Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Absinthe and Bling - last day to enjoy Mailing List Exclusive!

Have you seen Moulin Rouge?
Remember the Green Fairy? The Asbinthe fairy?

This lip balm was a play on Absinthe--
Absinthe smells of black licorice-- and though I absolutely despise eating black licorice, this scent is addicting. I added a bit of Stevia to the formulation to give off a sweet scent; attempting to capture the essence of Absinthe prepared with sugar (as it often is).

I had a customer request earrings with more dramatic chains + larger in size... so these are what I came up with-- Olivine SWAROVSKI flat briolettes with dangling gold chains!

These were a customized version of an existing design for a customer:

I found some Cherry Blossom shaped paper stamps, and for the life of me could not figure out how to utilize them. I was cutting out paper from Washi sheets and... ended up glueing them together to create these layered paper earrings:
I've been wearing them to work, and am quite happy with how they turned out :)

And some of the newest findings are featured in these beautiful bridal pieces:

^ These are quite interesting. The bows are definitely all silver, but they are textured so that it shimmers slightly. Very cool!

In a popular application, with pearls!

A few months ago I hoarded some beads I did not know how I wanted to use. I took a minimalist approach and made really simple bracelet with a Clover:

... and Heart

I was unsure about these geometric posts when I first ordered them, but I think it goes quite well with the black teardrops!

Lastly, I made a more dramatic bracelet. I was scared it would be overkill but I ended up really liking how it turned out:

In closing, my housemate was planning to use this dish as a bread basket. But Kratos decided that he was going to take over..

He tried really hard to make himself small to fit.


Today is the last day to enjoy the 20% off anything on the website!
Check out our Newsletter #1 for details HERE.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

We found Loki - safe and sound

After it got dark, the bf, his brother and I went out with flashlights looking for Loki. I suggested flashlights because I thought it might be easier to see a the reflection of a cat's eyes if we happened to pass over them with light---

As we went around our neighborhood, we were nearing our house... calling for Loki the whole time.. when a kitty poked his head out from under some bushes!! We slowly approached (cats, even if they know you will get scared in a new environment), talking to him the whole time. He obviously recognized us (or else he would have tried to stay hidden instead of coming out) but was scared, probably exhausted. His meows were super raspy and quiet-- he probably hadn't had much (if at all) to drink all day.

He was a bit hissy but never tried to swipe. BF grabbed him and held him on the way home--- he was just down the block, about 8-10 houses away.

He got home, went straight for water, drank for like 15 minutes, ate, went back to drinking, and then fell asleep. He's back to Loki this morning, super curious and all.

We are super thankful for having Loki back. Thank you all for your positive thoughts!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Our Kitty Loki is missing :(

This morning Loki escaped through an open window... the window didn't have a screen since it had been modified previously to let another cat in /out.

So... as you can imagine we are spending all our time/energy on looking for Loki.

This is his favorite lay position, lol:

A recent favorite:

All our neighbors have been notified and we will be contacting the local shelters/SPCA tomorrow.
Crossing my fingers that he'll find his way back, though. He's kinda derpy (and we say that with the most affection possible) ..... not the brightest. And of course we will continue to call him, leave food/water out, look for him, etc. He's family and we won't give up so easily.

I appreciate you coming by and sending us some positive vibes :)


Monday, July 02, 2012

DIY: Homemade Energy Bars - No Bake! Super Healthy.

The last 3 weeks weren't good for me fitness wise.

I had this weird kink in my lower back, which transferred to my hip socket. It literally took me out of commission for three weeks, so I couldn't work out. Whole time I just kept thinking "I'm too young for this to happen!!"

Needless to say I'm feeling a bit loose and out of sorts. I was officially able to get back to the regular routine 2 days ago, but still taking it easy and doing modified, lower impact version of some exercises until my muscles/nerves get better.

Turns out I had a bunch of muscles that locked up and gave out because I don't breathe properly and clench my jaw unconsciously. Bad! But all is getting much better now :)

Today I wanted to share my homemade power bard with you guys. With demanding workouts, we have to find high quality, lost lasting but easy to enjoy energy sources.

We have the option of buying energy bars but we decided that we try to make our own; this way we can control exactly what goes into it, and tweak it depending on our mood.

The overall idea of it is very simple:
Grind up a bunch of nuts, make into bars by combining with a fruit/honey/agave/nut butter glue. I'll explain in detail below.

So here are SOME of the ingredients I used. You can really get creative and use whatever you like-- we used only raw nuts, some almond butter, dried cranberries, vanilla extract for flavor, oatmeal, chocolate bits.. etc etc.

Step 1:
Combine all your liquid ingredients + dried fruit (I used cranberries, you can use any dried fruit you want) in a food processor and blend the heck out of them until they become pasty and very... very sticky and gooey. This will become the paste that holds your bars together!

For my paste, I used APPROXIMATELY the following ratio of ingredients:
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3 tbs almond butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbs honey

Yes, you will have to blend a while (on and off, took my about 10 minutes to make approx 1 cup of goop), and the motor in your blender may get hot. When things get stuck, I stop the mixer and shake things up..

At this point you may feel things are hopeless and that these items will never blend. Persevere. It will come together. If you feel like your blender is going to explode, you have the option of adding 1-2 tsps of almond milk.. you be the judge of how much.

I add a little almond milk, blend a little, see how it's coming together. This is the hardest part, I swear! You want a thick, really sticky goop.

Yeah, keep going...
And when it looks something like this:
Your fruit glue is ready!

Now throw it into your hand mixer. Trust me, you're going to want a hand mixer for the next part. A lot of  blog posts I've read suggest kneading it by hand. I'm going to save you the the trouble now and tell you that it is immensely difficult to "knead" this by hand because the "dough" is SO , SO dense.

Fruit Glue goop!

Not super appetizing, but it's okay cuz you won't see it for long.

Now take all your whole nuts, and grind them in the same mixer (with goop and all) until they are pretty fine-- the finer the bits are, the easier they adhere together to create the base for your bar.

Blend until it looks like a flour, almost:

Put the ground nuts into your mixer. Secure the mixing attachment.

First thing I added to my fruit glue and ground nuts is almond meal (which is just ground almonds, very fine!) and ground flax seeds.

Add cocoa powder at this point if you'd like.

For dry ingredients, use as much as you can so that everything still sticks together as a dough-- the amount is dependent on how much fruit glue is made and you can judge this by eye/feel. You will have to experiment with this, but I assure you it's not hard and you will know. If the dry ingredients have stopped incorporating, you've added too much, and I suggest you dribbling in a bit of almond milk to help it come together again.

This dough is TOUGH and will seriously clump up (in a good way!) You want everything to stick together without you having to press it together.

To ensure all your ingredients are well mixed together, clean out the mixer attachment every once in a while to let everything reincorporate.

Let your mixer to its thing. Set it on STIR (low), and allow it to whirl. 
I do love my Kitchenaid. It's one of the common kitchen gadgets I use often.

Once your mixer is ready, line a pan with parchment. This really helps cleanup afterward and makes cutting your bars easy peasy.

Dump your mixter into the pan and PRESS HARD.
Use them hands!! Press em real hard into the pan.

And the final product....

Stick this in the fridge for 2-3 hours before eating for everything t o stay together.

Cut, and serve!

You won't need to eat a lot to feel satisfied, and it's so delicious. Honestly, this is filled with nothing but good nutrients and clean energy for your body. I personally eat a 1x1x3 inch rectangular block, and it completely fills me up for hours.

The best part about things like this is that it's so easy to make, and keeps really well so spend 30 minute a week to make enough for 3 people to last for a week. It's so worth it. You'll know exactly what you're putting into your body!

The weather has been so nice, and we are so close to Tahoe that we went to Angora Lakes last weekend!

Drive is about 2 hours, and we went for a day trip.

We packed sandwiches, rented a little boat and paddled to the middle of the lake to enjoy the wonderful day
On the He Qi front, I have been busy creating new formulations!

New Lemon Green Tea sugar scrub

And new Chocolate Sugar Scrub CUBES:

These lather, because they have shea butter soap in them, so they are a cleanser :)

Lovely Vanilla Body Butter (A new favorite product of mine, actually :) )
^ This has actually become my new go-to moisturizer for the body. It smells amazing. It's available in a half size if you would just like to try it out :)

And some new Botanical Bath Salts
Since my back has been weird/muscles are stressed I have used the above bath soak; such a relaxing experience.

There are also a few new creations on the jewelry front but I will leave that for you to discover on your own.

He Qi website also got a facelift! The new layout is cuter-- I hope you like it as well!

I also FINALLY got Instagram. Joining the tech age, hahahha. It's so fun so far, the filters on the camera are so awesome-- makes all photos look great. My username is lisaHQCD in case anyone wants to follow :) This is my new addiction so you might see quite a bit of photos at first... 

That's all for now. Thank you for dropping by today!