Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I miss my camera.

I miss my camera, I miss my camera, I miss my camera, I miss my CAMERA!!!  Jeez I never realized how much I use my camera to take stupid pictures throughout the day.   I will definitely appreciate the boredom killing skills of my lil' Nikon as soon as I charge those batts back up...


Anywho this is my roommate Ed and her bf.  Pretty cute huh?  I took this picture last summer on a Holga camera, well actually these are two separate photos that I fused together.  I originally had a different vision but the pics didn't turn out quite as I expected.  Even though this final product is a little pixelated (if I had scanned these photos differently I could have avoided that...but the negatives are in Mpls and I am not...) I still like this picture.  A little hippie, a little vintage, overall pretty precious.  Glad I finally got around to editing this picture :)


And does this one even need an explanation? I think not.

Monday, December 27, 2010

If I were legit...

This is what my photography logo might look like.

Although I googled "Claire Louise Photography" and found that there are already a couple photography businesses with that name...sooo if I ever get good enough at photography to have a business I'll definitely have to change that name.

I like the simplicity of that design though, very rare for me not to add any swirls or doodles.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The most epic of failures.

Today I somehow got some motivation.  I completely set up a photo taking station in order to photograph my ceramic works for my portfolio.  I whip out my camera to start and as soon as I look through the viewfinder I realize what I forgot in my apartment...all the way in Minneapolis.

My camera battery charger.

What was my number 1 goal for this break?  Photograph my work and put together a portfolio...ooops.

Ahhhhhhh!  I guess it's just the universe telling I need to be lazy? Right?

So now I cannot even photograph the cute sketches I did.  But this camera failure led me to discover more about photoshop, hoorah! Here I go again making tacky edits of photos from summer, sorry about it! This time there really was nothing to be done about it.  My camera charger will be back in my posession around New Years, until then I hope to learn something new about photoshop everyday, and read some books off my ever growing "to read" list.

Original (Straight outta my camera)

Edit Smudge

Edit Smudge Light

Took it too far? Typical.
Lessons learned today? I like the smudge tool...I think I might just start to overuse it. Oh and make a to pack list in the future...!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tis' The Season...

Hope you are taking a break and enjoying time with friends and family :)

I know I am, and I am definitely excited for our annual Christmas dinner of spaghetti and meatballs!

Winter Break Lazy

Soo I took a bunch of nice Christmas time/holiday inspired photos...and drew a bunch of fun doodles...but then my winter break lazy set in and I was too lazy to upload photos today or scan in drawings.  So today you get another lovely photo shop edit...just because boredom = photoshop lovin'.  Oh and as proof that I am actual person it's a picture of ME.

 The original straight out of photobooth pic.

My hair looks weird, dislike. But I was trying to preserve the original exposure/contrast of the photo becasue I liked them, but it just made me look too angleic and creepy.

Truth: I like the original better!  Oh well sometimes photoshop doesn't make me look better I guess.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winterized Summer

I'm craving some summer lake I winterized a summer lake photo 3 times over...enjoy!




Monday, December 20, 2010

When it rains...

This weekend I got some stuff stolen, my wallet to be specific. I never realized how much my life depends on having a debit card, buss pass, and Univeristy ID/Drivers Liscense. Needless to say I was feeling a little violated and pitying myself (Oh yeah the screen on my phone also broke at the same time which made it very difficult to sort things out...) it just felt like too many unfortunate things were happening at once.  In essence it felt like the universe was monsooning on my life.  Yeah, I know I can be dramatic sometimes. ;)  So I made up a (realllly cheesy) quote that both let me pity myself, but also gave me some hope.  Amazingly enough someone found my wallet and returned it to me!  You know what it reminded me of?

The beautiful sight of a rainbow and the wonderful smell of the Earth after a fresh rain.

So here's to looking forward, because at the moment Karma is on my side ;)

Just messing around with fonts was pretty cathartic for me, and then weirdly enough as soon as I was about done I figured out my wallet was found.   Although I had a very happy ending I definitely learned from this experience and will be MUCH more careful in the future and appreciate all the stuff I have.  Live and learn my friends.

Also I couldn't really decide which version of the quote I liked here's the other version with a very sliiiiight variation.  I think the first one is better ;)

Alrighty back to studying I go! I've got 2 critiques and 2 tests to go, I can doooo it!

Do you like the rain? And the earthy smell that comes about after a good rain?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tea Time

It is tea time. 

Every couple months I decide to get off coffee and start drinking tea, because of it's many health benefits.  Obviously I'm trying to cut down at the coffee right at this moment, not because I want to, but because I already drank all the ground coffee I have in my apartment...and don't really want to go buy some more.  So here's a roundup of tea and some of it's amazing benefits just to remind myself why I should maybe switch a couple of coffee a day to a couple cups of tea.

Green Tea : With a high content of both antioxidants and polyphenols, green tea is the champion of teas. It can help fight cancer, stimulate metabolism, boost your immune system, and much more. I wish I could say I drank it everyday.

Tea Bags : Don't love the taste of tea as much as it loves your body?  Well tea still has more to give, putting warm tea bags over your eyes can help reduce and alleviate pink eye.

White Tea : A cousin of green tea, it helps fight viruses and bacteria. I love mixes of white and green tea, it is a much smoother taste if you are having trouble with the harshness of green tea.

Black Tea : If looking to combat heart disease and stroke, check your home for black tea. It even contains fluoride to aid in dental health.  Earl Grey is a black tea and it has been shown to battle depression.

Oolong : Burn calories, increase blood flow, and build stronger bones with the help of this tea. It can also help with an upset stomach. 

Chai Tea : This spicy tea also contains antioxidants and can help in digestion. My favorite drink at Starbucks is a Skim Chai Tea only costs about $7 though.

Flavored Tea : Flavored teas are an excellent choice for diabetics. Not only will it satisfy your sweet tooth, but it can help control blood sugar levels.  Some of my favorites are Cinnamon, Peppermint, Vanilla and Cherry.

Peppermint Tea: Upset stomach? Drink some peppermint tea it is known to treat stomach problems and ease nausea and vomiting.  It has also been said to help with heartburn.

Red Tea : Most popular in Africa, this tea contains flavonoids that are useful against many ailments. It also helps with the nervous system, kidney stones, and can even be used as a sedative.

Chamomile : If you suffer from nervous disorders such as insomnia, panic attacks, and twitches, give this tea a try. It also helps with menstrual cramps and ulcers.  It's basically a chill pill.

Tibicos : Ready for a random one?  This tea is made from mushrooms. This is an ancient and little known tea that is known to cure many problems, it's so good Mother Teresa was said to use it.

Do you drink tea?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Directions

So if there is anybody out there that still reads this blog since I have somewhat abandoned it lately, I have an announcement.

I'm switchin' up the format of this there ever really was one anyways. 

Things I have learned about me and blogging:

1. I like writing about my food. BUT
2. I get bored writing about my food. I eat a lot of scrambled eggs, oats, and salads. Not blog worthy everyday. I think you all know more than you want to about how I eat my way through life by now.
3. When I have a new recipe YES I will share it here buuut I don't want to feel like I have to be constantly creating new recipes for this blog.Or photograph all my food...even though I love following other food blogs it weirds me out to catalog all my food.
4. I started this blog to be about my low impact LIFE not just my low impact food.  Somewhere along the lines I strayed but I would like to get back to that original idea.  Because I still like it.
5. I crave some more creativity in my life.
6. I need a challenge.
7. I wrote a bucket list...I might share it.
8. I want to check something off that bucket list. Thus today starts 365 days of creativity.

Yes, I am saying that everyday, no matter how simple it is, I will create something. Whether it is a new recipe, a knitted scarf, a drawing, a photograph... It will be something, creative (hopefully). I'm not sure I can do it, but I'm not afraid to fail because I've got nothing to lose!

To kick this crazy creative year off I'm starting easy, with a quote on top of layered photos I took. My love of cheesy quotes and photography is never ending. If you keep up with my 365 attempt I'm sure you will learn this.

(Click on the pic if your craving a bigger, prettier, and more amazing view)

Get excited for the future, I know I am :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hang on!

A little treat for you...

This is a shout out to all my fellow college students who are working on just hanging on through finals week...don't worry you can let some of those flash cards that you don't know'll be just fine :)

P.S. Yes I did take the time to make this...I only have one final test left and it's on Wednesday (it's my hardest one and no I have not even attempted to start studying for it yet). And a self-portrait due Monday that only needs about 3 more hours of work. Pretty much smooth sailing for me...well actually check back and see how I'm feeling on Tuesday night haha.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

All The Little Things

Confession: I love this coffee mug.  Beyond belief.  Every time I see it in the cupboard I grab it quick before any of my roomies can and savor every sip of coffee from it.

Lately because I have been so stressed I have been all about savoring the little things.  Finding my favorite coffee cup waiting for me in the cupboard this morning was a little victory that I definitely savored.

Coffee cups like this filled with my favorite beverage make it easy to think about all the good things in here are some little things I've been savoring lately....

Coffee Every Morning.  Tastes so amazing and gives me energy, I just keep on chugging it.  Really I went through a 12 oz. bag of coffee grounds in about a week and a half.  It was a medium roast, does that make it ok to drink that much coffee?

Missing the Bus.  Seriously, it's the best thing ever.  One day I missed two buses, yes two, they roared right on past me as I waited on the other side of the street for the light to change to walk.  What's so great about this?  I got to listen to about 2-3 more songs on my iPod while I waited for another bus.  Or maybe I just replayed the same Girl Talk song 3 more times...definitely savored it.  (Free Download of Girl Talk's new CD)

Walking to Class.  Way better than riding the bus.  No crazy people talk to me, it smells nicer and I control the speed so I know I'll never be late because of some crazy event going down on the bus.  But mostly I am loving walking to class because it's been snowing a bunch in Minneapolis, but not in the usual Minnesota sleet windstorm way.  Lately it has been snowing these big fluffy floaty flakes that land on your face and melt slow.  So lovely, Minneapolis has become an urban winter wonderland.  

Not Having a Car.  Those snowflakes I just described? Yeah, they turn into black ice disguised by fresh layers of flakes which in turn make driving terrifying.  Oh and I don't have to worry about my car getting towed due to an emergency snow removal.

Procrastinating.  Ever heard of StumbleUpon? Warning don't click the link if you ever want to accomplish anything ever again in your life.  That being said I am really loving all the random stuff I have been "stumbling upon" on the internet lately.  I edited my preferences so I usually only get music, photography, or healthy food related results.  Awesome.

Final Projects. (just to be clear I am saying projects NOT finals as in tests those I am not savoring at the moment) Being an art major makes final projects very interesting.  In my drawing class we had to write a paper about our relationship with our body, and now we have to draw a self-portrait exploring this theme.  Very interesting and thought provoking.  I have been enjoying thinking about this project randomly throughout my days, I hope it turns out well.  Don't worry there will probably be a post dedicated to this self portrait once I start finish this project!  

Not Having Enough Time. To exercise frequently, eat healthy enough, or blog.  Makes me REALLY appreciate these activities, I don't think I will ever take them for granted again.

So what's the moral of the post?  All of the things on this list are things I could whine about.  Drinking coffee in mass quatities is most likely horrible for me. Missing the bus, walking to class, not having a car, procrastinating, final projects, and not having enough time can all be stressful and very frustrating at times.  But it really helps to take situations that are easy to see negatively and find the amazing positives.  

After all whats the point in living life if you're just going to go through it bitterly?

Sorry to say your life is never ever going to be EXACTLY how you want it.  So let the little frustrations go, it'll feel like lifting a ton of bricks off your shoulders.  Instead of letting all the little frustrations add up in your life, look at them in a new light and let all the little victories add up. 

Because in the end all the little things add up to one big thing.  

One big thing called happiness that is.

What little things are you savoring in your life today?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hodge Podge Update and a Recipe!

I'm baaaaaaack! (Don't worry I won't judge you if you skip all this writing and go directly to the pretty pictures and recipe at the bottom of this post!) Sorry I've been missing for a couple days but I didn't want to just throw up posts just for the sake of posting.  I don't like when I feel pressured/obligated/rushed to write posts!  For me blogging is something that makes me happy, and this whole blog is somewhat of a "happy space" for me.  So I never ever want it to turn into a source of stress.  Besides I think I owe it to you to put my best effort into all my posts since your taking the time out of your day to come over to my corner of the internet and read whatever I write.

That being said I still want update WAY more frequently than I did this week.  But sometimes life just kinda takes over...but I am very proud of all I have accomplished so far this week.

Things I accomplished this past week:
-2 group presentations
-1 paper draft (that now needs some MAJOR revising :( )
-Finished throwing and trimming about 6-7 bowls.  (Doesn't sound like much but for a beginner it is!)
-Glazed I don't even know how many bowls...many left to go...
-Turned in 2 ceramics projects.
-Finished my 50 hours of student teaching for the semester!
-Started my final for drawing (foreshortened self-portrait)
-Spanish LPE Interview
-Finished arranging catering and music for my upcoming receptions/events at the gallery (side note have I ever mentioned my work as a manager of a gallery? I have a reception tomorrow night so you'll probably learn more about this amazing job when I post bout that!)

Whew! I am so relieved this week is almost over!  So how did I survive this week?  Well I have to say I did NOT plan very well for this week.  But an impromptu stop at Target on my way home from student teaching on Monday really saved me.  I nabbed some fresh veggies and hair gel to make it through the week.  Really I could have done without the hair gel...showers were sparse this week.  My homemade deodorant really proved itself though!

Anyways my eats for the week are as follows...

Scrambled eggs literally everyday for breakfast, these babies never fail me.  Add a bunch of veggies and dump truck load of salsa and your good to go.

Mega Salads took over my lunches. (Well and that family size tub of hummus in my refrigerator is getting surprisingly low...)  The salads were basically whatever fresh veg I could get my hands on tossed into a bowl.  There were some massive salads this week...and I am so sad that I realized/noticed grape tomatoes cost $2.99 for a tiny pack.  I refuse to ever buy grape tomatoes again at that price no matter how delicious I think they are.  Looks like I'll have to learn how to grow them in my apartment!

I have also been eating many many many lunches/dinners or both out of tupperware...

Cheese totellini creations.  Yum yum yum.  Whenever I get stressed my carb cravings go through the roof (and when I don't work out too) and cheesy carbs were about all I wanted to eat this week!  This is definitely NOT a low impact choice in any way shape or form.  The ingredients list on these tortelinis is atrocious, they are exensive, and heavily packaged.  Oh and the pasta sauce came out of a jar too, but it's Paul that's about as good as it gets for food in jar.  What can I say? Sometimes I'm far from perfect.

Especially since I forgot to photograph the amazing cheese tortellini dish I made the other day. It consisted of wilted spinach, peas, broccoli, and chick peas, then it was DOUSED in pasta sauce.  It was also consumed in under 30 seconds. It was also probably twice the size of my head.  What can I say? Ohh I know, my jeans feel really tight after this week...

And of course it wouldn't be a stressful week if I didn't rely heavily on my old favorite standby to survive- tuna salad!  Really I could never be a for real vegan for two reasons, tuna salad and eggs.  They just never get old...or expensive. 

Now do you see why I didn't update the blog this week? You would have cried tears of boredom and never bothered to come back ;)

My hectic life isn't over yet though, I have lots of bowls to glaze tomorrow and on Monday and lots of paper writing and flashcard making + studying to do this weekend.  But for tonight I am going to give myself a little break to celebrate the small victories of this day.

The main victory?

I worked out today.  Yes my past 2 weeks have been so hectic that before today I had only managed to workout ONCE.  Nothing makes me crazier than not being able to work out.  I think I have posted about this before, but workouts = major stress relief for me.  I'm pretty sure this is because I grew up in the country and instead of watching t.v. I played outside and then all throughout Elementary, Middle, and High School I was always in sports.  I think I just learned to rely on sports as an outlet.  Anyways this reliance on activity means not working out = frazzled, stressed out Claire.

But today I had the best workout I've had in a really long time, taking a break from working out always makes me appreciate it about 10 times more.  So what made today's work out so effing spectacular??

It was outside.

And I ran. Outside. NO stupid treadmill.

Not only did I run. Outside. But I ran 6 miles.

You should see the rosy glow that is currently emanating from my cheeks.  I am the picture of health at this moment.  I am so surprised I could still manage a 6 miler after not running forever.  (I don't count my pitiful 2 mile jogs on the treadmill as running...I really hate the treadmill despite my efforts to make it work, but it's just nothing, actually worse than nothing, compared real running!)  Today while I was running I remembered why I have huge thighs, because they are amazing and can do anything.  Like run 6 miles out of the blue.  Thank you thighs for being large and charge. Please never change because I love being a sports nerd far too much.

Of course after that athletic feat I was starving, so I decided to make a millet recipe...I wanted to make it on Sunday to feed me for the week...but laziness is, sadly, a trait I posses.

Why millet? Well it is about the only grain I have left in my cabinet and I was inspired by this article that was in a magazine I read while I was on the elliptical at the gym this past Sunday.

 Ohh yes Millet, you are marvelous...

Coconut Curry Millet

1 cup millet
2 cups water
1 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery
1 cup lentils
2 cups water
1 tsp Cinnamon and Curry Powder
1/4 tsp Ginger
Salt to taste
Raisins for topping

Coconut Vinegar Dressing
2 tbsp Vinegar
1 tbsp Coconut Oil


Toast millet in 1 tbsp coconut oil.  While millet is toasting bring 2 cups water and curry powder to a boil.  Once millet is toasted transfer it to the boiling water, bring to a boil once again, and then let simmer until all the water is gone.  About 15 to 20 minutes.  While millet simmers add 1 tbsp coconut oil to a heated medium sauce pan and add onions and celery.  Saute until onions are translucent.  Add lentils remaining spices and 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, them turn the heat down to a simmer.  Simmer until the lentils are soft.  There shouldn't be too much water left in the pot, but if there is more than about 1/2 cup of water drain the excess.  Mix the vinegar and coconut oil to make the dressing.  Add the cooked millet to the lentil mixture and stir well, add the dressing.  Add salt to taste and top with raisins.

What an easy recipe.  Although I had some issues with it.  Overall it is not bursting with flavor and I considered not posting the recipe becasue although it is good, and I'm sure I'll make it again, I just felt like something was missing from it.  Yet that didn't stop me from going back for seconds...and then snacking on it from out of the fridge.  I couldn't stop eating this!! So I figured it was worthy of a post even though it's not completely perfect. 

For some reason I had the urge to put Maple Syrup on top of this creation...I didn't because I thought that was too weird.  I think it would probably be PERFECTION with a yogurt dressingBut I didn't have any in the fridge...ah the hard life of a college student.  Next time I make this I will definitely test out a different dressing for it.

As is it's still a great salad to make and take to work/school for lunch!

Of course I played with aperture(focus) while I waited for the millet and lentils to simmer.  Loved this combination of spices! Definitely another winner.  I want to learn how to cook more authentic Indian food though...I'll definitely have to do some researching and cooking over Winter Break.

 Looks like I sat at a table and ate this dinner live a civilized human being, right?

Wrong I ate it sitting at my very messy desk and while running around cleaning my room and calling caterers.  Haha at least my work for the day is now all done!

I am now off to watch the Christmas Glee episode...seriously I almost skipped writing this post to watch it.  But I love this blog a little too much to leave you hanging like that.

I'm glad to be back, I missed this blog a lot!  I think it has become both a creative outlet and a stress reliever...I'll have to keep that on mind and plan posts ahead of time during my next stress filled week.

Until next time! (and by that I mean tomorrow I hope)

What have you accomplished this week?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Snow Topped

Let's just be real about my eating habits and cooking skills lately...

I caused a flood trying to make coffee yesterday morning.

Yes that is an electrical cord drenched in water.  You know your having a rough time when even coffee is hard to make.

I then proceeded to snack on the cheerios my roomates must have busted into Friday night...probably at around 2 am.  Thanks girls!

After an orange and some girl talk I was off to, yes you guessed it, the studio.

If you didn't already know, it snowed a little bit here in MinneSNOWta.  It's been awhile since Minnesota lived up to it's nickname.  I wish I still skied frequently so I could actually enjoy the snow.  These days snow just isn't as much fun.  But I still love looking at it :)

When it snows in Minnesota your car usually ends up looking like that...

And then you have to drive on roads like those...snow tires are a must.

It snowed so much that snow stuck to the SIDE of the trees.  That would be thanks to the intense wind that whipped the snow against everything.

Even the dead flowers are snow topped.

Slushhh my worst enemy.  Uggly boots DO NOT protect against the slush.  I think I may need to invest in some extreme winter boots...

Campus just looks cold and iced over. Brrrrrrrr!

Icicles!  I wish I had a telephoto lens to get a close up of those beauties.  Yes my obsession with water droplets extends to frozen ones as well.

Downtown Minneapolis :)  One of these days I'll treat you to some pictures of the city...even though I'm not the best at photographing anything man-made...

That is the Mississippi has already snowed so much you can't even see it anymore!  Even the strong river current can't bust up that thick layer of snow.

Not even the freezing cold could stop me from my photo nerd self.  I had to play with aperature a little frost bitten hands haven't let me forget this moment yet.

Looks like those benches will be out of commission until spring time...

I think it's time to put the bike in storage as well.

Snow covered boots- seriously the walk to studio was intense.  I got a TON of work done in the studio yesterday...but I still feel super behind and unprepared for FINALS WEEK.  Ahhh nervous.  I promise you in about 2 weeks I will be back to posting food related posts more often!  This semester has just been a little intense, I'm usually busy with school/work for about 9-10 hours per day...which leaves me little motivation to come home and cook up fabulous dinners.  Well and usually b the time I get home it's dark out so I wouldn't even be able to take pretty photos...I really need to make a light box!!

Alright I'm off to a quick visit to the Rec order to keep my sanity!  Happy Sunday I hope you are enjoying the last hours of weekend :)