Thursday, June 28, 2012

Home Improvement

Decorating your home can be time consuming and expensive. I usually find myself adding one new piece at a time, or slowly improving a corner of my apartment that needs some TLC.

I recently purchased this lamp from Cost Plus World Market, of all places. You can mix and match their shades and stands, which is really convenient.




 I thought the owl was cute :)







I bought this kitschy antique dish last summer, but never quite knew what to do with it. Then it hit me - this would be a great place to put my frequently worn jewelry. Now it's neatly organized in one place.



 Have you made any home improvements lately?

-Lauren

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Beach Town Living

This past Saturday, I spent the day in Venice and Santa Monica. It's been so nice and sunny here in Southern California, so it was the perfect weekend to spend outside. Venice is such a unique mix of people and places. It's unlike anywhere else in Los Angeles. Santa Monica, which is right next to Venice, is such a beautiful beach town. I love walking along the ocean, and spending time at the Third Street Promenade. Check out some pictures from my weekend:


The Venice boardwalk. There is never a dull moment here!



One of the street bands performing



View of the ocean in Santa Monica



Main Street in Santa Monica. Great shops and restaurants.


What did you do this weekend?

-Lauren

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Top 10 List

Today is the first day of summer, which I'm so excited about. I usually don't make "things I must do" types of lists, but this year I'm feeling inspired. It's my goal to do most, if not all, of the things on this list before fall comes along. Here are my top 10, in no particular order:


10. Go see a concert at the Hollywood bowl. This is an amazing outdoor concert venue. You can see pretty much any performance here.


(image via)

 9. Go to more farmers markets in L.A. You can't beat fresh produce and food stands.

8. Figure out what to do with this wall in my apartment. It's so sad looking!


7. Take a yoga class. I've never taken one before, surprisingly.

6. Do a D.I.Y. project from Pinterest, like these mason jar labels

5. Eat more fruits and veggies. I'm starting to discover how much I love raspberries (how did I avoid them for so long?!)


4. Take a road trip to Santa Barbara. It's a beautiful town along the central California coast.

3. Start practicing guitar again. I've been playing on and off since I was 16, but haven't played much this year.

2. Watch the HBO series Game of Thrones. I've only seen one episode, but it kept me hooked.

1. Bake these tiramisu cupcakes that I posted a while back on my blog. I'm getting hungry just looking at them.



What's on your summer to-do list?

-Lauren

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Basics: Tank Tops

I love tank tops for their versatility. They can be paired with a comfy cardigan, worn underneath a sheer top, or simply worn on its own on a nice sunny day. I recently bought this bright orange tank from Gap (the photos don't do the color justice), and I love it. It's super comfortable and the color is really rich and vibrant.





 Try pairing a bright tank with a neutral color sweater (like this one from Banana Republic) and a layered necklace.



 I love handmade jewelery.



Finish it off with some gold flats (Just got these from Lucky Brand!)



-Lauren

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe

Trying to prepare a balanced meal can be difficult, especially if you're busy. One of my favorite meals to cook is an Asian-inspired dish with some of my favorite foods, mushrooms and asparagus. It always comes out tasting great, and it's easy to make too. Try serving this dish with brown rice, which is a healthier and equally tasty substitute to white rice.


 Chicken stir fry with asparagus, mushrooms, and onion


Ingredients (makes 2 servings):

-3 skinless chicken breasts
-1 red onion
-1/2 package of crimini mushrooms
-1/2 package of shiitake mushrooms
-1 bunch of medium sized asparagus
(Some grocery stores like Ralphs and Trader Joe's sell these already cut and prepared, to save time)
-Sesame Oil
-Soy Sauce
-Cooking spray
-Brown Rice (as much as you want!)

Steps:

1. Prepare your ingredients: Peel and slice onion. Wash and pat dry mushrooms, then cut into slices of medium thickness. Cut off white ends of asparagus, then proceed to cut into about 1 inch pieces. Dice chicken into small pieces on a separate cutting board. Begin cooking the rice if you're using a rice cooker.

2. Heat up pan over medium heat on the stove. Coat pan with cooking spray to prevent food from sticking. Place chicken in pan and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Do not cook all the way through. Then, remove chicken from pan and set aside.

3. Next, add veggies and mushrooms to pan. Cover pan for about 5 minutes, until asparagus are crisp green. Uncover and cook for another 5-7 minutes over medium heat. Add in chicken slightly after you start cooking without the cover. Also add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and a 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil at this time. Stir well.




4. Add another tablespoon of soy sauce and 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil towards the very end.

5. Serve chicken, veggies and mushrooms with brown rice, and enjoy!


Close up shot. Yum!


What's your favorite meal to prepare?

-Lauren

Monday, June 11, 2012

Food + Music Weekend

This weekend, I visited my parents and celebrated Father's Day a week early. It's always nice being in Orange County and getting out of L.A. for a couple of days. One of the highlights was stumbling upon a BBQ & Music Festival, which was really fun. People sure take their barbeque seriously here. Different teams set up tents for the competition, and festival goers got to sample the different food, from pulled pork to beef brisket. Check out some photos from my weekend:


Window shopping guitars at Guitar Center



Delicious Mahi-mahi salad with soba noodles for lunch



 One of the many BBQ rigs set up at the festival



All of the competition teams had creative names like this one



A sampling of pulled pork from one of the tents before we put BBQ sauce on it - really good!


What did you do over the weekend?

-Lauren

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Color Pairing: Grey & Yellow

I love the combination of yellow and grey, whether it's fashion or home decor. It's unexpected, but goes so well together. It's also very popular for summer - perfect for the warm weather. Not sure how to pull off this look? Try accessorizing grey and yellow with tan wedges and gold jewelry, like in this outfit that I put together:


Collage made using Polyvore



 What do you think of this color combination?

-Lauren

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Week in Photos

The past week has been really nice in LA. The warm, sunny weather keeps reminding me that summer is just around the corner. I've been busy being out and about - cooking, exercising, and exploring new places in the city. Here are some photos that I took over the last week:


Freshly made salted caramel ice cream from Sweet Rose Creamery. I crave this all the time...



 My new Clinique chubby stick that I bought in NYC. I love how this sheer balm adds a tint of color and keeps my lips moisturized.


My new go-to snack: edamame from Trader Joe's



Coffee with almond milk, made with my Keurig machine



My pointe shoes. Ballet class is the best stress reliever.


What did you do this past week?

-Lauren


Friday, June 1, 2012

Light Appeal

Here in Los Angeles, I've been seeing exposed light bulb fixtures everywhere, especially at restaurants and bars. I'm loving this design look, which you can apply to your own home or patio. It has a very stripped down, natural feel to it and adds a lot of character to any space. Check out these great light fixture ideas:


I love how they used different sized light bulbs in this kitchen
(image via)



These hanging lights look like stars against the midnight blue walls
(image via)



Who knew one light bulb could make such a statement?
(image via)



I'm obsessed with this chandelier! Check out Urban Chandy on Etsy


What do you think of this design look?

-Lauren

 
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