Friday, November 30, 2012

Crafting Tips: Earrings

Earrings look a whole lot harder to make than they really are. For most earrings, you'll probably need 4 to 5 minutes to make them. What I find harder is to plan and make something unique, that doesn't look ridiculous. Here's what I've found works best!
Find beads that you think are cool! Nothing's harder than working with stuff that you don't find inspiration in. This said, don't automatically go to the nearest Michael's, Jo Anne's Fabrics, or any other bead place, look around your house! I love using buttons and confetti for festive earrings. If you do run out of beads or a supply, check the clearance aisles of bead stores. You might find some silly stuff, like fish beads.
If you have left over beads that you can't easily use for a necklace or bracelet, consider putting them in a pair of cluster earrings! These types of earrings are easier to make then would seem and you don't necessarily have to worry about them being perfectly even. The more mismatched they are, the better! The above earrings are ones I made for Amanda, my roommate this year.
The best thing about making your own earrings is that you can decide what you kind of colors you want to mix! If you want to make sure your colors will complement each other and look good, consider using a color wheel. I personally find combining beads in a tray, helps me visualize what kinds of colors I want to play around with. 
Templates are amazing, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. They really help to get you used to working with the materials and most templates are one of a kind! Things I like to do with templates, is to focus on one part, and keep the rest empty. If it bothers you, you can cut off parts as you wish!
One of my favorite things to do is reinvent old ideas-- that is work with classic pairings and turn them into something new! If you know of a classic pairing, like gold and pearls, why not put a twist on them? (Pun completely intended!) 

All of the earrings shown above are ones I've made. I haven't had to buy a pair of earrings since.. well May. :) How many of you would be interested in tutorials for some of the earrings show above? And what are your tips for creating something entirely unique?
-- Sheilly

Friday Lists!

1.) I’ve really been into tea as of late, it’s quite crazy. Although I haven’t acquired a taste for black tea and green tea, I’ve really been loving herbal teas and fruit teas! I’m thinking once I get home for break, I’ll try out some more tea, but for now, I’ll be sticking with what we have in my dorm.
2.) You may have noticed I have a slight obsession with pomegranate as of late. It’s probably because I haven’t had a lot of pomegranate these last two years and I’m making up for it. I’ve posted a recipe for a pomegranate, craisin spinach salad, and this week I’m thinking of making some pomegranate infused lemonade!
3.) I’m not a huge fan of sweatshirts, and I do not own as many comfy knit sweaters as I would like to… but I do have the most comfiest flannel shirt ever!
4.) My dad got me a single serve coffee maker from Target on Black Friday, and I could not be any more grateful. I wake up to a nicely brewed cup of coffee every morning, and at night I use it to make some tea. Thank you dad!
5.) I think I finally figured out my favorite type of pasta: farfelle! I love the shape and it’s in all my favorite pasta recipes! I’m thinking once finals are done, I’ll be making a single pot lasagna recipe with farfelle! Should be delicious.
6.)  Stabilo markers are the best markers ever! I’ve had my markers for two years now, and they brighten all of my notes up. Seriously get them if you can! (I got mine from Amazon, in case you're wondering...)

1.) This necklace combines two of my favorite things: German and cookies. I instantly fell in love!
2.) As a proper Psych-o and pineapple fanatic, I require these.
3.) With my new found love of tea, I believe this TARDIS should materialize into my hands… no?
4.) I already own two of these plushie microbes, but I really want more. Specifically this one!
5.) I love Godiva’s coffee, and I love Godiva’s Dark Chocolate Raspberry truffles… so I’m almost certain that this is what dreams are made of.
6.) Has anyone heard of Dave’s Teas? This company has so many unique blends of tea! I kind of want them all. But to start, I think I’ll try this chocolate chili chai tea!

I hope everyone's had a good week! :)
-- Sheilly

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Story of the Name

Something that I've been questioned about is why I called this blog "Iced Peppermint Mocha." So, in order to answer that question, I will give you two stories. Choose which ever one you want... and then read the long story.
Short story:
I was walking back from Starbucks late one evening with my roommate, and I was drinking my favorite drink: a tall iced peppermint mocha. As I was guzzling down my drink, I was pondering what to name this blog. Suddenly, the name popped to my head: Iced Peppermint Mocha! And viola! The End.
The long story may be a bit more... interesting.
Long story:
For my writing class, I was writing about lifestyle blogs and researching them, when I realized the best way to understand the genre was to actually write for it. So I went about researching how to create a blog, what I needed, how to plan it, etc. The research I did for my paper really helped out with designing and getting the look just right.
The only thing missing was a clever name.
So I knew how to design, post, maintain and create this blog, that didn't have a name. Obviously I had a little panic dance, and started to think of everything I could. Some names I came up with that got scrapped were:

  • Your November-- named after one of my favorite Joshua Radin songs
  • The Smell of Petrichor-- because just 'Petrichor' had been taken.
  • The Smell of Dust after Rain-- See above reason
  • Smug Life-- Let's be glad this really wasn't a choice... (but it was)
  • Sheilly Problems-- A popular hashtag for my twitter
  • Defying Imagination-- which was an allusion to a lyric from the song Panic Station by Muse
The problem with most of these names were they were too silly or referenced something that could detour people from reading. It took a couple of days, before that fateful trip to Starbucks and honestly I couldn't have been any more grateful. 
For me, my drink of choice is an Iced Peppermint Mocha. Ask any of my friends on campus, and they'll tell you stories of how fast I can drink them, or how I sometimes will want to order something different and end up with an iced peppermint mocha instead. It's become that defining quirk of mine, that I can't help but be a little proud of. And since this blog is essentially about me and the things I enjoy, I couldn't think of a better thing to name it after. 
-- Sheilly

My Baby is Back

I'm happy to announce that my trusty camera is back!  As much as I love my iPhone, and the various apps I have on it, nothing beats a real camera. I love the good quality shots, and the feel of the camera there.
I lent him to my mom and dad when they went to India, were they took a lot of good pictures! I have this strange connection with this one because it's the very first thing I bought with my own money. (Over four years ago now!) This camera has been to Germany, India, and so many other places now! 
So here's hoping to more pictures, more fun, more posts, and more love for my camera! :)


Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's Christmas Timeeee!

How is it possible that 2012 is almost over? It just feels like this year began, and my birthday was yesterday!  BLARGH! I swear, I didn't just come here to post a freak out about the year. This is about Christmas coming up so soon.
I feel like I have a special relationship with Christmas. My family is not Christian, and my mom and dad only celebrated Christmas with full fervor until my brother got into high school, which was when I was seven. After that point, Christmas just wasn't that big of a deal in my house. However, each year I would always badger my parents to put up the Christmas tree, to bake cookies for my neighbors, hand out Christmas cards, give presents to loved ones, make donations, and of course... wait for Santa and get my presents. But as I got older, I didn't badger my parents as much. I guess it's the addition of stress from high school that always got to me, and how I was just ready to not do anything for those two weeks off from school which included Christmas. After my first year away at college, I remember coming back and basically sleeping through Christmas day without a mention of the words 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Holidays.' This behavior continued the year after that.
This year, I decided to change things up. While I'm stressed as ever (I REALLY should be working on my German lit studying and fairy tale for class), I can't help but feel Christmas cheer. Maybe it's the fact that during Friendsgiving, all Amanda and I listened to was Christmas music and we spent the whole week after watching Christmas shows and movies whenever possible before leaving for Thanksgiving. Or maybe it's that adrenaline rush from elbowing someone away from my blender that I got during Black Friday. Whatever it is, I know that I woke up yesterday morning feeling the strongest urge to put up the same Christmas Tree from my childhood and decorate it with the very same ornaments that I put up over five years ago.
For anyone wondering, currently my wish list for Christmas this year includes:

  • All the seasons of Scrubs--- except season 5, because I have that one. 
  • On that note, a miniature version of Zach Braff that could yell EAGLE on demand would be amazing.... Hasbro, are you listening? 
  • Anything related to Breaking Bad, because I am so horribly obsessed.... yo. 
  • All of the James Bond OPI Nail Polishes.. for reasons
Speaking of James Bond, I have yet to see Skyfall, so I can't gush over it yet. But I think I've listened to Adele's song enough to be able to sing it perfectly from memory. (I've never looked up the lyrics!)

Anyway, if there's any point to this entry other than I really like Christmas despite everyone else in my family, it's this: It's Christmas time!!!! Be prepared! 


P.S. When I read the title to this blog post, I was thinking of Jack Skellington yelling out 'IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME' in the Nightmare before Christmas. (Specifically, the end of Making Christmas.) But then it mixed with Oprah saying it too... I really have no idea why. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

3 Things

Being home is fantastic. New Hampshire is as beautiful as ever, the view through my bedroom window is amazing, and my mother makes the best food on earth. This is why I forgot to post on Thanksgiving... like I meant to. Oops!

Sometimes I wake up with a huge hankering for pie, specifically apple pie. Earlier this year I found Apple Pie Poptarts at the Target near my university. I'm not the biggest fan of poptarts, but I will probably buy any form of apple pie if possible. So I woke up, with this strange hankering for apple pie, and unfortunately the Target near my house did not have these poptarts. (Or if they did, I missed them because it was Black Friday and I was in a mad dash to buy a blender.) I remember recalling a recipe I saw for homemade apple pie poptarts on  A Beautiful Mess, and decided today would be a fantastic time to try it out!  It was delicious. I cheated, and used a Concord Farm's Apple Crisp mix to make the filling, mainly because I was too lazy to find my cinnamon, but it was still delicious! 

I am absolutely the worst shopper on Earth. I usually find something I really like, only to not buy it because it's outside of my price range, or it's far too much than I'm willing to pay for. So to my luck, this thanksgiving I finally bought the cutest pair of boots for under 30 dollars. I'm not sure how long they will last, but I've gotten boots from Old Navy before, and they're lovely as ever. I don't usually buy shoes if I have a good pair, however, I don't have really good boots. My cowboy boots have a ridiculous heel that I can't really pull off for everyday wear, and I'm just stupidly excited for these pair of boots to come in. :)
The most exciting thing I'm looking forward to once I get out of classes this year is to come back home and craft. I guess this is one of those teaser photos as to what will come? There's so much I want to make, and so many ideas I want to try out! But first to finish this semester.

I hope everyone's had a lovely thanksgiving and a wonderful few days off... maybe! -- Sheilly

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Going Home

I'm heading home today, after a long two months away. I love New York for many reasons, like my university, my friends here, and my room. But come November, I can't help but count down the days til I get home.
I don't do much when I get home. I bum around all day in my sweat pants, cook food with my mom, watch endless hours of the Science Channel with my dad, and pull pranks on my dear brother. Thanksgiving isn't really a big occasion in my household, but we find our own ways to celebrate and have fun.  This year we'll  be seeing Skyfall in theaters Thursday afternoon, and by Friday we'll be making a huge list of food to bring back with us on Sunday.
It isn't much, but I love it.
-- Sheilly

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pomegranate, Craisin, Spinach Salad w. Balsamic Vinaigrette

I still can't get over how well Friendsgiving went two days ago. I swear the taste of everything is still lingering in my mouth. We still have a slice of pie in the fridge, which is begging to be eaten right now.
Personally I can not get over the salad. The salad was just the most delicious salad I've ever eaten... ever. It was made so quickly, but it tasted so fresh and the balsamic vinaigrette was perfect.
Inspiration for the salad came from my favorite fall fruit: pomegranate. I truly do wish it were available year round. I suppose the freeze dried pomegranate candies I buy should suffice when the season is over, but til then? I'll buy one every week! Amanda and I also had a million bunches of spinach in our fridge. (Alright, I may be exaggerating, but we had a lot!) And as Amanda reminded me, you can't have a Thanksgiving feast without cranberries!
Pomegranate, Craisin, Spinach Salad w. Balsamic Vinaigrette. (AKA The best salad ever.) 
For the salad: 1 Pomegranate, A Packet of Craisins (Or dried cranberries, if you have them!), a bunch of Spinach leaves. 
For the vinaigrette: 4 1/2 Teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar, 4 Teaspoons Olive Oil, Some pomegranate juice. (optional), salt and pepper. 
Mix the vinegar and olive oil until the consistency is perfect, add in pomegranate juice if you want, add salt and pepper to taste! 
Thoroughly rinse spinach leaves, and roughly chop them up. Add in as much pomegranate seeds and cranberries as you wish. Drizzle lightly with the vinaigrette, toss gently and enjoy! 
-- Sheilly 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Friendsgiving 2012

My roommate, Amanda,  and I hosted our very first Friendsgiving this year. While my family has never been really traditional with Thanksgiving, we wanted to do something fun before everyone headed home for Thanksgiving Break. We managed to scrap together a whole feast of food this morning with only a couple days of preparation. We had a lot of help from some good friends, and over all it was one of the best things I've done this semester. :)
This was the menu for this afternoon. Finalizing the menu was the hardest thing, because my roommate and I just weren't sure what we were going to serve. You could very well say Amanda and I are practically vegetarians. It's not like we don't like meat, we just don't like dealing with raw meat at all. But you can't have proper Thanksgiving without some form of poultry, so I sucked it up and made some. 
While a lot of the things there I've made before (like the salad and the Apfelschorle), I've never in my life cooked chicken by myself! We literally slathered our raw chicken with mayo, and sprinkled a Parmesan herb packet over all the chicken.  Surprisingly it was a hit, and my parents are so excited for me to make it for them.  
Amanda was in charge of the stuffing and the corn and green beans. My friend Monica, who was my suitemate for the last two years, made the Crab and Corn soup. Victoria, another good friend, made the sweet potatoes. And I was in charge of the salad. 

Angela, who has been in almost every lab with me since the freshmen year of college, and I had the best time naming the salad. Although the salad took five seconds to make, we named it 
A Pomegranate, Dried Cranberry, and Spinach salad lightly tossed with Balsamic Vinaigrette infused with fresh Pomegranate Juice. 
Needless to say, it was one of the best salads I've ever made. The spinach was very fresh, and combined with the Balsamic Vinaigrette that Monica had hastily made, it was delicious.
 I think the funniest thing was that we didn't actually have turkey at a Thanksgiving  Feast. To make up for it, we had so many fake turkeys to make up for it. We had paper turkey centerpieces, turkeys to tape on the wall, jelly turkeys on our dorm door..  Each guest who came to the party got a hand drawn turkey as well. We had them personalized with everyone's names.
We had finished making, eating, and cleaning everything by 3 in the afternoon. After which, everyone had left to go back to their scholarly duties. Unfortunately the cooking, the cleaning, and the hosting was getting to me, and I was just about to pass out, but I had to get some stuff done too. Angela, Amanda and I started our next big holiday celebration-- Christmas. While we've come up with some silly plans, (Blingmas) I'm so glad I've got a great group of friends to do all of this silly stuff with. For that, I am very grateful. (Oh gosh, that's so cheesy!) Anyway, one tall iced peppermint mocha (see what I did there?) and a beautiful sky later, Friendsgiving had past, but with the promise of many more to come. 

I hope everyone has a good weekend! :)
-- Sheilly 

((Pictures courtesy of Amanda, Angela, and yours truly. <3))

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Tonight I have my last midterm for the first part of my organic chemistry course. While I love what I study, and I'm so grateful to be able to learn, I forget that the struggles that I have are only momentary. I know they will pass, but during an exam it seems like it's far too much to handle. This is why, on every note card for my Orgo exams I've always written the quote 'Keep Calm and Carry On." It's like a note from my past self remindng me to take things easy, and to relax. This of course, was not my idea, but rather my clever roommate's idea. I still have yet to take my test, but I'm confident that I will do my very best.
To anyone else reading this who has midterms coming that they're dreading, or anything else, good luck! 
-- Sheilly

November 2012

November 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

3 Things

Mondays are usually the worst days for me. I have four classes and although I have breaks in between all of them, I’m still a frantic mess. Running back and forth between my classes, and then finally making that trek back to my room is just dreadful most of the time. To make up for this Monday’s craziness, my roommate and I decided to make mint chocolate chip cookies. They were scrumptious!
Tuesday was a wet, dreary day, but it was the perfect weather for some flannel and rain boots. Despite my love of flannel and my rain boots, my day just would not have been as happy were it not for one of my favorite pair of socks. My dear sweet friend Liz gave me a pair of socks with some bright colored hearts for my birthday two years ago, and I love wearing them when I need some cheering up.
We lost a week due to Hurricane Sandy, and we’re still working on making up for that lost week. This week I’ve got a bunch of stuff to hand in, and midterms to study for! My whiteboard has been covered in scribbles of Organic Chemistry, To Do lists, and random outlines for papers. Every little bit is usually covered except for one part. There’s one corner of my whiteboard that has my little mantra, and I’m so grateful for it!
Now off to continue writing my papers, and studying for Orgo! – Sheilly

Monday, November 12, 2012


Hello everyone!
Welcome to Iced Peppermint Mocha! I’m not quite sure what this will become, but all I know is this will be incredibly exciting, and it will also be quite a lot of fun.  I hope you enjoy the adventure.