Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spicy Pepper Chia Seed Jam: #Channyskitchen

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I was SO excited to try cooking with chia seeds (mostly for their amazing Omega 3 and fatty acid benefits, but also because I love to cook!), even though they were pricey. (The organic chia seeds I bought at my local health food store were about 12 dollars for a somewhat small bag!) I have heard about buying them in bulk for cheaper prices, but I wanted to get the hang of cooking with them before I committed to a large quantity.

I started with soaked chia seed pudding a few days ago--just a simple coconut milk/lemon zest chia pudding sweetened with stevia. That was pretty good! I knew, however, that my real interest was in making "jam" type concoctions. I made some strawberry chia preserves (and they were super yummy!) but it wasn't long before my mind started going down a savory a road less traveled. 

I present to you, my:


Delicious with meats, on buttered bread, or as a condiment to 
sandwiches, crackers, etc!

Should last in refrigerator for approximately 2 weeks.





You'll need:

--7-8 mini colorful peppers (or 2 large colored peppers)
--1/4 cup chopped onion
--Sea salt and pepper (optional)
--Olive oil for sauteeing
--Dash of honey
--Healthy TBSP of Sriracha (more if you like it hotter! You can also substitute hot peppers with your mild pepper mix, but I wanted a nice, controlled heat).
--1/4 cup dried chia seeds
--1/2 cup water

--Food processor, sauce pan, small to medium jar to hold jam while it cools.


First, I de-seeded and diced my mini-peppers, along with the onion. I tossed them into my sauce pan with some sea salt on medium heat, and began to caramelize them for added flavor.

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After they had become slightly browned, I added about 1/4 cup of water (additional water for simmering/cooking out and not listed in ingredients above). I let the peppers and onion simmer until they were soft, and the flavors had really been released. Most of the water cooked out, but I left what was there for blending in the next step.

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I blended my pepper/onion mix on high, until quite smooth, with my food processor. It didn't yeild much--maybe about 1/2 cup of pureed peppers and onion. I spooned that, still warm, into my small jelly jar.

Rather than soak my chia seeds in flavorless water, I used the 1/2 cup of water in the ingredient list to rinse the mixing basin of the food processor. I then dumped that watery pepper solution in to a small dish and soaked my chia seeds in it, for added flavor. After about five minutes, I spooned the somewhat gelled chia seeds and excess liquid into the jelly jar with the pepper puree, stirring for smooth consistency. Then, I added a healthy tablespoon or two of Sriracha for some nice heat! 

The consistency of the jelly is very much like a more textured mustard--chia seeds are soft, and don't present much flavor or texture, really. But they thicken the mixture nicely and add so much in the way of nutrition. I absolutely love the flavor of this jam, and even though I put the rest in the refrigerator to cool, I couldn't resist slathering some on a peice of 7 grain oval bread with some real butter to test it out.




Monday, July 21, 2014

All The Pretty Colors: Street Fashion in Grand Rapids, Michigan


Street Fashion in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Meet Briana! I ran in to Briana at a heavy/sludge/punk show in Grand Rapids, Michigan (I was there to enjoy the music and take pictures--see some of my photography from that night here!). I noticed her sitting on a bench, waiting for the show to start, and loved her colorful ensemble and brown eyes. Naturally, I had to inquire whether or not she liked to thrift. To my delight, she told me that everything she was wearing was second-hand, and the rest is history!

Today in street fashion, what you can learn from Briana!

Take risks
Try floor length dresses with boots 
(combat, granny, high heeled, cowboy)
Combine mustard yellow with floral print (it works!) as Briana did with the scarf in her hair
Add structure with a belt
Be natural and beautiful



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Thirteen Dollars at Seconds on Third: A Thrift Store Review


A thrift store review

I had such a lovely fourth of July up north in the Black Lake/Rogers City/Onaway area. (Check out a photo album of shots I posted from over the weekend at my photography page here!). One of the highlights of my weekend was stopping in to Seconds on Third (what a cute name, right?), a local Roger's City thrift store and non-profit on Third street whose proceeds go to the most excellent cause: Shelter Inc. in Alpena. What does Shelter Inc. do? They provide counseling, shelter and rehab services of all kinds for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. They use the money from their thrift stores to fund everything from one on one therapy to operating their safe house for clients.

I had a chance to chat with store manager Renee Roeske, and I was interested in what type of demographic they served. Were many of the the clients female? "The shelter has only females living there," Renee said. "But they've helped males in the past, too--it's open to everyone. They've put male victims up in hotel rooms."  

The program is amazing full spectrum care for people of all sexes and ages. The thrift store's themselves double as locations for on site counseling, which is busy at some locations and a little more quiet at others. "We haven't had many individuals lately at the Roger's City store", Renee mentioned. "That's a good thing!"


IT WAS AWESOME! FIVE STARS! Definitely stop by if you are in the Rogers City/Onaway area...I highly recommend it!

The first thing I noticed about the thrift store upon arrival was that it was clean, bright, and well organized. Though it was a small space, there was a really great collection of fun household items, jewelry, coats, women and men's apparell, furniture, shoes and other odds and ends.

EVERYTHING IN THE STORE WAS HALF OFF! That was music to my ears. I couldn't believe what I walked out of the store with for only thirteen collective dollars. See my treasusres below!



This cute floral chair was $2.50 cents the day that I arrived. I would have brought it home had I the vehicle to do so!



There were lots of clean, well sorted kid's clothes. 
Those plaid shorts were 25 cents (half off!)!


This super cute (and spotless) Calvin Klein trench was marked 6, so it would have been $3. Too bad it was a little big on me. The lady next to me mentioned that it would be worth buying to sell on Ebay, which I agree with! However, I'm into good thrift karma, so when something doesn't fit me...I leave it for the next lucky customer.




An adorable and perfectly fitting jean jacket, a cute pair of strappy bronze heels in perfect condition, a BRAND NEW pair of tan and brown suede Bass saddle shoes (that I was so excited about), three cute necklaces (including a fun gold and tiger eye bolo style strand) and a bronze studded strap bracelet.

OH! And a genuine leather tasseled shoulder bag, a genuine leather vest, and a genuine leather skirt that all fits me perfectly (Don't worry--I'm not wearing all the pieces together, haha!). Say what? Yeah. That's the kind of deal I'm talking about. Hands down the easiest thirteen dollars I've spent in a while!



P.O. Box 797
Alpena, MI 49707
Tel: (989) 356-2560
24-Hour Toll-free Crisis Line – 
(800) 396-9129

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Casual Vest with Heels: 100% Thrifted & Gifted


Casual Vest With Heels | 100% Thrifted (and gifted!)

I threw together this casual ensemble this weekend for a little Saturday outing; thrifting and then to Hudsonville's Pike 51 Microbrewery and Winery! The white sangria was delicious. ;) My favorite element of the outfit was the anklet; so delicate with a tapered leg and heels!

OUTFIT DETAILS: Grey oversized Hanes t-shirt (gifted) with my favorite little Gap vest--also a gift from my bestie-- (see it styled so many other ways, here!), paired with a thrifted pair of black jeans that I DIY'd into skinny cut. Also shown, silver necklace gifted to me last weekend by mom mom (which she purchased secondhand), paired with a secondhand vintage rhinestone anklet and thrifted black platform heels!

Ann Taylor watch, cute purple wallet and purply bead bracelet were all thrifted at Lakeshore Rescue Mission Thrift for $7 total. :)

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

YOOHOO! Are you getting Thrift Trick delivered to your inbox?


Are you getting Thrift Trick 
delivered to your inbox?

It's been called to my attention lately that Thrift Trick email subscribers have not been recieving feedburner updates delivered directly to their email inboxes! BUMMER! Are you receiving mails? I'd love to hear your feedback below! 

 I hope this issue is resolved soon, but for anyone who might recieve the email today after I've tweaked some delivery options, here's what you may have missed out on if you're not visiting on a regular basis (and if you'd like to subscribe through email, do it here!):

Enter your email address:

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

(SELF) Love Hurts.

I fully recommend hitting play before you read the text below...

(SELF) Love Hurts.

“BUT THEY HURT, MOM! They hurt so bad!”
My son started to get pains in his legs when he was around three years old, particularly at night, after a hard play session, or when he felt stressed. At first I worried. Was something wrong? I would massage his little calves and he would dry his tear-swollen eyes, finally drifting off to sleep. In the morning, the aches and pains were a distant memory, and he was running and leaping into the day with abandon. It took a few instances for me to recall the many nights that I, as a child, had lain in bed crying to my own mother about the agonizing throb in my lower limbs. “MAKE IT GO AWAY!” I’d scream. “I DON’T WANT TO GET TALLER!”

Growing hurts. Especially if it comes in quick spurts.
As we go through our daily lives, sometimes we have the luxury of emerging into our development with slow, safe progress.  We advance through the chapters of our math books methodically, and transition from training wheels to big kid bikes.

Sometimes, however, our knowledge comes in swift, painful blows. Realizations, fluctuations, and dramatic growth come quickly and it shocks our system, causing stretch marks and frazzled nerves.  Our lives turn upside down like a wired seven year old hanging from the monkey bars. The change falls out of our pockets; our hair stands on end. The world shows us something real in a flash, and it can be terrifying.
If you are on the path to loving yourself, and you’ve started from your destination with a mindset of self-loathing, be prepared:

When I first decided to begin overcoming my negative body image and emotional eating disorder, I felt triumphant. “This is going to be great for me!” I thought. “A step in the right direction”.  To my dismay, one of the professionals I worked with at the time actually challenged my readiness: “Are you sure you are prepared? This could be painful, and real change sometimes hurts.”

As the idea echoed through me, I realized how true it was, and like a bellowing howl in to a deep cavern, I let it roll around me and return, reverberating in my ears. Inside, I already knew that pain was coming, bubbling up from underneath. The tears welled in my eyes, and I did something tremendous; I took that step anyhow.
Retrospectively, I can’t even imagine being back in the emotional place that I was during that period of my life! I’m so thankful that I decided to work on myself, but the fear didn’t end with that initial stride.  Oh, no—it was only the beginning.

The remarkable changes that came about in me were, at first, devastating. Everything in my life changed; my perspective, my relationships, my reality.  It was one of the most exhilarating—and horrifying—experiences of my life. My body and food issues weren’t merely skin deep. Unbeknownst to me, the underlying corrupt self-value that I had built my life on was a malignant tumor, rooting itself deeply into my grey matter.

It might be the most difficult portion of metamorphosis. As your definition and perception of your own reality begins to transform, you, in turn, cause that same change for those around you--who see you as how you’ve always seen yourself.

For some that might be as a “fat girl”. Or a loser. Perhaps a man, when you’ve always felt like a woman. Perhaps you play the role of a meek person, who really longs to be a warrior. Whatever beautiful, miraculous change that you’ve made in your life, be prepared, because SOMEONE won’t like it.  They don’t want you in that role, because it wasn’t the one to which you were originally cast.


Remember, change hurts for everybody. And we all have a different tolerance for pain.
No matter how others feel, don’t let fear sabotage you from your destiny, which IS to grow, and learn, and become a 2.0 from a beta. Remember that, where bone is broken, it grows back even stronger. Your wounds from growth will heal and trust me, when you reflect on it later in your life; you will never regret having made that first, terrifying, leap. You will never regret emerging from a sapling into an alpine.

Go ahead, I dare you.

“Sometimes you gotta work and you gotta grow and it gotta hurt”
--Jill Scott, “Blessed”, The Light of the Sun. Warner Bros. 2011.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Black Lace for The Wedding



My brother was married this weekend! Congrats to the lovely new couple! I was the photographer for the wedding (see the album so far here at my photography page). I was really excited to see my family and enjoy the celebration BUT..up until one day before the ceremony...I still didn't know what I was going to wear. UGH. Don't you hate that?

That's where Second Impression Consignment comes in! I knew I could find something I loved there. I picked up this black lace overshirt, cami, and neat silver/onyx ring there this week, and paired it with a black faux suede skirt and platforms. Something about all black...

Second Impression is on Facebook now, by the way, and posting sales and special events! You should check it out! This is not a sponsored post. All opinions posted above are my own and the store was a lifesaver for me this last Friday. =)




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Flax Porridge (Low carb, Vegan/Gluten & Dairy Free)


with healing spices

(Gluten/Dairy Free/Vegan/Low Carb...Serves 2-3)

It was such a dark, dreary morning. A storm has been rolling through since last night (SO much rain!) and it was just one of those stormy days when you want a nice, warm bowl of hot cereal.

There was just one problem: I was not supposed to be eating grains and carbs! 

For the past few months, I've been having some tummy issues: acid reflux, irritation, etc. As a veteran of such conditions I started taking my normal meds, but they didn't seem to be helping at all (and they haven't exactly been a magic cure in the past). At a bit of a loss last week, I visited a naturopath who was certain my problems were actually Candida, or yeast, based. Given my history and symptoms, I'm really thinking she might be right! Therefore, I was willing to accept the low-carb challenge she prescribed me, along with probiotics and some other supplements.

I'm no stranger to low carb eating; however, my diet is SO much healthier than it was years ago, when I was struggling to drop quick pounds and hopping on various diet bandwagons. It can be tempting to add artificial sweeteners and junk BACK into your diet when trying to cut out carbs, because...SUGAR CRAVINGS! However, I'm bound and determined to make this (perhaps temporary, perhaps more permanent) lifestyle change happen so that I can see if it is really the secret to a healthy gut. I've suffered so long!

Therefore, I set my mind on creating a warm, hearty and healthy cereal that would be low carb and sugar free. Here's what I came up with!

But first...the grey we West Michiganders woke up to this morning...

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-One can of pumpkin puree (if you have time to make fresh cooked pumpkin, yay! You'll need about a 1 1/4 cups).

-One cup of flax meal seed

-2 tbsp coconut oil (so good for you and also has great anti-microbial/anti-fungal properties because of the lauric acid it contains).

-2 tbs nut butter of your choice (I used almond butter this morning)

-Stevia to taste (I used organic liquid). If you don't care for stevia, honey would be amazing. I think a dash of molasses would be extra yummy, too!

-Vanilla extract to taste (I used about 1 tsp).

-Healing spice combo: cinnamon, cardomom and turmeric for their anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.

-Coconut milk and sunflower seeds (dry roasted if you are watching the carbs) as a garnish on top.

*If you aren't watching the carbs, there are some wonderful grains you could add in--anything from quinoa to rolled oats! Also, chia seeds would be a great addition, along with any nut or seed you like!



Add together pumpkin puree, flax meal, spices, vanilla, coconut oil, nut butter and sweeteners to taste. Blend until smooth and heat in a pan to desired temperature (stir constantly as it will heat quickly).

Remove from heat and serve in bowl topped with coconut milk and sunflower seeds. Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014



It’s FINALLY summer!

So, WHY, when I’m supposed to be thinking of bright corals, rainbow popsicles and flirty summer dress patterns am I stuck in a cool and dark monochrome cave?

I’ve been there for a while…I mean, I’ve always loved black and white. 

However, I’ve been in a monochrome groove since at least spring, and it doesn’t look like anything will be changing soon. Although I love bright colors and patterns, I just can’t seem to stay away from the crisp, basic attraction of black and white, and I’m especially fond of pairing it with gold this season.
I’ve posted a few of my own outfits from this last year as well as some internet based monochrome eye candy for y’all—all pictures are linked to their original source.

Are you a big fan of basic black and white?






Guerrilla fashion from Grand Haven, Michigan : Black and White Print Love |


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