30 September 2014

Chocolate Avocado Mousse | Don't Be Scared!

Rich, creamy goodness!

I know some of you out there might have your face twisted up + head cocked sideways after reading the title of this post. I know I did when I first read it on a dessert menu while out at a restaurant one day. But my curiosity got the better of me, I ordered it + it was heavenly! So rich, creamy + full of chocolatey flavor, I swear if I didn't know it I would have never guessed there was avocado in it! I was hooked. But I definitely didn't want to have shell out $6 bucks every time just to enjoy this delicious dessert + so I decided to try to make my own Chocolate Avocado Mousse + it turned out delicious!

I searched around a bit before I decided on this particular recipe which can be found here. I decided to go with this one as it was very simple + had exact ingredient quantities, unlike other sites I looked at it. I also found some helpful tips on other sites which I will also share with you below. Although I did use this particular recipe as a guide I did end up changing it just a bit, but I'll get more into that later. As I mentioned you might be somewhat hesitant about this dessert, but I swear you'll love it! 

Let your curiosity take over, grab your ingredients + let the adventure begin! :)

1 Avocado
3 tbs Honey
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
2 tbs Milk
Garnish (optional)

Like I said I used the recipe above as a guide, I ended up adding a lot more of the ingredients than what the recipe originally called for. When I made my mousse I added a total of about 5-6 tablespoons of honey, 1/2 cup of the cocoa powder, a few pinches of salt, + about 4 tablespoons of milk. But that's just me, my sweet tooth is out of control which is the reason for adding so much honey. When I only added the 1/4 cup of cocoa powder like the recipe called for the mousse still had somewhat of an avocado flavor, the chocolate flavor wasn't prevalent enough which is why I added some more cocoa. I love a good sweet + salty balance which is why I added more salt, just to get it to an even keel. More below about why I added the additional milk.

How To:

* Blend avocado until smooth

* Add remaining ingredients + blend until smooth

* Pour into a bowl + chill for 2.5 hours

* Serve as is or garnish
(Garnish ideas below)

When I first started making this dessert, I did follow the recipe + used a blender to blend the ingredients smooth. However when I tried to just blend the avocado alone it wasn't working very well which is why I added 2 tablespoons of milk to it which made it a lot easier to blend. Once I had the avocado pretty much blended all the way I added the other ingredients + once again ran into the problem of it just not wanting to blend well for me, which is why I added 2 more tablespoons of milk, hoping it would help. But it didn't. So in the end I ended up using a mixer to get the mousse smooth. Next time I make this I think I will just use the mixer + see how that goes. 

This dessert is super rich so the serving size shouldn't be much larger than a big tablespoon. I swear it'll be enough. 

Garnishings: The possibilities are endless when it comes to a good garnish for this dessert. 

A few of the top of my head: 
+ Nuts
+ Caramel
+ Pinch of Sea Salt
+ Cinnamon + Sugar
+ Oreo Crumbles
+ Mint Oreo Crumbles
+ Andes Mint Pieces
+ Chocolate Sauce
+ Salty Cracker Crumbles
+ Fresh Fruit 
(Berries would be delicious!)
+ Dollop of Peanut Butter or Whip Cream

* If you want to make a simple 2 ingredient Chocolate Avocado Mousse simply combine avocado + hot chocolate mix until smooth, chill + serve!

Like I mentioned this recipe can easily be made into a Vegan friendly dessert by simply substituting Agave syrup instead of the honey, skip the Vanilla Extract, + instead of regular milk use almond or soy milk.

- I served coffee along side the mousse + it was out of this world! :)

Not only is this dessert super good it's also on the healthier side! If you're feeding this to skeptical/picky eaters, just don't tell them there is avocado in it until they've enjoyed it, they'll be shocked! :D

Until next time friends...Cheers!!! 

<3 Noonie

29 September 2014

Charleston | Westward Bound


Now, lets talk about my love of Historic Preservation!
Charleston is full of historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and well maintained plantation homes. That being said, it was also quite obvious that this city has many low-income and poverty stricken individuals. Driving in this was easy to spot right away, however, walking around took a little more time... I digress.

I began my day in Charleston with lunch at Husk (which was recommended by my friend from Columbia, SC) where I ordered the gulf classic 'shrimp-n'-grits + a local beer. This restaurant is mid-priced and celebrates heirloom ingredients that are locally sourced. My not being a grits expert, I found this dish to be well compiled and generous on the quantity + quality of the shrimp, well balanced with the chorizo + veggies. I only ate half of my lunch, and took the other half with me for dinner later.

After lunch I decided to stroll around town, made my way to the Battery, waterfront, old town, city hall, and countless random stores; before making my way to Black Tap Coffee, for a shortbread cookie and a soy gibraltar (its the same as a cortado). The coffee was good, which seems to be a trend throughout my trip, and the cookie was the perfect size for an afternoon treat. Black Tap was located across the street from public housing structures; I find places like this to be quite intriguing. Artisan coffee across the street from people who wouldn't be able to enjoy it, tis the modern movement I suppose. Anyhow, it was noteworthy to see how this city has developed and how close the proximity is between the high-income plantation like homes are to the low-income public housing units.

My last walkable destination was the Historic King Street Shopping destination, cluttered with high-end products and services that I for one could never afford. This street was equivalent to Fifth Avenue in New York City, and quite sterile in my opinion. Eventually I made my way back to the car, passing the horse-drawn carriage tours, and some fun and funky Charleston accessory stores.

As a whole Charleston is a very walkable city! I was able to see the majority of downtown in a matter of 4 hours, and I don't feel like I missed out on any sites. However, the food.... I am sad to say I was not able to consume more food products while I was traveling through. I guess I'll just have to make that into another trip.

Previous Posts:
Nelli is Moving

28 September 2014

Dream Job.

Since my recent move to San Francisco, much of my time has been spent job hunting, reading about jobs, writing cover letters, researching companies, finding events, and and and....
However, until today it didn't occur to me to figure out first 'what am I passionate about' + 'what is my dream job'?

After reading through some articles at www.idealist.org I realized I needed to think about these a little bit, and maybe I should have considered some of this before my 75+ applications have gone out, but better late than never.

I have started with trying to identify what am I passionate about...
history of cities + architecture
questioning : why don't others ask as many questions as I do?
the universe
saving money

Anyhow, the second part is more complicated : What is my dream job?
This article poses 9 questions you should ask yourself to figure out what your dream job is, and here are my answers:
  1. If I could choose one friend to trade jobs with, I’d choose Amber, because she seems happy every day.
  2. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to do be a politician. It’s interesting to me because you have so much power and ability to do good.
  3. If I had the right education or skill set, I’d definitely try to open a bakery + coffee shop, because I would have the ability to make someone happy every day, picking up that muffin and coffee each morning makes my entire day more enjoyable and I can only imagine it is the same way for others.
  4. If I had to go back to school tomorrow, I’d major in Croatian + Baking School, because I want to live in Croatia one day + I love baking. I would still choose Urban Planning as a major before any other (which is what my degree is in).
  5. My co-workers and friends always say I’m great at dissecting problems and understanding people, because I can read them on a level that most others cannot, and because I listen.
  6. The thing I love most about my current job is the capacity to create change, because I want to improve the world, I want no person to go hungry, I want not person to feel unloved, I want no person to feel worthless.
  7. If my boss would let me, I’d do more talking, because I like to hear everyones story, each story lets me experience a piece of life that I never have before, it is like reading a book or escaping into another reality; this love of listening to people allows me to combine their life experiences with mine, and give advice to others.
  8. If I had a free Saturday that had to be spent “working” on something, I’d choose working at a vineyard, as a barista, or exploring a new city, because they all have skills I've always wanted to possess, all of these jobs seem fun and artistic, and would allow me to continuously learn.
  9. When I retire, I want to be known for making someone happy + being a good human + making people's lives better + for my baked goods, because I feel like I would have no purpose on this earth if I couldn't make an impression on the hearts of others; and of course cookies are a good way to accomplish that!
Now that I have answered the requisite of questions, lets find your dream career!
I am not sure if I am any closer to figuring it out, but I definitely have a better idea!


27 September 2014


"...these are a few of my favorite things". If you're new around these parts AFOMFT is a weekly series that entails my favorite things of the week. I'm constantly finding new quotes I like + new favorite paintings/artists etc. + I thought it'd be fun to share my favorites of the week via this series! :)



I saw this one a while back, but I had forgotten about it up until a few days ago. It just cracked me up when I saw it + I thought I'd share it because...

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people"



Don't you love it? I do. I found this piece via the artist @Fabciraolo's Instagram page + instantly fell in love with not only this particular piece, but all of his work! I just love the wild background + the modern twist that the artist combined with the image of the historical figure, Frida Kahlo. She just looks like such a badass, lol. Literally just 2 minutes ago (from when I wrote this) I found out this painting along with many more pieces are going to be on exhibit at the Gauntlet Gallery in SF! :O Yeah that's my O face, I'm super stoked! You bet I'll be gettin' to that one! :)

Go check out his Insta + Website to see even more amazing work! <3


Sassy Eats. I discovered this blog via BSOM's Instagram page + it's become one of my favorite blogs to follow! The recipes that Megan the writer of this blog, shares look super good! + I just love the way she writes, with all that sass! I haven't had a chance to try any of her recipes just yet, but I do have my eye on a couple I'd like to try. You know I'll be sure to share once I get around to it. 

Might make it a goal as part of my MOTW :)


Breath taking, am I right? When I saw this photo my jaw pretty much dropped. I mean I see tons of beautiful pictures of places all the time, but this picture just took the cake. I need to visit this place someday! I can already imagine myself breathing in that refreshing, clean mountain air while picnicking alongside the stream.

Adding it to my Bucket List of places I need to see! 


'Restaurant Style' French Toast. I'm such a big fan of French toast. Whenever I happen to make breakfast, French toast is always on my menu. I usually make it the same way every time, but I recently came across a recipe for it that I had to try. It wasn't much different from the recipe I usually make, but that 1 ingredient that I never used before really did end up making a difference! Yeah I know I'm being vague. It's caz I'm workin' on a French Toast post that includes the recipe as we speak.

So be on the look out! :)

These were just a few of my favorite things from this week, but I'd like to know... 
What was your favorite thing from this week? 
Comment below <3

Until next time friends...Cheers!!!

<3 Noonie

26 September 2014

Columbia, SC | Westward Bound

Four-and-a-half Stop: COLUMBIA

If you thought my stop in Greenville, SC was short wait until you hear about Columbia. I was planning my trip between Greenville + Charleston when I realized that Columbia was about half way and that I'd had a random friend who lived there. I met him while I was traveling through Croatia this past May, so I rung him (well I text him) and we scheduled a coffee date + brief walking tour of Columbia. We met up at Drip Coffee which comes highly recommended! I got a soy cappuccino and he got whatever his 'regular' is, some type of flavored latte which sounded fantastic! Then we scurried away coffee in hand to wander around the streets of Columbia and catch up.
This little capital is quite intriguing!
First off I South Carolina looses a good deal of business from companies who would hold conferences there, however, they refuse to for the simple fact that South Carolina still waves the Confederate Flag at their capital (which can be seen in the photo above). This town has all kinds of building and development occurring right down their main street! Its crazy for me to see so much construction in a downtown since I spend a majority of my time in larger cities. I find it quite fascinating to see how a city is structuring its future and the types of people and development they are attracting.
Anywho, I think this little downtown area was fantastic, quaint, and simply adorable! I wish I had planned longer to visit the city, but alas I never have enough time.

Previous Posts:
Nelli is Moving

25 September 2014

Arab Meal 101: Bamya | Okra + Beef Stew

This is Bamya,
 an okra + beef stew served over rice. It's a traditional Arab dish that I grew up eating, and still love today. And just like many other family recipes, I had yet to made it on my own, with my mom by my side. I set it as one of my MOTW| 3 goals, and can now check one more accomplishment off the list. This yummy dish was easier than I expected + I'm so glad I finally did! Below is the recipe I've been enjoying since I was a kid, I know you're going to love it as much as I do!

1 lb. Beef Stew Meat
1 Bag Frozen Cut Okra
1 Can Tomato Sauce
Garlic, minced (+/- 2 cloves)
All Spice
Veggie Oil
Pita Bread

How To:

You may have noticed I did not include exact measurements of some ingredients. My mom knows the spices are right through taste rather than quantity; but I'll give you some pointers along the way.

1 - Put some oil in the bottom of the pan, once hot begin to sear the meat.
- Once seared, add water (enough to completely cover the meat) + bring it to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until tender. 
- Remove the meat, but leave the water in the pot.
- tip: As the meat is simmering get your okra + garlic ready.

2 - In a separate pan, place some oil in the bottom and turn up the heat.
- Place the okra in the hot oil and fry until it's slightly crispy.
- remove + place the okra on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Using the same oil brown some garlic.

3 - Add okra, garlic, tomato sauce, all spice (at least 2 T.), salt, + pepper to the meat.

4 - Set the heat to simmer, and let it all cook together for about 20 minutes (although mother says the longer you let it simmer the better it tastes because all the spices get a chance to blend together). 

5 - While the Bamya is doing it's thang simmering away, begin cooking the rice. 
- Once the rice is done, fluff it with a fork.

6 - Serve the Bamya over the rice + garnish with lemon juice. 
Go heavy on the juice, at least I do. I also eat my Bamya with a slice of warm Pita bread on the side.

I hope you enjoy this family dish as much as I do!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... I believe it is important to learn your family cooking traditions, and the sooner the better! You never know, one day the people who know the recipes may not be around to teach you + these traditions will be gone with them. 
So seize the day!

Until next time friends...Cheers!!!
<3 Noonie

PS: If you enjoyed this recipe check out some of my other favorite Arab dishes: 

24 September 2014

MOTW | 4

Musings of The Week. I mean, weeks. If you're a newbie around here let me explain. I started this series my MOTW, as a way to help keep me inspired + focused on my current ideas + thoughts. It's easy to get caught up in the BS of day to day living, which often leads me to becoming uninspired, or to lack to energy to create, at least that's what happens to me from time to time. Which is why I thought a weekly check-in with what my current ideas for future projects or what I'm currently thinking about would be quite helpful to me, + it has been! Now I should mention when I initially started this series it was going to be a weekly one, but I've been brimming + boiling over with ideas + the results of these ideas that there wasn't enough space to share them all with you in one week. Sooo I've cut my MOTW back to a bi/tri-weekly series instead, so there will be more space to share all of my current thoughts, ideas + projects. As this series is going to be cut back I plan on including even more of my currents thoughts, ideas + projects because I'll have the time needed in order to share them + the results with ya, so it's definitely a good thing! For those who have read my MOTW before, I hope this series has rubbed off a little on you + has inspired you to dig a little deeper + start checking in with yourself a little more. There are all sorts of ideas swimming around you just have to look for them. Try something new, the options are limitless!

Anyways let's get down to business!

Artsy Projects:

Current art projects I'm thinking about trying in the coming weeks...

+ Abandon An Inspirational Rock + Sea Shells: In one of my most recent Instagram perusings I stumbled upon the Word Rocks Project Insta page. This page consists of vibrant photos from all over the world of abandoned rocks that have positive messages beautifully written on them. They are abandoned with the intention for others to find them + cherish them. Now if you're a regular around these parts you'd know I LOVE to abandon art (I've written about it here + here + here whew!), but I haven't done it in forever! However after finding the WRP my drive + desire to abandon art has been rekindled once more! But the fun doesn't stop there. I'm not only going to abandon a rock with a positive message on it, but because I wanted to put my own twist on it, I'm also going to abandon a couple of inspirational seashells. :) I have a ton of seashells on hand + I've been wanting to do something creative with them + thought this project would be one fun way to utilize them. Especially since it'll brighten up someone's day :) Will be sure to update ya on this fun little project!

Check out the Word Rocks Project's Insta + Website for more info + pretty pictures of inspirational rocks that have been abandoned all over the world!

+ Fuji Instax Photo Projects: As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recently purchased a Fuji Instax Mini 8 camera, which I love! The photos it instantly prints are high quality + have such a nostalgia about them. Ever since I took my very first photos with this camera I've been scheming up ideas of ways to showcase them. Of course I could just frame them (which I am planning on doing with some of these cute little business sized photos), but there are so many other fun ways to showcase them + that's the direction I'm headed! In the coming weeks I plan on putting some of my fun ideas into action + I can't wait to share the results with ya!
Be on the look out! :) 

Recipe Aspirations:

'New to me recipes' I'd like to try...

+ Mini Chicken Pot Pies: love little single portion sized foods, which is why when I saw this picture on the 'net I immediately knew I had to try my hand at making these! Will let you know how it goes. :)

+ Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Sea Salt: I know some of you out there might have your face twisted up + head cocked sideways after reading that last line. I know I did when I first read it on a dessert menu while out at a restaurant one day. But my curiosity got the better of me, I ordered it + it was heavenly. Ever since that day the desire to make my own chocolate avocado mousse has been in the back of mind + I think it's about time to bring it to the front + make it already! I've already found the recipe, now I just need to make this delicious treat! Will be sure to share the recipe + my experience making it in the coming weeks! 


A few recent random musings of mine...


+ Teacups: I saw this photo of this pretty little teacup the other day  + it got me thinking....I need one of those! I'm a huge coffee + tea drinker but I don't have my own special mug or anything. Not that I ever wanted my own special mug, but after seeing that picture I decided I need to get myself one! Silly, I know. But it's the little things that count right? :)

+ Slow Internet: I'm sure you've all experienced this at some point, slow internet that is. Well I'm currently in the land of slow moving internet + I'll tell ya it sucks, big time! I've definitely had to que up my patience since I've been in this land of slow 'net. As I'm sure you all know it's quite frustrating waiting for what seems like an eternity for a website to load. It's especially frustrating when the advertisements take longer to load on the website than the actual content of the site. Quite frustrating, but I'll survive (although I may end up pulling some of my hair out lol). #GrindsMyGears #FirstWorldProblems

As I mentioned before the goal of this series of posts is to help keep me inspired + focused, 
+ accountability is part of it too. Here's how my last MOTW projects + ideas went...


Art Projects: 

- Gallery of Frames: CHECK. I finally completed this project which I talked about last week. It was super easy to do once I finally had all of the frames needed! Will be talking more about this project in the coming weeks.

- New Art Technique: FAIL. I had wanted to try the technique of using various objects to create different textures/patterns using paint, but I didn't get around to it. I honestly kind of lost interest in wanting to try this technique. I think it's because I've been focused on other art projects + have been putting all of my passion + energy into them rather than trying this new particular technique. I'm sure I'll eventually get around to trying it sometime in the future. + when/if I do I'll be sure to share. 

- SN&R Newsstand: CHECK. YES I finally completed this project! It has been in the works for quite some time now so I'm very happy to finally be done with it! Working on putting together a post for it now which should be out in the coming weeks! :)

Recipe Aspirations:

- Creamy Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Fettuccine. UH HUH, I did make this dish + it was delicious! Recipe can be found here.

-Bamya aka Beef + Okra Stew. CHECK! I also got around to making this dish for dinner! I've enjoyed it numerous times throughout my life, but had yet to make it myself that is until recently. Recipe for this yummy Arab meal will be comin' atcha this week, so be on the look out! :) 

I think I did pretty damn good these past few weeks completing my projects! Can't wait to catch up with ya up + let you know how these newest upcoming projects go on my next MOTW!

Until next time friends...Cheers!!

<3 Noonie

23 September 2014

Greenville, SC | Westward Bound


While I was only in Greenville for about 12 hours, it made quite the impression on this little lady! Lucky for me Greenville, South Carolina, was about 1 hour outside of Asheville and double lucky me as one of my New York friends recently moved to Greenville.
I arrived at about 6:00pm and met up with my friend at his apartment, I took the 'back roads' to get to his place and the countryside was so beautiful: quaint little houses, lots of brick, and tree filled front lawns. When I got to his place I was surprised at how much nature was around his 'semi-suburban' chateau. It wasn't long until he took me downtown to check out the town. First stop: the town waterfall. This waterfall and river run right through the center of downtown creating a beautiful backdrop as well as a place for locals to relax. Afterwards we wandered up and down the windy main street sandwiched between the tree walls and the brick facades I was in my mini-version of heaven. Little stores, nice looking restaurants, kind people, and good company.
This evening neither of us were hungry (which was a bummer since the restaurants looked scrumptious) so we decided to stop in at the brewery: Blue Ridge Brewing Co. They had 4 beers on draft, each of which was $3.00, yes $3.00!!!! The beers were cold and the bartender was fun, he even gave me some tips for where I should go once I move to San Francisco.
The rest of this evening was quiet and relaxing, just what I needed after that crazy night in Virginia!

Previous Posts:
Nelli is Moving

22 September 2014

Reunited + It Feels So Good!

I can't even believe I'm about to type the followings words...Nelli is back in Cali Cali! (You may have already heard if you caught this post of Nelli's) I'm so freaking happy she's back to the Golden state! + not only is she back, but she's also only 2 hours away! :) It's been 5 years since we've lived in the same state, so our ability to have adventures wasn't a reality, that is until now. I have yet to get a chance to visit her just yet, but I'm so looking forward to adventures with my co blogger + partner in crime! I have a feeling BSOM is about to have the heat turned up on it since we'll be able to collab more in person! 

After hearing the news of Nelli's homecoming to Cali, you might be wondering are we going to be changing the name of our blog since we are no longer Bicoastal?! + the simple answer is NO WAY! We love the name of our blog so no, it's not going to be changing! :) Can't wait to see what new ventures await BSOM! 

Thank you for taking this ride with Nelli + I!! 

Until next time friends...Cheers!!

<3 Noonie 

21 September 2014


"...these are a few of my favorite things". If you're new around these parts AFOMFT is a weekly series that entails my favorite things of the week. I'm constantly finding new quotes I like + new favorite paintings/artists etc. + I thought it'd be fun to share my favorites of the week via this series, which was inspired by the blog A Beautiful Mess.



"Hippy Shit" | Acrylic Paint | Created by yours truly

I'm a firm believer that a good attitude +positive outlook will get you far in life + I definitely live by this motto. But I do need to work on the patience part of it, which is why I liked this quote so much. 

Because if you're not trying to better yourself on a daily basis what's the point?


"To understand the work of OSGEMEOS, it is necessary to allow reason to be replaced by the imaginary – walk through the doors, allowing ourselves to realize the subtleties in the world around us and to embark on an experience that exceeds the visual: to feel first and to understand later.

According to Osgemeos' website Osgemeos literally translates to "the twins". That's right. Twin Brazilian brothers whom are both artists + work together on their craft. I discovered these twins via their Instagram account, + was immediately in love. I just love the bright colors + the flow + energy their works invoke + they're street artists (and you I love street art)!

In any case I was very impressed by their work + I highly suggest you go check out their Instagram + website for even more photos of their work! :)


Arrgh mateys. Mama got me this pencil a while back because she knows how much I love pirates! It had been MIA for a minute until I found it this week, among the jungle of my art supplies (I'm working on it). I not only love this pencil because it is in fact a pirate pencil but also because my mama did get it for me. 

All together now "Aawwwww!!".


I've seriously loved skulls since I was about 8 years old. In fact I remember the exact day that I discovered my love for skulls. Mama had taken us to a flea market for the first time ever + pogs (remember those coin shaped toys?) were in their hay day. 

I wanted to start collecting them + that's when I stumbled upon pogs with skulls on them. I'm not sure what caught my attention about skulls that day as I'm sure I'd seen them before, but that particular day I fell in love with them + this love has continued on into adulthood, hence the sweatshirt + skull tattoo I have :) My new sweatshirt is not only badass because of the skull design on it but the skull + OBEY logo also glows in the dark!

I mean it really just doesn't get much better than that. 


Greek coffee, AKA legal crack. This shit is strong especially the way I drink it. Typically this type of coffee is served in a smaller coffee cup, but I always opt for a larger one when I drink it because I loove the flavor of the coffee + a smaller cup just doesn't do it for me. I always drink mine with lots of sugar + cream (either regular or dry cream works just fine). My mom is the one who introduced me to this coffee + she said she got it from the local Mediterranean store, but you might be able to find it at a grocery store. 

It'll definitely give ya that extra kick that regular coffee just doesn't have.

These were just a few of my favorite things from this week, but I'd like to know... 
what was your favorite thing from this week? 
Comment below <3

Until next time friends...Cheers!!!

<3 Noonie