Tag Archives: 2013

on learning from a dreary hour

peekaboo cow hollow

Fall seven times, stand up eight.  — Japanese Proverb

One of the best things about this place is that no matter how drizzly, gray, or bleak it looks out there, it always manages to get better – even if “better” is just a fleeting spot of sunshine in the evening, a breeze warm enough for a few minutes sans jacket, or the sight of some brilliant blooms lining the street through the haze of a stubborn fog.  San Francisco’s wildly unpredictable clime: a life’s lesson to be had, that’s for sure.

too many choices!

ombre leaves


top of the hill

white flower


friday faves: may 3, 2013

friday faves

“Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.” — Ernest Hemingway

Well this might just sum perfectly up how I’d like to live the rest of my life!  I’m taking  my first stab at SUP this weekend (that’s stand up paddleboard – if you don’t know, now you know) with my somewhat newly minted friend Danielle, who’s lovely and inspiring blog is also where I came across that little gem of life advice.  I’m not sure what to expect, to be honest, but I’m willing to bet there will be at least a few massive dumps into the chilly Pacific waters off Sausalito, and with that I am quite sure comes an allowance for wine at lunch.  It’s our first weekend not entertaining in…..I don’t know – forever — so we’ve got little else on the docket except cooking at home, sleeping in, and hauling ourselves up the hill to attend our second Pugs in the Park afternoon.  And I cannot wait.  It’s the small things in life, right?

Here are some of my favorite internets at the moment:

Seriously, everyone has this book! Want in a major way.  And Lottie + Doof’s carrot soup looks like a total win.

I just can’t stop laughing at this.

These lemon sponge cups look too easy to be true! How perfect for a spring dinner party.  These shrimp burgers would make a mighty fine main course for said party, too.

I love this idea (the top post, from April 18th) from the Canal House for scrambling your eggs over your boiling asparagus….so smart, and also makes for perfectly not-overcooked scrambleds.

This is the best fitting tee I’ve found in awhile – it nails that elusive and perfect loose-but-fitted note. (Plus, it’s on sale in stores!)

One of my favorite baking supply sites, Bake it Pretty, has the most dizzying array of colorful birthday cake candles; just looking at them all makes me want to bake a three-layer confection!

Humans of New York (or HONY for those in the know) is just brilliant.  I get a stab of nostalgia every time I read his posts; I love it here in SF, but there really is no other place like The City.

This roasted tomato caprese is just what I’ll be whipping up this weekend for lunch.

This drink dispenser, perfect for a BBQ or picnic (I love that it is reminiscent of a Weck jar — and only $20!)

This dress. This jacket. These studs. This short & swingy skirt and this longer one (perfect for a Spring concert!). These little wedges (the perfect height for daytime).   This necklace. This breezy coverup dress. This cute button down.

bits of my weekend, according to instagram: april 29, 2013


{first morning views: grapes, balloons, & fog}

One of the great things about San Francisco is that you can toss some clothes, some good friends, and perhaps a couple of baggo boards in the back of your car and be out of the city and somewhere entirely different in under an hour.  We happen to live really close to the 101, and hopping onto the highway and cruising over the Golden Gate takes minimal effort.  We celebrated James’ birthday on Thursday, but as we had one of our best friends coming in from LA for the weekend, we decided to extend those celebrations a bit, and head out to wine country for a day spent relaxing at the Coppola pool and an evening spent wine tasting and grilling at Calluna Vineyards.  We spent the day playing a few fierce rounds of bocce and eating pizza poolside, and were graciously hosted at Calluna by David and Marla, the owners of Calluna, who opened their kitchen and home to us for the evening.  We grilled flank steak, made sweet potato and sage gratin, and had a kale salad that had the best salty/sweet dressing – perfect accompaniments to the vineyard’s wines.  The city welcomed us back on Sunday with blue skies and perfect temperatures, and the ten day forecast we have in front of us is one of the best i think this city has ever seen.  This weekend will mark the first in nearly a month that we won’t have visitors, and I can’t wait to do absolutely nothing; it’s going to be perfect weather for evening walks to Chrissy Beach with the dog, and I’m looking forward to making some healthy meals at home and getting back on track with some morning workouts and hopefully a few yoga classes.


{the roses are in full bloom in pacific heights}


{birthday date night}




{nightcaps at the alembic}


{a fuzzy #throwbackthursday: finding my dress at kleinfeld in NYC, april 2011}


{spring inspired tips & (empty) cocktails at marengo}

{but wait! there’s more…}

friday faves: a birthday recap & links i love » 4.26.13

friday faves

James and I have a birthday tradition of surprising each other with a restaurant reservation somewhere that we have never been. It doesn’t have to be super fancy, but it needs to be kept at an undisclosed location till the moment you step in the taxi and inform the driver of your whereabouts — then, the guessing game begins. In New York that little clue alone was usually enough to narrow our guesses down to just a select few, but since we are total newbies at this whole SF thing, “Geary and 22nd, please!” meant nothing to James, and up till the moment we stopped in front of Aziza last night, he had only just guessed the cuisine we would be having (Moroccan, as it were). Sitting on an unlikely corner in Richmond, it’s somewhat of a sleeper hit, as it’s been around now for 12 years and doesn’t get the same buzz as the new up-and-comers situated in the hipper Mission district. But it still boasts a Michelin star, and to date is the best meal we have had in San Francisco. We started with flatbread and various spreads (the piquillo almond being our favorite) and a salad of the most flavorful jewel-toned beets, before moving on to a dish of perfectly medium-rare smoked duck breast for He, and a crispy skinned piece of dorade for me (over yellowfoot mushrooms with a creamy brown butter sauce….diet, who?). Their cocktail list was impressive, and centers around fresh fruits and vegetables muddled with spirits (think things like sugar snap peas and red bell peppers in your cocktail – delish), and I tried an especially tasty combination of rose, basil, and vodka. We zipped over to the Alembic for a nightcap (a pisco sour and a negroni, s’il vous plait) and were back home to our furry family at the very reasonable hour of 9:30. Birthday perfection.

Anyway I am *so* happy it’s Friday (as are the rest of you, I suspect!), and my elation over our location in the week is only augmented by the fact that one of our best friends, Justin, is flying in from LA to spend the weekend with us. (Houseguests, FTW!) We are driving out to wine country tomorrow and staying the night at a vineyard, and will be back in time to soak up some of the (hopefully) better weather that is slated for Sunday (73 and sunny!). Here are some of my favorite internets of the week:

I’m coveting these copper cups for the Summer….throw in some good vodka, some Fevertree gingerbeer, and a sunny day with friends in our backyard? I’ve died and gone to Moscow Mule heaven.

I used to LIVE on takeout from Hale & Hearty when I lived in NYC and something called a “lunch hour” simply didn’t exist (hence the crumbs I was constantly shaking out of my keyboard), and one of my favorite quick meals was their Senegalese chicken soup. Essentially a creamy peanut flavored soup studded with a few veggies and bits of roast chicken, it was filling and warming, and was especially nice over some rice. This version over at Cookie + Kate titled ‘African Peanut Soup’ looks like the perfect base recipe to try and recreate a vegetarian version. Don’t be deterred by the fact that it is peanut butter soup….it is delicious.

{but wait! there’s more…}

the (first!) friday faves: links i love

friday faves

I love discovering new blogs, recipes, and other generally fun/cool/pretty things, and have been meaning to start sharing a weekly list of any that I happen to find and like on these tangled interwebs.  Fridays seem like a fine day to do that, so here goes! I present to you, my first Friday Faves.

Deb, the Queen Bee herself, never ceases to have me drooling over my keyboard and in stitches hearing about her culinary adventures in her tiny NYC kitchen. I suspect that absolutely none of you haven’t already found the happy place that is her blog (or her cookbook), but I have to tell you, her bee sting cake  has officially rocketed to the top of my mustbakenext list. Yeasted cake, pastry cream, and a caramelly-almond-crunch top? I die.

Rosie, the talented (and gorgeous!) baker behind the blog Sweetapolita, has an awesome tutorial for an ombre-style iced layer cake. It’s 15 minutes long, but worth every second if I can manage to recreate this at home. Now who has a birthday coming up…..

Everything about these Rag and Bone booties would be perfect for scaling the near vertical hills I now live amongst in style.  Seriously, they are perfect.

These smoky beet burgers from Sprouted Kitchen look really delicious….especially with that feta spread.  Perfect for making and eating outside in the gorgeous weather San Francisco has been bestowing on us.

{but wait! there’s more…}

primp & proper: a few of my favorite things (nine, to be exact!)

a few of my favorite things

In this little space I talk mostly of things like butter, eggs, and brown sugar cake, but when it comes time to gettin’ gussied up and going out, I give even the girliest of girls a run for their money. Where that came from, I have no idea – my lovely Mother pulls off the ‘tomboy’ moniker with style and grace – but I’ve always been a bit of a product junkie. Over the years I’ve narrowed down my everyday favorites, and since I am always very curious what other people use and like, here are a few of my very favorite things.

1.  I’d been using my Solano hair dryer for five solid years before it finally bit the dust, and rightfully so – I use the thing darn near every day.  I would have gone right back out and picked up a new one, had the bright yellow case of the Drybar dryer not piqued my interest.  I never would have thought that a blowdryer could be amazing, but this one is exactly that: somehow it manages to tame my kinky and unruly tresses in five minutes flat, and at the same time take them from ultra-frizzy (I’ve not been blessed with the easiest hair) to super smooth and silky, and nearly pin straight.

2.  For years, blush was an afterthought for me – something I put on because I was supposed to, but that never really seemed to make that much of an impact on my overall look.  Then I discovered NARS Amore blusher, and I’ve barely gone a day without it.  It’s the perfect peachy/pink shade that goes on looking extremely natural, and makes you look like you’ve been drinking 8 tall glasses of water a day and getting your beauty sleep. (Because you have, right?)

3.  I’ve flip-flopped between a few mascaras in my time, becoming hooked on Diorshow mascara in college, then onto YSL “Volume Effet Faux Cils” in my 20’s, and most recently onto Larua Mercier ‘Full Blown Volume,’ which I wore at our wedding and for most of the past couple of years.  I recently got a sample of Benefit’s cheekily named “They’re Real” mascara, and I am nothing short of obsessed: the prickly brush manages to get to each and every teeny tiny lash, and does.not.clump.  One coat for day, two coats for night, and I am a very happy camper.

4. So turning 30 happened, and with that came the discovery of LOTS of little bitty fine lines that set up camp around my eyeballs.  NOT COOL.  Being that I can only blame myself for years spent baking in a lifeguard chair on Mayflower Beach, and that I can’t quite bring myself to do anything really drastic just yet (scary needles, I’m looking at you), the Clarisonic is seriously a game changer.  I use it RELIGIOUSLY once in the morning and once at night, and I swear it makes your skin look and feel 23 again.  Or something like that.

{but wait! there’s more…}

bit of my weekend(s), according to instagram: april 15, 2013


{cheeseburger + parmesan garlic fry heaven, at super duper}

(Have I told you yet how much I love it here?)

Because I really, really do.  It’s been five weeks since we’ve arrived and somehow I feel like I’ve been here forever, in the best sense of that word.  I don’t really feel like “the new girl,” partially owed to the fact that this city came pre-loaded to me with some seriously fantastic friends, and also in part to the commitment I’ve had on previous visits here to walk the entire city on foot, thereby getting a really good lay of the land.  I’ve even been stopped and asked for directions….and knew all the right answers! If you know me and my sense of direction at all, you’d know that’s really an accomplishment for the books.  We spend the weekend close to home, tying up some loose ends that needed tending to, and working on a few projects, with just the right amount of socializing sprinkled in, for good measure. I’ve been really bad about weekend recaps, so here is a mish/mash of what’s been going on around here over the past couple of weeks.


{waiting patiently outside for a seat at burma superstar}


{green tea // on the street}


{lunch at home: flatbread with caponata and goat cheese}


{cherry blossoms in full bloom, in the presidio}


{tea decisions}


{my favorite tofu spring roll, at bun mee}


{bright colors and blue skies, in hayes valley}


{electric slide}

{but wait, there’s more!}