Picture this: it’s the day after Thanksgiving, you’ve just rolled out of bed in your pajamas, plodded into your kitchen, opened the fridge and laid eyes on 5 Ziploc bags full of leftover turkey. You, as a normal person whose synapses lead you to appropriate memories, probably thought: “Oh yeah, let’s have a turkey sandwich later.” My monkey mind instantly went to my childhood BFF Elizabeth’s (hey girl, how’s it going?!) 7th birthday party that was held at her parent’s bookstore aka where I spent approximately 13% of my childhood. A castle/princess/medieval/choose-your-own princess mural was painted on the wall, but all I can remember from that party are the life-changing tea sandwiches that were stacked on a cake platter. First of all, the crusts. were. already. cut. off. Second of all, I could pop like 4 different types of sandwiches onto my plate for my own personal buffet of tea sandwiches. Third of all, I have not been able to get said tea sandwiches out of my head for 20 years. So to answer the question of “what should I do with these Thanksgiving leftovers?” here’s what I’ll be doing.
Curried Turkey Salad Tea Sandwiches Ingredients
Makes 4 normal-sized sandwiches Makes 16 tea sandwiches fit for small hands
1 cup leftover turkey, diced (I went with light meat)
2 tbsp. curry powder
¾ cup tart apple, diced (I am a Fuji apple girl for life)
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ red onion, diced
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
8 slices of bread
This recipe is way too simple to make but is super flavorful with the peppery red onions, savory leftover turkey and if you’re using good bread—golden, flaky toast.
1. Mix all of your dry and wet ingredients into a bowl and stir together, tasting as you go. If you want more acidity, add the juice of half a lemon, more sweetness, just add a teaspoon of quality honey.
2. Take your bread and brush it with olive oil on one side and toast your bread on both sides until slightly golden and just barely crispy.
3. Add in a heaping spoonful (like ice cream scooper amount) to a slice of bread, then cut the crusts off (tea sandwiches need no crusts!) and then the sandwich into quarters. Enjoy!
Yes, I am aware it is November, which means that we are one month away from winter officially arriving and just weeks from chowing down on a turkey leg. But just let me wear a denim skirt gosh dammit! Maybe it’s because I’m gearing up for a two- week sun-soaked vacation in Hawaii or maybe it’s because I choose to live my life in blissful ignorance towards things like weather. This month, I’ve been trying to jump at opportunities to wear my frayed hem denim skirt by Madewell (which is sold out, but similar ones linked below!).
Weekends in San Francisco are getting chillier and therefore I’m more inclined to stay curled up on the couch instead of hanging at a park. But on the rare instances that I choose to venture outside, I’ll be pairing my denim skirt with chunky sweaters and city-appropriate ankle booties.
T-minus a few weeks until I am sunburnt! My favorite piece to wear while on any warm weather vacation is a skirt. They’re easy to slip in and out of and to wear with goes a goes-with-anything white button-up, which I will definitely be layering over my pale, not swimsuit-ready body.
For Date Night
The key to dressing for date night? Wearing a very complicated outfit that looks like you don’t know what a “weather app” or really what “temperature” means. But there’s a strategy behind pairing teddy coat with a denim skirt! Have a conversation piece so that you have something to talk about which makes it seem like I am complex and mysterious woman. But, once that layer is shed, I’m just a very simple girl who just wants to wear a white tee with everything and have dinner paid for every once in a while.
For a Night Out
In my old age, my nights out mean that I am following the rule of two: I walk two blocks to my favorite brewery, drink two beers, then walk the two blocks back home. I like to keep it simple now with everything, so I’ll spring for my other favorite two pieces: a moto jacket and a cami to wear with my jean skirt.
If you’re reading this and enjoyed a hot, humid summer—it must have been nice. This summer, I invested in a leather jacket that I hope to have for years to come. And wore it frequently. In the summer. Remind me why I live in San Francisco again, anyone? Since winter is going to make its way here sooner rather than later, I’m getting a head start on wrapping up my favorite winter skincare and beauty essentials that I will be finishing till the last drop until spring hits.
Even with a full 8 hours of sleep, a camel’s worth of water during the day and healing crystals by my side, I still wake up with dark circles. Enter these patches by Peace Out. I’ll be honest, they don’t magically lighten my under eyes but they do make them feel super hydrated and refreshed after a 20-minute soak. Bonus points for storing them in the fridge for an extra cooling sensation.
Would I purchase again? Eh, maybe. If I’m feeling luxe.
I feel like oils are (were?) having a moment—from face oils, to cleansing oils, to hair oils, to olive oils, everyone is just loving oil. My favorite oil du jour is the kind makes your hair silky, soft and smell like fields of jasmine. I’ve been running this hair oil by the Ouai through my damp strands before bedtime and then again in the morning before I style with hot tools, then just a little bit once I’m done. The result? Very soft hair that I just want to be all up in during the day.
Would I purchase again? Yes. Everything by the Ouai is my favorite scent.
Growing up, I swear my mom would slather a half a bottle of Coppertone onto my body before I hit the pool after school. Just 10 straight minutes of hovering my arms away from my swimsuit. I may not be swimming as much these days, but wearing sunscreen is a daily habit of mine (no thank you sun spots!). Since the SF fog has a tendency to hide the sun until you’re at least 45 minutes away from home, I’ve started carrying around this powder sunscreen from Supergoop! in my bag for quick SPF touch-ups. Plus, it pulls double duty as a mattifier (which I always need).
Would I purchase again? Yes. Can never have too much sunscreen.
I’m still on my natural skincare kick and finding products to swap in for old favorites. My latest facewash favorite is Indie Lee’s cleanser, which does make my skin look a little brighter. Or it really could be a very good placebo effect, but it very well could be the vitamin C and strawberry seed oil (both known for their brightening properties). My face feels refreshed, cleansed and ready to face the day every morning.
Ugh, RiRi. The woman knows how to make fun make-up. I strongly consider myself a no-makeup makeup kind of girl, but I’ve never been soclose to buying hot pink eyeshadow until I saw Fenty Beauty. As an incremental step into the world of more makeup, I picked up Gloss Bomb and boy, I’ve never looked back. Need coffee? Swipe on some Gloss Bomb. Bad day? Swipe on Gloss Bomb. Feel like your outfit needs a little something else? Gloss Bomb.
Have you ever flipped a bottle of shampoo around to read the ingredients? How about a tube of sunscreen? Whenever I read the labels, all I see is xyxyzyzzzyyyyzzyyxx. Totally normal ingredients that I want to be slathering into my skin, all over my body and willfully subjecting to this stuff absorbing into my pores. That’s why I’ve been transitioning my skincare picks from ingredients with zyyyyyxxxyyy to thinks like jojoba oil, lapis lazuli, and squalene. Now—these are all ingredients I can pronounce.
Have you ever heard of a company that asks their customers about what their next product should be? Meet Volition Beauty—the company that asks you to submit an idea, then for everyone to vote on which product they should make next and then, boom—it’s on the shelves at Sephora. Plus, all of their products are non-toxic and never tested on furry friends. This eye gel is the bomb too for depuffing and moisturizing that sensitive, around-the-eye area.
If you haven’t washed your face with a balm, you’re missing out on a very fulfilling skincare experience. This cleansing balm by Farmacy really does melt everything off—including waterproof mascara. Farmacy partners with two farms (like actual farms!) to gather the honey and echinacea that are key ingredients in most of their products. Plus, their very chic packaging is recyclable and printed on paper from well-managed forests.
The first swap that I made was switching my nighttime moisturizer to face oils by Herbivore Botanicals—a brand that I was itching to try out. Founded by a Seattle-based couple (quite literally in their kitchen), their focus is on creating high-concentrate products with food-grade ingredients with no fillers (aka non-active ingredients).
Would I purchase again? Big yes. I particularly liked the Phoenix and Lapis oil, the first for everyday moisture and the second for balancing my skin.
What’s up, honey? Yup, pure honey goes into this lightweight moisturizer that lasts all day. I’ve been a fan of mixing in the Herbivore facial oils with Honey Drop for added moisture throughout the day. Something new and fun too? Cupuaçu butter beads that go from full-on beads to melting into the skin after taking it out of the jar.
Would I purchase again? Probably not—it’s a little pricey for my bones at $45 for a jar, and doesn’t pull the weight that I need to feel like my skin is moisturized.
What are your favorite non-toxic skincare products? Give me the scoop!
Guess who has two thumbs and finally made their way to New Orleans? This girl! Back in the day, my aunt would take me to Disneyland every weekend where we would head to their version of the French Quarter, visit the Haunted Mansion and Tom Sawyer island. Little did I know that the real New Orleans would be just like Disneyland—just with way more beignets and cocktails involved. Here’s my take on where to eat, drink and see in New Orleans, all from yours truly.
Are you also on the hunt to eat the best fried chicken, all the time always? Just me? Cool. Do yourself a favor, call a car the minute you land and hightail it to Willie Mae’s Scotch House (not to be confused with any other Willie’s located throughout the city). You’ll be driven ~10 minutes outside of the French Quarter (FQ), dropped off in the Treme neighborhood and in front of a house that’s been Willie Mae’s since 1957. Their chicken is perfectly crispy on the outside and so, so juicy on the inside. Get messy, order the housemade lemonade and sit back and enjoy.
I couldn’t quite shake the San Francisco off of me, so we made our way to Willa Jean’s for a very chic brunch in this James Beard award-winning bakery, café and restaurant all-in-one. Head here for breakfast or brunch (maybe before a visit to the Garden District), and look out for The Biscuit Situation on the menu, their BBQ shrimp toast, crawfish and grits, freshly baked bread, new takes on lattes and, are you hungry yet?
You’d be crazy to not eat some Cajun food in Louisiana. Even if it’s a little steamy outside, order the rabbit stew with dumplings, their take on charbroiled oysters (with chili-garlic butter) and drinks mixed with moonshine and crawfish boil (but not together).
You know I love a converted warehouse. Oh, you didn’t know that? Well, now you do. With no less than 5 different food stalls, a stunning marble bar in the center and waiters yelling out your name to come pick up your order, Auction House Market is worth a visit just for the change of pace from your normal sit-down restaurant experience.
Lately, I’ve been a big fan of cocktails and outstanding experiences at bars. Nowadays, this does not consist of talking to QT’s but really chatting it up with bartenders who know their stuff and having some unforgettable drinks throughout the night. I ended up spending 3 consecutive nights at French 75, headed up by Chris Hannah, the award-winning head bartender at this spot right off of Bourbon (and literally the star of every publication that has written about NOLA). He’s mixing up newer takes on old, old classics, while somehow keeping once well-loved drinks, well, still loved. The best souvenir I brought home? A list of NOLA favorites hand-written from Hannah himself.
Famous for its flamingo pink exterior and flamingo-decked mirrors, it’s obvious to see how I was convinced to head inside. Otherwise known for their Creole fare, Brennan’s is also notably famous for their Caribbean Milk Punch mixed with rum, bourbon, cream and plenty of vanilla. So sit back, relax and order one as a quick escape from the heat of the South.
Compère Lapin (or brother rabbit) was another recommendation from our friend Chris (who is probably besties with the head bartendress, Abigail Gullo). We only stayed for one drink slushie each, and they were good. Think refreshing, not tropical and perfectly Southern—someway, somehow. Order one, sit at the bar and chat it up with Abigail (which we didn’t get to do), but I bet she’s really cool.
To be honest, we didn’t get to stop by the brewery, but rest assured, I did have their beers. Their pale ale might just be the best I’ve ever had and word on the street is that this brewery rocks. Apparently, it comes complete with an outside patio, string lights and if you’re lucky, live music just alongside the river. Sounds so #dreamy.
Do yourself a huge favor and go check out some live music at Preservation Hall. It’s $20 at the door, cash-only and the best part is that there are no phones or cameras allowed during the show. It’s just you, all the other guests and a very good band at the front of the house. Be sure to get there on the earlier side of the next show time (they’re every hour, on the hour from 5-10 p.m., except for 7 p.m.), I would say 30 minutes beforehand is your safest bet.
Even if you’re not into “touring,” the Garden District is worth the trolley ride out from Canal Street. Visit the above-ground cemetery that inspired Anne Rice, see her old house, Sandra Bullock’s mansion, the spot that Nicolas Cage bought and even the Manning family house. Now that I think about it, it was more a celebrity real estate tour with many beautiful mansions along the way. Still worth it.
Maybe when I’m older and grayer, I will move myself out to a swamp and feed marshmallows to alligators. Visiting Honey Island swamp was definitely a highlight of the trip. It wasn’t an airboat tour, but the flatboat was able to get us into narrow bayous, up and down the river at what felt like, high speeds and a lot of animal spottings like swamp raccoons, egrets, herons, gators, turtles and even a wild bachelorette party.
Are you a woo girl? If not, skip Bourbon Street entirely and head out to the locals-favorite Frenchman Street instead. We stopped by The Spotted Cat (yes, the exact place where CNN does NYE!) and listened to a bluegrass band and had a whiskey shot. We were totally fine that night (we were not).
Mardi Gras World
Want to see some Mardi Gras floats without actually experiencing the crowds? Head to Mardi Gras World (there’s even a free shuttle from major hotels!) where you can see how the props are built from giant pieces of styrofoam, paper-mâchéd over, then painted over every year by the same family that started making them in the 19th century.
Just like Disneyland! Every street in the FQ is like walking back in time, with old French-style houses in pastel colors, porches that are just made for perching and a live band that might dot a street corner. Rent a bike at dusk to see the neighborhood, try a ghost tour or an architecture tour if you’re more refined and just soak up the sights. Royal Street is known for all of it’s shops (mostly antique), Bourbon just might be the Vegas of the South and all the other sidestreets have something up their sleeves too.
Never thought I’d say it, but I’m a big fan of wedgies. Wedgie fit jeans, that is. A distinct memory of my childhood was yelling, “NOOOOO, don’t give me a wedgie!” while my friends chased me around. Now that I think about it, my friends were jerks. No, these jeans don’t give you a wedgie, they just lend a special lift to your rear and somehow mold perfectly to your shape over time. These high rise, button fly, and no-stretch jeans are just too easy to wear with everything—this is how I’m wearing my Levi’s Wedgie Fit jeans.
For Date Night
Okay fine, we all know that no straight man in this city wants to date me, but if they ever change their mind this is what I would wear—my Tom Petty tee (to show them how good my taste in music is), my favorite hoop earrings (they are my confidence-boosting jewels), block heels (if I need to run away) and my Wedgie fits (because apparently butts are trending?).
It’s business time. Gotta layer up with a blazer, a turtleneck and my favorite mom jeans Wedgie fit jeans. The frayed hem makes it easy (and fun) to pair them with ankle boots that are a color just a little bit out of the ordinary—like grey! Or leopard (I own both).
For A Night Out
These older bones do not go to the club anymore unless said bones have had too much wine and think they are invincible. Anyways, I’m going denim on denim with an oversized denim jacket and a cheeky graphic tee. The trick to wearing denim on denim? Go for two different shades of blue (or black), to avoid looking like you’re wearing a denim suit from head to toe.
For the Weekend
My favorite 48 hours of the week calls for my favorite staples in my closet at the moment: a hoodie, white sneakers, and my mini tassel bag from Cuyana. An easy, four-piece outfit that can never go wrong.
I’m deeply in love with Thai food. So much, that the other day I expressed to my friends that I wished I was Thai, just on the basis of how much I love their food. It didn’t go over well. The way Thai food combines tangy with spicy with Tom Kha, turns sweetness savory with Mango Sticky Rice, and turns salty into earthy with fish sauce makes for some of the most memorable dishes that I’ve ever had. The trick to Thai cuisine is to have your cabinets stocked with the main ingredients: fish sauce, sambal oelek (garlic + chili paste), keffir lime leaves, lemongrass, coconut milk, thai basil, thai chilies. Once you’re freezer is stocked, you’ll have easy access to most Thai dishes.
For this variation on Tom Yum, I cheated. I’ll admit it. Instead of compiling the galangal, chilies, and lemongrass and combining them with a mortar and pestle, I instead found a Tom Yum paste complete with MSG. Side note: MSG isn’t bad — it’s like candy, don’t gorge! This cuts down significantly on prep time, but adds just as much flavor.
Tom Yum Soup with Coconut Milk and Shrimp Ingredients
1 tsp. fish oil
3 tbsp. Tom Yum soup paste
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 block of tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup small shrimp, deveined
1 can coconut milk
2 tsp. sambal oelek
1/2 jalapeno, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
2 keffir lime leaves
1. In a large pot, bring fish oil, soup paste, broth, coconut milk, sambal oelek, bell pepper, jalapeno, and keffir lime leaves to a boil.
2. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and toss in tofu. Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the bell peppers begin to soften.
3. 5 minutes from serving, toss in shrimp and cook until shrimp is pink. To serve, take out keffir lime leaves and set aside.
If you really know me, you would know that every other sentence that comes out of my mouth contains “glossier.” But if you don’t know me, you’re probably thinking that you say it like gloss-ee-errr. And if so, we are no longer friends, not even acquaintances. If you happen to live in San Francisco (like me), I have some exciting news for you: Glossier is coming to town. I repeat, Glossier is coming to town and their pop-up is popping up in the Mission at Rhea’s Café.
To help celebrate, I thought I’d wrap up my favorite Glossier products (for now) so you have the slightest idea of what to buy tomorrow (if you’re local) or what to buy on their website (if you live far, far away).
Here are the Glossier products worth a shot.
Priming Moisturizer: Hello, I’d like to introduce you to your new favorite everyday moisturizer. If you’re not moisturizing during the day, WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING THEN? Even for combination skin like mine, Priming is light but still feels like enough. The only downside on this guy is that there’s no sunscreen, so wear sunscreen (see below).
Balm Dotcom: “IT’S WINTERTIME,” said pop sensation Cardi B. Apparently my lips got the memo too. Whenever they get a little chapped, I just do a little dab of balm dotcom and everything is smoooooth sailing from there. I prefer the original, unscented version but there’s also rose, mint, cherry, birthday cake and coconut flavors too!
Haloscope in Quartz: Glossier basically trademarked dew. Fresh, morning mist had nothing to do with dew with it. If you don’t know what “dew” is, start using Haloscope as your highlighter and you’ll look like you just had a jog through the subtlest of fairy dust that still looks natural and never too much.
Boy Brow: When I was younger I was so, so foolish. I once thought that my bold, thick brows were a curse, an even bigger sign that life is unfair. But now that I’m old, refined and wise, I now know that bold brows mean you never have to touch an eyebrow pencil ever in your life. I love Boy Brow (a cult-like, nope—a cult) favorite of Glossier virgins and veterans.
Stretch Concealer: Ah, Stretch Concealer, my very first concealer. I always thought that concealer was going to heavy and cakey, but Stretch feels anything but. It’s light, blends easily and keeps those deep, dark, dehydrated bags under my eyes under wraps all day.
Body Hero moisturizer: The first time I put on Body Hero, I just thought to myself, “MY BODY FEELS LIKE A DOLPHIN.” So yeah, it’s good. Expect a subtle neroli scent, the teensiest bit of sheen and a pleasantly weighted body lotion that leaves you feeling slippery (hm) and moisturized all day long.
Wowder: We are getting to know each other pretty well now—yes, I have combination skin and yes, I get a little shiny even when I’m not sweating and/or nervous. A brush of Wowder and I’m covered for most of the day, but to be honest, it could have a little more staying power. But don’t be afraid to pack this guy in your purse for a to-go moment.
Invisible Shield sunscreen: Sorry, I have to end on a dark note. We are all aging and we can do nothing about it, except eat our vegetables and wear sunscreen. Another point of honesty, but Invisible Shield isn’t good for an all-day hike to the peak of a mountain, but it is great for everyday wear in a congested city where you may be weaving in and out of tall buildings all day. Plus, it layers over Priming Moisturizer and under Stretch Concealer like a dream.
Okay, yes, I know, it’s been a while since I posted about my favorite beauty products (and yes, I know that I have openly expressed my interest in being a beauty blogger, so I don’t have a good track record so far). But I figured the only way to be a good blogger is to only write about what you really love and not just that #sponcon. So here goes, here are the latest and my current greatest beauty product obsessions (and yup—whether I’d buy them again or not!).
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: If I could only wear one makeup product for the rest of my life, it would be mascara. I mean, it really was the first real makeup product that I started wearing regularly and it was the star of my one-product makeup routine in college (how easy it was back then). Better Than Sex is really…quite good. It holds a curl (my one request), lengthens and thickens. My not-so-favorite part? It smears, so I think I’ll swap for the waterproof version.
Would I purchase again? Yes—but in waterproof
Eucalyptus Oil: January was not my month. But just in terms of getting a stuffy nose, sore throat or dry cough every other week (and sometimes all at once). The one thing that I looked forward to every night? A steamy shower with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. You’re welcome for this in-home spa tip moment.
Would I purchase again? Yes
‘Captivating’ blush by Tarte: One fateful night I wandered into Sephora, lost, confused and in need of a new blush. I needed a reinvention. Luckily, I met a man named Derrick who patiently tried multiple blushes on my cheeks and put up with my “mmm, I don’t really like that.” We landed on this perfect peachy-pink shade that just makes me look healthy.
Would I purchase again? Yes
‘Don’t Blow It’ Styling Cream: I can do my makeup in 7 minutes flat, but my hair? That’s a whole 30 (minutes). I’m a nighttime shower-er, so this styling creme by Bumble and Bumble is a little bit of a time saver when it comes to making my hair silky and smooth if I’m planning to air dry in the morning or if I have a long night ahead of me.
Would I purchase again? Yes
Inflorescence by Byredo: After a solid year of crushing on Inflorescence, I finally added it to my top shelf. It’s a grown-up floral that’s still light, fresh and fragrant. But, I am a little disappointed in it’s staying power—it wears off after a few hours!
Would I purchase again? No
Conditioner by Kristin Ess: Everyone’s going crazy for Kristin Ess products at Target—they’re literally sold out all the time in the city. I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical for a drugstore brand shampoo with Instagram-hype behind it, but I’m sold. The scent is so good, like a musky floral, but even better? My strands are silky and soft.
Would I purchase again? Yes
Matte Bronzer by Milk Makeup: I’m not really a stick bronzer type of gal, but after realizing that I can use it as an easy eyeshadow, I was sold on this sample size of matte bronzer by Milk Makeup. It’s a light wash of bronze that’s a little dewy and gives me just a wash of bronze. Bonus points for their full-size packaging, it’s like a giant push-pop.
*goes to Mexico one time* *thinks that she can cook Mexican food*. If you’re wondering, it’s me. Soup has been and will always be my wintertime meal jam. This one is subtly spicy, hearty (from that pork) and pretty easy to make—it can be a one-pot soup if you really want it to be and it’s a nice go-to whenever you’re feeling a little under the weather (like I might be).
Here’s my recipe for easy pork pozole.
Pork Pozole (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen) Ingredients
1 lb. pork shoulder, cubed
8 cups broth (can be veggie, chicken, beef, whatever!), reserve 1 cup
2 cups canned hominy, rinsed
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 dried ancho chili
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper
1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your chili on a cooking sheet, but I like to use a cast iron skillet. Bake for 5-7 minutes, then remove the stem and seeds. With the one cup of reserved broth, place the chili and broth in a bowl together and microwave for 2 minutes and let sit.
2. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed pan, heat 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil on medium-high. Once the oil is hot, drop in your pork which should be patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper. Brown the meat and then set aside on a plate.
3. With the remainder of the vegetable oil, drop in the hominy with and saute until lightly brown. Remove the hominy from the pan and set aside.
4. Reduce heat to medium and add in onions. Cook until softened and translucent, around 10 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for 5 more minutes.
5. Add onion and garlic mix to a blender, then pour in chili and broth reserve and blend until smooth. Add broth, pork and chili/onion mixture to pot and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove pork (again) and set aside on a plate to cut into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
6. Add in hominy and pork to broth, then cook for another 30 minutes to 45 minutes to allow hominy to soften. Once you’re ready to serve, add in the lime juice and slice an avocado on top. Enjoy!