Weekend links

Some goodies for your weekend…

I love it when homes or restaurants are built around trees. I think it’s a unique way to create a structure and it also celebrates what’s been naturally growing in the space for years. This beautifully chic home has a 100-year-old tree right in its courtyard. 

Ever seen a Sea Lilly? Awe-struck.

Have you watched Moana yet? If you haven’t, do! It was empowering, sweet and the music was out of this world. I mean…can we expect any less from Lin-Manuel Miranda? I’ve been listening to the Moana soundtrack on repeat (sorry neighbors) since Saturday.

I’ve been feeling utterly helpless and heartbroken by the situation in Aleppo. This article helped me figure out what to do and where to donate.

This commercial made me smile.  A celebration of those speaking out for hope, peace and beauty. Also, Macy Gray!

Want to know what life is like from a bee’s perspective? They are so clever, and are an intricate part of our ecosystem.

Ooo that cold weather is kickin’ in! I have nothing to gripe about in LA compared to the rest of the country/world, however, I do empathize with the struggle a lot of us face trying to motivate ourselves to exercise in this cold/damp weather. These few tips may help you get moving when you don’t really want to. I have definitely slept in my exercise clothes to make it as easy as possible for me to workout in the morning. Works!

Ruth Negga reads the first chapter of Zadie Smith’s Swing Time . Beautifully written and spoken, it’ll suck you right in.

The SAG awards is holding an auction to raise money for SAG foundation’s children’s literacy programs. There are a variety of things up for auction, including signed posters and dvds, VIP tickets to shows, and tickets to the SAG awards. I have a lot of actor friends who volunteer for the children’s literacy programs, and they are a wonderful and empowering way to help kids find the joy in stories and to also give them confidence to tell their own.

Modern courtyard home built around a 100-year-old tree
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Princess Diana’s Dresses

You. GUYS. A mother and daughter found 2 dresses worn by Princess Diana at a thrift shop, and they sold them for about $15,500 at auction yesterday. Talk about a bargain find! The first is a Caroline Charles brown tartan day dress…

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Holiday Gifts: 10 under $50

‘Tis the season for giving! And I LOVE giving, but I also know a lot of us are on a budget (as am I) SO, here are 10 practical and lovely gifts under $50.


Lisbon O-Ring Saddlebag Pouch Belt ($49.99) from Madewell. May I just point out that marketing people are trying to rebrand fanny packs by calling them “Pouch Belt” or “Belt Bag”. I don’t know why…I’ve always loved fanny packs! They’re practical! And this one is very very cute. On sale at Madewell…30% off with code SPLURGE. Great gift for an outdoors-y friend. And yes, it fits an iPhone.


Green Tea Gift Set ($32.50) from The Detox Market. Perfect gift for the regular tea drinker. It comes with 5 different types of green teas and an infuser. Use code FREESHIP for free shipping.

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Weekend Links

The 2016 Hater’s Guide to The Williams-Sonoma Catalog is here for all your holiday needs! If you need a chuckle this weekend, have a read. There’s poking fun of everything from electric corkscrews to $9 lollipops. I think my favorite is the “Poop Nugget” personalized peppermint bark tin.

A very cool win for independent musicians everywhere. Chance the Rapper successfully petitioned to get the Recording Academy (Grammy voting board) to recognize independently produced music/musicians, and is now nominated for seven awards himself. His album, Coloring Book, is now the first streaming-only album to get nominated for a Grammy. Congrats to Chance the Rapper (producer, writer, lyricist, maker-of-his-own-dreams, etc.)!

Remember those fantasy/sci-fi/artificial intelligence movies about the “future” we used to watch as kids? I feel like we’re getting closer and closer to it every day. Amazon has just opened a grocery store that uses artificial intelligence and sensors to allow shoppers to grab what they need and walk out, without “checking out” or waiting in line. Very cool, but also kind of unnerving…what’d you think?

The love, the hate, the “can’t stay away” feelings toward LA described in this beautiful  poem by LA Poet Laureate, Luis J. Rodriguez. Beautifully written and spoken.

Happy weekend, all!

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Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup

The weather has been exceptionally chilly here (for LA ha!), so I decided to whip out my Vitamix and make the Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup from Minimalist Baker.

Can I say…YUM.

I used light coconut milk since the sweet potato adds to the creaminess, and added more cayenne because I wanted a little kick. Voila!… deliciousness in less than an hour.

I’ve always enjoyed Minimalist Baker recipes because….well…they’re minimalist. The simplicity of the recipes without sacrificing flavor is a lifesaver for those crazy busy days or, let’s face it, those crazy lazy, stay-in-bed-for-hours kind of days.

Perfect remedy for my “chilly” day.



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Society 6 Laptop Sleeves

Hi everyone,

I just bought this laptop case from Society 6 and I am SO in love (see below).

This print is by an artist named Caitlin Workman.

The inside has microfiber lining and the outside is a liquid resistant material. It does the job and protects my laptop.

My only tip for purchasing the laptop covers is to buy 1 size bigger if you have a Mac. Your 13.3″ macbook won’t fit inside the 13″ case. I bought the 15″ for my 13.3″  Mac and the extra 2″ is barely noticeable.

I’ve bought prints from Society 6 and I can honestly say, what you see is what you get. The prints look exactly how they look on the site. I’ve been pretty satisfied with my purchases, and I absolutely adore that I’m finding new artists and supporting them.

They often have deals and free shipping, so that’s a plus too.




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Weekend Links

Hi all,

I hope everyone’s having a relaxing weekend. Here are a few interesting links for your eyes:

It is exceptionally cold and windy in LA this week and it has made my skin very dry, so I wanted to  share this article on ways to keep your skin moisturized: Dry Skin Remedies. Personally, I like to glob on the moisturizer and then, put on a pair of cloth gloves before going to bed. They become exceptionally moisturized and soft by morning.

Every time I see a cornfield maze through the window of an airplane, I wonder how farmers form them with such precision. Here is their secret and also some very cool mazes: A How-To on Cornfield Mazes

‘Tis the season for giving! If you’re confused about who to tip and how much to tip during the holidays, here’s some advice: Holiday Tipping. Also, if you would like to tip your postman (mine is awesome), here is what the USPS says about tipping/gifting them: Postman Gifting (essentially, gift them some fresh baked cookies).


Happy weekend, everyone.


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Rihanna’s Higher

Hey everyone,

I’m loving that new Rihanna single, Love on the Brain. Have you heard it?

I’m already a sucker for doo-wop, and this song has doo-wop, soulfulness (to the likeness of Amy Winehouse), and Rihanna’s haunting vocals.  Beautiful song and very catchy.

I loved it so much, it made me listen to Rihanna’s entire ANTI album, and that’s when I got hooked on the track, Higher.

Click here for a listen: Higher (That violin in the background = killer).

If you liked Love on the Brain, you’ll love Higher.



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Weekend Links

Hey everyone,

I wanted to share a few fun and interesting links to get you through your food coma this holiday weekend…

Gorgeous photographs from this year’s Siena International Photo Awards. One of my favorites is featured below. I love seeing what life is like outside of my bubble – so cool and humbling. Photos of Everyday Life From Around the World

Maria Cornejo and Cleo Wade talk about why getting dressed is so important. Love this uplifting conversation about self-care. Why Getting Dressed Matters Now More Than Ever

I thought this was fitting since we are officially in the holiday season. This article gives a little guidance on how to start those sometimes awkward food allergy/diet conversations with your dinner host or dinner guest. Dinner Party Etiquette

I hope you’re having a beautiful, restful weekend.


Xiaolong Guo




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Happy Thanksgiving

Hi everyone,

I woke up early this morning, took a Bar Method class, and went straight to Simple Things to pick up the pumpkin streusel pie I ordered for dinner tonight. Yup, you heard that right.

Pumpkin. Streusel. Pie.

I hope you guys are as excited for dinner as I am about this pie.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!



Why yes pie, I think I did make a good decision…


With gratitude,


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