Saturday, August 30, 2014

One Year: The Spark


I like to think I have a good memory. For example, I remember five years ago sitting in Drama 120, UNC's prerequisite for Drama majors, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, ready to learn. My professor talked about a spark, one that was very, very alive in my soul as a freshman. I was ready to learn. Ready to grow. Ready to become me. He went on to explain that there would be many times during college your spark would diminish; it would turn to this shred of light that would seem easier to extinguish than reignite.

On my last day of class senior year, I thought back to Drama 120. Did I still have that spark? Yes, though it had morphed. It was now running on L.A. dreams and the realization that college was not the end of my education. I didn't need a classroom; I would always be a student learning to navigate my life.

Today marks my one year anniversary in L.A. That spark from five years ago? It's still alive. In fact this year it's grown brighter. It's also seen its darkest times. It's peaked and valleyed much more than college and I couldn't be happier.  It means that I'm learning. I'm messing up. I'm succeeding. I'm failing. I'm growing.

So here's to that spark: may it shine just a bit brighter next year and all those that follow!    

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

your plate or mine?


In honor of Mardi Gras, my first post on my trip to Barcelona will revolve around its yummy food.  Enjoy!

 If you've ever eaten with me, there have probably been times when my fork has not so subtly grabbed a bite of your food.  Sorry- it's a family thing!  We like to share food, and I like to try everything. Which made tapas style perfect for my brother and me.  We'd browse the menu and choose at least 5 things to start, and inevitably have space for more food.  So back to the menu for the next two items that caught our eye.  All washed down with some wine or cava (Spain's version of champagne).  He also introduced me to a sandwich shop called Bo de B'.  Life changing.  Imagine your favorite sandwich shop, mine's Potbelly's, add the freshness of Chipotle's ingredients and meats, plus the addition of Mediterranean toppings- think fresh feta, lentils, etc.  and you get this sandwich shop.  The shop is small but all of the sandwiches are made with TLC- there will be a line and you will thank me and whoever else suggested it when you take your first bite.   And the churros!  Find a small shop that is just a "churreria" and treat yourself for breakfast or an afternoon snack.  And always get a cortado (espresso with a bit of steamed milk) or hot chocolate.  The fried dough begs to be dipped! 

One of our first meals was at an amazing restaurant called Sensi Bistro
 traditional bread rubbed with tomato and olive oil
 half vat of paella
 cucumber, goat cheese, lightly fried with almonds and honey--need I say more?
 duck, potato, parmesan
I spy a squid head
mussels with creme fraiche
 I asked the gentleman next to us to take a picture...which turned into a photo shoot
  no real "winners" but these are way better

back to food... and more traditional tapas
 tuna with hearts of palm
 that meat though!
 spanish omlette
potatos bravas
cava in classic champagne coups

we did "cheat" one day and get a slightly american lunch...
 this bad boy up close
chorizo and pickles with chimichurri= an amazing savory combo
all washed down with another cocktail
 one serving of churros with a cortado
 dip that baby
 churros in the making
 they're not cut until after cooking, who knew?
thick hot chocolate with a churro changes the game

And last but not least....

 first timer
second time around I unwrapped it as I ate (burrito style)
all washed down with some fresh juice from the boqeria

Eat your heart's desire today and every time you travel!
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Monday, March 3, 2014

monday inspiration: pastel crush


Last night confirmed my latest inspiration is more like a obsession crush.  Lupita Nyong'o killed it last night in her custom Prada pastel blue gown.  The baby blue made her smile sweeter, strut more graceful; she just had a glow about her even before she won an Oscar.  Pastels have a captivating power.   They have this ease about them, a brightness that isn't as harsh as neon, and a subtle sophistication unlike everyday navy, grey and black; they don't have to try too hard and it works.     Clearly all this rambling means I've developed a crush....and am quickly falling in love with the pastels in my life:

 blackberry + coconut milk from the boqeria
 pastel accessories I picked up while in Barcelona (similar: necklace and clutch)
favorite flavor 
looks like Gaudi liked pastels too (column at park guell)
floral arrangement showcased at my friend ninelivesforfashion house
top "photo" is this image but edited using the app waterlogue

What have you been crushing on?! xo Nat

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

go get em tiger

 Set up like your favorite bar, go get em tiger has a different approach to serving coffee.  Their cold brews come in beer bottles,  and lieu of a line you simply walk up to the long counter and pick your poison.  I went with their cheeky "business + pleasure" drink.

The business: a shot of espresso with a sparkling tea chaser- to cleanse the palate of course
The pleasure: a shaken almond milk latte, served in a chilled glass, topped with ground espresso beans

shaken not stirred

 happy hump day xx

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Finding Inspiration

The beginning of the year is always an exciting time.  Not only does my birthday fall within the first two weeks -hello "easing into resolutions"- but everyone is buzzing about movies, awards season dresses and new year trends.  The first week back in California, I met Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere at her garage sale and scored a classic pair of nude pumps (pictured).  Seeing as her blog has been a daily read for almost 5 years, meeting her seemed as though I was reconnecting with an old friend.  Her blog has inspired me to enjoy the little things, reach out of my comfort zone and to "elevate everyday life"!   

cheers to the new year
keep hustlin'

find my favorite loafers here
a similar necklace here
my new sunglasses ici (such a steal!)