Finals Week!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sorry for my silence folks - but I've been busy studying and finishing final projects. Returning to school, as I've said before, is NO JOKE. Summer school happens to be more intense!

Tomorrow, Thursday, I have my final for my summer class - then I have three weeks off from school before I start the fall semester. Somewhere in between those three weeks I'm going away for a short break and I'm also going to be working on my documentary. 

But don't worry, I've also had a few staycation hours and gone to a few awesome restaurants and attended a few exhibits and concerts this summer, that I can't wait to share details and photos with you soon! 

Have a great week - hope you're enjoying your summer!

Ana Lydia

Creativity Takes Courage

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I woke-up realizing that I had turned into a duck, in some respects, both on social media and in my real life.

Like a duck, I had completely -and wrongly- focused on following the wrong group of "chicks" because everyone else was.

I even went against my intuition because, while I do believe that if you don't click with someone it's mostly about you - not them - but if someone is constantly veiling their actions with an adolescent-style shrug, trust me, it's not you - it's them.

I also failed to own who I am and recognize my strengths and power by instead cowering down to make others feel good about themselves...because I've been told countless times that I'm intimidating.

But...intimidating to who?

To "fix" this unwanted title, that I somehow saw as a negative brand, I busied myself with oodles of unrecognized good deeds to help others build their make me less intimidating. 

My self-imposed, and largely ignored, martyrdom was slowly cracking at my soul....and, as you would expect, did nothing to take away that "intimidating" title.

What the heck have I been doing?!

I failed to see through my "I-gotta-help-everyone" period that not all people are leaders. But most importantly, that not all people, as much as I care and like them, deserve my energy - because it takes away from those that do.

It was scary to admit that I'm not a chicky following the same mama ducks that everyone else follows...that I AM, instead, a mama duck myself, and have my own Chicky group totally ok with each. and. every. bit. of. me. 

*This* Chicky group was looking at me to guide them and build our own thing and to stop fearing our collective power.

I finally see that *those that matter* are OK with mejust the way I am - and were eagerly anticipating the moment I stopped trying to fit into someone I had far outgrown.

So *boom* here I am - one tall glass of water that will instantly command attention in any room I walk into - and yes, intimidate folks that are not at my level...because I'm courageous enough to own *it*.

Ana Lydia

Janet Jackson has "No Sleeep"

Friday, July 24, 2015

I'm excited to share that one of my favorite musicians, singer, songwriter and Diva extraordinaire, Ms. Janet Jackson has dropped her newest video for her much anticipated song: "No Sleeep."

The video is casual and soft, yet absolutely rich with details. Exactly what you would expect from Janet Jackson. While her collaboration with J Cole adds a little rhythmic sexy.

And yes, just like any other song of hers, I have been playing this song on repeat. all. morning. long. with no plans to stop!

Ana Lydia


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I follow this simple routine on most mornings before I get my day started: 

Check my Instagram -because pretty pictures inspire me.

Maybe look through Facebook. (I do this less and less as my clarity increases - more of that later)

Write my morning pages (I'm a student of The Artists Way).

But before I do all of this, I write-out a word or quote that will guide my day. Call it my first unplanned outburst of the day...

Most of the time it's something positive - but sometimes the quote or word that comes to mind is something completely random that makes no sense at the moment...

So I search for a visual -on my phone- that puts it all together. 

Today, this was my visual...

Not sure what I'm supposed to get out of this quote-but for now, I'm keeping this meme in my permanent online home and sharing with ya'll...because maybe you also need a bit of inspiration.

Ana Lydia

Turkish Food at Doner G

Friday, July 17, 2015

I became fascinated with Turkish food when a friend moved to Turkey. His daily food photos piqued my interest in a culture that was foreign to me.  With time, I thought, Turkish food would eventually head west and be as commonplace as tacos in L.A.

Unfortunately authentic Turkish food restaurants are few and far...and those claiming to have any connection to Turkey over-spice their meats and Americanize their sides to appeal to every palate.

Which is a shame.

It's precisely because of the lack of good Turkish food in Southern California that DönerG opened their doors in Orange County: to spread their Turkish yumminess in a fast casual environment throughout SoCal.

Their "create-your-own" concept restaurant is located in Irvine, while their more "og" location in Anaheim was the one where I enjoyed a Turkish spread with my friend Michael and my hubby for our 4th of July eve dinner.

The doner and shish kebabs meats were simple and flavorful, allowing the quality of the meat do the talking while keeping overbearing spices to a minimum. The bread or wraps were, like most menu items at DönerG, lightly flavored. All the veggies, whether pickled or freshly cut, were sourced locally and ethically. 

The sauces that accompanied both the wraps and plates were flavorful and sometimes spicy; and they added a nice bite to the otherwise lightly flavored meats.

Both the wraps and plates are filling and in some instances large enough to share - but there's always room for baklava!

Check out DönerG on Instagram (, 
Facebook (,  
Twitter (,
or go to the E-Home of the "Original Döner Kebab" ( to view the complete menu and location addresses.

Ana Lydia
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