Friday, February 25, 2011

Nouveau Boulanger!

My lovely notecard. Isn't it the greatest thing? I'm so tired right now.

Below, you can see the vast assortment of ingredients littering my counter.

break 3 eggs in a bowl and beat.
add sugar to eggs and stir.
add applesauce and stir
add vanilla AND THEN add flour slowly and stir as you add. Then add powders and spices.
Grate zucchinis into bowl (or measuring cup, whatever)
And stir until your doughy stuff gets moist.
Then pour into whatever container your cooking in. Just be sure to grease your pan or cupcake paper cups first. Cupcake-sized muffins!!!! The ones in the yellow cups are zucchini and in the pink are my experimental banana things.
These are my loaves in batter form. Nice, eh? The closer one is zucchini and the farther is Frankenstein's creation. Cook one hour (loaves) at 325 degrees. Mini muffins take about a half hour and cupcake size take about 45 minutes.
zucchini batter close-up.
Oh! Beautiful!!!!! Zucchini bread.
Beautiful... whatever-the-heck-it-is...
Aww... cute little muffins... The mini ones are under the bigger ones.

I am officially a member of the world of elite bakers! Well, maybe I shouldn't go that far, but I'm damn close! Today I made zucchini bread muffins/cupcakes... actually, tonight. I just made them. They're actually in the oven as I write, so they technically are not done yet. I guess I'm not as close to the elite world of bakers as I thought. Oh, well. I am confident (desperate) that they are going to turn out beautifully. As promised, I took pictures and am now featuring them on here! Enjoy these pictures and this recipe! It makes two (count 'em: 2) loaves of zucchini bread (or an ass-load of muffins). Oh, and by the way, be sure to buy enough zucchini. Yikes! I had to improvise with the other "health" batch I made for me (the other ones are for my friends) because I didn't have enough zucchini because someone (Mom!) used the third one for dinner last night. Sheesh. Just kidding. Dinner was delicious and I love you. But I really did experiment! It's going to be very interesting... I mushed a banana and just kind of plopped it in there instead of zucchini and some extra apple sauce to moisten it up a little.I guess we'll just wait and see... I used agave syrup and kamut flour in mine, you can use regular flour and sugar if you want (that's what I used in the ones I made for everyone else). In the morning I'm going to mix some yogurt and cream cheese together to make a topping concoction. Plus, I have some little daisy/toothpick things to stick in the top... so cute! Tomorrow (Saturday) is my birthday party; that's why I'm making these treats tonight and tomorrow morning! Sunday is my birthday! Ahhh! 17! They grow up so fast. And by "they", I mean "I".
3 cups flour (kamut, almond, Quinoa, brown rice)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups sugar (Stevia, agave)
3 eggs
1 cup applesauce (to replace oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups zucchini

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy President's Day!

Yeah. I just thought this was sofa king awesome.
Nice. Our first president on a t-shirt. Swearing. Gotta love it.
What a handsome fella. Kind of a nice sepia tone photo, hm?
I don't really know what to say. Except: "Happy B-day Mr. Presidents!" These guys were some pretty influential dudes, in my personal opinion. I, sadly, do not have any t-shirts with past presidents faces laying around (for usage once a year? Nah, I could wear these year-round!), but if I did have one I'd wear it proudly! I am wearing red, white, and blue today, though! So don't you dare call me unpatriotic. Not that you were. You probably weren't. Were you?

Food I Can Eat... And So Can You!

Thank God for this bread! No seriously, go ahead and thank Him. The recipe is from the Bible. Mmmm... cinnamon raisin bread that won't wreak havoc on my ovaries!
PCOS miracle cure? Lordy, I hope so! Maitake mushrooms.
So, Day 1 of my new diet wasn't so bad! Aside from the constant craving for bread and crackers... I'm fine! Sugar is really not hard for me to avoid. It's just the bread! But it's fine... I'm fine. Last night's dinner was gorgeous and I should have thought to take a picture... But I was just too interested in eating it! My mommy made soup with: zucchini, diced tomato, red and orange bell pepper, gluten-free squash broth, winter squash, bay leaf, basil, savory, olive oil, mushrooms, spinach, 1/4 cup of 1% milk, and a cube of chicken bouillon. It was colorful and delicious and a great way to start off my new life-long trek through Hell. I mean diet. This morning for breakfast, mommy made crepes! Oh, crepes! Mine was made of brown rice flour, 1 egg, neufchatel cheese (like low fat cream cheese but loads better!), mushrooms, spinach, and a piece of bacon. It was so good! I actually think I prefer brown rice flour to regular flour! I'm supposed to limit my intake of that too, so I'm going to have to get some other hippie-low carb-gluten-free-off-the-wall flour substitute. I also have to come up with healthy-yet-yummy teaparty treats for my birthday party on Saturday. Oh, and by the way, mushrooms are apparently PCOS miracle food! Did I ever mention my deep and undying love for mushrooms? Mushrooms, cheese, and bread are my favorite foods! I can replace bread (hopefully without sacrificing taste and offering my wallet up to the gods of expensive-as-all-sin organic foods), I can still have cheese as long as it isn't full of hormones, and- as I previously stated- mushrooms are the little, fungus-y loves of my life!
By the way, if your diet is grain-free, check out this cinnamon apple muffin recipe from grain free goddess. I'm also going to check out Ezekiel 4:9 Bread which is- literally- a gift from God. I mean it! The recipe comes from scripture! It's apparently fine for PCOS women to eat, so eat it I shall! And maitake mushrooms are on my list. Definitely. If mushrooms can cure this condition I will drive to the doctor and laugh in his face. Or not. I do suffer from a myriad of health problems, so maybe my doctor isn't a good person to piss off!
Happy President's Day!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

PCOS-friendly Cooking

Today is my first day on the PCOS diet. No, it is nothing like the South Beach Diet or the Atkins Diet! PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Long story short: it's a problem with insulin and lady reproductive parts and hormones. Pretty much. I found out yesterday that I am among the many women in the world with this condition. Luckily I caught it early enough that if I change my diet and exercise (to help with metabolism and stuff), I should be able to fix it and hopefully still have children when I'm older. So anyway... I did my research on what NOT to eat and what TO eat to replace those things that I am NOT to eat. I am NOT to eat very many carbohydrates (especially empty carbs) and sugar (so it's a good thing that I don't like donuts, 'cause they're pretty much the PCOS Antichrist). I've been mourning over the 'no carb/low carb' rule because I am French. I eat MASSIVE amounts of bread and crackers. I'm also Spanish, I eat MASSIVE amounts off tortilla chips! I don't think being Spanish has anything to do with that since tortilla chips are a Mexican thing, but whatever, I was looking for an excuse. Oh yeah, and cut down on starchy foods. Do you have any idea how terrible THAT is for me?! I'm Irish and German, man! I live for potatoes! But, hey, I can give up bread and potatoes if it means I can have kids, because having kids is the most important thing to me (yes, I am old-fashioned!). But getting back to the point... I have promised to post recipes on here, and I still will! Just expect them to be super healthy and full of substitutes for sugar and carbs (especially bread and flour). There is always a substitute. That's my new mantra: "there is always a substitute..."
I just had a smoothie. Not exactly a PCOS smoothie (gross. That makes me think: polycystic ovary smoothie.), since I haven't had a chance to go to the organic market, but pretty close! I used coconut milk instead of sugary juice, organic yogurt (it wasn't sugar free, though. Hence not a completely PCOS-friendly smoothie), frozen strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries (not organic, which is probably another no-no for PCOS), and a little bit of almond milk because it's organic and I love it (though it had sugar, too. So, probably all my sugar for today). Friday I'm going to the store (Pilgrim's Market, the organic food store and most beautiful thing in my life) to get tofu, more organic foods, and some supplements. Anyway. I'm off to go make some breadless (and therefore lifeless) lunch.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oxford Shoes

Sayla Oxford from Alloy. The sides are really cute, eh?
Wanted Utica from Delias. These are cute. I have some like this that I got way on sale from JCPenney.
These are from Forever21, I've always adored Forever21. These are quite wonderful, I love them because the little oxford-esque tie gives them more character than the average flats.
I would LOVE to wear these on my feet! The lace/cut-out detail is so pretty! They make me think of proper Victorian ladies... with a tough, grunge kind of flair!
How sweet are these sneakers?
Ah... two amazing things mixed together: floral and oxfords!
Don't these look cozy? They're from Etsy, and they remind me of hiking.
Awww, flowers... I've been obsessed with cutout oxfords since this girl at school had some awesome vintage ones, and *whack!*... obsessed.
What a great color.
Navid O'Nadia is a really great shoe designer, and these are vintage, so... even better! Not to mention cheaper. Plus, Nadia is one of my favorite names.
These are so, so cute. The little booty (I don't mean booty like a pirate or like a butt, just meaning boot-like!) part at the top makes them really unique.
Such pretty earth-tones! And the little stirrup detail is magically quaint!
These are vintage and cute, too.
I love these, too. They would brighten my day as well as my feet!
Saddle shoes are super-duper.
Pretty color and cut-out.
Golden!!! Shiny!!!
How I would love it if these were in my size! Alas! They are 7 1/2-ish. Sad.

Oxfords automatically make you look smart. Presto-changeo! Just like that! Throw on a blazer and nerd glasses and you've got yourself one insta-smart person! Now, if only I could find myself some heeled brown vegan leather oxfords! They were once within my grasp but then, at the last moment, they slipped away... Oh, lamentable day! O cruel Fate, to put into my sight such beauty just to pull them away once again. Many a time has such a sad instance occurred, and if only... oh, if only...
I've been feeling very Shakespeare lately! How how I would loveth to go to a Shakespeare festival!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feeling a Little Crafty?

These weren't actually in this years competition; I put them in last year. The first one is a portrait of my eldest sister, and the second was my first (remotely good) painting. The painting is supposed to be of Ireland! These were already on my computer so I figured: hey, visual aids!

I am! Feeling crafty, I mean. I've been wanting to make... well, EVERYTHING! lately. Yesterday I made Valentines for three of my friends, my mommy, my dad, one of my sisters, and my three nephews. I was also feeling sentimental for the good ol' days in elementary school when everyone made cute little mailboxes or pouches for their desks and passed out those little Valentines with the cute little sticker hearts! Oh, how I miss those days! I got 1 (I repeat: 1) Valentine... one! And it was from one (I repeat: one! Too much?) of my nephews. And it was only after I had already given them theirs. But I was super excited anyway, because I desperately wanted one (well, I didn't want one. I wanted multiples! I should say: I wanted at least one.) I think the highlight of the day was when my sister, Courtney, made our mommy and me raspberry pancakes with chocolate sauce and honey drizzled on them. Uhhh... yummmm... Well, maybe not quite the highlight of the day. I really, really LOVE food! But I've got to say that if anything was better than eating the raspberry-chocolate goodness that was breakfast it was talking to... someone... about... stuff... for approximately 45 minutes. He is enjoyable to talk to (look at [but really talk to {and look at}] but it makes sense that to talk to him I have to look at him. Which I do not mind doing. Anyhoo...). It was a good day. Moving on from what was probably my least-suckish Valentine's Day yet: This Friday the art from my high school's art competition is going to be displayed in the art gallery area of the local cultural foundation! We're having a nice big exhibition with finger foods and everything! Except wine. Apparently that isn'y appropriate for a high school art exhibit...? Who knew? This will be the first- and hopefully not the last- time my art will be in a gallery. Besides the time I was walking around a gallery downtown with my big bag, in which I always keep a sketch pad. Somehow I just don't think that counts! Anyway, this long-winded babbling crap load has all been my round about way of leading into the main point of this post (and seemingly my entire existence lately): baking! Since we get to have finger foods at the exhibition, I finally have an excuse to make my zucchini bread mini muffins! Oh, the world revolves around the sun, the best time to plant corn in coastal Mississippi is February 25th to March 18th, and life makes sense again! I have never before had an urge this strong to bake! I've never even baked! Unless you count the occasional batch of chocolate chip cookies, and minimally helping my brother/sister/best friend make cake/brownies. But, all of a sudden, I just want to create! I want to make crafty little crafts [?], food, art, gifts, clothes; honestly I'd make just about anything right now. Don't quote me on that, and if anyone has any suggestions on other fun craft ideas I would freakin' love you if you would comment below unless you have a nasty suggestion or want to say something snarky. If that is the case, please feel free to comment, but also leave your email address so I can write you a strongly worded letter. Okay, moving on! I'll probably make the muffins Friday, since I have class Thursday and the showing is at night anyway, and I'll try to take pictures of the process and post it- along with the recipe- here. By the way, I made hummus on Monday but I didn't take pictures. Which turned out to be a good thing since the hummus did not turn out to be a good thing! It would've been marvelous if I had had enough chickpeas! But alas! I didn't even go to the store to get any ingredients because, for some crazy reason we had all of them just laying around the house! Except that our can of chickpeas was 15 ounces and the recipe called for 19 ounces. This set in motion the hummus apocalypse! I was a ninny and decided not to adapt the recipe to the smaller can of chickpeas. I don't know if you'd really call what I did a decision; it was more like I just glazed over the details, blacked out and woke up with a terrible and unfix-able mess. This one detail totally screwed everything up, I mean, it tasted like butt and sesame seed oil (which is lovely in small amounts but-trust me- not in large amounts!), and it turned out like butt-sesame-hummus soup... mmmm... I loved it! Alright, I wrote an essay here instead of a concise post! Now, if only I could sit down and write the THREE essays that are actually due for college! I know, it's awesome! Love,
P.S.: I'm watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Does this mean I am now officially my mom? Food for thought.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Will You Be My Valentine? Or Come to My Birthday Party?

Here is the finished product from wakinglife. You can easily convert this into muffins. You don't even have to change the recipe just poor it all into a muffin tin instead of a bread tin (I don't know what to call it).
Here's a vegan zucchini muffin. Click on the pic to take you to the recipe, they have recipes for tons of other vegan muffins, too.
This is some homemade hummus. Mine will be nowhere near as pretty as this, but I'll try to not destroy it.
Finger sandwiches are a blessing. They truly are.
Mmmm... yummy, biscotti is super...
Check out my sister's recipe at poorcountrycollegegirl

I have no Valentine this year sadly enough. Hrm... I haven't had a Valentine any year. But I'm okay with that! I am in a good mood today, and the fast-approaching doom that is Valentine's Day will not crush it. "Why are you in such a good mood, Bellamy?" you may be asking yourself. Well, I'll tell you: my birthday is in 14 days and my birthday party is in 13 days and it's gonna be the best! My 5th birthday party officially put me in the books for cutest b-day party ever, it was a big teaparty with a bunch of my little friends! We made big ladylike sunhats and ran around my grandparents beautiful, huge house, with its beautiful, huge garden! So, when i was trying to come up with what to do for my party this year (my 17th) I was figured that since that was such a smash hit when I was 5, then logic follows that it would be a smash hit now! Right? Well, with my friends, yes. I'm going to have little cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwiches, zucchini bread cupcake/muffin things (PROPS TO: wakinglifemakinglife for the recipe), homemade hummus (am attempting to make this!), biscotti (my sister's kickass recipe), and some lovely tea, darlings. We're having tea a bit early so after we can go out for dinner. We're going to get sushi because golly do I love sushi! and there's a cute little sushi place in downtown Coeur d' Alene. Then we'll probably catch a movie and crash at someone's house. I'm definitely keeping it low key this year because after last year's party fiasco, frankly, there is no way in hell I'm going for a repeat. Yep, it was that bad. I am confident that this year is going to be great! After the party I'll post some pics for everyone. I'll also have recipes and pictures of the baking process on here later this month. I'm new to baking, so wish me luck! Well, today in northern Idaho was windy but incredibly warm and sunny and completely out of the norm for February. No kidding, this is Twilight Zone worthy! It's usually horrendous here in February. Slushy, icky, freezing, wet, ugly, horrible weather- usually- but apparently not this year! At least for now, we've got a nice blue hole in that looming grey mass of clouds overhead! Don't worry though, I am confident that by my birthday it will be hideous. Yay! But, fingers crossed for another miracle day like today! And, yes, happy Valentine's Day, ya buncha goons!

Room Decor: A Whole New Adventure!

The witchy owl lamp was my great-great grandmother's, I have alot of her stuff 'cause it's all really cool. The Aztec plate is from St.Vincent's (yeah, it was 99 cents!). The chill blue harmony/abstract painting in the background, I painted in art class in 9th grade. And the beautiful eggplant scarf is the one my dad got me from the Grand Bazaar! Since I don't have an end table, I had to improvise and use some wine boxes (I have like 5 because my mommy's family is very... connoisseur...)
The violet candle holder in the middle is a treasure from Goodwill. The beautiful wooden box all this is set on is from another one of my dad's many adventures.
This incense burner is from Treasures of Tibet and I love it so much! I use it to meditate... The kickass elephant candle holder behind the burner was a present from one of my best friends! I was psyched when I got it! My dresser is a mess- yes, I know- but it's such a pretty mess!
This is a lovely dancing lady statue that clashed with my sister's new room decor... so lucky me! Behind the "feathers" book, in the mirror, you can see... me! Well, my camo pajama pants at least. I saw a freshman boy at school on pajama day with the same pants. Thanks Dad! Actually,
I've realized that boy's PJ pants are more comforatable, so... Yeah, thanks Dad!
It takes forever to upload the pictures that I take on my camera and this one picture took at least 15 minutes. I finally got it loaded and it was sideways. Of course. Forgive me, I am not going to redo this. No way. I purposefully only showed you things in my current room that fit in with how i want to decorate my next room. Trust me, the rest of my room is very faerie princess. Which I love, don't get me wrong, but it is time for a change.
This is Tibetan and exactly what I'm looking for, for an end table. This, and everything coming after, is not from my room but it should be!
Here is a Lotus Flower votive. This isn't from Lucky Monkey but when I get one, it will be from there. They come in a variety of colors. PLUS: I will be supporting a local business, yay!
Ah, it's just so beautiful I can hardly stand it! J'adore Boho/eclectic/Gypsy-inspired style
If you didn't love gypsy caravans to begin with... don't you now?
That candle holder is amazing! I mean, really. Daffodils? How wonderful can a candle holder be?
THIS IS THE GRAND BAZAAR IN ISTANBUL! I would LOVE to go there so much. My dad has been to it and found my sisters and I wonderful scarves from Kashmir. He said that to find the best deals you have to go way in the back of the Bazaar, where it's all creepy and back alley-like.
another beautiful picture of the Grand Bazaar.
This lantern is Moroccan inspired. I love these lanterns. Anything at all similar to this is automatically the greatest thing ever!
Also Moroccan themed. A bit more of a colorful take on it.
I can't get over how awesome the ceiling is in this room. The rug is fantastic, too. It's Moroccan themed.
This is just gorgeous, and inspired by the Mists of Avalon. I love Old Ireland. It is my muse! My inspiration for my room... well, part of it. Along with Morocco, Istanbul, and the Roma.
This is Morgaine and The Lady of the Lake, parting the Mists of Avalon. Super rad scene, featuring one of my favorite songs: The Mystic's Dream.
This picture came from flickr and it's so pretty! It was inspired by the Mists of Avalon, as well.

I have never written a post on room decor, so this is a leap! Now that the name is switched you can bet your sweet tush there are going to be alot of leaps! (If you weren't aware, the blog used to be called lOVESHINE and it was strictly a fashion blog. Now I'll be reaching all new heights! And all it took was a simple name change...) So, this Summer my mommy and I are moving into my grandparents' old house and I'm pretty darn excited to decorate the new room! I hate moving (how many moves will this be? Just a second I'm counting... This will be house number 8, I believe. That's not as bad as I thought it was going to be!) What was I saying? Oh yeah, I hate moving, but I love moving in. I can reposition all my furniture and redecorate and paint and all that amazingly fun stuff! My furniture (bed, vanity, dresser) are all beautiful golden wood and it all belonged to my great-great-grandma, who I never got a chance to meet but apparently she was all witchy and cool so I think we would've gotten along famously. Right now my room is decorated with my extensive faerie collection. Did I mention I'm one of those people. You know, the kind that dress up in faerie costumes and go to festivals and greet people with a hearty "Kubiando", yep I'm an all the way faerie-lover (I'm also a Star Wars nerd if you ever want to hang out at the next convention). Anyway, I decided that I want to decorate my next room in an eclectic way: Mists of Avalon meets Morocco meets Grand Bazaar meets Gypsy caravan. And since I also get to commandeer the little shed out back I can split my lovely little faerie friends between the two places. I'm actually thinking of designing the inside of the shed to look like the inside of a vardo (Gypsy caravan), I think that would be cute since I don't have money or a wealthy benefactor (at least not one who's willing) to buy or make me an actual vardo. Sad. But back to room decor! I think that if I buy anything new for my room it's going to be from a fleamarket or thrift store because you can find the coolest things vintage! There's an adorable little fleamarket next to my current house that, when I have money, I'm gonna scour for the perfect little end table. I'm also incorporating East Indian, Tibetan, and Indonesian flairs because in Coeur d' Alene we have Lucky Monkey and in Spokane Valley we have Treasures of Tibet and they are the most beautiful little shops and I absolutely have to include them! Since I'm including pretty much everything in my decorating style, I guess it would technically be called Bohemian style. And I'm cool with that because the word "Bohemian" sounds really pretty... especially if you say it with a pretty French accent. Enchanter, Sil vous plait, Bohemienne...