Put your hands around my neck

Press Play: The Less I Know The Better by Tame Impala

Last week, Jess + Joel came into town. There’s something soothing about familiar faces (we’ve known each other for a decade) in a new city. Unfortunately, Hurricane Joaquin’s itinerary overlapped with theirs & they went through three umbrellas in one day.

unnamed-2
Welcome to New York, Jess. Our weather sucks but our hearts are full of love (+ alch).

They stayed in the Lower East Side (is Childish Gambino in your head right now?) so we joined them on Friday.

I have trouble standing still for pictures.
I have trouble standing still for pictures.

Some time after pissing people off & purchasing pizza, we went back to their place & discovered Madison AKA Alexis is really Robin from How I Met Your Mother.

Wet puppies
Wet puppies

Onward. Somehow, I convinced Red + Lex that a Los Angeles poster would benefit our common area. I’m not mad.

Orange!
Orange!

I don’t actually have many updates this time around. Mostly looking for excuses to avoid all the assignments I have due this week & I’ve already taken a procrastination nap.

Rad light fixture + ceiling at Blue Dog Cafe.
Rad light fixture + ceiling at Blue Dog Cafe.

Love Always,
sem

Finally, I could breathe

Press Play: New York, New Dorp by SBTRKT ft. Ezra Koenig

Today marks the start of my fifth week living in Manhattan. I never aspired to live in New York; had it not been for graduate school, I would’ve never moved.

Our common area remains a work in progress
Common area! Living room/kitchen/dining room because NYC.

My roommates (Lexi + Red) are also West Coast girls; they’re from the pacific northwest. Quickly, we’ve learned East Coasters can pin us as West Coasters based on our complaints about humidity & disdain towards Dunkin’ Donuts (also my use of ‘dude’ & Lex’s accent). They’re both very bright, sweet, & inspirational. Quite different from me, which I love. They teach me about things like fashion & art–subjects my biology & political science background seemingly dismissed.

French Press mornings
French Press mornings

I was hoping to have completed my nesting period by now, but my room is still a work in progress.

My proudest achievement to date: hanging this shelf
My proudest achievement to date: hanging this shelf

Last weekend, I flew home for 12 hours for my grandmother’s funeral. Being back home felt foreign, almost. The trip was so short, I had no time to experience my favorite things about Los Angeles (beaches + In N Out). When I landed in JFK this time, I was no longer nostalgic for Los Angeles. It was like I was coming home. To New York.

New York, where my things are.

New York, where people expect you to walk if anything is closer than one mile.

New York, where riding the subway disconnects you from the real world & nobody can reach you there.

unnamed

All the things that once annoyed me but I now find therapeutic.

Is this what people meant when they said I would fall in love with this city? Does this also mean I will want to leave it as soon as the honeymoon phase is over & I’ve lost interest? I don’t know the answer to that yet, but I do know I need to go back to Los Angeles at some point because no one could love me the way Nancy Rose does after knowing me the way she does. (She’s also the only person who thinks I’m funny.)

Circle skirts + downtown wind tunnels will be the death of me
Circle skirts + downtown wind tunnels will be the death of me

But for now, I am finally free.

The future is bright!
The future is bright!

Love Always,
sem

You can’t pin me down

You can’t pin me down
Are you singing Jay Z's
Are you singing Jay Z’s “Brooklyn, We Go Hard”?

Last week, I was finally able to slow down, take a day off of work and head to the city that never sleeps. Which, upon further thought, was not the wisest winding down option. Regardless, I had friends in New York I wanted to visit and a major decision on the horizon.

Press Play: “Can’t Pin Me Down” by Marina + The Diamonds

Do you really want me to write a feminist anthem?

New York Inhabitants!
New York Inhabitants! I only know half of them!

Three nights, two days, a perpetual hangover, and multiple inexplicable bruises later, I was ready to make a commitment.

Lately, I’ve been embracing the timing of life–an arduous task for the strong-willed girl who hates losing control. Is perpetual dissatisfaction human nature? Because if we ran a study with myself as the subject, this would seem likely. Most of my life, things have been handed to me. Yes, my childhood dealt me some grim cards, but I played them well and fear of not being great replaced my fear of failure. I just can’t shake the feeling that I must do better, on purpose. With action rather than inertia.

Soo artsy
Soo artsy

I am happy. Quite so. Although unsettling at times, opportunities arise with seemingly wrong timing. I’m just learning that part of living life actively is making tough choices. And long flights, apparently.

So tall!
So tall!

Returning home reminded me that I ultimately want to stay in Los Angeles and it remains my favorite city in the world. So why not leap? It’s only two years.

Love Always,
sem

We’ll have a good time

Press Play: Take the Time by Tiny Tiny

The bad news is I’m guilty of neglecting the blog. The good news is I’ve been negligent because there’s so much life happening!

For instance, the Air + Style festival. The Los Angeles sky poured and poured all day Sunday, but when you combine a rain lover  with an over planner who keeps extra blankets and umbrellas in the trunk, a little rain is no problem. The same cannot be said about the badass skiers, who had to cancel the latter half of the competition due to poor weather.

Alas, we were predominantly there to watch Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, The Flaming Lips, & Steve Aoki. They were all fantastic, The Flaming Lips were as artsy as ever and the advantage of a rainy Steve Aoki performance became obvious when he caked everyone, but Edward Sharpe & TMZ played the best and most heartfelt set.

I also have a new job. It’s a pediatric cancer research nonprofit and I’m so so very happy there. I needed something that blended policy and healthcare together and this was the perfect place.

My domesticity continues, as I’ve slowly learned to cook things other than breakfast.

Not breakfast!
Not breakfast!

Lastly, I have tons of life-altering decisions to make within the next few weeks/months. Will keep you all posted.

Now you all know I’m still alive & still not good at writing!
sem

Cookie Butter Stuffed French Toast

I’m fairly positive an angel gets its wings whenever I wake up early enough to make breakfast before work.  Normally, I stay in bed until I absolutely need to get up to be at work on time.

Though I can never seem to drink my tea when it’s ready (really, I remember I made it an hour later), I don’t suck at french toast.

Press Play: King Avriel – Judgement Day / Valley Idols

(Missed Music Monday, but this is a great yet slightly eerie song by an LA based artist.)

unnamed
The cat thinks it’s rude people are eating on his bed.

Ingredients:

For Strawberry Syrup/Topping

  • 1 lb strawberries; sliced in halves
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

For French Toast Itself

  • About 1/2 cup of Speculoos Cookie Butter (I prefer the crunchy kind)
  • 8 slices of wheat bread
  • 1/4 cup almond mik
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or spices of choice)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • powdered sugar (for serving)

Steps

Topping

  1. Toss strawberries and brown sugar together & set aside
  2. They will eventually mix together into a slightly syrupy consistency

French Toast

  1. Spread a tablespoon of cookie butter on each slice
  2. Top 4 of the bread slices with the other 4 slices (like a sandwich with cookie butter in the center)
  3. Make the egg wash: whisk together eggs, almond milk, sugar, vanilla extract, spices, and salt in a shallow dish
  4. Heat butter on a large skillet under medium heat until it sizzles
  5. Dip both sides of french toast into egg wash and place in skillet
  6. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown
  7. Cut french toast in half
  8. Serve topped with strawberry syrup and powdered sugar

Love Always,
sem

BODYPARTY

BODYPARTY

W Magazine released an editorial meant to depict super models as “normal.” Though that is an unattainable goal, the 25-photo editorial is fire. It’s titled “Super Normal Super Models” & was photographed by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott.

This is boring. I'm bored.
This is boring. I’m bored.

Wmag2 Wmag3

Wmag4

Wmag5

Click here to check out the rest.

I would like to point out that even though I’m posting pictures of conventionally beautiful models, I do not believe that they are the definition of beauty in its entirety.

Many things comprise beauty: The face that once displayed so much pain & now smiles is beautiful. Waking up on crisp autumn mornings to the smell of coffee is beautiful. Beauty lies in laugh lines, scars, & messy hair. Also, in the oxford comma. It’s in the joy of completing &submitting an assignment. The sigh of relief after a long bout of crying. Acknowledging we’re human and being in awe of nature.

These, and many more, are what beauty means to me.

Love Always,
S

P.S., These two are also beautiful. Even if I am reluctant to admit my name is on the title for two black cars. See why here.

Does this black match with this black?
Does this black match with this black?

 

Pasta Salad & Music Monday

Press Play: I’ll Try Anything Once – The Strokes

 

unnamed[2]

This may come as no surprise, but I have not yet succeeded in mastering domesticity. However, sometimes I like to feel self sufficient/not starve to death. Regardless, I do not always have the time nor the patience to prepare a complicated dish, so simple recipes are a dream come true.

The following is a recipe for a fairly quick pasta salad that’s perfect for people on the run. Serves 3-4, depending on how much you eat (but really, I just mean I will never be able to determine how many people a particular amount of pasta will feed):

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of rotini pasta
  • 2-3 handfuls of cherry or pear tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 6-7 handfuls of spinach
  • 4 table spoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 squeezed lemon\
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Steps:

  1. Read directions on pasta box & cook accordingly
  2. Once pasta is cooked & drained, you can do one of two things to chill the pasta: a) cool over a bowl of ice b) put in fridge/freezer until cold
  3. Add pasta to mixing bowl with spinach and tomatoes
  4. Pour olive oil and add lemon juice, toss
  5. Add salt/pepper & toss again
  6. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat

Et voilà!

Love Always,
S. Mejia