Monthly Archives

March 2018

Random Things, Yummy Things

2018 Food Trends

2018 is proving to be an adventurous year in the food industry. I’ve been sipping and snacking my way through LA, so I thought I’d compile a list of what’s currently trending! There’s so much going on, from a new water revolution to now-functional mushrooms. Not to mention, souping is the new juicing, and avocado isn’t toast yet – which is a huge “hooray” for me since I’m a major avocado lover. Here are ten food trends to try in 2018:

The Trend: Plant-Based foods Fresh produce is the star of 2018, especially with the popularity of plant-based diets and veggie-centric main courses and side dishes. Bright and bold natural colors are “rocking” in the food world. Think about what the produce section of your grocery store looks like: Colorful, to say the least. Using the entire vegetable, or root-to-stem eating, is the new way to go, because it reduces the food waste that is so common at home and in restaurants. If your goal is to cut back on meat, plant proteins like lentils, black beans and quinoa will take the place of meat proteins in everyday cooking. #MeatlessMonday, anyone?

The Trend: Coffee Elixir If coffee is the first thing that comes to your mind when you wake up, then we have something in common. Now, it’s time to up the ante: Superfoods are not just for your morning smoothies anymore. Revamp your morning cup of coffee by adding protein, maca, mushroom powders and other superfoods that are nutritious and delicious. Imagine actually getting health benefits out of a cup of coffee rather than just a caffeine fix. It’s a win-win!

The Trend: Air Frying Also all the rage? Air fryers. Unlike a deep-fryer that uses vegetable or canola oil, air fryers circulate hot air around the food and perfectly crisp the food in a much healthier way. It may sound too good to be true, but there’s absolutely no downside. From french fries to chicken wings, recipes for air frying are popping up more and more.

The Trend: Fizzy H2O Say cheers to the other kind of bubbly. Drinking a can of flavored fizzy water is more popular than ever and has captured the hearts of millenials and moms alike. Some people I know are so hooked on La Croix flavored sparkling water that when they go to Whole Foods, they buy every case of the lime flavor that they can get their hands on. The bubbly waters make you feel like you’re drinking a soda, minus the added sugar and additives. If you love LaCroix, you’ll also enjoy Spindrift and Perrier.

The Trend: Souping Over Juicing Move over, green juice. Drinkable soups are the hot new thing: Hearty, tasty, filling and convenient. Pureed soups are packed with vitamins and nutrients, making them a delicious swap for juices. Like juicing, souping gives your digestive system a rest, but it’s unlikely to lead to the energy crashes, headaches and weight gain rebound that sugary juices have been known for. Using bone broth as the base to your soup will give you many anti-inflammatory benefits as well.

The Trend: Ghee is the Better Butter Substitute If you’re not familiar with Ghee yet, be prepared to see it everywhere this year. Ghee is clarified butter, which is produced by heating butter and removing the milk solids and water. Ghee is a healthy fat and has been used for years in Ayurvedic healing practices. Ghee has a rich, nutty flavor and can be used in place of just about any other cooking oil or fat in recipes. It is the perfect substitute for butter if you have a milk allergy or are lactose intolerant.

The Trend: Donuts With Exotic Fillings 2018 is the year of creative fillings for donuts, not only in your neighborhood donut shop, but also in the fine dining world. Everyone still wants to splurge every now and then and when they do, donuts with fun and interesting flavor combinations are hard to beat. Fillings such as pineapple with basil cream, meyer lemon curd, mojito and mint leaf, lavender and berry with goat cheese are all the rage. Definitely different from your classic glazed donut!

The Trend: Functional Mushrooms Who would have thought that mushrooms and fungi would be the next big thing? Mushroom fans claim that they can cure everything from high blood sugar to arthritis. Medicinal mushroom powders are popping up in bottled drinks and can be added to coffees, smoothies and teas. When I went to check out the Four Sigmatic mushroom shop in Venice, CA, I got a brief education on mushrooms’ many health benefits. There’s even an e-learning course called Mushroom Academy where you can learn all about the benefits of medicinal mushrooms. The best part is, the course is absolutely free.

The Trend: Floral Flavors and Edible Flowers In addition to being used as beautiful decorative touches, more and more edible flowers are being sourced for their specific flavors. Think lavender lattes and rose flavored everything, from drinks to desserts. Flowers like lavender, violet and hibiscus are moving from fancy restaurant plates to grocery store shelves, so keep an eye out the next time you’re baking or hosting a tea.

The Trend: Overall Well-Being Through Food The saying “you are what you eat” has never been more true. The emphasis of body and mind connections are influencing new food and beverage introductions in 2018. Healing the “gut” and curing what ails you through ayurvedic cooking has become increasingly popular. If you’re interested in learning more, www.countertopfoods.com is all about cooking with spices medicinally. Their products “help make the food you already love into food that your body will love you for.” More on this in another post.  

 

 

In 2018 and in the trending food world, you’ll also notice a few other things. Dumplings still dominate. Meatballs are on a roll and tacos are here to stay. Only this time, look for breakfast tacos, dessert tacos and even sushi tacos. Yum! This year’s pizza trend will be square shaped pizzas. Grocery delivery (www.milkandeggs.com) and meal kit delivery services like (www.blueapron.com) will only get bigger. Of course, a few things will stay the same: I can promise you that mocktails will never replace cocktails.

If you’d like to try selecting your organic groceries online, I recommend milkandeggs.com!
Use code LEMONADETOLACE for 20% off your order.

Smooch!

xx Barbara

 

About, Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

Back To The Basics

Let’s get one thing straight: There’s nothing wrong with being basic! I’m the first to admit that I love statement pieces and trendy items, but in reality, I know that simple basics are the building blocks of any stylish, versatile wardrobe. By simple basics, I mean the perfect jeans and crisp white tee that make every wardrobe complete. Other basics in my closet include neutral camisoles, black slacks, sweaters and black leggings. They are the easy, wearable pieces in my closet that I know will be in style forever.

These pieces tend to be my first go-to items when trying to put an ensemble together – they look sleek on their own, but you’ll thank yourself for stocking up when you go to style Miu Miu’s latest ballet flats or a bold statement coat. These basics make wearing statement pieces a breeze!

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the basic pieces I wear most are those that are transitional and easy to pack for travel. Layering pieces are essential, so I like to keep certain colors and fabrics in mind when shopping for my basics. It’s common to have days here in LA where the temperature fluctuates 20 degrees, so I rarely leave home without a sweater, a wrap or a jacket.

Keep reading to explore some tried-and-true basics that are my wardrobe staples, along with a list of stores where you’ll be able to score these ‘must have’ pieces for your own capsule wardrobe.

JEANS
The trend du juor in the denim world is, well, not exactly a trend – look for perfect jeans that fit well, are cut cleanly and most of all, flatter your body type. You will LIVE in them. Skinny jeans are still in the forefront and among the most popular because of their flattering fit. Slim, polished and classic, a dark wash denim is perfect for day or night. They are practical and versatile and will be your go-to style for every season. With the addition of raw hems, frayed hems and step cut hems, denim fatigue is currently a non-issue. Big yay! For the past ‘I don’t know how many years’, it’s been the same ol’ same ol’ in the denim world. Every pair looked exactly the same and there was no reason to buy anything new. That was until now, and I have found it fun getting to purchase these interesting new styles and add them to my denim collection. I rarely get rid of jeans, because unique styles tend to come back around!

WHITE TEE
The great thing about a white tee is that it won’t go in-and-out-of-style in the blink of an eye. It’s about as basic as you can get when it comes to clothing. It is that one item that you can mix and match, layer and travel with and enjoy wearing season after season. The key here is whether to splurge or spend. I’ve had bad luck over the years with a few well-known brands who have brick and mortar stores in my neighborhood and in shopping malls across America. Their tees come in all different styles (crew neck, v-neck and scoop neck) but friends, the quality is just not there and they’re not exactly cheap. Several years ago while visiting New York City, I ventured into a Uniqlo store on 5th Ave. It’s a flagship store and happened to be packed with people and loaded with merchandise. Everything they offer is basic, but well made. There is nothing at all exciting about their merchandise other than the quality, easy laundering and good prices. But it turns out, that’s actually pretty exciting! I have so many white tees from them (and black tees too). If you need to update the white tees in your wardrobe, then Uniqlo items are a win-win deal.

*By the way, I love their ribbed cotton camisoles with lace straps. I’m always layering these basics with jackets or sweaters. In addition, I think their airism hoodies are the best and so easy to pack for travel.

The other brand that I’ve seen splashed across the internet is Everlane. I’ve never tried their white tees, but they’ve gotten rave reviews on their high quality, affordable and sustainable pieces. This company prides itself on simple, basic pieces. Their items are classic, not trendy, and can only be ordered online. Plus, they’re worn and loved by Meghan Markle – what more testimony does one need?

Petit-bateau is another t-shirt brand that uses high quality cotton, launders well and can be ordered online if you can’t find it in department stores.

CAMISOLES
As I mentioned above, Uniqlo is one of the best spots to find any key basics at below market prices. They’re just the best at what they do! They are currently sold out of my favorite lace trimmed cotton ribbed camisole and I hate to even tell you how cheap I got it for. I bought multiples and have so many of them that I wear them all the time. I found the exact same one online at Nordstrombut it’s just not as good of a deal. This style looks great paired with any jacket and can be worn layered all year long. I happen to love the lace detail that adds just a little bit of oomph to what would ordinarily be just another basic piece. Another great cami / tank to take a look at is this one by J.Crew 

I think it’s a great look at a reasonable price, and the neutral colors are easy to wear with just about anything.

BLACK PANTS
Every woman and every closet needs at least one pair of black pants. They are timeless, and a high quality pair can last for years. I prefer to shop at Theory  when I’m in the market for a new pair. I know I can go into their store and come out with what I need. Their quality is good. Their price point is within reach and they have a great selection of different styles to choose from including skinny, flair, cropped and relaxed fits. Their different fits will take you from work to weekend and from day to night, which make this brand the perfect one-stop-shop for professionals of any sort.

SWEATERS
For me, sweaters are the trickiest and most challenging item in my wardrobe. Why, you might ask? I’m allergic to wool, which poses a huge problem when shopping for sweaters. Most sweaters are made out of merino wool or cashmere and both of them irritate my skin. Yes, even cashmere gives me an itch! So, If I need to buy a sweater as a layering piece, I have to resort to cotton, which is generally more difficult to find. I’ve had the best luck buying cotton sweaters at both Uniqlo and Zara.

The price point at both stores is incredibly reasonable and the quality is good. A solid color sweater will never be an exciting purchase, but I was able to find a Zara pullover that has a cute side slit so you can achieve a high-low effect. This detailing makes such a basic piece a bit more interesting. It’s lightweight, comes in many basic colors and is perfect for our weather here in LA. I actually just packed this sweater in two different colors for my trip to Houston last week. One was black (of course it was!) and the other was an oatmeal color. The great thing about this particular sweater is that because of the fabric, it hardly takes up any room in a suitcase.

BLACK LEGGINGS
Black leggings are a wardrobe staple for me – you can find me in a pair several days a week. In fact, I think they’re a staple for all Angelenos! I not only wear them when I’m working out, but also when I’m running around doing errands or at home working at my computer. With our casual culture and athleisure so popular among women of all ages, the basic black legging is now considered one of those necessary items for any wardrobe. Lululemon still has the most basic, high quality and no longer see-through black leggings. I am always guaranteed that their “wunder under” style will give me the support and hold me in where I need it to. Lululemon leggings are not cheap, but they are durable, launder well and last. In addition, they are flattering to the figure and in my opinion, worth the investment. There are many other brands out there with fun black legging styles like Alo, Sweaty Betty, Rese and Ultracor, but when it comes to a basic black legging with no design, stick with Lululemon.

Other brands you should check out when you need to add to or update the basics in your wardrobe are Aritzia (now in Westfield Century City Mall in LA), Topshop, Vince and IRO.

A funny quote I saw the other day goes like this: “I could give up shopping, but I’m not a quitter.”

So when the going gets tough, just remember, the tough go shopping!

Smooch!

xx Barbara