April 29, 2011

Baking.

The remnants of my biscuit baking sesh.

So, Baking.  Isn't it just great?! Don't get me wrong, I love cooking (fyi baking and cooking are NOT the same).  But there is just something so special and artistic about baking.  Whenever I bake, I whip out my cute apron and turn on some oldies tunes.  My last few trips home have been full of baking adventures like pumpkin muffins, these baked oatmeal bars, and fresh biscuits to go with our pot roast Easter dinner.
Here's what is next on my list of things to bake:

April 22, 2011

Inspiration.

Photographs, especially retro/vintage ones, are another great source
of inspiration.  This is an old photo of my grandmother.  Note the
cat eye sunglasses and ferris wheel in the background.  Love it.


Every good artist knows that inspiration can really come from just about anywhere and at anytime.  This can be a  real challenge when you are, say, in the middle of finals week and are all of the sudden compelled to sew an elaborate ball gown after seeing Keira Knightley's emerald green dress in the movie Atonement.  (I'm speaking from experience. Can you tell? giggles.)  When I'm feeling particularly uninspired, here are some of the websites I turn to get the creative juices flowing:
The Nate Berkus Show
Refinery 29
Martha Stewart


Tip:  Keep an "inspiration" file/bookmark on your computer to save images or websites that you come across that inspire you.  That way when you need creative ideas, you'll know just where to look.

April 20, 2011

Sprinkles.

Photo Credit: Washington City Paper
Sprinkles Cupcakes.  I'm sure you've heard of them.  Up until today I had never tried one.  I was probably the last person living in LA to have not tried one.  Absolutely delicious.  Ya know when you buy reject baked goods from the grocery store's day old rack because they are only a dollar and look oh-so-very-irresistible?  Then, when you taste their artificial flavors and staleness, you feel like a fool for being suckered into buying from the "day old shelf" yet again.  At least that is how it is for me... Well, these weren't like that at all! Moise cake, buttery frosting, and just the right amount of flavoring is what make Sprinkles cupcakes so perfect.  Go find a Sprinkles near you!   

April 19, 2011

Perfect Love.

Photo Credit: www.wallcoo.net
"Just as the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." -John 15:9

This verse hit me hard this week.  Either I have never come across it before or it just hasn't resonated with me until now.  Think about it.  Think about how much God loves his son Jesus.  What a perfect love.  As humans, we can use logic to understand why it is that God would love Jesus a lot.  For one, he was his son.  He also lived a perfect life, following God in everything that he did and teaching others about Him.  But to apply that same love that God has for His son to me-an imperfect sinner-is just mind blowing.  I pray for a deeper security in this love-that God would help me to grasp the love that he has for me.


"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." -John 3:16

April 18, 2011

Big Brother.

This weekend I got to go home to celebrate my brother's 21st birthday with my family.  He is the best big brother a girl could ask for.  

The celebration consisted of relaxation at home, rented movies, and food.  Lots of food.  Chocolate cake with strawberries and ice cream, pizza from my favorite pizza shop, these banana blueberry smoothies, and this delicious meal made by my lovely mama.  Mom and Dad spoil us with food when we come home.  I think its their love language! giggles.
Korean BBQ meat on rosemary olive oil bread with swiss cheese, garden salad, asparagus, and sweet potato fries.  Delicious.  Thanks Mom!

April 15, 2011

Beach Day.

Me and Lindy.
Beautiful Santa Monica waters.
Getting inspiration for our apartment next year at Pottery Barn.

Today was the absolute perfect first beach day of the summer.  Here is what a perfect beach day entails:
  • No class. Check.
  • Tasty packed lunch. Check
  • Dolphin watching. Check.
  • Window shopping. Check
  • Pizza dinner with great friends.  Check.
  • Milk shakes at Cafe 50 and playing Battle Ship (boys v. girls) while we waited.  Check.
  • Game night.  Check.
Happy Friday!


April 14, 2011

Bicycles.

image credit: All Things Beautiful

The Sound of Music is easily one of my very favorite movies.  I have probably seen it around twenty times and it just never gets old.  I absolutely love this shot of the bicycle scene.  It makes me want to hop on a bike right now and go for a spin.  I've decided that next year I'm going to bring a bike to school to ride to class and around town.

Here are some other fun things inspired by bicycles:

Bicycle Post Earring-Urban Outfitters, $12

Yarnz Bicycle Print Linen Scarf-Sax Fifth Avenue, $75


April 13, 2011

Summer Hats.

With the first real beach trip of the year scheduled for Friday, it is finally hitting me that summer is fast approaching.  Which also means that it is time to stock up on fun hats to protect yourself from the sun and to spruce up casual outfits.



         this red Yes Dress from EmersonMade, $198
                                     With
this Straw Weave Fedora from Banana Republic, $40

            






this Pocket Dress from Urban Outfitters, $48
                           With
        this Floppy Hat from Forever 21, $13
          



this shorts and cardigan combo from J. Crew
                          With
        this Mossimo Fedora from Target, $13

              

April 12, 2011

Diet Coke Cake.


Gorgeous wedding cake from Brides.com's 50 Most Beautiful Wedding Cakes.

I can't tell you the number of times I've been in the mood to do some baking only to open the fridge to find that I'm all out of eggs.  I recently found a solution to this oh so very depressing dilemma: a can of diet coke.  Just add a can to your favorite cake mix. Then, add the well mixed batter to a greased baking pan and bake as directed on box.  No water, eggs, or oil.  And let me tell you, it tastes exactly the same!  Top it with a little icing and you're in for a tasty treat!


Enjoy!

April 11, 2011

Longevity of Trends.

boyfriend blazer from ASOS

There is nothing I dislike more than catching the tail end of a trend.  I have been looking for the perfect black boyfriend blazer for probably over a year and finally found exactly what I was looking for last week at my favorite thrift store in Santa Monica.  I believe that a girl pretty much can't go wrong with good a good black blazer in her wardrobe.  A definite staple.

That being said, even the most essential staple pieces that a woman should have in her closet (i.e. a plain white t-shirt, a little black dress, a great pair of boots, etc.) do not guarantee years of wearability.  For the longest time crew neck  white t-shirts were popular.  Now, V-Necks with a little pocket on the side are a chic way to sport the white t staple.  Maybe, you invested in a great mini skirt a few years back only to find that the fashion industry finally realized that almost no one looks good in them.  

I guess the moral of the story is to be cautious when that little shopping diva voice inside your head tries to make you justify expensive splurge spending with lies like "I know its three hundred dollars but I'll be able to wear it for years."  Because 9 times out of 10, that is simply not true.  While I am perfectly satisfied with my boyfriend style blazer, and will no doubt be wearing it a tone throughout spring, I can not help but realize that boyfriend blazers are slowly being replaced by the next hottest thing: the cropped blazer.  It is times like these, when I realize that a clothing piece is no longer in style, that I am thankful for bargain shopping and the peace of mind in knowing that I didn't break the bank with my purchase! 

April 5, 2011

Toms One Day Without Shoes.


Are you wearing shoes today?

April 4, 2011

Spring Flowers: Ranunculus.

Renunculus.  I just love them.  They are so whimsical and cheery.  I can not wait to go home and see them in my front yard!  Just another reminder that it is springtime (which just might be the best season of the year).

April 1, 2011

New Quarter.

First UCLA visit in 2008 when brother got accepted.
Fast forward 2 years: Hillary? Accepted!

When I started at UCLA, I definitely had hesitations about the quarter system as opposed to the semester system.  However, I have found that it is really great for setting goals and sticking to them.  It is so nice to have a whole new schedule of classes every 10 weeks and a fresh new start.  Below are some of my goals for this quarter.  With first week completed, I am happy to say that I've stuck to them!


1.)  I am going to take advantage of this beautiful springtime weather and train to run a 5K (3.1 miles).  Have you heard of the program Couch to 5K?  There are several different versions of the program but basically it is a 9 week series of podcasts that you listen to while running that tells you when to walk and when to run.  The goal is that runners will build endurance and by the end of the program be able to run a 5K without walking.  I am using this version.  And the best of all, its FREE!


2.)  I am going to do more pleasure reading.  Textbooks are interesting and everything but if I read my econ textbook for more than about two hours, I find myself incorporating phrases like "opportunity cost" and "cost benefit analysis" in my everyday language.  Not okay. 


3.)  I am going to try find a job/internship for this summer.  I submitted my application for an internship in LA last night.  Now we wait.  And pray for the Lord's direction and guidance.  


4.)  I am going to take advantage of all that Los Angeles has to offer.  Its springtime and the weather is absolutely gorgeous outside.  There is no excuse for studying indoors this quarter.