Monday, February 28, 2011

Flowers and Dots (what I wore)

I haven't uploaded my 365 pictures to flickr yet, so I'm gonna include this week and lasts in Sunday's 365 post. Just in case you were dying to know what random crap I decided to photograph last week. I am pretty proud of myself for taking pictures of my outfit twice in two weeks though. Woohoo to small victories!

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Polka-dot shirt - thrifted
Black Sweater - Walmart
Skirt - DIY
Thigh-highs - Target
Boots - Ebay

That last picture is old, but it shows the pattern nicely. I really want to combine patterns more regularly, but it can be a daunting task. For some reason magazine spreads are great at this, but pairing different prints can be a bit worrisome in my experience. I don't always look nearly as cute as I think I do and I hate feeling unsure of myself because of my clothes. I've found polka-dots, especially small ones, work well with a lot of different patterns though. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

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'm Good, I'm Gone by Lykke Li:



Words I Never Said by Lupe Fiasco ft. Skylar Grey:



Illuminated (Live Version) by Hurts:



What a pretty man.

Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars:



Lucid Dreams (Album Version) by Franz Ferdinand:



Seven Nation Army (cover) by Ben L’Oncle Soul:



If you're only gonna watch one video it should be this one. One of my favorite covers ever.

Curse of the Currents by Said The Whale:



Mickey and Sequins (what I wore)

I took these pictures five minutes before I dashed to class. I seem to always be a little late. I don't know what my problem is, but it drives me crazy. I can only imagine how everyone else feels about it.

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Shirt - Walmart
Skirt - F21
Tights - Target
Flats - Target

When I saw this shirt in Walmart I just had to have it. I love when I get things at Walmart if I'm being honest. I know they're capitalist pigs and blah blah blah, but I'm a firm believer that something fashionable can be found anywhere. This can be a bit harder for us chubby girls, but I've found a pair of scissors and a shit ton of safety pins can come in handy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Let Me Paint Something for You

Someone on facebook sent me a link for something called the TwinGeekz Artz Project. At first I was like "wtf," but it turns out the project is essentially a challenge to make a piece of art every week for an entire year. The idea is that deadlines often force people to be creative. Personally, I think this is completely true for the most part. If I need to make something for someone's birthday, then I will pump it out (usually at the last minute). If I'm just toying around with an idea for myself though, I tend to put it off indefinitely. Seriously, I have quite a few half finished canvases and sewing projects just sitting around taking up space.

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I had a really hard time deciding whether or not I wanted to participate. It's not that I don't think the challenge is great, it's just that my workload for school is a bit crazy and I already feel like I "waste" a lot of time doing things like blogging and reading. I also have concerns that I'm not creative enough or good enough to do something like this. Of course these are the issues everyone has and I'm trying to just push them to the back of my mind. At the end of the day I want to be challenged.

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So I'm gonna do it. And the reason I'm posting about it is because I'd love to make something for you if you want. I hate the unsureness I feel whenever I make a picture for someone who hasn't specifically indicated that they'd like one so I'm trying to avoid that. Plus, 52 pieces is quite a lot so you're actually helping me by giving me ideas. So don't be shy.

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If you do want me to make you something, there are a few things you need to know. One, your picture will probably be small-ish (think 8x10') and I'll probably use those flat canvas panels. This is cause they're cheap and I don't have a job. If you would like something bigger, you can always pay for the cost of a canvas. Canvases aren't terribly expensive and you can get a pretty good size for less than ten bucks. I feel weird even mentioning this (like I'm some car salesmen or something), but this is actually a really inexpensive way to get a good-sized piece of personalized art. (Or a gift for someone you like.) Other then that, you just need to have a picture in mind that you'd like to me use. If you don't want a picture of your smiling face blown up, then it could be anything. I think I'm gonna make one with an owl for one of my girlfriends and I think a skyline would be cool. I might make a multi-panelled one of San Diego for myself in fact.

Okay, I totally rambled on but let me know. You can get a hold me in a dozen different ways or just leave a comment. For some reason I feel kind of embarrassed about this. Like no one will want me to or I'm pressuring you guys. I swear that's not the case! Also, feel free to participate yourself in the challenge. :)

ETA: Just wanted to let everyone know the challenge doesn't start till next month. so if I haven't gotten a hold of you, I will eventually. I promise. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shredded Steak with Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes (Ropa Vieja)

Another beef dish! This is got to be some kind of record for me. Ropa Vieja is an easy way to prepare flavorful shredded beef. Perfect for tacos or sandwiches, this dish is a Cuban favorite and I can easily see why. While there are a lot of spices in this dish, the dish isn't actually spicy (as in heat) so don't let that put you off if you aren't a fan. I actually used chipotle cheddar to bring the spiciness up a notch, but some hot sauce would be just as good.

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The original recipe called for cooking this dish on the stove top, but since the cooking time is so long I decided to use my slow cooker. If you don't have one or would prefer not to use it, then just follow the link at the bottom for alternative directions.

When I made this dish I threw everything in the pot and let it go. While the meat was super tasty after cooking 7 hours on low, the veggies were way too soft for my taste. Because of that, I would add the veggies during the last hour of cooking instead. Keep in mind that this makes a TON of food. I ended up freezing half of it since there's only three of us.

Would I make this again? Oh yes. I'm not even a beef fan and I loved this dish.

Shredded Steak with Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes (Ropa Vieja)

Ingredients:

2 pounds flank steak
Delicioso Adobo seasoning, recipe follows
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 bottles beer
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and chopped
2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, ribbed and chopped
6 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
Salt/pepper

Directions:

1. Cut the flank steak into large pieces and place them in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the adobo and the Worcestershire sauce to make a paste. Rub the paste into the meat, add the beer, and let marinate for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

2. Transfer the meat, as well as the marinade to the crock-pot and add the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes to the mix. Cook on low for about 7-8 hours or high for 5-6 (these are just estimates!). You'll be able to easily tell when the meet is done because it will start falling apart easily.

3. During the last hour add the veggies to the slow cooker.

4. Remove the meat from the pot and shred the meat using 2 forks. To thicken the sauce you can add some cornstarch (dissolved in cold water first) or bump the temp up to high during the last part of the cooking. You could also leave out one of the beers.

Serve on top of rice with tortillas or on subs.

Delicioso Adobo:

I was able to find achoite powder in the Mexican/Latin spice section of my supermarket (with the beans and rice). It came in a bag instead of a jar and was less than $2 bucks if I remember correctly.

1 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoons lemon pepper
1 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 tablespoons achoite powder from annatto seed
1/2 tablespoon cumin powder

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Source: Adapted from Ingrid Hoffmann

Monday, February 21, 2011

365 Project: Week 6

Sorry I didn't get this up yesterday, but I was enjoying my Sunday by doing nothing. Besides meeting up with my communications group and cooking dinner, I managed to just sit around and watch netflix all day. Definitely a good way to spend a weekend in my opinion.

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Our neighbor gave us a plate of rice crispy treat hearts for valentines day. How sweet is that?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Beth Ditto's "I Wrote The Book"


This video just missed New Music Thursday, but it deserves some major love. The video is lush and lovely. Directed by Price James (Hercules and the Love Affair, Peaches), the video definitely hearkens back to Madonna's Justify My Love and even a little Vogue.




Thursday, February 17, 2011

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:

Total Life Forever by the Foals:



Cinema (Skrillex Remix) by Benny Benassi:



Heartbeats by The Knife:



Roller Skates by Steel Pulse:



Far Far by Yael Naim:



Anti Matter by NERD:



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hawaiian Burger with Caramelized Pineapple and Crisp Bacon

You should all know I'm not much of a beef fan by now (chicken forever!), but this is my kind of burger. Chocked full of flavor with a little sweet and a little spicy, this is the kind of burger that makes you wish you were on a beach somewhere drinking some kind of colorful drink that comes with a mini-umbrella. It's almost disappointing to have this burger in winter in fact. But if you're dreaming of warmer times, then this dish will fill the spot.

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I know the ingredient list looks a bit crazy, but it's really not as bad as it seems. If you have a favorite burger recipe, you can easily substitute it here. In fact, I used this recipe for sour cream burgers instead. (If you make these let the sour cream, soup mix, and burgers sit in the fridge overnight. It makes a huge difference. And try panko breadcrumbs.) I used canned pineapple instead of fresh since it's not in season and it turned out fine. I couldn't get as much caramelization as I would have liked, but it was still tasty. I also skipped the chipotle-mayo and went for BBQ sauce instead. Do what makes you happy though.

Would I make this again?
Yes, but I would use fresh pineapple. This will be great when it gets warm again.

Hawaiian Burger with Caramelized Pineapple and Crisp Bacon

Ingredients:

Burger Patty:

1 egg
1 bunch fresh chives, minced
1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon steak spice
Big pinch Greek oregano
Big pinch hot chile flakes
Big pinch sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh ground organic chuck
2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil

Toppings:

8 slices Applewood smoked bacon
4 fresh pineapple slices, 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 slices mozzarella cheese
4 brioche buns or challah bread, toasted and cut in half
Boston lettuce
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced into rounds
8 pickle slices
jalapenos

Directions:

1. To make the burger patty: In a bowl, mix the egg, chives, parsley, garlic, steak spice, Greek oregano, chile flakes, sea salt, and pepper. Add the beef and squish together for 30 seconds to season the beef, don’t over mix, cover and refrigerate.

2. To prepare the toppings: Heat a big pan over medium heat and line up the bacon slices. Cook until golden and crispy. Drain.

3. Heat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush both sides of the pineapple with butter and lightly sprinkle with brown sugar. Place on baking sheet and broil until caramelized, about 5 minutes.

4. Shape beef into 4 wide 1-inch thick patties. Heat the canola oil in a pan on medium-high. Sear patties for 2 minutes on each side, until they develop a nice crust. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 3 minutes per side. Top each patty with a slice of mozzarella cheese and melt.

5. Place burger patty with melted cheese, bacon, a slice of caramelized pineapple, toppings, and a little bbq sauce (or chipotle-mayo) on top of your bun and serve.

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Chipotle-mayo:


1/3 cup prepared mayonnaise
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Pinch sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor, blend together the mayonnaise, chipotle peppers, salt, and pepper.

Source: Bitchin Kitchen

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Adele Inspired Make-up

I love this tutorial. It's simple and yet really striking. Of course eyeliner with soft brown eyeshadow isn't hardest thing in the world, but I thought I'd post it anyways.


Plus, I'd never pass up an opportunity to post some Adele. She's just too lovely.



Monday, February 14, 2011

A Splash of Color (what I wore)

The weather was actually warm enough to go without tights! It should only last a couple days, but I'm happy anyways. And I know my legs are blindingly white, but I don't care. It feels like freedom. (Don't get me wrong I love tights, but it's nice to have the option.)

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Jacket - Torrid
Dress - F21
Shoes - Madden Girl

I always feel a little bit naked when I don't have a lot of layers on. Does anyone else have this problem? There is something comforting about having layers on for some reason.

Also, not sure how I feel about this dress. The pattern won me over though.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

365 Project: Week 5

The weeks sure are going by mighty fast. All of a sudden it felt like I had a ton of school work this week too. I suppose school is kind of like that though. It takes a while to fully start, but once it does it's a bit crazy. I spent most of my free time doing homework and watching Firefly on Netflix. Also, it appears I'm on the honor roll at school and I find it amusing to no end. I don't know why exactly, but it seems very silly.

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I did get to try sake though. It's one of those things I've always wanted to try but just never had. I didn't care for it all, but here's to crossing things off my bucket list (yes I have lots of silly things on it).

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Herbed Risotto with Chicken and Caramelized Onions

I tend to eat a lot of spicy dishes that can be a bit...complicated I guess. I like recipes that are jam packed with flavor and lots of veggies. Sometimes though, I crave things that are a little bit simpler. Risotto is perfect for when I'm looking for something elegant but more understated. When I saw this particular recipe combined some of my favorite flavors, chicken and carmalized onions, I knew it had to be a winner. While some people may be turned off from cooking risotto since you usually have to stand at the stove the whole time and slowly incorporate the liquid, this recipe is much simpler. Leave it to the Cook's Illustrated people to perfect an already perfect dish.

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If you aren't a big fan of caramelized onions then I would just leave them out since they weren't in the original recipe. I adore them though and think adding them was perfect. I think half an onion would be less overpowering for next time though. Also, I didn't use the sugar since I think caramelized onions are sweet enough on their own. If you have trouble getting a good caramelization though, the sugar will help.

Would I make this again? Definitely. This is a perfect pantry recipe.

Herbed Risotto with Chicken and Caramelized Onions

Ingredients:

1½ tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of sugar
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
¾ tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups Arborio (medium grain) rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 tbsp. minced fresh chives
Ground black pepper

Directions:

Add 1½ teaspoons of the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and sugar, stirring to coat. Allow the onion to cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown and caramelized. Remove the onions to a plate and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken broth and water and bring to a simmer. In the meantime, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet used to cook the onions set over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to the heated skillet and cook, turning once, until each side is a light golden brown. Remove from the heat and transfer the chicken pieces to the saucepan with the simmering broth mixture. Let cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165˚ F or until cooked through (no longer pink). Remove the chicken from the broth and transfer to the plate with the onions.

Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice to the pan, stirring to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, about 2-3 minutes. Stir 5 cups of hot broth mixture into the rice. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente, 16-19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.

Add ¾ cup of the hot broth mixture to the risotto and stir gently and constantly until the risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Stir the shredded chicken and caramelized onions into the risotto with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, parsley and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add up to ½ cup of the remaining broth mixture to add moisture and loosen the texture. Serve immediately.

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Source: Annie's Eats (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

Friday, February 11, 2011

The World House by Guy Adams

Title: The World House
Author: Guy Adams
Genre:  Fantasy
 
Publisher: Angry Robot
Publishing Date: February 4th 2010
Paperback: 416 pages

Stand Alone or series: First part of a duology.
 
Where did I get this book: Robot Army electronic arc

Summary:
There is a box. Inside that box is a door. And beyond that door is a whole world.

In some rooms, forests grow. In others, animals and objects come to life. Elsewhere, secrets and treasures wait for the brave and foolhardy.

And at the very top of the house, a prisoner sits behind a locked door waiting for a key to turn. The day that happens, the world will end…
Review:

It's usually the most innocuous looking things that turn out to be the most dangerous. In this story, that thing is a box. There is nothing particularly special about the appearance of this box. Besides some Chinese lettering, the box is pretty plain in fact. If it weren't for the fact the box doesn't even open, it would be the kind of thing someone would use to put unimportant trinkets in. But since it can't even do that, it appears the box if doomed to sit on shelves long forgotten. Of course that would make for an awfully boring story, so I don't think it needs to be said that the box is so much more than just a box.

It's really a door to a strange world.

And in this world nothing, not even the guise of a house, is as it seems. Corridors can change on a whim and bathrooms hold entire oceans in them. There are new threats in every room and "night" is a daily battle. But there's something even more frightening than being killed by taxidermy animals or eaten by crazed cannibals, and that's the prisoner this strange world was made to hold.

Reviewing this book is a lot harder then I thought it would be. For one, this book is just plain difficult to easily sum up. Throughout the book Adams keeps his cards to his chest and part of the fun of stories like this is getting to unravel the mystery. The book contains a lot of various characters as well. Most of the first half of the book deals with this actually. While Adams managed to make his characters individuals and at least partially sympathetic in a short amount of time (mostly by making the characters a bit pathetic in some way), I did get a bit bogged down by all the different players. I don't know if I would say this is major issue, but I did start to get frustrated with the story. Of course, this is a common issue with multiple POVs.

I also had a problem with the ending. A major problem. Not because I think the ending was bad, but more because I thought it wasn't very appropriately timed. The beginning of the story starts out slower paced as we get to know all the different characters, but then it starts to pick up steam. Finally, by the end there is an almost frenzied feeling to it. As the reader you feel like the story is culminating into something meatier that will give the story more heft, but it doesn't. It just ends with this sort of limp "to be continued" type atmosphere. After getting sucked into the book so completely and racing to finish I was completely disappointed. And that is not how you want to leave a reader (especially if you want them to read the next book). Even typing this out has made me annoyed again and I read the book over a week ago. (I will admit that it could have bothered me more because I've been trying to avoid series books lately and I like a warning when a book isn't self contained.)

Now, that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the book or I don't plan on reading the sequel. I very much did and I probably will. I just think the ending turned a potentially great book into a good one. The story actually reminded me of Palimpsest , by Catherynne M. Valente, in a lot of ways. Not because the stories are similar beyond the world inside a world thing, but because I went through the same cycle of emotions. I would be curious then annoyed, excited and riveted. But the difference between Palimpsest and The World House is Valente was able to bring it home with a strong ending. The ending aside though, this book is still one hell of a ride and worth a read.

Notable Quotes/ Parts: 

You can read the first chapter here (pdf).

Verdict:

If the second book is just as good but with a stronger ending, then Adam's will have made something pretty marvelous. As of now though, The World House misses that mark. It was quite refreshing to read a book without any love triangles though.

Also, one of the characters (a young girl) seemed to have gone missing after being introduced. What's up with that?

Rating: 6. Good, but might not be for everyone

Thursday, February 10, 2011

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 Devil You Know by Todd Snider:



I just put this cd on hold at my library. Snider is great.

Oh My Darling by Blaqstarr:



I really wanted to add "Wonder Woman," but they don't have it on youtube. You can listen to it here though. It's fantastic.

Dark Room by The Features:



Not the best quality, but the only video available. Boo.

Mollys Hangover by Kings Of Leon:



Do It Like A Dude by Jessie J:



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Coconut Fried Shrimp with Dipping Sauce

Coconut shrimp is one of those things that I love to order at restaurants, but never make. After I saw the recipe in a cookbook my mom gave me for Christmas though, I knew I had to bite the bullet and stop procrastinating. And boy, am I so very glad I did.

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Please excuse all the blue in these pics. I took them when it was almost completely dark. Seriously, a tripod has changed my life. Thanks mom!

This recipe is simple and yet super flavorful. The balance of the sweet coconut and the shrimp is perfect. I also really like the sauce and think it's perfect for this dish. This is not cocktail sauce shrimp. Be forewarned though, this is a messy process. But it is well worth every misplaced breadcrumb.

Would I make this again? Oh yes. Perfect for a movie night.

Coconut Fried Shrimp with Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

Peanut oil, for frying
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup water
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 pound medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Dipping Sauce:

1/2 cup orange marmalade
4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

1. In a large, heavy pot, heat 2-inches of the peanut oil to 325 degrees F.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the water and whisk until smooth. Let the batter stand for 15 minutes.

3. In a wide, shallow bowl, toss the coconut and bread crumbs together.

4. Put the shrimp into the batter. Remove the shrimp, 1 at a time, and dredge in the coconut mixture, pressing to help the coconut adhere. Fry the shrimp in batches in the hot oil for 1 to 2 minutes or until brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Serve the shrimp with the dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce:

Add all dipping sauce ingredients to a pot on a low temperature. Heat for 10 minutes, making sure you stir ingredients every few minutes.

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Source: The Dean Brothers Cookbook

Monday, February 7, 2011

365 Project: Week 4

I spent most of the day yesterday unplugged so I didn't get this posted yesterday (obviously). I'm addicted to the internet so I'm always a little bit proud of myself when I stay off the computer. It's the little victories right?

I think my favorite picture this week is the one of the concrete. As you can see I accidentally stood outside the depth of field area, but I like the way it turned out for some reason.

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I got to admit, I'm pretty proud of that burger picture. Looks super tasty. I'm also starting to think I take too many pictures of food. Oh well, it is what I love. Isn't the valentine Holden made me adorable though? I love how it says "I lik u." Good to know. ;)

Also, I had a "slice" of one of these chocolate oranges in San Diego and I can't get enough of them. So yummy.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Do a little dance

I know I already posted twice today, but I never claimed to have self-control. Plus, I'm actually home alone and I'd kind of like to celebrate that fact for a moment. (Anyone with kids knows exactly what I mean.) Ryan and Holden are over at Ryan's parents and I feel like doing a little dance.

Something like this would suffice:



That is all.

I always knew LEGOs were dangerous

Anyone whose had the unfortunate privilege of stepping on LEGOs knows they are some pointy plastic bastards, but it turns out the bottoms of your feet aren't the only target in LEGO's cross-hairs. Now you can actually make guns out of LEGOs and attack unsuspecting neighborhood cats.


From amazon:
Badass LEGO Guns shows you how to build five impressive weapons entirely from LEGO Technic parts. With the help of rubber bands, some sanding, and a touch of Krazy Glue, you'll build five complex and functional guns that shoot plastic LEGO bricks or rubber bands at high speed with surprising accuracy. The easy-to-follow building instructions include complete parts lists, assembly tips, and a discussion of general design principles.
This video is majorly awesome:


And here I was lusting after a nerf gun.

Sexy Funeral (what I wore)

One time I asked Ryan how he felt about this outfit and he said, "I like it when you dress like you're going to a funeral. A sexy funeral." haha The funny thing is I think that's a pretty good description of my style for the most part.

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Lace undershirt - Target
Black sweater - Walmart (I just cut the sleeves off)
Skirt - DIY
Tights - Target (both pairs)
Shoes - Payless
Sock Garters - DIY