Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What's the Grossest Thing You've Ever Found in Your Food?

parasites in sushi
Warning: This post is not for the faint of heart. Do not read if you are easily grossed out. Or if you're about to eat lunch.

I've found lots of hair in my meals over the years, but my friend Kristin's story takes the cake for grossest thing ever found in food. Interestingly, it wasn't something she found right away.

"The other night I felt something weird in my throat," Kristin says. "It felt like a piece of cheese was stuck and when I put my chin to my chest it felt like it was coming up more."

Monday, October 27, 2014

Gallery Wall

hand-painted signs
For our wedding, our friend Andrew painted this awesome "For the Love of Pies" sign to welcome guests. I love that it feels like a piece of custom art. I was thinking of adding more artwork around it to make a gallery wall, but buying art has always intimidated me. How do you make it look like a collection of things that belong together vs. a random mix? And where do you buy affordable art that's not from a big-box store? Well, I just discovered that Minted, the online shop, offers so much more than cards for the holidays. They have a ton of budget-friendly art from independent artists, and their well-curated selection made it easy to find my favorites.

Here are my top picks for an airy and bright gallery wall with hints of coral...
gallery wall ideas

From left to right:
Abstract dots
For the love of pies
Keys wallet phone
Ferris wheel

If you'd like to make your own gallery wall, here are a few pointers I picked up:

Place your biggest piece off-center. 
This keeps the gallery from looking too symmetrical and makes it visually appealing.

Balance colors and art types. 
I picked a few pieces that fit within the coral color palette--including blush, pink and soft brown--and was drawn to prints that had lots of white space (to counterbalance the huge dose of color in my anchor piece). To add a little edge, I included a few black and white prints and made sure not to clump like-colored pieces together. I'm also a big fan of mixing photographs with abstracts and typography prints.

Mix sizes.
You want some art pieces to be big, others to be medium and a few to be small (teeny even!) Also, choose a mix of vertically- and horizontally-oriented prints.

Mix frames.
All your frames don't have to match. I included a mix of white frames and light brown ones. One convenient thing about Minted is that they offer art framing and have lots of pretty frames to choose from. I also really like these simple white picture frames that come in a bunch of different sizes.

What do you think? Do you have art up on your walls?

(This post is sponsored by Minted, a brand whose art and paper goods I adore. Thank you for supporting Quiet Like Horses' sponsors!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Colorful + Stormy Spring Wedding

spring wedding ideas
wedding pictures
wedding themes
My friend Whitney got married this past spring, and her wedding was full of color and personality. From the flowers to the decor to the wedding dress she designed herself (!), Whitney planned the entire day with the help of her fiancĂ©, friends and family. She says, "We were blessed to have many people lend a hand, and I loved the environment of community it created." Here's her wedding story and more pictures of her dreamy day...

Monday, October 20, 2014

October Adventures

alan and sobrina
Alan and I dedicated the month of October to having adventures. When we first decided on it, we thought we'd plan everything out in advance, but, as it turns out, we haven't made many plans at all. It's been glorious. First, we practiced our selfie-game

baby in a pumpkin patch
We picked pumpkins with this little baby who is equal parts torso and legs. Baby proportions are the cutest. 

uesugi farms hayride
I went on my first hayride!

uesugi farms flowers
We sat on straw bales in the back of a truck, bouncing through pumpkin patches and a sunflower field. It did not disappoint. 

flour bakery banana bread recipe
I continued my search for the best banana bread recipe and had high hopes for this one. It was okay (maybe it was me? It was probably me.) If you have a good recipe, I'd love to try it!

monterey bay aquarium
Alan and I recreated one of our first dates at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was 90 degrees! Eating hot clam chowder in the sweltering heat made me laugh.

I kept asking Alan which one he would pick if I had to be an octopus or a jelly fish. He picked jellyfish, which I found quite amenable.

caboose train
Sometimes he knows exactly what crazy question I'm going to ask before I ask it and asks me first. This is one of our favorite pastimes. 

san jose ramen festivalhide chan ramen
A ramen festival came to town with most vendors billed from Japan. This tonkotsu ramen from Hakata Hide Chan supposedly hails from Fukuoka. (I say supposedly because there's also a Hide Chan in New York, and I can't figure out if they're the same.) But it was delicious, nonetheless. So creamy, milky and porky.

persimmon cookies
Persimmons are in season (bless you, fall), so I made a double batch of Grandma Andi's persimmon cookies. The best cookies in all the land.

skull vase
I put out my skull vase to officially get in the Halloween spirit and also picked up these adorable lady apples. They're so teeny!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Matine Clutches

scalloped edge clutch
scalloped clutch
leopard clutch
I just discovered Matine, a shop that makes beautiful leather bags. I'm obsessed with the scalloped edge on this clutch which I have not-so-secretly added to my Christmas wish list. ;) Speaking of Christmas, this year I'm determined to finish all my shopping before Thanksgiving. My friend Jordan inspired me. Because who likes spending the holidays circling the parking lot at the mall and being elbow to elbow with other shoppers? It can make you feel crazy! It's a lofty goal, but I think it'll be worth it. I've already crossed one person off my list!

Monday, October 13, 2014

3 Food + Weight Lessons From Fed Up

fed up movie
Alan and I just watched Fed Up, the documentary about food, exercise and the food industry. Have you seen it? I love food documentaries and found it thoroughly intriguing. The film enlightened me on three common misconceptions about food and weight below...

fed up movie review
Myth #1: It's your own fault if you're overweight. 
The documentary stresses that obesity is the result of a broken food system—not laziness or gluttony. It's an eye-opening way of thinking about it since many of us have been taught that weight management is all about eating less and exercising more. After all, it's just a simple model of calories in vs. calories out, right? Wrong. While that model seems straightforward, the next two myths explain why it's not.

the way our body processes sugar
Myth #2: All calories are created equal. 
I was sitting at lunch the other day and overheard someone say, "There are no good or bad calories." But not all calories are created equal which means controlling weight is not as simple as eating less and exercising more. It's about the kinds of foods we eat. This is because our bodies process different foods in very different ways.

For example, if we ate 150 calories from an apple, our bodies would absorb it slower due to the fiber content. That means our blood sugar wouldn't spike and would rise for longer. In contrast, our bodies would absorb 150 calories from soda very quickly. Processed in the liver, the soda would provide a big sugar rush that would trigger the pancreas to kick in, producing excess amounts of insulin. As the energy storage hormone, insulin turns sugar into fat.

added sugar in foods
Myth #3: Low-fat foods are better for you.
As one person says in the documentary: Junk is still junk, even if it's less junky. Many low-fat foods contain as much or more sugar than their regular-fat counterparts. And all the hidden sugar in food these days starts to add up. Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of pediatrics at UCSF, called sugar "poison" and a "toxin" and blames the increased amounts of sugar in our diets for the rise of obesity.

Shelby Pope writes, "The negative effects sugar has on our bodies are staggering: sugar alters our hormones so we don’t register hunger the way we normally would, making us eat more; it spikes our dopamine, requiring us to eat more sugar for the same effect; and it affects our liver in the same way that alcohol does." And one Princeton study found that when mice were given a choice between cocaine or sugar-water, 94% chose the sugar!

sugar like cocaine

Yikes! I knew too much sugar was bad for you, but not this bad!

The takeaway at the end is that we should focus on eating real, unprocessed foods and limiting our sugar intake. Which, of course, seems completely obvious, but still. I thought it was so interesting! As someone with a serious sweet tooth, I definitely need to work on quitting sugar. If you watched the movie, what were your thoughts? I'd love to hear.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bring Your Parents to Work Day

office workout
Do your parents know what you do for a living? I remember trying to explain to my dad that I worked as a copywriter in an ad agency. I showed him an ad I'd proudly written for a new home builder. It had run in the SF Chronicle and featured a picture of new waterfront condos for sale.

"See?" I beamed. "I wrote this."
"This?" he asked.
"Yeah, all this," I said, pointing to the headline: Cool Summer Savings -- New Condos Starting at $599K.
"Oh," he said.
After a pause he said cautiously, "Somebody paid you to write that?"

It probably wasn't the best example.

Similarly, my friend PJ's dad doesn't know what she does either. She owns a wedding and event planning business, designing beautiful weddings, handling event logistics and managing her own marketing and sales. Yet, her dad thinks she manages setting tables at events! (Oh dads, you're the best.)

At least we're not alone -- according to a LinkedIn survey, a third of parents don't know what their kids do. Last November, LinkedIn started Bring In Your Parents Day, an event where workplaces encourage their employees to invite their parents to visit. LinkedIn says the idea behind helping parents understand what their kids do is that parents can relate more to their kids and offer better advice. Which, in turn, makes for happier, well-rounded employees.

It sounds hokey, but I'd be down for it. After all, now that my job involves more than just copywriting, it's even harder to explain what I do. When my parents ask, I say, "I put coupons online," which is pretty much not at all what I do. Ha!

What do you think? Would you bring your parents in if your workplace hosted Bring Your Parents to Work Day?

(Top photo of my sister Sophie working on a treadmill desk; bottom photo of my parents and Petrie)

Monday, October 6, 2014

How to Take a Good Selfie

how to take a good selfie
selfie fail
Not to brag or anything, but we are really good at taking selfies. The key is to get at least a sliver of your face in each frame. Bonus points if you can make it look like you're in heaven. :)

(all selfies taken by Alan)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How My Married Name Inspired My Spanish Pop Star Career

what does my name mean
As of two weeks ago, I have a new name. And while married names are nothing new, the fact remains: Having a new name at 31 is weird. 

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