Friday, March 22, 2013

DIY: Break Bottles with Fire

From wine bottles to crafty jars!

I’ve tried something similar using a friend’s glass cutter. It worked alright but I haven’t been able to try more bottles since I don’t have a cutter myself. I was thrilled to stumble upon a blog with a different and simple technique for DIY breaking bottles.

I followed the blog fairly closely and began having more success after a few tries and adjustments. Don’t give up, it definitely takes some practice! Here are some tips to help:

 -Try different materials. At first I was using thin yarn and switched to thicker, which seemed to be better. Also, shoelaces have worked for others. 
-Wrap yarn around bottle at least 5 times. 
-Instead of taking of the string, dipping in acetone, then putting it back on the bottle – keep the string on the bottle and slowly pour acetone on it (it will soak up more). 
- Light the flame, circling it around until it goes out. Then (AFTER flame is out), pour on more acetone and repeat flame process. This makes sure it’s REALLY hot and will crack 
- Another tip that was helpful in blogger’s review was to directly put bottle in ice cold water NECK first. I switched from using a shallow bucket to a blender (it sounds funny, but I think it helped).
1st try on right...practice, practice!
These are my first crafty endeavor for my wedding! These bottles will be part of the centerpiece...I'll post some pictures of the finished pieces.

Ideas of what DIY to fill them with?? Rocks? Origami stars? Hmm...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Peru in June: weather and what to pack

In general...
The weather differs hugely with geography in Peru. For example, it is rainy season in Cusco while it is a warm and humid summer in Lima. provides a great weather and geographical breakdown (here). A friend suggested I write a list of things to bring when visiting in Cusco, so here's my 2cents...

In Cusco...
June-July is the closest to summer that Cusco gets. It can be really warm during the days and also pretty darn chilly at night. Temperature ranges from 67*F-31*F. Cusco has a dry atmosphere and about 11,200 feet up in the mountains. It is also within a 1/2 day travel to the jungle and snowy mountains.

What to pack...
- luggage bag
- day-trip backpack
- copies of bank cards and passport
- any medications (if you decide to take for High Altitude or Malaria)
- bug spray (This applies if you may be going to jungle regions, including Machu Picchu. Unfortunately, DEET may be the best)
- a good book/travel entertainment- sun block
- reusable water bottle
- bandanna (always handy)
- bathing suit 
- hat
- boots or good tennis shoes
- good jacket/coat
- gloves/mittens
- windbreaker
- sandals
- tank tops, shirts, long sleeves - lots of layers!

A few key items

If you're thinking about hitting up the jungle, you can eliminate most of the items and just bring a bathing suit, a few clothes and bug spray. Also, you can buy most of these things in Peru if you forget something. Actually, it's also a good idea to leave some empty space in your luggage for things you want to bring back (probably some of the beautiful textiles and artisan work).

One more thing - a favorite travel item of mine is a big scarf that doubles as a blanket or headwrap.
Is there something you always take on trips? 

Liebster Award

Wow! I've been blogging every once in a while, for awhile but am just seeing how big and wonderful the blogging world is. I didn't even know there were awards haha! Thank you Leia @ Latitude Adjustment for passing this onto me:) She's a constant inspiration and has really good tips from travel to DIY to recipes, so check out her blog!

The Leibster Award is a way to connect and get to know other new bloggers. It's passed onto other bloggers who have less than 200 followers and helps them get exposure. I've been blogging awhile, but it was never really an interactive process, so this is a good way to get out in the blogging world and meet others.

Here's how the Liebster Award works:
1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you.
3. Pass the award to 11 other blogs who have less than 200 followers. You cannot pass it back to the person who nominated you.
4.  Ask them 11 questions.

Random facts:

1. I love love animals. 
2. I´m adopted.
3. Getting married with my Peruvian love.
4. Jars are a fetish of mine. I use them for everything.
5. I love tea (in jars).
5. I speak English an Spanish and want to start a 3rd language.
6. Nature is my religion.
7. ´Re- or upcycle it´ is my motto. 
8. My fiance and I met on a bus.
9. I have traveled 4/8 regions of the world. 
10. For the past year and 1/2 I have been living in Peru.
11. The jungle is somewhere I´d like to live for awhile.

11 Questions from Leia @ Latitude Adjustment

1. What is the story behind your blog's name?
I'm a butterfly on an adventure! It's just kind of a fun name that came to me :)

2. What is your all-time favorite food?
Coconut vegetable curry and rice mmm!

3. What countries have you been to?
Us, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands.

4. What was your most enjoyable trip/vacation/holiday?
My first trip to Costa Rica with best friends and boyfriend of the time. We rented a car and had an epic trip, forging a river, to get to an isolated beach. And also, stayed on a magical organic farm!

5.  If you could choose anywhere in the world to live, where would you choose and why?
My fiance and I would like to live in Asia - either S. Korea, Japan, or Thailand. For the food and very different culture than we´ve experienced before.

6. What do you think the world will be like in 25 years?
Either much better than it is now, or much worse. Technology will keep growing. Hopefully our hearts can catch up with our minds.

7. What is your favorite word?
Quintessence (the most perfect embodiment of something)

8. If you could learn another language, what would it be?
Good question! I would like to learn an Asian language if we live there for a few months. Also, French!

9. What's your favorite city?
Granada, Spain always has a place in my heart. 

10. What's something that annoys you?
When people lie in front of you.

11. What's a passion of yours?

I'm passing this onto...
The Married Couple
Tales of a Kitchen Herbwife
Wildcraft Vita
Hearts'n Crafts Boutique
I'm still finding blogs to follow, so just 5 for now!

11 Questions to ask:
1. What´s your middle name?

2. What´s your favorite mode of transportation?

3. What inspires you?

4. What´s one of your quirks?

5. What is your favorite place?

6. What country would you like to live in?

7. What´s your favorite book?

8. What are your hobbies?

9. What do you think of religion? (in a few words)

10. What culture interests you?

11. If you could choose a super power, what would it be?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Recipe: Passion Fruit cake

Hooray for passion fruit!
Passion fruit is a very acidic and tart fruit which grows in hot areas. The first time I tried passion fruit was in Peru, where it is yellow and known commonly as ´maracuya´. Then I was excited to see it was also in Hawaii. My friend shared that she eats purple ones in Asia. I was curious exactly where it grows, so I looked it up. Apparently passion fruit is common in many areas of the world and comes in many varieties of shape, size, and color. 

The reciepe:
Living in Peru, maracuya is easily accessible so I created a simple receipe to make at home. I don´t have a whole oven at home, just a stove-top, so I found a plain chocolate cake already made. Here´s a receipe for chocolate cake if you want to make it from scratch first: Chocolate Cake (maybe better in flat pan instead of bundt)
Other ingredients:
* milk
* 1/2-3/4 bar of sweetened chocolate
* 2 maracuyas
* 1/4 cup of sugar
* 1/2-1 cup of water

 1. Cut your chocolate cake into serving size pieces. This ensures that every piece will soak in all the chocolate and maracuya sauces! 

2. Take out the insides of the maracuyas and simmer in sauce pan with water and sugar, while stirring.

3. Melt chocolate in another pan, slowing adding milk so it´s a more liquid-y consistency.
                                                                                                                                                                                4. Pour on chocolate sauce over the cake. I recommend even more than is in the picture :)

5. Then pour the maracuya mix over it.

 6. Enjoy!

Whether it be a maracuya sour or maracuya dessert, I definitely recommend you find it and try this fruity delight!

A Cultural Bit: The Coca Leaf

Coca leaf and coca candy offering

The coca plant is an indigenous plant of the Andes, particularly in Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru. It has been used in ceremonies, as currency, and for various medicinal purposes over the years. The coca leaf can be added to hot water to drink as a tea, chewed, or chemically altered to form the drug we know as ´cocaine´. 

Cup of hot coca tea 

Common uses: 
-Coca often drinken as a tea to aid in high altitude sickness. While some people aren´t effected by this at all, those who do experience some symptoms can easily find this plant to help. Whereas the high altitude pills may have other symtoms, it may also be something to consider taking.(Altitude Sickness and Side Effects of Diamox)

-Coca is a stimulant, and may give similar effects like drinking coffee 

- Often workers chew the coca leaf to overcome hunger or thirst. Because of the active alkaloids, if coca leafs are chewed frequently, chewer´s teeth with maintain a bright whiteness.  

-Chewing coca leafs can also give off an anesthetic feeling. It may be used to relieve minor pains, such as head-, tooth- or backaches.

-The coca leaf is also a great source of Calcium and Vitamin A.

Fun facts: 

Traces of coca have been found in mummies dating 3000 years back. Other evidence dates the communal chewing of coca with lime 8000 years back 

Coca Cola used small quantities of coca for its beverages until government policies changed in 1906.

More readings:
Coca Leaf: Myths and Reality
Coca Leaves
The War on Coca Leaves Redux
The Wonders of the Coca Leaf