Good in Everything

Before this Thanksgiving break, I have been waging war against my negative side. And I know people say that:


“Being Positive isn’t that hard”


But in reality, it’s very difficult to look in the mirror and say something good about yourself. Sometimes we all have days when the world just knocks us down so much that we think we can’t get through it. But this quote teaches us that it’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to have a rubbish day and feel terrible. But there is still a way to be positive, and it’s not lying to yourself that you’re fine. It’s by accepting and acknowledging what is happening and then finding a little bit of good in it.

My challenge for you this holiday season is to find at least one good thing in your life every day!


Feel Free to comment what that might be down below

Red (Taylor’s Version)- Album to Outfit

Taylor Swift: Red (Taylor's Version) Album Review | Pitchfork

Red (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift

Welcome back to Album to Outift! 

Today I am so excited to talk about the queen of the music industry’s newest album, Red (Taylor’s Verison). If you are unaware, Taylor Swift has begun to rerecord all of her old albums due to conflict with her prior management company. By redoing these albums, Taylor not only has the opportunity to make her well-deserved money for her own music, but she also is able to improve and add to these masterpieces! Red (Taylor’s Version) has a total of a whopping 30 songs and a special message from Taylor whilst the original album only had 16. The 14 new songs on Taylor’s Version were initially intended for Red but were scratched. In my opinion, that was a huge mistake because some of the new songs have easily become some of my favorites of all time. This album is nothing short of perfect and I can’t recommend it enough. 

Message In A Bottle

“Message In A Bottle” is my personal favorite from the album. It’s so fun and reminds me so much of the 1989 era of Taylor Swift, despite being on Red. Message In A Bottle is a new addition to Red but I can’t imagine why it didn’t make the original album because it’s just impossible not to love. 

Red Sparkly Boots- Amazon

White Dress- Revolve

Red Purse- Nordstrom

The Very First Night

“The Very First Night” is another brand new song on Red. It’s another fun, bubbly, track that you’ll have on repeat for weeks. 

Red Dress- Zara

Black Bag- YSL

Black Heels- Steve Madden

Girl At Home

“Girl At Home” was an original Red song on the deluxe version, but the remake is undoubtedly better. Taylor has given the song an upbeat overhaul and I absolutely love it. 

Red Jacket- Zara

Black Shorts- Nasty Gal

Sequin Tank- South Moon Under 

Black Booties- Amazon

Lip Purse- Amazon

Film Foodies

Tis’ the ✨Season✨

12/13/21

Movie of the Week

Top 10 Holiday Movies: Ranked

Christmas movies are some of my favorite movies. Here, I am going to rank them from my favorite to my least favorite.  

  1. Love Actually
  2. The Holiday
  3. Home Alone
  4. Elf
  5. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  6. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
  7. The Santa Clause
  8. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
  9. A Christmas Story
  10. The Polar Express

These are some of the most popular and/or iconic holiday movies. Obviously, there are many more, but I’ve decided that I am not going to list every holiday movie because I’d be here for days. These are a few of my personal favorites. Love Actually, and The Holiday are the top 2, because, holidays and iconic rom-coms, chefs kiss. The rest, are some of the best family and friends movies to watch, whether you are bored, or just want to get in the mood for the holidays!

Recipe of the Week

Christmas and the holiday season are not the same without classic cookies, that warm your house, and fill it up with the smell of freshly baked cookies.

RECIPE

Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing

My rating 10000/5

THESE COOKIES ARE ADDICTIVE. I have never made gingerbread cookies, but these are the best gingerbread cookies I’ve ever tasted. The are crispy on the edges, but soft and chewy on the inside, they have the perfect amount of spice, are not too sweet, but not to bitter, are not bland, ugh I am in love. I think I ate 7 before the second dozen was out of the oven. The recipe is from a cookbook called Baking All Year Round, by Rosanna Pansino, but the recipe can also be found on her website: Rosanna Pansino.com. There are a few minor changes I made to the recipe which are in green, but overall, as I expressed previously, THESE COOKIES ARE TO DIE FOR, and they are a perfect addition for you to add to your holiday recipe plan!  

Cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ heaping teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ heaping teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ heaping teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup molasses

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt.
  1. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.

  1. Mix in the egg and molasses.
  2. On low speed, mix in half the flour mixture, then repeat until well combined.
  3. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a ¼ inch thickness. Cut out gingerbread men using the cookie cutter and place them 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.

.

  1. Bake until the cookies are firm to the touch and look dry, about 10 minutes.
  2. Let cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Icing

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 9-10 tablespoons water (I recommend 7-8 for best decorating consistency)
  • food coloring gel

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pour confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder, and 9 Tablespoons of water into a large bowl. 
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat icing ingredients together on high speed for 1 – 2 minutes. 
  3. When lifting the whisk up off the icing, the icing should drizzle down and smooth out within 5-10 seconds.
  4.  If it’s too thick, beat in more water 1 Tablespoon at a time. 
  5. Keep in mind that the longer you beat the royal icing, the thicker it becomes. If your royal icing is too thin, just keep beating it to introduce more air OR you can add more confectioners’ sugar.
  6. Add food coloring to your liking, and decorate as preferred!

Short story 3(2) – FICTION – The West Woods Body

I heard the floor creak, that’s it, I broke, I started crying. I tried to hold it in and make the least amount of sound possible. Another creak, then a whisper, but I wasn’t sure if it was all in my head. I ran as fast as I could to my parents’ room. My mom went to check my room, and nothing was there. The next morning, I woke up to a text from the twins saying to meet at Shelly’s, the diner. 

At Shelly’s, we all discussed our night, and I explained everything that happened to me and Casey and Olivia said they experienced similar things. We thought all the rumors were true, we were cursed for life. 

The twins said they saw shadows and heard whispers as well. We concluded that we did not want to go back into the woods, but we also felt as if we had to go back, to investigate. So we went back, for the final time if we didn’t find anything. Once we entered the woods, it was the same as the previous day.

As we walked through, Casey tripped and fell, and when he looked up, he screamed, louder than I have ever heard before. 

A dead body.

That’s what he saw. A bloody, half-eaten, dead body. We ran, faster, and faster to get out of the woods.

And after that, we all knew, no more West Woods.

We ran back to the twins’ house. We sat down and decided we are never ever going back to West Woods, for real this time. We didn’t even want to go to the park, nowhere near the woods. 

We woke up the next day to a text from Casey’s mom, it said they took a family trip to the park and asked Casey to get sticks, from the woods. I think you could guess what happened next. They didn’t see him again after that, he didn’t come out of the woods. We were all devastated and felt like we were cursed.  

A few weeks later someone found Casey’s body, his clothes were ripped to shreds, and he had a bite in the side of his stomach.

There was a monster out there, but there was nothing we could do about it. 

Film Foodies

Tis’ the ✨Season✨

12/6/21

Movie of the Week

The Holiday

My rating: 5/5

The Holiday is tied for first as my favorite holiday movie of all time. It’s heartwarming, incredible and no matter what I’m doing, it always makes me smile when I watch it. The story follows two women, one from L.A., and the other from a small town in England,  who switch homes for a two-week holiday around Christmas. With a wide range of relationships, not just romantic, the story touches on many different aspects of the holidays. Overall, this movie is an absolute must-see for when you are bored and searching for entertainment this holiday season.

Recipe of the Week

One of my favorite scenes in The Holiday is when Amanda (Cameron Diaz) pays a visit to Graham’s (Jude Law) home to find he is not only a widower but a widower with two young daughters. The daughters ask Amanda if she wants to say, to which she awkwardly agrees. Graham then serves his daughters and Amanda some hot chocolate. One of the daughters soon complains that her sister “has more marshmallows,” than her, to which Graham states, “no she doesn’t, you each have 5.” So these delicious hot chocolate cookies are my way of paying tribute to one of my favorite holiday movies, in a very delicious way. Enjoy!

RECIPE

Hot Chocolate Cookies

My rating 5/5

These cookies are absolutely delicious. They are crispy, yet moist, and chocolatey, but not in an overpowering way. The marshmallows too are a delicious addition. I didn’t make any adjustments to the recipe which is from Preppy Kitchen.com. Enjoy! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour 
  • ½ cup hot cocoa mix (3 to 4 packets)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar 
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 large marshmallows cut in half or 36 mini marshmallows
  • Mini Marshmallows

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. 
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa mix, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  4. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 

  1. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined, stopping to scrape down the bowl. 
  2. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until combined. 

  1. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  2. Scoop the dough into balls using a 1 1/2 tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, and place on the baking sheets 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 9 minutes. 
  4. Remove the cookies from the oven, and place a marshmallow half, cut side down, or mini marshmallows in the center of each cookie. 
  5. Return to the oven and continue baking for 2 minutes. 
  6. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Enjoy!

Film Foodies

11/15/21

Movie of the Week

DUNE

My rating: 4/5

Dune was one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year. This is a remake of the original Dune movie from 1984, which is an adaptation of the 1965 book by Frank Herbert. The movie, which is 2.5 hours long starring Timothee Chalamet, is about a conflict in space, among many dynasties. Personally I enjoyed the movie. The visuals were absolutely beautiful, the acting was amazing. However the movie is very long and confusing. Some very well worded ways I’ve heard it described are, “Dune was like a 2.5 hour long trailer for Dune 2,” and, “Dune, 2.5 hours of a mom and her son mumbling about space politics with a few perfume commercials starring Zendaya.” Both of these are very true, but it leads me to be even more excited for Dune 2 which will hopefully be released sometime in 2023, as of now.

Recipe of the Week

The main conflict of Dune revolves around the dangerous planet, Arrakis, a planet home to the most valuable substance in the universe, spice. The spice is how they travel through space and time successfully and fastly, and it is the heart of the universe’s economy. The dynasty which owns Arrakis is the most powerful and wealthy. So here is a delicious recipe filled with spice, that will be very valuable to your taste buds.

RECIPE

My rating 4/5

This recipe which I got from Southern Living is a delicious spin on traditional pecan pie. This is the first time I have used this recipe so I didn’t make any changes to it, but truthfully there is none I would really make! The bars turned out delicious, if a little bit messy to eat. But then again, some of my most favorite recipes make some of the biggest messes. The recipe is not too sweet and has just the right amount of everything in a yummy, spiced, pecan treat. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • Baking spray with flour
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup unsifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling

  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour 
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Prepare the Crust:
  •  Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • Spray a 13- x 9-inch baking pan with baking spray with flour. 
  • Line bottom and sides of pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2- to 3-inch overhang on 2 sides. 
  • Place flour, butter, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor. 
  • Pulse until coarse crumbs form, 6 to 7 times. 
  • Firmly press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. 
  • Bake in a preheated oven until light golden brown, about 20 minutes. (Crust will have cracks.)

  • Prepare the Filling:
  •  Whisk together eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, honey, flour, melted butter, cinnamon, salt, and ginger in a bowl until smooth. 
  • Stir in pecans. 
  • Pour over warm Crust. 
  • Bake at 350°F until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. 
  • Cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. 
  • Slice into 32 bars.

CONNECTING TOPICS: THE NEW YORKER/ARCHITECTURE

The New Yorker incorporates buildings and famous establishments to demonstrate or introduce a new idea, artistic interpretations, and opinions from the artists of the structures. This post will discuss how the New Yorker depicts popular architectural constructions and how accurately the artists illustrate such structures.

Latest New Yorker Cover Addresses Ferguson Rift With Saarinen's Iconic Arch  | ArchDaily

An image of The New Yorkers take on racial issues. The magazine uses the famous Gateway Arch and incorporates the black and white division to illustrate the disconnect between white and black people, breaking the arch and the top to further draw a point.

The New Yorker illustrates Eero Saarinen’s iconic Gateway Arch in the December 8th, 2014 cover. My observations are that the cover is 2D, which gives a flat impression, as there is no dimension or an elaborate color palette. In this case, the cover doesn’t require such a creative color range as the arch is simple and straight forward which explains the simpleness of the illustration. The artist directly understood the dimension of the edifice as even the buildings in the background are extremely accurately drawn even down to the roofs and the window placement.

The cover references how the events of the August 9th 2014 shooting of Micheal Brown in Ferguson, MO have impacted the city and the community. The artist uses the famous arch that almost all American citizens recognize in the U. S. to the racial divide. The arch is split into two halves to further demonstrate the divide between the white and black. Artists can use famous and recognizable monuments to make a political or social point.

Five Years After Michael Brown's Death, His Father Wants a New  Investigation - The New York Times