Thursday, March 31, 2011

My drafty windows... fixed!

This is a rather simplistic fix for drafty doors or windows. Since I live in an apartment and have no say on structural changes but still have to pay the heat bill I decided to take matters into my own hands. I made these window/door snakes. It was rather simple and I just filled them with cat litter (fresh of coarse.) Here is the result.

Here is a picture from someone who used better fabric than me. I wish I had used cuter fabric. Oh well, they serve their purpose.

Here's how I made mine:
1. Measure the width of what you want to cover (door, window, etc).
2. Cut fabric that is 9 1/4 inches wide by your first measurement. Cut two 3 1/4-inch circles from fabric.
3. Fold rectangular piece of fabric in half lengthwise, right sides facing together, and pin raw edges together. Sew along the length of the open side but somewhere in the middle of the tube, leave about a 4-inch gap in the stitching. Backstitch at both sides of the gap, as this will be the opening to turn right-side out later.
5. This part can get a little trick... patience. Pin circles into each end of the tube, with right sides facing in.
6. (I did not do this part I went straight to sewing. But it might help some people)Baste the circles into place with a needle and thread, and remove pins.
7. Machine-sew each circle end to the tube. Remove basting.
8. Turn tube right side out and fill with cat litter. (I first put a trash bag inside the tube cause I don't like the smell that cat litter gives off.)
9. Stitch opening closed with needle and coordinating thread.

Read more at Marthastewart.com

Let me know if you have any other quick household fixes!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

These are some nonsensical times we live in...

I happened upon these 2 stories recently and I was just beside myself!

Mother Gives 8-Year-Old Daughter Monthly Botox
(DULCIE PEARCE from The Sun)

LIKE other eight-year-old girls, Britney Campbell loves dancing to Lady GaGa, is fond of fashion and enjoys putting on make-up.
But Britney's beauty regime goes way beyond playing with Mummy's lippy.

Once every three months, Britney climbs on a beautician's table and watches as mum Kerry prepares needles of Botox and fillers to be injected into her face.

Beautician Kerry, 34, from Birmingham, buys the substances online and injects them into her daughter's forehead, lips and around her eyes.

The beauty-pageant obsessed single mum also takes her to have her body waxed, in a bizarre bid to stop her growing hair when she eventually hits puberty.

Kerry says these shocking and potentially dangerous treatments will guarantee Britney becomes famous as a teenager.

She says: "What I am doing for Britney now will help her become a star.

"I know one day she will be a model, actress or singer, and having these treatments now will ensure she stays looking younger and baby-faced for longer.

"I'm sure people reading this will think I am being irresponsible, but I ensure that I test the Botox and fillers I buy online on myself first.

"All I want is for Britney to have the best start in life, so it is easier for her to become a superstar.

"More mothers should do it for their daughters."

Kerry is proud Britney is one of the youngest children in the world to have Botox injections and fillers for beauty purposes.

Despite doctors and plastic surgeons recommending Botox only be used by adults, Kerry claims Britney is in no danger.

Kerry, who also regularly administers Botox and fillers on herself, says: "I'm proud Britney is getting to have these beauty treatments at such a young age.

"I wish that I'd had the same advantages when I was younger.

"She is a lucky little girl and is going to be famous because of the benefits I am giving her so early."

Worryingly, Britney - whose research scientist dad died four years ago aged 83 - regards the injections and waxing as part of normal life.

She demands the top-ups of Botox, complaining she can see wrinkles.

Britney says: "My friends think it's cool I have all the treatments and they want to be like me. I check every night for wrinkles, when I see some I want more injections.

"They used to hurt, but now I don't cry that much.

"I also want a boob and nose job soon, so that I can be a star."

Shockingly, Kerry, who now lives in San Francisco is not alone in her quest to make her daughter wrinkle-free for life.

This behaviour is becoming a trend in the competitive world of American child beauty pageants.

Kerry says: "When Britney takes part in pageants, parents talk about how they have given their daughter an extra jab to plump her lips or lose a wrinkle.

"Everyone is doing it and talking about it.

"We are not doing anything illegal, and I don't want my daughter being the only one who doesn't have a bit of extra help."

Kerry is currently preparing Britney for the competitions, as well as saving up for a £2,000 dress.

Britney is also learning the piano for the events' performance sections.

Amazingly, in the UK and US there are no criminal laws stopping a child having these types of procedures as the industry is self-regulated.

Kerry says: "If I want Britney to be successful, I have to be realistic. She has to start as early as possible.

"I give her between 1-2ml of a saline and Botox solution per session.

"In the past 12 months she has had different parts of her face and lips injected four times. I make her frown before injecting, which helps identify a potential wrinkle. This means we can get it before it even develops.

"I know the correct amount to give her as I am a trained beautician.

"I'd rather she be perfect and have a little frozen face. Some people say her eyebrows look a little pulled already but they look striking."

Kerry buys Botox and Restalyne over the internet, spending £150 per 3ml vial. She has a home-assembled kit of needles from the local chemist and from a diabetic friend.

Kerry says: "I also buy vials of fillers and Botox from our local "beauty dealer" - one of the mums at school.

"It's all safe and I am not worried.Britney's young and healthy."

Kerry first injected Britney with Botox in May last year, as a present to celebrate her eighth birthday.

She says: "One day I had to keep her home from school as she had a slight headache, but apart from that she has had no reaction at all.

"She also has her virgin wax monthly, which gets rid of her fluffy leg hair and makes sure she wont develop pubic hair in the future.

"It will save her a fortune in waxing when she's older."

Little Britney says: "I feel like a supermodel and if I do ballet or go swimming I don't have to worry about hairy legs. Although the pain makes me cry, I feel like a cool grown-up when it's all over." Kerry plans to get Britney's eyebrows waxed this year.

She is also hoping to get them lightly tattooed to an arched shape and is also considering a light pink tattooed lip-liner.

She said: "All this pain and effort now will benefit Britney no end.

"When she's a superstar earning millions, she'll always be grateful for what I did when she was so young."

23-Year-Old Grandmother: World’s Youngest Grandmother at 23
(Maria Vultaggio for LongIslandPress.com)

Mother-of-two, Rifca Stanescu, was only 12 when she gave birth to her first child, Maria.

She urged her daughter not to follow her example, however, Maria had her son Ion while only 11-years-old.

Stanescu was only 11 when she married jewelry seller Ionel Stanescu and he was 13. Stanescu revealed “marrying young” is a way of life in the Romanian gypsy culture.

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They had to elope because Stanescu feared her father wanted her to marry a fellow villager in Investi, Romania.

Stanescu reveals her feelings about Ionel Stanescu, “I wanted to marry him, so I agreed, and of course after we had spent the night together then there was no way anyone could separate us. I had been promised to another boy’s family since I was two years old but I didn’t want that.”

In gypsy culture ones virginity is highly prized, therefore women are married young as possible so that new husband’s can be sure their new wives are virgins who affect a good dowry. The loss of virginity translates to a terminated deal.

Stanescu was forgiven for her secret marriage once her daughter was born.

Her second child, son Nicolae was born a year later. The young mother tried to persuade daughter Maria to stay in school, however her efforts were to no avail.

Maria left her mother’s home and wed when she was ten and had her first child six months later.

Stanescu revealed to The Sun as she cuddled grandson Ion, now two, and said: “I am happy to be a grandmother but wished more for Maria.”

Will Rifca also be the world’s youngest great-grandmother?


What do you think about this?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sunset Juction what's your function... good eats?


Since moving to Los Angeles a few years ago I haven't really experienced the city. So, now I'm trying to make an effort to explore a little bit every week. Last night I went to the Silverlake area with some friends where I feasted upon vegetarian thai & gelato. Yep, most of my exploration involve food. Sometimes I wish I could have a show like Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.

It started with me wanting to explore some of our fine Gelato establishments. I came upon Pazzo Gelato in my search. I noticed they had vegan sorbetto on the menu so I enlisted the company of 2 friends who enjoy the vegan lifestyle. It was suggested that we first hit up Bulan Thai Vegetarian. I was game.

Bulan Thai Vegetarian
4114 Santa Monica Blvd
Silver Lake, CA 90029

It's a small place, not flashy in anyway but smells wonderful before you even step inside. We were seated on the spot but it was also a Monday night so I'm not sure what the weekends are like. Us three enjoy our wine and we noticed there was no wine list but they had an uncorking fee, so we promptly told them we would return in a moment. Yes... we went up the street to the liquor store and got some plum wine. I had never had a plum wine and it was great! It was like a really good juice.

Back at the restaurant we shared 3 dishes.
1.) Spring Rolls: deep fried rolls filled with assorted vegetables and glass noodles. It was served with a sweet and sour sauce. I found them to be a tad bland but it did come with sauce and they were fried perfectly. Not too greasy. They were served in an appealing manner and piping hot! The aroma of the steam coming off of them was inviting and made me want to gobble them up. Which I did.


2.) Pad Thai: I know it's a pretty regular thing to get in a thai restaurant but I've had some bad pad thai in my day. Why not try it with veggie chicken. It's pan fried rice noodles, sprouts, crushed peanuts and we opted to leave out the egg. Sometimes the crushed peanuts & peanut sauce can be the downfall of the dish for me. This time it was not the case. The peanuts were crushed in very small pieces. Plus. The peanut sauce was not overpowering. Plus. The noodles were rather sticky... ok a lot sticky. So sticky in fact that you looked like you were having a mini seizure trying to shake them apart. Not a plus. It wasn't enough to ruin the dish for me. I'm not sure if my foodie comrades would agree with me. I enjoyed it... even the veggie chicken!


3.) Pad See-Ew: Pan fried rice noodles with broccoli, sprouts and a special dark soy sauce. YUM! This was my favorite of the night. We again opted for no egg for our vegan mate. The noodles on this dish were also stuck together but it didn't stop me from eating all the remnants of this meal.


Onward! To the sweets!
MMMM.... gelato! Can you tell my excitement for a creamy treat.(Come on with the jokes.)
Pazzo Gelato
3827 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Walking in it's a small place and I'm sure it gets very crowded. They are open until 11pm and I'm sure there is foot traffic until close. They use all fresh fruit and herbs that help local growers and they don't add any high fructose corn syrup. For those of you who think it's just ice cream here's what gelato is in a nut shell.

Gelato is Italy’s version of ice cream but gelato has a lot less fat than ice cream. It has a much higher density. Ice cream is made by mixing cream, milk and sugar and then adding air. Adding air doubles the quantity but no air is added to gelato. The result is a richer, creamier taste. It really makes all the difference! Gelato is served slightly warmer than ice cream because it is less solidly frozen. Giving it a melt in your mouth goodness.

Pazzo has a somewhat extensive array of product. If you look at the ever changing menu online they have an overwhelming list of flavors. Out of the 3 of us I was not the only one to try the most flavors before deciding on one. Usually, I go through them all and last night I was not alone. After sampling the green tea, cookies n cream, espresso, bellini, and the chevre fig I decided on a scoop of espresso & cookies n cream.




Can't wait to go back and try more!
Let me know if you have any places I can venture to in LA!

(photos taken from: yelp.com)

Monday, March 28, 2011

French Onion Salisbury Steak

This weekend I made the most delicious meal that I must share. I think I got the recipe from the Food Network magazine but I can't quite remember. Anyways, it was delicious!! It was a tad bit on the salty side but so is french onion soup. As I looked at the remnants of dinner I remembered I forgot to take a photo of my creation! So, I borrowed this from Food.com. I'm not joking it really does look like this, nothing fancy but tasty. I made this from start to finish in about 45 mins. Sometimes, I like to take on complicated menus but this is a simple, no hassle one. I made a few subtle changes so I am posting how I made the recipe. Enjoy.


French Onion Salsbury Steak
Makes 4 - 45mins

(I made extra bread for dipping in the sauce. I highly suggest it)

For Steaks:
* 1-1/4 lbs ground chuck
* 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (tip: 1 tsp dried parsley = 1 tbsp fresh parsley / 4tsp dried = 1/4cup fresh)
* 2 tablespoons scallions, minced
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* all-purpose flour, enough to powder the patties

For Sauce:
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 cups onions, sliced
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon tomato paste
* 2 cups beef broth
* 1/4 cup red wine
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Cheese Toast:
* 4 slices Italian baguette (cut diagonally 1/2in thick)
* 2 Tablespoons butter, room temp
* 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
* a few pinches of paprika
* swiss cheese slices, cut into stripes
* parmesan cheese, shredded

(Preheat oven to 400 for cheese toast)
1. Combine chuck, parsley, scallion, salt, and pepper. Divide evenly into 4 portions and shape into 3/4 to 1-inch thick oval patties.
2. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge each patty in flour.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add patties and sauté 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from pan.
4. Add onions and sugar to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste; sauté 1 minute, or until paste begins to brown. Stir in broth and wine, salt and thyme.
5. Return meat to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. (I made my cheese toast during this time)
6. Serve steaks on Cheese Toasts with onion soup ladled over.
7. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan.

Cheese toast:
1. Cut and place bread on baking sheet
2. Combine butter, garlic and Paprika. Spread on one side of bread slices.
3. Lay swiss cheese slices over bread slice. Sprinkle top with shredded Parmesan.
4. Bake until bread is crisp and cheese bubbly. About 10 minutes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blame it on the Alcohol


(this tee available at http://www.cafepress.com/tdjunkie.373338615)

I know my title is probably very cliche but the song has a way of getting stuck in my head. Especially, when I watch videos with intoxicated people.

If I'm ever feeling like nothing could make me laugh at this moment I can just watch this. This guy has obviously had a teeny weeny too much alcohol at Coachella fest and it results in the entertaining flip flop fail. I love when he almost has it and then stops to flirt with a group of girls. I like to imagine he was making great drunk conversation such as..."I'm not drunk. I'm just intoxicated by you." or "Damn, you look good in beer goggles..."


Oh, my I wish this is what happened on our beaches. He's just soooo confused! Why does he not realize... oh wait he's had a few wine coolers I'm sure. Love when the other speedo guy comes to help.


And gotta love this drunk guy. I didn't think it was real at first but supposedly it is. Gotta love watching drunk people. Just glad I'm not one of them! It's kinda long but still funny. For some reason the video freezes here and there.


Had to drop the actual song. Honestly, I'm not sure if the music video is meant to be a joke or not. I get that the song is meant to be a club hit, it's catchy I get it. But the video has a inside joke quality to it. (In my eyes, here are the few pluses to the video if they are being serious) It was directed by Hype Williams... plus. Ron Howard raises his glass... plus.


Let me know if you have any good videos for me to watch!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stop trying to be perfect!


I've always been a perfectionist. Even as a child the teachers would write on my report card that I need to work faster. That I spent too much time on one thing. I remember in Sunday school I would never get my project for the morning completed by the time my mom came to get me. I think in college I lightened up a little and would cut myself some slack. After college I'm back to same old thing of wanting everything to happen right now the way I envision it. I'm trying to go back to the free-ness I felt back a few years ago. I found this blog by Leo Babuta call Zen Habits. Here is something from him that really resonated with me and will be something I keep up in my home to refer to everyday. (Updated: this is actually from his second blog "mnmlist" about minimalism)

The only thing you can change

by Leo Babauta

You can’t change your entire life.

You can only change your next action.



You can’t change a relationship with a loved one.

You can only change your next interaction.



You can’t change your entire job.

You can only change your next task.



You can’t change your body composition.

You can only change your next meal.



You can’t change your fitness level.

You can only start moving.



You can’t declutter your entire life.

You can only choose to get rid of one thing, right now.



You can’t eliminate your entire debt.

You can only make one payment, or buy one less unnecessary item.



You can’t change the past, or control the future.

You can only change what you’re doing right now.



You can’t change everything.

You can only change one, small thing.

And that’s all it takes.


Just wanted to share for others who feel the way I do. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hope for Japan

I haven't quite been able to fully form my thoughts into words as the disaster in Japan unfolds. I have decided to present them in photographs because I can't really say anything more than my prayers & hope go out to the people of Japan.

(Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)
(AP)
(Asahi Shimbun, Noboru Tomura/Associated Press)
(AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tadashi Okubo)
(AP)
A friend, Erica Wernick, who is a graphic designer here in Hollywood designed a fantastic 13 x 15 POSTER FOR JAPAN RELIEF $25 DONATION (100% of proceeds will benefit Japan). Click Here.

To view her website "Erica Wernick Design"

Also, a great program called Shelter Box is accepting donations. They help all over the world but they also sent these during the earthquake in Haiti last year. Take a look.

Friday, March 18, 2011

sofa completed

I have been working on finishing my sofa this past week. Here is the before and after. It didn't turn out exactly as planned but with a few throw pillows it's growing on me. I may add some upholstery buttons to it but I haven't decided. What do ya think?

Before paint...


After paint... Cushions completed!



I made 3 of the pillows. The one's I made are reversible...



... one step closer to a finished living space!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day!

I needed to stretch my cooking muscles since they haven't been worked in quite some time. I haven't really used my kitchen in this new apartment so for work I decided to try a new easy recipe. I was simply going to make green candied popcorn. Seemed easy enough. I had all the ingredients already and I've made different caramel popcorn before. Simple. Ahhhh! This was a disaster all because I have an itty bitty oven now and for some reason if your cooking on the stove top everything in the oven will be overcooked or burnt. My first and second batch were ruined before I figured out what was going on. On my third batch I knew it was going to work. Ooops, not the way I had hoped. It did turn out but the nice green colored candy coating I made turned brown when I started baking it. I have no idea why. It's still good to eat but not as visually appealing as I had hoped. So, I added a few gold rolos & hersey's chocolate to give it a pop! Here is the final product, I call it... Leprechauns' Candied Popcorn.


Here are the labels I made for the bags. I made three different tags.
St. Patrick's Day Toast
Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold beer – and another one!

Irish Blessing
May the Good Lord take a liking to you... but not too soon!

Why should you never iron a 4-leaf clover? You don't want to press your luck.

I've been on a history kick for awhile now. I've always liked to the meaning behind something but lately it's gotten a little out of hand. Now, I listen to history podcast all day long and my mind is filling with all these small facts I will probably never have to recall...except for this... A short history of St. Patrick's Day.

It was started as a religious feast (bacon & cabbage) & celebration on the anniversary of Saint Patrick's death in 461. (Who was not Irish but Roman British and was kidnapped as a child to Ireland, escaped and returned as a bishop to lead a successful mission to spread Christianity.) The emphasis wasn't a day of parades, drinking and green things. The official color was blue and drinking on March 17th was banned in Ireland until the 1970s. They overturned the ban on drinking as it seemed to help tourism for the holiday and Irish culture. The shamrock is the symbol of the holiday because Patrick used the shamrock to teach about the Holy Trinity in his travels through Ireland. Over time the tradition migrated with the immigrants who celebrated the holiday and the fact that they were proud of their heritage. As it turned into a secular holiday new traditions have started such as parades (the biggest in NYC started the secular tradition when Irish soldiers marched through the city), leprechauns (Disney), wearing green and getting pinched if you don't (Leprechauns might get ya), kiss me I'm Irish (legend is to kiss the Blarney Stone for good luck but if you couldn't you could kiss an Irishman)
I would be a bit more specific but I don't to bore you during this festive holiday!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where da gold at?

In honor of St. Paddy's day being tomorrow I am posting an oldie but a goodie. If you haven't seen it I hope it brings a bright spot to your day as much as it does mine. Here is Leprechaun in Alabama.
(PS my favorite part is the amateur sketch)


Have you seen this man...

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