Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Me and my baby giraffe

My little sister is the cutest thing ever. She will be three in a couple weeks and she is really set on being a "big girl." I've called her my baby giraffe little squish/a zillion other things for the longest time, but I now have to beg her to respond to it. She wants to be a big giraffe and big squish. Not a chance.
Last week I was baby sitting her. She got her self dressed because big girls have that power. She was so incredibly proud of her outfit that she wanted me to take pictures of her. She thought it was really amazing that she had found polka dotted leggings and a polka dotted shirt, paired them together, and put them on "tag in the back." She threw in some leg warmers -"warm legs"- and handmade slippers from my gma to top the outfit off. It was spectacular all right...

 Just look at that style! Doesn't it just scream "I'm a big girl."?

Totally cool though. Rebellious, dressing- them-self little girls turn out to be the cute, stylish (maybe also narcissistic) ones.
Exhibit a) me 

And apparently she also thinks my camera is "magic" because it can take pictures when I'm not touching it. Whoa.

  Okay. Really. How could you NOT love her? This cutie will always be my baby giraffe. Sorry kid.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Awesomebella Cooks-LO MEIN

*Yeah. I still cook on Thursdays and post on Friday. Yeah today is Tuesday of the following week. Just go with it...

Last time I made Chinese-style food it was a big hit. My family actually wanted Chinese yummies weekly (uh, no.) But I figured this (last) week it had been long enough and it was time for some more. This time- BEEF and VEGGIE LO MEIN.

I did some internet browsing, gathered some recipes, and then made my own, like I tend to do. Here it is in all its tasty glory:

It all started here. One very hot wok (which by the way is a beast. If I were a magical ninja I would somehow carry this as my concealed weapon. Maybe a katana as well, because who doesn't like swords. Serious damage could be done. Just be happy I am not a ninja...).
Also needed: lots of Sesame Oil. Goes into hot wok for the ...woking...stir frying...whatever it is called...
You'll be coating the bottom of the wok in it.
Then you will need some vegetables for your stir fry. 
I used 2 packages of snap peas (I love them. I could eat them uncooked all day every day).

Carrots (I think I used like...5 or 6), cut into thin, thin strips.
Onion (I used one small red one. Yellow would have been better, but I was working with what I had.)
Scallions (one bunch).
Pepper (I used 1 orange).
Frozen broccoli was also involved, but it didn't look pretty stacked in the bowl. Peas would also be a nice addition.

 3 cloves of garlic, chopped. And a whole lot of ginger, chopped. Goes into wok for like 30 seconds before everything else.
All the veggies go into the sesame oil-coated super hot wok.
Add soy sauce. Like...a ton. Until it tastes and looks like the Chinese food you are accustomed to.

Added in teaspoon of sugar (makes it shiny?), some salt and...
Also added this in. Figured it was worth trying. Easy and MSG (which my mom and I are allergic to) free.{and I know it says Chow Mein. What is the difference? Chow mein noodles are fried and crunchy. Other than that, pretty much the same. See. Bet you didn't know that! You learn all sorts of things when you read my posts!}

One package of pre-cut stir fry beef goes into the wok with stir frying veggies. Probably should have added it and THEN the veggies all got cooked and no one died so it was okay.

Conversation between me and the grocery store's butcher:
"How can I help you?"- butcher
"Uh....this is awkward...I don't eat need a lot of help."-me
"Okay...what do you need to know?"- butcher
"I'm making stir fry. With beef. What do I use."-me
"Let me make this easier for you! There is some pre-cut over there *points*."- butcher
"Oh. Good work, sir!"- me

*I made two batches. One with beef and one without.

finished product. Super delicious? Check. Looks legit, tastes legit? Check and Check.
*served it all with these. You can't do it without 'em

 Another week, another cooking success.

What will I cook next later this week? I already know, but I'm not telling!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Me and my June Cleaver self got featured for fashionable cuteness over at the lovely blog of ever so fantastic Victoria the JUSTICE PIRATE.

(Check her out! Her blog is amazingly inspirational. She dresses super cute in all her vintage clothes. She is passionate about her faith, and she is also a modern day slavery{sex trafficking} abolitionist. And she likes pirates! How would I NOT love her?)

See the post here:

 Thanks, Victoria! Happy weekend everyone.

Monday, March 21, 2011



I don't have tons of time for posting, but doing a quotes post on facing the impossible seems like a good idea today. I have a lot of things going on in my life that feel like they should, by normal worldly standards, should be impossible. But as the missionary Amy Carmichael said "...nothing is impossible if one if meant to do it." That to me is so encouraging, so provoking. Failure isn't an option when impossibility is my destiny.

Couple more quotes on believing and doing the impossible:
"Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools."- Napoleon Bonaparte (yes, just quoted him too).
"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."- Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) (and why yes, I haven't had breakfast yet!)

"Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail"- Robert Kettering (and yes, yes it is.)
It makes no sense, but she has come too far to not believe in the impossible.- from a summation of a certain character in a certain book written by a certain passionate chick who happens to be me.

And this one is my fasvorite:

"impossible is an opinion"- Muhammad Ali (yes, I did just quote him.)

  Now go forth and do it.

*"impossible is nothing" quote is a popular Adidas slogan that I greatly enjoy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Me, myself and my new stuff.

Okay, we all know I got a new camera. This camera is beautiful, wonderful and amazing. It also has a self timer shooting option...*ahem, cough, hint*

 I also bought a dress. It is handmade and from the fifties. The shop owner said she acquired it from two older women who were selling their house and needed to get rid of an attic full of clothes from their youth. JACKPOT! I love vintage stuff. I adore handmade stuff. I also like stuff from cute little shops (just opened today!), especially when the stuff you want costs $10. Win, win, win situation.

With the combination of the camera, the vintage dress, and the springy weather I thought it would be a good time for a narcissistic photo session. So here it is!

Look at me, all smarty looking and in a dress. 
*okay, I'm not actually reading. I just thought a little Sherlock would be nice as a prop.

Dear Bella, 
We're pale.
your legs.

Cliche I have a book on my face shot? check.

I sort of stop looking like me when I make this face?
This is more like me, for sure. Why sit on a couch if you can sit on the top of it?

 I feel like this photo is TOTALLY me. 
It's been a while since pure me-ness has been captured by a camera, but this right here? 
That sarcastic and sassy face?
Oh yes. That  is ME.

*update: I was told that if I wore pearls and pushed a vacuum I could be June Cleaver (from leave it to beaver) in this outfit. Apparently that is a compliment on the fact that I can rock a dress from another era. But honestly people, would June Cleaver make ^that^ face? I think not. And besides, her dresses are all one color and boring. Mine not. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

This is your brain on college home work...

This Mercedes Benz ad is sort of a good depiction of how I feel right now.
It's my new desktop.

I found this image in a google search (for psychology class) looking for images of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. I saved it to mu computer, because I thought it was really artful, though it had nothing to do with what I was searching for.

You can click the above link to see it enlarged but the captions on either side say this:

I am a scientist. A mathematician
I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear
Analytical. Strategic. I am practical. 
Always in control. A master of words and language.
Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers.
I am order. I am logic.
I know exactly who I am."

I am the right brain.
I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion.
Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter.
I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet.
I am movement. Vivid colors.
I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas.
I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel.
I am everything I wanted to be."

My summation?

this is my brain on college courses.
this is the smart half.

this is who my brain is the rest of the time.
this is me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Neither dead nor dying...

Hey people of my blog, 

Just a heads up, I am not dead, nor am I dying.
My life is a little bit crazy right now and I sort of feel like there is more stuff to get done then there are hours for me to do it. Just a lot a lot of stuff going on. Not at all like a crisis or anything, don't worry! I'm totally fine! Just lots of school and other important aspects of my life that need to be focused on. 
One day I will post again with some consistency, I promise!
I have so many things I would like to write about and SO many things I want to take pictures of with my new camera.
Right now I just can't focus too much time on blogging. Gotta prioritize. Hurray for adulthood and real life situations requiring my attention!
One day I will live again here on this blog. But for now I have another essay to write and a lot of reading to do. And 46.2 billion other things. 

peace, love, and chaos;

Friday, March 11, 2011

Awesomebella Cooks-CHILI AND CORNBREAD

Yup. This week I cooked some chili (a meat version and a veggie version) and I cooked come cornbread. My sister Tia and I think chili is super delicious and it's not something we eat often so it was fun to make (and eat) it. But I did not make just any old cornbread. I took some advice from food network's cooking queen, Paula Deen, and made cornbread WAFFLES.


I used Paula's recipe, sans green pepper (we don't like 'em) for the meaty chili. The veggie one I sort of made up. Kidney and black beans instead of kidney and ground hamburger meat.

Here is how this CHILI WITH CORNBREAD WAFFLES went down:
Lots and lots of cans to be opened (remember, I made 2 batches, one with me and one without, so this is what double looks like).

There aren't a lot of things that make me cry. Onions are one of them. (2 red onions, chopped)

Along with all the canned good and onions, in went 1 jalapeno, 4 cloves are garlic, cumin, coriander and chili powder.
Into the meaty one went something like a pound of ground hamburger. That cooked for a little bit with the onions and garlic before I added all the beans and whatnot.
Simmered for 2 hours.

Corn muffin mix to make the cornbread waffles. I followed the recipe from Paula, but you could also used a box corn bread mix. Essentially the same thing (corn meal, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, eggs, milk).

While the chili simmered I started cranking out waffles on our vintage waffle irons.

Kept them warm in the oven (on like 175) as I went.
(random: I like the lighting in this oven shot. one waffle looks heavenly with a light beam coming down on it. the other is on the dark side, lurking in the shadows.)

By the time I was done I had 2 plates stacked with waffles. (I used Paula's recipe but tripled it)

 Then I brought it all together on plates.
Waffle on the bottom, scoop of chili of choice, sour cream and cheddar cheese. YUM.

Overall this is a really easy meal. Waffles are so simple and for the chili I basically opened cans, dumped them in a pot, and added a few seasonings. Even with minimum effort it was SO DELICIOUS. I recommend this dinner (and Paula's recipe) as a simple and relatively cheap dinner.

What will I cook next week? I actually don't know. I'll letcha know when I get that one figured out. Suggestions? Always looking for ideas!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My new baby.

aka my CANON EOS 60D.

I FINALLY got one. I have been saving up money (every spare bill, every penny, and everything in between) for the past 8 months. And a week ago my dream of owning a D-SLR, particularly a Canon 60D came true.

I love, love, love this camera. It is entirely worth the mass amount of money I spent on it. 18 Megapixels,ISO option up to 6400. Shoots HD video. Vari-angle (flip out) LCD screen. 5.3 frames per second. 15 shooting modes, including live view. a million other things. The colors and image quality is just superb. I get all giddy each time a take a photo!

Right now I have have the camera body and the lens it came with (18-135 mm). Eventually I will be doing a lens upgrade, and buying a couple accessories such a a remote, a flashgun, and a trip/monopod. But what I have now is GREAT. I have waited so, so, so long for this. And let me just tell you, the waiting makes the having even better.

I can't wait to have some free time to go out and just take photos, photos, photos. There will be plenty of that to come. I PROMISE! So many possibilities!

I'm SO EXCITED, guys!!!!

*please note how rebellious I am for not taking your typical "me with camera to my face" shot. I had to use a lot of self-control not to. Oh so tempting when your camera is just so beautiful.

Monday, March 7, 2011

There is some thing(s) you should know about me...

My name is Isabella Kiss and there are some things you should know about me...

First off, When I tell you my name is Isabella Kiss I am not kidding. It is. Really truly. Says so right on my certification of birth.

Also: When I tell you my name don't say "like in twilight!" and do not inquire about "my relationship with vampires." I get that enough. NO. NOT LIKE IN TWILIGHT! Not at all. Don't make my life worse but adding to the onslaught of Twilight jokes thrown at me upon every introducing of myself.
When I say I am a Christian that doesn't mean I am announcing that I boring and uptight, and/or that I hate anyone/anything non Christian. Quite the opposite. I am mad fun, super not boring. I just choose to have the kind of fun I can remember the next day. And strongly believe that God so loved the world and therefore so should I.

When asked for my "religion" I hesitate to answer. Why? Sound contradictory? Well, I am not into religion. I am into relationship. Like the relationship I have with my heavenly Father who saved me with the blood of His Son Jesus. That is what Christianity really is.

When I say I am a writer that doesn't mean you should say to me "well, have fun starving" or "I hope you marry well." Thanks for your concerns but feel free to keep them in your head.

When I talk of being a "dust assassin" that basically mean I make money by cleaning houses.  I just like to apply the concept of assassination to my occupation. Looks good on forms and in profiles...or not.

When I state that I am a "pescetarian" I am not telling you of my religion or occultic involvement. No, no, no! It simply means that I eat fish and not meat. Don't be confused.

When you say I am sarcastic I will disagree with you and say I am sardonic. There is a difference. Look it up!

When I mention knitting/crocheting/sewing/anything of the like please do not compare me to your grandmother. Creative, awesome, and just all together artistic I am. Granny I am not.

When I talk of that ^^ and things like cooking don't use the word "domestic" to describe me. I am not something that has been house broken and tamed. I do not walk nicely on a leash and I am much feistier than your lapdog and/or Ma Ingalls/Martha Stewart/or whatever female you think of as being domesticated. I am simply well-rounded. Don't hate cause you ain't.

When I mention I am home-schooled in grades 1- 12 that doesn't mean I was a homeschoolER.It involved no long skirts, no tucked in shirts, no life of solitude, and no awkward hair cuts. There are some serious differences such as those that you should just be aware of. And look, I turned out as a functional (and smart) member of society. Points to me (and my mom).

When I say that ^^ do not ask me if I have friends. Really now. Cease with the ridiculousity. Yes, I do. Of course.

When I talk of my family of 10 people, 8 of which are kids that doesn't mean you ought to say "LIKE THE DUGGARS!" Uhmmmm...just no. Inaccurate comparison in so many ways.

When you notice those kiddos who are my siblings and note that we have a broad range on the melanin spectrum (aka there are some serious skin tone differences) don't ask me if I am sure they are my sisters/brothers. Yes, I am sure and no explanation is owed to you if you want to be a racist. Also, no, it is not "weird" that they are adopted and I am not. You're weird and also narrow minded.

on the topic of racism...
When I say I don't really agree with/like the choices and character of our current president don't dare tell me I am a racist. Don't bother. I am anything but and I do respect our president in that he is the President and God put him into his position of authority. I simply agree with some famous guy by the name of King who said "I have a dream that {my four little children will one day live in a nation where} they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." I don't care what color he is. I simply have a problem with his character and a lot of the decisions he makes.

When I don't seem to take a like stance with the activism of groups like PETA or Americans attempting to save polar bears or any other type of wild life it doesn't mean I hate animals, I am just far more concerned the saving of human life and the great injustice of our nations tolerance of abortion. I do however really, really like animals. Love them actually! People just win. If I had to choose I'd rather save babies than furry things. Do don't talk to me about saving whales until we stop this homicide of human life.

When you are sitting there gasping as you read all this thinking that I am much too straight forward, very difficult, or maybe just highly opinionated, please know that perhaps you are right. 

I, Isabella Kiss, am very clear on what I stand for, and by stand I actually mean I take one. 

I refuse to live mediocre. 

I refuse to sugar coat. 

I refuse to be who society tells me that I am. 

I refuse to back off or shut up.

I know who I am and no one is going to change me. 
I will not be labeled, stereotyped or boxed in.

I'm passionate, ardent and ever-so-feisty.

I know what I believe and Whom I believe in and you will not be able to tell me otherwise. I was made by the God of the universe who loves me and saved me so I could live for eternity with Him and live life in abundance here on earth in a way that brings Him glory.

I live on purpose for a purpose.

Thanks for getting to know me. If you found this experience of becoming better acquainted with my person to be less than enjoyable feel free to close your eyes.

I am who I am. I like it that way. And there will be no changing it.

*this post was in my drafts. I wrote it a couple months ago during a blog venting session and am pulling it out as I am too busy studying for midterms to post this week. I hope I didn't scare y'all. If I did I'm not sorry.

Friday, March 4, 2011

"My Name is Narcissist."

Lately I have been spending a lot of time reading Henry David Thoreau's Walden for English class, so my mind if swarmed with deep thoughts of the wilderness and Thoreau quotations.

I shall leave you with one to ponder over the weekend. I like it because it feels like a mild reference to me and how much I talk about myself on this blog (and why).

"I should not talk so much if there were anybody else I whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience. Moreover, I, on my side, require every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men's lives..."- Henry David Thoreau (first page of his journal-style book Walden)

Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Random post involving my aunt that isn't my aunt and other such silliness

I have an aunt, who really isn't my aunt (or anything of blood relation) named Beth. My mom "adopted" her (like she does a lot of people) and we like her a lot. She is basically a really a good friend of my mothers, and is like an older sister/aunt/something to me. Her daughter is pretty much like my 6th little sister. We spend a fair amount of time with them.

Why am I telling you think? Well, it will make sense in a moment. This unintentionally became a Beth-themed post. Twice in this past week she has given me something worth posting about and now I'm at last getting around to it.

Might seems totally random, but both things made me laugh!

First off, on Tuesday Beth handed me some money (I weekly babysit for her daughter). As I look down at the bills she put into my hand I can't help but burst out laughing at one bill in particular. "BETH?! Did you happen to look at this five?"

She hadn't. I show it to her and we're both laughing, very disturbed at what out eyes are beholding. This, my friends, is what is wrong with America.

Yes, that does say "LEGALIZE" across the edge...and that generally means one thing...
What is wrong with this picture?

Yes, your eyes are not decieving you. That is one of history's greatest men, smoking what is most certainly not a fine cigar.
I don't know who the sicko was that did this (it wasn't Beth, that much we know. Just to clarify!) (I am assuming it was some college-aged male), but I know it's WRONG. Wrong to draw on national currency and wrong to make good ol' Abe out to be a pot head.
I've seen some weird things on bills, but this is no doubt the weirdest.
Now I'm afraid to spend it; I don't want a cashier to think I did *THAT* to poor Mr. Lincoln!

Second awesome Beth moment of the week occurred earlier on today when I received a (late but worth it) birthday present that had finally come by mail.

I'm sort of an unintentional coffee mug collector (as in I have a collection, given me by people who know what a coffee lover I am). I have some fairly interesting mugs, but this one I was gifted today WINS.

I don't know if you have noticed the side bar of my blog, but there are pictures there with which I state who and what I am. Foremost a writer. Lower down the list is pirate. That being said, look at this mug.

A calico jack surrounded with the words

I don't know where on the world wide web she found that but WOW. Can it get any more well phrased than that? No. No, it can not.

Oh "Aunt" Beth, you make me laugh.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Awesomebella Cooks-MAC AND CHEESE(,cheese,cheese)

I cooked. Again. And again it was a recipe request from my dad. As always with my father's requests this recipe involved a mass amount of CHEESE (like...around 7 cups...), milk and butter, oozing from all angles of some pasta. Yup. Homemade, scrumdidiliumtious mac and cheese, cheese, cheese, seattle style.

Apparently there is some amazing cheese place out in Seattle, WA (wouldn't know, never been there. I was the stay at home sudo-mom when my parents went...) that makes some amazing mac and cheese. That I know about and can vouch for its amazingness. How do I know it is good? My dad loved it so much he had frozen batches of it sent to our house after he came back from his week vacation. It is GOOD mac and cheese.

Yesterday I did my best to recreate it. I followed an actual recipe (well, mostly. I forgot the cheddar...). Check it out above. As far as macaronis go, this is a good recipe to follow. Really, really tasty. And cheesey enough to kill you...but tasty.


*"oh, your photos look GOOD today, Bella! Did you get a better camera?" you say "WHY YES I DID THANKS FOR NOTICING!!!!" On saturday I bought my very own Canon EOS 60D (the one I have been saving up for the last 8 months!) and I kind of love it. More posts on that to come, but for now look at these gorgeous, uneditted shots of the foods I took with it!

 a lot of pasta. enough to serve 32 people. There are only (only...haha) 10 in my house. We quadrupled the recipe. My dad insisted that there be left overs, and oh, there are.

 Entire block of Parmesan and an entire block of Gruyere. (not pictured is a partial block of asiago that we used instead of cheddar.) Came to like 7 cups of cheese. Yes. No exaggeration.
 2 whole sticks of butter. That stuff is really good for you, I hear. Paula Deen would be proud.

 Tia, my very favorite su-chef. That kid grated ALL the cheese for me (entirely by her own will. She volunteered and didn't stop until she had done it all. And she helped me whisk the sauce. She is 12, but often she knows more about cooking than me. She is pretty much ready to open a restaurant.)

 Spice mixture of kosher salt, garlic powder and chili powder.
 MOUNTAIN of cheeses.

 Lots of whisking involved, as we turned the sauce from just butter and flour, to a milk substance, to a thick, cheese loaded sauce of pure yum.
 All mixed up and baked for 30 minutes.


And it was GOOD. Actually tasted (more or less) like the Seattle version. Good work, Bella (but mostly Tia).

What will my assistants and I cook next week? I know! But I'm not telling. Check out next week's post to find out.

*SIDE NOTE: AWESOMEBELLA COOKS ON AWESOME MONDAYS IS TURNING INTO AWESOMBELLA COOKS ON AWESOMETHURSDAYS. I have a small group that meets on Monday and I always end up rushing out before dinner is actually over. It makes more sense for me to cook and then stick around to eat, and I can do that better on Thursdays because I'm home.


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