Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Favorites

{Life summarized in four bottles - source}

It's Friday and while I may or may not win upwards of $600 million tonight I still wanted to share my favorite internet finds from this week to help you transition into your weekend. This weekend I'm cooking some sort of quinoa concoction with the boyfriend tonight, and then going out to celebrate one of my best friends getting into vet school at UC Davis on Saturday. Sunday brings the dreaded April Fools' Day (look up gullible in the dictionary: you'll see a picture of me - I prefer to call myself a concerned, empathetic person... not gullible), but for I'm spending the day in Los Angeles with my dad and my sister who is finishing up her spring break. I hope your weekend is relaxing and fulfilling! I'll be enjoying the overcast, slightly cool weather here in Los Angeles (I embrace any change in weather I can get!).

{I may have to attempt to make these decadent Raspberry Coconut Macaroons}

{Is this Burger King ad female-friendly?}

{Definitely making these spicy micheladas this weekend}

{Create your own "space" artwork - source}

{Donnez-moi these dainty rings}

{A wild book for civilized people - source}

{Indulge in this Chicken Liver Mousse}
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Much Ado About Kale Smoothie

{Kale-Almond-Vanilla Smoothie}

Confession #1: I should have gone to the gym after work but instead I decided to paint my nails, blog and eat leftover kale quiche (and a few glasses of wine). Confession #2: There is a lot of kale in those pre-chopped bags that you buy at Trader Joe's - I think I may turn into a head of kale if I keep eating it for every meal (quiche functions as breakfast, lunch or dinner right?). Confession #3: I enjoy putting stuff in the blender and making it taste delicious - hence my kale-almond-vanilla smoothie that seriously tastes like melted ice cream (seriously).

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Obsessed with... Lipstick

{A little lipstick goes a long way}

Who wants to leave their fluffy bed early in the morning? Not me.

This means that I have to cut corners and find a lazy-girl’s way of looking good for work.

Shortcut found: lipstick.

Throw on your moisturizer, some mascara, and your favorite color of lipstick for an extremely quick, extremely put together look. Here are my favorites...

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Crustless Kale, Onion and Cheddar Quiche

{Kale, onion and cheddar quiche}

Lately I have been playing the "what can I cook before it goes rotten" game for dinner. I recently read an article that said that Americans waste $2000 worth of food per year (that I could be spending on shoes or concerts), so I have really kicked my improv cooking skills into high gear and throwing together what sounds edible that night. Tonight: an abundance of kale plus an abundance of eggs meant that I was winging a quiche. Yes, winging a quiche... from scratch... no recipe. What could go wrong?

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

She Sells Seashells

{Seychelles "Wheel of Fortune" Sandals, Gypsy 05 Rose Silk Belted Dress, Electric Women's "Rockabye" Sunglasses, Village Serena Small Tote by Cole Haan}

The rain has finally cleared and I have started to incorporate kale into my diet which means only one thing: Coachella is around the corner. Lately, I have been channeling my inner 2-year-old due to a hearty hit of nostalgia, and have recently taken up an obsession with seashells.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up: California Burritos, Cinnamon Whiskey, and Cats

{A true California Burrito: carne asada, cheese, guacamole, french fries}

You thought this post was going to be about Mad Men, huh? Although my weekend's events did revolve around the Mad Men premiere (which was fantastic aside from that "Zoobie Zoobie Zoo" detour), I also was able to get in some good food, good drinks, and some quality time with  my cat (yes, cat).

Every time I go down to San Diego, I have to get a California burrito from Jalapenos. This time I had it for Sunday dinner (I was down an extra day to get some dental work done) pre-Mad Men. Saturday evening we went out to "The Office" in North Park (which was wonderfully Mad Men themed!). My favorite right now is Fireball Whiskey (and a Fireball Sour is the most delectable drink I've ever had). It's one part Fireball cinnamon whiskey, one part fresh sour mix, and egg whites if you're feeling brave.

{Fireball sour, Fireball cinnamon whiskey}

Now I have to admit that one of my favorite parts of being at home is hanging out with my sister's cat - who has a new found interest in emery boards. I gave myself a nude manicure this weekend, which required slightly longer nails, which required quite a bit of filing. This little cat would not leave me alone - she wanted that emery board. I actually have a punctured hole in it from her teeth. Does your cat love emery boards too, or is mine just insane? I mean she really is the cutest little monster I've ever seen.

{Check out this little fatty}
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Throw Your Own Mad Men Party (Like Betty or Joan)

{The fabulous cast of Mad Men}

Obsessed... obsessed... obsessed. I have been waiting for Mad Men to come back on AMC, and it has finally arrived after a long long wait. It is time to celebrate by throwing a 1960s party... something like Betty Draper would have hosted circa season 1 or season 2, but with Peggy's sense of independence, and Joan's sultry confidence.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Friday, Be Happy

{Baby elephant discovers the ocean}

It's an understatement to say Fridays for me tend to be daunting and exciting at the same time - I'm exhausted from my long week of work, and the weekend is so close (and yet so far).

So, I try to focus on little things that make me smile in order to make the day go a little bit more quickly: a friendly stranger holding the door open for you, a great blog article that you read with your morning coffee, painting the office walls a tangerine orange, or even unbearably cute animal photos. This baby elephant is so cute, and I imagine it is so happy playing in the waves (I want to teleport myself to splash with it).

It's the little things that make every day special. This weekend I'm heading down to San Diego for a weekend of fun, food, and old friends. Other than my impending dental work that I need to get done on Monday, I'm extremely thrilled for this weekend to come.
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Smith & Ratliff's Butternut Squash & Arugula Pizza

{Butternut squash and arugula pizza c/o Smith & Ratliff}

You know those days: you've had a hard day at work and you just want to come home, crack open a Guinness and cook something delicious with friends that you've been dying to cook for weeks? That was me today. I finally tackled the recipe that my roommate and I had been yearning to make: butternut squash and arugula pizza.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

Spring is here, and Los Angeles graciously has bestowed upon us a hint of great weather. Unfortunately I'm spending it indoors working for a living. This spring has a lot in store for me in terms of personal entertainment that I'm really really looking forward for. From little things like friends visiting and the Mad Men premiere next weekend, to big events like Coachella and celebrating my good friend's last few months in Los Angeles before vet school, spring 2012 is going to be a spring to remember.

A word from the wise:
  • Wear sunscreen: Nothing ages you faster than a sunburn. Wearing sunscreen daily even if you're not outside a lot is key to looking young (and not having to wear a lot of makeup when  it's practically melting off anyways). However, layer on the sunscreen and get outside for some quality vitamin D.
  • Don't fear lipstick: A fresh brush of lipstick is my favorite look for fall. Brush on some bronzer and a tart orange lipstick to look sweet and bright.
  • Eat healthily: This spring eating light will keep you from getting sluggish in the hot afternoons. Try my smashed cauliflower, veggie "pasta", or balsamic salmon for a meal that doesn't skimp on flavor.
  • Buy a new dress: How much prettier do you feel when you're wearing a new dress? Buy yourself at least one new dress this spring to make yourself feel pretty and confident.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Get Real. Get Outside.

STIHL is an international power tools and chainsaw company - but their recent ad campaign is both clever, and eye opening. Their campaign called Get Real. Get Outside. encourages you to take advantage of some good old-fashioned fun, and to put down the social networking and mobile devices. 

I'm a big fan of social media (obviously), but I am also a big proponent of finding a life balance. Nothing is worse than a couple on a date on their phones, or choosing to watch television instead of having quality interaction with family members.

More ad examples from STIHL after the jump.

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Making Don Draper's "Old Fashioned"

I say, if you can't have a man like Don Draper, at least you can drink like he does.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Back to Basics: Flats

{Steve Madden moccasins in neutral, TOMS classic in red, Kenneth Cole Reaction flats in black leather)

Lately I find myself wearing flats a lot (almost everyday to work). It's almost a pity because about six months ago I couldn't get my hands on enough high heels. I went through a phase where even though my feet were killing me by the end of the day, I wanted to look at feel professional going to work.

However, I also found that wearing flats to work had the same effect. My Steve Madden moccasins and my Kenneth Cole Reaction leather flats are professional and comfortable (and match with anything). I can wear my red TOMS classics on weekends (or casual Fridays) with skirts, skinny jeans, dresses or shorts. Comfortable, and yet still not in my Rainbow flip flops (which I still adore).

What kind of flats do you wear? Do you ditch the flats and wear heels still? I have to admit that I'm guilty for bringing a pair of flats and changing into them halfway through the day when the balls of my feet are dying.
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up: St. Patty's Pot Luck

{It's sinfully delicious to roast bacon wrapped around seasoned asparagus}

This weekend was St. Patrick's Day also known as an excuse to eat, drink, and be merry. My roommate and I hosted the St. Patrick's Day fete this year, and we couldn't be happier with how our little party turned out. We sampled delicious appetizers, drank festive drinks, and even made it out to a local pub despite all of the rain, cold and gloom Los Angeles decided to throw our way.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Favorites

This blueberry pancake cupcake recipe is mouth watering. I need to try it now.

I can't get Lana Del Rey's song Off to the Races out of my head. Even though it's about an abusive relationship with her father, I can't listen to it enough. My expectations for her album Born to Die were extremely high because it is so overly hyped on every sort of media I follow - but it seriously lives up to it.

This quaint little Irish cottage looks like the perfect Saint Patrick's Day getaway. Dublin (or Ireland in general) was the only country (aside from Portugal) that I was not able to visit when I studied abroad. I'm green with envy for anyone who's been there.

Can someone please just buy me a dutch oven already (like this one from Le Creuset)? I have an urge to make Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon after watching Julie & Julia this past week.

This my most highly anticipated film. I've been waiting for it forever. Aside from my love for dear Leo DiCaprio, The Great Gatsby is my favorite book (of all time) and the 1920s is tied for first (with the 1960s) as my favorite decade of all time (remember my green vintage 1920 glassware?).
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Preparing for the Storm

This weekend Los Angeles is supposed to be hit with a huge rain storm. I'm looking forward to the free car wash courtesy of mother nature, lots of good food and good drinks, and wearing lots of green (or even wearing orange since fun fact: it's the color of the Protestant Irish).

Although the rain my curb a lot of Saint Patrick's Day plans, there is always a silver lining: it's a great excuse to have a small-get together and walk to a local bar to partake in the activities. My roommate and I are throwing a potluck on Saturday where everyone brings their favorite appetizer (since last year's lack of food ended in disaster) or beverage to share with the rest of the room.

We're excited to have a more grown up spin to this crazy holiday. I plan on making my own adaptation to bacon wrapped asparagus or green mashed potatoes, and maybe even doing this to my food to make it like a pot o' gold.

Sidenote: Does George Clooney getting arrested this morning make him that much hotter, or is it just me?

{This reminds me of my sister and I}

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Roasted Curry Cauliflower

{Roasted curry cauliflower}

I was craving Indian food the other day, but since I just spent nearly an entire paycheck on repairs for my baby blue beamer, I decided to try to improvise in the kitchen. I recently bought an abundance of cauliflower (which I turned into smashed cauliflower last week), and I had eaten a delicious, tender curry cauliflower at one of our business lunches. Why not embark on Indian cuisine? - I thought (even though I had never tried anything of the sort before...).

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Social Satire: 21st-Century Subcultural Tribes

{Popcore dork is stoked on life}

Now this just may be my favorite internet gem (it's just too funny!): social commentary turned illustration-diagram at it's finest.

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How Do You Accessorize?

{Gifted souvenir bracelets from Colombia, Thailand, and China; Tiffany's "Atlas" ring and silver cuff; Caché glass bangle}

When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on. - Coco Chanel

I tend to overdo the accessories...

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Drink This: Chartreuse Liqueur

{At the Chartreuse factory in Voiron outside of Grenoble)

Je suis une francophile, I admit it. Sampling liqueurs from around the world may very well be one of my favorite hobbies, and sampling liqueurs from France trumps all.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Easy Cheesy Egg Pocket Breakfast Sandwich

{A perfect breakfast}

Mondays are always difficult. So why not kick it off with a perfect breakfast sandwich (that takes only minutes to make!)?

The other day I was reading Joanna Goddard's blog, A cup of Jo, and I came across the easiest breakfast sandwich in the world. I made a few (healthy) modifications to make it more accustomed to the twenty-something year old California girl's life (whole wheat, thin slice of healthy cheese, hot sauce - ay caramba!) and made one of the most satiable, delicious, scrumptious, no guilt breakfast sandwiches I've ever created in my own kitchen.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Have You Seen This Insanely Creative Video?

I have to admit this week wasn't the best for me. My car broke down all the way across town, and it's been sitting in the shop for the last 48 hours while I walk my booty to work (luckily it's only two miles away). Nonetheless, it could be worse! The walk is gorgeous (you really appreciate your surroundings more when you're not in a rush), and tonight I have a lovely dinner party (or shall we call it a wine party?) where a handful of us each prepare a dish, and sit around the table family style. It will be just what I need.

In true Friday fashion, I want to share with you this internet gem to share the love. Let's be honest a good video or macro really does put a smile on my face. This little video series is one to go down in the record books.

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Going Green

{Greens are hitting the Oscar de la Renta, Burberry, and Vera Wang Spring 2012 runways}

Green: it's the color of grass, the color of the leaves, the color of the earth. It's a color that symbolizes serenity, calm, and anything natural. It's no wonder that everyone and I mean everyone is adopting the green theme this spring.

I for one can't get enough of it (ask my friends!). Ever since I purchased my first (and only) Kelly green Kate Spade leather masterpiece, I have been obsessed with finding nick-knacks and decor to scatter around my apartment. It doesn't help that that vintage color green is straight from the 1950s and 1960s - better known by many as The Mad Men Era - which may also explain my envy for green.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Smashed Cauliflower

{Cauliflower Jacuzzi}

I finally went grocery shopping. After eating out for about two weeks straight and burning a hole in my pocket and virtually melting my boyfriend's credit card, I've decided it's time to get healthy again and start cooking. Whenever I go grocery shopping, I buy as many fruits, veggies and lean proteins as I can because let's be honest the temptation to order take out for lunch at work is too strong. I try to keep my pantry and fridge stocked with as many fresh and healthy ingredients as I possibly can to avoid joining the obesity epidemic.

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Damn, I forgot my coffee today...

{I promise that I'm a nice person after a coffee}

I'll admit it - I'm a caffeine addict. Let's just say that if I don't get my coffee in the morning, the day runs slower, my mood is lower, and I may be a tiny bit more abrupt than usual.

Today I forgot to make coffee, and by the time I remembered, it was too late and I was going to be too late to work. Would it be worth it to risk showing up after 9:00 am? I took the wimpy responsible route and decided to book it to work.

Note to self: Earl grey tea is not a sufficient replacement for coffee.

So in order to hopefully brighten your mood as well as mine, here are some funny little coffee comics. I'm sure you'll be able to relate to them like I can.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Go Basalmic: One-Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Salmon

{I just couldn't help but take a bite}

If I don't say so myself, I have become quite the improviser in the kitchen. Roast it, fry it, toast it, braise it, sautée it - I can do it all (and I'm quite humble too). So lately my love for balsamic vinegar and garlic has reached a new height. Balsamic vinegar is very tangy, salty, sour, and somewhat subtle at the same time. You can put it on basically anything. I'm obsessed. I had to do a light, fresh recipe of it with salmon and Brussels sprouts. And since it's a weeknight, I made it easy with one pan - roasting both in sweet, tangy, balsamic-y unison.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

First Fridays: Museum Discos and Pluto Killers

{First Fridays at the LA County Museum of Natural History}

Who would think that hanging out at museum on a Friday night would be the cool thing to do? The Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History has made weekend night museum hopping desirable. Social pedants, pretentious hipsters, and spontaneous thrill seekers unite! First Fridays is the place to be.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Cheese (Please)

I thank my lucky stars everyday that I'm not lactose-intolerant because I have a love, a love for cheese. If I could I would eat cheese for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks, fourth meal... I'm getting carried away now. Regardless, you can't live on a diet of cheese alone (sadly that leads to a very malnourished person because cheese is not a vegetable... pity). So I have taken it upon myself to match some of my favorite cheeses to some star players for some tasty recipes that are scrumptious and yes, cheesy.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Edible Spray Paint: Eat the Golden Apple

Erm... tomato. Eat the golden tomato.

German company The Deli Garage Food Cooperative helps you pimp your favorite foods. Their "edible spray paint" line allows you to color your food in case you feel like chewin' on your bling. Right now there are four colors: red, blue, silver, and gold.

Check out this product description:
Fine silver cutlery, gold-plated cups - there are some things in life you just can't see enough of. As of now, the same applies to a good steak with Food Finish, the most stylish way to refine your culinary creations...
Well that just made my weekend. I can't wait to eat a golden steak with some blue broccoli and red mashed potatoes. Dream come true.

Have a great weekend!

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Orange Crush

Color me this, color me that. I've got a crush on orange. Yes, spring is still around the corner, but I can't help but paint my nails candy-colored tangerine, throw some old-lady coral-orange lipstick on my lips and own it like it's 1959.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Brie and Jam Pastry Pockets

{Brie and jam pastry puffs workstation where brie was prematurely consumed}

Since it's the first day of March, I am going to make an outlandish wish that we ditch the green beer and dedicate this month solely to cheese. I ask you this: have you ever had something that tasted so right that it was almost wrong? How about combining five (yes, only five) of the most sinfully delicious ingredients together to create a whole new level of Deliciousity? Yes, I created a new word to describe these little pockets of wonderful. It should be against the law to layer brie, puffed pastry, jam, eggs and sugar together, throw it in the oven, and consume it in one day.

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