Wednesday Wants: New Apartment Vibes

Wednesday Wants New Apartment

New month, new apartment, same old me! I packed up and moved to my #dreamhood in San Francisco and now I get to walk three blocks to get a $7 scoop of ice cream from Bi-Rite. Color me very happy. To really get into my new space, I’m (naturally) looking for some new goods, because it’s all about reinvention right? Here’s what I want to add to my home and closet to fully complete my transition to being a NoPa girl.

Everlane suede bootiesSo my new neighborhood has just the slightest incline. Okay, to me an inch is an incline. I like walkable booties and I cannot lie—that’s all!

Inflorescence Eau de Parfum by ByredoI’ve been crushing on this EDP for a while now, but it might be finally time to pull the trigger. It’s light-ish, very floral and (in my opinion) can be worn all year round.

Cotton Poplin candle by ByredoOne scent for my body, one scent for my room. I smelled this at the Everlane showroom one day and my nose has never gone back.

Away luggageSome of my suitcase served as moving boxes, so it’s time for an upgrade. I mean, this suitcase has 2 USB chargers built in—so it’s perfect for when I drain my battery just before I have to board my flight.

Levi’s Ex-Boyfriend trucker jacketLast week at work, there was a point where I had three different jean jackets slung across my chair. So what’s one more?

Matrix blush pink chair by Article:  There’s a little corner of my room that’s waiting to host this chair. I know everyone’s all over millennial pink right now, and I guess that includes me too.

Hexagon sunglasses by Ray-BanSometimes you just get tired of plain old round and rectangular sunglasses (as is the case with me right now). I’m digging these hexagonal ones by Ray-Ban that everyone and their best friends have.

Fall Beauty Essentials

Fall’s almost in full swing (officially). To gear up for the new season, I’ve been rounding up my favorite beauty products that are going to make me, my skin and my hair presentable for the change in weather. From the cheapest body moisturizer I’ll probably ever use, to the most luxurious glycolic serum I’ll ever own, here are my favorite fall beauty essentials.

Almay Smart Shade concealer: I think I got tan this summer. To cover up any imperfections with my new, golden glow, I added in Almay’s concealer which lasts all day long and really does match to my summer skin tone (whatever that may be).

365 Maximum Moisture lotion: I hope you have a Whole Foods nearby and $3.99 to burn. It’s light but deeply moisturizing and inexpensive. And organic. I’m also fairly certain the bottle is recyclable. Basically Mother Nature’s best friend.

Bumble and bumble brilliantine review

Bumble and bumble Brilliantine: Almost every morning, I strive for that languid, beachy wave look but more often than not my curls end up looking a little too pageanty. A little bit of Brilliantine tousled through the ends roughs them up a little and adds a very good gardenia-floral-esque scent.

Caudalie Glycolic Mask Review

Caudalie Glycolic Peel mask: They always say, start ’em young, so that’s the same approach I’m taking to my anti-aging regimen (along with plenty of SPF). I’ve been using this 2-3 times a week, before bedtime and afterwards my skin feels nice and fresh.

T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum: Drunk Elephant might be the most decadent thing I own. I don’t know if I’m totally quite on the serum train yet with this, but it did turn me onto the beauty of having a nighttime skincare regime with more than one product.

Glossier Priming Moisturizer:  Okay, you know the drill. Can’t do one beauty post without one Glossier plug. When I first started using Glossier, I actually thought this would be my least favorite product (and the least important in my regimen). Turns out, it’s my absolute favorite. I’ve definitely noticed softer skin since using this every morning. Can’t argue with that.

 

 

How to Spend a Long Weekend in Austin

Guess who’s back, back again! Three months away from the blog is a very long time—but I’m grateful that two friends and all of my family noticed. I’m also back from Austin, Texas, which just might be my new favorite city. Here’s my guide to Austin, but disclaimer: try and visit with your most favorite people who make it easy to have fun.

Where to Eat in Austin

La Barbeque – East Austin

Sure, everyone’s heard of Franklin Barbeque. I’ve never eaten it (yet)  but if you want some meat and don’t want to line up at 9 a.m., head to La Barbeque in East Austin. They went from barbeque truck to an air-conditioned and high-end convenience store. You can also order a beer while you wait, so this just might be the best line you’ll ever wait in. Get the brisket, spicy sausage, pulled pork and plenty of potato salad.

Elizabeth Street Café1st Street  

My new version of a perfect summer night now consists of eating fiery Vietnamese food on a 90-degree night in Texas. The #millenialpink neon lights wooed me in, but things quickly got serious once the food arrived. Their menu’s split into appetizers, bánh mì, pho, bún and specialties that rotate out. Spring for something on the specialties section (or you’ll miss it) and be sure to pair it with a carafe of whatever cocktail you’re drinking to wash it down.

June’s – South Congress 

If you know me at all, you know that I will always want to visit a BA best new restaurant of whatever year it is. June’s is a wine bar that feels like the love child between a diner and sexy French restaurant (with a lot less smoke). Grab a glass of wine or brunch while you’re in town—they have it all.

Guero’s Taco Bar – South Congress

You apparently can’t travel to the American Southwest without eating a taco, so you might as well eat one at Guero’s. Your tacos come with a hefty side of Mexican restaurant kitsch, plus an unlimited salsa bar and strong margaritas.

What to See in Austin

Barton Springs Zilker Park

When it’s over 100 degrees outside, there really is no excuse to skip out on a trip to Barton Springs. Just 15 minutes max from downtown is a natural spring full of living organisms (like the Barton Springs salamander) and very cool water. It’s free after 9 p.m. and only $8 if you’re not a local.

Live Music at The Continental Club – South Congress 

Have you ever listened to honky tonk funk? Nope, neither have I—until I hit up The Continental Club. If you have a couple of hours to spare on a weekday (or weekend) night in Austin, catch a show (it’ll probably be under $10) from a local band.

South Congress Bridge Bats

When’s the last time you saw 1.5 million bats fly right over you? If the answer is never, then block off at least one night just before sunset to plant yourself on the east side of the South Congress bridge to watch the bats take off at dusk. And I swear, it’s not like that one scene from The Office.

Shopping – South Congress & East 11th Street

Let’s be real, no vacation of mine is ever complete without a little bit of shopping. While in Austin, I fell in love with two main drags: South Congress and East 11th. South Congress is famously known for their small shops, but my favorite was Feathers Boutique, for their highly curated items ranging from DVF dresses and Gap skirts from the 90s. East 11th street also had some great hits like Charm School Vintage, Olive (for contemporary cool-girl clothing) and take heart (for tiny, minimalist wares).

1st Street

I swear, I purposefully did not map us to this mural! Just take one stroll down 1st Street (on the south side of town) and walk north. You’ll hit up spots like the Austin postcard mural and attached art gallery, Gourdough’s doughnuts (could eat these everyday) and the aforementioned Elizabeth Street Café. According to insider info from a Lyft driver, 1st street is the place to be if you want to blend in with the locals.

Where to Drink in Austin

Lazarus Brewing East Austin

Great beer, air conditioning and a stained glass mural of Jesus are all to be found at Lazarus. If you’re in need of a craft beer break, a visit to East Austin is worth it.

Blue Owl Brewery East Austin

I. Love. Sours. So I am a little bummed that I didn’t actually get to check out this brewery in person, but I am being held over by the single taster I had at a coffee shop. Head to Blue Owl for me, won’t you?

Hotel San José – South Congress 

This hotel looked hip as hell, which of course means that they were serving the summer drink of the year: Frosé. The poor thing melted in less than 20 minutes (like me).

Other important things:

Where to Stay

If you’re looking to be where it’s at, stay somewhere near (or on) South Congress Avenue, whether it’s an Airbnb or at the Austin Motel. If you’re okay with being a little farther out from the hustle and bustle, a few nights in Zilker Park or Bouldin are fine too.

How to Get Around

Bus, bike, Lyft or Uber—Austin really has it all now. Renting a car might have its perks too since you’d be able to travel a little farther outside the city to find a no-wait barbeque joint.

When to Go

Skip a mid-August trip since we learned that it’s the hottest time of the year. Early fall and late spring are prime time.

Wednesday Wants: Sand & Tan Summer Sandals

Brown sandals for summer

Summer’s making it’s official debut in less than a month, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the temps will start to drop in San Francisco. But no matter where I am, tan, block heeled sandals are my go-to for high summer dressing. They just go with everything—whether it’s my most unflattering pair of Levi’s and a white tee or my favorite striped dress. But there’s a new kid on the shoe block, the sand sandal to brighten up (and modernize) all the summer outfits you could dream up. Keep reading to see my favorite sand and tan sandals from Nordstrom, then click to get your hands on a pair!

Sand sandals for summer: 

  • “Carmela” sandals by Rebecca Minkoff:  Super strappy without being too declassé. These will pair perfectly with that imaginary golden tan and white dress combo that I can never achieve summer after summer.
  • “Franine” mules by Vince Camuto: Mules are the *it* shoe of 2017, but I just can’t seem to get on board (I think they make me look shorter). I think a strappier pair that shows a little more skin just might do the trick.
  • “Christy” sandals by Rebecca Minkoff: I’ve had a crush on these since last summer and there’s no sign of that slowing down. Just grown-up enough to make a T-shirt and jeans work at the office.

Tan sandals for summer:

Shop these picks and more below!

 

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!