Adios! See me at Olivia Cleans Green

28 Sep

Hello! I’m not cut out for personal blogging. Visit me at, where I share green homekeeping tips 5 days a week.


How to Make Perfect Popcorn

5 Jul

  1. Pour enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot.
  2. Set heat to medium low and allow oil to heat for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add enough corn kernels so that a one-kernel deep layer covers the entire bottom of pot. (Do not let the kernels pile on top of each other.)
  4. Make sure that the oil is level with the corn kernels. Add or pour out oil if you need to.
  5. Let the corn kernels heat up until the oil just barely begins to sizzle.
  6. Now, cover the pan.
  7. Listen to the corn kernels. Do you hear popping? Eventually you will. When that happens slide and shake the pot every 5 seconds or so while holding it over the heat and holding the lid steady. This keeps popped corn from burning and helps unpopped kernels reach the bottom of the pot so they can get hot and pop too.
  8. Once you don’t hear popping anymore (it’s over if you don’t hear something pop in 3 or 4 seconds), dump the contents of the pot into a large bowl that can tolerate hot things.
  9. Add seasonings. (My favorite combo is Goya Adobo with Pepper and Dill. I also like Old Bay.) Use salad tongs or a spatula to toss the popcorn so everything gets covered evenly.
  10. Enjoy this delicious snack that costs less than a dollar to make. Never eat microwave popcorn again!

So much olive oil, so little time.

4 Jul

Today my boyfriend and I went to Whole Foods and spent about 10 minutes deciding which bottle of olive oil to purchase. Prices ranged from $23 to $100 a gallon.  I thought it was a no-brainer. Of course we should buy the $23/gallon stuff. It’s all the same, right? Wrong! Richard swore he could taste the difference. We bought his favorite brand, the stuff I remember seeing in the cabinet of his bachelor pad, Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It was $18 for a quart.

When I got home I still wondered what accounts for the difference in price. I asked my dear friend Google.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil is unrefined, rich in flavor, most nutritious, and should be enjoyed raw (with bread or salad, for example). Referred to as “First Cold Pressed” by many and as “EVOO” by Rachel Ray.
  • Pure Olive Oil is more refined than EVOO, lacks flavor, and is suitable for cooking since it withstands heat.
  • Olive Pomace Oil usually comes in a shady green tinted bottle. It is just plain awful and chock full of chemicals. You shouldn’t eat it.
  • Both quality of the olives that the oil is extracted from and the process used affect the price.
  • Of course, you can’t dig deeper without discovering a worm. Mama Natural reports on an Olive Oil Scam.

Random tip: Store olive oil in a cool, dark space in a well-sealed container to keep the oil from going rancid.

Chattering Kitchen
TLC Cooking

What if you forgot everything you believed was true about yourself?

3 Jul

My first video blog, or vlog, if you will 😉

I’m not sure there are enough words for how inadequate I felt while recording this. I know even though this was at least my 4th take it is far from perfect. Still, I did it. I got over the hump of the first video blog. Hooray!!! *Self high-five and a long deep sigh of relief!* I look forward to making other videos again soon, hopefully earlier in the day when more of my brain cells are active and there is natural light available.

(Click here to see  photo of the drawing I held up, in case you missed it.)

The Secret to Success

2 Jul
The secret to success by itsolivialane
The secret to success, a photo by itsolivialane on Flickr.

I illustrated a quote from The Fire Starter Sessions for my ICAD.

“Do What You Say You’re Going to Do” Danielle LaPorte: My Fire Starter Sessions experience

2 Jul

danielle laporte and the fire starter sessions

I finally finished reading The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle LaPorte. The Fire Starter Sessions is a self-help book for entrepreneurs (and other people who want to grow professionally) that offers activities for healing self-discovery along with a firm, motivating kick in the ass.

It took me over a month to complete the The Fire Starter Sessions and I didn’t even do half of the activities, so it’s not fair for me to “review” the book. I will say I like Danielle LaPorte’s no-nonsense, honest, and urgent approach. I am also loving the last bit of advice I read: Do What You Say You’re Going to Do. Oi! Like most of the advice in the book, it seems obvious and it’s nothing new, but in the context of business and growing to be the kind of person I want to be this message set my heart on fire. (Thank you Danielle!)

In my early 20s, I often put my personal interests and well-being aside to do things for others. I was a banner-waving, pamphlet-pushing vegan activist who spent most of my free time advocating for animals. Still, no matter how much I did, it never felt like it was good enough (or like, I was good enough) so I’d commit to more. I’d over commit to things I couldn’t possibly handle physically, much less emotionally, until inevitably I’d burnt out and feel too angry and used to do much of anything. Continue reading

How about some almond sauce? We’re much too cool for peanut sauce.

28 Jun

I’m actually not too cool for peanut sauce. I just don’t have peanut butter.

I discovered the recipe for this simple and delicious almond sauce at The Gluten-Free Diva Blog. (Please visit that blog for the recipe.) I don’t know Ellen, but her profile picture makes it clear she likes to have fun in the kitchen. I’m not on a gluten-free diet, but I love having fun!


It’s my first time busting out the steam basket!

I gathered all the ingredients. (Garlic cloves missed the photo shoot.)I had to make a few substitutions: ground ginger instead of fresh ginger and sriracha instead of chili flakes.

Continue reading