Thanksgiving Leftovers

US readers, did you have a good Thanksgiving holiday?

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I hosted a nice, quiet dinner with the honey bear – my Thanksgiving menu was a hit. Despite my being in full-on Thanksgiving stealth mode, the universe had other plans for me when I woke on Wednesday morning. At the last minute, I got notice that the water would be shut off in my apartment building from 9am-4pm, during my most valuable cooking time. Perhaps said universe wanted me to CTFO…and since there was no water I had no choice but to submit. I was pissed to the highest level of pissivity with tons of cooking energy and nowhere to direct it. So to distract (and feed) ourselves while waiting for the water to turn back on, the bear and I decided to make pizza. We took a pepperoni DiGiornio pizza and dressed it up with leftover veggies.

Dressed up frozen pizza with bacon, bell pepper, red onion, olives, garlic

Dressed up frozen pizza with bacon, bell pepper, red onion, green onion, olives & garlic.

The pizza kept us satiated for a few hours until the water turned back on (around 3:45pm). After expressing thanks to the creator for running water (as a first world person, it’s something I’m guilty of taking for granted) I cleaned and spatchcocked the cornish hens, marinating them in a blend of Walkerswood mild jerk seasoning and my homemade jerk marinade. I stretched the Walkerswood with a homemade marinade since the Walkerswood is concentrated, and a little goes a long way. We also wanted to have sauce on the side for dipping.

While the cornish hens marinated, the bear and I went out for a teenaged-style date to In N’ Out for dinner. He got a double-double with fries, myself a cheeseburger and fries. All animal style.

In N' Out animal style fries

Animal style errythang

Good thing I fueled up on burgers and fries, because I was in the kitchen pretty late into Wednesday night. I slept in on Thursday morning; when I woke up the first thing I did was bake. I took my time and had fun making French Apple Pie, getting my hands dirty while making the brown sugar crumble topping.

french apple pie


We ended up eating a few slices of pie before dinner, one of the great things about being an adult. And good thing we ate dessert first, because there was no room in our stomachs after Thanksgiving dinner.

Jerk cornish hen, baked beans, bacon cornbread dressing, collard greens

Thanksgiving Dinner 2015: Jerk cornish hen, baked beans, bacon cornbread dressing, collard greens

All in all, I’m happy with how everything turned out. Despite losing valuable Thanksgiving-eve cooking time, the meal came together wonderfully. I didn’t get to make everything I wanted, and I know for next year to pad my pre-Thanksgiving preparation deadlines by 24 hours in anticipation of roadblocks. Or maybe we’ll avoid cooking roadblocks altogether by going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner next year.



My Thanksgiving 2015 Dinner Menu + Prep


Thanksgiving Prep tips for a stress free holiday

Twas 48 hours before Thanksgiving, and all through the house…

This year, my honey bear and I are embracing the holiday season full throttle. In the spirit of the season, I decided to plan a full course homemade Thanksgiving dinner. I’m talking pounds of poultry, several side dishes and two baked desserts.

My 2015 Thanksgiving Menu 

  • Jerk Cornish Hen (Grilled)
  • Potato salad
  • Baked beans
  • Cornbread dressing (AKA stuffing)
  • Collard greens
  • Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • French Apple Pie

Whoever said that Thanksgiving is the Super Bowl of cooking never told a lie! I’ll be spending a lot of time in the kitchen over the next couple of days but I’m game. The women in my family take cooking very seriously – it’s a right of passage to create a bountiful Thanksgiving soul food feast.

Pulling off a successful dinner takes days of preparation. If possible, I take those couple days before Thanksgiving Day off work so that I can invest my full energy into my meal. While rewarding, cooking (and holiday prep!) consumes a lot of human energy.

5 days before

  • Review recipes
  • Finalize menu
  • Grocery shop

2 days before

  • Double check groceries – purchase last minute items
  • Clean oven (if necessary)
  • Chop vegetables
  • Make dessert doughs and fillings
  • Spatchcock and marinate cornish hens

1 day before

  • Bake desserts
  • Prepare sides
  • DIY mask/manicure/pedicure (because I deserve a reward after pulling this meal off)

Thanksgiving Day

  • Grill cornish hens
  • Eat the food
  • Nap
  • Eat more food
  • Pass out

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? What’s on the menu this year?





4 Easy Hairstyles for Natural Curls

The busy season is here, and nobody has tons of time to spend styling her curls. Here are four of my fall staple hairstyles that carry me from day to night during the busy holiday season.

4 easy hairstyles for textured curly hairClockwise:

  1. Braidout
  2. Double Bun
  3. High bun
  4. Sideswept curls

The Most Versatile DIY Recipe: Baking Soda & Coconut Oil

DIY 2 Step Baking Soda & Coconut Oil Facial Mask

Is it a scrub? Or mask? How about all of the above. I have several DIY concoctions involving baking soda in my arsenal, but this is one of most versatile baking soda recipes (behind baking soda + water for skin, home, etc). A simple paste of baking soda and melted coconut oil exfoliates/moisturizes the skin, and when allowed to penetrate extracts impurities from pores. I’ve read other DIY articles hailing the virtues of baking soda & coconut oil paste for DIY teeth whitening and lightening underarm skin. I’m always up for an all-purpose DIY, so I went ahead mixed up a batch.

The ingredients are simple:

One heaping tablespoon of baking soda

DIY 2 Step Baking Soda & Coconut Oil Facial Mask

and enough melted coconut oil to form a paste.

DIY 2 Step Baking Soda & Coconut Oil Facial Mask

Remember to spot test for potential skin sensitivities.

DIY 2 Step Baking Soda & Coconut Oil Facial Mask

I massaged the paste into my face in a circular motion and let sit for 10 minutes. The mixture began to tingle after about 5 minutes; to distract myself I decided to brush my teeth with some of the leftover paste. The baking soda and coconut oil tastes super salty, I ended up adding regular toothpaste to finish brushing.

Once done brushing, I massaged the remaining scrub to my underarms, making sure to really rub it into my skin like they do at the spa. In the shower, there was no need to use soap on my face or apply a moisturizer afterward – the coconut oil left my skin bright and dewy.

I went makeup free for the rest of that day, to let my skin breathe. The next morning my skin broke out a little bit (I’d already had a few breakouts) but I expected this since the baking soda dislodged the gunk clogging my pores. My teeth are noticeably whiter, and my armpits look the same as before. Perhaps I’ll try this routine once a week for a whole month to see if there’s a material difference in my teeth and pits.

Have you ever tried a baking soda & coconut oil scrub mask?

Mood: Fine Wine

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#burgundy #heels #nailpolish #leatherjacket #clutch #tankdress #womensfashion #blogger #lifestyleblogger

Do you ever feel like a color? Lately I’ve been inspired by fall’s rich, full-bodied burgundies and merlots. Specifically wine-hued leather jackets, minimalist silhouettes and sleek accessories. Burgundy is such a classic color that pairs well as a dark neutral; I can’t see it ever falling out of favor.

Gianvito Rossi Burgundy velvet Portofino sandal • Gianvito Rossi • $790
Diptyque Red Tubereuse Scented Candle • Diptyque • $90
IRO Jone Leather Biker Jacket • IRO • $1,290
Saint Laurent Burgundy Leather Monogram Envelope Clutch • Saint Laurent • $1,150
OPI Nail Lacquer, Malaga Wine • OPI • $9.50
Enza Costa Ribbed Jersey Tank Dress • Enza Costa • $132

Pre-Winter Closet Edit

Pre-Winter Closet OrganizationOne of the fun parts about changing seasons is the opportunity to really dress. Obviously we get dressed every day, but fall and winter weather give us the opportunity to pull out the fun stuff: chunky knits, scarves, and boots! I get more excited than a normal person about cold weather because I live in a mild climate that doesn’t give the opportunity to be truly cozy. I’m aware most people don’t sympathize with Angelenos when it comes to weather, but trust me when I say there is a such thing as too much sunshine. #drought

Every late October/early November I put my summer-themed clothes and accessories away in a trunk and store them away until Easter. When spring springs, I store the cold weather items and unearth my summer stuff. This forces me to purge my closet every 6 months and omit things I’m no longer in love with. Furthermore, rotating my closet twice a year helps to keep my wardrobe seasonal so that I’m wearing prints, materials, and textures for the appropriate time of year.

Closet Editing Tips

  1. PURGE! Pull everything out – clothing, shoes, and accessories from spring/summer plus last winter’s storage items.

  2. EMBRACE the chaos. You created a huge mess when you unearthed your closet and storage. But don’t stress the mess.

  3. ASSESS the current state of your wardrobe. Now that everything is out on the proverbial table, decide what no longer fits you and your lifestyle.

  4. BE RUTHLESS in your editing. You’ve heard the mantra “if you haven’t worn it in more than one year, let it go.”

  5. DECIDE what to donate, sell, keep. As you edit, distribute items into three piles based on what will be donated, resold, or stored away until next season.

  6. GAUGE your attachment to items in the “keep” pile. If you don’t feel a warm and fuzzy after holding something for a few seconds, toss it into the donate pile. If you can’t let go of attachment to something despite not having worn it for 12+ months, put it in storage and make a decision during your next closet edit.

  7. Have FUN! Editing your closet is a chore but it doesn’t have to suck. Put on Spotify, a movie, or catchup on your Netflix queue while you streamline your closet.

  8. TREAT YO’ SELF. After all that work, you deserve a reward! Take photos of your resell items and post them on eBay, Poshmark, or LetGo. Don’t you love the idea of earning some cash? Your earnings can be used to repopulate your wardrobe.

Rotating your wardrobe seasonally gives you more closet space and allows you to whittle your wardrobe down to its bare bones. Nobody *really* has time to clean out their closet, but its worth taking the time to do it, even if it will become messy again in a month. You can reorganize it again in the spring :)



#eatmepodcast October Food Favorites


October was a good month in food. I ate well, and even attended a food blogging conference! Now that it’s finally cooled down in Los Angeles I’m looking forward to reacquainting myself with my home kitchen. I haven’t cooked anything display-worthy in awhile, but I have some fall recipes in the pipeline to test and share on the blog.

Side note: I eat tons of beef!  I’m a carnivorous woman, I need protein. #dontleaveyourcowaroundme

[1] Picanha bowl –  Mesa Brazilian Grill (Westwood, CA)
[2] Steak laab bowl –  Shophouse (Westwood, CA)
[3] Carne Asada – El Cholo (Los Angeles, CA)
[4] Inside Out themed donuts courtesy of California Donuts (via Disney Pixar @ TechMuch Santa Monica, CA)
[5] Assorted deliciousness from Mendicino Farms (@ TechMuch Santa Monica, CA)
[6] Moscow Mule – Big Bar at Alcove Bakery (Los Angeles, CA)
[7] Mediterranean Steak Salad – Big Bar at Alcove Bakery (Los Angeles, CA)

Welcome, November.

Welcome November

And just like that, it’s November. If you haven’t felt the holiday creep yet, get ready because it’s officially game on.

Do you have any new month rituals? Within the first few days of each month, I like to do a personal life refresh – simple things like deep cleaning my apartment, restocking my fridge with quality food, and writing short-term, monthly goals.

Once I’m done I like to light a brand new scented candle and enjoy a glass of wine while giving quiet thanks to the creator for shelter, food, clothing, and hot water.

Even if my space becomes a mess by the 10th and I’m back to ordering takeout multiple nights per week, at least I initiated the month with clear intentions.  And according to Chopra, intention is the starting point of every dream.

Cheers to the blank slate that a new month provides.




Weekend Inspiration: The Halloween Edition

Halloween Weekend Inspiration

Wishing everyone a fun and safe Halloween weekend. Are you dressing up in costume? Heading out or staying in? So far I plan to staying inside, and cozy up to a horror movie marathon over a big bowl of chili and cornbread.  If by chance I decide to head out at the last minute, I’m prepared to head to the nearest market and throw together a last minute costume like this one.

P.S. while you’re out there doing the Monster Mash don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour Saturday night. Daylight savings ends at 2am on Sunday, Nov 1st.

A few things that caught my eye around the web this week:

9 last minute Halloween costumes you can wear with jeans

10 Tips on How to find your personal style 

A super easy flexi-rod tutorial. Note to self to add Lottabody’s Shea infused line to the beauty supply list.

Do you know why the state of California is named so?

A healthy chocolate smoothie to clean things out after this weekend’s candy binge

Thoughts on Creativity 

Loving Yourself Naked



When to Outsource Your Beauty Routine

DIY Beauty Tips

As much as I love the idea of making things from scratch — there are times when its simply impractical to do the DIY beauty thing. I have a growing Pinterest board of DIY beauty ideas that I start off really excited about, and eventually forget about. Between work, family, and other life responsibilities…sometimes I’m simply not up to it. I don’t even have kids yet, but if I did, I can’t imagine how I’d find time to try that tumeric/greek yogurt mask that’s been hovering on my Pinterest board for months. And admittedly, being busy is a great excuse to splurge on a facial, mani-pedi, or any other spa experience.

Other times I get real about my immediate beauty needs (and finances) and decide I need to do a mask, rinse, or DIY mani-pedi my damn self until the next time I can make it to a salon or spa. Beauty is not only how I look and feel, it’s also ca$h and I’ve saved hundreds of dollars per year doing my own hair, nails, and skin treatments. That’s not to say I don’t splurge every once in awhile, but I’ve given myself a litmus test to gauge when I should take care of my own beauty needs, and when I should outsource the experience.

When to Outsource

  • No time/desire to DIY

  • Professional help is needed (aesthetician, masseuse, etc)

  • No DIY ingredients on hand

  • Spoiled and need to be pampered <— this can be a legit reason!

When to DIY

  • A little bit of extra time is available

  • Ingredients easily available

  • Want to be creative and save money

When to do it yourself or outsource depends on circumstances, but I’m a big fan of DIY beauty when I have the time. I find it relaxing to do my nails and simple facial masks on Sundays so that I’m refreshed for the upcoming week. When I need my nails done for a special event, I go see my manicurist and when my skin needs more than avocado and honey, I see a aesthetician.

Reader, tell me how you decide whether to do your own beauty treatments, or when to outsource the experience?