Saturday, January 30, 2016

4 Things You Should Do Before Your 21st

Most of us look forward to our 21st birthdays as the point in our lives in which we are finally given all the privileges of adulthood but still have a little more time before people expect us to totally have our sh*t together. I'm thoroughly enjoying my time before ~real adulthood~ sets in, but I don't think that means we should all be total hot messes. Here's a few things you should do before you turn 21:

1. Know something about current events.
As millennials, we're much more connected to the rest of the world than any previous generations and you really shouldn't put that to waste. I'm not saying you have to read the New York Times and Wall Street Journal every day, but start following some news outlets on Twitter, listen to the occasional NPR podcast, subscribe to daily email blasts like The Skimm or Morning Brew, read headlines or do something so you at least kind of know what's happening outside the walls of your dorm.

2. Start building a credit score.
I get it, college is rough and there will probably come a point when your textbooks will cost $800 (looking at you, accounting department) and you still have to buy a special finance calculator, an interview suit, and stuff so you can maintain some level of personal hygiene. It's going to suck and you won't enjoy having no money, but here's the deal- getting into debt now is a really bad idea. Accept a good offer from a credit card and only use it for purchases you can pay off every month. By the time you're ready to do something like buy a car or a house, you'll actually be able to qualify for a loan.

3. Learn to budget.
Building off the credit card idea- take a class in personal finance and set an actual budget for yourself. I know it's hard to set aside a large chunk of your income every month, but set up your online banking so as much as you can possibly afford to put aside goes directly into your savings account each month. There are some great apps that make budgeting easier (I recommend Mint), but an old fashioned notebook also works. Start now so you're more financially stable going into adulthood.

4. Have a few go-to grown up outfits.
You're going to need a nice interview outfit, a cocktail party outfit, and a date night/night out with friends outfit. This doesn't mean you have to go out and drop $10,000 at Barney's, but it also means you should shop around and start calling that blazer you threw over a body-con dress from a fraternity formal last year "business attire". Make sure you keep everything nicely tailored, lint-free, wrinkle-free and smelling good so you're always ready to go, regardless of the occasion. There are lots of stores geared toward millennials that have great sales on a regular basis where you can get nice outfits cheap, so consider subscribing to their email lists to help make the search a little easier.








Thursday, January 28, 2016

48 Hours in Amsterdam



Saturday:

10:00 am // Grab breakfast at a pancake house. They are spread throughout the city (Click here for a Top 5 List). Be weary of picking one in a super-touristy area as they are often overpriced. Dutch pancakes are delicious, and poffertjes (mini Dutch pancakes) are probably the best thing on this planet.


11:00 am // Rent a bike. It’s the easiest way to get around the city, but be careful, Dutch people on bikes are aggressive and were raised on bikes from birth.  


12:00 pm // On a nice day, venture to Vondelpark, ride around, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. On a not-so-nice day, head to a museum. Amsterdam has a great museum district that includes the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and The Stedelijk Museum. Museumplein, the park in between all of the museums, is a beautiful place to sit, relax, and take in the beauty of Amsterdam (+ This is where the famous Iamsterdam sign is)
3:00 pm // Head to de Pijp neighborhood and explore the Albert Cuyp Markt. Get a fresh, warm stroopwaffel (or if you’re feeling like something savory, try Kapsalon) and shop around. There are great vintage shops in the neighborhood, including Marbles Vintage. + If you are a beer person, The Heineken Brewery is right there. Take a factory tour.


5:00 pm // Take an evening canal cruise. The canals while the sun is setting are even more beautiful. If it is a warm day, book a cruise on an open air boat so you really get a full experience.


7:00 pm // Dinner at manamana in De Pijp


9:00 pm // Head over to Leidseplein for some drinks. If you’re into the clubbing scene, check out Melkweg or Paradiso for some good music and dancing.

Sunday:

11:00 am // Head to brunch at Bakers & Roasters. Best. Brunch. Ever.


12:30 pm // Head to Dam Square to see the Royal Palace and do some shopping.


2:00 pm // Go to the Anne Frank House. Buy tickets way in advance, or prepare to wait in line. Enjoy the beauty of Prinsengracht. Or, catch up on museum visits that you couldn’t fit in on Saturday!


3:30 pm // Explore the Jordaan neighborhood (the neighborhood that surrounds the Anne Frank House). Go to the Nine Streets (Negen Straatjes) where the cutest boutiques (The Darling!) and vintage stores exist. Grab some coffee and enjoy the ambience.

6:00 pm // Drink and eat dinner at Foodhallen, a literal food hall that has every type of food you could ever imagine. Everything is delicious, from the steak sandwich, the fresh pasta, and the sushi hand rolls, to the vietnamese spring rolls and butcher burgers. There is also a bar just for Gin & Tonics.

8:00 pm // Head for drinks at Cafe Belgique, serving only Belgium Beer and mostly from the tap

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Almond Milk Chai Latte

If you haven't noticed, we've sort of been on an unintentional hiatus. After a whirlwind semester abroad, finals, travel and the holidays with family, we've been so busy that it's been hard to blog. One of my new years' resolutions was to blog more. With that said, I thought I'd share this absolutely ah-mazing almond milk chai latte recipe.

Admittedly, this isn't the amazingly milky, sweet masala chai you'll find in Indian restaurants (or in India if you're lucky enough to have tried it there), but sadly dairy and my stomach don't get along so well and eating healthier is also one of my goals for the new year. Without further ado, here's the recipe. Bon appetit!



ALMOND MILK CHAI LATTE

TOTAL TIME: 15 MIN SERVES: 1 LARGE OR 2 SMALL LATTES

ingredients:
1 c. almond milk (I like Califia Farms Vanilla)
2 chai tea bags
2 t. honey
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
1/4 t. ground ginger (optional)
1/4 t. cardamom (optional)

preparation:
Boil about 1 c. water and steep tea bags until very strong, 8-10 minutes. While tea is steeping, combine your almond milk, honey and spices (if using) in a small saucepan. Whisk milk mixture until hot and frothy- if you have a milk frother, you can use that at this point. Remove tea bags and pour milk over chai, spooning foam onto the top. Enjoy!

xoxo,
Yasi "On my second of the day (whoops?)"





Tuesday, January 5, 2016

P&J's Guide to New Years' Resolutions

Ah, New Year's resolutions- or as I like to call them "2-week-long-diets". There's something about the time-honored tradition of creating unreasonable goals and then quickly giving up on them that keeps us writing lists and posting "new year, new me" Facebook statuses every time the holiday rolls around. Here at Pacific & June, we've got a few tips to creating (and sticking) with your resolutions this year.

1. Be realistic.
I think this is probably the most important one. So often people tell themselves that they want to lost 10 pounds a month, run a marathon, solve world hunger and create the next Snapchat. Guess what? The less realistic your goals are, the more likely you are to fail and give up entirely. Instead, focus on one thing at a time, like "this month I'm going to cut back my sugar intake to once a week".

2. Make sure you have a support system in place.
If you want to eat healthier, tell your friends and explain to them why it's important to you! Chances are they'll be supportive and be conscious of that when you're all going out to brunch or even staying in for a night. You'll also have people holding you accountable, which is more likely to keep you on track.

3. Stop thinking of New Year's as the only time you can make a change.
Instead of failing and waiting until next year to set goals again, think of your New Year's resolutions as a starting point on the path to your goals and add throughout the year. Say your goal is to go back to grad school- make your focus for January gathering up as much information on the application process as you can, then in February start creating a timeline and study plan for entrance exams, etc. Breaking your overall goals into smaller, more manageable parts will make them feel less overwhelming.

4. Stop being so hard on yourself!!!
I can't stress this one enough! It's ok if you fall off the wagon. It's ok if you swore to cut out sugar and had a slice of cake at your friend's birthday party, or if you swore you'd get your GPA up and got a C on an exam. I get that in this age of social media where everyone carefully curates their public image that it's easy to compare yourself to others and convince yourself that everyone is working out everyday, hanging out with their friends, eating perfect healthy meals and maintaining flawless grades or careers but in reality, no one's life is perfect. Just because you aren't seeing other people's problems on Instagram doesn't mean they aren't there, so I mean it when I say GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. You don't have to justify your slice of cake with an extra 30 minutes on the treadmill or that C with the fact that you had a million other tests that week. In the wise words of Hannah Montana, "nobody's perfect", so just relax and move on.

In short, it's awesome to have goals but you shouldn't beat yourself up over them. The only thing that matters is whether you are happy and whether you are meeting goals that are important to you. So go forth and start working on those resolutions (even if that resolution is to keep on killing the game). Happy New Year, darlings!

xoxo,
Yasi




Monday, January 4, 2016

48 Hours in Brussels

I'll be honest, Brussels is one of those places that kind of went under my radar until recently. It's not one of those places that's a huge destination, especially if you've already got a long flight just to get to  the continent of Europe. When I went just before Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised- it's a gorgeous city with incredible food and lots to keep you occupied. 




Saturday
10:00 am // Stop in Maison Dandoy for breakfast. Opt for something savory to prepare for the mass chocolate consumption, but don't miss the traditional Liege waffle, sans toppings. Pick up a few tins of their famous chocolate dipped speculoos cookies- your friends will thank you. 

11:30 am // Head out along the chocolate trail- be sure to visit Elizabeth, Frederic Blondeel, Mary and Alex & Alex (my personal favorites). 
#protip: Try to avoid the giant chocolate shops like Neuhaus that produce in mass quantities- go for the artisan shops. 

1:30 pm // Visit the quirky comic strip museum- Brussels has the highest number of comic strip artists per capita and is the birthplace of Tintin. 

3:30 pm // Grab a late (and healthy) lunch at the original Le Pain Quotidien.

5:00 pm // Visit the Grand-Place as the sun sets. The view is spectacular at any time of day, but you'll be glad you saw it during the day and at night.

7:00 pm // Book a table at Michelin-starred Alexandre or La Truffle Noire for a splurge-worthy meal.  

Sunday
10:00 am // Head to Les Filles for a leisurely brunch to fuel up for the day.

12:30 pm // Walk through Heysel Park and visit Mini-Europe and the Atomium, built for the 1958 Worlds' Fair. 

3:00 pm // Tour Parlamentarium, the tourist center and museum for the EU. 

5:00 pm // Do some more sightseeing in the city center and stop for a waffle break at Le Funamble Waffles, located right next to Mannekin Pis.

6:00 pm // Enjoy some authentic Belgian frites- Maison Antoine is a favorite- and be to try the samourai sauce.

7:30 pm // Take in the sights on the way to Delirium, which holds the world record for having the largest number of beers on tap. Don't worry if you're a newbie- the bartenders can help you out.

Happy traveling!
xoxo,
Yasi "Currently drooling over that waffle pic"