Friday, November 30

mascara on mascara on mascara

Until this year, I've never really been that into makeup. I'd buy whatever seemed necessary and went crazy with different kinds of eye shadows (resulting in many a mishaps). Now that I've matured (...okay that's a stretch), I've been trying out new products to find exactly what works for me. 

As a person who's into making the most of my best feature(s) while keeping my face natural and healthy and not taking more than 10 minutes to put it all on, these are the products I use on a daily basis that have proved to work well for me.

You might be wondering why four mascaras are featured. I know it's a little excessive and likely a little bit vain, but for me, mascara is the most important product. I've found it helpful and effective to use coats of different kinds of mascara for the best, longest, non-clumpiest lashes.


NARS Blush in Mata Hari
Bad Gal Lash mascara
Anna Sui "Follow Your Dreams"
NARS Illuminator in Super Orgasm

Thursday, November 29

protein salad

In the spirit of trying to be healthy during these feastly holiday times, I created this delicious and nutritious salad that's packed with protein. Hope you like it!


Ingredients:
chicken breasts, balsamic vinegar, apple, candied pecans, goat cheese,
rosemary, olive oil, onions and spinach (if you want to get really snazzy,
add a few pieces of bacon, too)

First, marinate chicken breasts in balsamic vinegar, rosemary and olive oil for several hours. Then, top with a little extra balsamic vinegar and roast in the oven (covered) on 350 degrees with chopped onions for 30 minutes, then uncovered until lightly browned and cooked inside.

For the salad, put spinach, candied pecans, apple cubes and goat cheese in a bowl. Once chicken is finished, top the salad with the chicken and use the juices from the chicken as the dressing for a warm and hearty meal-in-one. 

Wednesday, November 28

i feel like i'm going through a break up

an irrelevant but nonetheless tasty-lookin' photo from the san rafael farmers' market

There's really no other way to say/write it except that I've seriously sucked at blogging lately. To give myself a little credit, I have been going through a bit of a break up... with San Diego. Like I mentioned, I'm moving to the Bay Area after five years of calling San Diego home. I'm excited for a more motivated and fast-paced city, one I've always adored, but still so much of me feels like I'm letting go of something great; like I'm giving up on a difficult relationship... though the relationship isn't with a guy, it's with a city.

I think it'll be a good thing, though. A fresh start where I don't have to pay rent for a while and where I can concentrate on myself and my career... whatever that may be. I know I should be excited and hopeful but instead, I'm anxious and confused and really just plain scared. Mostly of failing. But isn't that what holds people back in the first place? Fear? And isn't overcoming the fear the first step in being successful? I'm hoping that's the path I'm on.

One of my family's Thanksgiving traditions is to go around the table and say what you're grateful for. While family, friends and education were popular answers, what I found myself truly grateful for opportunity. How blessed am I to have the opportunity to succeed; to have a family who will bail me out of my failures and cheer me on regardless; to have causes and hobbies I'm passionate about (almost to a fault) when most of the world might never ever know the giddiness and satisfaction I feel when my writing is published, when I make a small difference in the life of another or when I get praised for this blog.

I think the worst part of this whole transitional phase, granted I have been frantically packing and trying to sell a majority of my possessions (anyone want to buy some furniture?), is that I've abandoned my dear blog, which just a few months ago was the number one love of my life. This blog makes me happier than most things and gives me sense of productivity and accomplishment even in a time of unemployment. So why did I stop writing? Even if just for a few weeks, it hasn't seemed right. As of now, I'm vowing to myself and to you all (if anyone is still reading) to make this space a priority.

Thanks for sticking with me, blog world! Good material coming your way... I promise.

Monday, November 19

a quick quote

image courtesy of revelment

{Tehe. I like this. Hope everyone has a fantastic Monday!}

Wednesday, November 14

things i'm afraid to tell you part two

You can read part one here.


I tear up every time I hear "Your Hand in Mine" by Explosions in the Sky.
[it reminds me of growing up in Texas]

Seeing Dr. Dre at Coachella this past year was one of the highlights of my life.

I'm a food hoarder and I've recently realized that it stems from the fancy lunches my mom used to pack for me when I was growing up and that every other kid at my lunch table would ask for a bite.

I'm unemployed [it's a long story] and I have no idea what this next chapter will hold. Hence all of the trips I've been taking.

I'm moving to the Bay Area [SURPRISE!] at the beginning of December.
Job leads in the editorial world are much appreciated.

In the past year, I feel like I've really learned to stand up for myself and not settle. I feel good about that.

I've recently developed a major love for make-up. Post on my favorite products coming soon!

There are few pieces of clothing I enjoy wearing more than my bathrobe.

I have three pairs of moccasins.

This is the first year in about five or six years that I haven't left the country and I'm dying to get out. Anyone want to accompany me on a trip?

I've never eaten a Twinkie.

Tuesday, November 13

Monday, November 12

things i dig but definitely don't need

As the holidays approach, I find myself scouring the Internet for potential presents for my family and friends... and of course some things to fill my own Christmas wish list. How cute is number four, though? An artsy bottle opener that comes in several different styles! If any of my friends are reading this, don't be surprised if it's your Christmas present this year!


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Friday, November 9

a bit of chicago

Friends, if it didn't get so freezing cold in Chicago, I think I'd be just dying to live there. Between the picturesque brick buildings, the perfect fall leaves and the incredible food, I was in heaven.





As one of my best friends and an epic tour guide, AJ (second from the left) took us to the top of the Trump Tower for a beer, Portillos for quintessential Chicago noms, Chicago Bagel Authority for probably the best bagel ever (over 80 bagel sandwiches on their menu!), Farmhouse for our special dinner out and of course a walk around Bucktown/Wicker Park... my dream neighborhood. Chicago, I love you and I will return (when it's a bit warmer).

Thursday, November 8

things i've learned from my mom

In honor of my mom's birthday today, I've decided to share with you some of the most important and valuable pearls of wisdom I've gotten from my dear mother over the years. As a mother who's been the most understanding and non-judgmental (most of the time) person in my life for my whole life, I hope she gasp reads my blog for once and enjoys this... see Mom, I was listening, even when I was the most awful teenager and it didn't seem like it. Happy Birthday, Mom!

[Please note: this post is adapted from a series on Laura's blog.]

mom and i at our cooking class in bangkok, thailand last year. 
i know it's shocking from the information below that we aren't 500 pounds.

Learn how to cook and cook well. Food always brings people together.
Learn how to sew. It'll save you money.
Be selfless.
(My mom is the most selfless person I know.)
Sometimes, you just need make fudge.
Nothing beats lying on the couch drinking iced tea and watching the Food Network for hours.
Don’t text and drive.
You can never have too many sayings or family traditions.
Chocolate cake with chocolate icing always always beats vanilla.
You should always invest in a little black dress.
Don’t overpluck; someday, you’ll embrace those furry caterpillar-things above your eyes.
(I think this day has finally come.)
Pay yourself first (as in, always put money in a savings account). 
Don’t spend money you don’t have.
When it comes to guys, don’t be too available. Also don’t make them a priority when they don’t make you one.
If you cooked, you don't have to do the dishes.
Don’t buy your kids Barbies; it portrays an unrealistic body image for little girls to live up to.
(This one makes me laugh; she never ever bought me a Barbie and I'm okay with with my small chest haha)
Families that eat together, stay together.
If you can’t sleep, read a book and have some milk… maybe a cookie, too.
Start putting vasoline under your eyes as soon as you turn 18. 
You won’t have wrinkles until you’re at least 60.
"To each their own."

Tuesday, November 6

inspired by locals: tim from the donkeys

One of my favorite parts of living in North Park is that no matter what local business you frequent, you always seem to meet the coolest people. On a few particular occasions, I crossed paths with Tim from The Donkeys at our favorite coffee stand... ever... and after casually chatting with him and listening to  his bands' amazing music (on repeat), I knew we needed to be friends. Embarrassingly enough, I hadn't heard of The Donkeys until I met Tim. I wish I had. But in all honesty, they're my perfect band: a mix of chill and relaxing sounds with an oldies kind of vibe. In one word, their music is timeless.


How did The Donkeys come to be?
We've all known each other from high school. We're from Orange County and Sam and I went to the same high school. We were all in bands for years and shared a practice space. Eventually all the bands broke up and so the people who were left kept jamming and The Donkeys were formed.

What has been your proudest moment thus far in your career with The Donkeys?
When we got a song on Lost. The producer contacted us; there's a ficticous band throughout the series and he heard one of our songs and he loved it. So we rerecorded it to make it more "Lost-centric" and it was really exciting! It felt really cool. Also, last summer we were on tour with the Hold Steady. They were a lot bigger than us and the crowd was great in DC. It was cool to have a room that full of people excited to see us. And it made me realize that I want that crowd.

What artists do you look up to?
I was raised on David Bowie; he was a big influence on me. Same with the Rolling Stones. And I love Brian Eno; I spent a lot of time buying records that he was on or that he made.

What's the biggest struggle you and the band have faced as musicians?
I'd love to make a living making music but I'm still forced to have a day job. It's hard. I work every night on the weekends when I'm not playing a show and I work two jobs to support the one job that doesn’t make any money. I told myself I'd do it until it didn’t make sense anymore but it still makes sense because each record has been better than the last. The new record has some of my favorite songs thus far. I like the direction that it's going on.

As a band, we weirdly didn’t have to struggle with the usual touring troubles. A friend needed a backup and opening band so he took us with him and it opened doors for us. Since we were touring, we could get to everyone and play for them. Everything fell into place. But there are four of us, all creatively in control and trying to make decisions and we're always 50/50. I can see how a solo career might be easier though I've never thought of going solo. I like collaborating; I like making music with these guys.

How would you say The Donkeys' music has progressed?
When you listen, there's a bit of a progression from the previous albums but right now, it's going in the same direction. It has a little more of a cohesive vibe and energy throughout. It feels “beachy” and we sound like southern California. 



Your album art is pretty awesome. Tell us about it!
This is one of the things that we "fight" over! The four of us trying make a decision on the art for our albums. Anthony is a graphic artist and we're all aesthetically inclined and want our own say. But anyways! We hired someone this time named Tony Millionaire who's done some comic strips and graphic novels .

What are your (and The Donkeys) long term goals?
I really want to get to Europe on the next record; it's gotta happen. We have label representation over there so we'd hopefully start in London or somewhere in Spain. 

What can we look forward to from The Donkeys in the future?
We're almost done with the newest record. I'd say we're 99.9 percent done recording it. We just need to finish some tracking and mix it.

If you had 24 hours to show an out-of-towner around San Diego, where would you take them?
Definitely coffee at Roast Coach or Coffee & Tea Collective. I go to Influx a lot… they make all their own pastries, so maybe there too. Mitch's Seafood in Point Loma for lunch... Whistle Stop for some drinks and depending on who is visiting, I'd take them to Hamilton's... though I'm kind of into cider right now. If someone cool is playing at the Casbah, I'd take them there; it's quintessential San Diego. Finally, I'd take them to see the Star of India (a ship) and then we'd stop at Mona Lisa for an eggplant parmesan sandwich or a caprese sandwich… those are some of my favorite past times.

"Like" them on Facebook.
Listen to their music (which is also on Spotify).
Do whatever you have to do... but The Donkeys will be your new favorite band!

Monday, November 5

insta-lately

Recently, I've really taken a liking to Instagram. For the longest time, I couldn't figure it out... but now I kind of love it! This is what my life's been looking like lately... San Francisco and Chicago with some of my favorite people and lots of snacks. Life is good. 

Let's be Insta-Pals! 
@AllieSafran