March 31, 2011

Making a Reading List.

Ever been asked by a friend, "so what have you read recently," or "what's your favorite book" and you drew a complete blank?  It's sure happened to me on occasion.  I've read so many good books over the years but it  is hard to remember and keep track of all of them.  Over my spring break, I compiled a list of all the books that I have read since middle school.  I listed each book's title, the author, and the approximate date that I read it.  I then categorized them under topics such as "classics," "pleasure reads," "plays/poems," etc.  (I realize that I probably sound really OCD right now.  No.  I just really like organization. hehe)  While I'm certain that I left out a lot of great books, it was fun to recall some past favorites.  Can't wait to look back on my ever-growing list when I am older and see a lifetime of reading.


Top 5 books of all time:
Les Miserables- Victor Hugo
East of Eden- John Steinbeck
Redeeming Love- Francine Rivers
Jane Eyre-Charlotte Bronte
Hamlet- William Shakespeare

Reading wish list:
The Bell Jar-Sylvia Plath
The Screw Tape Letters- C.S. Lewis 
The Joy Luck Club- Amy Tan
The Grapes of Wrath- John Steinbeck
House of Seven Gables-Hawthorne

March 30, 2011

Baked Banana Oatmeal Bars

I made these Baked Banana Oatmeal Bars inspired by Liz's from Food to Run For.  They were so good that I even made a second batch.  And to top it all off, they are really healthy! Perfect for on the go breakfasts on mornings when I have 8am classes. Here is how I made my version:

Combine dry ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground flax seed
2 teaspoons wheat germ

Combine wet ingredients:
1 egg
1 mashed banana
1.5 cups milk of your choice (i used lactaid fat free milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar

Instructions:
Mix the wet and dry ingredients.
Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray then add the mixture and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (or until golden brown).

Enjoy!

March 29, 2011

Wrapping Presents for the Men in Your Life

I love coming up with creative ways to wrap presents but the embellishments I grab for first usually involve sparkles, ruffles, or flowers, with the occasional rhinestones... not the ideal packaging for a man's gift.  Wrapping presents for my brother and dad has always been somewhat of a daunting task.  I never know how to make the wrapping look masculine but still celebratory and fun.  For my dad's birthday, I decided to do a little experimenting.  Here is what I came up with.  I used the sports section of the Bruin Daily, some earthy twine, and a decorated clothespin to attach the card.  The end result: organic and pretty without being too feminine. 

March 28, 2011

Spring Break Accomplishments.

I had planned on relaxing for all of spring break, but ended up being surprisingly productive.  Don't you just love when that happens?! Here is just some of what I did during the week:
  • Lunch and coffee dates with girlfriends
  • Sold old textbooks on Amazon
  • Exchanged shoes I ordered online for the correct size
  • Returned library book
  • Paid library book late fee
  • Made new running play list
  • Cooked
  • Went to AT&T store to get new cell phone
  • Target run
  • Finished Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  • Got half way through Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels
  • Got new school supplies for the new quarter
  • Found cute new swimsuits for summer (if your a girl, you know this is a major accomplishment!)
  • Watched chick flicks with mom
  • Got caught up on Chuck and Royal Pains
  • Visited the famous Mr. Young in Venice for a haircut
  • Made lots of lists (but that's nothing new hehe)
A grand week, indeed!

March 26, 2011

Hanging Chairs.

There is something that I just love about hanging chairs.  They are so playful, airy, and whimsical.  At one point in elementary school I begged my dad to help put up a cocoon hanging chair from Ikea in my room.  He hesitated, imaging the holes that the bolts would leave in my nice wood ceiling when I outgrew the chair.  Seeing the excitement in my plea, he kindly agreed.  I soon outgrew the chair and it found a new home collecting dust in the back of my closet. (Secret #1: to this day there are two big holes in my nice wood ceiling.  Secret #2: it was so worth it!).  I was reminded of my beloved Ikea chair when i saw these Nestrest hanging chairs from Dedon.  Aren't they just awesome?!

March 22, 2011

Blog Sale for Japan.

Headbands are $10 each.
100% of proceeds will go toward Japan relief through World Vision.
If you'd like to make a purchase, please email me at trufflesandruffles@gmail.com with your name, address, and the headband that you wish to buy.
note: not taking additional orders at this time.
#4 - SOLD

March 19, 2011

Wise Counsel.



Hey all!  This week I watched this great message by Francis Chan and his wife Lisa on what a Christ centered relationship should look like.  Such wisdom and truth packed into a little 50 minute video, I just had to share!  If you'd like to watch part 2 of the series, click here.

March 18, 2011

Its here. Spring break that is.

Winter quarter finals are officially over!  Time for a little R & R.

March 9, 2011

Spring Break to-do-list.

Finals week is fast approaching here at UCLA.  For Bruins, this means flocking to Powell library for last minute cramming, having convenient study snacks on hand at all hours of the day, and drinking LOTS of coffee.  A tad stressful?  Maybe.  But then there is the faint glowing light at the end of the tunnel that keeps us sane- spring break!  Here are somethings things that I am currently looking forward to doing over spring break...

  • I can not wait to have a full kitchen to cook with!  My "cooking" tab on my computer is overflowing with new recipes that I want to try.
  • Catching up on episodes of Chuck.  a.k.a. the only TV show that hasn't gotten the boot since I've been at college.
  • Lunch and coffee dates with friends from high school.
  • Sleeping in! Ahh, what a foreign concept.
  • Quality time with family uninterrupted by studying.
  • Rearranging furniture at home.  Its more fun than you'd think!
  • Finishing all the books that I started over the summer... (specifically Redeeming Love and The Shack).
  • Not having to wear flip flops in the shower (something I never quite appreciated until living in the dorms)
  • Time change!  We may lose an hour of sleep but it will stay light late.  A reminder that spring and summer are a comin'.
Have a wonderful day! 

March 8, 2011

College on a budget.

College students... we have really mastered the art of living on tight budget.  But forget the days of living off of Ramen Noodles and Kraft.  With a little creativity, you can live a rich life on a poor man's budget.  Here are some tips and tricks for saving money that I've learned this year.
  • Check ATM machine fees before you get that cash! $2.50 might not sound like a lot at the time, but those little, unnecessary costs can really add up.  Opt for using a debit card.
  • Ask for gift cards.  I have enjoyed countless free starbucks coffee dates with girlfriends all because my family and friends know that I'm a fan of the good ol' Starbucks gift card.
  • Carry tea bags in your purse!  Did you know that many coffee shops will give you free hot water?  I just discovered this wonderful truth and wow is it exciting.  Tea for free!
  • Give blood!  Not only will you be helping to save lives but you can often score free incentives such as movie tickets or gift cards.  
  • Do you like finding great bargains?  If so, I can guarantee that you will love sundaysaver.com.  The website gives you the weekly coupons and promotions for a wide variety of stores ranging from clothing stores such as Nordstrom and Old Navy to electronics stores like Best Buy and Fry's.  Beware: you may become addicted.
  • Look online for free things to do in your city.  Concerts in the park, free admission days at museums, local hiking trails.  All so fun and completely FREE!
  • Sign up for classes with friends so that you can share textbooks.  
Happy Saving!

March 6, 2011

Art.

While I do enjoy looking at art in museums, my real passion is for architecture.  One of my favorite things to do on my travels is to drive through random towns and look at the homes and buildings.  Back in high school, I did a research project on the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) and pretty much fell in love with his work.  Here are pictures of one of my favorite 0f Gaudi's buildings, called Casa Batllo in Barcelona, Spain.  Isn't it just beautiful?  The mosaic tiles, curved lines, and bright colors.
Bucket list item #14: Visit Casa Batllo.
What is your favorite form of art?
Photo credit: Wikipedia

March 5, 2011

Quirky Accents

Warning: Quirky accessories should be used in moderation.  A little goes a long way!

1. ModCloth, Stay Toast Scarf, $64
2. Etsy, Mustache Stacking Mug Set, $40
3. Urban Outfitters, Pockets Shower Curtain, $20
4. Blue Dame, Clubmaster Sunglasses, $18

March 1, 2011

Noise Polution

Sometimes I wonder why is so hard to hear God's voice.  Then I look around and realize that we live in a noisy world.  Yesterday I felt like no matter where I went, I could  not escape the noise. Distractions everywhere.  As I walked through Westwood sounds of the city blared without cease.  Honking cars, screeching breaks, chatter.  Then I get back to my dorm and hear the construction going on outside, routy students, and music blaring.  Then I went and sat in the stairwell at the end of the hall.   Peace.  

I want more peaceful moments like this in my day.


"After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.  When evening came, he was there alone" - Matthew 14:23


"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed" -Mark 1:35