Sunday, July 28, 2013

TRAVEL | ace hotel + swim club

I finally got to editting some photos from last weekend's Palm Springs getaway for Kelly's 19th birthday. We drove out to Palm Springs early sunday morning to the { Ace Hotel + Swim Club } and returned the next afternoon. It was a short stay, but sometimes you just have to get out of town and treat yourself to a nice relaxing vacation. We booked a standard room with a King bed and a outdoor patio attachment. It was ridiculously hot out in the desert so we spent most of the morning hanging out by the pool and the later part of the afternoon lounging in the room listening to the music, playing games and napping.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

OUTFIT | nike free run+ 3.0

Ok ok, I'm about 2 years behind but Kelly finally talked me into purchasing my very first pair of running shoes. I know the 5.0 came out recently, but I wasn't too crazy about the design, so ultimately I went with the 3.0.

So comfy!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

PERSONAL | remembering my friend, jojo

This is my dear friend Jojo (pictured in the middle), and she was an incredible person.

Even though we only spoke with each other occasionally, Jo inspired me every. single. day. She was completely dedicated to her passions and strove to live each day as she wanted to--never allowing anyone to tell her any different. She loved food and wine, music and dance. She was always so sophisticated and elegant. I was always especially envious of her talents in the kitchen: she cooked the most amazing dishes and hosted the coolest Manhattan rooftop parties (resulting in me always asking my self why? WHY? don't I live in New York already?). 

Speaking of, I would never forget my very first trip to New York. It was not long after she had settled into her lovely apartment in LES, she had me over. It was my spring break of 2010. For that whole week Jo took me to all her favorite eateries around the city. I couldn't have asked for a better host and guide. Jo had a talent for finding the best 'hole-in-the-wall' places and she always knew the best dishes to order. My fondest memory was the morning we beelined for the restaurant in Chinatown for a bowl of steaming hot charsiu fan. Best $2.50 I've ever spent!

In many ways that trip changed me. Jo taught me a lot of things: she taught me about food, about travel, and most importantly, about being fearless in a brave new world. Because of her I am not so terrified to be who I am; some unemployed 23 year old with hardly a direction in life, because, as she often reminds us, that "you should still feel empowered when you have everything- and - when you have nothing". Our worth as a person shouldn't be branded by our job or education, but by our perseverance. And Jo lived by that, and she had the most amazing life.

I will never be able to fully put in words how much Jo meant to me, but what I do know is that I will miss her dearly. It breaks my heart into a million pieces knowing that she's left the world. I hope she has finally found peace in Heaven. And tonight, I'll say a prayer of thanks that I was blessed enough to have a wonderful person like Jo for a friend. She made the world a better place.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

PERSONAL | birthday soirée


Every summer my friends and I like to break out the bbq equipment and throw a big potluck at my place. This year we thought a BBQ would be the perfect way to celebrate { Kelly's } 19th birthday (her actual birthday is on the 22nd, but I got something special planned for her next week. Stay tuned). So as the biggest foodie of our group, it was only natural that { Moises } handled all things food. I on the other hand planned everything else (and dessert).

Anyways, the party turned out great! Moises was a wonderful co-host and cook for us this evening, and the food everyone brought was delicious. But I think tonight's winner was the fig margarita cocktail Moises put together. I thought it was the perfect summer drink, sweet and refreshing. Just mash some figs, add tequila, grapefruit juice and limeade and mix it altogether. Original recipe and inspiration from { Beatrice Valenzuela }.

My contribution to the potluck was a watermelon granita. It's a sort of Italian ice dessert. I had made one last summer and it was a hit! Traditional granita flavors are  lemon, orange, jasmine, coffee, almond, or mint but watermelons are in season right now so I picked up a medium sized one yesterday and got to blending! What's great about this dessert is that it takes little to no time to make (as long as you don't mind the mess) and it's super light (hardly any sugar at all)!

Watermelon Granita//

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
lemon zest
mint leaves (optional)

001_In a pan combine sugar and water and set it over low heat. Stir until sugar has melted and let the syrup cool
002_Cube a whole watermelon (about 5-6 cups worth) and blend in batches in a food processor until smooth and pour into a wide baking dish
003_Mix in half the simple syrup to the pureed fruit. Taste and add more syrup if needed. Then add the zest of one lemon to the mixture
004_Place baking dish in the freezer for an hour. Remove and using a fork, rake over the mixture creating flaky crystals. Replace it in the freezer and take it out again after another hour to rake it over again. Rake once more just before serving
005_Garnish granita with mint leaves and serve immediately.

read more on Kelly's blog { here } + on Moises's blog { here }

Friday, July 12, 2013

PERSONAL | trial + error

Sometimes tackling a new DIY means dealing with a lot of trial and error. This one didn't quite work out due to my lack of a sewing machine (and my inability to sew straight by hand, hah!) so as for now the idea has been scrapped. I still really like the foil-like material so I'm trying to think of something else I could possibly use it for. But who knows? Maybe I'll come back and finish up this project one day for fun--just to see if it'll turn out ok.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

PERSONAL | food for thought

So many things are changing next year--I myself will be making a move back to the Motherland--other people will be graduating, or starting their first jobs, or moving in with their significant others. A couple years ago it was fun and exciting to talk, or even joke about these big life changes but when I stop to think about it, these choices we'll have to make are creeping towards us, slowly but surely.

I had lunch with a friend today and we sat for hours talking about the future.. and somewhere in between constructing our hilarious personal fantasy life--complete with a fruitful career, a loving husband, and (duh!) lots of money--we also ended up confiding in each other our fears and doubts of young adulthood. Our conversation shone a light on where I currently stand, and where my decisions will eventually take me. I know what I must do, and I'm prepared to work my butt off to get where I'm going. But all this future talk--the inevitability of it all, sometimes makes me scared that one day there will be no room for silly dreams and childhood friendships. Sometimes I am so ready, and some other times so-not-ready to get this show on the road.

This all can get a little complicated, but before I finish this post I have to mention a dear friend of mine (Jo) who had once sent out an email sharing her story on her times at this same crossroads. She is one of the most hard-working people I know, so reading through the old email was comforting and inspirational. She concluded her story with quote from her friend, which I thought was so eloquently put, and rings so true for us 'young adults' who have only just begun to experience what the real world has to offer, so I thought I'd share as well:

 "Instead of following a model or meeting an expectation, we are learning from each other about becoming adults and learning about the people we want to be… It’s no longer about figuring out how to fit in into an existing society, but thinking of ways to create the world in which we want to live in."


Friday, July 5, 2013

SKETCH | buildings 001


I've been pushing myself to practice observational drawing lately because I'll probably be doing a lot of it when I'm touring Europe in the fall. My last trip to Europe I ended up sketching a lot less than I had intended to, but I plan on sticking to it this next time around--I promise!!!

In the meantime I've been using photos I found on Pinterest as references.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

PLACES | the getty center


I was clearing up my hard drive when I came upon my folder of some shots I took of The Getty back in March. I thought I'd edit them real quick and share a few of my favorite snaps from that day.

The Getty has quickly become one of my favorite spots to visit in Los Angeles. Unfortunately I'm not so much a Fine Arts person--occasionally an { exhibition } catches my eye--but I can sit around and admire the architecture for hours. On my last visit Kelly and I packed a lunch to enjoy on the terrace by the fountains. It's also a great spot for people watching and if you can find a good table it's also a great place to draw some sketches of your own.