Sometimes You Just Gotta Mood Board Away

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It’s a Tuesday and it’s the first Tuesday I haven’t had to be in the office in what… like 3 months? This is crazy. What do I even do with myself? Well first things first… I work from bed. In leggings and an oversized t-shirt. Because #obviously. And second things second, I watch Dawson’s Creek while working because I had never experienced that show before and it is the most High School Musical meets The Hills thing I have ever watched (in the BEST way).

And then of course there’s that whole ‘I get off at 6PM and I don’t have to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic for an hour’ thing. Which leaves me so much time. SO MUCH TIME!! I am so excited it’s unreal. So I made a mood board of things. Because I just really like mood boards.  I HOPE YOU ENJOY <3

Anyways, I gotta go make dinner. And then meal prep. And then do other adult-y things that I now have time for now that I’m not stuck in traffic at this hour. KBYE.

Tips For Making Bread From Scratch

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Meet Isabella. She’s delicious, and the product of a lazy Sunday morning in pajamas with an ever-emptying cup of coffee in hand. The best kinds of mornings in my opinion.

Confused? Probably. To explain, my boyfriend Jordan and I name all of the bread we make (in order A-Z). It’s weird, but it’s a way to keep track of all of them & gives us an excuse to keep making bread. I mean we really don’t need an excuse.. but whatever. Today we’re gonna talk through some of the tricks I’ve learned thus far in my bread-making journey. I really had no idea how straight-forward bread-making is until I watched Jordan make a loaf one Friday night. We use my KitchenAid Mixer with the dough attachment, but obviously you can make it without one. In fact, this recipe from the New York Times doesn’t even require kneading!

  1. Use a yeast starter. You guys. Yeast starters make SUCH a difference in your bread. SUCH A DIFFERENCE. Here’s a great recipe/explanation of how to make one. Just make one. Trust me.
  2. Use agave as your sugar. In order for your yeast to activate, you need to give it a sugar to bond to. This is a personal preference, but my favorite kind of sugar to use is this organic agave because it just gives a really nice substance/texture to the bread. Using a natural form of sugar for your yeast will make your bread so much better.
  3. Less is more. Honestly the most surprising part of making bread is how easy it really is. You don’t need a ton of ingredients to make a good loaf. The base is basically just yeast, flour, a bit of salt, a fat, and then you can add any additional topping you would like into the mix! Almonds, pecans, dried cranberries, etc. SO SIMPLE.
  4. Every loaf is a guessing game. There is no single correct recipe for bread! The funnest part of it is that you get to play around with basically every step of the process. The flour: whole wheat flour, white flour, almond flour, etc. The fats: Butter, olive oil, coconut oil, etc. The extras: almonds, pecans, dried cranberries, dried apricots, etc. Figure out which combinations you like best, and stick with them. I personally loooooove using whole wheat flour & coconut oil & almonds. So good.

Have you made bread before? Any key tips you’d like to share? Lemme know ;)

Oatmeal Raspberry Ginger Scones

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It doesn’t rain much in LA. And when it does, the city goes a little bit out of whack. I can’t even tell you how many serious accidents I saw yesterday. Okay fine, I could. Three.. Bad ones. That’s three more than I see on a usual day. But something else happens when it rains in LA. The air feels fresher and the roads look like they just got a fresh new Spring hair cut from their favorite hair stylist. It’s nice. And it makes me want to bake.

OATMEAL RASPBERRY GINGER SCONES. It’s the very first recipe in Joy The Baker‘s cookbook & one that I’ve been wanting to try for a very long time. I finally picked up some fresh raspberries & ginger at the farmer’s market for the recipe, and here we are.

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The recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but I subbed it with Bob’s Red Mill ‘Whole Wheat Pastry Flour’ because I always like to have a bit of fiber and protein in my baking concoctions.

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The recipe itself is pretty simple, except for a few tricks (one of which includes frozen butter & a box grater).

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I made the recipe in about an hour, but made a mess of my boyfriend’s kitchen in about 10 minutes. Spilling flour all over yourself is a talent, folks.

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And the end result? DELICIOUS. Seriously, there’s nothing better than a whole-wheat oatmeal raspberry ginger scone. Nothing.

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I can’t share the recipe on here (don’t want to get sued), but I urge you to check out one of Joy’s endless list of scones on her blog. This Lavender & Blackberry one looks divine. Maybe next time it rains in LA?  :)

All Of The Things I’ve Learned

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Hello there. It is 7:45am on a Monday morning and I have been up since 6. That’s the beautiful thing about Los Angeles (by beautiful I mean slightly horrendous).. you have to wake up at the crack of dawn if you want to miss traffic. So here I am. At work an hour early and sitting outside in the sun writing this blog post. I am also waiting until our on-site hammocks get sun onto them so that I can relocate there. The hammock life is the best life.

Today I want to talk about all of the things I’ve learned this year. Because lemme tell you about how LONG this year feels like it has been. SO LONG. I feel like I was so excited on January 1 about this year and then January 2 came and hit me like a train. And here we are. IN APRIL. APRIL!! Isn’t that crazy! It’s almost May which means it’s almost June which means it’s almost Summer. Crazy.

Here we go with the learnings:

  1. It’s entirely possible to have cat clients at your job.
  2. No but seriously.
  3. Follow @MrFuzzypants on Instagram ;)
  4. I can cook.
  5. SO WEIRD, RIGHT?!?
  6. I like to cook.
  7. EVEN WEIRDER, RIGHT?!!?!?
  8. There’s such a thing as room temperature butter.
  9. Like people leave butter out on the counter so that it can be soft enough to put on toast.
  10. Those cute butter holders that they sell at Anthropologie are not for your fridge.
  11. ……thank goodness I did not buy one and put it in my fridge.
  12. (BUT NOW I KNOW SO IF ANYBODY WANTS TO BUY ME A BUTTER HOLDER FROM ANTHROPOLOGIE I WOULD PUT YOU AT THE TOP OF MY ‘I LOVE YOU’ LIST)
  13. Life.
  14. Life is hard.
  15. Life with anxiety is even harder.
  16. Life with anxiety whilst in a serious relationship is ever harder.
  17. Relationships are just hard in general.
  18. But at the end of the day it’s so worth it.
  19. It’s an actual thing that you can become stronger in your relationships by resolving conflicts and getting through arguments.
  20. So weird, right?
  21. There is such a thing as having too much of the same tea.
  22. (I ran out of basically all of my tea except for PG Tips and I had it every day for like a month and WOW I started to hate it.)
  23. There is no such thing as having too much  coffee.
  24. Especially on a Monday morning.
  25. Just kidding please don’t drink your body weight in coffee have some water or an apple or maybe just get some sleep if you can.
  26. I luv farmer’s markets.
  27. Eggs are SO MUCH BETTER when you get them at the farmer’s market rather than the grocery store.
  28. Chrissy Teigan’s new cookbook is everything you could hope for and more.
  29. Somebody needs to invite me to a dinner party so I can make the homemade mac & cheese recipe on page 57 that feeds 8-10 people because as much as I want to eat 3 pounds of mac & cheese by myself, I cannot.
  30. BACKPACKS ARE THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD.
  31. I BOUGHT A BACKPACK THAT FITS MY LAPTOP AT PATAGONIA AND IT IS MY ONE TRUE LOVE.
  32. I AM GOING TO DO A ‘WHAT’S IN MY BACKPACK’ POST SOON BECAUSE #OBVIOUSLY.
  33. I LOVE BACKPACKS.

And that’s pretty much it.

I start a new job today so that’s my life update for the day. Life is about to get so crazy.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Monday! Chase those dreams. Right after you chase that coffee (or tea).

Just Life Updates

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Sometimes I just want to sit in coffee shops and drink iced lattes until my blood turns into caffeine and look at pretty things on the Internet. And sometimes I tell myself that I’m going to blog every day and then it’s Thursday morning at 8:37am and I usually get my posts written by 9am in time for work but today I really have nothing that I can produce in less that 20 minutes that would be of any value to anybody. So here we are. Instead I’m just going to tell you some life updates. Okay? Okay :)

  1. I bought a new travel mug! My old one did not hold liquids in at all (I spilled hot tea on myself in the car no less than 4 times). Desperate times called for desperate measures. I got this mug, and I’m obsessed.
  2. I cook now. It’s weird. Like I actually know how to operate a pan and make a salad without lettuce. It’s really weird.
  3. I still have a never-ending love affair with croissants.
  4. I really want to go to Italy and eat croissants and drink cappuccinos every morning.
  5. I fly home to Northern California tonight! I’m so excited to see my parents and my dogs and my cats and then spend time with my family on Easter.
  6. I am currently trying to decide which baked good I want to make for Easter. Technically I don’t need to make any baked goods but Easter baked goods are just so CUTE that I can’t help it.
  7. I really just can’t help it. I reallllly want to make these bunny rabbit cupcakes.
  8. I’m going to Hawaii next month!! I’m going to be there with my parents and my grandpa and my boyfriend. It’s very exciting. I’m excited to get away from life and work and Los Angeles for a little bit.
  9. I have started planning out blog content more fervently. I’ve realized that content planning is ESSENTIAL, especially for me. I’m excited to do more photography and cooking and life posts and the whole shebang.
  10. I need a haircut SO BAD. I got my first haircut since I moved to LA recently and the stylist convinced me that I didn’t need layers. And she was so very wrong. My hair is so unmanageable without layers it’s crazy. Get me my tried & true hairstylist from home, ASAP.
  11. I’ve included a picture of a mug above because whenever I walk into Paper Source I just want to buy out their entire inventory, specifically their mug collection. Some people have shoe or bag problems… I have a mug problem. #NeedThemAll

I would continue to tell you insignificant facts about my life but I have to log in for work now. Hope you are all having a wonderful Thursday (We’re almost to Friday!! Yessss.)

What I’m Currently Reading

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I was at Barnes & Noble the other day (Crazy, I know. Since when do I have time to read!?) in search of a new fiction novel to dive into. I don’t think I’ve genuinely enjoyed a fiction novel for a very long time.  I usually tend to stick to nonfiction memoirs/ self-help books as they feel more personal and there are some insanely talented nonfiction writers out there whose writing style I aspire to (I’m looking at YOU, Mindy Kaling & David Sedaris.)

I was browsing through the glitzy setups at the front of the store when I saw The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. Robert Galbraith is actually JK Rowling’s stage name, and you always trust the lady who gave the world Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I generally judge a book by reading through the first page. If their hook is jaw-dropping-ly written, I will read the book. If the hook doesn’t catch my attention in the first three sentences, I put it down and move on to the next one.

The hook for The Cuckoo’s Calling caught my attention immediately. It’s a crime novel set in my favorite city: London. When a famous supermodel falls off her balcony late at night, everyone thinks it is suicide – even the police determine that she committed suicide. But her brother is not so sure. He calls in a private investigator to get to the bottom of it.

I’ve just started the book (page 13!), but I’m excited to read it and will follow up with a full review. I’ve got two flights this week so you can bet that my face will be fully immersed in the story (sorry potentially talkative seat neighbors!).

Have you read The Cuckoo’s Calling? What did you think?

 

How To Land A Job In A Creative Field

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I do social media for a living. I work at an agency that creates content for entertainment and lifestyle brands. We make sure movies and TV shows get the proper amount of anticipation online, and that product launches are successful. During the orientation for my position, they gave us a speech about how we were all there for a reason: because they believed in our potential. Today I’m going to talk to you about how to build up your potential to be a valuable job candidate.

  1. Create. It’s literally as simple and as complicated as that. Start an online portfolio for your art, start a blog to showcase your writing skills, or build a website of your own to showcase your coding skills. Creative companies are looking for self-starters, for people with a natural inclination to create, for people who have the potential to create beautiful things for their clients. (On a side note, I’m currently reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and it’s a great read about the power of being a creative.)
  2. Your resume should POP. Resumes can be as straightforward as you want them to be, but specifically for the creative field (and for when you are first breaking into the field), your resume should reflect your skill set. Design a layout in Photoshop or InDesign (or even Microsoft Word). Taking that extra effort to design your resume will make sure that it will stay at the top of the pile of job applicants. Take a look at this Buzzfeed list to get some inspiration.
  3. Skill set. You should be building up your skill set before you apply. The company you enter will train you on their company-specific programs, but you should already have a grasp on the basics. Start a Photoshop course, teach yourself Illustrator, become a master at Keynote, or take that Photography class you’ve been eyeing. And granted, if you’re not building up your skill set on your own (because you want to), then that’s a sign that you may not be cut out for the creative industry. Some great websites to get you started are SkillShare.comLynda.com, or look through A Beautiful Mess‘s class offerings!
  4. Network, Network, Network. I can do a full post on this later, but when I was trying to break into the creative industry in New York City – I would literally find the emails of people whose jobs I admired online and send them an introductory email, asking them if they wanted to meet for coffee. And it worked! I met with so many amazing individuals who gave insights on how they got their jobs and gave me tips on breaking in to the industry. Building those relationships will give you somebody who can pass your resume along when the right position pops up.

It’s really all about timing and finding the right company fit, but there’s so much you can do to increase your chances of landing your dream job. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Chocolate Bourbon Banana Bread

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Maybe it’s because I have this dream of having Friday night baking parties with Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss (I will be the very first person in line to purchase their future baking book), or maybe it’s because I have been seeing a LOT of banana bread recipes on the baking blogs I follow recently, OR maybe it’s because my bananas were ripe to the point of I  had about two hours until they would have flown into the trash… but I decided to make banana bread last night (AND DOCUMENT THE WHOLE THING, OBV.)

This recipe is from Joy The Baker‘s Cookbook She’s my favorite baking blogger because her recipes read like diary entries. This recipe has bourbon in it, because obviously. What can I say? I’m young and reckless (actual quote from Joy’s recipe intro).

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I halved the recipe and made two seperate batches, because A) I could. B) I wanted a version without chocolate chips or bourbon (I’m crazy, I know).

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I also altered the recipe to make it MUCH healthier. I took out the cup of sugar it called for and replaced it with just a smidge of honey, and I also made it with whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Whole-wheat flour doesn’t rise as much, but it still tastes great and provides a lot more protein and fiber.

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So which was better? They were both GREAT. The chocolate chips in my second batch made it much sweeter, and my butter had softened more by the time I made it so that batter was more consistent. You could barely taste the bourbon at all, truthfully. It was just a subtle after-taste.

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My first batch was basically just bananas and flour, and it turned out wonderfully. A subtle hint of sweetness from the bananas, but not at all what you usually expect from banana bread. The second batch (with chocolate chips/bourbon) was much sweeter, but not overpowering with sugar at all.

If you don’t have this specific cookbook, I urge you to pick from one of Joy’s ever-growing list of Banana Bread recipes on her blog. Trust me, you need some banana bread in your life. You need it.

Your Spring Essentials

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It’s finally Spring in Los Angeles and nothing has ever been better. Wearing shorts and flip flops has never felt so good and the McConnell’s Ice Cream shop that just opened down the street from me has never tasted so good. (Okay fine, besides the 1st time I tried their Cinnamon flavor in Santa Barbara. They recently discontinued that flavor and I am HEARTBROKEN. Insider’s tip: the Churros Con Leche flavor is comparable. It has real churros in it. Enough said.)

Spring-time means a whole new change in wardrobe and perspective on life. And truthfully, I need it. This Winter hasn’t been the easiest so I’ve been trying to get outside as much as POSSIBLE because it truly honestly impacts my mental well-being. Thank you Los Angeles for your always-returning sunshine. It’s much appreciated. Today I’m going to talk about some Spring essentials that you can add to your wardrobe, your makeup routine, or your walls.

First of all, I’ve heard great things about the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Stay In Place foundation.  One of my favorite bloggers recently raved about it, so obviously I have to have it. And then the Nars Audacious lipsticks are always lovely. The color Barbara looks perfect for Spring! And then of course my holy-grail under-eye concealer, the Bobbi Brown Corrector. So much love.

As for Spring fashion, you can never go wrong with a tan boot. I’ve recently discovered that Nordstrom Rack has the same great quality as Nordstrom, but for half the price. *Insert praise hands emojis* These Matisse Booties caught my eye. For outfit inspiration, I love DailyLook. This gorgeous lace & maxi skirt combo that is inspiring some major Spring vibes. Of course we can’t forget about my favorite brand Ban.do and their motivational ‘I Did My Best Sweatshirt’. I have their matching travel mug and it’s very difficult to fend off my impulse to buy the sweatshirt as well. As for jewelry, these Jumbo Cairo Ear Jackets from BaubleBar are b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.

And then we can’t forget about home decor! I spotted this Petal Lane ‘Being Yourself’ Magnet Board and couldn’t not feature it as it’s something that I’ve really been needing to hear lately.

Hope those items inspired the Spring-time in you, no matter what the weather is where you live! Have a great rest of your weekend :)

My Favorite Drugstore Foundations

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Personally, I find drugstore foundations to be incredibly difficult to tackle. There are so many options and you can’t test them in the store so you really have no idea what you are buying. Because of that, I always read through reviews online of each product before I make a purchase. You gotta make sure you’re getting the right product even if it is significantly cheaper than a Sephora splurge. Ya feel me?

That being said, these are the three foundations that I have found that I will purchase again and again (because I love them so much). Hopefully it’ll help you out a bit if you’re looking to find a new base product from the drugstore!

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless: Lemme tell you how much I love this foundation… SO MUCH. It’s definitely the one I reach for when I’m getting ready for a night out and want that airbrushed look. I apply it with a flat-top kabuki brush and it is surprisingly very moisturizing & non-drying given that it is a matte formula. I wear the color 120.

Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous: This is definitely the full-coverage foundation of the bunch.  It’s your one-step-to-flawless secret weapon. The shade I wear (120) is yellow-based, which means that it will cover up all of your redness (and it blends out beautifully). I will say though that the staying power is not the best, and it is a tiny bit drying so definitely make sure you moisturize well before applying.

Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream: This is definitely more of a tinted moisturizer than a foundation. I use my fingers to blend this onto my face, the same way I would apply a daily moisturizer. It’s got that same airbrushed finish except it’s definitely a sheer “your skin but better” coverage. Nonetheless, this the one I grab when I just want to spend two minutes on my look and head out the door. I don’t even know what number tube I’m on at this point, I just can’t live without it! I’m the color medium.

What’s your favorite drugstore foundation? Any holy grail products that I should try out?