Friday, January 29, 2010

What to Wear: Elegant Spring Weekend

For the first time since we moved, it has stopped raining! This, combined with two many old movies and too much imagination has me planning something feminine for the weekend.

Here's what I'd wear for a trip to the flower market, stop at a tea lounge and a Sunday ballet matinee:

Top - Sleeveless ruffled white blouse on sale.
Cardigan - In ballet pink.
Skirt - J.Crew pencil skirt on sale in cinnamon stick.
Wallet - In metallic floral from Forever 21.
Shoes - Beige pumps with snakeskin heels.
Trench - A classic on sale.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Inspired: How to Steal a Million

I've been watching How to Steal a Million bit by bit for a few days. There's a scene where she is at the Ritz in a black lace Givenchy dress with matching mask and he asks for scotch and she says "likewise."

I may not have the dress and mask (which sold for 60,000 euro a while back), but I'm certainly cribbing the line. "Likewise" ought to be used more often.

To Do: Samba Class

Samba is well high on the list of things I'm terrible at. It's a standing joke that I have the dance moves of a praying mantis.

So a samba class at the UCSF gym last night didn't seem like a great idea. But it actually turned out okay and was a big, big workout. We'll see just how crushing all those hip thrusts turn out to be tomorrow.

The instructor has a You Tube channel if you want to follow along at home.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Recipe: Rigatoni with Lentils and Kale

Yum! This pasta is way too tasty for how healthy it is. Definitely a new staple for winter nights. I modified this recipe. Makes about 6 servings.

Rigatoni with Pasta and Kale
1 box of Barilla Plus penne pasta
2 cups of lentils (I use these odd freeze dried variety that you boil for 20 minutes)
1/2 head of kale
4 green onions, diced
1/2 cup of roasted almonds, tamarind optional
1/2 piece of turkey bacon, diced
2 tablespoons of salted butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Start the lentils and a big pot of water for the pasta. Rinse the kale well, remove the stalk and cut into two inch pieces. Dice the turkey bacon and green onions. Chop the almonds or grind them in a mortar and pestle.

Cook the pasta for 11 minutes and drain. Leave the pasta in the strainer. In the empty pan, add the diced turkey bacon to brown. Lower the heat and top with the almonds, butter and oil. Once that starts melting, add the cooked lentils. Once that is mixed, top with the kale and cook just until it starts to wilt. Top with the noodles and mix thoroughly. Season to taste, using ample pepper. Mix in the green onions last and serve!

Inspired: Chalkboard Wall

500 Days of Summer was a very cute flick - but that chalkboard wall in the bedroom was positively inspired. I wish there was a better photo of it online. Do you think the dust would be a nightmare?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

To Do: Find South Park

I've been to nearly every park in the city except the one in my new backyard! South Park was once encircled by the grandest homes in San Francisco - all that remains today is the little oval patch of trees and grass...which I have yet to find.

We're on the other side of the hill in the distance of this photo from 1865. You can see photos of South Park now online here. I'm going to look for it this weekend!

Finds: Chinese Lion Ornament

My favorite purchase from Chinatown on Sunday was a miniature lion head made of paper mache, foil and pompoms for $5. Just like the big lions, but only a few inches wide.

Wow...is he ever excited. You don't need coffee when you have this lucky lion hanging by the door. Buy one online here for $9.

Monday, January 25, 2010

To Do: Wok Shop

A new discovery in Chinatown on Sunday evening: The Wok Shop. A teeny tiny little store stuffed to the gills with every kitchen tool imaginable. Hot pots, steamers, moon cake molds, garnish cutters, specialized rolling pins, every kind of chopstick imaginable, clay pots, enormous mortars and pestles, cleavers, cutting blocks and - of course - woks.

And, being San Francisco, of course they have a expansive website where you can order almost anything they have in the shop from the comfort of home.

Weekend Round-Up: Settling In

This was a fun weekend in our new neighborhood! With our move finished, we finally had time to explore. (Apologies for all the cell photos - I left my camera at a friend's house)

On Friday, the women from our office left work early for an afternoon at the spa. Massages, manicures and pedicures were our holiday present from the boss. Two and a half hours of pampering followed by dinner at Oola. For five dainty ladies, we ate like kings. Champagne, truffle parmesan fries, beet and bleu cheese salad, steak tartare with caviar, artisinal cheese, duck confit, rack of lamb, pork ribs, creme brule, cherry pear crisp and port. Whew...great evening! I walked home at 9:30.












Up early on Saturday morning to turn in our apartment keys. Despite the sunny weather report, it rained steadily as we finished the very last step of the move. A run down to Daly City to buy supplies for the house. We made it home in time for a relaxed lunch. I wrote all my moving announcements and (late) Christmas thank you notes and dropped them in the mail.
















Quiet evening at home. Margaret came over for a healthy dinner (to make up for all my Friday excess) and to watch Inglourious Basterds. I surprisingly really liked the film. To bed pretty early with our first guest on the daybed.

Margaret, Rob and I woke up early on Sunday to attend a 9:45 show of Avatar in IMAX 3D. We have been trying to get tickets for weeks and this was the only available show. And a packed house even at that strange hour. But, wow! That is one heck of a movie.

After our show, we went for a clam chowder lunch at Boudin Bakery. And then dropped by Gump's to pick up a package and drool over the merchandise. Shoe shopping with Rob at REI.
















A quick trip back home for a pot of tea and a couple rounds of cards. The three of us headed back out around three to explore Chinatown. The whole neighborhood is festively preparing for Lunar New Year in February. The parade coming on the 27th is one of my favorite events of the year. We passed by one massive dragon being readied for the event.













In Chinatown, I bought a miniature paper mache lion and a set of lucky red envelopes. Starting to rain, we took our loot to Irish Bank for pints of Guinness. Tucked away in a little alley, it's an adorable respite downtown.
















Dinner at Thirsty Bear - a Spanish tapas and microbrew pub. With some live flamenco guitar in the background, we shared a squid-ink paella for dinner. Back home in the rain, Margaret left for San Mateo. Rob and I cleaned-up and prepared for the week ahead.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Inspired: Matou en Peluche

I stumbled across Matou en Peluche on Etsy last night. Soft charcoal drawings of birds and vintage-style women are perfect to end a very rainy week.

This drawing especially, has me ready to pile on the blush and blooms this weekend.

Things I Love Today: Sandalwood Soap

Sandalwood soap is a Chinatown souvenir staple, nice for scenting linen drawers and - actually - very good soap! Margaret brought us a couple bars of Bee & Flower Sandalwood Soap as a housewarming present and we've been enjoying it on cold winter mornings ever since.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What to Wear: Singing at a Wedding

Here's a special request from Sarah in Canada:
I wonder if you may be able to help me? A friend/colleague has asked me to sing at her upcoming wedding, on 6 February. We live in Canada and I always wear a nice thick black tight with mostly any shoes.

My style is traditionally feminine and classic/almost retro, including lots of skirts. I also like signature or interesting pieces. I'm not makeup-y but really like to look ladylike. I'm about a size 6-8 these days, 5'5" with a chin-length brown bob, fairish skin, green eyes and strong eyeglasses.

Also, we are Catholic, so modest for the church is appropriate - as well as understated as wedding guest is my cuppa tea. At other singing things I've worn a dress, but have you any expert advice that would be greatly appreciated?
A classically feminine pashmina is an inexpensive way to dress up for this wedding. Plus, you can wear it again with jeans and a sweater as a normal scarf.

Dress - Shift dress on sale from J.Crew in spiced wine. This dress can be reused for winter parties or dressed up with sandals for the summer.
Pashmina - $25 for a whole lot of teal jacquard pashmina. The teals and golds will really pick up and the extra coverage is perfect for the church.
Shoes - Gold pumps kick up a pair of black tights.
Earrings - Vintage-inspired posts on sale from Anthropologie.

Yes, I am considering What to Wear requests again. But no promises! I'm still pretty swamped with work and the move.

To Do: Impatiens

Impatiens are one of the easiest and prettiest plants to grow. Here in temperate California, they grow all year round. My grandmother was always a big fan and usually had a few jars of cuttings rooting.

A few pots of white impatiens would be a nice addition to the pink jasmine and potato vine we have around the patio.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

To Do: Hunter Boots

A giant storm has brought downpours and thunder to the city. Every girl downtown is decked out in her best wellies with black tights, dresses and trench coats...including me. My sister gave me a pair of Hunter boots for Christmas this year. I love them!

Order one size down for the cutest, kickiest boots for spring. And find inspiration on Flickr.

Book Report: A Dance to the Music of Time

There's something to be said for extremely long novels. All that work to get into the characters pays off when you have another 900+ pages to follow their exploits. All 1,184 pages of "And Ladies of the Club" is one lovely example.

I'm about halfway through the first movement of A Dance to the Music of Time now. There are 12 novels in 4 movements, a whopping 3,000 pages in total. Voted by Time as one of the best novels of the decade, it is a detailed look at British society between the 20's and 70's. The section I'm in is all about parties, dressing for dinner and taking tea by the fire...pretty great!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

To Do: Make your Own Pillows

I do not sew well. The patience required for careful measuring is not something I have. Thankfully, Margaret came over to help with the whole "measure twice, cut once" thing.

Between the two of us, we took four old, sunbleached curtains and four Ikea fillers and made a set of lovely velvet pillows for the day bed. I really like how the blue velvet breaks up the contrast between the black bedding and white frame.

Weekend Round-Up: Homebodies

The combination of poor weather and poor health kept us inside most of the weekend. It's not my favorite thing. Luckily, I adore the new apartment and being "shut-in" feels more like a vacation.

On Friday night, Rob and I walked up to North Beach to have dinner with the Taylor family. We arrived just in time to help put the twins to bed. Delicious Mexican take-out paired with great conversation. By 9, I was coughing up a fit and we walked back home. Along the way, Rob and I stopped to help a girl who had been rear-ended by a towncar. To bed after catching up on 30 Rock.

The next morning, Rob went off for a long bike ride and I put myself on house-arrest due to the coughing. I spent the morning watching old movies, including His Girl Friday (Netflix on demand may be the end of my social life), and drinking tea. Margaret came in the afternoon with her sewing machine and we turned four old blue velvet curtains into giant pillows for the new day bed - very Scarlett O'Hara! Rob returned in time for a casual dinner with Margaret, watching a movie and calling it a night.


















Sunday morning, up early to finish the move. We spent the day cleaning out all the final remaining pieces of the old apartment in between rain showers. All the closets and cabinets were finally swept out, what a relief. Rob dutifully patched all the holes in the wall. We only have a few pieces of art left to haul over when it stops raining. The sun broke through just in time to give us one last nostalgic look at the place.

















Such good memories in that cute little apartment; all the parties and fun. It was just perfect for our first four years in the city. Back at home with more boxes to unpack, Rob started to feel ill. We had relaxing night with homemade jalapeƱo sausage pizza.

The next morning, Rob was quite sick so we called off our volunteer plans. And, it was absolutely pouring rain outside. He spent the morning on the sofa with tea while I worked on a display I'd been asked to make for the NERT 20th anniversary party.


















I think it came out quite well. More rain. A casual lunch followed by a batch of fresh cookies and a big pot of chicken (technically cornish game hen) soup with lentils. I watched A Room with a View and prepared for the week ahead. Not much of a use of a three day weekend, but it was relaxing and my cough is getting better.

Friday, January 15, 2010

To Do: Day of Service

PS: Don't forget that Monday is the Day of Service. It's not too late to sign up with a local agency to give a few hours of your time. Especially with Haiti Disaster this week, it seems appropriate to give back a little.

Last year, Rob and I volunteered with the Parks Service on Alcatraz. Here are the links to learn more about volunteering with the Park Service or the Food Bank here in San Francisco.

To Do:Make your Own Muesli

I've been enjoying "nordic muesli" from Ikea for breakfast all week. It's like granola, but healthier because the oats aren't doused in sugar and oil.

Once we've finished our stash, i think I'll try making it on my own. Just combined rolled oats with a couple kinds of healthy cereal, dried fruits and nuts. Sunset has an appealing recipe.

What to Wear: Spring Sales























There are some great sales to take advantage of this spring if you're looking for a few fresh wardrobe pieces.

Jacket - Lasata Jacket half off from Anthropologie. A splash of yellow brightens the winter.
Sweater - A basic gray turtleneck from French Connection for $25.
Pants - Denim sailor trousers for $19 from Ann Taylor Loft.
Bag - $30 for this ivory French Connection purse.
Shoes - Gold pumps with a finish that can work for the office on sale from J.Crew.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Earthquakes

Oh Haiti...already the poorest country and now hit with this. Earthquakes are so awful.

Yes, donate right away to the Red Cross and other worthy groups, but please also think about preparation at home. Do you have one gallon per person, per day of emergency water? A "go" kit? Do you know how to shut off the gas? Enough supplies to survive for 72-hours on your own?

In San Francisco, I encourage you to join NERT and be trained to help in the next big quake at home.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Things I Love Today: Children's Rocking Chair

Being on the ground floor means having a rocking chair is now possible. I'm on the hunt for just the right one...which this adorable children's rocker from Canada is unfortunately not.

Someone needs to scoop this guy up for their kid's room asap!

To Do: Shade Garden

When things settle down a bit and it stops being freezing cold, I can't wait to do some work in our new patio garden.

It's a shady spot surrounded by vines. I've always thought that delicate shade plants were the nicest: hostas, ferns, hellebores, baby's breath, mint, parsley and maybe some lettuce.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Things I Love Today: Moving Announcements

The only part of moving that isn't completely terrible: sending moving announcements! I love ordering a fresh set of Crane's flat cards to introduce a new place.

This time, I went with a heavy celadon paper, red ink and an anchor motif. Sort of The Life Aquatic inspired. (note: that's not our real address on the proof)

Sick, again

Just when I successfully beat down a cold after Christmas, another one has toppled me this week. I woke up on Monday feeling like I'd been hit by a truck and spent the whole day curled up with a fever on the new daybed.

Tip: don't move apartments in winter while also working marathons at a start-up company.

Monday, January 11, 2010

For Sale!

A bit of shameless self promotion: If you're in the Bay Area, check out the desk with chair and freestanding candle fireplace I have for sale on craigslist.

And if you're anywhere in the US, my set of 17 Anthropologie wood knobs need a new home! Email me for details.

To Do: Fantastic Mr. Fox


It's been out for a while, so maybe you've all seen it. But if not, I recommend getting tickets to Fantastic Mr. Fox. The details involved in making a stop motion animation film alone are pretty incredible. And then with Wes Anderson and small rodents in tailored corduroy suits, too? That's a must see!

Weekend Round-Up: Arts, Bruises and Boxes

We're still wrapping up our move to the new apartment. The trouble is that we've learned that we can live perfectly well without everything that remains at the old place. Each day more stuff is donated and a couple more loads make it over here. How did we fit it all in that tiny place!?

Friday night, Rob and I went out with my new hire on the marketing team. First, dinner at Oola on Folsom (oh! those truffle fries!). Next, across town to sushi restaurant and jazz club, Yoshi's. We saw Roy Hargrove and Pharaoh Sanders. The encore was especially good and left everyone with their jaws on the floor. Back home by 10:30, exhausted.













Saturday morning, up fairly early for more chores around the house. At 10:30, we drove over to the former apartment to pack up. We claimed an enormous old wood "hi-fi" cabinet at an estate sale nextdoor for $120. At 11:00, it was time to hop on the tandem for a quick ride with Corey and Cole. Through the mission, up Glenn Park, over Twin Peaks and back. It felt great to get some excercise, despite the cold weather. More moving in the afternoon. Margaret and Ferguson came up in the afternoon to help us move that big cabinet. Dinner at the Westfield that night, followed by tickets for Fantastic Mr. Fox - loved it! Back home for glasses of sciacchetra before calling it a night.

Sunday, more moving! We spent the morning calling to change addresses and ordering moving announcemnts in our pajamas. Rob and I made another trip to the old apartment to clean and pack. Lunch at our favorite mexican place in the neighborhood and then back home. I cleaned the closet and did a couple loads of laundry. In the afternoon, we decided to make an Ikea run to pick up that daybed.

















The enourmous, enourmous daybed that we then had to fit in our tiny car, drive across the bridge and haul into the apartment. Moving certainly is good exercise.


















Poor Rob spent much of the night trying to decipher Swedish pictograms. We're getting there, though. I think we'll be entirely moved and mostly settled here by next weekend.

Friday, January 08, 2010

To Do: Weekend!


I don't know about you, but for me: longest...week...ever. Equally packed with hard, hard work and a big wins at the office. A real nose to the grindstone start to the new year.

I'm finishing the move this weekend and, in between loads, I am ready to let loose! Fergie's Glamorous is the perfect cheesy weekend kick-off song (and also my favorite xbox karaoke choice!).

Recipe: Easy Mashed Potatoes

We had a couple friends, including the lovely Susan, over last night for a casual dinner,. A couple cornish game hens roasted with shallots and orange zest, a big salad with beets and mango and easy mashed potatoes.

This recipe is cribbed from my mom, who learned it at a cooking class recently. I used to use red potatoes, but this recipe yields a faster, fluffier version of the classic:

Easy Mashed Potatoes
4 basic russet baking potatoes
4 tablespoons of salted butter
1/4 cup of milk
Salt, pepper, truffle oil (optional)

Cut the unskinned potatoes into even 2 inch cubes while raw. Dump them in a large pan with about twice as much cold water. Cover and put on the stove on high. Cook for about 30 minutes. Test by removing a piece and hitting it with a fork, it should sort of flake open into a fluffy mess when ready.

Strain and add back to the pot with the butter, milk and seasonings to taste. Lightly mash with a potato masher. Don't overdo it. They're also good with diced green onions added.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Things I Love Today: Paper Whites

I saw a pot of paperwhites at the market last night and was almost blown over by the thought of spring. Spring! I always seem to forget about this particular season. Which is sort of a nice surprise each year just when I'm just about sick of all these dark nights.

Is it too late to start a batch of paperwhites inside? If not, I've discovered that apparently gin is the secret.

Book Report: The City of Fallen Angels

A good read, especially during resolution season, from the author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. How nice to be reminded of Peggy Guggenheim, grand salons, secret gardens and opera when planning a fresh year.

Book: The City of Fallen Angels

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

To Do: Green Onion Slab

Another new neighborhood favorite is the onion slab from Acme Bread Company in the Ferry Building. Oh my...green onions baked into bread is just about the best thing ever. And you can get two feet of it for $3 any day of the week.

I served pieces of onion slab with brie slices broiled on top and with a big green salad for lunch last Saturday.

{photo from Orthogonal Thought}

Things I Love Today: Fire Boat Station

Our new apartment is surprisingly aquatic. We're three blocks from the bay but the waterfront embarcadero plays heavily in our lives. I can see across the water, with big ships passing, to treasure island on my way to work.

But the best part is the the fire boat station. Our neighborhood fire department is now Engine 35 - a bright red boat that lives under the Bay Bridge at Pier 22 1/2. The whole thing is straight out of a children's book.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

To Do: Daybed

Despite swearing I would never buy anything again after having to box it all up and carry it
across town, I think we need something for the "den."

There's a little space by the door in the new apartment that we're going to use as a TV room and guest room. I was looking into sofabeds, but they're usually not very comfortable.

I stumbled across this photo and decided a daybed would be exactly right. Big enough to curl up with for a movie and a place to sleep without a bar jabbing you in the back. Ikea has a great one with storage drawers below that folds out to be a full queen bed.

Holiday Wrap-Up: Part II

So, back in San Francisco the Sunday after Christmas...we sign the lease for our new apartment. Our life explodes immediately.

















The Christmas tree comes down, boxes are packed, parking rules investigated, grocery stores located, plan are made, bikes are ridden around the empty loft, head colds are acquired instantaneously.

I go back to work on Monday but Rob has the week off. He spends the vacation shuttling things back and forth across town. We pack at night. We are not sure where anything is anymore. He enlists two friends and a u-haul to move the furniture on Wednesday. Rob developes a love affair with the dishwasher and washing machine. We are scraped together enough for entertaining by Thursday. That has to be some kind of record!













A series of friends drop by New Year's Eve to see the new place and share a toast. Margaret and Jackie arrive last and we pop open the champagne. Plenty of music and merriment!













At midnight, we walk a few blocks down the bay for the fireworks show. A very impressive sight with 250,000+ people along the water and a 20 minute extravaganza booming off the office buildings and framed by the bridge. Definitely a new tradition!













The next day is a bit rough. We regret the champagne. Mostly lounging about with coffee and snacks during the day. In the afternoon, the four of us walk up along the water to the Ferry Building, chase wild parrots, have a tea break and pick up groceries for dinner. Our first dinner party at the house is coq au vin with mashed potatoes and a salad. Pretty good considering we didn't have any salt or pepper yet. Margaret leaves that evening and Jackie stays on for the night. We have a big breakfast the next morning:













Jackie and I go shopping for shoes and bread while Rob is at the gym with Matt. Matt and Amber and the twins join us for lunch at the apartment. The adorable little guys show their approval for the new place with prolific vomiting.

















Everyone leaves after lunch. Rob and I get back to work. Although most of our stuff is at the new place, there is a still a lot of detritus at the old. We try a few runs back and forth but the elevator in our building goes out of service - inconveniently right when we have a fish tank with fish to carry upstairs. A quick walk downtown for errands and then an evening spent arguing with DSL companies on the phone. I watch Mrs. Miniver - a 1942 film about an elegant British woman keeping it together while everything falls apart in the war. Love it!

Sunday morning! This has been the longest weekend ever. We have a leisurely breakfast before another few loads between the apartments. In the afternoon, Rob and I pick up Margaret and Allison in San Mateo for a trip to Ikea. We explore the entire store, measuring options for the new den and office we have to outfit. Enourmous spicy dinner at Little Sichuan - my favorite!

And back home - It is amazing how much this apartment has changed things in just one week. I'll post more on that later - but suffice to say, I love the open space, the quiet, the modern kitchen, the proximity to the water. It has been a good move!

You can see all my photos from Christmas and from the week of moving online. And welcome back! Happy New Year!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Comments for Cans: Thank you!

Well done, readers! 159 comments over the holidays - a good smashing of last year's record. This means a $159 donation to the San Francisco Food Bank who will turn it into over $1,400 worth of food for the local community.

The San Francisco Food Bank assists a whopping 22,000 families each week with groceries. They distribute 36.5 million pounds of food each year, 50% of which is fresh produce. There will be some full bellies in 2010 thanks to your comments!

Holiday Wrap-Up: Part I

Holy moly. I feel like I've been away from the blog for eons! What a crazy holiday season this was; absolutely everything has been turned upside down by the move. It really does feel like a new decade. Let's start with the actual Christmas:

Rob, Margaret and I drove down to San Luis Obispo on Wednesday night with a car-full of gifts. We made it home just in time for a late dinner with my parents - roast pork with new potatoes and salad. Yum!

The next morning, we had an early breakfast and drove to Morro Bay for a bit of boating. Christmas always seems to bring the absolute best weather to the coast, it was sunny with no wind in the higher 60's. Lovely boat ride around the still bay. Picked up crab for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner down by the docks. Back at home we had Rob's sister, brother-in-law and gaggle of boys over. The family dog loved having a bunch of boys to play with.













We shared a giant pizza lunch followed by cookie decorating. The boys made some frosting/sprinkle masterpieces. The littlest one ate about 15 cookies while we weren't watching.

















In the evening, we dressed up for the Christmas Eve service at church. This year involved a reading of the supper scene from A Christmas Carol, which left us all drooling and wishing we were back home with our own festive feasts! Soon enough, it was time for crab and artichokes with our 92-year old cousin Jane.

Christmas morning the next day! It was a "white" Christmas with a thick frost on the ground. We had an amazing amount of gifts for just the four of us. Orange cranberry bread, coffee and wearing feathered headbands with pajamas.













After breakfast, gifts and calls, Rob and I took the neighbor's kayaks out on the lake behind my parent's house. It was an exceptionally nice day - not like the wind tunnel that this lake is usually known for.













We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting with my aunt and uncle and preparing for dinner. I was particularly happy with the centerpiece I put together from the garden.

















A huge Christmas feast for my aunt, uncle and a couple family friends. Crab and artichoke puffs to start, followed by turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, creamed onions, salad, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and apple pie. A tremendous amount of food! We opened our Christmas crackers after dinner, donned the tissue crowns, compared our corny jokes and trinkets.













The next morning, I went on a visiting tour to check in on old friends while Rob went for a bike ride with Shane. First stop: to Grover Beach with croissants and mangoes in tow to see one of my oldest friend's new baby for the first time. Ethan, an ecceptionally cute little guy at four months.












Then lunch with Sarah at Big Sky, a great deal of puzzle work back at the house and a wedding reception for the son of an Indian family who have lived down the street for ages. The whole neighborhood and everyone in the county with a sari were in attendance to wish the new couple well.

Rob and I got up early on Sunday morning to head back to San Francisco. We were rushing to be in town for signing the lease for our new apartment at 2:00... {tune in tomorrow!}