February 11, 2014

Power Parfait


Every morning I end up choosing a few more moments of bonding with my pillows and blankets over the meal that is supposed to debut my entire day. Like Ms. Knope, I am both a strong woman and lover of breakfast foods. I make important time management decisions and sadly, breakfast gets rescheduled to train time in granola bar form. That's not a filling breakfast. Recently though, some magic happened in my breakfast bowl when I made a yogurt parfait that is both filling and to-go worthy, which is everything I could ever ask of breakfast.




Start with plain, Greek yogurt. Even if you're a hater and think it tastes too much like sour cream, you should buy plain. Why? Because you can make your own vanilla with vanilla extract. Feel like honey today? Add honey to sweeten. Nothing can hold you back from the flavor you desire. But yogurt won't fill me up on it's own. That's why I went crazy with the toppings. Fun and filling.

On busy days, I put the yogurt in a mason jar the night before and add the toppings in the morning before I run out the door (so the granola doesn't get soggy). I bought a cheapo spoon that I use for my to-go meals, so if I accidentally throw it away or lose it, it's not a big deal, but it's also reusable.

Versatility is important to me in food. I tend to make the same thing over and over, just with different ingredients. For example, sandwiches. Can you even comprehend how many sandwich possibilities there are? Think about it. It's nuts. That's why I love a good old sandwich. But I'm not making a sandwich now, so back to the yogurt parfait. With a plain, Greek yogurt base, the toppings become the perfect way to personalize your breakfast. This day is YOURS, baby.

February 8, 2014

Valentine's Day Flowers DIY




Valentine's Day is next Friday and for those of you that get flowers (or buy some for you from you), don't toss them in the garbage when they start to wilt. Instead, place them on newspaper to dry for a few days then gently wrap them with yarn or a pretty ribbon and hang on your wall. They add a delicate reminder of the special day to the room. Bonus because if the love DOES die, you can chuck the bouquet across the room in a satisfactory manner. Win win.




February 7, 2014

Cucumber Infused Gin DIY

I'm much too low on cash to spend money on delicious Hendrick's, so I've been improvising with this method. Extremely easy to do and a lot cheaper






Brunette to Blonde Part IV.

I'm officially a full-blown platinum blonde. Despite the time consuming bleaching and constant fear of my hair falling out, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. It's been a while since I've posted about this drastic hair color change and a lot has happened.

Start in the back, not on the side. But DO start from the ends!
I've bleached my entire head two times. The color is still uneven, something I was expecting but secretly hoped it wouldn't happen. I do my roots at home but I wait until they look pretty unforgivable. I don't want to be seen in public with me. I chopped off 8 inches and my hair dresser scolded me for DIY bleaching.

Overall, the process has been pretty fun. It hasn't been terribly expensive because I'm still using the same bleach bucket I got for the first round of bleaching, although I am on my second bottle of toner. I think the total cost is about 60-70 dollars for everything (bleach, bowl, brush, etc.) I like this hair color. It stands out and makes me feel confident on the days I remember my hair is platinum blonde and not brown. Sometimes I fantasize about having a nice shade of deep brown, but I came for change, and that's what I got. The change back to brown will be just as tedious, so I might as well keep the color for a bit longer!

After watching a ton of YouTube videos and reading blog posts about dying hair from brown to blonde, I went to Sally's and bought my supplies. I already had blonde highlights during the first process so the strands of highlighted hair were lighter after I bleached it.

Most of the time I had no idea what I was doing and learned more each time I bleached. Things like:
• Yes it matters where you start (the back)
• Yes you should skip washing your hair a few days before bleaching
• Yes you should have a friend help
• Yes you should work quickly so the bleach doesn't dry
• Yes the toner will turn purple
• Yes test strands are important. **Especially during the toner stage.
• Yes you should wear a shirt you don't mind ruining
• No this is not something that takes a day. It took me a few months.

So.. realize this is a long, time-consuming process that takes a lot of dedication and a steadfast decision to go platinum. Do what's best for you. Get it done professionally if you have any fear of looking like a cosmetology school nightmare for a few days sometimes.

I got all of my supplies at Sally's/Ricky's.

Plastic mixing bowl
Highlighting brush
Gloves (don't try to be a hero. get gloves)
Applicator bottle

L'Oreal Quick Blue Powder Bleach 1 Lb
Wella Toner T18 (now called White Lady)
30 Developer 
20 Developer

I bleached my hair multiple times over a few months to get to the shade I wanted. I wouldn't wash my hair for a few days and would smother it with coconut oil the night before and then leave it in all day and bleach it that night. I just kind of did it, so sorry there aren't really measurements.

• Mix the bleach and the 30 developer with the highlighting brush in the mixing bowl until it's semi-runny but thick enough that it won't run down your neck or anything.

• Start in the back and work from the ends to the roots. Your hair need more time in those areas. The first time I started in the front and you could tell. Section off your hair horizontally and keep bringing down layers of hair to bleach with the brush. Make sure hair is saturated. Keep bleaching quickly until all hair is covered and then cover it to keep it moist. Bleach stops working when it dries. I just used a plastic bag. I looked really chic. I left it on for about 45 minutes.

• Next, I washed the bleach out. I used a bit of shampoo and rinsed it with the shower head/faucet. I towel dried my hair and prepped the toner.

• Put like 2 teaspoons of toner into the applicator bottle and fill the rest with developer. Attach lid and shake.

• Squeeze on hair and just get it all over the best you can. I left this on for about 30 minutes. Your hair might turn weird shades during this process so it's important to leave it on the whole time. Also the toner will turn purple, but that's normal.

• Rinse out toner and let your hair air dry because it's been bullied enough.

February 3, 2014

Miso Ramen



It's hard to ignore the allure of Seamless, but it's harder to ignore an empty bank account.

I've been craving sushi but I can't afford to waste the food I already have in my fridge, so I decided to try out some ramen recipes. I figured any sort of high-sodium meal would do the trick. The only thing I ended up needing to buy was some miso paste, which was about five bucks. I actually made this last week and made it again tonight! It really fast, filling, and warm (which is good because WHAT IS THIS SNOW? I'm starting to understand the umbrella for snow thing.) 

What I love about this recipe is flexibility. You can add meat or keep it vegetarian and you can mix up the veggies depending on what you like. I made this for myself, but the recipe could easily be doubled/tripled.

Ingredients:

1 pack of Top Ramen (doesn't matter what flavor)

1-2 T soy sauce

1t hot sauce

1T miso paste

1c water

1c veg, chicken, or beef stock (I used veggie)

1 hard boiled egg

Cooked chicken, pork, beef (I added some chicken I had from last night)

Seaweed (I love the wasabi seaweed from Trader Joe's!)

Assortment of mushrooms, corn, bean sprouts, scallions

Here's what I did:

1. Add water and stock to a pot and turn stove to medium heat. Add miso paste.

2. Stir until mixed and add the hot sauce and soy sauce.

3. Add mushrooms and scallions, simmer for a bit.

4. Bring to boil and add noodles. Cook until noodles are done (about 3 minutes).

5. Transfer the contents of the pot into a bowl and top with the corn, bean spouts, egg, more scallions, meat, and seaweed.



October 16, 2013

Halloween: A Month Of Planning For A Few Hours Of Fun

And it's totally worth it.

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. It's not one of those things where I say it's my favorite but then when Christmas rolls around, Christmas is my favorite. No. I spend the majority of my year waiting for October so I can start verbalizing what I've been thinking about since before last Halloween- my costume!

I get so excited about Halloween and what I'm going to dress up as, that it actually gives me quite a bit of anxiety. This year I've decided that I will (probably) be an alien. I like to think about things that I would never be able to wear on a "normal" day and build a Halloween costume around being able to wear those things for the night. This year: crazy contacts.

With my hair all blonde (!! post coming soon), I think an alien costume will look especially futuristic, which is what I'm going for. Although hopefully it won't end up too Zenon... could be a close call. With the right makeup and the cool contacts I ordered, it should work out.

Pretty sure I had those boots back in elementary school.


If you're looking for some more inspiration, here is a post that I published on Buzzfeed. Why can't Halloween be a week long? One day just isn't enough.

Can't wait to see costumes and say "Damn. Why didn't I think of that?"



Update: Here is my alien costume, I was in love with how it turned out. I ordered contacts online and found this structured leather and sparkle dress at Buffalo Exchange. I got the galaxy leggings at a random store in Brooklyn and got glow sticks from CVS along with the gems, which are actually fingernail decals.