The Art of Wallowing

Everyone has bad days. After all life is all about the peaks and valleys, the highs and the lows. What I find acceptable completely necessary is to wallow in it (high five to those that got the Gilmore Girls reference). I’ve found the best way to do this is to read a good book, get a good laugh, and indulge in a guilty pleasure.

A Good Book

I absolutely love starting a new book. Even more, a good book is synonymous with comfort and escape, two perfect things when you are not having the greatest of days. My current read, The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain, is exactly that. The Paris Wife, set in the 1920s, tells the story of the writer Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage to wife Hadley Richardson. Perhaps it is my last post, my love of historical fiction or literature that drove to me download this book. It is a great look back at what life was like the 20s and particularly in Paris: plenty of jazz and many decadent parties. Not a bad way to escape, right?

A Good Laugh

Modern Family is one of the best shows on television and they have the awards to prove it. I became hooked when it first came out and proceeded to get everyone I know hooked on it as well. It consistently makes me laugh week after week. Whether new or old episodes, I can always rely on the show to give me a really good laugh to snap me out of my funk.

A Guilty Pleasure

I discovered Pocky on a whim while at an Asian grocery store a few years back and since then I’ve been hooked. The chocolate with almonds are my favorite, but I’m not picky. Another of my guilty pleasures is the television show Revenge. I’m obsessed with the show and the pretty scenes and people serve as a wonderful distraction.

What are some of your tried and true methods to getting over a bad day?

A French-Inspired Evening

First stop: Paris Baguette 

So many delicious pastries to chose from.

A croissant, blueberry cream cheese pastry, and a cake donut

Next stop: Crepevine

The colorful menu written on chalkboards

The California crepe (bell peppers, avocado, sauteed onions, and cheese with chipotle sauce and salsa) with a side of potatoes and salad. True confession: I will order anything that has avocados in it.

Al this French-ness is making me wish I was walking on the Champs- Elysees at this moment. I guess downtown Palo Alto will have to do for now. I can’t complain too much when it looks like this.

I think trees should be lit up all year round (and not just during the holidays). Don’t you?

City love

I love cities. I do enjoy nature, but at heart I am a total city girl. I love the skyscrapers, the bustling energy, the massive amounts of people, and of course all the amazing things to do/eat. I have to say that San Francisco is one of my favorite cities. I may be a bit partial considering I’m from the Bay Area, but I’ve been to NYC, London, Mumbai..I enjoyed them all, but felt that they were too busy.

I know that you are thinking – aren’t cities supposed to be too busy? Maybe they are. But I love San Francisco for its mix of busyness, yet still maintaining that casual, relaxed vibe about the Bay Area that I love so much.

20120207-160525.jpgPretty pillars.

20120207-160206.jpgCable cars: A San Francisco staple

Adorable foam design on my Blue Bottle Coffee Mocha

20120207-160113.jpgDressed for a dreary day

20120207-160431.jpgCute sidewalk coffee shop in the middle of a bustling street

What is your favorite city? Why do you like it so much?

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I’m not a sports person at all. In fact, the only sports players I know are those that used to or are married/dating celebrities, for example: Lamar Odom, Reggie Bush, Kris Humphries, Tony Parker, etc. But the one thing that excites me about the Super Bowl is the opportunity to bake.

This year I made chocolate chip banana bread. I followed this recipe with some modifications:  using wheat flour instead of all purpose, egg whites instead of eggs, and throwing in some chocolate chips for good measure. The end result was delicious.

Tip: Warm up the bread so that the chocolate chips are slightly melting and pair with a hot cup of coffee/hot cocoa! Bliss.

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Happy Monday

This was one of those weekends that was defined by food. Whether it was making chocolate banana bread (recipe forthcoming) and salsa to eating to my heart’s content during the Super Bowl (you gotta love leggings). It was amazing – the food, not the game.

My favorite parts were the extended Hunger Games trailer (here) and the commercials of course. Which one was your favorite?

Hope you have a wonderful week!

(All images courtesy Pinterest.)

From Rags to Riches

As a follow up to my Blogger to Business post, I just wanted to share this article from Women’s Wear Daily. One of my favorite bloggers, Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere, will now be Estee Lauder’s digital and social media guest editor.

This is incredible to me because Schuman used to be a sales associate at Teen Vogue, and is now a soon to be published author and working with one of the most popular brands in beauty all because of her blog! She also is speaking at SXSW and Independent Fashion Bloggers conference in NYC. All this because of a blog she started one day, highlighting her favorite things, food and fashion.

Why her and not any other blogger? Why is she the one blog that I have to read every morning, no matter what? Is it her simple writing style, or the amazing pictures she takes, or the creative ideas she has? Whatever it is, it’s certainly working for her, and now Estee Lauder. I’ve never owned anything from the brand, but could be convinced to buying something. (True confession: She is the reason I have the iPhone case that I do.)

She is well on her way to creating her own Cupcakes and Cashmere brand and I have a feeling that this partnership is just the tip of the iceberg on what is to come. I look forward to saying I remember the time when Schuman was just a blogger!

Hot or Cold or Both?

I really love it when completely opposite food items are paired together (within reason, of course) to yield one delectable result. Some of my favorites include pear and gorgonzola pizza and the pizookie.

Another dish that tops that list is fried banana and ice cream.

I know it sounds not very appetizing, but I urge you it’s worth a try. You can find it at a Thai or Malaysian restaurant. The combination of the hot, crunchy banana with the cold, soft ice cream is heavenly. Another one of my favorites is mango fried ice cream.

Do you enjoy the mix of hot and cold desserts? Why or why not?