Wednesday, July 20, 2011

out of town for a bit.

I'm at a math teaching conference right now...I get back in town to Austin tonight, get to hang out with my brother and his wife (they are in Austin for a conference), and then tomorrow Eric and I fly out for San Diego. We stay in SD for 10 days and then I fly straight across to the east coast where I get to see some of my best friends.

I don't get back into Austin until August 9 and I don't think I will be able to post much until then. Have a great next couple weeks!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Brad!

Love you so much! Have a good birthday!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

DIY hair bun piece

My hair won't make a bun like this on its own. I wear my hair up almost every day of the summer and my hair makes a pathetically tiny bun due to being fine and not super long (3 inches or so longer than my shoulders?). If you have long hair (or thick hair), then this project is of no interest to you.

Do you remember something from the 90s that looked something like this?

I owned two of them in middle school I think. They were velvet material and I think my mom ordered them from QVC. The QVC commercial demonstrated making a french twist and different buns easily form their weird looking hair contraption.

I recently have been in CVS and Target and was wishing I could find one of these again. No luck of course. People would look at that thing and laugh. A scrunchie looks cooler than that thing.

CVS does sell something similar, and less geeky looking, that seems like two slap bracelets, connected, covered in velvet. It essentially does the same thing, but is a HUGE pain in the ass. I bought it, and it snaps constantly as you are trying to roll your hair before assembling the bun. It slaps on your hands and it hurts. Eric hears me whining in the bathroom and steps in to see what's wrong and I have to say "I'm just trying to put this stupid thing in again.". Occasionally I successfully get it in, then get dressed and completely mess it up...and have to go through the process again. I get slapped repeatedly and ending up getting frustrated and an array of curse words get said.

Make Your Own Weird Hair Bun Contraption

Materials: at least 6 regular size pipe cleaners, two 11 x 3 in. pieces of fabric in a color that won't boldly contrast next to your hair
Tools required: scissors, sewing machine, needle nose pliers

First: Cut your fabric. The length should be around the length of a pipe cleaner. (Cut two 11 x 3 in. pieces).

Second: Twist two pipe cleaners together. Don't do this too tightly so that you would be losing a lot of length. Repeat with another two. Now attach both ends to form one big loop. Make sure to use pliers to push in any wires that might poke you.
**Read rec. at the bottom of post.**

Third: Take one of your pieces of fabric and fold in half lengthwise. Cut a slit in the middle about 1.25 inches. Repeat with your other piece, trying to make the slits in the same place and of the same length.

Now take two new pipe cleaners and twist them together. Take one end and attach to the other to form a loop. (The loop should end up being roughly around 2.5-2.75 inches in diameter.)

Fourth: Open up both pieces of your fabric and lay them on top of each other, good side to good side. Now sew a shape like a giant enlongated almond. You want to be fairly close to the edge at all times, except when close to either end. Make sure you meet in the middle like shown below.
Now both of your pieces should be sewn together and you're staring at the wrong side and there's an open floppy slit in the middle.

Fifth: Trim off excess fabric.

Sixth: Turn it inside out (use that open slit in the middle to do so.) Shove your large loop of pipe cleaner inside and put it fairly snug to the outer edge. Then place in your smaller loop of pipe cleaner. The spots where the wire should be are shown below. (The stitching you see in the interior comes in a later step.)

Seventh: Now sew a zig-zag stitch on both ends of the slit. (This will prevent it from fraying and becoming a larger opening than you want.) Don't sew over any pipe cleaners!
(Again in this photo you see some stitching in the interior that you haven't gotten to yet.)

Eighth: Take both top flaps of your slit, turn them slightly in toward each other, press together, and sew a stitch. Do the same for your bottom two flaps of the slit. This gives the slit a slightly larger opening (don't make it too large!) and some reinforcement for the open hole. It's difficult to make a nice seam here. No one will ever see the middle (we just want to prevent fraying.)

Ninth: Sew a couple of loops that will hold your pipe cleaners in place. See picture below. (Outer stitch loop shown below, but I left off the inner.)

Finished product:

How to use thing:

** I regret not having a little more wire on the two ends. When you tuck them under, it's much easier with more wire. When I make another, I'll add some additional wire to the ends of the loop (the outer loop---the inner doesn't need any more.)

LONGEST POST EVER, my apologies.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

sesame flax crackers

I adore healthy crackers but rarely buy them because of the cost. I had a big bag of flax seeds and a small bag of sunflower seeds sitting around so I really only needed to pick up some sesame seeds. I ended up getting them free from Whole Foods because the bulk code I wrote down didn't ring up at the register. I think the cashier felt bad for me because I waited a really long time for the woman ahead of me to get her $440 groceries rang up, several crinkled coupons scanned, and use a gift card that wouldn't work...EEK

These are really easy to make. I adapted a recipe I found online. The recipe was far away from me, so I was going off memory and accidentally used 6 tbs of ground flax seed instead of 3..So I just took out about 3 tbs of whole wheat flour to try and counter that. These are sort of too healthy tasting. Next go round I'll do some white flour and some whole wheat and definitely not go over on the amount of ground flax. But, if you are using them only for the purpose of dipping them into hummus, dip, or peanut butter, you can get away with this exact recipe.

Sesame Flax Crackers
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
6 TBS ground sunflower seeds
6 TBS whole sesame seeds (I did 5T sesame + 1T black sesame)
3 TBS ground flax seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds (if you have them)
1/4 tsp salt
5 ounces water
1 1/2 TBS honey
2 TBS canola oil

For glaze: 2 TBS honey + 2 TBS warm water + salt

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl..(picture before liquids dumped in)
..until a ball is formed.
Knead the ball for 3 minutes and then let it rest for about 20-30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350F. Roll out your dough and cut the rolled dough with a pizza cutter or use a cookie cutter. Grease a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway. (Mine seemed ready in a little less time - take them out when golden brown.) After taking them out of the oven, brush with the glaze and and sprinkle with salt. The crackers will get crispy after cooling.
I haven't been eating many regular meals since the boyfriend has been out of town this week. Luckily he's about to be walking through the door any minute!! And dinner is already made and ready to eat.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Everyday Whole Wheat Bread

Everyday Whole Wheat Bread by Eating Well. Recipe here.

This is such a good bread for toast or sandwiches. After the bread cooled (and we sampled), I sliced it, put it in a bag, and stuck in the freezer. In the morning I pull out the slices I need to pack lunches. The slices defrost pretty quickly and the bread tastes the same as it did the day it was made.

This bread is no-knead! I used white wheat flour because I was out of whole wheat. I've made it once with the whole wheat flour and it's very good too.

Thanks Amy for sharing this recipe with me!

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July cookies

I pulled out the playdoh extruder again to make some flag cookies. (See the first time I made pixel cookies here.) Things got sloppy, so the result is flag blobs.

Beginning the stacks:
Finished stacks:

I had issues with the dough melting even though I had kept it in the freezer. They got pretty sloppy, but the end result was still sort of cute.

Happy Fourth! I'm taking a lazy day after having some drinks last night at a fun BBQ.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Friday!!

Happy Friday!! Last week while my parents were in town my dad was interested in going to the outdoor store Cabela's. Mom and dad had heard our ramblings of really wanting a kayak one day (nowhere to store that now) and bought us something that we could keep in our apartment now--an inflatable boat. It's really cute. Eric and I live really close to the springs so we already have been down there a couple times this week to paddle around. Wednesday evening we saw a bird swallow a fish whole that was too big for him and for a couple of minutes after swallowing his stomach kept jerking! We stopped for a little bit too to watch people swing off of the rope swing.

Here's our little boat:

They bought us a portable air compressor too that plugs into a cigarette lighter, so it's blown up in a just a couple of minutes.