Monday, May 30, 2011

Weekend Round-Up: Memorial Day

A much needed mellow weekend! Hawaii and the following two days of email avalanche at work had both Rob and I feeling super tired. Friday, a party at work with a Russian theme gave an early start to the weekend. Pizza and a movie at home after.

Saturday, something of a wash. There was unexpected rain most of the day. Rob and I spent the morning catching up on work in our pajamas and then walked around town for errands in the afternoon. In the evening, we met up with Margaret and Sean to see Bridesmaids - so good! After the movie, we grabbed a couple pints at House of Shields. Called it a night around 12:30.

Sunday, rested up and clear skies - finally ready to leave the house again! After the Sunday papers, we walked to Civic Center farmer's market in the morning and picked up a feast. Summer produce has finally arrived: white nectarines, bing cherries, tomatoes, tiny radishes, choy sum, cucumbers, green onions, broccoli, mushrooms and the last, sweet oranges.

From there, we walked to the Ferry Building to pick up Acme bread and a a light lunch. Picnic on our favorite pier watching all the sailboats pass by. More nibbling at home on all that delicious produce. Cherries and radishes for a snack.

In the afternoon, we took the tandem bike out for a ride to the park. First stop: the rose garden in full bloom. I like the loose, flouncy variety with a strong scent the best.

From the rose garden to the de Young. Rob and I walked through the Balenciaga and Spain collection with the audio tour. Breathtaking clothes and nicely curated. We had a light picnic in the museum's sculpture garden before heading home.

Big homemade dinner that evening of mushroom pasta and a tomato/cucumber salad with mint.

Monday morning, Rob and I motivated for a run first thing. We ran along the embarcadero, stopped to get a small breakfast and blue bottle coffee at Plant, and then ran home. I put together a birthday picnic for Amy:

Rob and I biked over to the Fillmore for the Blues Festival. Gorgeous day for a picnic in the park and the event had such a great community spirit. We picked up sweet potato pie and a sugar cookie from Yvonne's Southern Sweets.

Back home by bike. We swung into Saks quickly along the way for the pre-sale deals. I picked up a gorgeous Vince sweater with batwing sleeves for 70% off. Chores, baths and another healthy dinner (having fresh food at home makes cooking so easy!).

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hawaii: Hanalei Bay

Our vacation rental was in Hanalei, a tiny town at the north end of the island. Very "Big Sur" in culture - a little bit hippie, a little bit fancy, some farms, a lot of ocean. The house we rented was a breezy 3 bedroom just a block from the water and a block from the town's bakeries and shops. The bay doesn't the warmest water on the island but is super convenient for boating, surfing and swimming.

This view of Hanalei is from the top of the 2-mile 'Okolehao Trail behind the town. The whole coast is lined with steep mountains with tall waterfalls. A great hike to check out on your first day to get the lay of the land.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Party Recap: 1906 Earthquake Memorial

Thank you Rebecca for the lovely photos and write-up of the earthquake memorial party in April. We look quite cozy all packed around the candlelit table!


I'm back from the quick trip to Kauai! More details tomorrow, but it was overall very lovely. We swam, snorkled, surfed, stand up paddle-boarded, hiked, kayaked and explored for four days (and I managed to wear all six of my maxi dresses).

Pictured here: my favorite beach of the trip, Tunnels, at the very north end of the island.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What to Wear: Hawaii!

A week from now, I'll be on the beach! I've stocked up on maxi dresses, loaded up the Kindle with Hawaiian books and packed up lots of sunblock. Here's one outfit I'd love to wear in Hawaii:

Dress - Forever 21 has the best maxi dress selection. You can't fight it!
Sweater - A little cover-up from Banana Republic in navy.
Tote - A woven beach bag on sale from Land's End.
Sunglasses - Go a little Magnum PI with aviators.
Sandals - With a little beading.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Inspired: Indian Springs

Nothing better than an unseasonable, freezing cold rainstorm to make you ready for a tropic vacation! While I'm layering on scarves and packing for Hawaii - I've also been inspired to visit Indian Springs in Calistoga once we're back.

That vintage style! Those shady ponds! Dreamy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekend Round-Up: Buddies

This was a fun, strange weekend. On Friday, Rob and I watched a movie at home with a big plate of homemade nachos. On Saturday morning, we were super lazy. Spicy egg tacos, coffee and cleaning house. At lunch, we took the tandem bike out with Rob's new cart for some errands. To an amazing craft shop on Division first - this is a real gem for affordable feathers, beads, paint brushes and more.

Then, to Trader Joe's for lots and lots of groceries. It is pretty amazing how much Rob's bike cart will hold. He was very excited to get all our errands done without car, taxi or bus. Back home in the afternoon, friends started arriving. Trent first at 3:00. We had a snack and hung out until Jackie and Pierre arrived from Davis after 4:00. Party officially started. Drinks, snacks and a lot of karaoke rap.

Margaret and her gentleman friend arrived at 6:30 and we headed out for dinner together. To The Grove for beers and yummy food. We hung out until 9:30 and then headed home. Trent, Jackie and Pierre spent the night with us.

Up so early on Sunday! 6:45 wake up to get out of the house for Bay to Breakers. This year was the 100th anniversary race and an even bigger deal than usual. We loaded up five bikes with all kinds of picnic gear, despite the forecast for rain. Lots of detours along the way and a few drizzles. We made it over and set up camp - just to be told that we weren't allowed to have a BBQ or a canopy. Drats.

Still plenty of people watching to be had. We grabbed a quick breakfast and called Seth and Amy to come and meet us. It started getting really boozy around 11:00 so we packed up for sandwiches on Arguello instead. More time with the cute baby:

Back home by bike at 1:30. Jackie and Pierre hit the road. Trent hung out to watch Kick Ass and rest up. Dinner around the corner at La Briciola with co-workers.

We have a big week ahead! Family in town, LAC party, hair appointment and getting ready for Hawaii!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

To Do: Giants Game

First baseball game of the season! In true Giants spirit, it was pretty cold - puffy jacket, scarf and gloves required toward the end. But the weather was nice enough for some drinks on the patio with co-workers before the first pitch.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Inspired: Stone Cottage

I'm daydreaming today about a month vacation at this stone cottage in Kefalonia, Greece. Blue shutters, blue painted floors, citrus trees and ocean views.

Have you read "My Family and other Animals?" Doesn't this looks like just the place for a Durrell family adventure?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To Do: Summer Clothes

In San Francisco, it rarely gets that warm - so summer clothes are usually just sweaters in lighter colors.

Zara has a great selection of loose summer knits, like this off-white sweater that would be great with a pencil skirt or wide leg trousers.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Weekend Round-Up: Wind

Another quiet weekend. Rob and I had some recovery to do from the many events of the week. Plus, windy cold weather made it a pain to spend much time outside. We left a party at my office on Friday night for some rapping at home on the Xbox.

Saturday morning, I slept in and futzed around on the internet. Rob went to volunteer with the bike coalition at the Ferry Building and I walked downtown for some spring clothes shopping (to do list!). I found a linen pencil skirt on sale for $30 and a loose ivory sweater for $25. Met up with Rob in the afternoon downtown and I joined him at the office for a rehearsal of a big presentation they have next week. Back home to spin on the bike for an hour and then back to the office to pick him up from work. Impromptu date night with pints of Guinness in a cozy booth at House of Shields and then sushi dinner at a fancy new place called Ki around the corner.

Up earlier on Sunday, we grabbed the paper, a bottle of champaign and a bouquet of herbs to drive to Seth and Amy's apartment for mother's day brunch:

Mimosas, cinnamon french toast, fresh fruit and an adorably flirty baby girl for entertainment.

On the way back, we stopped by Margaret's apartment to pick up her old Schwin for Trent to borrow while in town this summer.

Then to Oil Can Henry's for a deluxe oil change (to do list!) - I love that they wear bow ties and bring you a paper while you wait in the car. Back at the apartment, Rob headed to work for one more weekend rehearsal and I walked to meet Margaret downtown for some high-intensity shopping. I found two inexpensive maxi dresses, a light sweater, some jewelry and a pair of pajamas for my summer collection. Dinner back at the apartment - my favorite broccoli pasta. Margaret headed home. Rob and I played battleship before calling it a night.

Friday, May 06, 2011

To Do: Big Bang

Last night's Big Bang gala at the Academy of Sciences was a blast! I didn't take my camera, figuring there would be a million photos online to share with you today...but no luck just yet.

It was a Gatti affair, always amazing. He created an astroturf "red carpet" with waiters passing out champagne on the way in and lounges of astroturf upholstered couches inside decorated with wheatgrass centerpieces.

For food: dim sum, a help-yourself candy bar, a chocolate bar with truffles on demand, dessert tasting, mini burgers with fries in paper cones and a meat and cheese spread complete with a prosciutto slicer while you waited in line. Ample open bars all around the event.

For entertainment: DJs, private tours of the museum's gem collection, acrobats dancing on the walls and a presentation in the planetarium by David de Rothschild about his Plastiki ocean adventure.

Highlights: Walking around the dark aquarium with a well-made martini, spending time with friends Eric and Rachel.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Recipe: Green Chili Tacos

This was an easy, tasty weeknight dinner with flavors that reminded me so much of the green chili in Santa Fe.

Green Chili Tacos
For two

1/3 lb of lean ground turkey
1 cup of white beans or black eyed peas
3/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup of fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of salsa verde
2 teaspoons of good quality chili powder, preferably green
Salt and pepper
Corn tortillas, lettuce and cheese

Soften the onions in a skillet with a dash of olive oil. Add the ground turkey, season with chili powder, salt and pepper, and brown. Add the beans when the turkey is nearly done. When the beans are also cooked, add the salsa and fresh herbs. Turn down heat until ready to serve with hot corn tortillas, lettuce and shredded cheese.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Spring Cleaning: Everything

Nothing like spending almost a full week stuck inside your apartment, fueled by large quantities of sudafed, to kick off a mean bout of spring cleaning. This year's is especially diligent seeing as how Rob and I both spent the last three months working like crazy at our startup jobs and paying no attention to ourselves. Here's my to-do list:

  • Put away tweeds, winter coats, heavy sweaters and other clothes from my lovely winter wardrobe.
  • Pack up big bags of anything I haven't worn in years to be donated.
  • Unpack my sparse summer wardrobe and vow to buy more summer clothes.
  • Review the status of dry cleaning, ironing, shoe repair, missing buttons, lingerie and other essential supplies.
  • Clean out purse.
  • Switch from winter perfume to summer perfume.
  • Re-stock make-up and nail polish supplies.
  • Update Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.
  • Call repairman for broken oven thermostat and overheating clothes dryer.
  • Re-caulk the bathtub, again.
  • Freshen up sheets and linens.
  • Polish silver.
  • Write any forgotten thank you notes.
  • Check on investments and savings plans.
  • Plant pansies.
  • Start watering garden daily again.
  • Tires and oil.
  • Car wash.
  • Remove chains and winter supplies from trunk.

  • Clean out desk drawers.
  • Toss dead pens.
  • Deep clean laptop.
  • Update framed photos.
  • Add new candle and fresh flowers.
Amazingly, about half of this list is already done! Much more progress than I thought when I started writing it out. What is your favorite spring cleaning ritual?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Party Like a Biologist

Thanks to a friend who works at the Academy of Sciences, Rob and I are attending the Big Bang: Party After Dark fundraiser on Thursday night. This event is the more casual companion to the very formal Big Bang Gala Dinner.

Drinks, food, music - and "festive glamour" for attire. What am I going to wear!? My closet is stocked with formal and casual dresses, but few cocktail and there's no time (or lotto winnings) to get the perfect green satin dress.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Inspired: Strawberries

Finally! We are free at last from the long winter of beets and cabbage at farmer's market. Delicious ripe strawberries are well worth it at $12 for a six basket flat of local berries (pictured here: only a third of our box).

Plus: snap peas, shelling peas, fava beans and all sorts of delights that are not root vegetables. I don't think I'll ever be able to face a turnip again.

Do you manage to cook with your strawberries? I can't bear to eat them any way but fresh.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Weekend Round-Up: Quarantine

This cold hit me hard. From Wednesday afternoon through Sunday, I spent most of my time sleeping, reading, watching nearly everything Netflix had to offer and sleeping even more. For someone who already does not like slowing down, it was especially frustrating that the weather was lovely and warm outside.

Let's see....any minor accomplishments? I watched the royal wedding online Friday morning, read another edition of Sherlock Holmes on my kindle, watched most of the first season of the Cosby Show, swapped my winter wardrobe for summer, went on a gentle sneaker shopping trip with Rob, sat in the park for an hour, walked to farmer's market and back on Sunday and then had dinner in the Fillmore with a friend. Oh, and downloaded Tina Fey's wonderful book on the Kindle and have already finished most of it.

Various nests around the apartment were cozy for me and Rob was a nice helper. My increasing case of cabin fever has prompted all kinds of vows for when I am well again.