Friday Five: Sunny Summer Day Edition

My sunny summer saturday must haves.
My sunny summer saturday must haves.

I am a summer baby. I was born on a sweltering hot day in early August, and my earliest memories involve running through oscillating sprinklers in my grandma’s front yard, and sneaking off to the side of her house where a thicket of blackberry bushes swelled with dark purple jewels of fruit. I live for summer and heat and sun and the feeling of sun warmed asphalt on bare feet long after the sun has set. Fall is fine, winter is terrible, spring is Zyrtec. Summer is heaven. And because my carefree summer vacation days are long behind me, I take my weekend summer days very, very seriously. Here are my must haves.

1. Salt Water Sandals

Thanks to the miracle of the Internet and my generation’s very specific and intense nostalgia, I am now able to wear my favorite childhood shoe as an adult.

2. Acacia Sunscreen

I have come to grips with the freckles on my face, but I don’t really want any more, so when I went to Hawaii in April, I decided to invest in some heavy duty sunscreen. The Acacia Sunscreen I purchased at The Royal Hawaiian’s Rebecca Beach store is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but it did provide weightless, total, and lasting coverage. And it’s odorless.

3. Rainier Cherries

My 2nd favorite summer fruit, after blackberries? Rainier Cherries. Best if purchased local (meaning, here, in Washington) and organic, these taste like summer.

4. Summer Read: Oh! You Pretty Things

Classed as a summer read, this rapier sharp book is worthy of your attention both on and off the beach. It details the life of a twentysomething Hollywood personal assistant and all the trials and tribulations that entails, with exploration of the pitfalls of female friendships, and even a little romance.

5. Kate Spade Le Pavilion Wireless Headphones

These were a Christmas gift and I love them to pieces–the battery life could be better, but they are light, provide excellent sound, and perhaps most importantly, they have polka dots. What more can you ask for in a headphone?

What are your summer must haves?


Friday Five: Honolulu Favorites

Friday Five is back! And this time, I bring you my favorite five things from my recent trip to Hawaii.

The Bernice Puahi Bishop Museum

Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii
Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii

Hawaii’s history is vastly different than that of almost all the other states–and yet I can’t remember a single history lesson about Hawaii other than Pearl Harbor and when it became the 50th state. The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum makes all those missed history lessons accessible in one easily digestible and beautiful museum (special thanks to Auntie Suzi for allowing me to take a million and five pictures everywhere we went!). The museum itself is spread between several buildings–one devoted to a planetarium, one to the history of Hawaii and the people indigenous to the South Pacific, one that explores Hawaii’s flora and fauna (including a creepy/cool faux volcano), and one that digs into the many immigrants who have shaped the face of Hawaii. The museum is also off the tourist track, which is a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki.


#6 from Ono Seafood in Honolulu, Hawaii
#6 from Ono Seafood in Honolulu, Hawaii

Ono Seafood ( So, first off, this restaurant is in the bottom of an apartment building, and is the very definition of a hole in a wall eatery. I paid close attention to warnings on Yelp that said not to pass it by, but when I walked in, was overwhelmed by the prospect of made to order poke and totally embarrassed myself while ordering (a direct quote from yours truly “I just want poke.” The woman taking orders looked at me unmoved while an elderly woman preparing the poke looked at me sweetly, the way you might look at someone you thought was simple), the minor embarrassment lasted only until the first forkful of poke passed my lips. This is, without a doubt, the best poke I have ever had in my life. Protip (aside from learning to read a menu)–I arrived around 11:15 a.m. on a Saturday and by the time I left (close to noon), the line was out the door. There are a couple long picnic tables, but not enough to be shy about asking to sit next to locals or fellow tourists.

Pali Lookout
Pali Lookout

Pali Lookout ( While my Auntie Suzi patiently guided me on a tour around Oahu, she mentioned the Battle of Nu’aunu–in 1795, Kamehameha drove more than 400 warriors led by Kalanikupule off the edge of the Pali Lookout where they fell to their deaths on the valley floor 1,000 feet below. Because of the mass death, the area around the Pali Lookout is said to possess a great deal of spirit activity. And, because I’m a strange person, Auntie Suzi’s story made me want to visit. The vista is breathtaking, in part because it’s impossibly windy, but also because it combines steep, rocky outcrops you’d expect in Scotland, combined with the lush, greenery of a tropical rainforest. And in the distance, the Pacific Ocean dazzles with its various shades of blue. There are also roving bands of wild chickens.

SHAVE ICE! From Waiola Shave Ice
SHAVE ICE! From Waiola Shave Ice

Waiola Shave Ice ( On my first trip to Oahu, I ventured up to the North Shore to Haleiwa (which is the most magical little town on Earth, to me), and had my first authentic Hawaiian shave ice. For the unacquainted, Hawaiian shave ice is nothing like our mainland shave ice (for one, it’s not shaved). Instead of the coarse ice crystals, shave ice has an almost ice cream like consistency. And to add to the amazing texture, you can get ice cream added to the bottom of your shave ice. I didn’t know you could get shave ice anywhere outside of the North Shore, but Auntie Suzi, the sage local, took me to Waiola (not far from Ono!) and ordered me a pineapple/lilikoi concoction that I will dream about for years to come.

Waikiki Beach before the crowds arrive
Waikiki Beach before the crowds arrive

Early Morning Swims When I was a kid, my mother forced me into swimming lessons. At first, I really hated them because there’s nothing so painful as being 7 and and lacking the speedy motor skills to peel away a one piece bathing suit when you need to heed nature’s call. But as I grew older, I came to understand that yes, knowing how to swim was important safety-wise, but the quiet tranquility offered when floating along in a pool or, you know, the Pacific Ocean, cannot be beat. So each morning while I was in Hawaii, I’d wake up early and head out to the beach to stake a claim on the cool sand before the crowds appeared. And as soon as the sun slipped above the highest of the Waikiki skyscrapers and began warming the waters off Waikiki Beach, I’d wade out with my GoPro and go for a swim.

Friday Five: Beauty Edition

I am a late bloomer in the world of makeup–I didn’t start wearing eye shadow until a couple years ago, and I bought my first concealer last month. I still routinely leave my house without any makeup at all because, you know, I’m incredibly lazy sometimes and also Nigel Barker isn’t really that concerned about what my face looks like when he needs to heed nature’s call. In spite of, or maybe because of, my late start, I am fascinated by the ritual of applying makeup and do so even though every time my mother sees me she tells me I am wearing too much of it.

I have quite a collection of makeup now, but these five products are ones I go back to again and again.

The Final Countdown
The Final Countdown

5. MAC Paint Pot in Indianwood

I usually apply this with my ring finger and use it as a base for other colors (MAC Gleam or MAC Woodwinked work really well), but it’s also good on its own and has amazing staying power.

MAC Cosmetics, $18.50

4. Bobbi Brown Blush in #2 Washed Rose

I learned about this through the Twitter account for the show Scandal’s makeup artist. Kerry Washington/Olivia Pope wears this color and it is amazing. I’m medium skin tone and it’s a nice, natural wash of color on my face, a natural flush. I wore it to have dinner with my mom and she told me it made me look like I was glowing.

Bobbi Brown, $25

3. Lancome Artliner in Noir

I have been wearing this liquid liner for about seven years now, and even though many, many people have suggested other brands, I can’t switch. The applicator feels like a pen and makes me feel like I’m doing calligraphy on my eyes, which oddly enough, really appeals to me. I’ve also never had any trouble with this giving me too thick a line, a problem I’ve had with other liquid liners I’ve tried.

Lancome Cosmetics, $30

2. Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm  in #15 Cherry Me 

I hated the name of this product for a really long time and it put me off buying it because I wasn’t sure a 28-year-old woman should be near something called “Baby Lips.” Alas, it is AMAZING. I wore it to the Bobbi Brown counter a couple weeks ago and one of the makeup artists complimented me on the color. I bought it shortly after discovering Clinique’s Chubby Stick in Chunky Cherry and now realize that Cherry Me is a really great dupe at a fraction of the price. Super hydrating as well!

Maybelline, $3.99 

1. Maybelline Volum’Express The Rocket Mascara in Very Black

All of the things on this list are must-haves for me, but Maybelline’s new Rocket Mascara is basically a must-wear.  Though I do go for walks with Nigel sans makeup, if I’m running errands, I’ll usually throw on a bit of mascara, and this particular product makes my nubster eyelashes look fabulous and thick, with no clumps and without making my lashes feel brittle.

Maybelline, $7.99

The Friday Five: Getting Through the Work Week Edition

I’m not gonna lie, I’m still kind of getting used to the post-holiday schedule (I mean, everyone in America is basically on some kind of reduced schedule from Thanksgiving until the week after New Year’s), and work has been a bit stressful this week. So these are the things that kept me calm(ish), sane(ish), and happy this week!

5. Buzzfeed’s “23 Songs That Make The World Your Personal Catwalk”

Last week, Buzzfeed published this amazing playlist of songs that make you feel like you’re walking down a catwalk. And even though stomping my way up a rain slick aisle on a Seattle city bus is pretty far from a catwalk at fashion week in Paris, I’ve got my commute version of Coco Rocha going strong. You better werq.

Read More »