Our World - Cupcakes & Cashmere

Our World

A monthly series, corralling the various food, products, and entertainment we're currently enjoying.
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Our World April_1

1. L'Essenziale Welded Bracelet: When Cristina and I were in Paris, we loved the idea of finding sweet souvenirs that would forever remind us of our girls' trip. During a rather lengthy excursion to Le Bon Marche, we stumbled across a machine that welded gold bracelets directly onto your wrist. They were cool, beautifully understated, and customizable so we decided on matching bracelets. There's something cool about a piece of jewelry that feels so permanent and it's quickly become one of my most prized possessions. - Emily

Our World April_2

2. Biologique Recherche p50: The battle between me and stubborn chin blemishes is a long and winding road that started in middle school, and may be finally coming to an end! I'm cautiously optimistic but I think I've finally found a solution in the French exfoliating toner I first learned about from the podcast Forever 35. I've fondly been referring to it as "trash face" ever since (which I can't take full credit for) because the smell is less than ideal—it smells like a burning garbage fire—but I've been applying a few drops each night followed by Vintner's Daughter serum and my skin looks and feels like it's glowing from within. It isn't cheap, but the fact that I've been able to edit my entire skincare routine down to two products is almost worth the cost alone. - Leslie

Our World April_3

3. 'The Great Alone.' Given my propensity for scary books, it takes a lot for me to ditch my favorite genre in favor of something more meaningful. But when I found out that Kristin Hannah had come out with another book (I loved 'The Nightingale'), I downloaded it immediately. It's about a struggling family who moves to Alaska in hopes of finding a new life off the grid. It's beautiful and sad and I've found myself missing the characters long after I finished it, which I did in two days. - Emily

Our World April_4

4.  Hiya Caller ID appThe recent uptick in spam and robocalls I've received over the past few months has driven me crazy and I know I'm not alone. After testing a few screening apps, I've stuck with Hiya, which maintains a user-generated database of telemarketers, robocalls, etc., alerting you to the type of call before you answer. Blocking a number is easy and the flow of annoying calls has dropped significantly. It comes pre-installed on some Android phones and is available for iOS. - Geoffrey

Our World April_5

5. Vital Proteins Marine Collagen: I'm definitely suspicious when it comes to any health food trends that operate on the basis that eating something means that your body will automatically produce that something (hence why eating fat doesn't make you fat). But there's been enough buzz (and actual peer-reviewed studies!) about collagen's effectiveness in boosting skin elasticity and joint health that I'm giving it a try! Since I eat pescatarian, it was a little tougher to find marine collagen, but I recently came across this one from Vital Proteins that absorbs immediately into my coffee and is (mostly) tasteless. Will I look like a spritely 20 year old in 60 years? Probably not, but at least it makes me feel better about my morning coffee! - Leslie

Our World April_6

6. Anakiri Restore Balm: Each month around my menstrual cycle, I've been getting terrible breakouts on my chin. I know it's hormonal, but it's so frustrating not feeling like I have any control over what's going on. After a recent incredible facial at Joanna Vargas' salon, I was introduced to Anakiri's Restore Balm, which is like a miracle in a bottle. It's not one of those intense acne medications that ends up blasting your pimple (and the rest of your skin around it) into oblivion - it's more like a gentle, calming way to get your skin a lot happier. It has a slight tint to it that doesn't exactly look good, so I use it strictly at night and find that by morning, my chin is drastically improved. - Emily

Our World April_7

7. Stuff'd dumpling shop: If you aren't into love letters to dumplings, you may want to skip straight to Emily's toothpaste below. But if you are open to mushy dumpling love... this shop, Stuff'd, is for you. It opened by our office a few weeks ago and it's single-handedly inspired my budget-loving self to work "lunch out" into my weekly allotment (plus a few takeout dinners). While our team swears by the chicken dumplings, I stick with corn and sweet potato plus the cauliflower sides. Trust me, they are so, so good! As a general rule of thumb, Jonah and I double their recommended servings for two people. - Leslie

Our World April_8

8. Tom's Botanically Bright Toothpaste: Our graphic designer, Hannah, started using this toothpaste a couple of months back and when she came into the office the other day, I'd assumed she'd gotten her teeth professionally whitened. She said multiple people had noticed (including herself), so naturally the entire office bought tubes for ourselves later that day. - Emily

Our World April_9

9. KonMari: It's been two years since I first picked up Marie Kondo's book all about the "life-changing magic of tidying up" but after I met Southern California's two KonMari experts completely randomly and separately in the span of a week, I felt inspired to revisit my copy! I'm far from a model KonMari student, but after spending hours sorting and donating books earlier this month, I've been on a major "sparking joy" spree throughout my house (hence my two-product skincare regimine above). It's amazing what a little tidying up can do! - Leslie

Our World April_10

10. Windecker Farms Charcoal Cream Deodorant: Our household has been on a recurring quest to find an effective, natural deodorant. For a while I was using Malin+Goetz, then moved to Baxter of California, both of which eventually became less effective. Em was sent this version, but never really tried it, so I stole the can. It requires you to rub it in by hand, rather than simply swiping with a stick, but it's by far the best natural option available. - Geoffrey

Our World April_11

11. eBags Cord Organizer: G is a lot more organized than me, particularly when it comes to traveling. When I had quite a few trips coming up recently, he got me this cord organizer, and it's such a simple concept that I'm not quite sure why it took me so long to get one. It's basically just a small case that helps keep all of your cords from getting tangled or lost and slips easily into your larger luggage. - Emily

Our World April_12

12. Cotton Ribbon: Over the past few months, I've suddenly found myself with invitations to countless major birthday parties, weddings, and bridal showers (hello, late-twenties!) and realized I need to up my gift wrapping game. After spending entirely too much on a tiny spool of cotton ribbon from a gift store in Echo Park, then lusting over this beautiful arrangement, I realized there had to be a better way, and found it at a fabric store. What cost $25 at the "cool" store was $7 for twice as much ribbon at a craft store and Amazon. The best part is all you need to complete the beautifully-wrapped gift is some butcher paper! - Leslie