Thursday, November 12, 2015

NomNom: Soba Noodle Salad

I've always had mixed feelings towards Fall. Like most people, I enjoy the crisp change in the air and Fall fruits/veggies, but do so with reservations because I know that summer has ended (sad) and winter will be coming soon (very sad). Winter and I are not friends in case you haven't noticed already.

My friends make fun of me for never wanting to leave my house when the temperatures drop to freezing because I would rather cozy up on the couch all snuggled in my PJs, netflix, and a glass of wine. Am I lame? That's cool, I'm okay with it.

When I hibernate during the winter like a wimp, I start to day dream about sunshine, the beach, and anything summer related--including food. The recipe I'm sharing with you today takes me back to this past summer because it was on heavy rotation in my kitchen due to the easiness of preparation and well, eating cold noodles is just a staple in Asian cuisine to combat the hot weather.

Soba noodles are made of buckwheat flour and is common in Japanese cuisine. The noodles have a slight nutty flavor and is usually eaten cold with a dipping sauce which I actually don't prefer but I do love it when prepared as a noodle salad. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you may have in your fridge but I personally like the fresh bites of cucumbers and the slight sweetness bell peppers bring to the dish so those are usually a must for me. Since I always have kale in the fridge I threw that in too, especially because kale holds up so well in dressings and won't wilt. Yup, we are still on that kale bandwagon.

Not only is this dish a delicious and light meal, it is a surefire way for me to eat my veggies and hopefully for you as well.

Have a great week. Xo.

Ingredients (Adapted from Food Network): Yields 4 servings 
1 package of soba noodles
1 carrot thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, julienned
2 cups of chopped kale
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
4 Tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of sriracha
5 Tablespoons of soy sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tablespoons of ginger
4-5 Tablespoons of olive oil
3 Tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

1. In a medium stock pot, boil water, add salt, and cook noodles according to package directions (about 7-8 minutes). If water threatens to boil over, add 1/2 cup of cold water. When finished, rinse noodles with cold water. Drain and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sriracha, olive oil, lime juice, garlic and ginger. Mix thoroughly and then combine prepared vegetables and noodles.

3. Garnish with sesame seeds.

2 tsp. sesame oil
4 tabs. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. sirachi
5 tabs. soy sauce
1 chili, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tabs. hoisin
1 tab. ginger
1/2 lime juiced
4-5 tabs. olive oil

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Ramblings

Hi all! Just wanted to say a quick hello! November has creeped up on me as October was a bit of a whirlwind with travels every other week to NYC, SF, and SD. I am preparing a food and travel guide on places in SF and SD for you so please be on the look out for that soon:)

Hope you all are enjoying the Fall weather we've been having before Mother Nature blasts us with the winter chill. I went hiking to Raven Rocks over the weekend to catch the last bit of foliage for the month and to incorporate some sort of outdoor fitness before the weather changes to freezing. The hike is part of the Appalichian Trail and I'd rate it as intermediate level with a good balance of incline and decline (about 5.5 miles). The overlook is pretty amazing and worth all the steep incline.

This quote has been resonating with me lately because it's something that makes a difference for me when it comes to admiring and respecting people in both my professional setting and personal life. I've noticed more and more that there are many people who are really good with words but not very good at following through. It's always been important for me to follow through with promises I make towards friends/loved ones because I believe that itself builds a trust factor which I think is a key foundation in building a relationship of any type. It's been a learning process to acknowledge that not everyone operates like that and is something I am trying to be more accepting of.

Last month, I kept saying I want to go hiking before winter comes but due to a mix of travel, working on weekends, and tiredness, I kept putting it off. Anyway I finally got around to it this weekend and set my alarm to 7am (with rumblings) to hike this trail that's been on my list for awhile now. It also helped that my friend was encouraging and wanted to go hiking as well! A small feat but felt a sense of personal accomplishment that I just...did it.

Hope you have a great start to the week. Xo.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Weekend Snapshots: Life Lately

Hello hello to anyone who is still following along:) It feels a bit strange to be writing a post because it feels like forever (which sounds like a long time) since I last wrote one. In fact, because I haven't logged in since April, it took a couple of attempts to remember my password. Fail.

My apologies for abruptly putting a stop to the blog and not giving any notice about that. Truth be told, I was feeling a bit uninspired and more focused in transitioning into my new job and the new hours (can't believe it's been 6 months already!) which contributed to me being a huge supporter of after work power naps. I also wanted to prioritize more on my personal life so decided to take a long summer hiatus, if you can call it that and told myself that when I start to miss blogging and sharing snippets of my food/fashion life with you I will start again. Those feelings have emerged. All the feels.

The past several months have been all about new adjustments both professionally and personally, newfound relationships with awesome people that have been in my life or entered my life, being more self-aware with how I process situations/people (thanks to training classes via work), checking things off my summer bucket list, and going blonde(!!!) Another big change that occurred was that my sister decided to move from NYC to San Diego a couple of months ago to further her professional growth and if you have been following along with me over the years I would visit her quite often (every 3-4 months or so) in NYC for the past 3 years. With that said, I developed a mental list of my favorite places to eat/shop in the city and let's be honest, the energy in that city is electric like no other. I'm not sure if it's the combination of the people that live there along with the plethora of amazing food places and it also being the fashion mecca, but there is no place in the world like it. More importantly though, was that my sis would be further away which was a huge adjustment since her and I are extremely close. The memories her and I shared during the times I visited her in NYC will always be special. 

San Diego is gorgeous. The weather is the one thing that can't be beat but it's an unusual place to get used to if you're from the east coast. It's such a relaxed environment with a slower placed vibe and the fact that beach is a 20 min drive away is strange to me. However, I am making another trip out there next month to visit her and am looking forward to getting to know the city more. Any suggestions on places to check out are welcome!

Please bear with me as I start to get my feet wet again into posting regularly. Can you believe September is already here? It's a bit daunting to realize how time flies by and heading into a new season makes me feel bittersweet especially because I love summer. But I'm looking forward to what changes are in the horizon for me.

Hope you enjoy the pictures I've collected the past several months up until now.

Have a great week. Xo.

Image via LA Cool & chic
Spring time in NYC where the weather is just starting to warm up is the best. 
From East coast to West coast
Sunset Cliff
Carne Asada french fries are a thing in San Diego. Glorious. 
California love
Stand up paddle boarding. Done and done.
So many burrito/taco places in San Diego. My idea of heaven. 
Picking up fresh blooms at the weekly farmers market that is a 4 min walk from my sister's place.

Selfie at the rose garden in Balboa Park. 
Cheese, charcuterie, drinks, and memorable conversations. These are a few of my favorite things.
Eating my weights worth in peaches this summer. 
Same thing applied to steamed crabs. Old bay seasoning ftw.
Still continuing to eat my way through the DMV area
Blonde ambition
Bidding adieu to the last bits of summer with a seafood boil. Thanks for hosting Mel.
This gets me exited for Fall. Image via LA Cool & Chic

Saturday, April 11, 2015

NomNom: Coconut Maple Granola

Happy Saturday!!

I don't know how you're feeling right now but I am so happy the weekend is finally here. It's been a busy past couple of weeks in terms of transition and I don't really see it slowing down anytime soon. So when the weekend rolls around I have been savoring the sleeping in part and having a lax weekend schedule so much more.

I love when I find time to actually be in my kitchen in the morning to cook a proper breakfast of some sort instead of standing in my kitchen with one hand on my cup of coffee while furiously trying to stuff my face with toast or something quick to grab and trying to check neglected email before rushing out the door for work. Life.

This granola recipe has been my go to for a year now and I'm not sure why I haven't posted the recipe yet but I'm excited to share this with you because it is just so darn good. I usually make a huge batch of it so that it will last me for weeks and it's also one of those things that is easily transportable for work and will keep you full. The key players which makes this granola a little special than the rest is the coconut oil mixed with maple syrup. That combination just brings a certain kind of depth to the granola.

Try it out and you'll see what I mean.


Ingredients (Recipe adapted from Shutterbean: Yields: 6 cups)
3 cups rolled oats 
3/4 cup raw almonds 
1/4 cup cranberries
1/2 cup sweetened coconut shreds 
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted 
1/4 cup maple syrup 
1/8 cup brown sugar 
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, coconut shreds, chia seeds, coconut oil, maple syrup and stir. When thoroughly saturated, add the brown sugar on top and continue to stir. Season with salt and spread the granola in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.

2. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes making sure to stir granola evenly every 10 minutes or so. In the last 5 minutes, add and stir in the cranberries. Let granola cool and transfer to an air tight container. It will last up to two weeks.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend I....

1. Checked out the Bloomingdales Friends and Family sale (25% off almost all items ends today) and bought Nike kicks ($40!!) and the new Rayban clubmaster mirrored sunglasses. I'm so ready for spring/summer weather at this point. Warmer consistent temperatures is all I'm asking for, Mother nature.

2. Ate my weights worth in meat from Korean BBQ at Kogiya (located in Virginia). No big deal.

3. Have been eyeing the Ferragamo Vara bow flats/stack heels in red. They're such a iconic style and would be perfect for work but with they come with a hefty price tag. Hmmm...

4. Made "energy bites" so I can bring them with me to work when I get my afternoon sugar cravings. I've noticed that after 2pm I start to crave something sweet and thankfully found an alternative solution to my Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews snacking habit and instead have been reaching for these delicious bites that are made of dates, cashews, chia seeds, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and almond butter. These ingredients are literally all that's in these snacks and the energy bites are really good, especially when eaten right out of the fridge.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

NomNom: Raw Brownies

Raw brownies.

Sounds gross, I know. But it's not--in fact, it's the complete and utter opposite.


I made these three times now in the past couple of weeks and every time I make them they are devoured within a couple of days, sometimes two. I can't get over how good these are and that they just have 3 ingredients to them and that baking is not required.

Say what?

I admit I'll roll my eyes at things that are labeled gluten free, vegan, no refined sugar, blah blah blah and ironically this recipe falls under all those labels BUT it is legit good. The texture reminds me of the inside of fig newtons--chewy, sweet, and chocolatey just as brownies should be. 

Go on and try this recipe and let's discuss about how healthy food can actually taste really, really good.

Hope youre having a great week. Xo.

Ingredients (Adapted from Deliciously Ella: Yields 10 brownies)
2 cups of pitted medjool dates 
1 cup of pecans or walnuts
2-3 Tablespoons of raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons of maple syrup (optional if you want to make it sweeter but I did not add it)

1. Blend pecans or walnuts in food processor until they form crumbly texture then add dates and blend again.

2. Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup if using.

3. Place mixture in baking tray and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or freeze for 1 hour to allow them to set. Keep in fridge for freshness.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Jeans-Blank NYC
Tweed jacket-Zara
Sunglasses-Karen Walker

One of the things I love about fashion is that even when you bring unconventional styles together, it can still work. Clothes don't always have to match in print or be in the same color family and can still look cohesive, if that makes sense. I love mixing casual clothes with a bit of prim and proper like ripped jeans and a tweed jacket. Kind of cheeky, no?

Hope you're having a great week. Xo.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Working Girl

Photo courtesy of Sung Shin

Blouse-Ann Taylor (great fit, use code FRIENDS40 for 40% off)
Pearls-J.Crew Outlet (old)
Sunglasses-Karen Walker

Happy Monday! You were probably expecting my usual Monday Weekend Snapshot post but I'm going to skip that today because I completely forgot to post today's outfit that was supposed to be scheduled for Friday last week! I think that the first week at the new job tired me out and for some reason I thought I saved this post for Friday to publish, but I guess I didn't. Oops.

I wanted to post one of the outfits I wore to work last week to hopefully give some work wear inspiration to you. I've been on the look out to add more work pants to my wardrobe (I've had to return many work pants I ordered online due to the loose fit though it was labeled petite) and was curious about the Banana Republic Sloan Fit Ankle Pants after reading a review from fellow petite blogger, Extra Petite. My curiosity peaked after seeing that she wore it often so I ordered the pants online and was relieved to find out that no hemming is required and that the fit is slim, not too tight around the leg area, and the material has a stretch to them which helps with comfort. I do want to mention that the waist is slightly loose on me and it's a little baggy in the knee area so I might consider shrinking these in the dryer. Fingers crossed. 

I'd love to hear any suggestions you may have with buying work pants for petite ladies. Xo.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fresh Leather

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Leather jacket-Maje
Jeans-Blank NYC
Boots-Rag & Bone
Beanie-Hunter (old)

Hi everyone! Sorry that it's taken awhile to post an outfit for you but due to the recent travels and work transition, it's been a busy month. Regular outfit posts will hopefully resume starting next week! Starting a new job this week has been a bit overwhelming (but still exciting) due to a plethora of new information to familiarize myself with so please be patient with me while I try to adjust to a new schedule.

While I was in NYC last week, I stopped by Bloomingdales to look around and to take a little break from walking around in the bitter cold. One of the brands I browse through when shopping at Bloomies is Maje because of their slim fit and the effortlessly cool pieces they usually carry, like this leather jacket. The fit, all the cool zipper placements, and shoulder detailing promptly brought me to purchase it. Love. Personally, it's difficult to find a leather jacket that fits me well and that doesn't make me look too much like a biker. That's just not a cute look on me.

Hope you're having a wonderful week. So happy the weather's starting to warm up. Xo. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend I....

1. Savored my last morning weekend of being a bum with a cup of coffee from my favorite roasters, Stumptown. While I was in NYC last week, I happily restocked my depleted bean supply. I also finally got my hands on the latest issue of Maire Claire magazine because my face is included in a humble corner of their monthly beauty road show when they were visiting Washington, DC. Thanks for including me Marie Claire!

2. My dear friend invited a couple of girls over her new home for dinner. She cooked an extremely comforting and delicious chicken pot pie and made us ice-cream (we're talking dark chocolate coffee and a rosemary honey flavor) from a new dessert cookbook she bought (Jeni's Ice-Cream). This stuff is so dangerously good (sold at Whole Foods) and if it wasn't so dang pricey I would be eating this every other day. An evening spent with a home cooked meal, ice-cream, and hours of conversations with your girlfriends are simply the best.

3. Called it an early night on Sunday because I start my new job today. One of my favorite purchases from my recent trip to Paris is this personalized Goyard bag. I've been looking for a simple yet chic work tote and have had my eyes on a Goyard bag for awhile and after doing some research prior to the Paris trip, I read that prices are extremely lower in Paris. Long story short, I ended up purchasing this new beauty and love that it's monogrammed--it just makes it feel more personal and special.

4. Discovered a new healthy and mind blowing recipe for "raw brownies." I know..what does that even mean? It has just 3 ingredients (nuts, dates and cocoa powder) and no baking is required for it(!!) I was so surprised at how amazingly delicious it was that I ended up making it twice this weekend...partly due to the fact that I finished a batch all by myself. Oops. I'm usually weary about vegan/gluten free recipes after a bad experience with it but this dessert/snack is really good. Will post recipe soon.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NomNom: Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins

Last week I had this random craving for fresh blueberries (this might have been influenced from me longing for spring/summer weather) so took a trip to the grocery store to buy some.

I decided that one of the most disappointing things in life is when you look forward to eating something what you imagine to be really good and you take a bite and it tastes….flat. ULTIMATE LETDOWN. It's on the same level as when you are looking forward to eating something you know you have in your fridge (leftovers from a delicious meal, a really good slice of cake, etc) and you come home to find out that somebody already ate it. Yea, that's definitely happened to me and no, I'm still not bitter about it…..

So the blueberries I bought ended up being extremely tart and no where close to tasting sweet. I was so disappointed and was thisclose to tossing them in the trash but the practical side of me kicked in and thought why not use these to bake something. Sugar is always involved during baking so that would help these lame blueberries out, right?! Right. Enter my spirit animal, Barefoot Contessa.

These muffins are perfectly moist, light, and have just the right amount of sweetness to them. It has a cake like texture and could be used as the base for any muffins actually. I see chocolate chip muffins or strawberry muffins in the near future. Summer, where are you?

A good cup of coffee along with eating a couple of these blueberry muffins could really jump start you into a good morning so be sure to get on that train.

Hope you're having a great week. Xo.

Ingredients (Adapted from Barefoot Contessa) Yields: 20 muffins
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces (about 1 cup) of sour cream (I used light sour cream because that's all I had)
1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 half-pints blueberries, picked through for stems

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 16 paper liners in muffin pans or lightly spray muffin pans with cooking spray if not using liners.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, sour cream, and milk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. In another bowl, lightly coat blueberries with flour. This will prevent the blueberries from sinking.

3. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the batter and beat until just mixed. Fold in the blueberries carefully with a spatula and be sure the batter is completely mixed.

4. Scoop the batter into the prepare muffin pans filling each cup just over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned on top and a cake tester comes out clean.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wanderlust: Paris

Traveling to Paris the second time around was a different experience for me. On my first trip which was around 6 years ago, I did the typical tourist things such as going to the Louvre, spending the day at Versaille, climbing the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, and buying sandwiches for take away to eat and people watch at Luxemburg Garden. The itinerary was packed because I wasn't sure when the next time I'd be coming back. Since I was visiting my friend Mel this time around who was there for a month, and already conquering all those must see/do tourist  things, this was a much more relaxed and go with the flow kind of trip. Good times and missing Paris already. If you've never been, I highly recommend visiting, but during the warmer season. Enjoy the pics!

Taking in the city views of Pont Neuf and Philippe Starck chairs from the top floor of KONG bar/restaurant (same place in the SATC episode when Carrie met Aleksandr Petrovsky's ex-wife). View is amazing but cocktails are overpriced and the food was mediocre. 

Making a couple of trips to the Goyard flagship store to buy gifts for myself and loved ones;) The store is beyond chic and I highly recommend coming here if ever interested in Goyard products (or just to window shop) because the prices in Paris are way cheaper vs the US. Post on that coming soon. 

One of the most unexpected memorable meals I had in Paris at La Creperie de Josselin. I'm not a crepe fan by any means but Mel told me we should try this famous place she heard about from a French couple she sat next to on the plane that was known for their crepes. The menu boasts both savory and sweet crepes and the savory ones are called galettes because they're made of buckwheat flour so the edges are crispier and darker in color.  Apparently it's appropriate to eat crepes with apple cider so obviously we had to follow tradition even in the early afternoon;) We tried the sweet crepe as well and my feelings still haven't changed how I feel about it-still not the biggest fan of the thin soggy texture. I would come back for the galettes. Prepare to wait. Recommended by David Lebovitz which I'm sure helps with the popularity. 

Walking back to the flat and passing this ol' thing in the evening all lit up in its beauty. Casual.

If you're a macaron fan, definitely make stop at Maison Laudaree. A cup of hot chocolate and macarons totally hit the spot after a long day of walking around in the chilly weather. Do the macarons taste different from the ones at the US location? Nope--still delicious but no difference in my opinion. I also tried the macarons from Pierre Herme and taste wise, they were on the same level as Laudaree. 

Having steak and frites, obviously.

As well as indulging in many meals that involved escargot that were appropriately doused in butter and garlic. Delicious. 

I ate so much duck on this trip because…Paris.

Looking around and seeing these Paris flats. The view never gets old. So lovely.
Waking up and smelling fresh bread and pastries from boulangerie patisseries in every corner. Literally.

Picking up the gorgeous Japanese flavored (green tea, black sesame, etc) pastries from Sadaharu Aoki.
Feeling the love at Pont des Arts and admiring all the padlocks and engravings on the bridge.

Hope you enjoyed these little snippets from my Paris adventure. Pictures from London will be coming soon. Xo.