30 April 2014

Nelli's European Excursion

As you read this I am on a plane in the first leg of my 3 week European Adventure.

I found a new blogger, In Sonnet's Kitchen, this morning who I quite enjoy.
She went on a vacation last year and set some goals for herself, this inspired me so here are some of the things I would like to accomplish.
Goals for the Adventure:
1. Be spontaneous
2. Meet new people
3. Discover myself
4. Be Happy

Being in a new city, in a different country, outside of your comfort zone can be freightening if you let it; or it can be a wonderful adventure. It's all up to you. I'm going for the latter in this case and you'll be hearing about it for months to come. I'll try to spread out my journey and photos over the next few months for you and include tips and all or the places I'm traveling to (of which I'm still not completely sure).

This is a quote I recently stole from a TedX Talk entitled Rediscovering Wonder: "We need these moments of suprise, plot tists, and wrongness… We think this one thing is going to happen, but something else happens instead."

I feel this quote just about sums up my current quest, and on that note...
Discover Wonder.
- Nelli

28 April 2014

Slow Cookin' Collective

If you've read this blog before you'd know that I'm in love with my slow cooker! I am continuously trying + looking for new slow cooker recipes + I welcome you all to share your favorites with me! Just comment below! :) Anyways thought I'd put together this collective post of slow cooker friendly recipes you can find right here on BSOM...Enjoy!!


Beef Stew

This picture doesn't do this stew justice!

As I mentioned I welcome you all to share YOUR favorite slow cooker recipes!
So come on fess up...

What's your favorite slow cooker recipe?!
Comment below or shoot me over an email to bicoastalstateofmind@gmail.com! <3

 I would love to hear from you and maybe even feature your recipe right here on BSOM if you're up to it! :)

27 April 2014

Irish Hunger Memorial

I cannot remember if I have mentioned it before, but I love coffee, and one of my favorite coffee shops in NYC is Laughing Man. Not only does this coffee shop have superb coffee, they donate 1/2 of all proceeds to the farmers, they carry gluten free vegan sugar free goodies, they're owned by Hugh Jackman, and the customer service is great! While my usual location is the Duane Street shop, this particular day I decided to venture over to one of their other locations at North End Ave. An added bonus of trying out this location was exploring an area of Manhattan I had never been in + getting to see the Irish Hunger Memorial, which for some reason I had never visited until today.

The memorial is simple and well done.
I of course visited with a coffee + vegan cookie in hand.

Until we meet again,

26 April 2014


Rockee Whimsy Art

If you're a regular here on BSOM you'd know I've been stayin' pretty busy creating pieces of art to abandon (never heard of Art Abandoning? check these out 1, 2, 3). This "art factory" aka myself, is about to go into overdrive after learning about yet another wonderful art movement that I can't wait to participate in! I'm talking about #ATCS, Artist Trading Cards. You read that right. I've been creating a lot of pieces on these tiny canvases which happen to be called Artist Trading Cards, as they are the perfect size to abandon. An official #ATC is only 2.5"X3.5". Like I mentioned up until now I'd only been utilizing these #ATCS to abandon, as I had no idea that artists do actually trade these among each other!!

That was until I stumbled upon the #ATC community on Instagram where it's a huge movement! Basically this is how it works...an artist creates a piece on one of these #ATCS + they swap their pieces aka their 'cards' with other artists for their pieces. Sounds pretty damn fun right?! It's pretty amazing to see some of these traders collections as they've been doing it for so long + the pieces are beautiful! You can tell people really take their time with these pieces, + the results are lovely because of it. I've noticed that a lot of the time these traders have themes for the pieces that they swap with one another, although that's not always the case.

I have yet to participate with an #ATC swap, the reason being I need to get myself a PO Box, but believe me I'll be in there swappin' with the best of them in no time! I just thought this community + art movement was so damn cool because anyone can participate, you get to connect with other artists of the world, you end up with a ton of beautiful original pieces of art from these artists of the world, + you get to share your work with other artists of the world. Definitely a win-win for everyone involved!

Pictured above are actual #ATCS created by Rockee Whimsy Art, who is an artist I found on Instagram. Lovely work right?! Well lucky for us Rockee has agreed to do an artist feature right here on BSOM! Be on the look out for her upcoming feature + be sure to go check out her Instagram page where she not only trades her work but also sells it! :)

I'll definitely keep ya updated about my #ATC adventures so be on the look out :)

Until next time friends...Cheers!!

<3 Noonie

P.S. I want to know have you ever heard of Artist Trading Cards?
Or perhaps trade yourself + would like to share your experiences?
Comment below! <3

25 April 2014

Zucchini Boats

My days off almost always include a trip to my local natural food store (5th photo down), where I spend a good amount of time perusing the isles to see whats on sale + all of the goodies that I don't need but will inevitably come home with anyhow. This particular trip included the purchase of: zucchini, tomato, carrots, sunflower seed butter, tea, brazil nuts, cashews, beer, and some random health food bars. I often decide what I will make for dinner while wandering these isles, but on this day I found my dinner hours beforehand while I was sipping my morning coffee, watching the news, + skimming over blogs. I came upon one of my new favorite bloggers, In Sonnet's Kitchen, + this dish.
Simple, easy, healthy, what more can the lazy chef here ask for?

1. Cut zucchini in 1/2 + scoop out insides with a spoon
2. Spread a layer of pesto (or sauce of your choosing)
3. Stack ingredients: tomato, olive, onion, etc.
4. Sprinkle with salt, olive oil, + balsamic vinegar (+ cheese if you desire)
5. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes
6. Enjoy

Fill these little guys with anything you would like on a pizza.
The pesto recipe I used is one that I created a month or so ago, and is delicious!

Until we meet again,

24 April 2014

Noonie's | Artist Goals |

I feel like I've been in such an art frenzy lately, which is definitely not a bad thing. I have for some time immersed myself pretty deeply into my art + anything art related. But lately I feel like I've dove even deeper than before. Art is almost all I've been thinking about all hours of the day, I even had a dream I was painting a piece the other night. I woke up craving to create. But hey I definitely ain't complainin'.

This new found depth into the art world hasn't only meant a creating frenzy in the present, but it also has me writing down my 'Artist Goals' for the future. One of those goals being to have some prints made of my work. I had been considering having prints made for a little bit of a time, I hadn't mentioned it to anyone + out of the blue a friend of mine told me "you should make prints of your work to sell". Her comment is what put the steam behind the idea of having prints made + so it is on my Artist Goals list. I found this really good article for artists just starting out in the 'printing world' that I wanted to share. Now I just need to do a little research as to where I'll have my prints made up. What else is on my artist goals list you ask?

Why selling these prints of course! I love the idea of prints because I can keep the original piece if I want, but other people still get to enjoy the fruits of my labor via a print. There's a little something called 2nd Saturday which is held in Downtown Sacramento monthly. Although this art event is held year round, the warm weather is upon us here in California which means even more people will be out walking the Downtown area admiring all sorts of artwork + vendors every 2nd Saturday. I mention this event as I think it'd be the perfect venue for me to go sell these prints of mine! There are a ton of local artists + all kinds of vendors + galleries that participate in this event and I would just love to rub elbows with them all!

Plan of Action: Get prints made + get my work out there for more people to see!

Until next time friends...Cheers!!

<3 Noonie

P.S. I want to know...
Do you have an "Artist Goals" list? If so what's on it?
Comment below! :)

21 April 2014

Apple Banana Carrot Oat Muffins

Apple Banana Carrot Oat Muffins, these muffins have so many goodies in them that I figured they deserved an acronym, so ABC-O it is (which I intend to be pronounced as ABC-OHHHHH!).

This is the first recipe I've concocted all on my own. I set out to create a breakfast muffin that could replace the mass amounts of fruit I consume for breakfast (Typical Day: 1/2 apple, 1 orange, 1/2 cup berries, 1 carrot, 1 celery, + 1 mini muffin). Not because I don't enjoy the fruit, but because it takes me a good 20 minutes to eat + I figured I needed to give myself a challenge. Thus the ABC muffins were invented. I then decided to make + use oat flour because oatmeal is a breakfast food, so oat flour would make them more breakfast-y. The flavor of these muffins is wonderful, but I had a little trouble with them setting up, which you can read about below.

1. Preheat oven to 325
2. Make oat flour: Place 2 cups of oats in food processor + blend until desired consistency
3. Mix oat flour + dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
4. In food processor: grate carrots + apple
5. In a separate bowl mash the banana
6. To the banana add: honey, oil, + milk. Stir.
7. Mix banana mixture with dry ingredients until well combined.
8. Add the carrots + apples. Stir.
9. Divide into muffin tins + bake for 20-30 minutes
10. Let cool + enjoy!

12 mini muffins + 12 normal sized muffins

I think this might work better if I had mixed 1/2 oat flour with 1/2 spelt or whole grain flour. They were quite wet and needed to cook on the longer side before they could set up, or I could have used less milk + wet ingredients. The recipe above has less milk than what I used (3/4 cup), which should improve future recipes.

20 April 2014

Hippity Hop

Happy Easter all!

Hope you're all enjoying a beautiful Sunday with your family + friends! I wanted to share this classic Easter movie that I've watched every Easter since I was a kid. Enjoy!

The Easter Bunny Is Comin' To Town (1977)

Until next time friends...Cheers!

<3 Noonie

P.S. I want to know...
What are some of your Easter traditions??
Comment below! :)

18 April 2014

Zombie Art

I truly believe inspiration can be found anywhere, if one only uses a little imagination. Hell that's how most of the things we see and use everyday were created to begin with. Being that I am an artist my imagination is quite vast and deep, sometimes scary deep, to be honest. However, I am very thankful and grateful to have the imagination I have, as it awards me many inspiring ideas, and crazy dreams for that matter. The point I'm trying to make here is this: yes it's important to see the big picture, but it's just as important to not overlook the minute details, and to not just see something for what it is, as you just might come upon your next new bit of inspiration. 

Now that I've gotten off my soap box, lets get to the fun part, putting these ideas in use! To illustrate my point I wanted to share this little treasure of mine that was inspired by simply looking at something not just for what it is, but what it could be, merely by looking at it with different lenses.

One person might've seen the above item as garbage as it had already served it's function which was to hold a candy bar. I saw it as a really cool unique piece of art and that's exactly what it became, an upcycled piece of art. (Hence the title of this blog, the box came back to life to become a piece of art :)) For those of you who have never heard of upcycling just check out the DIY on Pinterest (or the Upcycled Notepad I posted here on BSOM), most of these projects contain upcycled materials, which are just materials that were once used for a certain function, are upcycled to be used for an entirely new function, thus avoiding the garbage can. I mean it really doesn't get much better than upcycling! You get a neat unique item out of it and you avoid contributing to landfills, thus making Mother Nature pretty damn happy too, everybody wins! 

Anyways here's what I did, as most of it is self explanatory I'm not going to go too much into detail.

Got my supplies all set! 
You may not have a candy bar box on hand, but that only exemplifies my point! Look around, change your lenses and I'm sure you'll find something laying around that could be turned into some pretty art, and if not pretty at least interesting. 
Conversation starter anyone?

Goes perfect with my ocean themed dining room :)

I hope this has inspired you to look at things a little differently whether it's the "garage' that you're about to throw away, or even being inspired by those pretty tiles you noticed out at dinner last night, don't overlook those details! As Nelli always says "the devil is in the details", and to that I will add "and so is the inspiration"!

Until next time friends...Cheers!! 

<3 Noonie

I am participating in Make It Mondays Link Party, so stop by if you can: links

17 April 2014

Live cultures

I am always on the look out for foods that are good to help with digestion and to promote good bacteria in the gut. I learned a few months ago that sweet potatoes are good for digestion, as well as carrots and some other root veggies, and have made a conscious effort to include more of them into my diet, as can be seen here.

As for the good bacteria part this can be achieved many ways, but one of my favorite and most delicious forms is through 'live culture yogurt.' Now I know probiotics are all the rage and are easier for the masses to come across, but I like to get mine through all natural yogurts. If you have the opportunity to get some goat or sheeps milk yogurt straight from the farm do so, you will not regret it. I have settled for my local health food market at 46th + Broadway in Astoria which has a wide variety of options, todays 2 were Erivan and Old Chatham. I eat the live culture yogurts about once a month or so just to help balance my body and also because they taste good and sometimes.... I miss eating dairy products. I mean, its not that I do not eat them but I don't eat them often, so having yogurt is my little treat.

The Erivan yogurt I have been eating for a little over a year now. Upon your first time you will notice that it does not look like the typical grocery store yogurt. It has a thin layer of liquid on the top, simply put your spoon in and stir so it all blends together. Also, its a bit more sour than typical yogurt. I can imagine this might be a little off-putting the first time but you'll have to trust me that the benefits are worth it and you'll quickly grow to love the flavor.

This was my first time trying Old Chatham yogurt, and my first time trying sheep's yogurt; and all I can say is it will not be my last. It was delicious, and if you're a fan of other sheep's milk products I am sure you'll enjoy this one too. Plus, the lid + little black sheep are adorable editions!

Until we meet again,

Un-homogenized Cow's Milk Yogurt + Active Cultures
Sheep's Milk Yogurt

16 April 2014

Off the Beaten Path

Today I decided to go be a tourist in my city. I just really needed some alone time and wanted to spend time outside so off I went. One of my favorite places to be alone happens to be the Capitol so I headed there. I hadn't been to the Capitol in quite a long time, but it's a place that holds a lot of pleasant memories for me as I've been going there ever since I was a kid. On weekends with dad my stepmom Taleen would take my brother and I for walks around the Capitol. At that time they lived pretty close to it and my dad's work wasn't far either. We'd often go grab lunch, usually sandwiches, from his restaurant and take them to the Capitol to enjoy. My brother and I were rambunctious kids and I remember we'd chase every single squirrel we would see, laughing hysterically about it. Ah childhood.

Caught a photo of one of my old friends, a squirrel although he's kind of hard to see in this on.(Bottom right near the tree)

But back today (which in the blogging world may mean a week from now), it was a beautiful day outside, I had my art supplies ready, and my adventure at the Capitol began. There are a couple of places at the Capitol that I make sure to visit every time I go, and that's the flower garden and the pond (where a family of turtles live). I went to the flower garden and sat for a while working on a watercolor piece. I truly enjoy creating out in the elements, especially in the Spring when everything is in bloom and pretty to paint, plus it's not too hot just yet.

After working on my piece I walked around for a while soaking up the sights and taking pictures to share with all you fine folks ;) Because I have been there so many times over the years I've walked all the paths at the Capitol, enjoying the sights they offer. But today I decided to go off the beaten path to see what I've been missin'! I saw all the same sights as if I would've gone along the path, but I got to enjoy an entirely different viewpoint and saw the sights in a new light from a different perspective than what I (and most people) for that matter seek out. And this my friends is the point I'm trying to make here. Get off that beaten path and seek out a new perspective! Even it's a place you've been a million times, I'm sure there's a point of view you've never enjoyed before! 

Here are my pictures from the day's adventure. A special shout out to my co-blogger Nelli for inspiring me to want to improve my photo taking + photo editing skills! These ones are for you! <3

I love the art that can be found on all of the SN&R stands! No two are alike!

I loved the dessert like feel of this particular area with all of the cacti + the succulents.

Arriving to the Flower Garden via the grass + not the path = new perspective! I wanted the plants, trees and background to be the main focus of this photo, rather than the arch + fountain which can be seen below and are equally as beautiful.

The beauty is a little overwhelming is it not?

A softer edit, wanted to really capture the light of the sun + how it hit the flowers.

This plaque reads:
Peace is initially established
through the love of friends
but is cemented in society
through the love of enemies

Kelsey Hayward, Grade 10
St. Francis High School
Sacramento, California

I bet you can see why I love this place now <3

Monument near the pond.

The monument reads:
This grove of trees as saplings. Transplanted from Southern battlefields was dedicated to the Armory of Union Veterans of the Civil War and presented to the state of California May 1, 1897 by the Ladies of the Grand Armory of the Republic of California and Nevada.

Turtle Territory

As Nelli always says "the devil is in the details".

I really liked the architecture of the 3 buildings that are sticking out from behind the ones in the foreground.

Welcome to the Capitol of CA

Yes there's a cop on a horse. I was trying to capture the details on the very top of the building. Really love all the arches and sculptures that make up the Capitol. It really is a piece of art in itself.

Loved how the sun looked reflected off of the building.

Nelli really is right. The devil is in the details. I've been to the Capitol a million times before but I never noticed the engraved work on top of all of the columns around the Capitol. Each area of the Capitol has different works on their columns.

Caught a glimpse of this young woman in what I'm guessing is her QuinceaƱera  dress.

Another ode to Nelli! lol
Really did never notice the little design that can be found on all of the light posts at the Capitol.

Really liked the architecture of the building in the background + the way the palm tree was leaning.

I was trying to capture the roof of the building in the back + really liked the vibrant red flower tree, although I didn't want it to be the focus of the photo.

I really liked how the arches of these buildings seem to be crossing over each other.

Hope you enjoyed this tour of the Capitol :)

Until next time friends...Cheers!!

<3 Noonie