Tuesday, December 25, 2012

YUM Jar {DIY gifting}

I am not creative. I am not proud to admit it but this is a truth that I am willing to share with you all. At the very least I am an excellent copy-cat with the smallest capability to tweak something to make it "my own". My view is take what you have and make a gift without having to buy more, but really it adds more love/luv/ruv when it is handmade with care.

 Everyone can make these albeit quick&easy gifts without too much stress on the brain. Also, like everyone else, I keep mason jars on hand under my bed at all times. Most likely I am alone in the world in this practice then step 1 for you would be go get some mason jars! Honestly, you can put anything in a mason jar & give it as a gift. I happen to love cooking, baking, and snacking so I made my YUM jars, as I like to call them. But I have also seen cocoa mixes, pie, and small trinkets packed sweetly as gifts as well. If you follow my Instagram then you would have seen the image above of homemade chili roasted almonds that I gave as gifts. Another one that I did recently for some neighbors were mini cranberry chocolate chip scones YUM jar.

Make little tags out of brown paper bags to give it a more rustic feel or use luggage tags to write a small note. Tie a ribbon or some rafia around the top. Put a bird bow on it. Voila! Simple, easy, thoughtful DIY gifts for those creative individuals. Let me know how yours turn out!

lots of lovee

Saturday, December 22, 2012

pear mascarpone muffin talk

Let's talk about muffins. If you follow me on Instagram you previewed my obsession one early morning. I love them. I honestly am not sure how anyone can not love muffins because essentially they are heartier healthier cupcakes, and if you can't appreciate and fall in complete love with the subtle art of baking bread in cup shapes then perhaps you are missing out. i digress. My point is that muffins have the potential to take such a variety of flavors, components, and sizes that my adoration has been solidified. Needless to say, when I came into mascarpone and beautiful pears my heart knew the direction that this combination would take: MUFFINS.

After much scouring I found a recipe for ricotta and pear muffins which sounded amazing, but ricotta is no mascarpone. For those who aren't aware mascarpone is like Italian style cream cheese with a slight sweetness and saltiness flavor. Whereas ricotta is a different variant of cheese that also has a slight sweetness but is used more for lasagna or mixed with other creamier cheeses like mozzarella. After slight tweaking of the recipe, I present :

Pear and Mascarpone Muffins
- 3/4 c. Mascarpone
- 2 large pears
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c. butter (melted)
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 2 c. all purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- brown sugar for sprinkling atop

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Cream together mascarpone and eggs.
3. Peel and cut pears into small cubes. Then add to mascarpone-egg mixture.
4. Add melted butter to pears-mascarpone and combine well. Then add white sugar and mix well.
5. In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients (flour+baking powder+baking soda+salt)
6. Combine dry ingredients and pear-mascarpone until all dry pockets are gone
 **be sure not to over mix or muffins will turn out hard and not as fluffy**
7. Dole out batter into muffin pan & sprinkle brown sugar atop to create crust.
8. Bake for 15-20 min. or until toothpick comes out clean.
9. Then take out of oven and rest for a few minutes before devouring them with jam :) enjoy!

I am going to try to do a short DIY gift post for those of you that have not had time to go shopping..like myself. Have a beautiful Saturday!

lots of lovee

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

on a lighter note

Why yes I am still alive. After much consideration, Uni finals week was kind enough to let me survive with only slightly impact on my sanity and stress limits. Anyways now that I have a terrible amount of free time on my hands I decided to dream of warmer days in LA when if the sun came out it meant warmth. If you can't tell by other posts my native SoCal self can only dream of warmer days during these winter months.

Much love and luck to my friends taking their finals this week. YOU GOT THIS.

lots of lovee

Sunday, December 2, 2012

rainy thursdays

A little over two weeks ago I was in a car accident. It was a dark, rainy Thursday evening and I was driving home from school. The story is long and painful to retell so I will just say that there are hardly ever a time when sitting in a car is completely relaxing for me now. Whether it was the other guy's fault or my own, it takes 2 to tango. After the accident I thought a lot about the choices I made before it happened. Why did I drive on that street home that day? What if I had gone home right after I had ended work and not lingered? Would I have okay if I had stayed at school longer like I had originally planned? ...and then God said to me " what if you had died? what if the other man had died?"

A small accident but I am rethinking the aspects of my life that I am truly grateful for. My pastor preached recently about verbally giving thanks & not just thinking praises in our minds. Salvation is bright and shiny to me once again. The urgency of life's timeframe has never been more evident. I know I didn't post a typical thanksgiving foodfestblackfridayshopping post, but the thing I am most thankful for is God's never ending grace and mercy. I am alive to eat too much, laugh with friends, and see my family all together.

To Him be the glory, Amen.
lots of lovee

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

livin' the dream

This is my friend Michelle. 
She is doing what I have dreamed about doing: studying abroad
It's only been 4 months since she left for Shanghai but she has already established herself as a karaoke master and a part of China's workforce
Recent skype chats despite the time difference has revealed how much I miss this girl. 

Looking forward to your return! I have ramen and ridiculous stories waiting for you. 

lots of lovee

Thursday, November 1, 2012

great excuse

Halloween is such a great excuse for 1. eating lots of candy 2. dressing in costume for $2 burritos at Chipotle and 3. putting off studying during midterms

lots of lovee

Saturday, October 27, 2012

worth the rest

Have you ever felt too busy to take a break but when you do it's obvious how much you needed a rest? I had that. Two weeks ago I was in the midst of preparing for uni midterms, applying to transfer, trying to figure out my volunteer hours....blahblahblah. I was up to my head in stress and things to do with little to no time being given to my bible study fellowship or quiet time with the Lord, so when the time came to sign up for EPIC Fall Retreat I was burdened. Do I go as a leader of my fellowship and just forget about all my worries? Or do I stay home that weekend and work on these things to lessen the stress later?

Needless to say, I went. God was working in my heart to make that decision, because I learned to have worth in myself again through God. The quiet time I had with the Lord was such excellent rest for my mind because there was nothing I had to worry about up there except "how many jackets should I wear in this cold?". When I came home Sunday night I was so renewed in the Father that I saw how these worries weren't as big as I made them. My priorities were skewed. God is so good.

Oh and hammock time is always a good time.

lots of lovee

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

almost there..so long ago

KYOTO. We were almost back to Kanazawa from Fukuoka, and a transfer of overnight bus to day bus dropped us in Kyoto for a few hours. The trip feels so long ago what with the interruption of fall uni quarter beginning again, but I can still taste the amazing matcha ice cream and feel the humid heat in my memories.

Summer is officially gone and fall is here. My SoCal bones are shaking from the chilly weather change and I can only remember humid, hotter days in asia...sighh...until we meet again next summer.

Good vibrations to those in midterms right now! Have a blessed week pondfronds :)

lots of lovee

Monday, October 22, 2012

take a walk with me

"Come on, take a walk with me..."

Tell me you don't love Passion Pit. I might have to tell you we aren't virtual friends anymore...that would be too sad. Love their music and I will love you too.

Recently the ridiculous movement of LA weather from one extreme to the next within a week has left my voice hoarse and my allergies in overload. Therefore I am taking this time to not study for uni midterms to reminisce warmer days.

Delicious Mafia deli sandwiches from Pulciano's in San Gabriel to celebrate Pop's birthday...

watching gazelles basking in the heat of the day at SD Zoo Safari Park

Oh to dream of warmer days

lots of lovee

Thursday, October 11, 2012

collage city ... Fukuoka Style

The main part of my journey through Japan was our mini-vacation to Fukuoka! After that amazing 5 hours of spa time in Osaka, we were pumped and ready to take the beach city but were not so pleasantly surprised by the increase of heat and humidity that welcomed us.

Now I love zoo's but the combination of heat and humidity coupled with lack of shade and sleepiness, our first stop at the Fukuoka Zoo was not amazing. The animals had the right idea of hiding away in their shaded caves taking long summer slumbers as we searched to see a glimpse of their faces. The best animals were the famous Japanese Lesser Panda, zebra, and elephants...the only animals that would come out for us.
By far the reason why we went was for the ramen. Fukuoka is famous for their yatai ramen, which are the streets lined with stalls upon stalls of ramen and yakitori. AMAZING. Their main shopping area, Canal City, even features a "Ramen Stadium" that houses small stalls from many famous ramen stores all gathered in one place for people to try and compare. It was ridiculous. 

On Sunday, after church, we took in a stroll of Ohori Park in the middle of the city that contains a huge lake and island islet shooting into the middle of the water.
Lastly we ate the famous もつなべ (motsunabe) or pork offal hot pot. Dream with me of hot, rich soup with cold ビル, and nice old Japanese owner man. It was the perfect salty meal to make Fukuoka one of my favorite spots.

If you are like me and just beginning to brave this cold weather... BE STRONG. I'm off to the mountains this weekend for some much needed retreat. What are you doing to get through this transition weather?

lots of lovee

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Layover in Osaka

Next up on the journey to Fukuoka included a short layover in Osaka. We arrived in the early morning and our overnight bus wasn't leaving until much later that night, so we decided to do the usual Osaka bits: mess around, shop, eat okonomiyaki & takoyaki, shop more, etc.

The highlight of the layover and possibly the whole trip was the final hours before we left spent unwinding at Spa World Onsen. If it's not apparent from my facial expression, we love onsen and this was the most amazing onsen experience I have ever had. This 8 story building/hotel is complete with an outdoor swimming area, water slides, separate mens/women's floors, an arcade area, and a floor just for eating. Are you in awe yet? Good.

After 5 blissful hours in the onsen we caught our overnight bus and headed over to Fukuoka. Moral of the story: if you're gonna have a time gap somewhere, have it in Osaka.

Have an excellent week!

lots of lovee

deer heat

Can I blame it on the heat? Am I allowed to blame this inexcusable absence from the blog from the sweltering heat that has hit LA for the past few months? Well that is what I am blaming it on. not my laziness to edit and upload photos or the start of the new Uni semester but the indian summer. Will you forgive me if I offer up more peeks from my trip to Japan? Good.

After a week in Kanazawa we headed off to visit other cities on our trek down to Fukuoka, and one of the stops was Nara. Famous for their slightly domesticated free-roaming deer, Nara offered up traditional sights, a lantern lighting festival, LOTS of deer, and a night of heat exhaustion. What more could one ask for from one of the most famous cities in the Kansai region. 

Another university term begins and I am already looking forward to procrastination by way of blogging, baking, and cooking. Promise to read about it here afterwards? You're the best.

lots of lovee

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


personal purchases from Japan ...Tops Burger date ... revisiting favorites ... hidden treasures thrifting ... pre-spa coffee ... post-spa shul lang tang breakfast 

first it was fbook. then twitter. then tumblr. then pintrest. keep it simple. daily hodgepodge @kluelesshp!

lots of lovee

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

ain't no mountain high enough

Tell me you're not singing/humming/dancing to that song after reading the title of this post. Okay maybe just me. Marvin Gaye might have been talking about the obstacles of love but I'm talking about the physical obstacles that we faced hiking the Japanese Alps.

Due to rainy weather my sister and I along with a friend were limited to only hiking 2 of the 12 peaks in Toyama, but make no mistake that we were dying by the end. The endless elevation of stairs and steep hills was only abated by the breath taking natural scenes that we were allowed.

The top of the first peak, which featured a graffiti decorated rest area, rusty abandoned play area, fields of tall grass, and a gusty wind to cool us off.

The second peak was smaller but the greater elevation that we gained provided an amazing view of the entirety of Toyama prefecture as well as the outline of the next prefecture over.

On the return hike we were hit by unexpected downpour and took brief shelter until the rain let up. Definitely one of the most memorable events from this trip and after anticipating it for so long I can say I was not disappointed at all. This hike was the beginning of my sister's vacation time and the start of my second week there. What a way to begin vacation... sore and exhausted, but in full awe of God's creation!

Next up on the recap lineup: Nara!

lots of lovee

Monday, September 3, 2012

{photo diary} Party of One

Phase two (and the bulk) of my trip to Japan took place in my sister's city, Kanazawa-shi. For the first week that I was there I was able to explore ktown freely on my own during the day while my sister was at work. Honestly I expected the capital of Ishikawa prefecture to be a little larger than it is, but I came to love how convenient the city is laid out. Sights, shopping, and eating were all within a 15-20 minute walk from my sister's apartment situated close to the awesome Omi-cho fish market and M'za shopping center.

During my partyofone days in ktown I visited the famous sights including Kanazawa's Castle and adjacent Kenroukuen Garden, which was snug in the center of town; Oyama Jinja shrine, famous for the stain glass windows atop the shrine's highest tower; and Myoruji Temple, a temple famous for it's hidden staircases and trap doors. My favorite of them all was definitely Myoruji Temple, also known as Ninja-dera(Temple), with all of it's secret passageways and perfectly translated tour, it was an excellent 45 minutes well spent.

One of the mornings my sister guided me to Higashichaya on the outskirts of town. Kanazawa is known for producing 99% of the gold to Japan, so naturally everything in that district was covered in gold, gold leafed, or had flakes of gold in it ... even the bread. It's also famous for their self produced soy sauce, and one of the things that they have incorporated it into is ice cream !! Naturally we had to have one at 10 am.

The last highlight of my partyofone adventures in Ktown was their street festival for the Obon holiday. The event included group dancing competitions, singing, fencing demonstrations, taiko music, and food vendors lining the 6 city blocks through downtown that hosted the festival. Thanks ktown for an awesome time and some killer food!

 Have a wonderful Labor day! Mine is spent relaxing, eating, family time, and more eating. CHEERS!

lots of lovee