Monday, October 22, 2012

Instagram- Week in Review

1. I had an awesome mail week! I recently won a giveaway from Pink Sith for two Butter London nail polishes and she sent an extra Hard Candy polish in addition. The nail polishes are high end and I feel so fancy. I've been wearing the taupe one all week long, it's gorgeous.
2. More felt embroidery. I made a little strawberry embroidery for a recipe book I'll put together eventually.
3. The rest of my awesome mail week. I treated myself to two yards of Japanese import fabric and this is what I got.
4. We bought 2 bags of Halloween candy "for trick or treaters". I'm sure they'll be gone long before they get here.
5. Some Halloween crafting. Making some bunting for above the window.
6. Kitty snuggles are always the best part of my week.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Vintage inspired felt embroidery

I've been a little crafting machine lately! On the trip to pick up book supplies I also picked up some felt and seed beads for embroidering. It's become popular to mix printed fabric and felt with embroidery and I wanted to give it a go, but instead I stumbled across this lovely post about vintage felt embroidery and fell in love! It was a lot of fun and actually very easy. I found this handy DIY tutorial for the dahlia, used the same petal shape just sewn on differently for the yellow flowers, and used small circles  for the small purple and blue flowers. Everything is hand sewn and took about 4 hours. I'm thinking I might combine bookbinding and embroidery and make this into a nice little cover for a book.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First time bookbinding

Ever since a bookbinding tutorial came across my Pinterest feed  (link here)I have been obsessed with it. I watched a few YouTube videos and read a couple blogs on it until it got to the point where I felt like I just NEEDED to try it. Last night I went to a craft store to pick up the paper I needed, a bone folder, and some endpaper, and that was really all I needed. I improvised the rest of the supplies based on what I had at home. All together I think this cost me around $6 or 7 in supplies, not too shabby! Instead of PVA glue I used a combination of glue stick, Mod Podge, and E-6000. I used heavy books instead of clips or clamps to keep things together, waxed embroidery thread with a candle(it felt pretty silly but I had no snags so guess it worked. And it smelled nice!), used a sharp polymer clay tool to poke holes in the signatures, and made the cover out of the back board of the sketchpad I used for the paper. It might seem like there are a lot of specialty tools you need for bookbinding, but as you can see it's all easily improvised! It might not be the proper way, but it was a really fun project and I'm pretty happy with the results. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Instagram: Week in Review

1. New orchids! I'm very excited for these
2. We went on a day trip to Julian, CA this weekend and this was the only picture I got of us!
3. Cinnamon roll pancakes from Saturday morning. They were so good that even the cat ate some.
4. Mom's Pie in Julian. They were all sold out of apple crumble by the time we got there, but I thought the interior was wicked cute.
5. Hot apple cider!! This was in Julian from local cider, but when we went home I had to pick up more spiced cider and I have at least two or three cups a day now.
6. My favorite Hell Bunny dress (I bought it here) has been on weekly rotation while it's still warm enough, along with my trusty Friendly Toast squirrel purse. I highly suggest you check out Hell Bunny I have a couple dresses and they're all adorable.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Julian apple pie

This week we took a day trip up to Julian, CA. It's a small gold rush town about an hour away from San Diego but these days they're known more for their apples. Every place had signs for hot apple pie or cider, there had to have been at least 10 on the small main street. We had originally planned on taking home a pie from Julian Pie Co. but unfortunately they were all sold out by the time we got there! We decided instead to pick up a small bag of local apples and make a pie instead.

Apple Crumb Pie
adapted from this recipe
  • crust for 9 in pie
  • about 6 cups of apples, sliced
  • 3/4 c white sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • good pinch of salt
for crumble
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 4 tbs butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit 
  2. In a big bowl, combine sliced apples, sugar, spices and salt. Mix until slices are thoroughly covered with cinnamon sugar. Set aside.
  3. Combine white sugar, brown sugar, and flour in a bowl. Mix to combine, then cut in the butter and mix with your hands until butter is incorporated and mixture feels like damp sand.
  4. Prepare the pie dish with crust. Fill with apple mixture, then top with crumble. 
  5. Cover loosely with tin foil and bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Remove foil and decrease heat to 350 and bake an additional 35 minutes. Let cool thoroughly before slicing!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Favs- Kitties everywhere!

In an ongoing quest to waste copious amounts of time, I have created a mash up of fabulous kitty finds. 
Meow or Never scarf, ModCloth
Lucky Kitty necklace, ShanaLogic
Whisker Me Away bag, ModCloth
wooden kitten brooch, Etsy
Hey Kitty Cat cardigan, CatsLikeUs

I recently bought the kitty cardigan (you can see it here). Normally I mull over decisions to buy things, most of the time ending in me deciding against it, but as soon as I saw the sweater I had to have it! And it's ADORABLE and SO worth it! ModCloth can be pretty pricey, but they currently have a special going on where you can get $20 off your order of $50 or more until October 31st by following the link. Not too shabby. I'm currently trying to figure out what I want to buy with the discount and I'm leaning towards the cat bag. All of my purses have animals on them and it makes me feel like I look like a gigantic toddler (which, let's be honest, isn't too far off) with them, but this one is more sophisticated, I think. That's what I'll tell myself, anyway, because I want to justify getting a kitty bag.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Instagram: Week in Review

  1. Cute polar bear nails. They were supposed to be cats but I couldn't get the ears to work. That's okay, I like polar bears too.
  2. Finally getting some use out of my Sourpuss pineapple dress. I got this half off a couple months ago and never wore it much and just rediscovered how cute it was. I love when that happens! Also, my kitty iPhone case
  3. Getting ready for Halloween! I'm TOO excited about this cat. He's currently hanging out in the office for now. 
  4. Artoo Detoo being fluffy. He's such a handsome lil fella.
  5. Ribbon fries from the street fair going on only a few blocks away from us. This entire weekend we have been eating fair food. Roasted corn, lemonade, funnel cake, french fries, mmmm...
  6. AWESOME mail day. I ordered the Sourpuss black cat sweater on Thursday from (how could I resist?) and got it on Saturday, then my Tony Moly cats wink mascara and petite bunny lip gloss (in peach) finally arrived from Korea along with some BB cream samples. Maybe I'll make a post about them later. I also bought the cat lipstick from the cats wink collection. Korea needs to stop making adorable things or else I'm going to be broke.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Recipe Review: dragon noodles

I wanted to share a great recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Budget Bytes. Budget Bytes not only has great recipes accompanied by step by step pictures, but also breaks down the estimated price for the recipe. It's great for cheap-os like me or anyone trying to budget. I've tried a few recipes, including the hummus pizza and the freezer-friendly black bean quesadillas, but nothing beats these noodles. I've made some changes to the recipe, but I've tried it strictly following the recipe and it was still really delicious.

dragon noodles

Adapted from Budget Bytes, original recipe here.

1 package lo mein noodles (sold in my local grocery store as "Chinese noodles")
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp siracha (we like it spicy, you can add less)
~1/2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp butter
2 eggs, beaten
red pepper flakes to taste
fresh cilantro 

1.Cook noodles according to package. Strain and set aside.
2. Prepare sauce by mixing together brown sugar, siracha, and peanut butter.
3. Heat butter in a saute pan and add eggs, gently move around until eggs are scrambled. 
4. Turn saute pan on low, add the cooked noodles and sauce and stir to incorporate everything. Let cook until the sauce is sufficiently absorbed, it shouldn't take more than a minute.
5. Divide into portions and add a nice amount of fresh cilantro on top and red pepper flakes according to how spicy you want it.

Notes: you can easily use spaghetti or linguini if you don't have lo mein noodles, but I would suggest to over cook them slightly, as lo mein noodles are softer than pasta. I've made it with spaghetti and it was still really good, but we prefer the lo mein.  This amount SHOULD feed 3-4, but honestly I normally use this for two really large portions because we're little piggies. The original recipe called for two tablespoons of butter, and while that sounds delicious, I just couldn't bear putting that much butter in  knowing that I'll be eating half of it. I think the addition of peanut butter makes up for the reduced amount of butter. It doesn't overwhelm the dish, it just adds a little bit of flavor. One thing you don't want to skimp on, though, is fresh cilantro, it really makes the dish! Throw in some tofu, shredded carrots, cabbage, or whatever else and you have a really easy pad thai type dish.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Work in progress

Lots of blogs do Working or Work In Progress (WIP) Wednesdays to show what they're up to. This is mine. A tray of birthday cake French macarons waiting to go into the oven.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Moving pictures

I finally linked up my phone to my Google account to easily access my pictures. I feel like I've put off this post for the longest time (over 2 months!) so here it is. Sorry about my posts switching from my nice camera pictures to crummy iPhone pictures, but a phone is a lot easier to tote around and there's no photo editing which saves me lots of time.
Last meal in Houston the morning before we left.

Artoo Detoo taking a peek to see what's going on.

Some pretty views outside of San Antonio.

The cute hotel we stayed at in the middle of nowhere. (Van Horn, TX)

Finally made it out of Texas.

I'm never moving to Tucson.


Making our way into CA. The car was a bug magnet the entire trip. I think there are about a million poor bug guts splattered over the windshield by the time we got home. 

The sun started to set right as we made it across the CA/AZ border.
All together it took about 23 hours total driving time and it really wasn't as bad as I was expecting. We only stopped  for one night in Van Horn, TX. It took almost 12 hours just to get out of Texas! The cat was surprisingly very good the entire trip. He's a great traveler. I used to bring him back and forth between Austin and Houston (about a 3 hour drive) at least once a month so he's pretty used to it. He whined for the first half hour but didn't make another peep until we got into San Diego! I was such a proud kitty mama. My dad got a special (extra large dog because he's a gigantic cat) travel crate for him to be comfortable, so thanks dad! It took a couple days for us to get settled into our new home but things are great now. I'm absolutely loving San Diego. I'm sure I'll post more about the new apartment but it will probably take me another two months or so to get around to it.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Cake testing pt 1

I've been testing so many different cake recipes lately which means I've been eating cupcakes for lunch for the past week. I'm not complaining. I have certain requirements with the cake that I need to meet (mainly ingredient wise so I don't waste a lot of egg yolks from my macarons) and it's been proving difficult to make the perfect vanilla cake that meets what I need, but I feel like I'm getting close. No recipes yet, sorry! Just going to tease you with cupcake pictures. Yellow cake with fudge frosting is probably my favorite cupcake of all time. I'm normally not a chocolate person but I can't resist a good fudge frosting. One that's not too sweet and not too bitter. I've been testing frosting recipe after recipe to find the perfect and I currently have a pile of tupperware filled with different recipes to taste test. It's really rough having to do all of these taste testing, you guys. Just horrible.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Homemade sushi

I love sushi. A lot. But I'm vegetarian (no fish!) so sometimes it's hard finding sushi that I can eat. I also hate cucumber, so basically this limits me to getting avocado and some rice if I go to a sushi place. There are a few places in San Diego that do vegan sushi but it's expensive. Making sushi at home is actually really easy and really cheap. I think everything combined cost 10 bucks and that includes all the leftover inarizushi (pocket rice sushi) that provided two extra lunches the next day. I did a bunch of googling to get ideas on what to put inside the sushi but honestly nothing anyone suggested sounded very good. I like the unhealthy kind of sushi with fried stuff and sauces, so here's a quick list of ideas:

Cucumber, carrot, avocado
Jalapeno, cream cheese
Fried tofu sticks, carrot, cucumber, lettuce (or bean sprouts)
Soy ham, pineapple, French's fried onions, teriyaki sauce, spicy mayo (our favorite from Sipz in San Diego)
Sweet potato tempura, teriyaki sauce (one of my favorites)

Basically just throw whatever you think would taste good together and give it a whirl.  Other veggies include: bell peppers, raw zucchini, sauteed/marinated mushrooms, raw butternut squash, green onions/chives, daikon   radish, asparagus, alfalfa sprouts, sun dried tomatoes, lettuce, steamed green beans. Also try fried egg strips, fake meat strips, goat cheese, or cream cheese. Top with panko, sesame seeds, teriyaki sauce, avocado, or spicy mayo. Making spicy mayo is as easy as combining mayo and siracha. Here's a YouTube playlist I put together to see how sushi is put together. It's pretty easy! It's easier to make sushi with the rice on the inside but I don't think it looks as pretty. I don't have a bamboo mat so I put these together with a clean kitchen towel and some cling wrap, no fancy equipment necessary!

You'll notice I haven't mentioned how to make rice. That's because it's kind of a lengthy and difficult process to make it correctly and I'm just too lazy for that. Realistically, you only need to worry about making sure you're using Japanese short grain rice so it's sticky. I just cook it how I normally cook rice and add some rice vinegar to it and break it up with a paddle. It's not the correct way but it works for me. It's actually really fun to make sushi at home so I hope you give it a shot!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

French macarons

assorted flavors

I was supposed to upload pictures from the trip from Austin to San Diego but I've been making lots of French macarons lately and I'm just too excited about them to not share. Some of you might know that before I got my degree in psychology I went to school for baking. I enjoyed it, I was good at it, but I wanted to see what else I could do so I gave it up and went in the opposite direction.

matcha (green tea) with dark chocolate buttercream
Well, wouldn't you know, I'm back to baking. I'm currently working on opening up a small bakery to sell at the local farmer's market. I've been testing out different French macaron recipes the past few days and I'm starting to move on to cake recipes, so I'm sure there will be plenty of cupcake pictures coming up in the future. It's been a lot of work, but look...
French toast macarons!! Filled with maple cream cheese.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I'm back!

I've been absent for this blog for quite a while, but I have a good excuse! I was busy finishing up my final year at the University of Texas and graduating!
Not soon after I graduated I packed up and moved to San Diego! I'm currently getting settled into my new home and life. I can't say I miss Austin too much when it's disgustingly hot there and the weather is perfect out in San Diego. Right now I'm using my iPhone for pictures and will be for the next couple posts but hopefully I can bust out my fancy camera and start putting quality pictures up. I'm not entirely sure what direction I want to take my blog, but next post will have pictures from the trip from Texas to California. That's it for now!