Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

I haven’t posted a new recipe in a while, and it’s not because I haven’t been cooking, I just haven’t been cooking anything new and exciting. Since I’m a little pressed for time when making dinner now, the last few weeks have been full of some of my favorite go-to’s that didn’t require much effort (and I’d already shared with you). But last week I made a conscious effort to throw some new recipes into my dinner line up. New recipe numero uno were these insanely delicious and incredibly easy butternut squash and black bean tacos. They were partly inspired by some squash tacos my sister had made for me before, but mainly by the ingredients I had in my kitchen that needed to be used. The best part of this recipe? (besides them being healthy and super tasty) they took roughly 35 minutes start to finish to make. Perfect for a week night meal!


1.  Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F, and start by cutting your butternut squash up into 1″ cubes. Put them in a bowl (or large tupperware container because you were lazy and didn’t think you’d be taking pictures).

Drizzle just enough olive oil over the squash for a light coating, and mix it around so that it’s evenly distributed. Then toss 1/2 tablespoon. of each of your spices on top; Chili Powder, Oregano, Cumin Seed, and Salt. Mix it together.

2.  Once your squash pieces are seasoned, place the pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Put them in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

3.  While the squash is cooking, prep your toppings. I chopped up some red onion, cilantro, lime, and feta cheese (because that’s what I had on hand — use cojita if it’s available).

4.  A few minutes before your squash is ready, crack open a can of black beans and heat them up on the stove.

5.  Before building your tacos, warm your tortillas up on a pan on the stove. They only need about 10 seconds a side.

6.  Construct your taco. Put a few scoops of butternut squash in your warm tortilla, add some black beans, top with some cheese, onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. And don’t forget some hot sauce!

7.  Feed your face.



Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 4-5

  • 1 whole butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • ½ tablespoon ground Cumin
  • ½ tablespoon Chili Powder
  • ½ tablespoon Oregano
  • ½ tablespoon Salt
  • ½ tablespoon
  • Chopped red onion for topping
  • Cilantro for topping
  • Lime for topping
  • Soft cheese (Cojita, Feta, etc.) for topping

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash into 1″ cubes. Put them in a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil. Mix so that the oil is evenly distributed.
  2. Add ½ teaspoon of each of the spices to the squash; Chili Powder, Oregano, Cumin Seed, and Salt. Mix it together. Place the seasoned squash pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  3. While the squash is cooking, prep your toppings; chop some red onion and cilantro, cut up a lime, and get out your cheese.
  4. A few minutes before the squash is ready, open a can of black beans and heat on the stove.
  5. Warm your tortillas on a pan on the stove. (Only about 10 seconds per side once the pan is warm).
  6. Construct the taco: put a few scoops of butternut squash in your warm tortilla, add some black beans, top with some cheese, onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Add salsa / hot sauce to taste.


Beauty Must: Washing Your Makeup Brushes

Pop quiz! How often do you clean your makeup brushes? Whatever your answer is, it’s probably not often enough (unless you’re some kind of makeup artist, then I hope your answer is ALL. THE. TIME.) I’ve read that you should do a full cleaning every two weeks-ish in order to keep the bacteria and gunk (technical term) that starts living on your brushes off of your face (read: zits). Plus, it makes makeup application much smoother if you’re working with clean tools, not to mention, BRUSHES ARE EXPENSIVE! You want to take good care of them so they last a while.

You definitely don’t need to go out and buy any fancy brush cleansers in order to do this, I just use my face cleanser (because it’s gentle) to wash mine, or baby shampoo is a great option as well. I’ve seen people suggest using regular shampoo, but it seems to get a mixed reaction on whether that’s the best for your brushes.

Ok, so step 1: Gather your brushes by your sink.

2.  Run your brush under warm water (pointing the bristles downward) to loosen the built-up makeup. Apply a little cleanser directly to the brush, and gently use your fingers to work up a lather and clean that sucker.

3.  Really get in there.

4.  Thoroughly rinse all of the cleanser off in warm running water, keeping your bristles pointed down again (if you let water get into the base of the bristles it breaks down the glue that holds them in and they’ll start falling out).  Repeat until all brushes are clean. Re-mold each brush if necessary by pressing the hairs between your fingers until it’s back to its original shape

To dry: You don’t want to dry your brushes upright because, as I just mentioned, water settles into the glue that’s holding the bristles together at the base of the brush head and starts breaking down the glue over time, causing the hairs to come off when you use it. You can lay them flat to dry, OR, make a little sloped drying station like I do.

To make the drying station, take out the ugliest pale pink hand towel you have that doesn’t match anything in your house.  Starting from the end, roll it up about half way to create a little slide, and lay your brushes out on it, with the bristles pointing down. Let them dry overnight.

Voila. No more nasty brushes!



p.s. Need a quick fix for daily use? I like this brush cleanser from Sephora.

Go for the (Rose) Gold!

Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: I fully acknowledge how cheesy that title is. But YOU try to think of a new title (almost) everyday! Ok, I’m glad I got that off my chest. Moving right along..

There was a long period in my life where I only wore silver jewelry (well, let’s be real, silver-toned jewelry). I think it all started because when I was at an impressionable age my older sister thought only silver jewelry was cool, therefore I thought only silver jewelry was cool. I blame the “Something Silver” chain that was in every local mall (and my blind faith that my sister knew best). I don’t wear a whole lot of jewelry on a regular basis, but the last year or so I’ve been drawn to all things rose gold when it comes to metal choice. There’s just something so fresh and modern about it, as you’ll see in a few of my favorite pieces below.

Go for the (Rose) Gold

  1. Gorjana Infinity Necklace - I love a simple pendant for everyday wear.
  2. Stella & Dot Teardrop Earrings - A hoop without being a hoop. You know what I mean?
  3. Gorjana Armor Pendant - If I’m not wearing a small pendant, I love a big, bold statement necklace. There’s no in between.
  4. Made Her Think Stud Pointed Earrings - For all of the super fancy events* I’m constantly going to. (*eating ice cream on my couch).
  5. Nixon Watch - Sleek and chic. I think I’m in love with this watch.
  6. Rebecca Minkoff Pyramid Stud Bracelet- I’m a sucker for studs, and like the watch-eque look of the band.
  7. Jules Smith Knuckle Ring - Is there anything cooler than a knuckle ring? And this one’s so simple and ladylike.
  8. Jennifer Zeuner Love Bracelet – Who couldn’t use a little more love in their life?

What do you think? Sold on rose gold?



Super Bowl Eats!

Super Bowl Sunday is nearly upon us! Generally it’s one of my favorite days of the year, but this year I could kiiiiiiind of care less. I hate the Ravens, (WHY ARE WE PRETENDING THAT RAY LEWIS DIDN’T MURDER TWO PEOPLE?!)** and I’m totally ambivalent about the 49ers (despite having lived in the Bay Area for 12 years), so I’m less than enthused on this match up. Being a Steeler fan I’m probably just bitter because I’m spoiled by the fact that they’re in it more often than not (heh).

But just because two mind-numbingly terrible teams (maybe I’m biased) are going to ruin this sacred day doesn’t mean that we can’t eat delicious food and worship Beyonce during the half time show, right?! I’m not having a Super Bowl party this year, but I went ahead and spent way too much time scouring the internet and putting together a list of the tastiest dishes that you could possible serve to your pigskin loving friends at YOUR party. Thoughtful, I know. Good news? These all look no-fail delicious. Bad news? All I want is snack food right now.

Also, I realized after typing captions for my choices, all I did was go on the internet and compile all of my favorite foods into one list, hence the overuse of the term “I love” to describe everything. But if loving the occasional snack food is wrong, I don’t want to be right.


  • Saucy Asian Meatballs – a delicious looking flavor-spin on a classic meatball. (I’d use ground turkey to feel better about myself).

photo from www.givemesomeoven.com

  • Baked Mozzarella Sticks – I. love. mozzarella sticks. And Gina over at SkinnyTaste made a “skinny” version that still looks amazing.

photo from www.skinnytaste.com

  • Soft Pretzels with Buffalo Cheddar Cheese – One snack food that I love more than cheese sticks? Soft pretzels. I’ve never made my own (please refer to my posts where I discuss my irrational fear of baking) but these look pretty easy! And Buffalo Cheddar Cheese Sauce? lakdsjflaksdjf! I need this in my life.

photo from www.halfbakedharvest.com

  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches – Any time a restaurant I’m eating at has a pulled pork sandwich on their menu, I’m ordering it. (I took a brief hiatus after reading an article about a girl that got some sort of brain-eating virus from it, but I’m back on team pulled pork. AND DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU FROM MAKING THIS, IT’S VERY RARE).

photo from www.cookingclassy.com

  • Guacamole – Do you need a recipe for guacamole? I think most people know how to make it already, but this one seems good to follow too. My suggestion? Quadruple whatever recipe you’re going to make. If you’re like me, you never make enough. God I love guacamole.

photo from www.forfood.rezimo.com

  • Bite Size 7 Layer Bean Dip- The one thing I love more than 7 layer bean dip? BITE SIZE BUILD YOUR OWN 7 LAYER BEAN DIP IN A PIZZA DOUGH CRUST.

    photo from www.rock-ur-party.tablespoon.com

photo from www.sweetpeaskitchen.com

  • Paula Deen’s Three Cheese Hot Artichoke Dip – I’m pretty sure I’ve told you about this dip before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Double the recipe. Triple it, even. Serve it with crackers or vegetables, or just shovel it directly into your mouth.

photo from www.peaceloveandfrenchfries.com

  • Chili Lime Shrimp Cups – Man I love shrimp, and these chili and lime oven-baked shrimp in a wonton cup look uhhh-mazing.

photo from www.inspiredtaste.net

  • Zucchini CakesI firmly believe that crab cakes are one of God’s gifts to mankind. However, I am willing to give these Zucchini Cakes a try because they are lower in calories, carbs, and fat than crab cakes are, and I felt like I needed to work in some more vegetables into this lineup.

Promise you’ll make some of these recipes and tell me how much you love them?




My Week in Photos

Happy Friday! I’ve missed doing my little weekly recaps the last week (or two) but I’m back! Still working on that whole balance thing, but I think I’m getting better. (case in point: I was able to make dinner and work out last night; It’s a miracle!)

Working on it…

But without further adieu, I give you, my week in photos:

1.  FUN FACT THAT I LEARNED LAST WEEK! Pasadena, Ca is home of the cheeseburger! Apparently some dude named Lionel Sternberger threw some cheese on a patty at a restaurant called The Rite Spot in 1924, thus creating America’s favorite food. I only know this because last week, in order to celebrate the genius that was Mr. Sternberger, it was “cheeseburger week” in Pasadena, and a bunch of the local bars and restaurants added burgers to their menus. One of my fave restaurants, Vertical Wine Bistro, participated by making a special week-long burger menu which we went in Friday night to try out. I went big with my choice and got the “OMG Burger” which consisted of “the works” as the menu put it: applewood smoked bacon, avocado, gruyere cheese, a fried egg, and chipotle dressing (with the standard lettuce and tomato, obviously). Slightly difficult to eat due to the sheer size of it, BUT SO WORTH IT.

p.s. In case you were wondering, I washed it down with a margarita and a side of shoestring truffle fries. 2.  In preparation for wearing open-toe shoes to a wedding the next day, I went for a mani/pedi Saturday night at my favorite nail salon, and it. was. heavenly. Does it mean that I’m getting old if I was perfectly happy getting my nails done opposed to going out on a Saturday night? Side note: I also get my eyebrows waxed there, and they asked me, “you want mustache and chin too?” I’m gonna go on record and say that I don’t have a mustache or a beard. Is this their attempt at up-selling? Or am I in denial? You guys would tell me, right?3.  So I showed you what I wore to the wedding I went to, but I didn’t show you the layered red velvet cake that I ate. I’m not sure this picture needs more description. Please just sit and visually take in the delicious layers and fruit.  4.  Is there anything better than opening up a box that you know contains a new pair of shoes? Behold, my new Jeffrey Campbell boots. I scored them for 50% off on shopbop and I’m in looooove. They add just the right touch of moto-badass to my outfits without screaming, “I’m auditioning to be an extra on Sons of Anarchy.” Pics of how I styled them next week!5. Ok, I realize it’s been a while since I’ve done a recipe post, and it’s because since I’ve started my job I’ve been a little pressed for time when I get home and have been making my old go-to recipes and not doing anything new and exciting to show you. But that will change! I’ll definitely try something new this weekend and post it for you next week. In the meantime, here’s a stew that I made yesterday (I think my crockpot is going to be my new best friend). SO easy to make ahead of time and have it ready when you get home.

  • Chop some vegetables and put them in the crockpot (I used onion, celery, and carrots).
  • Put your meat in a large ziploc bag, along with a little flour (about a 1/4 cup) and a little garlic powder. Shake it around to coat, and put the meat in the crockpot. Throw a little salt and pepper on there.
  • Cover with liquid (I used a 50/50 mix of beef broth and water). Toss in some Bay Leaves if you have them. Get crazy and put in a tsp. or two of Worcestershire sauce if you have it.
  • Cook on “low” for 10 hours-ish and eat when you get home!

Hope you all have a great weekend!