Friday, August 13, 2010

Fix it Friday: Wickedly Lemon Hummus

Hummus is one of those foods that maybe you dollop on your plate at the salad bar, or pick up in the deli section at the grocery store. Depending on the store, it can be pretty expensive. Plus, when you don't know what's going into it exactly, this "healthy" dip can take an ugly turn towards high fat and calories. So today let's make our own, let's put in exactly what we want, and let's make it healthy.

Start with a can of Garbanzo Beans or Chickpeas. I'll admit they're a little creepy looking when you get this close to them, so put them in the blender, or the biggest container of your Magic Bullet (which I am obsessed with!) and let's just move on to the next step.

Add around 1/3 cup of olive oil to your beans. I think I used a little less, so whatever you prefer.

Add 3 cloves of garlic, it's quite a bit, so do whatever your taste buds want you to.

Then squeeze the juice from 3 baby lemons.  I told you it was "wickedly lemony." Strain it so you don't get any of the seeds. Add some salt too.

Blend it all up until it's nice and smooth. Did I mention I love my Magic Bullet? Just checking.

Load it up in a serving bowl and sprinkle in some Italian seasoning, chill and dig in! It's really good with veggies, chicken, on sandwiches, or my favorite, warm pita bread. It's yum, it's healthy, it's easy. Try it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stuff I Love: A Well Packed Lunch

 It's that time of year again. Back to school. I'm not still in school, and I don't have kids, but I can't help but get excited every time I see all school supplies taking over the stores. When I was little I would eagerly await the school supply list, my eyes would dance up and down it, hopping from one item to the next. The year we were required to buy a compass especially stands out to me. I was thrilled that I would finally need one of those! I got it home, let my mom write my name on it in Sharpie, and before the ink could dry I was drawing perfect circle after perfect circle. Amazing! How had I not had one of these before?! As excited as I got over the compass, you would have thought I was well on my way to becoming a Mathlete. Nope! I was only interested in what it could do for me artistically.

And for every ounce of excitement I had for the new school supplies displays at Target or Walmart, my brother had equal or greater animosity toward them. My amazing mom would go to great lengths to shield my him from the glare of brand new notebooks, or the smell of freshly displayed crayons. Yes, in order to keep his summer happier (and ours by association) she would go the long way around the store to get what she needed and get us out of there content and none the wiser. Meltdown averted. Go Mom.

Another very important back to school "buy" was the all-important lunch box. That brings us to my top picks for lunch boxes this year, and though they will never top my plastic "Popple" one, these are pretty awesome. Plus, you don't have to be a kid to enjoy a well packed, highly stylish lunch. 

Pretty and Preppy. $22.00 Pottery Barn Kids.

Industrial. Get it at this very cool site for only $24.95.

Recycled, plus 1% goes towards the Nature Conservancy. $9.95. Same store as before.

Personalized! This might be my favorite. Get it at Girly Twirly for $36.00.

Japanese Bento Box! Stylish and keeps the portions under control. $32.99 at Amazon.

Those a my top picks for this year! What kind of lunch box did you have growing up? Here's the one my mom had! Vintage chic?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trashy Tip: The Eyebrows Have It

 Eyebrows! Some of us have thick ones, some of us have very sparse ones...Whoopi Goldberg anyone? Regardless of what you have, you can make yours frame your face, and look majorly polished. 

Ever get home from a social event, go to take your make  up off and notice one of your caterpillars sticking straight up? It's kind of like the spinach in the teeth thing, your first thought is, "Oh my gosh how long did it look like that?!" and your second though is, "Why didn't my best friend tell me?!" Okay maybe it's just me, but I think eyebrows are very important and worth taking a few extra seconds in the morning to finish your look.

Trashy Tip for the rogue eyebrow: Hairspray. I am the queen of hairspray. A house without hairspray is like a house without running water for me. I don't feel "finished" in the morning unless my "do" has been gently dusted with it...although, my college roommates wouldn't call it a gentle dusting. Yes, I'm sticking my tongue out at you, and you know who you are.

Back to the tip! Spray the end of a Q-tip with hairspray and then rub it over your eyebrow to keep it perfectly perfect all day long. Trust me, this is a good one to remember. You can also do the same thing with clear mascara if you happen to have it around. 

So that's it. That's the trashy tip for this week. What? Want more? Okay here's a few more of my tips and tricks, feel free to add your own in the comments below!

-Pluck your brows outside in natural light. You'd be amazed what you miss, when you pluck indoors.
-Eyebrow pencils aren't just for those with thinning eyebrows. Use them to fill in sparse spots.
-Make sure your pencil is the same color as your actual eyebrows.
-Are they too blonde? Talk to your hairdresser about dyeing them a color that actually occurs in nature. (EDIT: Nothing wrong with blonde eyebrows, but if you must dye them try not to let them end up purple! :) )
-The tweezer that comes in the smallest version of the Swiss Army knife has been the best for plucking I've ever found.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

DIY: Sukie Iron-Ons

I love, love, LOVE this book of iron-ons. My parents got it for me last Christmas and it's taken all I've got not to iron a little something on everything I own. It's probably that very reason I've never been given a know my house would look like a disco ball had thrown up on it.

This little book is filled with hundreds of iron-ons, ranging from delicate flowers, folksy deer, cute skylines, and my favorite...

LETTERS! A good font just makes my day. I love typography, that's a thing right? And aren't these letters and symbols just perfect? By the way, the letters are backwards because they haven't been ironed on took me awhile to figure it out, but I'm sure you knew already. Wink! You can buy this awesome book here.

Here's a little somethin' somethin' I made with it...

It's our new mail sorter! It's a hanging wall basket from Ikea. You can get it for $20 and customize to your hearts content! I think the picture pretty much tells you what we use ours for. In fact, most of my Etsy packing paper comes from the "junk pouch." But you really could use it for a ton of other things. Scarves, hats and gloves in winter? You could personalize it for each person in your family, or it would be great for sorting roommates mail. It's really whatever you want it to be! And if you happen to try it, be sure and send me a picture of it so I can brag on you!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fix It Friday: Shish Kebabs

Well, well, well, what do we have here? Shish kebabs! The summer staple I seem to always forget about. And I don't know why, because they are so fun, so easy and sooo good. I rekindled my love for them after spotting yellow cherry tomatoes at Trader Joes, and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with them.

Kebabs it was. When making these, it's easier to just make one marinade, but you know me, glutton for punishment, I had to make three (one for each ingredient.) So here's what I did:

Chicken: Rubbed with pre-chopped garlic, olive oil, dried basil and salt
Tomatoes: Olive oil and salt
Red Onions: Olive oil, brown sugar, garlic powder (trust me on the brown sugar, it's delicious!)

Then skewer those puppies! The package of the little sticks I bought recommended soaking them  in water for 20 minutes before grilling to keep them from burning. I read this little bit of information about 2 minutes before tossing them on the grill. Oops. 

Turned out great though! I think it really helps to keep all your ingredients about the same size, particularly the chicken and tomatoes. The last thing you need is burned tomatoes and undercooked chicken. Blech.

What are your tips and tricks for the perfect kebab? Favorite ingredient? Let me know!

Oh and there's still 2 days left to enter the give away!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stuff I Love: Water Bobble

Isn't it pretty? The design and look of this water bottle is what got me hooked. I look at it and I want to hold it. It just looks so perfectly holdable.

What's neat is that this bottle has it's own little filter built in. I love my Sigg bottle, but this is SUPER handy, I mean just being able to fill it up anywhere and know that you will have clean and good tasting water to drink. This would have been great in Europe, we stayed in some pretty iffy places and I wasn't sure I wanted to wash my hands in the water, let alone drink it.

Here's some of the specs:

-BPA Free
-FDA Approved
-Made of Recycled Plastic and Can Be Recycled Later
-The Single Filter is Equal to 300 Water Bottles

At a measly $9.95, this bottle is a much better value than buying 300 bottles of water. I'm definitely ordering one of these...the biggest problem will be picking a color!

You can buy the Water Bobble here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Trashy Tip: The Dreaded Cords of the Junk Drawer

I'm a right-brained kind of lady no matter how you look it. This is not something that can be changed. I love design, color, and spontaneity. I blow through my apartment from room to room and project to project, leaving a trail of destruction,  creativity, and let's face it, messiness.

I'm very high energy when I get going on a project and you can be worn out just by being in my presence. Ask anyone I've ever lived with: parents, roommates, and of course now, my poor husband. Sometimes he comes home to a delicious meal and a perfectly clean house. And sometimes he walks in to find an explosion of color, snips of little paper everywhere, and me teetering dangerously off of a chair trying to get that perfect photo for my Etsy shop. Don't worry, I locked him down. I even emphasized the importance of creativity in our marriage vows... just to keep me covered.

I say all of this to make the point that when I can find a way to be organized, even a little bit, I’ve got to share it.
How many digital cameras have you blown through in the last few years? How many TVs have you had? What about your Wii? DVD and MP3 players? What happens to all of the attachments, cords and thing-a-ma-jigs?  If you’re like me they usually end up in the junk closet or just piled in a drawer where they become tangled beyond belief. I got sick of it. I especially got sick of unraveling the entire ball of cords only to find that I'd untangled the wrong one.

Simple solution. Undo your wad of cords and lay them out separately. Coil them gently around themselves and place each in its own Ziploc bag. Put them back in the drawer. Now, the next time you need a USB cable for your camera, you can easily see it through the bag. The hassle is gone! You could even go so far as to label them...but you know, that would just be too practical for me.

Don't forget you've got 5 days left to enter this month's giveaway!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Is it Summer Yet? (Oh and it's GIVE AWAY time!)

As I'm nearing my first anniversary of living in LALA-land, I'm thinking back on all the fun/odd times I've had in the last 12 months. If my life were a TV show, right about now it would cut to a series of flashbacks set to some feel good tunes...

...I won't put you through that.

I miss a lot of things about Oklahoma, but I really miss the change of seasons. Don't get me wrong, the weather here is fantastic...pretty much 75 degrees and sunny year round.  But I miss the first crisp day of fall and the leaves turning orange. I miss the snow and ice in the winter, and I definitely miss all the thunderstorms and tornadoes of spring and summer. It really hasn't felt like summer at all here, and I can't remember the last time it rained. 

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