As Pinterest continues to fuel this blog, I have tried two new candle crafts. Here we have the coffee bean candle, inspiration here. Basically, take a bowl slightly larger than a votive candle, fill it with coffee beans, and put a votive in it. Easy peasy.
Verdict: totally works. Smells super yummy, a nice warm coffee smell fills the room instantly!
Also, the orange peel candle, inspiration here. Here, the cutie peel candle. Cuter, and easier to replicate when the "wick" part gets torn over and over accidentally. Cut a cutie (or orange, or tangerine, etc.) in half, scoop out the fruit while simultaneously trying not to tear the stem in the middle (very difficult), let it dry for a few hours or overnight, pour in either canola or olive oil, and light.
Verdict: I was hoping for more of a scent, but it was still visually appealing. Also, what else would I have done with the peel?
I have a new contender for favorite restaurant, WaterCourse Foods in downtown Denver. It is self-described "vegetarian comfort food" and I would definitely agree. So far my (and my mother's) meals have included:
Sweet potato and black bean tacos
the Juan wrap (with sweet potatoes and cilantro pesto)
and the Andalusian pasta (with butternut squash and green olives).
Scrumptious vegetarian foods that I will definitely be attempting to replicate in the future!
Had an interview today to volunteer at a hospital nearby, and I decided that I needed a special hairdo for the event (naturally). Here's what I came up with.
A bunch of little twists collected into a twisted bun. This part was pretty similar to a hairstyle I did here. I took the part of the bun that was farthest from my head and pinned that down below the bun. Finally, I added a little flower for good measure. Fun, sophisticated, and very secure.
Had gnocchetti for dinner tonight, which are basically small gnocchi. I love how versatile they are, almost like pasta. Tonight's meal consisted of steamed asparagus with butter and garlic salt, garlic bread, and gnocchetti topped with pesto, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese.
My roommate's mother makes delicious mondel bread (somewhat similar to biscotti) and although hers is from a secret family recipe, I was able to find one of my own online that produced similarly yummy results when slightly altered.
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. oil
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup dried cranberries
Cinnamon and sugar
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl (except the cinnamon and sugar listed last)
Make two "loaves" of dough on a greased baking sheet
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes
Remove from the oven and slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Return to oven for 10-15 minutes (or until golden brown)
I love it when my roommate announces she needs to make four batches of cupcakes. Absolutely has to. So we go to the store and get strawberry and Funfetti mixes and much frosting. Can you tell that I have such a hard life?
We made many cupcakes, and I got to use my new cake decorating tips (though some of these were decorated by a roommate).
I even learned how to make a frosting rose, a skill I have always coveted. Pretty proud of my first try :)
I have a lot of necklaces that I love, but hail from days past when a shorter length was in style. Instead of spending the money to buy new ones, I have found two simple ways to convert the ones I love to longer, more wear-able options.
First, use the chain from another necklace to add length.
For example, I have this necklace that I am quite fond of. However, with the styles of tops I am currently wearing, it would look better longer. Therefore I found a chain of a matching color and weight and simply clasped one to the other, on both ends.
Voila! Versatile new necklace!
Although I used a chain that would have made the necklace too long, looping the chain around one more time gave me the desired length. The weight of the turquoise necklace made for an awkward choker, but it stayed at a more comfortable and attractive length when a small safety-pin was applied to the back of both loops to hold it in place.
Another option is this, adding ribbon to a necklace to add length.
...they serve warm deluxe honey buns and refreshing peach maté in a little room that makes you feel like you live in the world of The Lord of the Rings. Open 24 hours a day, the Yellow Deli is a lovely little escape from reality (but it fits perfectly in the "reality" of Boulder).
My inspiration for the remainder of the school year, and my academic career in general. Prior to last semester, I hardly dedicated any time at all to the 'live as if you were to die tomorrow' side of life and focused solely on the 'learn as if you were to live forever' side (aka: read ALL of the textbooks, every last one of them). Now that I have achieved a form of seniority in college (actually, juniority is more accurate) I feel that my life has come into a balance between these sides. I am getting better about really learning during my study time, and really living during my free time. This quote is a great reminder, and thus I own this poster (which can be found here).
I've got the gear,and now I'm ready to keep up my first-week-of-the-year fitness habits! I've really enjoyed having all of this stuff at home so I cannot possibly talk myself out of exercising ("but it's cold, it's snowing, it'll take too long to go to the gym and back, etc"). With a yoga mat, arm resistance band, leg resistance band, balance ball, and hand weights I have more than enough to keep me occupied. Plus, I have my own body as equipment (for example, these simple exercises). Here's to a very healthy semester!
On my last day of break, I enjoyed a relaxing day full of food.
My parents came up to Boulder and we enjoyed a nice snowy afternoon at a nearby coffee shop with hot chai and adorable truffles (from left: white chocolate decadence, Gran Marnier, mint, and sea salt caramel). I have started reading The Hunger Games in anticipation of the upcoming movie, and got a decent portion read today.
This was followed by a delicious sushi dinner, my absolute all-time favorite food. I was absolutely stuffed...
...but I still had room for dessert! Moshi-covered ice cream balls. The pink were strawberry flavored, the yellow mango flavored, and the green green tea flavored. Super yummy. What a delicious end to a great break!
Feeling my Colorado roots today, finally skiing with all of my own equipment. I have skied many times before, but each time with rented or borrowed gear. The extra steps of renting or borrowing equipment are time consuming and make the process much more frustrating. Today, on the other hand, was a fantastic change for better. I simply grabbed my gear, bought a lift ticket, and skied the day away. Although the amount of snow on the Colorado slopes is pretty slim this season, it was nonetheless a spectacular day spent skiing with good friends.
Tried an ombre mani today, inspired by the one found at this site. First, I painted two coats of the silver color, then I added the black at the tips with a make-up application sponge, darker at the tips.
...finished a book that I have been working on for a loooooong time! It's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. As a person whose interests lean toward the biological and medical, it was a fascinating read for me. It is about the life of Henrietta Lacks, the woman whose cells were taken, regrown, and used world-wide for research without her knowledge or her family's (for many years). Although there were some slow parts, it was definitely a good reminder that the patient's interests ought to be held above all else where scientific progress is concerned.
Felt so good to finally finish a book I had been working on for about a month, especially considering 99% of my reading consists of chapters in textbooks. Oh well, back to that in just a few days. Bought my textbooks for this semester, costing more than just a pretty penny!