Thursday, December 13, 2012

DIY- Chalk Board Paint Mug

'Tis the Season

Want to make a great gift for a great cheap price?

For my friends this year, I am making chalk board mugs. They are a cheap, decorative little gift idea that you can fill with chocolate or other nifty little gadgets, that people are sure to love.

I feel like I don't really even need to make a DIY for this craft, because I mainly wanted to share the idea with you and it's so simple I feel like it speaks for itself.

All you need is a cheap dollar store mug and chalk board paint, which you can get for cheap at any hardware store.

Just dip your mug in the paint and let it dry.

Voila! Cheap. Crafty. Cute.

Don't forget to put a stick of chalk in every mug!

xoxox Lauren Desiree

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

Autumn Indies Festival

There were many days in Autumn that were particularly close to my heart. One of my all time favorites though had to be when we went to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park, and it was a blast. From the collection of eclectic folk, to pink dogs, to the smoke rising through sun light filtering through the giant trees, to the gorgeous voices of the two angels in the Civil Wars- I don’t know that I can say that I’ve had such a great time in a while.
I love concerts in the woods. I love sitting knee to knee with people. I like when gingers with full beards clear out a place for you to stretch your knees without you even asking them. And I love how friendly people are, and how they climb trees, and hum and sway along to the music.
And I love the smokey smell, mixing with pine, and the booths, and plaid.
It was just so good.
It was a really great time too, that aside, because I got to spend it with a new friend that I had made over the summer. My new buddy Jordan Woodruff quickly became like the older brother that I never had. He came down from Tennessee to do some work in California for the election, and moved into the Young Life house where I spent most of my time in the summer and autumn months.
Turned out that he was a huge fan of the folk and indies scene, and it worked perfectly for us, because he was the one who clued us in to this Hardly Strictly Bluegrass fest in the first place.
The Civil Wars were coming and we couldn't miss them.

Delightful Diversity

It was a very interesting group of us who ended up going.

We had a politician, numerous musicians, actresses, and our friend who had recently immigrated from the Middle east.

I'd have to say though that while anywhere else we would have stood out, at the festival we blended in. The folks that filled the park were probably my favorite part. I think that different is beautiful. There were so many people from so many different walks of life.

There were people who were dancing and having a good time down by the stage, older folks who were sitting up in the trees with their long beards, kids piled along the fences, and I sat behind a couple of guys with their long beards, girls with chain crowns, and an older woman who was sitting on her own and knitting.

People were just genuinely kind to everyone around them. They were sharing, so open to conversation, and everyone was smiling and laughing.

All of the bands that played were good, but from the very beginning I was most excited for the Civil Wars.

I think the crowd was on my side too, because it increased two fold and soon the forest housed almost five thousand people.

The Civil Wars

The Civil Wars were fantastic. I have such a newfound respect for them, because I can say with confidence that they are even better live then they are on their cd. They are just charming and so fun to watch and listen to.

I haven't heard such haunting music in a long time.

The crowd was absolutely mesmerized by them, as they played to the setting sun.

They even admitted that we were the largest crowd that they had ever played for.

I feel so blessed that I was able to see him, especially since they recently split up due to artistic differences- which by the way, broke my heart.

After the concert we decided to go to Ocean beach. It was already dark, but the sky was clear, so we could see all of the stars over the ocean. We played in the water and ran around the beach, and just marveled at how beautiful the horizon was. The soles of my stockings were soaked. But it was just too gorgeous out.
And finally we closed the night with Pier 39. It just so happened that it’s fleet week this week too, so it was funny watching all of the navy boys karaokeing and just enjoying their time off (the ones that weren’t drunk anyways). But instead of partaking in their roudy making, we went to Boudin and had ourselves some chowder bowls.

It was a great night.
Couldn’t have asked for more!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Feature: Wreath Making - Amy Merrick

'Tis the Season

If you're anything like me, you love to decorate for Christmas.

I'm personally crazy about any opportunity that I have to decorate anything. You better believe that it didn't matter if I had studying to do, when my family decided it was the day to do our decorating, I popped a log in the grate, turned on Home Alone and got to work.

However my decorating style is much different than my parents.

I love to work with natural fibers. I will have a real tree when I've got my own house, and I'm already starting an ornament collection of whittled wooden animals and gnomes.

That's probably why I am so entranced by Amy Merrick's beautiful and natural wreaths.

Natural Beauty

Amy uses only natural branches to make real, living wreaths. She uses a base of grape vine and wraps everything together in a delicate way. Her wreaths don't overwhelm a space, their simplicity just adds to and highlights your current decor, while still paying homage to the Christmas spirit.

Another great thing about them, is that you can use them long into spring, because they add that simple lifelike green element to a room.
It's pretty cold and grey outside today and will probably rain, so I know that I'm going to use Amy's wreaths as inspiration to make my own and have a nice excuse to stay warm and busy inside. Luckily the pine tree in my backyard won't miss a few sprigs. 
Amy Merrick is a stylist and florist in New York city, so if you're in the Brooklyn area, she's putting on a wreath making class/seminar! Check it out!

She truly is a talented lady!

Lauren Desiree

Deerest's Love and Dating

 My Not So Sumptuous Summer Dating

I know you all are expecting a very interesting dish of who's been striking my fancy, or what's been going on in my dating universe, so I think that you'll all be very disappointed to know that... well, nothing has been.

And I will now shock you all, by saying- I genuinely have never been happier.

Before becoming a Christian, I found all of my affirmation and self worth in men. When I learned at Coloma the gravity of God's love for me, my entire way of thinking changed. I no longer had that pounding desire to be with someone. Suddenly I found myself delighting in my own leadership skills, excited by what God was doing in my life, and intrigued by things that I suddenly wanted to do solo that I had never done before.

Being in relationships my whole life, made me feel bogged down and dependent, and I finally felt and continue to feel free.

After my life changing experience at Coloma, I have only dated one person, and I was very intentional with him from the beginning. He was very well respected in the church, lived at an open house where people were constantly in fellowship, had an accountability group and aside from our few dates, we never spent any time alone together. I really prided myself in doing that relationship right from the very beginning.

Even though it didn't work out, I am happy that I now I know that I am very capable of doing things the right and Godly way next time I meet someone I'm serious about.

Intentionality is a huge thing for me now.

But just so that ya'll don't think that my new, Christian dating experience was boring- take a look at a couple photos from our dates. We were purveyors of some very delicious late night coffee shops in the city, enjoyed a very spur the moment beach trip near midnight to Ocean Beach and ran in the water and the heavy mist that had us totally soaked through, and tried some amazing Arabic food in the Indies part of the city, and a fancy designer dessert place called The Candy Bar, which sparked my new found love of maccaroons and honey dew ice cream.

I must say, I certainly enjoyed this way of dating, more than any empty way I tried before.

Lauren Desiree

American River Revival

An Unlikely and Unexpected Trip

If you asked me at the beginning of the summer why I wanted to go to the Coloma Summer Retreat with the college ministry of Kairos, I would have told you that I had absolutely no idea. I was in a bad place spiritually, suffering from complacency and ennui, and I was just feeling very down cast. I had previously become a Christian the summer before, and was baptized in the very same place on the American River. So I argued with myself that it was most likely sentimentality that was drawing me to go back up to the  gorgeous forest, to help set up a tent with a group of girls that I didn't know well, and sit with a bunch of strangers once every evening to listen to the youth pastor speak.

A Rocky Start

Naturally nothing happened easily. 
Within the first two hours of getting to camp, we realized that the zipper on our tent was broken, so to fix it, we had to grab duct tape and skewers to sew it together. Not exactly protection from the elements, or skunks which were running rampant in the night.
Then our stove blew up. Literally caught on fire and started spewing it everywhere, so one of the guys (Buzz) from the camp next to ours had to figure out how to get it out, without seriously causing it to explode.
A hippy's off leash dog ate our bacon.
And we forgot an axe for our fire wood.
Plus one of the girls that I was tenting with was already starting to complain about wanting to go home.
I was beginning to really doubt my reasoning for why I had come on this trip.

The Heart Melting Experience

But God really had a purpose for me to be there at the retreat. When worship started, something about being surrounded by the trees and nature, and a huge group of brothers and sisters in Christ, really started to do something to my heart. The sun was setting all golden over the tops of the trees, the dust was trembling in the air, the geese were grazing down on the grass by the waterfront, and all around me, people were raising their voices in worship to God.
And when Pastor Phil stood up to speak- it was exactly what I needed to hear.


We hear a lot about Jesus's sacrifice, but sometimes we forget about what it means to us, or sometimes our hearts become numb to it.  When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are essentially saved from death, and saved from the sins of our past, our present, and our future. 
Imagine this. You are starving, so you steal some bread. You are caught, torn away from your family, and put in prison. The warden is a ruthless and unjust slaver, and he forces you to work to pay off your debt and bail, but all you make each day are pennies and dimes, and what you owe is unpayable in your life time. You live your life in rags, with shackles on your wrists, completely hopeless.
Until one day, a rich man, a King, comes into your prison cell and says, "I want that one."
This King is glorious, from a distant land, sparkling with jewels and diamonds. You can't even look into His face, because you are so ashamed of your poverty. But He takes you by the hand, says your name, and pays   your debt.
What's more, He brings you back to His kingdom, and instead of making you a slave for Him, He dresses you in riches and adopts you into His family and gives you everything forever and ever.
I had never thought of my life like that before. But it became so apparent that night in the warm summer evening.
The Sacrifice. What everything meant for me. How thankful I should be.


From that point on, my entire trip was changed. 
I really understood and got it, and my attitude changed from one of anxiety and grumpiness, to complete thankfulness for everything that I had.
As night fell, we divided into two main places to hang out. The main camp fire where folks sat around and played games like Mafia into the early hours, or the campfire at our camp site, where people gathered with their guitars and played and sang worship songs late into the night.

Sweet Summer Fun

The rest of the trip was a mix of relaxation, meeting new people, and just praising God for who He is. Our campfire became the designated site for worship, and there was a running joke that somewhere around there were at least three guitars going at once.
In the afternoons we sat around and talked, but the main attraction was taking tire tubes and going down the rapids!
The water was lower this year than the year before, so the trip down the American River wasn't quite so perilous as before, but of course, quite a few people were thrown out of their tubes and got bruises and battle scars to show for it.
Then late at night we would always go for night hikes. We went all the way down to the place where we get out of our tubes on the water, and in the pitch black beneath this bridge, myself and at least twenty other people lay back on the rocks and stared in silence across the water, dappled with the light of the moon and stars. It was almost inevitable that someone would begin to pray and soon we were all just speaking words of prayer together as we took in the beauty of that night.

Baptism of My Brother & My Brothers and Sisters

The last day before we headed back home, was the baptisms. 
It was amazing seeing so many new friends and old ones being baptized, to symbolize their dedication and new life as followers of Christ. Hearing a lot of their testimonies for the first time was hard, because I learned so much about where these people had been in their lives, and what Jesus had saved them from.
Among them was my little brother Jordan.
He gave his life to Christ well before I did, so I looked up to him as a spiritual leader even though he was younger than me. Seeing him being baptized by his mentor was a very proud moment for me as his sister.
The little boy that I knew, who was the front man of a hard core band, who made a lot of mistakes in his youth... I really got a chance this year to see him turn into a real man, and a real man of God.
Baptisms were very emotional for me.
I am so happy for everyone who was there to hear their testimonies, and those who were ready to take that outward step to show their dedication to following Jesus.

Farewell, But Not Goodbye

Coloma was an amazing experience this year, just as it was last year. 
In retrospect though, this one was much more meaningful, and I believe it was a huge catalyst for change in my life, not just an experience.
It motivated me to take God seriously, to not take my salvation for granted, and to really be thankful for what I have in Christ-
For my adoption as His child.

I can only continue to pray that every year, more and more people will be touched as I have been, by the retreat, the wonderful Godly people there, and that God will continue to reveal Himself.

Lauren Desiree

Deer Little Mysteries Returns

I Am So Happy To Be Home

Well Hello my Petite Cheri's!
It has certainly been much too long, and for that alone I apologize!
I do hope that you aren't too angry with my absence, that you still remember me, and that we may all still be wonderful friends!
If we haven't met yet, my name is Lauren Desiree, and I am an enthusiast of all things, vintage, velvet, sweet, and folky.
Deer Little Mysteries is a cozy little nest for all of my adventures, finds, and just a place where I can remember the joys of my day to day with you, my dear sweet friends.

Fresh, Fantastic Adventures

So I suppose the big question is, wherever have I been?
Ahh, 2012 has certainly been one of the biggest years for me. I feel terrible that I started this blog out, met all of you, and then disappeared so suddenly!
The girl you all met at the start of the year, was unfortunately very lost, and needed time to fight some battles before she felt strong enough to continue on supporting this blog, and all of you.
Luckily though, a trip to New York for my birthday in May, and a fresh strong pull on my heart strings from God, expanded my world and refocused my direction.
So where have I been?
Since getting my life back on track and putting God where He's supposed to be, at the center of my world, my life has been nothing but a giant adventure. Summer saw many trips, from the American River, to trips to the San Fran beach in the dead of night, to bonfires nearly every night, to Bluegrass festivals in Golden Gate Park, and quad running on the Oregon sand dunes. 
I have made friends with many new wonderful people, I mentor kids, and I recently left my job at my favorite kitschy import store World Market, and now I waitress so I can put away money for two trips that I am hoping are in my near future! Our ministry's Jamaica Mission Trip 2013, and a trip to Israel and Jordan in the winter of 2013.

What Does All of This Mean For Deer Little Mysteries?

It simply means this:
I'm back again with a passion, and a hundred stories to tell to you absolutely lovely folks who have been here for me through everything, and to all of the great new friends that are to be made.
Things will most likely be a bit different for a while, because I no longer have a working professional camera, so while I start saving for one, I'm going to just be putting up past pictures, and current photos from my phone and back up camera. 
I have a feeling that outfit posts will be a bit sparing at first, and this will become more of a personal blog for a time, until I reobtain the resources I need to create great DIY and Outfit posts with the quality that you deserve.
But contests will be running soon, I will most likely be selling again soon from my vintage shop, and I am always so excited to hear from you and become reaquainted!

So Please Don't Be Shy!

Say hello!

I have certainly missed you!

Lauren Desiree

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rain Boot Planters DIY

Have kids and a surplus of rain boots that just don't fit, and take up space in your closet?

I don't!

But I was browsing pinterest and I came across this photo and thought it was the cutest idea in the whole world! I myself have only one pair of rain boots, and they were hand-me-downs, but I imagine for mommys with kids who are just growing like giants every year, this may be a great use for their little rain boots.

Especially with summer coming up in a few days, there probably won't be a need for them anyways!

 This project is fairly self explanatory, and doesn't really need instructions at all.

I figured I'd just share these photos with you for inspiration.

All you really need are rain boots and seasonal flowers. My green thumb is terrible, so I just purchase flowers that will last me through the summer, since I can't get anything to grow on my own, and I imagine that it would be a little tougher to get flowers to grow from seedlings, when the tops of the boots block out the sun light.

But anyways, this is such an adorable idea, and whoever came up with it, deserves an award for cutest thing ever!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

Well ladies, I apologize for my brief status of MIA over the course of the past couple of weeks. I've just been swamped by finals and starting both of my jobs, and dealing with unfortunate boy issues. Now that everything is finally starting to settle down, I am happy to be back!

And what better way to come back, then by sharing this amazing recipe with all of you!

I had never heard of butter cake until a couple of weeks ago, at the gym. Anyone else find that slightly ironic?

A member came in and brought me a big ol' slice of it, and I think I about died it was so delicious. She was also very gracious and decided to share her recipe with me, so of course I have to share it with you lovely ladies.

What You'll Need

  • 1 package of yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar

  • Start by preheating your oven to 350. Now mix your cake mix, melted butter, one teaspoon of vanilla, and 2 eggs with a spoon. Once everything is all mixed together, pat it all down into a 9 by 13 pan.

    Grab your electric mixer, and go ahead and take your cream cheese, remaining two eggs and vanilla, and slowly beat in the confectioners sugar. Pour this over the top of your cake mix.

    After, just bake for about fourty minutes and you have this delicious, (pretty fattening but very worth it) treat!

    Seriously, this is my new obsession, I cannot get over how amazing this tastes, and I am constantly baking it now, just because I am so in love with it. So beware! This is addicting!


    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    I Must Be Late on the Trend

    But I am crazy about the mid western, almost Native American Inspired look. My favorite online shop, Spool No. 72 usually boasts a huge variety of these pretty little pieces, but lately I haven't fallen in love and I realize that it is mostly because they have more basics for summer, and not their usual patterned goodness. So coming to terms with that, means going at my summer style in a completely different way. It means wearing less heavy colors, more light and airy pieces, and instead accessorizing a little bit bit more smartly.

    What I've been doing is pairing pretty pastel basics, with Indian inspired sandles and beaded jewelry. I even bought a wind catcher to use as a necklace for under eight dollars and a few other pretty native necklaces.

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    Pink Sorbet for Sore Throats

    I feel terrible for not being as vigilant as I should be on Deer Little Mysteries. I think it's something about working with the schedule of my two new jobs, school finals, and a new boy who's just walked into the picture- that's got me busy and distracted.

    I don't know if this counts as a stroke of luck for you all, or just a stroke of bad luck for me, but I've come down with a cold again, leaving me stranded at home with a sore throat no amount of honey can seem to get rid of.

    A recipe I'd love to share with you all though, that helps me through my pre summer blues, is pink grapefruit sorbet. I love it, because it's not super heavy and milky tasting like ice cream, and it's a sweet I can enjoy while trying to get over this bug.

    What You'll Need

    3 tsps vodka
    3 cups strained grapefruit juice
    3/4 cup syrup (1/2 cup sugar cooked with 1/3 cup water until clear)
    1/2 pint sliced strawberries
    (pink food coloring is up to you)

    To begin, mix together your grapefruit juice, vodka, and syrup. Next, take the mix and put it in an ice cream machine, and freeze according to the ice cream maker's directions. When you take it out it should be served right away. If you'd like to store it, place it in a freezer container, and let it thaw for about fifteen minutes in the fridge to allow for it to soften.
    If you want to be fancy, hollow out a grapefruit, slice a few strawberries, and scoop some sorbet over the strawberries in the grapefruit, and add whatever delicious fruity toppings you'd like!

    Sunday, April 22, 2012

    Spring Time Black Berry Soda

    Whoo, this spring has already started to pick up with the start of this new job and my awkward hours. I have barely had any computer time at all. Luckily though it has been almost ninety degrees in my home town, so the weather has been perfect to have a great garage sale. I am so thankful for this, because garage sales mean unearthing precious childhood treasures, and watching them go to other deserving children. Like my golden books. My golden books were my favorite things growing up, any my Mamma sold them to another family. It was sad, but I'm happy that they will be making another kid as happy as I was.

    Anyways, a great garage sale drink for super hot weather is Black Berry Soda!

    I feel like posting this recipe is sort of ridiculous, because it is so easy to do, but in the spirit of the first truly smouldering days of summer, I'm going to anyways!

    What You'll Need

    Club Soda
    Black Berry syrup
    Black Berries
    Mint Leaf

    Pour club soda into a glass, 'til you hit 3/4 of the way to the top. Next pour in your black berry syrup, stir it all up and done. Wow, that was hard. If you want to make it really complicated like I do, I crush up a few black berries and mix it into the drink as well.

    Hardest recipe ever!

    Hope you enjoy!

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    DIY- Pool Ball Candles

    Let me first start by saying... I am really bad at pool. I suck at it. When I'm playing, I think I'm all good- this pool playing pro- but at the end of the day I'm the worst pool player in the world. So fun, but not my sport. However, I love the feeling of playing pool, because it's such an awesome old school game. I can just imagine folks in these dark Chicago bars in their suits, playing with a cigarette hanging out of their mouths, with this bluesy singer on stage.

    I just love the idea, and even more I love the look. Today, I'm going to teach you how to make Pool Balls into nifty candles!

    This DIY project is a tricky one, because you've got to be good with the power tools to do it, otherwise.... you should probably lay off. You can also purchase them online if you love them, but are unable to make them yourself.

    What You'll Need

    1 electric drill
    1 forstner bit, 3 inches
    A full set of pool balls
    The thingy that goes around the pool balls
    Tea Lights
    Sand Paper

    This craft doesn't have many components, it's just the drill that's tricky to use. So start by using the manufacturer's directions, and attaching the forstner bit to the electric drill. Then use the drill to make a 3 inch diameter hole into the center of one of the balls. Be sure that the holes are relatively shallow, because you don't want the balls to split or splinter.

    Repeat this on all of the balls, and then make sure to sand down the insides so they look a bit more finished. in the photo above, the rims are painted in a thin gold line, to give them that more polished look.

    Carefully fit your tea lights into the balls, and align them in the triangle aligning thingy (I apologize that I don't know pool terminology at all). They make a beautiful center piece, but be sure that no children make the mistake of taking them out and rolling them around when they are lit. For extra child protection, it might even be a wise idea to take a board and glue it on the underside of the project, gluing the balls to it as well, so that it is more child friendly.

    And there is a pretty, vintage center piece just for you!

    P.S. I know this is supposed to be an earth themed post.... but I got so excited I had to share in advance! Sorry!!!

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Earthy Hor'devours- Spanakopita

    I wish I had more Greek friends, because this earthy treat is one of my favorites and I hardly ever get to eat any. I think my first Spanakopita was in my senior year of highschool. For our senior project we had to research a topic throroughly and then do a demonstration. One of the boys in class decided to do his project on Greece, so luckily he made a huge buffet of Greek food for all of us to try.

    From the first bite I was hooked. I love spinach in everything! Spinach and feta cheese in flaky phyllo... I think it's the closest to heaven a food can get!

    What You'll Need

    2.5 lbs. chopped spinach
    1/2 cup chopped parsley
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup freshly chopped dill
    1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    1/2 lb. ricotta cheese
    1/2 lb. feta cheese, crumbled
    4 lightly beaten eggs
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 lb. phyllo pastry sheets

    To begin, wash and drain the spinach and let it dry. Heat your olive oil in a saute pan, and add the spinach, parsley and dill and sate for about seven minutes, until  your spinach is completely wilted. Add in your nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the mix from the heat and put it in a large mixing bowl. In the bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta, and fetta cheese

    Mix the melted butter with olive oil in a bowl. Next, grease two 9 x 12 rectangular pans.

    Remove the Phyllo roll from its plastic. Almost all packages come with sheets when opened. Cut the sheets in half to make a couple of 9x12 sheets. To keep them from drying, cover one stack with wax paper and a damp paper towl while working with its sister.

    Layer 10 sheets on the bottom of the pan, and brush each sheet with the butter and olive oil mix. Add half of the spinach mix evenly in a flat layer. Use a spatula to flatten it down. Then on top of that, layer another 10 phyllo sheets. Repeat the process in the second pan.

    Before you put it in the oven, be sure to cut your slices ahead of time, just to make it easier to cut when it comes out. Then bake at 350 until a golden brown. If the pita was frozen when you put it in the oven, it'll take about forty five minutes to cook. If it was fresh, then it will only take about twenty to twenty five.

    This is so good! You'll have to freeze one and save it for your friends!

    Best snack time Hor'devours ever, and the spinach gives it an earthy taste that is to die for!

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Fire Bowl- DIY

    Fire is one of the four main elements. It is beautiful, uncontrollable, and symbolizes energy and passion. It can liven up any space, because it works so boldly with neutrals.

    Fire bowls are great decorations for your out door tables as you begin to throw garden parties with the approach of summer. They are so cheap, so easy, and so much more exciting than candles. This is a great alternative to candles, or even a fire place, depending on the width and depth of your bowl!

    What You'll Need

    Flame Resistant Bowl (Ceramic bowls work well)
    River Rocks
    1 liter of Fire Gel Fuel

    Set up your bowl in an area where there is no danger of fire damage. Clear up anything flammable ahead of time.

    Fill the bowl with river rocks- but make sure they are only the kind you get at your local store. River rocks straight out of the river bed tend to have pockets of air and moisture, that will make the rocks crack when heated.

    Pour the liter of fire gel over the rocks evenly. About a liter of the gel will burn for a good four hours, so the more liberally you apply it, the longer it will burn.

    Light your fire, by tossing a match onto the rocks. This prevents the chance of burns.

    If for any reason you want to put your fire bowls out, then just be sure to cover the bowl entirely with another bowl or plate.

    Don't Worry

    Don't worry, about a thing.
    'Cause every little thing,
    is gonna be alright!

    The past couple of weeks have been so hard on me. I've been out of work for a good eight months, because I left my job right when Christmas hiring finished, so I've been so stressed for money and worrying about financing college that it's been driving me crazy.

    A couple weeks ago, I was hired on at In Shape. Called in, filled out the paper work, had my passport scanned and everything. All that was left was my background check, and the front desk manager told me that I would be in to work in less then a week. Unfortunately though, it's been two weeks since the supposed start date, and not a single phone call.

    I was really anxious about it, until I ran across this photo.

    Weird right?

    Well, it just reminded me how even when things seem really bad, there's always a silver lining. For instance, two years ago- in a mood, I decided to cut off my long hair into a faux hawk without thinking about the consequences. For the longest time I had to go through horrible phases of hair awkwardness, and felt unattractive, and sad without my comforting long blankets of hair falling over my shoulders.

    However, it wasn't until I accepted that sometimes things go wrong, and complaining and feeling bad about it wasn't going to fix anything- that I began to regain my self confidence and started to rock that short hair like I owned the world. Then, because I found contentment in myself, others began to approach me constantly, asking if I was a hair stylist and where I got my hair done. It was great!

    So this just reminded me... You know what, even when things seem hopeless, and you feel anxious, or worried- God has blessed you!

    You don't have to worry about anything!

    So what if In Shape didn't work out? There are so many other opportunities and I refuse to waste them!

    Saturday, April 14, 2012

    Sakura Mochi Recipe

    In honor of the Japanese Cherry Blossom festival, I'd like to share with you all, the traditional treat- Sakura Mochi. Or Cherry Blossom Mochi. It's perfectly pink and pretty, just like the Japanese flowers. I loved watching people making mochi today at the festival, so I wanted to try my hand at it and make some of my own.

    While it wasn't as wonderful as the pro's, I thought they were pretty good... and if anything they certainly looked pretty.

    What You'll Need

    3/4 cup glutinous rice flour
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 cup water
    3/4 cup red bean paste
    2-3 drops of red food coloring
    Pickled Sakura leaves

    Boil your water in a pan, and mix in the glutinous flour. Cover your pan and let it boil for five minutes. Next, place a wet cloth in a steamer and put the dough on the cloth. Steam the dough for 20 minutes over medium heat and then set aside in a separate bowl. Mash the dough up and mix in your sugar, along with a couple of drops of red food dye diluted in water. Divide the dough into balls and flatten them. Put a little bit of red bean paste on the dough as a nice filling. Then round out the dough by hand. Wrap your pickled sakura leaf around the mochi and you're all done.
    Now you have a tasty Japanese treat in keeping with the season of the blooming Cherry Blossoms.