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3/30/09

And she's off

Whew. I know that was quite the string of posts after a few days of nothing. But I've been quite busy the past few days preparing for my bi-annual business trip. This month it lands me in the lovely City of Angels, so I get to see my brother and some friends - and mix my business with pleasure.

I will try to post a bit over the next week, since I will be in the land of eternal sunshine and would love to share some of that with you all. As always, super grateful to everyone who makes my traveling a possibility by taking care of the little Ashbot.

I'm all packed and ready to go. Still have to pack my toiletries, but I'll do that in the morning. And FYI - you can check 2 free bags on Southwest. Woohoo! Here's my nicely-packed suitcase (not pictured - shoe/accessory bag, computer bag, purse!). Bringing along "Friendly Fire" by A.B. Yehoshua, and I can't wait to read it.

Passing it on - more art of chocolate

So, this was my first attempt at creating a vegan chocolate mousse concoction that apparently Sophie's coworker feeds her every day at work (totally jealous). Here is what I did. In a big saucepan, I melted 2 cans of coconut milk. NOT the lowfat kind. I also added a pint of water:



Then I added a 9.7 oz bar of Scharffen Berger 99% cacao chocolate and melted it in, very slowly, over low heat.






Then I added some agave to sweeten it. I ran out of agave, so I also added some raw sugar - but you can sweeten however, and just sweeten it to taste. I also added a tiny pinch of salt to balance and enhance the flavors.



Then I kept letting everything simmer on really low heat for a while. The chocolate actually took a while to get really smooth with the milk. You can kind of see in this next picture that it is less chunky than the earlier photos:

Finally, I poured it in little glasses to cool in the fridge. Cute, huh?


Final results and thoughts:

I probably simmered this stuff for about 40 minutes before letting it cool. It took a long time to fully cool, and actually had set even more after a full day in the fridge. It never got to full-on mousse consistency. It was delicious, but not as hard-set as I'd hoped. I'm not quite sure about the milk/water ratio in this. The nice thing about this recipe is it leaves a lot of room for personal touches and experiments, so I guess I will just see how it turns out next time.

Tigers and chickens


This signpost is a couple blocks from my house. The tiger stripes are from a 2-page sign that someone made reporting a found stuffed tiger. It's been up for a while. Now, I noticed it's been joined by a missing chicken sign. Hopefully everyone gets reunited with their owners!

DIY Polyvore!

Here is a Polyvore-style sampling of my favorite nautical-themed items in honor of the new, sunshine-filled seasons that are upon us:







Nearly all of this stuff is from the bins. Sailor shorts, striped sweater top, striped bikini bottom, and anchor scarf are all bins scores. Striped anchor bra was.... a gift? Does anyone remember where it came from? Not sure. Funny thing is that Kristin has the matching thong, but no bra. I have the bra, but no thong.

Anchor charms are from random cheap necklaces that broke. I plan on making a mis-match pair of earrings with them.

Red, white & blue flower pin/earring set is from Kristin; and the shoes I just bought at F21 because I needed some sneaks besides my dirty Converse to wear on my business trip this week.

The sailor fantasy continues!

Finally found it



Been hoping hoping hoping for a hat like this! Didn't want to pay a bunch of money, though. Finally the fashion powers-that-be heard my prayers and I found this 100% wool felt burgandy floppy hat at F21 of $2.99. Stoked.

More Asher Nostalgia

Thanks, Kristin.

3/25/09

Old and new, never and again


Springtime makes me think about so much. Even though the physical and psychic overhaul of spring and autumn are often a lot to handle, there is something deeply satisfying in it. Like shit is MOVING and gonna get done. Anyway, just been thinking about everything a lot. This photo is from many springs ago on the old Belmont porch. I love Jenny with her hair like this - it reminds me of photos of my own mother from the late 70s-early 80s. Jenny is the best at looking like a vintage photograph sometimes. And tiny blondie Asher is enough to melt any heart!!

3/23/09

Oh snap


It gets better! The skull in the bedroom photo is actually this "Love and Marriage modern art installation - wedding cake bull head with feather veil."

What?? A-ma-zing. Made from bone, enamel, fiberglass and feathers. Click here for more - photo via attiladesign.

In the treetops


WOW. look at this bedroom! The bedframe is for sale on Etsy... delivered to your door from Helsinki for a mere $12,000 and change. I think I could justify the price if the whole room were delivered, no? Feather boas and sheepskin on the floor and a cow skull headpiece?? I love it all.

(Photo of "Under the Apple Tree Canopy Bed" from Etsy seller attiladesign)

3/22/09

always wanting more




Could DEFINITELY use one of these jackets. I love the cuffs. I'd probably got for the black and white one, even though the black is cute, too. Visit the site to check out more from SF-based line S&G by Sequoia and Gita. They incorporate sustainable fashion principles, and all of their designs have a fabulous fairy-tale-esque/edwardian-era look about them, while still maintaining a streamlined modern attitude. Love it.

burning bright, the sun shines




The sun broke through for a few hours the other day, and people flocked like crazy to the nearest parks and patios. I was at Sunnyside Park swinging with Asher when I spotted local cutie Jade and her killer ensemble. She was sweet enough to let me take a photo.

Her zombie shirt was what initially caught my eye, but then I ultimately fell in love with her hair color/fierce lipstick combination. The ochre sweater tops it off - it somehow ties the whole look together with a mellow cohesiveness, but also illuminates the rich color combinations of the whole getup. Girl was looking good! Thanks, Jade!

hypercolor kicks





When my friend Nickles came over the other day wearing some hypercolor Puma's, I had to take some photos. Upon closer examination, I realized that one could call them hypercolor - BUT, they are actually more similar to that dear, dear phenomenon called the mood ring. Yes. These shoes turn all black when they are cold and unloved...but start breathing some heat into them, and they begin to turn a marbled blue and green. Mood ring tennis shoes. Dope.

she curled her bangs in the school locker room



Hahaha. American Apparel brings back that accessory that was once so close to every girl's heart - the scrunchie!

(Images via AA)

3/20/09

Holy Eff I am exhasuted

Work is SO crazy in March. It is all-consuming, and then if I try to do something else, I get so tired that I pretty much fall right asleep.

Finally bought a much-needed external hard drive yesterday so that I can do more stuff on my computer again. Yay! Gonna hook that up tonight, and hopefully get some more fun posts up here as well. Something nice to look at, rather than boring to-do lists and such. Scored some really fun stuff at the bins the other day, so I will try to post some of that, as well as some street style profiles I've been spotting and lusting over.

On an unrelated note, thanks to the psychic powers of Facebook, I now know that my aura is red, and my spirit animal is an owl. Thought you should know.


(Image by Jan Brett)

3/17/09

Spring Cleaning Wishlist


  1. Clear out the rest of the fern & holly clippings from back yard
  2. Plants on front porch - general maintenance and rejuvenation
  3. Get plants for living room window
  4. Clean wax off of mantle, get new candles
  5. Set up back yard lounge, when sun comes out for good
  6. Clean kitchen floor & rugs
  7. Get a nice new rake
  8. Get a watering can that can be used indoors and on the porch

Steve Almond wrote me back

OMG, you guys. I sent Steve Almond an email (yes, FAN MAIL), and he wrote me back!! Swoon!! Here is what I wrote:

subject: Adoration

message: Dear Mr. Almond, I have to at least try and write to say thank you for your books. I wish there were more, but I suppose I can wait. Although we might never meet, you can rest assured that your mission as a writer is accomplished; In your writing I find the veins of my past and present - your words seem to articulate the very core of my memories and give shape to unprocessed thoughts. It is true love - literary soul-mate-i-tude! HELL YES. So stoked and so grateful.

Sadie Rose

And he replied:

Sadie --

Well isn't this the sweetest note ever?
Thank you so much for taking the time to write. You made my month.
I'm struggling to write a new book which kind of sucks right now, so your kind words are a big fat help.
Hope I'll get to thank you in person some day.
Rock on,
sa

***
So rad!! Not only did I make his month (instead of day), but my words were also a big fat help (rather than just a big help).

Yours in starstruck wonder,
the SRC

3/16/09

How to use your henna

Melanie just posted her how-to video on YouTube!

Crushworthy - Lauren McCubbin & Michelle Tea


A while ago, a guy I was dating gave me his copy of The Chelsea Whistle by Michelle Tea*. The love affair officially started there, although upon reading the book, I had flashbacks of grad students in my college creative writing classes gushing over Ms. Tea. Anyhow, next I read Valencia, then a collection of essays that Michelle Tea edited, and finally, just a week or 2 ago, I read Rent Girl - my first-ever graphic novel experience.

I was a bit reluctant in the first 4-7 pages, honestly; I felt...well, I felt distracted by the drawings. But by page 9, I was hooked. Inhaled the whole book pretty much immediately, and if you haven't read it, you should.

Lauren McCubbin is apparently equally as rad as Michelle Tea (imagine!). She is also equally as adorable (photo taken from her website).


*Yay for getting good books in the dating game. Two of my very-favorite-I-fantasize-about-meeting-them authors (Duh. Michelle Tea and Steve Almond) have been passed to me from guys I was seeing. Nothing else really worked out, but stoked for the literary enlightenment, for sure.

flour, flower, frosting and fairies




Look at what I found at the bins! It was pretty yellowed and dirty, but I got it sparkling clean. It's vintage, size 12 (girls). But it fits me. Ummm, yeah, I have pretty much died and gone to little girl heaven (which is still an important place in my heart).

If I didn't have something like this when I was little, I must have wanted it really bad. Although I think I may have owned something close to this - I can't quite remember. Couldn't bring myself to sell this beauty. Into the closet she goes....

3/14/09

if i run fast enough

Thoughts I had while at the gym today - simulateously watching about 10 different televisions, people-watching, and listening to Bon Iver/Antony & the Johnsons on my head phones:

1. I would definitely wear this shirt. Or something like it. Calling all my DIY-ers!

2. Why does he like his hair like this?


3. This song makes me break into a thousand pieces:



Don't hate me because I'm broke and ugly, hate me because I'm Christian

That's what the guy in front of me in line at the gas station said today. Well first he said, you sure you want to stand that close to a Christian?

I had been standing a little bit close to him, I guess; I was eager to pay for my gas and get back in the car to head to the gym. It was about 10 am. He was buying a beer.

3/13/09

the best



Alaffia totally ROCKS. Their shampoo and conditioner are so amazing, I can't even say enough good things. It it like the secret ingredient in a Pantene commercial - it makes your scalp feel great, and it doesn't frizz out your hair or make anything greasy. If I just wash my hair and let it air dry, it maintains some natural moisture/texture/pliability and is still all shiny and soft. Dream come true. They have a few different options for hair, and they have a whole line of body care, as well. Everything is very pure with minimal ingredients, and the birds and bees will flock to you when you go around smelling like cocoa butter all the damn time.

Care Package 101


In college, I was the Mistress of the Excellent Care Package. I would spend hours putting together the perfect collection of goods, and then another hour (at least) writing a letter and decorating the box - collage style, covered with a shell of clear packing tape. Sometimes, my girlfriends and I would re-use the box, adding more to the collage, sending it back and forth, or onto another friend for ages.

I miss that.

Here are some of my favorite things/ideas for crafting a killer care package:
  1. Home-baked goods - cookies are my favorite. One time I baked chocolate chip cookies, wrapped them in plastic and put the bundle in one of those bright green Patron boxes. Packages are all about cool packaging! You can also obvs bake other things - muffins, etc. One time when I was in boarding school, my mom managed to send me a homemade fudge pie, which was a total feat and a big hit with the dorm girls.
  2. Small clothing items/accessories- these act as good packing material and are always fun. Scarves, socks, etc.
  3. Random shit- for some reason, this is also a crucial part of my packages. I am one of those people who keeps a lot of random shit around, and Kristin and I are mad collectors of stuff, so our basement is a good place for all of this. But you know - pass on those bangles that you never wear, or that weird figurine from your aunt, the vintage opera gloves that are cute but impractical, etc. Odd treasures make the box infinitely cooler.
  4. Grocery goods - If I buy stuff for care packages, I like to send practical things that people can always use (but are small enough to be easy on the wallet and on space). These include toothbrushes, chapstick, floss, tea-tree toothpicks, chocolate bars, gum, tea.... you get the idea. Everyone always uses that kinda thing. Incense is good, but it will perfume the whole box, so maybe leave it out if you are sending food.
  5. Books - pass on your favorite book
  6. CDs - mix CD. duh. Or just your fave album works, too. Or mixtapes might be even better to bring back the old school feeling of the care package tradition.
  7. Art - anything you make yourself is always the gem of the package. Collages, homemade cards, knitted armbands....this list could be pretty endless.
Don't forget, the package doesn't end there. Put all the stuff snug in a box, and tape it up. I say it's always fun to add a tiny bit of somethin' to the box - cool tape, stickers, a drawing, whatever. It's just nice to mark the box with a little bit of love, distinguishing it from the endless piles of daily mundane mail.

(Image via Living the Swell Life)

3/12/09

Where hearts glow


Here are four simple tips to make your home feel GOOD. These are my own ideas (and opinions), formulated from various resources, lessons, experiences, and so on. Mini-feng-shui by Sadie.
  1. Kitchens are literally the heart of your home. Keeping your kitchen tidy keeps the energy flowing smoother in all other areas (not just other rooms, but in your general life). Your kitchen should make you feel good when you walk into it - whatever this means for you. I also have heard that stoves represent prosperity; get in the habit of swiping the stove with a sponge every day, just to keep those channels clear.
  2. Put candles on your table. A small bit of fire at the center of your table can make even a cold dinner seem warm, and will subsequently help fill the bellies of those who are eating at it.
  3. Dust. It sucks, but you need to dust things. It's kind of like cleaning your windows in the car...you don't notice it too much, but once you actually do it, the sun suddenly seems much brighter.
  4. Curtains matter. Windows are a major function in any home, and they impact the space profoundly, both day and night. Curtains are an ancient tradition. Venetian blinds do not count as curtains.
I was going to do 5 tips, but I am too tired. I have a lot to say about lighting, but that can be saved for another post. I still have a lot to learn in the art of space, but it is one of my favorite things to examine and think about. Our space shapes our beings more than a lot of things do, so I think it's really important to have your space support you and for it to represent what you are delivering to the world.

Tough

Today I met a tiny chihuahua without eyes. I asked if he was born without eyes, and the owner said, No, he was attacked by a coyote when he was 3. Holy shit!! You shoulda seen this little guy. He was probably about 7-8 lbs and looked great, 'cept he had no eyes. And to think that he battled a coyote and that was all he lost. I of course didn't take a picture, and wish I had. Duh.

Since I don't have any pics, you should go look at these ones over on Cicciolina by Kenneth Capello. Endless chihuahua entertainment.

3/10/09

Out of context

"The issues...raise the more general issue of the capability of existing regulatory systems to deal with the new technologies that are emerging at an accelerating pace. Nanotechnology is one example. Another is the rapidly developing field of synthetic biology, which gives scientists the ability to design genetic sequences from scratch and use the sequences to create new custom microbes, such as those that could be used to make biofuels. A particular challenge for EPA will be its ability to assess the risks of future complex synthetic organisms that have no counterpart in nature, and TSCA does not provide adequate authority or tools to address these risks."

(From testimony of J. Clarence Davies at the House Subcomittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection hearing on February 26, 2009).

3/9/09

Bicycle Helmet Covers

Look at these rad bicycle helmet covers I just found. They are handmade by a bicycle diva in California, who is also a blogger (Riding Pretty). Honestly, I think anyone who can add a little chic to a bicycle helmet is quite visionary. I had never thought of anything beyond adding a sticker or maybe some glitter paint.




Update: Ooooh, there are more photos on her website! Check out these archived photos of designs - so wicked.



(All images via RidingPretty.com)