Michigan Renaissance Festival 2012

Miscellaneous, Portraits

Not a year has gone by in the past…6 or more, that I haven’t gone to the Michigan Renaissance Festival. This year was no exception. I made it a priority despite my very busy schedule to make it out there and enjoy a day of relaxation and fun. And I brought my friend Alyza with me! Here are a few pictures of our wonderful day at the RenFest.

Alyza’s first pickle of the day.

These kids were the best. We watched them standing together like this for a good tens. They even cried together for a hot minute.

Unicorn canes!

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Macedonian Petit Fours

Viviana's Kitchen

I’ve always been a huge fan of pastries. I’m pretty sure that even if my grandma hadn’t heavily influenced me toward the sweets food group, I probably still would’ve had a “sweet tooth”. That said, I’m always drawn to pastries and cakes and well, just food in general wherever I am. A few weeks ago, my mom and I dropped by a local store that sells imports from Eastern Europe and we bought a package of Kolid petit fours from Macedonia. They were pretty good. So of course, I took pictures. Enjoy!

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The 3 Point Pumpkin Smoothie

Viviana's Kitchen

When I first joined Pinterest, I wasn’t that impressed. I found it to be just another Tumblr style website with a faster way to view photos and more weddings. However, it has recently become an addiction in the same way as Tumblr, and I have found it as useful as FoodGawker in terms of finding cool recipes and great food photos.

I recently tried out a Pumpkin Smoothie recipe I found on Pinterest from this blog. It was interesting enough that I decided to chronicle my version of the smoothie in pictures and share with you guys! It’s also a great Weight Watchers recipe for only 3 points a glass! I switched out real milk for soymilk, added ground cloves, and used Dobrova tea cookies instead of Graham crackers.

3 Point Autumn Pumpkin Smoothie (1 serving version)

– 3 tbsp canned pumpkin
– 2 tbsp Chobani plain fat free yogurt
– 3/4 cup organic soymilk
– 1 tsp or tbsp sugar (depends on sweetness preference)
– a small pinch of cloves (they’re very strong!)
– a big pinch of cinnamon

1. Plop all your ingredient in a blender (or a Magic Bullet, like I did).
2. Blend until smooth, about 20 seconds.
3. Crush 2 tea crackers/graham crackers in a zip lock.
4. Pour your smoothie into a glass (or don’t, if you’re using a Magic Bullet!) and top off with crackers. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon if desired. Enjoy!

Now I will warn you all that despite looking rather amazing, this isn’t your regular smoothie. It doesn’t taste that spectacular unless you sweeten it. But it’s an easy snack and it’s not hard to get used to. I drank all of mine after deciding that it really wasn’t that bad.

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DIY: Ombre Tee


Every now and then I get urges to do quick artsy projects and I have to satisfy them or else I go insane. A few weeks ago I did just that. After seeing this bleach pen project on Pinterest, I was itching to try it out, so I bought a bleach pen and went to town. In the project I saw, the person had made a kitschy swirly design on the side of her shirt. I wanted to do something more modern and a little more sophisticated, so I decided to do an ombre pattern by just dabbing dots from the hem up, front and back.

I think it turned out quite well. I wore the shirt out in public once and have since moved it to my pajama drawer not because of the design, but because it’s off-grain. (That’s why I used it for this project, ssshhhh.)

This is a great projects for kids (like, at least 8+, you don’t want chidlins injesting the bleach by accident or otherwise) and teens if you’re looking for something easy, fun, and inexpensive to do.

P.S. I used the entire contents of the pen for this one shirt.

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Coconut Almond Muffins with Peach Chutney

Floral & Nature, Viviana's Kitchen

This week I had a day off from work filled with sunshine, cats, roses, and the urge to bake. So I went on FoodGawker, which I hadn’t paid a visit to in quite some time, and searched my favorites. I found this recipe for Coconut Almond Cake and since I couldn’t find our small baking pan, I turned mine into muffins.

I replaced ground almonds with almond flour which made the muffins finer and yellower as opposed to browny. I also cut the sugar down to 150 grams instead of 170 and replaced coconut milk with soymilk. I calculated one cupcake to be 7 points on Weight Watchers (1 out of 12 muffins), which is more than I had expected and wanted, but that just means I have to find ways to alter the recipe in the future.

Lastly, since I didn’t have any raspberry sauce or preserves or really any proper jam or preserves to go with my muffins like the original recipe, I made peach “chutney”. Recipe follows:

Peach Chutney

– 1 big peach (preferably from fridge)
– 1 tbsp honey
– 1 tbsp lemon juice

1. Chop cold peach into small chunks.
2. Add honey and lemon juice, mix. Serve.

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