01 October 2014

Brunch: a New Take on Eggs & Hash



I haven't posted a recipe in awhile, but that doesn't mean I haven't been cooking! I've sort of made it my mission to tackle a few Pinterest recipes each week, this week I even made my own mashed potatoes from scratch! (It was a pretty big deal.)

For brunch today, I was feeling adventurous - green shakshuka eggs (a Pinteret take on an Arabic dish, substituting spinach for the usual tomatoes) with a sweet potato hash. I didn't take very many photos of the process, obviously, but it was easy enough. My recipe is a little tweaked, based on what I had in the fridge - the original egg recipe called for a few Tbsp of white wine, which probably would have been tasty, but I didn't have any. And of course my measurements aren't exact - unless you're baking, I think you've always got a little room to play around and get it to your personal flavor preference.

For The Eggs
  • olive oil (about 3 Tbsp)
  • minced garlic (about 1 Tbsp)
  • diced white onion (1/4 - 1/2 cup)
  • spinach (I used 1/2 a bag)
  • half & half (maybe 1/2 cup)
  • eggs (I used 4)
  • salt & pepper, dash of cayenne, dash of yellow curry
  • shredded parmesan & white cheddar (in total, I had about 1/4 cup of cheese)

    For The Hash
  • sweet potato, skinned & cubed (I used 1 large potato)
  • roasted onions & bell peppers (I used pre-roasted frozen fajita veg)
  • salt & pepper, pinch of dried herbs
  • olive oil or butter (enough to brown the potatoes)

  • Start with the egg dish, because the spinach and cream can simmer for 20 minutes. Heat a big sautée pan, add the olive oil, and sautée your garlic and diced onion over medium heat until the onion becomes golden brown. Add spinach and sautée until it's about half the original size (my pan is shallow, so after I took this photo and cooked it down, I doubled the amount).



    Stir the cream and spices into the pan (here's where you can add a splash of white wine), bring to a boil, then simmer over the lowest heat for about 15-20min. Stir occasionally, but really you can forget about it while you prep the hash. So, meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and throw in your cubed sweet potato for about 5-8 minutes, or until fork tender. In a new pan, add your olive oil/butter (I actually used a little of both) and cook your onions/peppers, then add your cubed sweet potato & season. Toss everything around the pan occasionally so the potato browns evenly (5-10min). While the hash browns, back to the spinach pan... By now, you can add the eggs (gently! I broke two of my yolks). Cover and turn the heat up a little - cook for about 5min until the egg whites are opaque and the yolks are still nice and runny.



    Add your shredded cheese and a little salt & pepper at the end. Plate it all up with the sweet potato hash, and enjoy! I served it with a nice piece of toast to soak up all the yolky goodness.

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    29 September 2014

    Bring on the Knits!














    DressVe sweater, One Teaspoon shorts (similar here), ModCloth socks, H&M kicks, Harrod's tote

    Back in California just in time for the first waft of fall. I think we all enjoy fresh air through an open window after a blazing desert summer. Sweater weather is finally here! Okay, let's be honest, it's 91' out, but when temps have skirted the 120's low 90's feel divine.

    I arrived home from my Florida adventure to this whimsical mint sweater wrapped up nicely from DressVe, made in Turkey. Tangent: in high school, I studied abroad for a month in Paris with classmates from across the globe (everyone should do it!). There were two girls from Turkey, and they both had such a unique sense of style. Cool, without being stuffy. Rough around the edges, but put together. A little worn-in looking, but with the most luxurious fabrics. This sweater reminds me of them. It's super soft, just oversized enough, and I think the minimal star print offers the perfect extra something.

    The October issue of Lucky, out now, includes a piece by novelist Emma Straub. She says she's "discovered something magic" for her mousy hair - accessorizing with a headpiece. I know the trend has been around forever, with festival style being all the rage, but she puts the idea in a shiny new light - suggesting poufs, sequins, or "something more jewel encrusted". She writes, "Sometimes you don't need much to make yourself feel just a touch more put-together... And little girls always smile at me when I walk down the street." So I took a cue from Miss Straub today, and clipped a vintage brooch in my hair. Suddenly, I felt a little more polished. DressVe offers some cute budget-friendly brooches. I love this jeweled plum blossom (discounted from $105, it's only $20.99!)

    Another tangent: do you shop at Trader Joe's? Sweater weather means it's pumpkin season! I finally got my hands on some coveted TJ's brand pumpkin body butter...last tub on the shelves (god, this stuff goes quick!). You MUST try it.





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    26 September 2014

    Anna Maria Island













    Hi from Florida! As I write, I'm sitting out on my grandmother's covered patio in Tampa, listening to the rain dancing down. My mama and I arrived Tuesday and the following morning we all drove to Anna Maria Island, where Mimi (my grandma) has a little beach house. I haven't been to the beach house since I was a kid, but there are so many great memories there. If you're following me on Instagram, you've gotten a little glimpse of the trip thus far - postcard views, delicious food, and Mimi's sweet little kitten Charlie. These photos are just a few iPhone snaps from Anna Maria, and I'll share a few more when I'm back in the Golden State. If you ever find yourself on the island, stop by Island Coffee Haus for an iced latte. One of the cutest mermaid-covered coffee shops I've ever been to. Pardon the sandy toes if you're not into feet pictures, and my unkempt humidity-ridden hair. No time to flat-iron when there is so much to see.

    A quick change of subject: I just got the happiest news & I can't wipe the smile from my face. As I finished typing that paragraph I got a call from my best friend, one of the most stylish women I know (c'mon people, she uses garment bags). And she is officially ENGAGED!!!!! You should see the rock! Heather and Jovanni I love you both and am SO excited for this new chapter in your lives. I sense an incredible wedding on the horizon (and I look forward to blogging about it).

    See you soon, West Coast!

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    21 September 2014

    An Inspired Closet


    I'm twenty-six, and I finally have a closet that I actually feel inspired to walk into.

    I live with two guys: my boyfriend and a good friend. For them, it's all about the garage workspace. For me, it's always been about a flawlessly organized closet. I imagine every girl lusts after the Pinterest perfect dream closet. Have you ladies seen The Bling Ring? That's what I'm talking about. Give me a mirrored vanity, give me a chaise lounge!

    Our closet's not the right size to accommodate a sitting room, but it's the biggest walk-in I've had & was a huge pro for me when we were house hunting last year (fantastic built in shelving!). I've got a bad habit of leaving things unpacked after a move, and though I preach #zenspacezenlife, our room's always been a bit of a mess. It's been three days of pretty solid cleaning and organizing, but we're finally getting somewhere.

    THE BEFORE


    This shot isn't an accurate representation. It was taken after my first full day in cracked out cleaning mode, after washing and hanging the bulk of the monster pile of clothing blanketing the carpet. (The real before is too shaming to share.) Notice the overflowing cubby hole shelf.

    The end result of cleaning is going to make you feel lighter, and satisfied. But it's tough to find the motivation to begin (and finish) when you can think of so many other ways you'd rather spend your time. I put on some good old music and gave myself a list of steps to tackle the closet. With a little patience and persistence, I finally have a closet that I actually feel inspired to walk into.

    I've detailed my Steps to an Inspired Closet in a free printable.
    Click here to read more & print out the checklist for yourself.

    THE AFTER
    Pardon the black & white filters, I was feeling artsy...

    I think a chandelier is a must. Mine is an old lamp shade I had lying around.
    You can find similar, budget friendly options here (only $11!) & here.




    I used plain metal bookends between each bag to keep them organized.




    My guy & I share our closet. I hung his shirts from dark to light.
    It's little touches like this that make for a great space.


    I hung a little desk organizer like this one on the wall for extra storage & jewelry display.


    I do my makeup sitting on the floor in front of the closet mirror. To my boyfriend's dismay, it's always a mess. A cheap metal board like this one affixed to the wall was such a simple answer. I hot glued craft magnets to my eye shadows, and voilá! they're off the floor. No more stubbed toes.


    A picture frame with added hooks creates necklace storage.


    Get the Steps to an Inspired Closet printable here.
    Now to maintain motivation & tackle my craft room before I take off to Florida.

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