August 21, 2012

First world problem

I have been reading this other blog quite religiously (Health Freak College Girl) and she keeps referring to the "first world problem."  Reading one of her posts earlier this month was the first time I was exposed to this idea.  This picture sums it up nicely.

It kind of refers to the fact that as a wealthy country we have more luxuries than others.  Like those in third world countries don't have access to clean water, which is something that is critical to life.  And even with the luxuries of our life we still have things we can complain about.

So my problem, although it is nothing big in the grand scheme of things, still makes me crazy.

Anyways since school started I have decided that I hate my current backpack.  It is purple and white and so is just not me anymore.  I have outgrown it or something.  Anyways, I want to buy another one, but I really don't need one because I have a fully functional backpack at my fingertips.  So I am putting off the purchase thinking maybe one day I will change my mind and get over my want for something new.

August 12, 2012

Impromp-to applesauce muffins

Oh, when bananas go bad it is a bummer.  I dont eat them unless they are perfectly yellow with no black spots.  Well, as you may guess I don't eat a lot of bananas because they cannot all be perfect.  So I watch them sit on the counter becoming brown and wilting until it is just the right time to bake some banana bread something.

I would guess that most people do not like the soggy bananas, but I am proven wrong by my brother.  I have watched three bananas ripen this week, and no one has touched them.  Well, the day before I am planning on making some banana bread muffins one of them is gone.  I am a bit set back by this, but the remaining two are still very big.  The next night, at about 9:00 when I feel like making my muffins I set out all the flour sugar and other stuff I need, go to find my bananas and they are gone!  GONE I tell you!  So I get upset for like a minute and decide to scrap making anything this night.  After sitting on the couch I realize that I am in the mood to bake and so I must do something.

I found the banana bread recipe here.  Well without bananas I had to improvise, so here is the recipe that I came up with, and it is vegan too.

Muffin Ingredients:
1/4 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup applesauce

I mixed all the ingredients together and decided it needed something more.  So then I went nuts and added nuts.  1 cup walnut and 1cup pecans, chopped.  With half the mix they were just applesauce nut muffins.  Then with the other half of the dough I added dried cherries into it to mix it up.  The ones with just nuts are much better that the ones with dried cherries.  I think dried cherries are too tart, but I had them left over so I decided to experiment.  After these muffins are gone I plan to make another batch, this time with yogurt chips and dried cranberries.

July 21, 2012

Art Journal II

Another day of drawing and coloring. 

Was inspired by a pinterest pic (go figure).  Find the tutorial HERE.   

My version is pretty good for a first attempt.  What I would suggest is that you remember that when you begin this process your starting points do not have to be equally spaced.  Mine were really close to equally spaced so some of the columns came out even, which is not as cool as if they are all different and weaving.

July 13, 2012

Art Journal I

This week I have decided that I want to start an art journal.  For the past four months I have been focusing on school, and having little time for things I actually like (like crafting) because they seem to take up time I dont have.

But now that it is summer there is so much time, and so much inspiration all over Pinterest that I had no excuse not to do something. So a few weeks ago I told myself I needed to sit down and start some kind of art.

I was feeling so deprived of my crafting ability, but I did not want to actually sit down and do anything because I am so worried about not making it perfectly.  For a week I had to almost work up the courage to begin making art.  Its weird to say, but I really dont want to do art because I will be disappointed in myself for being bad at it.

However, because I have all this inspiration online, I went out and bought a notebook early in the week, and began doing things.

My first piece is some cutouts with my hand print in the background.  The hand print did not come out as well as I would have hoped, so I covered a bit of it  up with a picture, so it hides the imperfections.

January 30, 2012

Twisted Pearl Necklace

Scrolling through the internet I stumbled upon this beautiful picture.
Oh, I instantly feel in love.  And wahoo  there is a tutorial for it too!!!!! It was my lucky day.

A day or two later I went out and got the materials I needed.  Ribbon and stands of pearls.  And at hobby lobby together they were 1.50 before tax.  So it was worth it.  

I gathered all of my materials:
  • ribbon
  • strand of pearls
  • embroidery thread
  • needle
Then I sat down and got started.  You can see the original tutorial you can go here: They have good pictures to better explain my horrible instructions.

I began by measuring out 2, 36 inch strands of ribbon.  At about 10 inches in I crossed the ribbon and threaded the needle through, then tied a knot and was ready to begin beading. 
Bead one pearl, then cross a long ribbon end over the pearl, and thread through.  Be careful, you want the thread to sit nicely on top of the pearl, no excess and no stretching.  You want the ribbon to fall nicely on top of the pearls.
Thread the second pearl, and cross the other long strand of ribbon over this second pearl.  It should look like this:
Then you repeat, alternating the ribbons after you add a pearl. 
When you find the length that you like you stop, make a small knot at this point, then re-thread through the last three or four beads, and make a small knot that it is hidden in the strands.

After that I knotted the ends right after the pearls ended.  Then made small knots the remaining length of the strands.

To attach it, I put a safety pin at the end as a closure.  This also allows me to adjust the length of the necklace.  The original tutorial has a better (more professional) way to complete the necklace, which you can check out here

This is one of the prettiest necklaces I have made.  But I am not going to make another one.  It was somewhat frustrating to make because the necklace kept moving, the beads were slick, and I could not always tell how much ribbon to use so that it would sit nicely over the pearls.  This necklace was a lot of trial and error.

January 26, 2012

New Hair-do

One day I was going out with some friends and in need of a cool hair do.  So what did I do you ask? I strolled through Pinterest, looking for hair tutorials.  I found a few, but one really stuck out to me its from The Beauty Department, check it out!

AND here it IS!!!!
1. Start with wavy hair. If your hair is naturally straight, curl some sections to give it texture.

2. Separate the hair on the left & right sides of your head. Using your part as a guide, continue the part down the middle of the back of your head. To maintain the effortless, imperfect look, use your fingers instead of a comb. Tie one section with a hair tie to keep it out of the way.

3. French braid the free section of hair back to the nape of your neck & secure with bobby pins or a clip. To add more texture, try a Reverse French braid: Alternate crossing the 2 outer sections of hair UNDER the middle section instead of over. To make the look more free-spirited, leave out bangs & short layers around your face.

4. Repeat Step 3 on the other side of your head, clipping the French braid at the nape of your neck.

5. Gather the hair into a low ponytail below the clips & secure with a hair tie. When the ponytail is secure, remove the clips from the braids.

6. Time to add some volume! With your fine tooth comb, tease 1” sections of hair where they come out of the pony tail, keeping the ends less distressed, & secure with a medium hold hair spray.

7. Create more volume & texture in the braids by lightly pulling the loops apart with your fingers.

8. To finish the look, wrap a section of hair from underneath the pony tail around the hair tie. Secure with bobby pins.

I skipped step 8.  I especially liked the suggestion to pull the loops apart to create volume.   BRILLIANT! why could I not have come up with something like that.  I also liked this a lot because I am really good and french braiding my own hair, so this was pretty easy.

Linking to: A creative PrincessHouse of HepworthsSomewhat Simple

January 25, 2012

Good Deal

Have you ever been to the wonderful site called MONEY MAKING MOM?  Its amazing.  She shares deals on all sorts of products.  Food, toys, books, and magazines. She recently shared a deal of Natural Health Magazine. A years subscription is only 3.50!!!!!! Go to MONEY MAKING MOM and check out her post, HERE

I really love these type of magazines, I usually go to bookmans to try to find these, which can still be expensive over the long run.  So I bought my subscription for three years, because it was a pretty good deal. 

January 17, 2012

Double Bean Enchilada Dinner

On one of my last days of winter break I got pretty bored, odd.  So I decided I needed to cook, and figured enchiladas would be good.  So I went into the cupboard and searched for things to add.

What I found:
  • one can of pinto beans
  • one can of black beans
  • one can of green chilies
  • one can of green enchilada sauce

With these I was set to make a complete dish.

Double Bean Enchiladas:

Ingredient List
- 1 (15oz) can pinto beans
- 1 (15oz) can black beans
- 1 (28oz) can enchilada sauce of your choice
- 1 (7oz) can of diced green chilies
- 1 small onion chopped
- package of tortillas - the number you will use will be different depending on how large your tortillas are, how you pack your ingredients in, and what kind of tortillas you use. I used corn. 
- mexican cheese blend
- olive oil for frying tortillas

1. Open cans of beans and rinse the beans.  Then place the beans in a bowl.  Add  in can of green chilies.  Chop onion, or used frozen ones, and add them to the mixture.

2. Fry tortillas in oil over medium heat.  Fry on each side for 5-10 seconds.  Have a plate with paper towels on top off hand, so that after the tortilla is fried you can wide off the excess oil.

3.  After all of your tortillas are fried, fill each with some bean mixture.  Because I used corn tortillas I used about 16 tortillas - because they were small - and each one had a small amount of filling in it.  Once rolled place the tortillas in a greased glass pan.  Repeat this step until the pan is full.
       **I would recommend not placing the tortillas to close to each other because the sauce will not get to all the tortillas if they are too tightly packed. I speak from personal experience.

4. Once all tortillas are rolled open the enchilada sauce and pour over.  Then add cheese to your liking to the top.

5.  Bake at 375, for 35 minutes. You may need more time though, I tend to underestimate the time needed to bake things.  When I do is make sure the entree reaches at least 125 degrees, then I take it out.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.


Where I am linking: Sew much adoLil LunaGinger snap craftMy girlish whim

January 12, 2012

Made my own deodorant

So this past year I switched to the 'clinical strength' deodorant that they sell at the drug store.  I found the Secret brand to be my favorite.  But after the first day I noticed that it did not keep me from smelling.  I usually shower every other day, so I need to smell good for two days generally.  And at the end of day 1 I would not smell pretty.  It wasn't a big stench, but it was enough for me to wonder why the extra strength stuff was not enough.

So I began applying the stuff every morning, and therefore began buying it more often, and at $7 or $8 a box I questioned this investment.  One day perusing blogs I found a site discussing homemade deodorant.  I am pretty sure it was an older post because there were at least 50 comments on the post. After reading every comment, I decided I needed to give the homemade deodorant a try.  So I ran out to the store to get arrowroot powder.

The recipe I use is:
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup coconut oil
tea tree essential oil
seal-able container for storage

To make you combine all ingredients in a glass bowl of some kind.  I mix mine with a fork, I find that I am better able to mix it that way.  I would suggest making it into a really thick paste.  It should be firm when you look at it, and touch it.  It should have a little shine to it, but should not look liquidy.  If you find it to be on the liquid side I would suggest adding a small amount of baking soda, stirring it in, and if it is still not firm then add a little bit of arrowroot. 

I store it in one of those 100 calorie ziplock brand tupperwares.

The first time I made this recipe it was an experiment.  After a few days I saw my mixture begin to separate as it sat out.  When I noticed it I mixed in more baking soda, then more arrowroot.  I waited several more days and it was still a bit separated, so I added more again.  This time I found the perfect combination.  It is the consistency I like, and it does not separate at all at night, and its nice because it stays hard until I put it on, and when I put it on it melts a little into my pit.

You put it on by getting a bit on your finger, then rubbing that around your armpit.  When it hits your armpit it will also melt a little, but should immediately absorb into the skin.  It is a little oily, but does not stain your clothes. 

Sometimes I use more, it depends on how I feel.

I have been using this concoction since July, and I made two batches for others for christmas.  It is that good, and other people are willing to try it after you have tested it out.

Linking to: Flamingo ToesNifty Thrifty ThingsSimple as thatMaking the world cuterDIY home sweet home. Singing three little birds Sumos sweet stuffCRAFT5 minutes just for me

January 5, 2012

New Year's Cupcakes

Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes
Strolling through the internet I came across Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes.  And they are very pretty.  I adapted my recipe from the original a little bit. 

Because of their name I decided they needed to be made over New Year's.  I made them on January 1, 2012.  I feel so cool, using champagne in my cupcakes for the celebration of New Year's.   

The Recipe
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup of flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup of champagne or sparkling wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.  in a medium sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup champagne and 1/2 cup yogurt with 1/2 tsp baking powder to give the yogurt better rising ability  (mixture will fizz and bubble a little).  Add flour and champagne mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour.  Batter will be thick.

Fill cupcake papers with batter, bake for 17-22 minutes.  (17 worked perfect for me)

The cupcakes turned out very yummy.  They are sweet and a little dense, but still moist and awesome. 

The basic frosting recipe: 
1 cup softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla
           Using a hand mixer whip the butter.  Then add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time, and whip with butter.  Then add vanilla.  And you can add more powdered sugar until you like the flavor, too much powdered sugar is not possible. 

Then I pipped it onto the tops of the cupcakes and boom, they read to be devoured.

My end result:

Find the original recipe here

Linking to: A creative princessHouse of HepworthsSomewhat Simple. A vision to remember.  Thirty hand made daysBe different act normal.   Craft envy. 

January 2, 2012

Side Note

I recently finished the book "206 Bones" by Kathy Reichs.

Another book that is like the television show "Bones."  I love this show.  So I think/thought I would like this book.  I tried very hard to like this book.  For me Kathy Reichs puts way way to much plot into her books.  There are at least four story lines going on at once.  I write down all the names and how they relate to one another, but by the end of the book I have no idea who anyone is anymore, because some people have been mentioned only one or two times.  Plus with the multitude of characters I try to picture each one, and give them a face, but with so many I get confused as to who is who.  On a positive note:  The book is pretty suspenseful, and keeps you reading.  She is very crafty in that the ends of the chapters are all cliff hangers, and it takes all the self discipline you have to put the book down.  So parts of the book are very good, like the main plot, but at the same time all the extra plot confuses me, and is a major negative while I am reading.