Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October: Time to redecorate :)

Just thought I would share my new autumn decoration for my apartment. :) And yes, I am being lazy by not writing a real post. :p 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Paying It Forward

(I accidentally took a picture of him while I was waiting on sunday, unknowingly, when I was playing with instagram) 

Since my move to LA and break up, I've been on this constant journey of self discovery. Along the way, I've been given many opportunities that I felt were heaven sent. So recently, I've been thinking about how I can change someone else's life even if its just a little. So here is my entry, I hope it inspires you make a change in your own life. Cause YOU ARE IMPORTANT and BEAUTIFUL and MOST of all INTELLIGENT! Never forget that.

P.S. I totally lied about keeping up with my blog pots, there's soo much that can and needs to be done. <3

This was a copy of my fb entry.

So remember that tablet I was trying to give away for the past two weeks? Well I posted it last night on Craigslist in the free stuff section and got the post taken off 6 times, but received 50 emails within 4 hours.

This is what I posted.


If you stumble upon this post, it is NOT a joke. (Please stop flagging this because I really would like to give this to someone deserving) I am serious. This touch screen netbook laptop is free and is in perfect condition aside from the dead battery (~$100) and a Windows 7 Premium Upgrade ($60) all of which you can do on your own. You may wonder why someone would give away a perfectly good piece of electronic (value ~$400). My simple reason for doing so is to pay it forward. I've been blessed with many opportunities and people in my life and would like to have the ability to change someone else's life. (No I'm not old or creepy. I am a 20 something year old LA transplant female who wants to see a change) I'm not sure how a laptop listed on craigslist is going to do this, but I have hope and faith that this netbook will find a rightful home.

So I have two points for this. 1) That who ever recieves this laptop, actually NEEDS it and does not sell it and pocket the money AND 2) You pay it forward by doing something signifigant for someone else. I understand that I can't monitor or see the good you do, but I live by Karma and that is enough for me.

So Bless!

P.S. Because this is a significant item please tell me a little bit about yourself. I am getting a ton of emails and will make my final decision by the end of the week.

Asus T101MT-BU37-BK 10.1" Touch-Enabled Eee PC Tablet (Dual core Atom N570 processor, 250GB)

I picked one email by a Ryan, who wrote:

Hello, my name is Ryan(: and I am 18 and I am just about to head into college and i don't have any kind of computer at all. I really need one as i have had to make frequent trips to the local library just to print out papers and such and is can be a hassle sometimes >.< I don't really have a steady living situation because things have been rough lately and i have been praying that something may come up that could help me in one way or another. I would really appreciate your consideration and I thank you for your time. I think that what you're doing is very generous and truthfully amazing. I hope you continue to receive blessings and i know your kind act will not go unnoticed. Thank you(:
        Sincerely,                                                                                                                                                                                        Ryan

Of all the emails I received, I felt a sudden connection...(I was still thinking about his email in the morning)

I wrote:

Hi Ryan,

My name is Linda. I’ve received a ton of emails within the last 12 hours since I’ve posted the tablet on craigslist and yours stood out to me. I would LOVE for you to have this laptop. I completely understand what it is to not have much in your life especially when you’re about to embark on an extraordinary adventure such as college. Like I said in the post, it’s not in perfect perfect condition, but I’m sure you’ll figure out how to make it work for you. Lastly, all I ask of you is to pay this forward by doing something significant for another person; it only does take ONE person like yourself to make a difference in this world.

All the Best!


P.S. Would it be possible for you to drive up to the Valley this Sunday to pick it up?

And this is his reply back:


    Wow, thank you so much for this. This is so surprising and i can't believe that something this awesome could happen! I can't thank you enough and i really appreciate it more than you know. I will do whatever i can to help anyone if i am presented the opportunity. And yes, I am able to pick it up on Sunday; however i have church in the morning that i can't miss so it would have to be sometime in the afternoon around 2 or so. Is that okay?

This has completely brighten my day to think I can do some good. I don't even know how to describe what it feels like to help a complete stranger. I am truly BLESSED! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Hello Everyone! Its been a good month since my last entry, but its not because I stopped my projects. I just got lazy with blogging and i'm finally at a point in my life where I'm okay. This craft/ cooking blog has been my outlet for so long I forgot it was important to make friends and keeping up with them.

So the past few weeks, I' ve been working on my friendships old and new, discovered new places in LA, taken aerial cirque classes, start marathon training and finally letting go of people in my life...oh and bought my first car all on my own and realized that I can do this life thing. :)

Hopefully with the weeks to come, I will do some more blog entries.  A bientot!

P.S. ALWAYS love! You will enrich your life as well as those around. You just have to believe that there's a greater power at work. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beginning: Teepee Adventure

Its been a long time coming. I few months ago, while browsing aka wasting my life obsessed with pinterest, I found a picture of a child's reading room teepee and thought to myself  'Why not?!?! This is MY time.' So through some Etsy searching, I found a lovely woman by the name of Shelley, who indulged into my whim.

Yesterday, I finally made it to Lowe's and bought some 3/4" PVC pipe. Thank God there's a benefit to being a girl, the employees at Burbank Lowe's were more than happy to cut down the PVC and package them for me (took the time to find some twine and tie the pipes together)This is going to be an ongoing project for the next couple of weeks, but these is the beginning pictures.

Ultimately, I want to create a reading/ writing corner in my living room. Note: my apartment will explode from all this girliness eventually.<3

Monday, May 28, 2012

Brownie Cake Pops

Have you ever had a really bad day and just wanted to hide? Yeah, well...that was me last week when I burnt popcorn at work and set off the fire alarm. You would think that was enough to kill you, right? Well...I work in the research department of my company, so the entire building had to evacuate and the fire department came. Umm, yeah....and the best part is, I went and owned up to my mistake. :/ Hopefully, that will win me karma points in the future.

In any case, I felt bad, so I went home to make brownies in hopes of making up for my juvenile mistake. But the brownies were too fudgy (this is why I hate store bought mixes), so I decided to make cake pops, which turned out to be a bigger hit. :)

So my lesson learned is to ALWAYS man up and own up to things you do wrong even if its hard. You'll be better in the long run...and that store bought mixes have a ton of oil content to them. :p

1 Box of Store Box Brownies (made to the instructions in the back)
1 bag of candy melts
Pearl Sprinkles
Metal Wire Rack
Two Spoons
Glass Bowl

1) Once the brownies are cooked and cooled down, roll 1" diameter balls
2) In the glass bowl microwave the candy melts down (it was exceptional hot that day, so it only took 30 seconds)
3) Using the two spoons, gently toss the brownie balls into the melted candy melts
4) Place on Metal Wire Rack for a few minutes so the candy melt can harden a bit then decorate with pearls
5) Leave over night to cool down and harden ( in my case, I had to refrigerate the brownie pops over night)

SIDE NOTE: no one remembers the fire alarm incident  and my co-worker said she liked the chewiness of the brownie center. <3

Revamping Forgotten Furniture

PSHH!!! I like taking home abandoned furniture like kids take home stray cats. They are such good finds and often are abandon on the curb because people constantly move around in LA. It just so happens that people move very often in my neighborhood. Though a majority of my neighbors are Orthodox Jews; there's community college kids, hipsters, and dream hopefuls all here in Valley Village. 

Anyway, I found this glass cabinet a few weeks ago and was very fortunate that an old Armenian Man took pity on me and helped me carry this thing down the street and up the stairs. (GOD is AMAZING!!!)

Normally, a glass cabinet like this would be close to $100 out here in LA, so it was a lovely find and made of actual wood...unlike IKEA :/ 

Overall the project was a success but was very time consuming because the previous owners just caked on more paint to the original paint job. (It gives the wood a bubble plastic look, so I don't ever suggest caking on paint like frosting)

60 Grade Sand Paper
Sand Paper Sponge (lost the packaging, but go to the hardware store
Small Can of paint (I choose a mint green, which doesn't show in the pictures)
Masking Tape
Rubbing Alcohol (optional)
Cost: Less than $20

1) Use the 60 Grade sand paper to sand off the uneven edges of the paint job (if you have an electronic sander...you are BLESSED)
2) So after 2-3 days of sanding....go over with the sponge sand paper - this will even the surface because the 60 grade sand paper leaves very visible marks.
3) Use the masking tape to cover the edges of glass and then paint away

NOTE: Rubbing Alcohol can be used to remove paint left on the glass. Its a lot less toxic than acetone or paint thiner. 

Voila! You have your own personalized piece of furniture.

(I got bored and started to doodle)

 (I used the cabinet for my jewelry and make up...one day though it will be in my living room)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Avocado "Ice Cream"

Avocado and Ice Cream probably doesn't sound good to most people because you're used to avocados in with your omelets or in sandwiches, but trust me. It soo yummy and VERY nutritious. I actually got this idea from my cousin while she was preparing food for her hairy troll. (Though she may never really know, I learn a lot of my cooking from watching her over the years)

And the best part about this recipe is....you don't need an ice cream maker. Honestly, how often would you use one if you did have one? Its impractical! No this is going to be a mini chemistry lesson with a yummy healthy result.

3-4 Small Sized Avocados
3-4 TBSP Granulated Sugar (you can put less if you would like)
~ 1/4 C Reduced Milk
1 entire tray of ice (or 16 ice cubes for all you fancy people with a nice fridge)

1) Blend all ingredients with a blender. You'll get a nice smoothie but that's not our quest.
2) Place mixture into a tupperware and place in the freezer
3) Let it sit for ~30min and open to stir the mixture well with a spoon
4) Repeat for 2-3 hours
5) Leave for another 2 hours and you have 'ice cream'

WHY DOES THIS WORK? You might think its a waste of time and just easier to let the mixture sit in the freezer for 4 hours and then serve. BUT you are WRONG. 

The great thing that makes ice cream essentially what it is...is because there are small bits and pieces of ice in the cream, which in science terms means little small ice lattices forming over time instead of a giant one if that mixture is left alone. In that case you would get a giant avocado popsicle. 

So in lue of an ice cream maker, the continually mix every 30 min is 'curning' our ice cream.  (note: its not going to be like stor bought ice cream but at least YOU made it) Crazy huh? Don't you just LOVE science? Its all around use and gives use soo many rewards such as this.

Please do try this and tell me your thoughts <3

Bejeweled Heels

SOOOOOOOOO excited over these heels! I saw this pin on pinterest a few months ago and fell in love. Come on its shoes, crystals and Miu Mui's? What girl would not love those things? (Mainly why would a girl with over 60 pairs of shoes not be interested :p) But unlike the girl who originally blogged about this amazing idea, I did not want to invest in $70 shoes with the possibility that I would mess up. So I've been waiting patiently for a cheaper alternative to pop up on Go Jane

I did however, fork over the $40 for the crystals because if all else fails...it would be put to great use for another project. Fast forward a bit, I spent the better half of Saturday and several wet towels to remove the glue from my fingers placing these gems on. It was all worth the effort, I must say! Super easy and very pretty and unique to your own personality. <3

Heels with velvet or fabric next to the heel.These are the ones I got, but these are nice as well.
60-80 pieces of Swarovski Rhinestones of various sizes up to 15mm
Bottle of Liquid Stitch
Pair of Tweezers
Ton of wet paper towels

1) Make sure your shoes are clean of lint (I guess its not necessary, just my OCD)
2) DO NOT listen to the back of the glue bottle!!!! DO NOT place the glue on the fabric first. ( I learned that it is impossible to remove and leaves a mark if an excess amount it put on)
3) Instead, place droplets of glue behind the rhinestones and wait for a few minutes until it starts to harden. Do 4 at a time, so the glue still has its tackiness. 
4) Use the tweezers to place the crystals behind the heel. I did a design where the crystals got smaller as I got closer to the heel. 
5) Wait at least 24 hours before struting your heels. ( Its a lot harder than it seems, but you can do it!)

Until next week! <3

(Yes, there are two extra round stones on the right shoe, Im waiting for the backorder of the rest :/)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lavender Syrup

This lovely picture was taken by my lovely and talented Duckie! LOVE YOU! (If I'm correct these are called English Lavenders. I use Spanish ones because they are easier to find in so cal)

Anyway, I get to do a blog entry on the namesake of my blog...finally. Lavender Syrup is by far my favorite thing to make in the spring when the flowers are in bloom. I've been making this simple syrup every year since my junior in college (so 6 years). Its very light but fragrant, so if the idea of rosewater makes you sick, I don't suggest making this.  

I really like using this syrup when I make lemonade or if you're having a really bad week...put some vodka in. (Too many lazy summer memories with this concoction) 

2 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Water
1/4 C fresh Lavender blossoms (make sure they were not treated with any pesticides)

1) Combine all ingredient in a pot and let simmer until sugar has dissolved. You can strain out the blossoms but I like leaving them behind. 
2) Store in the refrigerator (you can store it for awhile but the lavender taste is lost as time goes by)

Note: you can also do this with fresh rose petals 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Summer 'Pizza'

Its the day after Cinco de Mayo and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one hungover and slightly suffering this morning. Summer is just around the corner, so I thought I would do a little twist on a favorite comfort food. Don't deny it! Pizza is one of the greatest comfort food when you're nursing a hangover or a I-want-pizza-ice-cream-and-a-chick-flick-moment. 

This recipe is really easy and I promise you...VERY yummy! Please do try it out and tell me how it goes.

Thinly Sliced Cooked Butternut Squash
Armenian Feta Cheese (Feta Cheese mixed with Oregano)
Sliced Tomatoes
Slice of Wheat Tonir Lavash (thin flat bread)
Olive oil
Poached/ Fried Egg (optional to add with tomatoes at the end)

1) Place all ingredients on the flat bread except the tomatoes and lightly drizzle with olive oil
2) Toast in oven at 325 Degrees for about 10 min
3) Add the tomatoes

(In case anyone is wondering...that IS my old college textbook...you know some light reading ;) 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

More Pies...

After my strawberry shortcake muffin venture, I still had fresh fruit left so I decided to make a petite pie. I used my previous recipe, but wanted to share my two pictures ( I take a lot of picture for each blog, but only choose a few)

Strawberry Shortcake Muffins

I LOVE LOVE LOVE strawberry season. At its peek, a basket of strawberries can cost as low as $0.99! That is CRAZY considering how much time and resources it takes to get these delightful treats to us. In my family, we are insanely addicted to fruits and vegetables especially in their ripe season. YUMS!

So with this strawberry overload, I decided to make a strawberry dessert that would keep the strawberries from withering away in my fridge. So thanks to pinterest, I found a Strawberry Shortcake Cookie recipe that  I kinda made into muffins and modified....this is the original recipe. I changed certain things to keep the muffins on the semi sweet side. 

2 C of Freshly sliced Strawberries cleaned with the Eat Cleaner
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp powder sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 C of 2/3 milk and 3 tbsp of melted butter (I did not have heavy cream)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a bowl lightly mix the strawberries, lemon juice, powder sugar and let sit
3) In another bowl combine all the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, sugar and salt
4) Slowly add the cold butter into the bowl of dry ingredients - the mixture will have a crumb consistency
5) Add milk and butter mixture in and then slowly fold the strawberries in the dough
6) Spoon the mixture into a the cupcake molds and  bake for ~25 min or until lightly brown surface.

Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream. <3

Perfect Broccoli

Probably not going to be one of my favorite post, but ...honestly, as we get older eating healthy is not a joke. So be happy I'm doing this with broccoli and not with Brussels sprouts (EWWW!) I guess my pitch with this is: have you ever had boiled/ steamed veggies that were mushy? The texture of food and especially with veggies its a crucial thing. I prefer having my vegetables cooked but crunchy. So this is a trick my mom taught me.

1) Clean your veggies with Eat Cleaner 
2) In a pot of boiling water, boil the vegetables for > 8 min
3) Immediately run the vegetables under cold running water - this stops the vegetables from cooking internally and leaves them crunchy and cooked at the same time.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

YAY! I finally made my first rose cake! Granted its just making swirls with a pipette tip (Sorry, the cake is a bit melted...it was by far the hottest week in LA when I was making this). So in this blog, I accomplished 3 things off my list: 1) making a lemon poppy seed cake (even though I cheated with the cake mix - also, lemon poppy seed cake is one of my sissy's favorite), 2) using tin cans as cake molds & 3) practicing on my cake decorating.
Lemon Cake Mix - (follow instructions on the back)
3 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
Chopped Lemon Zest from one lemon
favorite jam fillings
Pearl Sprinkles
Butter or oil
bamboo skewer stick
Empty Tin Cans 
1 Can of Frosting
Cake Pipette Decor kit - you can get a cheap one from Ikea...I was fortunate enough that my amazing friend, Geneva, bought it for me on one of our shopping adventures <3
1) After making the cake mix accordingly add the lemon zest and poppy seed into the mix
2) Lightly butter/ oil & flour the inner surface of the tin can
3)Fill the tin cans a bit less than 3/4 of the way (I made the mistake and filled it 3/4 of the way and got huge muffin tops)
4) Bake for about 30 min at 350 degrees or until your skewer stick runs clean when poked
5) Let the cake cool (took 20 mins for the tin to cool down)
6) Level the cake - cut the tops so its even
7) Cut layers and add your favorite fillings (I used a homemade lavender syrup - recipe in a future blog)
8) Do a light frosting over the whole cake (its like your primmer when painting because it evens out your surface)
9) When pipping the rose on the cake - don't think! Just go with the flow....I promise you it will come out better
After all of this: I had 3 cakes sitting around for about two weeks...I need local food eatters <3

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Santa Monica

I know this blog is suppose to be about my crafts, recipes, and other consumer house factoids, but I'm going to take a brief second to talk about my little epiphany. It really doesn't fit in my other blog.
For the longest time I was convinced that the Westside was too cool for school; that somehow it wasn't some thing for me because I was too independent and so indie rock that the manicured structures were a faux pas. I guess it doesn't surprise many because I spent soo many years chasing a grunge valley boy.

MAJOR SIDE NOTE: {If you don't know my story this is how it goes: In the spring of junior year in college I met a boy. He was a bit weird and dirty and had dreadlocks...oh and Asian. We were chem lab partners and eventually we started dating. After college we stayed together, even though we lived an hour away. 2 1/2 years passed and I found myself moving to LA for a new job, but to mainly be with him. We broke up 2 weeks after my move and I've been trying to find myself ever since. One baby step at a time...I've lived 3 miles away from him for a little over a year and I'm finally ready for a change}
Anyway, this morning I decided to give this place another change and you know what?!?!?! I LOVE it! In the early morning as the Farmer's Market was opening up for the day, I found myself rejoicing in the simplicities of life. Granted a lot of faces were sullen and just not happy because it was early, I felt at home for the first time since my move to LA. On the empty streets of the promenade it was like a long conversation with the buildings and all its frailties as the morning fog rolled in from the shore.
I don't know where life will take me (I do know that I'm moving to the Westside next year), but there's such a comfort in that unknown. I KNOW that if I continue to do this blog I will find myself and find a voice. I guess my resolution is to always do what you are passionate about because money comes and goes, but the experiences in life make that daily grind all worth while. Also, learn to give things/ people the opportunity to wow even if you are initially turned off...everything deserves a second chance....maybe not 3, 4, or 5 chances, but at least a second one. :) 
Stay strong my beautiful friends! <3 

April Birchbox Review

After using 4 of the 6 products for the past few days, I think its time to write my thoughts. I haven't used the other two: dress tape (no use for it yet) and bright green nail polish (a bit too bright for me...my finger nails are mint green at the moment - pop but not too much).

I'll go in the order of the products in the picture:

1) June Jacobs Perfect Pumpkin Enzyme Polish - When I first opened the tube, it smelled like pumpkin pie and all the yummy spices of Thanksgiving Dinner. This enzyme scrub is smooth with course cut beads. Overall it nourishes the skin and smells yummy, however, at $51 for 3.8 fl oz...its more of a luxury item than a practical one. 

2) Befine Food Skin Care Daily Moisturizer (apparently on the internet the product is discontinued - mildly peeved) - Anyway, it actually moisturizes and protects your skin with rosemary, pomegranate, and rice. Often times, moisturizers with sunscreen leaves my skin extra oily and makes it break out, but this really did the trick. LOVE it!

3) Befine Food Skin Care Exfoliating Cleanser - I absolutely love this scrub with brown sugar and honey, makes you feel like a dessert which can be good. Overall its a really good product and the price is just right at $15 for 4 oz.

4) Viva La Juicy  - As the owner of Couture Couture by JC. It was nice to smell a similar pallet, however, Viva La Juicy has a more mature smell. Something I should probably considered as I become a working professional (arghhh....must not conform! lol)

In conclusion: I love getting a box of goodies in the mail once a month. Its such a lovely treat. Getting actual and personal mail through the postal service is like getting presents once a month. :)


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Kabocha Soup

I've been eating this soup my entire life and didn't even know that it was a Japanese pumpkin until a few months ago. One warning though, if you only cook for yourself this soup will last all week. I've been eating every night since Sunday. Lol. I guess the plus side is that I didn't have to cook for the rest of the week.

Kabocha Pumpkin
1lb Pork Short Spare Ribs (You can do chicken but I still had some meat left over)
4-5 TBSP Fish Sauce
Chopped Cilantro (Optional)
4-5 C Water

1) I don't like cutting the pumpkin, so I cheated. I used the Eat Cleaner to clean the outside and then wrapped the pumpkin with aluminum foil. Then baked in the oven at 350 Degrees for 45min or until the pumpkin was soft. While the pumpkin is still hot, remove the pit, stalk and cut it bite size pieces. Leave the skin on because it has a ton of nutritional value.

2) Meanwhile, in a pot boil the pork ribs at medium heat and remove the surface fat.

3)Add the pumpkin and fish sauce in the pot and leave to stew until the soup thickens (~40 min)

4)Since I'm using pork, I'll let the soup cool down and store in the fridge over night. In the morning, you'll see that more of the fat will clot and remove that before reheating and serving.

5) Add Cilantro, rice and you've got a meal

Note: Refrigerating the soup only applies to pork or other fatty meats. You don't have to worry about that with chicken as long as its skinless. Also you can cook the meat separately a day ahead so you can serve it fresh. I am just lazy after work and it goes better with my laissez faire motto.

Enjoy! <3

EDIT: Sorry about the hyperlink address for the Eat Cleaner, just fixed it! :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Eat Cleaner

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE these food cleaners and the fact that they are all natural and simple ingredients is an added bonus. I've been using these spray cleaners for a while now and even if you don't believe all of this hippie stuff, I promise you that you will notice the difference in fruits and vegetables. The fruit and vegetable wash cleaner helps to take off the filmy wax texture on fruits such as apples and grapes.

At first I was skeptical about this (no joke, when my friend was telling me about his product...I had MAJOR doubts...sorry Zeus), but now I love it and its really inexpensive considering the cost of organic fruits and vegetables. Its not an absolute alternative to local and fresh, but with the economy and the weird health scares, its an add reassurance that you can reduce some unnecessary digestion of unnatural chemicals. 

Also, check out the meat cleaner. Its not crazy science, it just changes the pH of the surface which can reduce the amount of bacteria microbials that can begin to cultivate on raw meat from the get go. Yes, cooking the meat will kill almost all bacteria and your stomach is strong to kill a few more, like I said before...better safe than sorry. :)

Try it out and tell me what you think? I would love to hear some feedback...any feedback... *sigh* 

Kale & Tomato Soup

Kale - I have a love hate relationship with this deep green legume. It is sooo insanely healthy for you, its something I've grown to love through the years. Honestly, you can only eat soo much before the taste becomes like chalk in your mouth. So with that, I devised a healthy soup to feed your body and tastebuds.

First the key to this recipe is fresh and clean homemade chicken broth. I can not express the importance and the deliciousness that is accompanied with fresh chicken broth to any dish. Yes, the canned stuff and the expensive one from Whole Foods is good, but none can COMPARE.

To make your own chicken broth, I usually take scraps of drumsticks and scapula bone (that bit alone proves that I'm a science nerd!) from breast meat (the bones that are left after you cut off the meat you want). This DOES NOT include chicken skin, if you put fat into the broth, you will get fat back. So with your scraps, stew with water in a pot and you'll see your broth forming slowly. Remember to remove the bubbles (dirty boiled off fat) from the top of the broth. 

You can usually keep the broth up to a week. Probably longer but mine never sticks around that long. Chicken broth is good to add to almost every dish cause it adds a richness of flavor without adding salt.

Kale Soup

Kale leaves - cut off the stems, you can always saute them with some other dish
3-4 Diced Tomatos
1 Chopped up carrot
3 Minced Pieces of Garlic
1/2 chopped onion
2 TSP cooking oil
3 C Chicken Broth
Pepper  (optional - just to taste)

1) Lightly Saute garlic and onions with cooking oil in a pot (Cooking them before brings flavor to dish)
2) Add the rest of the ingredients
3) Cook at medium - low heat until the carrots are soft

And there you go! A simple tasty Kale & Tomato Soup. I usually eat this with a slice of multigrain toast. Seems hippiesh, but as the saying goes 'when in rome...' :D

Thit Kho Xương

This is one of my FAVORITE Vietnamese dishes, however, I'm very hesitant to write a blog entry on Vietnamese Cuisine for fear that I don't serve my heritage enough justice. But I will try to share you my takes on some of my favorite Vietnamese dishes. My mom is from the south and my dad is from the middle. There are many differences in the style and overall cooking techniques between the different regions of Vietnam. I mainly know the southern style, so bear with me. 

Please note that I learned a lot about cooking through watching my cousin, Phoung, as I was growing up. She is only 6 years older but she took care of me, my sister and her little brother while we were growing up at our aunt's house in Trabuco Canyon. 

We didn't have the shiniest toys or the coolest clothes or even cable, but we managed and builded strong family bonds through those years and I couldn't imagine my life any different. Because of our parent's sacrifices, all four of us went on to college. Phoung is now a successful clinical pharmacist, married and has two hairy trolls. My cousin, Evan, is a teacher whom his students adore/ fear. LOL. Christina, my sister, is about to graduate this year with a Bachelors in Nursing. And I am a lost soul with a chemistry degree "pretending" to be a scientist.

Anyway, back to the recipe. I hope you try it and tell me what you think or what your version of this recipe is. :) Also, from my understanding, this is a very southern dish. 

1-2lb Pork Short Spare Ribs 
3-5 TBSP Fish Sauce
3 TBSP Agave Syrup (I use this in lieu of sugar because I feel agave has a deeper and roasted taste which transfers to the dish)
4-5 diced Garlic pieces
2 TBP cooking oil
1/2 C Water
Chopped cilantro (optional - I say that but honestly it is NOT a Vietnamese Dish without the cilantro)

*make sure your pan has a lid

1) Cut the pork into bite size pieces and mix with fish sauce and agave syrup in a mixing bowl for about 45 min. (You want to lightly marinate the meat...not saturate the pallet) 
2) In a pan lightly sauté the garlic with cooking oil until translucent
3) Add marinated meat at medium heat, so you can lightly toast the outside of the meat (> 3min)
4) Add water to pan and cover the pan with the lid
5) Reduce the heat a bit (not too low) and leave the meat to cook for 30-45 min (You want the water and marinate to soften the meat as well as the cartilage)
6) Once the meat is to your liking, take off the lid and bring the heat back up. The water will vaporize and caramelization will begin. (>10min)
7) Add cilantro and serve with rice and sliced veggies like cucumber and tomatoes.


Homemade Face Scrub and Mask

If you're like me, you have sensitive combination skin that breaks out at the slightest signs of stress. Needless to say, my face is hating me right now. LOL. Anyway, my college best friend, Han, did some research and found me two natural and safe home remedies. 

Face Scrub/ Exfoliant:
1 Part Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Part Baking Soda

Mix well and gently scrub through your face. The small beads of the baking soda will rid your face of dead skin while the olive oil will moisturize your skin. With lightly warmed water, gently wash the scrub off your face & PAT DRY. Do not wipe your face clean, cause it will counteract the purpose of the olive oil and just rip away your face and irritate the skin. REMEMBER to ALWAYS PAT DRY whenever you wash.

Face Mask:
1 Part Baking Soda
1 Part Honey

Mix well and generously apply to your face. Leave for 15 min and wash off. The baking soda will clamn your pores while the honey will nurture your skin.

Well, I hope this works for you!  <3

Birchbox: April

This is my first Birchbox...I'M IN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!! Birchbox, if you didn't know is a monthly cosmetic subscription. In each box are a few trials of cosmetic items. If you're like me and constantly looking for new products, it is a rather inexpensive way to exploring your options without having to hand over a lot of dough. ($10 for each month)

Actually, before I subscribed it was a battle between a Hulu subscription or a Birchbox. I decided on the latter because I already have Netflix. Also, there are tons of cosmetic subscriptions options

I'll be back soon with what I thought of each product, so stay in tuned! <3

How to Polish Brass Jewelry

So I think its been close to a year since I've written an entry for this blog. So here you go. This is the easiest thing to do and onl...