.Amani

.Amani
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas presents~


Happy Holidays!

Christmas was pretty good, on Christmas Eve I worked in the morning and then I took a nap when I got home xD; Once I woke up my mom and siblings and nephew was there and we followed through with our usual family Christmas tradition-- eating a buttload of wurst, german potato salad with rolls, cookies (and macarons, since I had some left over), and then passing out the Christmas presents.

Unfortunately I didn't get anything for anyone for Christmas since I usually barely made 30-50 dollars a week, but sometime in January I'll be super late and give stuff out in return ♥

I really loved all of my presents though, from my mom, Cedelia, and Ramon :3 Especially the active wear I got, so I can finally stop going to yoga with like... PJs and shit xD



Black wash denim skirt

crapload of kneehighs xD

sweater dress <3>
Thermals that I seriously needed xD


black legwarmers


Lace otks


a pink romper :3

black tights



Aeropostale t-shirt + sweatsuit


Hollister top

and then from Omi x3 my new baby, a platnium pink-ish colored Canon Powershot SD1300 IS. Laura helped me pick this out and now I love it ; w; I CAN'T WAIT TO DECORATE IT

taken with my webcam xD durp


Then on Christmas Day, I ended up going to a friend's house. Pretty much after Christmas morning after the rest of the presents are opened, that's pretty much it xD and I wasn't really in the mood to be stuck inside the house on Christmas day..

Wearing the sweater mom gave, plus the black stockings + legwarmers +black boots. I had black leggings underneath rather than having that pattern show on my skin because it's way too cold for that ; ~; I'll do this outfit again when it's warmer or something.

lol posing.



What I've been pretty much doing lately--pretty simple, with the exception of more shimmery/glittery shadows. Working at Victoria's Secret made me have less patience in doing makeup, especially since I'm beginning to run out of things at home... I've been playing at the beauty rack for a bit too long though... totally going to get their stuff. (My makeup brushes are like useless when it comes to applying the eyeshadow though... no clue why e_e need new ones)



And then~ another Christmas wish come true was snow. Lots of freaking snow xD

I prayed for it and God made it happen... I just never expected it this deep xD Usually in NYC our snow doesn't get too high until the usual snowstorm around January-February. But it really DROPPED the day after Christmas. I was so happy xD

Figured I would dress in lolita, but then realized how high the snow actually was, and how retarded the idea was so I changed xD And helped shovel the stairs in the front.


The front of my house-- there were like 5-6 cars that were abandoned after getting stuck in the middle of the street... most of those cars were still there the next day until their owners were able to dig them out. Because there was a lottt of wind, the front of my house was like knee-length and ever over the knee in some spots xD It was madness.

Evidence

The side of my house wasn't as bad... more like calf-length, that is until people started shoveling. Some people decided to take it upon themselves to shovel their snow in front of our garage = A= So there's like this 6ft mound still sitting there.

I love the snow, but the only thing that really sucked was the sanitation dept. :/ People were concentrating on Manhattan~ Manhattan~ Money-making Manhattan~... but in the meantime the rest of the 4 boroughs were neglected. Like yes.. let's go ahead and make Manhattan clean for the businesses, but leave the actual WORKERS stranded with no place to go.

Like seriously... the first day, pretty much ALL the trains were out. The trains, the buses, nothing was working, not even cabs... and then the sanitation didn't even bother to plow anything. They said that they plowed maybe 60% of the main streets, and then 45% of the smaller streets... the side street has yet to be plowed :/ The bigger street (where all the cars were stuck at) was plowed... pretty much half-assed. Even after they "plowed" the snow? A home gas truck got stuck in the snow. And an access-a-ride.

And apparently someone on our block had died... not sure if they needed the ambulance or if they died of natural causes, but apparently the wife and son of the deceased guy were stuck with a dead body in their apartment for 27 hours :/ because no one was able to pick the body up. Which was absolutely ridiculous... meanwhile... you have Bloomberg talking about "lol chillax, go see a Broadway or something" as if 1) half the people in teh city can even travel to see a show and 2) as if we're all just as wealthy as his selfish ass. Just. asjkdbshns dbhsabssh ashdbass



Anyways... New Year's? I'm not doing anything. I got work tomorrow in the afternoon, and then after that I'm heading straight to church for the night. Now that my birthday is officially a month away, I'm trying to save as much as possible so I can get my birthday outfit sent over and all my birthday plans with Laura confirmed, paid for, done and over with ASAP.
More on that later xD


Monday, December 27, 2010

Macarons Pt. 2





Sweets rapeage is imminent.


So, some of those other macarons... didn't turn out as well xD

But, unlike the tries before the last batch, I know what I was doing wrong with these so hopefully next time they'll be better.

Tried to make red velvet ones, and mint chocolate ones. So for the red velvet, I was trying to use a recipe from the blog Delectable Deliciousness, except... I wasn't really following it xD I was just trying to remember it off the top of my head, and ended up using too much chocolate and failing. The shells turned out very porous and cookie-like, so they were obviously fail. (Tasted good as fawk, though.) Later on when they cooled off, I realized they seemed much more fragile, and the tops were chipping off and I dunno, the way they felt made me realize my mistake (the chocolate) and that if I had toned down a bit, they would've been actual macarons = u= lol

Then for the mint-chocolate ones... for those, I decided to make the shells regular, but green, and then let the filling be a minty-chocolate ganache. The shells actually were pretty good, the only problem was that... they ended up cracking ; w; I knew I was being a bit lazy (working 2-3+ hours on macaron shells -alone- can make you crazy), but I was trying my best to pop all the air bubbles while they dried, while trying to prepare the fillings. But I guess some of the bubbles didn't rise to the top like they usually do, and then in the oven they caused the shells to crack...

Not too bad though, half the shells were decent and had feet, the other half not so much.

As for the fillings, for the plain almond ones (and had I made the red velvet correctly) I made the cinnamon buttercream, which was sooooo good * w* and so rich, it tasted amazinggggg. For the green I was going to make a mint-chocolate ganache but... the ganache didn't come out right :/ I forget where I got the recipe from, but I followed the instructions but it never came out how it was supposed to. That's a problem I have with some cooking blogs, they like to exclude the actual process out, and just note the important stuff when it's an irregular flavor. So the ganache came out like soup...

I had plenty of cinnamon buttercream left over after filling all the regular shells, so then I started to experiment with the lol soup and the cinnamon buttercream, with extra unsweetened chocolate powder just in case, and I spent another hour or two trying to get -that- flavor right x_x It was really hard, and at the end I was still a bit uncertain, because the mint pretty much jacked up my tastebuds, and both the mint extract -and- the unsweetened chocolate kept giving me a bad aftertaste so it was really hard to figure out if it's good or if it was off... I had my dinner in between to try and neutralize the taste in my mouth but it didn't help much = w=

I had Opi as a taste-tester and (no, he didn't die) when he said the buttercream tasted like chocolate but he couldn't taste the mint, I decided to just call it a day xD if they weren't minty, then at least they were nice and chocolatey, right? So I filled those green macarons, when I ran out of the chocolate I just filled the rest with the remainder of the cinnamon buttercream, and called it a night. All the good shells were paired together, and all the shitty shells had their own jacked up partner too xD



There's soooo many ways macarons can go wrong, but I'm glad that I'm picking up the wrongs so I can get more right for next time.

Both the cinnamon macaron, + the mint-chocolate one, + a retarded sandwich LOL that I made from the red velvet and the green shell = w= <3

The two better ones side by side. I reallyyyy didn't like how puffed up the green ones ended up as, so next time I'm definitely not going to be lax about it. I'll stab the crap out of those things until they're just as perfect as the other ones >w>

perfecttttt :3

ok >w>;;


DUUUUURPPPPPPPPPPP



That same night was the lunar eclipse, so once I was done, I ended up watching the moon. It was sooo romantic, blah. The way it turned red and everything...











First pic was aroundd.... 2am? the next 2:30am, next around 3:30, and then the last was around 4-4:30, when it was reappearing. Sucks that the third pic didn't come out as well... that's when it was like a blood red and it was so pretty ; w;




edit: oh yeah, so back to the mint-chocolate buttercream ones..... the next day when they were chilled I tried one, it tasted perfect :3 Chocolate with that refreshing minty feel. Mission accomplished! So glad it came out good. (I gave a friend a box of the macarons... before I tasted it >w>;; imagine if they were poisoned or something without me knowing lololo fail)


Shared the rest of them with the family on Christmas Eve, and they liked it :D (and my sister said to try and make them for her wedding.... ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh we'll see lol = w=)

Can't wait for me and Laura's birthday, we're planning to do a bunch of stuff together, and we might make a butttttload of macarons. So hopefully there will be another post in the near future xD


Monday, December 20, 2010

MACARONS~


I made macarons tonight!!! Finally!!!
(It's like 2am right now, don't ask-- midnight is my most active time of the day xD)I filled this one with raspberry jam nd gave it to Opi x3


I've been trying to make these suckers for a good MONTH now, and tonight I finally got it right! And they all pretty much came out perfectly!!!

No one understands how happy I am right now xDDDD I started crying tears of joy when I saw them develop feet and whatnot! Hnnghhhhh!!



As they were drying!


The finished products! 37 shells! There was one extra shell and two that were cracked, but the rest of them were perfect in every way!


I'm going to be making more tomorrow-- after this success I can't stop! I'm so motivated! Tomorrow I'm going to attempt dyed ones~ one batch will be green , and one will be red velvet. I'm debating on making more, like regular chocolate ones, but I gotta think on it! I also need to make the fillings~ which so far I'm planning to be 1)mint-chocolate ganache for the green shells, and then 2) cinnamon buttercream for the others. I was actually thinking of a third, maybe regular chocolate ganache, but that all depends on how much ingredients I have to spare!

2010 has officially ended on a good note for me xDDD Yayayayayay
Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dances of Vice :3






Last Friday was the Dances of Vice: Secret Life of Toys winter ball. Dances of Vice is a pretty awesome nighttime event that happens around once or twice a month depending, serving as a sort of wayback machine for those who love and enjoy times of the past, mainly the 1920s-40s, Victorian era and Rococo era. There is usually a theme so it never gets old, always having performances whether it's tap-dancing, burlesque-- depending on the theme you'll be able to hear good tunes whether its from a harpsichord, or some really old school jazz and blues, or an opera singing duo. Small dance lessons, too!

There are also fashion shows going on, like at this specific ball all the attention was towards my friend Kelsey and her indie brand I Do Declare. Blapshemina's Closet, Apatico, and other indie brands and designers have had showcases in the past.

Some pics from the event~







Had to show off Mary Alice's epic bonnet xD




Kelsey, along with some of her designs below


Bianca and Yanise (below)-- they were so cute, but creepy, and it was hard for me to choose whether or not that was a good thing xD








This dude creeped out the girls... xD




Photos from Mary Alice and Bryan Kwon, more photos can be found on the Dances of Vice flickr and er.. throughout Facebook and whatnot xD



Webcam pics



I really need to learn how to keep a relaxed face when it comes to other people taking photos...
Saturday, December 11, 2010

International Lolita Day-- Dec. 4th 2010




There was a lot of different things going on with the NYC-area lolitas on December 4th, which is the winter celebration of the bi-annual "International Lolita Day" 2010. ILD was made more than 5 years ago (it might've been 2003ish?) after a member of EGL on Livejournal popped up with the idea in a post. Ever since then, the day has been celebrated on every first Saturday of June and December. (There are two to accommodate to the seasonal differences between the Northern and Southern hemispheres-- so everyone around the world would have a day in the summer and in the winter.) Part of it's existence is to remind everyone why they got into the style, how it makes them feel, and for those who are scattered/live in isolated areas, it helps comfort and give confidence, knowing that in many other parts of the world girls are dressing up as well. A much better explanation is on Lolita Charm here.



Anyways, for ILD I hosted a gothic themed tea party at the King's Carriage House, on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Last year I had a Princess-themed party at the Rose House, so I wanted to kind of flip it for this year. I enjoyed it a lot! The budget however, was really tight so I tried to make the most of it for my guests. There were also complications with room/seating, but in the end I got the room that I asked for, thank God! Planning is pretty stressful, but once the party's done and over with, do I really enjoy it. I try to do things like this to entertain my friends, and also to exercise my brain (since I'm hoping to study event planning/design within the next few months).




Christmas cards & business cards on top of every plate...




Table centerpiece I made
(other guests at the KCH were pretty impressed!)





Centerpiece #2. Christmas gifts, gold pinecones, glittery grapes and snowflakes... and among them raffle prizes made by Blasphemina's Closet and Apatico!


Everyone looked so nice in their outfits! I dressed pretty plain, since I was going to be on my feet the whole time. The eating tables decorated with red linens with a thick, sparkly lace overlay, topped with Christmas boxes, garland, various ornaments as well as raffle prizes-- a decorative tin box of assorted chocolates, 3 small floral fascinator/headpieces (approx. $30+) and a beautiful heart-shaped pillbox (approx. $125). Special thanks to Samantha Rei and Megan of Blasphemina's Closet and Apatico, respectively.






There were a -lot- of food, especially sweets including petit fours, baklava, egg & watercress sandwiches, smoked salmon sandwiches, and savory tarts with goat cheese, tomato, etc. I think I might've spoiled people's appetite with the sweets D: lol


More party pictures:



Guests coming up the stairs to the party area...


















Sweet Aria



Special thanks to Christine (yllsa on LJ). More photos here at her photobucket.
I'll also probably do a separate review for the King's Carriage House later, for a regular visit.

I hope everyone had a good time.
Next year!


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