Wednesday, April 22, 2015

In The Kitchen: Chocolate and Avocado

I thought I would start a series of food I make here and there. I already have one recipe on my blog about Baked "Fried" Pickles (if you love pickles, you will love this recipe!). When I remember (and have time), I love taking pictures of what I make. I am one of those who enjoy taking pictures of food. I share them with my mom and my boyfriend. It's like I make them a part of meal? Now how sweet and inclusive am I?! LOL. Just kidding, just kidding. 

I thought it would be fun to share some of the things I make and recipes I try. I enjoy reading these kinds of posts and I hope you do too!

Chocolate covered strawberries
Funny thing is I used to HATE chocolate covered strawberries probably because I hate strawberries. I made these once for my coworkers and fell in love. Fun fact: I still can't stand strawberries by itself.

I was inspired to make this two weeks ago because I was craving them. And I just wanted one. I was at the mall and stopped by Godiva to buy one chocolate strawberry. One strawberry was $9.50. YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! It was one for $9.50 and 6 for $12.50. I could have bought 6 but the others would have gone to waste. I walked out of there thinking, Who the heck do you think you are, Godiva?! Call me cheap, but I would NEVER pay $9.50 for a strawberry dipped in chocolate.

The next day, I made some myself for under $9.50. And as you can see, I made more than one.

Banana walnut bread
I got this recipe from Sonia from Youtube's sccastaneda. She had a video sharing her banana bread recipe. I have been meaning to make it but all of my bananas would be gone before they had a chance to get overripe. The only change I made to the recipe is to add dark chocolate chips on top and to decrease the brown sugar from 1 cup to just a little less than 3/4 cup. 

My parents actually LOVED it! They are very hard to please when it comes to my baking saying everything is too sweet. The bread was perfectly moist and had the right amount of sweetness. My mom has even special ordered a batch for her office. YES!

Frozen chocolate peanut banana bites
I saw this on Instagram. My version is not as pretty as the original, but it sure was amazing! :)

Egg in avocado
Avocados have been so trendy lately! I've seen mashed avocado on toast (which I eventually tried and loved!) and I've been seeing this egg avocado bake. Totally weird idea, but it was pretty good. I would totally make this again, but I would probably gravitate towards the avocado mash. It was faster to make and I enjoyed it more.

Frozen coffee cubes
I am still trying to master the perfect iced coffee. It just doesn't come out like the coffee shops do. For starters, my coffee would always get diluted when I put in ice cubes. I tried the trick of freezing some coffee cubes (here, I froze about a small Styrofoam sized cup) to put into my coffee. I don't know what went wrong. The coffee was too bitter, but at least my it was not diluted?

Chocolate walnut clusters
With my leftover walnuts and dark chocolate chips from my banana bread, I decided to make some chocolate walnut clusters. So easy to make and you can control how chocolatey or how walnuty you want it to be. LOVE! It is sometimes hard to find just walnuts and dark chocolate, two of my favorite things. 

Here's how I made it:

I hope you enjoyed a look into my kitchen eats. If you have any amazing recipes to share or tricks on the perfect iced coffee, please do share! :)


Monday, April 20, 2015

Peekaboo: Hair Done Since Fallout!

Last week, I got my hair done! For many women, getting hair done can either be routine or a fabulous treat. For me, getting my hair done is both those reasons, but above all, it means that I am healthy and my hair is healthy.

For new readers, I have an autoimmune disease called Lupus. When my Lupus is super active, my hair can fall out.. Last August/September 2014, my hair started to fall out in clumps again. This is the second time since my diagnosis in July 2010. This massive hair fallout prompted to me chop my hair off. You can see my hair chop journey in my before and after post. In my opinion and experience, as well as online research, thinning hair looks less noticeable on short hair. 

I started taking Biosil (see picture below) as it helped my hair regrowth significantly the first time my hair fell out. Sadly, and for some reason, it wasn't helping me this time around.  
BioSil Advanced Collagen Generator

I was frantic and started searching for other options. In January 2015, I came across Carli Bybel's blog post on hair tips. She mentioned a biotin supplement (see picture below) that has really done wonders for me this time. My hair has grown faster. Not all of my hair is growing back (not all my hair grew back the first time, but majority did), but I am seeing little hairs pop out at my hairline. I am very pleased with the results. 
Natrol Biotin Maximum Strength

This April, I felt ready to dye my hair again. In my Peekaboo Retouch post, I write about how and why I only do my hair twice a year. My peekaboo colored hair allows me to do that. It saves me money and does less damage. 

Per usual, I got the peekaboo color hair style. I'm not sure if there is a formal definition of peekaboo colored hair. I understand it to be a contrasting hair color underneath the top layers of your hair that peeks through.

I got my hair done:

Left: You can see my brown bangs peek through underneath
Middle: My brown hair underneath
Right: When I lift my hair, you see the brown

Left: When my hair is down, you see my natural black hair on top with my longest brown layers peeking through in the bottom
Middle: I lift pieces of my bangs and boom! Brown!
Right: I lift more pieces of my bangs and there is more brown underneath

Top left: Hair black with a brown peeking through
Top right and bottom left: My brown hair underneath
Bottom right: If I lift more of my hair up, viola!

Bright lighting and natural lighting

You may not understand how much it means to me to have dyed my hair again. I've been doing this look since April 2009 and stopped for a little bit when I got sick in July 2010 and had to wait 2 years before my hair got healthy and strong again. 

My hair this ways makes me feel healthy, confident, and allows me to live out my inner edge. I don't think I could ever do one colored least, not for a while.

I thought I would end this post with the hairdo that started my peekaboo addiction and also other styles I am in love with.

April 2009: When my hair addiction first started

LOVE!! Maybe one day :)

saaammage on Instagram and Youtube

Taken from Pinterest

Taken from Pinterest


Thursday, April 2, 2015

TBT: I Left My Heart In Hawaii

There is not a day that goes by that I do NOT think about Hawaii. I've been missing the island tenfold these last few weeks.

The summer after college graduation in 2008, I had the opportunity to finish one more class in Hawaii. I studied at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, for 5 weeks.

Hands down, those 5 weeks were the best 5 weeks of my life.

You know that song my Tony Bennett, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco"? Well, I left mine in Hawaii. Tony Bennett, I know what you mean.

I know it's different to have visited Hawaii and to actually live in Hawaii.

There is just something about that island that makes me feel at peace...

Perhaps it's the only place in the United States that is somewhat closest to the Philippines in essence?

I am an island girl. It is in my blood, it is in my heart, it is in my soul.

The Philippines is a slower-paced country. Hawaii is slower paced than Los Angeles where I live, but not as slow as the Philippines. And I love it. And I want it.

I contemplated applying for a job in Maui, but it's Maui. I want to live in Oahu. I need to think about my health. I have lupus. Most of the doctors, and probably "best" doctors are on Oahu and I need to be around them. Gahh...but that's a whole different discussion.

Enjoy the still moments that have captured not only my heart, but my soul and my being. I probably sound dramatic, but I just really long for this place...

Probably one of most photographed scenes: Hanauma Bay

A field where we helped with crops

I think this is Pearl Harbor? Or a place we went to before going to Pearl Harbor?

The loi'i on campus

A sacred site

Ala Moana - my favorite beach because the water was so calm it was like a pool

Waimea Falls - there was no waterfall when we got there :(

What's Hawaii without a luau?

Taro bread - something I miss and have been searching for here

My dorm

Pearl Harbor I think?

My class at PCC - Polynesian Cultural Center

Our last brunch 

The last picture I took as I arrived at the airport around 5:30am

How do I go back in time?

Oh Hawaii, I miss you dearly.