Tuesday, February 28, 2012

recipes: cinnamon cafe ole

I am an unapologetic coffee addict. If it has caffeine in it, I will probably drink it. A few months ago when I realized I was lactose intolerant, I thought I might have to cut back on the coffee-milk drinks because I always had an aversion to soy milk. However, those days are long gone and now I am an official vanilla soy milk addict. But this new realization of how yummy vanilla soy milk has also hurt my purse on account of how much I was spending on frilly coffee drinks without even realizing it.

Don't judge me. I work right above a Starbucks. 

However, I have found a great solution to this which actually gives you a couple of benefits. Instead of getting the sugary coffee drink, opt for a cafe ole. It is half coffee, half milk (soy, skim, or half and half). It's cheaper,and it has calcium - something everyone (especially women) need to stay healthy in the long run. To get an extra flavor fix add some cinnamon. Not only does it taste delicious, it has many health benefits, including clearing sinuses, preventing cancer and heart disease, and warding off colds. Even if all that doesn't hook you, it just tastes great and is easy on your wallet.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

diy: jewelry organization.

Over the years I have amassed a rather large collection of sensible and not-so-sensible costume jewelry that lingered in untangled piles and unseemly heaps. That is until I moved back to Albuquerque and my mom and I crafted some useful and actually pretty ways of putting together my rather large and colorful collection. This is not even the beginning of my jewelry, but it is a great way to show off a bit and keep it all neat!

Use large candy and flour jars from a kitchen store to  showcase  colorful bracelets.   These ones from Williams-Sonoma are very cute. 

I put a key rack on the inside of my armoire to hold long necklaces.  A very similar one is here

I got this small monogram tree hangy thing-a-ma-bob to hang some smaller necklaces and my rings on. The same one from Anthropologie is here

Friday, February 24, 2012

the santa fe blues.

Let me start off by saying that I adore Santa Fe. Not necessarily the main part around the plaza with overpriced shops, but the small galleries off Canyon Road and fun cafes along the main street are delightful. But the last few times I have made the drive up there, I have been a little turned off by the tourist prices (and tourists themselves!) in this beautiful town. My boyfriend and I drove up there for a visit the other day, and spent more time trying to find someplace affordable to eat than looking around at the scenery on a beautiful day. It is very hard to justify paying twenty dollars for a plate of enchiladas when I know I can pay six for an even better plate in Albuquerque. And one store we went in was selling nothing for less than 200. I love clothes, but I also do appreciate a little value when buying something to wear, especially considering graduate school stipends. I just find it very hard to enjoy myself when you are stuck paying fifty dollars for lunch for two, especially when it's easy to find food for much cheaper in Albuquerque. Although we did have a lovely day, and a great reasonable lunch at Tecolote Café, it's just odd to me to have such high prices in a state usually as reasonable as New Mexico. My boyfriend did buy me some beautiful earrings though, and we had a great (cheap!) dinner at Dion's back home in Albuquerque.

My beautiful, new copper star earrings. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

latest finds.

In my "down-time" at work, I wonder through Pinterest and other random websites in some attempt at entertaining myself.While I sometimes just end up going back to work, I sometimes find some really intriguing things that brighten up my day. I thought I would share a few with you to help put a little spark into your day.

This Wild Idea:Photographer Theron Humphrey is on a journey through the US to chronicle the oral histories of people from all walks of life across the country. The stories he finds in his interviewees, though often bittersweet, show a very different piece of life than what most of us urbanites are used to.


Spike Jonze: Mourir Auprès de Toi: I have been slightly in love with Olympia Le-Tan clutches for awhile. While quite outside of my price range, the designer collaborated on this short film with director Spike Jonze. A very sweet and surprising love story that comes to life out of her clutches, it is a very fun five minutes. It is, however, a bit risque, so don't watch it with children. 

Rifle Paper Co.: I just love the design of their stationery and notepads. Colorful, adorable, and vintage themes decorate the collection, and make you want to rededicate yourself to the art of letter-writing.

In other news, my boyfriend is here and wanted to make sure he was mentioned, so here you go! I will be sure to share some of our adventures soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

valentine's day redux.

 I know this whole post is a little late, but Happy Valentine's Day! Much love to everyone! Now back to why this is so late. Early last week, my professor and art history academic adviser passed away suddenly, leaving the department a little shaken. On top of that, I got a stomach flu/bug thing which was just not fun. So, here I am, a week late on last week's amorous celebrations.

For me, Valentine's day is an excuse to make cards and eat candy in excess, considering I do both of those things on a regular basis. However, I think the message of Valentine's day, to love a little bit more than you might on a normal day, is something that can actually apply in the reality outside of candy hearts and cheesy cards. 

You don't need to go around telling everyone how much you love them and hugging them, because that would be creepy and might get you arrested, but you can appreciate those in your life. Walk to your coworkers' offices to say hello, or call up an old friend. It took me awhile to learn, but these little things will mean the most in the big picture.

Also, here are some exciting pictures from my Valentine's day:

Candy. What else?

Homemade Valentines for my coworkers. Pardon the dark photo.

Roses from my wonderful boyfriend.


I sincerely apologize for my absence this last week! I had some unfortunate class and personal issues (read: stomach flu) that left little time for sleep, much less writing. I will be back later today or tomorrow with a look back at why everyday should be Valentine's day, in my opinion.

Monday, February 13, 2012

back to bedtimes.

I have come to the unfortunate realization that I need more sleep. Okay, it wasn't so much a realization as a huge slap in my face with a freezing hand after I had almost fallen asleep at work several days in a row. Unfortunately, in graduate school, sleep is just not an option sometimes when you have work, homework, and a million other things to do. So instead of more sleep, why not get more efficient sleep? I found this website called Sleepy Time that will count out REM cycles, and tell you when to wake up in between REM cycles so that you wake up, actually awake. According to their website, waking up in the middle of an REM cycle makes you feel groggy, and maybe just makes you want to go back to sleep. I've tried it out for the last couple of nights, and so far it actually does seem to be working. I go to bed a few minutes later than I normally do for my 5:30 a.m. wakeup call, but I have been feeling a bit less groggy. I'll let you know how this goes at the end of the week...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

the big ones.

Life obviously has its big milestones like first kiss, first child, and first tamale (well maybe that's just New Mexico...). What I've also noticed is that each concentric circle of life also has its own big accomplishments that all in this smaller world look forward to. So in college, it was the first A on a paper, the first roommate, and most likely, the first night you really regretted (mine was the night before Thanksgiving break of freshman year!). Graduate school, much like college, has these same big challenges, like staying up all night to read something totally incomprehensible, really screwing up at your job, and presenting your first paper. Well, I had the fortune of doing the last one yesterday.

My colleague, Kristen, put together an exhibit called On The Line: Living the US Mexico Border, which took place in part with graduate student presentations. Yesterday was my turn to present. Normally, these things don't freak me out, but the head of the art history department came to see my presentation on the work of a Chicana artist, Yolanda López. So I was a little nervous to say the least. However, the PhD student presenting before me had a perfect segue into my topic, and it gave me some confidence and a jumping off point to begin my talk. However, during the Q and A, I discovered that this professor actually knows the artist. Well, I hope I didn't butcher her work too much. Or completely screw up my analysis. I don't think I did, but you never know.

So one big one down, about a million more to go. Next step: getting said paper published. Ha.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

my first valentine.

I am, and have always been, one of those freaks that gets super excited for Valentine's Day. I love roses, the colors, chocolate, and the romance. Even though I spent most of my life sans male counterpart, I still loved the whole day, mainly because my one true, and my first, valentine, my mom, never let me forget how loved I was. And shouldn't Valentine's Day just not be about your significant other, but for all those who love you day in and day out too?

So often we forget about our support systems, meaning those who stand beside you and believe in you. Yes, this is all very cheesy, but as I've become older, I've gotten wiser and learned that these people are oftentimes the ones who deserve the most love because they give the most. I tell my boyfriend ten times a day how much I care for him, but sometimes I forget my mother, my aunt, my grandparents, and all the other people without whose unconditional love my life would be really empty. So while you may be doing lots of fun things with your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, remember to call someone who always loves you, no matter what stupid stuff you do, and tell them how important they are. Love you, mom!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

buried treasure.

 Coco recently injured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL! Dogs have them too!), and has been doped up on a lot of medication which makes her really sleepy. As sad as it is that she doesn't feel well while her knee is healing, she does this precious thing when she is tired where she buries herself under all kinds of blankets. So in case you're having a bad day, or you're just sad for some reason, here is some adorableness to cheer you up.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

five blogs i love.

One of the things I really love about all the blogs online is the promotion of other blogs and ideas. This has also resulted in some newfound obsessions of mine in the form of outfits I want to try, crafts I need to do, and recipes I can't wait to eat.

adorable Valentine's card from afancifultwist.typepad.com

5. Atlantic-Pacific: I'm not sure where I found this blog, but the outfits are adorable - and more importantly - doable. Many of the pieces are staples from J. Crew, Gap, or other places that are relatively affordable or easy to find. Not to say that some bags and such aren't extravagant, but the high-end mixed with the normal clothes gives a hint of luxury that is achievable and wearable in real life.

4. A Fanciful Twist: This blog was introduced to me by one of my colleagues, Kristen. Her sister, Vanessa runs it, and fills it with whimsical designs and musings. She also runs her own shop on Etsy where you can buy posters of her designs. Lately, I've been really loving her printable Valentine's Day cards (see above).

3. Cupcakes and Cashmere: Another blog with wonderful fashion tips and other how-tos. I discovered this one from Ebbe, who writes Champagne for Ducklings (see below). The Home Improvement section is a particular obsession because it gives simple and beautiful design tips.

2. Champagne for Ducklings:  This blog is run by a college classmate of mine, Ebbe. I'm slightly in love with her photography, which is lovely, moving, and just plain fun. The recipes, often French-inspired, are also really great and easy to make.

1. Big Girls, Small Kitchen: This one I've been following for years, and I've mentioned it before. It's become especially useful in the last year because you can sort by ingredients you can't eat, which in my case, is lots of stuff. Not only that, the recipes are easy, simple, and completely doable when you're in a constant time crunch.

Now, give me more! What are your favorite places to find fun things to wear/do/cook?