Issuu on Google+

M. L. T. S. Winter 2011/2012

Lilliana Vazquez talks early career moves, her design work & how she created and promoted her blog

Get PERFECT Skin! Find Inspiration Fill your tummy with these


DJ’s Auto Sales

For cars that love to cruise and groove as much as you

8354 State Rd., Suite 100 Philadelphia, PA 19136 215-333-9400

Salesmen: Gary Feldman Christopher Doctor

M.L.T.S. Magazine Issue 3: Winter 2011/2012 MOST STYLISH \07 Discovering Her Birthright Every woman is entitled to the perfect little black dress. GIULIA VALTIERI recalls the evening she found the perfect LBD.



09 Accessories Report: Menswear, Mixed Patterns and Classics with a Twist 10 Hillary Biggs’ 10 Ways to Improve Your Style

MOST BEAUTIFUL 11 Flawless Skin for the Win! Always envious of the flawless faces of our favorite celebs and models, we gave Beauty Editor FRANCISCO OVALLES a mission: Hunt down the experts and tell us how to get beautiful skin. 13 I Quite Like My Wobbly Bits, Thank You Her freshman year of high school, ROSELLA ELEANOR LaFEVRE went on a strict, torturous diet. Now, she loves her body wobby bits and all. 15 Deeper Than Skin Deep In a world where super-thing models aren’t thin enough, Alanna Ralph is capturing real women in highly stylized sets. BIANCA GOLASA CRESPO shares Ralph’s inspiring story.

MOST LOVED 17 It’s Just Sex, Mom. When her mother asked her why she had to write about sex, AMANDA VAN SLYKE had an answer. 18 The Love Doctor This time, Christopher Doctor answers your questions about some

eyebrow raising behaviors and crippling jealousy.


author of our “My Busiest Year” column, reflects on her first semester as a resident assistant and shares three of the lessons she learned. 21 Caked in Ambition

M.L.T.S. Magazine

CONTENTS Issue 3: Winter 2011/2012 15

18 Within a year of graduating from culinary school and after a bad car accident, Lila Jai Colello launched Brûlée Bakery. By TORI MARCHIONY

MOST ENTERTAINING 22 Showstopper Liz Filios hosts the Sunny Side Up Show on Sprout and has performed onstage in shows like The Threepenny Opera, Sunday in the Park with George and Candide. Here, ROSELLA ELEANOR LaFEVRE picks Filios’ brain about her career trajectory.

talk about her career... 32 Be A Pumpkin Eater Warm up those cold winter days with these hearty, healthy and totally yummy foods. Words, recipes & photographs by GRACE DICKINSON 36 Ice Ice Baby! If you’ve ever watched the Winter Olympics, you’ve likely dreamed of winning a gold medal. Female hockey player Jenny Potter has earned three! CANDICE MONHOLLAN talks to her about life on and off the ice.

26 Wise Words from Oscar-Winning Women

36 Excerpt: Straightling By CYNDY DREW ETLER



28 Gotta Love Lilliana TV personality and style maven Lilliana Vazquez sits down with ROSELLA ELEANOR LaFEVRE to

03 Editor’s letter 04 Contributors/Masthead 05


Orientation | Editor’s Letter Dear Reader, A week after the third deadline I set for the articles that would go in this issue, two writers dropped out. Suddenly, I had at least four pages to fill. You can imagine the stress of those blank pages. That’s when I made up my mind: I wouldn’t let these things bother me. “There are no problems, only solutions,” as my boyfriend and M.L.T.S. Magazine’s Love Doctor Christopher Doctor always says. Within hours, I arranged for one of my favorite food bloggers, and a fellow Temple University journalism student, Grace Dickinson, to provide us with a roundup of seasonal recipes. The four recipes use pumpkin (or squash, if you so prefer) and begin on page 32. After you’ve tasted the Mexican Pumpkin Soup or Spiced Pumpkin Hummus, you must be sure to check out Dickinson’s Food, Fitness and FreshAir blog. In fact, those two weren’t the last to back out or not turn in their assigned articles, so I found myself coming up with solutions repeatedly. And probably nothing feels cooler than solving a problem. Since then, we’ve added Candice Monhollan’s Q&A with gold medal-winning female hockey player Jenny Potter (p. 36), Giulia Valtieri’s essay about discovering the perfect little black dress (p. 7), an essay by our sex and relationships blogger Amanda Van Slyke about why she writes about sex (p. 18) and a profile of photographer Alanna Ralph by our new Managing Editor Bianca Crespo (p. 15). Speaking of new additions to our team, we’re so lucky to have Ms. Crespo kicking writer’s butts and taking awesome pictures -- she’s the eye behind our cover shoot with fashion maven and media personality Lilliana Vazquez. We’ve also added Francisco Ovalle to our roster as the new Beauty Editor. Check out his article on getting gorgeous skin (p. 11). I sincerely hope you enjoy the issue, and feel free to let us know what you think!

ROSELLA ELEANOR LaFEVRE Editor-in-Chief Winter 2011/2012

JOIN THE TEAM! We’re always looking for new talent to contribute to our quarterly magazine and daily blog. Some of the contributors we need include editors, writers, photographers, stylists to work on photo shoots, makeup artists and hairstylists to work on fashion and beauty editorials as well as contribute written content. If you’re interested, we want to hear from you. Send us resumes, previously published clips, photos of your work, ideas for articles and photo shoots and completed works. Send it to 3


M.L.T.S. MAGAZINE <<< BIANCA GOLASA CRESPO Since the release of the last issue, Crespo has joined our staff as managing editor, rousing writers and helping make ends meet. What a life saver! Crespo was born and raised in Philadelphia, Penn. She spent her childhood in an old Kensington warehouse, where her extraordinary brain evolved into a wondrous world of catacombs, full of monsters beyond your wildest imagination. During her freshman year in college, Bianca studied abroad in London, England, where her love for photography began. She continues to use her skills as a extravagant artist with a thirst for eccentricity at Temple University and hopes that others find beauty in the strangest things.

Hillary Biggs >>>

Age: 22 Education: Wesleyan University, majoring in English Theory and Literary Forms Extracurriculars: Watch the food network with my manfriend, style outfits out of my own wardrobe, organize a volunteer group for escorting women to a Women’s Health Center, take down a box of cheddar bunnies per week, drink wine and laugh with my friends. Favorite Drink: Coffee, coffee, coffee. I actually have a tattoo of a coffee mug on my wrist! My mom has the same one, too! A good day is... Any day that you can forget about everything negative, and just be with the one or the people that you love... Contribution to this issue: “10 Ways to Improve Your Style” (p. 14).


Amanda Van Slyke

Van Slyke lives in Edmonton, Canada, and is pursuing her Bachelor of Communications in Professional Writing at Grant MacEwan University. She runs Flurt! a website aimed at empowering young women, and writes a weekly sex/relationship column for M.L.T.S. Magazine. <<< Giulia Lea Valtieri aka “Giulia Goolia” Age: 20 Education: Junior at TU Extracurriculars: “Unlike most college students I cook a full fancy meal every night instead of eating ramen. It’s great for my tummy and my health but bad for the sink when I have to clean.” Favorite book: Never Let Me Go Worst nightmare: Teen pregnancy. “I’ve literally had this nightmare.” A good day is... “Sunny & warm but not too hot, full of friends and or a love interest in New York City. Eating a lot and shopping.” One tip to help others survive college: “GET A PLANNER. Personalize it to make yourself want to read it.” I wear this over and over: “My black Doc Martens.”


M.L.T.S. Magazine is for young women Most Likely to Succeed. We aim to help our readers achieve their dreams, an that involves putting out four issues of this magazine via and The magazine is created by a bunch of passionate, talented individuals who make no money from the fantastic product you see before you, so please, please don’t get angry with us and try to sue. You’ll only get gallons of salt water for your trouble. Beauty Editor Francisco Ovalles on the three steps your morning beauty routine should include:

I will advise you gals on an everyday routine that not only girls should follow, but guys too! (Let’s make this world a prettier one and get boys on the wagon too!) It’s all about our skin people. Follow these steps to clearer, glowier skin: 1. Wash your face with a cleanser! Every morning! No skipping allowed. Depending on your skin type, you can use it with oil or without oil. This will prevent breakouts, dark spots, and lots of other unwanted things in our faces. There are tons of cheap ones at drugs stores that will give you a fresh and clean face every morning! 2. Use a daily moisturizer! Let’s be honest, we all need a little lotion to make our skin feel good. I was always told by my mom: “You may slack off and never have a ‘routine’ every morning, but you should always use moisturizer.” Nothing like moisturizer to get ready for the horrible things that attack our faces all day. Go out to your nearest drug store and buy one! Or two! Whatever makes you happy. 3. Sunblock! This is the most important prod-

uct. I’m serious. Do not leave your house without using sunblock! I cannot stress this enough. The sun does horrifying things to our skin! If you don’t believe me, go to youtube or google and search for the effects of the sun on our skin. You’ve been warned. Like the other products, you can buy the product of your choice at the drug store. The drugstore can be your best friend. Trust. I recommend to get anything that ranges from 50 SPF and up! Well, ladies there you have it. The holy trinity! These 3 products are the basic three products that will help you have a healthy and great skin. Nevertheless, there a lot more products out there that will help you. On my next post, I’ll post some other extra products, especially for those of you who love makeup! Stay beautiful! xoFr

Check out our website every weekday for the Item of the Day, a supercool, sexy, rad, awesome, gotta-have-it-now piece we think you should add to your hard-working wardrobe like these Colin Stuart booties from Victoria’s Secret (to the left).

“Full Body Detail” columnist Tori Marchiony lists the ailments honey and cinnamon can aid: Cures arthritis, Soothe toothaches, Prevents hair loss, Reduces cholesterol, Cure colds, Increases fertility (ladies who aren’t on birth control may want to avoid this combo), Improves immune system, Makes you skinny, Slows aging, Soothes indigestion, Wards off heart disease, Cures bladder infection, Makes your breath smell delightful, Relieves itching from bug bites, Clears the skin.

“My Pleasure” columnist Amanda Van Slyke on why period sex is best: Every month (if we’re lucky) we are given a bloody reminder that we are, in fact, human. It’s called our periods, ladies. Stop making that face. That’s right. Aunt Flow, Code Red, I’m-Having-My-Time-Of-The-Month-SoDon’t-Touch-Me has arrived. What’s a gurl to do? Guess it’s time to put away the cute panties and pull out the oversized Bridget Jones underwear… Right? Of course not. Your period is one of the best times to have sex! Chances are, you’re feeling like a rabbit, ready to go – because your body knows it’s your last chance to get pregnant. But if you use birth conWinter 2011/2012

trol, don’t let that stop you. Even if you go condom-free, as long as you take your pill every day, you’re not at risk when you go onto your sugar pills. And if you tend to be a bit dry down there, this is one time you don’t need to pull out the lube! Hey, we M.L.T.S. women are busy – so when we have the chance to throw down the textbooks for some action with the guy we’ve been making out with in the stairwell on breaks, passing up our pleasure for a little blood is silly, isn’t it? Three – period sex relieves cramps and irritability. It’s like a natural Midol. How can you want to kill everyone after you’ve had an orgasm? Maybe you’re

thinking, “there’s no way I’m going to enjoy myself when I’m worrying about getting my white comforter bloody.” Lay down a towel, girl! Now that we know the perks of period sex, what if our partner just isn’t feeling it? After all, we’re a lot more used to our menstrual cycle than men are. At the first sight of blood on their dick, many of them freak out and go soft. As my friend recalls, the second time she had sex with her boyfriend she got a surprise visit right smack dab in the middle of the moans and groans…and after two years, they haven’t had sex during her Time of the Month since. 5


Most Stylish

Discovering Her Birthright Every woman is entitled to the perfect little black dress. GIULIA VALTIERI recalls the evening she found the perfect LBD.


he first time I set foot in a vintage clothing store, I was fifteen years old. It was a cold December day in New York City and my parents and I were on our annual holiday trip to the Big Apple. We were walking to our car when I saw the biggest, most ornate store window that wasn’t a department or a costume store. There, right in front of us, on a barely lit street was the word “VINTAGE” in bold red capital letters. My mother’s stories of how the Goodwill is a fun place to shop always bored me, but this place was different. Not any less full of clothing, or any less intimidating to peruse through than the Goodwill, this store had the whole package. The tanned wallpaper made me feel like I had just walked onto the set of an old Hollywood movie. But this was better. This was in color. And wonderful colors they were. >>


Most Stylish | Little Black Dress

Every fur-trimmed lampshade told a story. Every section kept to its theme. Every shade of fuchsia, turquoise and gold shined throughout the store. Not knowing what to expect, I browsed. And browsed and questioned and browsed some more. I finally came across what I hadn’t known I was even looking for: the little black dress. Every woman owns one. Every woman has a story behind her favorite in the closet. And there was my first. There amongst the crinkling and swooshing of all the taffeta and tulle, the saleswoman picked the dress out of the rack, which was packed to the gills, and insisted I go to the dressing room with it. “Honey, this dress was made for you,” she said. “You must try it on it. It would look absolutely adorable and wouldn’t fit on anyone else but you!” My father was the least thrilled being that we were ten minutes away from going home. But a consensus of all the women involved told me that I had to try it on. I went into the dressing room through thick red velvet curtains. My pale, wintry-dry skin made me timid to step out of the room in front of the saleswoman. But I powered through and unzipped the dress. Size 8? How could I possibly fit my puny, not boyish but not yet curvy body into this? Again, I powered through and slipped into the dress. I stepped out, with my long, then brown hair covering the sweetheart neckline of the dress. My feet, covered in white cotton socks, arched as if I was prancing around in a pair of Louboutins at a cocktail party. The saleswoman zipped me up, and I actually had to suck it in. I inquired why a size 8 women’s was so small on me and she revealed how the old sizes in the 1950s or so were different. We joked about how today’s sizes make women feel like Tinkerbell. “Nobody can be live up to the expectations of a size 1! What does that even mean anyway? Guess I’m a 25!” the saleswoman squealed. So I squeezed into my small size 8 (today’s size 2) little black dress and everyone stared in awe in the mirror at my dress and my smile. The dress fit like a glove. It had a corset inside the taffeta material at the top and a stretchy gathering in the back to fit any woman perfectly. The knee-length dress had layers of 8

material bunched up at the bottom. The voluminous bottom was in stark contrast to the tight bodice. There was a small rose made of the same material folded together so elegantly and placed, as though it were its birthright, on my right hip. The material was not only noisy, but had muted tones in some places and shiny silken shades in others. While discussing how I would style it for my first high school dance, my mother pulled my hair up out of my face, revealing the sweetheart neckline and my womanly figure blossoming to life, just as that rose blossomed on my right hip. I was never so beautiful and knew the dress was meant for me, but I suddenly felt a pang of doubt. Could I fit in at my dance amidst the skintight dresses made of stretchy material usually in bright pinks and fire reds -- me, in this poufy black vintage number, which at the time, I felt was so different and daring? Going against everyone’s wishes -- my mother’s, my father’s, the saleswoman’s – and even one side of myself, I sadly left the store and apologized. I handed the dress back to the saleswoman, who placed the sixty-eight dollar dress back on the rack amongst the other dated masterpieces. We were walking to the car when a feeling of regret washed over me. We had already gotten in the car and were too far to walk back, but my complaining was too much for my parents to handle. My mother and I tried to relocate the store on foot while my father drove around aimlessly, confused about a woman’s right to her first little black dress. When I entered the store again, I didn’t have to say anything before the saleswoman brought my dress up to the register. The rest is history. I had the greatest time at my first dance and although it is a small accomplishment to the fashion world, it was my first step to understanding my unique style and eye for vintage clothing. I love the fact that nobody will ever be wearing anything I have on at a party. I have that one moment to thank for my entire style identity and I am so glad I accidentally found that treasure chest in the darkness of Manhattan on a cold winter’s night. •

Most Stylish | Accessories Report

Accessories Report: Menswear, Mixed Patterns and Classics with a Twist


ith the weather getting increasingly colder, the fashion game is changing. More layers means more room for creativity, letting you play with textures, colors, and materials. And that means that accessories are crucial. Here are three of our favorite fall trends, with pieces that will take you from this season to the next.

MENSWEAR  Wool Fedora: This classic hat has the perfect brim (not too wide, but just enough to appear nonchalant) and will lend any outfit a proper dose of attitude. Try pairing with a bright coat, skinny pants, and ankle boots. Thick-framed glasses: This classic nerd style may verge into hipster territory, but if you style it right you will get a quirky and classic look. You can opt for the classic black style, but if you’re looking to mix it up a bit try the tortoise shell rims. Pair with a trench coat over a classic black pencil skirt and patterned tights (complete with a swipe of red lipstick) and you’ll be getting compliments left and right. Classic leather belt: A wide leather belt like this is absolutely essential for any wardrobe. Rich leather and a beautiful brass buckle can do double duty not only to cinch in your waist for a dress or skirt, but also keep your trousers up. Wear with anything; it’ll look especially great with a short, flared skirt and chambray shirt. Mixed Patterns: Anthropologie Japanese Maple Tights ($18)


Feathered cloche: This hat shape is reminiscent of the ‘20s, so bring back the flapper style with this feathered beauty. Providing texture, color, and interest, you’ll be sure to stand out - in the best way possible - with this topper. Keep it modern with dark jeans and colorful ballet flats, paired with a classic blouse. Patterned Circle Scarf: The circle scarf is one of my personal favorites and this one is especially great not only for its beautiful patterns, but also because it’ll transition into any season.

Wear with lots of layers for a luxe look; pile on over a sweater and peacoat and be sure to wear big sunglasses and a confident attitude. Patterned tights: Tights are an integral part of any winter wardrobe and these are great for adding visual interest to any outfit. Wear with an all-black outfit to make your stems shine, or play Classic with a Twist: ASOS Faux Fur Snood ($26.96) up the colors with beautiful fall tones like rust and olive. Either way, you can’t lose.

CLASSICS WITH A TWIST Turban headband: This adorable knit headband will keep your ears warm and also lend a dose of attitude to any outfit. Much chicer than ear warmers, no? Menswear: Demi Moore in trendy thickStructured bag: Handframed glasses bags are extremely important in the winter and, for some reasons, I always pull out more structured pieces during the cold months. This bag is great because of its versatility: bright colors, a long strap so you can wear it messenger-style, and beautiful hardware for visual interest.  Faux Fur Scarf: This will not only keep your neck warm, but also make any look luxe. Pair with a structured militarystyle jacket and sturdy equestrian boots for a rich feel.

- Kirsten Stamn 9

Most Stylish | Style Tips

Hillary Biggs’ 10 Ways to Improve Your Style

2. Silhouette Sense. Once you have the right fit, the next goal is to flatter your figure. The ideal silhouette is the hourglass, which is achieved by emphasizing the waist. Try wearing a printed wrap dress, which is not only flattering on many body types but also is professional. Or try an interesting belt paired with a high-waisted skirt to show off a small waist. 3. Perks of proportions. An outfit looks best when there is a balance between voluminous and figure-hugging pieces. A loose top over a loose bottom looks sloppy, and a tight head-to-toe ensemble can scream promiscuous. However, the proportions of, say, skinny jeans paired with a flowy tunic or blouse are just right. 4. Color code. No matter your personal style, it is essential to find hues that complement your skin tone and hair color. Complexions are often divided into four categories, labeled after the seasons. This division is based on whether you have blue or yellow undertones in your skin. Hold garments up to your face before you buy them to determine if they make you glow or make you drab. If you’re not sure, try asking a salesgirl or trusted friend. Otherwise, you can determine your skin color – as well as complementary hues for clothing – online. 5. Invest in a little black dress. This tip is as old as the LBD itself, but it truly is the most versatile and trustworthy piece in a woman’s closet. When choosing an LBD, forget embellishment and focus on fit. Once you have the perfect dress, you can easily add accessories to change up and amplify the look. 6. Layer up. Selecting a jacket that fits and flatters is equally as important as finding an LBD. I find the blazer is the best op10

tion for most women, because it nips at the waist creating the aforementioned, covetable hourglass shape. Stylist Angela Hastings agrees, saying, “An amazing, classic, well-tailored blazer can transform any outfit to something elevated and something professional. You can mix and match it as a suit, with a skirt, or with something more funky underneath it.” 7. Go nude. The classic nude pump has been ubiquitous in recent years, which is good news for women of every shape and size. Wearing nude hued footwear can lengthen the leg line, making us appear taller and thinner. A big part of the fit and flatter mantra is to play tricks (like this) on the eyes! 8. Show it off. Everyone has something that they love about their bodies, whether it is your great legs, your slender arms, a teeny tiny waistline, or sexy décolletage. Whichever feature you are most proud off, show it off! Find a slinky tank to flaunt your toned arms. Hike up the hemline for a night out to emphasize your gams. Sport a (tasteful) v-neck to draw attention to the bust. If you play up your best assets, you are guaranteed to feel poised and polished in your clothes. 9. Be Bold. Bold, colorful accessories are a great note to add to your personal style. When you wear an interesting accessory, people’s eyes are drawn to it. A statement necklace draws the focus to your face. A chic bag, tucked under your arm, catches the eye. Any flaws you think you may possess will be ignored when you’re wearing or carrying a bold accessory. 10. Confidence is key. Every woman can pull off the look of confidence. Whatever your personal style, no matter how your hair decided to fall that day, and regardless of your body shape, confidence will be the feature that puts your look way over the top. According to stylist Maren Reese, “One can wear different textures, colors, patterns, etc. and still pull it off because it’s the air in which they hold themselves.” So, when you step out in your clothes, stand up tall and you will exude confidence and poise! •

Photo Illustration by Rosella Eleanor LaFevre

1. Fit is it. Arguably the most important piece of advice about styling is that your clothes should properly. If your clothes are too tight, you risk looking like you are stuffed into your garments. If your clothes are too loose, you can appear unpolished and actually seem bigger than you really are.

Most Beautiful

Flawless Skin for the Win! Always envious of the flawless faces of our favorite celebs and models, we gave Beauty Editor FRANCISCO OVALLE a mission: Hunt down the experts and tell us how to get beautiful skin.


very day, we are bombarded with ads for beauty products featuring perfect-looking models, making it nearly impossible to look at our own skin and feel great about it. With barely enough time to study, it’s hard to imagine finding the time to work on getting flawless skin. Just in time for winter, I hunted down two top dermatologists willing to share some of their secrets for great skin. First, we must stop believing that the clear, glowing skin of models and actresses is the result of good genes. “Like having a perfectly toned body >> takes

Photograph: Shom’s Photography 11

a good workout, having good skin often takes some work,” said Dr. Debra Jaliman, author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist, whose clients include many of those stars. Everyone should use the following three basic products every day, year-round: a cleanser, a moisturizer and a product with SPF 30 or higher. There are several kinds of cleansers, including mild and exfoliating types. You can also use a sonic skin cleansing system like the Clarisonic Mia ($115) to treat acne-prone skin “as it helps get rid of the dead skin cells and bacteria,” Dr. Jaliman said. Otherwise, use a round cotton pad with your cleanser, but never your fingers. Even if your skin is oily, you should use a moisturizer daily to restore a healthy moisture balance. “Everyone needs moisture around the eyes so look for one containing hyaluronic acid, which is very hydrating,” Dr. Jaliman said. As for SPF, dermatologists agree it should be used every day. Damage from the sun accumulates. So unless you want wrinkles, brown spots, broken blood vessels or even skin cancer, use a product like Aubrey Organics Natural Sun SPF 30+ Active Lifestyles ($15.95). Whichever product you use, it should block both UVA and UVB rays. “Sunscreen needs to be a vital part of everyone’s skincare routine, every day, all year round,” said Dr. Naomi Fenlin, a top medical esthetician and aesthetic laser specialist who owns About Face Skincare. Keep in mind “the rule of 12

thumb is that if you can feel the heat of the sun on your skin, UVA and UVB rays are being absorbed into your skin,” Dr. Fenlin said. If you’re plagued with acne, look for cleansers and other products with retinol, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. “I also like alpha hydroxy acids as they help exfoliate the skin,” Dr. Jaliman said. You can try a product like Kiss My Face Lavender and Shea Butter Moisturizer ($9.99), which contains alpha hydroxy acids. “At-home microdermabrasion helps as well,” Dr. Jaliman said. Just be sure to avoid overuse. “I have a lot of patients that overuse their acne products and what results is drying, peeling, red and sore skin with acne—the complete opposite of the clear, healthy skin they wanted,” Dr. Fenlin said. With all of these products, Dr. Jaliman and Dr. Fenlin agree you must swap them out with the change of seasons. “A month before the weather changes, [you should] start to change your products,” Dr. Jaliman said. Every skin type is more sensitive during winter. “Usually my patients downgrade the strength of their facewash for a gentler version and use a richer moisturizer,” Dr. Fenlin said. You should “add a noncomedogenic moisturizer at night and use a more moisturizing SPF during the day,” Dr. Jaliman suggests. Last but certainly not least, don’t forget your lips, which really suffer during the winter with drying and peeling. witching from your regular matte lipstick to a gloss should help put a stop to the season’s harsh effects on your lips. •

Photo: Courtesy of Clarisonic

Most Beautiful | Skincare

Most Beautiful | Weight Loss

I Quite Like My Wobbly Bits, Thank You During her freshman year of high school, ROSELLA ELEANOR LaFEVRE went on a strict, torturous diet. Now, she loves her body, wobby bits and all.


thought I was up for the challenge. Certainly the pay-off would be great. Pictures of Gwen Stefani’s rippled abdomen and Sarah Jessica Parker’s toned arms danced in my head. This is funny because the challenge I thought I was prepared to face was a diet—not a fitness regimen. In fact, the woman who had created the diet did nothing to encourage exercising. Perhaps this is because building muscle would skew the results of the weekly weigh-ins that cost $3. This was six years ago and three of us – Mom, my sister Lily and I – signed on with big dreams of smaller frames. It certainly sounded promising: this was a diet designed by a maternity nurse to help new mothers shed pounds, and quickly. After several of her patients lost weight on her diet, she decided to expand her clientele, renting a doctor’s office, which was across the street from the hospital where she worked, to host those $3-a-pop weigh-ins. She held orientations for new patients in that same office. At the orientation, she gave us a folder with information about our new restrictions and pages designed to keep track of our daily eating habits. First, we were allowed to binge for a week—eat anything and everything! she said. Winter 2011/2012

After that, we were on a strict cleanse and had to drink more than 64 ounces of water a day. I probably had to pee every 15 minutes! Then, after roughly two weeks, we were able to reintroduce carbohydrates to our diets. But only three days a week. Since we did weigh-ins every Saturday, we were allowed one baked potato, servings of French fries or a piece of bread a day on Saturdays (only after the weigh-in), Sundays and Mondays. The rest of the week, it was fish, turkey burgers without buns and lots and lots of vegetables. There were other restrictions. Fruits and fruit juices were limited due to the natural sugar. We could only have a teaspoon of salt a day. In addition to salt, we could use only a specific amount of one condiment (any salad dressing, mayonnaise, mustard or ketchup). Oh, and we were allowed 12 ounces of any diet soda a day and no more. Going in, I knew almost all of these rules and I believed I could handle it. There was one factor for which I could not account. This was the irregularity of my bowels. Once we started, a week or more might pass before I pooped. This posed a problem: a body full of waste weighs more than a flushed system. Our guru suggested we try things like cabbage and cranberry juice 13

Most Beautiful | Body Peace

The author on her 15th birthday after she lost 32 pounds on a diet that combined Atkins with other weight loss techniques, including laxatives. (although only as much as we were allowed of any fruit juice) if we wanted to see greater results on the scale. If that didn’t work, we should try special teas that made you go number two. Soon, we integrated the tea into our Friday night routine so that around midnight before our early morning weigh-in, we’d lose an extra half-pound or so. We attended our 7 a.m. weigh-ins every Saturday for six months before we stopped. It was partly a money issue and partly a result of exhaustion. I think each one of us was tired of hitting plateaus. For weeks at a time, we lost nothing and sometimes gained a pound or two, even though we continued following the rules. After six months of tuna in Glad containers and salads drier than the desert, I lost 32 pounds, going from a size 16 to a size 8. One of the biggest motivations for our big weight loss was the hope that shopping would be easier with a thinner body. When I was a size 16, I usually ended up crying in the dressing room because all I could ever find were clothes too small for me. 14

Then I got down to a size 8. I shook my tinier butt into short denim miniskirts and wore a small in some things for the first time. But ultimately, I found that I ended up crying in the dressing room because I couldn’t find any size 8’s. And we tried to keep following our strict diet, but I could only eat so many more turkey burgers. Eventually, I stopped wrestling my natural urge to eat. I love a good steak, a baked potato with sour cream and a slice (or two) of cake. Bit by bit, I broke the rules. One day it was two servings of a condiment and the next it was a can of my beloved (non-diet) root beer. Now, I eat what I want when I want. My mother stayed on the diet, adding an exercise routine (Walk Away the Pounds on DVD), and for a long time after we stopped going to weigh-ins, she continued writing in her food diary. I think the reason why I didn’t stick with it was this: I didn’t really feel any better about myself even when I thinned down. The unspoken goal was to feel better about myself, to love what I saw in the mirror. Honestly? I didn’t feel any different about myself when I was thirty pounds lighter. I still felt like an unattractive chubby girl whose biggest crush – the Rita’s Water Ice Boy – would never know she were alive. We returned once to the doctor’s office where the nurse ran her business while I was in my junior year of high school, two years after we started our diet. I had put on the weight I lost on her program and when she saw me, the nurse exclaimed that I should start anew so I could be skinny again by the time I’d need a junior prom dress. I made nice and returned her exclamations. “I should! That would be great!” Safely back in the car, I knew it would never come to pass. At that point, I just couldn’t hate my body enough to put myself through that torture. Since then, I’ve struggled with my weight as many women do. One of my greatest concerns for years afterwards was that I would never find love at my size. It was no help that whenever I was depressed about my body or anything else, my mother would say things like, “Exercise; the endorphins make you happy,” and “You’re so much prettier when you’re thinner.” I’ll tell you; it’s a real kick in the imaginary balls when you find out your mother looks at you, thinking how much prettier you’d look if you lost five pounds. But recently, a friend IMed me on Facebook and mentioned she planned to consult a doctor on a diet and exercise plan. This friend is a size 14/16 like me, and she’s beautiful. I asked her why she wanted to see a doctor and she said she was freaked out because she’d gained five pounds. Five pounds! I told her about my experience dieting – and told her to stop weighing herself because I maintain that scales are evil. She said she couldn’t manage her weight without a scale. Because I’d never tell anyone to do the crazy diet I did, I suggested maybe

My greatest concern was that I would never find love at my size. she should attend Overeater’s Anonymous to deal with the reasons why she eats as much as she does. While she insisted that she would see a doctor, I told her I was available to talk anytime she needed to and I silently rejoiced that I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I am comfortable with my body as is. I must say, I quite like my wobbly bits. •

Deeper Than

Most Beautiful | Alanna Ralph

Skin Deep

In a world where super-thin models aren’t thin enough, Alanna Ralph is capturing real women in highly stylized sets. BIANCA GOLASA CRESPO shares Ralph’s inspiring story.

Blush Salon & Spa Blush Photography Studio 2407 E York St Philadelphia, PA 19125 (215) 634-1606 Photograph by Alanna Ralph (Blush Photography) Winter 2011/2012



porting a pair of cat-eye glasses, Alanna Ralph, 31, plops herself onto the ornate couch in her lush photography studio, juxtaposed next to her beauty salon, Blush Salon. Satin, lace, and Victorian-patterned material adorn the corners of the area, the well-worn hardwood floor giving the studio a comfortable antiquated feel. The abundance of props, like white feather boas and an antique phonograph, casts Ralph’s woman den in fine colors of mauve, emerald, rosy pink, and other hues used to create magnificent visual art: from 1950s pinup shots to more theatrical themed shoots involving vampires, zombies and deeply gory horror scenes. Nestled in the heart of Philadelphia’s Fishtown section, you will find these unique beauty spots owned by Ralph. She founded the salon in 2007 and has worked vigorously to live her dream and make her vision a reality ever since. Ralph adjusts her glasses and smiles as she recalls her early years in Fishtown, which is home to old factories that appeal to the city’s arts-minded population. “It just snowballed,” Ralph says. “I always wanted a business, even at a young age. I never really had much back then, but I wanted to be happy, so I worked my way up.” It was never easy for Ralph, a Fishtown native. Who practically raised herself from the age of 13, which is when her grandparents insisted she move out due to her different religious beliefs. “My father passed away when I was 11 years old. And due to my religion choice, my grandparents kicked me out. I drifted a little at the age of 13 while my mom had issues of her own. I got a job washing hair at 15 after I dropped out of high school, and then went back to school at age 17.” During this time, Ralph acquired her first major job in a 70s nightclub, one of the highlights of her life. She eventually saved up enough money to buy a house at the age of 20. After that, Ralph worked at a law firm until she had enough money to own a salon. Around this period, she was also going to school for aesthetics. Ralph specializes in natural skincare, her first love, and photography, both self-taught professions. “I used to make my own cosmetics,” she says animatedly. Now, as a talented photographer and the founder of a beauty salon and spa, Ralph can say all of her diligence truly paid off. Salon Blush was recently awarded second place the category of Best Facials and ranked #8 on the list of Best Hair Salons on the Philly Hot List, published by local TV station PHL17. Ralph credits her gifted staff of beauticians for this accomplishment. With her limited free time, Ralph travels the globe, using the time to absorb bafflingly different cultures. On her most recent trip, she went to India. “Everyone is so open there,” says Ralph. “They’re so pure and free. It’s very spiritual, as opposed to America, where spirituality is usually a private thing.” While there, Ralph fully immersed herself in the culture for both spiritual and artistic purposes. “Everything is focused on nourishing the mind, body and spirit in India. It’s really incredible,” she says. “With my photography, I wanted to capture the hard life, the real aspects of India; for instance, the dead bodies floating in the water where other people would bathe. This was the India I wanted to capture in my photography.” Ralph travels to expand her outlook on life. “I am more 16

humble with traveling,” she says. “I like to see and experience real life [in other places] so I come back to America with a much broader perspective.” Real. Raw. Natural. This is Alanna Ralph. She is absolutely relentless and fearless when it comes to her artistic pursuits. “Through my photography, I want to show emotion,” she says. “I don’t use models, only real people. I want to transfer what’s going on inside to an image.” Ralph’s dark style of photography displays this philosophy. “Everyone can relate to dark art,” Ralph says. “What is art if it doesn’t move you? What’s the story behind it? That’s what I’m interested in.” Ralph recently did a photoshoot to advocate breast cancer awareness. To express her message, Ralph’s subject wore a gas mask to represent “purging, cleansing, getting out the toxins.” She wants to show the public the truth, and nothing but. There’s another style Ralph regularly turns to: the 1950s pinup girl. Through this classic theme, Ralph hopes to inspire women to love themselves again. While photographing real women, she brings out what’s within and savors the memory with a simple photograph. With the recent fiasco involving H&M models, Ralph is a relief. Aftonbladet, a Swedish tabloid, released details a few weeks ago about H&M’s latest attempt at beauty for their advertisements. The company made computer-generated bodies, and then edited a model’s head onto each perfect body, adjusting the skin color to match. As if women don’t have enough to worry about with their bodies, now when they look at advertisements, even more pressure is placed on them because now, even the bodies of supermodels are not perfect enough for fashion and the media. In a world where ‘perfect’ skinny models are the hierarchy, it’s a complete comfort to know that there are successful independent women, like Alanna Ralph, around who know that the real beauty is more than skin deep. •

Photo by Alanna Ralph (Blush Photography).

Most Beautiful | Alanna Ralph

Most Loved It’s Just Sex, Mom. When her mother asked her why she had to write about sex, AMANDA VAN SLYKE had an answer.

Photo from HBO Pictures.


ex is dirty.” These three words came out of the very same woman who birthed me; the very same woman who I once heard enjoying herself behind closed bedroom doors. Ew, you might think. Why am I talking about my mother having sex? Well, what my mother said next will burn in my brain for years to come. It will be the question that pushes me forward in my career: “Why do you have to write about sex? Why can’t you write about something nice, like fashion or makeup?” To me, sex is a very complex three-letter word. Not only is it intercourse, but also owning your sexuality. It’s an expression, a feeling and a power. Sex can be quiet and shy – hushed and hot like making out in the stacks, worrying that the librarian will catch you – or it can be loud and proud – vocal and intimate with the windows open. Sexuality is not showing off skin. Unless you feel comfortable with that. It’s not having a one-night-stand. Unless you feel comfortable with that. It’s communicating the beautiful essence that is inside you; it’s being open with who you are as a person. We all came from sex, and thus, we are all sexual beings. So why is something so normal seen as so shameful? In other words: What’s not “nice” about sex? Sitting at one of the few chains we lunched at, I stirred my straw around, as I often do when I’m nervous. My mother and I were catching up and the conversation had turned away from the menu and onto my chosen career path. I swallowed my water and took a deep breath before informing her that what she learned as a child was wrong. “Sex isn’t dirty, it’s natural. And I want to help change the way women think about it,” I said. She looked around, as she worried someone had heard. To my mother, sex is not something a person talks about in public. It is especially not something a person should write about in an online column – at least not if that person is her daughter. But in my defence, things were not this clear cut when I grew up in her household. On weekends, my mother walked around naked while she did the laundry. At family dinners, my parents made jokes about why the kitchen table was so shaky. In many ways, I owe my honest approach to sexuality to my parents. But I also owe some of my shame to them as well. There were

“Sex isn’t dirty, it’s natural. And I want to help change the way women think about it,” I said to my mother. Winter 2011/2012

Carrie Bradshaw inspired many a young woman to be more open with their sexuality. times when I left the house in a short skirt and was told, “Nice girls don’t dress that way.” I was confused. From an early age, I learned to be comfortable with my body. But now I was being told to “cover up,” and to hide my sexuality. When I “made my sexual debut” a little earlier than expected, I was met with more shame than love. When I needed plan B, I was met with more disgrace than respect. And again, I was confused. From an early age, I learned to be open about sex. But now, I was encouraged to be secretive and that what I was doing was “wrong.” But the blurred lines didn’t come from just my parents – they came from society and the media via TV, magazines and billboards. The message: Women need sexual gratification; we’re nothing without it. And sure, we can be independent and intelligent; but if we’re not “hot,” we’re overlooked. And if we’re attractive, society doesn’t see us for who we are. In this way, women find themselves in a catch-22, where we are told that in order to be seen, we need to flaunt our sexuality – that we have to be “slutty,” but – careful! – not too “slutty.” As we know too well, the girl who wears too much makeup is called a “whore,” and the girl who wears revealing clothing is considered a “slut.” Finding the line between society’s expectations is exhausting – and that’s because it’s an impossible goal. There is no easy solution to this issue, which girls face every day. But I want to change the way women think about sexuality. To answer my mother’s question: I need to write about sex because it’s not considered “nice.” Nice implies that as women, we must be docile, that we follow the rules and stay inside the box society has put us in. That box tells women that talking about sex is dirty, but complying to society’s standards of beauty in order to be seen as sexually attractive—well, that’s nice. As women most likely to succeed, I urge you to take control of your sexuality, and for fuck’s sake, stop being nice. • 17

Most Loved | Advice

The Love Doctor This time, Christopher Doctor answers your questions about some eyebrow raising behaviors and crippling jealousy.


Dear Love Doctor, My boyfriend and I are nine hours apart since I have had to go away to college. It’s been really stressful being apart. He has been calling me way too much because he’s worried that since I’m so far away I won’t be faithful. How can I reassure him that I will be? Sincerely, Phaithful in Philly


Dear Phaithful, There are many ways to reassure someone. The problem, I’m afraid, is that such reassurances are extremely fleeting. It is difficult to get someone to accept an idea that they themselves did not come up with. Thus, the concept of the movie, Inception. So unless you have sedatives and contraptions that allow you into your boyfriend’s dream, (Also a very clever plan), it will probably be for naught. The trouble with these things is that there is no way for you to completely understand his insecurities. There is no way for you to fix them, either. There are two choices that you may make in this situation. You may either (A) Remain patient and wait for him to work through these issues himself, or (B) Force the issue. Different people will respond differently to either choice. Patience can lead you to enable him further, and force could destroy the relationship. I counsel you this. If the relationship means a great deal to you, you should get to the heart of the matter. Ask yourself these questions. Has he cheated in previous relationships? Has he been cheated on? How happy are you when you’re together? How much relief is there when you’re separated? The answers will tell you all you need to know. Good luck, Phaithful. Just remember, if you are worthy of someone’s trust, there is definitely a reason you are not getting it. Discerningly, The Love Doctor


Dear Love Doctor, I recently started dating a guy that I happen to think is really wonderful. He seems really perfect for me and I like him a lot, but all of my friends who met him seem to be 100 percent sure that he’s gay. He does nice dancing with his sister, he is abstinent and one of his goals is to go shopping at a Prada store. I personally think that there’s nothing wrong with any of that, but because of those and other reasons, my friends won’t 18

let go of this whole “he’s gay” thing. What should I do? Sincerely, Give It To Me Straight


Dear Give It To Me Straight, None of those things you listed classify anybody’s sexuality. If someone tells you otherwise, they are simply stereotyping. It’s because we as people do not understand, that we generalize people and place them into categories. You would do well to realize that a relationship is driven, kept and grown between two people: yourself and your partner. Nobody can tell you whether a relationship is working for you. Except you. If you are truly happy, do you need someone to approve it? You don’t need a round of applause every time you step out of your door to say, “Wow, you dressed yourself really well today.” If you really need an answer, ask your partner. There is never any shame in communication. For good or for bad, the truth is the truth. Asking is the only way you’ll ever find out. Hopefully Helpful, The Love Doctor

Most Valuable

My First Semester as an R.A.

Photo courtesy of Michele Elaine Hannon

MICHELE ELAINE HANNON, author of our “My Busiest Year” column, reflects on her first semester as a resident assistant and shares three of the lessons she learned.


hen I applied to be a Resident Assistant my freshman year, I didn’t make the cut due to a very rough first semester. Sophomore year, I reapplied. I had a higher GPA and more determination than ever. I was crushed unlike ever before when I accidentally received an e-mail saying I didn’t get it. Then, on February 22, 2011 at some point in the afternoon, I learned I got the RA position, and to date, it is one of the happiest moments of my life. I found myself thanking every lucky star I apparently had and didn’t know about. Later, one of my interviewers told me he wanted me to work in Peabody Hall because I “had the right artistic spirit for it.” I was honored. I’ve never thought too much of myself so hearing a stranger say that really brought a smile to my face. The training class in the spring came and went in the blink of an eye, and after a really tough summer, I found I’d arrived at August 11, the first day of actual training. Moving in, I found myself more thrilled than I think I even was on my first day of Winter 2011/2012

college. I met the other six fellow RAs, my two bosses and settled into my room. I had high expectations for that day, but I don’t think any expectations could prepare me for the journey I have been on since then. By the end of training week, I felt like a different person. And now, as the first semester nears its end, I find it crazy to think of who and where I was, and where I’ve landed. One semester of being an RA, and I’ve learned more about life, college and myself than I did in my first two years. Of all the things I’ve learned since becoming an RA, these are probably the three most important lessons:


No matter who you are, there is someone somewhere who cares. Might sound cliché, as I’m sure all of these lessons will, but I never realized until this year just how many people I’ve had in my life who truly give a crap that I exist. And the same goes for others. I’ve had some people come to me as an RA with some of the saddest things imaginable, and it was my job to tell them how much they matter. I reminded these students that even if it was only me, someone out there who loves her and 19

Most Valuable | First Semester

thinks her life is the most precious gift.


Forget diamonds; a well-organized calendar is a girl’s best friend. It’s often said that time management is one of the most important life tools and saying that to a high school or college student is essentially like talking to a brick wall. The tendency is to think, “I got this,” or “I’ll just wing it.” Face it. Life don’t work that way, sister. I recently started to hardcore use a Google calendar and it’s one of the smartest things I’ve done in a long time. It keeps my head together, lays out everything that must be done and even lets me code it in pretty colors to distract me from how intimidating such a large amount of work is. I honestly look back on my life before my calendar and wonder how the heck I got anything done. [Editor’s note: Before she started using Google’s Calendar, she missed every single deadline we gave her.]


Life goes on. This is the simplest lesson but also the one of most importance. This semester, I held a program based on the idea of Post Secret, a community art project started a few years back by a man named Frank Warren in which he sent post cards out to people he knew and asked them to anonymously send it back with a secret. I went about to the whole building passing them out and ultimately about twenty something residents came and we shared some incredibly amazing things. The strength and courage in these kids completely blew me away. Their maturity, despite being only a few months out of 20

college, and the things they overcome each day was truly eye opening. It made me take a look at my own life. I’ve been through a lot of, well, I’ll be plain, a lot of shit in my life. Lost very close family, struggled with intense bullying from my first day of preschool to even today, been financially screwed in every which way, and without the housing I have on campus, I technically don’t have a home. But despite all this, I get up every day, and so do these kids who have been through things equally as painful, and in some cases, even worse. But what I found the most beautiful was that of all the cards, one submitted was left almost entirely blank, and on the lower right corner, someone wrote the phrase, “Life goes on.” It’s three little words that put every other card in perspective. Family problems? Life goes on. Love gotcha down? Life goes on. Feel so stressed you could bash your own head in? Life goes on. No matter what happens in life, things are always going to go on, till one day they won’t anymore, and I don’t want that to be a day where I’m regretting the little things that get me down. Every second is an incredible gift, not to be wasted.


don’t think if I hadn’t been an RA this year and met the amazing people I’ve met and experienced the things I have, I would have realized what I wrote about in that last lesson. Without the people I’ve met, I wouldn’t be the girl writing this essay. But I’m glad I did meet them, and I’m surprised to say, I’m finally happy with who I am. •

Photo by Michele Elaine Hannon

All The Studious Ladies: The ladies of the third floor of Temple University’s Peabody residence hall.

Caked in Ambition

Most Valuable | Entrepreneurship

Within a year of graduating from culinary school and after a bad car accident, Lila Jai Colello launched Brûlée Bakery. By TORI MARCHIONY

Photo courtesy of Lila Jai Colello.


hef Lila Jai Colello is a 34-year-old entrepreneur based on the Main Line. A graduate of the pastry program at the French Culinary Institute in New York City and the 2010 James Beard Scholarship recipient (a really big deal in the culinary world), Chef Lila has spent the past year developing and launching her new internet-based business called Brûlée Bakery. Following her third car accident, Colello found herself unable to work the long shifts required in the restaurant industry following her graduation from pastry school. With a sudden need to create her own hours coupled with a steadfast unwillingness to rest on her laurels while she healed from her injuries, she decided that there was no better time than the present to make her dreams of owning a bakery a reality. From her home office in Upper Darby, Colello has spent the past nine months working tirelessly on her business plan and on getting her website up-andrunning. “The biggest challenge right now is that I’m the person doing everything- marketing, sales, baking etc. It’s hard to be the one person for everything. Regardless of how I’m feeling it still has to get done,” she said. Even though she’s operating a one-woman ship and feels like it’s “a very slow-moving process,” Colello has managed the impressive feat of getting her business up and running within a year after graduating from culinary school. She currently hosts a stand at the Overbrook farmers’ market each week as well as one at the Clover Market in Ardmore, while still taking orders from private clients. “Seeing the same people wanting to try new things from me is really exciting,” she says of her experience selling her creations so far. Though outdoor markets and online sales are fine for now, Chef Lila ultimately has bigger dreams in mind. “I would like a brick-and-mortar location. I want to provide an experience for people where they come into a warm environment and have great coffee and pastry pairings. I want to be a staple of the community where I’m participating in various fundraisers and where people can hear Brûlée Bakery and know what it is and who’s behind it,” she said. Colello said she believes the most important quality for any young professional is ambition. “You need to know that you’re never going to give up on yourself no matter what comes up. There’s most likely going to be some kind of hiccup along the way, but you can’t take no for an answer. Know who you are and know that you can do anything that anyone else can do regardless of what gender you are.” For Colello, the back injuries that she sustained from the car accident, as well as the financial burden of launching a business, have been the primary challenges. Balancing physical therapy with baking, menu planning and website designing has kept her busy, but undeterred. Winter 2011/2012

Clearly unafraid of adversity, Collelo feels that she has what it takes to make her bakery stand out enough to become the kind of community staple she dreams of, even in a tough economic climate and a carb-conscious neighborhood. Her elite training in French pastry and knack for creating unique flavors combine with her use of wholesome ingredients to entice a wide range of consumers. “I use organic ingredients from local farms exclusively and work whole-wheat flour into all of my pastries in order to make recipes more nutritious,” she said. In addition to healthbenefits, she makes it a point to buy local in order to make her business as eco-friendly as possible. “I’m committed to employing the most sustainable practices I can find, whether it comes in the form of buying local or composting waste, or even just recycling, in order to best support both local and global communities.” • For custom orders, go to 21

Most Entertaining

Liz Filios hosts the Sunny Side Up Show on Sprout and has performed onstage in shows like The Threepenny Opera, Sunday in the Park with George and Candide. Here, ROSELLA ELEANOR LaFEVRE picks Filios’ brain about her career trajectory. 22

Photo courtesy of Robert Kim.


You began ballet and piano at five years old. And then you acted in your first play at eight years old. What did these experiences teach you about yourself? What did I learn about myself from ballet at age 5?  Mostly, that I like to question authority. When my teacher led all the little girls in a circle, they would follow her in a nice straight line... all except one, who for some reason, insisted on going the other direction.  Apparently, one day I really crossed the line, when I tried to get the other girls to follow me instead of the teacher. My mother was mortified, and quickly withdrew me from the class. It wasn’t until college when I discovered Modern dance that I finally found my niche - a whole genre of movement dedicated to the breaking of rules!  How glorious! In retrospect, perhaps the real lesson was, if you don’t fit in, be patient -- it might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. In piano, there was definitely more room for individual expression... but I still thought practicing was the dumps.   Also, I had a very strict teacher who was always yelling at me to sit up straight, and play my scales in tempo. She made me stand outside once, barefoot in the snow, to trim my fingernails when I showed up for a lesson with them too long.  So I guess piano taught me about the importance of personal hygiene, and good posture. Then when I was 8, I was cast in the school play. It rehearsed in the afternoons, which meant it conflicted with piano lessons... too bad, so sad.  The lesson there: If you don’t like what you’re doing, make yourself indispensable someplace else. In all seriousness, I’m grateful for all of those early experiences.  I’m eternally indebted to my parents for not letting me quit piano, but rescheduling every lesson, financing every class, schlepping me back and forth to each seminar, workshop and camp, and squaring off with me when I no longer felt the need to persevere.  You have to be a fighter to make it in the arts... and I’d never be the warrior I am today if it weren’t for the brave adults who did battle with me as a child.

Most Entertaining | Liz Filios

learn!  Even if it means trying something scary and looking like a complete fool. Your education is your privilege; your responsibility. In class, you’re never doing yourself a favor by playing it safe. Ever. School is what you make of it, no matter what the name on your diploma reads! (Ok off my soapbox now.)  In short, Michigan is where I learned about drive, discipline, and the value of shared resources. I learned about the courage it takes to be vulnerable, and I practiced persistence through success and failure alike. Michigan helped me acquire the ability to measure myself against myself, not against others, and that is one of the best ways anyone can prepare for a career, artistic, or otherwise. What do you wish you had known when you were starting out? That I didn’t need anybody’s approval to succeed. How did you get your job as host of The Sunny Side Up Show

Filios performing on the cruise ship, The Azamara Journey. (Photo: Betsy Hackley)

You studied musical theatre at University of Michigan. How did that program prepare you for your career? U of M is an amazing place.  It’s one of the best conservatory programs in the country, but it also has an incredibly strong academic component.  I didn’t want to have to choose between acting, singing or dancing when I went to college; and I didn’t want to have to sacrifice the opportunity to study subjects outside of musical theatre... so Michigan’s inter-disciplinary approach was very attractive.   The professors there all have strong backgrounds in the business of show business - so the degree is constantly rooted in reality. They also have a great reverence for the history, technique, and creation of musical theatre at U of M - it was important to them that we cultivated a knowledge of the craft, and the pioneers in the field.  But what made that program truly special was the fact that our teachers had a profound love for the things they taught, and for their students. They fostered the philosophy that, the more you put into something, the more you get out of it. If I had to boil the answer to this question down to one sentence, it would be: put into your work what you want to get out of it. The older you get, the more expensive real knowledge becomes - so take advantage of every opportunity to Winter 2011/2012


on the Sprout network? I had auditioned for Sprout years ago, and nothing ever came of it.  Then in 2009, I did a production of Singin’ In The Rain, and the woman I carpooled with just happened to work at Sprout. We became friends.   Months later, I ran into her in Suburban Station at rush hour, and she told me they were having auditions for the Sunny Side Up Show, and that I should come in. I wanted to ask her more about it, but I was getting pushed up a staircase. So she emailed me the materials, and I went to the audition.  Then I got a callback, where I actually had the chance to come to the set and perform with Chica (the puppet who co-hosts The Sunny Side Up Show). She was absolutely charming, and although she only spoke in squeaks (she is a chicken, after all) I found myself sort of magically engaged with her. I would speak and she would squeak, and somehow, we understood each other.  They actually had to ask us to stop playing so we could begin the audition.  So I tell people the reason I got the job is because I speak Chicken.  Of course that was only the beginning.  There was a very thorough screening process.   There were meetings, tests, focus groups, background checks, more tests, more meetings... but finally in September of 2010, I was offered the job. Can you describe what a typical day is like? Well, every day is a little different... but, yesterday I got up at 8, biked to the Comcast Center, and spent the morning at a desk with my co-writer and puppeteer. This week, we’re writing the content for next week’s show.  So we get a list of all the programs that will be aired in our block next week, and a copy of each show on dvd.  There are 50 shows to review and build on. Our job is to create content around these shows to help kids explore the concepts presented, and relate to them by way of a theme. Essentially, we’re trying to give kids an interactive, educa-

tional through-line for their day.   This week our theme is Holiday Music.  And it’s a big week, because Elmo is going to be a special guest on the show next Tuesday.  So (continuing with the semi-typical day) yesterday, we finalized all of the prop and graphic needs for Elmo’s visit, and then we planned content for the rest of next week - dreaming up ways to teach kids about holiday music (which in turn, hopefully teaches them about tradition, culture, diversity, and respect). Once we’ve sketched out all of our ideas, we always spend a few hours hammering out the logistics - for example, yesterday we discussed how to puppeteer 4 calling birds, 3 french hens and 2 turtle doves, using 3 extra bodies in an area that’s only about 4’x4’.  Then in the afternoon, on “Prep Weeks” such as this one, we’ll have a pitch meeting, where we meet with a producer, lawyers, an educational specialist, and designers, to present our ideas. Things get moved around, adjusted, reversed and revised, and some of our ideas get tossed, but most will be realized. The education expert is there to ensure that our content is age-appropriate and educationally sound. The designers will take our ideas and bring them to life in the physical world. The lawyers will make sure everything meets the standards and practices Sprout upholds. And the producer makes sure that all the pieces come together, and that in the end, we make great children’s television.  At the end of the 9-5 day, I’ll usually have some sort of rehearsal or performance for a ‘side-gig’ related to music or theatre. This week, I’m rehearsing for a new cabaret at Act II Playhouse. Next week I’m live on-air, (usually about a 7am-3pm kind of gig) and then the week after that, I’ll have off. Then, the cycle starts all over again. Prep. On-Air. Off. Prep. On-Air. Off. Like that. On my off-weeks, I like to spend my time teaching, writing, composing, performing, and if I have a chance, traveling or enjoying some time outdoors with family or friends. You’ve also appeared in stage productions. Most recently, these have included the Philadelphia-based Arden Theatre’s productions of  The Threepenny Opera,  Sunday in the Park with George and Candide. How do you juggle these stage shows with The Sunny Side Up Show? Very, very carefully!  Anyone in the arts can tell you that an abundance of work like that is rare. When it pours, of course, you just want to do everything!  But you have to pace yourself. I try to always be honest with myself about how much I can take on. It’s not unlike dating... you have to communicate, and be sensitive to what other people need. The key is to set clear expectations - it’s better to tell someone, “I’m sorry I just can’t meet at that time”, than to say “I’ll be there” and then show up late or not at all (a lesson I had to learn the hard way).  But, if you can establish yourself as someone who can be relied upon to do exactly what she said she would do, you’ll end up getting more work in the long run. Even if you have to pass a job up, people will respect your commitment to other projects, and they’ll know that, when they do


Photo courtesy of Liz Filios.

Most Entertaining | Music

have the opportunity to work with you, you’ll make them a priority too. It can require a lot of sacrifice, for me, for the people I love, and for the people I’m working with. But doing all these different things keeps me balanced, and helps make my work in both areas richer and more vital. So I like it. You’ve also written, directed and performed several concerts for good causes. What have these shows meant to you? I love them.  I’m not sure what else to say... I love them.  It’s a direct route to inspiration for me; a reminder of why we (as artists) do what we do.  Everyone needs a place where they can go, again and again, to feel renewed.  There’s so much joy to be found in the act of service. Why wouldn’t anyone crave that all the time? You also sing opera. When did you start singing opera? I trained classically from the time I was 12. My voice teacher, James, was a tall, handsome blue-eyed baritone, and I was terrified of him. I also adored him.  At my first lesson, I sang “Tomorrow” from Annie. He stopped me half-way through, and I wasn’t allowed to belt again for the next two years. Instead, I learned Handel, Mozart, Schubert and Bellini, which wasn’t exactly cool in middle school, but James could make just about anything seem cooler. He became my mentor and my friend, and I studied with him for the next 8 years.  Before I left for college, he said to me once, “You have the soul of an opera singer”.  That stayed with me.  When I got to U of M, I found myself assigned a lot of rep for what they call “the legit soprano”: music by the old composers, like Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter and Lerner & Winter 2011/2012

Filios in a production of Singin’ In The Rain. (Photo: Alex Pierce) Loewe... I guess I’ve always been a Gershwin kind of gal.  Then, when I was a sophomore in college, I had the opportunity to spend a summer in Florence, Italy studying art history and taking voice lessons with George Shirley (one of the first African Americans to sing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York). He asked me that summer what my goals were, and I told him I wanted to learn to sing one song in Italian and one in French. He laughed because it was such a simple aspiration. But to me, it was mammoth. He helped me reach it, and he also opened up a part of my range above high C that I never knew existed. Anyway, after that summer, three things were clear: I loved Italian art, music, and pasta... and Italian men.   Okay, four things.  Logically, that led me to opera: When I was a senior, I found an audition posting  online for an opera company in Philadelphia. I had never been to Philly, but the posting was for an original chamber opera that was going to be based on Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, and produced in Italy.  The summer I graduated. In Italy. That was all I needed to know. Shakespeare. Opera. Italy. So I found the phone number at the bottom of the page, and called. They informed me of the application process required to obtain an audition, and bla bla the fact that I had missed their deadline.  “Yes, I know,” I finally said. “But I’d like to come audition for you anyway.”  Slightly exasperated, the person on the other end of the line asked, “Where are you coming from?”  “Detroit,” I said.  There was a pause... “That’s so crazy, we’ll just let you do it,” the voice replied.  And just like that, I was on my way to Philadelphia.  That’s how I got my first opera. • 25

Most Entertaining | Film

Wise Words from Oscar-winning Women

The Oscars are fast approaching. This night of glitz and glam, for those of you who live under a rock, happens once a year and recognizes some of the greatest achievements made in the last year by the film industry. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite quotes from our favorite women to win an Oscar or two... Enjoy every moment.

“Life is short, and it is here to be lived.” – Kate Winslet, Won the Best Actress award for The Reader (2008)

Still, know when it’s not worth it.

Be humble…

“I know I’m only one human being and I’m only making one tiny contribution and it’s nothing more than that.” – Halle Berry, Won the Best Actress award for Monster’s Ball (2002)

“I think one of the smartest things I ever did for my career was not working for two years in the early 90s. I was being offered a lot of different movies but I just didn’t see the point of any of them. People would say to me “How can you just be passing on all those things?” And my response was “Tell me a movie you’ve seen in the past year that I should have made.” – Julia Roberts, Won the Best Actress award for Erin Brockovich (2000)

…But don’t psych yourself out.

Never stop learning.

“As in life, your mind can be the hugest obstacle or tool, depending on how you choose to use it. And I find that a lot of people who are successful in life say, ‘I can do this, and I will do this.’ Their minds don’t get in their way; whereas people who wake up and say, ‘Oh, I can’t,’ their mind is in their way, and it’s going to stop them from doing what they need to do to achieve their dream.” – Hillary Swank, Won the Best Acress award for Boys Don’t Cry (1999) and Million Dollar Baby (2004)


“I’ve learned that success comes in a very prickly package. Whether you choose to accept it or not is up to you. It’s what you choose to do with it, the people you choose to surround yourself with. Always choose people that are better than you. Always choose people that challenge you and are smarter than you. Always be the student. Once you find yourself to be the teacher, you’ve lost it.” – Sandra Bullock, Won the Best Actress award for The Blind Side (2009)


Photo: Bianca Golasa Crespo

Gotta Love Lilliana


TV personality and style maven Lilliana Vazquez sits down with M.L.T.S.’s own Rosella Eleanor LaFevre to talk about her career...

illiana Vazquez only has one hour on this very sunny, surprisingly warm afternoon in early November to shoot her M.L.T.S. Magazine cover and to talk about her career. Still petite in her leopard-print heels, Vazquez arrives at Café Ole, located at 147 North 3 Street, and stripped off her gray coat. Despite having more than 250 TV appearances under her belt, Vazquez confesses she is nervous when posing for still photos. Bianca Crespo, M.L.T.S.’s managing editor and photographer, assures her we won’t take too long. Sure enough, in just a few minutes, we’ve got the perfect cover shot. On to the interview. Barely touching her cup of mintlaced tea, Vazquez talked about her earliest jobs, starting her influential blog, Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style, and how the TV gigs didn’t just fall into her lap.

the same time, I knew that I was capable of more. RL: So what was your next step? LV: I went to go work for an ad agency in New York and that was amazing. It was a smaller company within a very large organization, YNR. The agency I worked at was a multicultural agency so you had a lot of opportunity to take on additional responsibilities and make yourself available to different departments. I was working with the art directors all the time and I helped them cast models, work with the clothes, work with the client. It was really, really fun. RL: When did you start your accessories lines?

LV: It was while I was at the Bravo Group [the ad agency]. Because it was such a creative and such an entrepreneurial environment, they would have these employee trunk shows just Lilliana Vazquez: I didn’t. I cause they felt that everyone was so pursued journalism, actually, creative and so talented, they wanted through extracurricular activities. to give them an outlet to express it. I [helped] launch our student-run So I made these belts, like ranradio station WRTW. But I wrote domly, and I thought they were refor the newspaper. I produced ally cute but I didn’t know if anyone and hosted multiple radio shows else thought they were cute. And I’ve in my time there. And then I was always had a good sense of style part of the group that brought so I figured if I liked it, most people COFFEE DATE: Vazquez met with M.L.T.S. at CNN Crossfire to GW. would like it but you never know and Café Ole in downtown Philadelphia. it’s very personal… And so we had a RL: You started your career at W magazine. mini trunk show in November, right in time for the holidays, and I brought a few of the belts. Not only did I sell all of the belts, but LV: That was my very first job out of college. I was a lowly sales I ended up with orders for 20 more. I struck a chord. assistant at W magazine. I had two bosses; I was assisting the Everyone there was so supportive and was like, “You should fashion director and the beauty director. One was really nice do this, you should put this in front of people, you should take it – or I guess, as nice as you can be when you work at that kind to stores.” of magazine in the fashion industry – and the other one was just What was great was I had an entire team of graphic dekind of a disaster. I think it was my own toned-down Devil Wears signers at my disposal to help me with things like lookbooks and Prada experience. logos. And I had a team of copywriters to help me come up with I’m a doer and I love to learn and at that job, I never felt like a name. So starting your own business while you work at an ad I was learning. I felt like I was just running errands, and there’s agency is a pretty sweet place to be. You have so many amazing nothing wrong with running errands and paying your dues, but resources, literally at your fingertips. And because I had always the trade-off has to be that you’re learning every day. So I was made myself available to them and because I was always willing only there for about a year. I loved being close to all that fashion to go the extra distance for whatever project they were workand that made the decision to leave really, really difficult but at ing on, they were in turn willing to do the same for me when I Rosella LaFevre: You attended George Washington University. Did you study journalism?


Photos by Bianca Golasa Crespo

needed it. RL: So how did you learn about running that kind of business? LV: I kind of just learned by doing. I am very much a believer that you don’t have to go to school to learn something. If you have passion for it and curiosity, you can pretty much learn to do anything. I had no idea of what it actually entailed to manufacture 60,000 belts in China and if somebody had told me that I was going to be doing that, I would have been like, “You’re crazy.” But an order came in from Nordstrom and at the time, I was sewing them in my kitchen. So you just have to figure it out and I’m the kind of person, if you present me with a problem, I will figure out how to do it and I’ll figure out how to do it really, really well. I think having that attitude throughout my career has been essential. RL: You started your blog, Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style, four years ago. Why did you start the blog?

“I am very much a believer that you don’t have to go to school to learn something. If you have passion for it and curiosity, you can pretty much learn to do anything.” 30

LV: I moved [to Philadelphia] in 2006 because my husband’s from here. When we got engaged it just made sense for us to be here. When I moved here, I didn’t have a job. I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my accessories company and I was doing some stuff on television in Newark. And when I moved to Philly I was just confused about what in the world I was gonna do. So for a year, I tried different things, didn’t know what I wanted. [My husband] Patrick is a huge Eagles fan so he goes to Eagles games every Sunday, pretty much, when they’re home and when they’re not home he hangs out with his friends and goes to the bar. So I was alone every Sunday and I didn’t have a lot of friends. My whole life, people have always been asking for fashion advice and my family is a lot of women so we would send email chains with 50 links of stuff. My cousin would be like, “Oh, it’s my girlfriend’s bachelorette party. What should I wear? What do you think of this dress?” and I’d be like, “Well, it’s cute but why not this dress?” We would share it with all my cousins because

we’re all the same age and people would comment. At the time I was reading a lot blogs but I wasn’t writing one. And when I started looking at the email chains, I was like, “There’s gotta be a better way to package this information and I’m sure the audience for this is a lot bigger than my cousins in Texas. I’m sure my friends in New York wanna see this, too, because we’re all going through the same life experiences together and we all wanna look good and we all have no money. We’re poor.” And so I thought, “Oh my gosh, I know exactly what I’m gonna do. I should be writing what I’m reading every day.” So it’s funny; it just grew out of a necessity to share affordable, accessible fashion with my girlfriends and my family and now I share it with girls all over the country. RL: Did you push for it to become bigger or did it just sort of happen?

Features | Lilliana Vazquez

wasn’t like I just started it and I’ve got a million readers. For some girls it’s like that; for me it wasn’t. I also was really lucky that I have a TV background so I was able to leverage a lot of the branding of the blog into TV segments and it’s been an incredible way to get the name and the brand out there. RL: Your TV career, unlike so many bloggers, was no accident. You’ve taken a lot of training to be the media personality that you are.

LV: Yeah, yeah. I think a lot of people think I just had a blog and then I got to be on TV. It’s the other way around. I come from a TV background, I come from a radio background. The reason that it seems seamless when you watch it is because I [have always worked] on TV. It’s not like I had a blog and then I decided I could be on television.

LV: A lot of people are really lucky and things just take off for RL: You just started Lilliana Loves… on Tumblr. Can you tell me them. I’ve always been very strategic about promotion, marketmore about it? ing and business decisions in everything I’ve ever done. I always look at everything as a business because if you’re spending LV: I didn’t start it because I wanted to, I started it because my time doing something—your time’s readers wanted me to. not free. So I definitely got it in the Cheap Chica’s is not a perhands of as many people as I could sonal style blog – that’s really just by sending them the link and you important for everyone to unhave to remember, I worked in New derstand and know. There are York for five years, in fashion and in no pictures of myself and there publishing, so I had a lot of contacts. will be no pictures of myself on And especially from having the belt Cheap Chica’s. line, I knew a lot of – maybe not ediI feel like people come to tors – but assistant editors at magamy site because I pick pieces zines so I sent it to them. that they can then fit into their I did a lot of pushing and putpersonal style and their wardting it in the right hands, but if it’s a robes without me telling them bad product, no one’s going to write how to do it. With personal about it. I can promote the hell out style blogs, it’s all about that of it but if it’s not good quality, no person and to me, my blog is one wants to read it, no one wants all about real women, everyto write it up. I definitely did a lot of day women and if I don’t look promotion on my end and I tried to like you, why would I dress like be really consistent with the content. I you? I don’t want to put that AND WE’RE LIVE: Vazquez on air on New York Live. used to see a lot of blogs dying after message out there. three months and that’s because people don’t realize it’s a huge So Tumblr started because I think some of my readers were commitment to produce good, original content that people want Googling me and seeing what I was wearing for, like, a news to read. I committed to three posts a day for ninety days. That’s shoot or for a shoot that I did for a magazine and then they’d be a lot of posts. Most blogs that are alive for a year or two don’t like, “Wait, what were you wearing on Nate Berkus?” or “I wanna have 200 posts. For me, content was king. I think about that every know the details of what you were wearing on NBC.” So I’m like, day and that’s kind of what drives the site. Committing to that “Okay.” But I wanted to keep it totally separate. very early on was, again, I’m very strategic in everything I do so Lilliana Loves allows me to take pictures of myself in my outI wanted content and I wanted people to read it. fit without saying, “This is what you should wear.” It’s more like, I also wanted it to look a certain way. I thought that a lot of “These are the things that I love in my life. This is how I’m wearing blog looked almost homemade and not like a magazine, and I’m them. These are the items that I’m buying.” So it’s more that than a big fan of magazines. I love beautiful art direction; I have an my personal style blog. appreciation for fonts and graphics and design. And so I didn’t I’m bad at it though. I hate taking pictures of myself… And want my blog to look like something that some girl was just doing. Lilliana Loves also lets me share things that are outside the Cheap I wanted it to feel sleek and cool and modern and so I took a lot Chica’s price range. Certain things are in the $100 to $200 price of time with figuring out what I wanted the layout to be. I’ve had range – like a coat or a really nice bag – but for the most part, it redesigned twice and for me, it’s a living thing. everything’s under $100, and in my life, I do like things that are It’s always gonna change, it’s gonna grow as my tastes grow, more than $100. So that gives me another way to show those it’s gonna evolve into other things. I spent a lot of time on it. It things. • Winter 2011/2012


Most Appetizing

Be a Pumpkin Eater Warm up those cold winter days with these hearty, healthy and totally yummy foods. Words, recipes & photographs by GRACE DICKINSON


hile pumpkin season officially kicked off a few months ago with those first jack-o-lantern carvings, grocery stores are still stocking their shelves with the orange puree in preparation for the last events of the holiday season. While always a favorite, pumpkin can bring so much more to the table than just the traditional spiced pie. Full of fiber and nutrients, it’s a nutritious ingredient worthy of more than just dessert. Here, you’ll find a few simple recipes that will offer ways to use the ingredient for all three meals of the day. If you’re feeling extra productive, try to get your hands on one of the last actual existing pumpkins and roast up the seeds inside. This too provides a healthy, do-it-yourself snack and is perfect for when entertaining guests. Can’t find a pumpkin? The seeds of butternut squash, another fall and winter favorite, will work too. For dinner

Mexican Pumpkin Soup (Pictured on this spread) Ingredients:

2 medium onions, diced -2 medium potatoes, diced 2 tsp. cumin 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice 1 scant tsp. salt 1 cup no-sodium vegetable sock 2-15 oz. cans pumpkin puree 1 1/2-2 Tbsp. honey or brown sugar 1 1/2 -2 cups soy milk 2 Tbsp. olive oil Sour cream or creme fraiche, dollop Cilantro, handful, minced


In large saucepan, saute onions and potatoes in oil until onions are translucent and potatoes begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add spices and salt and saute for one minute, stirring frequently. Add vegetable stock, cover, and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, 10-15 minutes. Stir in pumpkin and honey. Transfer mixture to blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. Return to pan. Over low heat, stir in soy milk. Cook until hot, or desired consistency is reached. Serve, topping with a dollop of sour cream/creme fraiche and a sprinkle of minced cilantro.


Features | Be a Pumpkin Eater

For breakfast

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats (Pictured above) Ingredients (Per individual serving): 1/3 cup oats 1/3 cup pumpkin puree 1/3 cup soy milk 1 tsp. brown sugar 1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice Handful chopped walnuts Soy yogurt, optional


Mix oats, pumpkin, soy milk, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Wrap, and place in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, remove bowl from fridge. Top with walnuts, and dollop of yogurt, if desired. For lunch

Spiced Pumpkin Hummus (Pictured on opposing page)


15.5 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin 1 garlic clove 1/4 cup sesame tahini


1 Tbsp. garlic chili sauce 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 Tbsp. mint, optional 1/2 tsp. salt plus an extra dash


Pulse garlic in food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth, adding water if needed to thin. Serve on sandwich or with pita or corn chips. Or, use as a topping to falafel or veggie burgers. For snacktime

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup whole raw pumpkin seeds, washed & patted dry 2 tsp. olive oil 1 tsp. salt 1 Tbsp. curry powder 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper


Preheat oven 375F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss pumpkin seeds with oil, salt, curry, and cayenne. Spread on baking sheet. Place in oven, and bake 35-45 minutes, or until seeds are browned, stirring 2-3 times throughout. Remove from oven. Cool and store in airtight container. â&#x20AC;˘

About Grace Dickinson & Her Blog Food, Fitness, and FreshAir After making a last minute decision to swap culinary school for college, Grace created her site, She began creating recipes and blogging about the meals that kept her on her feet and running all over Philly. Now with a national following, Graceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s site is dedicated to helping others create healthy meals, primarily featuring seasonal and vegan ingredients.

Winter 2011/2012

While Grace says she could probably live off of a simple jar of peanut butter, she loves getting creative with food, especially when her friends are alongside her in the kitchen. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve all had to get used to her crazed photoshoots starring none other than the food itself. You can also find Grace going on random photo ventures throughout the city, often picking up coffee and a new friend along her way.

Ice Ice Baby! If you’ve ever watched the Winter Olympics, you’ve likely dreamed of winning a gold medal. Female hockey player Jenny Potter has earned three! CANDICE MONHOLLAN talks to her about life on and off the ice.

She is one of three women to become an unofficial member (women aren’t recognized by the IIHF) of the Triple Gold Club, having won an Olympic gold, the Clarkson Cup, and a gold medal at the IIHF World Championships. The mother of two, the 32-year-old Minnesota native continues her hockey career today with the Minnesota Whitecaps 36

of the Western Women’s Hockey League, one of two major women’s hockey leagues. Potter talks here about her life in the sport and how it all started with football. Candice Monhollan: You don’t hear much about women participating in football. Why that sport for you? Jenny Potter: Well, I really liked the aggressiveness of the sport. I was a tomboy growing up. I convinced my parents to let me play tackle football in fifth grade. CM: What was it like playing with boys in football? JP: I was a very shy kid and it was hard for me to fit in sometimes, but the boys were nice for the most part – probably

Photo courtesy of Jenny Potter.


enny Potter has spent the majority of her life playing the game she loves: ice hockey. She has participated in four Olympics, eight International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships and a 4 Nations Cup and earned five gold medals, seven silver and one bronze, as well as a Frozen Four title with the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

because I hit harder than most of them and they were a little scared of me. CM: How did the switch from football to hockey start? JP: In eighth grade, the boys were getting too big, so that is

Features | Jenny Potter

month of pregnancy. What was that like?

JP: I didn’t actually skate into my ninth month, but I did compete and train up until my fifth month. After that I did running and swimming to stay in shape. I would say it was difficult because my balance was a little off.

“I dreamed of going to the Olympics in swimming, but soon realized that wasn’t going to happen, so I made it my dream and goal to go to the Olympics [for hockey] in 1998.” when I made the switch to hockey. At least in hockey I could skate to avoid the hits.

CM: Have you ever thought about what you might do once you retire from playing?

CM: Is there any player you try to model your game after?

JP: I have a lot lately but still try to figure it out. My kids keep me pretty busy and I like staying home with them.

JP: There are so many good players. I just try to emulate the ones that are complete players – the ones that work hard, play defense, and play offense. The players that aren’t too flashy but do the right play. CM: When you began your hockey career, did you ever make it a goal to play for Team USA in the Olympics? JP: I dreamed of going to the Olympics in swimming, but soon realized that wasn’t going to happen, so I made it my dream and goal to go to the Olympics [for hockey] in 1998. CM: Did you ever envision hockey becoming such a big part of your life like it has?

Photo courtesy of Minnesota Whitecaps.

JP: No, I guess I never really thought too far ahead. I just kept playing and I guess I am still playing because I’m not sure what I really want to do since hockey is all I’ve ever known.

CM: Can you talk a little about Potter’s Pure Hockey? JP: My husband, Rob, actually had started it – I just helped name it after a few years. It’s a summer program – eight weeks – for elite hockey players. We have groups with pro guys, NHL draft picks, college, and top high school boys and girls. It is an intense program for those serious about making huge gains in their hockey development. CM: What is the turnout like playing in the WWHL? JP: I think it’s a start and has a long way to go. There were years that were really competitive and good and some not as much. I think only time will tell what will happen to it. CM: Is there anything you think can or should be done to help promote women’s hockey?

CM: You’ve participated in numerous international tournaments. Is there any game or moment in a game that stands out as one of your favorite memories? JP: I think winning the gold medal in the Olympics is my favorite memory and that one is hard to top. I think also winning the Frozen Four in Duluth was another memorable moment. CM: What has it been like playing hockey while trying to raise two children?

JP: My dad and I came up with a proposal to help raise the level of women’s hockey internationally, but they went with a different plan. I think the focus really needs to be to help other countries raise their level, otherwise you don’t have much of a market and it’s really only between Canada and the United States. Hockey player Jenny Potter autographs a boy’s jersey.

CM: Is there any advice you’d like to give girls who want to pursue hockey

as a career? JP: Very challenging, but I have a really supportive family, so they have made it possible for me to keep playing. CM: I read that you continued to skate even into your ninth Winter 2011/2012

JP: I would say pick a school where you are going to get a great education first, then find a hockey program that fits in well with that. • 37


Straightling By Cyndy Drew Etler

The UFO light over the backseat is on. Everyone but me is deep into writing something. God only knows what they could have to say, after being locked in a cage for the world’s longest Wednesday. But they’re all into it. I look out the window as we approach, then slip under, the highway-green signs. Then we pass a blue one that says, “Thank you for visiting Virginia!” Without knowing it, I’m talking. “Where’re we going?” Sandy’s moon face rises from her legal pad. “To my house, your new host-home. In Maryland.” Her mom’s looking at me, but she doesn’t say anything. Neither do I. After a while, Sandy’s pen makes that quick shrrrrip noise, a dug-in line saying The End! to her writing. She slaps her pad to the floor and turns to face me. This girl would never make it in the smoking pit. She be38

longs in, like, the math club. “Cyndy, meet my parents. Dad—” he lifts his fingers off the steering wheel and twinkles them at me— “and Mom.” “Hi, Cyndy,” she says with a watery smile. “You can call them ‘Dad C.’ and ‘Mom C.’ So. Tell me about your first day as a Straightling.” There are no streetlights where we are now. The dome light’s still on, so I can see my reflection in the window. The right side of my lip does the best Billy Idol sneer. “As a what?” I say to my own face. “I’m over here, Cyndy. Behind you.” She’s waiting for me to turn and look at her. So are her parents. And the guys have all stopped writing. I turn away from the window and look at her icky chin. “As a Straightling. You know, ‘Here at Straight,

Photo copyright 2011 Human Element Productions LLC.

A model Straightling from the movie, Surviving Straight Inc.

Photo courtesy of Cyndy Drew Etler.

feel great! Nine to nine, feel fine!’” She’s singing. She’s singing this song-thing that the whole beast sang, after eating. And she’s hand-signaling, too—one arm cuts through the air on “Straight;” she flashes nine fingers, twice, for “nine to nine.” She friggin hugs herself for “feel fine.” In three days, I’ll be sucking a Marlboro hard, and inhaling Bridgeport through my nose. But maybe I’ll keep this one from Zarzozas. I don’t think it’s their kind of song. When she stops singing I’m supposed to say something, but I have no idea what. Then Sandy talks again. “Why are you at Straight, Cyndy?” “Man, I don’t know!” I get all that out before her brother speaks. “Druggie word!” Sharp, he says it. I whip my head around, like, What? And he goes, “Tell her not to look at me! Tell her no druggie words!” Then Sandy takes over. “You can’t look at boy phasers, Cyndy. Or other newcomer girls, either, except when they’re talking in group. But we’ll get to that later. And don’t use druggie words from your past.” “Man, what are you talk—” “Don’t use that word, I said!” There’s two boys right behind me, totally listening to me get told. Fuckin, if we were in the pit right now, I’d be telling this chick what she could do with her fucking words. But here, in a Caravan, twelve hours from anywhere and sitting next to her mom? I do what I did with Jacque, before I grew balls: press into a corner, shut up, and try to hide. But Sandy’s not fooled. “I asked you why you’re at Straight, Cyndy.” It would be too weird to say nothing, when there’s six people listening. Plus, it seems like her next step’ll be to give me a spanking. “I—I don’t know. My mother brought me.” “Why did your mother bring you?” “I don’t know!” “Well, Straight is a drug rehab, Cyndy. Kids aren’t brought here for having tea parties and going to church. What did you do to make your mother bring you to Straight?” Winter 2011/2012

Features | Straightling Excerpt “I mean, I took off. To get away from her husband.” “Oh, I get it. You were a church-going tea-party runaway. And Saturday nights you read the Bible at an old-folks home, right?” “No, I didn’t say—” Sandy is laughing, and so’s her brother. And the two kids behind me. Even her mom’s cough is covering up a laugh. “If you were brought to Straight, you’re a fuckup. Sorry Mom and Dad, but it’s true. You’re a runaway, and runaways do disgusting things in disgusting places. So let me ask you again, Cyndy. Why. Are. You. At. Straight.” Nobody’s laughing anymore. They got quiet at fuckup. It’d be easier if they were still laughing, so it wasn’t up to me to fill this entire van. “We’re waiting.” “I—I really don’t know what I’m doing here!” I had no idea I started crying. But I suddenly am. “My mother just brought me here. And I’m not a druggie, and I only drank once. I didn’t even like it—it made me sick! I was just trying to get away….” “So you’re admitting you overdosed on alcohol.” “Man—I mean, I’m not! I’m not anything! And you’ll see, in a couple days! They told me three days. They’re gonna see I’m not a druggie, and I’ll be outta here.” I’m full-on, snot-river crying now. I don’t even care what those backseat boys think. But they’re laughing at me. They all are. The parents and everybody. “I’m not! I’m not a drug addict! Are you listening to me? I just had to get away from him! I just left!” It’s like we’re on separate TV screens in a department store window. Me, and then all of them. It’s two different shows, and they don’t make sense next to each other. I’m begging them to understand; they’re smiling and rosy. I must be going crazy. “Okay, Cyndy,” Sandy goes. “Welcome to Straight.” • Cyndy Drew Etler will self-publish her memoir, The Straightling, about her experiences in a teen boot camp in January. For now, go to, sign up for the newsletter and read another excerpt. 39

Raphaela Studio An eccentric approach to art and photography.

M.L.T.S. Magazine Issue 3 Winter 2011/2012 -- Lilliana Vazquez