good eats: habana in costa mesa, ca

8 04 2010

nick is taking me on a date tonight (woo-hoo) and we’re headed to one of our favorite spots in orange county: habana.  when i went to spain a couple of years back, i somehow became addicted to cuban food (wrong continent, i know).  when i got home, it was all i could think about and i had to find a decent mojito and plaintain fast or i would’ve gone insane.

enter habana.  it’s not completely authentic but they sure do come close.  they don’t mess with classics like ropa vieja or arroz con pollo, but they do make some dishes more modern.  the combination of slow-cooked beef, cuban rice, and a fried plaintain is a glorious marriage of flavor that everyone [who eats meat] should experience.  they also do justice to the classic mojito with freshly-muddled mint and GOOD rum.  they also offer a couple of twists for the non-conformists (blueberry and pomegranate are add-on options).

i’ll have to post pictures of our meal later.  oh, and did i mention the interior of habana is gorgeous?  i have a picture of it in the daylight (see below) but at night, hundreds of candles (safely lit in hurricanes) make the place glow.  it feels like you are eating in a little cave.

photo cred:

imagine with candles lit and old movies playing on the walls...super romantic

so excited!   eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!


good eats: hot dog on a stick at santa monica pier

5 04 2010

you’ve probably had a corn dog or three in your lifetime, but none like this one.  yes, they have hot dog on a stick franchises at the mall, but again, nothing compares to the stand in santa monica or venice.  the hot dogs are on wooden sticks, like they were in 1946.  AND they serve turkey hot dogs that taste like beef hot dogs!  the outside is crispety-crunchety and the inside is savory and sweet and just nom noms.  order a side of fries and a large cherry lemonade to complete the beach meal trifecta.

beach food at its finest (well, lobster club sandwiches are a close second, but that's for another blog)

beauty essentials: sunscreen

12 03 2010
the fact that i have 5 different types of sunscreen in my medicine cabinet may indicate that i have a slight obsession.  this sort of obsession carries over into my eye cream  stash and moisturizers and concealers.  i can justify these purchases because i wake up to different skin everyday.  it’s a finicky and temperamental thing, this little epidermis of mine.   i don’t know about you, but my skin changes with the season.  in the winter, my cheeks are dry and my skin gets a little icky.  in the summer, it gets oily and changes tint a bit.  i need a range of products to deal with my schizophrenic outer layer.

here are my favorite sunscreens:

la roche posay's anthelios is my go-to in the winter. it's heavier, so it gives my skin a little moisture in the cold months.

PCAskin hydrator plus SPF 25 - i use this in the springtime. my skin is usually on its best behavior and the sun's rays aren't shining down on me too much. no zinc oxide in this one.

Obagi SPF 35 - the BEST sunscreen out there in my opinion. it has a good amount of zinc oxide, which a lot sunscreens are missing on the ingredient list. the zinc oxide makes it hard to blend, so beware - you may have splotches of white if you don't rub it in all the way.

essentials: beauty

7 03 2010

i’m not big on make-up.  i hate lipstick or gloss, refuse to wear foundation, and loathe eyeshadow.  everything about that attitude was fine until i hit a certain age.  i have no fear of aging, but the change in my skin texture threw me for a loop.  then, i found the most treasured beauty product in my beauty regimen arsenal:  laura mercier tinted moisturizer.  so light AND it has sunblock.

dream-come-true in a bottle (err, tube)? i think so.

essentials: good eats

5 03 2010

i am in love with Father’s Office.  COMPLETELY and utterly in love.  nick and i have been patrons since Monica’s 21st birthday.  everything we’ve ordered has been amazing – the food, the beer, the wine.  during the summer, they have amazing figs with gorgonzola and wrapped in prosciutto.  in the winter, they have organic brussels sprouts with crispy serrano ham and pine nuts.  all year round, they have wonderful burgers and sweet potato fries and lamb kabobs that will make you ache for more even though you’re full up to your eyeballs with beer and food.  you’ll wonder how you lived without these dishes.

please please please visit them soon.