Bold and Beautiful.

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Easy Vegan Apple Crisp

This fresh summer dish is sure to impress all of your guests. The best part is that it’s super easy to make.  Unlike traditional baking, you have no leavening agent or egg ratios, so all you’re doing is cooking the apples, melting the butter, and crisping the crisp.

Let’s get started. (The full recipe is soon to come!)

Granny smith apples.  Tart and crisp.  You could use a Fuji apple or pink lady, which both have a little bit more sweetness but are also crisp,  or even a mix of any of those 3, but I think the Granny smith are traditional.  But really, any combination of the above would give you a great apple crisp.

Rinse and peel them. The recipe calls for 8, I always did 9 because I’m one of those girls who likes extra of everything, but in this particular case, I had a lot of apples that were rotten in the middle so I probable ended up using about 12.  I just cut around the bad parts.

When you’re cutting your apples, sometimes I do a thin cut , almost like a mandolin, and sometimes I do thicker.  Either will work, because as I said there is no exact science to this, but be sure you have the same consistency throughout.  Otherwise you’ll have some crunchier apples and some soft apples.

So here’s our cut apples.

So next we’ll get started on our dry ingredients.

Quaker oats, wheat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Crumble the brown sugar so that its easier to crumble into the apples later. No chunks.

Next is the butter. Soy butter in this case , but if your not vegan or you don’t want to use vegan butter, regular unsalted will do.  1/3 of a cup, but i already told you i’m an “extra” kind of girl so I may have done a little bit more.  And then melt that.

Mix it all together. Your hands work best, especially in this case because you’ll be able to feel out lumps and make it into a consistent crumble.

So now I like to mix about half of the mixture in with the apples, and leave half for the topping.  It just tastes better that way.

Then pour it into your glass dish, or I had to use two because I only had two smaller ones, and level it out.

Perfect.  Bake it at 375 for 30 minutes, or more if it hasn’t browned completely.   A nice crisp top.

Serve with ice cream ( or soy ice cream), whipped cream , caramel sauce –whatever your heart desires. And you have a fabulous summer dessert, that tastes just as delicious made vegan.

Absolutely delicious.

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Tag your creations!

Tagging can often be viewed in many different lights.  To some its graffiti.  And to some graffiti is art and to others it is destruction of public property.  One thing is for sure, when you’re creating your own artwork, a tag of your name is a must.  It’s like your signature on your work.

I didn’t have a tag for my name, so I went on a hunt to find some help in creating one.

I found this great website which shows this guy who documents all the tags he sees all over Paris.  In this case, it could be more of graffiti, but it is actually quite cool.

From there, I got this awesome interactive version.  After that, I was kind of on my own.  But I came up with lots of combinations and finally settled on one.

My only piece of advice, try to be bold and make a statement with your name. It’s your name so do it proud.

Below is how I painted it on my work.

I started with pencil, because I wanted to get it right. But I’m sure most people have their tag down pat that they just mark it on.  Do whatever you feel comfortable with.

Then I started painting.

Here’s how it looks on a finished painting.

To see how I made this painting, check out this post-Make your own art-EASY!


Create your own art EASY!

I happen to love to paint.  I think its a release of tension. It spills out any emotion you have building up.  It’s simply therapeudic.  But what about for the people who think they have no artisitic ability.  Well, lucky for the , you don’t need any.  There are so many great paintings that are abstract, graphic, or simple.  And it can be very easy, and budget friendly,  to re-create an artists one of a kind piece.  Additionally, any painting that you create yourself will liven up your home with a personal yet beautiful touch.

Let me show you how I do it.

First off, I picked an artist.  I happen to love David Bromstad’s work and I think he has a lot of stuff that is very easy to make a recreation of.  Here’s his website if you want to choose one of his paintings too.

I chose this one.

So from there, you break out the canvas. If you are a pro at this kind of thing, you could wrap your own, but I just purchase them already made.

*** Another great tip , is if you find something that’s not so pretty at a garage sale or something like that , you could always paint over it with white and then its a brand new canvas.  This also goes for if you mess up.

I like to draw out my design first, just to make sure its feasible. Not the prettiest, I know, but just so you get a gist.

Then, I started painting. I started with the color. I outlined first. Either pen, pencil, I used yellow marker, something light.  After I outlined, I painted it a solid color. Then I went back with a similar color  and I added in the variation to make it a little more interesting.  The paint needs to still be wet, and you want it all going the same direction. After that I added in the thin border , again for a little more interest.

Little details make a huge difference  in the end product.

I did two, so you can kind of get an idea of some variation, and I really liked them. So here’s a large pink, and a teal flower on a smaller canvas.

Before you do the black, you want the paint to completely dry.  Otherwise, if you make a mistake, it will be MUCH harder to fix.  And you won’t get the solid black.

Lastly , to make these look extra legit,  tag it.  I personally had never had my own tag, so I scoured the internet and came up with my own.  Check out this post for tagging, but here’s our final products.

To see how I tagged my work, check out this post- Tag your creations!

These paintings look great! Its so easy , anyone can make their own art!

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Homemade Chalkboard Drawers

As a college student with a constant urge to craft, a brain that doesn’t stop thinking, and a little free time, I scoured the internet looking for a way to spruce up my three drawer plastic rolly storage unit, a standard on the college packing list.  Although they come in a multitude of colors, shapes , and sizes, I was bored and thought why not add a little labeling system to the whole thing and paint them with some chalkboard paint.

I didn’t have chalkboard paint.  So I scoured the internet, and ended up creating my own mixture from what I found.

I decided on no recipe.  Kind of how I do the rest of my cooking and concocting, I fix and mix until it looks about right.

So for the chalkboard paint, I started with paint.  I used acrylic, but for my no-recipe recipe, I honestly would have used whatever I had and just hoped it wouldv’e come out ok.  I mean except for the obvious, you want to avoid watercolors, face paint, and washable.  In my opinion, you want either a wall paint or acrylic.

To about 1/2 cup of of the paint, you want about 3 tablespoons unsanded grout. Which is basically like dry powder grout.

Just mix it all together. It should be thicker and look like it has crumbs and bumps all the way through.

Ok so now that you have your paint, you need to prepare your drawers.

You want to tape off the edges so you have a clean front and no smears on the sides of the drawer.

I chose to have a border, just to have a little visual interest, but if you just want a plain rectangle on the front, then you can skip this.   For the border, tape off a line  on the inside so you can just paint on a line.  If you choose to cut regular tape in half so its a little skinnier, make sure you use the outside clean cut edges for the areas you want to paint.  That way it will be nice and smooth.

Paint it once or twice so it looks nice and solid.

Next your going to tape out the area for the center part.  Make sure, again, you use the straight part of the tape on the side of the area your are going to paint, so it comes out clean.  And obviously you want to move the tape so your border has space, but you can space it however you want.

Especially here, I would make sure it’s nice and thick.

If it starts to peel when you take the tape off, it happened to me too.  You want to peel the tape when the paint is wet so that if it does peel, you can paint it back on.  Once its dry, as long as its thick, it should be good to go.

Next, you cover it in chalk.  I did green so it popped a little, but keep in mind, there will be permenant residue from whatever color chalk you choose so keep that in mind.

It doesn’t need to be thick, just covered. So you can just move the powder around with a dry paper towel.  Then let it set. It must set, or the paint will start to come off. When you go to wipe it off with a wet paper towel this time, if you see pink (or whatever color your paint is) , its too early and your chalk should sit longer.

When all your finished, even if it doesn’t come out perfect, as mine did not, it still really spruces up your basic triple plastic drawer set.  It adds some coverage, creativity, visual interest, and even a little country flair.

Its some definite magic.

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Balsamic Guacamole Toast

Guacamole is a traditional alternative to salsa.  But what happens when you take the traditional and change it up a little.  This is a personal sized serving of homemade guacamole, and then instead of chips, we chose to go a little more classy.

To start, we need just half of an avocado.  This is all you need.

Next, add in the classic pairing, tomato.  I cut them skinny and organic shaped.  Very easy.

So you could add in a variety of things from here, but since it is more of a spread, we don’t want it too chunky.  Also, cutting up onion and garlic can be time consuming and not very fun.  So instead, I have a better solution.

We are going to bump our guac up with spice. (Keep in mind, you can use whatever you want)

I started with cayenne. Just a little, not too spicy.

Going back to the classic, I added dried onion pieces, and in there was a little powder also.  So we’re really going to get that onion flavor all the way through.

Perfect.  We have our guac.

So our next step is to slather that guac on a piece of toast.

Finish it off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (the older and thicker the better)  and olive oil and then top it with fresh ground cracked black pepper and sea salt.

How good does that look.

Mmm what a great bite. Crunchy bottom, flavorful spread, and the balsamic and olive oil really brings out some great flavor.

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Photo Striped Compact Mirror

A small compact mirror can often be a girl’s best accessory.  However, stores think they can capture your attention and place all these little cute expensive mirrors right next to the register. The problem is, the mirror would not be able to fulfill its destiny if you were to purchase it.  These small dolled up reflective glass accessories tend to cost so much that you will probably spend as much on the mirror as the item that you walked up to the register with.

I have a solution.  Capture some fun patterns in an easy fashion.  A photo striped mirror.

Start with the mirror. Not the cleanest, I assure you it does not matter.

Tape around the sides so that you don’t end up gluing your mirror shut.

Then, take some old photos that you don’t want anymore, and chose sections that have a lot of color, or patterns, or some type of visual interest that you enjoy.  *Note- you will only be using a section so the visual interest has to be small patterned so that when you cut the picture, its still visually interesting.

You could choose a color theme , or like here I have all Ohio State.

Here I chose to add in a little greenery to break it up.

I also put them on a piece of tape so I could make sure they looked good all next to each other. Not necessary though.

Glue it all down. I used a little stronger shiner version of a modge podge, however you probably should use actual glue to glue and modge podge to make it shiny.  Glue around the edges too.

And your finished product! Shiny, personal, and new!

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Tropical Spinach Smoothie

This tropical smoothie comes packed with nutrients.  Spinach, fruit, and soy protein– you cannot go wrong.  But you know what, it is so good you will never even know how good it is for you.  

Ok, to start, we’re going to use a few strawberries, but mostly some mango and pineapple. Because that is where all the sweetness is.  You could also use a banana in there. You just want to make sure you’ve got some sweeter fruit so that it will mask other flavors.

Then pile them into your blender along with your spinach.

Add in the soymilk.  If it doesn’t go smoothly, just add milk until its the thickness you want.

Blended to perfection.  Its not the prettiest color, but it is quite tasty, and more important, healthy.

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Button Push Pins

Now that our bulletin board is all spiced up, we can’t just have plain old push pins. Here’s an easy quick way to add more fun flavor, and these look great even if you don’t have a decorated bulletin board.

Start with a button. Any color and shape of your choosing, just make sure its flat. You can’t really use one with the raised spot with a hole.

Add some of our nail glue.

Add on your push pin.

And then center it.


Then, go ahead and add them in cool pattern on your bulletin board and it looks super fancy.

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Spicy Mango Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée- a french dessert known for its rich creamy inside, and sweet crackling outside.  This dessert has been around for centuries.  I’ve seen it flavored this way and that way, but once again I decide to take a turn for the wild and influence this dessert  with some mangoes.

We start with the mangoes.   Cutting and slicing and cubing, and two mangoes later..

..We have two mangoes cut and sliced and cubed. Equally divided amoung 4 ramekins.  Who doesn’t love their own precious dessert.

**For an extra little spice, I just sprinkled a little cayenne pepper right on top of the mangoes. It will actually be quite mellow, just from the cream and the mangoes, but it adds a little extra flavor.

Ok so now for the cream.

It isn’t made of eggs or cream or butter, but in fact a few healthier ingredients.

Marscapone. Definitely healthier.

And then some yogurt. I just happened to have soy, regular is fine.  Also I chose mango just to go with the flavors but if your feeling adventurous try something funner or be plain jane with vanilla. Really, anything is fine.

So then you whisk these together. It should look thick and creamy like some pastry cream.

hen we’re gonna add some lemon zest and lemon juice.  Also for a few spices I added some more cayenne as well as some ginger.   Finish it off with a little brown sugar, just to sweeten it a little.

Plop the mixture on top.

You’re going to want to chill the ramekins so that the cream mixture thickens up.  Then Top it with raw or natural sugar, something with big crystals sort of. I used a vegan natural sugar.  Broil until it start to bubble and brown.  If you have a kitchen blow torch, that would work best. But for sure don’t use a blow torch NOT from the kitchen.

Mine didn’t broil perfectly , but its they bubbled enough that when you put them back in the fridge it has a crunch.  You DEFINITELY want to put them back into the fridge after you broil them because otherwise your cream will by soupy again. You don’t want it soupy.

You want cream and crunch.

And when you do, its sooooo good.

Its creamy and sugary, but with the cayenne pepper, it just suprises you.  Its a definite twist on the classic Crème Brûlée, but its totally delicious.

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Stripping the Stripes

Stripes in the home can create a lot of different vibes, all very powerful.

Here are some really great examples.

On HGTV Design Star, they created rooms for Kris Kardashian and this one  I lovedddd the walls.

Another cool way to incorporate stripes into your design is from the floor up!

Here’s one that’s kind of retro. Very cool.

You can also choose to create stripes on the floor with 2 different shades of wood flooring.  It adds another element to the room and adds so interest in an understated way.


For creating your own stripes, check out DIY Striping Paint Techniques.