Wednesday, December 28, 2011 Christmas

If I were on top of things, this post would be about Christmas and the wonder of the birth of Jesus and joy of presents. However, since I am not on top of things (you see, I began this post with an "if"), this little snippet will have to tide you over until I can get back on my game.
Photo is courtesy of my uncle. My aunt and I are excited to open presents!
Christmas dinner preparation. I think we were making gravy for the turkey. It's a complicated process.

I hope you enjoy this little teaser of a post. Hopefully I will get back on track before the end of the week. Disclaimer. I make no promises.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

craft: headband

Tis the season to be crafting! Falalalala Lalalala

I'm not entirely sure what's gotten into me, but I suppose I am in a crafting frenzy. I have been browsing different websites and little lightbulbs of inspiration have been going off in my head (enter: Gru from Despicable Me saying "liiightbulb", and yes, in exactly that voice).

So, after browsing, I came across the inspiration for my headband. I hardly wear headbands, yes, but I decided to give this a try since it looks kid-friendly/comfortable so I should be able to deal with it. Plus, I wanted something festive yet re-wearable. Meaning, I wanted not only to be able to wear it to a Christmas party but wear it at another time of year as well.

The original called for satin fabric but I didn't have any, so I got some black satin ribbon because I figured I could use the ribbon for other things. It wasn't as wide as the original, but I disregarded this. I also got some red tulle-like ribbon. There's probably an accurate name for it, but I can't recall it at the moment. I wanted to get red satin ribbon, but what do you know, it's Christmas time and ALL the red wide ribbon was gone. So this would have to do. The important thing is that the ribbon edges can be melted so that fraying is prevented.

So, Ingredients:
Satin/tulle-like ribbon (colors of your choosing. I used red and black)
Crystal beading
Needle and thread (helpful to have the colors of your ribbon)
Candle (and a method to light it)
Hot glue gun (and glue)
Head band (I used a scunci elastic one that was recommended from the website above)

Ready, Set, Create!

Most of my ingredients. See the hidden smiley?
 Totally unplanned.
First, I cut out concentric circles from the black ribbon. They really don't have to be exact (it'll be prettier if they're not), but they do need to be progressively smaller. The red ribbon was quite a bit smaller than the black (read: less wide), so I had an idea to just leave them in squares. I cut out six squares, two of each size (also progressively smaller). You can cut as many circles and squares as you like, I cut as many as the width of the black ribbon would allow (5) and an even number of shrinking squares.

Next. Fire. Please be careful. If you decide to try this, I am not responsible for burned fingers (or anything else, for that matter.) I used a candle because I didn't want to constantly hold a lighter. But you can use a lighter if you prefer. Take your squares and circles and carefully melt the edges. It will prevent fraying and cause the fabric to turn upwards a little bit.

The back. Supa exciting.
Next, I chose how many crystals I wanted and in what fashion and then I sewed them on to the ribbons which were laid over each other with the largest piece on the bottom.

I got a bit of red felt and cut a leaf shape because my two flowers were looking a trifle lonely. I also melted its edges to give it a bit of an aged look. I used a small strip of felt as the base and hot glued the flowers and the leaf to the felt.

To finish, I turned my flowers over so that the felt base was facing up, then I put hot glue on and laid the headband over the glue. I put more glue over top of the headband to seal it in. This hotglue doesn't need to be covered over with anything because a) it won't be seen and b) the hardened glue actually helps hold it in place in your hair.
Rocking it in my bathroom mirror. Before Bed.

Let it dry. Put it on. Rock it. :)

What do you think? Good evening project?

Any way. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas weekend!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

craft: Nativity

I love decorating for seasons. I love creating and crafting and making things beautiful. In college, I made wreaths and hung anything from leaves to snowflakes to hearts from the ceiling of my dorm room.

I like having a reason to celebrate, and all the better if I can make something in the process!

When I was little, most of our neighbors didn't celebrate Christmas, or rather, few knew what it was. Our Christmas tree was little, but I didn't care. After all, I had nothing to compare it to, so I was unaware that it should or could have been anything other than that what it was. I don't think my parents ever talked about Santa Claus, so I can't say that he was a significant part of my Christmas memories. Indeed, I can't even say a particular Christmas present stands out in my mind.

My favorite part of Christmas was always setting up the nativity scene. I remember one year, my mom and I collected sticks and twigs and made our own stable with our handy dandy glue gun and copious amounts of glue. I always relished taking out the pieces from the paper they were wrapped in and setting them in their place. We had a plastic nativity set with three wise men, an angel, Mary, Joseph, two shepherds, some animals, a manger and a baby Jesus.
My Christmas corner :)

Last year, I was home and dug out the box and went about setting up the Nativity. By now, the paint has faded some, and the back of the angel has a burned and melted spot where I must have hung her over a candle (live and learn, right?), but I still think it's wonderful. I also found a box with a Chinese hand carved wooden set. It's absolutely beautiful and I set it up too (don't worry I didn't put any candles near it).

This year, I won't be home for Christmas. So I needed a little Christmas in my apartment for myself. I found a little tree and cheap ornaments, but I was stuck when it came to the Nativity scene. All the ones that I liked were out of my price range. What to do?

I was browsing other blogs online, and saw that many people made their own! They used wooden blocks and printed out images and adhered them to the blocks.

So, I hit the craft store. I saw blocks, but wasn't completely inspired. So take a look at what I went with instead. It took me way longer than if I had printed out pictures, and it probably would have looked better too, but that's ok.

I have a Nativity set! Under $8! Look, see the beard? Baller.
I have to admit I think my rendition of baby Jesus could use some major work. But, it'll do for now, and the Bible says he wasn't super attractive by our standards any way. That'll be my reasoning for now.

What do you think?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Sesame oil, wee pinch of soy sauce, hardboiled eggs
(veggies not pictured)
Adult Living Alone 101: feed yourself.

Sounds simple enough, but the effort of actually making something because I don't want to go to a fast food chain or spend lots at a nice restaurant is actually quite the challenge. If you think about it, fast food could be cheap, but it is often not super healthy, and more likely than not, you have to drive there to get something in the first place. And gas is precious these days. Not to mention, you can only have so many burgers and fries before they're really not that good and you've gained an extra couple of inches around your tummy. Or face.

Comprehensive view of
previous meal. Notice.
Veggies included. 

On the other hand. Fruits and vegetables not always cheap and have expiration dates. Meaning that you could have an entire mold garden growing in your fridge if you don't eat what you put in there. Might be fascinating, but it would defeat the purpose of eating healthy.
Bok choi, egg, tomato. I see you looking. It's ok. Even
penguino is eyeing my culinary masterpiece.

For me, it's hard to get up the motivation to cook an entire meal for little ole me on my lonesome because there's all the preparation and then there's the dishes afterward. Enough to be a hassle but too few to switch on the dishwasher. Alas. What a dilemma.

Bok choi, tomato, frozen peas (not
frozen in picture), cracked egg
So my general solution has been to cook in mass quanities and whittle away at the mountain of whatever I've concocted over the course of a week. I take my lunch in to work and this strategy works pretty well. If you don't mind eating the same thing for lunch every day, this can be great for you too!

Then at night I generally consume something of a Chinese noodle soup variety. Noodles are one of my very favorite favorite foods, so this is a good option for me. The soup is a good deal because soup helps your body absorb nutrients more efficiently and you can put pretty much whatever you want in it. I generally chop up kimchi or veggie stragglers of the leafy or tomato variety, then add a beaten or whole egg or cut up hotdog.

Tofu, meatballs, spinach, tomato... maybe an egg.

Protein. Check. Fiber. Check. Flavor. Check. Easy. Check.

Udon noodles (very Q!), beaten egs, spinach, kimchi, hot dog
These images are a couple of my forays into the culinary discipline of feeding myself. Should you have the inclination to join me in the consuming of food, just say the word!