Friday, January 2, 2015

December Favorites

December is now, has been, and forever shall be one of the busiest, the most stressful, and happiest months of the year.

For me, it started with a lot of school work and a big application that I am waiting anxiously to hear about (not college) then proceeded to a mid-month stress sesh about unfinished Christmas presents, flowed seamlessly to an "eh" Christmas Eve, and then to a sparkly and special Christmas day with good food and family aplenty. It will finish up with an up in the air New Year's Party, a fantabulous dinner that I will post about, and the likely termination of all the candy in my stocking. (Whoops.)

A few things currently stand out to me as things that helped me throughout the month. And those things, you guessed it, are going to be carefully examined below. Leggo.

Magic Cookie Bars
These little squares of goodness are always a staple in my house during the most wonderful time of the year, and for good reason. Wimpy peanut butter cookies, fake oreos, even your pedestrian chocolate chip cookie all fade into the background against these gooey, crispy, chocolately king-daddy morsels of "thank you Jesus" bars. I don't have an pictures to share, because they're so "magic they disappear to quickly to be properly photographed. But the recipe I will include below because I cannot find it anywhere online. We use an old version, which has since been updated here.

1 stick butter
8-9 graham crackers
1 can sweetened, condensed milk (not to be confused with evap.)
1/2 bag of chocolate chips (or the whole bag, if you really feel like it.)
Coconut shavings
Chopped Walnuts


  1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While it preheats, put the butter in a 9x13 pan and set it in the warming oven. Allow it to sit in the oven until the butter is all (or almost all) melted. Tilt the pan every which way so the butter coats the entire bottom and about halfway up the sides of the pan. 
  3. Crush the graham crackers in a food processor or in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin. Sprinkle all crumbs over the butter mixture. (If the crumbs are in a ziploc bag, cut off one corner as you would with frosting and allow them to "drip" out.)
  4. Open your can of sweetened condensed milk and drizzle it over the crumbs.
  5. Generously shake the chips over the milk.
  6. Sprinkle coconut over the top to your pleasing.
  7. Sprinkle nuts over the top, again, the amount of which is up to you.
  8. Fetch a spatula and lightly squish down all the ingredients so they cook more evenly.
  9. Bake til golden brown, 30 minutes.
  10. Cool, cut, enjoy.
In a world where the predominant players in entertainment, television and the internet, scream for your attention, one tiny little medium is making a persuasive argument for its success--the podcast. Even though I only discovered them this month, I love podcasts, I advocate for them, I protest that the word "podcasts" has a red and squiggly line underneath it in Chrome spellcheck. Because there is nothing wrong about multiple podcasts.

Anyway, I think I'm going to start doing a monthly post about podcasts. This month I recommend:
  • Serial- 'nuf said.
  • This American Life- "Lights, Camera, Christmas!" I started "The Human Spectacle" earlier this month and it freaked me out so much I turned it off and was like "TAL is icky". And then I was looking for Christmas podcast episodes to listen to and this precious little hour of all the feels fell into my lap and sweet baby Jesus (haha get it? Christmas/Jesus?) I loved it. It made me laugh, almost cry, question things, all dem feels. ALL DEM FEELS.
  • RadioLab- "Words" and "Dolphins"- "words" is surprisingly touching and definitely thought provoking. "Dolphins" is just flat-out fascinating.
Cookie and Kate
December 2014 marks the beginning of my culinary interests, mostly sparked by this fantabulous , blog. I've made three of her recipes in the last three days, and all three were terrific. I am 100 million percent thrilled to keep reading it and making things on it forever and ever and ever.

An anti-crying trick
I am a spontaneous crier. It's awful. My day will be fine, I'll be going along as happy as can be and then something minor will upset me and BOOM! the tears come uncontrollably. And they come bad. So, a midst one such untimely waterfall, I looked up a trick. Just breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth, pinch the skin in between your thumb and pointer finger, and think about the weather simultaneously. It's difficult, but it works. And I love it.

Nubian Heritage Coconut and Papaya with Vanilla Bean Hand Cream
I believe I've written about Nubian Heritage's Mango Butter Cream before, but if I haven't, just know that it smells so delicious and is most likely perfect. NBD. This stuff is super awesome too though--it smells ultra fragrant (people comment on how good I smell 45 minutes after I apply it) and it smells like cookies. It is perfect for pink winter-knuckles and I am probably going to get up off my computer and put some on now.

Alright? Alright.

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Anniversaries and Returns

Our one-day anniversary has just came a few minutes ago and I am already madly in love. Whoops.

My new HP Stream 13 computer and I have plans to go all the way--to college together, and to school and newspaper meetings. 

I can't imagine a world without her--incredible speed and stunning graphics.

I can hardly go ten minutes without dreaming of her--cute tile display and gradient island keyboard.

We were made for each other and shall be happy together always. (In about two years, I imagine, I will be looking backing on this post on the same computer and humorlessly laughing, as I now have nothing but loathing for the snail-speed computer with defunct programs and an overstimulating display. Hopefully not, but that is the saga with every computer ever always.)

Besides by love for Theodora, I have deciding to continue blogging, albeit sporadically. I don't have much else to say on that. Sorry.

Expect a post on podcasts, maybe one about Maureen Dowd, maybe one on sweet potato chili.

oooo (hugs)

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

How I Study

I work hard at school.

(To put it super simply)

And although I can try and ignore it all I want, studying is a major part of working hard.

This is how I study. I know it probably isn't applicable for everyone, either because you aren't in school anymore or because this just doesn't work for you, but I also know that I couldn't do it any other way and some of you must be in the same boat.

I love a good study guide/master notes set and because most teachers won't hand those out, I like to make them for myself using all the notes I've acquired into a color coded Microsoft Word document in Calibri 11-point font, because everyone knows that is the superior font and color coding is for cool kids. I will type these up a couple nights before a test or quiz and go over them again and again until I feel like I've got it. After the unit is over, I'll file away all the study guides and take them out again when midterms or finals rolls around. With vocabulary words, however, (English or foreign language) I will create a set of flashcards and review those in the nights leading up to as well as breakfast/lunch before the test. In a similar way, I'll file them all away for exams.

I always plan out my study breaks so I don't risk spending too much time during them. Set a point (either a time or certain extent of information) when you want to stop reading/reviewing and take a break. Figure out what you'll be doing in that break (eating, watching the television) and set a realistic time when you will need to stop. Set an alarm so you'll be aware that your time is up, it will make you less likely to "forget" to look at the time.

I try to make a to-do list of all the things I have to cover, and order them so I get all the hard stuff done towards the beginning with small sections of the easier stuff. It prevents that "Wait, it's ten o'clock and oh shoot I have to take a shower and clean my room and do all the math problems and study for that quiz that I forgot was tomorrow" moment that I have experienced too many times.

Even though I have yet to consistently do this, even paced studying is best. Even reviewing the notes you did in every class for 10 minutes a day is beneficial.

When I have some test that involves me knowing sequential things (usually history) I like to tape a string of yarn up in my room from one corner to the other and make index cards for all the things I need to memorize. I will put the title/name of the event (if it has one) on the front as well as the date it occurred, and add a back with facts. It helps visualize all the events in order and makes you research them a bit more.

While writing this I realized that I have a ton more tips so one day (maybe soon) I'll make a part two. I have a bonus post coming Saturday, so follow me to see it, and there will be another one next Thursday.

stay wonderful!

stay, wonderful.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

February Favorites

It's that time of the month again.

Favorites time.

February Favorites Time.


Man I sound cool.

Here's the roundup:

Starting from top, going clockwise.

Diigo- I'm a high school gal who has got a whole bunch of researching and writing to do as well as quite a bit of nonmandatory internet surfing. However, balancing all these sites and statistics and what have you is quite the task. Or rather, it would be if I didn't have diigo. Diigo is a sort of a site where you can highlight and bookmark and tag webpages and keep them all organized--online. No way, right? You can highlight webpages! Whhhut. All you do is pop on over to, make an account and then drag a little buttton to your toolbar. It's free. It's helpful. It's perfect.

Boots from Celebrity Pink for Macy's- I'm a little late to this trend but whatever. These boots go with everything and are just fun and wonderful and comfortable. They also feature a little heel (about an inch and a half) that mini girls like me really value. They have little pins where you can fold the top over and press it down, but the inside pattern is pretty ehhh so eeehhhh I don't really do it ever. I wear these boots all the time as they are not too slippery on the bottoms and nice for the ice that plagues every side walk in New Jersey at the current moment. I need summer again.

Batiste Dry Shampoo- I'd heard about dry shampoo for a long time and my gross teenage hair yearned for it, but I'd never actually gotten my hands on it till last month. And I love it. Whether it's because I'm too busy or because I'm trying to stretch out times between washes for healthier hair, I don't always have freshly washed hair and this stuff it great for it. A few spritzes and a good brush through and my hair feels and smells all voiiila fresh and clean. I often make the mistake, however, of holding it quite close to my head and producing a big white circle that is hard to remove. Besides my own errors, I have no complaints and am thoroughly enjoying adding dry shampoo to my best friend beauty products list.

Honey I'm Strong Shampoo- If this favorites list was listed in order from most to least favorite, this would be at the top because I FREAKIN LOVE THIS STUFF. I got a Lush Patchouli Shampoo Bar for Christmas and because I know their stuff expires I switched to it immediately and ditched my old shampoo, this stuff, for two whole months. About a week ago I switched back to this and it was like my hair let out a carol of the Hallelujah Chorus because oh my goodness gracious this stuff makes you hair so soft and glorious feeling. The Lush stuff, I think, is good for a hair cleanse because it leaves your hair squeaky clean, but when comparing the two in "adding softness", the patchouli bar is in the bottom of a ditch and the Honey I'm Strong stuff is in the Stratosphere. (Okay now I'm getting carried away. But the Honey I'm Strong stuff is QUALITY.) Side note: it took about two washes to build up maximum softness but there is a definite difference after just one.

Essie We're in it Together Nail Polish- I don't have much to say about this other than the color is so cute and girly and perfect for spring. As with other Essies, you'll need two coats along with a top topcoat to make it stay for a medium time. The price ain't great but it could be worse ($8) and you can usually find them for cheaper ($5ish) at TJ Maxx, so check there out before paying the full price.

Bigelow Green Tea with Mango- I was never a really big tea girl before this stuff. But it is great. If you like mango or tea, try it cause you'll probably love it. It is pretty naturally sweet, but I add one pinch of sugar anyway. I'll often bring it in a thermos to school and people around me will go "mmm it smells nice in here, what is that?" It's the tea. It says caffeinated, but it's green tea, so the level is very low and I don't really notice any sort of a difference, although it's definitely not a nighttime tea.

I don't know what inspired the strangeness that inhibits this photo. 

Gilligan and Malley PJs (at target)- as I write this I am snuggled up in these. There isn't much to say other than they're cute (I would choose them for sleepover pajamas) and so comfortable, and have a nice pull waist so every size fits a lot of different shapes. Other than that, they have complete coverage on your legs so they are great for winter but I know they will transition well into spring (maybe summer) and then fall. They came with a nice top too (not the one in the photo, that's by Poof!) but the bottoms are the standouts.

I can't believe I'm sticking with the Thursday thing. They'll be a high school related one coming next week so follow me to see it, and possibly a midweek bonus post. stay tuned. <3

stay wonderful.
stay, wonderful!

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Brownie Mix Cookies

The person that invented the brownie mix is my hero. No lie.

I'll explain.

I'm in a lot of clubs. And because our school is rather poor, most clubs don't get enough funding to make ends meet.

And the best economic strategy for most high schools is to appeal to student's sweet teeth through bakesales.

Lots and lots of bakesales.

But in addition to these clubs I've got homework and friends and just generally school, which doesn't leave me a whole bunch of time to bake.

So I use a good old brownie mix.

fast, delicious, and easily sell-able, brownies are awesome.

But almost every kid in the club has the same idea, so I try to mix my repertoire by using recipes like this one.

You will need:
1. A Brownie Mix, I used the Betty Crocker family size ((((((((
2. One third a cup of oil
3. Two tbsp water
4. One Egg

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit

stir until combined, and roll into little balls on a greased cookie sheet and

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until little cracks form almost all over the top, and leave on the tray until almost completely cooled so they can cook a little longer.

voila! a five minute bakesale recipe that's yummy and unique. Perfect.

I don't take selfies often, but when I do they're always with cookies.

aah I'm so excited that I'm sticking to this routine. Next week might be a monthly favorites or it might be a studying piece. We'll see ;)

stay wonderful.
stay, wonderful.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday OOTD

Oh man okay so today is Friday and I always save my cutest outfits for Fridays just cause it's Friday. friday friday friday.

Anyway this will just be a little bonus short post, they'll be a big one this Thursday. 

I got this cute little overall skirt thing from TJ Maxx (Happening in the Present) for 16.99 and it's quite comfy and stylish, although not tremendously flattering for a super slim gal.  The shirt underneath is also from TJ Maxx (Poof!) and cost $7.99. It's the basic kind of a thing that every girl should have. The scarf is from (ooops my bad I forget where it's from). Because it's winter and winter means cold, I wore black leggings from target (Mossimo) underneath but when the summer months roll around I think I'll be wearing this with a brightly colored shirt and patterned tights. Also due to the cold/snow/rain, I wore my owl rain boots which are falling apart and look ratchet so I did not include. Any kind of shoe (minus sneakers, I think) would look alright with this type of an outfit.

alright as aforementioned stay tuned for thursday! I'm excited for it. However, I think there may be a bonus post before then so get excited for that. okay enough talking now have a great day <3

stay wonderful.
stay, wonderful. 

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Soap and Glory Body Buttercreams and Wash Review

Hey there!

I'm basically addicted to YouTube. Lazy Saturdays? Youtube. Need to relax after school? Youtube. Study break? Youtube. Most of the people I follow on twitter/instagram are from? Youtube.

I watch so much, I don't think I could even pick a favorite genre of youtube video. I definitely do, however, love me a good beauty/lifestyle video. And many of these videos feature Soap and Glory products, which, at least from the way they are described on the aforementioned videos, sounded amazing.

As an American, though, they are quite hard to come by as they are only sold online, and very rarely in Sephora. However, one day, right around Christmas time, I decided I really really wanted to try them and asked for a product or two and when Christmas day rolled around, I got this delushious shmelling shtuff.

I really quite enjoy them, they are reviewed as follows:

Smoothie Star Lightly Whipped Body Buttercream-

 This smell is a bit acquired. I love it, because it smells just like what it says it will: Pistachio, Vanilla, Almond. (mmmmmm good) But both my sister and mother wrinkled their noses and my sister added that it smelled like diapers and babies. No matter what she says, I think the smell is super relaxing and perfect for after nighttime showers. Beyond the smell, the consistency is quite nice. It's definitely thicker than a lotion, but quite a bit thinner than a butter. It also doesn't make you feel greasy and absorbs super fast. It's lovely on freshly shaven legs, or anywhere where you need some intense moisture (elbows, for example).

Sugar Crush Body Buttercream- 

Although the two are supposed to be the same consistency, this one definitely seems thicker and denser to me. (this is about to get gross) the texture reminds me a bit more of soft shortening/crisco and not lotion. Still, the rules for nongreasiness and absorption time still hold, as it performs nicely in both categories. The biggest difference is the smell, which everyone seems to love. It's called sweet lime, and it smells like just that. While the other one is calming, this is invigorating, awakening, refreshing. It's nice early in the morning for a pick me up.

Sugar Crush Body Wash-

I am a sucker for scent duos- spray/lotion, hand sanitizer/lotion, soap/spray. I think these two however: (the body wash and the body buttercream) are quite nice alone as well. The scent holds true in this wash, but it doesn't linger as well as the lotion. It is quite frothy though (although not the frothiest, I've seen better, particularly in the Bath and Body Works lines).

Notes on Soap and Glory as an ethical company:
They are clear about their policy, which includes not testing on animals and retailing through companies that do not support animal testing. However, they can't be sure that all the raw materials they use are cruelty free. That's a lot better than some companies, so buy and be happy.

Alright then! Thus marks my second Thursday post (aaahhhh so exciting). My next one will be a monthly favorites so stay tuned or stalk me if you can't wait til then (links below) and have a lovely week! 

PS I have an idea for a middle of the week bonus post (or two?!?!) this week so prepare yourself. Maybe.

Stay wonderful <3
Stay, wonderful.
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