23 November 2014

I'm Wearing Shoulder Pads

Vintage Nipon Petites Dress

I mentioned my early love for vintage in the last outfit post. You might start to notice a trend here, because I'm still hitting the thrift shops and - quelle suprise! - they keep managing to restock their hangers with cool new (but like, really, old) pieces. Anyway, I'm loving the hunt.

Now, you know it's vintage when there are shoulder pads. 99.9% of the time I immediately cut out the shoulder pads when I get home. I've always preferred a drapier fit. On this dress, however, I think I am actually loving the shape that the shoulder pads provide. (Be honest with me here, have I just been spending way too much time at the thrift store?)

Lately when I'm thrifting, I'm looking for interesting vintage to add to my eBay shop. Although after getting home and trying this on to check out the fit, I secretly want keepsies.

PS: Have you entered the lifetime membership to CosmoBody giveaway yet?? Get an early start on that New Year resolution.

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21 November 2014

CosmoBody Giveaway!

Let's talk fitness...

Being raised by a physician and a nurse, with an outdoor enthusiast (now Cross Fit gym owner) as my older brother, living healthfully was impressed upon my outlook at a very young age. My family has always encouraged activity and exploration, in all facets. As an admitted computer geek and - can this be used as an excuse? - artist, I've often found it easy to succumb to laziness. I can think of a million things to do in lieu of a work out. The thing is, when I've got a good fitness routine going, I really enjoy it. The hard part is getting the routine going. When you haven't gone for a walk through the neighborhood in while, it feels a little odd strolling down the road. But, sometimes it's easier to stay in - personally, I really enjoy a good workout video. Yoga is usually my thing, and I like to add in the occasional sculpting, belly dancing, or cardio video to balance out the moves. I typically use Hulu, but I've just found out about CosmoBody! Always a trusted source for sex and health tips, now there's an app for that!

According to Cosmo, as a CosmoBody member "you've got access to new videos 24/7, the chance to workout with a hot shirtless guy (seriously), dating tips and guilt-free cocktail recipes." Senior Health and Fitness Editor Liz Plosser says the program "gives its members anytime, anywhere access to incredibly fun, effective, and inspirational fitness and lifestyle videos." So basically, now that I'm a member I have access to a ton of well-produced personal training videos (as well as other inspiring health-conscious videos). The app offers 'challenge' programs that combine workout videos into a circuit that you can do over a few days/weeks (like the 6 day "Sexier by Saturday" challenge, or the 28 day "Wowza Wedding Body" challenge). And the videos average 15 minutes, so they're easy to squeeze in when you wake up, at lunch, or before bed.

So CosmoBody is a subscription service at $9.95 month to month. Not a bad deal by gym membership comparison. If you're ready to get started, I've got a 20% off code for you, valid through the end of the year: COSMOBODY20. But! They have also offered to give away a free LIFETIME membership to one of you guys, my lovely readers!

P.S. You can come back for an extra entry each day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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17 November 2014

Vintage Wrap Skirt

Forever21 Sweater // The Pond Vintage Wrap Skirt
H&M Bag // Cole Haan Heels // Anthropologie Necklace

I started thrifting towards the end of high school. Senior year my best friend and I wore vintage dresses to prom (I seriously hope those photos never surface online, although one is embarrassingly hanging in our entryway - cracks me up every time I walk by it). Recently, I've been hitting the local thrift shops a little more frequently. I stopped in a little store when I was in San Francisco and found this beauty of a wrap skirt with a little racoon embroidered on the front. Seriously?! So adorable. And you can find it in my eBay shop. The heels are hand-me-downs from my future mom-in-law. Gotta love being the same size as another woman with great taste.

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15 November 2014

Gift Guide: Cute & Kitschy

This post contains affiliate links from a brand I love & I'll be compensated if you make a purchase from my sponsor.

Let's talk gifts for a minute...

I have a bad habit of procrastination. If an idea excites me, I jump on it. But, perfectionist and deal hunter that I am, I find myself overanalyzing gift purchases (or projects!) and procrastination often leads to a simple Happy Christmas! card alongside the sentiment, "It's the thought that counts."

So! This year I'll commit to plan ahead. Over the next few weeks in a series of "Gift Guide" posts, I'd like to offer my suggestions for budget friendly prezzie ideas to give to family and friends, and I'll be including a few crafty DIY projects to inspire the creative in you as well. Together, we can commit to finally fulfilling that good gift giver goal that we all fall short of every year.

Today, let's talk Cute & Kitschy. ModCloth reigns when it comes to cute and kitschy. If you're on the hunt for a silly, sweet, quirky gift, this is the place. Their holiday gift guide offers several items under $20, a little something for just about everybody on your list.

Here are a few of my favorites!

For the Hostess with the Mostest
This literary inspired cocktail book will be perfect for her next party!
Tequila Mockingbird - $14.99

For the Travel Lover
This little spontaneous adventure card deck is bound to bring a smile.
Anywhere Travel Guide - $12.99

For the Student or the New Mama
Give the gift of storage. Bonus Points: fill the bag with extra goodies (like diapers for a new mom!).
Random Kindness Bag - $11.99

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13 November 2014

Dreams of San Francisco

San Francisco was beautiful. A little smaller than I remember, but the world is a very big place in the mind of a child. As I've grown up, perhaps because the internet and digital communications have grown alongside me, distances just don't feel as far.

Little tidbit about me: I was born in the Bay Area and lived there until my family moved to Southern California when I was nine. This trip was a little like a pilgrimage to Mecca for me. After so many years, the old streets I used to traverse to my little elementary school still looked the same. If I close my eyes, I can see my Dad playing tennis on the court, wiping sweat from his brow with a towel, and walking over to tell me his game's almost over and I just need to wait a little longer. It's a bit weird, almost overwhelming, to return to a place that you only remember in dreams.

I'm reminded of the opening song for Weeds. Little boxes, on the hillside...

This last photo is downtown Los Altos, the little town I grew up in.
Such a pleasure to visit, and I'll anxiously await the next opportunity.

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08 November 2014

Cashew Crusted Chicken Recipe

Have you guys heard of Amazon Prime Pantry? A friend told me about it recently (thanks Victor!) and the idea seriously appealed to my lazy side. Trips to the grocery store are frequent for me, and more often than not my cart is overloaded. By ordering my pantry needs online and having them delivered to my doorstep in two days, I only needed to run to the market for poultry, dairy, and produce - convenient! Cashews are available through Prime Pantry, so I was inspired to try something a little different for dinner - Cashew Crusted Chicken.

For the marinade: olive oil, balsamic, crushed garlic, dried herbs, salt, and pepper. I used about equal parts of oil and vinegar, probably a half to full teaspoon of garlic, a pinch of herbs & salt, and a lot of freshly cracked black pepper. I usually marinate for half an hour, though if you have the patience and want a more potent flavor you can marinate over night (take the portion size of your meat into consideration - bigger chicken breast = longer marination). I find it really easy to throw it all in a plastic Ziploc bag (easy clean up). And somewhere along the way I heard that you should massage your marinade into the meat, so I do that about 2-3 times during the half hour.

For the crust: cashews, bread crumbs (I made my own with a parmesan crisp, you could also use your favorite croutons), ground parmesan cheese, rosemary, paprika, dried mustard, and black pepper. It was simple to grind my cashews by putting them in a plastic bag and using a rolling pin. You're going for small pieces here - if you grind it to a powder you'll lose some of the crunch. My cashews were salted, so didn't add any salt.

Preheat the oven to 400'. Pat the chicken breast with a paper towel to remove excess marinade. Lightly dust in flour (seasoned with a little black pepper). Dip in egg wash (1 egg whisked with a fork was enough for my 4 thinly cut chicken breasts). Then coat well in the crust mixture. Line a baking sheet with foil to catch the crumbs & place your chicken on a wire rack on top. Make sure to spray the rack with a non-stick spray, or you'll lose some of your crust in the cooking process. Bake 16-30 minutes depending on portion size (until chicken reaches 165'), flipping halfway through cook time for even browning.

I served it with mashed potatoes, sautéed asparagus/onions, and a curry spiced aioli (mayo, yellow curry, chipotle, paprika, salt, pepper, a splash of olive oil & a splash of white balsamic). A few green onion slices over the top add a fresh pop of color.

  • olive oil
  • balsamic
  • garlic
  • Italian herbs
  • salt & pepper

  • thinly cut or pounded chicken breast
  • flour (season with pepper)
  • egg (whisked well)
  • cashews
  • bread crumbs
  • parmesan
  • dried mustard
  • paprika
  • rosemary
  • pepper

  • 400' for 16-30min, until temp reaches 165'. Cook on wire rack, flip halfway through cook time.

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