Honesty Time

Keeping it real since 2013


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Goodbye from Honesty Time.

Dear Friends,

As your most recent Friday Honesty Timer it is my duty to inform you that Honesty Time will be retiring.  We’ve had so much fun with the blog and all of you but unfortunately as our lives take new directions with grad school, full time jobs, etc. we have realized that we don’t always have the time to produce the quality content that we would like and that we feel our readers deserve.

We would like to thank all of you who followed us on this journey.  It’s been a great way for us to keep in touch after college (and then some) and we’re so happy to have had people who have connected to our crazy little corner of the internet.

Most importantly, thanks to my bros.  This, of course, does not mean the end of our friendship.  Honesty time is more than just a title for a blog, it’s the notion that your friends will be there to offer support, guidance, and a shoulder to lean on no matter what, traditionally with an adult beverage.

For those of you concerned about the void that our departure will leave – have no fear, if you want to hear more from all of us (and some other wonderful ladies), we’ll still be kicking over at Food365 until at least mid-August.

Also, Allyssa and Lori have decided to take our blogging venture onto a new website, which will launch next week. They’ve deemed it our “Honesty Time spinoff blog,” but it’s officially called “Truths with Lori and Allyssa” (read about what that means in the EncycBROpedia or Lori’s interview from back in the day with Big Al herself). Here’s a rundown of what is going to be covered there:

Moo Point Mondays: On Mondays, we will review whatever book/music/movie/TV show we are into (or not) at the moment. Who cares about our opinions? No one. Our opinions are like cow’s opinions. They are moo points.

Tuesday Truths with Allyssa: Every Tuesday, Allyssa will break down what she’s thinking about that week.

Whatever Wednesdays: For weeks when there is too much truth to be contained, we will expand into writing on Wednesdays.

Thursday Truths with Lori: Tune in every Thursday to see what Lori has to say about the world.

Flashback Fridays: Nostalgia is so in right now. On Fridays, we’ll take a look back at stuff from our childhoods, or the more recent past, and reminiscence about how much better things were when we were young. We are 25 going on 90.

They’ll cover similar topics that we do on here, just in a different format. And maybe, if they ask really nicely, Amanda, Rachel and I will even stop by every once in a while.

So thanks again everyone – we will miss you very much! And remember, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay.

Love,

Honesty Time


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Summer Bucket List

This is that strange time  of  year when it could be snowing one day, and warm enough to wear shorts the next. I mean, just yesterday I had to  clean snow off of  my car before work. Today, it’s 60 degrees and sunny. As I sit at my desk at work, attempting to drown out the cacophony of my coworkers’ coughing, I can’t help but think about all of the things I want to do, once the weather really, finally warms up for a few months. Here’s my list of all the things I want to do this summer:

  1. Go hiking. I love hiking, but I don’t do it enough. Last year, my friends and I decided we wanted to have a summer of hiking, but we only went once when we were in Vermont. But we live in New Jersey, and there is hiking everywhere! Rachel and I have big plans for this summer.
  2. Go to California. This might be cheating to put on this list because I already know for sure it’s happening. I’ve never been to California, but Amanda and I just booked a trip to San Diego for June! I’m so damn excited.
  3. Play hooky to go to the beach. I did this  one day last summer – just took a random day off work to go to the beach with Amanda and Justin. I grew up near the Jersey shore, and I used  to go a million times  a summer. Now that I work, I’m forced to only go during weekends or on holidays, when it’s  sooo  crowded and miserable. There’s something about being at the  beach when you are supposed to be at work that makes it that much better.
  4. Go to the  Camden aquarium. I love aquariums so much. But I’ve  lived in New Jersey my entire life, and I’ve never been to the aquarium in Camden. It’s shameful, really.
  5. Go to concerts. I usually go to at least one concert every summer, but I didn’t go to any last year. I already  have tickets  for June to see Train and The Fray. But I want to go to more! I love live  music.
  6. Have a scavenger hunt. I love scavenger hunts. My friends and I  have talked about doing one  in New York City, and I want it to happen so badly. There are a ton of different options. Like this. Or this. Or this. I’ve never really gotten to be a tourist in NYC, even though I’ve been there a million times. What better way  to see our city than making it a game?
  7. Go geocaching. This goes hand-in-hand with going on a scavenger hunt. It’s a similar idea. I love the idea of geocaching and how it can bring you on an adventure in your own neighborhood. I think it’s so fun, and I want to try it.
  8. Have a  barbecue. This probably shouldn’t be on my list because every summer always has BBQs. It’s not like I have to  go out of my  way to find one. But I’m hungry right now and I want a hamburger.
  9. Go strawberry picking. I’ve been apple picking a million times, but never strawberry picking. New Jersey  has the best strawberries, and I want to eat them  all!
  10. Reread Harry Potter. So I’ve read each book at least three times. Doesn’t mean I love them any less. And, seriously, is there  anything better than sitting outside in the summer, reading and drinking lemonade? No. There isn’t.

So, there you have it. All of the things I could think of, off the top of my head, that I definitely want to do this summer. What am I missing? What’s on  your list? Are you as ready for this  winter to be over as I am?


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Ultra Music Festival

Ultra Music Festival took place this past weekend in Miami. I’ve told my self many times over I’m not sure I can handle a festival on the scale of Ultra, but every year when I sit down and watch the live streams, I find myself wanting to be there. I’m not necessarily a fan of the enormous crowds, the insane weather, and definitely not the drug scene; note: there have been many, many reports of the festival being much better with this this year, so don’t go being judgmental with the whole festival/EDM culture and the drugs that find their way there…there’s lots of people like me who are there for just the music. That being said, I want to be there because I want to hear this music on such this kind of scale, dance around all crazy without others around me thinking I’m insane, and hearing all the new music that the DJs bring out just for this festival. I had a friend who was there and she kept sending me video after video of all the music we love, as well as some new tracks. I tried keeping up with what was being live streamed, though I did miss some (which was fine, because quite a few of them were not my style, or just straight up terrible). So I’ve listed (in no particular order) some of my favorite sets. I’ll be listening to these until next year’s festival…one that I’ve decided I should probably attend.

Armin van Buuren: this set is just another reminder why he is king. He just does it all right. In my opinion, he went a bit harder with his typical trancey stuff, but I liked it. All these years liking this music and I have yet to see AVB. This year, it’s gotta happen. He’s the best.

 

Alesso: this set is filled with great vocal tracks that definitely kept the crowd wanting to sing along. Even in the rain, it looks incredible.

 

Hardwell: He definitely bounced back this year from last year. His 2013 set was so unbelievable (check out how many Youtube views that one has) that he was brought back to close the festival in 2014. I didn’t think that set was as great. Maybe this year, because he didn’t have the pressure of closing, he was able to put something more himself together. Oh, and he brought out my FAVORITE and the most beautiful DJ and his best friend Dannic to play their new song. Marry me, Daan?

 

Makj: I love this kid. He absolutely killed it last year, and I love how with pretty much anything he plays, I find myself literally bouncing and jumping up and down. I’m not a fan of how much hip-hop he plays in his sets, but when he’s not, holy energy. Plus he throws some old school tracks in there. Bounce bounce bounce.

 

Nicky Romero: I’ve liked him for a long, long time. He just plays such good music. I feel happy listening to him.

 

Knife Party: I can’t remember if this set was live streamed and I missed it or if it wasn’t aired at all, but I was ordered by my friend to listen. Holy crap. So hard and I love it. Plus one of my favorite songs of the year so far at 38 minutes.

 

I can’t seem to find Steve Angello’s set, but his was amazing and I was super pissed when the live stream cut him off to go to some rando DJ. Tiesto was decent, considering I don’t typically like him, and Axwell^Ingrosso were alright, though I felt majority of their set was somewhat repetitive of show they played as SHM. And obviously they played almost all of SHM’s hits. Steve Angello didn’t have to do that, guys…

Anyway, here’s my list of what I still need to listen to: Galantis, 3lau, Porter Robinson, Kaskade, W&W, Blasterjaxx, Dash Berlin, Vinai, Fedde Le Grand, Kygo, and all the beach/pool/afterparty sets. I think I’m set with music for the gym for a while!


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Almost There

I am in the home stretch of my 21 day fix!  Saturday is my last day and I am pretty excited.  It really is perfect timing, especially with Easter being this Sunday.  Cheat meal for me?  You bet!  Anyway, I must say that I have been pretty impressed with the fix.  I haven’t felt hungry throughout the day, like I had originally anticipated, and I am seeing results.  I did not weigh myself this past week, but I did measure at 14 days.  I lost a half an inch off of both my waist and hips!  That is huge! I really did not expect that at all.  I am really incredibly happy that my hard work is paying off.

I know that some people are skeptical about “dieting,” but this really was not bad at all.  With all of the little snacks throughout the day, I really did feel satisfied.  The only time I was ever hungry was at around 10pm (I do not eat anything beyond this time anyway).  As previously stated, I usually have afternoon snacks such as yogurt so I will absolutely continue to do so.  But, instead of high calorie bars and other snacks, I made sure to snack on fruits, veggies, and healthy fats such as low calorie (part skim) cheeses and hummus.

Here are some examples of the yummy things I ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner:

 

I am actually going to try to keep some of this 21 day fix knowledge with me and I am even considering doing the fix again in May.  I really do want to continue choosing healthier options for snacks and maybe even continue on a lower carb diet.  Who knows if that will happen in April, but if not the fix in May will set me back on track.  I really do like the fact that I wasn’t hungry or cranky throughout the day and the food that I made was delicious.  The only downside was that buying all of the necessities was really expensive.  However, now that summer is coming up, the fruit should be much better in terms of selection and price.  This is a huge plus!

So, for those of you who are afraid of change or feel kinda bummed about being stuck in either eating healthier or your workout regimen remember even if you start small, starting anything at all is half the battle.  I am trying to push myself to be more positive in terms of my body image, but I know it is not easy.  I still have a long way to go,but my hard work and dedication is definitely paying off and knowing that it actually is making a difference makes me feel great!  Here is to summer and healthy eating!


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True Life: I cried at Hunchback

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Disney fans, movie fans, theatre lovers and fangirls, cultured folks, and friends of all of the above, may have heard the growing praises for the new musical adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

And if you haven’t heard yet, you should.

By the way, the show may be produced by Disney Theatrical Group, but this is not marketed towards children. The Disney name doesn’t even appear on the poster or any merchandise. While some people are oddly turned off by the dark tone, I love it. There was a talkback with the cast after one of the performances and, I believe it was Michael Arden but stop me if I’m wrong, said it best when he said that he grew up watching the movie, but now this version of the story has grown up with him. Love it. So true. I adored having the songs and characters I already knew being explored in a different way. It is also more faithful to the original story by Victor Hugo. I don’t believe that stories need to be dumbed down or sugar coated for audiences, so I heartily applaud the truthful, faithful, and emotional storytelling of this adaptation.

Talk Back with the cast. Yes, Patrick Page has on a Spiderman shirt.

Talk Back with the cast.

Truth: The first night I saw it, two ladies behind me left at intermission because it was not the Disney that they were expecting. Those who react to a show in such a way are closed minded and missing out on life’s experiences. Suit yourself, but if you choose to leave a performance because it’s not playing out exactly as you wanted it to, then I find you to be selfish. Good day, sir.

I mentioned for a split second up there “the first night I saw it.” Which means, yes, I saw it twice. I went back two days later because I couldn’t get the show out of my head, and emotionally, I wasn’t done with it. The first time I was mostly in awe. I was sitting very close, and being an all around theatre person, I spent the entire show trying to take in the whole story, the set, the lights, the costumes, the sound design, and everything. My jaw was dropped the entire time, not only because I was a full time Chuckie Finster Mouth Breather that night, but also because I couldn’t believe what I was experiencing. The second time was less of a shock, so I was able to delve into the lyrics and narrative a bit more, which resulted in a lot more tears than the first night.

Yup. I’m a big crier, even when it comes to works of fiction, and I’m never ashamed to admit it. I still get misty when I listen to Big Fish in the car, and don’t you dare get me started on the face-rain that happens when Sirius Black dies.

Yes, I sat nice and close. The set was a sight to behold.

Yes, I sat nice and close. The set was a sight to behold.

Here are 7 reasons why you’ll cry because of Hunchback.

  1. Your high school student walks out on stage and, surprise, is part of the production. Ok, fine. This isn’t applicable to most people, but it was for me. The choir accompanying the professional cast on the stage is made up of your everyday, talented folk from New Jersey. My student, now a senior, auditioned and was given the once in a lifetime chance to join this production. As I no longer work at that school, I had no idea he was doing this. One of the kindest and most genuine students, he is also hard to miss as he is tall and sports a curly, ginger head of hair. He walked right out and sat in the first row of the choral boxes, and I couldn’t mistake him. Apologies to everyone who sat near me as I exclaimed “That’s my kid! That’s my student! My student is up there!” I tried to be quiet but who knows how quiet I was. I was so proud. I love my students with all of my heart. And so, I cried.
  2. The show is starting. I tend to get misty eyed and let a stray tear loose when I listen to overtures, both in recordings and at shows. I feel that I am blessed to witness the gift that I am about to receive. When the opening is as powerful and well-done as it was with Hunchback, the chances of this happening are quadrupled. Thank you, orchestra and Continuo Arts choir. For most people, it might be a goosebumps moment, but, like I said, I’m a crier.
  3. Ciara Renée is singing “God Help the Outcasts.” Have you ever been an outcast? Do you understand that feeling of otherness? Come, child, here, have some tissues. Not to mention that Ciara had REAL ACTUAL TEARS in her eyes, so if I was welling up, seeing that made me actually cry. I cry when other people cry too. I’m a crier. Also, as a theatre lover, I can appreciate a truly well-done stage picture. The end of the song had Esmeralda singing out to the world (or, er, the house), with Quasimodo lurking farther up, against the colorful stained glass. Feeling the same feelings, but being so far apart, trapped inside the breathtaking prison, the merging of two people into one shared situation… it was a lot for my emotions.
  4. Quasimodo is singing “Heaven’s Light.” Michael Arden is the best Quasimodo I can imagine. His physicality was not a caricature, and he was honest. His honesty allowed Quasimodo to have a little humor, a lot of authenticity in his feelings and actions, and a truly broken spirit. His voice, though mangled a bit in speaking as the half-formed, mostly deaf young man, was clear as could be while singing. Arden’s tone was as pure and striking as the bells above him, and by the end of the song, I was brought to tears simply by his voice mixed with the ringing of said bells. I can’t even freaking tell you what he was singing about because by the end of the song, I was so emotional that I had no idea what was happening.
    Side note: Has that ever happened to anyone else? You’re so into something, you’re responding emotionally, you love it, but what the hell just happened? All memory of the actual content gone?

    Photo by Jerry Dalia. Source: Playbill.com Michael Arden and Ciara Renée during "Top of the World"

    Photo by Jerry Dalia. Source: Playbill.com Michael Arden and Ciara Renée during “Top of the World”

  5.  Ciara Renée and Andrew Samonsky are singing “Someday.” I wish there was a recording of them singing this for me to play over and over again. Part of the power of a lot of this show, but in particular this song, is how the themes are, sadly, always applicable. She’s singing about justice’s dawn, and learning to live and let others live, which is something we, as a world, struggle with immensely. Then they sing something to the effect of “someday, these dreams will be real/’Til then we’ll wish upon the moon,” which is one of the single most beautiful vocal moments ever, and the exact moment when, if you aren’t already dabbing your eyes, you’ll be scrambling for your tissues. You can listen to the super hip, super 90’s All-4-One recording, but it’s just not the same (literally. The songs are different from each other, but close).

    You’re welcome for this fabs 90s style music video. Yas.
  6. Michael Arden is breaking the fourth wall (as is done masterfully so many times during the show to aid in narration, as the style calls for storytelling, and not just action) and giving a bit of an epilogue to Quasimodo’s story. The story he tells is almost direct from the book, in a chapter entitled “The Marriage of Quasimodo.” By this point, there was a distinct little river streaming down from one of my eyes and I gave up on trying to wipe it away. That’s some real honesty time there. I don’t want to spoil it, but the words were sweet, simple, and really hit the audience members right in the feels. Love and devotion and loyalty are eternal, y’all.
  7.  Oh, well, here comes the finale. The entire cast and choir are singing. Erik Liberman, as cunning Clopin, comes to end the show, just as he began it. And then everyone joins in. And they’re just singing “bells, bells, bells, bells” and they’re just standing in a line. And then they’re not even singing any words anymore. But they’re singing with such conviction. And pride. And they move downstage. And I’m still crying, and then the lights go out, and then I’m on my feet applauding.

I could continue to gush about all aspects of the show… Patrick Page is the world’s best, most human villain and I’d also like to listen to him talk all day long. The sound design was brilliant in a way that I know most non-theatre enthusiasts are sure to notice, but not understand as I do. The congregants were versatile and fluid in their movements from one part to the next, taking on each little role with a firm mastery. The lights exemplified the perfect use of color theory that I wish my students would pay attention more attention to. Hello, all that orange and blue? The teal and purple? Quasi almost always being in what reads as a pure light? UGH love it.

But I have to leave it here. I could go on all day. I almost have. Sorry not sorry.

Be ready for wherever this show lands next, and catch it when you can. You will be sorry if you miss it. There’s only one more week left to see this show in its current life at Papermill Playhouse in New Jersey. You can bet that when it goes to Broadway (and it has to. It’s too powerful to just sit on a shelf now), I will see it again.


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Solo Travel

Cambodia Travel Guide: Grand Tour of Asia : Condé Nast Traveler

Hi everyone.  So I’m looking for some advice… I’ve been thinking about planning a trip to South East Asia for a few years now.  It looks like it might finally work out this summer since I’ll be out of school and still have a little bit of money saved.  It’s basically the last time I know that I’ll have the time to take such a long trip.

I’m really excited but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get anyone else to come with me.  I’m not so concerned about the safety (within reason) because it’s a well traveled area and I trust myself to be responsible.  My biggest hesitation is not having someone to share the experience with.  There are definitely pros and cons to doing it either way like being able to see whatever you want whenever you want, but all of the traveling I’ve done so far has been with a companion and I love being able to reminisce years later, and be reminded of details that I’ve forgotten.

What do you think?  Have any of you ever traveled alone?  I think I want to go badly enough that I will do it by myself but we’ll see!

photo from conde naste traveler


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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Pudding Cookies

This is real. This is happening. I made up a recipe and everyone needs to make it.

You guys, I really like cookies. Surprise!

I bought banana pudding for our food blog, Food365. I didn’t use all of it, so I had to decide what to do with the rest of it. I love pudding cookies, so that seemed like a good way to go. And what goes well with bananas? Peanut butter. And what goes well with peanut butter? Chocolate. And that’s how this happened.

A real, actual recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 box instant banana pudding mix

Directions

  1. Beat egg, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla.
  2. Mix in flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for approximately 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Grease cookie sheet.
  6. Scoop chilled dough onto cookie sheet.
  7. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Let cool.
  9. Shovel into face.

I didn’t take pictures as I was making it because I didn’t know that I was going to blog about it. But the only picture that really matters is the final result, yes? So here it is: