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Saturday, August 31, 2013

3 Weird Music Genres (That Aren't Really That Weird)

Today Allie from Call Me Sassafras is sharing three odd music genres (that really are not that strange.) I always like to check out different types of music, so I enjoyed giving these a listen. My favorite has got to by the electro-swing!

Hey y'all! I'm Allie and I blog over at Call Me Sassafras. The name comes from a nickname that my longtime boyfriend calls me when I'm being, well, sassy! My blog is a place where we can celebrate our uniqueness + intelligence. I'm all about owning my quirks, whether that includes my obsession with dinosaurs or tendency to sing really loud in the car! 

One of said quirks is that I listen to weird music. But like good weird! When it comes to music, don't restrict yourself to a genre. Don't say, "I like rap!" or "I like pop" when there's so much more you probably haven't given a chance yet! So today for example, I'm gonna give you three kinds of music and I challenge you to give them a try. They sounded weird to me at first too, but there's beauty in trying something new!

Example one. Celtic rock. Wanted to feel classy and badass and dramatic all at the same time? This is for you. And I don't drink, but these sure would make a heck of a drinking song. Bagpipes can be awesome, man. Especially with those electric guitars. (More here.) 


Example two. Electro-swing. Stick with me guys, just try them once! This is 1920s style swing, remixed with some techno. I don't like techno, but I love this kind of music. Start off easy with a cover of Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" and go on from there. The first two both have rad, retro videos too.


Example three, the weirdest of them all: Gregorian chants. So maybe this isn't music, but it's so relaxing to listen to, especially after a long stressful day. Like all of the above, give it a chance!

Gregorian Chants How about that! Very La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, right?

 So what did you think? Weird/worthless or weird/wonderful? Do you have any weird music likes? If you like things like this (or I do post "normal" music too), head over to my blog! You can see more playlists here, here and here. And be sure to know you're coming from here--leave your blog and I'll check you out!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Pumpkin Roundup

Fall is right around the corner, and we all know what that means. Pumpkin flavored everything! Ahhh, so excited. I love all things pumpkin flavored. I can't wait to venture out from pumpkin bread and try some new recipes, like pumpkin scones and soup!

If you love pumpkin like I do, watch out for this weeks "Ice Cream Sunday" post. :) Here are a few recipes I can't wait to try!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Strange, but good

The other day, a coworker saw me put honey in my coffee. "You put honey in your coffee? Huh," she said. I thought about it, and I can understand how honey in coffee might seem kinda strange if you've never done it before. To me, it's just like putting sugar in your coffee but it seems easier because you just have to squeeze the bottle! Plus, it's tasty.

Other strange but good things: mustard in grilled cheese sandwiches and macaroni and cheese, A1 on scrambled eggs, cottage cheese in tomato soup, dunking your fries in a milkshake, potato chips in your sandwich, avocado on everything (joking...kinda) and Nutella and cream cheese on toast.

What things do you eat that others might consider strange? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cookie Butter & Banana Smoothie

This isn't exactly a healthy smoothie. Sure, it has bananas in it, but it also has cookie butter. Yes, cookie butter is a thing that exists, and if you haven't tried it yet you're seriously missing out. I'm pretty late to the cookie butter party but after hearing about it a few times from readers (thanks Hima!) and various other sources, I knew I had to get my act together.

Cookie butter is  like peanut butter except the peanuts were swapped for ginger bread cookies or cinnamon graham crackers. Genius, right? It is mostly smooth in consistency with the tiniest bits of cookie pieces. You can spread it on toast, top off your ice cream, or of course make a smoothie with it! I can't wait to try baking with it.

You can find cookie butter at Trader Joes, and apparently they make a crunchy version as well. It's been so popular, the manufacturer was having trouble keeping up with demand. When I purchased mine, there were only about 5 left on the shelf. So run, don't walk and grab that cookie butter! Then make a smoothie with it.

But like I was saying, this isn't a healthy smoothie. Cookie butter isn't exactly health food (aka: the opposite of health food), so I would recommend making this when you really want a milkshake but can't commit to being fully indulgent. Or, if you are feeling fully indulgent, swap out the yogurt for ice cream. Then send me an email and invite me over. We can drink them and watch Mad Men or something cool.

Cookie Butter & Banana Smoothie
2 ripe bananas (frozen if you want your smoothie nice and cold)
2 tbs. cookie butter
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
splash of milk (a few tbs.)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1. In a blender, add all ingredients and blend thoroughly. Top with a dash of cinnamon, and enjoy!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ice Cream Sunday: Cake Batter Ice Cream

It's birthday season for me! My dad's birthday is the end of July, my sister's birthday was the 22nd, my mom's is the 30th and then Tommy's is the 1st of September. It's fun to have a bunch of birthdays in a short period of time. Lot's of gift giving, cake eating and probably a dinner out and about. Lots of fun, even if my bank account might disagree.

In honor of all these birthdays, I just had to make some cake batter ice cream! The first time I had this flavor, I wondered how they got the cake flavor in ice cream. Answer? Cake mix. Oh...duh. Haha. This ice cream is incredibly creamy and full of cake batter flavor. Even after freezing it all night, it stays somewhat soft which makes it super easy to scoop and enjoy. It's like eating cake batter by the spoonful but way better because it's frozen, creamier and you don't have to worry about raw eggs. Perfect!

Cake Batter Ice Cream (Recipe adapted from Yum Sugar)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup suagr
1 1/2 cups cake batter (yellow, white or funfetti is fine. I used funfetti)
2 tbs. vanilla extract

1. In a stand or electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar together until egg yolks lighten in color and holds a ribbon on the surface for about 2 seconds (this means the mixture has thickened and when drizzled, a ribbon of yolk will settle on the surface before sinking back into the mixture).
2. In a separate bowl, mix together cream and milk. Add egg mixture and whisk to thoroughly combine. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan and turn on medium heat, stirring regularly for about 5-10 minutes. You want the mixture to be about 180 degrees and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
3. Take mixture off heat, transfer into a container and let cool in the fridge for several hours. Once cooled, whisk in the cake mix and vanilla. Whisk thoroughly to get all lumps out.
4. Place mixture into your ice cream maker until the texture of soft serve. Transfer mixture to an airtight container, place in freezer and let freeze for several hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Style: Fall, Hurry Up

Dress: H&M
Cardigan: Bobeau (Nordstrom)
Belt: Forever21
Shoes: Nine West
Earrings: Nordstrom

I'm going to miss this backyard a lot once we move. It was perfect for taking outfit photos, laying outside and reading a book, and I can't forget about mowing it! Really gonna miss that, haha. Our new place has a tiny little yard, but not large enough for outfit photos. That means I'm gonna have to brave the outside world with my tripod and pray nobody sees me. That, or have to bribe Tommy into taking pictures. We shall see. 

This week was a good one. I got to hang with my dad on Sunday and celebrated my sister's 18th birthday on Wednesday. We did a little shopping and I bought two pairs of shoes that so far don't absolutely kill my wide feet. Oh happy day! 

It's finally starting to cool down, and I couldn't be more excited. Move over summer, fall is coming! Here in the pacific northwest our summers are fairly short and mild, so my summer wardrobe is pretty minimal. My collection of sweaters, scarves, boots and tights? Abundant, and ready to go! 

What are you most excited about for fall? I can't wait for hot coffee drinks! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Favorite Clinique Products

I have been working as a Clinique consultant for the past three years. It started as a part time job while in school, and since graduating I have moved up to full time. While I don't see it as something I'll do forever (customer service can wear on you) it has been a great company to work for! Clinique treats their employees really well, and it's awesome selling products you truly believe in.

All that being said, I thought it would be fun to share with you my top five Clinique products. I have tried almost all their stuff, and while there has never been anything I've hated, I definitely have my favorites! Have you tried Clinique before or use it currently? I would love to hear what you love (or dislike).

In no particular order...

1. Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer // This serum is awesome if you want softer, brighter, more radiant skin. I feel it's definitely an underrated serum from Clinique because not many people identify radiance as a real concern for their skin. This stuff basically speeds up your cell renewal process, so your skin makes healthy skin cells faster! This results in more radiant and even-toned skin. I find this helps a lot with breakout as well!

2. Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Color Balm // This lip product is a variation of the extremely popular chubby sticks, which are a sheer lip balms. These have a similar texture as the original, but the intense version has more pigment. So instead of a lip balm, these act more as a stain which I love. They are also made with mango and shea butter, so your lips stay soft. My favorite shade is "Heftiest Hibiscus," which is a super bright orange.

3. Quickliner For Eyes Intense // Love, love this liner. I use the "Intense Ebony," just about everyday! It's super creamy, smooth, loaded with pigment and once it dries it stays all day long. I love the rich pigment it has; the "Intense Ebony," gives the look of a liquid liner but is easier to apply. Clinique recently added some new colors too!

4. Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector // I have really dark circles all the time, no matter how much sleep I get. While this eye cream hasn't completely corrected this problem (no product ever will), it helps a ton! Lightweight yet hydrating, this eye cream has a slight tint that works for all skin tones. This tint doesn't cover the darkness, but rather creates a panty-hose effect so the darkness blends in better with the rest of your face. It also helps with puffiness as well!

5. Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup // If you have oilier skin like me, this foundation is awesome. By midday, my foundation is always sliding off my face due to oil production. This actually stays in place all day and has an awesome matte finish and moderate coverage. I always finish with a little powder to help further curb oil.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Thai Red Curry Pizza

Remember 1st grade? Life was simple, math was easy, folders were essential, you always had a place to hang your jacket, and everybody's favorite food was pizza. Unfortunately we can't go back to this magical time; math sucks, folders exist almost solely on your computer, and your jacket doesn't have a designated hook. Growing up can be a bummer.

That being said, we can all stop pretending pizza isn't our favorite food. We all know it is, and for good reason! Cheese + carbs + sauce + toppings = freaking delicious. Our 1st grade brains recognized this, and our love for pizza only grew as our palates became more adventurous. No more plain cheese pizza for us (although that is still pretty good), we are gonna dress up our pie with veggies, spice and herbs! Maybe getting older isn't so bad after all.

Thai food is one of my favorite types of cuisine, so thai ingredients on a pizza just makes sense if you ask me. This pizza has a little spice, lots of texture, melty cheese and a hint of sweetness. This pizza requires a little extra attention because it's important to cook some ingredients thoroughly, while some toppings you want to add at the end of cooking so they are still fresh yet warm. It's so worth it!

Thai Red Curry Pizza

Pizza Dough (recipe from
1 (.25 oz.) package dry active yeast
1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
2 tsp. white sugar
2 cups bread flour
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups bread flour, olive oil, salt and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
3. While dough is rising, prepare your toppings and preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 chicken breast, cooked and sliced (optional, tofu would be good too!)
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/4 yellow onion, finely sliced
Approx. 1/3 cup green onion, diced
Approx. 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
Approx. 1/3 cup bean sprouts
1/2 large carrot, cut into fine strips

1/2 cup coconut milk (I used light)
1 1/2 tbs. red curry paste
1 1/2 tbs. creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp. fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
dash of salt

4. Prepare the sauce! Simply add all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Taste, and add more salt or sriracha if you desire.
5. Once dough has risen, transfer to a well floured surface and roll out to your desired thickness. I rolled mine out to fit a 15x10 inch cookie sheet.
6.  Lightly oil your cookie sheet, place dough on the sheet and cover with sauce. Add chicken breast, bell pepper and yellow onion. Cover with about 1/2 cup cheese and place in oven for about 10-12 minutes or until dough is golden.
7. Remove pizza from oven and add green onion, cilantro, peanuts, bean sprouts and carrot slices and cover with the remainder of the cheese. Place in over for an additional 3-5 minutes or until cheese has started to bubble.
8. Let cool slightly, and enjoy!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sponsor Spotlight: Allie from Call me Sassafras

Today I'm happy to introduce Allie, from Call Me Sassafras. I really enjoy Allie's blog because she is super real, funny and well, sassy! I also enjoy that Allie writes about science and literature, makes awesome playlists and compiles great stuff from around the web. You can find Allie on Facebook and of course bloglovin', but first read her interview below and check out her top three favorite posts!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog:
Hey y'all! My name's Allie. I hail from freezing Minnesota, but now I split my days (school year/summer) between North Carolina and the shores of Lake Michigan. I'm always listening to music--my tastes range from woodsy folk to Macklemore to the Freelance Whales (who rock my socks off) to 60s surf rock. I think dinosaurs are the coolest thing ever--whale sharks and jellyfish tie for second. I like being under trees, with sarcastic people and asleep. 
Call Me Sassafras is a celebration of being yourself. In the process, I blog about everything that makes me unique! I blog about books that I can't stop thinking about, songs I can't get out of my head, science bits that fascinate me and a plethora of thoughts that pour out of my crazy imagination. 

Why do you blog?
I blog because of the acceptance I find here. With so many people on the internet, I'm bound to find someone else who thinks sharks are the shiz. Blogging gives me a community of ladies that I love and who love me in return--even if it's not in the usual way. Blogging also gives me a voice. I'm very social with people that I know in love, but I'm such an introvert also. This way, I make connections with other people but I also manage my social anxiety. 

What inspires you?
I'm inspired by people who do their own thing, even if it's in a small way. I love Amanda's blog because she blogs so much about ice cream--I don't know anyone else who does that, and that's just awesome! 

What are 3 random things about you?
1. I'm currently planning a big trip for next June. The options: Iceland, Costa Rica or Thailand. Have an opinion or another suggestion? Let me know!
2. I recently threw a Great Gatsby-themed dinner party with friends on my back lawn. You can see pictures here! It was super classy.
3. Call Me Sassafras came from a nickname my longtime boyfriend gave me when I was being sassy. (I'm Sassafras; he's Sasquatch).

3 Favorite Posts:

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ice Cream Sunday: Blackberry Pie Frozen Yogurt

If you had to choose one kind of pie to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be? I know it's a very serious, personal question that will probably require some serious soul searching to answer. Take a few minutes to think about it. No pressure. 

For me, it's gotta be blueberry pie (you thought I was gonna say blackberry, didn't ya?). Blackberry pie is an extremely close second, but blueberries don't have seeds so it comes out on top. Berry pies are simply the best if you ask me! It's a combination of the rich color, slight tang and sweet juice that just hits the spot. What's your favorite?

I've been wanting to try frozen yogurt using my ice cream maker for a while. Now that I have, I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner! I've really enjoyed simple frozen vanilla yogurt with bananas on top, but I knew I needed to try jazzing it up. 

I think you'd agree, this frozen yogurt is fully jazzed. It tastes just like eating blackberry pie, minus the seeds (hooray!). Creamy, sweet, tangy and full of pie crust pieces...does it get any better? This is definitely in my top 3 ice creams I've made to date...and it's (slightly) lower calorie than most! Love when that happens. 

For this recipe I used frozen blackberries, but fresh would work wonderfully as well. I also used a "regular" frozen yogurt rather than a low-fat version to give it extra creaminess. If you want to cut back on the calories, low-fat would work as well but won't be as rich. Oh, and you could also go with plain frozen yogurt rather than vanilla, it just won't be as sweet! 

Blackberry Pie Frozen Yogurt
16 oz. fresh of frozen blackberries
4 cups vanilla yogurt (low-fat or regular, I used regular)
1 cup sugar
Pre-baked pie crust (one "layer" is enough)

1. In a saucepan, mix together blackberries and sugar and turn on medium heat. Stir occasionally, and the berries will soon start releasing juice and the sugar will melt into a syrup. Let mixture come to a simmer, and use a fork to crush the berries. Continue cooking until the mixture is fairly smooth and syrupy and remove from heat.
2. Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer and use a whisk to help separate the pulp and seeds from the liquid. Throw away the berry pulp and seeds and place the syrup into the fridge until fully cool.
3. While your syrup is cooling, bake some pie crust! You can use whatever pit crust recipe you like. I used a pre-made pie crust to save time. Once your crust is baked, place in the fridge to cool.
4. Once the syrup and pie crust are cooled, combine syrup and yogurt and place in your ice cream maker until the consistency of soft serve. 
5. Transfer about 1/3 of your yogurt into a storage container, then layer chunks of pie crust, followed by more frozen yogurt. Keep layering with pie crust pieces until your frozen yogurt is completely transferred and place in the freezer for several hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Friday, August 16, 2013

purple + black + white

If I could live my life in only purple, black and white...I probably would. Throw some green in there, and I would be good to go. With my moving in a few weeks, I want to sell tons of stuff and buy up new, awesome, purple things. If only that was how it worked, right? Like, "Oh, I'm moving...time to start over and fill my new space with awesome stuff!" Here are a few things on my purple/black/white wish list.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

bayside picnic

I've wanted to take a little bayside picnic all summer, and last night we finally made it happen (complete with wine!). I'm ready for fall, but not ready for the shorter days. Summer sunsets are the best.

In the next two weeks, Tommy and I are moving and I'm feeling both inspired by the idea of a new space, and sad to say good-bye to this one. This house is the first place we occupied alone together, and it's bittersweet to leave that behind. But hey, this is life and you gotta keep moving. Let's go, let's do this. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ice Cream Sunday: Peaches & Cream Cheese Ice Cream

Woah, it's Sunday already? I don't know about you guys, but the past week flew by. I have a feeling the month of August as a whole is gonna be a whirlwind; Tommy and I are moving at the end of the month, and we are going to Bumbershoot music festival on our official moving day. Crazy? Maybe.

But I digress. Let's get to the ice cream. I have been meaning to try making ice cream with cream cheese for a while because I love me some cream cheese frosting. I think it adds just the right amount of tang to super sweet frosting. I figured these tangy-delicious properties would translate perfectly to ice cream, and I was correct!

To me, simple cream cheese ice cream sounds perfectly acceptable and awesome. But, that is kinda boring and I had a few peaches just waiting to be baked/layered with cheese/made into something not really healthy. Well peaches, I didn't let you cream cheese, honey and whole milk.

I'm not even a huge peach person, and I'm tellin' ya, this ice cream is really good. You can probably use other sweetener if you don't have honey on hand, and vanilla extract will work just fine if you don't have vanilla paste. Also, make sure your peaches are nice and ripe, that juice is gonna make a huge difference as far as the sweetness goes.

Huh, you still don't have an ice cream maker? :). I use this one. Having an ice cream maker doesn't mean an automatic gain of 10 pounds...I made frozen yogurt a few days ago, and it was awesome! Get ready for some frozen yogurt next week.

Peaches & Cream Cheese Ice Cream
4 ripe peaches, skins removed and cut into slices
1 cup milk (I used whole)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tbs. honey
2. tsp vanilla extract or paste (I used paste)
dash of salt

1. Place peaches, milk, and cream cheese into a blender and blend until smooth. Add honey, vanilla and salt, and blend until fully combined.
2. Place mixture into the fridge for several hours until chilled. Once cold, place mixture into your ice cream maker until the texture of soft serve.
3. If you want the texture of ice cream, transfer ice cream into an airtight container and place in the freezer. Freeze for several hours, or overnight. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Oh hey, is this thing still on? 

Oops, I took a little blogging break. It was a combination of being super busy for the past four days, then feeling super lazy and tired afterwards. But I'm back, and I've got some super cute puppy pictures to make it up to you, haha. 

Last Saturday I drove down to Bremerton to visit friends. I was excited to see them of course, but also really excited to meet Hoagie, my friends new black lab puppy. He was full of puppy energy, and oh so adorable. He is pretty smart as well, Hoagie brought in the huge Sunday paper! 

Oh goodness...I need a puppy now.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ice Cream Sunday: Green Tea and Almond Ice Cream (Dairy Free)

When I had mono during my last year in high school, all I wanted were green tea flavored things. My diet consisted mostly of green tea ice cream and Arizona green tea. After this green tea binge, I had to take a break from it for a while. To this day, Arizona green tea is just yuck. Green tea ice cream on the other hand? I'll take all you got. I don't think I'll ever get sick of it!

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you probably already know my obsession with green tea. I made a post about all matcha things, I made these green tea cookies with almonds and white chocolate chips, and a green tea coconut latte. So of course I had to make a green tea ice cream!

I decided to go the non dairy route and used coconut milk which gave the ice cream just a hint of coconut taste. I also added almonds, because I really love the flavor combo of almonds and green tea. So yummy. You can't really tell from the photos that almonds are in the ice cream, but believe me they are there and they add a great texture.

Green Tea and Almond Ice Cream
1 can coconut milk
2 tbs. matcha powder
2 tbs. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
2/3 cups shaved almonds

1. In a small saucepan, add coconut milk and matcha powder. Use a whisk to blend slightly, and turn on the heat to medium. Whisking frequently until blended (mixture will blend easier as the coconut milk warms up).
2. Add honey and vanilla paste or extract. Taste and add more honey if desired (I like mine not super sweet). Transport to a small bowl, and place in the fridge until completely cooled (I recommend overnight).
3. Add mixture to ice cream machine and mix until the texture of soft serve. Add almonds and let fully incorporate. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer for several hours or until hard. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July in Review

One more month of summer down, one more to go! I'm trying not to wish August away, but I'm ready for fall already. A few leaves on a tree in my yard have begun to fall, I can't wait! In the meantime, I'm gonna soak up as much sun as possible. Here is a little look back at the month of July!

Celebrated the fourth of July at Tommy's parents house with lots of good food and relaxation. 

 Played around with a bleach pen and made some super cute triangle shorts! 

I shared my asian chicken salad recipe, which is by far my favorite summer salad. So tasty and fresh.

While on the topic of delicious, I also made this peach, brie, basil and bacon sandwich. Is there anything better than melted brie? Let me know if you find it!

I wore some polka dots, of course!

Listening:  Even though he is a narcissistic jerk, I can't stop listening to Kanye's new album. So many good songs. 
Watching: Tommy and I have been rewatching Breaking Bad in order to get ready for the next (and last!) season. I'm so excited for the new season to start, it's gonna be so intense! 
Reading: Finally finished A Dance with Dragons, and also finished Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? It's the book that Blade Runner was based on, and it was super interesting. If you like sci-fi at all, you gotta read it!

Instagram // 1. Love my new rug! // 2. Super cute teacups while thrifting. // 3. Atticus loves laying on  my storage cube...he fits so perfectly!// 4. Yay, berry season! // 5. Roses from the yard. // 6. Felt so good to dip my feet in the lake at Tommy's parent's house.

A Few Favorite Posts: