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20 Facts About Tia

February 11, 2012

20 Facts About Tia:

1) I don’t have a favorite color. I like them all!
2) I hate blue Christmas lights. They are creepy. We had to make a Hell’s Mouth in drama class once, and I decorated mine in blue Christmas lights.
3) I am a huge Star Wars fan, and I mean in the super geeky I-read-all-the-books-and-play-all-the-computer-games way. I even have a Star Wars tattoo (super nerd status)
4) I am a natural blondie.
5) I have always, and will always, detest lasagna.
6) Billy Joel is my favorite musical artist of all time. I even got to see him AND Elton John in concert. It was *magical*.
7) I cannot resist babies, but I personally do not want to have children for a very long time.
8) I sleep on my stomach without a pillow. Blech, I don’t like pillows.
9) I’m very accident-prone around knives. I have lots of accident scars!
10) The movie Ms. Congeniality is the reason I am a Criminal Justice major.
11) Whenever people ask me,”If you could be anything, what would you be?” the first thing that pops into my head is invariably “A Jedi!” (see #3)
12) I love tomatoes with a passion.
13) I don’t really have any “fears” or phobias, but I have this thing where eyes really freak me out and I can’t watch any movies where someone gets stabbed in the eye or something awful like that.
14) I have a watch tan that will never go away.
15) I love listening to Reggaeton music like Daddy Yankee, especially when I work-out.
16) I love my eyebrow piercing and would not feel like the same person without it.
17) I can play the piano, the guitar, the electric bass, and the hammer dulcimer (although not very well on that last one).
18) I am not a big fan of romantic comedies… give me a good action/superhero flick any day!
19) I will probably never love a TV show like I loved LOST. Through the good, the bad, and the really terrible (the last season), I stayed true, and nothing will ever again excite, terrify, and mystify me the way it did.
20) I love kitties. Calicoes are my favorite!


Article Round-Up

February 10, 2012

As the weekend arrives, hopefully you have a little time to kickback and relax. If so, here are some interesting articles that I have read lately that you might enjoy:

How Tanning Changes the Brain

“A study in 2005 did show that a large proportion of sunbathers met the psychiatric definition of a substance abuse disorder, based on their answers to a variation of a test often used to help diagnose alcohol addiction.”


The Problem With Skinny Bashing

Facebook’s Hypocritical Breastfeeding Controversy

The Problem With Serving Sizes

The Science of How Massage Heals Sore Muscles

Americans’ Trans Fat Levels are Dropping

This Friday round-up of articles was inspired by Caitlin. Happy Friday!

-Over and Out

Traveling to France

February 10, 2012

Colmar, in the Alsace region, is the most beautiful place on Earth. Future husband take note. 🙂

Tonight, I was feeling a bit sad and nostalgic for France where I traveled for a brief time this summer. I’m a quarter French, a francophile, and a former French major, but more on all of that later. Tonight I just thought I would share some photographs with you.

Creamy Grapefruit

February 8, 2012

Hump Day is looking up. I had some fun finds at the grocery store!

Find Numero Uno:




It’s a white grapefruit! Probably not that unusual, but I have never seen one before. I love grapefruit, so I just had to buy one and see what it was like. I discovered that it is milder and less tart than a ruby red grapefruit. It would be great for those who think that pink grapefruits are too acidic. Personally, though, I like ’em tart! Obviously, I had a lot of fun photographing them.



Find Numero Dos:

NON-DAIRY CREAM. VEGAN CREAM! Um, heck yes! I have never seen this product before, either! I was so excited to get it, and now I’m dreaming of creamy recipes like mousse. Oh my, vegan mousse!

Wait. Can we stop and talk about that word for a minute? I love the word mousse. Seriously. It’s a homophone for moose! A moose is such a funny, awkward animal, and mousse is so smooth, suave, and elegant, the antithesis of a moose. One sound, two completely different connotations. I think it’s cool.

By the way, if you get the meanings of homophone, homograph, and homonym mixed up, I found this totally awesome diagram that explains it! (thanks Wikipedia)

So, all-in-all, I feel better. Hump Day has improved. Hopefully, yours has too!

-Over and out

The Horrors of Hump Day

February 8, 2012

Happy Hump Day! I hope your Hump Day is going well, because… mine’s not. I woke up this morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I was oh so very sore, which I account to the kickboxing class I took yesterday, complete with weighted gloves and bars. The class was awesome- very upbeat, sweaty, and fun, and (NERD ALERT) I got to pretend that I was a jedi and having lightsaber duels. It pretty much kicked my butt, and I could really feel it this morning. Getting out of bed was painful.

Then I got to my first Bio class and realized that I had forgotten my clicker, which we use to take electronic quizzes at the end of the class period. Great, no points for Tia today. Escaping to the coffee shop in my ten minute break between classes, I had a very awkward encounter with someone that I had not seen/spoken to in a very long time. Despite my concerted effort to carefully examine my coffee thermos and avoid making eye contact, I was spotted and greeted with a friendly, “Hey, how’s it going?” Awkwardness ensued. “Uh, it’s going… GREAT,” I managed to idiotically stutter back. Embarassing.

Returning to class for my second bio class of the day, my friend helpfully reminded me that we were having two quizzes at the end of class today. Fabulous. Double points lost. I decided to skip class to run back to my room and fetch my clicker, so I could at least get some points for the day. But, at the end of that class, the program through we which we take our quizzes didn’t work, so no quiz after all. I basically missed the entire lecture for nothing.

Now I sit here, typing this post when I should be studying for my bio lab (yeah, it’s a biology-heavy day). I will leave you now, hoping that your Wednesday is going better than mine. The day is yet young, and I will determinedly try and turn it around.

Happy Hump Day!

-Over and out

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

February 7, 2012

See for yourself:

Looks amazing, huh?


On Sunday, I tried Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Cookie Dough Dip. I have been a long-time reader of her blog, so I’ve been eyeballing this recipe for a while, waiting for the right opportunity to try it out. I decided that the Super Bowl was that opportunity. The verdict? It is a promising recipe, but somewhere I went wrong.  The recipe is as follows:

Cookie Dough Dip

  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
  • 1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (You can get away with using only 3 T. If you use peanut butter, it’ll have a very-slight “pb cookie dough” taste, so if you don’t want this, you can sub oil.)
  • up to 1/4 cup milk of choice (Start with 1 T, and add more as needed)
  • Sweetener (see note below, for amount)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips or Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips
  • 2 to 3 T oats (or flaxmeal) (You can omit, but also omit the milk if you do)

Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a good food processor (not blender), and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.

Sweetener Notes: I used 2/3 cup brown sugar when I first made this for the party. Liquid sweeteners (agave, maple, etc.) are fine as well, as is evaporated cane juice. You can easily get away with less sugar– some people will be perfectly fine with just 3 T for the whole recipe! And if you don’t want any sugar, be sure to check out the “no-sugar” version linked above. (You can also use stevia, if you like the taste of stevia-sweetened desserts. Try 2-3 packets of NuNaturals stevia, and add more sweetener if needed. I wouldn’t recommend serving an all-stevia version to party guests, though.)

I made it as written, except that I omitted the oats, and thus the milk. Texture: My problem was that it came out very runny. Basically, it was like cookie soup. In a desperate attempt to save it, I added in tablespoons of flax and soy flour. Still a little runny. So, I stuck it in the freezer to harden it up before the party. After the addition of the flour and flax, the thickness was acceptable. Katie notes that she has never had problems with runniness, so I wonder if it was the almond butter that I used? If you are going to try this recipes, I recommend using a thick, no-stir nut butter.Taste: I could taste the chickpeas unless I add copious nut butter and sugar, therefore destroying the healthy aspect of it. I originally started with 1/4 cup brown sugar, and had to add more to taste. I ended up using a heaping 2/3 cup because it took that much sugar to cover up the chickpea taste. Also, I could taste the flax, and it added a slightly “fishy” taste. That would probably bother those that do not regularly eat it. Overall: If nut butter, sugar/sweetener, and chocolate chips are liberally added, this makes an acceptable gluten-free cookie dough dip. I would not call it extremely healthy, and the chickpea and/or flax taste may be noticeable to some. Experimentation to achieve the desired taste is needed.
I’ll try it again some day and see if I can get it right!

Today’s lunch was Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes, inspired by Happy Herbivore.

Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes" with melty margarine


They did not quite satisfy my mashed potato craving, which was brought on by the gloom-and-doom drizzly weather that is unfortunately occuring today. It was runny (what is my problem?!) and a bit grainy; it definitely wasn’t thick or stiff enough to really resemble mashed potatoes the way I like them. I will be working to resolve that problem and can hopefully post my solution recipe soon! They were still delicious, though, especially with a large pat of Smart Balance margarine.

Fun fact: I never liked mashed potatoes growing up. As a child, I actually didn’t enjoy Thanksgiving that much because I didn’t like mashed potatoes, green beans, turkey, stuffing, or pumpkin pie. I was a weird one, I know. My desire to eat mashed potatoes has developed very recently. Thankfully, I also now love pumpkin pie, sans the crust (I have a gluten-free mommy). I still do not care for green beans, turkey, or stuffing.

 What are some of the foods that you hated as a child that you now like to eat?

What are some that you still dislike?

-Over and Out

Calming Coconut Face Scrub

February 6, 2012

Last night, spur of the moment, I whipped up some amazing face scrub. I was making tea, actually, and noticed that I had several packets of chamomile tea, which I do not especially like. Nothing can match my love for peppermint tea, nothing! Chamomile has great soothing qualities, though, so I decided to put those tea bags to good use. I cut open three and emptied them into a little glass jar. Then I added a 1/2 T of baking soda, and about 3T coconut oil, melted, and stirred them all together. Voila! An adorable little jar of easy, affordable face scrub.

Coconut Chamomile Face Scrub

Why it works:

Baking soda is a mild abrasive that will gently exfoliate and remove the dead skin cells that can block pores and cause acne. The chamomile tea has soothing, calming effects and also works as an exfoliant. Coconut oil is miraculous for the skin. Although many people are afraid of applying oil to their skin, fearing that it will make them break-out, coconut oil actually has the opposite effect! Why? Because coconut oil contains a large amount of lauric acid. Lauric acid  is a saturated fatty acid that has been shown to be anti-microbial, especially against propionbavterum acnes, which is the acne-causing bacteria. Lauric acid inhibits the growth of this bacteria and is 15 times more effective at killing p. acnes than benzoyl peroxide. If you are at all familiar with acne-fighting creams, you will know that benzoyl peroxide is often touted as the best defense against a zitty face. Also, unlike benzoyl peroxide, coconut oil will not cause dryness and irritation, but rather, soothe inflammation and combat dryness. Coconut oil is 50% lauric acid, and thus has incredible implications for fighting acne, soothing irritation, and moisturizing. Source.

I hope that you try it out! I put coconut oil on my face every night and I love it! It has made my face softer, clearer, and more glowing :-)!

-Over and out