How to Make and Enjoy Bubble (Boba) Tea

Bubble tea/boba tea, is usually a milk tea drink with tapioca pearls sitting on the bottom, waiting to be slurped up a large, colorful straw. Bubble tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, pearl milk tea is the direct translation from Chinese. Thanks to Taiwan, bubble tea is now available all over the world.

Know of a great bubble tea spot? Post it! There are three I know of in the Indy-area. Strange Brew, a cafe in Greenwood, serves bubble tea as well as a Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Indy and a fast-food Chinese stand in the Washington Square Mall. If you know of any spots in your neighborhood you should list them, bubble tea is a fun, tasty drink that should be shared with friends.

bubble tea feature

Bubbles

The ratio should be about 7:1 (water to tapioca pearls).
Boil water in a large saucepan.
Add tapioca pearls to boiling water.
The pearls should float.
Continue boiling for about 25 minutes (depending on the tapioca pearl type) covered.
Add some sugar to the water so they absorb the sweetness but make sure it doesn’t burn!
Turn off the heat and let the pearls cool.
Rinse the cooked tapioca pearls in warm water and drain out the water.
Cover with syrup and add some to your favorite drink.

Syrup

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups water

Mix sugar and water in a large pot.
Cook at medium to high heat.
Once the mixture boils remove from stove immediately.
Let cool; to be used for bubble tea and similarly sweetened drinks.

Rainbowlicious Bubble Tea

1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup pineapple
1/2 cup rice milk
1/4 cup syrup
1 cup ice
2 cups of cooked tapioca pearls

Place all ingredients minus the tapioca pearls into a blender and blend well.
Blend it to desired consistency.
In the a glass, pour some cooled bubbles.
Pour your blended smoothie on top.
Cover the top of the smoothie with strawberry slices and pineapple chunks.

* I had this piled high like and covered in strawberries and pineapples at the E-Zone cafe in Toronto with my best friend. Too bad the cafe has since closed and I have never found anywhere even comparable!

Iced Bubble Coffee

1/4 cup non-dairy powder creamer
1/4 cup bubble tea sugar syrup
3/4 cup desired strength coffee (cool)
1 cup ice
2 cups of cooked tapioca pearls

Put coffee, creamer, and bubble tea sugar syrup in a shaker and mix well.
Add ice, cover shaker and shake until blended and frothy.
Add tapioca pearls into your desired glass, pour the coffee on top and enjoy!

➡ No bubbles? Try coconut meat or a thick-set flavored gelatin for substitutes!

Show Your Bubble Tea Love

This *LIMITED* hard enamel lapel pin is so tasty I want to eat it. It is a magical strawberry bubble milk tea fresh from Miseducated Bubble Tea Bar! My first bubble tea was in 2003 in Toronto and I immediately fell in love. When I lived in Japan I delighted in bubble shaved ice at any opportunity. It’s a texture thing! If you also love the tapioca pearl bobas and the tasty teas then you can show your love with this super kawaii tea pin!

Create Your Own Incense & Magical Clouds

Incense, you either love it or you hate it. That’s what I’ve found in being a lifelong pusher of it!

“Hey, you don’t mind if I burn incense do you?”

Often met with a casual eye-roll or possibly a sure and then, can I put this out? It seems a person either appreciates the presence of it in their home or they despise it because of the sheer invasiveness of the smokey scent. Many times powerfully strong, incense can leave your environment highly fragrant in a matter of minutes.

The process of making herbal incense without the use of salt peter, or even charcoal is actually quite easy. However, perfecting the art is another matter. Perhaps the easiest way is by using a binder commonly called Makko. Makko not only serves as a water soluble binder, but as a burning agent as well. Makko is a natural tree bark from an evergreen tree and contains no synthetic chemicals, charcoal, or salt peter.

Incense began use as an instrument in spiritual practices. With the killer scent it packed in such a small size, it also became a hit with hippies and homeowners everywhere. If you can appreciate the presence of lemony-sweet sodapop in your home, or more commonly a woody-spicy fragrance, you’re definitely a contender for incense!

Now, you can buy incense for pretty cheap just about anywhere that sells fragrant candles. If you can’t find it in your area you’re in luck because there’s an even bigger selection online! Be sure to gaze at the carnival of delicious, handmade incense scents on etsy and imagine the sheer wonder of your home or studio being transported to a fragrant fantasy land!

… but if you wanted absolute control over the fragrance you could make your own as well.

DIY Incense

Now, it sounds very easy to create your own incense but the trick is mixing the ingredients correctly so that you get a nice, even burn. Your incense might be too smokey, might not burn properly and could keep going out prematurely.

To begin making your incense (this is the Japanese way), mix an incense base with makko (incense powder), and add some warm water. When using a resin your incense will become more difficult to burn. Therefor you should use resins, like Frankensense, at much lower percentages as the burning agents (makko and sandalwood).

“Sandalwood is common to almost every incense formula, and serves as a wonderful base aroma as well as a burning agent of its own right. If you were making an incense of sandalwood alone, the amount of makko required may be a little as 10%.”

Mix the ingredients into a dough-consistency and knead it thoroughly. Form into cones or sticks (form sticks around bamboo reeds) and Knead the incense-dough thoroughly and form into cones or sticks. Allow them to dry slowly, about a week. Check them to see if they’re dry and enjoy your new incense.

In-SCENTS

My favorite part about candles and incense is the *aroma*, like most people I adore a waft of delicious fragrance to pass by me while working at my desk. It’s a shame you can’t have them in cubicles! It definitely would have lightened the atmosphere in the slightest way. Especially when there happens to be a microwave area in your office.

Don’t use cheap oils — they can irritate the skin and the aroma can provide no benefit.

You can combine your favorite oils to create aromatherapy benefits *or* just to delight your nose.

Incen-spiration

Ehehe.. my favorite part of blogging has always been the eye candy.

lisn_to_finland_5
(By Ilkka Suppanen)

After seeing this incense design exhibit I *had* to find rainbow incense, cute holders, and well-designed incense packages~

cafetime

Japanese incense comes in many shapes in sizes, sometimes with especially cute scents and packing like these Cafe Time incense sticks.

Incense Holders

Now that you have some great incense to try you might want to purchase a cute handmade holder *or* make your own.

Bowl / Teacup Nab a cute bowl or teacup from the local antique shop or use your grandmother’s you’ve been saving in the attic. Fill it with sand, stick your incense in the bowl — add some to the middle or add in a circle around the center. Light and enjoy!

Holder These leave the most ashes but hopefully you’ll have this in an area where ashes can be easily cleaned up! Create a clay sculpture, be it a cupcake, mushroom or anything you like. Grab an incense and stick it into the (still wet) clay where you’d like your incense to be.. Move the incense around a bit to make the hole a little wider. Remove the incense and bake your holder (or let dry if it is no-bake clay).

Tray The typical wooden (or clay) tray is usually longer than the length of the incense stick, has a little ash dip in the middle and a hole on one of the ends for holding the incense. These generally leave ashes scattered also.

Plant That’s right, I often stick a lit stick right in a big, potted plant.

Lace for Your Jewelry: Resin Pendant Tutorial

Resin can be a fun hobby or business for the crafty miseducated diva in all of us. The possibilities are endless, allow your creativity to run wild and create pieces that are quite unique and fun. With some initial prepping steps, you can suspend just about any material in resin.

In this basic tutorial I will be casting jewelry pieces with resin, but you can use resin for whatever else you would like to make like paperweights, coasters, soap dishes and many other things. There are even many different types of resin that can be used, for different types of desired uses.

I myself use a two part casting resin that is pretty user friendly. I am a novice at resin, just learning as I go and getting better each time. Its fun and I thought I would share some basic tips and give crafty divas something new to try…cause like me I know with all this creativity you have inside of you, you always want to try something new. So this is something for you gals who are aching for a new creative outlet.

I chose to cast fabric for the purpose of this tutorial. I have played with sprinkles, glitter, and candy before. So I thought I would try something new, so here goes….

resin

Supplies

  • Easy Cast Resin
  • 2 Plastic Cups
  • 2 Stir Sticks
  • Wax Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Resin Molds
  • Fabric of choice
  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Timer

Before hand I prepped my pieces of fabric by cutting them a little smaller than mold shape, and sealed them off with mod podge, or you can use an acrylic sealer if desired.

Instructions

    1. Take a plastic cup and pour in 1 oz. of resin, then pour in 1oz. of the hardener in the same cup, so you end up with 2 oz. total. (Easy Cast has a ratio of 1:1)

    2. Take one of the stir sticks and gently mix the concoction, make sure not to whip as it causes air bubbles. Scrape the sides periodically and mix well for 2 minutes. The mixture will look cloudy at first but this will clear up after resin and hardener are mixed together thoroughly.

    3. Take this mixture and gently pour into your other clean plastic cup. Stir gently again for 1 minute this time. The mixture at this point should be clearer than before.

    4. Set mixture aside for 5 minutes, so the resin can self-degas. Take this time to clean up a bit and get your mold and fabric piece(s) ready.

    5. When ready, pour a little bit of resin into each mold, about a quarter full.

    6. Then place cut fabric, right side down into resin. You can use a toothpick to position and press fabric. This will also help remove any air pockets trapped underneath the fabric that can caused some bubbles.

    7. Then this is where you will need to practice some patience…let the piece(s) rest overnight or for several hours until cured. You can check if it is cured with a toothpick, this way no fingerprints will be left behind.

What I covered in this tutorial are the basics, but you can get more creative by adding different layers. Below are photos of some layer pieces I created, I hope you find them inspiring.

After your pendants are cured, you can jazz them up by drilling holes, adding jump rings, gluing on bails, posts, brooch settings, what ever you like, let your imagination run wild, its all up to you! Your end result will be beautiful and unique pieces.

A great source of reference and inspiration of mine is a book that I turned to when first approaching resin after multiple searches on Google, a book called “The Art of Resin Jewelry” by Sherri Haab. In this book she goes over in detail all different types of techniques with resin, like the so fun and yummy candy jewelry.

Athina’s Creations

See more in my shop here.

Originally published on 12/08/2009.

The Beauty Benefits of Bathing in Tea [Part 2]

Bathing in tea is not only beautiful and extravagant, it feels good. I’m a big tea and coffee lover in general and I can’t often use scented bath products as they aren’t the best for my skin or feminine health due to the chemicals they have. Bathing in herbs and teas is certainly a much better relaxing, decadent choice for most of us than sitting in bubble bath!

I still get messages from readers about our “The Beauty Benefits of Bathing in Tea [in Australia]” post by Michelle Walker and I decided it was finally time to do a beauty update! For one, many of you explained that you don’t have access to take baths so I’ve given you some more options for “bathing in tea.” Enjoy!

Great Teas to Bathe In

  • Chamomile: A great choice if you suffer from break outs or just want a glowing complexion. It’s no surprise that chamomile is also stress-relieving and relaxing, as it is commonly enjoyed to calm down before bedtime, so also try it as a relaxing bath before going to sleep.
  • Peppermint: A great refresher after a long day and a great choice to get you going. I even love simmering peppermint leaves on the stove as a winter blues pick-me-up and it’s a great scent to clear your sinuses if you’re feeling under the weather. I have also found peppermint is is very helpful if you’re feeling nauseated or sick to your stomach.
  • Green Tea: Green tea is also great for your skin as it contains antioxidants and a high amount of vitamin B, It’s a great choice for relaxing muscles and sweating out toxins. Also, as it has caffeine, it’s a good morning ritual.
  • Lavender: The most relaxing aroma (in my opinion) that helps you destress and will even improve a migraine. I keep a sachet of dried lavender beside my bed for just those reasons alone.
  • Jasmine: Jasmine is moisturizing and is said to improve stretch marks. The scent, to me, is intoxicating and one of my favorites to bathe in at the start of my day.
  • Rose: One of the prettiest teas to bathe in, of course you can toss in rose hips, rose buds and rose petals and feel like Marie Antoinette herself. What’s even better is this makeshift rose water tightens pores without drying them out and is also full of antioxidants. Rose water is a great toner–your skin will certainly thank you for this one!

Cream or Sugar?

Of course you can’t add sugar to your relaxing bath (a yeast infection waiting to happen!) but milk is a great addition to bath teas.

  • Milk Tea Bath: Milk contains a lot of fat and protein that leaves skin feeling supple. Lactic acid in milk helps to exfoliate and soften the skin leaving you with a glowing complexion. Add teas for more benefits.

Only Have a Shower?

You can still “bathe in tea!” Shut the bathroom door and let a steamy shower run for a few minutes on some teas and herbs placed within muslin, cheesecloth or pantyhose prior to getting in. Leave the tea bags in the shower while you bathe.

Steam Treatment

Another option is to heat the herbs in a simmer pot on the stove and do a steam treatment on your face. You’ll simmer the herbs in the pot, remove it from the stove and then cover your head in a towel while you hold your face over the steaming pot — be careful the steam is not hot enough to burn! Make sure you stay far enough from the simmering water or it will harm your skin (or mood!) more than improve it.

Happy Valentine’s Day! from POOCHIE

Valentine’s Day reminds me of the 1980s for some reason…
Perhaps it’s because I was born the day before Valentine’s Day and that happened to be in the 1980s.
So for many (the jewelry, candy and greeting card companies would hope) Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love.
For me it is a time to celebrate pastel hearts and the 1980s and all of the cute, pinkness splashed through the stores.
What does Valentine’s Day mean to you, if anything?

I was also inspired to add a couple of new love-inspired items to my shop!

One of them is a Lolita POOCHIE pin because I have always been a big fangirl of Poochie.

The other is a reprint of my Micro Zine (6 pages plus a front and back cover), 5 Reasons Why I Love You. It’s a “Valentine” for anytime, much like Poochie!

So my little Valentine gifts to you are…

and I would totally put these in the Valentine mail box you decorated and sat on your school desk

scanned 1980s Rainbow Brite Valentine’s~

a cute conversation heart coloring page~

Twin Stars Valentine wallpaper by Sanrio that I’ve had saved for years~

xoxo

Egg Mask Recipe & Face Steam For Clean, Tight Pores

One of my best friends, Emi, has a go-to recipe for improving and detoxing the pores on your face. My added secret is using the fresh laid eggs from my own backyard flock. I like to think that eating or using animal products by abused animals cannot be nearly as great for your skin. Do you agree? I know it’s a bit of a “radical” opinion in this day and age where both human beings and animals aren’t often treated as they deserve.

First fill a pan with water, add herbs and oils of your choice (I prefer mint, lemon peels, sage, lavender, tea tree oil). Heat the water until boiling.

In the meantime (while waiting for that blasted water to boil) crack an egg and separate the whites and yolk. Place the yolk as a mask on your face and décolleté.

Place the egg white in the fridge to cool it.

Wash the mask off when dried and tight on your face.

When the water is boiling take it off the stove. Place a towel over your head and over the pot, not too close (you don’t want to BURN the skin after all) and sit there at most for 10 minutes breathing and allowing the steam to cleanse your pores. Do not feel obligated to do 10 minutes, 5 is fine, just do not do more than 10 minutes. Feel free to play meditation music or a great Podcast while you’re at it!

After the allotted time remove the egg white from the fridge and use as a mask. It should be cold. The egg whites and the coldness will tighten your face. Wash off gently.

After you’ve finished with these steps please add your favorite facial moisturizer and voila! You’re now ready to go about your day.

I Love Contemporary Macrame Designs

Get this DIY set at Wool and the Gang!

Get this DIY set at Wool and the Gang!

As a kid I remember my mother having quite a lot of craft projects she was in the process of completing. My mother was always into making/reworking things, cooking, gardening, crafts. I distinctly remember a 70s mushroom rug she made that I would die for today, macrame tapestries and planters, layered candles with a 70s color palette. Of course when I came along things took a more cartoon-y feel with care bear pillows, pastel bunny paintings and bright rainbow everything. I didn’t appreciate all of the 70s beauty as a kid because I had been jaded by the bright rainbow hues I had grown accustom to being surrounded by. I despised quite a bit my polkadot brown, orange and yellow mushroom bed skirt, the psychedelic carpet, the orange velvet chairs. I started to hate brown, orange, yellow, green and red. I steered from the palette and wanted nothing more than bright pops of color, neons and pastels. I proceeded to cover myself and my room in these colors. I absolutely gagged at macrame; the hemp-y natural browns and mustard owl tapestries.

I partly feel that the time (1980s) I was born (both design wise and technology wise I lived in both worlds, pre-tech natural and post-tech digital) is one reason I have a constant battle going on within my brain of palettes and designs for my personal projects and home decor. Do I stick with 60s or 70s hues and keep loading my shelves with vintage, psychedelic beauties? With mushrooms and daisies? Do I cut back on the brights and pastels? Do I lean more towards my preference for modern Japanese-esque decor or my appreciation for the antique and ornate French decor? Do I engulf my home in the modern, minimal Swedish designs or run to the psychedelic bohemian love nest with drapes, floor pillows and tapestries? Will it ever just work together? If you know me you know my closet is the same. I do not and have not ever “matched.”

And here I find this visually-overloaded attention deficit again.. I have such an appreciation for crafts and handmade goods. I cannot seem to stick with crochet, knitting or sewing long enough to decide “that’s the one!” and so here I find myself admiring macrame and wondering why I once despised it when now I cannot imagine a better “fun” goal than taking on a project such as making a macrame chair or an advanced tapestry. This came about as my love of gardening has grown and expanded to the point that now I have plants here I cannot keep outside because of this (WACKY) Indiana weather. All of these plants would love being hung from the hooks in the dining room while the color pop of a macrame string excites me to a point I can hardly communicate. It’s likely because of the macrame goodies you can find on a quick google image search, the kind of search that sends you into a rabbit hole of, “I HAVE TO BUY, OWN OR MAKE THIS. It is my destiny.” So there I am. Color charged and obsessed. As obsessed as I still am with my recent hobby of raising chickens and learning enough about wood working to build a colorful coop with my husband.

What new craft or hobby are you finding interest in? Can you relate to the inability to pick one and stick with it? Are you always wanting to do more?

Photo from A Beautiful Mess Blog

Photo from A Beautiful Mess Blog

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Get this beauty at Niroma Studio

Get this beauty at Niroma Studio

macrame chair

Macrame Tutorials

  • Macrame Cushion (complete with pompons!)
  • Macrame Straps for Tube Top
  • Macrame School
  • Macrame Wall Hanging
  • Macrame Plant Hangers
  • Wool and the Gang Tutorials
  • The Low FODMAP Diet Helps With Bloating

    FODMAP diet

    First of all, I’m sure we can agree that diet fads are usually lame. They have little to no health benefit other than the diet-marketers making money and you being attracted with unrealistic body expectations and weight loss dreams. However this diet is not about losing weight.. it is a diet specifically helpful for those who struggle with painful bloating, IBS, sensitive stomachs, prior intestinal surgeries (ding ding!!) and other digestive issues.

    After my emergency surgery in October of 2014 I couldn’t eat most things… my small intestine was healing and painful. However because of this, when I was physically able, I had an urge to eat EVERYTHING. I ate ate ate and especially loved sugar and carbs. I have a serious sweet tooth. My tummy did not like this.. it was more sensitive than ever and it began to look like I had a beach ball under my shirt, even more so around “that time of the month”. My whole body was relatively thin other than this big bloat! I even had people asking if I was pregnant AND touching my belly when I was out.. how embarrassingly terrible!

    So my doctor had given me this diet and at the time I was just not interested. I didn’t have hope my stomach could change after this intestinal resection. I tried the medication and it worked a little bit but not to the extent I was hoping to relieve of this bloating and pain. After trying to do things my own way I finally realized I MUST try this diet regardless of how hard it would be. After that, I noticed a gradual change even within a week. I would wake up and my stomach would be flat, no bloat. I would go through the day and although it was hard to avoid bread and cake I continued to feel like I was not struggling with bloat! Hurray! Not only that but with increase in low fodmap foods I have been losing the extra weight I put on when I was eating unhealthily. I attribute this to eating healthier and exercising.. which are the only things anyone should be doing to get in shape. Starving yourself, trying fad diet pills, etc are likely just quick fixes and are not improving your health!

    So what do you eat (and avoid) on the low fodmap diet?

    FODMAP List

    Oligiosaccharides

    Avoid: Garlic, onions, wheat, leeks, nectarines, barley, rye, lentils, pistachios, kidney beans, chickpeas, broccoli
    Eat: Quinoa, rice, corn, potato, buckwheat, eggplant, squash, pumpkin, bok choy, cucumbers, endive, tomato, zucchini, gluten-free products

    Lactose (Disaccharide)

    Avoid: Milk, cottage cheese, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream
    Eat: Feta, cheddar cheese, parmesan, lactose-free dairy (or lactaid), almond milk (ensure inulin is not added ingredient), plain lactose-free yogurt

    Fructose (Monosaccharide)

    Avoid: High-fructose fruits and foods like apples, mangos, honey, asparagus, pears
    Eat: More evenly distributed fructose/sucrose fruits like bananas, blueberries, kiwi, raspberries, strawberries

    Polyols

    Avoid: Avocado, mushrooms, cauliflower, prunes, peach, cherries, blackberries, sugar alcohols (often in candy like: xylitol, sorbitol), molasses, watermelon
    Eat: Honey dew, cantaloupe, raspberries, stevia, white or raw sugar (limited), pure maple syrup

    Many of these foods should not be completely excluded, as they can be good for you if you’re not sensitive to them. On a low-FODMAP diet you aren’t eliminating these different types of carbohydrates completely—just reducing them — so if you slip-up it’s not the end of the world, keep going.

    Some Go-To Recipes

    Because the rest of my family is not really low-fodmap and eats bread, noodles, fruits and veggies that are high fodmaps.. I get major cravings. Some things I can make for them that they don’t mind: fried chicken with corn flakes vs crackers, noodles with rice noodles, homemade pickles (remember garlic and onion are very bad for fodmappers and that stinks!!). As usual my recipes are not exact measurements because that’s how I cook (by sight and feel).

    Grilled Cheese Quesadilla

    • Corn (gluten free) Tortilla
    • Cheddar Cheese
    • Tomato (love grilled cheese with tomato!)
    • Dollop of non or low lactose plain yogurt on top
    • Directions
      Place the tortilla in a greased pan or on griddle that’s on medium heat. Put some shredded cheese on top and when it melts place a slice of tomato on top, fold in half, top with a dollop of yogurt.

    Fried Chicken

    • Corn flakes
    • Bit of Corn Starch or Tapioca Starch
    • Salt & Pepper
    • Egg
    • Thawed Chicken
    • Directions
      Oil for frying (olive oil + bacon grease for flavor!)
      Heat oil to high heat, dip chicken into beaten eggs and then into crushed corn flakes mixture (with corn starch and salt & pepper). Turn chicken when browned. Remove when internal temp is at least 345 degrees Fahrenheit.

    French Toast

    • Gluten free white bread
    • Splash of Lactaid Milk
    • Egg
    • Vanilla
    • Cinnamon
    • Maple Syrup (actual maple syrup, not the sugary brands of syrup)
    • Directions
      Dip bread into the milk, eggs and vanilla. Heat in greased pan or on griddle until lightly browned on each side. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with a bit of maple syrup.

    Snacks

    • Rice cakes + peanut butter (check ingredients!) + banana slices
    • Plain potato chips (you can haz!!)
    • GH Cretors Chicago Mix (a serving takes care of sugary cheesy cravings!)
    • Corn chips + cheddar cheese + jalapeños + oven/microwave to melt cheese + no/low lactose dollop of yogurt
    • Banana + lactose free vanilla yogurt + sprinkles of raw sugar + thin popsicle stick + freeze for 1 hour = banana pop (my kids LOVE these)
    • String cheese stick
    • WOW Baking Co Lemon Burst Wheat & Gluten Free Cookies
      These cookies have no high FODMAPs! They also make other flavors but the only ones that might be ok are Snickerdoodle and Peanut Butter however I haven’t checked them!
    • Snack Stops: Target, Fresh Market and Whole Foods have a bunch of snacks made for those of us on restrictive diets if you look around and check ingredients! Gluten and dairy free have been more and more accepted in other grocery stores, as well.
    • Peppermint and Ginger teas (if you sweeten use white or raw sugar, not honey) are always a good idea for your tummy!

    bagged-lemon-burst GH CRETORS CHICAGO MIX yellow gluten free cake mix

    Those should give you a few ideas! For instance you can fry eggplant for eggplant parm with the same mixture as the chicken above but remember to make your own tomato sauce because garlic and onion are in most or all tomato sauces! You can also substitute spaghetti noodles for rice noodles (MAI FUN).

    As you see above, I found a new favorite dessert/snack food that doesn’t cause me bloating and doesn’t have any major offenders in it: GH Cretors Chicago Mix! This is really a treat because most candy popcorns I found had at least one big bloat-inducer or just left me feeling those same bloated feelings. It takes care of all of the cravings in one bag.

    More Tips

    Differing Information

    You might notice after exploring low FODMAP food lists that many different doctors and people disagree on foods. I find the best thing is to check Monash University‘s app list then to read about the ingredients myself if I’m not sure in a store. It takes some getting used to and it’s confusing and tough at first but it starts to make sense soon! It’s easier when you’re going and getting more accustomed to listening to your body (belly) and what things bother YOU!

    Spices

    Beware of SPICES! Although all spices except for garlic and onion are fine many spice mixes (including yellow curry!) have onion and garlic IN them. This includes broths. These two flavorful guys taste SO GOOD but cause me a lot of discomfort especially on this diet.. I notice very quickly if they are in something after I’ve cut FODMAPs down/out. So be sure to look out for them. Green onions (scallions) and chives are safe if only the green tops are used and they’re used minimally. So your cherished fried rice and noodles can survive as long as you skip the bulbed onions and garlic!

    How Long?

    If you decide you do want to adopt a low FODMAP diet, it’s best to talk to your doctor first. If you can, try to commit to the diet for at least a month before you determine if it’s beneficial for you and your digestive system. It’s best to keep a journal (I have one on my phone so I can always easily write notes about foods) along the way to document changes and reactions to foods. I find even low FODMAP foods can give me bloating and some high FODMAP foods won’t! It’s a good idea to keep it handy.

    Introducing FODMAP Foods

    Also after you try the diet for a month you can start to introduce new foods you used to love by eating one a day or so and see how they affect you. You might be skipping on something that you find you can eat with little discomfort.

    FODMAP Friendly Sites

    If you decide to try the diet, let me know your experience and if you need support! I’ll be sure to update about my journey more in the future. xo

    Make Homemade Lollipops Without a Mold

    Stay tuned to until the end of the “cooking” part and see mine and Colette’s super silly Lollipop dance to celebrate~ this is one of her favorite songs (she loves lollipops) and she has been wanting to make this video for so long haha! She also did one of her singing a Ramones song but I guess that one might come in the future.

    I’m super silly in this but the recipe is on YouTube and our lollipops are super spicy but excellent adult lollipops! The kids decided on a different dessert after they felt they were too hot! I guess Mary accidentally put a bit much cinnamon oil in them. Oops! I’ve already eaten 3 so far! ha

    Please subscribe if you enjoy! More videos on the way for this Youtubenewb~

    xox

    Desserts that are Eye & Tastebud Candy

    So I’ve been on a whirlwind of candy making, eating, fawning over and trying. I’ve been planning what sorts of sweets I’ll make for my wedding in October and which ones will be the best ideas! If you’d like to join me on my trip down the sugar rabbit hole then please grab a cup of tea (preferably with a LID) and jump jump jump!

    meringue_kisses_9349

    Merengue kisses are all the rage these days and they’re super simple to make… Here’s a recipe for the above merengue kisses!

    Coconut ice! Cute and tasty~ Learn to make it here.

    sprinkle-coconut-ice-2

    What about a SIMPLE but adorable dessert that uses store-bought marshmallows? You can get the information about making this super easy (but cute) dessert here~ what’s better than a bouquet of marshmallow pops?

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    Don’t you love marshmallow ropes? Those are adorable! You can learn to MAKE THEM here.

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    Make square marshmallows here.

    I cannot imagine anything more satisfying than melt-in-your-mouth cotton candy merengue cookies! You can learn to make those here.

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    Or what about Cotton Candy MOUSSE? i know not everyone is a fan of mousse but I have ALWAYS loved chocolate mousse (chocolate mouse if know the reference from a favorite movie!) however my spouse believes that it’s too much fluff and should be a topping or accessory to the main dessert — ha!

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    With my family going on little hikes we often need bagged snacks we can munch on in between meals. My dear friend, Twinkiechan, introduced me to this amazing Lucky Rainbow Chex Mix recipe and I nearly toppled over by sugar high from only seeing the photos~

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    Now everyone who’s close to me probably knows my FAVORITE desserts are creme brûlée and CANDY APPLES. How silly is that pairing? However candy apples have taken a big fall in my experience.. the fairs and festivals tend to have caramel apples and parties usually prefer chocolate apples.. or apples coated in almond bark… and they are NOT the same! I want that hard candy shell. I want the cinnamon candy perfect pairing with the sour, crisp apple. It makes my mouth send me to the moon!

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    This is the right kind of candy apple! This recipe teaches you how to make hot pink candy apples (how cute). I would only change the vanilla to cinnamon of course~ I’ve also heard of melting the red generic cinnamon candies for the apples and that seems to go well also! As with all hard candy you have to make sure it’s been heated to the correct temperature lest you have a tacky, teeth pulling shell rather than the crunchy perfection of a candy apple!

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    Cooking With Videos

    One of the easiest ways to find and follow cute recipes is by doing a quick YouTube search! Then you can see how the process is really done without doing guesswork. It’s a great way to make more complex sweets!

    Macarons have been and are ALWAYS a win with me. I have had a life-long almond obsession (both taste and smell!) and they’re made from almond meal (plus other scrumptious flavors!!) and egg whites as well as tasty ganache in the center of the cookie sandwiches. What better way to make them than to give them a little tint of rainbow?

    Speaking of rainbows though.. (as I can always be found doing).. let’s add some pastel rainbow to the delicious merengue and VIOLA!

    I’m saving the best for last… this is one of my all time favorite cooking videos by decocookie (her channel is amazing). In this cooking lesson she teaches us how to make a Little Twin Stars cookie house! The cutest dessert ever.

    Thanks for drooling with me! Check back soon for more inspirational delicacies and feel free to let me know what your favorite desserts are!