Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DIY: tj's paper bag garland. [happy holidays]

what do you get when you mix a bajillion trader joe's paper bags, procrastination, and christmas?

this ridiculously adorable, festive, cheap and easy to make garland! plus, it's totally sustainable. the bags do say to reuse and recycle...

i know what you're thinking, a kindergartener could've made it...but isn't that half the fun? ;)

grab your supplies: 
3-4 trader joe's paper grocery bags (depending on the length of your garland)
clear tape*
red bows*

*can all be found at your local dollar store

the first step is to gently remove the handles from the bags and tape them together to form the base of the garland. you'll want to wrap the tape all the way around (instead of just putting a small piece over one side) to keep everything nice and sturdy.

then, cut off the panels on the bag (not the bottom, though!) and cut out strips in the width of your choice. i made mine about an inch in width actually cut off about 2 inches off the top of the strips too, just to make the rings a little less cumbersome. also try to keep as much red writing on each of the strips as possible so the garland looks more colorful!

tape the ends of the rings together, too. you can use a small piece for these guys to conserve some tape. :)

next, assemble the garland. pop each of those rings onto your "string," allowing enough room for them to lay flat next to one another and to fit a bow in between. then, take your bows and tie them around the garland wherever you'd like. if the pipe cleaner on the bows is too big to fit around the base, just bend the "string" in half. 

*i placed about 5 rings in between each bow and taped the 1st and 5th rings down around the bows once the garland was hanging to make sure none overlapped or covered the bows.

tack the garland up onto the wall, put up some christmas lights, and you're good to go!

merry decorating :)

xo jordan

Monday, October 15, 2012

5 foods making my life better today.

food makes me happy, it's as simple as that :)

try these if you're in need of some new eats for fall:

1. tj's nonfat greek pumpkin yogurt. i have no words. NONE. it's cream...yogurt? but creamy...really, really creamy. with spices. and oh my goodness it is amazing.

2. pb & banana quesadillas. i make the peanut butter with PB2 (since i'm incapable of having a jar of real nut butter in my house for more than three days...), slice up a banana, toss it in a soft, doughy tortilla, fold it in half and sprinkle it with cinnamon. best dessert-y, filling, nutrient packed, protein-y, healthy breakfast ever.

3. tj's ginger cats cookies. confession - these didn't last more than 60 hours. oops.

4. brussel sprouts with bacon and garlic. easy peasy and perfect for autumn!

5. dates. in a salad. or more specifically, this salad. arugula + dried cranberries + dates + goat cheese + apple + shredded carrot + drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. so awesome.

 happy monday, lovelies.

xo jordan

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


so i've been a little m.i.a. the past few days, but it's for a good reason this time! promise.

i'm in a show!

fully aware that picture is the tiniest thing ever, but there will be many more photos to come. i'll be performing with musical comedian Stephen Sorrentino at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood today through sunday and i'm super excited :)

hopefully i can squeeze in a post between now and the end of all this performance madness (the good kind), but if not, come out and see the show if you're in the LA area!!! it's pretty awesome. more about it here.

xo jordan

Thursday, October 4, 2012

breakfast in bed. [healthy indulgences]

sometimes you just need to have a little treat to start your morning off right...and sometimes you need to eat that treat all cozied up in bed with a hot cup of coffee while reading your favorite blogs...
and by you, i mean me.

pumpkin cream cheese stuffed cinnamon raisin french toast
for one.

2 pieces ezekiel cinnamon raisin sprouted bread
1 large egg
3+ tablespoons skim milk 
cinnamon (to taste)
pumpkin cream cheese (light whipped cream cheese + pumpkin puree to taste)
maple syrup (for topping)

take a wide bowl or plate with sides and combine egg, milk and cinnamon. coat each side of bread for 20 seconds and place on pan over medium heat. cook until golden brown on both sides. repeat with other slice. coat one piece with pumpkin cream cheese, top with the other, and drizzle with maple syrup or other toppings of choice!

i really want to try this with nutella...and/or strawberries...and/or carmelized bananas. oh goodness, the possibilities are endless! best healthy-yet-indulgent-breakfast-in-bed ever. also, this happened: 

can you tell i'm ready for fall? this may be the first time since spring that my weather forecast doesn't say anything higher than 90 degrees. haaaaaaallelujah!

xo jordan

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

the key. [pseudo fried rice]

you know when you're heading home after the longest, most exhausting day ever and you're starving, but you know that anything you try to make at home will take at least 20 minutes and chipotle is just... right there?

yeah, you know. i know. we all know. 

now, you've probably read in about a thousand health and fitness magazines that the key to eating well is to prep in advance so healthy food is right at your disposal, and it may seem like you don't even have enough time to do that! not even on weekends! but you do. i promise. and they're right. if you know you have a delicious, nutritious meal just waiting for you in the fridge, you'll be far less tempted to stray from your normal nightly commute and spend the extra money on something not as good for you. 

all it takes to make a giant batch of brown rice and 4 pieces of chicken breast that'll last almost a week is less than 5 minutes. here's what you do: 

defrost the chicken (that you will have bought on sale at the grocery store and frozen weeks ago) in a bowl of warm water while you're at the gym. place the chicken in a ziploc with olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, salt and a ton of spices before you hop in the shower. hop in a robe, put on some slippers and boil a  pot of water on the stove. turn on the oven to 375, put the chicken in a dish to then place in the oven, pour the rice into the boiling pot, and go sit down on the couch for 45 minutes while you watch sex and the city. or chopped. or house hunters international. retrieve chicken and rice, store in a tupperware, and BOOM DONE.

simple as that. and then you leave yourself with the option of having a healthy, super quick meal on a casual tuesday night.

pseudo fried rice

1 piece baked boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup spinach
1/2 an avocado or 2 tbsp guacamole
1 egg
1/2 cup brown rice
soy sauce
garlic salt

while heating up the rice and chicken in the microwave, saute the spinach in a pan until wilted. combine spinach, rice, avocado or guacamole, and cut up pieces of chicken in bowl and top with soy sauce to taste. fry one egg on the stove (or pop in the microwave for 45 seconds, checking at the 30 second mark), and place on rice mix. sprinkle with just a touch of garlic salt. enjoy :)

xo jordan

Friday, September 21, 2012

sick of spinach.

so here's the thing.

i'm getting really sick of spinach. i keep eating it because i know it's "good for me" (blah blah blah, whatever. so is frosting, right?) and trying to mix it into things so i can't taste it so much...but i obviously know it's still there. so i'm trying new things...

1. lavash chicken quesadillas.

trader joe's whole wheat lavash bread is so freaking tasty, i can't handle it. i love the texture and subtle flavor. top it with some of tj's chunky guacamole (made with greek yogurt for less fat and calories!), a tablespoon of cheddar, a handful of spinach and balsamic baked chicken for one of the easiest, yummiest meals ever.

2. kale crisps.

it would be wrong to call these kale chips because let's face it, most of the pieces of kale that come in the tj's bag are about the size of my fingernail when roasted. perfect for a salad, not so perfect for "chips." in any case, i spray these bad boys with some pam olive oil and sprinkle some garlic salt, pop 'em in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, and then shovel them in my mouth. you should, too.

3. coconut panko shrimp.

straight up - you need to go make these. for 8 tiny shrimp, the whole thing takes about 2 minutes to prepare and 12 minutes to bake. adapted from gina's recipe at skinnytaste, i basically took one egg, a few tablespoons of panko flakes, a few of shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes, and some whole wheat flour and prepared these like little chicken cutlets...but with shrimp! bake them on a lightly oiled baking sheet at 350 degrees for 12 minutes (or until coconut starts to brown) and there you have it. WINNER. put them on top of a spinach salad + cucumber because it's healthy...

4. cinnamon raisin grilled cheese.

y'all know i can't live without my ezekiel sprouted grain cinnamon raison bread. toast up a couple slices and put a few thinly sliced pieces of sharp cheddar in between and you'll experience a party in your mouth. if you like having something sweet with every meal like me, you need to make this as soon as humanly possible. this bread is heaven alone, but with cheese? just stop.

so there you have it, that's what i've been eating, amongst lots and lots of other things. happy friday everyone, and have a lovely weekend!

xo jordan

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

life update.

okay guys, i mean it this time. i'm back to blogging...and regularly. which means at least three times a week. i promise :)

before we can simply resume our relationship, i feel the need to present you with a life update of sorts. these past few months of summer (since it's always summer in LA), have brought a lot of change, inspiration, motivation and growth. i started a new job, joined a dance crew, met lots of new and wonderful people, ate some amazing food, traveled to new parts of california, experienced things out of my comfort zone, spent time with family, and made a plan for the next year or so. let me fill you in.

cousin and puppy-cousin!

my new job hostessing is at restaurant in Los Feliz called MessHall. it has awesome food, drinks, company, staff, managers and vibes. if you live anywhere near LA, you should join us. 

as for the dance crew, i cannot express in words how happy i am to be part of such and amazing group of talented, hard-working dancers. we're called the Show off Dolls and we do a fusion of burlesque, hip hop and jazz. so far we've had two amazing gigs after just a few super productive rehearsals and i know the future holds incredible opportunities for us. 

being part of a group out here is so important to me because i not only get to make new friends, but i also love being able to perform out here regularly. it's ridiculously fun and also great practice for when i'm, ya know, dancing behind katy perry and christina aguilera ;) plus, and this may sound absurd, i absolutely LOVE rehearsal. maybe because it brings me back to my childhood and hours upon hours of rehearsal for dance competitions, but i do love it.

lola lush is my doll name ;)

i have also *surprise surprise* finally started studying for the GMATs, which i plan on taking in november. i'll be applying to several schools, but the goal is the UCLA Anderson School of Business (a full time program...but i know i'll still have time to dance) so i can get my MBA in marketing, with a concentration in media and entertainment. whew, that was a mouthful! 

much like my love for rehearsal, i weirdly enjoy getting new school supplies and products. i don't think most people get excited about studying for exams, but i've been so focused that i've actually been studying 6/7 days a week. hear that, mom and dad? :)

on "set" at a mansion in beverly hills. can't complain!

so there you have it. a very brief overview of my crazy, ever-changing life. mix all of the above with last-minute auditions, workouts, babysitting, modeling, cooking, baking, partying, taking class, sleeping, and now blogging. see you in a few days!

xo jordan

Saturday, September 1, 2012

belated birthday post. [FOOD.]

since it's been exactly a week since my birthday, and also happens to be the first day of september, this is probably the last appropriate day for me to post all the yummy food i consumed on the day i turned 23.

my parents came into town for about 65 hours to celebrate (best birthday present ever) and our main activities consisted of eating, walking around, eating, laying down, eating, sitting by the pool, eating, and driving. oh and more eating. our first stop? Roscoe's chicken and waffles. 

you've seen these on my blog before, i believe. i just can't seem to get enough of this perfectly sweet, doughy waffles and crispy, salty fried chicken mix! my mom was dying to go, so i couldn't very well let her go back to New York without having been yet again...

for dinner, we dined at Prosecco, my favorite little Italian restaurant here in Burbank. connor came with us and we all ate far too much, none of which is pictured. apologies. and i won't even tease you by describing our incredible dishes...but i will show you this lovely photo of my mother reading and dipping in the pool at my parent's hotel - what we did all afternoon before the eating resumed...

on my actual birthday, my request was to go to Bea Bea's, my favorite breakfast place. can't complain about a weekend full of favorites :)

that would be french toast with strawberries and nutella. to die. and i ate almost the entire thing, too.

that last slice was consumed about 14 hours later, post drinking and birthday party festivities. we skipped lunch for shopping in santa monica and driving along the PCH to malibu...not to mention being far to full to eat until dinnertime. we ate at Gladstone's, one of my parents' favorite places in LA. they used to go there a bunch when they lived here :)

i only snapped a photo of my entree - seared ahi tuna over goat cheese mashed potatoes and green beans. perfectly cooked, perfectly tasty.

i came home to a new tradition connor and i have for celebrating our anniversary in this apartment and being roomies. it's our first anniversary, but second time commemorating the occasion with hostess cupcakes and cheap champagne. last year we ate on the floor in my room, this year we upgraded to the kitchen counter :)

if you're wondering about birthday cake, since i clearly hadn't eaten enough food or even sweets already, don't worry. my parents got me 3 enormous pieces of cake from The Alcove in Los Feliz, which were enjoyed over the following 3 days by both me and connor. we had chocolate peanut butter, carrot cake, and red velvet. i obviously did not waste a single moment snapping away photos of my cake before i shoveled it in my mouth, but here's a lovely picture someone else took because they had more patience and will power than i did...

okay, i'm done. i won't even go on to tell you about the jar of nutella that only lasted 4 days. oh wait, i just did. best birthday of all time.

xo jordan

Sunday, July 29, 2012

new favorite.

barbara's peanut butter and chocolate puffins with sliced strawberries and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. go. do it. now.

2 auditions today and then off to hollywood to see a friend's show :)

i'm gonna kick today's ass. you should, too.

xo jordan

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

the importance of variety [and a cheat day].

i've been doing a lot of researching lately about new exercise regimes and healthy recipes to incorporate into my diet. the number one tip that's really resonated with me has to do with varying exercise routines in order to engage new muscles and burn fat. i never really thought about things like going to the gym or trying new workouts when i was in high school, and in college the only new thing i really tried was the an incline and resistance of 1 since i was too afraid to get too bulky...lame! 

now, i've been focusing on adding free weights, new machines and new exercises targeting certain "problem areas" at the gym as well as trying new dance classes! let me tell you, dancing for an hour in heels will make you feel things in your legs you never even knew existed. try it. i also happened to return to my all-time favorite non-dancing workout: Hot Power Fusion yoga at CorePower in Sherman Oaks. i thought for a second that they cancelled today's class and i legitimately almost screamed. that class is my equivalent of a spa day...and a workout all in one. perfection.

my favorite websites to go to for inspiration are of course pinterest in the fitness section, FitSugar, which posts all kinds of awesome health tips and the occasional workout video, poppilates videos here, and some other videos here.

aaaand in case any of you were wondering, my favorite dance classes as of late look a little something like this:

next on my list? a pole dancing class. seriously. i hear it works your body like crazy!

buuuut another super important part of maintaining variety, is allowing yourself to let go a little. so, to you i present the ultimate sweet-tooth breakfast: 1/2 s'mores pancakes and 1/2 peanut butter banana oreo pancakes courtesy of Bea Bea's in Burbank, CA.


tomorrow i'm heading home to new york to see my family and friends and then on to north carolina for vacation!!!!!! i'm so, so, SO beyond excited =D

xo jordan

Monday, June 18, 2012

weekend realizations.

happy monday, everybody! i hope you all had wonderful weekends, as i know i did. even though i've had work the past 3 days, i managed to squeeze in some time with friends, at the gym, and in the kitchen. here's what i realized in the process:

1. as much as i want to try and reduce my dairy intake for moral and health reasons, nothing beats an egg with cheese + two pieces of ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast with butter. truth.

2. if you do not get enough sleep for a week and consume enough nutrients, you will get sick. and lose your voice...which may seem raspy and sexy at first, but is really just annoying and painful.

3. it is okay to have frozen yogurt for dinner if you've been "good" the past few days, it makes your throat (& heart) feel better, and tastes just plain awesome. 

half peanut butter, half cookies and cream with cookie dough and crushed reese's. O-M-G.

4. dining al fresco with friends never gets old.

grilled ono tacos with french fries in old bay seasoning. yum!

5. i really do love trader joe's.

6. being nice to people pays off and is good karma. i scored a free bag of sunflower seeds at TJ's this morning because i was short a dollar and asked him if it were possible to take it away...he said absolutely and gave it to me anyway since he didn't want me "worrying about that stuff." so sweet.

7. i love my life. i seriously think dancers have the most fun lives ever. i mean, who else gets to dress up like it's halloween everyday and dance it out for a living?! no one. :)

until next time!

xo jordan

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

the life of a busy bee. [& my one year anniversary with LA!]

TGI-almost thursday. beeecaaaaauuuuse i can now finally sleep past 7:30!!!! i know, i'm such a baby. most people my age, or older...or younger...have to wake up much earlier than that to make it to work or school on time, but for those of us struggling artists here in hollywood, 7:30am is a time we rarely see on our clocks. let's face it, we work night jobs that get us more tips and the only times we really have to wake up earlier than noon are for auditions. as for me, i ordinarily only sleep until 8:30 or so, but the hour really makes a difference. i promise.

what i've been up to the past three days has been working downtown for LA Market/Fashion Week in a showroom that sells activewear apparel. i was sort of doing a cross between modeling and personal assisting, but whatever it was, it was awesome. fashion has always been a huge passion of mine, not to mention clothes i can dance, hike or do yoga in, but i haven't ever really been able to experience the fashion industry...aside from things i'd heard from my mother or cousin who work(ed) in fashion. 

in any case, i've been working downtown from 9am-4pm and then running straight to work on the west side from 5pm-11pm. so one can only imagine how all this running affected my eating...

these ziplocs of dried cranberries and almonds + oatmeal to go (prepared the night before with almond coconut milk and a sliced banana in the morning) + coffee in my thermos + a zbar for a snack have been saving my life.

in the midst of all the busy bee madness, however, i have managed to shovel in a few real nutrients and salad! 'cause ya know, i'm participating in the june salad-a-day challenge and all. basically, for me to enjoy a salad, all i need is to know that it contains one or all of the following:


smoked salmon.

goat cheese.

a fruit.

or a veggie burger patty.

SO GOOD. i kid you not. 

in other news, it just so happens to be my one year anniversary with LA and to quote a fabulously talented and adorable singer who is also one of my role-models, "you can travel the world, but nothing comes close to the golden coast " :)