almond shells

The Alex Foundation Dictionary

Ever wonder what it’s like to communicate with a parrot like Alex? Some labels we use with Griffin and Athena are the same as the English words, but a few are quite different!


A request for preening



This label was coined by Alex, who seemed to think that an almond in the shell looked like a cork but tasted like a cashew, or “nut.”



This label was coined by Alex and is thought to be a mix of banana and cherry, two fruits he already knew.

Keep reading


Sometimes you choose what to write about; sometimes it chooses you. A recent issue of Sports Illustrated featured a fascinating article by Susanna Schrobsdorff about the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc, an all-female, off-road rally that’s held every year in the Moroccan desert. Women compete in teams of two, driving 4x4s, trucks, crossovers, quad bikes, or motorbikes. It’s not about speed: they have to get from checkpoint to checkpoint using only a map and a compass, and the winners are those who travel the fewest kilometers—that is, those who navigate best. So I was thinking about why someone might want to do this… and then I noticed that Schrobsdorff had written that the mechanics who travel along as part of the rally’s huge retinue of support personnel are all men. And I thought, Well, this certainly won’t do. My disclaimer here is that I did a lot of reading about the rally, but I’m sure I’ve got tons of details wrong. Also my French is about as bad as my other non-English languages. Anyway, this piece is proceeding kind of like Pilot, in that something seems to want to be said, but I’m not quite managing to say it.


Myka drinks from her late-afternoon-lukewarm water bottle and wishes she were asleep. Being the only woman among a fraternity of men who think they know more than she does is always exhausting. Being the only woman on a forty-person team of mechanics that’s supporting a nine-day, all-woman off-road rally in the Moroccan desert? There’s probably a word for how much heavier that is, but Myka doesn’t know it. It’s only three days in, and she’s slipping into a very familiar trough of wondering why she ever said she’d do this again, the parched back of her mind cursing the name of the Army buddy who first got her this gig six years ago.

Keep reading

                                Easterlings and their Kohl-Lined Eyes

Peter Jackson’s films most noticeably bestows this specific aesthetic to the Easterlings of Rhûn (and the Haradrim). In particular,we notice that the Easterling (presumably male) soldiers that march through the Black Gates in The Two Towers have both upper and lower eyelids lined in black kohl.

               What is kohl? “Kohl,” the oldest form of makeup, literally
               means to brighten the eyes. The practice dates back to
               4000 B.C.E. when Egyptian men and women lined their
               eyes with a paste made out of heavy metals containing
               concentrations of lead sulfide (i.e. galena and antimony).
               The mixture would be burnt to release the lead oxide, thus
               making the resulting powder black. The powder would be
               kept in small jars and applied with small rounded or flattened
               instruments. Oil would be applied to the instrument before
               dipping it into the mixture and swiping it across the eyelids.
               Many other cultures throughout history, such as Indians
               and peoples in North Africa, used kohl made from lead,
               plant extracts, resins, and soot (such as from sunflower
               seeds and almond shells). Kohl would sometimes even
               be perfumed with frankincense. For Egyptians, the
               application of kohl had varied purposes such as warding
               off diseases and evil spirits, and protecting one’s eyes
               from the desert sun. The eyes were important to Egyptian
               culture and kohl emphasized their intensity and depth.

Now back to the Easterlings and kohl. “Culture” is diverse, non-fixed, and dynamic. We cannot assume all Easterling tribes practiced lining their eyes in kohl, nor did they do so for the same reasons, and those reasons could have changed during its long history of practice. What may have started as a superstition of warding off evil spirits could have transformed into a common cultural aesthetic. However, there are valid reasons to assume its practice was similar to that of the ancient Egyptian’s, especially in terms of sun protection. The sun had a blaring presence on the semi-arid steppes that the Easterlings called home. And for soldiers decked in golden scaled armor, kohl-lined eyes could offer some form of protection from the glint of the sun’s rays.

Amended from [ x ]


Gumback Express has a very artificial banana scent, reminds me of a laffy taffy banana taste with a bit more warmth from the nutty almond undertone. The scent remains on skin after use, which I dislike because I don’t like the scent to begin with. However, simply applying a warm-fragranced lotion like Sympathy For The Skin, Smitten, or even just coconut oil makes it bearable.

Gumback Express is Lush’s only exfoliating shower smoothie to date. It’s very runny, better suited in a bottle than a tub. It uses ground almond shells as the exfoliant, which I absolutely love because it gives the smoothie a thorough but gentle scratchy feel without the burn that sugar, salt, and baking soda can have. I recommend not applying shower smoothies with any sort of loofah, cleansing brush, washcloth, etc. Just step outside of running water and apply as liberally or conservatively as you see fit. Massage it into skin for a few minutes to allow the butters to sink in, then rinse off and dry off shortly afterwards. Gumback Express does contain soap so it’s an all-in-one, however it doesn’t leave skin feeling tight or stripped.

bowldeepfannish replied to your post “Really people need to not think so selfishly and try rigging a poll. I…”

pity about the poll but whatever you end up doing may your lips be red and swollen with kisses, your synapses pleasantly on fire and your cinnamon storage overflowing 8D

Shoot, I knew I forgot something at the store today! I’m almost out of cinnamon again. (it makes my coffee sooooo good)

I think I might pass on the red and swollen lips though, LOL. The only ones who give me kisses are my parrots, and if my lips are red and swollen it means they were naughty and bitey. And it REALLY EFFING HURTS to have lips bitten by a beak that looks at an almond in the shell and thinks it’s fun to crack that thing. 

10 Tips On Overcoming Internalized Colourism

1. Understand that colourism, both intentional and internalized, is a prevailing problem in most societies and it needs a solution. Learn about the harmful effects it has on darker skinned people.

2. If you’re a darker skinned individual who buys whitening products, please don’t. I know it’s difficult when society is constantly saying that white is better, dark needs to be corrected, dark is wrong. I know it’s hard when they force it down our throats till we choke on it.
However, we need to stop contributing to industries that are making huge sums of money by fuelling self-hatred in POC’s. 

3. If you’re a lighter skinned individual telling others to buy whitening products, please don’t. Stop telling others they need to change something about themselves when it doesn’t affect you (or them for that matter). 

4.Stop saying ‘no offense’ every time you describe a person that has skin darker than apricots. There’s nothing offensive about the colour. What is offensive is how we are treated because of our colour.

5. We are so used to seeing the blonde haired, blue eyed figure as the epitome of beauty in movies and books. Tell yourself that the definition of beauty stretches from East to West. There’s no fixed description. Tell yourself that till the voice in your head is louder than that of societies. Here’s just a few examples of people of colour who are absolutely gorgeous, if you’re having a hard time believing it. Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B Jordan, Deepika Padukone, Bipasha Basu, Mindy Kaling, Dev Patel, Frieda Pinto.

6. In whatever area of your work, represent all skin tones. You’re a movie producer? Hire dark skinned actors/actresses as much as the lighter skinned ones (Hi Bollywood, take note). You’re a shoe designer? Understand that the definition of colour ‘nude’ varies from person to person. It’s not just peach. (Thank you, Christian Louboutin, for expanding your Nude Shoe collection). Always remember that a wide range of shades exist and incorporate that thought into the little things you do in life. A big difference is small differences made day in, day out.

7. If you see anyone pushing on their internalized colourism onto children, intervene and stop them. You could see/hear this in the most subtle ways. ‘Don’t play in the sun, I don’t want you to get darker’. Things like that. Yes, those are small things. But repeat them day in and day out and it results in larger problems. We can’t fight intentional colourism and racism, until we first get rid of these harmful internalized messages.

8. Take that extra step and e-mail companies that sell whitening products. Challenge their notion. Let them know how harmful their marketing strategies are. Together, we can make a difference. 

9. Don’t be too hard on others who have internalized racism.Especially if they are darker skinned, because they are battling with themselves. It’s easy to get frustrated, but be patient with them and teach them how harmful it really is. I once read a quote that said ‘The first thought that goes through your mind is what you have been conditioned to think. Your next thought defines who you’re”. I think this quote is applicable in this situation. Patience is key. They will eventually think their own thoughts, with the help of your knowledge. If you’re too hard on them, they may get  defensive and your energy may go to waste. 

10. Love yourself. From fine-textured Ebony that produces beautiful melodies, to a hot cup of Mocha to keep you warm on a winter’s day. From the sweetness of Caramel,to the fragrant Ginger, to the hard-shelled Almonds that grow in the Mediterranean. Thick-skinned, like you. From the Golden sun rays that can’t shine brighter than your personality to Olives that grow on the blessed tree. From the way your cheeks Blush when you’re excited to the Rosy flowers in your garden. You’re beautiful.

Black-ice roads and frosted trees; two cups of coffee on the dashboard, broken windshield wipers, and chapped skin - hand-in-hand - on winding roads at half-past-eight. Dog hair shed between us and a chill in the air that crept into our lungs. The aftermath of fall, long gone, strewn in dull orange across the ground. Icicles in the trees. And the next day, fifty degrees, thawing hearts, hands - fingers numb and wool gloves wet and a shovel, melting, onto a driveway covered in puddles and salt. Rows of fish tanks. A sleeping otter. A dog’s bed in a heap in a corner, stuffing strewn over the carpet. Muddy paw prints drawing figure eights around a kitchen, warmed only by an oven and the smell of melted chocolate. An empty bag of flour. Almond shells. Black coffee, slightly burnt. And a rumbling engine, roaring around the corner, the thud of a half-on bumper. And the horizon - waiting. Waiting.
—  month poetry: february. (l.v.) purchase “ready aim fire”. 


This herbal beauty is great for moody, combination skin that’s just as indecisive as a fangirl trying to choose betweenTom Hiddleston or Benedict Cumberbatch.

Almond shells and rice bran to exfoliate
Rice vinegar to tone and brighten
Sage and nettle to stimulate skin for a nice glow
rose absolute, geranium oil and chamomile blue oil to moisturise and soothe redness and puffiness

(P.s. the answer is of course to pick them both, yay!)

anonymous asked:

I hate when the duchess of cambridge doesn't stick to the royal protocol like we know you like short dresses and super high heel but is it necessary to dress like that when attending a mental health engagement?

Well, this is utter shit so I am going to share with y'all my ultimate favorite macaron recipe (found of the internet of course) it mixes two of my favorite cookies: macarons and oreos.

Macaron Shells:
-100g almond flour
-30g Oreo cookie crumbs (approx. 4 cookies with filling removed)
-130g powdered sugar
-100g egg whites (room temperature)
-1/8 tsp cream of tartar or some salt (your saltiness fits too as this part is to keep the egg whites fluffy while you are mixing your ingredients)
-90g sugar (or other superfine sugar)

Oreo Buttercream:

Filling from 12 Double Stuffed Oreos
-4 Tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature)
-¼ cup powdered sugar
-2 Tbsp crushed Oreos (approx. 2 cookies with filling removed)

Macaron Shells:

1. Line baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment.

2. Place the almond flour, powdered sugar, and Oreo cookie crumbs in a food processor. Process until just beginning to clump. Sift and discard any bits that won’t pass through the sifter. Set aside.

3. Whip the egg whites until they’re the consistency of a loose foam, add in cream of tartar (or some of your saltiness). Continue whipping while slowly adding caster sugar. Whip to a stiff meringue.

4. Fold the dry mixture into the meringue.

5. Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted.

6. Pipe the macarons onto your baking sheet. Sprinkle with Oreo cookie crumbs if desired.

7. When all your macarons are piped, whack the baking sheet on the counter at least 3 times to get rid of any air bubbles.

8. Let the macarons dry at room temperature until dry to the touch. (Approx 1 hour. DO NOT skip this step.)

9. Once dry, bake macarons in a preheated 300°F oven until they stick just slightly to the pans. This can be anywhere from 10-20mins depending on your oven and how crowded the macarons are on the pan.

Let cookies cool completely before removing from pans.

Oreo Buttercream:

Cream Oreo filling and butter until smooth, pale, and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar and Oreo cookie crumbs and mix until well combined.

Enjoy motherfuckers.


Five ways to rock your socks this holiday season.

They say good things come in small packages, and here at Sephora, we couldn’t agree more. Not to toot our own horn, but our pocket-sized beauties make the best (and easiest!) stocking stuffers for everyone on your gift list. Below, we list a few suggestions for filling your chimney-hung grab bags with care. KELLEY HOFFMAN

TIP #1
Keep your eye out for gifts that can be easily broken apart. These save time and brainpower—and they’re easy on the wallet, too. While any set can be divided up, we highly suggest kits with individually wrapped items for extra gifting finesse.

Benefit Cosmetics 3 Scoops O’ Sexy
Grab this one set to easily dole out three gifts of matching lip balms and tints. Or, you know, keep one for yourself.
Ciate Tree Trinket
Kill two birds with one stone with this festive nail polish duo. Each comes encased inside a separate clear ornament.  

TIP #2
A small gift can still make an impact. While we can’t all gift tickets to Hawaii, we can give the dream of a beach-y escape to anyone who’s little down on winter. And hey, it beats a sun lamp. 

This scent will instantly transport anyone to sandy, seaside memories. The portable format makes this perfume easy when you’re on-the-go, even if you’re just going to the office.
Bumble and bumble Surf Spray and Bumble and bumble Grooming Creme
Gift mermaid-worthy tresses for the girl who wants to look like she spent all day at the beach. Not required: actually going to the ocean.

TIP #3
Consider daring your giftee to oil. Oils have been in the beauty game since the beginning of time, yet they’ve recently experienced a resurgence of popularity. If she loves natural beauty, spoil her with this small luxury. 

Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil Ornament
This face oil-in-an-ornament nourishes like whoa. She’ll like its unique scent, but she’ll love its hydrating powers.
L’Occitane Almond Supple Skin Ritual
With this delectable duo, your giftee can bring the power of beauty oils to her body.  First, she can cleanse and exfoliate with this ground almond shell soap, and then nourish her skin with a dry almond oil. 
tarte Sweet Dreams Deluxe Best Sellers Collection
For the girl who loves subtle glamour, consider this set that includes a maracuja oil, brightening eye treatment, and limited-edition cheek stain. These small wonders will have your giftee looking refreshed and radiant. 

TIP #4
The end of December might mean the end of gift giving, but it doesn’t mean the end of holiday parties. Gift your girl who plans to get gussied up for New Year’s Eve.

SEPHORA COLLECTION All Access Glam Gold and Silver Eye and Face Palette
With eight eyeshadows, four blush shades, a universal highlighter, and a large mirror, this sleek palette is your party clutch’s BFF for sparkly events that last ‘til midnight—and then some.
beautyblender the original beautyblender®
This little gift comes with a lot of innovation. The egg-shaped complexion sponge is a secret of make up artists around the world, and will take your giftee’s flawless face to the next level. 

TIP #5
Not quite sure of your giftee’s taste? Look for two-in-one gifts—they at least give you a second chance for nailing her style. And after all, when it comes to stocking stuffers, the more the merrier!

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Mini Rollerball Set
No matter her vision of Nirvana, she’ll love these sensual and chic rollerballs, whether she leans towards musks or vanillas. Plus, they can be worn together, too. 
Bite Beauty Mix N’ Mingle Lip Mini in Luminous Créme Lipstick Duo in Violet/Palomino
Who knows whether she’ll kick off the New Year with a pop of pink or purple (or a combo of the two)? You don’t have to predict the future, because these double-sided lipsticks will give her multiple options.


I know some people who are literally terrified of birds. Yakno what I say? You should be. That is a healthy fear. I have been left scarred by these birds’ beaks and talons. Baron can Crack into an almond shell in less than 30 seconds. My flesh is not as strong as an almond shell. It is by the birds’ will alone that humans are at the top of the food chain. Think about it. They have dominated every reach of the globe. They have adapted to every environment. Some raptors can be seen killing and eating foxes and coyotes. Even wolves don’t like to deal with them. A flock of pigeons could leave you bloody and missing an eye. Some birds aren’t afraid of anything, who cares if you’re in a car, I’ll fight your tire (I’m talking to you turkey number 4), some birds stand over 6 feet tall and have only one thing on their mind, killing all who oppose them. We like to call those birds ostriches. Have you ever seen an ostrich fight a hyena? Well I have. And the hyena got its ass handed to it cause it couldn’t run fast enough and was stupid enough to try and hurt that daddy birds chicks. You better run. You see, the reason why humans have been adopted by our bird overlords is because our birds think we’re their giant ugly featherless children, or they happen to have a weird fetish for humans (I’m talking about you baron). If the day ever comes that we no longer become “cute” to our bird overlords, the world as we know it will end. So just remember folks. We are not truly at the top of the food chain and we never were

i am free whenever you’re in front of me

“why do you keep making aus no one wants.” because i’m a self-indulgent mess, that’s why, and @baegerbombtastic and @ereriere don’t tell me when to quit.


Pairing: Eren/Levi
Verse: Dead on Arrival (an urban faerie au)
Rating: T (this chapter features morgue stuff and dead bodies)
Summary: “It’s my job to cut you open.” The ice has settled in his mouth, has frozen his tongue solid, and yet he can keep speaking. Medically speaking, it might be shock. But it could be something else entirely. “You were dead not even five minutes ago.”

“I—“ the boy frowns and looks down at his body, naked but alive. Or, rather, apparently alive. Levi hasn’t had the opportunity to verify that, or anything. “Where am I?”  

Or you can [Read on AO3]!

chapters: i | ii | iii | iv | v | vi

Keep reading

Prunus dulcis dulcis

Almonds are the earliest-blooming of all deciduous fruit or nut trees. They should be grown only in regions where there is relative freedom from frosts during blooming period and early spring when nuts begin to form. Small, immature nuts are even more frost sensitive than blossoms. 

Almonds are best adapted to areas with warm, dry summers. These are needed for nuts to properly mature. Nuts will not reach maturity if summers are cool and humidity high. 

With a few exceptions such as ‘All-in-One’ and ‘Garden Prince’, almonds require cross-pollination with another variety to produce a crop. Suitable pollinizers for each variety are included in the variety chart. 

Almonds do well in most soil as long as soil is well drained. They do not tolerate salty soils. Trees are quite drought resistant once established but produce better with regular watering. If trees make 8 to 15 inches of new growth each year, they do not need to be fertilized. If they are slow to grow, trees will respond to nitrogen applied at a rate of 1-½ pounds actual nitrogen per tree per year. 

Prune young almond trees to a vase shape. Nuts are borne on spurs that remain fruitful for about 5 years. If an abundant almond crop is your goal, prune with thinning cuts to replace branches that have spurs past their prime. Extensive pruning is not usually required. A few large cuts will normally do the job. 

Harvest almonds after hulls have cracked open and are partially dried. Nuts can be knocked or shaken from tree. Allowing them to fall naturally takes weeks and risks rain damage.

Remove hulls and place nuts in sun to dry for one to two days. When kernels rattle in their shells they are dried enough. A properly dried kernel will snap in two rather than bend. 

Almonds in the shell will keep up to six months stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place. 

Western Fruits, Nuts & Berries © 1981