What I Ate This Weekend

I spent a large part of this weekend relaxing in my home which gave me the perfect opportunity to cook some meals (even though it was 80 degrees with no AC...). I've put together a breakfast, lunch, and dinner that I enjoyed and hope you take some inspiration for your own kitchen.


Breakfast


My breakfast really varies depending on how much time I have. Sometimes its just overnight oats I prepare the night before or if I have more time, our favorite banana protein pancakes (linked here). On Friday, I was working from home and had a little bit of extra time to spare. I've been on a hard boiled egg kick recently and made two eggs, toasted two slices of some sour dough bread, and brewed some Peet's coffee in my french press.

To make the perfect soft boiled (but not runny yolk) eggs, salt and boil a small pot of water. When it come to a boil, place the eggs gently into the water using a slotted spoon, so they don't crack, and set your timer for 7 minutes. They'll come out with the yolk perfectly soft. If you want a true hard boil, 9 minutes will do the trick.


Lunch


I've been making a conscious effort to eat a larger lunch, a snack around 4pm, and a light dinner at 7pm to try and optimize my "waking" hours based on my chronotype (refer to this book). After my workout on Sunday, I pan fried a chicken breast, some wild rice, and my favorite mini broccoli from Trader Joe's. This meal takes about 40 minutes to prepare (thank you wild rice) but kept me full through to my afternoon snack.

To make a succulent chicken breast, I remove the breast from its packaging and pat it down using paper towel. I'll generously season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, and thyme before placing it in a cast iron pan on medium heat. You can choose to cook the chicken in oil or butter based on preference but be sure to reapply to the pan as it cooks down. I'll cook the breast for 7 minutes a side and then will let it sit for 5 minutes on my plate before cutting into it. This allows for even juice distribution back into the meat after it concentrates in the center during cooking.


Dinner


Even though it was 80 degrees in San Francisco on Sunday night, I was determined to make myself dinner. I was on the hunt for a summer salad recipe which turned into a farfalle pasta with pan fried garlic, asparagus, and tomatoes that I topped with some bacon and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. This meal is by no means difficult to prepare and was very filling. It also made enough for a few meals of leftovers. 


In terms of my serving wear, I've collected a few pieces over the years that I love using. The marble slab I have is from Target (!!!) and is gorgeous. The wooden accent gives it a bit of an eclectic look. The wooden serving tray I have was a gift over 5 years ago from Indigo! in Toronto but I've linked a similar one below. I like to keep my dishes simple and just have the standard white set (that most people have) from Ikea. They're also easy to replace if an accident happens. 

I hope you enjoyed this series and I look forward to making another one in the near future! 

As always, thanks for stopping by!
Katie XX

Birthdays: Why Celebrate?

After celebrating my 25th birthday a couple weeks ago, I was encouraged to write this raw post. Although a few of my best friends couldn't be there (and for that, I hate you NYC), the day was filled with so much genuine love and friendship that my heart felt so full. I have never been a big birthday person. As someone with anxiety, I used to hate birthdays because I would get so wrapped up in how many people would show up, if I looked "my best", and all the other small details that went into planning an event centered around me. This year it was different, although, I didn't plan it that way. 

It was just about my time of the month and I woke up two days prior to my birthday brunch with THREE under-the-skin pimples (no actually, they were craters) on my chin. Talk about inviting self- consciousness to the party. I tried everything to get rid of them, with no luck. I wanted to blame my awful hangover but I was tempted to cancel my brunch due to the sheer embarrassment of my face. Who does that? Cancel a party because of a few pesky pimples! 

As I struggled to get into the shower, the "I over committed", "I'm hungover", and "I'm not going to be able to make it" texts started to roll in and I enter the next phase of self-doubt. At this point, I was convinced this was NOT the day to celebrate my birthday. Not only did I look like crap, but I was starting to feel like crap (and not because of the hangover).

Thank GOD for my supportive boyfriend and best friend, who quickly reminded me that 1) I would look beautiful no matter what uninvited guests showed up on my face and 2) the important people in my life that could be there, would be there to celebrate. As soon as I walked into that room (30 minutes late), all my self-doubt and self-consciousness washed away after I was greeted by THIS!

I immediately noticed two things. One, my balloons spelled GAS (my initials are MES, and my nickname is MAGS) and two, I had some of the best people I know in the room come to celebrate me. 

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I ended up having yet again, one of the best birthdays with (most of) the people I love and who love me. Let's just say the party didn't stop after brunch. The small details like the purple diamond confetti, flowers, and rosΓ© champagne that my friends had surprised me with made me feel like the most loved person in the world that day. Thank you to those of you reading this. You are what makes me, me. 

Not only did this day bring a ton of laughs and champagne, but it also taught me a lesson. Make the real reason to celebrate your birthday not about the number of people in the room, how many likes you get on a birthday post, or what you look like that day, but about having an amazing group of friends surround you as your blow out your candles or toast that glass of champagne. OH, and always hold onto the M balloon, so you're not left spelling GAS :)

As always, thanks for stopping by!
Mags (Piper) XX

See some of my favourite pics from the day, below!

My Skincare Routine

I've always struggled with having a consistent skin care routine. As a teenager, I was lucky enough to have relatively clear skin that didn't require much attention beyond using a gentle cleanser and applying moisturizer.

In my adult years, I've struggled with some cystic acne on my lower chin and now that I'm in my late (sigh) twenties have noticed some signs of aging. Over the past six months, I've discovered some great products from Kiehl's that I've enjoyed using and have made great improvements to the overall health of my skin.

On a daily basis, I use my Ultra Facial Cleanser, morning and night. It's a soft gel and doesn't get overly foamy; my skin feels fresh after washing it off. Two or three times a week, I'll go for a deep clean and will use my Purifying Foaming Cleanser from the Clearly Corrective line. It foams up wonderfully and leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean. 

After my cleanser, I apply a generous amount of my Ultra Facial Toner to a cotton pad and apply it to my face in a circular, upwards motion. This toner is great since its non-alcoholic and doesn't leave my face feeling tight. In the evenings, I let my toner dry and use 4 drops of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate serum. This serum is definitely the 'newest' product to my routine as I had never used another serum up until this year. I do find that it does a good job of repairing and revitalizing my skin at night.

If I've used my serum, I'll give it a minute to sink into my skin and will then apply my avocado Creamy Eye Treatment. This cream works best if its warmed before application so it really absorbs into the skin. I'll take a generous amount and warm it up by rubbing it between the pads of my two ring fingers. It then gets applied directly to my eye area (up to my brow and down to my cheek bone) using my fingers. I use two variations of the Ultra Facial Cream - one with 50 SPF for day and one without for night. The cream is Kiehl's original formulation before they added the moisturizer to their line. In my opinion the cream absorbs into my skin much better and is lighter that the moisturizer. 

I would recommend any of these Kiehl's products if you're looking to add something to your routine. Make sure to check out the shoppable links below. 

As always, thanks for stopping by!!
Pepper XX

Lunch at Terrain

This week, I was lucky enough to join three friends for lunch at Terrain in the Anthropologie at Standford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. Anthropologie has recently opened a two floor flagship store and I'd been dying to try their restaurant. 

Obviously, the decor and ambiance of the restaurant is perfect and exactly what you want for a leisurely brunch or lunch. We arrived on the early end of the lunch crowd and was able to get some great photos of the interior. It was a scorching day in PA (32C/90F degrees) so we opted to sit inside in the AC.

Terrain has a lovely, simple, and concise menu with seemingly British inspired dishes (we tried the Toad in a Hole!). Your meal starts with freshly baked bread and deliciously home made butter. They make their bread in terracotta pots, let them cool, and then bring them directly to your table. Needless to say, we could not get enough. 

We started off with their Board and were able to pick 6 options from their menu; luckily we had a cheese connoisseur with us and selected four local cheeses and two meats to snack on while our main courses came. For a main, I had the Stracciatella and Greens sandwich. It came drizzled with a hazelnut and honey dressing which was delicious. We also tried the Toad in the Hole, as mentioned above, and the frittata. All come highly recommended by our table. 

Terrain is definitely a spot for a leisurely lunch when you have time to kill. The food and drinks are great but don't expect to be in and out of there in under an hour. Plus! you need time to check out the amazing show room of the Anthropologie. You can browse their furniture, home, clothing, and green house! It's a recommend in my books!

As always, thanks for stopping by!!
Pepper XX

Gingham Finds

Gingham is in and I'm seeing it everywhere! This shirt from zara is only $39 and is linked with my other favourites below! 

Gingham Shirt / Ripped Jeans / Heeled Sandals  / Bag / Sunglasses

My Favorite Other Gingham Finds: 
this shirt / this shirt  / this shirt
& the shopable widgets below! 

As always, thanks for stopping by!
Pepper & Piper xx