3 summer outfits

I thought it would be fun to post some of my favorite summer outfits. I feel very ME in each of these outfits. They remind me of what I used to like wearing as a kid. I’ve always liked combining ~girly~ clothes with practical and comfortable choices like sneakers and hats. I’ve actually worn each of these outfits recently, so I named them after what was happening at the time.


Look #1: Sunday morning at the Farmer’s Market

Farmer's Market
Farmer's Market Photos by Paul A. Rosales

Shirt/Uniqlo (similar one and two), Skirt/Target (similar), Purse/H&M (similar), Sunglasses/Bonlook, Shoes/Vans

Look #2: Stormy weather date night
Stormy weather date night
Stormy weather date night
Photos by me.

Undershirt/H&M, Tank top/American Rag, Sweater/Uniqlo (similar), Necklace/Liz Claiborne (similar), Glasses/Bonlook


Look #3: Another sunny day in California

Another sunny day in California
Photo by me.

Shirt/Jarritos (free at the LA Street Food Fest), Hat/Quiet Life purchased on Poshmark), Shorts/BDG from Urban Outfitters, Sunlasses/Borrowed from Paul

I just looked back and it’s been 10 months (!!!) since I’ve posted an outfit. I’ve never been the best blogger, but I still haven’t completely quit. I always come back to blogging. Also, I post such a variety of things and outfits aren’t my favorite thing to post because it means asking my boyfriend or someone else to take pictures of me.

This time, to save him the trouble and get some more photography practice myself, I took some photos yesterday with my camera and tripod. But he took photos of the first outfit on my iPhone a few weeks ago when we went to the Farmer’s Market and I was particularly proud of how I dressed myself. :)

I’m not crazy about these photos, but I thought I’d go ahead and post them any way. Soon I’ll do a fall shoot to practice using my tripod again. Because it’s almost fall!

Chicken tortilla soup

chicken tortilla soup

My oldest sister has been making this chicken tortilla soup for years. I’ve made it a few times according to her recipe. Recently I waned to add some extra spice to it and experiment a bit.

chicken tortilla soup

This is a riff off my sister’s recipe for chicken tortilla soup. It’s flavorful, easy to throw together and is great for leftovers as well.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and diced)
46.5 ounces low sodium chicken broth*
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/8 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4-6 cloves of garlic**
1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 (15 ounce) can of corn

Tortilla chips
Shredded cheese
Sour cream

*46.5 ounces is equal to 1 (32 ounce) carton plus 1 (14.5 ounce) can low sodium chicken broth

**If you use minced dried garlic like I do the use a big teaspoon.

Start by cooking the chicken. You can even do it the day before if you know you will be pressed for time. I poached the chicken with a bay leaf, ancho chili, salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in your favorite big soup pot. When it’s hot but not sizzling, add the spices and garlic. After about 8 minutes or so when the spices smell spicy and delicious, add in the remaining ingredients, starting with the chicken broth. When you add the broth be sure to give the bottom of the pot a bit of a scrape to get all the spices mixed in.

Then just let the soup simmer away for about an hour. Give it at least 45 minutes. An hour and a half is probably ideal. Keep an eye on it. It should simmer but not boil.

Lastly, ladle into bowls. Put on your favorite toppings and enjoy.

 The ancho chile turned the broth a bright red color. It seemed like the more everything cooked together, the broth became darker and more homogenous.

I like spicy food and so does Paul, so I thought adding dried chiles would be an easy way to update a classic family recipe. And it was!

I found one more easy way to update this soup. I had leftovers for a few days, so to make it a little different, I put half a serving in the blender, leaving out the chicken pieces. The corn, tomato and beans blended nicely and the soup became thicker, almost like a chowder.

Have you ever experimented with a favorite old recipe?

My skin care products + routine

It’s taken me years to develop a skin care routine that’s actually a routine. Meaning, I haven’t stuck with caring for my face with the same product or even similar products until this year. Now that I’m almost 25, I’ve managed to get a system going.

I use kind of a lot of products, but I don’t use them all at the same time. As you can see in the photos below, I’ve arranged them according to height and popularity. (That’s a little humor for you M*A*S*H fans.)


Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser

Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture with SPF 15

Clean & Clear Essentials Deep Cleaning Toner For Sensitive Skin

Trader Joe’s Vitamin E Oil

Lush Cosmetics Coalface

Boots Expert Sensitive Gently Eye-Makeup Removal Pads

nügg Soothing Face Mask

Jason Purifying Tea Tree Skin Oil

My every day routine

skin care

Morning: If I wore makeup the night before, I’ll start by gently wiping any remaining bits off my eyes with eye makeup remover pads. I either use the Boots pads or a liquid on a cotton pad, such as Almay or Target brand liquid eye makeup remover. I’m not stuck on anything particular. Then I’ll wipe away the rest of my makeup with Vitamin E Oil on a cotton pad. I wash my face with the Lush Cosmetics Coalface bar. If my skin is feeling particularly dry, I’ll use the Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser instead. I’ve used the Neutrogena Cleanser off and on since I was 13. I still like it, but I like Coalface more. Then I’ll pat my face dry with a washcloth and put on some moisturizer.

Most important here: Face wash + moisturizer

skin care

Night: I start off by washing my face, usually with my Lush bar soap. Then I’ll remove any traces of makeup, first around my eyes with remover and then on the rest of my face with vitamin E oil, same as in the morning. Next, I put the Clean & Clear Essentials toner on a cotton pad and wipe my face and neck, avoiding my eye area. I’ll top it off with the same moisturizer as in the morning.

Most important here: Face wash + makeup remover + toner

skin care

Extras: I use vitamin E oil, face masks and tea tree oil sparingly. I’ve had this particular bottle of vitamin e oil for more than a year now. I just forget to use it. I’ve used the nügg Soothing Face Mask three or four times now and love it. It’s the only mask I’ve used more than once. It makes my skin feel perfectly smooth and clean. I’m not sold on the Jason Purifying Tea Tree Skin Oil yet. So far I’ve used it as an acne spot treatment and it’s not that effective. I’m hoping it can replace my Clean & Clear Essentials Deep Cleaning Toner For Sensitive Skin. I don’t want to give up the toner, but I am looking into natural products that are also cruelty free. I want to be good to my skin and the environment. I also always have face wipes handy for when I’m too lazy to wash my face. I find I don’t rely on them as much as I have in the past because I like my current bar soap.

Besides making sure I wash my face every morning and put on moisturizer every morning as my mom taught me, I also make a conscious effort to drink plenty of water and eat healthy. Also, as weird as it may sound, I make it a point to brush my teeth before washing my face. That way I wash away any toothpaste slobber. Gross, but it helps.

If you’ve read through to this point, congrats! That’s a lot of reading about some girl’s skin. So, what’s your regimen? Share in the comments!

Quick Trip to Encinitas

encinitas trip

Last weekend my family and I went to Encinitas (way south of Los Angeles, north of San Diego) for a good 24 hours. I really wish I had taken more pictures. No point in dwelling on the past though.

Here are some fun things we did that I wouldn’t mind doing again.

  • Lunch at Burger Lounge in Del Mar (Saturday)
  • Walked around the Del Mar shopping center
  • Lounging in the hotel pool and spa
  • Dinner at Encinitas Fish Shop
  • Walked around the San Diego Botanical Gardens
  • Lunch at Milton’s (Sunday)
  • Beach time in Oceanside on the way home

I definitely recommend Encinitas Fish Shop. It has the best clam chowder I’ve ever had. Admittedly, I haven’t had clam chowder at very many places. But still! Milton’s was amazing too.

encinitas trip

encinitas trip

encinitas trip

What I’ve been cooking lately (v. 3)

Hey there! I’m back with another round-up of what I’ve been cooking lately. (You can catch round 1 and 2 here.) At this point, it’s been almost 7 months since I moved out of my mom’s house and in with Paul. I was spoiled most of my life by having the best home cook make the majority of my meals. Now I’m determined to make delicious healthy food on my own.

I’ve been getting a good start with easy dishes like fancy pancakes for dinner and different kinds of chicken noodle soup. I’m experimenting with family favorites, which is fun. It also helps that I’ve been using trusted sources like the New York Times and Food52. I’ve also been watching a lot of cooking channels on YouTube.

I hope you find this series useful and see some recipes you can try out for yourself. Happy cooking!

What I've Been Cooking Lately (v. 3)
What I've Been Cooking Lately (v. 3)
What I've Been Cooking Lately (v. 3)

What I've Been Cooking Lately (v. 3)What I've Been Cooking Lately (v. 3)
What I've Been Cooking Lately (v. 3)What I've Been Cooking Lately (v. 3)
What I've Been Cooking Lately (v. 3) 

Main Dishes

  • Posole (again): This time I used dried ancho chiles with the help of this video and combined that with these simple directions.
  • Grilled pork chops with glazed peaches: I used the same ingredients and measurements as in this New York Times recipe, but cooked this on the stove instead of on the grill.
  • My Dad’s Pancakes: Huckleberry Cookbook
  • Cormeal Pancakes: I made this using the Portlandia Cookbook recipe for Marrionberry pancakes. I just used blueberries instead of marrionberries.
  • Cheesy Pasta: Refinery 29 via Food52 (not pictured)
  • Meatballs: My mom’s recipe (not pictured)
  • Hashbrown quiche: This is my mom’s recipe. It’s so easy, but looks like it took more effort.
  • Pizza with ricotta cheese and farmer’s market figs: Actually, Paul gets the credit for these. He uses this recipe for pizza dough.
  • Chicken with orzo pasta: Also my mom’s recipe
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup:  I used my sister’s recipe, but changed a few things. I wanted to make it a bit spicier, so I used an ancho chili. My boyfriend doesn’t like onions, so I left them out. We didn’t have garlic, coriander or chili powder so I skipped those. I added cayenne pepper and paprika.

What I've Been Cooking Lately (v. 3) What I've Been Cooking Lately (v. 3)

Baked Goods

  • Flourless Fudge Cookies: I used this King Arthur Flour recipe one night when my guy and I wanted cookies but we were all out of milk. The recipe warns that it can be tricky and it was for me. My batter wasn’t syrupy enough and the cookies turned out crunchy.
  • Sweet Corn Muffins: These muffins were amazing! Someday I’ll make everything in the Huckleberry Cookbook.