Happy Halloween from Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise! Stay safe and have fun tonight, everyone.


the bold and the bubbly

My mom always told me I had champagne taste, but a beer budget.  This is 100 percent true of course, but I'm sure she'd also be proud to know that I have done some rigorous taste-testing to find a few delicious, yet affordable, champagnes and Proseccos. So now we can all enjoy that sweet bubbly without dwindling our bank accounts (as often).
image via pinterest
image via pinterest
While Moët & Chandon is my absolute favorite brand of champagne, it's rather pricey.  Luckily, I've found a few others I can't get enough of:
LaMarca Prosecco

So grab your girls, or your man, and celebrate the fact that it's Thursday!


getting to know you

I'm so honored that the lovely Soul of a Fashionista has nominated me for The Liebster of Blog Award! This is awarded to bloggers by other bloggers, and serves as a great tool for us to get to know one another.  I've been instructed to share 11 random facts about myself, as well as answer SOAF's questions to me.
image via
11 Facts:
- I love curling up with coffee and a good book on weekend mornings (need to do that more!)
- I have two little (only not so little) twin brothers, who are easily the most entertaining people I know
- I can sing
- I have a sweet mutt named Rocky, who is basically like my child
- I could eat Mexican food for every single meal
- I danced for most of my life, and am starting to miss it a lot these days
- I am totally addicted to How I Met Your Mother
- I love to cook and try new recipes (although I'm often afraid I'll mess them up)
- I think champagne is appropriate for any + all occasions
- I typically only write in a journal when I'm angry, upset, or stressed
- My favorite outfit is an oversized tee (or sweater) and tall socks

-What made you decide to start a blog? I wanted an outlet to share the many things I have in common with my amazing mom, who passed away in 2010.
-What is the best thing about blogging? Having a creative outlet outside of work and connecting with readers and other bloggers.
-Which item do you have that you can't live without? As pathetic as it sounds, my iPhone. That thing keeps me from getting lost all the time and being able to google whenever, wherever. Also my great grandmother's engagement ring, which I wear almost every day.
-Your favorite piece in your closet? My leather jacket--I get so much wear out of it and can throw it on over anything.
-Favorite designer? I love Michael Kors, Zac Posen, Rachel Zoe, Parker, and Heidi Merrick, but as those lines are out of my price range right now, I tend to gravitate toward Zara and J.Crew, with a bit of BCBG from time to time. 
-Do you have Instagram?  If you do, do you think it helps your readers grow? What do you think about it? Yes, I'm basically addicted to instagram and take pictures as often as I can, even of the little things. l don't necessarily think it's helped my readership grow, however. But It's more of a personal account, not necessarily linked to the blog.
-Favorite model? Hanneli Mustaparta.  And if Victoria's Secret models count, Alessandra Ambrosio.
-Favorite book? The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
-Do you think it's important to be fit? Absolutely. Being fit isn't about being skinny to fit in (although we feel that pressure sometimes), it's about maintaining a healthy lifestyle to increase quality of life. Working out gives me energy and confidence throughout my day.
-Favorite famous blogger? Damsel in Dior and Could I Have That?
-Favorite band? I love all things country, and I also have a slight obsession with Dave Matthews.

Thanks again to Soul of a Fashionista for looping me in! Be sure to check out her blog--she's a sweet and bubbly girl who inspires her readers with tidbits on fashion and photography. What's not to love?

it's all business

Now that I've been in the "real world" for a couple years, networking has become extremely important in my day-to-day life.  I'm really into my job, but I also love tackling little side projects here and there so meeting new people in different fields is something I love.  I always carry some business cards with me during the week, not only for the obvious moments like meetings, but also for the many events I attend after work where networking is a regular occurrence.

The little pouch I have my business cards in now isn't quite doing it for me--it looks nice + sleek, but it's too small and difficult to pull cards out and put new ones I've acquired in.  Here are some upgrades I'm currently coveting.

[1 avgvst polka dot from Etsy//2 green leather + copper from Etsy//3 Falcon Wright white leather ombre pyramids//4 red croc folding from Amazon Fashion//5 Falcon Wright white leather + mint points//6 personalized from Etsy//7 vintage camera from Etsy]

How do you carry your business cards in style?


one year

Today marks one year since I started this blog, and I just wanted to thank all of you who take the time to read and comment on my posts, and share this journey with me. Writing about all things food, home, and fashion help me maintain a strong connection with my amazing mom and all the things we both love.
image via
I can't wait to see what the next year has in store!

Also, wishing a very happy birthday to Lori--one of my mom's best friends and a woman who has been like a second mother to me since I was 18 months old. I love you!
Happy Tuesday!


on the boardwalk

[h&m tee, thrifted pants, target shoes, michael kors watch, david yurman bracelet, ring- boutique in SD, ray-ban sunglasses, foley + corinna bag]

Weekends mean iced coffee, hikes, gluttonous brunches, relaxation, comfortable clothes, and walks on the boardwalk.  My former editor gave me these pants a few months ago, and they're basically better than any pajamas I've ever owned.  Weekend uniform? Check. I wore this a couple weeks ago in San Diego. I assume you can tell I'm in San Diego from these photos since there's a definite lack of smog, but just in case.

My best friend from home came to visit me this weekend and we had the best time catching up! I'm so sad the weekend is coming to an end already. I'm truly beginning to understand the whole living for the weekend thing. Here's to the next one!
Happy Monday, friends.


foodie friday: kabuki

The first time I tried sushi, I absolutely hated it.  Mostly because my high school friends convinced me that wasabi was guacamole, encouraging me to take a big bite. But another important factor was the restaurant quality--we were eating at a generic chain where the fish wasn't the fresh and the flavors weren't so impressive.  After that night, I didn't try sushi again for several years.  I began to develop an appreciation for it during late college, but I didn't come to love or crave it until I moved to L.A.  The fish is fresh and the combinations daring, two important elements to good quality sushi.

Enter my favorite spot for sushi in L.A: Kabuki in Culver City.  Along with a killer happy hour (1/2 price rolls, $2 Sapporo), the Japanese eatery boasts incredible + unique rolls, at prices that don't break the bank. Win/win!
photo via
image via
Not To Be Missed
Food: spicy tuna crunch roll, dynamite roll, vegas roll (my favorite), alaskan roll, spider roll, rose roll, king crab roll
Drinks: sapporo, sangria, saketini 

Get your sushi on this Friday!


pear, blue cheese, and walnut salad

Now that heat wave has momentarily made another stop in L.A., I find myself craving light dishes that will keep my belly full without making me feel sluggish. Yesterday I stumbled upon this recipe for a pear, blue cheese, and walnut salad, and I think it's just what I need during these awkwardly hot days.  This salad also includes puff pastry, which I think gives it a fall spin as well. A perfect dish to enjoy no matter what weather you're currently facing.
Pear, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Salad (spotted here)
What You'll Need:
-2 ripe pears
-1 sheet puff pastry
-1 package baby leaf salad
-1/2 cup walnuts
-50 g blue cheese, chopped
 -For the dressing: 4 tbs extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs honey, 1 pinch salt

What You'll Do:
Peel pears and core from the bottom. Cut the bottom of the pears, so they will stand upright. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the puff pastry into 2-3 cm wide strips.  Starting at the top, wind a pastry strip around one pear, slightly overlapping the edges of the pastry and tucking the end under the pear. Repeat with the remaining pasty strips and pear. Place the wrapped pears onto a baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes. If the pear top browns too fast, cover it with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven, and set aside while preparing the salad.

Distribute the baby leaf salad in two bowls. Add the walnuts and blue cheese, and toss to mix evenly.  In a separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Place pears over the baby leaf salads, and serve together with salad dressing.
Recipe + photos via here



from paris, with love

[asos sweater, faux leather skirt + clutch, sole society booties, michael kors watch, rings: madewell/family heirloom, polo ralph lauren glasses]

Okay, really it's more like love from San Diego. But I felt very Parisian while wearing this, so let's just go with it, shall we? Now that the crispness of fall has come (and since gone), I've been pulling out sweaters, leather, and boots any chance I get.  You can pretty much guarantee I'll be living in a variation of this outfit throughout the season. My basic rule of thumb is that when I like something, I tend to really obsess over it.

I wore this out to dinner with the beau, where we tasted beer. That's right, I wore a semi-white sweater while drinking. And I didn't spill a thing on it. For probably the first time in my life.
Happy Wednesday!


a day of polo

The weekend before last I had the opportunity to attend the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at Will Rogers State Park. It was a warm, beautiful day filled with Greek food, too much champagne (as if there was such a thing), and my first polo match.  The day was everything I imagined and more--I even spotted the talented Jamie Beck.  I still regret not walking up to her and telling her how much I love her photographs. Maybe next year!

[I wore: kate spade new york dress {borrowed from rent the runway}, target heels, rebecca minkoff bag, gifted shoedazzle necklace, cc skye ring] 
[Jasmine wore: monique lhuillier dress, heels from urteque {madrid}, american apparel sunglasses]

Thanks to LaForce + Stevens for sending me tickets to this amazing event!


falling for fall

I'm running super behind this week, as my sweet pup got bit by a rattlesnake on Sunday! Thank God he's doing okay, but now I'm spending every spare moment loving on him and spoiling him rotten. I'll catch back up soon, but for now I just wanted to stop in and say today it finally feels like fall! I'm wearing my coziest sweater and some booties today, and I couldn't be happier. I hope everyone is having a great week!
photo via sequin harvest
[wearing h&m sweater and booties, target tank, zara jeans]


foodie friday: celebrations of food

October is in full swing, and many local restaurants are celebrating the season with amazing food deals.  Now's the time to take a break from the kitchen before the holidays, get dressed up, and take to the cities' best eateries! Not like any of us (especially me) ever needed an excuse...

eveleigh image via pinterest
If you have a love for Italian food, you're in luck because this month is both National Pasta Month and National Pizza month.  Keep that gym membership in your budget, and load up on delicious carbs at Scarpetta in Beverly Hills. Chef Scott Conant is offering all patrons a complimentary tasting of his famous gnudi parmigiano (a tasty mix of ricotta cheese and spinach, stuffed in a pasta with no shell and topped with Sicilian tomato sauce) every Sunday this month.  Also, don't miss the spaghetti--even when it's cold, it's still the best I've ever had. Sit on the luxurious patio with a glass of chardonnay and enjoy these last warm afternoons.
photo via la times
I've already declared my love for Chaya, but the downtown location has given me yet another reason to sing its praises. Through Sunday, October 28, executive chef Atsushi Kenjo is offering a special menu with various shellfish options, like Maine Lobster sushi.  If you're a seafood addict like me, Chaya is the place to go this month.
image via
If German food + beer is your idea of a good time, then cancel your plans Saturday night and rush to Whist at the Viceroy in Santa Monica.  Executive Chef Tony DiSalvo has crafted a special menu to celebrate Oktoberfest, complete with three hard-to-find German beers (like doppelbock) to pair with comfort food like bratwurst, knackwurst, and spaetzle for $25 a person.  Personally, I'll leave the food and take the beer, but I'm sure that's not a surprise to anyone.
image via
Check out Los Angeles Confidential's website for more great deals + restaurant reviews around town! Happy feasting!


rent the runway

When I was in college, a main priority for my sorority sisters and I was finding the perfect dress for the next date party.  Unfortunately, shopping in Norman, Oklahoma was rather limited: there were few spots to find great clothes, and although there are a couple great boutiques, you'd spot at least two girls at the party wearing the same dress as you.  There was also the problem of multiple date parties on any given weekend.  Not exactly college-budget friendly. Enter Rent the Runway, a website offering dresses and accessories from over 95 designers to rent much cheaper than retail price for any occasion on your schedule. I first learned about the site from my college roommate Alex, who offered it as the perfect solution for our date party dilemmas.

While I always found the site's concept brilliant, I never actually gave it a go.  I preferred purchasing dresses for events that I could wear again later.  But I tried it out for the first time for my upcoming champagne-infused Saturday, as I feel the need to wear something amazing that I can't afford to actually buy (Kate Spade, anyone?).

Here's how it works: type in the date of your event and browse the available dresses.  You can then reserve a dress in your size, as well as another size for free.  You even have the option to rent another dress style for just $25. Total genius. I haven't received my dresses yet, but I'm already loving this service.  Here's to always having something to wear without breaking your budget!


winter white

I am so on board with winter whites this year.  Find a way to incorporate my white jeans into the chilly season? Challenge accepted.

images via
What are your thoughts on wearing white past summer?

fall-themed dishes

Last Sunday my friend Lizz hosted a dinner party, where she served up a festive salad, fresh and filling chicken pot pie, and warm apple caramel crisp.  Along with the fact that she's an amazing cook, Lizz kicked it up a notch by incorporating fall into the theme of the evening.  My belly is still in awe over the amazing meal, and it's left me dreaming of dishes I can't wait to make once the weather finally cools down.
Creamy Tomato Soup
Fall Bruschetta
Fall salads
Glazed Figs
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Beer Bean-and Cotija-Stuffed Poblanos
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Happy Cooking!


indian summer

[target tank and sandals, h&m skirt, clutch- bumble bee in santa monica, michael kors watch, david yurman bracelet, jewels by the sea ring, ray-ban aviators, l'oreal nails]

I'm sure everyone is tired of hearing me whine about how it doesn't feel like fall yet.  Actually, even I'm tired of it.  So I'll just say once more that parts of L.A. should not be 107 in October. But anyway, moving on.  I'm attempting to embrace the Indian Summer we're having because I know in two months I'll be whining about how badly I miss the warmth.  When it comes to weather, I'm just not an easy gal to please I guess.

Lately I've been keeping it pretty casual with minimal accessories due to my busy schedule.  See? Sometimes I do like things simple.