ENTREES

So THAT’S How You Make Ribs

I wouldn't say that BBQ is my forte. Or grilling. I'm not as unfortunate as I used to be - I specifically recall a camping trip with my college boyfriend where I flipped all four of the burgers we had brought, and with each flip somehow completely missed the very large grate over the fire and sent them directly into the embers, leaving us to subsist on boxed wine and cheese slices - but since it's not something I did much of until we moved to California, the learning curve has been a steep one.

Like with ribs, for example: I make decent ones, but they're not great. My friend Alisa makes great ribs. So I asked her to teach me her secrets.

Apparently it all starts with the rub.

Lifestyle

Links & Love & Stuff

Oh hi undereye "freckles" (age spots). (I kind of like them.) 

My summertime face: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence + Neova SPF 40 Tinted Sunscreen + Glossier Cloud Paint (in Dusk), Boy Brow (in Blonde), & Rose Balm Dot Com. (And eyelash extensions. Don't worry; those are not mine.)

I had never heard of this "Privacy Pop" thing before it showed up in my Facebook feed, but now I think it might be the most genius invention ever. It's a pop-up bed tent that fits standard-sized mattresses (from toddler to king): it keeps out light out during naps, creates private spaces in dorms and shared bedrooms, and can be used for sleepovers, camping, whatever. GENIUS.

Lifestyle

July 4th Ahoy (And Free Shipping On All Your Soon-To-Be Favorite Things)

This is what adulting looks like in my world.

Wondering what grand sartorial statement to make this July 4 weekend (beyond nails jauntily painted in shades of red, white, and blue, of course)? Problem solved: our Adulting sweatshirt - you know, your favorite sweatshirt in your closet? - is now available as a tank top. And not just any tank top...the best tank top. Elise and I tried a whole bunch of different cuts and fabrics, and found one that is soft and ever-so-slightly slouchy in all the right places, meaning the muffin-top-concealing ones. (Visible bra straps not included, but obviously recommended.)

Note: this style runs a touch big - I usually wear a medium in tops, but am a small in this one because the armholes are a little oversized (meaning that the tank is extremely summer-friendly, but also that you'll probably want to wear a bralet or bathing suit top underneath regardless of which size you choose).

Beauty

Luxe

I have been compensated by QVC for my participation. All opinions expressed are my own.

Until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of Elemis skincare products. I had, however, heard of their spas - they’re all over the world (London, Miami, Bangkok, etc), on luxury cruise lines and in fancy hotels and such, and they all sound lovely, but you know which ones sound loveliest? The ones that apparently exist in British Airways terminals - complimentary for first-class travelers, naturally. (My feeling is if you’re flying first-class you don’t really need a spa treatment quiiiiiite quite as much as, say, the 6’8” guy sitting in the aisle seat in the very back row next to the toilet, but just saying: it sounds like a nice way to travel.)

Anyway. I’m unlikely to make it to one of those spas anytime soon, but a couple of weeks ago Elemis’ 24/7 Super Skin 3-Piece Collection arrived on my doorstep as part of my collaboration with QVC, and they are (allllmost) as luxurious. The set contains Pro- Collagen Cleansing Balm (which smells incredible, btw) for cleansing morning at night, Pro-Collagen Marine Cream for AM hydration, and their brand-new Peptide4 Night Recovery Cream-Oil to use in the evenings.

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Lifestyle

I Drank Champagne With Richard Branson (And Other Adventures)

Here is me alone, because I was too shy to ask for a photo with Richard.

Cool, so I now officially have a HUGE crush on Richard Branson. (It's ok: Kendrick knows, and I think he has a huge crush on Richard Branson, too.) I guess I need to do some catching up on my Virgin lore, because I hadn't heard the story of how he started his airline before, and it's a doozy: he got bumped off of a flight on his way to see - and I quote - "a lovely lady friend," and was so annoyed that he hired a plane, wrote "Virgin Airlines, Flights $39" on a blackboard and wandered around signing up all the other passengers who had been bumped...and then called Boeing the next day to inquire about purchasing a used 747.

THAT IS SO BADASS.

HOMEDECOR

House (Exterior) Tour: Audrey Scheck’s Urban Oasis

My friend Audrey has the best taste of any human being I have ever met, ever. Zero exaggeration. Her Los Angeles home - which you saw in this post a few months ago - is a master class in casual perfection, and I honestly didn't think it could get any better. And then she made over the exterior, and proved once again that she when it comes to home decor, she has an absolutely flawless eye.

The Makeover: What Audrey Did

  • Painted the house (which was originally yellow).
  • Brought in a carpenter to build custom exterior doors, gates, and lattice.
  • Installed new exterior lighting.
  • Added new exterior accents (mailbox, house numbers, doorbell, etc.).
  • Refreshed the landscaping and brought in tons of potted plants (apparently the black mulch addition was RG-inspired, haha). 
DIARY

No Words (Or, Rather, All Of Them)

Here I am cradling a citronella candle like a beloved child.

I have no idea where to start telling you about the camping trip we just got back from. Three families went: ourselves, my friend Alisa and her family, and my friend Erin and her family, with six kids under the age of six between us. We should have known that it was going to be "challenging" once Alisa, the first to arrive at the campground, drove up to the Visitor's Center and spoke with the park ranger.

Here is an abridged version of what he told her:

Lifestyle

Ummmmmm…..

We are, at present, camping - but not, like, "camping," like "yay, hamburgers!"...like camping. In the middle of absolutely nowhere. With no running water or bathrooms or humans that aren't us anywhere in close range, and with a park ranger who informed us upon our arrival that we were not to leave until the designated departure time. And when I said "What if there's an emergency?" he said, "I guess you call 911."

Important detail: I have no cell phone service here.

(Or I sort of do - I managed to find a single spot in our site that had enough service to allow me to set up an extremely weak personal hotspot, which I used first to email my parents and tell them where, exactly, we are, because it occurred to me that I gave this information to literally nobody prior to our departure, and if Ranger John shows up tonight and sets animal traps to catch us and then puts us in his woodland dungeon, it'd be nice if somebody at least had a hint where to start looking. And then I used the remaining molecule of Internet access to write this post, because I have skipped a day of posting only once in my eight years of writing this website, and I don't want anyone to notice that I didn't post on Friday and prematurely suspect that we are currently starring in a real-life The Hills Are Alive. I mean, we might be. But let's at least wait and see, shall we?)

RECIPES

Into The Woods (With Burritos)

Every day - and I mean that, every day of my life - my daughter whispers to me that she has a secret to tell me. I lean in close to her mouth, and she says this:

"Soon we're going to go camping and we're going to go trick-or-treating and we're going to go camping."

Apparently camping made quite the impression on her. (And apparently so did trick or treating, but that's not exactly surprising.) Last time we went camping - our first time as a family - my phone died, and wouldn't recharge no matter how long I left it plugged into our car, and so I just...sat. And read gossip magazines.