Ricotta Cheesecake with Figs and Honey 

I hope you’re not surprised to see yet another recipe with figs. They are just simply one of my favorite foods and they are only available in a nearly nonexistent timeframe here. I have to get them while I can. This is my go-to cheesecake recipe. I love it because it’s not too sweet and uses great cheeses. I decided to add figs for an obvious reason and a bit of honey.

It’s really quite a process to make, but so worth it. This is the recipe I use. In my fig and caramelized onion pizza post I explained my oven situation. It sucks. So I promise this cheesecake isn’t burned. It’s just very browned. Thanks oven. I adjusted the recipe to my liking by only using a cup of sugar instead of a cup and a half. The i drizzled honey on top and arranged the figs on top.

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Green

Green has been my favorite color of 2017 thus far. Not only do I love what it stands for but it also gives me that same feeling you get at the end of September when everything is at the cusp of change. So you can’t blame me with a look like this that packs a green punch.

Winter Capsule Wardrobe 

My journey with a Capsule Wardrobe started almost a year ago already. Time has really flown by but I have definitely learned a lot about my style, clothing and consumerism over the past year. I have to say that I really do believe that a Capsule Wardrobe is the best way to organize your life and also force you to realize exactly what goes into the clothes you wear. How they are made, where they are made, who made them…etc. My journey for this next year is going to involve supporting ethically sourced, made and produced clothing including eco-friendly made clothing. Consuming less is inherently eco-friendly but I would still like to strive to push my ethical and ecological backbone even further. For now though, here are just some ways I’ve worked with my Winter Capsule Wardrobe.

Using accessories has become critical during the winter months. Most days I wear a chunky sweater and jeans so layering with scarves, jewelry and bags has definitely been a focus of my spending for my Winter Capsule Wardrobe.

My sweater collection was big enough from my Fall Capsule Wardrobe that I didn’t really need to purchase any sweaters. So I bought a new pair of jeans because I wanted to get a pair that would last and be versatile throughout the changing of trends. They still have ripped hems though; I don’t think I’ll ever get over that trend.

Exhibit A: stacking on the jewelry. This is actually a bit excessive for me but, case in point. Jewelry can change a minimal Winter Capsule Wardrobe in so many ways.

Some how I lucked out this year. It hasn’t been nearly as cold as it normally is so I haven’t purchased a warmer winter coat. I’m still wearing this teddy bear one from last year but it’s warm enough and I feel comfortable in it so there’s no need to change it.

It’s even been warm enough on some days to just wear my leather jacket which astounds me. Also I’m clearly not over the cami over tee ensemble. So 90’s, so understated ‘cool’.

Keep an eye out for my future Capsule Wardrobe post because I will most certainly be including some ethical brands that I am supporting for 2017.

DIY Air Plant Stands

After playing with polyclay for the DIY Wall Charms post last fall, I have wanted to come back to it and see what else I could create. I got the inspiration for these small plant stands at a local plant shop that carries small wooden ones. It took a few tries to get the perfect method for getting these somewhat polished and clean-lined air plant stands but the end result was worth it.

The process isn’t too difficult, the most important ingredient is patience because working with polyclay can be difficult. It’s hard to smooth out to be honest, which proves difficult when trying to make a bowl shaped object. Start with half of a 2oz package of polymer clay, work it in your hands to warm it up and use any objects you have around (i.e. rolling pin, glass bottle, chunky highlighter pen?) to roll the clay flat, smooth and even on a smooth surface like a cutting board or table. I rolled mine to about 1/4 in thick. The clay for my largest plant stand was rolled out to about 5 inches in diameter and the smallest to about 3 inches.

Find bowl shaped object that you have lying around (i.e. ramekin, sugar bowl, small drinking class?) that will function as a mold for your clay to bake on so make sure it’s safe to use in the oven. Carefully lift the clay off your rolling surface and lay it over the center of the bottom of your bowl shaped object. Gradually wrap the clay around the curve of the bowl shaped object.

Make the legs for your stand by rolling out 3 cylindrical objects that are the same size. Then attach them to the bottom of the clay bowl-shaped object that you just created. First line them up so they are all equidistant from each other then gently press the legs into the base of the air plant stand. The clay should fairly easily meld together. Before you bake, make sure the legs are still all the same length.

Once you’ve done that place your clay wrapped mold on to a baking sheet and follow the baking directions that are provided on the packaging of the polyclay (they usually differ from brand to brand).

Take out of the oven, let cool and fill with an air plant. These fun-sized plant stands make a great gift, even for Valentine’s Day in lieu of a bouquet of roses. Or have a Galentine’s Day get-together and create these with your gal pals. Or just make one for yourself. Either way, share with me what you make!

Closet Organization 

When I started my capsule wardrobe journey almost a year ago, I didn’t really know what it would entail. I knew it followed the philosophy “less is more” and that by having less clothing, that are still versatile, in the end you have more options. This really appealed to me as a way to stay organized and have one less thing to always worry about.

A few months ago I decided that part of having a capsule wardrobe is having an organized physical wardrobe. We have two closets, one huge one that could probably double as an office or spare bedroom and one smaller one that we use to store seasonal items and household tools, etc. The bigger closet, because of it’s size has a tendency to get cluttered quickly. There wasn’t much organization to the space and nothing really had a home. So I took it into my hands and devised an organized closet that would suit my capsule wardrobe needs.

I started by taking down the existing clothes rail because it was just too much rail and we were never able to fill the space up. So I added an “auxiliary” rail from Ikea that I knew would be the perfect sized to house all of our clothes that need to be hung up. This in-turn left enough room to stack our dressers and add in more shelving space. Less rail equals more room for other useful organization.

So we stacked up our dressers which are the Malm dressers from Ikea. This gave us room to add two more shelves and room for a shoe rack. I really wanted more shelves so that I could have room for my jewelry and accessories to be displayed. We also store our sweaters and pants in storage bins (which are from Ikea and Target) and we needed more space for those as well. I also recycled an old belt and attached them to the dresser drawers with some gold nails to function as drawer pulls.

I even snuck a bit of storage space underneath the clothing rack. A few of my favorite shoes and a storage bin full of extra bedding and sheets.

I love having my jewelry displayed on the shelves. One: because it’s beautiful and two: because it reminds me to put it on in the morning. All of our trays and catchalls are from either The Container Store or from Target.

I have to say that this one of the best things that we’ve done in our apartment. It was the only spot that had a tendency to get messy; it always felt like a catastrophe whenever it was even slightly messy. It has taught me that it’s important to use your space in a way that is best suited for you, especially when you’re blessed with more than adequate closet space. Feel free to share any of your closet organizing tips with me below in the comments!

How to: Soft Matte Waves

I have been wanting to write this post for awhile because it is consistently my go-to way to create soft matte waves. Most days I don’t really have the time to do this but when I do, it’s really worth it. The waves are very natural and soft and the Matte Pomade from Ouai helps keep them in place over several days.

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The process is simple. Comb through hair, gather small sections of hair and slide the flat iron through, clamp down the flat iron and rotate back and forth while still keeping the iron moving. At the ends, twist the iron around to soften the edges. I take a small amount of the Ouai Matte Pomade in my hands and work it into the bottom of my hair.


Rotating the iron back and forth creates a softer wave than wrapping the iron around the hair. It can be a bit tricky to keep the iron moving while doing this, but after a few tries, you’ll get the hang of it. The Ouai Matte Pomade is amazing; it has a lot of hold and adds to the softened look that I love.

On My Bookcase

January is off to a great start, having read 3 books and couple of magazines already. January is continuously my month to read all the books from 2016 that I didn’t have the time to read. With all of the books that I read for classes, there just isn’t much time to read anything else. So believe me when I say, I’m so excited to finally read these books. Milk and Honey, History of Wolves, The Girls and The Underground Railroad are all on my list of books to finish before classes pick up again.

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur: I’ve actually already read this one through but as all poetry books, I love coming back to it and picking it up and just reading a few poems here and there. The New York Times says: Much of Kaur’s appeal comes from this artless vulnerability, like a cross between Charles Bukowski and Cat Power, and from an ingénue’s willingness to blurt out whatever is on her mind. “I was always writing for myself,” she told The Times of India this month. “I wrote what I needed to write and hear — that’s what makes it powerful. And it’s this honesty that has got me where I am today.”

Kaur’s highly personally prose is something that pulls me into pick up the book and reread it with the intention of finding something new or something that wasn’t there before.

History of Wolves by Emily Frilund: NPR says “Emily Fridlund’s electrifying debut novel History of Wolves is a contemporary coming-of-age story about a young woman — but it avoids the familiar story are so common to other novels in that genre.” After only reading the first few pages, I’m excited to witness something new in a coming-of-age story as those are quite often my favorite.

The Girls by Emma Kline: I’ve been trying to read this book since it came out and to be honest I was waiting for it to come out in paperback because I much more prefer reading paperback books over hardcover. But I just caved and decided to buy the hardcover version because I just couldn’t wait any longer. The story follows the lives of girls involved in a Mason-like cult. That’s really all I know about the book and that’s all I’ve known for the past 8 months. I don’t want any spoilers or giveaways because I know that this is going to be a good one.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: NPR calls it “Now, in his new novel, The Underground Railroad, Whitehead returns to his childhood vision of an actual locomotive that carries escaped slaves through tunnels. The book follows a 15-year-old slave named Cora who has escaped from a Georgia plantation and must make her way north to freedom. Along the way, the train stops in different states, each of which represent a different response to slavery. “Sort of like Gulliver’s Travels, the book is rebooting every time the person goes through a different state,” Whitehead says.” Based on this description alone, I can feel that this one will be a page-turner that forces me to reflect, in new ways, on the past and the present implications of slavery.

You can probably get all of these books at your local bookstore in case any of these sound appealing to you. If you pick them up to read, let me know what you thought. But just make sure it’s sometime after January!