Friday Finds: 20 July

With the ridiculous wave of heat that has been enveloping the United States this past month I’ve made a switch from hot tea and coffee, to iced alternatives. This Friday I’ve found a great step-by-step for cold brewing coffee. I’ve also found a great cupcake that’s not only cute on display, but a great, tasty companion to iced coffee. And as usual, I’m wrapping up this weeks Friday Finds with fashion + art finds! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

A How-to for Cold Brewed Coffee

During college my roommates constantly drank iced-coffee that they had hot-brewed, then cooled off overnight in the refrigerator. And every time, unsurprising to me, they were disappointed in the result. In high school I worked as a barista at a local Caribou Coffee. During my time there we took part in “coffee-talks” where we sipped black coffee and discussed the unique flavors of each blend, as well as coffee classes. I don’t remember much, but I do remember that pouring hot coffee or espresso over ice “shocks” the brew, forcing some of the dissolved solids out of the solution, causing it to taste very bitter. The same thing happens with iced tea. If you add ice directly to hot tea it clouds and tastes bitter, though, not as shockingly and unpleasantly bitter as icing hot coffee.

Worry not! There is a simple solution so you’ll never drink a cup of iced, shocked brew again [not to mention you’ll save a bundle by brewing at home!]. I found this simple explanation for cold-brewing coffee from Smitten Kitchen:

  1. Visit your favorite local coffee shop or grocery store and purchase whole bean coffee. Then ask the baristas [or use a grinder in the grocery store] to coarsely grind the beans, about the same grind that you would use for a French press. The coffee doesn’t have to be an “iced blend,” just make sure it’s a blend you enjoy, but I will say that in my experience lighter roasts typically turn out a bit better than dark roasts when cold-brewing, again, just a personal preference/observation.
  2. Depending on how many servings you’d like to make measure about a third of a cup of coffee grounds for every 12 ounces of water.
  3. First put the coffee grounds in a container [I typically use a measuring cup for a single serving, and a drink pitcher for larger batches]. Next, fill the container with the appropriate amount of room-temperature tap-water.
  4. Cover the container with plastic-wrap and let sit for 10-12 hours, depending on how strong you’d like the coffee.
  5. Use a metal, mesh strainer [like the one pictured here] to strain the grounds from the coffee.

Remember, if the mix is too strong you can always add additional cold water, since the coffee was cold brewed you’re safe from shocking. Add milk and sweeteners to taste and enjoy!

Death by Oreo Cupcakes

I can take no credit for this fun recipe. Many props to www.instructables.com! The photos and recipe come directly from their site and I can’t wait to give these tasty treats a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Oreo Cookies
  • 1 package Mini Oreo Cookies, for decoration (optional)
  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (mix according to directions on box) *The original author recommends using dark chocolate fudge cake mix instead of a regular chocolate cake mix.
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cupcake liners

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix packaged cake mix according to directions (do not bake). Line cupcake tins with liner, place a regular size Oreo cookie in the bottom of each liner. Take 1/2 of remaining cookies and chop coarsely and add to cake mix. Fill the cupcake tins. Bake for 15 minutes (or according to box directions). While cupcakes are baking make the frosting.

Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla, then add powdered sugar slowly until blended well. Chop remaining regular-sized Oreos very fine (I put the cookies in the food processor instead of trying to chop them up super fine and it worked out really well). Add to frosting. After cupcakes have cooled frost and decorate with Mini Oreos.

Click here for the original post by Instructables user, Foodsnots.

Fashion Find: LA MER Collections 

I’ve recently been researching watches, as I’m in the market for a new one [seemingly perpetually]. I came across this brand through Anthropologies collection of wrist candy, and I fell in lust. I hope wrap watches don’t go out of style anytime soon, because I’m crazy about them! Below are two of my favorites:

LA MER Collection’s Crystal Plum Eggplant Wrap

LA MER Collection’s Turquoise Crystal Slate Gray with Rose Gold Case Wrap

Fun + Artsy Find: The Paintings of Holton Rower [VIDEO]

Friday Finds: 1 June

This Friday all my finds are dedicated to the 2012 summer games in London! I guess now is as good as time as any to announce that I was the recipient of a very unique scholarship from the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. While most of my time in Europe will be spent in London, covering the games, I will also be traveling to Dublin and Paris for a short while.

I am eternally grateful for the amazing opportunities I have been presented with by the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and the Institute for International Journalism, none of my meaningful travels would have been possible with them!

Infographic Find

I love a good infographic! Check out this one, it breaks down info about the London Olympics by year, with more great information about athletes, participants, medal wins by country, budget and more…so good!

Social Media Find

While I am traveling independently, throughout my time in London I will be tagging along with a group of Ohio University students studying sports reporting and international journalism. Be sure to follow @ScrippsLondon for all the latest updates from the group! They have an exciting agenda ahead, including meeting top sports correspondents and Olympic officials from the U.S. Olympic Committee, Associated Press, CNN, and more! (I will also be contributing tweets to their account, so be on the look out!)

Another great account to follow to keep up-to-date with all the Olympic happenings is @LondonLive, the New York Times official Twitter handle–reports from their own reporters and editors in London.

 

Harry Potter Fan Find

One attraction you can bet I’ll be stopping to get a photo in front of is the famous “Platform 9 3/4″ at Kings Cross Station, made famous by J.K. Rowling and her fictional boy-wizard, Harry Potter (as if you didn’t already know).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cool Campaign Find

Proctor & Gamble is sponsoring a really great campaign to help support and to commemorate mom’s of olympic and paralympic athletes, Thank you, mom by P&G. According to their website, on May 8 they announced that P&G will help offset travel costs to the London Games for more than 800 moms of U.S. Olympians and Paralympians…how could you not love that story?!

While their home site is very well put together, I am really loving their Facebook page. There, you can view videos of olympic athletes and their moms, share your own stories about your mom and how she’s helped you become the person you are today, and much more! It is definitely worth checking out.

That wraps up all the finds this Friday! I’m still a little overwhelmed with picking which London hotspots and attractions I’ll be going to, please leave me a comment or two with your favorite places in London, including any hidden gems I might not otherwise discover! Thanks!

Friday Finds: 25 May

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind! For one, Project C launches on Monday, so I’ve been working to plan some great promotional events and placements, as well as gain editorial publicity for them [hey, check out this article from Compass!]…that, in addition to finalizing my content for one of the featured stories that will appear on the site [www.clickingcreateschange.com]! Additionally, my time as an Ohio University undergraduate is quickly ticking down, so I’m working to savor every moment in between the work for my classes and student groups.

Luckily, I have found time to find some interesting content on the web. I hope you all enjoy what I’ve found this week:

Fashion Find: Caviar Manicure

To get this look from Ciáte you have to purchase one of their kits [which they happened to be sold out of right now]. I love the textured nails, I think the look is fierce and feminine. They also sell the kits with a rainbow assortment of pearls.

Crafty Find: Turning Books into Artwork

I’m always excited when I find new crafts, especially when they result in artwork to hang around the house! I found this project while surfing arts & crafts boards on Pinterest, the blog the image on Pinterest linked back to is full of tutorials for crafts, recycling projects, and even cooking new recipes. The thing I love about this project, turning books into wall art, is that it takes very few tools//supplies, and probably could be accomplished in a lazy Sunday afternoon. The supplies needed to create your very own artwork include:

  • Wooden blocks
  • A book
  • A black marker
  • Black vinyl paint
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • Paint brush
  • Plastic container
I haven’t had a chance to try this craft out yet, but expect a follow-up blog once I get around to it!

 

 

 

 

 

Tech//Photo Find: Facebook Photo Filters Might Look Familiar

If you’re an Instagram user, the new photo app by Facebook might look familiar. I stumbled on this article from BuzzFeed. Many are now asking, why did Facebook drop $1 billion on Instagram, when they already had their own photo app in the works?

What do you think, will you be downloading the new app? While some of the filters are very similar to those available on Instagram, there are some differences, and the app by Facebook is free to download. As of now, I’m opting to stay loyal to my Instagram app + followers.

Friday Finds: 27 April

TGIF! Happy Friday readers! It’s been a busy week but I’ve still had time to find some great content, with the help of my roommate and a former colleague.

First, for all you foodies [and poor college students] out there, here are a few recipes I’ve found worth sharing. My roommate Emma, a new Bobcat alumna, has been hanging out in Athens, living it up as a socialite, before her job with Teach For America begins in June. In between reading piles of novels and attending yoga, she’s enjoyed finding new recipes on the web. Popcorn, a favorite snack in our household [and in America], now better tastes than ever! In addition tasting fresher and more delicious than microwave bag popcorn, this old-school method of cooking is free from any potentially harmful chemicals and additives.

 

How to make healthier popcorn [abridged]:

  • Heat approximately 3 Tbsp. of canola oil in a saucepan.
  • Place 3-4 kernels of popcorn into the pan.
  • When those kernels successfully pop, add 1/3 cup of kernels.
  • Cover saucepan and remove from heat for 30 seconds.
  • Return the pan to the heated stovetop.
  • Move the pan back over the stovetop—at this point all of the kernels should be popping, when the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove from heat.
  • Dump fresh and delicious popcorn into a bowl and enjoy [best served with friends, including wonderful roommates].

For full instructions visit Simply Recipes, here.

Fashion Finds

This spring I am all about coral and teal. Also, lace is a preferred fabric for me this season. Here are samples of some of my favorite fashions I hope to acquire:

Lily Lace Dress from Oasis. The back of this dress has a nice cut out detail. If you’re going to order this, be sure you order it much larger than you are probably used to, as the model shown on the website is wearing a size 10.

This collection is the epitome of how fabulous corals and teals are this spring! I love it all, from the Sinousa Suede Pumps, to the stretch twill shorts from J.Crew.

I love the teal blazer over the white lace! I recently acquired a beautiful white lacy dress that I’m crazy about from The Other Place, a shop in uptown Athens, Ohio. Now I just need to find a fun blazer to pair it with, any suggestions on where to buy?

As for the dress/blazer combo shown above, I couldn’t find this photos origin as I found the image on Pinterest.

Fun Find: Moss Graffiti//Grassfiti

Featured on RealLOL, this project to “grow graffiti” looks like it would be a lot of fun and could really add some nice greenery to an apartment balcony wall [if your landlord permits it].

Photo Find: A History of NYC

This find, “Never-before-seen photos from 100 years ago tell vivid story of gritty New York City,” from The UK Daily Mail and the Associated Press, I have to credit to a former colleague of mine, Tom Lew, multimedia producer at the Miss Universe Organization. Enjoy three of my favorite picks from the collection [and be sure to check out the rest of the photos as well]:

Painters hang out on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1914.

Grand Central Station, 1937.

The Great Bambino, 1936.

Friday Finds: 20 April

Happy Friday, readers! Every Friday I will be posting my favorite finds of the week: fun and fascinating blog posts, photography, food recipes, fashion, art, technology, world//national//local news and anything else I find intriguing and worth sharing.

This week, with Earth Day coming up on Sunday, I’ve decided to feature web content featuring green products, ideas for upcycling, and amazing photography of our fabulous Mother Earth and its inhabitants! Enjoy.

Green Living//Green Products

In Milan, Italy soon inhabitants will be able to live in a forest in the sky. The towers, known as Bosco Verticale, are currently under construction. The photo below is the artist’s current vision for the 27-floor apartment buildings, which will also be home to 730 trees and 16,000 other shrubs and plants.

If you’re into ecofriendly fashion, check out these finds:

Chloe + Isabel created this bangle set, made from organic metals.

 

I found this bracelet on Etsy. According to the artist, “Each bangle is hand formed from 100% ecofriendly recycled sterling silver wire and then hand-hammered and tumbled for shine and strength.”

This watch, from WeWood, is made from 100% natural wood and is free from toxic chemicals. Bonus? How about the fact that for every time piece WeWood sells, they plant a tree! And don’t worry about where the wood for these fun watches comes from, according to their website [and philosophy statement] they are made from “mostly scrap-wood and uses state-of-the-art Miyota movements for the guts, resulting in a unique watch that’s handsome, earth-friendly, and splash-proof.” Fun!

The products from Chikumbuso have a special place in my heart, as I spent three and a half weeks in Zambia with the Institute for International Journalism, and was fortunate enough to meet some of the amazing women who make these products, and the children they benefit.

Above is a photo I took at Chikumbuso, featuring one of the widows knitting a bag together. Below is a photo from their website of the finished product. I highly endorse all of their products, ranging from stunning jewelry to the fun, fashionable [and ecofriendly] bags! And yes, I personally own one of these and I love it! :)

 

Great Ideas for Upcycling: The process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

Love these two ideas for upcycling wine corks. The first, from Two Twenty One, uses corks as decór around candles, beautiful! The second, from greenUPGRADER, recommends carving designs on one end of the cork and using it as a stamp.

Another fun item to use in upcycling projects are buttons. Here is an idea from Etsy, using buttons as custom artwork:

 

Fabulous Photos of Our Mother Earth

I am a huge fan of National Geographic. All of the photos from NatGeo are nothing short of stunning. Below is a collection of some of personal favorites.

Tigers in India

 

A new species of purple crabs found in the Philippines.

 

West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone

 

A manatee swimming in a freshwater spring in Crystal River, Florida.

 

This red squirrel in Poland simply makes my heart melt! Dawh!