Nothing Fancy Homemade Latte

Hello, Everyone!

So today I want to share something that I discovered a month or so ago that has become pretty much a daily part of my life… homemade lattes! I’ve always been a fan of lattes. It’s pretty much my go to drink at coffee shops. Either a classic latte or a chai latte. I was pretty excited when I found of how easy it really was to create one at home and without anything fancy!
Nothing Fancy Latte

Nothing Fancy Latte
You Need:
Ground Coffee
Water
Milk (I mainly use almond milk, but I’ve also used 2% and soy.)
Sweetener/Flavoring

First:
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Okay, an important part to creating a good latte without an espresso machine is strong coffee. I typically brew my coffee with about twice as much grounds as the package recommends. (So about 2tbs per cup of water) Now here’s the kicker: after the coffee is brewed, I pour it back into the coffee maker and rebrew it. That’s some strong coffee. Perfect.

Two:
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Now you need to warm up your milk. I just warm it up on the stove top. Once its warm, use a wire whisk to create the foam lattes are so well known for. I’ve found that this is a lot easier with almond or soy milk, but if you’re using normal milk don’t fret. It just takes a little longer and a little more whisking! The milk is ready once the foam bubbles aren’t popping anymore.

Three:
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To finish your homemade latte all you need to do is combine the coffee and milk and add whatever sweetener and/or flavoring you’d like! I’ve found that the best coffee to milk ratio (at least for me) is about 3 parts coffee for 1 part milk. For sweetness and flavoring I like to use flavored simple syrups (learn how to make them here) such as cinnamon or vanilla! Scoop some foam on the top and you’re good to go! I’ve been drinking a lot of these iced lately since its (finally) been warming up a bit!
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So good!

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Happy latte making!

-The Whale

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Tea For One.

Hello hello!

Today I actually have some new thrifting finds to share! It’s been awhile since I have posted about anything thrifty. About time I change that.

So, first up is a lovely corduroy jacket I got for $6. It’s originally from the Gap, and I love that the inside lining is a pretty fabric!
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Next I have a mini upcycle. I was super stoked to find this 1990 Reds World Series sweater for only $1! The only problem was it was an extra large and swallowed me… It was simple enough to take in the sleeves and the sides a bit though!
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Sweater

My final find I have to share with you I one that I am very pleased to have found! I have begun a recent obsession with loose leaf tea. Its fantastic. (My favorite place to buy it is from here) Anyways, this find was perfect timing. It’s a ‘Tea for One’ set! The set is complete with a mug, a little teapot, and an infuser for loose leaf. I only paid $4 for this set, and I was very excited when I looked it up online and found that its $32 here!
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I must say this little set gets a ton of use!

Well that is all of my current thrifting finds worth mentioning! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

-The Whale

Basil Cream Sauce

Hello everyone!

I have another recipe to share today! Remember the pasta I made a while back??? I said I paired it with basil cream sauce. Well. Today is the day I will share with you how to create just that!
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Adapted from here.
basil cream ingred
One:
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Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cream and tomatoes and cook for about a minute.

Two:
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Reduce the heat to low and add the cheese, basil, and pepper. Now just cook until its heated through.
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Serve over baked chicken or with pasta and asparagus!
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This is probably one of my favorite sauces to keep around. Its just about always in my fridge and I’ve kept it sealed in a mason jar for a good month or so and it was still good! Happy cooking everyone!

-The Whale

Crochet and Denim

Hello, Hello!

I have a new upcycle today! I’m pretty excited about this one! Mostly because it was a lot of work…but also because I’m really pleased with the results!

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I had been on the prowl for a denim shirt in the thrift stores for some time now. I had the idea for this upcycle and so finding the perfect candidate was important. I finally found one I considered worthy a few weeks ago!

Before:
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For this upcycle, I cut out the back of the shirt and used the cut out part as a template to crochet a design. I really wanted it to be somewhat lacy. After I had the crochet part done, I sewed it in the place where the back had been cut out. Done.

After:
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I’m really happy with the pattern I chose to go with! I like how its both a bit geometric and lacy! I also am a huge fan of the combination of denim and crochet! I did an upcycle for crochet shorts over the summer and they were a huge hit!

What do you think of the denim/crochet combination? Love? Hate? I’d like to know your opinion!

-The Whale

Honey Wheat Bread!

Oh hey, everyone!

Remember how I said I was going to post more cooking related posts??? Well that continues today!

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I don’t know about you, but I love wheat bread! I prefer it to white any day. My dad won’t touch it. I don’t understand his taste buds…

So to get on with it… This recipe is for a basic honey wheat sandwich bread and makes two loaves. Feel free to cut the recipe in half if you only want one loaf. Adapted from here.

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One:
Add the yeast to the water and allow it to activate. This should take 5-10 minutes. It’ll be all foamy when its ready. Add the milk and honey to that.

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Two:
Mix in the bread flour and salt, then add the whole wheat flour. You’ll get a ‘shaggy’ looking dough. Allow that to rest for about 20 minutes. Whole wheat flour is a bit more difficult to work with versus normal flour, so letting it rest gives it time to absorb more liquid and creates and easier to work with dough.

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Three:
Sprinkle a bit of flour on a clean counter top and turn the dough out onto it. Knead the dough until its smooth and springs back if you poke it. You can add a bit more flour at this point if the dough is sticky. This should take about 10 minutes.

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Four:
Put a bit of oil in a bowl and roll your ball of dough in it a bit until its covered.

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Five:
Okay, guys. Feel very special right now. I’m going to let you in on a little secret I learned in my college cooking class… It is now time to let your dough rise in a ‘warm dry place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.’ Go ahead and do that if you would like… but if you’re like me… you don’t want to wait that long until you can eat your tasty home made bread! I know how to cut that time in half. Seriously.

Wouldn’t you like to know how to do that?? Okay fine I’ll spit it out already! When you begin the recipe, put a layer of water in a shallow dish. ( I use a pie tin from store bought pie crust.) Place that pan on the lowest rack in your oven and turn the oven on preheat and set it on warm or the lowest temperature it has. We do not want the oven the get hot… just warm. The shallow pan of water also makes it humid in the oven.

So go ahead and cover your oily bowl of dough with a clean towel and put it in your humid oven. Now wait a half hour to 45 minutes or until your dough had doubled in size. Boom. You’re welcome.

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Six:
Look at that lovely quickly risen dough! Now turn it out onto a lightly floured counter top again.

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Seven:
Now is the time to divide the dough into two. Unless, of course, you divided the recipe in half.

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Eight:
Create two (or one) loaves. Press the dough down into as much as a square as you can. Then fold the dough, a third over and then another third, and roll into a loaf. The top needs to be tight. Place the seam side down in an oiled loaf pan.

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Nine:
Let rise (either in your ‘humid over for 15-20 minutes, or in a warm dry place for 30 to 40 minutes.) When they are done rising, score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.

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Ten:
Bake in an oven preheated to 425, but as soon as you put the loaf in the oven, turn it down to 375. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Its done when the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Allow the loaf to cool completely before you cut it!

The loaves will stay good at room temperature for a few days, or in the freezer for a few months. Happy baking!

-The Whale

Featuring: Charley Harper

Hello everyone!

Today I would like to share with you one of my favorite artists: Charley Harper!
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Charley was from Cincinnati, OH (my favorite/hometown city. There’s a pretty great mural of one of his works in the downtown area.) and studied at The Art Academy of Cincinnati. He also later taught there. Charley’s style is often described as ‘minimal realism’ and is definitely featuring wild life. Birds mostly.

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I discovered Charley Harper’s art at a 20th Century flea market a few weeks ago and absolutely fell in love! A lot of it may have had to do with the fact that one of his works involved a puffer fish… and I LOVE puffer fish. I plan on eventually having one for a pet. They’re great. I could go on about them forever… but I won’t make you suffer through that. You’re welcome.

So anyways, I bought this bowl. Its my new favorite bowl.
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I also love these pieces!
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Well that’s about it for today. You can see more from Charley here.

-The Whale

Beet Pasta

Hello!

So. I cook a lot. I mean it. A LOT. Considering how much I cook, I decided I really ought to share more of my cooking experiences and recipes on here! Its really kind of a crime not to. Its really kind of a crime that I haven’t been sharing about it very much before now. .. Sorry about that. Honestly.

So to get on to things, I have a fantastic recipe to share today: beet noodles! I know. It sounds funny. Maybe even icky. Not to me. But maybe I’m not so average… Believe me when I say this though: beet noodles pretty much taste like normal noodles. You can’t taste the beet; they’re just healthier and prettier! (Cause they’re purple!)

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So anyways:

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First:
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Create a ‘flour volcano’ on a clean counter top. Aka pour the flour onto the counter and make a crater in the center. Place the remaining ingredients into the crater. (I made beet juice with my juicer, but I’m sure you can buy it.)

Second:
noodleshamb
Slowly mix in the flour into the rest of the ingredients until it is all incorporated. Gather it all together and form the dough into a ball. You may need to add a bit of water if its too dry. Use your own judgement.

Third:
Allow the dough to rest for about 20 minutes. I know the waiting is the worst if you’re impatient like me!

Fourth:
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Roll out the dough with a rolling pin. It needs to be really thin! Think of the thickness of store bought alfredo noodles. It helped me to divide the dough in half and roll out the smaller portions at a time.

Fifth:
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Cut the dough into noodle sized strips. I used a pizza cutter for this. Then hang the noodles to dry for a bit. It doesn’t really matter what you hang them from. I used a cabinet shelf from Walmart… (nifty yes?) Allow them to dry for at least 20 more minutes or up to a few hours.

Sixth:
noodlesboil
If you’re using the noodles right away then go ahead and cook them in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes. Just taste one to tell when they’re ready! If you’re not using them right away then I would suggest freezing them.

Last:
noodlesstrain
Strain the noodles (aren’t they pretty??) and create whatever dish you intend to use them for! I mixed mine with baked chicken breast and asparagus and topped it all with basil cream sauce! (recipe to come!) So yummy!

I hope you guys liked this post because I intend to post a lot more cooking posts in the future!

-The Whale

Interior Design February

Hello Everyone!

So, I have been putting a lot of thought into this blog and what I would like the future to hold for it. Of course I’ve also been thinking about my own future. I’ve decided that since this blog is a kind of reflection of my life, I really ought to include more posts to do with Interior Design (it being my college major and hopeful career). For awhile, I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to incorporate this part of my life into The Whale’s Endeavors.

Well, I get the Interior Design Magazine in the mail every month, and I am always inspired when I read through it. My resulting idea was that I should share with you all my favorite new things in the magazine every month when I get it! Its a perfect way to share my love for interior design!

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Ok. So basically I sat down with the magazine and a home made latte! (Don’t worry I’m going to post how to make lattes at home with out anything fancy soon!) First I’d like to talk about some of what I thought were the best new finished projects the magazine featured.

1.
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First to make my favorites list is this fantastic home by RCH Studios in Los Angeles, CA. I absolutely love the vertical beams outside the windows in the bedroom and the fireplace! It even can be rotated to warm different areas! Fancy.

2.
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Second on the list is the home of architect Nancy Copley. It’s inspiration was drawn from the wooded setting it was built in in Accord, NY.

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My favorite features from this home include the staircase, a combination of warm maple wood and steel rods, the angled windows, and the complimenting, 1950s Swedish, purple chairs that tie it all together.

3.
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My final choice from this month’s issue is Roundhouse at Beacon Falls, a hospitality complex located in New York. This fantastic work was completed by Rockwell Group.

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The first photo is showcasing a lovely view from the restaurant. Wouldn’t it be great to eat with a view like that?!?
The second photo is from one of the building’s guest rooms. I LOVE the concrete ceiling and beams as well as the acrylic tub! This is definitely a place I feel I would enjoy spending a vacation at.

Another part of this new monthly series I want to feature is my favorite new products from the magazine! Here’s this months!

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1. The art of Timothy Paul Myers
“Myers showcases contradicting components in arrangements of extraordinarily organized grids, most of which are encased within pristine plexiglass display cases.” I love the interesting combinations this guy comes up with!

2. Patty Madden Upholstry
I have been a fan of Patty Madden for a few years now. Mainly focusing on wall coverings, she has always had an edgy and unique feel in her designs. I also love the advertisements for her products!

3. Knoll Textiles Wallcovering, Vibe Collection
Knoll is a very popular textile and wall covering company. I love the color combinations and patterns in the Vibe wall covering collection!

Okay, I’m almost done, I promise! I just couldn’t end this post without including this fantastic art installation by Chris Klapper and Patrick Gallagher!

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Amazing right? The whole installation is inspired by Symphony in D Minor, which is inspired by thunderstorms. So, I suppose you could just say the whole thing is inspired by thunderstorms. The giant tubes hanging from the ceiling are acrylic and were designed using AutoCAD. The end of each tube has a design resembling storm drains, and the whole place has projected images of storms taken from an iPhone. Check it out!

Now I’m done. I hope hope you guys enjoyed this post! I certainly enjoyed creating it and discovering new inspirations and loves! I look forward for next month’s magazine to come in the mail!

-The Whale

Suede Shirt Upcycle

suedeupcycle

Well hello. everyone!

I have a new upcycle today! I found this (faux) suede shirt at Goodwill a bit ago. I had been playing with the idea of suede shirts ever since I saw a few at Forver 21 in the fall. I wanted one. I knew this. I just didn’t like any of the ones I found in the stores enough to purchase… so when I found this shirt, well, I figured for $3 I could pretty easily make it into something that suited me!

So anyways, here it is as I bought it:

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I really love the pattern:

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Basically I cut off the sleeves, (maybe a reoccurring thing for me but what can I say?) and attached a fun and colorful pattern to the existing collar. I still felt, however, that it was missing something… so I ended up painting the buttons! I feel that was just what it needed! I used an acrylic craft paint and then went over that with clear nail polish… Hey, it works!

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Nifty yes? I love it.

Also, if you didn’t notice, I’ve attempted to up my photos on here a bit… I feel I’ve been kind of lazy (okay not kind of…) photo wise, so I’ve set a personal goal for myself: no more bad photos in bad lighting. It’s going to happen.

-The Whale