September 2014 ~ { Boho Vanity }

September 24, 2014

All Natural Banana & Nut Butter Ice CreamAll Natural Banana & Nut Butter Ice Cream

This ice cream recipe is the base for a healthy dessert that at minimum requires three natural ingredients and a decent blender. Although I'm never afraid to indulge in spontaneous cravings, this homemade partnership of bananas and peanut butter satisfies my sweet tooth just as well as any sugary treat. I've tailored the measurements for a single serving but it can be easily doubled or tripled and stored in the freezer if you prefer to make bigger batches.

First take a medium to large size banana and chop it into half inch thick coins. Put them into a bowl or on a plate and then chill them in the freezer for a few hours until they're frozen solid. When you are ready to eat or prepare the ice cream, take out the banana pieces and plop them into the blender or a Magic Bullet type of device adding in two tablespoons of a nut butter of your choice, my favorite being an all natural, smooth texture peanut butter. Then take any kind of milk you prefer (chocolate, almond, rice, etc.) and pour enough to cover the other ingredients, about a cup or so, using more if you want it creamier like a milkshake. Add in a little bit of vanilla extract, brewed coffee, honey, or cocoa powder to jazz up the recipe if you wish, however I find the mixture flavorful enough on it's own. Blend everything together for a couple of minutes until completely smooth and pour it all into a bowl to enjoy. If you find it is not quite solid enough to be ice cream, simply add a few ice cubes and blend again or store it in the freezer for a few hours until it hardens. Drizzle some extra nut butter or caramel on top or sprinkle on some chopped nuts, coarse sea salt, toffee bits or whatever topping suits your fancy.

Simple Banana & Nut Butter Ice Cream
Serves one to two

1 medium to large banana, chopped into coins and frozen solid
2 tablespoons of nut butter
1/2 to 1 cup of any type of milk

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of brewed coffee
2 teaspoons of honey
2 teaspoons of cocoa powder
A handful of crushed nuts, toffee, or other candy
1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt

Blend the bananas, nut butter, milk, and any extras until smooth.
Scoop into a bowl and sprinkle on toppings, or enjoy just as it is.

What is your favorite healthy, homemade dessert?

September 18, 2014

Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries,
took the bus home,
carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment
and cooked myself dinner.
You and I may have different definitions of a good day.
This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill,
worked 60 hours between my two jobs,
only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks
and slept like a rock.
Flossed in the morning,
locked my door,
and remembered to buy eggs.
My mother is proud of me.
It is not the kind of pride she brags about at the golf course.
She doesn't combat topics like, "My daughter got into Yale"
with, "Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs"
But she is proud.
See, she remembers what came before this.
The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles,
how I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks.
She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide.
These were the bad days.
My life was a gift that I wanted to return.
My head was a house of leaking faucets and burnt-out lightbulbs.
Depression, is a good lover.
So attentive; has this innate way of making everything about you.
And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world,
That the dark shadows your pain casts is not mood-lighting.
It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created.
Today, I slept in until 10,
cleaned every dish I own,
fought with the bank,
took care of paperwork.
You and I might have different definitions of adulthood.
I don't work for salary, I didn't graduate from college,
but I don't speak for others anymore,
and I don't regret anything I can't genuinely apologize for.
And my mother is proud of me.
I burned down a house of depression,
I painted over murals of greyscale,
and it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live
But today, I want to live.
I didn't salivate over sharp knives,
or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge.
I just cleaned my bathroom,
did the laundry,
called my brother.
Told him, "it was a good day."

- Kait Rokowski

September 11, 2014

Birthday Trip to Frankenmuth, MichiganBirthday Trip to Frankenmuth, Michigan

A few weeks ago my thoughtful boyfriend took me on a surprise adventure to celebrate my birthday together in the Germanic town of Frankenmuth, Michigan. It was the first time I had been there and upon our initial drive through downtown I completely fell in love with the historically stylized buildings, abundant greenery, and the inviting Main Street culture. Our relaxed day started out with a stroll around places like the famous Bronner's Christmas Wonderland and  many of the must-see tourist hotspots such as the Cheese Haus, Fudge Kitchen, Rau's Country Store, and also some tucked away gems like the earthy herberies Healthy Habitz 4 Life and Those Nature People, and several family-owned patisseries. I wish I had photographed more of what I saw but at the time I felt more focused on absorbing the beautiful day and enjoying my boyfriend's warm company. He spoiled me with a few small gifts throughout our trip which I saved and photographed to explain in lieu of scenery shots, and also to simply document for memory's sake.

All of the baked goods we purchased didn't quite make it to the picture as they were devoured rather quickly, but included on the naughty list were chocolate covered cherries, sea salt caramels, a vanilla frosted cupcake (which he lit with a candle and we shared on my birthday night) pistachio fudge, assorted fresh taffies, and a mini loaf of apple raisin bread. We also picked up some other edible treats that we fancied like a smoked jalapeno cheese spread, a block of chipotle colby cheese, old fashioned candies, some of our favorite flavored aloe waters, honey sticks, and natural root beer. I was graciously gifted my first Alex and Ani bracelet from the Abby's of Frankenmuth boutique which is called the lotus blossom charm bangle, appropriately representing strength in relationships, eternal bonds, and the beauty of femininity. At the Bavarian Inn gift shop my love also insisted that I pick out a pretty sterling silver ring that is decorated with tropical flowers and dainty crystals. A bit later as we browsed around the outdoor craft festival at Zehnder Park we ended up purchasing handmade paracord bracelets and a festive orange spice cranberry scented candle by JD's Country Scents. For the last stop on our little shopping spree we went to the Covered Bridge & Leather Gift Shop and bought a turquoise zipper wallet and also an assortment of Wild Berry brand incense in mystical scents like Fairy Dust, India Moon, Patchouli, and Tibetan Orchid.

We ate a late lunch at a busy local bar and grille called Tiffany's where we ordered salad and seafood for a light, yet filling meal. After a short while we found the Harvest Coffeehouse & Beanery where I sipped on a whip cream topped mocha frappucino which turned out to be the perfect chilled chocolate treat I was craving. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Frankenmuth and would recommend a visit to anyone living in Michigan or planning a trip in the central area of the state. I've been told it looks even more beautiful in autumn after the leaves turn or a bit later in the year when the holiday spirit is in full swing. Throughout the whole day everyone in town was so pleasant, from the cashiers wearing flower-laced milkmaid braids and Oktoberfest style clothing to friendly tourists and patient locals. The only money spent was on gas and shopping as parking was free and nothing else we visited charged admission, even with the perk of generous free samples. It was just enough of a single day vacation to leave me feeling refreshed and fulfilled, and we didn't even get around to seeing everything there is to see. I haven't stopped dreaming of our next trip since we left and look forward to taking family there for the charming experience.

Where did you visit this summer?

September 04, 2014

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean--roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin--his control
Stops with the shore;--upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man’s ravage, save his own,
When for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.

His steps are not upon thy paths,--thy fields
Are not a spoil for him,--thou dost arise
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
For earth’s destruction thou dost all despise,
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And send’st him, shivering in thy playful spray
And howling, to his gods, where haply lies
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
And dashest him again to earth: —there let him lay.

-Lord Byron

September 01, 2014

Summer Beauty Favorites

Where I live in Michigan there wasn't much of a traditional summer with temps barely reaching eighty degrees just a handful of times with lots of rainfall and chilly nights in between. Regardless of the mild weather, I embraced the sunshine and also a more natural approach to my makeup style as I spent most of my days too sleepy to bother or at work for long shifts. The carefree attitude I was feeling led to a repetitive cycle of using the same effective beauty products which made both getting ready and choosing favorites a breeze.

I love keeping a packet of Palladio Oil Absorbing Rice Paper Tissues in Natural inside my purse for easy touch ups when I am out and about. Each thin sheet has a dusting of tinted rice powder which does a nice job of soaking up oil and sweat to blot the face and deposit color all in one action without a coated, cakey appearance on the skin.

The Anastasia Brow Pen in Universal Deep is the ultimate brow base that clings to my oily skin better than anything I've ever tried before. It's great on it's own or layered with powder to quickly fill in sparse areas, angle the arch, or draw on a precise tail.

The MAC lipstick in Naked Bud is a shiny neutral nude that goes well with every eye look and adds just the right amount of color to complete a natural face. I picked it up from the limited edition A Fantasy of Flowers collection released this past spring, but if you happened to miss out try the Revlon Lip Butter in Creme Brulee or Dizzy Spell by Marc Jacobs Beauty for a similar undertone and finish.

The beautiful L'Oreal Paris Extraordinaire by Colour Riche in Nude Ballet is my most worn liquid lipstick/lip gloss hybrid as it goes with everything and feels so lightweight on the lips. 

The drugstore favorite NYC Bronzing Powder in Sunny has been my summer staple for sun-kissed skin. It creates a subtle warm glow without pulling too orange and easily blends into my pale complexion. I like to use it as a light contour for definition and some added color, especially when using a deeper self tanner. The matte finish creates a nice balance to shimmery blushes or highlighters and also allows for the most natural finish on the skin.

The L'Oreal Paris Silky Sheer BB Face Lotion is my go-to sunscreen as it protects my skin from harmful rays while providing a natural tint that evens out redness and other imperfections for an awakened, fresh effect.

The dupable NYX Blush in Apricot is one of my most adored blush colors. It gives the prettiest feminine flush with just a hint of shimmer and an ultra flattering peachy pink tone to compliment bronzed cheeks. 

The NYX HD Photogenic Concealer Wand in Fair has a blendable, pigmented formula that hides my dark circles well and gives a flawless finish. It brightens up the skin for a subtle highlighting effect which is perfect for the dark under eye area and shaping eyebrows.

I grew to love the Julie G Nail Polish line with it's unique color selection and wallet-friendly price point. The lasting power stands up against more expensive drugstore brands and the formula is always creamy and easy to apply. My collection so far includes 9 to 5, Butterflies and Rosebuds, and Love Potion.

The Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Cleansing Conditioner is a curly girl's best friend in the summertime as it cleanses the hair of dirt and oil without stripping it like a shampoo or weighing it down like a conditioner. It leaves my locks looking fresh and smooth with a lingering perfumed rose scent.

On days where my hair feel a bit too clean or silky to withstand the humid weather, the Verb Sea Spray helps to create tangible texture and body that holds all day. The effortless beachy wave vibe is so easy to pull off this time of year with the help of this mist which holds curl and polishes the look. 

The Target exclusive scent Purple Seductia by Sonia Kashuk is a sexy, yet earthy mix of pomegranate, rose, and patchouli. I like to layer this scent under my pulse points to deepen an eau de parfum and extend it's wear.

What have you been loving this summer?

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