I’M ON A BREEEAAAK!!! *in loud Ross Geller voice*

Untitledimage by Alex Strohl

hi, my name is Stephanie and i like to state the obvious. as you’ve noticed, i’ve been MIA from the blogging world for quite some time. has your life felt somewhat incomplete? do you keep feeling like you’re forgetting something but you don’t know what it is? IT’S ME! i know, i’m the worst. but guys, here’s the thing…

during the holidays, my life, as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air so eloquently put it, got flipped-turned upside down. in all seriousness, for the past couple of months i’ve been going through some deeply personal changes in my life. my heart, mind, body, and soul have been through the ringer and i haven’t felt much like blogging, or doing much of anything else for that matter. but like with all things, time has been healing. slowly but surely i’ve been piecing my life back together, and guys, 2016 is looking bright. so here we are, on the precipice of a new adventure! i know it’s going to be difficult (it already has been), and frightening, and wild, but i think i’m ready. actually, i have no choice BUT to be ready.

so as it stands, while i navigate this new road my life has taken, my blog has been put on an indefinite hold. i’m not sure what direction i want to go with it, or if i want to continue with it at all, and i’d rather take a long hiatus and make a decision i’m proud of, rather than spout out senseless posts i’m not proud of. if i do continue to blog, i’d love to do a site makeover and re-think my logo. i promise i will update you no matter what i decide – in the meantime, please enjoy these links that have kept me from spiraling into a deep dark depression over the existential crisis that is life.

much love always.

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a breathtaking Instagram account that makes me want to be more adventurous

insightful, well-written recaps of The Bachelor

the secret to losing and maintaining weight (the 3rd option is my favorite)

a bizarre Twitter rant that i’m not even quite sure i understand

just finished this book and now i’m terrified of dating

Barbie got a massive makeover

THIS EXPLAINS SO MUCH

these or these or these may have to be my next pair of specs (notice a pattern?)

i finally got around to watching Jenna Dewan Tatum’s epic lip sync battle with her husband and now i’m pretty sure i want to marry her

meet the new cat lady: the dog lady

i got to experience this shit show first-hand in December!

would you spend $65 for this workout top? (it’s on my wish list)

i tried this gastropub for the first time (it’s in my new hood) & now i want to drink and eat my way through the entire menu

and lastly, Ezra’s going to be TWO this month! where did the time go?

the big Thanksgiving tackle: 2015 edition

tg15artwork by Cuyler Smith

oh time. time time time. it is an unrelenting, often times merciless thing that stops for no one, and it is so much so that one day you wake up in a cold sweat with panicked realization that it is indeed Thanksgiving freaken Eve. and that is where i find myself today!

so how did i end up in this fetal position, sucking my thumb and pretending the long grocery list of Thanksgiving makings is not sitting on my kitchen counter, you ask? well, by doing what i do best – procrastinating! but oh how fun it has been doing so. my little family and i just recently went to Southern Illinois to visit Aaron’s parents where we feasted on homemade apple pie and chicken and dumplings, traipsed around a somewhat desolate pumpkin patch, took Ezra on his first haunted hayride, and met up with old friends. then Aaron and i left Ezra with his grandparents and embarked on a mini trip up to Chicago where Aaron surprised me with a hotel room at this classy establishment as an early birthday gift. we stuffed our faces at Au Cheval for lunch, had drinks on the rooftop at Cindy’s where the view was just aight (i kid!), and then the next day enjoyed ourselves a decadent brunch in the Cherry Circle Room. if you want an experience, i definitely recommend a night (or two or three) at this hotel. *boyfriend not included

and then it was my birthday! Aaron made me a delicious breakfast in the morning, and then we had these grand plans to go out to eat that night and blah blah blah – we ended up getting delicious ramen, tall boys from the corner liquor store, and falling asleep at 10pm and i can honestly say it was the perfect day! and because we just weren’t busy enough, this past weekend we had my parents over for dinner where we served Manzanita cocktails and Aaron slaved over the stove to fill our bellies with delicious shrimp/sausage and grits. it’s been a glorious couple of months.

so now here we are, running around like crazy, trying to get all of our groceries together, packing up our car, packing up our kid, and heading down to OC for the long holiday weekend. we’re going down a day early so that we can get a kick start on cooking. we’re putting a spin on traditional deviled eggs by adding kimchi, and are going to attempt this recipe of blistered haricot verts with tomato-almond pesto from our beloved Bon Appetit. we also ordered Cards Against Humanity for when the kiddos are in bed, and we always have trusty Cranium and Catch Phrase to fall back on should the night get REALLY crazy. all in all, it’s going to be wonderful time spent with wonderful people and i can’t wait.

i wish you all safe travels and a lovely time spent with your own loved ones, with tons of good food, good booze, and good company. and don’t forget to get your pregame on!

ensemble(s) envy – Mindy Kaling in Salvador Perez

mkmainbefore i get into how much Mindy Kaling has been KILLING IT lately, sartorially speaking (but let’s be honest, she’s also killing it in the comedy and literary sectors too), i’d like to point out a few important things:

1. Mindy (in an alternate universe we’re besties and on a first name basis) really knows her body. she’s fully aware she isn’t 5’10”, 100 lb. and she’s not forcing herself to wear things MEANT for people who are 5’10”, 100 lb. she’s short and curvy and she embraces it. she’s one of the few women in Hollywood (and in life, really) who i feel really knows what does and doesn’t work for her body and i admire that immensely.

2. she isn’t afraid of color, thank gawd. a lot of women we see in the public eye shy away from color (Jennifer Aniston, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Angelina Jolie to name a few), and i can be just as guilty of it at times, so someone who wears a bold color proudly, and often, garners a lot of respect from me.

3. golden yellow (and its variations) is one of my all time favorite FAVORITE colors. and surprisingly works for olive skin tones. when is Pantone going to make it color of the year!?

ok, with all that out of the way, let’s move on to Mindy’s most recent and enviable fashion wins. let’s start with the saucy long sleeve number she wore at her In Conversation Panel as part of her “Why Not Me?” book tour in New York City. umm, SWOOON. first of all, the color (please see #3). it is the perfect shade of yellow – not too bright/neon, nor too chartreuse-y (yes i just made that a word). it’s tailored to perfection and while modest, still shows enough leg to make it a little librarian sexy. i also love the little peter pan collar and how she tied in her earrings with the design on the bust. and that lip color is ON POINT. i personally typically wear bright red with yellow, but i am going home right now and trying a dark rose red instead. AND CAN THOSE SHOES PLEASE BE ON MY FEET RIGHT NOW!

mk6j mk7jlike how i snuck Tina Fey in there? right, moving on. did anyone watch the Emmys? i don’t think i’ve ever watched an Emmys show in my life, but i’m always trolling the internet the next day for the fashion. Mindy wore another yellow custom dress by her go-to guy Salvador Perez (who also does costumes for the Mindy Project) and again she looked stunning. the band of sequins placed strategically at her waist line and the sequined sleeves – again, perfection at knowing her body! and as a person who does not particularly like sequins/glitter/frou frou, i appreciate the sequins were used sparingly. and notice her lip was a little darker this time? it seemed more of a Cabernet red and yep, going home right now and trying it. lastly, daaayaamn can that woman accessorize. who wouldn’t want what appears to be topaz diamond earrings and a bedazzled personalized clutch!?

mk2j mk8j mk4j

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


to conclude: Mindy, if you ever find yourself wanting to branch out from writing and acting and being overall awesome, you know, because you don’t already have enough on your plate, feel free to be my personal stylist (and financial benefactor).

in case you’re curious, my runner ups for ensemble envy (also known as ‘looks i could never pull off’): Carrie Brownstein in Stella McCartney  and Aubrey Plaza in Alexander Vauthier.

(photos from Just Jared, E Online, InStyle, and Tom & Lorenzo)

i left my heart in Portland

it’s official. Portland, Oregon is now on the top of my ever expanding list of places i would quit my job for and move to at the drop of a hat if life were that simple. it’s beautiful, accessible, full of suspiciously friendly people, to-die-for food and beer, MOUTHWATERING COFFEE, and Subarus (seriously, the Subaru is to Portland what the Prius is to Los Angeles)! four days were definitely not enough (though our wallets would argue otherwise), but MAN did we cover a lot of ground. here are some pictures of our adventures if you’re interested…

IMG_8583 IMG_8775 IMG_8769 IMG_8788IMG_8852our very FIRST stop was the Red E Cafe (priorities people!) which apparently Carrie Brownstein likes to frequent. it was the first of MANY coffee shops we stopped at and thoroughly enjoyed (also pictured Water Avenue Coffee and Saint Simon Coffee)

IMG_0946 IMG_8695IMG_8717 IMG_1380 IMG_8711 IMG_1364it’s ridiculous how awesome the weather was in Portland which made it ideal for sightseeing. i think the only time it rained was in the middle of one night and for perhaps 5 minutes the next morning. what i would kill to be in Portland right now as the heat is hitting record highs in LA as i type this.

IMG_8593 IMG_8604 IMG_1379 IMG_1355 IMG_1384 IMG_1401the food scene is out of this world in Portland. we went to Milk Glass Mrkt for our first meal and it didn’t disappoint. their smoked trout and bloody marys were especially delightful! i don’t think we had one sub par meal, though i can’t stop fantasizing about the steak and cheddar eggs at Tasty n Alder. i was definitely that annoying tourist taking pictures of everything i ate (also pictured Swift and Union, Chizu, and Tasty n Sons)

IMG_8796 IMG_8811 IMG_8813at the recommendation of a friend, we decided to check out Multnomah Falls and we’re so glad we did. it’s only a 45 minute drive away and free!
IMG_1376 IMG_8628Portland is pretty serious about its beer, THANK GAWD. i just wish we had more time to check out more breweries, and to have a sitter for the ones that didn’t allow minors – ahem Occidental! (pictured Ex Novo Brewing and Ecliptic Brewing)
IMG_8722 IMG_8740did you know that one of the biggest urban forests in the United States is in Portland? yep, Forest Park was a great way to spend a morning working off our beer bellies and food babies. there were so many people walking their dogs, jogging, cycling, or just ogling the beauty that is Portland like we were.

IMG_1344 IMG_1347 IMG_8669and of course we had to check out the doughnut scene. while Voodoo Doughnuts is infamous (we didn’t eat there, only took pictures of the century long line), actual Portland locals rave about Blue Star Donuts. my favorite was the buttermilk old fashion doughnut. my mouth still waters thinking about it.

needless to say, i already want to go back. thank you for showing us an AWESOME time, Portland – you nailed it!

lately…

lately3photo by jermzlee

well hello my interwebz friends and family! don’t worry, you are not hallucinating, this IS in fact a new blog post. and no, pigs are most certainly not flying (but that would be amazing, especially if they were in the form of bacon and flying directly into my mouth!). i know i’ve already broken my promise about posting more frequently, but things have been insanely busy lately. i haven’t even had time to call my mom to COMPLAIN about being busy, THAT’S HOW BUSY I’VE BEEN.

so the (kinda) short of the long is: the past couple of months have been a whirlwind of running through water fountains and picnicking at Grand Park for the 4th of July, hosting a friend from Texas who is about to become a first-time dad and feeding him terrifying stories about parenting, an adults-only outing to Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach while Ezra stayed at home with the grandparents, brunch at this awesome breakfast joint in Long Beach with a lovely friend of mine who is also expecting her first baby soon (!!!), meeting up with family at this fun LA brewery which is super kid friendly and has a laid back California vibe, finally taking our friends to one of our favorite Korean BBQ places in Koreatown (even though it was 98 degrees outside, ugh), and absolutely losing my shit at Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour concert at the Staples Center (still can’t believe this happened!).

and to add fuel to the fire, we’re leaving for a short but sweet family trip to Portland, Oregon TOMORROW! our itinerary thus far includes (yes, we’re THOSE kind of travelers): this cool fountain park, these beautiful waterfalls, these mouthwatering donuts, a walk through this forest, a visit to this coffee shop, this brewery, this restaurant, a stroll through this rose garden, and so much more that we haven’t even planned yet (mostly involving coffee, food and beer, duh)! i’d love to go to this bookstore, but i seriously think my brain would explode. obviously we are trying to maximizing our time – we’ll need a vacation from our vacation by the time we get home! needless to say, we are super pumped for our trip – it’ll be so nice to get out of the LA heat for a bit (right now it’s raining in Portland, hubba hubba!), and have a brief respite from our hectic home life. Portland, we’re comin’ for ya!

any of ya’ll been to the City of Roses? if so, recommendations please and thank you! we’re crossing our fingers for smooth sailing (or flying) with a toddler, and if you could send some well wishes for safe travels my way since i’m like this on an airplane, it would be much appreciated.  i hope to be able to write a post about our trip once i get back, so until then, bon voyage to me!

CHILL OUT…with a cold brew

Microsoft Word - Document4
1. Kohana Salted Caramel Cold Brew Coffee // 2. Stumptown Original Cold Brew Coffee with Milk // 3. UCC Hawaii Kona Coffee with Milk // 4. Blue Bottle New Orleans Iced Coffee // 5. Califia Farms XX Espresso Cold Brew Coffee with Almond Milk

guys, i love coffee. i NEED coffee. i love and need coffee like Taylor Swift loves and needs her cats. i could go on and on about how i want to take coffee behind the school and get it pregnant, but we all have lives here…

i have a Keurig machine at home and at work and trust me, i have an opinion about the best k-cups for consumption, but that’s for another time…this post is about the COLD BREWS. when i’m on the go, i’m all about the delightfully chilly caffeine concoctions, especially now that it’s summer (ugh!). here are my top go-tos for cold brews (kinda rhymes?):

1. Kohana Salted Caramel Cold Brew Coffee: sourced from the Hawaiian Kohana coffee bean, all natural, and low-calorie (sweetened with monk-fruit). my only lament is that it doesn’t come in a bigger can (20 oz if i had my way)! available at Whole Foods and select Ralphs.

2. Stumptown Original Cold Brew Coffee with Milk: who DOESN’T love Stumptown? and during the holidays they have a ‘winter cheer’ varietal with mulling spices! available at Whole Foods.

3. UCC Kona Coffee with Milk: i used to buy this on the reg at my local Asian market for $1.50 a pop! but then the market closed and broke my heart so now it can only be found at random Famima stores…

4. Blue Bottle New Orleans Iced Coffee: i tried this at random during a Whole Foods run and enjoyed it immensely. i’m a sucker for clever packaging and i had tried Blue Bottle Coffee before at Forage in Silver Lake and it didn’t disappoint.

5. Califia Farms XX Espresso Cold Brew Coffee with Almond Milk: while i was breastfeeding i was on a miserable no-dairy diet (baby was uber gassy!), so i was drinking this like it was my job. their salted caramel varietal is equally delightful and they release a pumpkin spice one during the holidays (are you sold yet?)! available at Gelsons and Whole Foods (and now at select Ralphs i believe…).

what are YOUR favorite cold brews? please let me know if i’m missing out on any major ones. now go and get your caffeine on!

shake it up

vegaugggggh, i know, i know, it’s been over two months since i last posted – I’M THE WORST. but i’m back and with a vengeance, swearsies! so for my first entry since my hiatus (that baby registry guide really did a number on me!), i proudly introduce a profoundly deep and insightful look into…protein shakes. yep, changing the world one vapid blog post at a time, guys!

but in all seriousness, i wanted share what i’ve been consuming for lunch lately because maybe you’re in a health rut like me. maybe you have an extra 10 pounds you just can’t seem to lose. maybe you want to live a cleaner, healthier lifestyle. i don’t know, maybe you’re just bored! either way, a few months ago i felt like i needed to revamp my daily nutrition routine. it’s been tough shedding these last persistent pounds from my pregnancy FIFTEEN MONTHS AGO, so i thought i’d start replacing my lunches a few times a week with a healthy protein shake. after looking at some blogs and reviews online, i settled on Vega’s vanilla protein smoothie, a plant-based protein powder that i’ve been really REALLY happy with. here’s what you’re dealing with per the product description:

  • Each scoop contains 15 grams of complete, multisource, plant-based protein
  • The equivalent of two servings of veggies including kale, broccoli and spinach
  • Only 90 calories per serving with no sugar added
  • Vegan, Non-GMO; and free of dairy, gluten, soy, artificial flavors and colors

there are different flavors available like bodacious berry, choc-a-lot, and tropical tango which i have yet to try because i like how vanilla pairs well with almost anything. my go-to smoothie “recipe” is 1 cup of plain almond milk, 1 banana, and 1 scoop of powder. however, when i’m feeling really wild, i’ll substituted the banana for 2 shots of espresso and that is equally delightful (though less filling). at first i was worried i’d still be hungry with only having a shake for lunch, but it’s surprisingly filling and guilt free! i might also throw in a greek yogurt or raw veggies with lite dressing for a snack later on in the day…

if you’re looking to SHAKE UP (see what i did there?) your daily nutrition routine, i highly recommend trying the Vega protein powder, or another protein powder that suits your needs. those who already consume protein shakes on the reg, are there products out there you recommend? recipes? i’d love to know!