Thursday, March 22, 2012

3 Cheers!!! for *Grapefruit*

Self-Improvement Class

You may know from my recent post about a typical snack in my day,  that I enjoy the occasional grapefruit.
But let it be known, my friends, that i eat A LOT of grapefruit.
I love it for it's amazing nutritional qualities.
It's sweet/sour flavor.
It's fat-burning qualities.
It's low glycemic index.
It's ability to make you feel full for a while.
They're fun to eat with a spoon!
They are relatively cheap too. I get mine from Trader Joe's and they're delicious everytime.
The benefits are best when you eat the actual fruit. But you can also opt for the juice since it's less of a mess.

I can honestly say, that when I get on a grapefruit "kick" like I am now, I eat less in a day, feel better and notice my stomach is flatter. It's just a great fruit to have in your diet! {even if you are low carbing}

So. Three cheers and a thumbs up to you, grapefruit. I'll be dreaming of our next encounter...

                                       PS: Remember to be careful not to squirt it in your eye!

                                                        {or you'll look like this^^^^}

Homework: eat. more. grapefruit.
Class Dismissed!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More on {love}

Pschycology and Introspection & Stuff Class:

Today's class is more on love.
First of all. I'm going to ask you some hard questions that I think you should answer as truthfully as you can.

1.) What is love?
2.) Do you want to be loved?
3.) When do you feel most loved?
4.) How do you give love?
5.) To whom do you give love?

{Think about these questions for a good solid 10-20 minutes} {Seriously keep thinking} {Dwell on them}

Do you like your answers?

I am not an expert on love. Neither is Dr. Drew. Or Dr. Phil. Or Oprah. Or the Pope.

The only expert on love is God so start there if you want better answers than the ones you just gave.
Read His word and ask these questions over and over again. All through your life.
Read about how God showed His people love in Exodus. Read about David's love for God and God's love for Him and us all throughout the Psalms.
Read about God's love for us by sending Jesus and how Jesus showed us love in a way no one had ever shown or could ever top as you dig through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Open up Ephesians and read about how God has loved us since before the foundations of the Earth were set in place.Then answer and ask and answer these questions again. And again. And again. And let God's love penetrate so deeply into your heart that you feel, taste and see and know love...that you want to be loved by Him and you know that you are...that you feel most loved when you are in God's presence, when you are cleaving to His side, being filled up with love. And so you start doing the work He wants you to do by pouring out that love on others. And that's how you give love. Through a spout. Just pouring it out all over the world like it isn't yours to hold on to and reserve only for the worthy ones who have earned it. Cause it's not.
So give it to EVERYONE. And I truly mean everyone. Because God truly means everyone.
He says "Love your neighbor".
And there's not a single person you pass on the street who isn't your neighbor.
No one in the whole wide world isn't your neighbor.
No one in the whole wide world should be set apart from God's love and therefore from your love.

Homework: Read the Bible and let God teach you to love. And stop buying cheesy books about it.
Class Dismissed.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Toy Camera

Art  & Creativity Class:

I was with friends last night doing a really amazing detox wrap {more on that soon!} and afterwards, we played with my phone camera in the FX Toy Camera setting. Love what we captured. By the way. My friends are gorgeous.



Me! {Emily}
 I find that each camera setting can inspire you as a photographer. This setting was giving off such a rich tone that I knew the rich colors of the scarf and focusing on just the eyes would make for some interesting shots. It was making me want to capture something mysterious and very saturated.
We also ended up looking like we were just strolling through a market in Lebanon, no? I throw a scarf over my head a lot when it rains. I just hink they look beautiful.

Special Instructions***To get the right look with the Toy Camera setting, which adds a green tint and takes {surprisingly}sharp but dark pictures, it was important to have a light directly in front of the subject. So in each of these pictures, the subject is holding a lamp above their head! {improvise, my friends}
So, give it a whirl if you want to get a new facebook profile pic {haha} or just snap a really unique photo of a friend. Thanks to Sara and Dionne! Only true friends let you wrap a scarf around their head and take random pictures while they hold a lamp. Only the truest.

Homework: Try out a new camera setting and see how it inspires you!
Also, get a new pretty scarf. Mine is from Von Maur.
Class Dismissed!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

dessert= *something sweet*

Cooking Class:
Tonight, you should eat some Riesling poached Bartlett pears for dessert.
Just peel the pears as shown above { i leave some of that pretty brown peel for effect} and then do this:



  • 1 (750 ml) bottle Riesling, preferably Spatlese
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 ripe pears, such as Bartlett, Bosc, D'Anjou, Fiselle or Seckel

Cardamom Cream:


Pour the Riesling into a medium saucepan and whisk in the sugar until it dissolves.

Peel the pears, leaving stem intact, if present. Remove bottom stem end with a small melon baller, and continue to scoop up into the pear to remove the core. Place the pears right in the Riesling mixture (poaching liquid) after they are peeled and cored to prevent them from discoloring. (The acidity of the wine keeps them from browning). Add just enough water to cover the pears.

To keep the pears submerged in the poaching liquid, cut a circle of parchment paper the size of the pan and lay on the surface of the liquid. Place a small plate on top of the paper to make sure the pears are completely submerged. Cook the pears over medium-high heat, just until the liquid comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and poach the pears until they are just soft. The pears should be tender enough to pierce with a knife. This takes about 20 to 25 minutes for ripe medium pears, but this can vary depending on the size, variety and ripeness of the pear.

Remove the pan from the heat and cool the fruit completely in the poaching liquid. Refrigerate the fruit in the liquid in a sealed container until ready to serve. (The fruit will hold for 4 to 5 days, the longer the fruit is stored in the poaching liquid, the fuller the flavor).

Pour about half of the poaching liquid into a skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue to cook and reduce until the liquid gets syrupy and about the consistency of honey

Meanwhile, whip the cream together with the sugar and cardamon until cream just holds soft peaks. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, place a pear in a bowl or on a plate. Drizzle with reduced Riesling syrup and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.
Thanks, Food Network!

And if you, like me, don't want to be kicking yourself for eating cream and sugar...then skip it. Make this version for your family, but for your individual pear, just skip the cream. The pears are tasty enough poached and you could do some DARK DARK , super DARK chocolate to add some bite if you like:)

Class Dismissed!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

((Using)) your phone* as a { camera }

Art & Creativity Class:
Today's lesson is: Using Your Phone as a Camera!
This is a post for everyone out there like me who REALLY wants a nice DSLR camera, but alas, cannot commit to buying one right now. But of course we still want to take great pictures, so here's a little advice on getting the most out of your phone's installed camera. I have an Android Galaxy S and it came with a standard camera with a few setting. It makes for pretty good shots. Like these:

Nice. But not great.

So I downloaded a little app called FX Camera from the Android Market. If you have an iphone, you should be using Instagram and I just don't want to talk about how jealous of you I am. Go play with your cool phone in a corner somehwere. {kidding}
The FX Camera app is free and it has a POLAROID setting for goodness sake. I love it. You can also change the color, do fisheye, toy camera and some Andy Warholizing. It's just amazin'.
I tend to go for the Polaroid look so here are some fun ideas to get some creative and unique shots...
{ps: I am not a pro and have never taken a photography class...these are just my opinions}

 This shot of some corn stalks at a pumkpin farm last fall, was taken using the FX Camera on the Polaroid setting. It was a bright day so a normal camera shot would have felt very crisp and sunny and new. Maybe even too bright. But this photo looks vintage, relaxed, subdued and more intimate. I think it makes a statment much better than a basic camera could and it looks like art. {I printed it on a napkin for my mom and she has it in an old basket in her dining room}

Here's a shot from our trip to Memphis last Christmas. I really wanted a shot of the Gibson store since Josh had memories of going there as a kid and he plays guitar, but getting cars and street signs and jet contrails in the shot could have been an issue. But I decided to make it all work for me. Making the ugly street sign lign up with one side of the shot made it feel like it belonged right there. I also made sure the car wasn't in motion so it wouldn't blur. This shot feels like an intimate little moment in the Gibson building's day. The colors are muted in all Polaroid shots which adds a sense of stability and permanence to the shot I think. Like a moment stamped out of time to be remembered.
Offsetting the subject. This cat was just gorgeous. Same little pumpkin farm I got the corn shot from. {Poor Josh was patient as I snapped a lot of photos that day} Offsetting the cat slightly to the left of the photo keeps with the idea that the cat is peeking out, she's protecting her kittens so she looks fierce and timid. There's a nice balance here to her world inside the barn with her little kittens and out of the barn doors where she lives life on the farm. Offsetting keeps that little story going and adds some depth to a simple shot of a cat. And showing a bit of the straw on the ground gives the picture a place to rest. I think that's important. Show some ground whenever possible.

                                               {It's on a page with a background...sorry}
This one is just fun. I was driving so obviously I had to be quick and careful. I just went for getting some road in there and centering the Airstream in the shot. I opted for the SQUARE Polaroid setting for the cuteness factor. You can tell though, since I was driving I accidentally had the camera turned so the heaviest border is on the side. But everyone knows, a Polaroid has a heavy border on the BOTTOM. #fail. lesson learned.

Now we can talk about outfit posts, fashion shots, etc. The FX Camera Polaroid can do great things here too. Just think outside the box. For this shot I was walking out of my office, looked down at my new shoes {cause you do that a lot when you have new shoes} and noticed the shadows and lines happening on the stairs. The Polaroid did a great job of capturing a nice quirky, little shot of my shoes. The gritty textures on the stairs are really accentuated with this type of shot and I love the contrast.

Ok, hopefully this little session on using a phone camera for all it's worth and more helped. Or at least now you can cope until you can actually afford a nice camera:)

Homework: Download FX Camera or whatever option your phone has and use it!
Class Dismissed.

And here are some more shots to help stir your creativity: happy snapping!

{There's no flash on this setting so if you find that your subject is more of a silhouette...go with it. Make it work. This rooster looks even more majestic as a shadow!}
{Focusing on the big piece of machinery with Josh in the background and offset, captures him being at the farm not just him. It lets the farm be the main focus.}

{Think outside the box! This looks like the shot your 5 year old brother would take if he ran off with the family camera. But it was just me pretending Josh and I were dinosaurs and he was kissing my head}
{Light does wonderful things with this setting. And again, intimacy in Polaroid's. Yes.}
{Good for outfit posts close ups...helps focus on one piece}
It's like you snuck up on someone looking through books at the library:) {Ssh!}

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

[Feed] *your.self. {good.}

A little meal to feed yourself.
1/2 a grapfruit= anti-oxidants, vitamin C, pure joy.
1 cup of fresh spinach= fiber, minerals, happiness.
1 egg scrambled with some Chulula= protein, smiles.
All good things.

Getting Through {the poo}

Pscychology & Introspection & Stuff Class:

Today's lesson is about the art of getting through the poo.

Now you're interested. Read on!
Think of what you want for your future. Your dreams and goals, yeah, but really, what do you want to be?
What do you want others to say of you?
What do you want to wake up and know about life?
What do you hope to gain or accomplish?
What is that ONE THING you want RIGHT NOW?
And what is in the way of getting it?
I find that there are times I feel completely at peace with where I am and other times I feel a massive pull to do something different. And most times, I just feel like I'm not "there" yet. Wherever "there" is.
It's time like these, I realize I'm just in the poo.

If you've seen the movie "Slumdog Millionare" you may have fallen in love with the main character as a child like I did. Little Jamal lived in the slums. He and his brother made a scarce amount of money renting outhouses to customers in need of relief. {hahaha. was that discreet enough?} One day, Jamal and his brother Salim are working, but Jamal is in need of relief so he is occupying one of the outhouses which causes them to lose a customer. Salim gets his revenge by locking the door to the outhouse, trapping Jamal. And sadly, this is just as Jamal's HERO, a famous action-hero actor, Amitabh, is landing his helicopter in the slums to meet and greet the hundreds of families that live there. Salim runs off to meet Amitabh and teases his brother that the only way out is down. Jamal takes out his picture of Amitabh and in a moment, makes a brave decision.

And down he goes. Into the disgusting, waste-filled pit that is deeper than he is tall. {Luckily, he thought to hold the picture he wanted autographed above his head}. And this little go-getter runs all the way over to the landing site where Amitabh's adoring fans are gathered. There he is, coming over the hill, covered head to toe in poo. He approaches the crowd with an ear to ear grin and a determination to get what he wants. He wants Amitabh's autograph on his treasured photo of the star. So, poop-covered, disgusting, smellier than the dickens and a nobody, Jamal rushes up to Amitabh and hands him the photo, which he signs.


Sometimes, when you do your victory yell, you're still covered in the poo you had to get through to make it.
But who cares? You made it. And it was worth it.
And for those who are trying to keep you in the poo, your victory is unexplainable yet undeniable.
"How on earth did he get out of the poo? That was meant to keep him down for good. He should have never made it this far! And now he doesn't even care about the poo because he got was he was after!"

Shock, awe, & jealousy.

Victory. Accomplishment. Contentment.

Seeing these last two faces. Which would you rather be? Whatever you decide...if you are currently "in the poo" as I'm deeming it, just remember to keep your focus on the goal. The poo you had to get through won't even matter when you end up on top. So keep pushing through it. And realize that achieving some goal in your life is not going to get rid of the poo. But be content anyway. Be happy with all of your little achievements and do anything to make them happen. You can take a shower later.

Homework: Watch Slumdog Millionare. Point out the poo in your way and jump right into it.
Class dismissed.