Y’all…I’ve been on a little hiatus for a while.

Houston went through a lot in 2017, a jerk named Harvey came & reeked havoc on us and other parts of Texas & the next couple of years are going to be spent recovering.

The silver lining was watching our home team, The Houston (mother freaking) Astros, win the World Series.

I don’t think I have ever cried more times in a year than in 2017.

Happy & sad tears of course.

As you may have noticed, my blog has become less about food and more about life.

Apparently, y’all don’t care either way b/c I have had tons of positive feedback.

I recently had someone tell me (& I quote), “your blog is pimp AF,” & I about died of laughter.

Ohhhhh…this old thing?

I definitely believe that being “real” with people about certain things/happenings in your life can help them relate to you.

Not that I broadcast my life over this thing. Buttttttt…I do talk about some of the crap that I’ve been through. Everything else is private.

So, this is day four of 2018 & it’s going fairly well for me.

2017 was a year of growth and a ton of lessons.

I started 2017 in not so great of spirits having recently gone through a lil bit of somethin’.

I remember being at my parents on Christmas & after spending the day with family, surrounded by my lil sister & her bf, & all of my cousins & their significant others, & my parents, I had a freaking emotional breakdown in my car in my parent’s driveway.

I remember telling my mom, “Mom, this is just way too much LOVE for me to be around, my heart is broken into a million pieces & it’s nothing against y’all, I just can’t be around this.”

My parent’s were pretty much in shock that I was in this state of mind. I rarely let anything get to me & am a pretty tough chica when I need to be.

I have been through some crap & i am surprised at how brave i can be, not only for myself, but for people that i love.

Well that time, i crumbled. Guess what? My heart was involved. I let myself actually let go & care for someone & low & behold…destruction occurred.

It’s a feeling I never felt & one that I can’t describe.

I remember my baby sister hugging me & telling me that she understood. My BABY freaking sister y’all. I’m supposed to be her rock. Not the other way around.

I spent NYE at home, on my couch, snuggling with my 95 lb. labrador, drinking a bottle of wine, & listening to Texas country. I watched the ball drop & had my first cry of 2017.

Enter January, where I decided to pick myself up & get shit done with my job.

I met my best friend at work & we became roomies in May. She saw me jump into a relationship out of convenience, because I was lonely, & she saw & heard me question it every.single.day.

My heart wasn’t ready. I wasn’t even in LIKE with this guy. I think I tried to convince myself that I was. I know, it’s a terrible thing to say. It made me question myself. I broke up with him. It was like kissing my brother (if I had a brother).

I’m Italian, we are passionate people. Can ya blame me for wanting to feel & be loved?

My heart belonged to someone who kinda ripped it out, stomped on it, & put it back in my chest…shattered.

It still belongs to that person.

The rest of 2017 had it’s highs and lows, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I would go back and do it again. I turn 30 in a little over a month. Am I scared? Heck no. I’m soooo excited.

2017 was the year I cleaned house w/ my “friends” and made my circle of friends tighter. I can truly say, ridding myself of toxic friendships has been the best decision I have ever made.

I grew w/ God in my relationship (as I do every year), & I was reminded continuously of my good hearted qualities.

I would rather have someone compliment me on my “heart of gold,” rather than on my outer appearance.

I don’t know what 2018 holds but I know what I want, & I’m gonna go get it.

Watch out & stay tuned (don’t worry I’ll be back w/ some pretty amazing recipes).

XOXO, gossip girl.


Love y’all.



Dear Houston, I love you.

I was born in Houston 29 years ago. The year was 1988 and my mom was in labor with me for 20+ hours at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the heart of downtown. What did she expect from her first born? I was practically the best thing ever so of course I had to make my entrance.

I have been saying this repeatedly lately to numerous people I encounter: I could not possibly imagine growing up anywhere else besides Houston, TX. Growing up anywhere outside the state of Texas to be exact. People that aren’t from here or who visit for work don’t get it. We have tons of traffic, it’s hot and humid about 10 months out of the year. Hell, we practically get away with wearing flip-flops on Christmas Day. Let’s face it, you have to be a special type of person to immediately fall in love with Houston. But let me tell you something, Houston is unique. It’s special. I know all of it’s secrets.

Houston isn’t physically beautiful. Hell, we have highways (ahem, 290) that have been under construction for 10+ years. I’m sure by the time I get married and have children, they will still be under construction. The streets have potholes that feel like sink holes when you hit them dead-on with your car tires. Thank God the majority of us drive SUV’s in this city because we would be losing tires left and right. The same people that flip you the bird when you cut them off are the same people that hold the door open for you. People from out of town might complain because they can’t navigate the highways that seem to run from one to the next. Houston isn’t a grid like NYC, deal with it. But what outsiders don’t know is that anyone of these highways leads to the best damn cuisine that Houston has to offer: Tex-Mex being numero uno (I beg you to find someone that disagrees with me). Nope, I’m not talking crunchy tacos from Jack in the Box. I’m talking a big, sizzling platter of Texas sized Fajitas from El Tiempo served with hand rolled flour tortillas made by a little lady that you calls you things like “guapa” & “chica.”

I grew up off Telephone Rd. right next to Hobby Airport in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Houston, Garden Villas. My parents were both raised there as children. They also attended a nearby Catholic School in the neighborhood. You bet i attended the same school…Pre-K through 12th grade. The neighborhood is surrounded by Sim’s bayou. It’s the same bayou that tore through my childhood home when Tropical Storm Allison showed up. I remember putting my feet over the side of my bed and stepping into ankle deep water. My parents were strangely calm as water started to rise in our home. I trudged down the street in my dads rain boots that were no use as the water was up to my hips. My family knows what it’s like to lose everything. But really, it’s only possessions, it’s lives that matter. I had two labrador retrievers growing up, Jake and Beau. They were street pups. They knew the neighborhood and bayou like the back of their paws. My mother would get phone calls that they had been found on the 8th hole at Glenbrook Valley Golf Course. We even had to go pick them up from the air traffic control center at Hobby Airport because they had made their way down Telephone Rd. I’m the eldest granddaughter in a large extended Italian family. My father is one of nine children. I have 20+ first cousins on that side of my family. We all grew up within a block radius from one another. Our neighborhood was a small, multi-cultural community. I loved it. I loved running barefoot on the hot blacktop down the street to my best friends house. I loved after school food runs to Dairy Maid, a family owned drive up burger joint on Belfort. You can get a burger basket with piping hot fries, a burger so juicy that it will make your mouth water, and crispy texas-sized onion rings. Oh, don’t forget the chocolate shake. This is why Houstonian’s have trouble understanding the IN-N-Out’s of the world. My Friday nights revolved around high school football and trips to Taqueria Del Sol where I was guaranteed the sloppiest, best platter of chicken enchiladas and a Marranito (Mexican pig-shaped cookie) from the panaderia that smelt like butter and spun sugar. I learned to speak Spanish by singing Selena songs at the age of 9. I cried when I saw that her statue remained unharmed after the storm passed through Corpus Christi.

It gripped me to see the 59 Kirby exit under water. That same exit is where my mother would take my sister and I to Parker School Uniforms when we were in grade school to get fitted for our yearly school attire. I will never again wear blue plaid in my life…EVER. I now see the George R. Brown & NRG stadium being used as a shelter for those who lost everything in this storm. The George R. Brown is a place I know very well because every year around Thanksgiving I attend Autorama with my dad. It’s our daddy-daughter time to look at classic cars and eat candy pecans. Instead of rows of corvettes & chevelles, I see rows of cots where people who have lost everything now sleep. NRG is the same place that I step foot in every year during March as a volunteer for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. I go from being Chelsy the realtor to Chelsy, the cowgirl, fully clad in my cowboy boots, turquoise everything, leather mini skirt, and hair so big it reaches the heavens. It’s the smell of slow-smoked hickory barbecue and piping hot funnel cakes as I walk around with a giant turkey leg in my hand and a smile on my face. It’s seeing horses run around, kicking up dirt, and cowboys riding bucking bulls, and the sweet sound of country music and couples two-stepping in the stadium pathways. It’s the “yee-haws, and y’alls, and hell-yeahs, and a shiner bock raised in my hand as I sway back and forth and sing aloud to “mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.” Instead of hay barrels I now see mountains of clothes that have been donated to the people displaced by the storm.

It’s the beaches of Galveston and Port A where I grew up as a child, running barefoot in the sand, building sandcastles, running in and out of the sea so as to not get swept away by the sea weed. Yes, the water is dark and ugly but the island vibe makes up for it. Think fresh seafood and local bars with live Texas blues music. Take a trip to The Strand in old historic Galveston, where I spent many nights at the Tremont Hotel with family. I remember an older black man who would play the piano in the lobby. I’m sure he has passed on after all these years. Take me back to The Peanut Butter Factory, an old warehouse that doubles as a little fudge shop and antique boutique. I loved their peanut butter fudge. Now, I see debris from the high winds of Harvey scattered on the shoreline. This beach is also where my grandfather proposed to my grandmother, a native of the island. Thank goodness Sacred Heart Cathedral is still standing. They were married in that church. As a child, I attended the feat of St. Joseph every year there. Just think one large Italian food buffet. It’s heaven. If I marry in a church, I pray that it’s that one.

I see the northside of Houston, it’s freeways completely under water. Where there were once cars creating traffic, I now see rescue boats racing through water. My great uncle Joe comes to mind when I think of the north side of Houston. He owned one of the oldest Italian restaurants in Houston, Joe Matranga’s on Irvington. My father proposed to my mother in that restaurant, clad with red and white checkered table cloths with the smell of sauteed garlic and fresh baked bread coming out of the oven. I would sit in my father’s lap as he shared a giant bowl of capellini pasta with me. I was around two years old, so I had more sauce on my face than in my mouth.

It’s going to be tough Houston. Once the cameras leave and the news moves onto something else, we will still be here cleaning up this crap. Harvey is like that ex boyfriend that we all can’t stand. He shows up, causes destruction, you break up with him, but he left a giant mess for you to clean up so now he is on your mind constantly. Over the past week, I have seen Texans come together. I have see ordinary, everyday people become heroes. I have seen people unite and help one another regardless of race. In a world full of hate, TEXAS, you are the definition of love. Texas, we have set the standard for love. One thing I do know to be true, Harvey may have torn through our city,  but he didn’t take the memories, mine, yours, ours, they are still here. Let’s rebuild and make more. Houston, you are truly making America great again. Te amo Houston. Te amo Texas.




6 years

There are few people who know every little detail about me.

Come to think about it, my parents and my baby sister are probably the only people that know me, every little scar, freckle, talent, and experience I have been through.

That’s probably because they have each played essential roles in my life.

Plus, they are blood…the only people I can trust.

I’ve been in remission for 6 years.

No, I wasn’t addicted to drugs or sex or shopping.

It was deeper than that.

When people think “eating disorder,” they may automatically assume that it has to do with food.

But really, they are completely and utterly wrong.

An eating disorder has absolutely nothing to do with food and everything to do with what that person is going through, or has gone through, or circumstances in their life that they can’t control so naturally…

FOOD becomes the only thing that they can control.

That was it for me.

In college, I was always hard on myself.

I felt that I owed it to my parents to make good grades as they were shelling out thousands to give me a great college education.

So, I worked hard. I graduated with honors.

My eating disorder began when I was a freshmen in college.

I was skipping meals and exercising until my calorie balance was in the negative.

I probably dropped 30 pounds my first year of college.

I think my parents assumed that this was typical for a girl who was super type A and an excelling student.

It wasn’t until my junior year of college when my sister and I moved into an apartment together that she noticed what was going on.

I wasn’t leaving the house or interacting with friends because everything involved food.

I controlled every bit of food that went into my mouth and ate on a schedule.

If I was one minute past 6 a.m. for breakfast, I would skip it.

I never ate lunch.

I ate dinner for about 3 people because I had anxiety about school or work or life in general.

I remember my sister calling my parents and telling them to get up to Austin as fast as they could.

If she hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t be here today.

That was only the beginning.

My parents were going through an extremely rough time in their relationship during my senior year of college.

I being the oldest of two daughters carried all the weight on my shoulders.

Nobody asked me to, but I felt as though it was my job to be the glue that held my family together.

I remember the day I graduated college like it was yesterday.

My little sister took photos of me dressed up with my hair in curls and told me I looked beautiful.

How could I be beautiful when I was a skeleton?

I wore 4-inch heels across the stage to receive my diploma and I thought that my knees were literally going to buckle beneath me.

It wasn’t until my doctor diagnosed me with osteoporosis of the spine at age 23 that I decided I could no longer abuse my body.

And here I am today…healthy and stronger than ever.

6 years recovered from my eating disorder.

This picture of my spine isn’t of me trying to be sexy or sultry.

I’ m not that type of girl.

It’s real and raw and it’s of the very thing that scared the shit out of me.

People always ask me about my relationship with my sister.

It’s unbreakable.

If it wasn’t for her intervening in my life…I would be dead.

It’s the truth.

There is so much more to this story and I will be sharing my story with a group students this year.

Today is the first day of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

If you know someone who is suffering with an eating disorder, please reach out…you may be that one person who can help them when everyone else has turned a blind eye.

Thank you all for continually supporting my blog.


Healing the Heart


I know I have been neglecting this little blog of mine, especially in the recipe department.

I apologize, but life has happened.

These past two months have been filled with heartbreak, excitement, tears, smiles, laughs, and new opportunities.

I’ve learned a lot. I wouldn’t change anything about it, except that I would loooooove an explanation.

I would love an explanation for why some things happened.

Why do these things occur at all?

I deserve one.

If I get one, I may never know.

On the upside, I have really had the chance to focus on myself these past few weeks and gone on a few spontaneous mini trips where I have floated in a lake, been burnt to a crisp like bacon from the sun, had dinner alone, bought myself a beautiful dress (just because) and listened to a variety of rap tunes and Tori Kelly on repeat, because any white girl with a soulful voice speaks to my heart and because rap artists can express what’s in my mind without me having to say it. 😉

I have learned that each day isn’t perfect. There are days where I am pumped to get out of bed, workout, and have morning coffee while talking to the baristas at my favorite coffee shop.

But then, then there are days when I walk my dog and I burst into tears (definitely happened), or I take a shower and my tears are heavier than the water that is coming out of the shower head.


Because I’m only human.

I have emotions.

It’s perfectly ok to have bad days.

I think the toughest things about break-ups are the memories that you create with that person.

I love to make memories. It’s my favorite part about life.

But really, it’s hard to pick up a tennis ball and play fetch with my dog…when the tennis ball was given to him by the very guy that vanished out of my life.

I can’t even look at a red rose in the supermarket.

All other colors…yes.

Go for it.

But red, nope.

For someone who grew up helping her grandfather pick red roses from his garden….this.really.sucks.

I can’t think about trips to Greece, or Nashville, or Georgia, or going camping, or even look at an REI store because i had “we” plans with this person, not I plans.

So, how do I pick up the pieces? How does my heart heal?

It takes time.

What’s crazy is that one day, I will have thanked all of the people who broke it.

I like to think about it this way: During my life, my heart has been and will go through experiences that will gut it from the inside out. Those experiences will rip it bare and I will eventually get those pieces of my heart back, but this time, they will be better. They will be stronger than before. It’s the kind of feeling that I get when I buy a new pair of shoes and look at my old pair of shoes side by side. It’s always difficult for me to part with the old shoes because they have carried me many miles, been through wear and tear, and have scratches and coffee stains, and dirt under the soles. I will probably keep them just in case. But the new shoes represent the ability to accept change and growth. They are ready to endure everything the old pair of shoes has and more.

Our hearts are forever changing from experiences in life, but in the end, our hearts are the one muscle in our body with the most character because they have been continually torn apart and rebuilt.

Here is to my new heart and all of the life experiences we are going to have together.


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