GIFTING GUIDE:

GIFTING GUIDE FOR HERwe’re nearly two weeks away from christmas and i’m just making a list of all the things i need to get. i wish i was more consistent with my christmas shopping. one year, i’ll have everyone’s gifts wrapped and under the tree WEEKS before christmas and the next year i’ll be out on christmas eve braving the crowds and screaming internally. from year to year it’s always different but if you’re like me (this year) and you need some gifting inspiration, you can take a look at my gifting guides below!

 

GINGERBREAD SPICE & EVERYTHING NICE!

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it’s that time of year again! where the christmas music is overplayed (guilty), turtlenecks are worn in 70-degree weather and i pretend to be on the great british bake off. the best place to pretend you know everything about baking is at williams sonoma, but it’s a dangerous place to be during the holidays. they have peppermint bark, holiday mixes and lots of festive dining decor… which is how we ended up here with this blog post! i saw this holiday bundt pan and knew it’s rightful place was at home with me. it didn’t matter that i had never made a bundt cake before, i was going to make a bundt cake now. i’ll admit baking does not come naturally for me, i need a recipe and i will follow that recipe to the very last pinch of salt. so, when i saw this gingerbread spice quick bread i was at ease having the reassurance of detailed directions all along the back of the pretty packaging. this recipe was quick and simple and i can’t wait to make more for the holiday season.

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apparently, while mixing ingredients i bounce as if i’m trying to put a newborn baby to sleep…it’s a new technique.

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A WEEKEND IN CHICAGO

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this past weekend my sister and i went to chicago to see our two friends tie the knot. there is something magical about that city in the winter, maybe it’s because i’m not from there and i’m born and raised a cali girl so i’ve never really experienced “seasons” but i fell hard for this place and it’s crazy weather. i mean the weather wasn’t ideal for exploring and on the day of the wedding, i experienced rain like i’ve never seen before but since it was my first time to chicago, i wanted to make the most of our quick trip… so i made an eatinerary – see what i did there?? this basically determined where our time was being spent based on which restaurants we were eating at. saturday we pretty much dedicated that day to catching up on sleep, crying and dancing. i’m a great wedding date by the way.

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the next day, the weather decided to chill and stop raining sideways, so we were able to spend some time outdoors. first stop on the eatinerary- goddess and the baker. this place was PACKED… so we ordered quickly, snagged a spot and devoured our breakfast. we didn’t get any pastries for the road because we had many more stops to go on our eatinerary and didn’t want to get full before we got to the rest. it’s all about pacing yourself right?? i am kicking myself for not getting at least one pastry to try… my biggest regret of 2018. HANDS DOWN.

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to try and walk off our meal before the next stop on the eatinerary, we headed over to millennium park. as we approached the park, we could see an ice rink peaking through the trees,  we smelt the christmas tree and felt the crisp air on our cheeks. it felt like we were stepping into a hallmark movie and i never wanted to leave.

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next up on the eatinerary was some schnitzel, pretzels and cheese from the christkindlmarket. we underestimated how crowded this place would be (on the 1st weekend of december…who were we kidding??) we looked at as many vendors as the mob would let us and squeezed our way to the front of some store to purchase some christmas trinkets. to emphasize just how crowded it was- this was an outdoor market and i was sweating from all the body heat. unfortunately, because of the crowds and the fact that we had to catch a flight later that night, we had to cut our time at the market short and weren’t able to try the schnitzel, pretzels or cheese but we made sure to grab a hot chocolate in the cutest little souveneir mugs on our way out!lrg_dsc04438-1

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going from one hot chocolate to the next! this was a must for our trip as we’ve read here, here and here . mindy’s hot chocolate… god this place is good and it’s got all the awards to prove it. courtney had the old fashioned and i the dark oat milk… i have never tasted something so diviinnneeee. to top it off, there were homemade marshmallows in our drinks. yep! HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS. i’m ending this post on a deliciously positive note. until next time chicago! xx

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PLAYLIST NO. 4: HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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i’d be lying if i told you that i hadn’t been listening to christmas music since october… i can’t help it! have you heard leslie odom jr. and kacey musgraves’ christmas albums?!? i have those two albums always on rotation regardless of the season, they are per-fec-tion. anyways…now that we are officially post-turkey coma, i’ve decided to gather all of my favorite holiday songs to play every minute of every day until someone tells me i need a psychoanalysis (my roommates). hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season!

you can listen to my playlist here.

  1. “sleigh ride” – she & him
  2. “the chrismtas song (merry christmas to you)” – nat king cole
  3. “winter song” – leslie odom jr.
  4. “ribbons and bows” – kacey musgraves
  5. “blue christmas” – nicole atkins
  6. “baby, it’s cold outside” – rufus wainwright, sharon van etten
  7. “christmas time is here” – vince guaraldi trio
  8. “fairytale of new york” – rostam
  9. “it’s beginning to look a lot like christmas” – perry como, the fontane sisters
  10. “merry christmas, happy holidays” – *nsync
  11. “last christmas” – wham!
  12. “dear santa” –mr little jeans
  13. “all i want for christmas is you” – mariah carey
  14. “winter wonderland” – louis armstrong
  15. “merry christmas darling” – leslie odom jr.
  16. “what are you doing new year’s eve?” – kacey musgraves
  17. “please come home for christmas” – leslie odom jr.
  18. “all my bells are ringing” – lenka
  19. “present without a bow” – kacey musgraves, leon bridges
  20. “man with the bag” – jessie j
  21. “have yourself a merry little christmas” – first aid kit
  22. “christmas makes me cry” – kacey musgraves
  23. “frosty the snowman” – fiona apple
  24. “santa baby” – eartha kitt
  25. “rockin around the christmas tree” – brenda lee
  26. “christmas lights” – coldplay
  27. “white christmas” – billie marten
  28. “auld lang syne” – the hotel cafe medley

LOS ANGELES COFFEE FESTIVAL

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this past saturday my sister and i decided to get hopped up on caffeine and explore the los angeles coffee festival. if i’m being completely honest, i use instant coffee regularly- it’s quick and doesn’t taste terrible. i, however, did not disclose that info with any of the coffee connoisseurs out of fear of being shunned and having rocks thrown at me. lucky for us, there were a lot of nice people who knew a lot about coffee and were willing to explain a lot of it to us…

our first booth- elmhurst 1925, a plant- milk company. we got to taste their new barista edition series which was created to give a more rich and creamier consistency than your average plant based milks…i told you there were nice people willing to explain things to us! the new barista series will be hitting retailers very soon so keep your eyes open!

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next up, the straus family creamery. 1. it’s organic- (the first 100% certified organic creamery in the country) 2. the woman at their booth made us milk tea coffee and we will remember it and cherish it for the rest of our lives.

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i know what you’re thinking…“you went to a coffee festival and all you did was try milk and creamers?” don’t worry, i’m getting the coffee…

there were a lot of vendors that were environmentally conscious. it was so great to see all these companies showing that they care.

cold brews… i love a good cold brew and chameleon cold brew is one of the good ones. i already knew what they were all about and stopped by their booth to selfishly indulge in their goodness. if you haven’t tried the mexican coffee cold brew, drop everything now and go to your nearest gelsons, whole foods, cvs, target and get your hands on one. you won’t regret it.

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one particularly great part about this festival was the support it had for the arts. to learn more about each project, click on the links below.

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and now for some “adult coffee” by mr. black coffee liqueur…all the way from australia! coming from a visual merchandising background, i was originally drawn to this booth because of its decor. i was handed a shot of the cold brew coffee liqueur. thinking it would taste mostly like coffee with a hint of alcohol, i took the shot. i was WRONG. it tasted mostly of alcohol with a hint of coffee. they have so many yummy looking recipes online that i would definitely be interested in trying some of them but i think i’d pass on having any more shots.

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this booth isn’t technically coffee, but it is coffee flavored! i didn’t get to try any of the coffee candy but i overheard only good things from the folks that did.

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thanks for the good times and the caffeine high LACF!img_7124-1

 

A CUP OF JO: HALEY NAHMAN

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photo by julia robbs 

do you like reading a cup of jo? do you like house tours?? GREAT, me too. haley nahman of manrepeller and cat, bug of bug.tv are featured on the aforementioned website talking design, cheese and living solo. for the full tour, you can check it out here.

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photo by julia robbs

 

THE GOOD: HALLOWEEN EDITION

The Good: Halloween

Image credit Emily Henderson

  • 6 days until halloween! have you decorated yet? there’s still time! here’s how to do it.
  • can’t wait to see this on the big screen.
  • this recipe is to diiieee for….did i mention i have another blog with my siblings?
  • i still don’t know what i’m going to be for halloween

Image credit Emily Henderson

A DAY OF RUINS

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i was planning on posting about the rest of my trip to peru much sooner but well…life happened…between work and an unexpected surgery, i’ve only just finished organizing my thoughts and notes that have been left on my phone for too long. so here it is in all it’s glory, part 2 of my trip to peru, “A Day of Ruins”. in case you need a refresher, you can find my first post here.

our day began with the ruins at ollantaytambo which for the record are at the bottom, middle and top of a mountain…just for the record! so, we began our ascent to the top. much like the burning in my thighs, it’s hard to forget about these incredible views. we were up among the clouds, face to face with the mountain- it was definitely worth the climb… you know, just for the record.

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after our morning “workout”, we went to see the town of chinchero. as we went deeper into town, the quieter it seemed. the little noise we did hear was only from our own footsteps on the cobbled ground. our guide brought us to a church; it was sunday. it felt like we were standing there waiting for something to happen and then the church doors opened. out poured what seemed to be the entire town of chinchero; talking, eating, playing. this quiet part of town was now filled with color, laughter and food. i felt surrounded and consumed and i loved it!

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our guide told us that after church, the women gather to talk about their community and discuss items of “business” while the men play futbol. i think these peruvians might be on to something! just below the plaza was a marketplace with food, trinkets and lots of peruvian goods, so we went to have a look. surprisingly i didn’t buy a thing! rob, however, couldn’t help himself…he just HAD to have it.28

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we ended our day at pisac with some more ruins on top of another mountain, with more incredible views…are you sick of it yet?? me either. stay tuned for the main event…peru post number 3…MACHU PICCHU!39

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MOOD BOARD: SUMMER LOVIN’

Summer Vacation

after polyvore sold their souldiscontinued their website leaving no trace of its existence, i had to look elsewhere for a creative outlet where i could organize all of my thoughts, ideas and inspiration. a friend had told me about canva, a website she used frequently so i decided to give it a try. while it doesn’t offer a community like polyvore, canva has all the design allure and then some! whatever your purpose for creating may be; social media, campaigns, presentations, i mean it when i say it… canva has it ALL. i created this mood board using canva because summer is upon us and i’m having a moment with all things made of straw. sue me.

COLORS

JUNE GLOOM

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IT IS OFFICIALLY SUMMER! 1. because the valley feels like the surface of the sun and 2. because the summer solstice last thursday told me so. i spent my “first” weekend of summer in santa monica (bye burbank). ready to soak in that summer sun, i packed all the essentials for the perfect summer day (cheese, swimsuit, spf 100). unfortunately, once i got to the west side i was greeted with clouds and fog… sneaky june gloom! but no amount of gloom was going to stop my summer celebration! so i prepared my summer spread of fruits and cheeses and enjoyed them from the comfort of a cozy couch.

fruit-

  • cherries
  • figs
  • pears
  • pluots

cheese-

  • p’tit basque
  • bucheron*** my absolute favorite cheese***
  • gouda
  • french bread
  • crackers

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