11/10/2011 § 1 Comment
Where has the time gone? It’s seems like just the other day I was in high school and my mom and I were running a little vintage dress shop online. When I left for college it became difficult to maintain so it slowly died out. I am happy to report that recently my mom revived the little shop, this time with a mixture of different vintage and antique items. You should take a gander at what’s available.
08/22/2011 § 1 Comment
Yesterday was my 24th birthday.
Honestly, it was one of the best birthdays I’ve had in a long time. I felt a lot of love from family and friends, new and old. The last six months have been an interesting transition, and I often find myself in a frustrated rush to know what’s next. I’m trying hard to slow down and truly enjoy life as it comes. Finally, I think pieces are starting to fall into place and I’m really excited to see what the future holds. Twenty-three was an amazing year full of traveling and new life-changing experiences. My goal is to continue to build on that foundation and make this next year even better. It’s going to be tough, but I know it’s possible.
07/17/2011 § Leave a comment
06/02/2011 § 3 Comments
I’ve created numerous blogs that I’ve never written in and I blame it all on one thing. The introduction. I come up with a name, pick the theme, add a picture and then go to write, and… nothing. I think introductions to blogs box you in. Right now, I can’t be boxed in.
That said, I think it’s finally time for me to properly introduce my[self] blog.
My name is Brooke, and this is Brooke Lauren’s Finest.
I have always questioned my parents logic when I comes to my name. Why not Brooke Lynn? My mom said it never even crossed their minds, so I’m embracing the Lauren.
This is not a food blog [at least I don't think it's going to be]. I know it doesn’t appear that way, but initially food was not my intended focus. I’ve just had food on the brain in a very serious way the past couple of months. You see, I’m waiting to hear back on a job offer that has to do with farm to cafeteria programs. It’s an amazing opportunity that would consume the next year of my life if I get it. I should know mid-June, but I’m starting to get antsy.
I just graduated from college in December. Don’t ask me my major, it’s practically worthless and I know that. When I tell people I get a funny look followed by, “What are you going to do with that?”
I got accepted to graduate school recently, but couldn’t rationalize the bill. So, that’s on hold.
I’ve since moved back home and work at a restaurant. I think it makes some of my family member’s blood-curdle. I guess I can understand some of their frustration. I’m just trying to make ends meet.
Moving back home has definitely been an interesting transition that no one really prepared me for. I really hadn’t realized how much some things had changed since I left and how many other things that stayed the same.
It’s strange in a way, [almost] every time I see someone that I know but am not close to, I these two questions:
1.) Are you married yet? Answer: No. Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not even close.
2.) What are your “plans”? As is, you’ve just spent the last four years in college, what in the hell are you going to do with the rest of your life? Answer: I don’t know. That’s right, I said it.
I’m getting used to it now but it’s frustrating at times.
To be quite honest… this blog has about as little focus as my future does. I’m just doing what feels right. I love photography, I love food, I love my family and friends, I love my dog, and I love not having to do homework. Those are some of the things that I know right now. I’m just trying to take it all in, and enjoy it while I can.
Simply put, this blog is just good for me right now.
So… to those of you that have subscribed, thank you! I hope you’ll stick with me as I figure things out. If I’m lucky, maybe I can help provide some inspiration along the way.
05/26/2011 § 4 Comments
Meet Maeby. She is my furry little companion/ball of cuteness. She came into my life quite unexpectedly. I went to Wal-mart for toilet paper between classes one day and came home with a puppy; which I bought from someone’s trunk in the parking lot. I guess you could say it was a bit of an impulse buy, but who could resist that face?
I used to get squeamish when people would start going on about their pets so I’ll spare you the agony.
Lately Maeby and I have been having an issue. You see, she is very finicky about her food. I’ve consulted with the vet numerous times about this issue and they say she’s healthy, but coaxing her to eat is sometimes quite a chore. I’ve tried so many different dog foods it’s ridiculous. I’m finally to the point where I’ve decided to dabble in making her food. I’ve been reading about it lately to make sure it’s safe and so far I have found many sources that say it is. Rather than diving directly into making the food, which seems a bit complicated, I’ve decided to start with handmade treats.
This brings me to my first topic in the Maeby Not, Maeby So series: Quick and easy dog treats. If Maeby and I both approve of the treat it will get a “Maeby So!”, if we don’t like it a “Maeby Not”. I found basic recipes for treats on a site called Bullwinkle.
Easy Homemade Doggie Treats
1. Peanut Butter Puppy Poppers rating: Maeby So!
The original recipe makes a very large batch, so I cut it in half, still yielding plenty of treats. I also cut the cook time down by about half as well. In the end, the treats turned out nicely and Maeby really enjoys them. I am in no way an expert on this, so you should really know how your pet will react to each ingredient before feeding it to them. I found out that some dogs are allergic to peanuts, just like adults. So please use your discretion :)
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375’F. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. I didn’t have a cookie cutter so I used a small jar flipper upside down. This worked nicely.
Bake for 11 minutes on a greased baking sheet until lightly brown. This will vary based on the power of your oven. The original recipe called for 20 minutes. Maeby has trouble with very crunchy food, so I’m glad I opted for less time.
Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container.
Please make sure you know how your pet will react to each ingredient before feeding it to them!
2. Doggie Dots rating: Maeby Not.
I created this recipe, but it is a modification of this. This one is so super easy. Maeby really likes them, but I don’t. Since the treat is frozen Maeby could not eat it right away causing it to melt and stain the couch. I would consider this after a walk on a hot day or to take outside.
1 small jar baby food (I used chicken flavor)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Simply mix yogurt and baby food together.
Pour into an ice cube tray.
Freeze and pop! I found this great little ice cube tray that makes the Dot-like shape. The bottom of the tray is a flexible silcone making it very easy to press the treats out.
So that’s that! I’ll be covering more pet related issues in the future, but for the time being if you have any knowledge on this topic or suggestions for more recipes I’d love to know!
05/23/2011 § 4 Comments
Today began like any ordinary day; got up, went to work. There were a few bumps along the way, but for the most part everything was fine, making for a regular day. Around rolled 3:00 p.m. and it was time for me to go home. As I’m walked out of the building I started fumbling around my purse for my keys. I couldn’t seem to locate them, but didn’t really think it odd because I always have that issue. [I call my purse 'the black hole'.] Anyways, all I was hoping is that I would walk outside and find my car [Ruby] still sitting there.
Aaand.. she was. Phew.
But, my window wasn’t.
Oh, and hey! There were my keys! LYING IN THE DRIVERS SEAT.
Apparently, when I left my car this morning my keys did not make it into my purse (big oops), practically making my car thief bait!
Luckily for me, this thief was not very bright. They went to all of the trouble to bust out my window, but just left the keys lying there? Forget having to hot wire the thing, they could have just been gone in no time! Not only did they leave the keys, but there was nothing stolen either. That’s probably because the only thing in my car is a bunch of clothes I was taking to donate. They could have had those for all I care. C’est la vie!
~~On a very positive note, I’d also like to mention Freshly Pressed and how much I appreciate everyone’s support and suggestions for the wine bottle uses! The lovely responses and feedback have far exceeded anything I could have ever asked for. Im so happy to be a part of the WordPress community and honored to have my post featured! A big THANK YOU to everyone!~~
Considering the excitement that’s come since FP, I’ll just add window replacement to my to-do list for tomorrow. No biggie.
I’ve got more content in the work and promise something fun very soon!
05/20/2011 § 150 Comments
White Wine and I have a little thing going on right now. For years I have avoided it because I thought it was responsible for some very bad headaches. Recently I discovered I can enjoy a glass without consequence, so I have.
I’ve enjoyed many. Now I’m left with a bunch of pretty glass bottles that I’d prefer to use in some way rather than recycle.
My friend is experiencing the same dilemma so we’ve been brainstorming ideas. The problem is, a quick google search brings up many results that all use fancy tools and special drill bits to make extravagant things. This brings me to my first topic in the Practical Applications series:
Alternative uses for your wine bottles! The quick and easy diy guide.
1. Wine Bottle Rolling Pin. I used one to make this.
2. Wine Bottle Vase. Plain and simple.
3. Wine Bottle Fruit Fly Trap.
My friend Shawn taught me this trick a couple of summers ago. All you have to do is leave about an inch of wine in the bottom, or alternatively use apple cider vinegar. The little suckers will fly in, and drown.
4. Wine Bottle Album (or book) Ends.
Fill a couple of bottles with sand (or water), re-cork and stick vinyl albums or books in between.
5. Wine Bottle Containers.
Use empty bottles to store rice, beans, pasta, and whatever else that will fit. You will likely have to invest in unused corks for this.
6. Wine Bottle Window Art.
Line your window sill with a row of bottles, empty or filled. If you’ve got mainly clear bottles you could fill with water and add food coloring for some added pizzaz.
7. Wine Bottle Beverage Container.
If you happen to make your own wine, why not reuse your bottles? Also you could serve other beverages from the bottles when entertaining.
There you have it! If you happen to have anymore suggestions, I’d love to know.