Monday, January 30, 2012

Something light

   I have been eating so horribly the past's bad. There have been a few salads here and there, but also pizza, beer, burgers and french toast. I made cookies last night out of boredom, and now they are just sitting on the counter, waiting to be eaten. Why do I do that to myself?

I'm thinking I need a week of detox. Here are a few delicious looking recipes, that also happen to be on the lighter side. Now I just need to get rid of those cookies...

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry via Motherthyme

Avocado and Ricotta on Toast via A Cozy Kitchen

Blueberry Smoothie via Marie-Louise Avery

Grilled Eggplant, Halloumi and Pesto Burger, via The Healthy Haven

 Mango Yogurt Parfait via Champagne mango

Asian Chicken Noodle Salad via Serious Eats

Brussel Sprouts with Maple Buttered Pecans via The Family Kitchen. I bet this would be good, even without buttering up the pecans!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Roses & Plum

This is my attractive face, in case you were wondering. I usually end up with a couple of silly pictures every time I take pictures of my outfit because, well... it feels rather silly sometimes. But I usually spare you guys. Oh god. Every time I look at it, it just gets increasingly attractive.

Shirt: J. Crew
Skirt: Thrifted
Cardigan: BCBG
Belt: Delias
Boots: Steve Madden

   Finally, the week is over! Yessss. Between my two tests and photo assignment, I was a little stressed out this week. But it's all over now, yippee! I went to Starbucks after class to celebrate by indulging in a green tea frappucino, and after I placed my order I realized I didn't have my debit card. Gah, I hate when that embarrassing. And no green tea frap. First world problems.

    I am really loving my photojournalism class. The professor is knowledgeable and easy to approach which is really helpful. Every week we have an assignment which gets turned in on Thursday, and the class goes over every picture to critique it. It's pretty nerve wracking, but all the feedback is a great way to learn.

   On Tuesday I am heading to Seattle for my Clinique class, to learn about the new products coming out. It's a fun time, as they usually give you a goodie or two and the lunch served is always super delicious.I'm hoping to have a few spare moments to take some pictures!

    The lovely Hannah from A Cup of Subtle Tea has started working on a new layout for me! She has been so awesome and patient, and I really can't wait to show you what we (and by we, I mean me being spewing ideas at her, while she tries to make sense of them) have been working on.

    Hope you all have a lovely weekend! Have any fun plans? My plans for tonight involve a few cold stouts, and a marathon of United States of Tara. I'm a pretty wild and crazy gal!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Little Elephant at Jinx 1/21/12

    I've been so busy these past few days with work and school, that I haven't had any time to update. But I finally have an extra few hours to drink a glass of iced coffee, and give this blog some love.
    On Saturday night, Tommy's band, The Little Elephant, had a show at Jinx Art Space. Tommy has done quite a bit of volunteering at Jinx, and it's a great little venue for local bands and artists. Newly renovated, Jinx has a large area for bands to play, and artists to work. My favorite part is a little corner filled with...well all sorts of random knickknacks, plants, lights and various other things. It's quite beautiful in a great and very odd way.
    The band played great, and a few of Tommy's friends from down south were able to come up and watch. I got on a guest list for the first time, which made me feel pretty bad ass. They are a really fun band to listen to and watch. As I type this, I am actually listening to them practice in the garage.

      Man, is it hard to get good pictures at shows! Between the lighting and all the movement, I was bummed most of my pictures came out rather blurry or dark. It's good practice for me though. Here is that little corner I mentioned. There were so many details that I wish I would have taken more pictures!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More rain, less snow.

1. Anthropologie // 2. Target // 3. Vessel // 4. Joules

   While all this snow is beautiful, it definitely has helped me appreciate the Washington rain. It's so much easier to get around in and dress appropriately for! I am kinda obsessed about this rain coat from Anthropologie. I'm not sure why, but it's so hard to find a cute rain coat. I love my North Face because it keeps me dry, but the shape is so boxy. I love the pattern on this coat and the drawstrings around the waist. Hopefully I can save up enough money for it before it's gone!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snowy branches


    Yes, it makes driving very difficult. And yes, it's cold, wet and slippery. But oh man, snow is so pretty.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spicy Yam and Lime Chicken Soup

   You know those meals, where you think, "That was moderately healthy...I'll just have a little more!" Then before you know it, you've had another helping or two and at that point, it probably isn't so healthy? This soup is that meal for me. With the yams, carrots, celery, avocado and chicken, it's easy to justify eating more than you should. And believe me, you will want more.

    I made this soup last night, and it has been the perfect lunch and dinner for the cold weather. Seattle is experiencing a bit of a snow storm. Here in Bellingham we have a good five inches or so, and are expected to accumulate a few more tonight. I'm sure readers in the Midwest are rolling your eyes and thinking, "Five inches? That's cute." But that is a lot for us! I love it so far because I haven't needed to go anywhere...we will see how I feel about it tomorrow if classes aren't canceled.

    When I moved to Bellingham, my mom gave me the recipe for this soup and I have since lost it. So, I just kinda wing it whenever I make it. Because of this, you may want to adjust the spiciness to your liking. Keep in mind this recipe is for a big pot! Tommy and I are able to get a few days out of it.

Spicy Yam and Lime Chicken Soup
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 to 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 large golden yams, cut into cubes
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 6 cups chicken chicken stock 
  • 2 cups water
  • chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (small can will do)
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 3 to 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tbs. paprika
  • 1 tbs. cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 avocado (optional, highly recommended!)
  • fresh cilantro (optional, highly recommended!)
  1. Dice onion and garlic, and cook over medium in a few tablespoons butter or oil until translucent. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Add celery, carrots and yam. 
  3. Add sage, dried cilantro, thyme, paprika and cumin. 
  4. Add more ground black pepper and bay leaves.
  5. Remove three or four chipotle peppers from can, chop, and add to pot. I like to add a big spoon of the adobe sauce as well. 
  6. Add shredded chicken. 
  7. Add chicken broth and water. 
  8. Cut one lime into four pieces, squeeze juice into broth and toss the wedges in. 
  9. Add salsa verde.
  10. Bring to a boil, and let cook for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until veggies start to get soft.
  11. Taste! I sometimes need to add a little chicken base. Not spicy enough for you? Add another chipotle pepper!
  12. Once all the veggies are done, turn off heat and let sit for 20 minutes. 
  13. Top soup with avocado and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

   Raspberry is on of my favorite flavors to pair with chocolate. I made these cupcakes for a work get together Sunday night, and they were delicious! Okay, so I used a cake mix. Duncan Hines I believe. I wanted them done quickly, and let's be honest...cake mixes always turn out good! If you're feeling particularly domestic, I have used Martha's chocolate cupcake recipe and it turned out well. Homemade frosting is the only option though. No frosting out of a jar allowed. I filled my cupcakes with raspberry jam, and topped them with chocolate ganache.

     Above are the ladies I work with at my counter, minus one. We were celebrating our counter making a million dollars this year. I am pretty lucky to work with such beautiful, kind and hilarious women.

   It started snowing early this morning, and hasn't stopped all day! There is about two inches outside, which is quite a bit for Bellingham. Although it's unlikely, I'm hoping for a snow day tomorrow. I would love to have a day to play in the snow, eat spicy yam and chicken soup, and get some studying done.

Martha's Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.
  3. Pour batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then spread with Easy White Icing using a table knife or small offset spatula. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
  • 12 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup heavy cream 
  • 1½ tbsp. corn syrup
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1. In a saucepan, mix cream and corn syrup. Heat until just boiling.
  2. Place cream mixture over the chocolate, and let sit for a minutes to allow the chocolate to melt.
  3. Slowly whisk chocolate and cream until blended.
  4. One tablespoon at a time, add butter and mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Let ganache sit for a few minutes to thicken in order to be spread or piped.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Relaxing Friday

   Just look at that yummy breakfast my boy whipped up for me this morning! While pinning a few nights ago, Tommy saw me looking at this egg boat recipe from Spoonforkbacon, and his eyes lit up. I believe his words were something like, "Put that in my tummy!" I love when he gets excited about food, because he would seriously forget to eat if I didn't remind him. That blows my mind, because coffee and food are one of the first thoughts on my mind everyday. He made mini vegetarian versions, and they turned out wonderfully!

    Oh, and I just have to show off my favorite find of the moment, this vintage coffee cup. Aren't the colors beautiful?I love sipping my coffee and tea out of it.

   After my one class of the day, I went to the water to work on an assignment for my Photojournalism class. Our assignment is called "Icebreaker," and requires us to photograph six strangers, and ask them what they want to do before the possible end of the world in 2012. I have two of the six so far, and I'm pleased with how they turned out. I have a real hard time building up the courage to photograph strangers. Everybody I have asked has been really friendly and willing, the difficult part is simply approaching them!

    While at the bay, I was able to snap a few shots of the beautiful sunset. Oh Washington,  how I love you so.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gentri Lee's Group Giveaway

Gentri Lee is having a fabulous group giveaway over at her blog, and I am giving away two of my favorite Clinique lipglosses! As some of you know, I work at Clinique, so I love to share my favorite products with others. Hop over to her blog, check out all the awesome prizes and enter to win!

1. Clinique's Vitamin C Lip Smoothie in Pom-a-greatness.
2. Clinque's Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Mango.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ups and downs


Dress: Rachel Roy (from Macy's)
Sweater: Old Navy
Scarf: Target
Earrings: Nordstrom
Belt: Delias
Shoes: thrifted

    The past couple days have definitely had their share of ups and downs. On Saturday I had one of the worst days at work ever. I have been working in retail for five years, so I have experienced my fair share of rude customers. Well, my last two customers on Saturday took the cake. Congrats you crazy bitches! You won that contest. At one point one of them told me, "I am the customer, and you are just a salesgirl." Just a salesgirl...who says that to somebody? After being belittled and talked down to for about an hour between these two customers I was finally able to come home, and cry a little. I have never been treated so badly by a customer before, it kinda blew my mind.

    On a more positive note, this quarter is off to a great start. My teachers are all pleasant, I don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn on Mon/Wed/Fri, I'm pretty interested in all my classes, and my books haven't cost me a fortune so far. Also, today was the perfect winter rain!

    Oh yes, so about the outfit. This dress is easily becoming on of my new favorites. Probably because it's so comfy and I got it for about $8. Can't beat that, especially when you consider it was $100 originally! The lipstick I am wearing is Sephora's "It Girl," and the nail polish is Zoya's "Noel" that I got in my first Birchbox.

    Also! I'm looking to spruce up the blog a bit design-wise. So if you, or somebody you know does some design work, let me know! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Stepping on details

 1."don't worry, be happy" 2. teeth. 3.we're without parents, youth. 4. why are you here now?

     Built on a bog, Western paved its campus with bricks to give the terrain the ability to adjust. Random bricks located near the art buildings have been made with designs, or little sayings. While Western has many art pieces throughout its campus, including an impressive sculpture collection, these small details are pleasant surprises. I often look down while hurrying to class, so I love how they give my eye something new to take in. These are just a few, but my favorite is probably the brick reading, "Why are you here now?" It's an interesting question to ask yourself while you hurry throughout your day.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Melting Moment Cookies

 How cute are these little guys? These sweet little butterballs are the perfect cookie for just about any occasion. They are a staple in my families Christmas cookie repertoire, but they would fit right in at a tea party, baby shower or inside a cookie jar. Gone in about two bites, they melt in your mouth and thus the name!

 Keep in mind when you make these, each sandwich requires two cookies. I always worry I've made too many, until you place them together and halve the amount. Not that you can ever have too many cookies ;)

Melting Moments

1 cup butter
2 cups flour
2 tbs powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

8-12 tbs powdered sugar
2 tbs butter
2 tbs boiling water
1 tsp vanilla
food coloring optional

1. Cream together butter and vanilla. Add flour and powdered sugar.
2. Form balls. Flatten with fork dipped in sugar.
3. Bake at 350 until golden.
4. Cool on rack, handle very gently.
5. Frost, and form a sandwich. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Erdem resort 2012

    Okay, so I know the Erdem resort collection for 2012 is old news by now. But I just discovered it, and want every piece! I especially love the combinations of florals and houndstooth. View the entire collection here.

 images via erdem