Monday, March 28, 2011

Peanut Butter Cups

E. got a 1kg block of milk chocolate over Christmas and he had invited I.S. & I to have some or all of it, but only recently did we figure out what to do with it. A while back I came across this blog post about making peanut butter cups for Valentine's and although it is a very simple recipe, at the time I couldn't find the post with the recipe so we used this one instead and they definitely lived up to the 4.5 star reviews. The ones you see below are sitting in mini muffin tins (bite-sized) so just fyi: the photo makes them appear larger than they actually are!
I would say they're better than Reese's because of the extra crunch from the chunky peanut butter. As you can see, we ran low on chocolate for the tops with the chunky peanut filling poking through but it still tastes amazing. I'm going to attempt a 2nd batch using the simple, less fatty recipe that I originally found and see how they go. I'm curious to see what the difference is between adding shortening & butter and excluding it. I'm going to guess that the chocolate will be less creamy and more like the chocolate bar hardness. But yeah, who would've thought  there would be graham cracker in the filling too? It's genius. I'm all about crunchy, nutty fillings.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tools

As I get more serious about design, I decided I needed to start somewhere with educating myself on design and so I've just added The Elements of Typographic Style to my library, which is building on my one other design book, Universal Principles of Design.

Two other things I've been wanting to get, which I just ordered from Amazon over the weekend: a sketchbook for my purse and drawing pens.


I'm super excited for my new red sketchbook. It's satiating my craving for something bright to add to my big brown bag, a craving which had me dreaming of an iPad2 with a red cover, even though I don't need it and wouldn't ever get the $650+ worth out of it.

After jumping into this giant ocean of design, I feel like these books and tools are the pieces of drift wood that are keeping me afloat as I try to make my way through the vastness of the ocean.

Sidenote: my current Pandora station is tuned into Sondre Lerche, Mumford & Sons, Ingrid Michaelson, & Young the Giant, which is giving me a good mix of stuff like Silversun Pickups, the Shins, Adele, Iron & Wine, & Timmy Curran. It's quite delightful.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Loss

I.S. lost his 爺爺 earlier this week and it got me thinking a lot about life, love, relationships and death. This is the first death that I.S. will have faced in his life and the first funeral he attends. It's also the first time I'll have seen this solemn side of him. The first time I dealt with death was nearly 15 years ago, which made me wonder how similar and/or different peoples' perspective is about death when they face it at different times in their lives. It also made me wonder how young or old people are when they first face it. It's been a crazy emotional week but I've been taking a lot of deep breaths to get through it all and thinking of his 爺爺's sweet face. He was a super cute man.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Busy

Why I've been MIA lately:
1) Gave the EcoCloud ning site a facelift (still going through changes, but for now it will do)
2) Created a generic business card for EcoCloud to be handed out at various events.
3) Created a newsletter & poster panel display about EcoCloud.

In other news, I got a new purse! I may have splurged in the process, but I think it's well worth it because I see it lasting me forever (just like a certain pair of jeans I have that developed holes in the butt that I patched up but wore right through in months =p). It's the Ashley Sabrina Leather satchel in walnut, by Coach. I'm a big fan of the cursive logo, which apparently is found only in their outlets? But don't quote me on that.
You can also detach the long strap and clip the sides down and just use the short handles, but I like wearing it over the shoulder. I also like that I got it for $153+tax, vs. the $400+ MSRP that was on the original tag.

Over the past year, I've been finding myself throwing my wallet, keys, phone, water bottle, and glasses in the Chico bags I have with me for grocery shopping, which is practical, but definitely makes me feel like a hobo. Plus, I can now fit my sketching notebook in my bag. Though now that I'm getting serious about design, I am looking for a proper sketchbook to go in my purse 'cause right now I'm just using one of the many free spiral notebooks I picked up as free swag from various networking events. And maybe some nicer pens, at least after I am done with the guest book pen I accidentally stole from H. & M.'s wedding (oops), which I quite enjoy.

On another note, I added Young the Giant to my music collection last night (an aside: for the month of March you can get their album for $5 on amazon!). I am quite enjoying their album, as well as the music I'm getting from making them my Pandora station. I've been hungry for some new music for a while and this is definitely satiating my appetite.


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Frustration

Ever had one of those days you just wanted to smack someone? Today was that day for me. Gahhhhh... All I have to say is this:


(found on troydeshano.com, illustration by Collin Harman)

Monday, March 07, 2011

I need... (#1)


I decided to start an "I need" series (playing off my "I love" series, which is faltering, I know... I've been busy!), in light of a recent mishap, if you will. My hubris got the better of me and my finger. So yeah, this is something I really need...