May 28, 2014

DRINK: sorbet popsicles in prosecco


What can be better than combining two seriously good summer treats into one?  Sorbet popsicles in your favorite bubbly (prosecco, champagne or rose) = heaven.  It's easy to throw together and is absolutely perfect for a warm summer afternoon or evening.  Whether it be the pool, lake, a picnic, bbq or wherever you're at - life WILL be better with this dessert/drink in your hand.  We guarantee it. :)


Supplies:

- Popsicle molds and sticks (if needed)
- Your favorite sorbet (I used orange and berry)
- Juice (I used OJ for the orange sorbet and a berry punch for the berry sorbet)
- Blender
- A bottle (or two) of bubbly (sparkling wine/prosecco, champagne, rose)

Instructions:

- Mix 2/3 parts sorbet and 1/3 parts juice into the blender and mix well.
- Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds.
- Allow the popsicles to set for roughly 2-3 hours depending on your molds and freezer temperature
- Once the popsicles are ready, pour a glass of bubbly and drop a popsicle in!


Summer happy hours will never be the same!
xoxo, NB

May 23, 2014

DIY: bandana print clutch



Verified bad a$$, that's the status you can achieve by adding bandana print in your wardrobe.  With the sports luxe trend at its peak this spring,  the old school street style is creeping its way back into fashion in the form of pseudo sport jerseys and Givenchy-esque prints.   Kanye West wore a Givenchy skirt on his Watch the Throne tour.  Then, designers like Rik Villa started supporting this trend by making his own twist on the bandana and other street prints. Even Forever 21 is paying homage to the 90's unofficial uniform of thugs and wanna-be thugs (me) alike by selling bandana print sweatshirts (I actually own one) and tights!  I decided to opt of the head-to-toe blue bandana jumpsuit look as worn by Snoop Dogg here ; I just can't pull it off (bummer). However,  I still wanted to incorporate a little bit of bad assery into my outfit, so I DIY-ed my own bandana clutch.  See below for this simple project. 




Supplies:
  • bandana (assorted colors)
  • scissors and fabric glue
  • needle and thread - preferably same color as bandana
  • clutch - could be new or an old clutch you want to cover, I got my plain clutch at American Apparel



Instructions:
  1. Lay bandana out flat, iron out the wrinkles.
  2. Lay your clutch on top of bandana and then wrap the bandana around your clutch, like you are wrapping a present.
  3. Cut off excess bandana fabric on the sides. 
  4. Start glueing together the bandana to the edge of the clutch close to the zipper as possible.  
  5. After one side dries. Wrap the fabric around to the other side and do the same.
  6. Finish by hand sewing (using a machine if you have) the sides of the bandana as close to the clutch as possible.  Then, carefully trim the excess fabric with your scissors and voila! Bad bish status.   





Like many "loud" trends in fashion in general, it probably won't last long.  Here today, gone tomorrow. So why not yolo it up like Riri and Rita below and add a little bit of thug life into your life, even if just for a moment. 


images: Google


May 20, 2014

DIY: beaded tassel bracelet



It's summa, summa, summa (accessory) time!  Long summer days at the beach or pool requires no fuss, hassle-free, worry-free accessories.  You know what I'm talking about - who wants to fret about fine jewelry that might break/get lost in the water or fade from chlorine damage?  Easy is the way to go.  Throw on some fun beaded bracelets with a little tassel flair and be on your leisurely way.

It's just as easy to make as it is to slip on/off.  Layer and stack them up for added fun.  Just like with good company - the more the merrier.  



Materials (all supplies purchased from Michaels or other craft stores):

- Beads ($3-$9 per string)
- Stretchy jewelry string (size 0.5mm - $3)

- Gold loop connectors ($5)
- Embroidery floss ($0.79 each)
- Super glue (optional)

- Scissors and jewelry pliers


Instructions:

To make the bracelet, measure out the size of the bracelet you need with the stretchy jewelry string and cut.  String the beads then tie a double knot.  Snip the remaining pieces off.  You can place a drop of super glue on the knot to ensure it stays put.

For the tassel, take a long piece the embroidery floss and wrap it around your fingers several times in a circular motion.  Keep the circle in tact, then take another piece of floss and wrap it around the top of the circle tying a knot.


Next, snip the bottom of the circle.  Take another piece of floss and tie it around the top of the tassel with another knot.  Then take the edges and wrap it around the top a few times.  Tie another knot and cut the remaining pieces.

Then, cut the entire bottom of the tassel evenly.  Using the pliers, open the gold connector and loop it through the top portion of the tassel.  Lastly, loop the connector onto the beaded bracelet and close it.


Enjoy!
xoxo, NB

May 9, 2014

DRINK: ginger tea with honey cream


HOT TEA-MALE!  Hot tea has been quickly making it's way up my list of favorite-everyday-little-things (others on the list include coffee, books, fresh flowers, candles, cooking, fresh air, crafting/drawing).  My usual work day at the office includes black coffee in the mornings and hot tea in the afternoons.  It really helps me take a moment to breath and relax, especially on crazy hectic days.  And it goes well with all of the great eats in life - namely CARBS.  Cookies, crackers, biscuits, toasts, croissants…mmmmm drool.

Pair it with more of my favs - GINGER!  HONEY!  And you've got a winner.  Inspired by Always Order Dessert Blog - only I opted for just the honey cream without using a milk frother.  It's fantastically hot and spicy, and at the same time sweet and milky from the honey cream.

If you're not a cream/milk fan, opt out and just have the ginger tea alone or with a touch of honey.  


Ingredients:

- One 3" piece of ginger root, cut into slices
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons honey


Instructions:

- Combine the ginger and water in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil.  Then, lower the heat and let it simmer for roughly 30 minutes.  The water will reduce by about half and will turn a light honey color.

- Combine the the heavy cream and honey - heat in a saucepan or microwave safe container until the sides start to bubble.

- Pour the ginger tea through a strainer into two mugs.  Then, pour the desired amount of honey cream mixture into the tea.  Stir and enjoy immediately!



Comfort in a cup.
xoxo, NB

May 6, 2014

DIY: lavender wrinkle release travel spray


It's that glorious time of the year…travel season is upon us!  Road trips, weekend getaways, beachy destinations and international travels - oh, how I love thee.  What I don't love: unpacking wrinkled clothing out of my suitcase, which always seems to be the case no matter how meticulous and careful I am when packing/folding/rolling them up.

I stumbled upon this genius wrinkle release/clothing refresher concoction a few weeks ago on the Free People blog and whipped it up in no time (super easy!).  And the best part?  It really works!  Just spray away on crumpled up, wrinkled clothes, smooth out the fabric and and allow it to dry.  It also freshens up the fabric and basically smells amazing afterwards.  WIN-WIN.


Just follow the ratio above for the mixture and shake it all up in a 3oz. travel size spray bottle.  I used a non-scented fabric softener and just eyeballed the measurements - it doesn't need to be exact.  Viola! Easy peasyness.



Happy Travels!
xoxo, NB

May 4, 2014

EAT: cinco de mayo agar jelly lemon and lime shots


So last year, I got a lil tipsy making the Cinco de Mayo post.  You can read the post here!  Lush much? I was spilling tequila and talking about getting my swerve-o on with Jose Cuervo.  I guess I had jokes last year. hah.  Well this year,  Jose and his lime (and lemon) friends join me again but in the form of jello (agar jelly) shots with less spillage.  I'm posting more responsibly now.  :) 

I used almond agar jelly (usually used in Asian desserts)  instead of jello gelatin which makes these jello shots vegan!  You can read its benefits and why we prefer agar agar jelly over regular jello gelatin  HERE in our previous fresh fruit agar jelly post.  I used cherry juice to mix in with the agar powder to make the red color and orange juice for the orange color and just used water to keep the white color. Tequila, vodka or other alcohol is optional.  But a DRINKO de Mayo celebration is not complete with out tequila.  


 INGREDIENTS: makes 12 halved lime/lemon cups
  • 1 package of almond agar powder -  You can find almond agar powder package at most Asian grocery stores or you can find regular plain agar powder at Whole Foods and most grocers. 
  • 1 cup of cherry juice 
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • fresh limes and lemons (the bigger the better)
  • Jose Cuervo Gold tequila
  • garnish: sea salt and fresh mint



INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Wash and slice the limes into halves long ways and the lemon short ways. 
  2. Squeeze out all juice from the lemons and limes into a bowl - save for margarit-ahhhs laters :)
  3. Remove pulp from the lemons and limes - this is the most tedious and longest part. For the limes:  flip it inside out and try to peel big large pieces of the pulpy flesh from the rind (see picture above). Once you get most of it out, you can use a spoon to scrape out the rest.  For the lemon:  if you try to flip it inside out (as I learned), you will break the skin.  So I used a pairing or serrated knife to cut out the core (see picture above). I didn't scrape the pulp from the rind like I did the lime, since it was already a clean cut. 
  4. Place your lemon and lime cups in a cupcake holder as shown in the picture above. 
  5. Make the different flavors in separate pots.  Pour the water (cherry juice, orange juice), agar powder (I used 1/3 of the package for each flavor) into a pot and bring to a boil.  Boil for 1-2 minutes, making sure to stir frequently so the agar dissolves. Remove the liquid mix off the heat, stir in your tequila. I used only 1 shot to not over power the flavors. 
  6. Fill your lemon and lime cups to the rim without overflowing.  
  7. Transfer your cups into the fridge and allow to set. Agar jelly firms more quicker than jello so it should be ready in an hour or so. 
  8. Once set, cut the your lemon and lime halves in half again.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Note: You can use your left over lime juice for margaritas and mojitos.  Neato mojito! 






Happy Cinco de Mayo!