The Big Dang Theory: Know Your Worth and Don’t Settle

by Aja Dang


Today I read a quote that really affected me, 

Other women are not my competition. I stand with them, not against them.

I’ve always believed in this because I’ve been surrounded by strong, independent women all my life. My mom taught me to never depend on a man; my friends taught me to chart my own path; my roommate taught me to always follow my dreams; and experience taught me that when someone shows you their true colors, believe them. 

Unfortunately I’m finding it very hard to stand amongst women and not compare myself ever since I found out my boyfriend has been cheating on me. 

It would be very easy for me to ruin this ‘other woman’s’ reputation, call her names, slander her all over the Internet - and I’m pretty sure no one would hold me accountable for anything that would happen to her because the one thing that unites people is heartbreak and betrayal. But the truth is, she has no responsibility towards me. Whether she knew about me or not, the only person who is accountable to me, to us, is our boyfriends/husbands. He was the one who breached his duty of loyalty, not her. She is a symptom of a much larger problem, a problem that has nothing to do with her or I. 

That being said, I don’t take bullshit lying down so after I confronted him, I confronted her:

This is Aja. Brian and I were together, as a couple, until today when I found out about you two. You are the other woman. He was with me while he has been texting you and commenting on your photos. I can’t be mad at you because I’m hoping you didn’t know - as women we have to stick together. But he did this to me while he was telling me he loved me; that I was his world; that I was his true love. You are none of these things to him so how will he treat you? Good luck.

As I read those words my heart breaks into a million pieces. Never did I imagine I’d have to go through a situation as devastating as betrayal. I in no way contacted her because I was worried about her - I do not care what happens with her. I contacted her because I was furious and hurt and wanted to be heard. I wanted her to know that whether it was intentional or not, she will always hold the title for being “the other woman”. That being said I was not going to berate her or insult her or harass her, I am better than that.  

Real woman stand tall and are strong. We don’t stand around and let people break our soul. We pick up the pieces and rebuild ourselves to come back stronger.

It has taken me a while to take a stand. I’ve had suspicions for months but always hoped that he would prove my suspicions wrong. Lesson learned, never underestimate the power of a woman’s intuition. 

I took a stand, but I am not standing alone. The people in my corner who are supporting me are the women in my life. My girlfriends, my mother and even his ex-girlfriend. While there might be some bad seeds in our female community, my life is proof that real, strong, supportive women do exist. 

 

To those of you who are going through betrayal:

People don’t cheat because of who you are, they cheat because of who they aren’t. Take the time to reflect on your relationship, learn from your mistakes, come to terms with the end of the relationship and come back better than ever. Don’t jump into a new relationship because you are lonely and don’t expect closure because there is nothing they can say or do to make you feel better about what they have done to you. Take time to heal your heart. This is going to be a long, difficult road but I am by your side every step of the way. 

 

To my ladies: 

You know who you are. You ladies are my rock, my soulmates, my inspiration. You are my strength, my shoulder to cry on and my encouragement. I look at every one of you and feel so lucky that through the craziness of life, I have developed such strong relationships. 

Anyone would be lucky enough to have a great core group of friends but my group is full of entrepreneurs, fitness guru’s, social activists and fashion mavens. 

We are a group of Beyonce’s - kind of... almost... in MY mind. Ok fine, we are a group of Yonce’s. But still, how cool is that? Thank you for your friendship, your love and your strength.

I love you.

 

the big dang theory: Know your worth and don’t settle. 


TMI TAG! I Youtube

by Aja Dang


1: What are you wearing?
2: Ever been in love?
3: Ever had a terrible breakup?
4: How tall are you?
5: How much do you weigh?
6: Any tattoos?
7: Any piercings?
8: OTP?
9: Favorite show?
10: Favorite bands?
11: Something you miss? .
12: Favorite song?
13: How old are you?
14: Zodiac sign?
15: Quality you look for in a partner?
16: Favorite Quote?
17: Favorite actor?
18: Favorite color?
19: Loud music or soft?
20: Where do you go when you’re sad?
21: How long does it take you to shower?
22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
23: Ever been in a physical fight?
24: Turn on?
25: Turn off?
26: The reason I joined Youtube?
27: Fears?
28: Last thing that made you cry?
29: Last time you said you loved someone?
30: Meaning behind your YouTube Name?
31: Last book you read?
32: The book you’re currently reading?
33: Last show you watched?
34: Last person you talked to?
35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted?
36: Favorite food?
37: Place you want to visit?
38: Last place you were?
39: Do you have a crush?
40: Last time you kissed someone?
41: Last time you were insulted?
42: Favorite flavor of sweet?
43: What instruments do you play??
44: Favorite piece of jewelery?
45: Last sport you played?
46: Last song you sang?
47: Favorite chat up line?
48: Have you ever used it?
49: Last time you hung out with anyone?
50: Who should answer these questions next?


Buffalo Chipotle Chile

by Aja Dang


Buffalo Chipotle Chile

DON'T LET THE INGREDIENTS LIST FOOL YOU! Chile is super easy to make - once you put all the ingredients together you just... wait. Buffalo is a lean, flavorful meat but you are more than welcome to use turkey or beef with this recipe too. Buffalo Chipotle Chile is really easy to make and is great to make ahead for a party because the longer it cooks, the more flavorful the chile gets! 

Ingredients:

2 chipoltes in adobo

1 dried Passila, Ancho, or Arbol Chiles, torn

1 28 oz, can tomatoes, chopped

1 cup chicken stock

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp. canola oil

1 large onion, diced

4 garlic cloves

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

3/4 tsp. hot or smoked paprika

1 lb. ground buffalo

1 lb. buffalo stew meat

1 19oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 19oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 oz dark chocolate

salt

fresh cilantro, chopped

shredded cheese

lime wedges 

How to's

In a small bowl, combine the hot chicken stock and dried chiles and bay leaf and allow to soak until chiles are soft, about 20 minutes. Once soft, remove the chiles from the stock (reserving the stock for later) and puree the dries chiles and chipotles together until it makes a paste. 

In a Dutch oven, heath the oil over medium low and cook the onions and garlic until golden soft, about six minutes. Add the cumin, paprika and oregano and cook for one minute.

Add the ground buffalo and stir, incorporating the meat into the onions, garlic and spices. Add the buffalo cubes and stir until brown. Add the tomatoes, and chipotle paste. Pour the saved chicken stock into the pot.

Simmer everything together, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes. If possible, cook the chili for longer so the flavors will intensify. Add additional water as necessary to keep the buffalo cubs barely covered during the cooking process. 

When the chili is done, add the canned beans and stir through to combine. Add the chocolate square and stir until melted. Season with salt.

Serve into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro, cheese and lime wedges. 

the big dang theory: lemon and lime are an easy and cheap way to add flavor to your dishes. 


Bacon Wrapped Dates

by Aja Dang


If you are ever in Chicago, the one restaurant you MUST eat at is Avec. My girlfriend Joanna gave me the heads up last year when I was in Chicago for a shoot and I've been thanking her ever since. 

The video I did in Chicago with Brian 

It was originally conceived as a wine bar but when you bring on top chefs like Koren Grieves and Perry Hendrix, wine can quickly become an afterthought.  Avec showcases a Midwestern interpretation of Mediterranean classics. You can share small and large plates to get a little taste of everything and it was probably one of the best meals I've ever had. 

I tell you about Avec because the other night my boyfriend was randomly craving one of the plates we had, Bacon Wrapped Dates - and yes, it is as delicious as it sounds. Luckily for me I found the recipe for Avec's Bacon Wrapped Dates online so I tested it out and it was a hit!

A couple tips: 

   1. I couldn't find piquillo peppers so I used roasted red peppers instead. 

   2. Because of the substitution, the sauce wasn't as spicy as it was at the restaurant but it      was still good!

   3. Chorizo makes all the difference. 

Bacon Wrapped Dates 

Bacon Wrapped Dates 

Ingredients:

2 lbs Medjool dates

1 lbs Spanish-style chorizo sausage

1 pkg good-quality bacon. (I tested it out with turkey bacon and it's definitely not the same)

2 jars of piquillo peppers or roasted red peppers

1 14.5-oz canned tomatoes 

How to's:

Preheat over to 350 degrees

Cut the dates in half, making sure you don't slice all the way through. Take out the pit.

Fill each date with chorizo

Wrap each date with one slice of bacon. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Once the chorizo has cooked through, put the broiler on and transfer the tray to the broiler for a couple minutes to crisp up the baking. Make sure not to burn the bacon. 

While the dates are baking, add the peppers and tomatoes together in a saucepan and cook slowly over medium-low for the entire time the dates bake. Season with salt to taste, then puree the sauce until almost smooth. 

Once the bacon is crispy, pour sauce over the dates and enjoy! 


the big dang theory: Google is your friend. 


Carry-on Packing Tips

by Aja Dang


Mannnn -  a lot has happened over the past couple days. 

1. My shirt launched yesterday! I'm really excited about it and I've been getting good feedback. Buy it HERE!  

2. Brian and I have been having some travel problems, so I haven't been able to blog because of the lack of consistent and continuous wi-fi. The Big Dang pre-Tip: Make sure to check the date of your flight before you head to the airport - you never know when someone might accidentally book your flight for the wrong month. 

3. WE GO HOME TOMORROW! 10 days away from home, traveling to four countries and 9 cities in 240 hours is very exhausting. Don't get me wrong, I love to travel, but I need a place to call home, even when I'm away from home. I really don't know how Brian used to do this for work all the time - at least we were together.

4. My clothes are stinky. Packing for 10 days is hard but no matter how hard you plan; wearing, reworking and still enjoying the same old clothes for 10 days is even harder. These are the items I brought with me to Europe:

Coat: Burberry                                  White Pants: J. Brand                       

Faux Fur Vest: Zara                          Black faux leather jacket: 

Leggings: H&M                                 Cream sweater: Old Navy 

Denim shirt(s): J. Crew                      Stripped shirt: J. Crew

Brown pants: Zara                             Belt: J. Crew

Boots: Steve Madden                        Pumps: Jessica Simpson

Sweater: RD Style                             Bag: Remi & Reid  

Scarf/Gloves: Banana Republic           

This is how I reworked them for the days we were out and about:  

picstitch.jpg

PS, you might be thinking - 'Aja, you were there for 10 days, why are there only six outfits?!?!?!?!?!'. Four of those were travel days and I won't subject you to what that looks like... 

use my packing tips & you'll be as happy as us when you start packing! (i promise) 

use my packing tips & you'll be as happy as us when you start packing! (i promise) 

Carry-on Packing Tips:

  1. Choose dual-purpose items: Most important tip - you must plan your outfits if you want to pack wisely. Pick a couple shirts, sweaters & pants that can be mixed and matched to make totally different outfits during your trip. For example: cardigans can be worn alone or over a shirt, skirts can easily be taken from day to night by simply changing your shoes and denim shirts can be turned into crop tops for night. 
  2. Wear bulky items on the plane: Jeans, boots, jackets, thick scarfs - wear them all on the plane and save precious carry-on space. It gets cold on planes anyways.. 
  3. Don't bother with jewelry: Granted, I don't wear too much jewelry anyways but for me, accessorizing on trips is silly. Spend your days exploring the world instead of worrying about whether you want to wear a rope or princess necklace. Plus, there's less of a chance of losing your precious hoop earrings if you leave them at home. Butttt, if you MUST bring accessories, only bring one or two items that match with everything. 
  4. Choose your shoes wisely: I'm sorry for all my shoe obsessed ladies out there, but you DO NOT need to bring more than two shoes on any trip. Nice walking shoes and a pair of heals. My 'walking shoes' are my Steve Madden boots worn on this trip and I brought a pair of black closed-toe shoes, which I honestly could have left at home because we never end up going out. 
  5. Stop, drop & roll: Roll your clothes when you pack them, don't fold them. Trust me, there is a difference. With pants, lay them on the bottom of your suitcase with the bottoms hanging over the side, then fold them over all your clothes when you're done packing. 
  6. Stuff the crap out of our suitcase: If you prefer to pack your boots instead of wearing them on the plane, I better see belts, panties, and shirts stuffed in those boots to save space in your luggage! I do this with workout shoes and even pumps. 
  7. 2-for-1 your makeup bag: Find a makeup back that can double as a clutch. 
  8. Pack leggings: Just do it. Not only do they take up zero room in the suitcase, they are comfy and the best thing in the world when you just want to be comfortable. You can also wear them under skirts and dresses to change up a look and even under pants to keep you warmer during the winter time. 
  9. Utilize your personal item: You can add a lot of little extras in your personal item. Ballet flats, an extra sweater, even another bag! Along with the essentials you'll need for a flight, put whatever you can't fit into your personal item. 
  10. If you're getting bored with outfits, borrow clothes! Going on a trip with someone? Share clothes and double the size of your attire! This even works with your boyfriends' clothes. Shirts can be tucked in, large sweaters can be cinched with a waist belt and pants can be cuffed. 

the big dang theory: You can't always predict what happens in life, but you can try to plan for it - this is especially true with traveling. With all the unexpected delays, lost reservations and forgotten passports, you can at least take charge of your wardrobe. 


Welcome to The Big Dang Theory

by Aja Dang in ,


Welcome to my new blog, The Big Dang Theory!

The Big Dang Theory is a place for me to get out what I'm feeling, thinking or doing that day - kind of like a public diary. Sometimes it could just be an opinion on a topic that was discussed that day, other times it could be a DIY project or a fitness routine. This blog, as selfish as it might sound, is all about me - my interests and hobbies. 

Fortunately, since my interests vary so vastly, there is probably something in this blog for you! Are you interested in Eco-living tips? Fashion ideas? Or maybe just a simple inspirational quote? You can find it all in The Big Dang Theory. 

If you're browsing the web, just click 'The Big Dang Theory' blog and scroll away. If you're looking for something specific, check out the 'TBDT Archives' where all my posts are separated into different sections. 

The Big Dang Theory concludes every post with a theory of the day - something I've learned during the course of my day. Use this blog to not only learn tips and tricks for your day-to-day, but to also absorb pearls of wisdom that I've accumulated through out my 20 some years of mistakes and accomplishments.

 

The Big Dang Theory: Check in every day and spread the word to friends and family.. it's good for the soul. 

- Aja