"Ottolenghi Simple" Cookbook: G and I have been big fans of chef Yotam Ottolenghi's cooking for a while, but his newest book, Ottolenghi Simple, is just that - abbreviated versions of his flavor-packed, inventive dishes in a pared back way. G's worked his way through a good portion of the book already, making everything from roasted cauliflower with a green tahini sauce and stuffed zucchini with pine nut salsa to tomato and bread salad with anchovies and capers, and pizza bianca with potato, anchovy, and sage. Most dishes either come together quickly or require very little hands on time and complement one another, creating beautiful spreads that are meant to be enjoyed together.
Life & Beth on Hulu: Amy Schumer's newest show, Life and Beth, is a more nuanced version of her typical humor, weaving in family dynamics, relationships, and death in short episodes that we couldn't watch fast enough. You simultaneously root for Beth while cringing through her missteps, and the flashback scenes from her adolescence are equal parts sweet and devastating.
Minx on HBO Max: Here's how I wind up falling in love with most TV shows: Justin discovers the newest, buzziest series and begs me to watch it together until I inevitably cave...and become even more obsessed than he does. Minx is no exception – after seeing their ads on billboards across LA, we threw it on one night and the first two episodes flew by. It's a comedy set in LA in the '70s that details how a feminist writer and a small boutique porn publisher (Jake Johnson, one of my faves) team up to create the first erotic magazine for women. I came for the story line but I'm staying for the iconic costumes.
Cozier Pajamas: The pandemic transformed me into a hardcore robe person…someone who's so committed to #robelife that I wound up sleeping in one every night (and absolutely loving it). I've amassed quite a collection of various robes and abandoned my pajamas altogether until a family friend recently launched and gifted me a pair of Cozier Pajamas, which were designed to be worn to bed and during daily activities. They're made of flax linen, which naturally helps regulate your body temperature, and the shape/fit is oversized which I prefer. The top can pass as a work-appropriate button down, and I feel so cool when I'm wearing them. If you're looking for loungewear you can also thrown on to run errands, I highly recommend them – but be warned, you'll genuinely get bummed when it's laundry day and you may need to skip a night of wearing them.
Station Eleven on HBO Max: Leslie recommended Emily St. John Mandel's novel to me three years ago, and I remember devouring it in a single weekend. I love a post-apocalyptic story that jumps between multiple timelines, and this one fits the bill extremely well. The novel wasn't perfect, though, and I was left wanting a little something more. I feel like the team behind the HBO adaptation felt the same, because WOW. Station Eleven the show is the same as the book, but also so much more. It's wilder. And weirder. And somehow even more emotional. I've just finished the 10-episode series and feel compelled to go back and watch it all again. Episode 5, 'The Severn City Airport' and episode 7, 'Goodbye My Damaged Home' are absolutely Emmy-worthy. The only comparison I can make is to Black Mirror's 'San Junipero' from 2016, which actually did win an Emmy, and coincidentally also stars Mackenzie Davis (the main character of Station Eleven, who appears in 'Goodbye My Damaged Home'). If you like weird speculative fiction, please go watch this series and report back to me with your thoughts.
GANNI Women's City Rain Boots: The moment these GANNI boots went on sale I snatched them. It's been about a month, and I've worn them almost every day since they arrived. It's been wet in Minnesota lately as all the winter snow melts, and we're in this weird in-between state where snow boots are overkill, but tennis shoes aren't quite enough for quick trips outdoors. These chic rubber boots are the perfect compromise. They go with basically every outfit, and keep my feet happy and dry. Totally worth the price.
Izé Skincare Mini Face Oils: One of the highlights of living in San Diego is being in such close proximity to some of the best farmers' markets I’ve ever been to! There’s one in almost every neighborhood, and after my first time going, the La Jolla market quickly became my favorite of them all. Not only was it the place that I discovered the absolute best burrito I’ve eaten since moving to the city, but I also snagged three mini facial oils from the Izé skincare booth that have earned permanent spots in my skincare routines. Founded by my friend, Benny Bakar, Izé is a skincare brand that’s vegan and cruelty free, and is sustainably made right here in California. She has a booth at the La Jolla Farmers’ Market ever Sunday, so if you’re ever in the area, definitely make sure to stop by! Izé provides a range of gua sha tools and facial oils, and I’ve been using mine nonstop. Since I purchased the mini trio oils, I have worked all three into my skincare routine, and have truly noticed a difference in the texture and overall health of my skin. I’ve even been told by a few people that I’m ‘glowing’ which is always nice to hear! Between the calming, brightening, and hydrating oils, my skin has had a true glow up.
P.S. You can see more about the brand here, and they generously offered a discount code to cupcakes and cashmere readers. Use ‘cupcakes’ at checkout to get 20% off your first purchase. Thank you, Benny!
Essence Lash Princess Mascara: I think I might’ve found the best mascara I’ve ever used? And the best part is, it’s paraben and cruelty free, aaand only $5 at Ulta. Doesn’t get much better than that. I first used this when borrowing it from a friend last month – we actually had just gone to the La Jolla Farmers’ Market and spontaneously decided to take a day trip to Del Mar Beach. I hadn’t worn any makeup that day and asked to swipe on a little mascara, and she handed me this gem of a product. I was in awe to see how after just a few swipes my eyelashes were more bold and prominent than they had ever looked with other mascaras. I made sure to order myself a bottle as soon as I got home, and it’s become (possibly?) the most important part of my makeup routine.
Bed Head Wave Artist: I've noticed that I've become lazier and lazier when it comes to styling my hair, so I started shopping for a tool to help me wave it without spraying and curling each piece, which takes forever. I must admit I was skeptical at first of this waver; I truly could not believe the low price point and fully expected to look like I just crimped my hair for school photos back in 1991. I was beyond pleasantly surprised with the results. I love the beachy waves it gave me, with less heat time (it works really quickly!).
Coco & Eve Bali Buffing Sugar: Each time I need to buy a new exfoliating scrub, I change products. I find that I can explore a bit more in this category, as I use it sparingly and primarily before I shave my legs. I might be changing my habits soon, because I fell in love with the latest I tried; Coco & Eve's Bali Buffing Sugar. The two biggest pluses for me were a) the formula is thick so it doesn't drip into the shower and product is therefore not wasted, and b) the. freaking. SMELL. It is truly the sweetest, fruitiest scent I could've imagined, and makes me want to taste it. A great product for summer legs and smooth skin.
Trader Joe's Crispy Jalapeño Pieces: I've just discovered the best salad, mac n cheese, chili, soup, avocado toast...well..anything-you-can-think-of topping. Trader Joe's crispy jalapeño pieces are seriously to die for – in fact, I had to stop myself from eating it as a snack (although there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!). If you like spicy, crunchy, delicious goodness with every bite of your food, this is the ingredient for you. Not sure how I went so long without knowing this exists but then again, Trader Joe's is good at being the gift that keeps on giving!
OUAI Hair Oil and Wave Spray: I have naturally pretty wavy hair. That's right, the annoying, not curly enough to be locks, not straight enough to look soft, the kind of wavy that makes you want to just blow dry it and call it a day. Lately, I've been longing to just embrace more of what was naturally given to me so I began to look for something that would make my natural hair manageable and the OUAI Wave Spray and Hair Oil have been working wonders. I found that the travel size worked for me because 1. I wanted to test out the product, 2. a little goes a long way, and 3. because I actually do travel a lot! I wash, towel dry, run a comb through my hair, spray the wave spray into it, add a little bit of the oil to finish and let it air dry. Thank you OUAI for helping me love me.