June 15, 2014

DRINK: simple infused water


Sometimes the quest for hydration is a difficult one, but a very important one.  Sounds easier than it really is, but sipping on the same old thing all the time can get very boring especially if it has no taste.  This is when sometimes reaching for an artificially flavored drink may satisfy the tastebuds but not your health.  For this post, we just want to feature a better alternative to sugary soda drinks: the simple infused water.  Not only is a pomegranate + blueberry, or kiwi fruit + strawberry fruit infused water a feast for your mouth, it's a feast for the eyes.  It just makes something colorless, translucent and tasteless more pretty and fun (as fun as water can be) to look at in your glass.  Not to mention, the combination of flavors are endless!  Here I just chose very simple and basic ones such as lemon (very good detoxing benefits, we have a natural lemon detox post here), cucumber + mint, lime and orange.   But you can get crazy and create any combination you want! Free People blog has some great ideas here


All you need is filtered water, fresh fruit of your liking and a glass pitcher or container.  Clean the fruit and then add to the water.  To fully fuse the flavors, it's best to let it sit overnight before drinking. And THAT'S IT, so easy.  


I like to infuse my water to take to the gym too. So refreshing after a work out!


After you are done with the water, you can strain the fruit especially the berries and freeze them and repurpose your infused water fruit in a smoothie! We got everything covered. 


Replace those chemical-filled diet drinks with a healthy, holistic, hydrating and homemade H2o! Drink up.  

June 12, 2014

EAT: fig and mushroom mache salad



One of the best discoveries I made while trekking through Spain a few weeks ago was mache (pronounced mosh) salad.  Aka corn salad or lamb's lettuce, it comes in little rosettes with small dark green leaves and a sweet, nutty flavor.  My usual go-to salad leafery includes arugula, watercress and spinach - this variety is somewhat similar and has quickly become my new fav.  I've only been able to hunt it down at Whole Foods so far in the States, but I'm hoping it becomes increasingly popular as it's super easy to throw together in a salad and is packed with nutritional goodies (vitamin C, A, B, iron, potassium and copper)  Oh yes, we've hit the nutritional lotto!

To add on to the great leafy discovery made in Spain, I also enjoyed it in the form of one of the most delightful salads I've ever had.  It had dried figs, sautéed mushrooms and plenty (and I mean PLENTY) of extra virgin olive oil.  I knew a re-creation was going to happen for this one - except in my version I opted for the healthier route.  Less olive oil and no parmesan cheese.  And with it being summertime, I'm soon going to try this with fresh figs - drooooooly.


Ingredients:

- mache salad (Whole Foods, $5 pre-washed)
- dried figs, sliced
- shimeji mushrooms or your favorite mushroom, washed and cut/sliced
- extra virgin olive oil
- sesame seeds
- fresh lemon juice
- sea salt and cracked black pepper


Instructions:

- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the mushrooms until tender.  Lightly salt and pepper it to taste.

- To make the dressing, mix one part olive oil and one part lemon juice.  For my individual salad, I used one tablespoon of each.  Add sesame seeds, salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

- To assemble the salad, toss the mache, dried figs and sautéed mushrooms together in the dressing.  Top with additional sesame seeds if desired.  Plate, and ENJOY!


xoxo, NB

June 10, 2014

DIY: indigo tie dye silk scarf



It's indigo-go time!  We're swooning over tie dye goodies this summer - from bathing suits to coverups to denim anything, really.  It's been around for ages and is making a raging comeback, which we love!   Although you can use any color dye, indigo is hands down my favorite.  It's such a rich and powerful color which is perfect for the watercolor-y faded in and out look of the patterns.  

Inspired by this shibori sarong at Anthropologie, I decided I wanted to dye a large silk scarf that I could use at the beach or pool as a cover up or head scarf.  Multi-use anything is always a bonus in our book!

It's also really fun deciding on which pattern you want and setting up the fabric to achieve the look.  There are so many to choose from - I did diagonal stripes and one with circles all over.  Be careful - I found myself searching through my entire closet for anything I could get my hands on to dye!



Supplies:

- Indigo tie dye kit (Amazon, $12)
- Rubber gloves, rubber bands, wood pieces (included in kit)
- 5 gallon bucket with lid (Lowes, $5)
- White silk scarf or other natural fabric piece (cotton, wool, linen, rayon) (Amazon, $18) - avoid polyester!
- A long wooden stick for stirring
- An aluminum pan or other container to put the fabric pieces in after dying


Instructions:

- Follow the directions in the indigo kit in order to mix the dye.  For this kit, I filled the 5 gallon bucket with lukewarm water and mixed in the indigo dye powder.  Then, pour in the soda ash and reducing agent and continue stirring slowly.  Finish by giving it a stir in the opposite direction.  Make sure to handle the mixture slowly and carefully as you are trying to not oxidize the dye.  Cover with the lid and let sit for roughly and hour.

- Prep your fabric by folding and tying the piece with rubber bands.  There are tons of different patterns and methods of folding/bunching in order to achieve the look you want.  The tie dye kit has a few options/illustrations and you can find a few more here.  I used a diagonal accordion fold for this look.  Then, thoroughly wet the fabric after folding/tying it and squeeze any excess water out.

- After setting, the mixture will have a dark foamy layer on top, and yellow-greenish liquid underneath. You'll move the top layer aside in order to dye your fabric pieces.

- Continue to squeeze any water out of the fabric while you dip it in the dye (in order to avoid oxidizing the mixture).  Keep it submerged but not touching the bottom of the bucket.  You'll work the fabric in the dye for a few minutes.  When ready to remove, squeeze the fabric under water before slowly lifting it out.  

- You can then place the piece of fabric in your container while it oxidizes and turns blue - roughly 20 minutes.  Repeat the process however many times you'd like in order to get a deeper shade of blue. 


- Once finished, un-bind the fabric.  Wash in cold water with no detergent.  Afterwards, air/line dry and then iron in order to set the color.

- The bucket of dye will actually last a few days and dye a good amount of fabric (up to 5 pounds - yowsas!).


happy tie-dying!
xoxo, NB

June 3, 2014

WEAR: nike windrunner jacket


Flexible, flattering, fun and a fashion favorite (alliteration station, haha), it's not hard to see why the sport luxe style is so popular.  Give me style and give me comfort! I'll take it.  And also give me versatility, I'll take that too. And a black and white,  light weight, water repelling,  zip-up hoodie, with zip-up pockets doesn't get more versatile than that. My favorite light weight jacket by far, is this one featured here in this post.  Also, I think I've just been on that black and white tip with the DIY black matte vases and white flowers in the last post.   By the way, thank you all for the feedback, likes and comments on instagram on that latest post! We really appreciate all your support! 



These pictures were snapped by my friend, co-worker and amazing street style photographer, Simpson Kim!  It's wonderful to have photographer friends because to get these shots by myself would require a lot of running back and forth from my tripod in the middle of the street. We already had to dodge taxis, buses, bicyclists and cars with the two of us so I can only imagine the hazards without him.  Thank you Simpson!  Check out his website OMGOOD here







Photography by: Simpson Kim 

Nike Windrunner Jacket, old Nike Airmax Premium, Forever 21 sunglasses

June 1, 2014

DIY: black matte vases


All black everything.  Yes, I did get the memo that's it's summer and more color is not only appropriate this season but sometimes called for.  Especially more color for those pasty legs, it's shorts season!  Well,  I'm in agreement with the latter but to the former, I'd like to challenge that notion - I would like to keep my black on black options throughout summer and forever more. :) 



For this post I was inspired by all the weddings this season. Lot's of DIY chic weddings, I've attended and have seen on my friends' feeds.  One of my friends got married recently and she DIY'ed her own gold centerpieces.  I thought, "what a great and inexpensive way to add that custom color touch!"  I've always wanted to try this, but just recently found the will and the time.  From there,  I googled a whole bunch of brands of matte spray paint and decided to go with the Krylon flat black (duh)  because it was one of the cheapest at my local hardware store. Score! I dusted off and rinsed out old bottles I already had that I kept for flowers and things, so it was perfect!  Also when I knew I was going to do this project, I started collecting empty sake bottles and anything that I thought I could paint over (like the pineapple I found at a shop in Chinatown).  You don't have make these for a wedding, you can just make it for around your home like I did!  See below how to accomplish this super EASY project. 



(Look how unrelated and haphazard all the bottles look BEFORE their paint job.)


Supplies:
  • empty bottles and vases in varying sizes, shapes and textures (If you don't have this at home already, you can easily find some at your local thrift store, dollar store, yard sale, or maybe your friends or family may have them lying around.) 
  • spray paint in desired color (I used black flat for that matte look.)
  • flowers (I choose all white flowers -peonies, orchids, roses and hydrangeas for that edgy, high contrast look.) 
  • newspapers or some sort of cover up so you don't get the ground all messy



(Now look how cohesive and more chic they look, AFTER! That pineapple I turned black though! haha)



Instructions:
  1. Clean and dry vases and bottles thoroughly.
  2. In a well ventilated area spray the items with several light coats to cover the entire piece. Allow each coat to dry before spraying the next coat.
  3. Fill your bottles with water and arrange with flowers! Voila. 







You can apply this spray paint to almost anything (Banksy status) to give it a fresh new look.  Opportunities are endless so forth and make something! 

xoxo, Neato Bonito.