Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Picnic + Easy Biscuit Recipe

picnic spread
This weekend, my friend Jennifer and her baby girl came over for a visit. We walked to the park and had a little picnic.

Monday, April 29, 2013

How Do You Feel About Your Boobs?

bright sports bras
bright hiking clothes
In high school and college, I fretted over having small boobs. Big boobs, I was convinced, looked better in clothes and made women more womanly. But! As I've gotten older, I've realized small boobs have their own perks. For one, this is comfortable. I never thought twice about it until a well-endowed friend pointed out how uncomfortable it is for her. And two, you can wear all the cute, minimal-support sports bras out there! I'm currently loving Unit-Y's bright, fun bras (the one I'm wearing is on sale! And this one is cute too). I wore mine out for a hike this weekend which put a little extra pep in my step :)

Did you ever go through a period of worrying about your boobs (regardless of size)? Hopefully, that time's long gone. Looking back, I can't believe I spent so much time worrying about it! 

p.s. the tank version of my sports bra for a little extra cover

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Do or Don't: Colorful Refrigerators

mint green smeg
white smeg
red smeg
Even though we're far from ready when it comes to buying a house, I think about how we'll decorate all the time. These colorful SMEG refrigerators caught my eye. Aren't they fun? I especially love the mint and pastel blue.

(Top photo via Nordic Leaves, second photo by Real Living, third photo via flickr)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Enjoying the Small Things

everyday treat - hydrangea
Jordan Ferney once wrote that the French are all "really good at doing things to enjoy everyday life." Doesn't that sound awesome? My days fly by and feel so full that spending a little extra time to enjoy the small things sounds dreamy. The hard part is remembering to do it! With my focus on it lately, here's what I've accomplished so far:

* I bought flowers—just because
* I asked a friend to go on a stroll with me (all spontaneous-like) to enjoy an amazing 85 degree afternoon
* I've been curling my hair for work because it makes me feel like a beach babe :)

Do you treat yourself to the little things? I'm trying to work up to buying flowers every week, but so far it's been really hard!

Monday, April 22, 2013

How to Poach an Egg


how to poach an egg
poached egg recipe
Poached eggs are one of those wonderful and mysterious foods that both delight and intimidate me. I'll be the first to order anything with a poached egg at a restaurant, but making them at home seem impossible. Bon Appetit's recipe for poached eggs, which promise "a lava-like flow of the yolk," convinced me to try it. Surprisingly, it worked (and was pretty easy, too)! The whites were firm and tender, while the golden liquid yolks spilled out like a dream over buttery toast.

How do you like your eggs? Would you try this at home? 


Perfect Poached Eggs
Via Bon Appetit

Ingredients

1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 large eggs (the fresher the better)
Coarse sea salt (such as Maldon) and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Pour 1/2 cup vinegar into each of 2 small bowls. Crack 1 egg into each bowl, taking care not to break yolk; let stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a whisk, vigorously swirl water until a vortex forms in the center. Slip 1 egg with vinegar into vortex and continue to swirl water with whisk around edges of pan until it returns to a boil. The egg white should wrap tightly around the yolk, forming an oval shape. As soon as water returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium and gently simmer egg, frequently swirling water, for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift egg from water and use kitchen shears to trim any stray pieces of egg white. Place egg on paper towels and gently blot; transfer egg to a bowl or plate. Repeat with remaining egg. (If poaching more than 2 eggs, repeat using fresh water.) Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Cover; chill. Rewarm in a saucepan of simmering water for 1 minute.


p.s. creamy, fluffy scrambled eggs—another recipe that changed my life ;)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cheese Soufflé

cheese souffle
homemade cheese souffle
Last weekend, I was hanging out at my friend Roy's house, leafing through issues of Saveur, while he made us cheese soufflés in the kitchen. He whipped them up using eggs, milk, nutmeg, pepper—and lots of cheese! Have you ever had one? They're light, airy, fluffy and so pretty. Roy says they can be tricky to nail, but this easy soufflé recipe promises to be foolproof and only uses one bowl! Would you try it? They'd be fun to make (and impress people with) when they come over for breakfast. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Finally! Ballet Flats for Wide Feet

Ballet flats are always too narrow and tight for me, but I love how Parisian chic they look. Unable to resist, I actually bought a few new pairs last year before deciding they were too painful and giving them all away. Flats for wide feet are usually way matronly and orthopedic-looking. So, I was thrilled when I discovered the SoftWalk Napa Flat. They come in wide widths, have pillowy foot beds (so you don't feel like you're walking on concrete barefoot) and look like regular ballet flats! I can't recommend them enough if you're looking for cute flats for wide feet.

p.s. The best suede wedges for wide feet and leopard print loafers for wide feet



Monday, April 15, 2013

Love It or Hate It: Surprises

top knot
How do you feel about surprises? Last week my sister invited me over to her place for a surprise. She wouldn't give me any clues and told me she didn't spend any money. The suspense just about killed me. At first, I thought she planned to cook me dinner. But when I arrived she was just hanging out and snacking on hummus. My surprise, she told me, wasn't being delivered for a couple hours.

While we waited, she made us breakfast burritos and kept getting interrupted by phone calls from the delivery person. The idea of a delivery person made me think she was giving me flowers, but I remembered she didn't spend any money. As the night went on, I got more and more anxious. Finally, the "delivery man" called and said the package was ready, but we'd have to walk to the end of the block to meet him. I followed her down the street, dying the entire time. What could it be??! 

We walked to the end of the street into a dark parking lot. I saw someone walking towards us when I realized... it was my mom! She had driven down from Portland with my dad for a surprise visit. I was floored—I haven't seen them since Christmas!

Surprises can be so much fun, don't you think? Here are some of my favorite ideas if you'd like to surprise someone soon. :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Snack of the Day: Chocatoo Lemon Tart

lemon tart
chocatoo lemon tart
Chocatoo, a new bakery in San Pedro Square Market, just opened up across the street from Alan's office. The first time we visited, we were drawn in by the smell of freshly-baked cookies, which were gooey and mind-blowing. (By the way, what a brilliant idea to attract customers in an open market.) They also serve macarons, cake pops, bite-size dessert cups and slices of cake. My eye, however, was drawn to the lemon tart—it was bright and slightly creamy with a tender crust—so good and perfect for this warmer weather!  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pindot

pindot chambray shirt
men's pindot button up shirt
men's pindot shirt
pindot shirt
My favorite kind of polka dots lately are pindots. They're really subtle but add a playful punch to closet staples, including soft chambray blouses and crisp button-up shirts.

{His: J.Crew slim pindot shirt; Hers: Side Stitch chambray shirt}


p.s. we might be turning into this couple

Monday, April 8, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Beyond Yoga Leggings

beyond yoga leggings
I just discovered Beyond Yoga leggings which have become my new favorites. They're so incredibly soft—even more than my Lululemon Wunder Unders or Zella pants—I want to wear them all the time. I've worn them out for a morning jog, to yoga class and for general lollygagging (my favorite activity ever). They come in lots of fun colors, hold their shape well and aren't see-through. I'd highly recommend them if you're looking for great workout pants. (These and these are 50% off! And these ones are also cute and on sale.)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Are You an Adventurous Eater?

beef tongue
Growing up with my parents meant I ate everything. We were watching Fear Factor once (remember that show?) where the contestants were struggling to eat balut. My parents asked, "So what's the challenge?" I'm a much tamer eater now, but at dinner the other night, I tried three new things to be adventurous.

Adventurous Dish #1: The first dish, pictured above, was a skewer of beef tongue.
Would-I-Make-It-Again-For-Dinner Rating: It was nicely seasoned, but the texture made me feel like I was eating... someone's tongue. It gave me the heebie jeebies!

uni rice bowl
Adventurous Dish #2: Uni, roe and crab rice bowl.
Would-I-Make-It-Again-For-Dinner Rating: Once I stopped thinking about how much the sea urchin looked like a piece of a brain (which is much creepier than seeing a whole brain—like where did the rest of the brain go? Is it hiding somewhere in the bowl?) it tasted not bad. It didn't make me want to run out and get extra like this does, but I'm okay with that.


takowasa
Adventurous Dish #3: Takowasa (raw octopus marinated in wasabi)
Would-I-Make-It-Again-For-Dinner Rating: Our Japanese friend loves this dish. It was like eating wasabi-flavored corn nuts, if corn nuts were soft and chewy with an al dente bite. I could see this being a fun alternative to bean dip for a party.

Would you try these? Are there things you would never eat? Or would you try anything at least once? What's the craziest thing you last ate? 

And a few more pictures from dinner, if you'd like to see...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Chambray Dress

chambray and tights
I'm trying to wear more dresses this spring just because I wear the same jeans day in and day out. This chambray dress is soft, drapey and meets both my requirements—it's comfortable and office-appropriate. I can also think of a million ways to accessorize it (with tights, wedges, boots, flats, a big chunky necklace, a bright scarf, or a thick belt) so it'll feel like you're never wearing the same thing twice.
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