Texas Renaissance Festival

In Texas, for the past thirty-one years it seems, there has been a gigantic fedtivel entierly devoted to the renaissance period of time. From where I live at it’s about an hour away on a traffic-less day, secluded around trees and forests, a far away place unlike any other.

Now, I’m pretty sure there are other festivals such as this around the country, and I bet they are just as lovely or even better. But when I went for the first time this week I was entierly enamored by this magical place.

Firstly everyone who works there is in complete costume, and from the looks of it they rather die than get out of character. They will yell, intimidate you, sing, dance… they are very serious actors, something amazing to see.

Secondly there are so many things to do! Games, rides, stores… its fifty-five acres of amazing stuff. I got to buy some necklaces and a ton of delicious food, but I really want to go back for an elephant ride and a quill pen and some India ink.

Thirdly it is beautiful. Oh gosh it was amazingly beautiful, every shop and store was designed to look as if it was from six hundred years ago. There where so many wooded areas, beautiful plants growing wildly, flowers being grown near chapels and well, everywhere.

But here, just a few pics about my day here with my good friend Myddie.

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Ps, it was her giant turkey leg, not mine.

On the downside my phone’s screen broke while I was buying popcorn. It was also raining so much, so much that my curly hair and bangs got frizy and out of place, we also ended up covering ourselved with my black sweater to avoid the rain, where we almost fell because we could hardly see.

But it was a great trip, and I truly need to go back. This renaissance festival was amazing, just beautiful.

Have you ever gone to a very good time period festival/place?

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Pumpkin Cobbler & Responsibility (or lack of)

So this weekend was a very busy, erratic one. Between constant errands, dates with friends and about a dozen or so more things to do I was very busy. Plus I was slightly depressed due to the declining weather which always seems to enjoy tampering with my well being :p.

Anyways I made a cobbler you guys!!! Granted I went a little bit more seasonal and used pumpkin instead of any other fruit, and I used this recipe from Mel which was super easy to make and it was absolutely delicious. http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2010/11/pumpkin-cobbler.html It was sooooo good, that even my Mom and Sister (total pumpkin haters) fell in love with it. I omitted the vanilla extract on account of not having any (oops! Those Eclairs sure did make me run dry on some ingredients…) But this was so good, a definite addition to my Fall/Year Round recipes to make.

This was the official picture of the cobbler, and isn’t it beautiful?
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Anyways, the main topic of this post is really going to be about this certain talk with someone that really, um, grinned my gears, I guess you could say. Anyways, I was conversing with a sort of friend, when they started going on and on about how they felt as if many things they had to do where really not their responsibility. They started expressing about how if their time was limited, or if they just truly did not care for something they did not feel as if it was their responsibility to do it. It did not matter if it was their entire responsibility or if it was something only they could do for themselves, they still considered it to be not their fault and something they where so not going to be bothered with.

Now this just pissed me off, sort of. Because I consider myself a responsible person, someone who will do as she is supposed to, as she is expected to. I dont wait around for others to have to do something because I dont feel like doing it, or for someone to have to be dissapointed in me.

The lack of responsibility in our world nowadays is actually astounding, it seems as if everyone has someone else to depend on or to have their back. Now I can understand that, because some times we are unable to acomplish something for more than a few reasons, but to blatantly feel unconcerned for something that is truly and really our entire responsibility is just… sad, horrible, angering?

Especially when the things in question are simple matters, such as cleaning your home or cooking your own food. As you get older isn’t that basic standard? And even if the responsibility is shared, it should still be top priority for us, not something that we expect to get done regardless of our level of care or not.

Huh, venting is pretty good, especially on the very first hours of a new week. Anyways I hope everyone has a good Monday, and check out that Pumpkin Cobbler recipe because it is amazing!

Have you ever just felt the need to vent out your feelings on a subject?

My So Called Life Nowadays

This year has been entirely different from the past ones.

Maybe it’s because I am finally realizing that soon I will be finally heading out to college, or maybe it’s because I have finally grown out of the early teenage years, or maybe it’s because as time passes everything just sort of changes, shifts into something else.

Nonetheless my life nowadays is sort of… good. Not very good, as in happiest or luckiest person alive, but good. I have good friends I can count on during a bad day, and things to do besides nothing during my times off from school, plus I’ve been going ’round Houston lately, which I love to do.

So this weekend, well, instead of going back to school on Monday I basically am barely going today. I did attend a few hours of school on Monday, but I felt sick so I left. And thank God to weird school schedules because my oldest best friend wasn’t in school either, so I ended up going over to her house, where she had a mini project going on.

Jenn wanted to make eclairs. We had all of the ingrediants, and although only having had watched an episode of Masterchef last season when this was done, and having a very complicated, ahem useless, recipe we got to work. And it was fun, screwing up like crazy in the kitchen. But hey, eclairs are some hard work, especially to two girls who’s baking is meant to be messy and fun, not perfect and great.

So this is what we got, the first attempt at the baking of the eclair pastry. I know, an epic fail of a first try. And yes, there where more tries. 🙂

 
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Kind of sad looking right? But thank God that Jenn’s mom came in and took us under her bakers wing. And after a couple more hours, a simpler recipe, common thoughts and a lot of anger, we somehow made this.

 
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Now that was good! Messy, kind of eh, but delicious. The perfect eclair.

So we completed our little project, and Jenn and I realized a valuable lesson, that we are way better cooks than bakers. That said, we figured we could never work in a pastry shop unless we enjoyed starvation or homelessness.

The next day I woke up feeling a bit better and went on to run some errands with my sister.

Eventually we ended up downtown, inside of a cute little cupcakery called Crave. I had been meaning to go for a while, and yesterday it just seemed like the perfect time. I chose the delicious Coconut Chocolate one that was pure perfection. My sister stayed true to her Red Velvet love and we got an Italian Creme and Dark Chocolate for my Mom and brother. They where delicious, utter amazingnes.

 
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They do say the best things come in the smallest of packages.

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Then we walked to the nearest Starbucks, where I got a cold passion tea lemonade and began to take selfies to the chagrin of a guy sitting behind us. Sorry guy, didn’t mean to make you feel embarrassed! And the weather was nice, a cool morning made for a perfect start of our days.

Afterwords I fell in love with a pumpkin at Trader Joe’s and proceeded to take a ton of selfies with it, which was probably odd and weird to the store patron’s, yet they said nothing and even helped us take a few pics. (I know what is up with my selfie love lately?) I also found my new addiction, this cookies that are craze-amaze.
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Of course I bought more than a couple of soup cans, and some pretty flowers for my Mom for no reason, just because I love her.

Just Plain Sad.

As is my custom nowadays, or so it has seemed to be, I found myself enjoying lunch all by myself on Saturday. I ordered my food, a giant salad this time, and found myself sitting by a ton of windows and just watching the busy streets.

As I started eating I noticed a young family sitting very close to my table.  Their children where so young, very cute and adorable, yet I mainly noticed the fact that as the family enjoyed their meal the parents where repeatedly urging their oldest daughter, a waif like child of no more than seven years of age, to please eat.

Apparently the young child refused to eat any more than two bites of her plate. The whole time her Mother would just say things like “Whats going on? Your not hungry?” When the child said no, that she was not hungry her Mother began to urge her to eat.

But the girl was very strong willed and she refused to eat.  Then her Mom asked her, “What happened? Did someone tell you anything?” The girl shook her head, still not eating.  That just shocked me, because what could someone say to a little girl that would make her not want to eat?

The Mom continued to urge and inquire, but her daughter was stubborn and refused, until finally the Mom used the urging of “If you don’t eat your going to the hospital.  Do you want to be sick? No? Then you have to eat. ”

To the hospital.

This little event seemed so used, so annoying, as if it had been practiced for ages.  But finally, after a good twenty minutes, the girl began to eat a bit of her food.  Finally.

But this little fight reminded me of the many times when his had happened to me as well.  I can still remember refusing ding to eat anything beyond a set amount of calories, I can remember crying at restaurants when I was forced to eat or even just told to do so, I can remember being scared of even visiting the doctor for fear that I would be force fed with a giant tube…

But I can still picture this girl in my mind, and it just breaks my heart.  She looked so very tired, without any energy at all, yet she still put up a fight.

Now throughout the whole time I continued to enjoy my food, more than happy that I had been given a chance to enjoy life, and food, again.  So I ate my whole salad and smiled as I did so.

Before they left I wanted to hug this little girl, to tell her why she should not ever refuse to eat, why she was too much to young to ever let other people’s comments stop her from living s content life… But I already felt like an eavesdropper so I did nothing, just smiled at her as she left.

This. This maybe disease, this thoughts and this…. crap is just sad. On a kid its heartbreaking. I’m so…. heartbroken over this I can’t even deal.

I had never seen another person with the disease, or someone who exhibited these things, in real life. And who knows, maybe this little girl is not in any form or way anorexic but it sure did seem this way.

I feel for her, for her family and for the thousands of others who have gone, or seen someone, go through it. Because it sucks. I lived it and I hate myself because of it, because I let it control my life. I made my family and my friends deal with this too… And it’s so sad.

Just plain Sad.

Lost

A part of me, albeit rather small, would like to believe that when Gertrude Stein was in conversation, branding those around her as a “lost generation.” She was also referring to the years to come, to the decades that have since passed from the 1920’s.

Maybe it’s because I have recently fallen head over heels in love with the masterpieces of Ernest Hemingway and T.S. Elliot… But maybe it’s because Stein’s believes can also clearly apply to our modern times. She was referring to those who lived after WW1 and how different their lives became, how everything about their society was changed by the war.

Well, hasn’t our world changed so so so very much since a mere hundred years ago?  Hasn’t war plagued Earth time and time again since the first world war? And every time this occurs, doesn’t our believes change and shift too?

In those ways I believe we are all also a type of “lost generation” because we are always moving, trying to find ourselves as the years pass, as everything around us somehow changes. So maybe Gertrude was right in saying, “You are all a lost generation.”

Busy Type of Life

I am so so so sorry you guys! My unexplained absence can be summed up with a few words however: I have been extremely busy. And yes, it sure does suck.

All last week I was doing something. Either I was searching for a specific brand of pens, or for the specific size of binders and for the most durable yet chic folders… And dont forget last minute back to school clothing shopping. You know, when the realization that you only have two pairs of new flats begins to dawn on you, and the moment when you wonder if you should have taken more opportunities at the sales in the mall.

Plus last minute I had the chance to move schools, which I almost did…

All of this coupled with the fact that I started to lose sleep left and right did not end well for Monday, the first day of school. I got four hours of sleep that night, but I somehow woke up, sans caffeine of any type or form, and went to school. As soon as I came home I put my dying phone to charge, and went straight to sleep.

I slept for three hours! And the next day for two, and then yesterday one. Sigh. Recovering lost sleep is harder than it seems.

School however has been good. Ive been assigned to most of the classes I wanted, and some that will just give me more credits. Still, school is always school.

The one thing that I have not been enjoying has been the school lunches. Why? Because I was used to cereals and peanut butter breads for breakfast, little salads and soups and maybe a veggie patty for lunch, a fresh fruit for an afternoon snack and then a dinner of carbs/proteong/veggies. At school the options are limited, even though I do pack my breakfast… Not only that but for some reason the foos hurts my tummy, which is just plain horrible.

Anyways. I am on my way to school, and who knows maybe today will be much better. We can hope though, right?

Anger/Peace of Mind

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everyone always says that you should be happy, that you should never be angry, and that you should be kind, happy. Everyone always says that you when mad you should count to a hundred, take a few deep breaths, get a diary, eat some ice cream and to calm down, after these exercises you should be rather happy, controlled. And yes, in some instances, for many people this can be the perfect remedy, and after ten minutes and a few servings of tasty Rocky Road you may not even remember the source of your unhappiness… But what are you supposed to do if you are truly, very, unchangeably angry? What if the whole happy person act doesn’t work, and if you could eat a gallon of ice cream and not even feel a bit better, but actually worse? Are you supposed to smile, to pretend its all alright? Well, I cant. Maybe I’m just too cruel, and maybe I cannot and will never be able to just forgive and forget… But it is who I am, and how am I to change? In these moments the only thing that calms me down is the understanding that for every minute you are angry you are taking a minute of happiness away from yourself. And no one deserves to be sad, or mad, but instead they should be full of happiness, of contentment.

So at the end of the day the choice comes down to this: peace/ anger. What we decide is totally up for us.

Move Over Potato Chips: Introducing New Snacks To Love

I went to the grocery store the other day with my brother. Usually I just stick with buying whole produce and a few frozen foods. But my brother insisted on buying other things, such as Kraft mac’n’cheese, HotPockets and candy. When we where about to pay he grabbed a random bag of potato chips, added it to the cart, paid and then we left.

Maybe I’m just weird, but I’ve never really enjoyed potato chips. Their too salty, have no true taste and never seem to fill me up, no matter how much I eat of them. So I did have some of his chips, but quickly left them in favor of something I actually like.

A couple of years ago the only “chips” or chip like snack where the different varieties of potato chips, but lately companies have caught onto this and have begun to create other options, things that are delicious, sort of healthy and just plain out amazing. So move over potato chips, because there’s a whole ton of new foods to try.

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Have you ever tried these before? Don’t be fooled by the words “Granola Chips” and don’t think these are just your basic granola, breakfast, sugary food. Nope, these babies are made out of oats, barley and even quinoa among other things. Yes, these little chips have the amazing quinoa inside of them, yet they still taste like delicious granola. Pair these up with some fruit, or maybe some PB or in your breakfast and you can call it a day.

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These are just plain out, basic, amazing and delicious. These arw also kind of popular, but I think they deserve more rep than what they get. These are just delicious, all delicious all around. They are also super versatile, and taste good with just about anything (hummus, Nutella, PB, fruit, cheese, etc) and are delicious just by themselves too. And to me they don’t seem too salty, which makes me a happy girl.

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Pita chips. What can I say about them? They are delicious, need I say more? Maybe I’m a bit weird, but I love eating these with my Minestrone soup from Trader Joe’s. Their not exactly super healthy, but these kind have 50% less fat than regular potato chips. Plus they taste amazing with plain hummus.

So there you have it, the options of potato chips I adore. These are amazing, and I honestly love them.

In other news, have any of you all gone to Bath & Body Works lately? If you have then you have seen the ton of pumpkin products they have now. Why is this super amazing to me? Because I am a serious pumpkin/fall lover, and being able to buy autumn related things as early as August makes me a happy girl.

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Of course I bought these. They smell amszingly delicious, plus they keep you clean, a total plus.

Are you pumpkin\fall obsessed?

Weekend, and Weekday

Have you ever had a couple of days in your life where everything seems to he amazing and perfect and wonderful? No, yes, maybe. Well, I had this feeoing during the weekend and cannot find enough words to describe how amazing it is.

It all started on Saturday, when my brother got an invitation to a party most of our old friends where going to. It was that same afternoon and even thiugh it was entirely last minute I still decided to shop around for something to wear.

I thought I would end up wearing a dress from home, but surprisingly the first dress I saw was the dress I ended up going home with. It was black, a modest hi-low with stitched flowers onto the torso, and this paired with my good old black heels and my Riri Woo lipstick (which I adore!) was the perfect outfit.

The party was a lot of fun, and I got to hang out with a lot of people I had not seen in ages. Plus , or some reason I ended up dancing a lot, which of course is never boring. Aand thr guy hosting the party even had some vrggie food for me, which was both delicious and considerate.

When I woke up in the morning on Sunday I was extremely tierd and exhausted from the night before, but I etill got up for early church. After church I made plans with one of my bff’s, S, to gobout for lunch. We chose a local Mexican place, and met over there.

Mexican food is mostly always vegrtarian, but just to make sure I asked the waiter if the beans contained any meat, and they did, they had been cooked with bacon. Knowing this I ordered a
quesadilla, a tostada (hold the beans) and a cheese and veggie gordita. I didn’t finish all of this, but I did try it all and it was all delicious. But the best part was that I got some nuch needed BFF time, which alwys adds an extra smile to my face.

In the afternoon I found myself very bored, eating some mango sorbet from the pint and watchibg boring Sunday news. Thankfully just then my niece, A, decided to come over and get mevout of my misery.

When she finally came over my sister decided she wanted some frozen yogurt, so my two sibilings and my niece and nephew and I all went over to the Tutti Frutti. I got mostly pomegranate, mango and a hit of strawberry yogurt, and tried the cocunut and pistachio ones whixh where delicious, I topped this with a ton of fresh fruit, a few chocolate covered almonds, a piece of small brownie qnd garnished it with cocunut shreds. Yummmmmm! Best convo ever! Almost as good as their Pumpkin flavor, almost.

We took this to go, and then got home to relax with some much needed girl talk and a few movies which may or may not have been enjoyed with delicious popcorn. But how can you say no to popcorn?

The next day I forgot I had invited S to come over to my house and go shopping, so we had a full house! We ended up just staying home, watching movies and even ordered pizza.

Later S left, and I finally got to go and check out phone plans and get a new phone! Deciding took a while, and the activation took even longer, but at the end of the day I walked out with a Samsung Galaxy S4. I was so close to getting the new iPhone, but my family and I have always been more of an android family for some reason, even though the Marc Jacobs Javier cover made me seriously consider getting one…

Anyways, I finally have a phone (so updates can now happen!) andbit even has a food camera, or a camera at all.

Are you team Apple or Android? And how was your weekend?

I’m Not a Hipster, Or a Hippie…

One of the interesting things that happened to me during my trip to Tallahassee was having a nice dinner with my brother and some of his friends he had made during his stay over there.

When we got there I had no idea this would be such a casual affair, and I began to feel a bit overdressed in my sheer floral button down, skinnies, black heels and orange lipstick. Still they did not comment on my outfit, and instead I was introduced to them.

Anyways we start to talk, and since we are about to eat the topic of my being a vegetarian comes up. As usual I am asked “Why did you become a vegetarian? How do you get enough protein? Do you like being a vegetarian?” and I answered all of this questions with the patience only a vegetarian of some time has. We started to eat, them chicken and meat, and I black beans and rice with veggies. The usual, a simple vegetarian meal.

Then as we stopped eating the topic of our interests came up. They talked about their love of sports, of all things Basketball, and their love of nature. I imputed to the conversation my love of Mother Nature, of how I love all things Earth and try to live a “green, healthy life”. I omitted my usual spirited talk about keeping our Earth, our home, alive and healthy. I also added how much I love coffee and Chipotle, and that one of the first things I did in preparation for this trip was search for all the nearby coffee houses and the two Chipotle’s in all of Tallahassee.

Then we started to talk about how different life in a big city like Houston was from a small town like Tallahassee. I agreed entirely with this, and talked about why public transportation was so great, and how much I wished Houston would adopt this more. They all agreed, and we continued on with our dinner.

Sometime later, when the conversation was scarce and the night was beginning to get dull one of the guys we where with asked me “So are you a Hipster? Or a Hippie or something?”

This got me into a mental numbness. I said nothing besides shake my head, shrug and change the subject.

But in the back of my mind, even though we began to converse over our lives and careers and friends and family, I thought back to this question. Was this who I was, how I looked, what I said, the way I acted, did this make other people brand me as a Hipster or a Hippie? And why did this people, who had known me for about an hour, feel that they could just judge me so quickly?

In reality I’ve never tried to be anything. I am who I am.  I’ve never changed myself to fit into a social norm, to belong to a group. Is my caring about the death of animals, over the ill treatment of the Earth, or because I love coffee and have a blog and sometimes wear a scarf in warm weathers…. Does this all brand me into a social group?

No. Even now, days later, I cannot fully believe that I belong into either of these groups. I am who I am, I am just Ella, a girl living her life the way she thinks is best. And if that makes me a “Hipster” or a “Hippie” or even a “Free Spirit” then I guess I am. Because I am whatever people think I am, but in the end I am just who I am. (If that even makes sense). But I know that people will always judge one another, and I hate to admit it, but I used to be the same way. So how can I be a bit angry over something I even used to do?

Have you ever been called something you totally didn’t agree with, and if yes, how did you handle it?