Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fun Filled Weekend

There is nothing better than getting to spend time with your family and friends in perfect (for Texas at least) weather on the weekend!

My dad's birthday was on Thursday, but we are celebrating next Saturday. He had cataract surgery yesterday which was successful, Thank God! I worry about him so much lately, but I know I have to let God handle everything that is obviously out of my control. I am grateful for another birthday and can't wait to celebrate next week. Love you dad!

Anyway, I met up with my sister and friend for some sushi and dessert today.

Kristine and my sister Caroline. (Do you see the logo?)

The Popcorn Lobster Roll. Yum.

Salmon Sashimi

Round 2 - Ice cream

My sister and I decided to go shopping after ice cream. I had fun trying on different things at anthropologie and found two things: a utility jacket and a black pattern romper. I love them both!

I realize this is my 2nd utility jacket, BUT the other one has a hood. And it's longer. And... okay, I have no excuse. I found the romper in the sale section. The belt loop was torn (which can easily be fixed) so the girl gave me 10 dollars off! I love it. I may wear this to the concert that's coming up in August!

Finally, I am ending this post with a special diy. There's an antique mall that sells TOMS at a cheaper price (I wrote about it here) Anyway, it's perfect for me to buy to design custom TOMS. I've already made Henna ones and wanted to make another one.

And it came to me. If you read my last post, I think you can guess what they are.

Here are my custom made TMI Toms!

Apparently the first TMI toms ever, I googled. :)

Aren't they lovely? Surprisingly, these were harder to design than the Henna TOMS because mistakes can easily be seen on these designs; proportions, size, etc. while the Henna TOMS designs could easily be camouflaged. It took patience, a steady eye/hand, and lots of white ink. I added runes to the top and front, and added angel wings on either side of the shoes. I also put a quote from the book on the inside part of the shoe:

My friend said I should design and sell TOMS.

All you need are TOMS, white fabric marker, and runes designs to look at like this:

 I still have to trace over the runes because coloring on dark TOMS are a lot harder than coloring on light TOMS. Also, I didn't quite find a white fabric marker. I thought the white paint Sharpie marker would work, but it was translucent when I tried it on the black surface, so don't waste your money on it.
I did have a white gel pen at home, and it seems to be good (although I wouldn't wash the shoes). So until I find a white fabric marker, this will have to do.
Anyway, I am happy with how it turned out. I can't wait to wear these to the premier of the movie!
You guys, I can't stop. :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013


If you think TMI means too much information you have been missing out on a great book series. I have spent most of my last two weeks reading, searching, pinning, buying, thinking (obsessing?) over The Mortal Instruments. No it's not Harry Potter (how can anything be that wonderful?) but it's pretty darn good!

I cannot wait for the movie to come out August 21!!! Midnight showing, here I come!
If you haven't heard about the series, give it a try. I won't say much about it because I already made that mistake by putting a (accidental) spoiler on FB. I guess I was too excited to think straight. Anyway, for more information go to where they have all the wonderful details about movie stills, fan art, news updates etc. to keep your obsession going!

I saw bios about the tmisource staff and thought I'd do one too:

Favorite TMI Book: The City of Bones (it opened up the Shadow Hunter World)

Favorite Chapter: The Midnight Flower (and When Midnight Comes, Jace POV)

Favorite TMI Character: Jace, hands down

Quote that stood out: He was looking at her, and Jace behind her, as if he were seeing something fundamentally wrong, a person with their face turned inside-out, a map of the world with all the land gone and nothing left but ocean. (CFA)

Okay, I'm done.. for now. :) I know this behavior would totally be appropriate if I was 16 years old. But who cares? I'm excited!

One of my goals this summer was to read more, so I am happy that I've done that. I think I was such a bookworm as a kid because I had all the time in the world to read. But as an adult, I feel like I'm missing out on something else if I read. But I guess I need to balance everything better. I've done a little bit of cooking/baking, but not as much as I thought I would. I've also worked out more although, again, not as much as I should! But I am definitely enjoying this break. I keep saying this, but I HOPE I still balance everything when school starts and not put my personal life aside. 

Here's some photos from my summer so far:

Shopping. I've been liking chambray lately..

Hanging with friends and working out!

Trying to join a church to find a community group!

Finding obscure coffee shops (Cafe Silva)

Reading this awesome series :)

I used a scone recipe from La Petite Brioche and mixed it with the ingredients from Alaska from scratch. I didn't have any blueberries at the time, so I substituted them for chopped toasted pistachios. There's also an optional orange glaze for the scones, but I opted for a dark chocolate ganache one!

Orange Pistachio Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, grated
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 cup toasted unsalted pistachios (chopped)
  • extra heavy cream for brushing the tops
Dark chocolate ganache
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, the baking powder, orange zest, and salt.

2. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed. 

3. In a large measuring cup, combine the egg and heavy cream (use a whisk) and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended (don't over mix!)

4. Add the chopped pistachios to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

5. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. 

6. Shape it into a large square and carefully cut dough into eighths (triangles).

7. Brush the tops of the scones with heavy creme, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Place on a wire rack with wax paper underneath.

*Tip: I use Silpat (a French silicone liner) on my cookie sheet so there is less browning on the bottom of my scones. It is a MUST have for bakers.

8. Meanwhile, make the chocolate glaze. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it just comes to a simmer. Remove from heat.

9. Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl carefully pour cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for about 15 seconds. Then using a whisk, mix until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let it cool slightly.

10. Using a fork, scoop a little ganache and quickly move the fork back and forth over the scones to make the glaze design. Let the ganache cool and set (20-30 minutes).

Enjoy your scone alone, or with clotted cream/preserves.


Crafting project: Found these huge clothes pins at Michael's in the dollar section (I think they were $1.50 each) and made recipe holders! I love them because I always got flour, gooey stuff, etc. on my recipe cards every time I needed to flip them over. Now, I only touch the clip, and it's painted, so no more dirty smudges on my recipes! They can also be used as picture holders.

How can it be summer without ice cream? I tried a non traditional ice cream shop in Plano called Old Town Creamery. I tried the Thai Tea and Strawberry. I love the Thai Tea! They have other funky flavors. Caitlin, of course chose sweet cream and strawberry. :) One day I will get her to try something out of the ordinary!

Thought I was done with TMI didn't you? Hehe, well, this is what happens when you spend your days reading nonstop. Eat, sleep, Shadow hunt. One morning, I woke up and felt a pain in my arm. My next thought was, I need a stele to make a healing rune. That will help it. 
Wait, I don't have a stele. 
Wait, I am a mundane. 
And runes are fictional.
I literally laughed out loud and had to make this photo of my sheer lack of reality and delusion:

March 2014? Really? At least the movie is in 27 days.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Self Portrait Link Up

This is my first link up on a blog. My friend's sister is hosting it along with another girl here:

This week's theme is self portraits. I am a little nervous because I don't really like taking photographs of myself. Or rather, showing self portraits of myself.
It's like when you're sitting at the hair salon. I avoid looking at my reflection like I avoid those cart sellers at the mall. It's awkward.

When I was little my mom used to take a TON of pictures of my sister and I. From church to Chuck E. Cheese to the front of the camera shop, she was always taking pictures. I knew the pose: timid smile, face forward, and hands placed neatly at my side.

See the pose?

Anyway you would think I would be used to it. But I will say having cameras on phones do make selfies easier. Remember the old way of taking a photograph? The disposable cameras! You click and turn. And later that week when you pick up your developed photos and see blurry eyes and shiny big noses of your sister and you trying to take selfies (I won't post those) you realize a. You wasted $9 and b. Selfies stink.

Now we have phones with cameras and endless opportunities to erase and retake pictures. And I'll admit it is more fun taking pictures of yourself with phone cameras. So even though it isn't the most comfortable thing to show, I need to get out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. And this week I'm doing that with photographs.

So I chose 3 photos (the good, the bad, and the ugly) for the link up all taken by my IPhone:

No filter (just the morning sun making my skin blemish free)
I like one eyed pictures. :)

No Filter, in my car
Big flowery sunglasses

And this morning, no filter and having a really bad hair morning. This is my lion mane before I straighten it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer Smorgasbord

I apologize in advance for the following verbal vomit I must commit on this blog post. I will try my best to keep it short. I guess that's what happens when you put off blogging for more than a month.

School Year 2012-13:

Although there were a lot of changes this year and many things I wish I could have done better, I also feel like I have grown as a teacher, learned a lot more, appreciated and relied upon others, and even trusted my own judgement. That being said I am really excited about starting my 6th year (can you believe that?!) of teaching and I am determined to do better for my kids, collaborate with my peers, and better myself.

Highlight: Getting nominated by my peers as runner up STAR teacher
Low point: Not being diligent in grading
Bittersweet: My first year kiddos left the nest and graduated as 6th graders to become middle school teens  ),:

One of my lovely students tearing up and of course making me tear up. I miss them so much!!!

I wish them all the joy, all the blessings, and amazing opportunities life has to offer them. I will forever remember my "lovelys", my first year crew.

Summer Concert: Hillsong United

My friend invited me to go to a concert in June for Hillsong. I was excited because although I've heard their music and have their CDs, it was my first time seeing them live and experiencing it live. It was SUCH an amazing atmosphere. The concert was being recorded and photographed for promotional purposes so they went all out with pyrotechnics and fog machines. It was pretty great. But I think the greatest thing about the concert was the passion and love, that was so palpable in the whole building. We were praising God and it felt so good to praise like that because it's been a while since I've done that.

Summer Style

So I was pretty much sick of my hair; it was just a long, limp, devoid of any style hair.
So I decided to go red. And I have to say I am loving it. Although, I am not really loving the roots.

Yea, it's a bit red.

Summer! Road Trip!

It isn't summer without throwing in a road trip! I was helping my friend Ari move from Dallas to St. Louis.
I'm glad I was there to help any way I could, and I think it also helped me ease into saying goodbye to my friend. There was laughter and tears and cat freak outs, but all went well. 

I'm also happy to add another state to my travel belt and hopefully I can go back!

Summer Eats

If you know me well, you know, I love food. If you don't really know me well, you'd probably know it too.
One of the things I LOVE about summer is, I can do what I love, which is cook, bake, and critique new places to eat. This is a true smorgasbord of the food I've had this summer:

Korean food at its finest!

Photos Courtesy of

Home made treats:

Trying to eat healthy! 

And new eateries!

Yummy desserts @internationalbakery

SO delicious @theboilingcrab

This reminds me of yin/yang @littlesheephotpot

And of course there's nothing like summer than boba tea. :)

Summer Shape Up

Okay, so I've been paying for a gym membership I haven't used for about, oh, 1.5 years. So I am making up for it now by using it as much as possible. My friend Cynthia printed out a workout calendar for us to follow for the rest of this year, and it is hardcore. I am feeling muscles I didn't know I had. But it has been so fun working out with a friend and actually having time to enjoy working out in my free time. At the same time, I know that even when I start working in August, I need to MAKE time to work out. And meet friends. Have a personal life. That's what I struggled with this past school year. I let work consume me and I got very stressed. So my goal is to continue to work out and eat healthy and also to go to English service on a regular basis. No more excuses!

Summer so far has been such a much needed break for me and I am really enjoying it. And yet a tiny part of me (or bigger than that) misses seeing all my kiddos and teaching. Is that crazy? I'm sure by the end of August, I'll be wishing for summer, but there's something about teaching that is so rewarding. And being in my 6th year, I want it to be better. I  want to be better and just be a great teacher. I know it will be hard, but I am up for the challenge.

Hope it wasn't too long! I am now off to read two books I bought today:

The Mortal Instruments is coming out as a movie soon, so I am excited! I'm also reading Beautiful Creatures on iBook. Summer, I really like you.