Momma Told Me: July 2018

Blog Archive

Harnessing A 'Pop Of Color' With My D.I.Y Floppy Disk Curtain Wall Art

D.I.Y Floppy Disk Curtain Installation inspired by Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color. #LiveLoveColor #AD
Momma Told Me: How does it make you feel?

 Moving into a house has been a transforming experience. In the condo I always felt I had a defined sense of style and direction, yet I frequently found the small spaces easily felt more cluttered than designed. Now that I have more space then I know what to do with it's been hard to really harness my many visions and determine where to start with such a vast, white, canvas. Thankfully Moll Anderson's latest book, Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color  by Moll Anderson has really helped me identify and pursue my unique color story. As someone who tends to rely on a riot of color to express themselves I've been fascinated to take a journey through my own personal color connections and truly identify how to put pops of color to work in my home.
#LiveLoveColor #AD
My biggest fear, when moving into a partially furnished house with rambling white walls was that I would struggle to make my own vision of color style cohesive. It's one thing to dress up for a night with my girlfriends looking like I'm barfing rainbows but my home is an entirely different expression of myself. Color, at it's root, is transforming- and you may be surprised which colors you identify with most, and the power in harnessing them. For example, I always considered yellow one of the boldest statements in the Crayola box, a color I was drawn too, but never really understood how to execute. Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color by Moll Anderson has taught me that there are not only many shades of every color, but many ways to bring color into one's life through playing with textures, light, and more.You may recall, earlier this month, I re-introduced you to Moll Anderson, noted author, dedicated philanthropist and inspiring entrepreneur. Well, her new book Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color by Moll Anderson arrived in stores this week and you can currently find it with the non-fiction best sellers at your local Target. Don't be deceived by the colorful cover, this is more than just another coffee table book. The contents between these pages are life-altering in the sense that they will force you to reconsider the palette around you and how you embrace color as a means of communication and definition. Your color story is something you can change with just a few brush strokes, or an entire renovation. Utilize the book's journal like pages to reflect on your own history with color and unlock the color which identifies you most!
Explore color and it's meaning within your life with Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color, the new book by Moll Anderson. #LiveLoveColor #AD
I always considered 'my color' pink. When asked what my favorite color is, I will always say pink. However, through the pages of Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color by Moll Anderson I discovered some of my first happy memories were deeply rooted in the color yellow. I also realized that I, unintentionally, incorporated the color into many routine aspects of my life without ever noticing. In fact, for me, yellow is a grounding color that reminds me of fresh starts and sunny outlooks. It's hard not to look at yellow and feel instant warmth.
It's for that reason, inspired by Moll Anderson's challenge to explore and embrace color, that I chose to add a dramatic, large, pop of yellow to my main living room. As it stands now the living room you first see upon walking into our home is a muted palette of seafoam green, white walls, and oak wood. It's 'safe' and very bare, so I knew I wanted to go BIG with my project, a millennial tribute, a floppy disk wall art installation. Ironically enough I'd spotted over 100 old floppy disks sitting in my father's office when we moved him last year and, at the time, had felt a calling to hoard them for a special project. Some other supplies I gathered included a lightweight curtain rod, wide key-rings, fishing wire, a drop cloth, particle safe face mask, spray paint, and duck tape that matched my paint color as close as possible.
When I began this project I truly was making the entire thing up from some vision I'd had in my mind. I had no way to know if I'd actually be able to pull it off, or the complications that may or may not arise, but I fell in love with the shade of yellow I'd chosen and was determined to see it through. The first step was to remove the metallic clips from all of my floppy disks. With minimal force they will pop off, along with the spring that holds them in place. I had no idea how many I would ultimately end up using (I used 41 in the end) so I prepared well over 60 expecting there would be some hiccups and less than perfect floppies as I proceeded.
Because I couldn't find a curtain rod in the length I needed, with squared ends to match my square theme, I spray painted my rod to match the metallic floppy clips. The process of spray painting the floppy disks themselves took several days- Though I did my best to avoid sticking or peeling, I lost a handful to quality control. The entire process took 3 and a half cans of spray paint for roughly 50 perfect yellow floppies.
D.I.Y Floppy Disk Curtain Installation inspired by Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color, by Moll Anderson. #LiveLoveColor #AD
Once my disks had dried I reassembled them with fabric gloves to avoid oil smudges and smears on the paint and metal finishes. The clips pop back into place with minimal effort, though some were loose due to the way I'd initially removed them, and those were also set aside.
D.I.Y Floppy Disk Curtain Installation inspired by Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color, by Moll Anderson. #LiveLoveColor #AD
Next I meticulously measured out the spacing of my floppies, laying the final composition on the floor. I began by duck taping the top of my fishing line to the back of my first floppy, then measuring the correct spacing between the next, and repeating the process. 5 in the first row, 4 in the next, and so on, so forth. I found it was essential to make sure the line was taped as close to center as possible, and left plenty of excess line on either end of each strip.
D.I.Y Floppy Disk Curtain Installation inspired by Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color, by Moll Anderson. #LiveLoveColor #AD
Before completing my wall installation I mounted the curtain rod brackets and carefully strung my floppies up to inspect their alignment on the wall. With the key-rings I was able to run the fishing line through without actually tying it off- this enabled me to make adjustments in length and get my 'grid' pattern just right. As expected the floppies wanted to 'spin' and turn freely, exposing the taped backs. I wasn't thrilled about this, but, it turns out almost all of the visible backs can be controlled by twisting the wires and manipulating their position. It just takes a little extra time and patience.
While there are a few tweaks I'd like to make, and I may notice a disk has spun towards the back every now and then, my general reaction to seeing this fun pop of yellow every morning is to smile. As it stands, our mantle is entirely empty at this time, but we've left some extra height between the 'floppy curtain' (as we call it) for some extra special finds. I can't say what will end up there, but I know we will recognize whatever the items are when we see them. Thanks to my keen understanding of color, and the power behind it, from Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color by Moll Anderson I'm certain to style bolder than ever before!
D.I.Y Floppy Disk Curtain Installation inspired by Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color, by Moll Anderson. #LiveLoveColor #AD
We're a long way from being 'done' designing our home. I don't suppose we will ever really be done designing our home, after all, it's a never-ending story that transforms with the seasons of our lives. Wherever my color story takes me I'll surely be more attentive to the impact it has on my life, and more aware of how to harness it for self expression and empowerment. If stringing a curtain of floppy disks feels a bit out of your comfort zone, then maybe you'll want to start with picking up a copy of Moll Anderson's Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color by Moll Anderson book from Target. You never know where your color story will take you....

What Daughter Says: Color can instantly change the mood and direction of any setting- explore how color impacts you and learn how to better harness it within your life.

Experiencing SoCal VegFest And Expanding Horizons

#SoCalVegFest 2016
Momma Told Me: Don't think different, think broader.

If you'd asked me a few years ago if I'd like to go to something with 'VegFest' in the title I'd have laughed out loud and made a snarky remark about bacon covered veggies. And the truth is, that type of mentality runs rampant among the communities outside 'that way of life.' You know the communities, 'Veg Heads,' 'Tree Huggers,' ....'Vegans'- there's us and then there's them. If it sounds like an ugly way of thinking, it is.

But, really, a few bad apples (pun intended) have given an entire way of living a bad wrap. Vegetarians, vegans, and humanitarians all have this misguided rep for being over-zealous and judgemental when, in truth, those looking outside are casting stones just as far as them. As a foodie, I've long recognized this war but it wasn't until one of our close friends 'came out' as Vegan that I was forced to look at how I so harshly judged.
There are a lot of reasons I feel I will never be a Vegan.

Do I feel there is anything wrong with those who choose to be? Absolutely not? Could I see myself as a Vegetarian, or Pescatarian? Maybe. But what it really boils down to, is I would rather choose to expand my lifestyle to be more conscious, than flip a switch overnight and commit to an entire way of living I really know so little about.

And that is how I would up at SoCal VegFest the, second annual free admittance, massive weekend event which self professes it's specially organized to "engage curiosity and inspire consciousness in people of all ages." I really couldn't put it better myself.

Organized on the sunny Orange County College Campus what might be misunderstood as a Vegetarian or Vegan festival really was an enlightening experience. With hundreds of vendors, many food trucks and food minded vendors yes, from animal free hair care to holistic living and inspirational live music. Anyone walking in with an open mind would surely find themselves delighted beyond labels and lingo.
#SoCalVegFest Donut Friend Los Angeles, CA
Prime example- Vegan Donuts.

Local North Los Angeles boutique style donut shop, The Donuttery, was arguably one of the hottest Food exhibits at the event boasting a mostly Vegan menu of flavor twisting, from scratch, donuts, with names like PB&J and Cinnamon Roll. Many of their menu offerings are not just animal by-product free, but gluten and or dairy free as well, making them great for those with allergies, or just a conscious sweet tooth.

Even in the SoCal heat I insisted on toting a few of these delicious donuts through the event with us, and home for dessert that night. It was well worth the wait; forget their excluded ingredients, these were easily some of the best donuts, flavor and texture, I've ever had!
Of course I was all about the food- and the seemingly endless samples the vendors had to offer only gave me more reason to 'educate' myself on culinary alternatives and potential benefits to dietary changes- but there was plenty more going on than Earth friendly hippie brands peddling food.

Whether you were interested in aligning your chakras, sampling homemade incense, exploring natural fabric dyed and printed clothing, learning to play a new instrument, or wished to discuss methods of at-home-composting, there was something to intrigue everyone from the curious, to the life-long-devoted Earth conscious individual. We spotted families, pets (which technically weren't allowed because of the food), couples, fashion driven college students and grunged out high schoolers. And the vibe- it was electric.
As someone not necessarily looking to convert to Veganism, I was also accompanied by my Vegan friend. That somehow sounds wrong, when I type it, as if hes 'my Vegan friend'- when, in fact, he's introduced me to many like-minded people from his circles. But, still, I associate him with my 'tipping point,' my 'eyes wide open' factor. So nearly everything we actually sampled or bought was, in fact, Vegan, despite the fact that not all the vendors were Vegan friendly.

And if I am speaking Chinese- Vegan would indicate no animal sourced products were used, rather than no animal meat (Vegetarian), and Veganism can take many forms from mild (no milk, meat, fats) to extreme (no honey, animal labor, or even animal household pets). For our purpose my friendly Vegan friend is quite easy to talk to and will happily explain that every Vegan must find their own level of comfort as to what their lifestyle means, and what path they will live.

Having said all this- yes, that is Vegan funnel cake, and it is amazing. Up top: a plant based milk substitute we found even more creamy than the big name competitor, Silk. Look for MALK at a store near you soon!
#SoCalVegFest 2016 Vegan Sushi
Speaking of expanding horizons, Vegan Sushi is something I didn't think existed, let alone thought I would ever try- so I naturally jumped at the chance when we passed by a specialty food truck known for their imitation spicy tuna-less tuna. Believe it or not, the materials cost of manufacturing this sushi was not only less on the eco-impact bottom line, but the wallet as well. And the flavor? Impressively good. The puffed rice and crispy noodles on the exterior really brought the texture and flavors of the imitation tuna to life!
#SoCalVegFest PETA
Of course it wouldn't be SoCal VegFest without the PETA booth- a booth that pops up at a lot of festivals and events I frequent, but has always had me a bit timid to approach. PETA has a bad wrap for being a little extremist, and some of their representatives have questionable tactics for shock based messaging.
On this particular day I was actually accompanied by my friend, Aaron (you know, my 'Vegan friend') who actually just began working as a social media representative for the organization this month. He really helped show me the softer side of the organization, and how they worked hard to expand not only vision but perception through creative solutions- not just the traditional scare tactics they often get a bad wrap for. With representatives such as Aaron holing their face, I really find the organization is much more approachable for mainstream consumers such as myself.
Somewhere near the PETA booth were a few animal friendly accessory and fashion vendors. I, personally, don't find that Vegan fashion in the high end market is in my budget- with the gorgeous high-top leather alternatives calling my name ever so sweetly- but I definitely found a beautiful art in thinking outside traditional materials to create gorgeous clothing. The more I pondered how truly far one had to go to be genuinely Vegan kosher in the world of clothing, the more my head actually began to spin. So many animal by products are used in the industry, much like the case used to be with cosmetics.
SoCal Veg Fest also had an assortment of events being hosted throughout the weekend, much like you'd find at your local fair. A costume contest and cupcake contest were just a few of the highlights- The criteria for the cupcake contest being that they at minimum were Vegetarian friendly. These rules didn't seem to hinder creativity at all, though- the Little Shop of Horrors inspired cupcakes were a clear front runner in my book. I only wish I could've tasted them!
#SoCalVegFest Vegan Mushroom Potstickers
We wrapped our day with one last snack- Vegan Ginger Miso Portobello Potstickers (a pricey $18 plate, but oh so worth it as it was, wok'd in from of you.) And, of course, we stopped by Southern Fried Vegan for a plate of  Chicken-less Chicken and Waffles to take home for dinner. Man, if I lived in the Los Angeles area I could easily see myself spoiled on good Vegan eats!

Of course the moral of the day was really just an expansion of possibilities and a slightly different way of thinking. The social impact of our consumer and dietary consumption is one issue- but the mentality of skewing one's self towards am ore sustainable, and greater, future, really shines with appeal to me. I look forward to attending the event again next year, and will definitely keep my eyes out for similar events more local in the upcoming year! Now, tell me, what do you think you'd enjoy most about visiting an event like SoCal Veg Fest?

What Daughter Says: Expanding your mind doesn't require commitment, it just requires an open mind.

What I'm Streaming: Casual A Hulu Original (Seasons 1-2)

Casual a Hulu Original, Streaming Seasons 1-2 Now on Hulu
Momma Told Me: Humans, by nature, are complicated.

I took almost 3 months off from television this year-

When I say 'television' of course I mean 'streaming' programming, as you may recall our family does not have traditional cable. The only time I get to watch something 'live' is at a viewing party or family get together, so I am typically behind at least several episodes on my favorite shows. My purge, of sorts, really wasn't a conscious decision. I simply found that I didn't have the physical or emotional time to invest in TV while I sorted through some big life events in the first half of 2016. In a sense my life became the drama I was hooked on, and I couldn't handle that of anyone else, even if they were fictional.

But now Summer is here- and I have cleared my schedule to do nothing but relax. Okay, blog and relax- I have some recipes and projects I look forward to tackling and sharing in my own time. But the truth remains- streaming, and binging is back in my life and I look forward to sharing some of my finds!
Casual a Hulu Original, Streaming Seasons 1-2 Now on Hulu
I started high school at a very young age, which just so happened to be around the time Gilmore Girls had just begun airing on the CW. It was my mother, actually, who insisted I watch the show, and instantly I became hooked. Well, we became hooked, as we'd tune in every week to see the latest saga of Rory and Dean or Loralei and Luke. I've always been drawn to shows with quirky characters that seem to have a myriad of personal life obstacles, yet still manage to great each day with enthusiasm, no matter how calamitous the outcome.

Casual, a Hulu Original, reminds me very much of classic Gilmore Girls mixed with (Amazon Prime's Original) Transparent. It is a modern family tale of a single mother, recently divorced and moved in with her emotionally complicated (yet brilliant) brother whilst navigating the complicated world of casual relationships. And, if you think 'Casual' refers merely to one night stands and hook-ups, I have to say that the show's title really covers a wide range of human relationships and the complicated struggles to maintain them.
At the core of Casual there are 3 strong lead characters- Valerie (Michaela Watkins) and her extremely raw, but endearing relationship with her high school aged daughter Laura (Tara Lynne Barr) and Valerie's brother Alex (Tommy Dewey) the online relationship mapping tech startup failure (think with emotional insecurities and destructive behaviors. Much like Gilmore Girls, viewers are drawn into the unique and impressively symbiotic relationship these three characters build, as each learn from and grows with each-other while tackling sticky family issues.
Casual a Hulu Original, Streaming Seasons 1-2 Now on Hulu
However the show is NOT a family program- and should be enjoyed by adults. While it does stream on Hulu as an Original series there is ample 'Sex And The City' style content covered through the adult cast's various escapades into single-dom, parenting, and beyond. While recently divorced, one love of her life, Valerie is awkward and even clumsy in her dating story, bold and modern Alex is inquisitive and exploratory in his. At the end of the day, Casual wraps the calamities and trials with raw insight that truly mirrors the struggles of what it means to be human, and searching for companionship (whether connecting with a new friend, or looking for a long term relationship) in this complex modern world.
Casual a Hulu Original, Streaming Seasons 1-2 Now on Hulu
If you enjoy shows such as Parenthood and Transparent, give this show a go. Some of the scenarios may seem outright shocking, while others all too relate-able, and it's almost impossible not to begin building your own relationship with the characters. Casual is currently in it's second season- which means you can stream all of Season 1 on Hulu now (binge time!) and catch up to the first half of Season 2 before it ends.

P.S. Season 3 of Casual begins streaming next week (May 26, 2017)!

What Daughter Says: 'Casual' much like 'Normal' are settings for clothing and the dryer. Every relationship is richly complex- that's what makes life so enjoyable!

Discover Crispy, Nutty, Snacking This Summer + Enter To Win With The #NutThinsContest

This post was sponsored by Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Summer snacking and entertaining with Blue Diamond Nut-Thins
Does anyone else find they snack more, the more they have on their plate?

Their metaphorical plate that is.

I'm definitely a grazer who loves to snack while I do things. The more I do the more I like to have something small on hand to nibble as I progress.

Naturally this form of snacking can get dangerous quickly. If I ate a chocolate snack cake every-time I tackled a project things would get pretty sticky quick. Luckily I have a few snacking go-tos on hand at all times, to not only satisfy my need to nibble, but help keep me full, fueled, and focused.
Crackers, or chips, are a vice for many.

They are not only often salty and flavorful but offer a satisfying crunchy crisp texture that makes snacking fun.

Then you have those who love to have a serving or two of their favorite nuts, perhaps with some fresh fruit, or a little dairy. A particularly favorite snack of mine, but a serving of most nuts doesn't amount to much and is often gone before the snacking begins.

Enter Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins, the snack made with California rice flour and Blue Diamond® nuts. They're heart crackers with a satisfying crisp texture sturdy enough for toppings and dips. The original variety, and many favorite flavors, feature Blue Diamond® Almonds, though new varieties also feature ingredients such as pecans or honey for a shake up in flavor.
If you're wondering where this amazing pairing of nut and cracker has been all your life, then this is the perfect time to discover Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins at a retailer near you. First check out the product locator, then head into your local retailer and snap a selfie where you find Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins on the shelf.

A shelfie, if you will.

Sure, you'll want to commemorate this glorious occasion, the day you discovered the cracker to replace all crackers; but there's also a little something else in it for you too.
Right now your in store shelfie could win you one of $3000 in prizes when you snap a photo of yourself with Nut-Thins in store and head on over to the Nut-Thins 2 Win Scavenger Hunt and Sweepstakes page. For the chance to win a $1,000 gift card, just find Nut-Thins in any grocery store, take a selfie with the product on the shelf, and post it on your public Instagram or Twitter account using the hashtag #NutThinsContest, OR upload it to! No purchase necessary- No shelfie? No problem, you can still enter to win a select few smaller prizes, such as gift cards to amazing retailers like Ralphs, Vons, and Target when you enter to win at the Nut-Thins 2 Win micro-site.
While I was in store snapping my shelfie I made sure to stock up on some of our favorite Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins varieties so my pantry would be ready not just for summer snack-attacks, but those unexpected guests and last minute entertaining events that always seem to pop up during the warmer months. Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins are entirely wheat and gluten free with no artificial flavors making them the perfect crowd pleaser for all of my friends and family. The hardest decision is simply which boxes to put out and share; as I tend to want to hoard my favorite varieties for myself.
Speaking of favorite Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins in Honey Mustard and Cheddar Cheese offer a packed full of flavor experience that really shines on their own. Original Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins feature the light nutty flavor of rice and almonds that pairs perfectly with everything from dips such as hummus to spreadable cheese and kalamata olives. They're not salty or sweet, so they go great with fresh fruit too.
I've got to admit, I'm feeling a bit empowered to snack and entertain more this summer with Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins by my side, but I'm also feeling quite inspired by some of the recipes I've seen lately on their Instagram feed. Just check out this completely unique and refreshing take on Nutty Lemon Bars which uses Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins Hint of Sea Salt to bring a fun texture and flavor to a classic summertime baked treat. What do you imagine you could do when you entertain or snack with Blue Diamond® Nut-Thins? Make sure to enter the #NutThinsContest by July 29th, 2018 for your chance to win!