Find Your Happy

IMG_2353

I want you to do something for me right now. Think about your life. Think about it as it stands right now in this very second. Who means the most to you? Do they know? Do you show it? What or where makes you happy? Do you do those things or go to those places often? Why or why not?

Hawaii is my happy place. It’s where my anxieties and struggles disappears as soon as I step off the airplane into the humid air. My eczema apparates to an alternate universe where that skin condition stresses me out. I’ve been coming here since I was a little girl and I’ve grown to adore this island paradise. I just got back from a week in Kauai and it was exactly the refresh I needed.

IMG_2360

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Madewell Skinny Overalls | White Shirt (Old) | Steve Madden Dina Sandal

I always take things back with me when I travel. The Nespresso machine sitting in my kitchen reminds me of Austraila. When I got home from Hawaii, I ordered the coffee maker that was in my family and I’s condo. It sounds weird, but having things like those around me bring me peace and calm in a world of chaos.

IMG_2365

IMG_2341

When you’re outside of the hustle and the bustle, you see clearer. You’re not stressed out about that big project or your upcoming performance review. You remember the things you love and the people you love. A reset in your life every now and then is so important, and it’s cruel that so many people don’t have the luxury of having one.

With that being said, I want to challenge you in something. Take a step back. Look at your life. What’s in it? Is there anything unhealthy or that brings you unhappiness? Once you identify that thing (if any), is there anything you can do to change it?

You are never the victim once you recognize the road block. Once you see the ROUGH ROAD AHEAD sign, you can change your course. You’re not destined to be tied to something that makes you miserable, and you don’t owe it to anybody to keep yourself in a situation that’s not healthy for you. This is your one life. You’re never going to live this day ever again. How are you going to spend it? And what can you do today that will give you brighter days ahead?

IMG_2347

What’s your happy place?

My Favorite Nespresso Capsules

 

IMG_1881

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as pressing a button and having a cup of espresso appear before you. There’s nothing quite as rich and creamy as a Nespresso shot of espresso. And there’s nothing that reminds me more of Australia than Nespresso.

I studied abroad in Sydney during my senior year of college, and when my homestay mom got a Nespresso machine for her birthday and it was all lattes until you drop from there on out.

Nespresso reminds me of walking to the beach from my house with my friend Matty, doing the crossword puzzle with my homestay family every Saturday morning at their favorite local coffee shop, walking three miles to school every day, and of all of the beautifully kind Australians who I’m still friends with to this day. Australia has a special place in my heart (for the rest of my life) and Nespresso brings me closer to it.

Nespresso_2

IMG_1834

NESPRESSO ‘INISSIA’ MACHINE | ESPRESSO CUP (VINTAGE)

The best thing about Nespresso is that you can make both a shot of coffee as well as a full cup of creamy coffee to take in your to-go cup as you run out the door. Press a button, stuff your belongings into your bag and your coffee is ready to go, saving your sanity on a daily basis.

Nespresso_3

Today I’m sharing my favorite capsules, because there’s so many and it can be overwhelming at first to pick which ones to use.  (Descriptions pulled directly from the Nespresso website)

Roma has a subtle balance between strength, finesse and fullness,  Roma  sets itself apart by its woody and roasted notes. Central and South American Arabicas combined with Robusta have been lightly roasted to preserve the delicate aroma of the blend.  Roma  is the ideal coffee for those looking for an Espresso that is both short and mild.

Arpeggio takes its distinctive character and full body from a blend of Central and South American Arabicas. The long roasting allows each aspect to develop into an intense bouquet, combining cocoa and roasted notes.

Capriccio is an Espresso with a balanced bouquet, a light acidity and a very characteristic cereal note. It is composed of Arabicas from South America including Brazil, in ideal proportions, and a touch of lightly roasted Robusta.

Livanto is a blend of Central and South American Arabicas is medium roast to bring out a round and very balanced bouquet. It evokes the scent of freshly toasted coffee escaping from the roaster: roasted and caramelised notes.

Ristretto combines the best South American Arabicas, from countries such as Colombia and Brazil, with great East African Arabicas, famous for their citrus aromas with a touch of Robusta for added zing. The slow split roasting of the beans creates a contrasting bouquet, bringing together subtle fruity and acid notes, with intensely roasted and chocolate ones.

IMG_1927-(1)

IMG_1836

Have you ever tried Nespresso coffee?

Summer Bucket List

IMG_2325

Summer is my favorite season because it means that I can dig the rompers out of my closet and pretty much forget about pants until Fall comes around. It’s when backyard barbecues become a way of life and it’s when you know that corn dogs at the state fair are in your immediate future. Makeup doesn’t really exist because it’s going to melt off anyways, and you’re guaranteed to jump in the ocean (…if you live in California…) at least seven times. ISN’T IT THE BEST?!?!

I’m already so excited about Summer that I should probably join a support group and make t-shirts. (If you would like one, please let me know your t-shirt size and I will plan accordingly).

Today I’m sharing my bucket list, and I’d love to know what yours is! 

IMG_2297

1) Read the paper every Saturday: I get the Wall Street Journal delivered to my house every Saturday but they literally just stack up in my entry way because I never read them. The coffee shop I routinely went to read the paper closed down and honestly I’m still recovering from the heartbreak it caused. I mean, how could they? Did they not understand that that was the only place I could catch up on the news? And that a paper combined with a coffee in one hand and a blueberry muffin in the other hand is the only truly beautiful combination?

2) Go fishing: My coworker Melissa brought in some pocket fishing rods to the office yesterday and I got way to excited and started fake fishing in everyone’s offices. I’ve already asked my boss what a good weekend would be for me to take a three day weekend in July to go fishing. I am c-o-m-m-i-t-t-e-d.

3) Weekend in Big Bear: If you’re not from Southern California, you probably haven’t heard of Big Bear. No, it’s not a life-size Yogi Bear statue. (Nice guess tho!) It’s a lake-side town East of Los Angeles where city folk hoard to in the summers to get away from the wretched temperatures and grimy sidewalks. And do you know what Big Bear has? Fishing.

4) Camping in Yosemite: As a Northern California native, I can never forget about my one true love Yosemite. It’s the most accessible national park you’ll encounter and I’ve spent so many summer days hiking and camping in the valley.

5) Host backyard parties: Something I have come to realize this year is that I LOVE hosting people. I love planning appetizer menus and making name cards and setting up party games. It’s exhilarating to me. My backyard is a pretty good size, and I bought a barbecue on Amazon last month so basically I have everything I need to host Summer shin-digs.

IMG_2299

IMG_2323

6) Travel to another state: Southwest Airlines is my best friend. Their flights are cheap, their flight attendants are the sweetest, and their in-flight magazine is better than most regular grocery story magazines. I really want to do a weekend trip to Texas this Summer. I hear Austin is amazing (hot, but amazing) and I really want to visit.

7) Complete an ocean swim: I’m just putting this on the list for the meek chance that it actually happens. My ex’s best friend did one a couple of years ago and before then I really had no idea they existed in Southern California.

8) Scuba dive in Southern California: I finally went scuba diving again after three years in Hawaii. Now that I am confident that I remember how to dive, I want to join a dive club or something of the sort. But first I gotta get my own equipment….

IMG_2324

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Madewell Skinny Overalls | White Shirt (Old) | Steve Madden Dina Sandal

What are your plans this Summer? Let me know!

I’ve Had The Time Of My Life Fighting Dragons With Taylor Swift

IMG_8144

There’s certain people in life who understand you before they even know you. Their energy, their laugh, the way their pieces fit so perfectly into yours even through you lived your whole life without them. You can think of them, can’t you? Who are the people who you know you’re in this for life with?

Taylor Swift is one of those people for me. 

IMG_6827

IMG_7323

She opened up her Reputation World Tour in Glendale, Arizona two nights ago and I figured there is no better time than now to tell you why she’s my #1.

I flew to Los Angeles to see Taylor in concert for her Speak Now tour because she wasn’t playing in my area. My sister was going to UCLA so I stayed with her and she picked me up from the airport. For the concert, I was (obviously) dressed up in full costume (specifically as a Hershey Kiss as a pun on her song “The Last Kiss”) because her team goes around the audience every single night and picks people for a post-show meet & greet. I went by myself because all I really wanted was to be in the room, I didn’t care if I was sitting next to anybody or not.

During the middle of the show, there’s a moment when Taylor walks through the audience from the front to the back, giving out hugs to fans as she makes her way to the back stage. I was in the front row of the first level, so Taylor logistically would pass right by me. When Taylor walked by, she sadly passed by me and made her way to the next group of people, but then five seconds later, she turns around and looks at me, runs back, looks me in the eyes and says “I love you so much. Thank you for coming.” before running back up to finish her route.

IMG_1056

That moment is why I support Taylor through the thick and the thin.

That moment is why no matter the years or the miles, Taylor is always worth the wait and the trip.

That moment is why Taylor is one of the most successful musicians of this generation.

IMG_1116

IMG_7285

IMG_7315

Taylor, I’m so proud of you and so excited to see you in Pasadena next week at the Rose Bowl!

My Current Reading List

IMG_1969

There was a point in my life when I wanted to write a book. A fiction (young adult) novel about a girl who moved to New York. I started writing it and got about one page in. And that was the end of my aspirations to become an author. I think books are so fascinating and authors are gifted with the incredible ability to connect with people all over the world in different ways. If you want to be a great writer, you have to know how to tap into emotions that can’t be said out loud.

My reading list lately has consisted of the Netflix home page, where I scroll to the ‘Continue Watching’ section and select Friends or Chef’s Table, which I’ve seen every episode of at least three times already.

IMG_2009

IMG_1961

I’m going to do my best to be intentional about reading the following list of books in the coming months. I really need some sort of book intervention where all of my friends come over and force me to sit in a room and have uninterrupted reading time. Ya know?

  1. Little Fires Everywhere: I’ve heard so much about this book. It’s based in Ohio, which is where my brother lives. One of my favorite food bloggers did a book club about it as well. Buy it here
  2. The Great Alone: This book is based in Alaska, which is what draws me to it. If you’ve read it, please let me know what you thought! Buy it here
  3. Drums Of Autumn: This is by the same author as Outlander, so it’s basically pre-approved. Buy it here
  4. We Are Never Meeting In Real Life: David Sedaris is one of my favorite authors. His way of writing about his own life both thrills and engrosses you, and he has made personal essays one of my favorite types of books. Now that I’ve talked up his skills, I should probably let you know that this collection of essays isn’t by David, but it’s by an author named Samantha Irby. But regardless, I’m excited to read it. Buy it here
  5. By Gaslight: Victorian London is one of my favorite eras to read about, mainly because I love London so much that any book or movie or television show set there is immediately on my “must read” list. By Gaslight is a historical fiction mystery novel set in Victorian London that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Buy it here

IMG_1943

What book(s) are you reading right now?

My Goals For The Year

Anthropologie_Romper_1

It finally feels like the year is slowing down and I couldn’t be more excited about it. It also feels like summer-time here in California and I also couldn’t be more excited about it. The first three months of this year sped so fast that I couldn’t even drink enough coffee for me to remember anything that happened. Which is why I’m four months late sharing my goals for the year. I never really make specific New Year’s Resolutions like going to the gym every day or cutting out all sugar, because I know those are 100% not going to be kept. (I’m probably the only person in America who actually cancelled their gym membership in January.) Like I said, my life (aka my job) was super busy starting out the year and I really didn’t have time to workout.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Anthropologie Striped Eyelet Romper | Sam Edelman Sandals (old): Similar here & here | Milk Blur Liquid Matte Foundation (Shade Light) | LUSH Honey Trap Lip Balm

Anthropologie-Romper-5

Anthropologie-romper-2

So without further ado, here’s my goals for the year:

  1. Use My Scuba Diving Certification – I got scuba certified right after I graduated high school, and I have used it about four times since then. I really want to start putting it to practice more, since scuba diving is one of my favorite things in the whole world. When you’re underwater, literally nothing else matters but you and the fish!
  2. Travel On The Weekends – Traveling is always on my list, but I specifically want to travel more on weekends this year because I can’t always take a week off of work when it gets busy. There’s so many cute towns that are driving distance from Los Angeles that I want to explore!
  3. Read More – Anybody else have this on their list every single year and then never do it? I just found a new podcast called Young Adulting by the blogger over at The Stripe, and she and the cohost Becca have so many great book recommendations that I’ve added to my list!
  4. Learn To Cook Better – I only learned to cook two or three years ago, so I’m still a newbie! I love it and I love how there’s is always something new to learn about cooking. I really want to take classes (either online or in person) this year.
  5. Relax – RELAX. I JUST WANT TO RELAX MORE. Hold me to that, okay?

Anthropologie-Romper-4

What were your goals for the year? Have you been keeping up with them?

Behind The Bar: Tequila Sunrise + Product Review

TS3

It is only April and it is basically already Summer here in Southern California. According to the person in front of me in line for eggs at the Farmer’s Market this morning, this weather means we are in for a brutal summer in Southern California. People are fervently dusting off their shorts and sandals to head to the beach and regretting that six pack of beer they drank last night.

Hot weather means cold beverages are pretty much a body part on Saturdays (at least in my house), and Tequila Sunrises are at the very front of the pack because they’re made with fresh orange juice and they are SO easy to make it’s slightly worrisome. I’m hosting a brunch for my friends soon and this is definitely on the menu.

In today’s post, I’m sharing a Tequila Sunrise recipe & reviewing my Williams Sonoma Dual Citrus Juicer!

TS2

IMG_1453

Tequila is such an underrated alcohol. It is associated with getting hammered at a college sports bar and nothing makes me more upset. I am literally the last person you will ever find doing a tequila shot (seriously, once I slammed my finger in a door at a Mexican restaurant and they tried to give me a shot and I told them to put it in a margarita) and I love tequila. Tequila is my favorite alcohol because when you pair it with citrus, it transforms from the ugly duckling into beautiful swan. CAN WE ALL AGREE ON THIS?!? OKAY GREAT.

IMG_1517

Ingredients

1.5 Oz Tequila

Ice

4 Oz Orange Juice

A couple splashes grenadine syrup

Directions

– Add ice to glass

– Add tequila & orange juice to glass

– Stir with spoon

– Drizzle grenadine syrup on top

Product Review: Williams Sonoma Dual Citrus Juicer

IMG_1455

I used the Williams Sonoma Dual Citrus Juicer for this drink, and it only took me five minutes to get 2 cups of juice.

Overall: I love it. I would highly suggest for a budget friendly juicer that gets the job done! The measurements on the side are also super handy if you’re following a recipe that requires a specific amount.

Cleaning: Easy to clean, dishwasher safe, the whole shebang!

Thing To Note: It doesn’t filter out the pulp! If you don’t love pulp, then I would not recommend this product.

How It Would Be Better: I wish it had a lid once you finish juicing so I can just pop the lid on and put it in the fridge! Not a major pain because I just transfer it to another container to store.

Easy Like Saturday Morning

nick-hillier-254650
Photo by Nick Hillier on Unsplash

Was this a long a** week for anyone else? Yeah? Okay cool. My job is a mad house lately (so much to do all the time) so I’m grateful for slow and steady Saturday mornings with a cup of coffee in hand and the corner spot at a coffee shop.

It’s a three-day weekend (HALLELUUUUUUUAH!!!!) and I’m excited to have two days of productivity and then head to Santa Barbara on Monday. It’s one of my favorite towns and my best friend grew up there so she’s shown me all the best spots that I visit every time I go. French Press coffee? Yep. McConnell’s ice cream? Yes please. Hendry’s Beach? Absolutely. So excited.

tyler-nix-442409
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Anyways, let’s’ get into a roundup of what happened this week:

I made these Tried And True Chocolate Chip Cookies for a church event and HOLY COW THEY ARE DELICIOUS (and so easy).

The Ready Player One trailer came out this week and it’s so flipping good. I can’t WAIT to see it 😍

These Velvet Overalls from Madewell are making my heart skip a beat. I repeat, VELVET OVERALLS. Can you think of anything more comfortable?

My friend Brittany’s birthday party is this weekend and she’s having brunch in the park. I’m planning to make Joy The Baker’s King Arthur Flour Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls.

The next book on my list is Crazy Rich Asians.

My skin has been SO dry. I’m on the market for a new face moisturizer, but in the meantime I love this Soap & Glory hand cream.

I got a popsocket this week and I feel like I’ve crossed the bridge to being a Millennial. I finally have my stripes. Thank you all for your support.

michal-parzuchowski-324218
Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

What have you been up to this week? Hope you all have a great weekend! ❤

 

I Left My Heart In London

London

There’s some cities that just pull you in. You put your airplane seat in the upright position for landing, your pilot gives a speech about the current weather conditions, and a euphoria engulfs you. You find a magnetism to everyday things and an excitement that makes you want to stay out until  2am every night and start apartment hunting without even have been there a week.

For me, it’s London.

London has a heartbeat that so visibly declares itself as soon as you step foot outside of Heathrow Airport. The extravagant houses you walk past to get to Primrose Hill. The  smells and sounds at Borough Market. The hum of the Tube on a weekday morning. The buzz of a pub on a weekday night after work.

IMG_2369

There’s so much to see, so much to eat, so many people to write home about.

IMG_1628

This is Tower Bridge. It’s literally a bridge. That’s also a tower. It’s my favorite place in London and I used to take the Tube here just to walk across it and stare out at the Thames. 

I studied abroad there in college and it was the single most exhilarating part of my college experience. Every day was a new adventure, and every neighborhood I explored was better than the last. Whenever anybody asks my favorite city or the place I would live if I could, it’s always London. It will always be London.

I interned at a talent agency whose office was a itty-bitty studio apartment (if that) above a cheese shop. I loved it.

IMG_1695

Okay, now that I’ve successfully talked your ear off about London, here’s a round-up of my favorite London goods:

I’d Rather Be In London Shirt: I would rather be in London.

London Print: I’m currently trying to get wall art for my living room because every time anybody comes over they ask me why my walls are blank. And I tell them it’s because I haven’t put any pictures up. It’s really a thrilling conversation every time. Anyways, I want to have artwork of London above my couch and this is a cute print.

A Street Cat Named Bob: OKAY LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHEN I STUDIED ABROAD IN LONDON I WOULD WALK PAST THIS GUY AND HIS CAT EVERY SINGLE DAY. THEY HAD A SPOT RIGHT NEXT TO URBAN OUTFITTERS IN COVENT GARDEN AND HE WOULD SIT THERE AND PLAY GUITAR WITH HIS CAT EITHER IN HIS GUITAR CASE OR ON HIS SHOULDERS AND I JUST WALKED PAST EVERY DAY NOT THINKING MUCH OF ANYTHING AND THEN ONE DAY I WAS IN A BOOKSTORE AND I SAW A PICTURE OF THE CAT ON A BOOK AND MY MIND EXPLODED. AND APPARENTLY NOW THEY MADE A MOVIE ABOUT THIS CAT TOO AND I FREAK OUT EVERY TIME I REMEMBER THIS CAT. OKAY? OKAY.

London On The Rocks: This is cute, right?

London Tapestry: I kinda want to buy this for above my bed.

London Is Always A Good Idea Mug: Okay this is definitely cute.

IMG_2098

Have you ever been to London? What’s your favorite city? Let me know!

Super Bowl Appetizer Round Up

IMG_1390

I don’t watch sports. I don’t know what a field goal is. (I’m guessing it’s a touch down?) I don’t know what all the players do. I don’t know how scoring works. But do you know what I do know? HOW TO MAKE A BOMB ASS SPINACH DIP WITH SOME HOMEMADE TORTILLA CHIPS.

I’m only interested in the Super Bowl for the snacks.

IMG_1406

So today I will be rounding up the best appetizer recipes from around the interwebs. So that you can dance around your kitchen with a glass of rosé in one hand and a spatula in the other hand. It’s the only way to cook, really! Enjoy:

Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas: This recipe takes a normal quesadilla dish and gives it a kick in the loins. That’s a weird way to describe a quesadilla, I’m sorry. But this dish looks b-o-m-b.

Roasted Chili Pepper Guacamole: There’s a certain rule around these parts. We trust Gaby. Anything Gaby makes, we trust it and we make it. Especially when it has to do with guacamole….

Sourdough Pretzels and Beer Cheddar Sauce: Joy is one of those bloggers whose recipes I trust without even reading them. I know she wouldn’t let me down. I’ve been wanting to make pretzels with beer cheese for so long you have no idea. I’m trying to figure out which of my friends would want to come over for a pretzel and beer cheese party.

7 Layer Dip – This is a personal essay about seven layer dip which really speaks to me on a very deep level. We all should aspire to be this passionate about beans.

Charred Corn and Poblano Pepper Queso Fundido: Anything with the word Fundido in it and I’m sold. It just sounds Fun, you know? This is a super simple recipe that will make sure no chip gets left behind.

IMG_1396

Spinach Dip With Homemade Tortilla Chips: This is the recipe in the pictures. Honestly I had no idea making tortilla chips was so easy. But now I know, and will be making them on frequent rotation. I love Gaby’s recipes because she makes it so easy. This dip took zero skill – just basically a pot and some spinach.

Pull Apart Pigs In A Blanket: Can you even believe this???!? A Pigs-In-A-Blanket PIZZA??????!?? I am losing my mind.

Peanut Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies: A party without cookies is just a meeting. Literally I would honestly prefer if there were cookies at every get-together ever. They’re just a stable, ya know. I am the friend who brings homemade cookies to the trivia bar. That’s just me.

Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole: I’m gonna give you a second to read that name one more time. Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole. What even is that? I’m glad you asked… It is HEAVEN. I can’t even look at the recipe without salivating.

IMG_1401

What are you making tomorrow for the Super Bowl? Lemme know!