Friday, March 23, 2012

Wall Decor: Yarn Letters

I've been dying to try this out for EVER! I found a couple of blogs on weaving yarn on paper mache letters, but though this was the best. You can't really see the weaving in the picture but each letter took an entire spool of yarn (It's call a spool of yarn, right? or a ball?) 

Anyways, it is VERY time consuming but be patient and take breaks. The end result is well worth an evening of repetitive motion. The other letters in the pictures were cut out of contact paper. I choose the word 'Jelly' because I couldn't think of a cute word (J is the letter my housemate's name :) )

Oatmeal: Brain Food

First of all, I HATE oatmeal...well its not something I would go for in the morning. I would rather have a breakfast burrito, but that's not very healthy or nutritious. So, oatmeal is something I've grown accustomed to because it keeps it sticks in your belly a lot longer which is very helpful for me when I'm running around like a headless chicken in the lab.

The oatmeal I used is my own little concoction of FOUR different store bought oatmeals:
- Quaker Oats Instant
- Steel Cut Oats
- Bob's Red Mill Rolled Wheat Hot Cereal
- Bob's Red Mill 10 grain Hot Cereal

2 C of my Oatmeal Mixture
3 1/2 C water
1/2 Almond Milk (you can use any milk - I'm just on this healthy kick at the moment...Summertime)
3 TBSP Brown Sugar
2 TSP Vanilla Extract
Slow Cooker

* Combine all ingredients in the Slow Cooker and set it on Low for 8 hours (overnight)
* In the morning you'll have creamy oatmeal (~ 4 servings)

Note: If you only want to use Steel Cut Oats Follow the same directions but use only 1C.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi Day: Blackberry Pie

What is Pi Day? It is the day that nerds all around celebrate the significance of this mathematical constant. If you think about it, if it had not been discovered many things in modern society would be greatly different.

Anyways, to commemorate today, I baked a pie...the only downfall is I began my detox diet this week. (my nice jeans are not fitting so well - need to cleanse my body and 'reboot' it :p ) This is my own recipe so I hope you enjoy it!


2 1/2 C All-purpose Flour
1 C (2 sticks) butter cut into cubes
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
7 tbsp Water
1 egg beaten - used for glaze

2 containers of washed Blackberries
1/2 C Sugar
6 tbsp All-purpose Flour
2 tbsp Lemon Juice (or half a lemon)


- In a large bowl add flour, salt and sugar together.
- Next add the butter. Knead the butter into the mixture with your hands (you can use a food processor but that takes the fun away)
- Add the water 1 tbsp at a time as you continue to knead it through the mixture.
- Once done put it into the refrigerator to chill  ( don't want the dough to be too soft while you wait for the filling)

- Combine all ingredients and lightly shift through the fruit so all become coated
- let sit at room temperature for 30 min - the juices from the fruit will come out.

Putting it all together:
- Set Oven for 350 Degrees
- Take out dough and let it sit for a few minutes before taking the rolling pin to it (unless you've got some amazing arm power)
- To cut out the base of the pie, I turned the pie glass (any baking container works - I just have the glass one) upside down and trace the bowl with an extra inch around, so it sits well in the glass.
- Once you place the dough in the container and GENTLY place the berries in.
- Using the extra dough cut out stripes to weave the pieces on top
- Gently brush with egg mixture and cook for 45-60 min.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wall Flower

Blank Walls. They bother me. My apartment is covered with them. So a few weeks ago, right after I promised myself a REAL break from dating, I realized that I had tons of time to fill up these vacant walls.

The first order of business was the kitchen wall. As you can see its huge and really naked. At first I thought I would buy one of those decal designs off Esty but soon realized they were costly and a waste of money; knowing that I will eventually move out. 

So I decided to make my own decal. My cost: ~ $9 ( Buttons, Butterflies, Felt)

- 'Wood' contact paper from Hardware store (Mine is from Home Depot which I had from a previous project)
- 8"x 5" sheets of Tissue Paper (everyone has this stuff lying around)
- Craft Gems (I used buttons because I couldn't find the colors I liked at Jo-anns)
- Hot Glue Gun
- Felt sheets in different shades of green
- Kitty play ball (or any other ball roughly the size of a golf ball
- Butterflies (these were half off at Michael's)


Trunk & Branches:
- Using several different cut outs, I created my tree with a cut and paste method. 
- First I drew and cut out the basic shape of my trunk then cut out other pieces to fill in for the branches
NOTE: make sure to clean the surface of the wall before applying the paper so it sticks better.

-The majority of my time was spent on making these. I found the idea here.
-The only difference was that I used hot glue to bind the different petals together and trimmed the end so they wouldn't stick out too far from the wall. (Be Careful with the glue poor fingers)

- I just cut out shapes from a pattern I drew on a postcard.

Gluing the Butterflies, Leaves & Flowers:
- I am VERY fortunate that the walls are painted with a shiny paint. I just hot glued the pieces onto the wall. I'm pretty sure you can do it with a matted surface (don't hold me to this), the only difference would be the removal.
- To remove any of these pieces off the wall, it is best to grab a hair dryer and apply heat to the surface, this way you don't take a piece of the wall with you.

Well, I hope you found this interesting. Let me know if you try this out. I would LOVE to see your creations. <3

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cupcakes Decorating

Usually I create my own recipe when making cakes and other sweets, but my sole purpose was to work on my decorating/ piping skills. The cupcakes ended up being super yummy and moist (little secret: I tend to add a bit more butter than the recipe calls)

This is the recipe for the chocolate cake can be found here. The vanilla frosting was one I made a few weeks ago for my friend's Ninja Cake. Tip: if you make too much frosting, just grab a container and throw it in the freezer. Before using it, let it defrost over night and you might have to add a bit more powder sugar in case the frosting absorbed some on the moisture in the freezer.

This flower piping tutorial was one I found on Pinterest. I didn't really follow her instructions because I'm still trying to get the knack of this and then I topped them off with pearl sprinkles from Jo-ann's.

I had soo much mini cupcakes left I played with the other piping tips. <3

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Let’s see, my current dating life is non-existent but that’s beside the point. One should always smell good. Along with my obsession with shoes, I LOVE perfume as well. I think it’s a genetic thing, my Mom’s side of the family love perfume, I guess it’s the French influence that never really left my family. I grew up with my aunt spraying Chanel No. 5 or Tresor for work every day.

Any here’s a chart of my perfume breakdown if you can’t see the picture clearly

Ie: Daisy by Marc Jacob
Happy by Clinique
Ie: The Beat by Burberry
 Aura by American Eagle
Incanto Charm by Salvatore
Ie: La Force by Marc Jacob
Couture Couture by JC
Chanel No. 5 by Chanel
When to wear

           First Date
           First Day of work
           Flowery/ sweet scent but does not really linger
          Spring Time
           Has a citrus/ clean undertone
          Can be worn all season

          Clubbing or Just going out with the girls
         Women with high power jobs          Can have a floral scent but the smells lingers with aromatics and has dept
         Cold Months

Flowery: On a first date, you want to come across and danty and cute – harmless. The same goes with first day of work, you want to be approachable and friendly. EVERYONE wants to be liked and we as humans are keen on smells and their associations.

Neutral: Everyday use because the fresh undertone just makes you ‘like everyone else’ ; you’re not trying to attract attention but you still want to smell good.

Musky: These perfume usually put off a masculine…I am woman hear me roar vibe, which is really appropriate when you’re out with the girls and   ‘just want to dance’ cue in Dane Cook. :p Honestly, if you manage to attract guys with this perfume, I would be cautious they really aren’t the ones that you want long term…I’m not saying that they aren’t nice guys, just be careful if you want a man to be the bread and butter. Also, these types of perfumes are wonderful when you want to establish authority because of the masculine tone.

Well, I hope this is at least entertaining if not informative :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fusion Food: A Yummy Mosaic

In America, we have the idea of the Melting Pot as a means of explaining the mixture of many different cultures. This term was first used by Crevecoeur in 1782 in Letters from an American Farmer. This idea still remains to strong in our culture. Crevecoeur's idea makes me feel that the ethnic roots are lost and are not distinctive. 

However, as much as I have pride in being an American, I don't think it as beautiful as the Canadian's version the Cultural Mosaic. Which makes me think that the individual pieces remain in their own uniqueness but collectively they create a beautiful picture.

Either metaphor you like, it really doesn't matter. I think food is a prime example of cultures meeting whether its spices or techniques, they all trace back to something/ some people.  Just thought I would have a nerd moment and share that with you to open up to this recipe. 

Anyway, back to this recipe. It was first taught to be back in Santa Cruz when I was living with a woman of African and Indian decent. She was such an amazing person with a very strong spirit and very interesting background. She was fluent in French (she helped me but conversing with me), went to boarding school overlooking the Himalayas  and was super bad ass in Mauy Thai. Absolutely an amazing person

When she taught me this recipe it was a fusion of her Ethiopian and Indian background. Over the years, I have added my Vietnamese influence into this recipe.  I hope you try this out and tell me what you think.
- Tomatoes
- Spinach
- Yellow Onion
- Garlic Cloves
- Cabbage
- Chicken (other meats can be used but I think poultry has a nice palette and compliments many spices)
- Chicken Boullion ( Chicken Broth)
- Whole Cumin Seeds
- Bay Leaves
- Vietnamese Fish Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Vegetable Oil
- Water

* cut all fresh veggies into bite size pieces except spinach, leave it whole.

- Sautee Garlic and Onions until translucent then add Bay Leaves (about 3 large leaves) and Cumin (~2tbsp)
- Add in 2 tbsp of Fish sauce along with one cube of chicken bouillon (if using chicken broth wait)
- Add chicken and brown the surface
- Add dices tomatoes & 1/2 c water (if use chicken broth, substitute for water)
-Let the sauce simmer at medium low until most of the chicken is cooked
- Add chopped cabbage, add another 2tbsp  of fish sauce & soy sauce
- When the chicken is about done, add the spinach and lightly mix it in for no more than 5 min (want the spinach to hold some of its shape)

Serve with Jasmine Rice and there you have it!

P.S. I'm still getting used to writing recipe so bare with me as I play around with writing styles. 

Home Remedy: Unclogging a Drain

I found this  online and thought I would give it a try. Our apartment bath tub is majorly clogged, probably from hair and the problem seems to be gradually getting worst. So if this works, it definitely beats calling maintenance to bring over the claw to and clean it out. (I don't want to see what's in there...ewww!)

The article calls for:

1/2 C Baking Soda
1/2 C Vinegar ( I used the good stuff because I didn't have the Hentz one around the house)
1 Warm Damp Towel

- Pour Baking Soda down the Drain
- Next add the Vinegar (You'll get a foaming reaction but that's okay)
- Then cover the drain with the warm damp towel for 5 min
-  Uncover the drain and then flush out with hot water

I'm not sure if it really helped much, but we shall see tonight. :)

Also, for other cleaning ideas check out the article:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cleaning Suede Heels

As you may know, I have an insane obsession with shoes but this does not always mean I take care of them well. An example would be my go to pair of nude suede heels by by BCBGeneration. I love these shoes and use them almost every electric event and or clubbing/ dancing night. The downfall however is that suede picks up everything from dirt, water and alcohol.

After tearing up the dance floor for about 7 months, I decided to give them a good clean. I searched on google and found this site: It tells you situational solutions to cleaning suede with simple solutions such as erasers, nail brushes, and simply water to reverse the damage. Note: what I think is very key is to buy that protection spray for your shoes to reduce damage in the long run.

So here I took a couple of pictures of the process. The very top picture is my end result, not too bad considering how they were to begin with.

I should be ashamed to show you this picture, my shoes look soo nasty but its because I really do dance my ass off when I hit the floor.

You can't really tell but the suede was lifting from the heel because I probably cut the fabric with my other heel. You might think that's weird but anything is possible. My solution to this was to get some tacky glue to stop further lifting. It doesn't look pretty or seamless but it definitely got the job done.

After the glue had dried, I took the nail brush and gently brushed off most of the dirt. To my dismay the shoes were still dirty so I took some water along with the brush and went back and gently soaked the surface of the shoes.

To speed up the drying the process, I used the heater in my apartment bathroom, it worked like a charm.

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...