Thursday, July 22, 2010

I want

everything from this seller on etsy. Especially this hive. That's all.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Altoid Tins

So sometimes I think there are not enough hours in the day. Where does all the time go?? Then I remember that I do things like this:

This robot tin was made in the likeness of Tyler's mom for her b-day. She has crazy hair, is holding a wine glass, and has a big heart. One of her bot-hands is a light bulb, because she has a lot of good ideas. Also, she has a lot of bling. Tyler is the creator of this masterpiece, but I hope to take a crack at it soon.

Just Google 'Altoid tin crafts' and you'll find all kinds of stuff out there. Like mini toolboxes! I thought these would be perfect for holding extra screws, bobby pins, or any other little things.

First, I drilled holes in the top for the handles, so I wouldn't chip the paint.
Then,  I spray painted the tins with primer, and then 2 coats of red paint. 
(You can leave the tins together or bend the hinges apart to get better paint coverage like I did)

After letting them dry, I screwed the handles on. The handles are metel eye straps used on boats, so you may have to go on a little hunt for these if you don't live near water. 

The perfect size for eyeglass repair kit


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just Two Sheds Having a Good Time

I saw this post over at Poppytalk and thought it was such a good idea. Its an outdoor area made by building two sheds facing eachother, and using the space on-between as a porch. 

I like the lamps, too.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nautical Themed Pashmina Afghan

Just kidding, its a nautical themed DIY tank top. I love my new shirt and love that it cost me $5 even more. Wish I could take credit for the idea, but I copied this shirt almost exactly from an Ali Foster Patterns tutorial.

-$5 navy tank top from Old Navy
-3" strips cut from an extra flat sheet I had in my fabric basket

I used Fray Check on the edges of the fabric rather of folding over and sewing the edges.  (You can see the little bottle in the right on the picture next to the scissors). I had never used this before, and so far the edges of the strips have not frayed at all, but we'll see after I wash it.

You can see the more detailed tutorial over at Ali Foster Patterns, but I basically gathered the strips into ruffles, pinned them down on the neckline, and them stitched all the way around.

I love knowing that no one else has this shirt, and I think I'm going to tackle at least one clothing DIY a month.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Feeling summerish in Boston (finally)!

So, a few weekends ago, I went to the Taste of Hingham on the South Shore of Boston and had a beet salad that I just had to imitate:

2 cans of beets, walnuts, pea shoots, goat cheese and a splash of pomegranate vinegar

Close up of the pea shoots- a new find at Trader Joe's
Perfect for this salad because they were so delicate and had a nice mild flavor. 
Probably good for you in many ways.

The finished product. 
Not all of my recreations turn out well, but this one did nicely. 
And it was very summerish and healthy.

So did you catch that part about the pomegranate vinegar? I have discovered a love for specialty vinegars (and oils) because they add such a nice touch to anything, and with vinegars, hardly add any fat or calories. I received a nice olive oil, lemon olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar for Christmas, but I just ran out--and I'm hooked on the stuff. So, I took a little trip to O&Co with my friend Justine to taste and buy some new goodies. Justine and I loved sampling all the different flavors (fig, pomegranate, and mint were some of the most interesting), although we did have a bit of sticker shock. 

This is called "the good stuff" in my house, and it just takes a salad up to a whole new level.

I also bought the Honey Ginger vinegar, and it made my asian salad dressing AMAZING (I mixed it with freshly chopped garlic, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and a splash of soy sauce). I'm happy I bought them, but I think I am going to try to make my own in the future by experimenting with mixing different vinegars with juice, because that's basically what the ingredients are.

Okay other good stuff: This is awesome, because I love carrot cake in any/all form(s).
 Carrot cake oatmeal:
1/4 c oats
1/2 banana
handful of shredded carrots
1/4 c frozen pineapple
a little milk if you'd like to thicken it up

Topped with:
1/3 c cottage cheese mixed with 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
Half of a crumbled Flax Bran Muffins (thanks for the awesome recipe tip, Nat!!)

Puddin' Pops:
Vanilla Instant Puddin
Fresh berries
Patience (about 4 hrs worth)

Simple and good summer treat--and only about 35 calories each. Next time I'm going to add more berries and try to spread the pudding out into 2 trays, because the berries were that good. I might try chocolate pudding with almonds next, yum.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Super Busy

I've been so busy lately! I never, ever want to have this much going on in my life ever again:
  • Planning for a big event for work (Kentucky Derby Benefit)
  • Training my replacement at work
  • Group presentation at an upcoming occupational therapy symposium
  • Semester ending/finals
  • Graduation preparation
  • Filling out paperwork & getting ready for summer & fall internships
  • Family visiting x2
  • Planning to move

  • Doctor's visits for my poor little foot
 Well, all of this is almost over. Here's some good stuff that I have snuck inbetween all the craziness:
Wheatberries mixed with plain 0% Greek yogurt & fruit

Wheatberries are really easy to make, and so good and chewy. I love adding them on top of yogurt, oatmeal and smoothies.

Ezekiel toast with almond butter and raw honey

The cinnamon-raisin Ezekiel bread is the best, but I think this picture is just regular. The breads are sprouted grains (=magical health powers) and almond butter is an important part of my life these days. Peanut butter is good, but now I am always reaching for this stuff.

Spinach with roast beef and almonds
Side of cantaloupe

This was one of those really random things you make when you are trying to use what's in your fridge. It was so good, though, I had to share. The roast beef slices were nice and salty, the cantaloupe was sweet, the spinach was healthy, and the almonds gave a nice crunch. It tasted very Italian to me for some reason, too. Great lunch, and something different.

If you haven't tried the frozen banana whip, then you have to. right now. And add vanilla wafers on top. Here's more info on wheatberries and frozen bananas.

Nice, ripe tomatoes, dressed in sea salt, black pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil
So simple, but so good, worth a mention. 
Veggie Omelet
I've been eating a lot more eggs lately since I've cut back on meat. They are so easy and I love 'em. I threw in all my leftover pizza toppings: bell peppers, mushrooms, onion, & spinach. The toast is Ezekiel with a smear of Smart Balance Light. Smart Balance isn't quite the cleanest food, so I try not to use it often, and eventually I'd like to stop altogether. But I have a brand new tub in my fridge....

That's all...I should be studying, because I am a mere HOURS away from being a master. of. science.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Happy Eastah from Beantown

On the menu:

 Carrot Cake Pancakes

 Veggie Quiche

 I wish I had taken a picture of the quiche before I cut it, because it looked so much prettier. It fell apart when I served it and wasn't solid enough for me. Still very tasty, though. The recipe called for 1 egg and 1 cup of egg whites, so I think I may need to add an extra whole egg next time. I also used "Liquid Eggs" for the first time and I think they are runnier than real egg whites. The carton says you can use them in smoothies, so maybe that's how I'll add protein to my Green Monstahs over the next few days to use up the rest. Have you ever used them for anything?

The pancakes were awesome though! Tyler even said, "I wasn't sure what it was going to taste like, but this is way better than anything I imagined!" 
I changes the recipe up a little bit and this is what I ended up using:
 Serves 2 people 3 little pancakes each:
  • 3/4 c Trader Joe's Multigrain Pancake Mix (or use 1/4 c. whole wheat flour, 1/2 c. all purpose flout, 1/2 tsp baking soda)
  • 1/3 c oat fashioned rolled oats
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/3 c shredded carrots
  • 1/3 c chopped pineapple (I defrosted mine from frozen to save time)
  •  1/4 c raisins
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
Mix together first 4 ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, combine and throw on a hot griddle. Top 1 Tbsp real maple syrup.

Other eats:
Homemade granola:
oats, ground flax, wheat germ, grapeseed oil, honey, cashews, pine nuts
(dried cherries & raisins added later)

This was my best batch of granola yet, and I realized that I just needed to move the oven shelf up higher to keep it from getting burnt. This is very dense food, so I am just using it to top oatmeal, smoothies, and yogurt throughout the week. The next batch is going to be tropical theme: dried pineapple, coconut, crystallized ginger, and molasses. 

Coffee ice cubes

Now that it's warm out, it's iced coffee season. I figured the best way to keep my drink from getting watered down in using coffee ice cubes. I have a couple extra ice cube trays that I use for things like this, but I am still getting used to the french press, so these are SUPER STRONG. I think they will be perfect for making coffee smoothies with some milk, cocoa powder & a little sweetener, though!

The new apron I wore while cooking/baking everything

Tea time
Whenever I was sick when I was little, I always had buttered toast dipped in tea with milk and sugar. It's too heavy for me these days, but one day I decided to dip Rye Crisps with honey into my tea on a whim. Great discovery! The usually bland and dry Rye Crisps turn so soft and sweet when dipped in the tea, and reminded me of my old treat. Try it, it's good on a sick/rainy/tired day (and is still super healthy).

 I use raw honey because of its magical powers

This weekend I'm flying to Maryland for a wedding at the University of Maryland Chapel, so I need to find a spring dress. I might try to do this one on the cheap, though and go to H&M. Busy week so I hope to prep some food tonight and go to bed early.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Breakfast

I am thinking of making these babies on Sunday morning:

Carrot Cake Pancakes

I love carrot cake, and "eat more carrot cake" is on my list of things to do before I turn 26. Since "get a rock hard body" is also on that list, I think maybe I can make it healthier in pancake form??
I'm going to base them off this recipe: but I'll probably change a few things up, too.

I'll let you know how they turn out.

This video is pretty cool, too: The opposite is also true

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Things

I love getting new things. There is something so refreshing about the look of something unfamiliar, and sometimes my daily routine needs a shot of color:
Crate & Barrel appetizer spoons

I like to use these little guys to eat my breakfast, because it helps me take smaller bites. Sometimes I bring them to class to eat lunch, but I always get an, "Are you eating with a baby spoon?" response from people. Combined with my tupperbear containers, makes me wonder about it myself.

My friend Sarah got me two of these mugs for my birthday from Anthropologie. (We both love that store so much, the only difference is that she can afford to shop there). I don't know if you can tell, but the mugs are a little off-kilter and look handmade with a lot of imperfections.  She also told me how to get the best foam for my lattes: the secret is getting the milk really, really hot. Then, I take my $1.99 Ikea Milk Frother and whip it up, moving from having the frother completely immersed in the milk and slowly moving it up to incorporate more air. Then I hold back the foam as I pour the milk in with a spoon, and dollop the foam on top. They taste amazing and I am getting the hang of my new french press. I just need to figure out how get fewer than 5 dishes dirty while making my coffee.

Before & After:
Our old table & chairs
Brighter table, new curtains, decorative cat
                 The pantry area before...                                                          and after

The stove & sink

Okay, I mostly just cleaned junk off the counter

Not bad for almost no investment besides turquoise paint. We sold our table on CraigsList and were able to buy the new table and new pantry with the money. I made the curtains with some Amy Butler fabric that I already had. I want to find some retro prints to replace the photos in the frames, so I am just keeping an eye out for now.
Best NEW thing in my life award goes to:
So what is it? Its ice cream. Well, its almost better than ice cream, actually. Its frozen bananas, blended into an ice creamish frenzy ,and topped with coconut, shaved dark chocolate and a few peanuts. This stuff is good on its own, too. I found the tutorial on In the Kitchen, so you can read the tutorial there. (Best part is, a really big banana is only 2 points).
Wheat Berries (thank you Whole Foods bulk section)

So, I bought a bag of uncooked wheatberries (labeled 'red hard winter wheat'), covered with water in a pot, and brought to a boil. Then I let them simmer for about 30 minutes and drained the extra water. You can cook them longer if you want them soft, but I like mine on the chewy side. I added them to my oatmeal this morning and plan on throwing them in my salad for lunch. They would make a great side at dinner, too. This huge pot probably only cost me $1 and will keep for 7-10 days in the fridge. (1/4 c.=1 point, like most grains). They really do add a great chewy feeling similar to dried fruit,  and I eat way too much dried fruit, so I am very happy to find a substitute. Gotta satisfy my sensory needs.

Other goodies that I got at Whole Foods are these 2 little artichokes that I plan to make into a recipe I found in Body & Soul magazine. Baked Artichokes with Breadcrumbs. I'll let you know how it turns out. This is my second favorite magazine, and I think I might just have to get a subscription.

And finally, I got these orange lentils (not sure what their real name is) to make into something from this article in CE. I'm always hearing about how lentils are crazy good for you like olive oil, salmon, ground flaxseeds, etc. They are so cheap, easy, and tasty, too, but I just always forget about them. 

Finally, I really recommend seeing the movie Food, Inc. I have to warn you that I haven't eaten much meat since I have watched it, but its not a vegetarian manifesto. I just want to make sure I know the animals were treated as well as Betty and Mr. Big Stuff. Eating organic/cage-free/hormone-free/ethically raised food is so expensive, but my plan is to eat more inexpensive foods like lentils, beans, bulk grains, eggs, and save the meat for once in a while. That way, I'm not actually spending more money, and I'm sure I'll be much healthier because of it.

Pad Thai

Tofu Pad Thai 

What you need: 
  • 8 oz brown rice noodles
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/9 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg white, whisked
  • 2 c. green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 c. bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 block of firm tofu, cubed
  • 1/4 c. cilantro (I always add more, I love cilantro)
  • 2 Tbsp peanuts, crushed
What you do:
  • Cook brown rice noodles according to package, set aside
  • Whisk together tomato paste, vinegar, honey, fish sauce, lime juice and cayenne, set aside
  • Heat large pan over med-high heat for a minute and mist with cooking spray. Cook egg white, remove from heat and chop up into small pieces.
  • Mist pan again, saute cabbage, bean sprouts, onions, and carrot over med-high heat for 2 mins.
  • Add tofu and cook for another 2 mins. Add cooked egg white, cilantro, sauteing for another 2 mins. Then stir in tomato paste mixture. Add cooked noodles. Stir & top with cilantro, and peanuts for garnish.
I like my tofu really firm, so put it in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 mins or so (While the noodles and vegetables are cooking). Also, if you have rice wine vinegar, you can use that instead of the apple cider to be more authentic. You can add more carrots or really any other Asian-stir-fry-type veggies to this recipe to more veggie-centric.

Per 1 cup serving: 

  • Cal: 220
  • Fat: 4g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 11 g

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March Eats & Other Events

So, March has been full of good food & lots of work. I tried out a new place for my birthday--well, it was the reincarnation of a restaurant, now called 'American Craft' in Brookline. The beer was good, but the food was just so-so.

After dinner, Tyler and I took a little trip to JP Licks. The hard yogurt at this place really is what I will miss most about Boston.

I got a medium with three flavors: peanut butter, oatmeal cookie, and Oreo. Mmmm...satisfying. So delishus!!

Okay, so some of the great things I've had over the past few weeks are:

Enchanted Broccoli Forrest

This recipe is adapted from Molly Katzen's cookbook, 'Enchanted Broccoli Forrest'. Its a vegetarian cookbook and I highly recommend it. The recipes are full of vegetables, healthy, and can easily be modified to be lighter. When I'm craving meat, I just add some. This is basically a casserole of rice, mushrooms, onion, and any other veggies. Then the broccoli is put on top to create the 'forrest'.
For breakfast, I've been eating a lot of Green Monsters lately:
-3/4 c. milk
-1 small frozen banana
-2 big handfuls of spinach
-1 scoop chocolate protein powder
Topped with 1/2 c. Fiber One and eaten with a spoon.
So good--I'm officially hooked.

This is Tofu Pad Thai that I made a few nights ago. Its from Clean Eating Mag and I make it a few times a month at least. Its made with chewy brown rice noodles, tofu, cabbage, carrots, cilantro, peanuts and home-made pad thai sauce. I think next time I'm going to add more vegetables to make it more filling, but Tyler always scarfs this down.

This is a Honey Almond Loaf that I made last week. Its made with quinoa flour and almond meal. Its ultra dense, so I ended up eating it too slow and it went bad before I thought to freeze it. I toasted it and topped it with just a little honey and it was so good. I got a breadmaker for my birthday, so I think I'll be making more bread in the future.

This kitchen scale is another gift that I got for my birthday (from myself). It was only $25 on Amazon and can weigh in oz, g, kg, or lb. It has a tare function so I can add things to a bowl or plate, too. I don't weigh all of my food by any means, but its a good tool to have for baking and when you want to very very precise.

Speaking of my kitchen, these are the before pictures. I've been working on making it a little nicer and brighter, and I'll have some 'after' pics up soon.

I thought I would put a little tutorial up about how to make the valentines that I sent out. The full instructions are here. First, I had a picture taken of me standing against  a blank wall. I printed a bunch out and inserted a Dum Dum in my hand, and added a very personal message: Happy Valentine's Day.

Hope this gave you some good ideas and something to look at. I leave you with this image of Zen: