Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Charleston in Film

Last Wednesday, Brenden and I spent the day in Charleston, SC. We had a great time walking around and enjoying the beautiful chilly weather. All of these pictures were taken with my Canon TX, 400 speed film.

I love the Palmetto trees!

Eating lunch at the Sweetwater Cafe

Custom House

We saw this painting in the market, so I decided to recreate it. It's actually pretty close!

We passed by this garden outside a hotel. A small bit of Eden in the city. 

It was really windy around the water, but still gorgeous!

Rainbow Row

My dream house...

Walking along The Battery 

Getting a snack at City Lights Coffee 

This will always be how I picture Charleston

Beautiful sunset on the way home

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Froot Loopy Goodness

 Did you know you can make Rice Krispy Treats, but use Froot Loops instead? Yep.

<--- Marshmallows
          Froot Loops --->

Mix it all together. 

Squish it in a pan. 

Oh my gosh, more sugar than you've ever had ...ever.  

But you won't regret it. I even had some for breakfast, because it totally counts. 

Rachel and Alex

Also, Happy Passover! Ali and Lauren made delicious Jewish food (mostly, except the cardboard cracker things). Ali also did a spit-take, which I regrettably did not capture on camera. It was my first time trying the Matza ball soup and it was pretty good! It's something I'd want to eat when I'm sick. 

Matza Ball Soup

Monday, March 25, 2013

I got inked!

In case you missed it, I got a tattoo! Yes, it's real. No, it's not going to come off. Ever. 

I know a lot of people are offended by tattoos, so you better watch out. I'm probably gonna go rob a bank and kick some babies now. 

But seriously, this wasn't some impulse decision (like 99% of my other decisions) and I'm very happy with it. In case you're in the market for one of your own, I'd recommend The Cherry Bomb in Clemson. Two brothers own it, and they are fantastic! 

And because I know you're wondering:

Did it hurt? Actually, not really. I'm the biggest wimp ever and the pain was what I was most worried about. It really just felt like sandpaper being rubbed on my skin. It didn't hurt much during the process, but it did burn a good bit afterword. Kinda like the burning from getting your ears pierced.

How does it heal?  In my young and naive mind, I always pictured getting a tattoo, and it just being there. Actually, there's a little more to it! Because the ink gets injected a few layers down in the skin, it leaves a nice little wound. It heals a lot like a sunburn- burning, then peeling, then itching. The whole process takes a week or two. 

But how is it going to look when you're old? Well, it's gonna look a lot like a tattoo of 3 birds. I really don't see a problem with it! My sweet little grampa said "but now you can't wear a bathing suit anymore!" Funny, I think I'll be even more excited to wear tank tops and bathing suits now...just so I can show it off! 

What do the birds mean? No particular reason, really. I just like birds. Actually, that's a lie. I like birds as decoration. I hate birds in real life. I guess that makes it an ironic tattoo? That probably makes me a hipster.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Minnie Mouse Skirt

My next sewing project was making a skirt. I found the perfect red/white polka dot fabric- it reminds me of Minnie Mouse! 

I only used 2 yards of fabric, but I had to teach myself how to sew a french seam- a seam where it's hidden on both sides. It actually wasn't too hard!

I also had to teach myself how to sew a waistband (with elastic!) and how to sew a hem. The most important thing is ironing the fabric down before you sew. It held it in place and made it much easier to know where I was going. 

Overall, the skirt only took about an hour too make. After all, it is called "The One Hour Skirt" in my Sewing In A Straight Line book by Brett Bara. She's awesome, and I'd recommend her books and online tutorials to anyone who wants to sew. 

 Sewing is becoming such a fun hobby! If you have any recommendations for easy projects, please let me know! I'm dying to learn more :)
Ta da!

I made this! I actually made something!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Girl hems pants, feels domestic as a result.

Remember how I got that sewing machine for Christmas? I've been dying to put it to more use, but because of school/work I haven't had the time. Thank goodness for spring break, because now I'm finally getting some practice in! 

I had a pair of Express pants that I bought a year or two ago. They were too long when I bought them, but when I got them hemmed at the dry-cleaners they were a little too short. I could just donate them to Plato's closet or something, but I really like these pants and wasn't quite ready to part with them. 

[And yes, I say donate because Plato's Closet will rob you. I got $4 for another pair of Express pants. Ouch! But that's beside the point.]

I had a good 2 inches to work with on these pants, so I started by using a seam ripper to get rid of the hem that was already there. If you're trying to do this yourself, be careful not to rip the serged bit along the edge- it keeps your pants from unraveling! 

You're supposed to leave more room than this in the fold, but because I was making the pants longer, not shorter, I had less to work with. 

One very important step: Be sure to iron your new hem. Once it's pressed it will be much easier to work with. You may not even need pins! 

After I sewed my new hem all the way around my pants, I turned them right-side out and ACK! I saw this ghastly faded line! I knew it would be there, though- it's from the old hem. It just happens through natural wear-and-tear of the pants. So, to cover it up I put a topstitch over it, just like you would have a gold topstitch in normal jeans.  "Topstitch" is just the decorative thread that you actually want people to see. 

You can see here I have my secret actual hem, with matching blue thread, and above it to cover the old hem I have the gold topstitch. I think they turned out very nicely for my first hemming attempt! One nice thing about having a sewing machine- I'll never have to pay the $12 to get my pants fixed again. Woo!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

You're not a real hipster until you roast your own coffee.

COFFEE (Yes, these are the actual beans we roasted)
This is Brenden. 

He won't admit it, but he is a coffee snob. He would't be caught dead drinking Folgers. While Starbucks is fine and niche coffee shops are better, they say nothing beats roasting your own. So, that's what he did. I helped! 

Green beans! (Get it?)
Brenden found some green (unroasted) coffee beans from Sweet Maria's and ordered some from exotic places like Ethiopia and Brazil. 

You can roast them using a popcorn popper. Who knew it was that simple? They heat up and turn brown, and the popper spits out the skin, called the chaff.  

It was pretty cool- it looked like sawdust. 

The chaff from the coffee beans. 
After they were finished roasting and Brenden stirred them, he poured them on a pan to cool them as quickly as possible.  I don't know much about roasting coffee, but apparently it's all in the technique. 

They say you're supposed to let it air out for a few days for maximum flavor, but ain't nobody got time fo dat. 

Beautiful, no? 
After that, Brenden ground the beans and made a pot of coffee. This particular coffee from Ethoipia claimed to have "peachy" and "flowery" notes. I'm not a coffee person, so I couldn't care less about any flowery notes in it, but hey, whatever you say. 

I don't even like coffee. I like coffee in things like mochas and lattes, but they usually have enough syrup to mask the coffee taste. Anyway, when I tried this coffee, I have to say: It was the least terrible coffee I've tasted. And that's saying something! 

Brenden, Rachel, and Justin tasting the home-roasted coffee

There you have it guys. Home-roasted coffee really is better than store bought. But I can't really say I'm surprised. If Brenden keeps giving me this stuff, who knows...I may end up liking coffee after all! Maybe. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013


On Monday, Melissa and I made sushi for dinner!  It's way easier than it sounds, but we did keep it vegetarian and leave out the fish. 

We chopped up some avocado, green onions, carrots, and apples. Yes, apples! They added a nice bit of crunch and a small bit of sweetness without being overpowering. 

Look at her pretty nails!
Next we laid out a sheet of seaweed, then spread the rice over it. Don't spread the rice all the way to the edge, it'll be easier to roll.

After that, we spread out some cream cheese and added the stuffing. The first time I had cream cheese in a sushi roll was in the Shallow Ford roll. Let me tell you- it was LIFE CHANGING. 

Then rolling! I'd recommend cutting with a serrated knife, so everything doesn't squish out the sides. 

So much sushi! 

We made a ton because it was so easy, and it was dang good! I wouldn't just try to go make sushi willy nilly though- there are certain things we had to do to the rice first, so if you want to try it do your research. I'd like to try it with some crab meat next time, but I think the first time was an overall success.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Don't Be Such A Girl

"Don't be such a girl."

That's one huge insult to hurl at a guy. Why?

Saying that he's a girl implies that he's inferior, lame, weak. Why is "female" still a synonym for "inferior" in our society? I thought the Women's Movement took care of that. Don't believe me? Then why do men get so upset at the idea of being called a girl?

If you walked up to a mixed- sex group and addressed them as "you guys," everyone would assume you were addressing the entire group. Walk up to the same group and address them as "you girls"? Nope. Something tells me that wouldn't fly.

Sexist language, especially male generics like "you guys", "freshman" or "mankind" is such a difficult topic to discuss, because it's been burned in our brains from the very beginning. We may not be able to change the way we speak without some serious effort, but we can do our best to not use feminine language as an insult. Please?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Message On A Bottle

I've been so busy with work and homework lately I haven't had time to do as much sewing/crafting as I'd like, but I did manage to find time this weekend to do one quick project. 

I've seen painted bottles, but I wanted to do something a little different. I decided to Mod Podge newspaper around some glass bottles and I think it turned out very well!

Finished product

First, find some glass bottles. They have tons at your everyday craft store, or you can use an old wine bottle. Craft stores will probably have more fun colors, but it depends on the look you're going for. My green one is my favorite. 

Next, cut out some strips of newspaper. I used the New York Times because my alternative was some small town newspaper from Middle of Nowhere, SC (No. Just no.) Make sure your strips aren't too big, because you'll need them to fit properly around the bottle without bunching up. 

After that, put a thin layer of Mod Podge on the bottle where you're about to put the newspaper. You also might want to coat the back of the newspaper, just to make sure it's sticky enough.

Repeat until your bottle is covered in newspaper strips. I found that working from the bottom up is easiest, because when it gets smaller at the top you'll need to fold the newspaper over so it doesn't stick out.

Once it's covered, put another layer of Mod Podge on top to seal it, and let it dry overnight.

After it's dry, it should look something like this! I'm gonna use mine as a coffee table centerpiece, and probably stick a few (fake) flowers in each one. Daisies would be cute!