Monday, July 26, 2010

Sweet tea cupcakes!

I mentioned, in a previous post, that I am very into cooking and baking, yes? Well, I decided that from now on I would share on the blog every recipe I try, along with the results. :)

Today, I've finally made the sweet tea cupcakes I talked about briefly, which is fortunate because I also discovered that I have an excess of tea in the cupboards [something which is still a mystery to me, since I drink tea everyday, and in no small amount] and this recipe knocks out 8 tea bags in one go!

The cupcakes are very delicious, but slightly dry... so an accompaniment of milk is a definite requirement! Instead of using the given recipe for the Raspberry Lemon Iced Tea frosting, I just used some store-bought cream cheese frosting, a move that I was a bit dubious about in retrospect. But, after trying it, I was just as happy with it. Still, next time I'll try the given recipe. I also left a few unfrosted, since my grandmother has diabetes, and those actually taste really good with tea.

Sadly I didn't really take any pictures until the cupcakes were done and out of the oven... but I did manage to get some during the frosting process :) But first, the recipe!

Sweet Tea Cupcakes with Raspberry-Lemon Iced Tea frosting
[This recipe comes from Amanda at Like a Cupcake to the Head :)]

for cupcakes:
1/2 cup milk (soy milk, half and half, 2%, your choice)
8 standard size tea bags
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

for frosting:
3 sleeves instant iced tea with lemon powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp raspberry extract
approx 2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbs heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350. Line 12-cup muffin pan with liners.

Heat milk in microwave for 30-45 seconds. Place all 8 tea bags in milk and force down to absorb all liquid. Let this steep for at least 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl mix together sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Stir in milk/tea mixture until well blended. Then add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine.

Divide into a 12-cup muffin pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool.

To prepare frosting:

Beat butter, iced tea powder, salt and raspberry extract for approximately 1 minute. Then add powdered sugar and beat slowly to avoid being covered in sweet, sugary dust (unless you like that sort of thing). Add heavy cream if frosting needs thinning.

Frost cupcakes when cool.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nike was the Greek Goddess of victory.

This is one of the most famous exhibits at the Louvre, having been on display there since 1884. It is a sculpture from Greece, in the second century BC. The full name is Nike of Samothrace, or Winged Victory of Samothrace... usually shortened to just Winged Victory. I was lucky enough to see this beauty when I was in Paris a few years ago, though these pictures aren't mine.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am absolutely crazy about Greek mythology. I am pretty familiar with a lot of it, or at least I'd like to think so... but I still constantly find myself learning new things. For example, the fact that Nike was the Greek goddess of victory. Think about that next time you buy a pair of gold high-top Air Dunks with black sequined panels ;)

Speaking of... those may be my favourite shoes ever. My grandma bought them for me as a 2-in-1 for Christmas and my birthday... since they were so expensive, and my birthday is only four days after Christmas, I asked her to just get me this one present for both occasions. I can't very well say that I regret my decision!

I also really adore this shirt... which I actually took from my aunt in Iran. Well, she gave it to me, after seeing how much I liked it. My aunt is... shall I say, a little meatier than me, so this shirt is slightly baggy on me. It sort of has a boyish fit that I love, and it actually inspired me to try and find another shirt with a similar fit. I sort of succeeded: I found a plain striped t-shirt from Forever 21, of which I got the large size. It actually looks pretty nice, and it was only about $6, so I'm happy! I might even go get another colour or two sometime later :)

Not much more to say here... though I note that my hair does not normally look this horrible; it was wet when these pictures were taken.

The fabled Air Dunks.

striped t-shirt from my aunt
my first pair of skinny jeans, from forever 21 [bought years ago... so ancient that they have a huge hole in the knee :)]
my beloved gold nikes
clear lenses
jewelry, jewelry, jewelry.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A 2-in-1 post, sort of.

Looking at my older outfit posts, the ones I'll do from now on will look so much better! This is probably because of two things: one, my style is better now [or at least I'd like to think so], and two, instead of relying so much on self-timed pictures in front of my bedroom door [even though I still take some of my own photos... and those are blurry!] I've started going outside and recruiting my mother to take pictures. You can laugh, but it's not like I have anyone else to do it! I left my brothers in Iran, and sadly they are the photographers who would be perfect for the job.

Anyway, ecco two variations on the same outfit. I'm absolutely in love with these fake glasses, which I got for $5 in Downtown. I really would wear them much more often if I didn't sometimes feel so silly going out in public with them. The reason for the second variation is because in the late afternoon and evening that day [Tuesday of this week] I went out with my friends for the first time since I got back from Iran. We went to the Grove, which I always love seeing since it's a rare treat for me! It's actually sort of mind-blowing to me how little of Los Angeles I actually know, despite having lived here for over 19 years [this number comes from the fact that we moved here to a suburb of LA when I was two months old, and I am now just 5 months short of 20]. I suppose it's a good thing I'll be attending UCLA, which is almost at the heart of this city.... which is becoming increasingly more beautiful and intriguing to me by the day.

[Please click on the pictures to view them big, since they look much better that way!]

Here's the second variation... though I personally like this one better, unfortunately I didn't take as many pictures of it, since I was in a rush to leave the house. Maybe someday I'll do the outfit again, and take even better pictures.

h&m grey blazer, a new purchase :)
simple white tank from target
black denim shorts from forever 21
steve madden studded gladiator sandals
coral pink scarf from forever 21
billabong black jeans, a gift
rose, pearl, and gold necklace from forever 21
my new favourite bag, a gift from my aunt in paris!
fake wayfarer clear lenses from downtown
rings from iran, forever 21, and artesia [and some gifts]
bracelets from downtown, haight-ashbury, iran, found, and gifts

Life update.

I've decided to try and restart my blog again! I've been so busy these past few months. A few important things:
  1. I never did get a job.
  2. Also, no Miami this summer. Ha!
  3. I am going to UCLA this fall! I will actually be taking the last summer session there, just prior to the start of the fall quarter [September 23], so I actually start there a bit earlier than some of my friends... August 2. I will be living on campus, in a dorm, and I am SO excited to finally be moving out! It's really beyond unbelievable :)
  4. I went to Iran! I just got back last Thursday, the 15th of July, and I'm STILL not finished uploading all the pictures onto Facebook... probably because I have over 2000! The trip was actually really helpful for me, because we flew with Alitalia and had an 8-hour layover in Fiumicino [the airport in Rome] on the way there! I got to practice some Italian [though admittedly not very well] and I picked up a few of the in-flight airline magazines on the way back. I'm so excited to be studying a semester there next fall [if all goes according to plan!]. Flying over much of Europe and seeing everything from an aerial view let my imagination run wild during those 11 long hours from Los Angeles to Rome, and it made my strong ambition to someday live in Europe and ideally see every country there più forte, as they would say in Italia :) But enough about Italy and Europe: Iran was even more amazing than I could have dreamed. The family I have there are all so amazing... I even picked up two brothers [my cousins... my mother's sister's two sons. The older one is Sepehr, who had just turned 13 a few days before we arrived, and the younger one is Soheil, who is 9]. I can't believe I only had a month there with them. I still feel as though I can just walk a few blocks and be in their house any time I want to see them. I wish they all could come live here [or maybe we could all live together in Europe ;)] because they truly are better than any of my family here, and I miss them so much... but as you know it's almost impossible for Iranians to get a visa to immigrate to the US. We try to Skype with them every day, but it's really difficult for them to have internet there because of the situation. For now, I suppose we just have to be patient.
  5. Romanian music still rules my life... completely! I honestly can't get enough of it. A funny story: one day in Iran, I was in the bedroom ironing one of my shirts, and my cousins were watching one of the music channels on satellite. I think it was an Italian channel, so they were obviously playing a lot of European music. From the room, I heard the first few seconds of the new Akcent song Love Stoned, and I was so ecstatic that I screamed at the top of my lungs, dropped my shirt and nearly the iron too, and ran into the room to watch the video, even though I've seen it almost a million times! My family had no idea what was going on for the first few seconds, and they thought I had seen a bug... since I SOMEHOW picked up the reputation of being deathly afraid of bugs and insects.
  6. I finally got a Lookbook, so now you'll be seeing a lot more fashion-related posts! I've already put up a few outfits, but never really took the time to make blog posts for them. I suppose I should do those soon.
  7. I've been spending almost the entire last few days browsing through hundreds of articles on Wikipedia. Most of the articles were various places of the world I would like to visit... or places I visited in Iran and wanted to know more about. Also "researched": various cultures and cuisines, movies, books, actors and actresses, etc.
  8. A minor note, I've been picking up cooking and baking. So far I've made quiche lorraine, garlic basil pesto, nutella swirl cupcakes, and nutella olive oil cupcakes... all from scratch! Today I hope to make some sweet tea cupcakes to use up some of the flour... since we seem to be getting the first batch of the summer ant rush -___-
That's all I can think of so far! I've taken quite a few outfit pictures these past few days, so I'll be putting those up shortly. Ciao!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hello there.

It's been a while since I've posted. To be honest, I haven't had much to share. Although, now that I have a month to cover, I suppose it'll seem like a lot :)

To start with, neither abercrombie nor Gilly Hicks hired me, but hopefully my friend at Aldo can help me out with that. I really need a job, because I need to start saving up for the summer. I will be spending a month in Iran, and either a week or weekend in Miami with Janser and his Floridian friends. We'll be staying with Lauro, Janser's twin brother. Hopefully I'll get to meet Thiago, who in my mind is like a Brazilian love god, haha.

In addition to UC Irvine, I also got accepted everywhere I applied that has already notified people of admissions [UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz]. I haven't checked UC Davis yet, but given the fact that I have gotten into the four above I honestly couldn't care less. I'm pretty sure I'm guaranteed admission there anyway because of the TAG. Sadly, UCLA and UC Berkeley won't be notifying until the end of this month, so I'll be on tenterhooks until then.

On a happier note, I'm slowly improving upon myself. I'm trying to eat healthier and exercise more, in the hopes of trimming a bit of my [admittedly minimal] body fat, just because I am a perfectionist... at least when it comes to my appearance. It's probably a very unhealthy way to go about life, but it does make me happy.

Now one of my best friends has just gotten accepted to lookbook, so perhaps if I finally achieve my dream of getting an elusive invite, I'll remember to update this blog more often. Not that I've been feeling very stylish at all lately [quite the contrary, actually] but that's probably because the court/ticket fees emptied me of all spending money for the past month, and I didn't have a job to make up for it. Hopefully things will be better.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I have been soooo busy that it's been nearly impossible for me to update. Today in particular had a lot of ups and downs... but mostly downs. :(

  • got to spend the whole day pretty much with some truly awesome people :D
  • got accepted to UCI! :D
  • the cop who ticketed me actually showed up at my trial [almost a year later] meaning i had to pay $274 for the stupid ticket :(
  • porto's messed up my order, and had i not listened to my mother and gone home first i would have noticed it :(
  • abercrombie, which i'd been hoping would call me to hire me, did not call me today... and today was the last day they said they'd call ["If you don't get a call from us within one week, it means that we are unfortunately unable to offer you a position at this time"... and my interview was exactly a week ago today] :(

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Laughter and simple times.

Last night, my father and I were cleaning up the kitchen, or rather I had just burnt the outside of a piece of ciabatta and was cutting off the crust while he was putting a plastic bag in the trashcan. Anyway, I was holding the burnt crust pieces in my hand, waiting for him to finish lining the trash bin, and when he finished I tossed the bread pieces... at the exact same moment that he pushed the bin forward for me to discard the crusts.

It doesn't really sound that funny, perhaps, but we spent a good two minutes laughing about it, about the spontaneity and simple comedy of the moment, and it was the hardest I had heard my dad laugh since I can even remember. It felt really good to laugh like that with him, at something so simple. Afterwards though, I got a little sad at the fact, because it's a little depressing how life has been so depressing for him lately [at least as far as I know] that I haven't heard him laugh, I mean really laugh, in so many years.

But also, it was kind of a sweet moment, because for just those few minutes, life seemed pure once again, and we were taken back to a time from my childhood, when life was simpler and moments like this seemed to happen all the time. It's moments like these that show me just how much we take our childhoods for granted, now that laughter seems to have become so rare.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Skins effect.

It's quite strange really: during the rolling credits at the end of every episode of Skins, I get the most bittersweet feeling. Mostly sweet because I love Skins so much and it's my favourite show, but in a way it's also bitter, not only for that very same reason [I'll explain later] but also because each episode reminds me just how much I long to be living in the UK right now... and not only that, but I wish I could have grown up there, and experienced the culture of the UK from birth. I envy the English a lot, for reasons I can't really explain. I have no idea why I'm drawn to that culture so much, I just am. Every time I talk to my parents about my wishes, they always scoff at me, saying "How can you be so sure you'd be happy there? How could you possibly be in love with a country you've never visited?" This response always frustrates me, because I obviously can't give them a tangible, legitimate response, and so they can never take me seriously. But I know that the first chance I get, I'm relocating.

And as for the other part of my bitterness... I'm sure most of us have experienced that anyway. When you love a series [or film or book, even] just so much, you wish you were in it... not necessarily to be one of the characters, although that sometimes comes up too, but more of a participant in the action, culture, plot.... basically just to LIVE the sort of life that our favourite characters live. I've felt it with Harry Potter too [as I know millions have :)] and Gossip Girl, and Friends, and even... Twilight. [Yes I admit, I used to be a fangirl, before the book was soooooo popular... not that that wasn't the most pretentious sounding thing ever but it is true! It's mainly the rabid tween fangirl crowd that really turned me off to the series... not to mention the numerous faults that have been pointed out... I'm really not going to get into this now.]

Back to Skins, I'm really enjoying Series 4 so far. Not only are the music and fashion ace, but I think everyone is really growing into their character, and the plots are just digging into each character, showing all the complex facets, flaws, and virtues of every person. I admit that while the First Generation were my favourite of all time [not just because they were first], I will be sad to see these kids leave... and I really have gotten quite attached to them. Sigh... again with the bittersweet feelings.


[PS: If you've got absolutely no idea what I'm on about... check this out:]

Monday, February 22, 2010

Comme j'ai prometee.

An outfit post?
Today I spent most of my day sleeping, eating, organising songs downloaded from music blogs, and watching films with my grandmother. Then la classe de francais. A very interesting life, I am aware.

[and here you can see how i tried to look like a model :D]

[haha the top of my head is cut off -___-]

  • teal boyfriend v-neck from target
  • dark grey knit vest from forever 21
  • dark rinse jeggings from macys
  • black blazer from target
  • owl necklace from diva [gift from my friend]
  • maroon polygon bead necklace from pimkie [a french chain store]
  • my favourite black&gold nikes :D

Cinematographic distractions.

Basically, my entire weekend just turned into a continuation of Friday's movie marathon. I left my house only to go running twice and shopping once. Pretty pathetic, but look what I watched!

  • Little Nemo
  • The Princess and the Goblin
  • Paris, Je T'aime
  • How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
  • Love and Other Disasters
  • About A Boy
  • Virgin Territory
  • Bride and Prejudice
  • Hors de prix [Priceless]
  • Part of The Talented Mr. Ripley... I didn't much care for it so I had to stop =/
Trying to decide what to watch next... probably something with subtitles since those don't show up on my tv.

Anyway, seeing as how I barely left the house, as such I didn't have any outfits worth posting up pictures of [or even taking pictures of, for that matter], but I promise there will be one tomorrow.


Friday, February 19, 2010

...And I felt Paris fall in love with me.

Today was a movie day! I watched two cartoons that used to scare me when I was little, and what is possibly the most beautiful film I've ever seen: Paris, Je T'aime. It was a pretty productive day, and tomorrow I'm going running!

I should be in bed.

Really though, I'm amazed that I'm still not tired of Romanian dance/house/club/whatever music. Like, I honestly still could listen to it all day without getting sick of it. Sure, some other random song may pop into my head, but I'm still not going to be bored with Akcent. Haha.

I have my fingers crossed that I'll get some job or another soon. Abercrombie is my foremost option with Aldo being a possible backup... and if my friend does get to transfer to the mall here [she's an assistant manager] then she pretty much guaranteed me a job. Yay!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

First try.

It's sort of half-assed, but voilà, a true outfit post. I tried to use the things I bought from Cotton On for the most part.

[eh, i need to smile more. also, mother was right, this cardigan does make me look fat -__-]

[not a silly pose at all :P]

  • grey cardigan that makes me look fat from Cotton On
  • long black tank from Forever 21
  • plaid scarf from Cotton On [on sale for $2, ha!]
  • American Rag jeggings from Macys
  • white plimsolls from Cotton On

I really want to paint my room. I've outgrown this green screen-ish colour, and now it just seems childish. I want a sort of dusty peach colour, something maybe similar to the colour of this blog.

Apology to the blog

So I was barely home at all yesterday, since I had classes in the am and pm, as well as an interview to work at abercrombie with my friend Alex. My outfit in the morning was nice I suppose, but I forgot to get pictures of it, and what I changed into for the interview was basically abercrombie style: a plaid shirt, jeans, and flip flops.

Didn't have time to heart anything since I was only home for an hour in the afternoon, in which I slept, and I went to bed half an hour after I came home from my evening class, which ended at 9:30!

* I did buy some stuff from Cotton On, an Australian clothing chain which just opened in the Glendale mall. All I bought were white plimsolls, a plaid scarf, and a thin grey sweater/cardigan type thing. I decided no real clothes from there until I look like Alex... the type of person who makes New Year's resolutions to GAIN weight -____-
Some people are just too lucky. of the days I WILL do a proper fashion/outfit post. The ones I have on here are only too embarassing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Likes of the day #1

  • Harry Potter: cast, movies, books, illustrations, quotes
  • Twilight disses
  • Twilight disses by way of Harry Potter
  • Ed Westwick
  • Annie Leibovitz: the Disney series, the fairytale series for Vogue, etc.
  • Similar to Annie Leibovitz, a Vanity Fair photography special with actors/actresses posing as scenes from Alfred Hitchcock films
  • Food: desserts, breakfasts, nutella, crepes, tea etc.
  • England, as usual: Brighton, Bristol, London, Sussex, Essex, the countryside, etc.
  • Prague
  • Stockholm
  • Kanye West
  • Lady Gaga

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow day.

A few weeks ago [23 January] my father took me to see some snow. Being very excited and mindful of the snow and the cold, I got a bit too excited and overpacked. I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't nearly as cold as I'd thought/hoped it would be, and I kept removing layers from my first outfit. After we drove a few miles further to a second location [the first having been right along the road], I did decide to use some of the extra clothes I'd packed, and it ended up looking like a whole new outfit.

The trick to both outfits was lots of layers, many of which gradually came off as the day warmed up.

  • dark grey thermal cami from urban outfitters
  • basic black tank from target
  • heather blue brushed sweater from target
  • camel coloured knit vest my mother got in england
  • basic black leggings from forever 21
  • some thick knit leggings my mother bought for me, which i love
  • red, thick-knit, above-the-knee socks from target
  • an additional pair of ankle socks from target
  • favourite legwarmers from target [grey]
  • trusty fake uggs from my mama
  • dark grey knit gloves from for love 21

  • dark grey thermal cami
  • black thermal longsleeve shirt from forever 21
  • camel vest
  • two pairs of leggings
  • red knit socks plus ankle socks
  • legwarmers
  • fake uggs
  • red fingerless gloves from for love 21

One Saturday in Portland

These pictures are SERIOUSLY old and from my trip to Portland [during which I fell in love with Oregon] but this is one of my favourite outfits EVER, so I had to include it.

The irony of it was that the day these pictures were taken [24 October 2009] was my father's birthday, and he, who LOVES Oregon and actually lived there for a year or two, couldn't come on the trip with us because of work.

[the saturday market, in front of a flower stall, shortly before buying...]

[...a dahlia! you see how clever i am? ;)]

[after that we trotted back to sandra's home, which is the cutest thing ever, so we had to have photos of it.]

[again, the "dahlia & a dahlia" joke.]

[then, we went back out to explore the mountain national parks. i don't remember the name of any of the places we went. i'm not particularly fond of this picture (because my mother was standing right in the sun so i had to squint), but it does show my outfit in its entirety.]

  • basic white tank top from forever 21
  • red buffalo plaid shirt from target
  • american rag black leather motorcycle jacket from macy's
  • scarf from forever 21
  • favourite skinny jeans from forever 21
  • thick grey cable-knit legwarmers from target
  • black not-suede boots from target