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Unique L.A. Shop Local Fair Haul!

16 Jul

Last week my parents came to visit and my mom ended up staying a few extra days with me! On Saturday, we went to the Unique L.A. craft fair, which featured 150 local vendors selling locally designed and often locally produced merchandise. Not only did we get some great deals, but we were also introduced to some amazing new people and companies that I would love to share with you! Another neat thing about going to events like this is that many of the vendors sell their items at wholesale prices, which results in a lot of savings for the consumer. Just another reason why browsing in person can be so much more satisfying than e-shopping!

Now the main purpose of the journey was to find some specific presents for my best friend Cassie’s 21st birthday (Check out her adorable blog!) So, I can’t show you everything I bought, because that would ruin the surprise for her. But… I did fall off the wagon a bit a lot and buy a few things for myself that I’m really excited about!

First up, sub_urban riot. Their clothes were ultra-soft and comfy looking, and all made in the USA! I picked up a fleece-y thermal zip up for only $20 and a fun neon striped tee for just $15!

A mother daughter shopping excursion is never complete without, what else, jewelry! Momma Pam and I each picked out a few great pieces from KYLE CHAN DESIGN. Everything at the show was 20% off so I walked away with a darling hamsa necklace for $34 and a gold and black ring for $68.

Kyle Chan Design black and gold onyx ring
Aside from the wonderful gift items around, there were also several food vendors and drink sponsors. Pammy and I loved sipping on a light and delicious Moscato courtesy of The Naked Grape, and also downed delicately indulged in champage mixed with  dragon fruit plum and mint lemonade spritzers created by Diabolo Drinks. Our two favorite food items that we sampled were the alcoholic cupcakes from Cake Bar and gourmet flavor infused olive oils and balsamics from Beyond the Olive (the orange infused olive oil mixed with fig balsamic was quite a treat!)
Did you visit Unique L.A. this weekend? What were your favorite things? Do you think shopping local makes a difference? What are some of your favorite local finds where you live?

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Cheap, Healthy, and Easy Cooking 101: Veggie Ramen

4 Jul

Recently I have been forcing myself to learn how to a) cook things and b) consume things that are more or less healthy. This mission was decided out of necessity, since this being the first summer I’m truly on my own, I’ve never had to really cook for myself before. At school I’m on the sorority meal plan, and when at home I never want to miss out on my favorite family meals. One simple, easy college staple is ramen noodle soup. I literally could eat bowls of that stuff, but on it’s own it can be a bit bland. Here’s a little alteration to basic ramen to spice it up a bit and add some healthy stuff!

Egg and Veggie Ramen (Makes 1 heaping meal portion, or 2-3 appetizer sized portions.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 package uncooked ramen (I like the chicken flavor best!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 generous cup of raw baby spinach
  • 1/4 bell pepper, diced

Directions:

  1. In a small pot, bring 2.5 cups of water to a rolling boil.
  2. In a bowl, whisk 2 whole eggs (yolks and whites) and set aside.
  3. Once water is boiling, add raw ramen noodles and let sit for 1 minute.
  4. After a minute, use a spoon to break apart the ramen.
  5. While stirring vigorously, pour in the whisked egg followed by the diced bell pepper. Keep stirring until egg bits look done. Warning: If you don’t stir quickly for at least a minute, you’re going to end up with one giant egg-noodle-monster-thing.
  6. Lastly, toss in the spinach and stir that around for another minute.
  7. Remove the pot from the burner and add the flavoring packet that came with the ramen. Let sit for 3 minutes before serving. (I’m lazy and don’t like to mix spices, but if experimentation is your thing, create your own flavor mix. I think garlic salt, cumin, and a dash of low-sodium soy sauce would be delish!)

It’s that easy! There wasn’t so much thought put into what veggies I used, I was trying to get rid of some things in my fridge. I also think mushrooms and sugar snap peas would be a great addition as well. What’s your favorite ramen hack? What types of things would you add?

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TxSC Mentor Brunch / Shopping / OOTD!

14 Mar

For brunch and a day out shopping in icky weather, I wore an F21 Navajo wrap sweater (similar) over a Sugar Lips tank (similar) and American Apparel leggings, with vintage boots :)

On Saturday morning, Cassie, Laura, and I braved the thunderstorms to attend the Texas Style Council Mentor brunch. We munched on delicious egg, avocado, and black bean breakfast tacos from Cantina Laredo, yogurt parfaits from KIND, and coffee and tea from Jo’s Coffee and Honest Tea.

Cassie (an Austinite) peer pressured Laura (originally from Albequerque) to try her first breakfast taco!

I learned so much from the people I had the opportunity to speak with! I discussed the challenges of being a college blogger with Diya of In Her Stilettos, a new way to monetize and advertise with Ryan from iSocket, how to work with brands from Turi who works for Modcloth, pitching 101 from Jessica who works for Refinery 29, and a little bit about the print magazine/online editorial world from Caroline Waxler, who works for Lucky Magazine.

After brunch we spent the afternoon shopping around the 2nd Street District and South Congress. I picked up a gorgeous teal dress from Langford Market (where I also filled up on sinfully scrumptious cupcakes from Delish Bakery) and also scored two new Voluspa candles from Luxe Apothetique, and a birthday present for one of my best friends from Maya*. I also might have stopped for a little guacamole snack at Gueros— what can I say, I couldn’t resist!

Tasty miniature cupcakes from Delish Bakery at Langford Market.

Tune in later this week for posts on Saturday night’s sponsor party and a full rundown of Sunday’s awesome blogging panel discussions!
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Making Your Own Sushi

21 Nov

A few nights ago one of my roommates and I attended a make-your-own sushi party. I absolutely love seafood (and the more raw, the better) so this was a really fun experience…. even if I don’t think I have a successful career as a sushi chef ahead of me. I’m definitely going to be looking for a local market in my area where I will be able to buy sushi-grade fish to attempt making a few things on my own! Here’s how it went down:

Step 1: Lay seawood shiny side up on your rolling bamboo. Wet hands and then mash a thin layer of rice all around.

Lay out all your ingredients. I put cucumber, avocado, and crab in mine :)

Roll, slice, and you're done!

I had such a fun time doing this with my friends, I can’t wait to try it again sometime. I’m quite the seafood and sushi addict… have you ever tried to make your own rolls? What’s your favorite kind of sushi? I’m rather partial to tootsie rolls and crunchy spicy tuna… mmm yummo!

Bisous,

Rachel

Easy Breezy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies!

14 Nov

I haven’t done a recipe post in a while so I thought I’d share one of my all time favorite fall desserts that I made the other day! These  brownies are the perfect combination of pumpkin and chocolate, and are a breeze to whip up, enjoy!

Finished chocolate chip pumpkin brownies.... mmmm :)

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

Directions: 

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (except chocolate chips.)
  2. Add liquid ingredients, eggs, and pumpkin to mixing bowl.
  3. Mix in an electric mixer on medium until smooth.
  4. Add chocolate chips slowly while beating on low.
  5. Spray an 11″ x 7″  x 1.5″ pan with non-stick spray and pour in batter.
  6. Bake at 350° F for 15-20 minutes.

Step 1

Step 3

Step 4

Step 6

And you’re done! This recipe yields about 15 servings (one pan) and has approximately 82 calories per brownie- not too shabby! I was baking for a large group so I tripled the recipe and used a small dish and a large dish, in case you were wondering. What are your favorite fall desserts? Have you ever had these? Help me decide what I should bake next!

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“Happies”

1 Jul

Many of the blogs I follow regular post series of random little things currently making them happy. Something too small for its own piece, but too beautiful not to show case. Here’s the first attempt at my own version, little things that brought a smile to my foodie face this week. Enjoy!

1. Fresh whole wheat pita bread.

2. Korean Barbeque. (Moodaepo in Little Korea, Los Angeles)

3. Organic meditteranean from Momed

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