July 13, 2013


Oh man... an entire month between posts! I'm awful and stumped. I am trying to figure out what's causing my dilemma. Well first of all, this was a bad few weeks for a good blogging given that I was in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji for two weeks and then I got sick for six days.
New Zealand from the air, ain't it purtty?
I still have not decided how personal I want this blog to be. I feel like some women can go on and on about what they are up to, but am I that interesting? Maybe I can make myself sound interesting, because I'm sure that's what those ladies are doing. And do I want to talk about personal things? Where are my parameters and how craft/cooking-related does the personal stuff have to be? Ah, why am I asking you... THAT'S ANOTHER PROBLEM I'M TALKING TO NOBODY! I know I have not had my blog for long and I guess this is how all the blogs start, but I must admit it is hard writing for no one. I feel the need to address my audience but unfortunately I don't have one...YET.

Another problem, I feel like others have an easier time because they have kids. The blogger subset I inhabit is dominated by mothers who can whip up cute kiddy afternoon crafts with them and sew clothes for them too. I do not have kids (thankfully) but I feel that my blog is geared towards crafts and sewing projects for children and I enjoy sewing for them, but it's hard to not have little models.

And I say that I am stumped but I scroll through my photos and see tons of completed projects I should share but I should have shared them months ago, like Christmas crafts. Who wants to see a Christmas craft in July‽ (skilled use of the interrobang if I do say so myself).

I guess Holiday party photo booth will have to be saved for next December. 

Sigh, maybe it's a lack of motivation? The cherry on top of this all is I sent my camera off with my mom today so she can use it on her trip to New Mexico to enjoy the spa with my aunt who just reigned supreme in her battle against breast cancer (badass). I can still sneak pics with my dad's Canon Rebel when he's not looking (I prefer to use it anyway shh). But I just sent off all my recent picture that I had wished to share with out thinking. Now, I know that I can wait out the week for her to come back but whaaah, I want to share those photos now and for once make a post that coincides with real time. Alas I am still stumped. I guess I just have to push myself. I pledge to make a post every day (or try to) for the next week.

June 9, 2013

Summer Is Here!

I had my doubts but the school year has finally ended. Time for me to say good by to SAT's, AP's, homework and 5:30 a.m. and hello to my sewing machine, dinner parties, road trips, sleeping in and my very first international trip. Hoooooooooray! 

I just got out on Thursday (hehe don't let my school know) Friday and I can't wait to start getting crafty again. I have failed to meet my expectations for post quotas but finally, FINALLY, I have time now. I have many ideas up my sleeves (using neon, potted gardens, vintage patterns and hopefully more). Summer, oh how much I love you!

Happy Pride Day

This weekend I dawned some rainbow nails and journeyed off to West Hollywood. I hope when Pride Weekend (or Day) comes to your neck of the woods you do the same. If "pride" isn't celebrated where you live, then do something about it, isn't important that we celebrate our gigantic strides (and bring attention to the ones we still need to make) towards bringing equality to the millions of individuals who identify as LGBT. 
Fortunately I do not have six fingers, unfortunately yellow got excluded from the spectrum. Indeed yellow is my favorite color but my nail polish was too gummy and would not cooperate. So off with yellow and in with orange (though I must say it is a very cute orange).

I feel so grateful to live in a community where discrimination towards the LGBT population is fairly rare. In fact, I and many of my peers have been raised to see homophobia as taboo. From what I see in my high school community, it's the discriminatory that are forced to hide in that hypothetical "closet." I must point out that my statements are by no means intended to minimize the struggles faced by the LGBT community, this just happens to be the environment I am surrounded by; I live in a very liberal area and attend and very liberal high school (I think the fact that for my school's most recent play my schoolmates put on drag and performed Rocky Horror). I am also grateful that LGBT adults are provided with opportunities to have children too. I really do have some amazing friends that have been raised by either two moms or two dads. Mostly I am grateful that my LGBT friends are free to be open about who they really are and whom they really love. 
Two of my friends at L.A. Pride 2012

May 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Applesauce (with no refined sugar)

Note: I doubled the recipe here, but the photos are from my smaller experimental batch.

  •       10 tart apples (I used Fuji)
  •       2 sweet apple (I used Ambrosia)
  •       2-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  •       1/2 cup apple juice or water
  •      Flavor it however you like by adding any of the following ingredients: ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, one teaspoon citrus zest and/or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  1.   Peel half of the apples (you can peel all of them, but I like leaving half un-peeled for just the right amount of texture plus a little added fiber and anti-oxidants)
  2.      Thinly slice the apples and then cut the slices in half
  3. Dump all of the ingredients in a slow cooker and set on high for three hours. Note: If you choose to add vanilla extract, add it once the applesauce is done cooking.

Butter-Free "Puppy" Chow

I'm not a vegan (nor is this recipe despite the fact that it is sans butter). I'm not trying to opt for a healthy choice either (coconut oil is not much healthier or less caloric than butter). I just didn't have any butter on hand. I also find this recipe kind of novel because all the other recipes I see for puppy chow have butter in them. And for you vegan readers out there you can just make your's with vegan chocolate or carob (and make sure to check that your sugar is vegan too). 

  •       12 oz. of dark chocolate chips
  •       ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  •       ½ cup coconut oil (or use ½ cup butter)
  •       Kosher Salt
  •       12-14 oz. box of plain shredded wheat pillow-esque cereal (at the generic grocery store you are going to find Chex, but I was at the health food store so I bought Barbara’s)
  •      About 2 cups powdered sugar

Do ahead: If it is hot out and your coconut oil is liquid, pop it in the fridge and chill until solid. You want to measure it when it is solid. Line two rimmed baking sheets with wax paper and set aside.
  1.  Melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave on high for a minute. Stir. Microwave again for 30 seconds to a minute until fully melted. Stir the mixture until it is fully combined.
  2. I like to add a pinch of kosher salt but I would first check to see how the mixture tastes. Some peanut butters are saltier than others (or not salted at all) so check and see how the mixture tastes. If you would like, add the pinch of salt, or feel free to go without it.
  3. Set up an assembly line with the bowl of chocolate mixture, a large bowl full of the cereal and lastly another bowl with a colander over it. Pour some of the powdered sugar into a gallon size zip top bag as well.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and stir until the cereal is fully coated.
  5. Scoop half of the chocolatey cereal to the zip top bag. Now shake until the cereal is fully coated.
  6. Pour the puppy chow into the colander and shake off the excess sugar into the bowl underneath.
  7. Place the salvaged powdered sugar back into the zip top bag, and add more if necessary. Repeat steps five and six again with the remaining half of the cereal.
  8. Pour the puppy chow onto the prepared baking sheets and let it dry. 
    Now curl up with a cup of this and watch a movie!

April 3, 2013

Beloved State Wall Hanging

For my grandma's birthday I really wanted to give her a homemade gift. I am not big on making homemade gifts because life's other obligations get in the way (and most gifts from my family tend to be belated). This birthday however was an opportune time to make something special. It was spring break so I had extra time on my hands and I was already challenged to think up something that was inexpensive because my parents had just paid college tuition for my sister. My mind flip-flopped from one idea to another, at one time I was dead-set on making a half-dozen napkins with ranch-related symbols embroidered on them. Then I considered making a table runner. I was trying to push my mom to take me to Mood, but she was very resistent for a good reason, it was 5:00pm the eve of my grandma's birthday. I had to think of something simple and then it came to me. 
The Beloved State Wall Hanging. A framed felt cutout of the state of California with a heart where my grandparents live, Sonoma County. 

The felt is from Michaels and the background fabric and frame are from Ikea. I originally went went Ikea to find some fabric from the fabric section but nothing was turning my crank. I still did not give up and went searching around for some cute fabric. 
And I found it...
I found this cute pillow and fell in love with it especially because I was looking for chevron fabric and found this one to be similar but more interesting. I love the colors too!
This is what the pillow is called
Next I had to search for the perfect frame to suit the fabric and my grandparents house.
The Ribba frame in medium brown was just what I was looking for. 
Then I went over to Michaels and selected gray felt for the California cut-out.
Overall you will need...
  • Fabric of your choice (the amount depends on how large frame is)
  • 2 colors of felt, your choice
  • A frame
  • Fabric adhesive (I used Aleene's Peel & Stick Sheets)
  • Wood glue
  • Scissors, seam ripper, pencil, printer etc.
First I picked apart the pillow cover with a seam ripper, and saved one of the panels of fabric and the zipper, which I did not need. Then I iron out any wrinkles. 

Then I hopped on to my computer to select an image of California's shape. When I found the image that I liked, I pasted it on to a Word document. To make sure that California ended up the size I needed it to be, I make a rectangular outline around the image the same size as the frame's picture dimension allowance (not sure what it is really called) to use as reference. 
If you don't need help with this keep reading...
(Note: these directions are for Mac Word 2011)
  1. Select the image of your state and copy an paste it to your Word document
  2. Double click the image and change the "wrap text" setting to "square" or "tight" (look for the image of the dog)
  3. Then click "shapes">"rectangles">image of the square
  4. Drag a rectangle on your document (don't worry about the size yet)
  5. Change the fill to "no fill"
  6. Expand the rectangle to the size your need around the state image
  7. Adjust the state image to whatever looks good to you.
  8. Print
Okay now back to the tutorial...
Next cut out your image and pin it to your felt.
 Cut out you felt.
I used my regular fabric scissors to cut out the basic shape.
And then I used some tiny scissors to cut each little nook and notch.
Using a Peel & Stick Sheet I glued the felt California to the fabric.
Then I added a little felt heart where they live.
 Using wood glue I fix the fabric to the fiberboard from the frame, cut away the excess fabric and placed my completion into the frame. Done...whew!

And the best part is the total!
Ribba frame $4.99
Lappljung Fågel pillow $9.99
Gray felt $0.33
Already owned everything else
Total: $15.31 Hooray!!!

Chicken Enchiladas

Note: This recipe was written far before I became a vegetarian, I would never eat this now! Instead I would omit the chicken and double the cheese.
The number of steps can be a bit daunting, but these were actually really easy to make. You could definitely make the veggie mixture, cook the chicken, and prep the sauce in advance and roll up the enchiladas and bake later.
I apologize for any lack of authenticity.
These are not all the ingredients
  • 1 chicken boneless skinless chicken breast (you could use any shredded cooked chicken, like from a rotisserie chicken, but this is cheaper)
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Canola oil
  • 1/2 an onion thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 8oz. can of black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 1 bell pepper seeded and diced (I did not have any but I think it would be a good addition)
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and minced or a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salsa (I used Whole Foods medium salsa but you can alter the recipe to use any kind of your preference)
  • ¼ pound of tomatillos (completely optional; I just had these on hand)
  • 12 burrito size tortillas
  • 1 pounds of jack cheese 
So I happened to have these tomatillos on hand and needed a way to use them but if you don’t have any don’t worry. If you don’t know what tomatillos are, this is what they look like. Tomatillos put the verde in salsa verde. A tomatillo has a soft husk and underneath is a sticky skin. They look a lot like green tomatoes but they taste like limes. I would not be surprised if they are only available in the Southwest, so sorry if you live anywhere else. They are really low maintenance; no coring, deseeding, or really any special preparation except for pulling off the husk, and even that is easy!
  1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees
  2. Place the chicken on a sheet pan lined with foil. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle a dash of the cumin and chili powder on each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as well.
  3. Tent (put a layer of foil on top but do not seal) the chicken with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is not longer pink and the juices run clear. Feel free to cut the chicken clear in half to check, you are going to shred it any way.
  4. While the chicken is baking begin the vegetables. Heat the canola oil over medium heat and sweat the onions. Add the garlic and cook until the onions just start to turn golden. Add the beans, corn, peas, bell pepper, and jalapeño/red pepper flakes. Sauté until the corn and peas are fully thawed and heated. Turn off the stove and set the veggie mixture aside.
  5. Lets move on to the sauce. For the tomatillos, I husked them and gave them a rough chop. Then I put them under the broiler until they were slightly charred.
  6. Pour the salsa into a blender and add the roasted tomatillos. Blend until very smooth. Now taste. Since I added the tomatillos the sauce was very tart. I this happens to you as well just add some of the remaining corn (about a half cup was what I added) and blend. Add salt to taste.
  7. Hooray, it’s time for assembly! First shred the chicken. I set up a little assembly line with a dish full of chicken, the pan full of veggies, a blender carafe full of the salsa, and a plate of tortillas. Oh, and don’t forget the grated cheese!
  8. Pour about a cup of salsa into a roasting pan.
  9. Place a tortilla on a cutting board and place about a spoon each of the veggies, chicken, and cheese onto the lower third of the tortilla. Go easy on the filling remember these are enchiladas not burritos. Tightly roll the enchiladas and place them in the roasting pan (with no space between them).
  10. 10. Pour the remaining salsa on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese.
  11. 11. Cover the pan with foil and bake for twenty minutes until everything is heated through and the cheese is melted.
  12. 12. Serve with guacamole, cilantro, sour cream, and black olives if you like