Washi tape luggage tag

luggage-washi-tape

I recently purchased a Briggs & Riley spinner luggage and while I love its smart and functional design, it blends in with all the other luggage at the airport. As we all know, looking for your bag during travel can be a hassle so I searched for luggage tag ideas to personalize it and give it a pop of color. Luggage ID tag? My bag already comes with one attached to the side. Neon luggage straps? A little too much. Tie a ribbon around the handle? I’ve done this and it just gets in the way.

So what else? Washi tape! It’s an inexpensive option and with so many colors and patterns available, you can personalize your bag however you want. Bright colors obviously work the best so you can easily spot it from far away.

For my bag, I chose a bright pink color and a gold polka-dot pattern with a thicker width and doubled the layer of each since washi tape can be a bit thin. I bought mine here but there are so many other stores on Etsy, too. Alternatively, I bet colored masking tape would work just as well!

Recipe | Cheese Board Inspired Potato Pizza

pizza

When my husband and I went to Berkeley to visit friends a couple of years ago, I remember they welcomed us to their home with a huge box of pizza from The Cheese Board. Known for their thin-crust, vegetarian pizzas, Cheese Board only makes one kind of pizza for the day and this time it was topped with roasted potatoes, chile pasilla, onions, feta cheese, mozzarella, cilantro, key limes, and garlic olive oil. It was packed with flavor from the oil, full of starchy goodness, and quality cheese that you would only expect from a respectable cheese shop. All the richness is balanced out with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and generous amounts of fresh key lime juice. It’s delicious.

pizza-dough

Since then, I’ve been making a version of Cheese Board’s delicious potato pizza that my husband and I can have at home. While it takes more time to make than our usual pepperoni or mushroom pizza, we get pretty excited about making this because we know it’s going to be good and extra special.

pizza-trio Continue reading

Cool pants to beat the heat…

It was 100 degrees over the weekend and I thought, what happened to spring? It’s the kind of weather where jeans, especially skinny jeans, feel like sweater casings wrapped around my legs. Lately I’ve been looking for another cool, pant alternative other than my go-to khakis for hot weather days. Since harem pants are out of the question (I gave them a try at Zara’s dressing room and nope),  I’ve been looking for loose-fitting pants in light fabrics that are breezy and comfy.

I found a few options from Zara and Madewell in linen and ones with fun prints. Paired with a lightweight tee or tank, my skin has room to breath and hopefully I’ll be less likely to whine about how hot it is. Summer weather, let’s wait until the end of June okay?

On throwing away food…

old-lemons

The other night, I had to throw away a failed mound of mushy pie dough when I realized that I only added 215 grams of flour instead of 315 grams (geez, is it time to print in a larger font?). It was too late to save it and it broke my heart that I just wasted two sticks of butter. On the plus side, I have been better about not giving myself a hard time. After all, failing is a part of the learning process and it’s not always going to go perfectly.

Still, I get annoyed when I have to throw out a bag of wilted salad, or the old wine that my husband and I neglected to finish, or the moldy bread on the counter that I forgot to throw in the freezer. Then there are the leftovers from eating out or worse, food that someone gave you! Oh, the guilt. I eventually get over it and move on but I sure feel bad every time. Does it bother you when food goes to waste?

(Above: shriveling lemons and limes nearing their end; and my sad face.)

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

mothers-day-gifts

Mother’s Day is coming up in a few days and I will admit it’s hard to think of what to get my lovely, but very picky mom. Okay, I guess that trait has been passed down to me and birthdays and holidays with the family usually end up with lots of gift cards. So in my fantasy world where I can get my mom whatever I’d like and she’s guaranteed to love it, I’d get her any of these:

1, Cadiz Serving Bowl via Anthropologie because she loves to cook for the family.

2, Worishofer sandals because my mom is all about comfortable shoes.

3, Uniqlo Cabbages & Roses scarf for those chilly Spring evenings.

4, Voluspa Ceramic Candle in Macaron because these are just the best candles and the container is so pretty.

5, Longchamp ‘Le Pliage’ Large Tote because she adores these totes and can’t have enough of them.

6, J.Crew Summer Straw Hat for her exciting trip to Europe and I’m so jealous.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!

 

DIY Pull-String Donkey Piñata

pinata-donkey

It’s almost Cinco de Mayo time so please let me introduce you to my donkey piñata. He took some time to build but he was also so much fun to make. I felt so festive making it that I couldn’t get the Mexican Hat Dance song out of my head. Fiesta colors are not normally my style but I ended up loving its over-the-top bright colors. He just looks so happy!

pinata-box

This pull-string version is a great alternative to a traditional piñata. Instead of hitting it like crazy until candy comes out, each person can nicely takes turns pulling one string from the bottom of the piñata. All the ribbons, except for one, are loosely attached to the box and will simply slide off when you pull it. The one winning ribbon is tied to the trapdoor at the bottom of the box which, once pulled, releases all the candy inside.

donkey-pull-string-pinata-paper

Pull-string piñatas are great for little ones who are still too young to do any damage to a cardboard box with a bat. It’s also great if you can’t bear to watch people destroy your piñata creation right in front of your eyes. And how can you hit such a happy little donkey?

donkey-pull-string-pinata-1pinata-graphicdonkey-pull-string-pinata-2
Click here for instructions

Recipe | My favorite roasted potatoes

crispy-roasted-potatoes

One of my favorite things in the world are potatoes. Whether it’s french fries, gratins, tater tots, or mashed potatoes, I’ll happily eat it all. As far as roasted potatoes go, this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated magazine is one of the best and you’ll be fooled by it’s plain and simple appearance. It has a perfect balance of texture – it’s crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside with just the right amount of salt.

The secret to these potatoes is tossing them with olive oil and salt after they’ve been boiled to create a starchy, kind of fuzzy texture. I have to admit, for a roasted potato recipe it takes a little more time and effort, but I promise you it will all be worth it once you take that first bite.

roasted-potatoes-boil

roasted-potatoes-toss

roasted-potatoes-bake

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Crispy Roasted Potatoes
(Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated magazine)
Serves 4-6

2-1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 5 medium), rinsed
and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Kosher salt
5 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to the lowest position, placed a rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a large pot or Dutch oven; add cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to a simmer until the exterior of a potato has softened, but the center offers resistance when pierced with a paring knife, about 5 minutes.

2. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt; using a rubber spatula, toss to combine. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons more oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt; continue to toss until the exterior of the potato slices are coated with a starchy paste.

3. Working quickly, remove the baking sheet from the oven and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over the surface. Carefully transfer the potatoes to the baking sheet and spread them into an even layer (skin side up for the end pieces). Bake until the bottom of the potatoes are golden brown and crisp, 15-25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes.

4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully flip each potato slice. Continue to roast until the second side is golden and crisp, 10-20 minutes. Season with pepper to taste and serve immediately.