I'm Aimee Astillero. I like food, fashion, hip-hop, film, vampires and other bizarre things. Thanks for finding me! :P

Monday, February 14, 2011

DIY: Twig Terrariums

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone! As part of our "V-day" activity, Mr. Fox and I thought it would be a fun activity to make a terrarium this weekend. I saw a bunch of terrariums at this awesome store called Cog & Pearl in Park Slope Brooklyn and I gained interest quick- seems that it's made by a company called Twig Terrariums. Their terrariums are super neat and come with cute little figurines inside which adds some pizzazz! Each terrarium is one of a kind and you can buy them pre-made or buy one of their "do-it-yourself" kits. We picked two DIY sets this weekend and had a blast making them. It was as easy as 1-2-3! I can't wait to make more and buy a more advanced set. 

Each set comes with a vessel for your moss, rocks, dried moss, potting soil, live moss and a figurine. 

All you have to do is set rocks on the bottom of the vase, add the dried moss (which has to be soaked for a minute in water and squeezed dry) then layer the potting soil on top (makes a filtration system for the terrarium), moisten the soil a little bit then add the live moss (which is recommended to be soaked for 3 hours to overnight) and finally add the figurine inside! It took less than an hour to do. Don't worry, it comes with instructions! Real easy! :)

Check out my first terrarium! This set was called Le Petit Singularite ($25). I actually did this one by myself to for practice. It actually came out better than I expected. I found a piece of wood in my soil packet so I saved it for decoration because it looked like a bridge. I'm really happy how it came out. It looks like she walked over a bridge and discovered a forest. 

The complete kit! Awesome huh?

This set was the one that I made with Mr. Fox. This DIY terrarium is called Romantik ($65). It came with an old couple kissing while sitting on a bench. Super cute!

This is the Romantik set in its entirety. I love that it comes in a tall 10" vase which actually converts to a candle holder (see below for a better picture). It came out really cute and we actually are looking into finding a mini plant to add inside for a later date so it will look like the old couple is sitting under a tree to add better landscaping.

Le Petit Singularite and Romantik set side by side.

The finished products.. TA-DA! You can find Twig Terrariums at the Brooklyn Flea most of the time or go to one of the stores like Cog & Pearl to find their unique creations. They don't ship ready made terrariums yet, so DIY kits are available for purchase online.

At the end, we actually came out with three terrariums. I had extras materials to make another little terrarium. The Romantik and Singularite ones are mine and the small terrarium was the one I made for Mr. Fox. I added a small frog figurine for him. 

Twig Terrariums are reasonably priced and very unique. They add character to any room. I am so obsessed. I plan to make more in the future. Who knows, it might become my new hobby! Super easy and fun to make and the live plants inside are really low maintenance. The instructions state that they only need to be spritzed with water once every two weeks or so. The moss requires very little light but make sure not to keep your terrarium near heat or give it too much sunlight because you can end up cooking your moss. It's such a great home decor also. Can't wait to make another one!

LINK: twigterrariums.com

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

EATS: Doughnut Plant (Lower East Side)

After @JustineDori's Birthday Dim Sum today, we decided to head on over to Doughnut Plant in LES for the after party. Located on 379 Grand Street, this little doughnut haven was worth the walk for my sweet indulgence for the week. I've been craving a doughnut since I started my diet and this was a great place to "cheat".

They offer such a great variety of treats from the yeast-type, jam-filled to cake doughnuts at a very reasonable price.

@JustineDori had the Black Out Doughnut. I took a bite of course and it was chocolatey, moist and gooey. It melted in my mouth. Worth every bite!

I felt a little guilty going to this place but a little treat doesn't hurt sometimes. Since I tried to "control" myself, I got the smallest doughnut on the menu which was the Creme Brûlée.

Can you see the goodness?!? Every layer is heavenly. It had a crusty and crunchy caramelized top. The yeast dough itself was a nice soft texture. The party in the middle was a very creamy vanilla bean custard which oozes out in every bite! Then the bottom layer was sugar glazed! The ten seconds that it took to annihilate this donut was amazing! Perfect size packed with deliciousness for $2.50! You cannot go wrong!

Check out the display by the counter! *Homer Voice* "Mmm.. DOOOONUTS..* By the way, I'm not sure if the original word is spelled "Doughnut" or "Donut"? Does anyone know? Ah- po-tato... po-ta-to.. :P It's all the same right?

Doughnut Plant is AWESOME! I will definitely go back. Maybe I'll even have a huge doughnut next time. There's so many treats on the menu that I want to try. *Sigh* Oh, if LES seems out of the way, they're opening another location at the Chelsea Hotel on Valentine's Day! ;)

Doughnut Plant  (Lower East Side)
379 Grand Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 505-3700

Doughnut Plant on Urbanspoon

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Monday, February 7, 2011

EATS: Hunter Dave's Venison Chili

First off, I hope everyone had a great Superbowl Sunday and Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers! My buddy Hunter Dave aka Fisherman Dave cooked Venison Chili yesterday as part of his Superbowl Feast. He used his crock pot to slow cook the amazing Chili and it simmered for hours so you know it had to be flavorful and it was indeed! I never tried "deer" before but I heard it's a very lean meat. So what does it taste like? It tasted like sausage and beef combined with a very crumbly texture. It was a little gamey tasting but not gross. It's definitely for people with acquired taste. As far as the Chili itself, it was delicious! It was mild and the tomato was chunky which is how I like it. I'm not a fan of saucy and watery Chili. The texture has to be chunky and hearty! Hunter Dave used cannellini beans and also added corn which I loved (good touch)! The Chili was delicious and eating venison meat was definitely an adventure! I enjoyed it very much. The Filipino girl in me would've liked rice with the dish, but I'm trying to cut down on carbs... LOL!

P.S. It's kind of funny and a little ironic that the same day Dave cooked his Chili, Mr. Fox and I watched Bambi earlier that day! Like the movie, sometimes "Man" gets in the way- but it's a cycle of life and I guess "deer" would be considered as part of the food chain. Sorry to all the animal lovers out there, but as I took a bite of the venison, I did keep Bambi in mind... :-X

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

EATS: Sushi Night With Fisherman Dave & Mr. Fox

It's cold and rainy outside so what better day to stay in and make some home made sushi? It's been awhile since I made sushi hand rolls. I was real rusty at first but after a few tries, I finally got it down perfect and started to make rolls like a mad woman! The best part is that we used the Tuna that my buddy Fisherman Dave caught at the end of the summer (it was freeze dried since then FYI.. haha). We ate Avocado Tuna Rolls, California Rolls and Avocado Maki for Mr. Fox (he doesn't eat fish). Sushi night was a great success! Thanks to Fisherman Dave for hanging out and sharing his Tuna. It was really fun and easy. Oh, and I'll promise to work on better presentation and better ingredients the next time around...
The Tuna that Fisherman Dave caught during the Summer... We ate the Toro (middle) or the belly for Sushi night!
My Sushi rolling area!
Our left-overs! I made the assorted giant rolls and Fisherman Dave made the Tuna Sushi Ngiri.
That's a pretty and colorful California Roll! Isn't it? ;) 

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