Thursday, February 28


one: new keds from madewell i can't stop wearing
two: valentine care packages (cards by julie ann art)
three: awesome lighting at coffee bar san francisco
four: shooting guns in texas with rachel (freaking out)

I've said it before but I'll say it again: I. Love. Instagram. It's so fun to get a sneak peek into the everyday lives of some of my favorite bloggers and artists. Are you on Instagram? Let's be pals!

Wednesday, February 27

no bueno

graphic courtesy of the little french bulldog

You know those days where one thing goes wrong and then everything else kind of piles up and it just gets worse and worse until you find yourself having a meltdown? That was me yesterday. Sobbing, sniffling - the whole nine yards. And why, you may ask? Well, I'm not exactly sure. I have several theories in fact but I think the main reason is that I'm mad at myself. Though sometimes it's a helpful quality, I'm my toughest critic and I'm extremely hard on myself.

And what makes me feel even worse is that I know all of my problems are first world problems. So in the great scheme of life, they aren't really problems at all. So why do I react like an irrational loser and hate on myself? Do you ever have those kinds of days? How do you snap out of it and get your confidence back?

Tuesday, February 26

things i dig: for your home

I've been thinking a lot lately about my future home and how I'll decorate it. These are just a few things I'd like to have. Simple and neutral yet full of character!

Monday, February 25

march sponsors... where you at?

Do you love beer? Sarcasm? (Mostly cheesy) food? Sriracha? Contemplations? Me? 
Head over to my new and improved sponsors page and support Beauty and the Feast this March!

The Perks:
Random emails and/or gchats from yours truly + a new best friendship 
Promotion of your blog and/or small business (ad space + posts)
Opportunities for guest posts + giveaways + collaboration + creative brainstorms
A guaranteed good time 

Friday, February 22

friday's letters

view from Twin Peaks

Dear Madewell, Three pairs of shoes in one week is an issue. Stop being so cute.

Dear AJ (my other half... and correct... together, we're Allie n AJ), I can't wait to eat, drink and maybe even catch up just a little bit with you in a week. San Francisco beware!

Dear Rogue Ales Public House, I think I fell in love, just a little bit, with you and your Yellow Snow IPA.

Dear San Diego, It's times like these when my toes and nose are frozen that I really do miss you so.

Dear Coffee, I'm up to needing five cups of you per morning to function properly. What. The. Heck.

Dear Portland, You're really calling my name these days. Do I smell a road trip?

Dear YouTube, I took a trip down memory lane last night and watched this video. Still the funniest thing ever!


Wednesday, February 20

pad thai

You guys, I've become a little bit addicted... to sriracha. It's just so tasty and adds a kick to any dish... I seriously can't stop using it (as I write this with a mouth full of sriracha'ed pad Thai... crying a little bit because I used too much). Ever since my cooking class in Thailand, I've been dying to make some of the dishes... mainly, the pad thai. Finally, I bit the bullet and bought all of the ingredients to recreate this memorable feast. 

Rice noodles (pre-soak in hot water until soft and cooked), chicken breast (optional), vegetable oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon red curry paste, two eggs, garlic, 1 tablespoon tamarind paste, bean sprouts, green onion, soy sauce, chopped peanuts, sriracha, cilantro

First, soften noodles in a bowl of hot water until soft. Then heat oil over low heat and add diced garlic, mushrooms, bean sprouts and chicken. Once chicken is cooked, cut into bite size pieces and crack the eggs right into the pan, stirring rapidly until they become scrambled. Add cooked rice noodles, soy sauce to taste, a pinch of brown sugar, half a teaspoon of red curry paste and one tablespoon tamarind paste to the cooked ingredients. Add green onions and more soy sauce if necessary. Top with chopped peanuts, cilantro and the appropriate amount of sriarcha and serve. 

{Especially delicious with this avocado cilantro salad. Nom. Nom. Nom.}

Monday, February 18

smitten with smitten

First, thank you guys so much for all the Yvonna love last week. It's so nice to know that my readers have great senses of humor and can take a joke, all the while commiserating with my friends and me about serial singledom. You can definitely expect more Yvonna in the near future.

On a new note, I've continued to explore San Francisco and am continually blown away by all of the unique food-related businesses. As the post title suggests, I recently went to Smitten (and then went back just a couple days later) and essentially died and went to heaven.

More than an average ice cream parlor, Smitten makes each scoop to order, from scratch, while you watch in amazement. Though the flavors and toppings are limited and I usually spend about $6 for my treat, it's worth completely worth it and definitely some of the best ice cream I've ever had.

From humble beginnings, this is the first Smitten storefront and I can't wait to see how the business grows in the future. 

vanilla ice cream with chocolate chunks, hot fudge and a shortbread cookie

{Smitten Ice Cream: 432 Octavia Street; San Francisco}

Friday, February 15

yvonna lovah & the goldilocks dilemma

"I'm single because I was born that way."
-Mae West 

I feel as though most of my friends are in this “in between” state. We’re not really sure what to do with ourselves. We’re no longer students – which is really weird since that’s what we have been for almost two decades (screw you to all those people in grad school – yeah, it’s SUPER hard. At least you know HOW to be a student… at least you’re not having an identity crisis).

We’re not yet corporate executives, doctors, lawyers, etc. At least most of us aren’t. So we’re just in this no-man’s land of emerging adulthood. Still calling our parents when we can’t make rent or when we don’t know why our check engine light is on. But we live our day-to-day maintaining that we are independent (even though most of us don’t pay our cell phone bills…) And this is the first time that we are. So naturally, most of my single friends seem to think that with this independence should come the ability to attract some nice (read: decent) men (read: boys.) We have good jobs, we’re going places and we can actually afford to get our eyebrows done now. So where them boys at? Why are they not falling over themselves to take me and my single friends out to dinner?

I have a few theories, but they seem to all center around one thesis statement: BOYS ARE IDIOTS.

And I think I’ll believe that statement until I’m six feet under. I don’t think I’ve been sure of anything more than this. The males of our species have NO CLUE what to do/say/expect/act like in the presence of a smart, beautiful and cunning woman, such as myself. Oh, yeah. And my friends. I have two best friends that are boys, not yet men. I am constantly trying to tell them how wrong they are in their interactions with women. (“No, you cannot split the check.”)

I pride myself in thinking that all the smart and nice things they do for their significant others/crushes can be traced back to advice that I’d given them, but I suppose their mothers would say the same thing. Anyways, I’ve asked them time and time again, “What am I doing wrong here?” And they always respond, “Nothing. Well… maybe – you’re a little dominating. You just have a strong personality.” 

Hmm. That’s something I can stick in my mouth and chew on for a while. I have views. And I voice them. Therefore, no man can deal with my brazen ways. So what ever shall I do? Flutter my eyelashes and laugh at the dumb and inconsiderate jokes this guy with a terrrrrible comb over is telling me at the bar, and say, “Oh, jeez, Billy. You’re sooooo funny!” “Well, I’m sure you’re right. You did spend a summer in DC with your uncle.” “I’ll take another cranberry and vodka - easy on the vodka.”

I can’t. I physically can’t. So, I’ve decided to take Reggie Bush’s advice to Kim K: “You do you and I’ll do me. Peace and love.” I can’t focus my energy on trying to be someone else’s “perfect” when I think I’m pretty damn close to mine.
-Yvonna Lovah

Like what you've read? Leave a comment and Yvonna will 
continue to contribute here!

Thursday, February 14

introducing yvonna lovah

It's really kind of a miracle that I don't hate this holiday. Besides reminding me and my single friends that we are beyond single, I actually kind of dig Valentine's Day. Even so, being serially single is really starting to get old. Who am I kidding, it is old. I'm over it. So this year, I've decided to try something new. Most of us have read Betches Love This Site and Man Repeller (I'm guilty) and one of my best friends in the world just happens to be as witty, real and hilarious as the bloggers that contribute to these sites. Since she doesn't have her own blog (though I've begged and begged and begged), I've decided to showcase some of her real life stories about being a single lady of our time. 

If you're a hopeless romantic, don't get excited because it might will get ugly. And if you can't take a joke and are easily offended, you probably shouldn't read on. But if you're ready for a good laugh and some potential tears of hysteria, brace yourself because Yvonna Lovah*, the ultimate perpetually single girl, is taking over beauty and the feast for the next few days to make you feel better about your singledom this Valentine's Day (whoaaa run on sentence). So without further adieu...

Graphic courtesy of Courtney Graham

“I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work so I called him at home and then he e-mailed me to my Blackberry and so I texted to his cell and then he e-mailed me to my home account and the whole thing just got out of control. And now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It's exhausting."
-Mary; He’s Just Not That into You 

This topic has been covered by some of the most prestigious authors of our time, ranging from the editors at Cosmo, Glamour and of course, the literary geniuses behind He’s Just Not That Into You. The debate will surely go on for decades to come: how many different forms of communication can a guy use to mess with you. We’ll start with the lowest and work our way up, shall we?

1. Facebook messaging: Just why? Why would any guy do this? Does he really think you want to be sitting on Facebook all day pinging each other back and forth? The answer is no. If you are a normal person, you go on Facebook to check out what your friends are up to, what that annoying kid in high school is blabbering on about how “the McRib is back!” and who is engaged/pregnant. That takes all of 10 minutes. The only acceptable reason to be FB messaging is if you do not have access to your phone. Even then, I’d much prefer an email.

2. Instagram & Twitter: The dudes who constantly like your photos or tweet you back with some clever remark are dumb. Again – why are you liking every single photo I post including the humongous cheeseburger I had for dinner last night without taking me to get one?! Don’t get me wrong, please continue to like all of my photos (I’m so popular I got 24 likes!) but I am noticing. And I really really like cheeseburgers.

3. Gchat: Oh, gchat… you are a god send. As much as FB IM’ing is plain wrong, gchat is plain right. It’s the adult version of AIM minus those awesome profiles where you wrote ~*EvErYtHiNg LiKe ThIs :]~ But what about the dude who is constantly gchatting you but won’t ever seal the deal? You know… by texting you. That’s BS if you ask me. If you’re going to spend the entirety of the work day sending me funny gifs and Buzzfeed articles you better be planning how you’re going to ask me out, otherwise I g2g!

4. Texting: Dear God WHAT DO THEY MEAN? I don’t know how many times my friends and I have obsessed over exactly what each letter of each syllable of each emoticon that a guy has sent to one of us. For example, this is a text I received two weekends ago from a past fling after we had been texting for an hour or so, “Got caught up in a darts game what’s your plan looking like” First of all, NO ONE gets “caught up” in a darts game… like, seriously? Was there a large sum of money involved? Are you about to win a ticket to midget mud wrestling? NO, I DIDN’T THINK SO. Or what about the guy who literally does not text you back for three hours at a time… and gives no explanation. Love those. My time has little to no value – thanks for confirming that. The booty caller texter is a great one too. Oh sure! I’d love to jump in a cab at 4 a.m. My pleasure! Idiots, I say.

5. Calling: Now this ladies and ladies, is a lost art. The boy who actually takes the time to click your name out of his address book and hold the cell phone up to his ear to mutter a couple of sentences is, indeed, my hero. Do I particularly like talking on the phone? No. But do I appreciate the effort taken? Absolutely. I was seeing this one guy, Vince*, and he would always call. He wasn’t the most consistent texter (which some would find annoying, and at times, I did) but every time he wanted to see me, he would call. And I thought that was soooo dreamy. Although Vince ended up being the King of the Assholes, at least he called to tell me so.

Until tomorrow,

 *All names of past boyfriends/lovers/sexters have been changed to protect their guilty consciences.

Wednesday, February 13

gracias madre

Around this time last year, a few friends of mine and I tried to be vegan for a month. I lasted about three days. In the past, I've been a vegetarian on and off and still eat meat in small doses... so when I heard about Gracias Madre in San Francisco, I was curious to see how Mexican food could be even kind of vegan (my concerns were specifically with the lack of cheese) and still be edible. 

Located in the Mission (do you see a trend... this area is my fave), Gracias Madre boasts a variety of completely vegan dishes in a clean and trendy environment. On a Wednesday evening, my friend and I had to wait an hour, but the cool thing about Gracias Madre is that they take your phone number and call you when your table's ready. This allowed us to wander down the street for some beers. No complaints there. 

For a starter, we split the quesadillas de calabaza, a generous serving of butternut squash and caramelized onion-filled torillas topped with cashew cheese (TO DIE FOR) and pumpkin seeds, which added the perfect crunch. We were quite pleased.

For our entrees, my friend, Lori, ordered the papas al horno which were roasted potatoes topped with olive oil, garlic and cashew cheese and I went the fatty route with the gorditas, potato-masa cakes topped with salsa verda, avocado and cashew cheese.

Besides the friendly and knowledgable staff, the service was quick and attentive and a mariachi band even came mid-feast to play some tunes. My favorite part of the evening, though, was Ken, our waiter (or food runner?) who appreciated our enthusiasm, constant "omg this is amazing!!" comments and our drooling stares as he brought out other customers' dishes, stopping to explain, in serious detail, the other menu options.

Though I've had vegan food in the past and definitely appreciate it, this was one of the only vegan dining experiences where I left feeling both full and satisfied yet not heavy and sluggish (I'm known for overeating haha). 

{Visit Ken and the rest of the Gracias Madre staff at 2211 Mission Street; San Francisco}

Tuesday, February 12

a weekend in Dallas, Texas

This past weekend, I visited some old pals in Dallas. It'd been two years since I've made the trip and for some reason, I always forget how nice everyone is there. I don't think I touched a door knob or handle the entire weekend (something simple but often so forgotten in California).

I also ate my fair share of Tex-Mex (read: queso), held, saw and shot a gun for the first time at the shooting range (yes I was totally freaked out at first) and got to spend some quality time with some of my favorite people in the world.

Unfortunately, I wasn't very good at remembering to use my camera, but I did manage to take a few shots at Craft and Growler (3601 Parry Avenue Dallas), a new beer bar in downtown Dallas. With an amazingly extensive local beer list, flights for just $10, the option for delivery from a variety of delicious restaurants in the area and excellent branding, I was obviously a big fan.

loved these light fixtures

the darker the better

my beautiful friends from college

We also had a fun night out on the town at Barcadia, an arcade/bar with Skeeball (YES!) Mario, Track and Field and tons of other old games as well as delicious drinks at Beauty Bar. If you're ever in the area, make sure to check them out!

Barcadia: 1917 North Henderson Avenue; Dallas
Beauty Bar: 1924 North Henderson Avenue; Dallas

All in all, the weekend was a success, though too short. It made me miss living close to a bunch of friends and really really made me miss living on my own. Plus, every time I'm in town, I start picturing what life would be like if I moved back. With a growing food and beer scene and absurdly cheap rent, it's definitely something to consider.

Monday, February 11

monday morning inspiration

I'll write about my time in Texas later this week... but in the meantime, how's this for a powerful Monday morning video? Brings me back to this conflict.

Thursday, February 7

guest post: kaylyn from the weir house

While I'm en route to Dallas, I have one of my favorite bloggers here with you today to get you in the mood for Valentine's Day (PS: how great is her man for helping out with this craft?). This lifestyle-meets-crafty-meets-my new best friend-blogger is always making me smile - from inspirational posts to personal emails...  if you haven't visited Kaylyn's blog, you should probably do so. Right. Now.

What's up, love birds. It's Kaylyn from The Weir House blog bringing you a tutorial on how to make a festive heart pinata just in time for Valentine's Day. How you choose to use it - smashing it with a bat, stuffing it with candy hearts or hanging it over your dinner table for a Valentines party - is totally up to you. The good thing about this DIY is that it doesn't take much to get it started. The only thing you need to get is metallic foil, patience and a tall glass of wine (it's required).

1. Using any cardboard box around the house, remove the flaps on the top and bottom of the box. KEEP THESE! You will use them later.
2. Cut the box open
3. Now cut the walls into individual sections.

4. Draw a heart on one of the sections and cut it out (we free-handed ours).
5. Using the heart you just cut, trace it on another section of cardboard. After it has been traced, cut it out. You should now have 2 hearts. These will be the front and back of your heart pinata.

6. Remember the flaps we told you to keep? You will need to measure the width of your flaps and divide them in half (we divided our flaps at 4 3/4 inches because our flaps were 9 1/2 inches wide). Once measured, cut your flap down the middle giving you two pieces.
7. Roll your flap so that it will become more flexible. These flaps will become the walls of your pinata.

8. Form the walls of the pinata by curving the flaps around the edge of the heart (you can't mess this up). Tape the flaps to the heart by using masking tape. This doesn't have to be pretty! You can tape it anywhere you want to hold it in place. It will be covered by foil later.
9. Once you have taped all of the flaps around the perimeter of the heart, grab your second cut out heart.

10. Tape your second heart onto it, making the second heart the top layer. Again, this doesn't have to be pretty. Just tape it! ...HOORAY! You now have a pinata.
11. With the foil that you have (we ordered ours from cut strips of it and fringe the strips.

12. Start from the bottom of the heart and foil UP. This hides the tape. Finish the sides the same way. THE KEY: FOIL UPWARDS! There you have it, you've officially been shot with Cupid's arrow. Enjoy your glimmery heart and feel free to send us pics of your finished product!

Tuesday, February 5

going with the flow

image courtesy of my revelment

On Thursday, I'm going to the great state of Texas (where I come from). I haven't been back in two or so years and I'm not going to lie, I'm kind of freaking out. It's always weird to go back to a place that's no longer your home, all of a sudden being a visitor in the place you grew up. You know the feeling.

Though I've had more than a few "oh em geeeee, am I going to wear my little Gucci dress, my little Gucci dress OR... my little Gucci dress?" meltdowns (tehehe), I've tried to remember one of my main goals for this year: go with the flow. I'm often guilty of trying to plan out each and every moment and detail. I over think and over analyze situations to the point of overwhelming myself. Sometimes I forget to just relax and enjoy the moment. And that, my pals, is ending with the start of this trip. It's a little random, a little crazy and a lot necessary. And seriously? Why. Not.

{Here's to spontaneity and adventure. What would life be without it.}

{PS: Tierra is crazy.}

Friday, February 1

friday's letters

for all you hopeless romantics out there...^^^

Dear Sickness, Thanks for finally taking a hike. The runny nose + cough + chest pains were really not workin' for me.

Dear It's Complicated, I've watched you three times in the past week and I just can't be sorry about it. Meryl Streep is truly my hero.

Dear Homeland, I'm completely obsessed. Do I really have to wait until September for you to come back in my life??

Dear Girls, You're far too easy to relate to. It scares me a little.

Dear Blog World, Has anyone ever tried a cleanse? I'm not looking for anything more than three days; just looking to detox a bit in the healthiest way possible.

Dear Speeding Ticket, (insert every curse word ever here).

Dear 826 Valencia, I love you. I'm so happy to be one of your volunteers. Best part of my week!

Dear Super Bowl, This is likely the first time in my life I semi give a damn! Go Niners!