despite normally being the type of person who can’t function without a cup of coffee in the morning, i haven’t been indulging in it much over the past 4.5 months because i have been told i should cut back for the sake of the little person growing inside of me. i didn’t have any coffee until about a month ago, but as time has gone on, i’ve gotten more comfortable with a weekly cup (or two). and of course, being that i am now a resident of sweltering hot los angeles, a nice cold brew is my new drink of choice. i made this little recipe and gif for the modcloth blog earlier this week and figured i might as well share it here because it’s basically the best summer beverage ever (after this drink, which i could also easily enjoy every day).
it’s always a special treat when i get to ring in the new year with my family. all my life, only once a year, my grandmother makes two giant pots of menudo for new year’s day. the whole family comes over to fill our bowls with soup and top it off with green onions, cilantro, tomatoes, oregano, and crushed chili peppers, and soak up the broth with warm tortillas. when i was a kid, i’d roll up the tortillas and use them as makeshift straws to drink the broth. then we’d all sit around the tv eating pan mexicano watching the rose bowl parade. i’m not a kid anymore, but i’m so thankful that i can still enjoy this simple tradition with my family.
here’s to a splendid new year!
today i thought i’d share a set of personal photos taken on my trip to visit family in southern california last month. as is the tradition for most family gatherings, we all go to my grandma’s house and fire up the grill to bbq steak, burgers, or hotdogs which we enjoy with baked beans and my grandma’s famous potato salad. i love how looking back at these photos, our cool shades of white and blue make us look like we aren’t breaking a sweat leaning over the hot grill in 100 degree weather, haha. during the middle of summer in redlands, highs easily reach up to 110 or more, so it gets pretty brutal standing over the hot grill. but we set up the chairs under a shady tree in anticipation of the delicious outcome.
above, my brother let me do the honors of grilling the steak.
the simplest of outfits are required to keep cool. i’m wearing a cotton seersucker american apparel sun dress and vintage navy salvatore ferragamo vara flats.
old man king. he is getting so gray!
my grandparent’s house. the house next door is actually where my grandmother grew up. now her brother lives there and she is next door.
my grandpa is always working on projects around the yard. this is his little work shed.
my brother patiently watching the grill.
brendan had the hardest time with the heat.
i am mildly obsessed with his steven alan bug print shirt.
this might be the cutest photo ever. my grandma clocks in at a teeny tiny 4’11” while brendan is about 6’1″.
moments after my aunt julie said i look like a stepford wife showing off the finished product. ha!
for more posts from visits to my hometown of redlands, you can click here.
yesterday i meant to share a blog post, but you know? sometimes life happens. as was the case yesterday when i slept-in past my alarm clock, conveniently on a day that i was supposed to arrive to work early! i threw on a t-shirt and jeans (it was mandatory for a work-related event), pulled my hair into a ponytail, and managed to answer a few emails before making my way through rush hour traffic into the corporate lot where i park my car before heading into the office.
and this morning, when i was going through the photos i’d taken over the weekend, i realized that i only took photos of one outfit, but i had tons of photos of other things. i’ve noticed lately that i spend a lot more of my time behind the camera than in front of it, playing with the settings and trying to capture little bits and pieces of my life. these photos were taken after a trip to the farmer’s market that’s held every saturday a few blocks from my home filled with gourmet food trucks, organic fruits and veggies, and hand-crafted housewares. we picked up a few ingredients for an afternoon snack, a salad that i recreated off the menu at darwin cafe: fresh kale, radicchio, balsamic vinegar, lemon, parmesan, and little bits of prociutto. it sounds fancy, but it’s really just a simple salad.
a couple of weeks ago, i took my camera with me on a typical afternoon in the grand lake neighborhood of oakland. it’s the place where i’ve lived for the past few years, and i love that i am within walking distance of so many special places. so when ugg australia asked me if i’d like to share a little glimpse into a day in my life, i happily obliged and snapped these photos for a guest post on their tumblr blog. i’ve partnered up with the brand for a series of guest posts throughout the year, and while it’s a tumblr-centric project, i just couldn’t help but share some of the photos from the post here on my main blog. just be sure to check out the ugg australia tumblr for my original post!
p.s. if you’re curious what i’m wearing: bonlook jungle chic glasses, j.crew dress, vintage shoes from pretty penny, fieldguided endless summer tote.
first stop: brunch at the grand tavern. the restaurant is in an old craftsman style house complete with a front and back patio, so you always feel right at home.
then a quick trip to walden pond books for some used book shopping.
and of course, we had to stop by morcom rose garden to lay in the sun and read books. as you know from previous posts, this is a favorite weekend haunt.
and we finished off the evening with a fancy cocktail from boot & shoe service! i got the ‘monk’s garden’ which was so herbal and fruity and refreshing!
today i am very excited to share my latest collaboration with fossil.com! they contacted me a couple of months ago asking if i’d be interested in sharing a few of my favorite sf spots, so i happily made a day of it and took a quick trip to the mission district in san francisco to snap a few photos of my favorite shops. i sent over the pictures with some quotes and recommendations, and was absolutely blown away with the finished result! they created the most adorable animated interactive map of san francisco in the pretties shades of mustard and pink! it’s so cute that i want to print it out and hang it on my wall.
i’ve attached a couple of screen shots to share, but you’ll have to click here to play with the map and discover some of my favorite sf spots!
no, your eyes are not deceiving you. this is a food post on a fashion blog. please don’t roll your eyes too much because i am quite proud of my latest creation! as i’m sure some of you know, i work for modcloth.com as an editorial specialist. this basically means that in addition to writing posts for the blog, i run the modcloth tumblr and instagram, and generally produce editorial content for the site. i also do most of the blog photography and even recently shot some campaign photos. it’s basically a really fun, creative job where i get to dabble in all sorts of different projects. after hesitating for over two years, i finally decided to try my hand at a cooking post. and this is what was born: it’s a sammich cake! also known as a smörgåstårta. i made it and took the photos at my friend’s house and now i feel like i’ve been bitten by the food blogging bug.
anyway, i originally posted this on the modcloth blog (where you can find my recipe), but i just had to share the photos here because i was so pleased with my first attempt, and wondered what you guys thought. little known fact: many moons ago, i was professionally trained in culinary school and am actually a certified pastry chef. i’ve never shared any of my work here because it’s a fashion blog, but perhaps you’d like to see what else i’ve got up my sleeve?
in between sets of outfit photos taken while visiting family in redlands, i tried to take the time to snap a few personal photos to keep as memories. while many of these are just for me, i thought it would be fun to share a little glimpse at my favorite holiday traditions. and yes, they revolve around food. like many mexicans and mexican-americans around the country, my family all gathers around the kitchen table on christmas eve to make tamales! this year, i sat at the table with my grandmother, mom, sister, and brother to spread masa and fill the tamales with our favorite fillings. we used to just make the traditional pork with red chile, but have since come to love a vegetarian style with california chiles stuffed with jack cheese as well. you can really put whatever you want in a tamale, but these are the two flavors that everyone in my family enjoys. though for fun, this year my mom bought some pre-made strawberry and pineapple masa for a little variety.
it may sound silly, but my grandma usually makes spanish rice and potato salad to complete the meal and we top it off with her home made salsa. i suppose it’s just one of those hybrid meals that springs up from a mexican family living in southern california for generations. i joke that it’s about the food, but clearly it’s so much more than that to me. i can remember sitting around the table spreading masa way back when i was a little girl and my great-grandma was there, too. four generations of women sitting around the table to learn and enjoy the tradition passed down from so many generations before us.
anyway, i know this is a boatload of pictures already, but you can view the full set here.
chicken with mole
this year, my sister also decided to make chicken with mole and rice, so we enjoyed a veritable feast as we sat around the tree opening presents.
menudo and pan dulce
i very rarely get to stay in town long enough to celebrate new year’s day with my family, but this year i was lucky enough to be there to enjoy my grandmother’s home made menudo. i know it’s an acquired taste for many, but for me, it’s a real treat. the only day of the year that we get to enjoy this dish is on new year’s. i remember when i was a little kid, we would heat up the tortillas and roll them up to dip into the broth. this of course, naturally meant that the little tortilla roll could be used as a straw for us to drink the hot broth from the bowl. we would also enjoy warm pan dulce from the local panaderia. i still can’t decide my favorite, but i love the look of those bright pink conchas!