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Kahlua and Cream
I was in Sephora the other day with some friends from school hoping to find something for my skin (which has been on crazy breakout mode since I moved to DC) and something amazing happened. The saleswoman told me NOT to buy anything there. Instead she told me to try the "oil cleansing method," something that sounded very very scary. "Just google it," she told me. "Don't buy anything here." Well I ended up buying something (it was Sephora after all...) but when I got home I started research. This website has a great rundown of it (thank you theartema!). And after reading all the good things (and theartema telling me no, I won't destroy my skin by using this method correctly) I decided I'll give a shot.

So I'll either be tracking my skin's gradual improvement or how I ruined it but even more so. Yay!

Day 1:

I decided to start with 1 part castor to 2 parts jojoba oil, because the Sephora woman warned me against going too crazy with the drying castor and because I feel like gradual introduction will be better than OIL EXPLOSION HEY Y'ALL. I followed Crunchy Betty's instructions as closely as possible as well, trying to go slow-- I massaged it in for several minutes, let it rest for two then pressed it out with a washcloth and VERY hot water. I've noticed the following -

1) Despite the fact I put no cleanser or soap to my face, it looks very clean. There are some small bumps but no immediate breakouts like I secretly feared.
2) There's a little bit of redness on my cheeks and nose, probably because just recently I pressed a washcloth soaked with very hot water on them
3) My scars are still present but a touch faded, the oil and hot water didn't seem to pull them out and make them worse like a hot day in high humidity seems to here in DC.
4) The breakouts I already have are smaller and not red, something which just happens when I use Lush's Ocean Salt (but then again, Ocean Salt IS a scrub, it does that)
5) My skin feels a little taut, especially around my forehead area, but it's not horribly uncomfortable. I don't feel like I need to moisturize at all. When I touch it, my skin feels very soft, the way it feels immediately after I use Lush's Gorgeous moisturizer. But it doesn't have that citrus burst smell that I've become so fond of! Oh well, in terms of what I might get (including a moisurizer that DOESN"T cost a good chunk of paycheck) I'll just go with it.

If this works, I might have to go back and buy something from that Sephora woman. I just feel badly.
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Kahlua and Cream
09 September 2011 @ 05:35 pm
Suck it, everybody else. My team's finally gonna dominate this year.

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By the way, this is a picture of a future date when my teams play each other. You'll be happy to know Aaron Rodgers scored 40 on the Saints, Marques Colston put up 7, the Green Bay denfese did 15 and Clay Matthews scored 2.5. Hmm, not looking good Green Bay's defensive side. Watch yourself or I'll trade you out for the Detroit Lions.

You're probably surprised to notice I have only one Patriot on my starting roster. I took this picture before I realized Miles Austin will be playing against the Jets D this week and swapped him out for Wes Welker. My backups also include Andre Carter. Just an FYI in case you thought I was doing something silly like not favoring my Pats over everyone else.

EDIT: Growl I JUST JUST checked ProFootballTalk and guess who's out for the season? Marques Colston! Congratulations Marques, you are now officially Ned Stark. DECAPITATED.
 
 
Kahlua and Cream
26 August 2011 @ 10:33 pm
1. I AM EMPLOYED! I got a job at Georgetown's Dean's Office. I'm scheduled to rock the morning shift Mon-Thurs before napping in the library preparing for my evening courses. It's a pretty basic administrative gig, but you are encouraged to prepare for your studies when there is no work to be done, which will be amazing.

2. In addition, I have two interviews for another part-time job. One is for an internship in the city, all fancy-like. The other is at Lush Georgetown. Honestly I don't feel like it's likely I'll get either but I feel appreciated getting invited all the same. I get a goodie bag from Lush too <3

3. Orientation for school was literally all day today. I'm too exhausted to say much about it other than everyone involved with CCT is awesome and I'm excited to be a part of its greatness. I have the syllabus for my Theory of the Text (History of the Book) class if anyone is interested, it'll make you jealous (video game narratives, fandom studies and historical context OH MY).

4. Editing the novel has gotten backed up since school and job have gotten into hish gear, but I'm going to try and work on it as much as possible. Hannah is through two chapters because she is a brave soul. I must pay her back with edits of my own.

5. I don't have puppies but I have plants now! Mint, thyme lavender and basil. In addition, my roomie got lemon balm and mini-basil. Recipes please and thank you.

6. Football is coming up soon and I am jonesing for some high-class action. No more pre-season malaise! No more useless backups effing up! If you need to pick a bandwagon to jump on, please use this handy flowchart from Kissing Suzy Kolber. Note: Jets fans will be ignored or deleted.
 
 
Kahlua and Cream
14 August 2011 @ 03:05 pm
 At 59,642 words and 125 pages, I've finished my first novel! Keep in mind I've tried other projects before (my Eden story, previous Nanowrimos, other stuff even before then) but this is the first time I've ever definitively ended something right where I wanted to! Yay!

It's only a first draft, of course. It's going to need heavy, heavy editing. I want to revamp the structure and the passage of time as well as get rid of some story lines I absolutely hate (and add more to replace it which I'll probably delete as well!) Still it's a good feeling. I've got the warm fuzzies practically. 

I thought installing Evernote would improve my productivity and believe it or not it did. I recommend that program to all and sundry! 

Now I've got to delete the Tumblr. 
 
 
Kahlua and Cream
22 July 2011 @ 12:40 am
 Because I can't drink, and my icons are depressing me :(
 
 
 
Kahlua and Cream
20 July 2011 @ 02:42 am
 George R R Martin is a sick bastard, as befits a Jets fan. Those Reek chapters have corrupted my very essence, it's likely tomorrow small animals will flee from my presence and a small cloud will follow me wherever I go and burn me with lightning day in and day out. All because of this insanely long book I felt compelled to continue reading. While I liked the book as a whole, those Reek/Theon/Whatever put me back in that sick, sad, terrible position I remember from reading Naked Lunch. 

Other thoughts:

Spoilers for DWD, obviously...Collapse )Spoilers for DWD, obviously...Collapse )
 So yeah, see you in 20 years when the next book appears! 
 
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Kahlua and Cream
 I forgot to post yesterday after I ran out of leftovers and improvised as hard as I could in the direction of the kitchen. I'm not sure if what I came up with is really worth making yourself, but hey I'm trying my best to record my dietary foibles with you. I'll add what I made tonight as an addendum (but I forgot to take a pic before I ate it :( so  I took a picture of my leftovers in the jar).

Anyway on Friday after my doctor's appointment I decided to take a short, short walk up to the nearby Eastern Market. I thought it might have a good store nearby to get some fruit and I needed to restock my fruit and veggie shelves after having another conversation with my doc who insists on it. I have to admit, most of my healthy choices have tended toward fruit, because I love sweet things, so I was determined to get an in-season vegetable and get my servings in, come hell or high water. 

Well I went to the right place. Externally Eastern Market is a lot like Quincy Market, but unlike that tourist trap this one still serves the function it was originally designed for, getting locally grown and raised produce. There was a place for fruit, veggies, meats of all types, spices, and even a bakery and a place for prepared goods. If the person at the counter had been paying attention I would have walked off with guacamole. I still crave it. But instead I spent my funds on a produce stand where this nice immigrant lady took me around and sold me peaches, pears, a huge bunch of asparagus and a medium container of pomegranate seeds. I've been tossing those on greek yogurt with honey, by the way, and yes it is an awesome breakfast. I got all this for less than 20 bucks and I also got a free plum and banana from the woman. Talk about awesome! The only reason I am not there every day is the price of commute - it's nearly 3 bucks. It's free to my local Safeway and my local Whole Foods. But then again, Whole Foods can be expensive when you aren't getting free pancetta and I still find Safeway product sketchy. The asparagus was still dirty when I got it, dirty enough for the top spears to be almost black. I solved this small problem by chopping them all off and throwing them out. Yes it's lazy but I am not digging spear by spear to remove all traces of dirt. 
 
I had bought artichoke hearts, diced tomatoes and pesto sauce for a recipe given to me on that shenanigans thread. So this is what I made with them. 
 
Kitchen Sink Vegetable Pasta
1 can diced tomatoes
1 container marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 spritz olive oil. 
1/2 container pesto sauce 
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 box pasta
1 bunch asparagus, chopped in pieces 
parmesan cheese and cracked red pepper for sprinkling
 
Instructions:
1. Combine tomatoes, artichoke hearts and olive oil in a sauce pan. Heat at medium low and stir. I think I put a little cornstarch in to thicken the sauce but really, it's not required and I was kind of silly to do it. 
2. Make pasta according to instructions. 4 minutes before finishing the pasta, dump that asparagus into the water. 
3. Add pesto to the sauce and reduce to low. 
4. Drain the pasta and combine with the sauce. Add parmesan to the top of the pasta dish and nom to your heart's content. 
 
Notes: I  shouldn't have added a little of the oil from the artichoke hearts. It overwhelms everything else (and there's a lot in here). I mostly made it this way because I couldn't think of anything to do with asparagus. 
 
There are 4 servings of pasta there, so I'm all set for today and tomorrow. But I was bored and those peaches had ripened so I made compote. I based it off the compote in this recipe.
 

Ingredients:
3 ripe peaches
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract. 

Instructions:
1. Blanch the peaches - put an x on the bottom of each fruit, toss in boiling water for three minutes then drop in an ice bath anotehr three. This will make removing the skin really easy. Skin and chop. 
2. Add peaches and spices to a pan and saute on medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
3. Remove and eat! 

Notes: 
I stuffed most of it in the empty, clean artichoke jar for use later. I'm going to try it on oatmeal ASAP. But on ice cream it works as a lovely healthy boost, if lacking just a little something. I think I would either add another spice (like ginger) or a little lemon juice next time. Maybe a real vanilla bean instead of extract, if I  had the money. 

Pictures:


 
 
Kahlua and Cream
 This is in no way, shape or form a high fiber dish. BUT I used brown rice and the goma-ae I've made before as sides and used ingredients I had in the house, so I'm counting it. DEAL. 

Got it from here

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (I used my mirin)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 skinless chicken thighs (I used six, I'm not feeding an army here)


Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cornstarch, cold water, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, garlic, and ground black pepper. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles.


3. Using scissors (or a knife), remove any pieces of fat from each chicken thigh (if you are me, this means chop at the fat roughly until you get as much off as possible, then call it a wash and try with the next one. Repeat). Place chicken pieces in a 9×13 inch baking dish sprayed with Pam cooking spray. Pour 1/2 half of the sauce over the chicken, brushing each piece so it is coated.(I used a spoon and poured it. This turned out to be a mistake.)

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. (I did 20. 30 sounded like way too much). Turn pieces over, pour on remaining sauce, and bake for an additional 30 (20) minutes, or until chicken juices run clear. If you are like me, add sesame seeds to each piece just because you can. I also had some extra sauce (probably from using half of the chicken but all of the sauce ingredients) which I poured on the chicken at the end. 

Notes:

VERY yummy food right here. The chicken came out really tender and the sauce just right. I also finished it at exactly the same time the rice finished cooking, which was awesome timing on my part. I liked how glossy the sauce turned out, it looked like a food magazine quality picture. And each piece came out to 5 Weight Watchers points, so my little indulgence isn't a diet killer. Just one piece + rice + goma-ae and you're sitting pretty. 
 
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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
Kahlua and Cream
 Ingredients:
1 box pasta (rotini or penne) (Note: I like Barilla PLUS to get that extra protein and fiber in.)
3 oz prosciutto, sliced up to small pieces
Leftover pasta sauce (if you don't have this, you could make some with crushed tomatoes, basil and onion)
1/4 cup fat free half and half (my mom uses heavy cream, you may feel free to substitute)

Instructions:
 
1. Chop up prosciutto and place in a sauce pan. Add the tomato sauce and the half and half or heavy cream. 
2. Make the pasta.
3. Combine. 
 
OMG DONE!
 
Notes: 
This is one of my mom's go-to recipes. No wonder my whole family is sporting a gut. It's delicious. Add parmesan THAT DOESN'T HAVE GODDAMN MOLD for extra deliciousness. 
 
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Kahlua and Cream
 OMG I am the worst interview-by-phone person the universe has ever encountered. How do I live?

Let's distract ourselves with food! I based this meal off of this recipe. I only had one can of tuna, so I cut the whole thing in half and omitted the hot pepper I did not have. 

Ingredients:

1/2 pound dried spaghetti
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 little garlic cloves, or more to taste, minced
1 6-ounce cans tuna packed in water, drained
Kosher salt & pepper
Crushed red pepper
1/2 to 3/4 pound baby arugula (AKA whatever I have left in my box of arugula) 
Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions:
1.Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and boil until al dente.

2.While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add the garlic and hot pepper flakes and cook until garlic is fragrant and sizzling. Add tuna and shred it into fine flakes with a fork. (Note: I accidentally spilled a little of the tuna water into the pasta sauce. This may account for the overpowering taste of the tuna that I notice later). Season with salt & pepper. Keep warm over low heat. (Note: At the 3:00 mark for my pasta, I discovered I DID have crushed red pepper, hidden behind the Bay seasoning. Damn it. In it goes.)

3. Just before the pasta is ready, set aside 1 cup of boiling water. Drain pasta and return it to the warm pot set over moderate heat. Depending on the size of your pot and skillet, either add the arugula and the tuna mixture to the pasta in the pasta pot, or add the drained pasta to the skillet with the tuna mixture and add the arugula. Toss vigorously with tongs, moistening with some of the reserved pasta water. The arugula will wilt in the heat of the pasta. Divide among warm bowls and serve immediately. Dust with Parmesan cheese. 

Notes:
 
I played this over and over while I cooked to make me feel better about my interview. Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmbp8dppqfU

I will never NOT be infuriated by how quickly my whole foods parmesan cheese started to mold. At home that has NEVER happened to me. 3 days into moving away - moldy tasteless cheese. I'm thinking I might as well just go buy a grater, and do it myself. At least I'll get mold poisoning (if there is such a thing) for cheap. 
 
This recipe reminds me a lot of the spaghetti aioli my mom makes, to the point where I almost sliced the garlic as she does instead of mincing it. Maybe I should have. The tuna overpowers it somewhat. The wilted arugula isn't bad, again the tuna seems to out-do all the other flavors with the possible exclusion of the olive oil. I should have added the hot pepper first off - get the spice in as much as possible. 
 
Anyway I ate my feelings with this pasta and now I'm going to eat some cobbler to finish those feelings off. i have two servings left for future meals and some leftover Annie's whole wheat mac & cheese from lunch so I'll try to be ok until then. Thanks. 
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Current Mood: depresseddepressed