Thursday, June 7, 2012

This Blog Has Moved!!!

Hi all! Please note that my blog has moved to The Feisty House. Read more recipes, check out my apartment, and watch me make it through the rest of my list! Thanks for reading, Little Miss Knight

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Should I get the Nikon 1 J1?

I really love film. I've always loved documentaries (thank you, Ken Burns) and music videos. In high school I started writing video treatments for songs I liked. And then I'd be totally disappointed when I saw the video and it was nothing like what I'd imagined. Even now I develop a music video for a song as I'm listening to it. It makes listening to music more of an experience for me. If I could film a documentary on the history of music videos...that would be HEAVEN.

I cannot wait to spend more time making movies. I have some videos posted on YouTube, but they're not movies by ANY means. It's just me. In front of my camera. Talking about my hair. WOMP WOMP. What I really want to do is capture scenes from my life and set them to music. Then I may move on to writing scripts. I don't know. I want the process to remain really organic.

I'm not quite ready to purchase a movie camera--I don't know what I'm doing, and I wouldn't know what to look for. My Nikon S8100 is good for capturing quick moments (if there's enough light...), but I need a camera that can make a professional quality film without too much extra equipment. I took a look at the Nikon 1 when I was in Target the other day, and I'm in LOVE. I'm thinking about buying it as a birthday present for myself.

 Now, there are some pretty angry photogs out there who have written scathing reviews of the Nikon 1 J1 and V1 models. Reviewers hate the price, hate the simplified buttons and complicated menus, are doubtful of the cameras' small sensors, and are disappointed that the Nikon 1 isn't what they were hoping for--a compact DSLR. I haven't made up my mind yet. I'm not trying to be a professional photographer! I just want to take really good pictures and high-quality video, and the Nikon 1 does that. Eventually, I do want to invest in my own DSLR (I use a borrowed D8 on this blog sometimes), but I'm more interested in capturing the moment quickly and easily. I just want to get really clear images in low light (without using the flash), manipulate my depth of field, and make good movies (with autofocus!!!) If there's a cheaper way to do it than with the Nikon 1, will you guys let me know?

Little Miss Knight

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Honey Mustard Glazed Tilapia with Sauteed Spinach

Last week's barbeque ribs made me feel pretty confidant about trying new recipes, so I tried another one this past weekend. It was kinda my own concoction. I was inspired by a honey mustard chicken recipe I got from Q's mom. I used her glaze from that recipe on some tilapia, and it turned out pretty good. I paired the fish with garlic-sauteed spinach! To complement the flavors from the glaze and the spinach, I added lightly-seasoned white rice.

Honey Mustard Glaze
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup mustard
2 tbsps lime juice
1 tsp salt
Scotch bonnet peppers (to taste)

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I mixed the glaze first and then put it to the side. I used salt, black pepper, scotch bonnet peppers, scallions and garlic to season the fish and put them into a glass baking pan with some vegetable oil. I baked the tilapia at 400 degrees for 20 min. I poured the glaze on top of the tilapia and then let it cook for an additional 20 minutes at a lower temperature (I think 300). I didn't want to overcook the fish--that's always such a deal-breaker on Top Chef.

In hindsight, I would have poured off the "juices" from the tilapia before adding the glaze. The glaze didn't get very sticky because all the juice in the pan diluted it. I also could have pan-seared the tilapia first, then put the pieces into a pan covered with the glaze, and broiled the fish at a high temperature until the glaze had set. I'll try one of those options next time.

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I love sauteed spinach. This was my first time making it myself. First I made my own garlic-infused oil by sauteing some minced garlic in a pan with oil until the garlic was brown. Then I removed the garlic pieces and sauteed the spinach in the garlic oil until they just started to wilt. It doesn't take very long to do this at all. Just note that what seems like a lot of spinach at first isn't really that much once it's sauteed. I used about 1/2 a bag of spinach to make one serving, so plan accordingly. I seasoned the finished spinach with Adobe Salad & Vegetable Seasoning and some black pepper.

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Everything turned out pretty good. Another edible meal! I congratulated myself with a glass of Gavi. Nice
Little Miss Knight

Monday, February 27, 2012

Barbeque beef ribs - Take 1

This recipe wasn't entirely a fail, but it didn't come out the way I wanted it to. I bought some beef back ribs at Walmart, and they didn't really have a lot of meat on them, but i figured that's just how they were supposed to be. Of course I was wrong.

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I coated the "ribs" with Worcestershire sauce to tenderize the meat and get the seasoning to stick. I seasoned with salt, pepper, minced garlic and scallions. I baked the ribs with barbeque sauce at about 300 and kept it in the oven for just under an hour to ensure the meat stayed tender.

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It tasted really good. I enjoyed it a lot. There just wasn't enough of it! I made six pieces, but there was BARELY any meat on the bones! Q and I could only laugh. LOL we were definitely still hungry after eating dinner. Then I called my brother to tell him what happened, (he is a beef ribs junkie) and he told me that I should have gotten the ribs on the rack! Of course! All in all, it was a pretty entertaining experience. I'm excited about using the right cut of meat and actually feeling FULL the next time I use this recipe...

Little Miss Knight

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Do these make sense?

As I mentioned in my last post, I've become ridiculously addicted to Pinterest. I saw these cute DIY t-shirt pom poms, and immediately I thought they'd look good above my front door...where I have that random looseleaf paper.

Does that even make sense? Will it do a good job of keeping Peeping Toms out? I'm not 100% sure. I'm trying to find a solution that blocks the view, but doesn't block light from coming in. It's proving challenging -____-

Little Miss Knight

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I foresee an IKEA trip this weekend...

Happy Sabbath! Look what I found on IKEA's website...

I think my corner woes have been solved. And IKEA has free breakfast this weekend??? Yeah, I'll be all up in that thang.

Little Miss Knight

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hand stiching

My grandmother once tried to teach me how to use a sewing machine. I must have been about 9. I don't even remember why we thought it was a good idea. But she was a dressmaker, she had a "sewing room" in the garage, and I suppose it just seemed like a logical thing for us to do on a summer night.

I couldn't wrap my mind around the sewing machine. Seriously. I couldn't understand how to thread it, first of all, and then I was confused by the foot pedal and the needle. Needless to say we only had a few lessons. My grandma did teach me how to sew by hand, which has come in handy on more than one occasion. In undergrad I made extra money taking in skirts and dresses and doing hems by hand. When I moved to this area I got lazy so I started taking my things to the dry cleaners for alterations. It's really expensive though, especially for something so easy to do on your own.

I have a few items in my closet that need updating, so I'm taking a stab at doing it hand. I decided to just take the plunge after joining Pinterest (OMG I'm addicted) and feeling inspired by all the wonderful DIY-ers. I miss being crafty! So here are the projects I'm going to be taking on. They're really small-scale, which is why I can do them by hand.

Cropped Sweater
 I have a thrifted turquoise sweater with a mock neck and 3/4 sleeves that would look GREAT if it was cropped. I would definitely wear it more often.

Tight Mini with Split
 I bought a houndstooth-print pencil skirt on super clearance at Zara 2 years ago. It's really long and difficult to walk in because it doesn't have a split. Rather than give it away, I think an updated cut and added split would look amazing. Clearly it works for Karla.

Loose-fit Mini
 I love the fit of this skirt. My other grandma gave me a wool pencil skirt by Tahari with very similar draping in the front. I've had it professionally altered once before to take in the waist, but it's a midi, and I'm more into short skirts right now. A hem job would make me look taller, and would make the skirt much more versatile.

[Find source information for all photos on my Pinterest]

I'm really excited about these new pieces, and I can't wait to wear the finished products. Eventually I will need to invest in a good sewing machine and some lessons so I can cross "learn to sew" off my list. Until then...I'll invest in a good thimble.

Little Miss Knight

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I've got to do something about this corner

I have very little decorating left to do in my apartment. I do have one problem area. No, it's not my abs (though they could use some work). It's a little corner between my futon and my wooden shelf tower. There you can find my dirty laundry and an old television.

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I have tried selling that tv on Craigslist and I can tell you right now, nobody wants it. For any price. No one cares. I'm really tempted to put a sign on it that reads "It Works" and leaving it on the corner of D Street and 16th Street NE (not too far to walk with this ridiculously heavy tv, but just far enough away from my home). As far as the hamper, I need to find made of some sort of organic material like seagrass or bamboo. Oh, and it has to have a lid. I'm not sure my company would appreciate the scent of my week-old laundry. If they do...that's really weird.

Little Miss Knight

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This is what happens when I watch Top Chef

I have a new "something" on my 30 by 30 list: Make 30 new meals. I'm really excited about it. I can do a lil' sumn sumn in the kitchen, but I cook the same things all the time. YAWN! So I'm branching out so I can have a decent recipe repertoire.

I was watching Top Chef last week (love that show) and felt inspired to start cooking...right then. It was almost 11:00 PM, and I should have been getting ready for bed. Instead I made my own buttermilk and started a brine for fried chicken. I modified the recipe I found on Smitten Kitchen, which is a great blog (and she's coming out with a recipe book. Yay!) Now I've definitely made fried chicken before, but I've never soaked my chicken in buttermilk brine. I've never used buttermilk. As much as I was raised in Florida, the city where I grew up is more Caribbean island than Dirty South, so maybe that's why? At any rate, peep the recipe:


Buttermilk Fried Chicken
5 chicken legs (or approximately 1.25 lbs of other chicken pieces)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (add 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk to make your own buttermilk)
1/3 cup Kosher salt (I used sea salt...that's all I had)
2 tbsp chicken bullion (the recipe calls for paprika...and that's it? Nah son...)
1/4 cup brown sugar
garlic (to taste)   

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I let the chicken soak almost 24 hours. When I got home from work on Friday, I took the chicken out of the brine, dried it, and then rolled it in some flour mixed with just a pinch of salt and pepper. I fried the chicken until it was a nice brown color (lighter than what you see in the photos above). I was so excited to try it! I'd been thinking about frying that chicken all day at work.

Too bad I had to throw all the chicken away. It was sooooooo salty!!!!! I'd either used WAY too much salt in the brine or let the chicken soak for WAY to long. Regardless, I couldn't eat any of it. I was so disappointed. I forced down one piece because I hate wasting food, but then I realized it would suck more to die from high sodium intake.

Sigh. I think I ended up having peanut butter & jelly for dinner that night. What a disaster. The rest of the recipe was perfect, so I think I'll reduce the amount of salt and use only 1/3 of what I used (so that would be 1/9 a cup? What does that even mean?). I'll try again eventually. I haven't tried anything new since this debacle, which was a few weeks ago now. I'm literally discouraged. Bleh.

Little Miss Knight

Friday, February 3, 2012

Top Five Regrets of the Dying

Turning 30 is nothing like dying, but these top five regrets made me really think about the way I live my life. What if I did die at 30? Or tomorrow? Would I have these same regrets?

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

I can say that #3 and #5 would probably be the ones I'd have. Sometimes it's hard to truly express how I feel to people I love...I don't want to hurt them! And I don't always choose happiness. Sometimes I purposely stay upset...there's a weird sort of self-pitycomfort in being upset "for a reason."

This was an interesting exercise. You only live once!!! Why waste the time doing things you'll regret? You CANNOT get that lost time back. My brothers and I decided to live 2012 without regret, and I intend to do so from now until I'm 30...and hopefully for many years after that =)

Little Miss Knight

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Psalm 19

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

"Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer." [English Standard Version]

This is the first scripture I've chosen to memorize for a few reasons. I'm an English major and I took a Bible as Literature class because I figured it would be totally easy. I didn't think I would have learned so much! For instance, Psalm 19 is pretty much as good a poem as you can write. It maintains its poetic structure even after being translated into English, and in some places, it even keeps its rhyme scheme. Amazing! The other reason I'm memorizing this text first is because it is a reminder that God's Word is 100% perfect, no matter what. Even when I don't feel like doing what God says, or I don't think that sin is a big deal, God's Word stands firm. There's no room for discussion or negotiation. Sometimes I forget that.

Rote memorization is pretty easy for me, but I don't want to memorize scriptures for the sake of having the verses in my head. I'm doing this so that when things start getting real, and I don't have a physical Bible to draw strength from, I can rely on the Word that I've hidden in my heart.

Plus it's harder to cuss people out in my mind when I'm repeating Bible verses to myself all day =)

Little Miss Knight

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quality Time

One of the best parts of putting together my studio and getting everything ready has been the quality time that I've gotten to spend with my very handy boyfriend. Q and I spent MLK weekend running back and forth to Walmart and Ikea, loading and unloading huge boxes and pieces of furniture, all while the poor thing was coming down with the flu. He's so dedicated =)

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We went to Ikea to get another Aneboda nightstand. I put the one that was by the front door over by my bed, it holds my devotional books, remotes, and it's a space for my cell phone at night. The lamp is handy for when I want to read in bed. The other nightstand we put together is now by the front door. I keep house clothes and my satin scarves in the top drawer. The bottom drawers hold miscellaneous papers (including the instruction manuals for the stuff I just bought). I'm thinking of getting a plant for the top.

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I also bought an Aneboda wardrobe to replace the temporary cloth one I'd bought at Walmart. It's not as big as the one I had, so I still utilize the small "closet" in the back of the apartment. I didn't really help Q put the wardrobe together at all (in my defense, I was cooking and washing we're a team). He did a great job. I have OCD, so I appreciate that all my furniture matches.

My futon wasn't supposed to arrive while Q was in town, but it came in early, which was great because Q took that job over as well. The futon is small, and sits low to the ground, but I have pretty low ceilings so it works. And it's red! I like the color scheme I have going here--white(furniture), mint (walls), and red (accents). Q suggested I get another Lack end table (from Ikea and super cheap) to put at the other end of the futon. Later I'll think of ways to decorate those tables and make them a little more interesting. Maybe I'll paint the tops?

The front of the apartment.

The back of the apartment.

Welp, all the boxes are gone, and my apartment is officially fully furnished! There are still a few projects that need to get done: Q was able to put up some blinds (ugh, I love him!) but I'm still stuck with college-ruled looseleaf paper on the front door. And I put up a pic of my family, but I have tons of frames to fill with photos. I still need another TV (the TV on my dresser belongs on the wall opposite the futon, so I need another, smaller TV to put on the dresser). I'm not in a rush to make any more large purchases though. Now I'll focus on decor and making the house feel like a home. It was fun getting everything set up and moved in. And I love that when I look at my blinds, or my vanity light in the bathroom, or my furniture, I automatically think of Q and the fun we had on those projects. It's like having a little piece of him with me even when I'm home alone =)

Little Miss Knight

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Uh yeah...scratch that.

An earlier version of this post divulged WAY TOO MUCH information. LOL I promise not to hit you over the head with any more of my in-depth self-actualizations -_______-

When I was putting together my "30 by 30" list, I was in a weird place with someone I'd considered a close friend. So on my list, I added "Make another best friend" because at the time, I felt I was losing one. Fast forward a few months and I've realized--I don't need any more besties. LOL. Or at least, I'm not going to seek them out. Relationships are hard work! I have a few really close friends, but most of them live in different parts of the country, and it's hard to keep up with them all and check in and be that good friend. Friendships are emotional, and while they can bring joy, there are times when they bring pain.

Instead of looking for another friend, I'm putting that energy into the friendships that have proven true for years, and it's been WONDERFUL! I feel like I'm rediscovering the people that have always been there for me, some of them for over half my life! I want to spend my time showing them how much I appreciate the fact that they've been good friends and have always acted unselfishly. They've been supportive. Most of all, they've been honest and open. My friends have shared the best of times and worst of times with me, and they've trusted me enough to be transparent. I will always love them for that.

Alright so enough of the sap -____-

I've decided to add "Make 30 new meals" to my list. I am so tired of cooking the same things over and over again. Part of that is because I grew up Adventist, so I don't eat pork, most seafood, or anything that doesn't chew it's cud AND have cloven hooves (yes, those are real guidelines. Read'll make you appreciate Christ for putting us under grace and NOT under the law). I rarely cook red meat because I won't buy it unless it's organic, and honestly, I've gotten comfortable with spaghetti and texas toast for dinner.

No more! Now that Q has moved closer, I'm excited that I actually get to cook for him when he comes to visit. It'll be fun to choose new recipes and share them with him and with my friends in the area. I foresee a lot of potlucks...and a chubby boyfriend =)

Little Miss Knight

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How to create space in a tiny bathroom

My bathroom in my last apartment was HUGE. I had an enormous tub, plenty of space under the sink, drawers, a linen closet with 4 or 5 shelves, a medicine cabinet...ample space for all the STUFF I'd acquired and all the products I'd hoard. It was perfect! As a hair blogger, I collect A LOT of random products, and my old bathroom gave me lots of room to stash stuff.

Not so in the new place.

My new bathroom has no drawers, no linen closet, no medicine cabinet. I don't even have a bathroom counter. There was a white shelving system put in by my landlord, thankfully, but that was the only storage in the bathroom when I moved in. To add insult to injury, the bathroom is already cramped, so I had to find a way to add storage without adding bulk. Super difficult.

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I put up my shower caddy from my last apartment and added another one on the side wall of the shower to hold all the products/tools I would ever need while washing my hair. I also purchased an over-the-toilet organizer from Walmart to hold everything that had once been in a drawer or in my medicine cabinet. To organize the different products and keep tiny things being all over the place, I bought a few grass baskets, also from Walmart--they're both decorative and practical.

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I bought a few more of the baskets to put on the shelves that my landlord had put in the bathroom. I use that space the same way I used the space under my sink and in the linen closet. I put extra toilet paper and and *ahem* lady products over there. I also have a basket for my combs, blowdryer and flat iron and another one for my makeup. The plastic bins that hold my rollers and nail polish also call that area home, and I bought a bucket to hold cleaning supplies, which sits on the bottom shelf.


The finishing touches in the bathroom were a full-length mirror, which I hung over the door on the outside, and a makeup light for over the vanity. Quentin is super handy! He got the light for me and put it up. Such a sweetie :)

Little Miss Knight