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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Texas Tuxes, Weddings on ATVs, and News

So of course I mention that I have exciting news, and then I go quiet for a little bit :)

There's actually a bunch of news.

I've set my oral defense date.
My bro-in-law got engaged!
My conference symposium was accepted.

But also, I'm moving to California... for the summer! I'm really excited that I just accepted an offer to work at a company in the Bay Area (hint: rhymes with frugal). The project sounds super fun, and I think I'm going to learn a lot!

I had a few photos backed up from Ev's cousin's wedding out in Missouri. It was a wonderful wedding - definitely the first time I've ever seen a bride and groom ride off... in an ATV (how fun!)

The bride's father was so photogenic. How could we not get a shot? And TBH, this is my first time seeing a Texas tux executed IRL, and I wanted to document the moment.

Things have been pretty insane already in the first week of the quarter. I'm also teaching this quarter. So far, I love my new students. They're so engaged, eager, and sweet. Also, I have this one student who can say any word backwards. It's pretty entertaining.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Slow Cooker Eggplant - Aloo Baingan - Spicy Punjabi Eggplant with Potatoes - #IndianFoodPalooza

I wanted to share this slow cooker Indian Eggplant recipe with you. It's from my absolute favorite slow cooker book. I've made a ton of dishes from it, and everything has been amazing. If you like Indian food, and want to use your slow cooker more, I couldn't recommend it more highly!
I made a few changes based on what I had. For example, I used sweet potatoes rather than potatoes. I prefer to use sweet potatoes in my recipes than regular potatoes due to the health benefits, taste preference, etc.
I'm linking this up with Indian Simmer's Indian Food Palooza!

Have y'all tried making Indian food before? One thing that amazed me was how many styles of beans/lentils there were to choose from at my local Indian grocery!

What is your favorite slow cooker recipe?

Spicy Punjabi Eggplant with Potatoes (Adapted from Anupy Singla's The Indian Slow Cooker)

3 Japanese eggplants diced
1 large sweet potato peeled and diced
1 medium yellow onion peeled and roughly chopped
1 inch piece ginger peeled and cut into 1.5 inch matchsticks
2 Tb chopped garlic
4 sliced serranos
1 Tb cumin seeds
1 extra hot red chili powder
1 Tb garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tb salt
2 Tb fresh cilantro chopped

1. Put the eggplant, sweet potato, onion, ginger, garlic, chilies, cumin, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric and oil in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. (I did it longer because I looked at it and it looked like it needed to cook more before removing the lid).

2. Remove the lid and cook for another 2 hours. This supposedly helps dry up some of the moisture released by the eggplant (this wasn't an issue for me, I think because I used Japanese eggplants. But if you're using the larger more watery Italian eggplants, you should definitely do this)

3. Add the salt and cilantro. Serve with naan and rice!

Also, I got some exciting news recently. I can't wait to share it with y'all soon :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Braving Seattle weather in my BB Dakota Jacket


I keep reading on other people's blogs about how warm it is elsewhere. But, Seattle hasn't caught up with the times. It's Spring tomorrow, but last week, Seattle had some seriously schizophrenic weather. We had a day that had snow, sunshine, rain, hail, AND graupel (a sort of soft hail).

I snapped this pic one cold day at the bus stop. I love this BB Dakota jacket for its graphic nature. I was so bummed I missed out on having it for last year's fall and winter that when it appeared in stock at at the end of last summer during a warm weather spell, I snatched it up!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wearing a Bubbly Statement Necklace and Eating Tasty Seattle Udon

My concentration face is scary. I'm trying really hard to aim the camera in my general direction... obviously, I missed me a little.

J.Crew Bubble Necklace (ebay)
Lands End Canvas Heritage Cardigan
Purple SopranoSopranoSoprano dress Sz M ($15; see summer styling here)
Purple F21 skinny belt

My "bracelet"? It's a piece of fabric my cousin brought back from Uganda and used to tie up a present for me. I couldn't bear to toss the small brightly covered fabric. I ended up tying it in a bow for an impromptu bracelet!

I wore this to meet my good friend Jeanny for handmade udon at U:Don (yes, omg, there's an emoticon in the name! I love my restaurants to smile at me, hehe)

I got the On-tama Udon which came with a lightly poached egg in the broth (yum!). At the end of the buffet line, you get to select tempura by the piece (mostly 99 cents each). The noodles were delicious. I maaaaaaay have over ordered on the tempura (all in the name of making sure this was a good place to recommend if you're ever in Seattle, of course). I especially loved the tempura kabocha squash and fish cake!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Low Carb Pasta: Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

<3 I used this recipe for spaghetti squash peanut sauce noodles as a base. I ended up adding a bunch of toasted chili sauce, fresh squeezed lime juice, fresh little tomatoes, and tempeh. Yum!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

How to curl your hair with a flat iron + Hana Titanium Review

IKR. My hair is straight. Why would I need a flat iron?

Did you know you can use a flat iron to curl your hair? I know. It sounds oxymoronic. But, for realz, I'm going to show you how.

I prepped my hair by combing mousse through it and blow drying it after my shower... and then I slept on it all night ;) Totes prepped!

First, you need a flat iron.

The wonderful folks over at sent me The Hana Titanium 1.5" flat iron to review. It's plates are beveled at the edge making it perfect for using to curl your hair.

One of the nice things about this flat iron is that you can actually dial in the temperature. The Hana Titanium flat iron came with guidelines about which range of temps could correspond to what type of hair (from 140F to 450F). A few hair stylists have told me I have thick hair, so I started off at 400ish temps. BAD idea!! My hair started smoking!! accck! So definitely start at the lowest temperature you can and move on up to find the temperature that works best for you. For me, that temp was 302!

First, Take a small 1-2" section of your hair

So here's the interesting part.

Clamp down on the iron toward the base of the sectioned off hair. Rotate the iron 180 degrees so that your hair partially wraps around the iron. (I like wrapping in-ward toward the face so that the curls kind of frame/hug the face).

Keeping the iron closed and at that angle, slowly pull you hair through the iron. This "irons" the hair into a curl shape.

This creates such a lovely curl. Much more ringlet-y than when I use a curling iron.

hehe... half curly half straight!

After curling all sections of your hair, twirl your hair up into a bun, and give it a few shots of hair spray!

Ha! It totally looks like I'm trying to show off my non-existent 'guns' here, lol.

Tousle your hair, and voila! (yes, I also finished getting dressed, hahah)

Verdict: fun! The curls I got were much nicer than the ones I get with my curling iron. It currently takes only 5ish min for me to curl my hair with a curling iron. This was more like 10 min. It seems like after I get the hang of it, I will be able to do this fairly quickly. The plates are made of a smooth titanium. So your hair glides right through - quickly, and with no snags! If you have coarser hair and need to use temps in the 400F range, be forewarned that at these temps I found the iron became fairly hot to handle. But then again, if you're using it to straighten rather than curl, you might not be touching the ends where the heating plates are quite so much.

I'm also excited to try more styling with the flat iron. Misikko has a great page with tips on how to use a flat iron, including video tutorials (one of which taught me how to curl my hair like this using a flat iron!)

The Hana Air also came with a Travel Pouch, Heat Proof Silicone Mat & Tin Case. Love the heat proof silicone mat. Great for the counter since the iron does get quite warm during use. I also love the thick leather travel pouch. You can stick the hot iron right in and pack it up when you're done with you're hair! If you don't need titanium plates or curved plates, Misikko carries the top flat iron brands, so you can find the best flat iron for you.

For those of you who use flat irons, do you have any tips on their use? Has anyone else tried curling or putting waves in their hair with a flat iron?

Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to review the Hana Titanium Flat Iron from Misikko. All statements and opinions expressed here are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Quirky Things: A Girl and Her Bicycle

Anthropologie Ten-Speed Necklace
Anna and Frank silk green shirt (thrifted)
Dockers Pants (thrifted)
The Heritage Cardigan Lands End Canvas Harvest Pine
Cole Haan suede penny loafers

It's funny. When I first saw this necklace at Anthropologie, I thought I'd look like a crazy/eccentric old lady wearing it. But, because it was on sale, and made of some neat materials (leather + wood), I brought it home anyway. I figured I could return it if I never wore it or changed my mind.

Ok, so call me a crazy/eccentric old lady! Turns out, I kinda LOVE wearing it. It can give just a fun amount of quirk to my outfit. I also like it's really long length. And, it always seems to garner compliments.

Is there anything you've ever bought that you were first iffy about and then later you liked so much it surprised you?

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Sunday, March 04, 2012

Currently wearing: Chinchilly + Mint Candy Apple Essie Nail Polish

Essie Mint Candy Apple 702
Essie Chinchilly 696