Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cinnamon Roses with Pomegranate-Cranberry Glaze

I thought I'd share this elegant twist on a classic brunch treat. Cinnamon Roses are light, sweet, and perfect for summer!

You will need:
Store-bought crescent roll dough (I used Pillsbury)
Cranberry-pomegranate juice (or blueberry-pomegranate juice, or just plain old pomegranate juice)
Powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Unroll dough, separating down the middle perforation into two rectangles. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

2. Roll the two rectangles up as so.

3. Using a serrated knife, cut slices about 3/4 inch in thickness and lay them on their side.

4. Pinch the bottom of each roll with your fingers until it's completely closed up. This will cause the center part of the "rose" to pop up a bit. Make sure that all the layers still stay relatively close together and that the center isn't sticking out too much, because this will cause your roses to unravel during baking!

5. Your roses should look something like this. Stick them in the oven and get ready to make the glaze! (Follow the baking instructions on the dough package. I found that while the instructions called for 13 minutes baking time, these only needed about 10. Be sure to check on them!) 

6. Pour about a half cup of powdered sugar into a small bowl. Don't worry if your measurements aren't exact, because all you need to do is add the juice until the glaze is the perfect consistency! Start by adding a tablespoon of juice, and continue adding teaspoons, stirring as you go until the glaze is thin enough to be drizzled. I found that I needed about one and a half tablespoons.
(If you'd like a brighter, more festive glaze, add one drop of red food colouring to the mix!)

7. Drizzle your roses with the glaze and serve warm! :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

DIY: transform a simple jar into a unique, cute way to save money!

The best time to start working towards your goals is today, and saving is usually a good way to get there. However, if all you're looking at is numbers on a piece of paper, you probably won't feel too accomplished. I find that the old piggy-bank system, saving your spare change every day, can be an enjoyable way to help save up. But there's no need to dust off the old pink pig, because all you need is a mason jar, an index card, and some scissors!

1. Gather your materials. Pop the suction lid out of the screw-on cap of the jar to use as a stencil.

2. Using the inner part of the lid to get the sizing just right, cut a circle out of an index card.

3. Fold the card in half and cut two little notches, far enough apart to accommodate all sizes of coins. Then, cut the resulting rectangle out.

4. Unfold your circle and smooth it out. It should look like this!

5. Decorate!

6. Stick the circle into the screw-on part of the lid. You can glue it down if you'd like, but it should stay fine on its own. Besides, if it's not permanent, you can keep using the jar for your next saving endeavor!

7. Screw on the cap and start saving!

P.S. Yes, I really am saving up for a road trip. My boyfriend and I plan to travel around the country together for a month or so, the summer after I graduate. :) 

Friday, May 25, 2012


Free-lensing is old news in the blogosphere by now, but in case you haven't heard of it, it's a photography technique in which you detach your lens and hold it close to your camera while shooting. This produces unique images with very shallow depth of focus and light spots. If you own a DSLR or a mirrorless camera with a detachable lens, I suggest you try it out! I finally jumped on the bandwagon and had a lot of fun shooting little things around my bedroom.

1. Matches and incense ash on an index card. 2. Window. 
3. Metal bird (a gift from one of my closest friends) 4. Fine-tip felt pen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chasing passions

I feel like I've come full-circle in this whole self discovery thing. As I've mentioned many a time previously, I have too many passions and too little time. I've always known that I want to be self-employed, and that I want to make the world a more beautiful place, but this big question is: what? What do I really want to spend the rest of my life doing?

I've flirted with the idea of every typical artsy self-employment option I could think of: blogging and running e-courses, graphic design, owning a boutique, professional photographer. But honestly, I don't want to spend the rest of my life dealing with enhanced photos of couples smiling in a field of daisies or diving into the technical mumbo-jumbo of html or accounting-101. I'm interested in all of those things, but I lack the dedication and the patience and the passion to really pursue them. Suddenly, it became a matter of what college majors would be practical for a self-employed artist, and that was when I knew something was very, very wrong. Practical is not in my vocabulary.
And so launched this bout of deep thinking and internet-fasting. 

Tonight, in the midst of dinner, I looked up and launched into a full-blown rant to my poor, bewildered mother. Initially, it was about being a leader and discovering that ten seconds of confidence can move a mountain, but as the words poured out of my mouth it gradually became an emotional, passionate rant about my disgust for those who treat underdogs (i.e. special needs and otherwise socially handicapped or different individuals) as less than human. Bullying and backstabbing in general disgusts me, but on this level especially I find it sickening. Everyone deserves an equal amount of compassion, patience and respect. I actually got so worked up talking about the issue that I started to cry. And in my book, if an injustice angers you to the point of tears, you'd better do something about it.

I've never really thought of it as a career option, but I definitely have a calling. Not to end bullying (though that would be lovely), because there are a million organizations already committed to that cause. I think I have a calling to give courage to the weak. I know what it's like to feel utterly alone and hopeless, to hate yourself. I know what it's like to literally be one jump from death. But here I am, strong and happy and determined. I pulled myself out of the pit of despair because I chose to be happy, and I feel obliged to show others how to make that choice. I don't know how, and I don't know where to start, but it's something that I never actually considered and now know how important it is to me. And that's something, right?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Hello, all. I apologize again for my inconsistency these past several weeks. It's been a time of self-relfection, building inspiration, and overall cleansing. I'm not religious, but there's something a little bit spiritual about talking walks in the drizzling rain under blinding white skies or sitting in a haze of incense smoke on the balcony in the evening... wouldn't you say? And, of course, there is an abundance of magic found in time spent with friends.
Anyway, as I continue to embrace life in all its fullness and beauty, posts will continue to be sparse. I'll be sure to share little projects, milestones, photo-shoots, and updates as time progresses! I'm definitely going to focus on making this blog a better reflection of myself, than a reflection of what readers seem to be interested in. And honestly, clever little DIYs and elaborate outfit posts are not quite me. (As much as I love fashion, let's be honest; I wear skinny jeans and some sort of t-shirt and hat four days of the week, anyway.)

I'm a very fluid person with a million passions, and my most prominent interests tend to go in cyclical phases. Currently, I'm dabbling in art journaling for the first time, and making huge leaps as a photographer. I'm hoping to start scheduling shoots more regularly, with someone other than my tripod.. :) But in the mean-time, feel free to mosey on down to my flickr, and take a gander below at the self portrait I've put together just for my lovely blog readers! (Which I highly suggest you click on to view in better clarity).

In other news, the school year is almost over (get excited!), which means teachers are cramming in that one last unit, one last essay, one last project before finals. Expect an excerpt (... words <3) of my English persuasive letter essay on marijuana legalization within the next few days! I'm particularly passionate about the issue, and I honestly had too much research to fit concisely in an essay, so I had to leave a great chunk of it out. However, I'm still relatively pleased with the overall turnout, so I was thinking of sharing a bit with all of you. Perhaps I'll share even more of my creative writing over time as well!

I hope everyone is having a lovely day. Until next time,

- Nadine

P. S. It lifts my heart to know that people read my blog - please don't be shy, comment! It always surprises to me to find out that more people read my blog than I'm aware of. I'm very friendly, so don't be afraid to email me, either! I love making friends and I'd love your suggestions and reactions to help make my blog even better. :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Strawberry Balsamic Pizza with Sweet Onions, Chicken and Bacon as a welcome back present?

Hello, all! I've taken a bit of a break from the blogging world, as you may have noticed, but I'm feeling happier and more inspired than ever and looking forward to jumping back into things. Posts probably won't be as frequent, perhaps two a week for the time being, and I'll kick it back up to speed once the summer is upon us. :)

Speaking of summer: this heavenly homemade dish was my dinner tonight, and boy, do I wish I could take credit for the recipe, because it's pure genius! I only varied the recipe found here, and it was one of most amazing foods I have ever eaten, honestly. Such depth of flavor! And, of course, you can't go wrong with bacon. This would be the perfect course to serve at a summer garden party with a few friends!

In other news, I've dyed my hair! Temporarily, for now, but I'm thinking very seriously about bleaching  my bangs and dying them blue permanently as my hair grows out. What do you think?

And yes, I am leaving the pixie cut behind... at least, I'm trying to. This is my second attempt to grow out my hair, so we'll see how far it gets me; I'm into the awkward stage now, and I came very close to cropping it all off again over the weekend, but I'm going to try to persevere. I just miss braids and non-terrible bedhead, you know? Especially with all the summery hair tutorials floating around on the interwebs...

This school year is coming to a close; only five weeks left, eek! I simply cannot wait for summer to arrive. With all the friends I've made and personal growth I've achieved this year, I have some very happy times ahead of me. :)