All posts in: Life

03 Jul 2020

Five Favorite Pins: 4th of July

It feels a little bit strange to be celebrating the 4th this year doesn’t it? Our country is kind of in shambles and Americans love their freedom so much that they’re putting those around them at risk. Let’s not pretend that isn’t the truth here. Last year, I had a very quiet 4th of July. I was craving bbq and since I didn’t have a grill myself, Kevin and I got takeout from [4505] so that I could get a rack of ribs. It was a San Francisco summer day with fog and light rain. The last 4th of July experience I remember truly having is one with a BBQ though. We don’t have a party to attend to this year (and honestly, no one should really be doing this,) but if we were hosting, here are some things we’d whip up.

Cocktail

Every good BBQ needs to kick things off with a refreshing and cool drink. Cherry is one of my favorite flavors both in cocktails (my favorite is an Amaretto Sour) and in food. With a prep time of just 15 minutes, how could this be any easier? [Ginger Beer Cherry Vodka Soda]

Appetizer

Technically, I was looking for a true appetizer for this next course, but we’re going to end up highlighting two kinds of salads. I don’t consider this one to be more traditional because it’s kind of a “little bite.” In the summertime, I’m always finding that my home is stocked with as much fruit as possible. During these months, you kind of have to take advantage of the fruits in season and switch up your Caprese. [Peach Caprese Salad]

Salad

I am obsessed with any kind of variation of a corn salad in the summer. Not only is it light and refreshing, but it’s the perfect dish to accompany any meal. Corn happens to be my favorite type of vegetable so I’ll eat it on everything despite it being loaded with sugar. [Mexican Corn Salad]

Entree

I went back and forth on what recipe I wanted to highlight for an entree. It was either going to be something a bit heartier or a form of kebabs. Kebabs were the epitome of a BBQ for me growing up and something we always had around 4th of July, but they are on the lighter side. I also liked them because it was easier to eat without leaving a mess on you. Instead we settled for a [Chipotle Lime Chicken], which I think compliments the rest of the recipes in this post.

Dessert

I know people like to get very festive with dessert around this holiday, but c’mon. Don’t you think a flag cake is a little predictable? If you’re going to do a flag cake, at least make it an ice box. However, if you choose to go with something else, we suggest the [Biscoff Cheesecake] It’s my favorite kind of cookie and cheesecake in itself is an All-American dessert, right?

However, you choose to spend your 4th, I hope it is restful and that you’re keeping yourself and others safe.

02 Jul 2020

Blog Roundup

  • How to Strengthen Your Immune System By Eating Better [GQ]
  • Racism Doesn’t Blink [The Cut]
  • iPhone User Creates Shortcut to Record Police Encounters [Hypebae]
  • 22 Awkward Situations You Might Experience During COVID-19 and How to Deal [The Thirty]
  • Why This Font Is Everywhere [Vox]
  • K-Pop Fans and TikTok Teens Successfully Sabotage Trump’s Tulsa Rally [High Snobiety]
  • Me, My Father, and Russell Wilson [Slate]
  • Nomadic Couple Transforms Ordinary School Bus Into Chic Tiny Home on Wheels [My Modern Met]
  • See How All 50 States Are Reopening (And Closing Again) [New York Times]
  • Microsoft to Permanently Close All Retail Stores [Hypebeast]
  • How to Clean Your Face Mask and Protect Your Skin [Vogue]
27 Jun 2020

This Weekend:

San Francisco summer has arrived! The fog has rolled in and the skies are a deep gray. I got out this morning for a little bit to pick up flowers, coffee and pastries, but I’ve basically been sitting on my couch for the past few hours with the candle burning. How is it that San Francisco’s spring season is so much more forgiving to us than summer? I’ll never understand it.

What We’re Watching: Sorry to Bother You

Ok, we’re cheating a little bit because technically we watched this last night. “Sorry to Bother You” has been on my list for some time and I decided I wanted to make time for it last night and take a break from K-dramas. The film is smart, witty, and overly quirky. While it leans more on the humorous side, there’s a bigger message in here to grasp. We’re also huge fans of Lakeith Stanfield. You can watch the film currently on Hulu.

What We’re Listening To: Teyana Taylor – The Album

This came out just last week, but I’m excited to dive into this. We’ve been long time fans of Teyana and seeing all of the collaborators on this album – Kehlani, Big Sean, Eryka Badu gives us promise.

What We’re Wearing – [TNA Atmosphere Legging] – $68

I ordered this pair and another last month, but this was the first time I’d ever purchased this kind. My normal leggings from Aritzia are usually less than $30 so for the longest time I would ask myself why I needed to shell out over double for a pair that was likely going to be the same. Turns out, the jokes on me because they are very different! The fabric is so light and smooth. For a day of errands or even just wearing them around the house, I’ve felt comfortable all day. In fact, I like these so much that I don’t even want to change out of them for bed.

What We’re Eating: The Pasta Shop’s Ravioli

We’ve done our fair share of cooking this week so when it came time to head into the weekend, I really wanted to make things easy for myself. I picked up a package of [The Pasta Shop’s] ravioli at Bi-Rite along with a Bi-Rite Romesco sauce to pair it with. The Pasta Shop is based out of Oakland and while this was my first time trying this brand, I was impressed. For being a packaged product, it’s quite fresh and comes in so many varieties. There’s really something for everyone.

27 Jun 2020

Saturday Check In

Since I’m on a number of platforms, I constantly feel like I’m always thinking about content. Where is it going and is it the right or wrong time to be posting this? It’s the kind of thing that occupies more of the space in my mind than is ideal. Lately in quarantine, I’ve been thinking about this idea more often and I’m hyper-sensitive about what I put out. This has always been my parents’ warning. “Everything you share on the internet lives 4ever.” I think about this too, but not as often as they do.

When I started Yow Yow! the ease of being able to write whatever I wanted to write was freeing. Here, I could be my most honest and exude the inner sassiness that I couldn’t necessarily out in public. As we observe what’s happening in the world, we now know that words don’t make us invincible. They come at a cost and have consequences even if we wrote them 10 years ago. I find myself deleting posts more quickly after I post them these days. I may linger on posts a little longer before I ultimately change my mind. Sure, I can go back and delete, but for me, I want to be able to catch these things before I make the mistake.

As the person behind this blog, we’re growing up. It’s not enough to just actively make sure we’re not offending, but to also be inclusive. The other day, I posted an Instagram of a pair of leggings I just ordered from Aritzia. It’s not the first time I’ve posted about a purchase, but my gut told me that I didn’t need to share my size with the entire world. One, it wasn’t anyone’s business and two, I didn’t want anyone to feel a certain way seeing this size. It didn’t add anything to the photograph and it potentially had a risk of harming someone else. Lucky for me, I was able to ask a friend to quickly edit this out for me before posting. While it was an extra step, I knew I wouldn’t feel right if I had posted it as it was. I understand that not everything I post is going to resonate with everyone, but I’d rather everyone feel welcome than not.

21 Jun 2020

The Balance in “Working From Home”

There was a time in my life where I wondered what it might be like to a) be my own boss or b) work from home permanently. I’m currently getting a taste of the working from home opportunity and it has been eye-opening. I used to wildly claim that I would never want to work at home permanently. However, after three full months of it, I’m changing my tune. There’s a lot to love between having flexibility and minimizing in-office distractions. As we head into summer months though, I’m starting to notice one very obvious negative to it.

I know that this is in large part due to the pandemic, but because of these circumstances, we have very little to look forward to. Vacations and getting away from your home are at everyone’s own discretion currently. If you’re playing it very safe though, you likely don’t have anything on the books. In a way, does it makes sense to request time off when we have so much flexibility now? If so, does it feel justified? What do we do with that time in a pandemic?

With 4th of July just around the corner, this is top of mind for me. Originally, I had wanted to wait until I had had a win at work so that I could justify taking a couple extra days for myself. This isn’t always easy when you know that there are others that depend on you. I remembered though that over Memorial Day, I was lucky to have four days and that did wonders for my mental health and ensuring that I didn’t burn out. So while we may not be going anywhere, it’s helpful to remember that an extra “weekend” day is not a day wasted when it’s for yourself.

20 Jun 2020

Saturday Check In

On any given weekend day, pre-pandemic, you can typically find me waking up early and getting started with errands on my street. I’ll pick up breakfast, a latte, and then finish up at the gift shop or the local market before heading home. And even though I did that same routine today, it doesn’t feel the way it normally does. I find myself dodging other people on the street if I feel like I might be too close to them on the sidewalk. Even though you can’t see it because I’m wearing my mask, I might be side eyeing or glaring at other individuals that have chosen not to wear a mask. These days if I’m leaving my house, I return quickly. There is no taking my time or doing anything leisurely because even stepping outside of my home is stressful.

As states begin to re-open, I still don’t feel at ease. In addition to re-opened states seeing a spike in cases, my friends and I are now at varying levels of comfort when it comes to how we approach the rest of quarantine. Not one to experience that much FOMO in the past, it’s something I’m thinking about a lot these days as friends of mine are the first to eat out at restaurants or book their first vacations. It’s the kind of thought that gets into your head and asking yourself, “Am I the crazy one?” “Am I being overly cautious here?”

I’d be lying to you all if I said I didn’t falter from time to time. Then I remember how far we’ve come and that if I were to get sick now, all the work we’ve put in would have been for nothing. So we’re not letting that happen.

14 Jun 2020

SF Reopens For Outdoor Dining

The Shake Shack opening in San Francisco was one of the most anticipated events in early 2020 for my friends and I. It also happened to be one of the last meals out I had before shelter in place. Fast forward four months later, San Francisco is reopening and as of this weekend, restaurants are now allowing outdoor dining. As much as eating out at restaurants was very much a part of my lifestyle pre-COVID-19, it’s not something I’m rushing to do at the moment. Though the option is there to eat at the restaurant, takeout is also still available and seems like the safer bet.

On my Instagram, however, it feels a bit mixed. While the majority are still opting for takeout, there are some that say they are okay with eating physically at the restaurant. Personally, I feel torn. My dining out experience prior won’t look like today’s situation and the question I ask myself is, “is it worth it?” I’ve also read a couple of Twitter threads where restaurant workers would prefer if people not eat at their restaurant. The situation, they say, is stressful requiring them to wash hands, sanitize, and change gloves every time they pick up something from any table. While customers may not fear the risk, the workers, even if they cannot say it, might.

At some point, we will return to something more normal and I would love to eat out at restaurants again someday. For the time being, I’m just going to monitor my own comfort levels and I’m in no rush.

14 Jun 2020

Blog Roundup

  • Stunning Hotel Pools From Around the World [Getaway]
  • Asian Snacks Are More Popular Than Ever in America. Here’s What That Says About Asian Americans [Refinery29]
  • 28 Black Films That Are Infinitely More Informative Than “The Help” [High Snobiety]
  • How to Do Thoughtful Work When You Just Can’t Focus [Fast Company]
  • America Is Giving Up on the Pandemic [The Atlantic]
  • I’m Supposedly An Adult. What Time Should I Go To Bed? [Mel Magazine]
  • A Socially Distanced Live Music Venue Will Open in London Later This Year [Hypebae]
  • What Luxury Brands Can Learn From Looting [GQ]
  • 5 Photographers Speak on Responsibly Capturing and Sharing Protest Images [Nylon]
  • Twitter Now Asks You To Read An Article Before Sharing It [Popular Mechanics]
  • Grammy Awards to Remove “Urban” Term From All Its Categories [Hypebae]
  • What’s Going On in CHAZ, the Seattle Autonomous Zone? [The Cut]
  • 50 Things Every Man Should Own [Cool Material]
  • Eddie Huang on the Oppressive Whiteness of the Food World [Grub Street]
13 Jun 2020

Procter & Gamble’s “The Look”

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been taking note of the way brands and companies take a stance on the racial injustices occurring in our country. There are many ways to do this and I’m almost overwhelmed by the different approaches. Some pledge to donate. Others are sharing their commitments to what they will improve on whether it’s in their business or even with hiring. Not all of these are welcomed though. In these pledges, former and current employees will comment on hypocrisies and slam them for their behavior in the past. In this fight, no one can really win here and that’s something that I’ve been observing throughout.

I haven’t seen many ads like this one from Procter & Gamble come up yet and I assume that we’re not far off from that. I did, however, enjoy this one as I think these types of micro aggressions occur so frequently every day. The individual partaking in the micro aggression believes they’re being discreet, but to the individual on the receiving end, it’s obvious. They’re often behaviors that aren’t verbal, but ultimately are racist and hurtful. This is more relevant today, but I wish something like this didn’t have to be made to serve as a constant daily reminder.

11 Jun 2020

Winding Down Sunday Words

Last week’s “Sunday Words” post will be our last on Yow Yow! It is likely one of the longest running series we have had on the blog and undoubtedly, there is some sadness in letting it go. Often times, very cheesy inspirational quotes are my guilty pleasure. They live in the homes of basic women who have these etched on fake wood. You can buy these at Target I think. And if you’re like me, maybe you have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to them. As much as I tear it down, there is a tender place in my heart for these.

Sometimes we hold onto these series for longer than we should. In this case, I’ve not only grown out of these posts, but I’ve also grown up, myself. This past week, social media has flooded my feeds with quotes and phrases to live by. It prompted me to ask a bigger question which was how do these quotes and phrases get turned into action? Who do they help? And who are they for? In short, they don’t do anything. And as rapidly as they were reposted and shared across channels in the last couple of weeks, I was doing the same thing here every Sunday for years.

I called Veronica tonight personally to share with her the news and a much more elaborate explanation. Sunday Words has been our favorite for a long time, but it is taking up the space of posts that I believe could be more thoughtful.

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