the organic dilemma.

I always try to buy organic fruits and vegetables.  I'm particular about my eggs, lettuce, tomatoes, and check labels on anything packaged making sure there are no artificial dyes, preservatives, or HFCS.  I don't mind spending the few cents extra for higher quality food or the extra money for free range hormone free chicken for Danny.  One thing I don't do is buy organic milk.  It's just that it is 2.99 for regular, vs 5.99 for organic, I don't drink cow's milk, and Danny claims he dislikes the taste of the organic.  But every weekend at Trader Joe's as I lift the regular 2% milk from the case, I get this bad feeling coming over me, like I am doing something wrong.  When did I become so radical?  Am I radical?  I often feel I belong in Portland, but at least I am in LA where being the way I am is not looked at like such a freak, as it is my hometown of Poplar Bluff, Missouri.  I know my family thinks I'm a weirdo.

What are your food purchasing dilemmas?  I can't be the only one who has them :)


Living room makeover begins

We are finally getting around to adding some life to our living room by painting the walls and getting a decal for the tv wall.  Right now it has been a bit of hodge podge on the walls.  I have art I have wanted to put up, but need a new frame.  I have some art on the walls, but never really took care in placing it.  Basically we have finally decided we are probably going to be living here for a long time, so we may as well make it our own.  But what color to choose?  Even though I was set on grey, this was one of the lightest I found on a swatch that was true grey with not blue or purple undertones and it is still too dark for me.  Danny and I are both leaning toward the lightest yellow.  We also thought maybe just doing the tv wall in the blue or grey and making it an accent with the other two walls being white or the yellow.  Ugh, I am really not sure yet.  Perhaps some more sampling is in store for next weekend.

Either way, the tv wall will have an awesome decal on it. I am leaning toward these:

Extra Large Blowing Dandelion Decal Sticker Flower Seeds BIG BIG BIG art graphic
from DabbleDown on Etsy

Dandelions - sophisticated vinyl sticker wall decal - KK115
from Kinky Wall on Etsy

MUMS Vinyl Wall Decal LARGE SEt
From PlanetWallArt on Etsy

From What is Blik?

I'm thinking if the wall is yellow, going with a deep charcoal colored decal.  If the wall is blue or gray, going with a red or orange decal.  Pretty excited!


Grad School

I have wanted to go back to school since about 2 minutes after I graduated from undergrad.  I have always wanted to be an architect, but I just let a few things get in my path and thought I would try being an interior designer for a little while first.  Working at my first job, making the saddest wage a professional with a bachelor's degree should ever make, doing work that was more than often boring and not really gaining much knowledge of design or being inspired at all, I found myself looking up architecture schools in LA.  I ended up applying to UCLA, USC, and SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture.)  About a month ago I found out I was accepted to SCI-Arc, but it seemed I would not be getting any financial help.  Well, $36,000 a year for 3.5 years (meaning taking 52,000 in loans a year to barely cover tuition and living expenses) was not going to be possible.  I was holding out for more affordable UCLA, until one Saturday at 4 am I awoke to a rejection email. That same day later in the afternoon I received a congratulations email from the Director of Admissions at SCI-Arc letting me know I was being offered a half scholarship, renewable each year upon academic success.

All of that said, I will be attending SCI-Arc to get my M.Arch 1 beginning this July.  I am pretty stoked and can't really think about too much else.  I told my boss and she is letting me stay until I start school.  Now I am taking a distance Physics course to finish off my pre-req's and then it will be all about architecture for the next 3.5 years.

I'm hoping to make time to keep up with this blog during that time.  At the very least I will post my projects on here.


Happy Easter!

Being the non-traditional people that we are, this was our Easter dinner.  Avocado enchiladas with corn.  To drink: Trader Jose's (a Trader Joe's brand of beer like Corona, only tastier and half the price.)  Happy Easter everyone!

The Recipe:
Avocado Enchiladas (makes 5 servings)
1 tsp oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp sugar
2 tbs cumin
1.5 tbsp dried oregeno
6 oz beer (1/2 can/bottle)
14 oz crushed or diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
4 ripe avocados
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, finely diced
juice from 1 lime
10 corn tortillas
enough shredded mozzarella or monterey jack cheese to top the enchiladas.

Heat oil in saucepan. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes.  Add garlic, sugar, cumin, oregano and saute another 2 minutes.  Add beer, tomatoes and water.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Add vinegar.  Heat oven to 400 F.  Chop avocados and toss with cilantro and onion and lime juice.  Spread 1/2 cup of sauce on bottom of casserole.  Dip tortillas in remaining sauce.  Spoon 3 tablespoons filling into each.  Roll up and arrange, seam side down in casserole.  Pour remaining sauce over top of enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 5 minutes longer.


Eclectic Cakes

Today is the grand opening of my new bakery, Eclectic Cakes!  Check out the cupcake tab up there ^ and place your orders!  The first person to order cupcakes or cake balls gets there first 1/2 dozen free.  That means if you order 12 cupcakes, you only pay $15 and if you order a dozen cake balls you only pay $5!!  I only ask that you tell everyone you know in LA about my delicious cupcakes!


Belated Beijing Trip

As I'm sure you all know, I took my first trip to the Orient a few weeks ago.  Sorry for taking so long to really talk about it, besides posting my disturbing picture of my back a few posts ago, then another disturbing photo of a garlic clove in someone's ear.

Well, I am fully back into the daily grind, but really wishing I were still on vacation.  China was a great experience, one I am glad to have a great friend who lives there and speaks the language, otherwise I don't know how we would have survived.  Especially me, being vegetarian.  I was a little naive going into China, thinking that most people would at least know some English.  This was not the case.  My friend Katie was around most of the time and her boyfriend (who is Chinese) spoke English well enough to help us as well.

My favorite things about Beijing:  Nan Luoguxiang, which Katie's boyfriend calls "rocker street" and literally knows everyone and every shop and bar in the area.  Tasting and buying tea at the East Market.  The guy we bought it from was so passionate about tea it was inspiring.  The Great Wall, especially the less touristy part that Katie took us to because after you hike up, you get to ride a tobaggon back down to the village below.  Overall the whole trip was really awesome and I'm glad to have friends in many places across the globe to share these experiences with.