Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Strawberry Milk


There's something about pink drinks. To me, they just look more special than anything else: a pink drink promises sweet, fresh flavor. Strawberry milk is certainly no exception.


I first made this recipe from Pastry Affair three or so years ago, and it was so good that I've been wanting to make it ever since, but kept either forgetting or not having something that went into making it. Finally, today, I had everything, so I whipped up a batch of strawberry syrup.


The process is fun and easy, it makes your house (or apartment!) smell absolutely divine, and the end result is exceedingly satisfying. So much so that I felt the need to pass it on again!



INGREDIENTS

1 cup strawberries, sliced (frozen or fresh are fine, I used fresh)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used French Vanilla coffee syrup since that's all I had)


METHOD

Boil all four ingredients for about 10 minutes. Don't be alarmed when it gets super juicy and foamy! This is when your living space starts to smell like heaven. I took pictures as it cooked so you know what it looks like... I always like pictures of things like that because when I cook I tend to be paranoid.

When those ten or so minutes are up, strain with a fine mesh sieve into something that can handle hot liquids (I used a normal bowl). You can use the strawberries as a topping for something else if you'd like (Pastry Affair suggests ice cream). Place the syrup in the fridge until cool.

When ready, spoon about three teaspoons of syrup into a medium glass of milk (that's just what I used; adjust it to your taste!), stir well, and enjoy!

xoxo,
Jesse

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

O Captain, Our Captain


By now I think we have all heard about the passing of Robin Williams, one of the most truly beloved actors of all time. It's not necessary for me to go on about how much I loved his work, because you already know. We all loved his work. I grew up watching and loving his movies, as did a lot of us. Matt and I agreed that he was the first actor that we learned to recognize as children, half because he was in so many things we loved to watch and half because of how great he was in everything, and how memorable his performances always were. I don't think I've ever seen him do a poor job. Just a couple weeks ago I showed Matt Hook for the first time, and his little brother and I watched Jumanji on Fourth of July weekend. The movies and performances hold up even after all this time. I was so, so lucky to have this man at the center of so many of my childhood staples.

The internet has been awash with sadness over his passing. You can look in just about any website and read about how great an actor he was, or how great a guy in real life. He was admirable through and through, and immensely talented. My favorite Robin Williams factoid was that he and Robert DeNiro were considered for the role of Jack Torrance in The Shining, but DeNiro was rejected because he "wasn't psychotic enough" and Robin was because he was "too psychotic." That just goes to show you how much energy he put into his work, how believable he was. I mean, the whole first scene from Aladdin was literally just that the folks at Disney put Robin Williams in a room with a bunch of stuff and just had him improvise! This apparently happened with a lot of roles he did. "A man so funny that a script was a deterrent," as someone put it yesterday.

Whenever something like this happens, it's tragic, and makes me very sad, but it also makes me very, very angry. There's no reason for something like this to happen. There's absolutely no reason for him to have gone the way that he did. Famous people lead very isolated lives and are constantly under a lot of pressure (imagine having the entire world scrutinizing your work and your personal life) to be perfect and do everything right, while having more money than any one person should ever have or could ever use, which is why so many of them struggle with depression and addiction, why most celebrity marriages end in divorce, and why so many of them have bad relationships with their children, too.

The worst thing about it is that all of these celebrities have easy access to the help that they so desperately need. Many of them try to get it. But honestly, they could hire someone to just follow them around and talk them through things. It's so sad watching these people who shouldn't be in the bad situations they're in, because they have so many means of escape from it, so many ways to combat it that most of us normal folk couldn't even dream of.  There is absolutely no reason this should happen, but it does, over and over and over again. It's just so, so sad.

Depression is a horrible illness that I wouldn't wish upon anyone, one that makes even the most brilliant, bright, shining stars unable to see their own light.

I've said this before on other social media, but please, if you need help, get it. Robin Williams was worth helping, Lee Thompson Young was worth helping, and so are you. You are worth it.

Rest in peace, Robin. We miss you already.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Interior Inspiration: Living Room

I love how comfortable this space looks: warm, soft, and inviting. Needs more color to suit my taste, though! (x)


I have always been a fan of interior design. I think that the space you live in should suit your needs and lifestyle, but that it should also be aesthetically appealing to you, whatever your tastes may be. I read somewhere that you should get rid of everything that you don't find useful or beautiful, and after purging so many of my belongings after this move, I absolutely agree in that sentiment.

I love the color in this, and adore the ottoman-with-tray in lieu of a coffee table. (x)


For ages I've been collecting photos of rooms that, to me, suit my tastes and our lifestyle. Our new apartment is sort of our blank slate: it's all ours, so we needn't take into account our housemate's taste or anything like that. It's all ours to do what we please with, and that freedom is wonderful!

Once again, the use of color is lovely, and I love all the little decorative touches: the lions beside the fireplace, the ornate lamp base, the lovely red-orange flowers, the interesting antique mirrors. (x)

Thankfully, Matt and I have very similar taste for most things, and for the things he doesn't mind either way about, he lets me have free reign. I once showed him a picture of the most traditionally feminine kitchen I've ever seen and he said he would love to have a kitchen like that, no irony involved! What a gem, right? However, my tastes are slightly more simple: I just want everything to look comfortable, inviting, but not cluttery. We have wood floors and white walls, tan granite in the kitchen with white cabinets and appliances... and I actually like it, because we get even more freedom with color and such.

We already know we want a couch with a chaise lounge attached, so this little shelving idea beside the chaise is perfect! (x)
Our living room is our biggest room (of course), and will eventually be the one we spend the most time in once we get furniture in there, so I can't wait to start piecing together things that will make it look interesting and comfortable and welcoming! Thank goodness for websites like pinterest to organize all these ideas.

Once again, love the use of color in this living room. That couch is fantastic, and the coffee table is so unique! Love the three-tiered side table as well. (x)


I love this use of movie/music posters to decorate, and how chic it looks! Also really digging that little dining table. (x)



Have a great day!

xoxo,
Jesse