Favorite Things: May 11th

All these months and I haven’t had a single favorite thing. Of course it took a coffee shop with wild wallpaper to get me back in the groove. Kidding—but here’s my first favorite things in a long, long while.

Oh Wonderful Favorite Things

Jane in San Francisco: One name to rule them all—Jane. Now with three locations around the city (2 of them close to my hood!), residents and tourists can get a taste of their housemade bread and pastries, plus a piping hot cup of Jane’s own coffee.

Everything by The OuaiYes, okay, I watch KUWTK. Yes, I learned about The Ouai through KKW’s Instagram. And yes, everything smells amazing. The Ouai’s dry shampoo is the best I’ve ever used—I feel fresher with just one spray and it lasts all day long. Plus it doesn’t hurt when the compliments on how good you smell start rolling in.

SF Conservatory of Flowers: I’ll be celebrating four years in the Bay this June and it took the four blood-related women in my family for me to visit the Conservatory of Flowers. Feel like you need some more butterflies in your life? Head here.

Trump Draws: Sorry to sour the mood. But let’s be real, my mood has been sour since November 9th, 2016. I will never respect the Cheeto in Chief, but I will always laugh at this Twitter account that shows off his most enviable skill. Are you kidding me? He’s skilled at nothing.

The Piece: Spring Faves from Tobi 

I could honestly online shop until I drop. Sure, I miss running my hands through items on a hanger, but I would gladly skip the small talk with store clerks any day of the week. Four score and a few days ago (literally it was back in college), a friend introduced me to Tobi.com before an ill fated trip to Vegas (will never share deets on that), where I found Vegas-ready dresses in a pinch. Fast-forward to years later and they’re my new go-to for spring pieces that are a little bit edgy, fairly feminine and totally wearable.

Keep scrolling to see how I’ll be wearing spring pieces from Tobi.com

For Work

You really can wear lace to work—in the form of lace-ups that is. A lace up tee is a new twist on an old classic that’s just fun enough to keep a classic outfit fresh. I’ll be pairing this Tobi tee with my favorite skinny jeans, lace-up sandals from Rebecca Minkoff (these sold out, but latest ones are here) and a vest to keep things a little more buttoned-up.

For Nights Out

Who am I kidding, I can’t go out more than once a month! But if there’s a daytime occasion to have a little fun coming up, you can count me in. For post-work occasions, I’ll take the Erma tee for a spin with a flouncy miniskirt, a cargo-meets-jean jacket from Anthropologie and my most-trusted ankle booties that I can last all day long in.

For Date Night

I hope you know that I can’t last an entire post without complaining about the weather in SF. For evening date nights, layering is key. So while I’ll still rock a spring-ready dress, I’ll layer it under a turtleneck that lasted me from fall to winter, and now into spring. I’ve been rocking the 1.State sneakers almost daily, so of course there’s no taking those out of rotation either.

For Weekends

Weekends are made for easy outfits and for trying things that I wouldn’t normally wear Monday to Friday. I’d like to pretend that I’m totally comfortable with anything off the shoulder (because they’re all the rage now, right?), but most of the time I find myself tugging at the top of the sleeves to keep it actually off the shoulder. Weekends are perfect for all that tugging activity, so I’ll be rocking a chambray (my fave fabric!) off the shoulder dress with a handkerchief tied around the neck for the ultimate in casual, laidback weekend dressing.

Miso Marinated Salmon

Sometimes, it’s just easier to pop open a frozen dinner from Trader Joe’s and pour myself a glass of rosé than to whip up something from scratch.

Enter, seafood.  I know people tend to be wary of fish, but’s it’s one of the few proteins that takes less than 10 minutes to cook and rarely needs a ton of seasoning. Perfect scallops, for example, only takes 6 minutes to cook – you’ll be done after one and a half Beyoncé songs. This Miso Marinated Salmon is my favorite seafood-centric meal of the moment since it can be marinated days in advance, popped into the oven, and made into an easy weeknight dinner. All I have to do is pour myself a glass of wine, make some rice or salad, and nosh.

Miso Marinated Salmon 
Ingredients

1-2 filets of salmon
1 tbsp. Sake
1 tbsp. Mirin
2 tbsp. White miso paste
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp. black sesame seeds
Black sesame seeds, as needed

1. Set your oven to broil. In a glass bowl, gently stir your Mirin, sake, miso paste, sesame oil, 1/2 tbsp. of black sesame seeds and ginger together to make the marinade. The consistency should mirror a watery paste.

2. Place your salmon in the bowl and coat with the marinade for at least one hour before cooking. The salmon and marinade can be refrigerated for up to two days in a covered container (I recommend glass, not plastic, as it absorbs flavor).

3. Lay a sheet of foil onto a cookie sheet or oven-safe pan. Before baking your salmon, scrape most of the marinade off of the filet as any residue will burn in the oven. Broil the salmon for 10-12 minutes, or until salmon is pinky-orange throughout. Enjoy!

The Piece: Madewell Side-Slit Skirt

Side-slit skirt. Now say that five times fast. I’ve been on the hunt for a work to weekend-appropriate skirt that hit every check box on my list. What was on my list? Versatility, the perfect amount of leg baringness, and a streamlined (but not tight) silhouette. I think I met my match with Madewell’s side-slit skirt.

Introducing a brand new series on the blog: The Piece, wherein I take my favorite piece from the month and show you how I’ll be wearing it on repeat for the most repetitive occasions in my life: work, the occasional date, a night out and finally (the best), the weekend.

Want to see how I’ll be wearing this month’s piece? Keep scrolling.

For The Workday

The Piece: Madewell Side Slit Skirt

When it comes to personal style, I like to keep it simple. The boldest thing you’ll ever see me where is a bright(er) color and maybe a floral print or wise stripes. So when it comes to work, muted hues, slouchy silhouettes, and less-revealing pieces are my go-to. Chambray and stripes are my #powercouple, while ankle booties are just my shoe spirit animal.

For Date Night

The Piece: Madewell Side Slit Skirt

My perfect free drink date night outfit? Casual, comfortable and just a little coy. During the winter my go-to meet for drinks outfit was a  chunky knit sweater and distressed jeans (so I could show off just a little skin), but springtime means patio drinks (weather permitting), a unexpected side-slit and block-heel sandals.

For A Night Out

The Piece: Madewell Side Slit Skirt

I don’t go out that often, but when I DO, the day of I always have a mini-meltdown trying to figure out what to wear. Wardrobe meltdowns are made harder when you’re trying to find something slinky to wear, but instead see the turtlenecks you own for each day of the week. But I’m excited to swap in a midi for skinny jeans for those very rare 2 a.m. nights.

For The Weekend

The Piece: Madewell Side Slit Skirt

Lately San Francisco weekends haven’t been the warmest, even though spring has officially sprung. But for that one hour where the sun might be out and the wind is hiding, I will happily slide into sandals and a straw hat. But I’ve learned that you should always carry a jacket in this city, so utility jackets are key (plus they have plenty of pockets).

Now shop the pieces shown here!

Wednesday Wants: J. Crew Spring Arrivals & Farewell Jenna Lyons

Wednesday Wants J Crew

Have you heard the news? Jenna Lyons is leaving J. Crew after 26 years. I am sad. Not like, “I must frame all of my favorite J. Crew pieces in a glass case so I can sell them on eBay one day,” but rather, I’m slightly excited for what’s to come. Let’s be real—J. Lyons set the standard for what all of us could expect from J. Crew. I acutely remember when I was 10 and browsing through their catalog, mentally picking out my favorite shade from their candy-colored collection of cashmere sweaters, thinking to myself, “I can’t wait until I’m older so I can buy one.” I’m probably disappointing my 10-year-old self by instead buying a cargo jacket that I’ll wear until it fades and toothpick jeans (which are the perfect median between skinny and straight).

I’m going to miss that classic (to me) that Jenna brought to the brand, from pairing tulle skirts with a chambray shirt to normalizing fuschia pink as a completely acceptable color to wear to the office, she really did wonders on J. Crew. Plus, let’s not forget the multiple times that Michelle Obama wore J. Crew. Talk about America’s brand.

Here are my current favorites from J. Crew’s spring collection: 

1. Cold-shoulder top: I’ve been told that my rosy-pink/translucent skin tone really pops in poppy red. Plus, cold-shoulder tops are trending for spring.

2. Slim boyfriend jeans: Get you a new pair of light wash jeans this spring. A loose, but flattering fit like a boyfriend jean might even extend into fall.

3. Galaxy hoop earrings: Hoop earrings are my new spirit animal and I’m ready to step up my hoop game with a more avant-garde pair.

4. Lace-up popover top: I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing if people start to think of you when they see a striped shirt. I’m going to go with the notion that it’s a good thing, so I want to lace-up and go in this popover top.

5. Ruffle hem midi-dress: The minute I saw the red floral dress I was all *drool emoji*. Knowing my predictable dressing habits, I would probably wear this with tan heels and my favorite cargo jacket.

6. Seer-sucker jumpsuit: I’m a sucker for stripes  and jumpsuits (and really anything I can wear a straw fedora with).

7. Signet bag in calf hair: I just want to live a pressure-free life and head out the door in a t-shirt, jeans and a bold bag.

8. Lace-up suede sandals: See what I said about tan sandals? It’ll never end.

Vegan Tomato Basil Soup

Vegan Tomato Basil Soup

I’ve been feeling like a refresh and reset—on this soup. Coming off the cleanse and back into my old eating (and drinking fine wine) habits, I’ve definitely noticed a shift in my mood, my energy and my ability to slip into my jeans. It’s probably time to go back to clean eating. So step one is to refresh and find new ways to clean-up my old recipes, starting with an old favorite: this tomato basil soup. Instead of using heavy cream, I subbed in plain coconut yogurt that gave this soup a tangy taste that I definitely don’t hate. It was actually a nice take on this heartier soup, just in time for spring.

Vegan Tomato Basil Soup
Ingredients

2 lbs. tomatoes (Romas are so good!), quartered and deseeded
4 cloves of garlic
1 yellow onion, halfed and sliced
2 tbsp.  olive oil
1 cup of coconut yogurt (your substitute for heavy cream!)
2 handfuls of basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups water
Cracked red pepper
Salt & pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and coat the onion, garlic and tomatoes with the olive oil and salt & pepper. Place in a heavy, oven-proof pot or a cookie sheet.

2. Cook for 45 minutes. They’ll be ready for soup once they’re mostly broken down and crumble at the touch of a spoon.

3. Transfer your baked goods into a pot on medium-high heat. Add in your water, chopped basil and cracked red pepper, boil then simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Once your soup has simmered, transfer your soup into a blender or use an immersion blender to puree your soup. Before you blend, add in your coconut yogurt for that trademark creaminess. Blend away and enjoy!

Wednesday Wants: Embroidered Clothing

Wednesday Wants: Embroidered Clothes
It’s time to get my stitch on. On a scale of 1-10 of craftiness, I’d safely same that I’m at a 4. I know how to use a hot glue gun (and skillfully), but I never had the patience for anything that required yarn or thread. Everyone’s pulled out their needle and thread for spring’s biggest trend—embroidery from head to toe. Here are my favorite picks for this stitched (and seriously pretty) trend, from top left to bottom right. 

  • Sam Edelman clutch: I. Love. Clutches. Apply your best Oprah voice when you say that in your head—because that’s exactly how I feel. I’m fully prepared to have orinthologists fawn over this bag. 
  • Madewell embroidered jeans: I can’t keep orchids alive, but at least I can wear them, with no water or sunlight required. I’m fully supportive of a denim-on-denim look with these jeans. 
  • ‘La vie’ military jacket by Rebecca Taylor: if you see me regularly, you know that there’s a 75% chance that I’ll be wearing a cargo jacket. A sweet, floral accent seems like the perfect spring update for this personal staple. 
  • Topshop skinny jeans: I need a new night-out rotation. Im digging the thought of embroidered skinny jeans and a black cold shoulder top, especially as warmer weather starts to really sit in. 
  • Gap button-up: No one can go wrong with a blue button-up. I’d dress this one down with boyfriend jeans and flat slip-ons. 
  • Guitar strap by Rebecca Minkoff: I don’t know how to “shred” anything other than old checks, but I will wear this as a bag strap. 
  • Zara embroidered jeans: These babies are sold out already, but tune keep tuning into Zara to check back for more. 
  • ‘Reena’sandals by Topshop: Kill two trends with one shoe. Lace yourself up in these embroidered sandals, then head out the door. 

Hearty (But Healthy) Sausage & Bean Soup

Hearty Sausage and bean soup

It’s been a week since our plane touched down from an 8-day stint in Oaxaca City. Per usual, San Francisco welcomed me back with it’s chilly, grey arms then initiated started a 24-hour downpour as the cherry on top. At this point, spring just seems like a mythical season that San Franciscans can only dream of.  To warm up my hardened black heart towards this city and its weather I looked to the queen of organic luxury, Gwynnie P., for a soup recipe to get me through the next few days. I’m usually crafting up my own, but GP is just such an inspiration that I had to spring for the $5 vegetable broth to get this recipe exactly right.

Hearty (But Healthy) Sausage & Bean Soup (c/o Goop)
Ingredients

2 spicy sausage links (pork or chicken)
1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 bunch of mini carrots, diced
1 bunch of swiss chard, de-stemmed and torn
1 Tokyo turnip, diced
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can of cannellini beans
1 tsp. red chili flakes
1-quart vegetable or chicken stock
Cracked black pepper and salt to taste
4 tbsp. cold pressed olive oil

1. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot (hi, dutch oven!) on medium-high and add in 2 tbsp. of your olive oil. Meanwhile, remove your sausages from their casings and break your sausage up into half-inch chunks. Brown your sausage bits in the pot, then promptly remove from heat and set them aside in a separate bowl.

2.  Don’t waste those delicious sausage drippings! Leave them in the pan, then add the onions, garlic and dried thyme. Caramelize these for 10 minutes (or until they’re a translucent tan), then add your carrot bits. Saute the carrots for another 10 minutes.

3. After you’ve sauteed until your heart’s content, add in your diced tomatoes, turnip, butternut squash and stock. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer for 45 minutes.

4. Once your turnips and butternut squash split with the touch of a fork, add in your already cooked sausage, cannellini beans and swiss chard. Simmer on low for another 20 minutes then you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!

Wednesday Wants: White Sneakers 

What’s the one wardrobe staple that I can’t live without? Aside from a fresh pair of undies, it’s always a white sneaker. From my first pair of white Converse in college to my newest pair of Allbirds (which are perfect for traveling), they’re top dog in my shoe closet. Yes, white sneakers do get dirty pretty quickly, but most of my favorites can be thrown straight into the washer with a little bit of OxiClean and a healthy does of air-dry time. Whether I’m “dressing them up” with a floral blouse for work or dressing down with a sweater for the weekends, here are my favorite white sneakers.

1. Superga Cotu Classic: Fine Italian sandals for a not-so-Italian price. Supergra’s are perfect for running those weekend errands. They’re solid and sturdy, just like a long line at the grocery store on a Sunday night.

2. Puma Basket Sneakers: Now that’s what I call a comeback. Puma fell off of my personal radar, but they’re back! These basket sneakers have been making their rounds with bigger laces that look a lot more ladylike.

3. Allbirds: Sneakers made from wool? Yup, and they’re the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. I sprung for these for my trip to Oaxaca (more on that later), and they were the first pair of sneakers to keep my feet happy even after a long day of playing turista. Want to wash them? Just take out the inner sole and throw them in the wash!

4. Kenneth Cole ‘Kam’Fancify your feet with these puppies from Kenneth Cole. Gigi and Kendall have worn these babies, so why haven’t you gotten a pair yet? Even if you march to the beat of your own fashion drum, these sneaks are a fine alternative to flats from 9 to 5.

5/6. Vans ‘Old Skool’My pre-teen pipe dreams are still alive and well. Even though I’m not into sk8r bois named Kevin anymore, I still love my Vans.

Kimchi Deviled Eggs

Kimchi Deviled Egg recipe

Three weeks has quietly flown by, like a tiny little sparrow. Just kidding, I was gritting my teeth every time I saw anything resembling a pastry. Every time I walked by a coffee shop, I had to talk myself down from the ledge of caffeine. This week, I’ll start the reintroduction phase, but I’m going to throw it back to the start when I was totally jazzed on the elimination diet and whipped up these elimination diet-friendly eggs.

Kimchi Deviled Eggs 
Ingredients

6 large, free-range eggs
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/3 cup kimchi and kimchi juice
2 tsp. coconut aminos (sub for soy sauce)
1 tbsp. black sesame seeds
1 tbsp. gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)*
Salt, to taste

1. For perfect, hard-boiled eggs, bring water to a boil then add your eggs. Let them cook for 10 minutes, then promptly remove them and place into a bowl of ice water.

Tip: When it’s time to crack your eggs, crack them from the bottom! Trust me—that wider end has a hollow spot that makes it easy to peel off the shell.

2. Use a food processor to finely chop your kimchi. Combine your egg yolks, sesame oil, kimchi, kimchi juice, coco aminos and gochujang together and use a fork to blend until smooth.

3. Create a makeshift piping bag by cutting a small corner off of a Ziploc bag. Spoon your egg yolk mixture into the bag, then fill your boiled eggs up. Top off with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds and enjoy!

*I was on a nightshade-free elimination diet plan. So if you are too, skip the gochujang!