To read or not to read...

>> Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I haven't done my immature book reviews in a while. Here are a few fun ones.
Air Babylon was really a ton of fun. I absolutely recommend this book ESPECIALLY for reading while on a plane. I got it for my flight back from Nicoland. On the way there I make myself get beauty sleep so I can walk off the plane looking like I'm descending from a quicky flight from St. Tropes (while the rest of the passengers totally hate me.)

Speaking of St. Tropez... check out the absolutely wonderful eye mask from St. Tropez Essentials incidentally :) I kinda let it fall out of my suitcase when I go to visit Nico, just you know, a subtle mental message...

Anyway, back to the book! Its hard for me to sleep on the way back this way because its usually a day flight, so I decided to make sure I have something entertaining to read. And this book does the trick. Its a fictional story of a day in life of airline manager at an airport, based on interviews of various airline employees (who obviously remain anonymous). It's funny and has everything, drugs, sex, deaths, and even romance... awww. Cute read.

The Witch of Cologne - I absolutely love novels that take place in a certain historical time. This one takes place in Belgium and Netherlands around mid 1600. I found it very interesting. Detailed description of the time and everyday life at that time. About a kibbalah, jews, formation of the free republic in Amsterdam, the inquisition, corrupt catholic priests and vengeful... well, everyone was vengeful in this book. And yes there is love as well! Ahhh.... (Another wonderful book taking place the same time, same place is The Coffee Trader, about the early days of the "stock market" and coffee in Europe.)

Interesting read.

My 'Dam Life by Sean Condon was absolutely hilarious! A bit too much on the self depreciating side... but still funny. About an Australian couple that move to Amsterdam and go through all kinds of trials and tribulations of getting work/live/apartment permits you can imagine. And at the very end when they FINALLY seem to have straightened out everything another misfortune happens and they're back to square one. And the book ends... I searched Sean Condon's website for some clues as to weather they have gone back to Australia or managed to stay in Amsterdam but find no clues there!!! I just HAVE to know!!!! Thou I imagine they left, I mean half way through the book I myself was ready to give up (if I was in their place, NOT reading the book) Funny read! Super super funny!

And just for the girls, Shopaholic and Sister. SO SO adorable! Another Sophie Kinsella book that will surely satisfy your need for sugar! (And less calories, actually reading BURNS calories, I'm sure like 1 in an hour but still.) I've read all her books and everysingle one is cute and sweet and just makes you feel nice and cheerful! Absolutely nothing wrong with that, we can't be reading depressing crap like Crime and Punishment ALL the time that would be crime and punishment literally! (aa..ha..ha... I'm so funny.)

Anyway, loved it, though I read it in ONE day, 'twas a rainy and cold saturday. AND hurray! Her latest book Shopaholic and Baby is coming out next month!

Well have fun ya'll!
(I so wish I could have Southern accent if I wanted!)


Is this telephone broken?

>> Sunday, January 28, 2007

And from a phone conversation with Nico (that's why I hate talking to boyfriends on the phone):

....Nico: You're older then me

Ale: Whatever! By 2 MONTHS! You're saying that cus you're jealous that I look 10 years younger then you!

Nico: You don't look 18...!

Ale: Well, everyone says I do and even if I don't, I still look way younger then you anyway!

Nico: People tell me I look 21, maybe 22.

Ale: Yeah RIGHT! Wait, so how old do you think I look?????

Nico: You look 28.

Ale: WHAT!!!!!!!...... Well GOOD!!!! I'm glad YOU THINK SO! I hate having people think I'm 18 and not take me seriously, I WANT to look my age!

Nico: Good, cus you do.

Ale: In fact, I TRY to look older because I look so YOUNG!

Nico: Well you're doing a good job.

Ale: (silence)

Nico: umm.. are you mad? why are you quiet?


Nico: well you definitely don't ACT 28 that's for sure...
That's it, I'm going to request a chaperon to be present at our next phone conversation! We'll see how he'll like that!


The Laws of Attraction Primavera-fied.

>> Thursday, January 25, 2007

Again and again we keep addressing the mystery that are men and why is it that the most illogical things make them SO attracted to us.

Have you ever wondered why girls that seem a bit dumb get more guys then girls that are smart and are not "hiding it"?? Is that why our grandmothers tell us to: say LESS and just smile MORE? Have you ever thought about what is the TRUE message of the statement "Women are meant to be seen not heard"?

Well we're about to find out. (Courtesy of SPHQRT - sempre primavera head quarters research team.)

First lets revisit the most basic and PRIMARY rule of human interaction.

Make others feel important

We all want to feel important, respected and good about ourselves. We like people who make us feel smart and nice, and we stay away from those that are disrespectful to us. Just simple logic.
If you can remember that you're already half way through the laws of attraction.

Lets see what Sugarbaby suggests, a cosmetics company whose philosophy is centered around "pretty, pink, princess" basically all things super feminine:

a) purr like a kitten
b) pout like a baby
c) glow like a peach
d) bathe like a goddess

Purring like a kitten is basically a way of saying make your guy feel important. When a cute kitten purrs and rubs its head against your knee don't you just feel loved? Even if you're not a cat person, you can't help but want to cuddle and play with the kitten. Same thing with guys, they need to feel that we like them. (Just note: this does not mean call them 50x per day, it simply means act all HAPPY when they call you.)

Pouting like a baby is yet another way to stroke a guy's ego. If you exhibit little girl/baby behavior it makes them feel like they need to protect you since obviously you're incapable. And apparently that's an attractive quality in a woman, being incapable that is. For that reason men seem to be obsessed with younger women, strippers, drug addicts... and poor girls. The need to protect, rescue.... in other words fulfill THEIR need to feel important. So if you're one of the unlucky girls who is NOT 12, stripper or a druggie and gosh forbid, have money, you need to artificially create the illusion of needing "assistance". Simple example: ask to be picked up and dropped of in front of your house (since public transportation is scary and you forgot how to drive your car). Don't ask for expensive things - that's not polite, but do ask for things that will inconvenience him on your behalf just slightly but enough to make him feel the "pain". The more he does for YOU the more important he feels. You are doing him a favor!

Glowing like a peach is straight forward: take good care of how you look, and smile more. Make him feel like his presence makes you - well, GLOW. After all... who was it that said "The world is simply a mirror that reflects back what you feel inside". People reflect back to you what you show them. You smile, they'll smile back. (Unless you're on Staten Island Ferry, then you'll get smacked in the head.)

Bathe like a goddess is even more simple, it indirectly states: Respect yourself and demand respect from others. If you want your guy to treat YOU like a goddess, you must show him by example of first treating YOURSELF like a goddess. Pamper yourself and he'll know he has to pamper you too to be on the level. "High maintenance"? ABSOLUTELY! Its not as much for us, as for the guys! What guy won't feel proud and (IMPORTANT) if he is able to go out with a girl who everyone considers a princess. "Wow, he must be something if SHE wants to go out with him."

Simple simple simple!

And as promised what does "Women are to be seen not heard" really mean? It is simply a plea from men to us women to please not show our intelligence too much as they're not able to HANDLE it!

Sorry boys, we'll keep it down so you can keep it up ;)

Note to all men: this post was not meant to be insulting, don't be pissed. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel important, and we WANT our guys to feel important because they ARE. We LOVE YOU GUYS! All this is just friendly and silly banter for entertainment! We'd be SO totally lost without you guys, you know that!!!

;) .....hehehe


I've never posted more then once in a day... hmm... just wanted to see what would happen...


Out and about

>> Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I always "yell" at other bloggers to post about what they ate, where they went... etc. So I guess I should do the same, I have been doing a bit of going out lately...

Besides, no better way to dissipate winter blues then hit it right between the eyes with FUNNNNN!!!!!

Ok, so last week Wallstr and I had a real casual pow-pow at everyones (her and mine) favorite brewery:

Always busy with tons of students, something about seeing their stressed out little faces makes me so glad that I'll never have to do homework again!

I LOVE spicy buffalo wings! Trying to extinguish the flames with beer works to every one's advantage.

Next to us was a couple that were discussing wedding plans with the guy's father. I don't know why (well I do) but it just SO annoys me to hear about people getting married.

Wallstr is going to yet another wedding and while I don't even know that girl I'm already annoyed at her choices of wedding hall, etc etc.

What is it about weddings that just makes everyone an award winning critic? Its like why do we pick at every little detail while we should just be happy to have been invited to a big party with lots of drinks!?

Jealousy? Sure, why not. But not about being married, I think just a natural reaction for people when they see others getting ALL the attention. If its your friend that's getting married, then its a simple straight forward hatred towards the both of them for ABANDONING us. Its like a big "Good buy" party. Maybe the people going away are happy but not their friends that are saying good buy. Blah! I guess if you are already part of a married couple and go to a wedding its like a "Welcome" party so obviously you're glad to welcome new people into your sphere.

Whatever lets not dwell on this.

Highcontrast, Jazz and friend we all went to take advantage of New York City Restaurant Week and went to a really lovely place, with lovely modern decor, where we had an incredibly lovely dinner (and drinks!) all served by very lovely waiter boys.... mmmmm delicious (the food of course).

After which a bit of bar hopping ensued. Standard procedure.


Mangez moi...mangez moi...mangez-moiiiaaaa

>> Monday, January 22, 2007

I was grooming the Domestic Goddess in me again yesterday... and voila'!

First time I tried them, and they came out super yummy AND it was pretty easy. (Ok, fine, the truth is that I 'smoked' my cuisineart food processor, but it was old anyway, and the smell of burned plastic only lingered in the house for a few hours... anyway I ended up having to mix the almond paste with sugar by hand!)

I know you'all going to ask for a recipe, and I'm not even going to pretend to know what I'm doing. I just used goodle and looked around a bit. I choose my recipe based on shortness and ingredient count. The shorter and the less ingredients is the one I always choose. In this case I used this recipe. I liked it because it uses NO FLOUR! (And we all know flour is devil... especially white flour.)

I'm happy to find out that Nico thinks making cookies is magic. FINALLY! Really, him and I were literally fighting for elbow space in the kitchen. I realized his "I can't cook at all" basically equals mine "I'm a cook!". CAN YOU BELIEVE!?! So there I was thinking that impressing him will be a piece of cake, but after he orchestrated a gorgeous paella velenciana I realized this was going to be no easy task!! Whatever happened to the good old days when men set in front of the tele and watched whatever while us women would do our wonders in the kitchen and they'd totally WORSHIP us for making yummy food... Since when did they get off the couch migrate into the kitchen and started making suggestions!!!!????

haha JUST KIDDING! I'm not trying to revert us back to stone age...

Though why can't men understand that while we want them spending as much time in the kitchen as we do, we still would like to receive ALL the praise and worship for being domestic goddesses!!!!!! OKAY!???? Is that so difficult!????

I guess men would want the recognition for being good cooks too... but we ALREADY praise them for being: strong, smart, brave, rich....

There's the modern world for ya, both men and women are afraid to loose their spot in the world. We already don't have to talk or see each other to work, we don't have to touch each other to have children... soon we won't need to eat or breathe... we're done, we're allll soooo done!!!!

Yes, Mondays are dramatic and stressful days for me as you can see...


New town... new hair...

>> Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's 1 month, 1 week, 1 day exactly untill Nico and I meet up in Bean Town!

(New counter on the very bottom...)
I'm thinking up ways of how to drastically change my hair so that Nico doesn't recognize me. Why do I want to do that? Cus' its fun! According to the secret manual of all French Women, you're supposed to drastically change your hair every SIX MONTHS! Something along the lines of staying mysterious... (Again, my Grandma told me this.) And they don't mean getting a trim, they mean really different hair style, different color even...
I'm not sure what to try...


MRS for BT achieved!

>> Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oh Friday...

Today was strange. Usually Fridays are happy, sunny days filled with anticipation of a sweet weekend to come.

Today however was filled with various freak out moments due to unnecessarily stressful events at work. What was even more stressful is the fact that at around 2.30pm I was feeling a headache coming on and it was only about 3 more hours to go until Beer time.

Thus a quick emergency interventionary rescue plan has been instated to achieve maximum readiness status by 5.00pm.

2.35pm- to the shop I went for some high cocoa content substance (dark chocolate) - I did feed most of it to my office mates.

3.05pm- precisely half hour later the situation of stress increased due to heightened excitement caused by the high cocoa substance, and a complementary headache ensued...

3.15pm- was offered some decaf herbal tea by my office mate which seemed to help

3.45pm- rested my overworked brain cells (spaced out)

4.45pm- continued the above exercise

5.09pm- stayed late at the office writing a report (this post)

5.10pm- feeling good! Maximum Readiness Status achieved, operation "Full Preparedness for Beer Time" - Successful!

C YA and wishing you success in your weekend operations!


How to make yourself happy, secret REVEALED!

>> Thursday, January 18, 2007

Looks like the middle of nowhere right? But its actually abt 30 minutes outside of Amsterdam.
How gorgeous and wild looking!

You know what else is gorgeous?

Yep, Nico was the nicest host and fed me and decorated just like I dreamed!!! (and outlined in an email)

Here at sempreprimavera we always ponder the true meaning of happiness, how to get it and where.
Well again, I must say that happiness is really something that you have to MAKE, choose, decide... see all the action words? That's the main lesson kids. Happiness requires work, well, movement in the very least.
You have to go and get it, and not to give up because you're lazy, uninspired, scared it'll never happen, but rather go, do, get. OH! and its not like once you find happiness that's IT. NO! You gotta go, do, get EVERYDAY. It's work that never ends.
The good news is: that anyone can be happy! and all the doing that you have to do to get it, is the kind of action that makes you happy even before you reach that ultimate "happiness". (Just think ice cream: while eating it you're already happy even before that satisfactory last spoon full ;)
Ever wonder why construction workers always seem jovial? Cus they're MOVING and not sitting on their asses in front of computers all day long. Ever wonder why you'd rather drive 30 minutes longer rather then save the 30 minutes but sit in traffic most of the way...?
MOVEMENT and just action in general will already make you happy. And it makes perfect sense, because there is more chance of you being happy or getting what you want when you are in movement, you simply cover more ground that way.

What does any of this nonsense have to do with Nico and Nicoland? Hmm... I guess I was just thinking that as magical as this whole thing seems and how it is magically making me so happy, its actually not very magic at all!!! It's just part of a very simple formula: MOVE YOUR ASS and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Thank you, and tomorrow we will meet to discuss world peace and ending hunger, there may be some time left so we'll get started on global warming prevention as well.


Joyeux anniversaire grand-mère!!!

>> Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The weekend was absolutely fabulous and what better way to end it then a fancy-shmancy party!!! My Granmare really knows how to party it up, and what a number: EIGHTY!

The table was almost breaking underneath all kind of plates full of delicacies. There was crab salad, julienned mushrooms, roasted potatoes and a bunch of wild animals and fishes cooked to varying degrees in various sauces... OHHhhhhhh

Not to mention the cheese plates...

Drinks? There were so many drinks that if you poured them all together you could probably create a small-medium sized river, raise your sails and sail towards the sunset...

There was laughter, there was more laughter, and there was even some loud singing in a language I don't understand! (There is one like that... called Yiddish.)

Now I'm at work suffering the worst case of the "Mondays", the only consolation is that its already Tuesday!

au revoir mes petits amis!!


>> Sunday, January 14, 2007

Men... really, we honestly do have completely different
brains. It's as if men live in this world of denial and women have it right all along but second guess themselves.

But all in all, men just don't realize that whatever the woman wants, the woman WILL get! If it involves a man, that man will have to comply.

Weather it happens sooner of later depends on how smart the woman is, but the fact that it will happen is not up for discussion!

Knowing these here above truths, I just don't understand why men STILL insist on expressing their own opinions (without specifically being asked to share). Really now, do they actually think that it will lead to any kind of change in plan?? (The woman's plan of course.)

If a man wants to be with a particular woman, he needs to understand that he just gave up any say in anything. Men in a relationship in which they think they're the boss, are with VERY smart women who skillfully arrange all their plans so that their men think they're the ones with the ideas. I shouldn't be disclosing such things, but don't worry ladies we're safe since men will never believe this anyway.

Anyway, having said that... I have to admit that my of "craftiness" needs honing. I'm not that good at all this stuff and thus... my "plans" are taking longer to blossom then personally I think necessary.

Nico is coming here end of Feb, and we'll be going to Beantown. Though, honestly speaking, my bags are packed already. (And I'm not talking about Beantown.)



ENOUGH angry subcontext!!!! :) This is not what we do here!!! (actually sure it is)
What we are going to do is concentrate on having so much fun that we'll be receiving call from the Vatican to keep it down!

When SemprePrimavera doesn't get her way (immediately) we constructively use our angry energy, and we turbo up our fun schedule! In the next 2 months you will see so much fun here that you'll need extra sessions at your therapist to deal with the sensory overload.


lesson kids: if the mountain doesn't walk towards you, you get your hummer out zoom-zoom it to ground level!!


>> Friday, January 12, 2007

The obsession with scandinavian home decor and style continues...

Picked up a dozzen of magazines from all over the world (well, from the world's airports). As much as I try to develop some elegance and sophistication in taste, I still go and bust THIS out from Nico's closet and spead it on the couch for some comfortable movie viewing...

Now, what was such a happily printed comforter doing on the top shelf of his laundry room is a whole other story... I guess we really are a pair!!!

happy thursday! off to see my girls Wallst and Dulce... gossip central!!! Hm... IS it gossip if we're dishing on stuff about ourselves??

Anyway... tataaaaa!!

oh and ps: I went through half of my posts and put labels on them thanks to the new Blogger...yey!!! So now we can see all my "treasures" such as lessons on life labeled "Sempre Primavera Teachings" all in one nice section!!! So enjoy the Categories on the side bar. Uff, and I noticed I write a lot about that Nico from Nicoland... anyway, that's exciting, I've been waiting to categorize my posts, now I have 250 more to go....


JUMP! ...if you wanna...

>> Wednesday, January 10, 2007

View from my friend's place in Bruxelles.

When I visit a new place, I always play a game of asking myself if I should like to live there. What job would I do? What would my house look like? Where would it be? Who would be my friends and where would we hang out...? Those types of questions.

The problem (for me) with these games is that 99% of the time no matter WHAT country I'm in, I can come up with a pretty satisfying scenario which makes me start to seriously consider moving to those places and making the story into reality!!! As you can imagine after putting together a pretty detailed plan of real estate development while running a hotel and surf school in Costa Rica, it was hard to return to grey, rainy, cold NYC last winter.

Same thing happened when I traveled to Brasil with my friend, where I clearly invisioned living in a sweet little appartment on the Ipanema strip working for some big time American company in Rio. Going running on the most amazing beach and drinking lots of beers to samba beats at night.

In Panama, I would have worked as some kind of planner for the Panama Canal while living in a glitzy penthouse in one of those high rise buildings in Panama City. A given since I planned to marry one of those rich boys from Club Union (the oldest country club in Panama, with the most exclusive members, formed by the original families that helped to establish Panama).

In Italy... oh ITALY, this was perhaps most hard to get over... not only did I have the good story worked out, I almost went with it. I still have my italian accountant's business card in my walet.

But everytime, something stoped me. I think because there was always that curiousity of what other stories are out there?? How did I know that THAT story was really for me?

I guess the main thing is to really think about the story you really want and then to just do it! To just GO for IT! There can be lots of stories and countries in the world to see and experience, but its impossible to look through all the scenarios and then choose one, you have to just jump at some point.

A toast: to having the desire to jump, to jumping high and far, and ALWAYS landing softly with two feet on the ground.


I give you food! MUSIC! Don't say I don't give you anything!

The mystery of the funky european table top grilling... anraveles.... right here in front of your eyes at SEMPRE PRIMAVERA!!!

(Yes, how DID you live without me before???)

Thank you Wall Str for sending me an emergency email to inform me that we infact DO have those table top grill thingis.... We just call them differently, thanks Un Swiss Miss for pointing it out. So here are the beauties!

The one above is from Wolfgang Puck, and this one is from Cuisine Art and comes with a nifty recipe/idea book.

I guess here we call these things a "Raclette" grill.

Personally, I think if someone started a restaurant with these things, it would become so popular that they'd make a ton of money and be able to retire on the islands within a year!

Just think of how popular fondue restaurants have gotten.

And as a BONUS: I bring you another wonderful discovery from Europe...

Lilly Allen, an adorable London girl who sings (and writes) very fun songs. Yes she is young, and her songs center around experiencing a first love break-up or discovering that the world really is yucky... but I love her voice, the lyrics are clever and you can CLEARLY hear the english accent as she sings! That's just brilliant!! As usually accents are lost when people sing.


>> Monday, January 8, 2007

First post of 2007!

Waw, already? Really?

I'm completely sick, what a freakin great way to start of the year... and got sick on NYE since I thought it may be ok to go outside with wet hair, sure, no problem, I'm made out of platinum!

Anyway, how shall I sum up my trip? Well first of all the first week was all about FOOD! And I'm glad because most of the next week I was sick and the nose medication completely knocked out my sense of smell so I could not taste what I was eating... so basically I didn't eat much since it would have been a waste anyway.

Well, the party season got kicked of at Nico's friends. Now I pride myself on being all knowing world traveler (etcetcetc...) but I've never seen this thing below!!!!

Um... a table top barbecue stove??? Double deck portable grill? You can grill up various pieces of meat and make some potatoes and little omelets too... Anyway, its really popular over at Nicoland, I really wonder why we don't have it over here!?

Now for desert we had something that I am familiar with at least:

There was plenty more food (and more and more and more and more.........) but I was too embarrassed about taking photos at family dinner... "Hey Nico... what's wrong with your girlfriend? Don't they have food back where she comes from?" So yes, I just opted for "mental" photography. Though now that I think about it, it was silly, I'm sure they would have been flatered. I really did want to appear "normal".

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