LA House Tour

20 Easy Meal Ideas

There’s something so special about a home cooked meal. And in the last year since moving back to NYC, I honestly haven’t enjoyed enough of them! There are so many wonderful restaurants here, as well as great take out options, so pre-quarantine I was eating out almost 24/7. Don’t get me wrong, it was GREAT, (…and I can’t wait to enjoy them after this!), but 1. it was getting insanely expensive, and 2. I was constantly dehydrated because of the amount of salt that was being added to the food. What’s nice about making your own food is that you can control how much salt, butter, oil, etc. goes into it. Plus it can be very therapeutic and fun! In the last 9 days, I’ve made every single meal at home, so I thought I’d share what I’ve been cooking because it’s really forced me to get creative! We were eating pasta almost every night for the first few days, and got super bored of that quickly, so I started experimenting and playing with different flavors. One night we will have an Italian dish, another night it’s Mexican, then Japanese, Greek, etc. I am by no means an expert in the kitchen, and actually barely have any patience when it comes to cooking! I like dishes that are quick and easy, but still super flavorful. These are some of my no-fail, simple meals that anyone can make at home. Why You Need An Instant PotFYI many of these recipes have been adapted and tweaked by me to work in an Instant Pot. If you don’t already own an Instant Pot, order it right now. It’s the absolute best cooking device I’ve ever owned and cuts down your meal prep time significantly – often by an hour. Seriously, it makes rice, soups, cooks meat, etc. in only 12 minutes – you can’t beat that. Oh, and everything turns out so soft, moist and flavorful!!! Easy Meal Prep IdeasPesto + Zucchini Noodles (optional add Pasta)You can easily get pesto premade at the market, but I love making my own with fresh basil (it lasts up to a week in the fridge, or you can also freeze it.) For zucchini noodles, you just need a spiralizer! Butternut Squash “Mac and Cheese” (Vegan/DF)This recipe is so easy and delicious! It’s gluten free if you make it with gluten free pasta. Veggie Packed Marinara over PastaAn easy way to sneak veggies into your meal is to chop and saute carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, onions (or whatever you have in the fridge), then add in a store bought marinara sauce like Rao’s, and mix in pasta. Chicken + Wild Rice StewIf you have an instant pot, this will be much easier! Either way, pre-cook the wild rice and set aside, then add chicken, chicken broth, celery, carrot, oregano, salt, and pepper to the instant pot and click the “Soup” setting which takes about 10 minutes. Once that’s done add the wild rice and you’ve got a fiber packed soup. Tanita Teriyaki Chicken + Coconut White RiceI shared this recipe on my IG Stories and it’s been a HUGE hit! So glad you gals are enjoying it! Teriyaki Marinade recipe: 3/4 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp minced fresh garlic, 2 tsp minced fresh ginger, 1 tsp sweet rice wine (you can find this on Amazon or at grocery stores), place all ingredients in a plastic bag with your meat of choice (works for veggies too!) and marinate for 2 hours in the fridge, then cook however you please. Coconut Rice (best in Instant Pot or rice cooker): 1 cup white basmati rice, 1 1/2 cups water, pinch of salt, 1 tbsp coconut oil, press rice setting. Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono Soup as the Greeks say)This is one of my favorite soups! There are a ton of different recipes online, I kind of made up my own and adapted from this one. I use my Instant Pot to speed things up and saute the carrot, leek and onion first, then add the broth and chicken and click the “Soup” setting. Once it’s done I transfer it to a pot, and pour 2 ladles of broth to the egg/lemon juice mixture. I like to add lemon zest to this mixture as well. I cook the rice separate in the Instant Pot. Once that’s done, I pour some of the soup over the rice and top with feta cheese – it’s SO GOOD! Turkey ChiliI use my Instant Pot for this as well, because it really speeds up the whole process. I don’t like beans or peppers, so I adapted this recipe and omitted them, but obviously if you like them – add them! My friend Camille just shared this vegan chili recipe which looks tasty too! Chicken Noodle SoupEasiest recipe ever – just saute carrots, celery and onion until they’re soft, then add 4 cups chicken broth, 1 lb chicken breast, salt, pepper, and any spices you have on hand (oregano, parsley, and a TEENY bit of turmeric are all my herbs of choice) to your Instant Pot and click the “Soup” setting. Cook pasta separately and add once it’s done! Turkey Burgers + Sweet Potato FriesAdd a little bit of butter and herb mixture (again I love using dried oregano and parsley) to ground turkey and make into a patty, then cook. Thinly slice sweet potatoes and toss in olive oil, then bake at 425 until golden brown (usually about 30+ minutes for me depending on how thin you cut them.) Greek SaladThis is a great lunch option, I just get romaine, big chunks of feta, olives, and toss together a simple vinaigrette! Corn ChowderThis Ina Garten recipe is DIVINE. So creamy and so rich – my mouth is watering just thinking about it! Over the years, I’ve adapted it slightly to work in an Instant Pot. I half or sometimes quarter the recipe since it feeds so many people, and I omit the potatoes since I prefer it without them. While it is easier to use frozen corn, the fresh corn tastes better, and you can usually find fresh corn easily at any market. Salsa Shredded Chicken TacosThis is the easiest, most flavorful way to season chicken! Simply buy a jar of salsa and dump it into your Instant Pot, along with a 1/4 cup of water, a tsp of oregano, and 1 lb chicken (or veggies.) Cook on high for 10 minutes, shred chicken and eat with corn tortillas! Fried Rice + Veggie Stir FryI don’t eat pork or red meat, BUT this recipe just tastes SO MUCH better with bacon. It really is the secret sauce. Take 3 strips of bacon, chop them up, cook them and let the fat render. Then add 1/2 chopped onion into to the fat and cook until the onion is soft. Then add chopped veggies of your choice and cook until they’re soft. While you’re doing this, cook white rice and set aside. Once it’s cooked, add the rice to the bacon/veggie pan. Stir for 5 minutes, and then add about 1 tbsp soy sauce, and a pinch of pepper. Make a hollow well/opening in the center of your rice mixture and crack 2 eggs. Scramble/cook the 2 eggs in the hollow until it’s slightly firm, then incorporate into the rice mixture. Homemade PizzaYou can of course make homemade dough, or you can buy frozen pizza dough. If you’re super lazy like me, then just buy English muffins and make mini “pizzas” with tomato sauce and mozzarella. Throw them in the oven and you’ve got yourself a meal! Salmon + AsparagusThis combo is so simple and so yummy. I love searing both sides of the salmon in my Le Creuset pan (which PS is 40% off here!) for 5 minutes, then placing it in the oven (it’s oven safe!) with the salmon, and asparagus drenched in olive oil for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Searing it makes the outside crispy which really adds a nice texture to the fish. Chicken Marsala over Egg NoodlesMy dad always makes this for me every time I go home. TBH I haven’t made it for myself yet, and still need to find a good recipe (this one looks pretty good), but I LOVE the flavor of this dish. Mushrooms, cream, broth, chicken, all over egg noodles – mmm! You can find egg noodles at any market (obviously you can use regular pasta or even rice), but egg noodles really do add something special to the dish! Chicken Pot PieThis is another Ina Garten recipe that will impress anyone who tastes it. It’s a labor of love, but totally worth it. Forewarning it’s a very rich, creamy dish, and not low on calories haha! I highly recommend using low sodium chicken stock as I’ve found it to be too salty if you don’t! Breakfast for DinnerMix things up and make scrambled eggs, an omelette, toast, waffles, pancakes, or whatever your favorite breakfast foods are for dinner! Grilled Cheese + Tomato SoupThis is a childhood favorite combo of mine. My favorite cheese for this is Tillamook extra sharp cheddar – hits the spot! Romaine + Watermelon Radish salad with Homemade DressingIf you’re craving a light salad, this one is effortless. Get romaine, chop up a colorful watermelon radish, and top it with my homemade dressing. My homemade dressing recipe (makes 1 1/2 cups so save extra for the week!): 3 tsp dijon mustard, 2 tsp honey, 1 small shallot finely diced, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 lemon juice, 1 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, a pinch of pepper. Did I convince you to buy an Instant Pot yet? ;) What are some of your favorite meals to make at home? Would love to know and try them myself! If you make any of these share them with me on IG and I’ll post to my Stories! Enjoy!
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How To Clean Out Your Closet

I’ve been cleaning out my closet regularly since I was 10 years old. I remember my mom sitting me down at the beginning of every season to go through my toys, desk and wardrobe. She would have me create 3 piles; Keep, Donate, and Trash. When people ask how I stay so clean and organized today, it is without a doubt because of this system which began at such a young age! Marie Kondo has made cleaning out your closet a “thing” and shown a light on the importance of de-cluttering. I love that she’s made it mainstream and helped me so many people feel more light, organized and SANE! It’s amazing how you can feel so unproductive, stressed, and foggy surrounded by clutter and junk isn’t it? I always say, I can never get anything done until everything is put away and my house feels neat + tidy. Having less STUFF of course makes cleaning WAY easier. Being a blogger, I am constantly inundated with STUFF so I have to be really strategic about how I utilize my space, which is why I routinely clean out my closet. Living in NYC, and being short on space makes being neat, organized, and selective even more crucial! I wanted to share tips on How To Clean Out Your Closet and what specific things I’ve learned over the years! How To Clean Out Your Closet How Often To Clean I clean out my closet every 4 months at the beginning of a season. This allows me to get rid of anything I didn’t wear, make note of anything I’ll need for the upcoming season, and push pieces to the front or back of my closet depending on the weather/frequency they’ll be worn. I usually spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. So about 5-6 hours really sifting through everything. How To Physically Do A Clean Out I go through everything one by one on hangers, in drawers, and on shelves. Anything that I’m not 100% sure of, gets draped on my bed/chair near a mirror so that I can try it on once I’m done. I place everything in 3 piles: Keep, Sell, or Donate. The Keep pile gets immediately hung up again and put out of the way. The Sell pile stays in the corner until I have enough natural light to photograph them for Poshmark, and the Donate pile goes in a shopping bag that I put by my front door which reminds me to get it OUT of the house! How To Decide What To Get Rid Of If you haven’t worn something in a year, get rid of it. I used to hold onto things and make up scenarios of when I would possibly wear it, and 99.9% of the time, those scenarios never happened. Be realistic with yourself and your life/lifestyle. Seriously though, if you haven’t gotten use out of it in a year then sell it and make room for something you will wear regularly! Also, if you’re holding onto things that are too small, you should probably get rid of them. I’m all for motivation, but I don’t think staring at a closet of clothes that are too small is healthy. Trust me, I know! Embrace your figure and be proud of your body. It is beautiful. Outfit your wardrobe with pieces that celebrate your size and body right NOW, not the body you wish you had or you used to have. As women, our bodies and sizes do fluctuate depending on hormones, the time of the month, holidays, etc. so I’m not saying throw everything that’s a little snug out, but if it’s 2-3 sizes too small, it’s probably time to let them go. Lastly, this is a Marie Kondo tip, and something that I’ve always adapted. Ask yourself if that item brings you joy. If it doesn’t feel good or brings up negative feelings for WHATEVER reason – get rid of it. I did a MAJOR closet purge right after my breakup and it felt AMAZING!!!! What To Do With Unwanted Items I first ask my sister, mom or friends if they want my Sell/Donate items. I sell whatever is left on Poshmark. I’m obsessed with Poshmark and LOVE how easy it is sell things. I also love My Sister’s Closet consignment store in my hometown Scottsdale, The Real Real for luxury designer items, and Buffalo Exchange. Anything that’s not in selling condition, gets placed in shopping bags and I ask my cleaning lady if she wants it, or I donate it to a local shelter. I’m a huge supporter of Dress For Success, Goodwill and Salvation Army. Less Is More I’ve always held this philosophy when it comes to both fashion and decor. Like I said, I can’t think straight if there’s clutter around me. I try to be really conscious and mindful about everything I have and bring into my home. It’s so important to invest in fewer, better pieces, rather than tons of trendy, cheap items that will go out of style immediately the next season. Not only does this save you money in the long run, it really teaches you to appreciate what you have, and get creative by mixing and matching items together. Do you ever look at your closet full of clothes and exclaim, “I have nothing to wear?!” If the answer is yes, it’s time to do a major clean out so you can actually SEE what’s in your closet and put together thoughtful, beautiful outfits. Storage Tips I love the Ikea Billy bookcase for storing bags + shoes, these black velvet hangers for clothes, these lucite bins for accessories, old shoe boxes for office supplies, and wicker baskets/bags for miscellaneous items and as decor. I use these Serena & Lily baskets as my hampers and they’re currently 20% off! Professional Organizers It wasn’t until this past year that I realized how AMAZING professional organizers are!!!! I personally love organizing my own closet/wardrobe, but hate organizing my pantry, so for my LA kitchen I used The Home Edit team (they were incredible!!!!), for my LA to NYC move I used Straighten Up by Janelle (she was soooo gentle with my fragile/expensive handbags, hats, and shoes), and for my NYC pantry I used Louisa Roberts from The Neat Method. I highly recommend all of them. Importance of Closet Clean Outs I truly cannot stress enough how important it is to do regular closet clean outs. Don’t get bogged down with junk and clutter! Chaos in your home creates chaos in the mind. Also, being surrounded by things that aren’t enhancing or adding to your life, but are just taking up space, is just not healthy. It sounds dramatic, but it’s the truth. Get rid of anything that has negative memories attached to it, donate the stuff that’s too small and making you feel bad about yourself. Basically, purge anything that doesn’t make you HAPPY. Your closet should be full of things that make you smile when you look at them! Life is too short to have it any other way!!!! Summary Out with the old and in with the new. Less is more. Fewer, better. Say goodbye to the clutter! Let’s all be more mindful about what we buy and allow in our homes! Happy spring cleaning!
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A Holiday Bar Cart

I always enjoy decorating my home for the holidays and having friends over for cocktails!  If you’re going to add one decor item to your home this season, I highly recommend this gold bar cart.  It completes any entryway, room, nook, or party!  It’s literally the perfect gold bar cart and no surprise it’s from the Martha Stewart Collection created for Macy’s.  I loved decorating it for the holidays and wanted to share tips on how to style a bar cart. How to style a holiday bar cartFirst and foremost you need some beautiful glasses to hold your delicious cocktails!  These glasses are all from the Martha Stewart Collection created for Macy’s and look so elegant and sophisticated!  I have been dying to get my hands on old fashioned glasses like these – isn’t the cut out detail stunning?  And I love how romantic these goblets are – they make drinking wine even more fun if that’s even possible!!!   I always get asked where my julep cups come from – and these are the perfect set.  You can also use julep cups for your makeup brushes and flowers – they’re very multipurpose! Second you need a bar tool set which not only looks pretty but will make your cocktail game 10x better.  Whip up amazing concoctions with this 5 piece set.  This 7 bar tool set comes with a tray and cocktail shaker…such a great value – and also a great gift idea. It’s always nice to have a chic silver bucket full of ice for champagne or wine – and this one is so classy and comes with little silver tongs.  Keep this on the top shelf for easy access! Flowers and fruit are the finishing touches needed to really bring your bar cart setup up to life.  I used simple red roses here, and pomegranates on the bottom shelf.  You can also use coffee table books, candles, and even tie a wreath or garland to the front. Festive Christmas DecorWhen it comes to holiday decor, I love putting out garland on my TV console (would also look great on a mantle or table), and tons of candles everywhere.  This garland comes with the prettiest silver ornaments that match these antique silver candle holders.  I placed a few of these antique silver trees in between to break up the candles.  A holiday set up wouldn’t be complete without Christmas houses – and these winter white ones are darling and so reasonable – I had to get 3!  Lastly, mini trees really do elevate the space, and I love these two which I placed on either end of the console. Shop all of my festive holiday decor and bar cart goodies from the Martha Stewart Collection created for Macy’s below!
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A Thanksgiving Table

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just a few days away!  My mom is coming to town and I am so excited to show her around LA.  She has never visited me before (I usually visit her!) so this will be a really fun girls week/weekend.  I picked up these gorgeous pieces from Martha Stewart’s Collection, created for Macy’s to prep for our Thanksgiving feast.  I’m OBSESSED with the pattern on these plates – sooooo classic and ideal for Thanksgiving right?!  I know I’ll have these dishes for years to come! Thanksgiving Table DecorFor the table decor I used not only these stunning plates from Martha Stewart’s collection, created for Macy’s but these fun bowls for sides or soup, this pumpkin bowl for cranberry sauce, candy, or nuts, and this beautiful wood serving board and gold dish for appetizers.  I love how affordable and versatile these pieces are.  I designed my table around them – using a neutral color scheme with very “fall” like pops of color in the napkins and flowers. When it comes to decorating a table, I like to scan Pinterest and magazines before ordering things and heading to the store.  This gives me a general idea of what vibe I’m going for so once I’m at the store I don’t feel overwhelmed or like a deer in the headlights!  It’s always nice to be a little prepared since there are so many options.  When I was at the market, I knew I wanted food and flowers that were aesthetically pleasing and went with my dishware colors.  These fun pampas feathery looking plants stuck out at me, along with these deep red flowers.  I bought some eucalyptus, rosemary, and other greenery to lay out since the table needed some foliage to make it more rustic.  Shop everything for my Thanksgiving table decor below!
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