Blue Hats, Nose Pickers, and Name Tags

It’s been awhile since my last post. I haven’t deserted this blog though. Lately I’ve been keeping busy with day-to-day life and school and sports. I’ve been actively writing, attending Muay Thai classes, and I’m in the thick of a psychology course online, all of which have been engaging and refreshing. Learning new things is fascinating.
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In fact, I have decided today’s post will be about learning. I recently read (in the psychology course) that there was a psychologist who stated that to learn was to observe. And I’ve found that to be true. Just observing small details around us can enrich everyday experiences and tune your perception to a level that even you may have never thought possible. Supermarkets, sidewalks, and streets are perfect to use to exercise your mind. As a test, look around for a moment, then close your eyes and try to remember how many blue hats, nose pickers, or name tags you saw. Call up random questions to keep your mind on its toes. If that were possible.
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The act of being aware of your surroundings, however pointlessly dull or exceedingly paranoid it may seem to you, may actually serve to save your life or another’s one day. It’s worth the ongoing practice. After all, we learn from the second we are born to the second we die, so why not make it a better overall experience?
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One never knows their own limits until they are surpassed and a new point is set forth, this time a goal.

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Cinnamon Apple Muffins, Hot Chocolate, and Cold Weather

A while ago, my mom made gluten free cinnamon apple muffins and I took a photo. The photo, until now was buried under others in my phone’s photo library. So here it is!

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We also went to Starbucks and my hot chocolate was looking especially post-worthy…

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And last, but not least, I captured the great cold weather that I love in a photo from the car yesterday.

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Now back to school.

Outdoor Photography and Reverse Videos

I’ve been doing some photo posts lately, so I decided to do a real post with words. Over the past couple weeks, I took lots of pictures of my backyard: the trees, blossoms, flowers, new plants, and tulips… (also, you can see that I’ve been using A Beautiful Mess‘ new photography app available on the App Store!)

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My brother and I bought an app that reverses videos, and we have had a BLAST playing around with that. Some things to experiment with if you like reverse videos:

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  • Pick flowers = place flowers and join them to their stems
  • Spray water = draw up water from the ground
  • Jump out of a tree (carefully!) = leap into a tree
  • Eat food = take food out of your mouth whole/
  • Tear paper into little pieces and sprinkle them = pick up pieces of paper using “the Force” and join them seamlessly.
  • Crinkle paper up = smooth paper out

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Have fun!

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day! Here are some nice quotes for today…:

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A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.  ~Tenneva Jordan

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Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.  ~Author Unknown

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The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new.  ~Rajneesh

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All mothers are working mothers.  ~Author Unknown

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When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.  A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.  ~Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

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Without moms, where would we be? Nowhere!!

 

Lunch, My Vintage Suitcase, and {FINALLY} the Hair Bow Tutorial

For lunch today, I made my brother and I some well-done quesadillas and a dairy free chocolate coconut milkshake. The quesadillas are pretty simple. You just shed a little mozzarella cheese onto a white corn tortilla, crush some feta cheese on top, and sprinkle a dash of garlic salt onto all that. Then, you cook it in a toaster oven (NOT a microwave!) set at the ‘toast’ setting until the cheese is golden brown. Ta da!

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Here is the recipe for the dairy free chocolate milkshake:

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Dairy Free Chocolate Coconut Milkshake

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You’ll need:

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1 tbs. dairy free hot chocolate mix

1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk

1 drop Sweet Drops English Toffee liquid stevia OR 1 quick squirt of agave (optional)

1 scoop coconut ice cream (any flavor, I used vanilla)

A sprinkle of vanilla powder (optional)

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Turn over a glass cup with a flat rim. Set rim in almond milk for a second. Then press rim into a small amount of the hot chocolate mix. Whisk together the almond milk and hot chocolate mix in a cup until combined. Whisk in the vanilla powder. Add liquid stevia or agave. Add the coconut ice cream. Enjoy!

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If you aren’t dairy free, then just use your “regular” dairy-containing milk and ice cream. I’m slightly lactose intolerant, but I used whole milk mint chip ice cream. Have fun with your milkshakes! Dip the rim in honey, agave, jam, or peanut butter for a different flavor. This milkshake recipe is mainly meant as a starting point for you guys to expand on. In the comments section, you can post your variations on this recipe!

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I bought a vintage suitcase at a local store for $38. I was around $40 at first, then I took a chance and waited until it went on sale. I bought it later. What a grab! (It’s for display because it’s old and I don’t want it to be damaged on plane trips.)

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I finally decided to upload the pictures for the hair bow DIY like I promised. I will post them in episodes. Today I am showing the first 4 steps. Keep checking for the next parts!

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Well, this has to be the longest post ever! I hope you liked it. Don’t be afraid to comment and be sure to like and follow me.

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Bite-Sized Post: Photo Editing Tips

Here are 3 tips for getting as much as you can out of apps like Repix, Photo Toaster, Fotor, or Pixlr-o-Matic on your iPhone or iPad.

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Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to edit outside the box.

Try out funky and unusual effects, clash different colors, and play with frames and lighting. Try combinations of effects and themes, and you might find something that you like. Even if you don’t, it’s fun to expand your horizon.

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Tip #2: Mess around with all kinds of photography and photo editing apps.

Regularly check for photo apps that are free but don’t be afraid to purchase occasionally. Also, make an attempt to use a medley of applications and software to enhance a single photo. Try editing a photo using 5 different apps.

 

Tip #3: Take snapshots of ANYTHING.

Scroll through the photos on your phone or computer and see if there is a certain way you take photos, or a type of setting or person that you photograph more than others. Don’t be hesitant to snap a quick and blurry photo of a flower, (and don’t delete photos that aren’t perfect.) If you mainly take pictures of people, take more of nature or animals, and vice versa.

 

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I hope these tips help you discover more about photo editing and photography. The main point is: photograph and edit what no one else does.  😉

Thrift Stores, Pictures, and Cinnamon Rolls

A few days ago, we went to a giant thrift store to donate. And no, it didn’t stop there. We decided to look around. A couple hours later, we emerged, carrying 3 full plastic sacks of goodies. There’s nothing wrong with that — we donate 4 full bags and buy 3 full bags. Here are some key benefits of thrift shopping…:

  1. You can find some unique and quirky things.
  2. You can buy a few bag’s worth of clothing and spend 1/4 of the amount you would in a department store.
  3. Buying from thrift stores usually goes to a charity.
  4. When you donate at certain stores, you receive a discount on your next purchase.
  5. It’s fun!!

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In the end, I walked out with a cute Merona jean jacket, a pretty scarf, a unique wood carved elephant candle holder, a blue and white Asian vase, a record of Russian folk music for displaying, (I have 2 in my collection, and the records they sell at this store are 49 cents), and a pair of almost-new Dansko sandals that were a bargain at $6.99!

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I have been doing less editing lately, but I did manage to do a few. This one is my favorite. (There is a tutorial for this hair style/curling method coming up, right after I post the hair bow DIY.)

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photo 1

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Yesterday, my mom made gluten free, dairy free cinnamon rolls, and they tasted amazing. She made a butter pecan frosting to go with it. You kind of have to taste them to understand how great they are, especially for being gluten free. We all have celiac, so cooking gluten free is a necessity for us. (Learn more about her cooking skills here.) If you participate in this poll, then I can post more recipes with your food allergies or sensitivities in mind!

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Jewelry: Vintage, New, and Foreign

I decided to put off the tutorial (which, by the way, will be a lace hair bow tutorial) and show you a sampling of my jewelry. I rarely, almost never by jewelry from a department store like Claire’s unless it’s on sale. The rest of the jewelry I have is from relatives, vintage stores (did I mention I love vintage and thrift stores?), or something I’ve made with my mom.

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Sitting here, I just found one of my very favorite pieces: a silver cat bracelet with tiny, green, glass beads from my mom. I have so many favorites, because I only buy things that I really want. Which of the above is your favorite? 🙂

Blueberry Breakfast, Photographs, and Minecraft

Hi there! Checking up on my blog for today’s technology. I decided to share a few photos of what my mom made for breakfast. You can find the recipe for the blueberry yogurt here. She’s still developing the blueberry scone recipe, though.

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Blueberry Chia Yogurt

1 cup plain yogurt

3 – 4 drops liquid stevia

2 tsp chia seeds

3/4 cups fresh blueberries

1/4 tsp almond extract

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Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients together except for blueberries. Carefully stir in berries a little at a time, making sure not to crush them. Enjoy!

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My mom is a wonderful cook. She makes an amazing pizza and a dangerous, very dangerous, mac-n-cheese. We have been known to eat almost an entire pan in one night. It is dangerous. But everything she makes is 100% gluten-free, vegetarian, organic, and healthy. The blueberry scones above are gluten free and they tasted great.

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My brother and I have been playing Minecraft lately on our iPhones, and I have him helping me work on a giant quartz palace. (In creative mode, of course.) Do you any of you readers play Minecraft? I know only one girl who plays it other than me. I have to warn you, I am not the type of girl who doesn’t get involved in dares, sword fights with metal poles, spitting contests, (oh yes) or wrestling matches. Yes, I have experienced those things more than once.That isn’t to say I don’t like girly things like hair bows, shopping, and clothes.

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I will be posting a DIY project either later today or tomorrow. Maybe a hair bow tutorial? Until then!