a kinetic flower garden hangs in Tokyo…pretty cool, huh?
earth tu face is a skincare line focused on creating a purely plant-based 100% natural skincare line. no toxins, no synthetic compounds, just rejuvenating plant-based skincare. this week we’re giving away a $250 gift card to earth tu face!
and they have simple & chic packaging that will look pretty on your vanity…
aren’t these botanical perfumes in shells adorable? i have one of them in my purse that makes me happy every time i use it. enter to win $250 of skincare products of your choice below! (and check out this cool glossary of ingredients and how they help us)
CLICK THROUGH TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY & DISCOUNT CODE…(CLOSED)
my big trip is less than 2 weeks away! so much to prepare for, my head is spinning. one of the main things i needed to get done was to rent my apartment out while i was away. i’ve never actually done this before, however i know a few friends that became hosts and rent out their apartment a few days a month to make some extra cash. since i will be gone for 6 weeks, i knew that paying all of my LA rent on top of my accommodations abroad wasn’t going be reasonable at all…
so i listed my silver lake apartment on airbnb. (see how much you can make on your place here!) it took a while for someone who was serious and interested in renting it for a longer period of time, but last week a couple from paris inquired about booking for a whole month. we exchanged messages and i decided they were a good fit (ps. it’s still available may 10-17th) i gave them a good deal since it’s easier to manage less people coming in and out of my home. on airbnb you can list your price but then send specific people special offers, which is a feature i really like. another great feature is that you can see their renting/hosting history and read reviews about them. that makes the whole process feel safer. (and airbnb’s 1,000,000 host guarantee is a huge plus!)
now that my place is booked i have to get my place READY. i’ve stayed in over 20 airbnbs all over the world (some of my faves here, here and here), so i have picked up a few of my favorite hosting tricks. little things that made me feel that much more welcome. here’s my prep list!
1. directions and the key: first things first, they are gonna need the key to your place and to know how to get there. i’ve been in both situations where the host has met me in person, or just left the key for me. it’s always a little nicer to meet your host so you can ask questions and get a feel for where you will be staying. i like when the host provides a message beforehand about the best way to get from the airport to their home, because sometimes there are cheaper/better options you like to know about. (like the flyaway from LAX) it just shows you’re treating them how you would treat a friend if they were visiting!
2. a nice welcome: it’s always sweet when you arrive to your apartment after a long day of traveling and your host has a bottle of wine or beers in the fridge waiting for you. a simple gesture, but goes a long way. i remember many times enjoying a bottle of wine with my travel companion and feeling very at home. pick up some fresh flowers and a candle if you are feeling hostess with the mostess.
3. the essentials: all the best apartments i have stayed in had all the essentials, and they were easy to find. extra towels, sheets, shampoo & conditioner, soap, toilet paper, dish soap, laundry detergent. i usually order all of my household products on amazon prime (prime pantry, it comes so quick and all in one box!) so this time i just stocked up on extra for my guests.
4. food: you definitely don’t have to give your guests food. but spending just a little extra at the grocery store definitely makes an impact. i’ll be stocking my fridge with just a few treats: eggs, bread, fruit. coffee for the morning. some condiments. sparkling water. again, you don’t have to do this, but it sure is nice when someone does it for you!
5. clean up / remove valuables: i’m the first to admit that having a person you don’t know living in your space can be a little daunting. (again, the individual reviews calm my nerves about it) but to be extra safe, it’s a good idea to remove your valuables. passport, jewelry etc. i’ll be getting a couple of boxes and storing my extra special things in my friend’s garage. it’s also a good idea to de-clutter your space before a guest arrives. this makes the essentials easy to find and makes the experience a little more like a hotel. i’ve stayed in places where the host had way more stuff in their place than in the photos and i wasn’t really a fan of that. lastly, you want to make your space as clean as possible for your guests arrival! i look at this as a time to do some spring cleaning myself and get rid of things i don’t need in all those junk drawers.
6. the handbook: there should always be a guide for your guests on how to navigate your home. what’s the wifi password, how to use the air conditioning or laundry, what’s parking like, where the breaker box is etc. also, your guests probably don’t know your neighborhood, so help them out a little. what’s your favorite local places to eat? what’s the best coffee spot? favorite date place? some good tourist activities? give them a little rundown! (like THIS)
7. prepare your home: i usually rip the batteries out of the smoke alarms once they start beeping like crazy and get too lazy to replace them. now is a good time to do that (and i should do it anyway) think of those things like extra lightbulbs or a first aid kit just in case.
as for setting up your listing, it’s pretty easy. just add the description of your home (stylish 2 bedroom silver lake apartment) and your neighborhood, what your place offers (wifi, air, laundry etc), add some photos of your space (the better photos you have, the more likely it will book. airbnb will send a photographer to you if you are interested!) add a cleaning fee for when your guest leaves, and lastly update the pricing and availability. that’s it. took me about 15 minutes to set it all up. see my listing here.
want to try out airbnb? take $25 off your first trip here!
try this fun twist on your average taco recipe! and thank you to love & olive oil for inspiring this creation!
Crispy Cauliflower Tacos
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 3 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
• 4 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
• 1 cup diced and peeled mango
• 1/3 cup red onion
• 1 cup black beans
• 1 squeezed lime
• 1/3 cup cilantro
• salt and pepper to taste
• 4 corn tortillas
• 1 avocado
• 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
• Sour creme as garnish
Crispy Cauliflower Tacos: In a large skillet heat 1/3 cup of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add 3 cups of small cauliflower florets, stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes or until tender and golden. Toss panko breadcrumbs and stir for an additional 3 minutes until panko crumbs are browned. Season with salt and pepper.
Mango Black Bean Salsa: In a medium sized bowl add 1 cup diced and peeled mango, 1/3 cup diced red onion, 1 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans, 1 squeezed lime and 1/3 cup cilantro. Mix well and salt and pepper to taste (optional, if you like your salsa with a kick add about 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño).
Heat tortillas and set on a plate, with 1 pitted avocado coarsely mash with fork and spread a generous amount onto each tortilla. Then layer about 2 spoonfuls of crispy cauliflower, next add a fair amount of mango black bean salsa, a handful of shredded cabbage and a dollop of sour creme.
photos and styling by: Ivan Solis
i remember the days before pinterest when i would blog 20 times a day. just posting photos of things that inspired me that day. no planning or thoughts about it, really. sometimes i miss those days. here’s a few photos, color combinations, shapes and designs that had me feeling inspired today…