I’m normally not the “prayer warrior” type who solicits good vibes from my social networks, but I had to today as my good friend endured her bilateral mastectomy to eradicate cancer. Ever the good sport, she named her cancer “Felicia” so she could say BYE to it 😂 Here’s what else I’m focused on lately:
- Sheet Pan Chili Lime Salmon: In an effort to simplify my weekly meal prep, I’ve read countless lists of one-pot and sheet-pan meals. I was pumped to try this recipe Monday night and it didn’t disappoint: The marinade flavor has only gotten more pronounced with each serving of leftovers, and I’ll definitely be using this in my regular rotation. Delish!
- Sugarhill Kitchen: After yesterday’s lockout snafu, I needed an hour to kill while my landlord brought me their keys. I’ve passed this restaurant approximately a thousand times but hadn’t ventured in before. The owner/chef/bartender, Jennie, was so hospitable and welcoming — even offering a (free!) second glass of wine to heal my headache. I had other dinner plans to get to after, but I’ll return soon to enjoy all Sugarhill Kitchen has to offer!
- Bar Method: Not a day goes by without discussing different workout routines to try. Part of it is literally my job. Part of it is living in an active city like SF. All of me was excited to try Bar Method during its “Love Your Selfie” challenge, which grants unlimited access to newcomers for 40 days — and just $49! I’m two days in and can already feel the benefits of small, yet calculated, movements. Plus, who doesn’t want to feel longer and leaner? I might be a barre addict after all.
- “Doo Wop (That Thing)” – Ms. Lauryn Hill: I’ve enjoyed Spotify’s Black History Salute playlist, with tracks ranging from Marvin Gaye to Wanda Sykes and many more. The unequivocal fave, for me? None other than Ms. Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing).” It’s in my top five for lyrics – don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem — and it always brings a smile to my face.
I’m back from a ridiculous, fun, amazing weekend in Music City and couldn’t be more excited to share my trip highlights with y’all. Saddle up:
- The Southern: This place came highly recommended for both brunch and dinner, so we moseyed on over after touring the Grand Ole Opry. The drinks were delish, the food phenomenal and the service stellar. Highly recommend checking it out — maybe even for more than one meal!
- Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum: I’m a total history nerd, and what better way to escape the sultry southern heat than step back in time and learn about country music’s roots? There’s a super cool exhibit chronicling Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash’s musical mojo, too. I dig it.
- The Listening Room Café: The now-canceled show, “Nashville” led plenty of people to the famed Bluebird Café. But within walking distance of Broadway is this fabulous venue with local musicians and satisfying menu selections. Tickets for the 6pm show were FIVE DOLLARS each. It doesn’t get much better than that.
- Rose Creek: Among the many talented musicians we saw this weekend, these guys were my favorite. They had great stage presence, were fun and engaging, and I even got a signed CD… you never know where they’ll be in a year! Check out their first single, “High,” here.
This one’s for the ladies! Side note: Every time I say that, I think of Tina Fey’s scene in “Baby Mama” where she gets on the turntables and plays “Lady in Red” at a Manhattan nightclub.
OK, back to business:
- International Women’s Day: Yesterday’s worldwide celebration of women was, simply put, awesome. Whether you shared inspirational quotes, sentimental stories or simply a smile to the ladies in your life, I hope you had a lovely day 🙂
- Saraswati’s Hijab Transformations: Talk about talent — this Malaysian makeup artist uses her hijab and makeup to transform into pop culture icons, from Disney personalities to comic book characters. Check out more of her work on Instagram @queenofluna.
- Ipsy: My brother and sister-in-law gifted me this beauty bag subscription service for Christmas, and “obsessed” is an understatement. The bags are super cute and reusable, and I’ve already fallen for a few of the products. It’s better than Birchbox, in my humble opinion.
- Spotify’s Women in Music & Culture Playlists: My fave music service also got in on the International Women’s Day festivities. Spotify released 15 playlists from various genres, highlighting decades of iconic females. I’m really digging the Women of Pop and Women of Country compilations… what about you?
I’ve refrained from commenting publicly about last week’s Paris attacks, in large part because I am speechless. The resulting debates about terrorism, gun control and refugees are sickening, to say the least.
Here’s hoping these bring a little comfort and solace to your day.
- Only Love Can Protect Paris: This now-viral video of a little boy and his father will bring happy tears to your eyes. Watch as he tries to process the magnitude of the attacks — and then, comes to the realization that flowers and candles can protect one’s heart.
- How to Process Grief: “Not knowing how to deal with grief is a common problem for humanity,” this article begins. Taken from an elderly man’s perspective, this is absolutely one of the best explanations of the grieving process I’ve seen. If nothing else, it humanizes and normalizes how we all cope with loss.
- USF Wins Big: On the lighter side of things, my alma mater had an incredible win last Saturday, making us bowl-eligible for the first time since 2010. Taking down a ranked team and securing our spot in a bowl? I’m not mad about it.
- “Stitches” – Shawn Mendes: I’ve been toe tapping along to this song for quite some time. Mendes’s voice reminds me of a hybrid between Justin Timberlake and Adam Levine… it sounds funky, but trust me, it’s all good. Plus, he’s adorable!
I’m back on the west coast / best coast after an incredible week in New York. To say I’m exhausted is an understatement — but it’s always worth it to see some of my favorite people in the whole wide world.
- A Song A Day Indiegogo: You may recall my recent request for donations to my friend Shannon’s brainchild. She didn’t quite meet her Kickstarter goal, but the project is now on Indiegogo and could still use your help! If Brit + Co. is writing about it, you know it must be good 😉
- Dr. Scholl’s Tri-Comfort Orthotics: At the risk of sounding like a complete grandma, just hear me out. These little inserts are the perfect companions to any high-heeled shoe — thin enough to fit comfortably, but with the support you need for a long day (or night).
- Morrocanoil Treatment: Speaking of lifesavers, there’s a reason stylists and regular folk alike go apeshit for this stuff — just a few drops on damp or dry hair can seriously transform your tresses! I’ve been using it for a few months and love its silky, smooth effects. Best of all, the musky scent is magnetic.
- “Fantasy” – Mariah Carey f. ODB: It may not be Thursday (hear that, stupid brain!), but this throwback is always in style. It got the people going at my friend’s wedding last weekend, and I’ve had it on repeat ever since. Just remember to fast forward past the creepy clown!
I flew about 3,000 miles since last week’s post and boy, are my arms tired. [Insert bad-joke rimshot noise here.] I’ll spare you any more corny jokes and get right to it:
- NYC: It’s a great time of year to be back in one of the most electrifying cities on Earth. The air and leaves are crisp, the people are crazy as ever, the Mets are hanging in there, and I feel very #blessed to spend a week in the city.
- Macy’s Herald Square: A big change with this visit is that my NYC team recently moved down the street to work in offices at Herald Square. It’s completely insane walking these hallowed halls and being right in the action — but I so appreciate the chance to “be a part of it.” 😉
- Halloween: Um, duh. This year, I have a friend’s wedding to attend and will then continue the celebration at my friends’ party. The costume isn’t as surprising as you might expect, but it’s still sure to be a winner. La la la la la.
- “Hello” – Adele: OK, so everyone and their mother — litchrlly — is obsessed with this new release from the queen of soulful singing. If this is what three years of anticipation brings us, I’d have to say it’s worth the wait. And the video? Damn, girl.