Wednesday, October 17, 2012

{kitchen de ferrer} quinoa stuffed acorn squash.

 Picture by Jin Chu Ferrer of Contradiction of Sorts.

Fall sure does take a while to hit Tejas. With that said, it's a bit weird seeing all the grocery stores stock up on every variety of winter squash out there, even if it doesn't look or feel like Autumn in mid-October. But I like seeing these displays of gourds galore when I go grocery shopping. It gets me in the Fall spirit. Like, F yah, I'm ready for Fall! Winter, even. So I picked me up a nice acorn squash the other day. If Fall's not coming to us anytime soon, then I'm coming to Fall and bringing it straight to our dinner table. Starting with the following recipe that I've tried out last night.  Hands down, it's the best stuffed acorn squash V and I ever had!

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
adapted from Healthy Crush

1 large acorn squash
Olive oil
Sea salt & pepper to taste
1 cup quinoa
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (any variety)
1/2 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley
1/3 cup raisins
A few splashes of soy sauce (optional)
A sprinkle of cayenne
A sprinkle of goat cheese on top

Pre-heat oven to 400. Cut your acorn squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Brush the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop into the oven. Bake for 1 hour. While squash is baking, prepare the stuffing. Cook quinoa. Add onions, mushrooms, garlic and chickpeas to a pan with a little oil.  Add a few splashes of soy sauce and a sprinkling of cayenne. Cook until onions are translucent & all ingredients are starting to brown up a bit. Add cooked quinoa to onion mixture in pan and mix thoroughly. Turn off heat. Add raisins and basil/parsley to the quinoa mixture. Stir well.  After 45 minutes, remove squash from the oven and fill with stuffing. Cook another 15 minutes with stuffing inside. 

Squash is ready when it starts to turn golden brown around the edges. Top with cheese. 

besos ... jin.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

lookbook shnook :: acl-ish weekend.

Gap jean jacket, F21 dress, Target flats, F21 glasses, Target pink bracelet, F21 brass bracelet, F21 arrow brass ring, Urban Outfitters brass rings.

So I didn't go to ACL (Austin City Limits Music Festival) this past weekend. Kinda wished I did, though! V and I had tickets. Sold them to JoJo and James. Then we won a pair of free tickets. Sold them to Melia and Andrew. Yeah yeah, I know ... what were we thinking? I've been three times before and I ain't gonna lie. It's freakin' awesome. But it's also freakin' hot! If anything, it's the hot steamy weather that gets me thinking twice about going. And like every year at the last minute, I get caught up in the hype and kick myself for not going! The lineup for this year is pretty dang good. M83. What! Metric. No way! Two Door Cinema Club. Shut the front door! Lumineers, Tegan & Sara, Polica, The Shins, Florence & The Machine, Childish Gambino. Just so I wasn't totally missing out, I was able to catch a few live performances via YouTube. Yeah that's right. From the comforts of my own home. I even got to see the headliner, Red Hot Chili Peppers, live on my computer screen! And dude, they so killed it. Also, how are they still around??

Next year ACL expands to TWO weekends. Uber nice. Looks like I'll be making a cameo in 2013!

besos ... jin.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

[diy] mustache welcome mat.

I was trolling through Urban Outfitter's online rug selection when I stumbled upon a very cool beige woven cotton rug decked out in mustache glory. Why hello, Mr. Mustache floor rug, come live by my front door. What?! Indoor use only! Well, that's no good to me. But you, Mr. Mustache rug, gave me an idea to transform my outdoor welcome mat into mustache awesomeness. Here's what you'll need:

* Welcome Mat
* Duck Tape
* Regular Tape
* Scissors
* 8 x 11 Paper
* Stencil Blanks
* Can of Spray Paint in Almond
* Acrylic Paint in Black
* Paintbrush (preferably one with stiff hairs)

Simply find a mustache on the web and blow it up in Photoshop. Your giant mustache won't fit whole on a 8 x 11. That's okay. You'll only need half the mustache. So try to fit half of your giant mustache on a 8 x 11. Print and cut out. Now you have a template for the other half of the mustache. Trace your half-stache onto another 8 x 11 then cut that out. Once you have both halves done, tape them together for a complete mustache. 

Or you could skip all that and free-hand your own 'stache.
Stencil time! You can use any size of stencil blanks, bigger the better, but I had these already. I simply taped the two stencil blanks together and voila! Got myself one giant stencil blank.

Take your paper mustache template and trace that onto your stencil blank. Cut out. 
To keep your mustache stencil in place on your welcome mat, you will need this bad boy:
This stuff if awesome. Spray one side of your mustache stencil with the adhesive spray and slap it onto your welcome mat. That mustache ain't going nowhere. FYI: If you're using an old welcome mat, be sure to give it a good vacuuming before you try to adhere/paint anything!
So now we tape up the borders of the mat with duck tape. We don't want to get paint on those! 
Are we all taped up? Good! We are ready to spray paint away!
As you can see, one coat of spray paint is not enough. Actually a whole can of spray paint is not enough. I ended up using 1 and 1/2 cans of spray paint! I then paintbrushed the tan outdoor acrylic paint over the spray paint because I wanted a darker beige color. I'm not sure if you can skip the spray paint portion and go straight into paintbrushing the tan outdoor acrylic paint. But if you do, let me know how it goes!
After achieving the desired beige color, lift up the mustache stencil. We gotta touch up what's underneath there with some black acrylic paint! 
Desired beige color? Check! Mustache all touched up with black paint? Check! 

Let's remove the duck tape from the borders!
I'd love to stay and chat, but I really mustache. ;-)

besos ... jin.

{Pictures by Jin Chu Ferrer of Contradiction of Sorts.}

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

lookbook shnook :: random cold front.

Target boots, American Eagle jeans, F21 jacket, F21 pink sweater, F21 striped button down shirt, F21 glasses, F21 bronze bracelets, Target pink bracelet. 

One mean cold front swept through Texas this past Saturday. Cold enough to bust out the winter wardrobe gear. And so random it only lasted the weekend! But it did leave behind ah-mazing weather on Monday, which Jan, Kristine and I thoroughly enjoyed on the Caffe Medici patio while planning for a baby shower. Cool weather, coffeehouse chats, iced coffee.  Not a bad way to spend a Monday evening! (Although, in hindsight, iced coffee at such a late hour may not have been a good idea.) Anyways, I hear the high for today is 84. 84??! What da. Yo, Mother Nature, where'd the awesome weather go?

besos ... jin.

Monday, October 8, 2012

[diy] doggie bow tie.

One of the must-haves on V and I's wedding venue wishlist was that it had to be pet friendly. We wanted Mr. Pablo the Min Pin, my bro-in-law's doggie, to make a cameo appearance. After all, he is family. =) So once we found a venue that met all our requirements, we had to spruce up the little guy for the big day. 
Thanks to Sister JoJo and Heather for sewing this very dapper doggie bow tie. And it only cost a fraction of what regular doggie ties are going for on the web!

besos ... jin. 

{First pic by me; Last pic by Mrs BaoTran Gia Pham of Red Fly Photography

Friday, October 5, 2012

[diy] burlap boutonnières.

There are so many great non-traditional boutonniere ideas out there. All kinds of flowers in the form of ribbons and feathers and chiffon and such.  But they are all popular recurring themes among the indie brides, it seems, and so in an odd way, they're becoming too trendy and typical in the indie wedding universe. Quite the oxymoron, I know, but yah! I guess that could really happen! Then one day I stumbled upon one of the more unique of all unique ideas out there, that had the best of ALL worlds nestled together harmoniously.  Nope, I have not seen that at all. (Welp, except that one wedding I found it in.) And it fits right in with me and V's wedding perfectly! So why the heck not? 
Burlap, hemp, ribbon, feathers, buttons, skewers, tulle, chiffon, embroidery thread. All very attainable from Hobby Lobby.  And all hot glued down together on a piece of cardboard. With a lil help from Miss Hanhsters, who did a fantabulous job sewing the yellow thread into the ribbon. =) 

Here's the template I've used, with a lil Jin twist, of course!
Ohai, groom and groomsdudes! Looking dapper, dashing, and debonaire, if I do say so myself. ;-)

besos ... jin.

{First two pics by me; Rest by BaoTran Gia Pham of Red Fly Photography}

Thursday, October 4, 2012

[diy] mr + mrs glittered notion wedding banners.

These bad boys hung on the back of our chairs during V and I's wedding reception. It cost me a mere $3 and 15 minutes to make, as opposed to BHLDN's $68 version. Now how are those $68?? Must be some bad ass glitter. 
All materials are from Hobby Lobby: the ribbon, the glitter papers, the single hole punch.  Even the 8" paper mache letter template was from Hobby Lobby. And yup, I sat on the Hobby Lobby floor tracing the paper mache letters onto regular paper. The letters were maximized a bit using a photo copier and then transferred onto glitter paper. Thanks to Hanhster's mad cutting skills, these notion banners were made in record time. =) Selective hole punches and ribbon was all that was left to do.
What a tres chic looking couple, eh? ;-)  Looking fancy shmancy (and just like the real thing!) for only a few bucks!

besos ... jin.

{First pic by me; The rest by BaoTran Gia Pham of Red Fly Photography}

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

[diy] hand-sewn save the date announcement.

Our laziness came to a point where people started to ask when the big day is. On a daily basis. That's how late we've waited. So at the time when the real invitations were suppose to be mailed out, we sent these instead.

Upon receiving the printed version, I was a bit underwhelmed. They were nice ... and normal. Nicely normal. Normally nice. To make things interesting, Lil Chu and I patiently stitched by hand red/pink hearts into the card stock.

We had our Save The Dates printed through Vistaprint, which we found to be one of the cheaper options for printing 200 postcard-size announcements. A heart-shaped cardboard was placed over the '11.13.11' and used as a guide to poke holes into the announcement with a safety pin, resulting in a dotted outline of a heart. We then sewed this really pretty red ombre nylon thread from Hobby Lobby along the dotted heart outline. The nylon thread is a bit thick and so a needle with a really big eye will have to be used. 
As you can see, we made sure the back of the card matched up perfectly with the '11.13.11'.  Pretty nifty, eh? I love how this simple hand sewn heart gives an inexpensive personalized touch to an otherwise normal announcement!

besos ... jin.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

[diy] save the date banner.

I guess you've figured out by now that we do a lot of thinking, thinking, thinking and not enough action. Hence all these last minute wedding DIY scrambles.

Well, you're right.  =X

This banner was made the same weekend we had planned the Save The Date photoshoot part deux. I've spent a good chunk of the morning before the shoot pawing through the Hobby Lobby paper section, mulling over patterns and colors, and cutting these suckers out. Various kitchen bowls served as circle templates, the hearts made from a heart craft punch, and the numbers were simply drafted from a ruler. A lil pasting, a lil hole-punching, a lil twine action to connect it all. Def one of the easier wedding DIY projects I've done! Just took one day! 
So who knew the Save The Date banner ended up being one of my more popular DIY wedding crafts?  Our wedding photographer, who just so happens to be an ol college friend of ours, had the grandest time following my 'I DO! It Yourself Bride' album on Facebook that she had requested a few of the DIY items for wedding day photo ops. One of them being this banner! Even a friend from Singapore asked for the template for her own Save The Date photoshoot! Wow! A few dollars and a lil 'labor of love' definitely goes a long way!

besos ... jin. 

{First photo by BaoTran Gia Pham of Red Fly Photography; Rest by me}

Monday, October 1, 2012

[diy] bridal garter.

The garter, before the Jin treatment.

The garter was accidentally acquired from Lisa's wedding 8 years ago. (As modeled here by Pablo the Min Pin. Obviously he don't mind.)  She's now recently divorced, but ya know, whatevs. I'd still wear it! Love ya, Lis! So about that accidental part, let's backtrack a bit, shall we. Story time!:

If you have no desire of ever catching a bouquet (especially fresh out of a 3.5 year relationship), it's best not to stand in or around or near the landing radius of a flying bouquet. Yeah. I didn't get that memo. Kinda find out the hard way, in fact. So, here's the deal, clearly hanging out behind a group of girls ready to vie for flowers was not a good idea. Well at the time I thought it was a good idea. How often does the bouquet make it's way past 20 girls, right??  So here I was, looking around, wondering if the bouquet hoopla was over (the venue was quite loud with chatter) when suddenly the whole crowd loudly gasped.  I turned around and saw an airborne bouquet missile incoming at an unusually rapid speed (Lisa, you totally muscled that one!).  By the time I realized the bouquet had made it's way high above the group towards the back, straight for my nose, it was too late. It had already latched onto my pinky finger as I held up my hands to block my face whilst running away. >.<

That was in 2004. Til this day, I'm still a bit baffled. Like, how'd that happened?! But hey, at least my garter has a story!
 The new and improved garter.

To spruce things up, Lisa's garter underwent the Jin treatment.  I simply snipped away some extra fabric, then sewn in vintage-ish flowers/buttons found from Hobby Lobby. Voila! Hit FOUR birds with one stone: 

Something old. Something new. 
Something borrowed. Something blue.

besos ... jin.
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