Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kale Chips...are DA BOMB....204 Days to go

Alright, I know it isn't clothing related...but not all my posts are, and many of my readers are interested in improving their I figured you may be interested in Kale Chips! They are SUPER easy to make, super delicious, and super healthy.  They are so good that I've replaced regular potato chips with them (and I LOVE chips, they are my biggest vice! Or, they were)

Here's how ya do it:
(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)
1) Tear up some Kale, put it on a cookie sheet.

2) Drizzle the kale with olive oil (I measure it out first so I don't glop too much on. I use 1 tbsp for a cookie sheet full) 

3) Toss the Kale in the olive oil on the sheet, to make sure it is well covered. 

4) Put some spices on it. I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a teeny bit of sugar.

5) Bake for 11-15 minutes (depends on your oven, check EARLY and only cook it longer if it really needs it. Better to err on the side of undercooked on this one, as it burns easily)

6) Cool, and eat. Yum  yum yum!

Any other good healthy snacks you are a fan of? I've also been really digging Kettle Corn lately...mmm, I should make some of that...soon....

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hiatus and Candle Fixing.....205 Days To Go!!!!

Again, I have been gone for awhile.  At my school, we have a 6 week break over the winter.  You see, most of the time I am at my computer because I have to be, for school or for studying.  So, when school is not in session, I try to get away from the computer a bit and get out into the Real World.  And I did a lot of that over break...lots of cross-country skiing, etc. But, it meant that my blog has been woefully left behind. For that I apologize!!  I probably shouldn't have started this blog while in school, but it can be good to test one's limits while stressed, I guess:)

So, candle fixing. Let me preface this by saying that I fix a lot of stuff...but if the appearance of it isn't integral to the function (which is not the case with sewing), I will just let it stay ugly.

My sister sent me a surprise care package this week...including some bento goodies, household things, and a pair of candlesticks she picked up at Farmer's Market. Well, woe to me, they were broken in a couple spots, probably do to their shipment.  I really wanted to use them, because they smell fantastic and I've actually needed a pair of candle sticks.  So, I decided to fix them.

I looked up a few tutorials and it all involved melting candle wax in a double boiler, and doing all sorts of finishing work. Well, I didn't feel like I really NEEDED to do all that. So I figured out my own way.  I didn't think to post about it until after I was done. So I went back and tried to make a tutorial of sorts. It's really easy.

In this picture I'm pointing to where one of the cracks was. Both had 2 cracks each, and you can see where they were in the finished picture.

1)  Put out some foil for the candles to sit on

2) Gather supplies....birthday candles, something to light the birthday candles with and an area where it's safe to use fire.

3)  Light the birthday candle and let the wax drip into and around the crack in the candle.  (You can't see it as well on these ones because it's already done).

4)  Let the wax you've applied to the crack on that side harden thoroughly (go do something for 15 minutes or more), and then come back, turn the candle, and drop the wax into the parts of the crack that are not "waxed" yet.

5) Let the whole thing harden after you've filled the cracks (and you can't really overfill them, so feel free to go crazy...better to err on the side of too much wax than not enough).

6) (optional) Mine had a flaky outer appearance, and so I finished it by running a match close to the surface of the candle on all sides, just so that the patches blended a little better. I ended up using a yellow candle (not in the demo, but beforehand) and I have some Greenbay Packers colors now, so I will have to light these during the superbowl:)

So there you have it, they aren't perfect, but they are use-able now.

Can't wait to light these babies up and shed a little light on things around here:) Ha ha ha! Hope you are all doing well!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I hate the term "no 'poo"....230 days to go!!!

So, without being able to shop for clothes, I have to find something else to fill my time:). Naturally, living with less, living simply, sustainable living, etc., are all topics that go hand in hand with a no new clothes challenge. One thing I have always wanted to try was to go "No 'Poo." Now, I hate that term. So, I am searching for a good work alternative. But, it means to cleanse your hair with no shampoo.  Most people will start doing this by using a baking soda was and vinegar rinse. Then, they will taper off to where they use it less and less...sometimes not using anything but water in the end.

Now, the concept makes sense to me.  I mean, shampoo and conditioner are relatively recent additions to the hygiene repetoire. Of course, one could argue that toothbrushing is fairly recent, in a historical sense.  But, it just seems as though we shouldn't NEED shampoo and conditioner. 

I grew out all hair processing I had done on my's taken about 2 years. I also haven't had a haircut in all that time (I know, I know). So, I've been going more "natural" for awhile. I like my hair texture, color, and look better now than when I had it colored, etc. It is shiny, stronger, more natural body, etc. (which is a big deal for my fine, thin, limp hair!). So, naturally, I wonder if I would like going "no 'poo" (shudder at the term)...

Additionally, I used to have really bad skin. Now, my skin is great. I found that the key is LESS. I only wash my face once a day, and only if I wore makeup that day (which is most days, but I do not wear heavy makeup). I use Purpose bar soap on my face, and the cheapest moisturizer Avon makes. That's about it! My skin is better now than when I used to use expensive cleansers, moisturizers, serums, etc. My Mom has beautiful skin, and she has a really simple routine with regular drugstore products...and I can't believe how wonderful her skin looks! Looks better than people my age!

Anyway, so all of that kind of makes me think that natural and simple is better. Plus, using non-detergents, and more enviro-friendly products is always a huge plus. And, if eventually I could just wash my hair with water...well I'd be super stoked. So, I am thinking of trying it.  Have any if you tried it? Thoughts and opinions? Advice? I guess I'm just kind of thinking out loud here:)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Post Finals and Holiday MADNESS!:).....231 days to go!!!

Welllll, finals and holidays are over...and I am back:). I've been rather remiss in my posting, for which I apologize. However, this tends to be a busy time of year for all...personally I am just catching up on The Internet (yes, it needs to be Caught Up On).   I hope you ALL had a WONDERFUL holiday season!

This year, for Christmas, my husband and I found much more joy in giving than getting. Don't get me wrong...we received SO MANY generous wonderful gifts that we love. I'm just saying that we enjoyed giving gifts so much this year.  It was really what we were most excited for.  And, of course, due to bargain shopping, I have been saving up gifts for people since this summer.  Here's a beautifully wrapped gift that my Dad put together:) How creative is he!!!

Silver and White Packages Tied up With Ribbon...(gift wrapping is one of my favorite things to do!)

This year, we used re-usable ACTUAL ribbon on gifts, which I got back (I felt kinda bad asking for the ribbon back, but otherwise it would have been disposed of), and will use next year. The paper was recyclable.

We decorated our humble little tree with origami figures, just like last year, but added a few to the "pack." We have a handful of actual, flat ornaments, as well.  It's nice because we can pack all of these flat into an envelope...instead of boxes and boxes of ornaments.  I made the topper out of a sash I found at a fabric store for $3. If I ever get sick of it, I can use it as an accent on a dress! Or even as a throw pillow accent or something...

We did, however, get LED lights for our tree this year. Last year, we used regular, less expensive lights and they burned out TWICE! It was ridiculous. But the upside is that these will last longer, use less energy, and they look awesome when the lights are out....

However, as always, the best moments of the holiday involved the 3 F's...Family Food and Fun (haha!! what did you think I was gonna say?). Here's the gingerbread house my Mom and I made. She wanted to make it pretty...and I had had a lot of wine. can see what happened. We had fun though, which is what counts!

(The tree has fallen down, I went nuts with the icing, and just ate a lot of the candy....good times! Mom was the only reason this gingerbread house looks halfway decent!)

Hope your holidays were spectacular. So, tell me, what are your NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS??? I don't have any yet. I guess that means I'm pretty happy with things. But..if I get any, I'll fill ya in!