GOODBYE SUMMER, HELLO FALL

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Fall is coming! I tried to fit with everyone else and got a PSL the other day but…I thought it was really gross. Like chemically tasting, anyone else agree, or is this basically treason? I’m also prepping for fall with plenty of fuzzy sweater shopping.IMG_0580.JPG

Also trying to fit in the last of the summer stuff! I got my first and last Dairy Queen of the season (banana cream pie) and it was epic! I do miss the seasonal s’mores flavor though, they should make it permanent!

What sweet stuff are you packing into the last of summer?

BABY ANIMAL THERAPY

IMG_0549I realize this post makes it sound like I’m trying to give therapy to baby animals…But I mean the opposite! I just got back from a long weekend trip, which gave me a chance to step away from the aspects of my life that stress me out and look at them objectively from the outside.  Looong overdue I’d say, considering I’ve been a crazy person lately. Anyway now it’s time for me to start taking active steps towards changing the stressful aspects of my career/lifestyle. Luckily I was able to chill out this weekend at the New York state fair by watching baby animals be total sweethearts- too bad I only had my  phone, but I still think it captured the cuteness! Baby animals being sweethearts = CURE FOR EVERYTHINGIMG_0528.JPG

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IMG_0531Happy wednesday!

STYLE AND SUBSTANCE


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I have a 5 hour bus ride tonight, so now I’m frantically trying to find a new book to load onto my kindle for entertainment. I have become really finicky about the types of books I like, so this is a tough one. I think I may only like books where the author is speaking in their own voice, rather than fiction. That’s why I loved The Psychopath Test. He compiles research and writes as a journalist so everything just feels so perfect and complete by the end. The only problem is, it has ruined other books for me and I CAN NOT find anything I like as much. It is possible I am biased though because I saw him in person at my old job performing at a comedy debate show. While reading I was able to appreciate the story better understanding his anxious tendencies. (he is #6 on the playlist, sorry couldn’t separate out the other performers, though I also highly recommend Maeve Higgins)

Also, I should mention the book design! The picture doesn’t do it justice unfortunately since much of what makes it impressive is textural, but geez, so unique. They really succeeded at putting together two completely contrasting images.  This is what happens when designers get to run free I assume; AWESOME THINGS!

Fonts in Use did a really great overview of the design you can see here.
Now, any good book suggestions?

EAST RIVER ADVENTURE TIME

I’m stuck in Adventure Time mode…The silliness of it all just turns my brain off in a way nothing else can. Sigh. I was originally just planning to share some photos of the East River where I got to play with the pup I dog walk sometimes, named Niko. BUT THEN I SAW THIS PHOTO-
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HE HAS A LITTLE CANDY PEOPLE FACE! So I made an adventure time Niko.
The rest of what I have to show is just boring real life stuff. Just happy pup, nice-evening-walk-on-the-river photos.

Happy Tuesday, doods. -Niko

 

 

MY FAVORITE QUICK ASIAN DRESSING SALAD

Also known as my favorite summer meal + my favorite quick lunch to bring for work.

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Growing up, my family ate tons of salads, so I have a weird amount of nostalgic “salad memories”. My brother and I never minded eating salads as kids so long as they had homemade vinaigrette type dressings on them, so we ended up with a few family favorites memorized that we would switch around based on the cuisine type we were pairing it with (though they all were so tasty we would often have them on their own when we were too lazy to cook). This was always our go to recipe when we were craving asian vinaigrette flavors.

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It’s sweet and salty with a rice vinegar kick and is really easy to customize with different toppings. The one crucial topping ingredient to this salad that MUST be used, though, is the crunchy Ramen noodles.  I wish I could credit someone for it, but learned about this salad like 15 years ago when a neighbor brought it to a BBQ so I don’t know where to even start with that one…


 QUICK ASIAN SALAD WITH CRUNCHY NOODLES
For 1

Dressing
1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp rice vinegar
1tsp low sodium soy sauce
3 tsp canola oil

Salad
1 package Ramen noodles
3 tbsp butter
2 cups spring mix or preferred lettuce
Any other toppings you may want (I used avocado and orange peppers) almonds, chicken

1. Heat up a sauce pan with your 3 tbsp of butter, then break up your uncooked ramen noodles into small pieces (while still within the package). Once butter is melted, pour broken up noodles into saucepan.  Stir continuously until lightly browned, watching carefully not to burn the noodles. Once browned, set aside to cool.

2. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and toss with your ramen noodles and other toppings.


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Yummm anyone else going through an avocado phase (which = going broke from buying avocados in New York)?

CREATING A PATTERN MOOD BOARD


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Right now I’m in the process of trying to update my website’s design with something a little more personalized. Instead of rushing into things impatiently like I usually do, I decided that I’m going to make a series of smaller more specific mood boards that I can narrow down from into one general one that has a better branding understanding.

I tried really hard to just pick things I liked without relating them to each other with the hopes I would be able to find an unbiased connection.  I think the main thing I learned from this is that I like the idea of repetitive shapes with handmade qualities. Eventually I’ll have to work on some mood boards for other aspects I’ll need to incorporate, like color swatches and type.

I’ve done a lot of season inspiration type mood boards in the past and they are so helpful in understanding where you even want to start with something, minus the pressure. With Pinterest as a tool, it’s easy to put it all together in one place. There’s no rules!

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STRAWBASIL BREEZE COCKTAILS

Brace yourself, because I’m about to share something I haven’t in a reaallly long time. A recipe! Because of camera/time issues I kind of gave up on that part of the blog for a while. BUT, hopefully you try this and think it’s the tastiest drink ever and forgive me, yes?This tasty drink came about when I decided I wanted to make mojitos with my room mate, because I love fresh herb rum drinks. But then I remembered my room mate is one of those weird people who thinks mint is only for toothpaste and is disturbed by it being involved in any sort of food (wtf right?). So I replaced the mint with basil, decided to add some fruit, then replaced the limeyness of a mojito with lemon. It starts with a tasty simple syrup, made with agave, strawberries and fresh basil, then is poured over icy rum with a spritz of lemon.

SB2Naming drinks is hard guys. All the good names that aren’t just listing ingredients are taken already! I got really hung up on naming it a mojito because of the way I came about the idea for the drink, but I’m pretty sure if I named it that it would be fraud, so I let it go.


STRAWBASIL BREEZE

For the Strawberry Basil Simple Syrup-

  • 1 c water
  • 6-8 leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • 8 strawberries, sliced
  • 4 tbsp light agave syrup

What’s needed for 2 drinks-

  • 1 c Strawbasil simple syrup
  • 2 leaves fresh basil, coarsely broken down
  • 2 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 lemon
  • 4oz light rum

First, make your simple syrup-
Heat all simple syrup ingredients in a pot until simmering. As strawberries and basil start to soften, help to break them down as you stir. Once strawberries seem broken down and syrup color has changed to a bright pink, turn off heat and let sit until cool. Once cool, pour through a strainer and discard strawberry and basil pulp.

Drink Assembly-
Pour 2 oz of rum over ice, top with 4oz simple syrup. Squeeze half a lemon into each and garnish with strawberries and basil. Alternatively, if you’re not into basil pieces floating around, freeze within ice cubes.

*You could easily make this a non-alcholic lemonade as well by diluting the simple syrup and adding more lemon!


Cheers!

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