My Favorite Brands RN

Monday, June 23, 2014

Okay, people, this is going to be my last post until Raz and I return from our honeymoon mid-July. BTW, OMG I'M GETTING MARRIED WHAT.

Crazy major life moments aside, I have been obsessed with all these things to the point that I thought they were worth sharing. I will probs do little roundups like these from time to time - they will likely be random and run the gamut from books to fashion to beauty to BBQ.

First thing's first - Roy Choi is the realist. I first started thinking he was awesome when he appeared as one of Anthony Bourdain's local tour guides on No Reservations. Then I watched him guest judge Top Chef. When I heard he was essentially a protege of Tony's and he was writing a book, I got it for Raz for Christmas. Raz didn't read it on my schedule, so a couple weeks ago, I decided to. 

Because my time and attention span are now terribly limited, I have a hard time getting into books the way I used to - to the point that I devour them, get lost in them. L.A. Son did that for me. It goes back and forth between Roy's life and his recipes. I love its conversational tone. I love the language. I love the fun takes on classic recipes from a bunch of different cultures. Go get it. Experience it. Eat it up.

I fully plan to take Raz to LA in March for his birthday to hit all five of Roy's restos. I believe in us.

Roy's my boi!
I've mentioned A Kitchen Box before, and it just keeps getting better and better. I tweeted at them how cool it would be if they sent a BBQ box. They responded "Funny you should mention that..." and a few days later, their June GRILL BOX arrived! Great minds?

Letterpress recipes are standard. Cedar grilling planks included for all of Raz's failed salmon-fishing attempts and eventual Costco fish purchase. 
If you could just smell the hazelnut rub and black garlic salt. We were licking and dipping our fingers more than we should. Good thing we're getting married so it's cool to double dip. 
EVERYTHING A Kitchen Box curates is quality. Raz waits for me to get home to open them each month and he probably shouldn't because I try to shove him out of the way and open them myself until he firmly reminds me it's his present, not mine, and then tortures me as he slowly, painstakingly unpacks each item and examines it. Torture. 

Can't wait for next month's box! 

Outside the kitchen, I've finally found the solution to two of my problems: my mascara promiscuity and second-day hair. 

My BFF CWoo told me about the Dry Bar Detox Dry Shampoo when I was visiting her in SF the other weekend. Okay, I was going through her medicine cabinet and sampling her products like I always do and she was like "Yeah, I really like that one!" I tested it and loved it, too. It smells awesome (like - really good - similar to Oribe products) and - the kicker - doesn't make me smell my hair oils AT. ALL. That's been my main frustration with dry shampoos - I hate smelling my hair oils. And I can't deal with gummy-feeling dry shampoos either. My hair is fine and I always wear it up when it's dirty, but this stuff might just make me attempt to wear it dirty and down...maybe for half a day. TBD.

In my perpetual hunt for the perfect mascara, I asked the lady at Sephora when we were hunting down the dry shampoo what her favorite separating, volumizing, non-clumping mascara of the moment was. She led me straight to this YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Clis Babydoll. It's been really amazing. Great, small brush, minimal clumping and excellent volume. I have experienced a tiny bit of smudging, but nothing my typical "wardrobing" (layering mascaras) can't fix. Besides, gold tube. Totally luxe. Sold.

Gimme gimme gimme. Even got my mom hooked. 
I truly believe your phone is one of your best accessories - especially mine since it's pretty much stuck to my hand. I'm like that kid on Little Giants who put tar on his hands to be able to hold onto the football, only minus the tar...and the football. #realtalk.

Enter Kidogo Kidogo.

Kidogo Kidogo ("little by little" in Swahili) is a great one-for-one company with the goal of helping to lift the financial barrier between women in Tanzania and mobile technology. Only 36% of women in Tanzania have access to mobile technology and the biggest cause of that is the initial investment in hardware. More than just communication devices, cell phones are used as flash lights, calculators, watches, cameras and radios. Women in Tanzania who have them report feeling safer than women who don't. That part really gets me. We all deserve to feel safe.

Because cell phones in Tanzania are pre-paid and credits are sold at small bodegas, Kidogo Kidogo has created a way for us to contribute to helping solve the dearth in mobile access. Their iPhone cases are designed by African artist Sarah Markes and feature iconic African wildlife - when we buy a case, Kidogo Kidogo buys a phone (or phone credits) to give to a Tanzanian woman who couldn't otherwise afford one. Now that's something I can get behind.

Loving the little details on these cases. 
Look good, do good. We all win. 
 Check them out on social, too:
 Thank you for your patience. I will return renewed, tanned and with MRS degree in-hand.

Kittens and Dirt

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The older I get, the more country I'm becoming. I love, love, love Seattle, but when I'm in the middle of nowhere, I feel free. Completely at home. Ready to get down and dirty...okay, maybe not dirty, but I could maybe get down and watch the grasshoppers. Because grasshoppers = summer. I am also totally open to watching other people get dirty while I sit in the shade and swirl a chilled, dry wine. I've grown up a lot since I dug caterpillars out of the mud in my backyard. I choose to own it.

Since I started this little space on the Internets six months ago (and even before that - forever, basically), I've been obsessed with taking pics in the wide open spaces of Eastern Washington. Raz and I take a lot of road trips over the mountains and I find crazy romance in the rolling wheat fields and working farmsteads of my childhood. We don't often pull over - we like to get where we're going - but I've started to make us stop and breathe it all in. These are the places of true, unobstructed beauty. They make me revel.

I should probably also note that our AC is busted, so we were sweaty little piglets whose swass needed a breather. Pulling over was necessary.

Nevertheless!
Recently grew a Kim K. booty. Don't know where that came from. Gotta love those roads to nowhere.
Don't mind my sunburn.
It's quite possible this feeling has a lot to do with my dad and my commitment to #YOLO, but it's also highly likely that age and stage in life have something to do with it. In just over two weeks, I will be married (!!!). In a few years, I plan to have at least one baby on my hip with - hopefully - Raz's nose. My nose is fine, I just like his better. 

I digress. 

Those huge, sweeping sprinklers get me every time.
The point is I'm thinking a lot about the life I'm creating and how much dirt it's going to involve. And kittens. My childhood was all about dirt and kittens. Between my parents and grandparents, it was spent half in the city and half in the country. I'd sit in a lawn chair in our backyard shelling pees with my mom. I'd run across hay bales with my cousins. I'd walk to the post office and retrieve my grandparents' mail, getting stopped there and back by people who didn't technically know me, but who knew I looked just like "Carol Ann." Then we'd have to have a conversation about it. Then I'd go to the general store and charge candy to my grandparents' account and not tell them. Ahhh, the beauty of a roaming, boundless childhood where I rode my bike everywhere and devoured YA novel after YA novel. 

I don't think I could live without happy hour and busyness, but I also couldn't live without the ability to look at dirt and pet kittens. The struggle. I do think it's possible to have both and I know I'll find a way to achieve it. In the meantime, I'm going to start pulling over more for fields and do a crazy amount of respectful trespassing. 

#YOLO.


The McMansions of Nassau County

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I was in Long Island for work last week and decided to explore my surroundings a bit. I've mentioned before it can be hard to be away from home, so while I travel I try to make the most of my time by taking myself on little adventures/getting lost and having to figure out how to get back to my hotel before my phone dies. It's a little anxiety-ridden game I play with myself. 

Even though Long Island isn't far from NYC, boy is it different! Architecturally and big-tree-wise, it's much more established than the west coast is (obvi), but when I was walking around I felt like I was back on Queen Anne just moseying down the middle of the street oohing and ahhhing over the houses. There were a few ladies in visors who looked at me sideways before saying hi, but that's fine. I was a space invader in a neon tshirt and yoga pants taking pics of their crazy houses and wiping my sweatstache. I'll own it. I have a special vengeance against subdivisions, so anything with history and - as they say on House Hunters, "character" - really gets me. 

What's even cuter is Nassau County (the richest county in New York, natch), is sprinkled with TONS of villages. Villages! LIKE IN EUROPE. Herewith, my favorite houses from the Villages of Kensington and Great Neck Estates. Ain't no Craftsmen (Craftsmans?) in these here parts!


It's like I walked into Hansel and Gretel's hood.


So Resto Hardware right nah. 


Love that Cape Cod. Makes me think of so many SJP and/or Ben Stiller movies with no real reason.


Brb, gotta get my horse to tie up here while I go in for dinner. WHAT. 


It Takes Two, anyone? Just me? K.


Dead Poets Society on its own block? Had to try to scale someone else's fence to get the width of this place in the pic, which wasn't easy, especially because said fence had spikes on the top. 

Nassau County also gave me my first Dunkin Donuts experience. My mind was racing through all sorts of movies these houses reminded me of, so I was def the girl in the neon tshirt snapping pics and knowingly giggling to herself. HOWEVER, while I was, let's call it...an "exotic" sight, there is a huge dearth of homelessness in Nassau County, so I'm confident I didn't scare too many people, especially because most weren't home. I know this because they all had dry cleaning hanging from their front doors. 

Until next time, Long Island!

Brand Next Door: Fashion Project

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

If you're a shopaholic like me, your closet is likely exploding with clothes, many of which you haven't worn since 2008 *cough* my original "real person" interview jacket. About twice a year, I take a few overflowing bags to consignment and anxiously watch them evaluate the things I was so excited to buy and now regret. I take as much or more to the Boys & Girls Club donation bins across the street from my apartment. Yep, super convenient. 

Not anymore. Fashion Project has come along and made it all so much easier - I send them my clothes, I pick the charity I want their proceeds to go to, FP sends me a $40 Nordstrom gift card for every five qualifying items and we both do good.

So many recent reports say Millenials - who hold much of America's disposable income - want to be connected to each other, to good causes and to awesome fashion. Fashion Project accomplishes all that. If you want to get Nordstrom GCs just for donating your awesome, gently-used stuff to people who will love it just as much as you do and pick the charities who will get 55% of its proceeds, I encourage you to check out Fashion Project. It's easier than selling through a phone app (no bartering!) and less awkward than over-using your peripheral vision to supervise someone checking your Trina Turk for lint and wrinkles. Real talk.

I'll be ordering my pre-paid bag...as soon as we're done with the wedding :). 

Who can resist Nordy bucks?

Fashion Project is social, too:

Hope you have a sunny week. I'm traveling to the east coast for work again and will be slow-posting until after the wedding festivities conclude, so thanks for bearing with me as I finish up the pre-reqs for my MRS degree ;). 

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