Wednesday, February 20, 2013

BoifromIpanema style

 Well ya'll, we are already ankle deep in 2013!

 Now I don't know about you guys but I never really set any new year's resolutions  A. becuase not making them means I don't felel like a total loser when I just give up on them,  B. because I'm lazy and  C. because *see A. and B., but I'm feeling resolution-y right about now

'cause better late than never, amIright guyz?

  With the new year comes an opportunity for new beginnings, and not one but TWO new segments here on

  *Cue children's applause and laughter*

 The first being a monthly segment I'm calling "Duets for a year". 

 This segment was inspired by my very good friend Maya at  She recently just finished up her series entitled "love songs for a year" In which like, sang love songs...for the year.   Yeah anyway  Each month I will be singing a duet with a different artist, creating a fusion of styles which, I'm hoping, turns out really cool.

The second series starting in the next few next months will be a weekly series entitled "Fitness Friday."  I will be posting my journey to getting fit and flexible and my overall progress as a dancer. Hopefully this segment will inspire you to be more active and maybe even go on this journey with me. In addition to body progress pics (which I am dreading like the wrath of God....this is all for you!!!), I'll be posting some "get-active" activities and healthy (yet delicious of course) recipes to help ease the junk-food cravings.  And fret not ye weary souls,  There will be plenty of DIY fashion and craft tutorials to come.

  I hope you all are having a wonderful new year thus far. Don't forget to leave me comments. I'd love to hear feedback from any readers on the new ideas, format and blog posts :D

 Here's to new journeys yo!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bloody Valentine Heart Tutorial

So as I'm sure most of you are aware, it's once again that time of the year to remember that you have been completely single on the 14th of February for the last 3 years.....celebrate the love between yourself and your significant other.

YES, Valentine's day is coming up in just a few short days.  If you're like me and you can't really get into the gushy, sappy-love stuff, here's a little anti-Valentine for people who live in the real world-type Valentine's day project. 

This simple DIY project could make a great Valentine's day gift for the hip man or woman in your life.

...I mean, how many boxes of chocolate can one person eat anyway? 
(answer: if they are like me, as many as they are given)

umm....Let's do this!

So here's what you'll need:

Step 1:
Start with a white shirt. Be sure that your shirt is 100% cotton or a high cotton blend to ensure the brightest, most vibrant colors.

Using a black Tulip fabric marker from iLovetoCreate, draw an anatomical heart onto the front of your shirt.

Step 2:
Outline the top half of the heart with Tulip's Tie-Dye Resist.  This will aid in preventing the dye from spreading outside the line. Because the resist is clear, you may want to go over the outline 2 or 3 times just to ensure that you don't miss any spots ( like I did ).  

Step 3:
Next, mix together your Tulip One Step Dye.  To achieve the desired crimson color, I mixd red with a bit of black and purple dye. Then in a separate bottle, I created a slightly darker shade to add some dimension to the heart.  Once the colors are all mixed together, spray your heart with some water. Try and keep the water within the lines of your heart where you added the resist. On the lower half of your heart, where you didn't add resist,  you may be more liberal with the water because we want the dye to "bleed" in that area.  

Now using your paintbrush, paint in your heart with the dye then shade with darker color.

Step 4:
Using a finer tipped paint brush, add "blood drips" to the bottom of your heart. For best result on the drips, paint onto DRY fabric. This will ensure that the drips remain crisp and don't spread.
Lastly, let your shirt dry for about 5 hours or overnight so that your colors remain vibrant for many washes.

The final product

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Briga, Briga, Brigadeiro

You know how there are those certain birthday traditions that you just CANNOT do without? Like a special breakfast, one-on-one time with a loved one, or a cake-smashing-in-the-face at your birthday party

Well one of those special traditions in Brazil is the making of Brigadeiro (pronounced brie-gah-day-roo).

Brigadeiro is a small gooey chocolate treat with a texture similar to a caramel. It's usually made for children's birthdays but I made these for my brother's birthday yesterday...and he's 40. It's really delicious and fairly easy to make. Easy enough though that my friends and I will make it and eat it straight from a plate instead of rolling it into balls...though I'm pretty sure that has to do more with laziness....hmmm.

Though traditionally a birthday snack, Brigadeiro is perf for Valentines Day and stuff.....if you're into love, and... things.

Here's what you'll need:

  • about 1/2 tbsp of butter. I've used both salted and unsalted and it doesn't seem to make that big a difference.
  • 3 tbsp UNSWEETENED cocoa powder. I used dark cocoa.  
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (leche mo├ža or la lechera)
  • chocolate sprinkles 
  • mini cake liners
  • a wooden spoon. I don't really know if it makes a difference, I was just always told to use a wooden spoon.
*note for the Brigadeiro Nazis out there : I know some people will add about a tablespoon of water to their cocoa then add the mixture to the pot, but I find that the water makes the "batter" too runny and you won't be able to get perfect little balls at the end.  Plus it takes way too long to try to cook off the water.  

Making your Brigadeiro:

 To begin heat a sauce pan (preferably non stick)on medium low heat and add you butter.  Once the butter is melted, add the can of milk and immediately begin to stir. 

After about a minute, add your cocoa powder to the mixture and stir until completely combined, then guess what???!!!!
.....stir some more.....

It is critical that you continually stir the mixture on medium low heat making sure to get the sides and corners of the pan, otherwise you WILL BURN YOUR BRIGADEIROS!!!!

Continue stirring for about 15 minute or until the mixture becomes very thick. I can usually tell when it is finished because I take a scoop of the Briga and hold my spoon upside down. It should cling to the spoon for a bit before falling in an ooey glob thing, back into the pan.

Next you are going to pour/scrape/scoop the Briga onto a plate and spread it out a little so that it can cool; place in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours.

After cooling is complete you will notice that the Birga is very firm like taffy
Coat your hands and a dining spoon with a bit of butter. 

Using your spoon, scoop a small amount of the Briga and roll it onto a ball between your hands, then roll in chocolate sprinkles and place in cake liners. Refrigerate for about an hour.

That's all.

Enjoy this brazilian treat with your family from mine to yours!
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