One To Nothin'

You want a pizza me?

Are you guys feeling my room's new look?! It's not done yet, but I've definitely been zenning out with my new candles, rainforest plants and blackout curtains. It's coming together, so I thought I'd show a little sneak peek while having a picnic.
And while we're at it, let's talk about dietary restrictions, shall we? My crew has a lot of them, and it's rough. When my college pals and I travel together, it's kind of a nightmare when we go out to eat. We cringe as we let the server know that yes, we are in fact THAT table. 
One's a pescetarian, one's a vegetarian, one's gluten intolerant and, of course, I'm lactose intolerant. These are the kinds of prerequisites that elicit eye rolls (not to mention the struggle at the end of dinner when we spend an hour trying to split the bill). It's takes some dedication and patience, but we persist (and we l-o-v-e tipping big when the server embraces the challenge). Still though, it makes dinner parties (and drunken late night munchies) a big ol' hassle because there has to be an option for everyone.
Back in college we trashed our bodies and didn't think twice about the pain our digestive systems were often in, but in our late twenties it's a different story. These days we need options, which is why the last time I ordered an actual regular-person pizza  was probably back in 2010. This, my friends, is why i was intrigued when Papa John's invited me to try their new ancient grains gluten-free pizza crust and I realized I could easily order it without cheese online (without even having to talk to a real live person--YAS!).
I ordered mine with veggies and added crumbled truffle goat cheese (because it's lactose-free and I'm fancy), and I love the idea of bigger pizza joints embracing food restrictions like this. Next time my gluten-free friends are over, we'll have munchies for everyone

When was the last time you tried a Papa John's pizza? 


Life Updates

Flo-Rida -- I went to visit my family in Cedar Key a couple weekends ago and we played on the beach, swam in the pool, stepped on oyster shells, drank champagne and laughed from Thursday until Monday when I flew back to SF. The trip was way too short, but it was amazing seeing my family for my dad's birthday (closely followed by my parents' anniversary and my birthday, which leads me to...).

I'm 28! -- My birthday was on Tuesday and holy shit, I'm only 24 months away from 30! I have a lot of thoughts about this, which I think will be another post for another day, but I celebrated all week long with champagne, vegan chocolate cakes, flowers, happy hours, sushi and this weekend we'll be rounding off a beautifully prolonged birthday week with a wine tasting adventure all over Oakland. I'm definitely feeling grateful for year 27, and--at the risk of sounding like a big, fat cheeseball--I can't wait to see what happens before 29. This is another one of those years. I can feel the changes a'comin'. 

GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM -- I booked a flight to Vietnam, guys. For real. While y'all are here stuffing your faces with turkey and disgusting sweet potato casserole filled with marshmallows (WHY.), I'll be shopping at floating markets, hiking in rice fields, eating street pho and basically living my best life. Yas, kweens, I'm spending Thanksgiving in Asia. This will be the first time I leave the good ol' US of A since I was 15. I'm potentially doing this trip solo, too. SO MANY FIRSTS. I just applied for a new passport and let me tell you, I look 0% cute when a Walgreen's employee tells me I cannot smile in a photo. I'm so freakin' excited.

Room Makeover -- The last time I felt inspired to decorate my room, chevron and mustard yellow were viable bedding choices for me and I created wall art with glitter and old planner pages. It was beyond time for a redo. I poured over Pinterest (obvs), and decided to make the most Free People-Basic room of all time (think WHITE walls, rainforest plants and mid-century furniture), but with prints on prints on prints of things that are uniquely, unapologetically me (think: Labyrinth, Nate Ruess and possums). This is the first non-work project I've been genuinely excited about in months, so I went balls deep. Like, I have no money now, which is kind of a problem considering that whole Vietnam trip thing coming up. Good thing I've got six months to save. Let the Ramen noodle dinners begin! I'll post a full before and after situation soon, but in the meantime feast your eyes on the half-assed interior decorating projects I've attempted in the past here, here, here.

Work, Work, Work, Work, Work -- I love my job. Dudes, I never thought that would be a thing I could genuinely say. Like, I saw and heard people saying they enjoyed their 9-5s in the past and every single time I rolled my eyes with the same vehemence I should reserve only for newly engaged couples drunk on love. NOT ANYMORE. It's a real thing. You really can feel fulfilled, excited, challenged and effing PUMPED about your job. People always say not to settle for your spouse or whatever, but I'm here to say don't settle for a shit job. You gotta do what you gotta do when you're starting out--I most certainly did my time in less-than-ideal work settings, but when you're committing over 40 hours a week to a company, that is A LOT of life minutes. Those minutes should not be spent hating your job, bitching about your job or feeling crippling anxiety about having to go to your job again the second the clock strikes Sunday. (ICYMI: I am a writer at Sephora HQ in San Francisco these days--everyone is impossibly fashionable, creative, intelligent, supportive and all-around badass.)

SHAMELESS PLUG: I now work on the PLAY! by Sephora subscription box, so if you want to see some of my work first-hand (and try some amazing products for just $10 a month), sign up here!

Party in the USA -- Miley and Ke$ha are back, guys, and they're both disturbingly lacking in the glitter-puke department. They're both calm AF and I'm confused and excited at the same time. Also, Noah Cyrus is my jam these days. Have you heard this one? I'm constantly updating my 2017 playlist based on my faves from New Music Friday on Spotify, so follow along here if you're into that kind of thing.

I think that's about it for now, but if you want to see behind the scenes business, follow along on Instagram. I've been obnoxiously into oversharing on my IG story lately, so come say hello.

What's new in YOUR life? 


Perks of Not Being a Wife or Mom

The feeling when... when you wake up closer to 30 than 20 and your fridge is covered not just in wedding save the dates, but baby announcements. I’m turning the big 2-8 in a few weeks, and while sometimes it feels like I didn’t get the “we’re grown ups now” memo, other times, the self-indulgent, because-I-can, f*ck yea times, are pretty fantastic.  
When I  splurge on sushi dinners because a) I’m not on a wedding diet b) I’m not saving up for a honeymoon and c) I don’t have to buy diapers. Those times I book impulsive out-of-country flights because I literally have no one I need to consult about finances with.  
The times I have too many glasses of wine and can sleep it off the next morning because only my dog can judge me. When I wander into Nordstrom while my car is getting washed and buy all the clothes because, again, I don’t have to send a little human to college any time soon. Don’t get me wrong, hopefully one of these days I will be joy crying as I announce to you internet friends that I’m engaged or preggo, but as for now? It’s my selfish time to do me.  
I work hard at life despite not maintaining a marriage or family. I make money, I exercise, I cook and sometimes I get burnt out, so I make time for the things I love. The self-care things that keep me from going crazy or dwelling on what I don’t have (sometimes I get impatient—biological clocks are a bitch, am I right?). Things like going to concerts and music festivals, traveling just for funsies, reading (whether it’s the cutest graphic novel of my life or ALL the Audible books), painting my nails, drinking wine and obviously doing all these things with my girlfriends

Human connection is one of the most precious things in life, and I haven’t always recognized the true value of it. Since moving to Cali and meeting SO many different people, I’ve come to realize just how important it is to open up, be real and just hang out with other humans. We’re all in this together, and we’re not all on the same path. Not everyone of a certain age needs a ring on their finger or a fetus in their belly. Not everyone needs to work in an office or earn a college degree. But we all do need to make room and time to love ourselves and others.  
I am so grateful for the friends I’ve found all over the country, but especially the ones who make my life infinitely better every day on the West Coast. Oh, and of course that fluffy sausage pup who has been my #1 for seven years now. Isn’t she a model?! 


Day Drinking for America

Happy Independence Day!
When I first started working in a big Silicon Valley office with a latte machine and beers on tap, I was terrified. Of course I was stoked to be there (and working with bloggers no less), but every time I’d have to go to the bathroom or kitchen, I’d get a jolt of anxiety. Not only did I not know anyone’s names, but I was actually scared that I would get lost and be wandering around the office like an idiot.
Luckily it was only a few weeks before Devyn started working there and sat at the desk right next to mine. She immediately became my extroverted counterpart, my number one confidante and the easiest way to connect with people since she can literally talk to anyone. She quickly transformed from my work BFF to one of my best friends IRL too. We spent about a year sitting next to each other, constantly typing to each other on Skype and taking our time together for granted. 
I was so bummed when I had to switch teams and move desks, but at least I could still see her every day at lunch... then I left for a better job opportunity (or so I thought) and we saw each other less and less. Luckily she moved from the City to the East Bay (Oakland represent) and she knows how to party.
We celebrated the Fourth of July early on Sunday and enjoyed the sunshine while we drank French wine and ate French foods. After one bottle we started munching on chips and cheese, and by bottle two we were throwing watermelon and smashing cupcakes into our faces. 
I’m so grateful to have a friend who is willing to haul a whole bunch of heavy supplies, deal with douchey Lyft drivers, defend our spread from boys trying to holler and have a blast while we make costume changes and take zillions of photos. Thanks for being the best, Dev.

Picnics have definitely become my favorite summer activity.
So about that spread--The French Ministry of Agriculture sent us four bottles of wine from Beaujolaid and Loire, two cheeses from Normany and Auvergne, and the most delicious salts from the Medditerranean Sea and Guérande.
Since we forgot the patriotic cupcakes, we got crazy with them once we got back to the house--unfortunately those bottles of wine compromised our ability to get the actual cake smashing properly documented, but I assure you it was a delicious mess.
Big thanks to the French Ministry of Agriculture for sponsoring this post and an even bigger thanks to Devyn for making my Fourth of July one to remember. 

How are you celebrating this year?


Let's give 'em something to taco 'bout

Before I get into this post, I need you to know that I have literally eaten tacos for every single meal since Sunday, and I'm still not sick of them. I think that makes me an actual official Californian. We love our tacos on the West coast--I even dress my dog up as one (and I'm pretty sure I need this shirt, but I digress).

I also ate my fair share of incredible tacos in Austin, and Mexico is on my list of travel destinations, so get ready to hear me rave about that in the near future. But for now, let's talk about these beauties.
The La Victoria brand is celebrating its 100th anniversary, so they're throwing rad foodie events all over the country. Last week they had Chef Gustavo Romero create duck confit tacos with jicama, avocado mousse and orange-cherry salsa in San Francisco. Unfortunately I wasn't there to experience it myself, but the photos make my mouth water (if you live in Portland, be sure to check out the event coming to you on July 13 at the Pioneer Courthouse Square). So in lieu of eating a famous chef's famous duck, I used my own West Coast vibez to create these taco creations. 
Since I decided to go pescetarian for June (...I love a challenge, and I'm definitely finding myself making better, lighter and more thoughtful decisions because of it), I went with shrimp and fried cod tacos made with La Victoria diced green chiles and topped with La Victoria Cilantro Salsa. These were probably the most elaborate tacos I've ever made--tartar sauce made from scratch and homemade "frying flour" assembled with oregano, salt, chile powder and pepper. We even topped them with crumbled goat feta (lactose-free!) and plain Greek yogurt (aka lactose-free sour cream). 
Then I completely stuffed my face, and it was glorious. I feel a full-on vegetarian month coming on soon, and this recipe for roasted cauliflower steaks with verde chimichurri looks BOMB.

Please tell me, what are the best tacos you've ever had? When? Where? And how do I get some? 

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