Monday, April 30, 2012

girls' night out

 Surprise abounded this weekend when my friend organized a secret birthday party dinner to honor another friend on her special day.  We consumed too much cheese and chocolate, laughed loudly and unapologetically, and had a wonderful time.  And the birthday girl was indeed surprised and happy that a few of her friends could commemorate her entrance into the world.  Happy day, Steph!

Friday, April 27, 2012


Dusty, unsure of my new coffee table.  It dwarfs the room a bit, and
gives himconsiderably less room to run around, but I still love it.

Dear coffee table that I saved up for and got as a birthday present to myself, you are even cooler than I imagined you would be. I love that you have seating tucked underneath your legs so that I can have friends over to play board games. And sit at an actual table to eat dinner. And have a flat surface for crafting. The list goes on.Dear Settlers of Catan (Cities and Knights edition), you are by far my board game of choice, followed closely by Clue. I can't wait to introduce you to Joe. Though he is skeptical, I think you will make quite an impression on one another. Dear Scramble with Friends, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and downloaded you and I can't stop playing you. Unfortunately for me, I am so much worse at playing you than I am at playing any other game app, and I have yet to win a single game. Not for lack of time or trying, I assure you. Here's hoping there's an end in sight to your learning curve. Dear secret friend from Send Something Good, I am having so much fun figuring out what to send in your package, and getting to know you via your blog. You are one fun lady.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

24 while 24

1.       Learned not to say yes when I really mean no (and vice-versa)
2.       Totally changed my mind about something major
3.       Learned to drive (finally J )
4.       Got bangs

5.       Lost terribly at laser tag
6.       Shared in a close friend’s wedding as a bridesmaid
7.       Quieted my inner-perfectionist
8.       Had a few prodigal son moments (as the older brother and younger brother)

9.     Went on a 3-day juice fast
10.   Started a garden
11.   Serial dated
12.   Learned more about what I truly value in a partner

13.   Really learned that happiness is God-given and not dependent on circumstances or other people
14.   Showed my artwork in a public space
15.   Became a cousin
16.   Went dumpster diving

17.   Overcame my distaste of and inaptitude for small talk
18.   Sold my artwork to someone who doesn’t know me
19.   Adopted a dog
20.   Rolled sushi

21.   Effectively surprised my mom and dad with a gift they loved (not a small feat)
22.   Became a Sunday School teacher
23.   Modeled for a painter
24.   Sang at a karaoke bar

I turn 25 this a week from today.  I am so grateful for the past year (one of the best I've had yet).  I loved having all of the experiences above and feel like the bar is set high for next year.  I'm not really one for bucket lists, but I did make a list of things I'd like to do while 25.  That list and more next week.

What have you crossed off your list for this year?  What's on your bucket list for next year?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

how does your garden grow?

I think my garden would be doing a lot better if I had some of these pretty things.  Ok, probably not, although I am considering trying a DIY version of the watering globes.


I'm thinking summer today and can imagine using each one of these things for fun in the sun or a relaxing night long after the sun has gone down.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

you wouldn't know it to look at me, but

apartment art
I listen to rap and hip-hop a lot.  I may or may not have had Drake's "You the Best" on repeat for several weeks this winter, and Jeezy is among my top 25 most played on my iPhone.  I've mentioned before that Joe has nicknamed me Katoncé , and uses the name affectionately when I bust out spontaneous raps in the car (or his house, or on walks).  I think I still surprise him with all the songs I can rap to, and how many goofy raps I come up with myself.

I love me some affordable art.  I always try to by original art from artists who are trying to make a living doing what they love.  I figure the money I'm not spending on rent for a spacious loft downtown, cable tv, alcohol and internet at my apartment has to go somewhere.  Some I save, and some I spend on affordable art.

I can't stand being cold.  I've rather have a scorcher of a day than be the slightest bit chilly.  I seem to shut down and hole up in my house when it's cold outside.

I mute commercials.  All the time, every time.  My one and only exception is Superbowl Sunday.  I really don't like talking over commercials, and I enjoy connecting with people while watching TV, so I find that commercial breaks are a good time to do this.  I also thing advertising is overly aggressive, and try to be selective and conscious about what I listen to and take into my thought (I realize some may feel this statement contradicts my earlier profession of love for all things rap).

I need running advice.  Ok, you would probably know this to look at me, but I am in desperate need of tips since I just started my couch to 5K program yesterday. Wow am I glad I started working out again a few months ago, because I don't know that I'd have been able to do the first workout very well if I hadn't built up some stamina and muscle.  I'd love any advice you have to bring running out of the "four letter word" category for me.  So help a girl out, ok?

I get a huge thrill out of sending "gladden your heart" presents.  Probably a bigger thrill than the recipients.  Part of the reason I give gladden your heart presents (spontaneous, I'm-thinking-of-you gifts for no particular reason) is because, when I find something I know someone will like, I often pick it up for them.  I rationalize to myself that I will save it for a meaningful time (birthday, celebration, holiday).  But I am terrible at keeping gifts until appropriate moments.  I am awful at keeping gifts a secret, and I find it extremely hard to wait to give someone something I know they will love.  So gladden your heart presents just work for me.

What are some facts people would be surprised to discover about you?

Monday, April 23, 2012

lip-smacking good: sundried tomato, pepper and avocado pizza

pizza toppings
 On Friday night, I made pizza for a low-key evening in.  I've talked about how much I like Trader Joe's pizza dough before, and Fridaywas no exception.  Follow these easy steps for a quick, delicious and fairly healthy pizza of your own.

the goods

pizza dough (if you a few hours of prep time and you want to make your own, here is a good recipe for you)
marinara sauce (for those who have more time, this sauce has gotten great reviews)
3 small peppers
1 small avocado
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
12 slices pepperoni (enough to put on half the pizza if you have a meat-loving guest or counterpart)
2 cups shredded and blended cheddar and mozzerella cheese
pizza stone or baking sheet

i left pepperonis off my half and sundried tomaotoes off his half

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. If using a baking sheet, lightly oil the sheet and edges.
3. Roll the dough onto your pizza stone or baking sheet.
4. Spread your marinara sauce evenly over the dough.
5. Sprinkle the cheese over the dough.
6.  Slice peppers and avocado.
7. Place peppers, avocado, sundried tomatoes and pepperoni on pizza.
8. Bake for 11-13 minutes.

I happen to know that the pizza is also great the next day

Friday, April 20, 2012

links for a friday

one of the free albums you can download using the link mentioned below
photo via
The second to last line of this made be laugh out loud.  She never ceases to amaze with her words.

Continuing with the laugh-out-loud funny theme, here is a humor blog I recently discovered.

For the Scrabble and typography enthusiast.

Really want to try this.

One (free and legal) way I've been finding new music to enjoy.

What inspiring things have you read/listened to/experienced this week?  Leave a comment with links if you'd like to share.


Dear Little Birds, you're not so little anymore.  I saw you open your eyes this morning, and your wings are starting to develop.  You're growing so fast!  Don't fly away too soon.  Dear Dusty, I dont know how (or when) you got out of the house yesterday, but I love that you stayed by the front door until I got home. That being said, please don't ever escape again.  Dear Garden, please grow.  I've been tending to you so diligently.  You are definitely teaching me lessons in patience.  Dear Pottery Class, you are kicking my butt.  I am beyond terrible, and always seem to make softball-size balls of clay turn into cylinders that dolls could drink out of.  Where does all the clay go? Dear Cedarlane Cheese Quesadillas, I want to have you for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Repeat, repeat forever.  Dear Weekend, I can't wait for you to get here.  You have been taking your sweet time, and it has not gone unnoticed.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

send something good

photo of some stationery from here
I'm happy to be participating in Send Something Good this year.  Gentri, Kaitlyn and Kristy have done a great job organizing it, and I'm grateful I found out about it early enough to join in on the fun.  I've already scoured my secret partner's blog to figure out her likes and dislikes and get to know her better. I've gotten such a thrill thinking about and selecting things to go into a package for her.  In an effort to help my secret sender know more about me, I've listed ten things I love below.

1. proper grammar
2. affordable art
3. flowers/seedlings
4. scarves + leggings
5. the color coral
6. hula hooping/sculpting/Piyo/ellipticizing/long walks with my Australian Shepherd
7. road trips/camping/bonfires/sleepovers/staying up late/sheet + pillow forts
8. the ocean (one of the few things I dislike about St. Louis is that it is landlocked)
9. painting (canvas, shoes, earrings, wood, slate--you name it, I've painted it)
10. mixed tapes/CDs

I've really enjoyed learning about the other participating bloggers through their posts in this link up.  Be sure to check them out, too!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

lindsey pavao love

photo via

This girl's got pipes.  So looking forward to when she comes out with her own stuff.  I may or may not have three of her four Voice singles on my iPhone.  Can't get enough of this creative, quirky singer.  Thrilled she made it to the next round.  Any other Voice watchers out there?

a few crafty things I've been working on

I've been working on a few clay photo booth props for my shop, and found that Dusty makes a perfect model.  Don't you agree?

Monday, April 16, 2012


This weekend, I ran to Home Depot to grab some lattice I hope to encourage the rogue rosebush that found its way into my front yard last year to climb vertically, rather than sprawl horizontally and scratch the unsuspecting knees of visitors with all its prickly thorns.  I got distracted by these happy ranunculus on the way in and had to grab them to keep me content while the plants I'm growing from seeds slowly begin to sprout.  I love ranunculus, if only for the devil-may-care approach they have to flowering--their stems and leaves shooting out in all different directions.  As if to say, "live a little! relish in the little parts of life that are a bit untidy."  At least, that's what they convey to me.

inquiring minds want to know: piggy bank edition

"Why are coin banks shaped like pigs?" I found myself asking aloud to no one in particular the other night.  The only semi-reasonable explanation I could come up with was that it was, perhaps, a social commentary of sorts on the immorality of hoarding/being "piggish" with money.  Or maybe the pig has more positive virtues I don't know about like patience and prudence to save for something worthwhile?  Turns out, neither of these conjectures explain the shape of coin banks today.

Apparently, hundres of years ago, European dishware was crafted out of orange clay called pygg. People began to save their hard-earned coins in jars made out of this substance and the jars were referred to as pygg banks. The term was lost in translation when an English potter misunderstood the name (a classic homonymic mistake) and made a bank modeled after a pig. His designs caught on, and the rest is history.

information for this post gathered here and here

the littlest birds

I was reminded of this song by the Be Good Tanyas when I peered into the nest in my wreath this weekend and saw three baby birds, so young they were little pink, bald thigns with tiny necks and eyes that aren't quite open. 

It was a sight to behold for sure.  I captured a few sweet pictures, the best of which I am sharing with all of you above.  Aren't baby animals of any sort just the sweetest?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

pottery class

photo via
 Today after work starts my introduction to throwing clay on a wheel.  I'm taking a six-week pottery class downtown.  I've wanted to explore pottery for a few years, so when a Groupn offering 50% off classes at a local art studio popped up in my email before Christmas last year, I jumped at the opportunity.

While I think my romantic notions of spinning may be tempered by my ability to actually throw clay, I'm still really looking forward to learning and getting my hands caked in clay.

Have you ever taken a pottery class?  Any pointers for this newbie?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

before & after: camel-colored dress shoes

Several years ago, I bought these sandals.  I loved the color and thought I'd wear them with everything.  They've mostly stayed at the bottom of my closet ever since.  I pulled them out last night and decided to jazz them up a bit.

the goods

paint pen ( I chose a fine gold paint pen)
Krylon UV-resistant protective glaze
a pair of shoes


pick a design you want to paint your shoe with. 
practice if needed on a piece of paper, and try to test the paint pen on a texture and color similar to the shoe (I tested mine on tan duct tape).  be sure to shake the paint pen well and test on something to get the initial globs out.
start at the heel of the shoe and move forward, painting your design.  make sure that your hand doesn't smudge what you've already painted.
repeat with other shoe.
when finished, let shoe sit and then spray the UV-resistant protective glaze evenly on the shoes.
wear your new shoes around town!

Monday, April 9, 2012

lip-smacking good: vegan carrot cake cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcake Chickadees
One of my favorite desserts to make is carrot cake.  I have a recipe passed down to me from my mom, who got it from my grandmother.  It is, hands down, the best carrot cake I've ever had and it never ceases to receive compliments from everyone.

I'm trying to use fewer dairy products in my baking and when I eat at home, and I wanted to attempt a healthier version of the cake and cream cheese frosting so I modified the recipe in several ways to create vegan carrot cake cupcakes for Easter this year.  While the frosting was a little less fluffy than it's non-vegan counterpart, it tasted as good and everyone was surprised when I told them (after they ate a few cupcakes) that the recipe was vegan.

cake ingredients:

1 and 1/2 C wheat flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup agave nectar (substituted for 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar)
3 tbsp whole ground flaxseed
7 tbsp water
1 and 1/8 C vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 C grated carrot (finely as possible)
8 and 1/4 oz can pineapple
3/4 C chopped walnuts

frosting ingredients

8 tbsp vegan butter or margerine (softened)
1 8 oz pack of vegan cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut (optional)
yellow, green and orange food coloring

To make the cake:
Mix first 5 ingredients well with mixer.
In a separate small bowl, combine flaxseed and water and stir until the mixture starts to have an egg-like consistency. 
Add flaxseed mixture and remaining ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well with spoon.
Oil cake pans and bake at 350 for approx 35 - 40 min (less time for mini muffins - check after about 20 minutes)

To make the frosting:

Mix together well with mixer.
For extra frosting to cake ratio, do one and a half this frosting recipe and you'll have plenty for the cake and some leftover :)


Friday, April 6, 2012

lip-smacking good: avocado pie

avocado pie!

My friend and I got together last night for a baking extravaganza of sorts.  I'd been itching to make avocado pie since I'd found a recipe for it, so we decided to make two--one for each of our families.  This recipe couldn't be more quick or easy.  And the results were very good!  It's the perfect desert for Spring and Summer nights.

avocado/milk/lime juice blended
the goods

2 avocados
1/2 container of sweetened condensed milk ( or make your own sweetened condensed soy milk to make it vegan)
1/4 cup lime juice
3 strawberries (optional, for garnish)

20 graham crackers
3/4 c margarine (or 3/4 c vegan margarine)


dice avocados and put in blender with condensed milk and lime juice. 
blend for 20 seconds

crumble graham crackers (food processor is the best for this).
in a mixing bowl, use a fork or your fingers to mix margarine with graham cracker crumbs.
in a pie dish/pan, use your hands to form a graham cracker crust.

pour avocado/milk/lime mixture into graham cracker crust and spread evenly over the crust. 
garnish with strawberries.
chill overnight.


My friend and I met this morning to taste our culinary creation.  While I would recommend it more for dessert than breakfast, we both really enjoyed the slices we had.  You an taste a hint of avocado in the tangy pie, but it is not overwhelming at all.  Reminded me of a much milder key lime pie.

links for a friday

Vegan Banana Oat Cookies

Made these cookies last night

Laughed a lot at this Hilary tumbr

Realized you cannot be in a bad mood after reading this blog

Currently reading this, by the author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Excited to try these braids for Spring.

Cherishing the Easter message found in these audio programs.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

dusty 1, human 0

dusty's attempt at a non-violent protest
This afternoon I went home to make a smoothie for lunch.  I planned to be in and out and back to work, but dusty had other plans.  Not finding my 15-min quick lunch agreeable, he tried everything he could to keep me in the house.  When that failed, he wouldn't let me leave without him.  With my smoothie, workout gear and purse in one hand, I dragged him away from the door and into the living room countless times.  I told him to sit and stay, but he would have none of it. 

Finding it harder and harder to move him into the living room with my heels high and hands full, I opened the front door to put my stuff down on the front step.  Dusty exited and would not come back in.  When I called him, he ran to the sidewalk and plopped down.  He wouldnt budge.  I get near enough to him to be able to grab his collar and started to walk him toward the house.  He resisted and I didn't want to drag him, so I left him outside and returned to the kitchen where I could see him through the blinds. 

I decided to clean up a bit and wait for him to come to his senses and get up to come back in the house.  This never happened.  Twently minutes of cleaning and he still hadn't budged.  I knew I really needed to get back to work, so I grabbed his leash, made one more futile attempt to get him back into the apartment, and then let him come in the car with me to work.  I feel like such a pushover dog parent, and I hate that he doesn't see me as an authority (especially when he quickly changes his tune if my dad is the one demanding obedience).  He is usually pretty obedient when I am with him (when I'm not around, the things of dusty the destroyer fame tend to happen), but not today.

Are there any tips you have on getting your pet to listen to you?  Any tricks you've learned to avoid similar scenarios?  I am so in need of good ideas right now, as I would rather not have a repeat performance.

etsy finds: pillows

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
 As anyone who has been to my apartment can attest, I have a penchant for pillows.  They can really pull a room together and provide visual interest, but are inexpensive enough that you can switch them up every once and a while to give your space a new look.  These are some of my latest Etsy pillow faves.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

thoughts on zumba

photo via
 In late January I started working out at the gym.  I've never been hugely active, and the prospect of running on a treadmill in Spandex in public while watching The Price is Right was not very appealing to me.  But when I found out some friends went regularly to a gym nearby, I used a free trial day pass and tried not to be too skeptical.  I found that the gym staff were very friendly, the people in the gym were all ages and at all different points in their exercising ability and I felt really good after working out for a bit.  The facility was lovely and expansive, featuring all of the equipment I could ever need and offering classes that are included in the price of membership.

one of the many moves that was just embarrassing to see myself attempt
photo via
 Which brings me to Zumba.  Zumba is one of the many classes I've tried since January.  After a kltuzy and embarrassing incident on the bike in my first Spinning class, I turned to Low-Impact Water Fitness where I couldnt imagine being able to pull off a similar feat (so far, so good).  I slowly built my confidence back up and added PiYo to the mix, and then Kettle Bell.  Last week, on a whim, I decided I was ready to give Zumba a shot.  I am one of the least coordinated women on the planet, which my closest friends can attest to based on seeing my moves (or lack thereof) on the dance floor.  But what I loved about the other classes was the that the instructors spent time with you to get the moves right, giving you pointers or having you mirror their moves until you started to catch on.  I did things in the PiYo class I never thought I could do, and I did them quickly.  I hoped to have the same experience with Zumba.  
PiYo--much more up my alley
photo via

 My Zumba class was packed!  Unlike PiYo, which is offered once a week, Zumba classes are offered every day, sometimes multiple times a day.  If I liked it, I'd be set.  I think this story might have gone a little differently (read: better) had I introduced myself to the instructor beforehand and admitted to her that I was uncoordinated and new.  However, I made it into the class with minutes to spare, so that was not an option.  When the music started I was so glad I didn't know anyone in the class but also wishing I hadn't picked a prime spot in front of the mirror.  While I'm sure it was helpful to see myself attempt the moves in the mirror and try to self-correct as needed, it reinforced how ill-prepared I was for the class.  I resembled a sleep-deprived sloth with a permanent deer-in-the-headlights stare.  Every once and a while I would stop to focus my whole attention on the instructor so I could take mental note of how she was moving her body.  This would be interrupted by the rest of my line going into a quick grapevine, which I'd have to quickly side-step to avoid being the victim of a Zumba grapevine stampede.  If that wasn't enough, the Latin-inspired sexay moves were about as unsexy coming from me and made me feel like a little girl sloppily applying her mom's red lipstick for the first time. Long story short--I think I'll stick to PiYo and Kettle Bell.  Luckily, not all was lost, as I stuck around afterwards for a sculpting class that I really enjoyed.  It will definitely make it into my workout routine.

Am I the only one who had this experience with Zumba?  Are there workouts that work better for you?

dusty the destroyer: bed frame edition

Dusty, in a calmer moment, resting on the bed
 I'm writing this post from the middle of my rickety bed.  The middle is the only place I can sleep without feeling like I will roll off my mattress.  The other night we had a storm.  Dusty, while usually quite calm and peaceful (at least when I'm around) sometimes flies off the handle when a storm is brewing.  The other night was no exception.  Around two o'clock in the morning, Dusty decided he just must get under the bed.  I have bins of off-season clothing and other stored items tucked under the bed, so he couldnt figure out how to get under there ( I have since moved a few bins so he can safely and easily get underneath).  The next morning, I awoke on the left side of the bed and felt like I was sinking.  When I got up, I heard the bed creak and saw the left side raise.  In all his fussing the night before, Dusty bent the bed frame.  I am hoping I can bend it back into shape, but until then, I'll be sleeping in the center of the bed.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

amazing smoothie goodness

I promise this is not turning into a food blog, but I just made the most amazing smoothie.  I liked it so much I shared little samples of it all over the office, and everyone that tried it liked it.  It smells like fresh cut grass and tastes a little like mild salsa.

I just put in all the savory vegetables I would want in a smoothie, and a few that are supposed to be especially good for you. I tasted it and threw more things in until I found a consistency and a flavor that I liked.

the goods

5 kale leaves
1 chard leaf
Handful of spring spinach mix
1/2 cup water
10 mini yellow tomatoes
5 cherry tomatoes
1/8 - 1/4 c onion
1 granny smith apple
1/8 of a green pepper
1 avocado


Remove the stalk from the kale leaves and chard and break into 1-2 inch pieces. 
Combine half with half of the water in the blender and pulse for 20 seconds. 
Put second half of the kale and chard, the spring mix and the rest of the water in the blender and repeat.
Add the tomatoes into the blender.
Dice the onion, green pepper and apple and throw into the blender.
Remove the skin and pit from the avocado and add to the blender.
Pulse the mixture in the blender for 20 seconds.
Pour into a large glass and enjoy.

This makes one large smoothie (about 16-20oz) or a few smaller ones.  I had most of mine for lunch.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Last week was full of animals (domesticated, semi-wild and wild), hockey, basketball, a research conference, Sunday School and a wonderful lecture put on by a neighboring church. 

I ended up pet sitting again this weekend and took my dog and the dog I sat for to an "Easter Begg Hunt" for dogs in my town.  The dogs enjoyed interacting with other canines and really enjoyed the treats they got.  I also went to the zoo with Diane and Joe and we saw the cutest  Spectacled Langur monkeys, baby elephant and camel, chubby kookaburra, and pensive chimpanzee. 

I discovered more wildlife in my own front yard earlier in the week when a bird set up house in the wreath by my front step.  I now duck and wait to enter my apartment every time I come home, because mama bird makes her presence known whenever she hears movement around her nest.  The last thing I need is a bird trapped in my apartment, or a beak in the face, so I wait until I know she has flown away before standing up to open the door.

I watched more than my fair share of sports this week and learned more than ever about basketball and baseball.  I actually wish that I'd known more about baseball a little earlier because, after having the fantasy baseball draft explained to me, it sounded strategic enough to keep me interested and entertained.

In Sunday School we talked about God being our fortress (see 2nd Samuel), and though I tried to drive home the qualities of a fortress (safety, protection, an immovable and impenetrable structure, etc), the kids may have been too immersed in drawing their "castles" (complete with princes and princesses) to really get what I was talking about.  They did really enjoy finding the passage in their Bibles, though.  After Sunday School I visited a neighboring church of my same faith for a lecture on the Sermon on the Mount.  Man, was it insightful!  The Sermon on the Mount is something I try to think about, study and put into practice often, and this lecutre reinforced the importance of revisting it regularly.  You can listen to the lecture here if you are interested.

Hope your week and weekend was as fun and refreshing as the one I had!

before & after: sandals

One of my favorite dresses is a bright orange and tan colorblocked sleeveless dress.  It's a very versatile dress that can be worn to the office with a cardigan, or the zoo with sandals.  Only problem for me is that I didn't have any sandals that matched.  So I dug my old, ratty white sandals out of the bottom of my closet, grabbed some all-purpose paint that works on fabric and leather in the same color as my dress, and got to town painting my sandals.

After painting them and letting the paint dry, I applied an even coat of clear coating that helps to  protect and preserve the paint and prevent water damage.  I let the sandals sit overnight and then wore them all around town the next day.

While I will need to touch up a few spots due to people and dogs stepping on my feet throughout the day, I'm pleased with the way they turned out and will definitely be wearing them around a lot this summer.

**in other news, I am linked up on Nicole's blog today.  She is having a fun girl party, profiling several women and their blogs, so go check it out**

lip-smacking good: brownies

photo via
Ever since I heard about the wonders of flaxseed, and its ability to serve as a good egg substitute from one of my veggie friends, I've been wanting to try baking with it.  Despite my love of fried-egg sandwiches and baked goods, I frequently find myself throwing out eggs that have expired.  Flaxseed has a longer shelf life than eggs, and I am trying to minimize the amount of dairy I consume at home (so far I've eliminated milk from my refrigerator).  I loosely followed the recipe below, substituting flaxseed and for eggs.  For

The goods
  • Soft butter, for greasing the pan
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed, whisked with 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 8 ounces melted butter (or 3/4 cup of vegetable oil if you want to make vegan brownies)
  • 11/4 cups cocoa,
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
photo via
The method

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter an 9-inch round pan.
Use a whisk to beat the flaxseed and water in a medium bowl.
Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes or until done.
Remove to a rack and cut into squares once cool.
The brownies were delicious and no one was the wiser about my flaxseed experiment.  I will definitely be using flaxseed in baking from now on, although I might have to keep a few eggs around since I'm guessing a fried flaxseed sandwich just wont do it for me.
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