January 29, 2016


Have you been watching Top Chef on Bravo? It's the only show I'm really in to right now, and so far this season has been awesome. The caliber of chefs the show attracts really blows my mind. Recently, I found an old Food and Wine Magazine from 2010, and was surprised to see one of the contestants of Top Chef on the cover as a "Best New Chef". I read his profile, and he even mentioned how much he likes the show. Who would have known that six years later he would be competing! 

Anyways, since Top Chef is on Thursdays, I'm usually watching it while putting together my Friday links post. Hence why it's on my mind right now :). Part of what I love about the show is watching the chefs' creativity with food. I love cooking, but I am neither great nor creative with the dishes I make. The show really makes me want to pursue some creative passions.

So hey, inspiration can really come from anywhere. Even reality TV.

Notable Sales:

January 27, 2016


Let's be real, Valentine's Day in a relationship is just not that exciting. While I think it's a great occasion to celebrate your relationship, it's a pain to get dinner reservations, then pay a ton for a special Valentine's menu, etc. etc. Each year, I am much more excited to put together gifts and goodies for my Galentine's! Let's be real, girls appreciate all the cute stuff wayyyyy more anyways. 


1. Chocolate Dipped Treats - An easy and wallet friendly DIY! 
2. C'est La Vie Makeup Bag, Forever21 $6 -- A good mantra on a cuter bag.
3. Wine Tote, Plate and Pencil $19 -- I always love a good pun, and this bag is perfect to use year round. 
4. Key Tag, $15 -- Truth. Tacos > Everything.
5. Sheet Mask, TonyMoly $4 -- I love these sheet masks, and they are incredibly inexpensive. I always throw them into gifts as fun extras.
6. Mini Champagne, Sofia Coppola $5 -- Perfect for raising a toast to your Galentine's.
6. Nail Polish, Essie $8 -- Essie has every shade of pink and red under the sun, pick a different one for each friend!
7. Candy Bento, Sugarfina $7 -- My favorite are the champagne gummy bears.
8. Love Potion Tumbler, Ban.Do $13 -- I'm snagging this one for myself! 
9. Besties Temporary Tattoo, Tattly $5 -- The updated friendship necklace.

January 25, 2016


Paper goods are my absolute weakness. I have a few too many notebooks, list pads, and cards. However, finding the perfect card for someone is one of those small things that just makes me feel really happy. With all the amazing print and design studios, Hallmark just doesn't cut it anymore! Some of my favorite places to shop for cards are Etsy, Paper Source, and local gift stores. I picked out a few of my favorites below, and I'll have some Galentine's Goodies on PGIP tomorrow. 


1. Big Time Love, Hammer Press $4.50
2. Bee Mine, Smock Paper $2.50
3. I Love You Hippo, Smock Paper $2.50
4. Mushy Card, RowHouse14 $5
5. Electric Love, Paper Source $6
6. Pizza Love, Sea and Lake Paper Co. $4.50
7. Stud Muffin, RowHouse14 $5
8. Kanye Love, Bird House Press $4
9. You're My Person, Paper Source $5

January 22, 2016


Somehow, the short week still felt very, very long. I'm really looking forward to having a friend in town this weekend. Having visitors encourages me to make the most of my weekend and of the beautiful city I am lucky to live in! We are headed up to Sonoma for some wine tasting and we will be trying out some new-to-me spots (unfortunately not the one mentioned below though).  If you have any good recommendations, please let me know! 

January 20, 2016


Since reading Eating Animals (more on that in
the February book club post!), I have made a conscious decision to cut meat out of my diet. While I try to buy "responsibly raised, cage free, hormone free, vegetarian fed" etc etc, I learned that all of those terms basically mean nothing. While I don't picture myself cutting meat out of my life 100% at this point, I don't intend on cooking meat at home any time soon. I already have a few veggie meals in my regular rotation, but here are a few more I want to try.

If you want to cut meat out of your diet here are a few useful tips:
  • Focus on what you CAN eat rather than what you can't. Look for vegetable forward recipes on Pinterest.
  • Don't substitute carbs for meat. It's easy to rely on pasta and bread to fill you up, but make sure to keep carbs in moderation!
  • Eat more beans! Beans are a great source of protein and SO filling. Now a days, I rarely have a meal without black beans, chickpeas, or Great Northern Beans added in somewhere.
  • Find good faux meat. I am not a huge fan of fake meat stand ins, however, I do love quinoa burger patties, Jackfruit carnitas, and Soyrizo. Find what works for you, and don't feel like you need to eat it just to have some "meaty" component of your meal. 

January 13, 2016


I think everyone can agree that it's difficult to fit everything in. Work, school, friends, significant others, errands, cooking, aaaand the gym. This generation seems to just pack as much in as possible, which is good in many ways, but can also cause parts of your life to lose priority. One way I like to make more time in my schedule is working out in my apartment a few times a week instead of hitting spin or yoga. Just the travel time alone saves me nearly an hour.

Pro tip: For any jumping moves, try to land softly so it's easier on your joints. Plus, if you live in an apartment you don't want to piss off the neighbors!

30 Seconds of Mountain Climbers
15 Leg Lifts
15 Squat Jumps
50 Bicycle Crunches (25 each side)
Repeat 2x


Plank with Row, 10 each side
30 Walking Lunges (15 each side)
Side Plank, 30 seconds each side
30 Reverse Lunges (15 each side)
Repeat 2x


1 Minute High Knees
15 Rowing Crunches
10 Burpees
20 Bridge Raises
Repeat 2x


1 Minute Plank


For an easier workout, run through each circuit once before you take a rest. The rest periods should also be a quick sip of water and catching your breath, don't let your heart rate drop too far between circuits. 

January 11, 2016


Happy Monday! I hope you had a relaxing weekend. I spent most of mine with friends and enjoying the grey weather that SF has been experiencing. While I'm sure I will be itching for summer months soon, right now I am enjoying the stormy weather. It's been influencing my taste in clothing and interiors, so I have been really drawn to muted palates, including pink. It's fitting as Rose Quartz is one of the Pantone colors of the year. I especially like the shade mixed in with black, white, and grey neutrals to keep it from erring on the side of too girly. 


January 5, 2016


I think I'm going to aim for 3 books a month in 2016, it feels like a reasonable number to finish while still pushing me to read more often. I would like to read 50 books total this year, so hopefully I can squeeze in additional books throughout the year. Luckily, this year I have a bit of travel on the horizon, which is always prime time to dig in to some books.


1. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho -- I was given a beautiful copy of this book with a special meaning attached, so I am really looking forward to diving in deep and immersing myself in the books meaning. The main story of the book is a Shepard boy dreams of seeing the world, so he sets off on an adventure. Along the way, he meets a variety of characters who each teach him many lessons on life. "The story has the comic charm, dramatic tension and psychological intensity of a fairy tale, but it's full of specific wisdom as well, about becoming self-empowered, overcoming depression, and believing in dreams." (Publisher's Weekly). I am a big fan of Paulo Coelho, so this is my most anticipated book this month (or year).

2. Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer -- This is my book clubs pick this month, and while it was not my first choice, I am warming up to the idea of the book. Eating Animals is part memoir and part investigation in to consuming animal products. Foer was a vegetarian for 10 years, but the birth of his child lead him to question the morality of our diets, where our food comes from, and what the cultural significance of food is. I love Foer's fiction, so this will be an interesting change from what I expect out of the author.

3. The Secret of Chanel No. 5, Tilar Mazzeo -- I found a single copy of this book at a random store, and was drawn first to the Warhol-esque cover, and then to the story. The book takes a long look in to the life of Coco Chanel, the history of Chanel No. 5, and why the perfume has managed to maintain it's popularity spanning decades. This will be my "fluffy" read for the month, but I am interested to learn a bit of history regarding Chanel!


1. Humans of New York Stories, Brandon Stanton -- If you follow HONY on Facebook, you will enjoy this book. It was a quick read, but unfortunately it mostly repeated people featured on the Facebook page. However, it was a nice catalog to look back on and definitely a good conversation piece for your coffee table.

2. Always Pack A Party Dress, Amanda Brooks -- While it was a quick and easy read, this book left a bit to be desired for me. First off, the author seemed to hit a series of fortunate events and/or knew the right people to get her start in the fashion industry. However, from there she definitely earned her place. I was also hoping for more scandalous stories, especially because she attended Madonna's birthday party in the 80s! The book was centered more on career advice than parties. Still, I enjoyed it overall and Brooks has excellent taste and writing style.

3. Daring Greatly, Brene Brown -- Confession, I only made it through a few chapters of this book. I felt that the topic can be pretty concisely discussed, and I didn't feel compelled enough to keep reading. Hopefully I do finish it at some point, because I did take some good life lessons from it. Mostly, that we cannot achieve great things while living inside our comfort zones. We must practice vulnerability in order to dare greatly. More on that topic later. The author did a TED Talk on that subject and it's great! I suggest watching it.

4. A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara -- I purchased this book at the end of the month after honestly being intrigued by the cover photo. I also spotted it on several "Best of 2015" lists. Be forewarned, it's nearly a thousand pages. BUT, I LOVED THIS BOOK. Yanagihara so perfectly nails all the pain and suffering and truth that there is to the human experience, in a sharp contrast to love, friendship, hope, and all the good parts of life. While it was a heavy (very, very heavy) read, I felt less alone knowing that someone understood exactly how I feel. I don't even know what to further to say, because this book was so good. Truly stunning in both the writing and the story.

(The best part of A Little Life is that at the end it says "About the Author", and all it says is "The author resides in New York City". I'm not sure why I found that so funny, but it provided much needed comic relief at the end of the novel.)

January 4, 2016


Links coming at you a little late due to the long weekend and the holiday. How was your long weekend? I am trying to kick a cold that just keeps lingering, so mine was full of resting, wholesome foods, and a little sweat.

While I find the idea of New Year's resolutions a bit stale, I do like to take the time to set goals for myself for the upcoming year. I try to keep this in mind year round, but there is something reassuring of the closing of one chapter and the opening of another. 2015 was not a great year for me, and I am welcoming 2016 with wide open arms.

One thing I am trying for this year is to take a photo of something that makes me feel grateful every day. I have been making an effort to practice more gratitude, and I feel that keeping a literal photo album of it will be a good reminders on the low days. I will check in on PGIP if anyone is interested in how it goes!