to do a lot of the same, which is fine usually, but when I’m consciously trying to cook every day I feel like it’s better to get some variety in.

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What were my favorite meals?

OMG Fried Fucking CHICKEN!!!!! We made so much, and by “we” I mean David. I just watched and gave advice and ate it.

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What did I learn?

I’m a pretty good cook, I think I just need more time and I need to plan shit out more. It was definitely exciting and we had some bomb meals. I love making meals with sweet potatoes. I feel like the possibility with them are limitless. My favorite thing I made this month were sweet potato waffles. I’ll absolutely make them again.

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End of summer reading list

We read these books this summer so you can too!

Just because the summer is over doesn’t mean you can’t still get down with some beach reads. September might be the perfect time for you to sit down with a rad book and feel productive and motivated and inspired. Here are our top five favorite books we read this summer!

This book is spectacular because it has the 3 S’s: science, swear words and strong female characters. It’s also just sci-fi enough without being too sci-fi, you know what I mean? It’s like if the top Physics professor at MIT and your inappropriately hilarious PE teacher from high school decided to write a book together. The story essentially follows a series of word problems that this dude Mark has to solve to save his life, but then he explains it back to you using all the “fucks” and “shits” a girl could ask for.

Sometimes I get caught up in stories about white protagonists doing cool shit and after reading five books in a row about white fictional characters, I need to find something to cleanse my pallet, this book was perfect for that. Not only was it an incredible love story spanning almost two decades of the protagonists, Ifemelu, life, but it was unapologetically black. Although the main character is Nigerian, the way she talks about and experiences blackness in both Nigeria and the States incredibly relatable. It’s a long story, but every moment is worth reading.

George Mother Fucking Watsky! Since we’re both from the bay we love supporting our own and Watsky is definitely one of us. If you don’t know he’s an incredibly talented spoken word poet and rap artist from San Francisco. (Please do yourself a favor and check out his Youtube page.) and now to add to his list of accomplishments, he’s also an author. His debut book is full of personal essays written in such an intriguing and often poetic way. I found myself many times halfway through an essay asking myself “Wait this story started out like this, why are we talking about baseball?” and then immediately would come full circle. For someone who hasn’t written a book before, this was impressive to say the least.

If you like unreliable narrators and want to listen to some creepy shit, look no further than You. Written from the perspective of Joe Goldberg, a twenty-something working at a Brooklyn bookshop, Joe instantly falls for Beck, a grad student at Brown just casually shopping for books. Little does Beck know that all their chance encounters weren’t really chance at all. Joe follows Beck around and gets to know her most intimate details before she officially meets him outside of the bookshop. I don’t want to give too much away, but this book really makes you realize the power of perspective. I HIGHLY recommend listening to the audiobook.

We’re both huge fans of self-improvement and Gretchen Rubin’s books are perfect for a little summer self-important and self-reflection. The Happiness Project was the first book and it’s all about Gretchen’s experience in her attempt to gain more happiness. Although it’s about her journey, it’s really easy to learn from her experiences and replace her goal with your own. She really outlines and breaks down her progress making it simple to create your own Happiness Project. Better than Before has many of the same themes as the Happiness Project, but focuses more on habit forming. What I liked most about these books was how accessible they were. We don’t relate to Gretchen in any way (We’re not mom’s, successful authors or live in Manhatten), but we love self-improvement and how it can be applied to everyday life.

Why I’m stronger than my 20-year-old self.

By Isabelle Duffy

Like most people, being a teenager was rough. My home life was rapidly falling apart, I wasn’t getting good grades, I had dropped out of my intensive dance program and had the ever so famous boyfriend woes. But there was one thing that was always good; food. Oh how I loved food. The only time I ever felt happy and like things were going to be alright was when I was eating something incredibly indulgent. Burgers, pizza, burritos you name it. Needless to say, I was eating all the time. It filled a small hole in my heart. Possibly literally.

This, of course, caused my weight to increase a significant amount. I was unaware of any weight changes mostly because I was in a relationship for most of High School and didn’t really consider if people were attracted to me. But after we graduated, my boyfriend and I split ways and I was ready to approach the single life with open arms.

Yet I got no nibbles. I couldn’t understand why everyone wasn’t rushing up to love me the way they used to at the beginning of High School, the way my boyfriend did. It took about six months for me to realize why my other friends were getting attention.

They were skinny. I was not.

I wanted to be loved and desired the way they were. I was envious, jealous, and full of self-hatred. I tried changing my clothes to be more revealing, less revealing. I indulged in expensive makeup. Anything to be more desirable, but to no avail. The only thing I could think of was to get skinny. Fast. My need for the male gaze was so overwhelming that I let it take over my entire life.

I just stopped eating. Full halt. I’d spend my days off in bed, fighting the stomach cramps and hunger pains and going in and out of sleep. I would aimlessly scroll through my phone, constantly googling new diets to try, looking at skinnier girls for inspiration to remind myself why I was doing this. I could go up to 3 days without eating and would order clothes I knew were too small so that I could be motivated to fit them later. The times that I’d indulge in food, it would be quickly followed by self-hatred. I was even afraid to take a shower most of the time out of fear of having to look down at my body. To see my collapsed belly button, the stretch marks on my thighs, the curve of my hips. It was debilitating and all around claustrophobic.

The worst part was- it worked. For the most part. I got people to desire me, but no one really liked me. I couldn’t maintain anything because I was starving all the time. My emotions went haywire, I was exhausted literally all the time and always found myself crying. I was so consumed with my own body that I became a terrible friend and honestly a terrible person.

If you ever feel your friend may have an eating disorder – reach out to them. A close friend of mine did and it changed my life. they will push you away, I know I did. I pushed her away because I feared she would snap me out of it. I got angry. I feared that I wouldn’t be as “strong” when it came to food. But she did the right thing. It made me realize people could see what I was doing. And it saved my life.

Slowly, over many years, I changed my environment and with a lot of self help and a LOT of love from others I began to change my habits. I eventually got into a healthy loving relationship and found that I loved cooking, especially with him. Every so often I would find my self slip: the temptation to starve your self can be overwhelming sometimes.

Earlier this week I stumbled upon a dress I had been holding on to from that period of my life. I then came up with the worst idea ever which was, “Let’s see if this still fits. You know, for fun.” I’ve been working out consistently for months now and thought I’d give it a shot. Of course, it didn’t even slide over my hips. Panicked, I booked as many work out classes as I could fit into a week and started to plan out how I was going to diet so I could lose weight. I felt that I had lied to myself, that I had been disillusioned with the idea that I was skinny and desirable.

I took a class this morning and I felt strong. I was able to hold every pose, I never took a break and I pushed myself harder than I had in months. After walking out of class, wiping the sweat from my brow, I realized something important: 20-year-old Isabelle, would have never been able to do what 24-year-old Isabelle just did.

She was weak and tired and unmotivated. She wasn’t a “better, more disciplined, more attractive” version of myself. She was a weaker version, a hurt version. Someone who needed healing. I don’t want to be that again.

I came straight home and threw out that dress. After dusting my hands clean and feeling proud, I noticed something. I had a whole drawer full of “things to wear when I’m skinny again” without even realizing it. I guess I had been keeping them for some semblance of motivation, but in turn it had become a punishment. Something that was haunting me reminding me I could always do better, I could always be skinnier. I went ahead and chucked those out as well.

I am nowhere near perfect.

I have long term stomach issues due to consistently starving myself and yet there are still parts I desperately wish I could change about myself. I still grapple with the battle of being healthy vs being skinny. My eating habits can still be sporadic at times, and I’m not completely in love with my body, but I’m ready to start. To love my body and my own new version of myself.

 

Moist Queef Book Club Presents: The Girl on the Train

 The Girl on the Train By Paula Hawkins

The girl on the train

Initial Thoughts I had initial thoughts before I even stated the book . If any of you listened to NPR podcasts last summer, then you probably remember hearing about this book when their audible advertisements came on three times per podcast. If it weren’t for those ads I probably would have heard about it when I saw the trailer for the movie adaptation. Good job NPR for basically bullying me into listening to this book.
Why I liked it I’m a huge fan of both unreliable narrators as well as multiple narrators and this book has both. It tells the story of a woman Megan who goes missing and how her going missing affects two other women. The main women, Rachel, is fantastically relatable. She’s nosey which leads her to spying on Megan through the train windows every morning while riding past her old neighborhood. She’s got a drinking problem which she constantly claims to have “under control” but eventually gets the best of her and causes her to not be able to rely on her memories. I don’t want to give too much away about the other women, but just know that the lives of all three women connect in the most interesting way.

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Why you should read it The three main women are all complex and empowering, you know the way people are in real life. I really enjoyed the audio book because three different women read for the three main characters and you really got a feel for who they are.

Buy the book here! Or listen to the audiobook!

 

#TBT The First Time I Had a TV in my Bedroom

I’m twenty-three years old and for the first time in my life I have a TV in my bedroom. As a film major I find this fact a little silly, even coming from me. But then I think back at my television history, and it seems about right.

Growing up having a TV in our bedroom was never an option. I shared a bedroom with my sister so there wasn’t really anywhere for us to put it. We also had a very strict “No TV During The Weekdays” rule in my house, so we never imagined it would be possible. It didn’t really matter to us though, we were happy to watch the TV in the living room, or in our parent’s room when we were sick. Watching TV on the weekends was okay by me. All my favorite shows were on the weekend, and I was too busy during the week to be bothered to watch cartoons on the weekdays. That is, until fifth grade. Up until then, my absolute favorite tv show at the time, Lizzie McGuire, played new episodes on Friday nights. But the show was become popular, and Disney decided it would do better in a Thursday night slot, so they moved it. I was devastated, but I thought I might be able to convince my mom to bend her rule, for just this one thing. So I drew up a proposal, the kind of proposal I would make again for my mom when I was trying to convince her why I needed a MySpace account. The proposal promised that I only wanted to watch TV for this one half hour period on a weekday and that I would get all my homework done before it aired at 7:30. She did not agree and I was so upset. This was in a time before we had TiVo, and before Lizzie McGuire episodes were available on DVD let alone on YouTube. They rarely showed reruns of new episodes, so I would now have to hope that when I tuned in for Lizzie McGuire on the weekends, they would show an episode I hadn’t seen.

Flash forward three years to eight grade, my new favorite show is The O.C. another show that only aired on Thursday nights. However, this is a time where DVD box sets of the seasons were readily available. I also, finally, had a way to record the episodes both on TiVo as well as with VHS tapes. I didn’t mess around. Sometimes, if my younger sisters both went to bed before 9, my mom would bend her rule and let me sneak down for an episode of The OC. I felt so cool being able to watch the episode as it aired. I would be left out of our version of water cooler conversations about what happened in last night’s episode NO MORE! On the night of the season three finale, my mom and I got in some sort of argument. I forget the details, but I think I had to wake up early the next morning for something and my mom didn’t want me staying up until 10 watching TV. But it was the SEASON FINALE, I couldn’t be out of the loop for this most important episode. So I snuck down and watched it, with the lights off, volume down, and my hand on the remote, and was it worth it. If you’re unfamiliar with the genius that is The OC, it was the infamous episode where Marissa dies. (I didn’t warn for spoilers because that is the most widely known fact about that show. Also if you haven’t watched it by now and didn’t already know that fact, The OC probably isn’t in your radar) Needless to say, I’m glad I snuck down and watched that episode.

Now, I’ve moved out of my parents’ house, but my younger siblings, ages five and nine, still live there (obviously, they can’t really make it on their own yet). With all the advances in technology since I was a kid, it’s hard for my parents to control how much TV they watch. Although they are allowed watch TV on the weekdays, unlike me, it is limited to an hour. They rarely ever watch anything live, all their shows area available on apps and Netflix and Hulu. They hardly even record things now, it’s all just there.

Now I don’t have cable on my TV (you know, because the internet), but I do have a DVD player. Having this TV in my room is one of my favorite additions. No longer do I have to watch movies on an 11 inch computer screen with limited volume. Now I can blast episodes of The OC in high definition at any time, the way I always wanted to.

Ailish’s Chicken and Waffles Tour of America: Pann’s

Hello! I’m Ailish and I fucking LOVE Chicken and waffles. I think they’re the absolute perfect combination of sweet and savory. They’re incredible to eat any time of day and you can pair it with anything from mimosas to coffee to whiskey or even wine. They’re soul food for the breakfast obsessed and I literally cannot get enough. I’ve been to my fair share of diners that serve chicken and waffles and since today is National Waffle Day, it seemed smart to begin sharing with you all my favorite places to get Chicken and Waffles in this series Chicken and Waffles Tour of America.

Pann’s

I wish I could say Pann’s was the first chicken and waffles joint I visited when I moved to LA, but unfortunately it was not. (We’ll get to that later). There are rumors that Pann’s is the filming location of the coffee shop scene from Pulp Fiction, but unfortunately that’s just an urban legend. It’s easy to spot the similarities though. It was, however featured in xXx and Bewitched. If you want an authentic 50’s diner feel, Pann’s is the place to go.

 

What to order

Pann’s Belgian Waffle & Wings.

C&H delishIt comes with a choice of four and six wings. I usually think four is plenty with the waffle, but feel free to get six if you’re feeling hungry.

 

Cost

The four wings will run you about $12 (I can’t speak for the 6 wing option)

 

Best time to go

If you can, definitely try to go for the Sunday brunch. It’s only until 2pm so you have to go early. BUT they have bottomless mimosa. And not those only-for-90-min or Until-you’re-finished-eating or only-when-the-understaffed-waiters-are-able-to-make-it-to-your-table bottomless mimosas. I mean the 95%-champagne-splash-of-OJ Oh-you-took-a-sip-let-me-fill-that-for-you type of bottomless mimosas that we all wish were at every restaurant.

 

Rating

Atmosphere 9/10

Price 9/10

Food Quality 9/10

It can get especially crowded during the brunch hour, but the wait usually isn’t longer than 30 minutes, and believe me it’s worth the wait. The price for the Waffles and Wings is pretty perfect for the amount you get. The waffles are the super thick circular kind you get from those amazing old school waffle irons. Plus real actual bottomless mimosas.

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An App I Tried: Duolingo

Oh Duolingo, I wanted so badly to love you. When I first heard that you were in the App Store I was like, “Finally! You’re here.” I’d been looking for you since I realized the iTranslate keyboard would never be enough and I should stop trying to cheat my way through life.

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As I explored your interface, I grew more and more excited. You’re so cute and colorful and it all seemed so fun. I believed you were an app that I could enjoy learning from. So  I scrolled through the language options: Spanish! German! Japanese! I imagined myself learning all of the languages. I couldn’t wait to talk to all of the people.

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I started with Spanish since I should probably know that one by now. Your initial placement test really brought me back. I remembered my Spanish teacher from Big City Montessori whose class I tried to storm out of after she made fun of my last name. I remembered my middle school teachers; one of whom had come from Honduras and tried to turn us into verb-conjugating robots. The other was Italian, and I don’t think he knew a word of Spanish. Then I remembered high-school, and the insane Spanish teacher that wouldn’t let my best friend into the classroom on the first day because her name is Cecilia and, “That means she must be a native speaker.” I laughed at the time that same teacher once stopped a lecture to ask me why I was looking at her (I’m serious). I realized why, after 7+ years of Spanish classes, I still don’t really know the language.

You placed me pretty high up, though! I got to skip a bunch of lessons, and that made me feel super talented. I also liked how I could “place out” of entire sections because I only wanted to spend time on what I really needed to learn and honestly, what kind of Californian doesn’t know how to say ‘hello’ or ‘cat’ in Spanish?

But sadly, our honeymoon phase had to come to an end. I was on a 4-day streak when I sat down with my friend who is a native Spanish speaker. We went through some lessons together and she laughed at how dumb you sound sometimes. We noticed how you simply gamified Google Translate. I knew at that point that you had catfished me. You don’t even know Spanish.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. I mean, what did I expect from a free app, right? It’s not like you don’t do what you said you would. I’m just sad that you’re not able to magically transform me into a fluent speaker. One thing I can say is that you helped me remember those verb conjugation lessons I half-slept through in 6th grade. And I do think you’d be great for beginners who don’t know a thing about the language. I just don’t feel confident using the vocabulary you taught me. People on twitter agree, by the way:

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So Duolingo, I’m sorry to say that I simply cannot love you. I still want to love you, though, so I won’t delete you. I might even keep doing a few lessons a day. At least until I find an app that will speak to me in real Spanish on a regular basis until I actually know it.

 

 

The New Girls Club Productions

What’s up you guys! I wanted to welcome you to this side of the blog: the production side. (It’ll have it’s own official page soon enough)

This is where we’ll post everything that has to do with our older sister production company The New Girls Club. We’ll post blogs from set, behind the scene photos of shoots, and any relevant news (mostly about women in film because duh). We’re so excited to bring this to you!! 

If you want more info or photos be sure to follow us on Twitter @thenewgrrlsclub.

An Open Letter to Hollywood

Dear Hollywood,

Can we please have more movies like Hidden Figures?

Oh, you don’t remember what movie that is? It’s okay, I know you have many movies coming out all the time, here let me remind you.

This movie is important. Very important. In the past, forever, there has been a problem with you guys when it comes to casting black women in major movies. I mean look no further than #OscarsSoWhite. But if you want to look further, look at the few black women who have won Oscars for acting. What roles did they play? Maid, a phony, singer, abused woman, maid, abusive woman, and slave.

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Cool, guys, real cool.

It is not hard to cast a black woman as a doctor, or a CEO or a scientist, you just do it, whether the story is fiction or not.

Back to Hidden Figures. This movie is very important. It’s one of the few movies that not only shows black women in a positive and admirable light, but it also takes place around the civil rights era and still manages to not have the three main black characters who aren’t maids, or slaves, or abused. They’re not known for their bodies, they’re, get ready for it, known for their brains. What?!

Additionally, the director, Theodore Melfi, whether he knows it or not, is being a great example of a white ally. The movie is directed by a white dude and written by him and Allison Schroedera white women, based on a book by Margot Lee Shetterly (a black woman). Essentially Melfi is using his white manness and bringing to light an important story told by a black woman about black women because it would take years for this movie to be made otherwise. The actual book Hidden Figures isn’t available to buy yet!

So, Hollywood, we know you’re running out of ideas. You keep making sequels and threequels and Marvel movies and DC movies and remakes and we’re getting pretty sick of it. There are other stories that can be told about plenty of people of color who have done remarkable things or who have interesting stories to be told. When this movie does well, let it be an example for you. You can absolutely make more movies like this, people want to see them, people have to see them. You should do your part in making yourselves  #ALittleLessWhite.

Thanks,

Ailish

 

 

Hawaii: Go for the Vacation, Stay for the Chicken and Waffles.

I’ve been to Hawaii on vacation before, but this was the first time I went as an adult which was a very different experience. I never realized how much of a vacation destination Waikiki and Oahu as a whole were until I saw it through the eyes of a grown up. Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly fun, but it’s also very much a vacation and while on vacation you want to do it right. Here’s my super bias advice, take it or leave it.

Activities

There are so many things in Hawaii that are catered to the tourism industry, which gives you as a tourist a LOT of choices. Almost too many choices. There’s surfing, swimming with dolphins, swimming with sharks, snorkeling, scuba diving, submarine dives, paddle boarding, cliff diving. Literally, name a water activity and there’s a minimum of 10 companies who want to take your money for the activity and then sell you a photo of you doing it. A lot of them are super fun and worth the money, but a lot of them are a little silly.

What you should do

  • Surfing

If you don’t already live in a place where surfing is available to you, definitely take advantage of it here. The water is so warm and clear (at least in Waikiki) and the waves are so constant. They’re great for beginners and for experts. I’ve gone surfing in both the North Shore and in Waikiki and they both have their benefits. Waikiki is warm and clear, but it can get really crowded and depending on who you go to can be expensive. The North Shore is empty and through the Hawaiian Fire Surf School, you get a longer fuller lesson, but in colder water where you usually have to wear a rash guard. (Although researching for this post I realize they might have changed since I last surfed with them)

  • Snorkeling

Hanauma Bay is a fantastic place to snorkel if you want to actually see a variety of fish and the best place to get hit with multiple selfie sticks. It’s a State Park so you’ll see a bunch of people treating it like shit which is frustrating. If you go, go as early as possible. Get there to see the fish before everyone scares them away with their shit snorkeling skills.

  • Attend a luau

The hotel where we stay hosts their own luau a couple times a week. There are activities for the kids like lei making and activities for the adults like free Mai Tai’s (just kidding they’re not free, they’re part of your ticket). The Luau itself is just as wonderful and cheesy as I remember it being when I was 12. The food for whatever reason was spectacularly better than when I was a kid, which I guess is one benefit of vacationing as an adult with a mature apatite.  If your hotel doesn’t host one, I know the Polynesian Cultural Center hosts one plus about a million other places throughout the island.

What you don’t really need to do

The Hilton has a submarine activity which is exactly what it sounds like. You take a boat pretty far out into the ocean and board a submarine then you go down below the water and come back up. I’m biased about this because I got immediately sea sick and spent the majority of the submarine ride trying not to throw up. No one warns you about motion sickness! I also don’t remember seeing anything particularly cool looking under water, but that might have been because I was distracted. Try it if you want, but at least you’ve been warned about potential seasickness.

This is seriously so much fun, but I also didn’t pay for it the first time I tried it. I considered doing it this trip, but then looked at the prices and realized I don’t have that kind of cash to blow. It’s a really rad experience if you’ve never done it before, but it’s not the most important thing to do.

 

What to eat

We had some pretty decent meals when we ate out, I’m sure there’s so much more to be explored in this realm. My favorite by far was the chicken and waffles meal from Pancakes and Waffles. I’ll write more about this later, but holy shit, this was the best chicken and waffles meal I’ve ever had in my life. (And I’ve eaten my fair share of Chicken & Waffles meals. Also: when I Instagrammed this photo and said that it was the best meal, they called me a Chicken & Waffles expert so clearly I know a thing or two) .They have a ton of other great sounding menu items, but I really only saw people ordering this option.

 

I think the most important thing you can do in Hawaii is see a god damn sunset. Or a sunrise. Honestly, do both if you can. I don’t know what it is but they’re fucking majestic. If you can watch it while you’re swimming in the ocean, maybe after drinking a Mai Tai, do that too. Because that’s what a grown up tropical island vacation is all about right?