Category Archives: Everything

Vietnamese Coffee

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It is finally cold enough in Texas to thoroughly enjoy a steaming cup of coffee without sweating. My Vietnamese friend taught me the secret to good coffee: condensed milk!!!

Hot Vietnamese Coffee Recipe

✰ Coffee Pot Way:

◦ Chicory coffee or a strong french roast
◦ Water to brew coffee
◦ Condensed milk

  1. Brew a pot of strong coffee
  2. Add in 2 tablespoons of condensed milk per cup of coffee
  3. Stir and enjoy!

✰ Traditional Way:

◦ 1.5 tbs chicory coffee or a strong french roast
◦ 1/2 cup hot water
◦ 2 tbs condensed milk
◦ Single cup filter / brewer (Phin)
◦ 8 oz glass cup

  1. Add in 2 tablespoons of condensed milk to glass cup.
  2. Place single cup filter over cup and spoon in 1.5 tbs grounded coffee. Add the filter piece and press down.
  3. First add a small amount of hot water and wait for it to seep into the coffee. Then add the rest of the water to the top of the filter cup unit. Cover filter unit with cap/lid.
  4. Allow 3-5 minutes for the coffee to drip. *drum your fingers*
  5. Remove cap and set filter unit on top. Stir and enjoy!

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The Best Chocolate Cake

Moist Chocolate Cake

THE RICHEST MOISTEST CHOCOLATE CAKE YOU WILL EVER MAKE! (no really – tested and tried true!) This is my all time favorite chocolate cake recipe. It comes out tasting amazing and moist every time (even if you aren’t being super careful). I actually made this for my 23rd annual birthday cake challenge.

Moist Chocolate Cake by Foodess (Jennifer Hill)

Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or substitute by putting 1 tbsp white vinegar in a cup then filling the rest up with milk; let stand 5 minutes until thickened)
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee (or 2 tsp instant coffee in 1 cup boiling water)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch baking pans (or line with parchment paper circles) and set aside. For cupcakes, use silicone cups or paper liners (makes about two dozen).
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and mix until smooth (about 3-5 minutes). Stir in hot coffee with a rubber spatula. Don’t worry, the batter is suppose to be very runny.
  3. Pour batter evenly between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for about 35 minutes (until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs attached). For cupcakes, bake for about 20 minutes (test with toothpick too).
  4. Allow to cool 15 minutes in pans, then run a butter knife around the edges of each cake. Place a wire cooling rack over top of each pan. Wearing oven mitts, use both hands to hold the racks in place while flipping the cakes over onto the racks. Set the racks down and gently thump on the bottom of the pans until the cakes release. Cool completely before handling or frosting.

 

 

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Not so Secret Beauty Tip #2: Trim!

Trim your hair every three months! Or heck, if it has been a while then spurge on a nice hair cut and dye!

This one is not as epic as drinking water but it it still important to do to maintain a nice head of hair.

Signs Your Hair Needs a Trim by Natural Hair Rules:
1. Split Ends
2. Knots
3. Tangling at the Ends
4. Hair isn’t “Growing”

I like to trim and cut my own hair. If you have long enough hair, you can easily trim your own hair and save money! Or you know you can get your mom or girl friend to do it.

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Chemistry Joke

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Bear 1: “HELP! HELP! I’m dissolving!”
Bear 2: “But bears are insoluble.”
Bear 1: “That’s easy for you to say! You aren’t POLAR!”

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Bunny Pop up Card #2

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Here is another Bunny Pop Up card! I really love how unique this pop up card looks. Common pop up cards uses the V fold and stand mechanism. However, this card by Carol on extremecards uses this crossed X mechanism that looks amazing. I used her PDF card template and it worked extremely well! (lol pun not intended!) I didn’t want the printed lines to show so I traced over the printed template with pencil instead. Due to the folding design, it is hard to center the pop up portion perfectly on the card, but other wise this is a great pop up!

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Not-So-Secret Beauty Tip #1: Hydrate

(Image via Pinterest)

As I mentioned previously, having an adequate intake of water is enough to improve your health and beauty! Not only is water necessary for life and good health, it also makes you more beautiful! Many people don’t remember or care to drink enough water and they suffer from it.

So I want to give you a list of surprising benefits from the Ladies’ Home Journal and other sources.

1. Look Younger: “You can look significantly younger just by keeping your skin hydrated,” says Howard Murad, M.D., associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger. “Water naturally plumps skin, fills in fine lines and wrinkles, and boosts a lackluster complexion.”

2. Prevent Sickness: Good hand hygiene will prevent the spread of germs but the hand drying part is important too! Studies have found that damp hands can help spread bacteria around.

3. Fight Infections: When you are sick, fluid intake becomes especially important. Your body will be doing more to fight off invading germs and having enough water will help you get well faster!

4. Weight Loss: Water is the only liquid that safely reduces weight. It removes the by-products of fat and keeps you fresh and healthy. Drinking water regularly will suppress your appetite and thus limit your food  intake.

5. Energy, Mood, Brain Power: Remember that your body’s processes need water. Having an adequate intake will increase energy levels, mood, and brain power!

6. Keep you regular: If you suffer from constipation, you might have been told to increase how much fiber you eat. But you’ll need to drink more water for the fiber to work properly. Otherwise it could have the opposite effect and make you worse.

7. Support your Heart: The hardest working muscle of all needs a lot of water to keep it going at full speed. When you get dehydrated your blood gets thicker so the heart has to work even harder. And if your heart is weak it can lead to more serious heart problems later in life. A study by Eden found that drinking more than five glasses of water a day could cut your chances of having a heart attack by 41%, compared with people who drank less than two glasses a day.

8. Working Out: It’s common sense to replace the fluids you lose when you sweat with water, but what might not be obvious is that your body works better and harder during your workout if you drink water.

So remember to drink those 8 glasses a day!

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The Ultimate Moving Checklist

Moving can be one of the most stressful things. However, do you remember those college days where you moved every year, sometimes twice? Imagine the stress on top of studying for finals! *shudder*

Now I am about to move into my first apartment! Of course I am going list crazy over it. I have started an excel sheet with color coding. Yeah, I know I am a bit overboard. But I like to organize and with a detailed packing list you can save time and energy fretting over the move. Plus, a good list can help prevent last minute purchases and help you save money for other things [like home accessories! gilded mirrors anyone? JK ;)] I color coded my list based on what I must buy (green for expensive and red for regular) and things I may want later (yellow) and luxurious items (blue) when i have another paycheck in my pocket. There are also things you can steal (*ahem* I mean borrow) from your parents or friends (purple for must and orange for maybe).

Some questions to ask yourself to help write your list:
1. Am I living alone or with others? (This determines how many sets of dishes you should have and if your housemates will bring their own furniture/kitchen gadgets)
2. What will i be cooking? (figuring out what kitchen tools are absolutely necessary – you don’t want to start making cookies when you don’t have a cookie sheet!)
3. What do I want to buy new and what can I borrow from my parents? (keep in mind what your savings account look like unless your parents/friends want to give you gifts!) For me I absolutely, positively, no question about it wanted a new mattress. I shopped around on Amazon until I found a great queen memory foam mattress at a reasonable price.

So here are some essential items I believe everyone should have in their home. This is MY list for an efficiency apartment so please keep this in mind for your own packing list.

Bedroom/Office:
bed & pillow & blankets
desk (unless you want your kitchen table to double as one)
desk chair (comfy would be ideal)
stationary (including writing implements & accessories like scissors)

Kitchen:
table & chairs
big stock pot + lid
small saucepan + lid
nonstick pan (I recommend a 10 inch with lid)
crock pot/electric pot (for those lazy one pot meals)
microwave
dish drying rack

bake ware (cookie sheets & casserole dishes)
colander/strainer
cutting board & knives
cooking utensils (spatula, long spoon, measuring cups, etc)
can opener
veggie peeler
grater
dish rags & oven mitts & trivets

mugs & glasses
bowls & plates
eating utensils (spoons & forks & etc)
containers (preferably with leak proof lids for lunches and leftovers)
zip lock bags

Bathroom:
shower curtain(s)
shampoo & conditioner
shaving stuff
body wash / soap
various towels (hand, body, face, etc)
toothbrush & paste & floss
non-slip bath mat

Cleaning:
broom & dust pan
mop (swiffer for small apartments! no need to deal with a bucket)
bucket (never hurts to have one)
vacuum (if you have carpet)
trash cans & trash bags
dish soap & sponges
all purpose cleaner spray
gloves (for handling extra gross dirtiness)
rubbing alcohol/hydrogen peroxide
hand soap
toilet cleaner & brush
plunger

Miscellaneous:
bug swatter & bug spray (industrial strength – especially in hot & humid regions)
flashlight (and/or candles + lighter)
laundry supplies (detergent, dryer sheets, fabric softener, & etc)
iron & ironing board
stocking your pantry
tissue & toilet paper
hangers

Download my detailed excel moving check list.

Good Tips:
1. Check out goodwill & thrift stores in your local area for kitchen gadgets and furniture. Craigslist is a great place for furniture and higher end items too. Discount stores like Marshalls/Ross are also great!
2. If you are living with others, make a chores list! Figure out who will take out the trash and how often.
3. You might also want to invest in renter’s insurance.

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