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Alla’s February Finds

February! What a month, again, short as usual… 🙂

I thought I’d start a monthly post of my favorite things of the month, anything that I found particularly fun, helpful, or interesting; it can be anything from a new favorite song, to a new art technique I’ve come up with, or food that I like. So for the month of February, here are some of Alla’s February Finds!

1. Homemade Mac n’ Cheese

When I comes to cooking, I am a total noob. I am also a blossoming adult in her early 20’s with not a lot of time to dedicate to cooking from scratch. But when I figured out a solid recipe for homemade mac n cheese, it made me never want to go back to boxed mac again. It all comes down to the cheese sauce, and while I haven’t been able to experience with different kinds of cheeses, as long as I have the base of a good cheese sauce and some elbow noodles cooked “al dente” as they say, I got me a simple and easy dinner. My basic, not-professional-at-all recipe goes as follows:

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This isn’t homemade Mac n Cheese, but the only photo of the stuff that I’ve ever taken apparently.

Melt some unsalted butter in a saucepan, around 2 tablespoons of the stuff

Add the same amount of flour, and whisk it

Add a little milk to this mixture while still stirring. I haven’t found the perfect measurement of milk, but I found that you don’t need a lot.

Stir for a while till the mixture gets nice and warm and then you can add your cheese. I like to use what I have on hand, which tends to be sharp cheddar or Colby jack, but use any cheese you like.

Melt this for a few minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste, and you have yourself a nice, melty cheesy sauce that you can satisfyingly pour onto cooked elbow pasta.It’s super easy to make, and it has warmed me up to cooking, and I plan on experimenting more with cooking meals from scratch.

2. Ariana Grande’s new album “Thank U, Next”

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If you know me, I have been a fan of Ariana Grande since her days on “Victorious”. From being the cute character Cat to a successful pop star, Ari was able to make some music that sounds more like herself. While I have a sweet spot for her previous album, “Sweetener”, “Thank U, Next” seems to be like “Sweetener”s alter ego. The tracks sound darker and more direct in lyrics and she sings in lower registers with a more talkey-like style. Even name dropping some exes in the song, “Thank U, Next”. It took me a second to warm up to this album, but it turned out to be one of my new favorites.

Some of my faves from the album are “NASA”, “Bad Idea”, and “Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored”.

 

If you have a second, check out Ari’s album if you haven’t already!

3. Yoshi’s Crafted World Demo for the Switch

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There are a lot of games on my list to buy for my Nintendo Switch, and “Yoshi’s Crafted World” just made the list. My boyfriend and I played the demo a few weeks back, and I fell in love with it. It gives me “Kirby’s Epic Yarn” vibes from it’s quiet, simple gameplay and unique look. The game looks almost real, like they used real objects and put them in the game itself. I can’t wait to see more of this game in the future.

4. Instax Fujifilm Mini 9 camera

Photography is not my best skill, but I have respect and appreciation for all photographers, and the effort they put into capturing the perfect photo. It really does take a lot of skill, and for a newbie photographer like myself who loves to take pictures of their friends and their cats, the Instax Mini 9 camera works for me.

 

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The first picture I took, minutes after I took the camera out of the box.

I’ve been wanting this camera for around 2 years, and my boyfriend surprised me with it this past Christmas. It snaps a photo and the little picture comes out just like old film cameras of the past, and develops just like it too. I am in love with that vintage photo look, and in my pictures I like combining that old look with newer objects, like smartphones, in my photos. it makes for some interesting looking photos.

 

 

I’ve taken it with me to my trip to California, and I took tons of photos there, even in front of Cinderella’s castle at Disneyland.

5. Skillshare

One of my goals of 2019 was to get back into learning. Once out of college I didn’t want to stop learning more about my craft, and I wanted to learn about things like owning a business, building a social media following, among other things. That’s where Skillshare comes in.

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It’s a platform where you can take tons of different classes about anything you can think of, like cooking, sewing, even how to invest money and learn how to buy stocks. I’ve taken a couple classes, I try to take at least one a week, and I like to listen to them while I take notes and study. I signed up for the yearly membership, but it’s only $15 a month, and they offer a free trial.

A few classes I’ve taken are about launching my creative career, how to effectively use Etsy, Illustration classes, and self-motivation classes. I’ve found them all useful, and some classes have worksheets and documents you can print out and use. I recommend Skillshare for anyone who wants to learn something new, pick up a new hobby, or for self-employed folks who would like to learn more about what it is they do.

That’s all for February’s Finds! March is here soon, along with lovely Springtime, flowers, and Daylight Savings Time. Looking forward to that! I hope you are too.