Guatamalan Rice and Tofu

posted on: May 28, 2015

I’d like to say that all of my talents are natural-born gifts, sent down to me from whatever being or combination of atoms is above in order to allow me to enrich the lives of others with my innate knowledge and skill.

I’d really like to say that.

But, that’s not how life works – we learn from others, we pick up knowledge and tips and tricks along the way, and we are inspired by things in everyday life.

For example, I’ve picked up cooking skills from cookbooks, YouTube, and blogs along my path towards adulthood — but most of my knowledge still comes from the #1 kitchen stunnah: my mother.

Likewise, she has put her own stamp on many different restaurant dishes. I think one of her favorite things to do is find a recipe she loves, and change it!

This dish is her take on a Good Earth menu item of the same name that she used to adore when that resto was still in business (is it open now? someone let me know if there’s a Good Earth near you… I’m obsessed with their Sweet & Spicy tea.)

So when Chobani asked me to share one of my favorite dishes using their Greek Yogurt, I thought this would be the perfect homage to a family favorite! Read More

A little prep in my step.

posted on: May 25, 2015

Ed. note: I’m having some technical difficulties today and my posts from the last few months have disappeared! This will be fixed ASAP. Until then, please enjoy today’s post!

As much as I may have some things figured out (snort), it turns out that I am still undergoing an identity search… of the fashion variety.

I have a couple of reactions when I’m shopping for clothes and happen upon something of a questionable nature (too many colors, too bright, sequin-covered, corny sayings, etc.)

Either I think it’s hideous and put it down, or I immediately proclaim, “I need this, just for life!” That’s basically my fashion philosophy: if something is outrageous enough, you’llnever know when you could need it.

I’m still on the search for the perfect sequined mini skirt.


All of that is to say, I think it’s rare that I wear an outfit that reminds me entirely of prep school and PTA meetings. Usually, I like to try to have at least one bright color, one sparkly object, or one crazy pattern.

But, something about this windowpane top just made me want to dress it up a bit without dressing it over the top.


It’s also the perfect red, white, and blue outfit for Memorial Day weekend. No, that wasn’t intentional — but I’ll take the credit anyway!

While on the topic of identity here, I’d like to take a moment to thank the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces. I am a full-blooded Bay Area West Coaster — which means I didn’t grow up knowing too many folks in the military, and I always regarded that part of life with a mixture of fear, confusion, and uncertainty about theethics of it, if I’m being completely honest.

The older I get, the more I realize that life is comprised of many shades of grey (ignorethe obvious joke here.) Men and women join the military for a myriad of reasons, but whatever their motivations, they are the ones sacrificing a “normal” lifestyle with their friends and loved ones to travel far and wide protecting our country.

They give up the comforts of home, the luxuries of civilian life, and sometimes their livesto enforce the principles of our Constitution and our country. And for that I will always be grateful.

I hope you are all enjoying this long weekend, and celebrating the fullness of your life – whether that be with barbecued meats, drinks with little umbrellas in them, a sunny day spent with friends, or just a little bit of prep in your step!



windowpane top | LOFT (similar)
black jeans | BDG from Urban Outfitters
chambray shirt | Old Navy (similar)
bag | Steven Alan from Crossroads Trading Co. (similar)
heels | Enzo Angiolini from Crossroads Trading Co. (similar)

High Five for Friday, vol. 7

posted on: May 22, 2015


High Five

This one’s easy – one of my best, best friends came to visit and stayed at the apartment all week! I can reveal this now (previously I hadn’t been able to tag her in any photos or comments online) because she is currently at her father’s surprise birthday dinner, hopefully having a fabulous time. Just like I had a fabulous time with her here! We got drinks and cooked dinners and ate sushi takeout and talked blog-shop (she’s working on a project of her own right now that I can’t wait to see in action) and caught up on life and just generally had a great time. There are some friends that are just so easy to be around. Thanks for coming, Freyan!

Low Five

This one is also easy because, sadly, my work bestie moved back to New York this week. She’s been someone I could rely on to help navigate the career waters at Google since July 2013 and it’s incredibly strange not to have her around the office! She’s also become a true friend, and it’s always sad when friends move farther away from you. That said, I know this is just part of this whole stage of my life coming to an end (since my contract is up in July), and the Universe is signaling that things have to change. Hopefully, some things will change for the better!

And now, some things for you!

– I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there are approximately thirteen hundred sales going on this weekend. My favorite so far is this Loeffler Randall one – I scored some amazing sandals that I can’t wait to shoot for the blog!

– Have you seen the new Netflix show Grace and Frankie? I love EVERYONE in this trailer.

This article about staying friends in your 30s is hilarious — and totally spot on.

– Two thousand calories sounds like an awful lot, until you see what that “budget” will get you at these different restaurants. Hint: it’s not a lot.

– I didn’t waste a minute before snagging this book from DKNY PR Girl chock full of practical (and totally relevant) career advice. I’ll let you all know how it is!

I hope you all have a beautiful and relaxing Memorial Day weekend! And, maybe pick yourself up a hot pair of shoes while you’re at it. And drink some lemonade. Do summerystuff!

Orange you glad…

posted on: May 19, 2015

…that I resisted making a horrible pun the title of this post? Eh?


I know, I know. I had to though! Think of it as web-based self-flagellation for this belated post. Revealing your horrible pun-centric sense of humor in internet-public is kind of thesame thing as what happened in The Da Vinci Code, right?

Too dark? Moving on.


Now, let me chat at you for a minute. Several things about this outfit are important.

This dress? I bought it at least three years ago from Madewell! It’s still in like-new condition, and even though it’s in a somewhat bright wild eye-opening trendy color, thecut is classic enough to be worn through several years of Springs and Summers.

And the blazer, from Banana Republic, is even older than the dress. I love the muted blue color, and the pattern peeking out on the lining (it’s a New York City map!) – but thecut, again, is classic enough to be kept in my closet for years! You would think I had bought this a month ago, amirite?

My point? Even though it’s fun to shop the sales (LOFT is having a pretty great one right now!) and try out trend pieces from the “fast fashion” stores, there’s something to be said about choosing quality pieces that you can wear over and over again (Marie Kondo would approve!)

In other words, I’m really embracing this idea of shopping your own closet. I know it sounds trite at this point, but there really is value in buying pieces that fit your body type, in a classic style, in quality materials that will last for several seasons.

Sometimes, picking the right item can lead to a highlighter orange dress becoming a closet staple.

(Orange you glad I turned that post around at the end?)



blazer | Banana Republic, out of season (similar)
dress | Madewell, out of season (similar)
heels | Madewell Mira heel, on sale (similar)
studded clutch | Linea Pelle (similar, similar)

High Five for Friday, vol. 6

posted on: May 16, 2015

Ugh! That thing where you write a whole blog post and then it deletes the minute you enter your SEO key word.

Yeah, I don’t know what I’m talking about either. Don’t worry, the old intro wasn’t that great anyway!


High Five

This week’s high five is much like the others: good time spent with good friends and good food. That is to say, Thursday night I headed straight to Nectar wine lounge in theMarina to get some pinot noir, appetizers lots and lots of burrata, and quality time catching up with Meg and Nat (sorority sisters of mine who, luckily, live in the Bay so I can see them as often as our schedules allow.) Any week where I am reminded of theamazing friends I have in my life is a good one, in my opinion!

Also, who wants to try the Tipsy Pig with me sometime?

Low Five

This is really a high five in disguise… to kickstart my job search (insert exhausted sound here) I asked a good friend and professional career advice giver who works at Levo League to revamp my resume for me. While no one truly enjoys that process, she was very encouraging and made me feel a lot more confident about sending my application materials out. One small step for Maddy’s career, one huge step for… well, Maddy’s career! I hope. I think. We’ll see.


And now, some things for you!

– While I haven’t visited any of the SF locations yet, I’m super excited to give the Castro spot a try when it opens. Think we can get Hallie to teach a class there?

– My high school self would have bought this hair tie bracelet in a minute. In fact, I still might!

– Any movie with Kate Mara and Miles Teller is a movie I want to see.

– I love supporting SF food ventures! How long do you think I’ll have to wait before I can try this new Mission spot by the folks of Tartine?

– We all need a little help being productive sometimes, but you can start just by making your bed.


I’m going back to playing with my friend’s dog I’m watching this weekend, and hopefully organizing my apartment a bit more. I hope you all enjoy this wonderful Saturday!

Textures & Tieks

posted on: May 13, 2015




I have a lot of favorites in this post, y’all.

The bag? A present from my brother last Christmas when I said I needed something to carry my laptop around in during the “wet winter” (which never happened.) It’s still my go-to everyday bag for work.

The scarf? An impulse purchase at the airport on the way to Puerto Rico that I seem to try to pair with everything.

The shades? A birthday present from my mom.

The shoes? A birthday present from me.

(…which I haven’t taken off in the seven days since I got them. It’s getting a little weird. It’s like I only own one pair of shoes now. I may need to get them in another color just to spice it up.)


Do you ever find that when your clothing has memories, you seem to be more drawn to them than other pieces?


I adore the bag I bought myself on Poshmark several months ago, but I haven’t used it much yet because I love having something near me everyday that my brother picked out instead (also, the other purse is a little too fancy for my job. But that’s another story.)

I have plenty of scarves that I’ve collected over the years, but knowing that this one has been to another country and back with me gives it an extra special something.

There are four pairs of sunglasses displayed on my bookshelf but I gravitate towardsthese because I know my mom picked them out for me.


Sometimes, I’m reminded of that scene from The Devil Wears Prada where Andy (Anne Hathaway) is scoffing at two turquoise belts that an assistant has just said are “so different” and which she cannot even tell apart.

Miranda Priestly (played by the enigmatic and impeccable Meryl Streep) turns to her and gives her a lecture about how every outfit choice that she has made is based on some decision a higher up editor made previously, even if she doesn’t realize it. Fashion curates all of her style, even as she thinks she has picked out that sweater in an effort to distance herself from high fashion.

While not directly applicable here, my point is thus: style is such a personal thing, and yet, the choices of others can always often sometimes affect our own. Whether it’s through receiving a present, shopping with friends, or browsing fashion blogs online – no choice is made in a vacuum anymore.

…It’s just nice when you realize it’s happening, like having a fond memory of a scarf, rather than getting scolded by your terrifying boss.



sweatshirt | J.Crew via Crossroads Trading Co. (similar)
denim | Gap 1969 Always Skinny
scarf | SFO airport (similar)
shoes | Tieks by Gavrieli in Camel (I also love Ballerina Pink)
bag | Longchamp Le Pliage in Bilberry
sunglasses | Oliver Peoples (similar, similar)

A bit flustered in florals.

posted on: May 11, 2015

Hey, remember that thing I was talking about that one time? That thing about howsometimes living in San Francisco makes it hard to dress up to my true fashionista (that word, ugh) potential because of the hills and the hipsters and — oh yeah — the wind?

Shooting for this photo was like a small reminder that Mother Nature knows all, hears all, and does not like being mocked on my blog. Clearly.


These shots look so serene, don’t they? Just a twenty-something girl, putting together a cute springtime look and sashaying her way down the street to grab a quick bite with friends or get drinks at a café or maybe check out a museum.

Ah, what a life that would be!

The reality was more like this:


Oh, and there are lots more where that came from.

This entire shoot was done a hop, skip, and a sashay away from my apartment, so I didn’t travel far in my short skirtedness. Yet, the amount of times I awkwardly (andspeedily) clamped my arms down to avoid flashing the small children of theneighborhood (or the firefighters down the street) is almost comical.

Clearly this is an outfit that works more in theory in SF than in the reality of it.

…Or maybe I should just learn to love tights? I don’t think I’m ready to give in yet. It’s bare, ghost-white legs, or nothin!

Er, I mean, or pants. Pants are an option too.

Sidenote: I love these DV by Dolce Vita heels. It’s hard for me to find high heels that are comfortable for me (thanks, law school job, for the foot thing) but these ones are verywearable. And I snagged them on sale from Piperlime’s closing! Win-win.

(For me at least. Probably not for Piperlime.)



dress | Prabal Gurung for Target via Poshmark (similar)
jacket | Gap 1969 Denim
heels | DV by Dolce Vita
clutch | Adopted NYC
sunnies | Ray Ban (similar)

High Five for Friday, vol. 5

posted on: May 8, 2015

This week was my birthday week, so this post is a recap of High Fives and Low Fives from my 28th year, as well as a little bit about my goals moving forward. Let’s jump right in!


High Fives from 28

1. Traveling as much as I did

Whether it was to Montréal with my family last summer, a short visit to New York orSeattle, or a birthday trek to Puerto Rico for Dhruvi, I have traveled more this year than any other year and I could not be more grateful for those experiences. I officially have thewanderlust bug!

2. Being in a stable job for a full year

I went to grad school right after college, and ever since have been making my way through various contract jobs to gain legal experience. For last year’s taxes, I had fourW-2s to collect and fill out. This year I had one. This really put a smile on my face.

3. Reconnecting with old friends

At the same time as I had one friend move away for grad school, I had another two move to SF and I began spending more time with an old friend from law school. Getting to spend more time with these friends has been such a (wait for it, cheesy word approaching) blessing in my life this past year!

4. Learning to trust my own decisions

As much as I can be stubborn and willful, I also have a strong crowd-pleasing aspect to my personality. I have often been the one to ask four different friends and my mom for opinions on a life choice. This year, I’ve learned that just pleasing myself is good enough; if the decision makes me happy and healthy, then I don’t necessarily need to ask everyone around me what they think.

5. My birthday this year

This year’s birthday made me feel so special and so loved. I had a small get together at a local brewery and was pleasantly surprised by the number of people that came out for it (including several coworkers) – plus, all of the messages and good wishes I received all day just made my heart swell. It really means something to realize you have such great people in your life!


Low Fives from 28

1. The Break Up

I went through the ending of one of my biggest relationships to date this year, and now that I’m firmly on the other side, I can wholeheartedly say it was the right thing for us both. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t incredibly difficult and life-changing.

2. Not getting a job offer

I applied for a permanent position and didn’t get it. That’s how life goes sometimes, but it was a disappointment to be sure. It also made me incredibly grateful for the time I do get to spend with my coworkers and at this job!

3. Feeling the money pinch

This year has been my worst year to date in terms of budgeting, and it’s showing now that I am limited in my future life options by how much money I have. I had an opportunity to move to New York this fall and I can’t because I didn’t save enough in advance and plan for something like this to come up – I’m going to try very hard not to make that mistake again.

4. Getting out of shape

I had been training for one half-marathon a year for the previous four years. This year, when my group didn’t get selected for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon lottery, I let myself get completely out of shape since I no longer had a goal in mind. I signed up forthe San Francisco Half taking place this summer, and I’m getting back into it, but it is somuch harder to get back into shape than to stay active year-round.

5. Too much dating

This is not really a Low Five so much as it is a fact of life – love is hard. That’s why they write sitcoms and romcoms and tragedies about it. However, my own dating history has previously been a series of long term relationships (or dramatic situations) marked by spells of single-dom. This year, all that changed, and I began the sometimes excitingand somewhat tedious process of going on actual dates, many of which never led anywhere. While I am grateful for the learning experience, it’s exhausting, and I’m ready to spend less time focusing on dates and more time on me. It was a necessary venture atthe time, though.


5 Things before 30

1. This is my most ambitious goal, and it ties into Low Five #3 above: I want to save enough money before I turn 30 that I can take six months off and blog full-time. I want to do it. It’s happening.

2. I want to become conversational in Spanish.

3. I want to pare down my possessions so that moving somewhere else someday won’t be a complete hassle, and just generally remember the whole “make do with less” mantra.

4. I want to run a 9:30-minute mile for 5 or more miles.

5. I want to continue this journey of trusting myself. Self-esteem isn’t all about looking in a mirror and giving yourself positive affirmations (though I’ve heard that works!); it’s about trusting your intuition, your intelligence, your capabilities, and your gut to navigate you through this world properly.


And now, some things for you!

– Have you heard? Anna Kendrick has a book deal!

– In case you need help with that whole “getting in shape” thing too, Not Your Standard’s list of things to keep in the kitchen is on point.

– Cynthia Rowley is one of my new favorite designers, and I’m seeing her pieces everywhere! I would wear this whole look, and this whole look, and this skirt is incredible, and I love how feminine this pairing is. Gah.

– Nerd alert: is anyone else so excited over this Star Wars teaser? Are you going to see the new movie?

– I am in love with this mardi gras bead DIY Katie made. I need to start brainstorming one, stat!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Attention! Attention!

posted on: March 30, 2015

Just like Spring cleaning comes around about once a year, so does a name change! At least, here at madeleine blogs, it does.

Hey, a blog’s gotta laugh at itself once in a while, right?

DSC_8780_2We’ve spruced up (and cutes-ed up), and are moving the party over to Ginger & the Fizz. Update your RSS feeds and join us (me?) there!

Homemade pasta & Braised Onion Sauce

posted on: March 24, 2015

Who wants to get their cook on with me today? If you follow me through this incredibly winding and wandering thought stream, I promise the end result will be akin to a food-based Oprah episode. You get a pasta! And you get a pasta! And you all get pastasssss!

Or, something like that.

UntitledNeither half of this tutorial is particularly difficult, they’re both just time consuming and patience-requiring. But I swear to you, this was one of the most satisfying meals I’ve ever made, simply because I created all of it out of a few basic ingredients and a lot of time to spare.

For the pasta:

– four eggs
– 3.5 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
– either a pasta making machine, or a tagliatelle roller like I have, or a ruler and a knife

For the sauce:

– 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 1.5 pounds white onions, halved and sliced 1/4″ thick
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– salt
– 1/4 cup Madeira (found at Whole Foods though I’m sure any grocery store will have some)
– 3/4 lb hot, cooked pasta (the original recipe uses papardelle, but I don’t have a papardelle roller.)

When Debbie wanted to come over and help me cook this, I said YES PLEASE! But first, we started with wine and cheese. Because who doesn’t love wine and cheese? And, also, rhyming… Read More