Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday/New Years Makeup

Is anyone else looking forward to New Years? Usually I end up sitting home on New Years Eve, but this year we've decided to have a small party. And since I'm bored and easy enamored with makeup tutorials, I thought I'd share some of the ones I've come across so far that have inspired me.

This "Golden Cranberry Holiday Makeup" is probably my favorite so far:



I like the cranberry (and I'm wearing a burgandy skirt), but gold doesn't look too nice with my skin tone.

New Years Magic:



I'm not crazy with all the eyeshadow colors, but I like the idea of just using white glitter. Plus I already have everything I'd need.

Christmas/evening/date make-up:



This one is a bit more subdued but still lovely I think. I might even wear something like this, albeit a bit pared down, when going out regularly.

New Years Eve Makeup:



I like how this titorial is sparkley but not disco ball-ish (which the second video is).

Festive/holiday makeup:



This look is kind of different and I love the fact she's using super inexpensive products. Plus the gold is more on the copper/bronze side which might work with my skin tone.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Xmas Pics

Here are some pictures from Christmas. I didn't get very many scenic pictures because it was raining most of the time we were in San Diego (it made for many bad hair days too). I know most of these pictures are of my family so they aren't that interesting, but I love them.

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Hope everyone had a good holiday!

"Family" 12/10

I loved seeing all my friends and family in San Diego, but boy am I glad to be back. There is just something deeply satisfying about sleeping in your own bed no matter where you live. Since we decided to go to California for Christmas, we couldn't really afford to buy gifts. So I made a few paintings instead.

This one was for Ryan's grandparents.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

ZARA Lookbook August 2010

I have fallen in love with the ZARA lookbook for August 2010. I know it's already too cold to wear some of these outfits but I love the preppy, but disheveled, look of them all. I've also had a soft spot for mustard colors lately and thigh highs always make me happy.


I'm really loving the flowered dress with a different flower patterned cardigan. If I find the right prints I'll have to try something similar myself.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Music Thursday

New Music Thursday is an attempt to keep my goal of listening to some new music alive and kicking. Not all of these bands/artists are new to me, but all of the songs are.

These are the songs I'm diggin this week:

Pick Up the Phone by The Notwist:



Love Love Love by Hope (ft. Jason Mraz):


Art of War by Anberlin:



Keep It Together by The CO:



The Cycle by Nottz feat. Joell Ortiz:



Pyromania by Cascada:



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And Now I Want a Chainsaw

I don't care how utterly ridiculous it is, I want a Hello Kitty chainsaw.


Could you imagine going into the zombie apocalypse with this thing?  I get all tingly just thinking about it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Butter! Better!

How cute is the packaging idea for these single serve butters?


The design is by Yeongkeun Jeong and the idea was to "package butter in a very convenient single-serve way. Since single serves are usually consumed during travel or picnics, this package includes a wooden spoon lid. The solid spoon is used to spread the butter and does away the need to carry additional cutlery." The butter also comes in four different flavors. There's something about flavored butter that just makes me happy.

You can see more here. I don't think the product is actually for sale yet, but I love it nonetheless.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Photoshoot with Plus-Size model Laura Wells

I don't know why I love videos like this so much. I guess I just like seeing women who are proud of their bodies. It's a nice change.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tater-Tot Casserole

This is once of those guilty pleasure recipes that I feel silly about sharing. Tater-tot casserole isn't really high on the list of things most people want to eat, but it's surprisingly tasty. It's also easy to throw together and pretty cheap to boot. You can also use whatever meat and veggies you have in the fridge, so this is a good way to avoid waste.

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The nice thing about this dish is how it can be easily tailored to your family's like and dislikes. We're a big fan of peppers, so I always add a bell pepper and a jalapeno for a little kick and some extra flavor. Mushrooms would also be really good and even some chopped carrot would work. Just add whatever you like. (Try the peppers if you like them though. Yum.)

Would I make this again? It's already a family favorite.

Tater-Tot Casserole

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef/sausage/turkey
1 can Condensed Cream Of Celery (or Mushroom) Soup
Package Frozen Tater Tots (2 lbs is the standard size I believe)
1/2 an Onion, Chopped
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Salt/Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Brown meat in a skillet over medium/medium high heat. Once the meat is browned, add the onion and any other veggies to the pan. Cook until tender.

2. Add the cream of mushroom soup to the meat/veggie mixture and mix until evenly blended. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with tater tots.

3. Bake , uncovered, for 30-40 minutes till bubbly and Tots are golden brown. Top the casserole with cheese and return to oven until melted.

Easy peasy.

ETA: I have made this with both cream of celery and cream of mushroom and cream of mushroom has loads more flavor. It's the only way I'll make it from now on.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Heading Home

Just wanted to let you guys know I'm heading for San Diego today. I'll be back on the 26th and I can't wait to see my family and friends.


Hope everyone has a good holiday! Try not to miss me too much. :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Music Thursday

New Music Thursday is an attempt to keep my goal of listening to some new music alive and kicking. Not all of these bands/artists are new to me, but all of the songs are.

These are the songs I'm diggin this week:

I don’t believe you by the Thermals:



Soulless Man by Justin Nozuka:



The Great Salt Lake by Band of Horses:



Soulstar by Musiq Soulchild:



The Modern Leper by Frightened Rabbit:



My Things by Dragonette:



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baked Camembert Pasta

Here's a really easy pasta dish for the cheese lovers. I know my picture is crazy weird looking, but that's what happens when it gets dark before 5. It seems the sun always sets ten minutes before I'm ready to photograph my dish. It drives me a bit bonkers.

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I didn't have any spinach, so I added some mushrooms instead. I also had two pieces of Parmesan Chicken Breasts With Crispy Ham left over that I sliced and threw into the dish as well. I don't want to say this dish is bland, because it's not, but the flavors are a bit delicate. Since I prefer stronger flavors, I felt like the dish needed something extra. Next time I plan on adding some red pepper flakes, garlic, and maybe some olives. Holden loved the pasta though so it is very kid friendly. If your cheese doesn't come in a wood box, then just use a baking dish.

Would I make this again? Yes, but with a few changes.

Baked Camembert Pasta

Ingredients:

1 lb Rigatoni Pasta
8 oz fresh spinach
4 oz grated parmesan
1 camembert cheese wheel (small about 5 in diameter)
2 cloves garlic
1 sprig rosemary
extra virgin olive oil
salt/black pepper

Directions:

1. Cut a circle in the top of the cheese wheel (almost the whole diameter, leave a centimeter or so from the ridge) and carefully remove the skin. Add finely sliced garlic to the exposed cheese. Add a pinch of black pepper. Sprinkle with olive oil and add rosemary (sprig removed). Gently pat the top of the cheese to coat the rosemary.

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3. Add cheese to a 350 degree preheated oven. Bake for 30 min.

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4. With about 10 minutes left until the cheese is done, add rigatoni to boiling salt water and cook as directed.

5. Once rigatoni is cooked, add spinach to the pot and cook for 10 seconds (do not overcook...10 seconds is enough). Strain in colander.

6. Add parmesan to to rigatoni/spinach mixture and mix. If it gets too thick, add a small ladel of the water from the pot. Season to taste.

7. Remove cheese from oven and pour over pasta.


I found this video on youtube that shows what you should expect:


Source: Jaimie Oliver

Wordless Wednesday

I haven't been blogging as much lately because I've been swamped with school. I just finished my last final yesterday though, so I should have more free time. Here are a few pics for Wordless Wednesday:

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rolling In The Deep

I just came across the video for Adele's song "Rolling In The Deep" and I think it's great! There's something about the simple imagery that really works with her voice. Love it.



I adored Adele's first album, so I look forward to seeing what she puts out next.

Apple Dumplings

You've probably seen this recipe all over the interwebs by now, but I thought I'd throw it out there as well. I first saw this recipe in a magazine and thought it looked interesting. I tore out the page and promptly forgot all about it. But then I saw the same recipe over at The Pioneer Woman and it looked too good to pass up. These dumplings really are as good as everyone has said. While I didn't fully enjoy the softness of the apple, the texture of the dumpling was wonderful. Crispy on top but soft on the bottom, the only thing these dumplings need is a little ice cream. Full warning though: there's an obscene amount of butter and sugar in this dish.

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If you'd like to see step-by-step pictures just follow the link above, but the directions are pretty straight forward. I cut the recipe in half which gave me eight dumplings (how many crescents come in one can). If you plan to do the same, a 7" x 11" baking dish is perfect. I also just poured the Mt. Dew around the pan without measuring so don't stress over it.

Would I make this again? Yes, but only if I had people over to eat the rest so I didn't feel the need to gobble them all up myself. Also, you really need the ice cream here.

Apple Dumplings

Ingredients:

2 whole Granny Smith Apples
2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
2 sticks Butter
1-½ cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Cinnamon, To Taste
1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda

Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

1. Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.

2. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir (you want the mixture to be lumpy). Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples.

3. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Music Thursday

New Music Thursday is an attempt to keep my goal of listening to some new music alive and kicking. Not all of these bands/artists are new to me, but all of the songs are.

These are the songs I'm diggin this week:

The Levi Johnston’s Blues by Ben Folds and Nick Hornby:



This is funny.

Mouth of Diamonds by Phantogram:



Do You Love Me Still? by The Kooks:



The 6th sense by Common:



Tidal Wave by Longwave:



Somewhere In Brooklyn by Bruno Mars:




Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hey Shiny (What I Wore)

Proof I wear pants. Well these aren't really pants, but close enough for my book!

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Blazer - torrid
Lace shirt - Fashion bug (a million years ago)
Top - F21 (was a dress until I put it in the dryer)
Leggings - torrid
Boots - ebay

And is it just me, or does Torrid have weird legging sizing? These leggings were so baggy around the knees I had to take them in with my sewing machine.

I'm Not Pregnant by Katie Thompson ( Performed by Kate Jaeger)

This is so great I'm posting it everywhere! It'll make you smile I promise:


You're welcome.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Koralie and Supakitch Wall Mural (video)

How lovely is this?


I'm completely blown away and completely inspired to paint. I'm also a bit jealous if I'm being honest. Apparently the installation is by Potter Press, but I'm having a hard time finding any more info about it Koralie and Supakitch. You can find all kinds of cool swag at the link.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Parmesan Chicken Breasts With Crispy Ham

This is a great recipe for those nights when you want something simple and easy (which, if you haven't noticed by now, is kind of my m.o.) that doesn't require a lot of ingredients either. Sine I'm such a huge fan of chicken, I'm always willing to try simple ways to change it up. This recipe definitely delivers on all fronts.

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As you can see, I used pancetta instead of prosciutto since I prefer it but use whatever you like. I think I'll try pepper jack next time since the Parmesan wasn't as sticky as I would have liked. Plus I LOVE pepper jack. I'll also use chicken cutlets or slice my chicken in half to make it thinner. Even pounding it, I couldn't get my chicken as thin as Jamie's. After I browned both sides I had to throw my breasts in the oven to finish cooking. So keep that in mind if you have the same problem.

Would I make this again? Most definitely.

Parmesan Chicken Breasts With Crispy Posh Ham

Ingredients:

2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 skinless chicken breast fillets, preferably free-range or organic
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon
1 1/4 ounces grated Parmesan
6 slices of prosciutto
Olive oil

Directions:

1. Pick the thyme leaves off the stalks. Carefully score the underside of the chicken breasts in a criss-cross fashion with a small knife. Season with a little pepper (you don’t need salt as the prosciutto is quite salty). Lay your breasts next to each other and sprinkle over most of the thyme leaves. Grate a little lemon zest over them and sprinkle with Parmesan. Lay 3 prosciutto slices on each chicken breast overlapping them slightly. Drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining thyme leaves. Put a square of plastic wrap over each breast and give them a few really good bashes with the bottom of a saucepan until they are about 1/2 inch thick.

2. Put a frying pan over a medium heat. Remove the plastic wrap and carefully transfer the chicken breasts, prosciutto side down, into the pan. Drizzle over some olive oil. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, turning halfway through giving the ham side an extra 30 seconds to crisp up.

It really is that easy. There's even a video to go with this one:


Source: Jamie Oliver

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sock Zombie Craft

How great is this?


The nice thing is you can make your sock zombie as simple or complicated as you want. This is definitely on the short list of things to make.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Major Swoonage: The Vampire Diaries Promo

I don't watch The Vampire Diaries, but this picture makes me think I should:


I think I just fainted. Anybody know if the show is any good?

New Music Thursday

New Music Thursday is an attempt to keep my goal of listening to some new music alive and kicking. Not all of these bands/artists are new to me, but all of the songs are.

These are the songs I'm diggin this week:

August by Rilo Kiley:



Fall In Love by Estelle (ft. Nas):



Mad About You by Hooverphonic:



I'm pretty sure I've heard this song before, but I couldn't put my finger on it.

Stay Awake” by Lydia:



Ready To Love Again by Lady Antebellum:



This isn't my usual cup of tea, but this song surprised me. It made me think of my friend Tiffany for some reason. Probably because she likes this kind of music.

Moving Mountains by Thrice:



Where Does the Good Go? by Tegan and Sara:



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How To Make A Big Ass Marker

I don't know if I'd ever do this, but I think it's a great idea. There is something about making small objects huge and large objects small that I find entertaining.

 Click to make larger.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

French Onion Dip

I made this dip for my Halloween costume party and it was super tasty. I know some of you are probably wondering why you would make French Onion Dip when you can buy it in the store. I thought exactly the same thing. But since I had everything on had, I decided to give it a go anyways. And I'm sure glad I did.

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I don't know if I'd say I never plan on buying French Onion Dip again, but this dip was still very delicious. I made it the night before since almost all the comments said it gets better the longer it sits in the fridge. It was easy to throw together and everyone enjoyed it. There's a sweetness from the caramelized onions that some people didn't seem too keen on, but I liked it. I used my cheap mandolin-style food slicer from walmart in order to make cutting the onions a snap. You can always use a food processor instead.

Would I make this again? Sure.

French Onion Dip

Ingredients:

2 tbl butter
2 Vidalia onions, sliced into 1/4-inch rings (about 4 cups)
2 large shallots, sliced into 1/8-inch rings (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sour cream
1 c mayonnaise
1 t celery salt
1 t Worcestershire
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t salt
Chives, finely chopped for garnish
Potato chips or veggies for dipping

Directions:

In a large sauté pan over medium high heat add butter.

When butter is melted, add onions and sauté stirring occasionally until golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Add shallots and sauté for 10 minutes more until onions and shallots are dark brown.

Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool for 5 to 6 minutes, then chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, celery salt, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.

Fold in onion mixture.

Chill at least 1 hour or overnight, prior to serving. Add chives and serve.

Source: Guy Fieri

Sunday, November 28, 2010

If Only I Was Half As Cool As This Guy

This guy made his own instrument out of pvc pipe and, according to the youtube page, plays everything from Lady Gaga to Ozzy on it:



How cool is that? I feel like such an underachiever.

David Sedaris at Sam Weller's Bookstore

I was lucky enough to find out about a reading by David Sedaris at Sam Weller's Bookstore. I seem to have the knack of finding out about things just after they happen. In fact, I've missed David Sedaris twice now. When I found out he was coming again, nothing could have stopped me from going.

If you aren't familiar with Sedaris' work, here's an example:


Sedaris read a story from his new book and some of his diary and it was great. The way he reads is really lovely and I'm not at all surprised he does the audio book narration for his books. We had to wait forever to get our books signed, but it was definitely worth it.

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I have to admit I was nervous when we finally got to meet him. I wished something fierce that I was more clever at that moment. It was also the first time I'd been to Sam Weller's and I will most definitely be going back. What a nice place.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Spicy-ish Sausage Pasta

Sorry for the wonky lighting in the pictures. With it getting dark so much earlier here I'm going to have to find some kind of lighting solution.

This is another one of those recipes that I use time and time again. Spicy sausage is one of my loves in life, and this whole dish takes no more than 30 minutes to throw together. Paired with a simple salad and some bread, and you've got yourself a lovely and filling meal. The cream makes the pasta smooth with just enough kick from the spicy sausage. This recipe is by Sam the Cooking Guy and it totally cemented my love for him.

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I know a cup of cream sounds like a whole lot, but you can also use evaporated milk of you want to watch the calories. You may need to add a little cornstarch to make it thicker though. And keep in mind this serves six so it's not as bad. Maybe even half cream half milk would work.

Would I make this again? Like I said, already a family favorite. This and Peasant Pasta are my two go-to pasta dishes.

Spicy-ish Sausage Pasta

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb penne pasta
1 lb spicy Italian sausage (casings removed)
4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Directions:

1. Heat oil in medium hot pan, add sausage & break apart to crumble. Cook until no longer pink and stir in garlic - cook another minute or 2.

2. Add cream, Simmer on low about 10 minutes. While it cooks, add pasta to boiling water. When the pasta's ready, so is the sausage.

3. Drain pasta and add to sausage. Add butter & Parmesan cheese & parsley - mix well. Sprinkle with a little more cheese of course and serve.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Double Clip Sock Garter DIY

Here is a really easy tutorial for making your own sock garters using mitten clips. Mitten clips should be readily available this time of year (I got mine in the infant section of Walmart), but suspender or garter clips would also work. Sock dreams sells something similar, but you'll have to pay $18 for four. These will only set you back six dollars at the most.

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As you can see, these are intended for over the knee socks/stockings and are double sided. I decided to make mine this way, rather then a conventional sock garter, because I always wear shorts under my dresses and I didn't want to worry about the elastic falling down or pinching my chub. These particular garters also have the added benefit of keeping your shorts in place if yours tend to ride up.

With these garters, every pair of tights can become thigh highs. Just cut the tights as close to the crotch as you can, and you'll have the perfect thigh highs without any elastic to dig into your leg. That's exactly what I did with the thigh highs shown here (the tights wouldn't stop falling down when I walked so they had to go). That sounded very infomercialy didn't it? Oh well.

Double Clip Sock Garter DIY

Supplies:

2 sets of mitten clips
ribbon
needle/thread
pins

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Directions:

1. Cut away any material connected you your clips if need be.

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2. Measure how long you think your garters should be.

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3. Cut out four pieces of ribbon all the same length. Make sure you leave seam allowances.

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4. Pin the ribbon to the clips.

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5. Sew away.

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And you're done! They can be worn in the front or on the side and you can add ribbons if you fancy.

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If you want sock garters that look more like conventional men's sock garters, then you just have to change a few steps. Just measure your thigh and cut a piece of elastic to fit (make sure it's sung). Then you just sew one side of the ribbon around the elastic instead of adding a second clip. Easy peasy. Just make sure you add some length to the ribbon.

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The nice thing is you'll one need one set of mitten clips instead of two if you decide to make yours this way.