Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekend Round-Up: Empty Nesters

We had a weekend of bittersweet goodbyes. On Friday, Trent joined us for his last day in the Bay Area after a summer internship. He joined us in taking the nephews out for the first part of the big Critical Mass bike ride and then had a delicious Mexican dinner at Tropisueno. Ping Pong and Knight Rider back at home.

Trent headed off to the airport on Saturday morning. Rob and I took the kids to the Ferry Building for picnic supplies and then to the Exploratorium by bike. Lots of great photo opportunities with the museum's special exhibit on color.

Ice cream from the Twirl and Dip truck at the Marina Green on the way back. We rested up in the afternoon and then went to happy hour at Local for a final send off with Roy Rodgers, oysters, squash blossoms and fries. Rob's brother-in-law arrvied to pick up the boys in the evening. A very successful week together!

Slept in on Sunday morning (so quiet). Rob and I had our coffee with the paper and leftover Acme bread with strawberry jam. He left for a big mountain bike ride and I left for wedding dress shopping with the newly-engaged Jackie and Margaret. Our first stop was Haight Street for the city's best vintage. Then over to the nice ladies at Glamour Closet and on to Nordstrom. Thai for dinner in the Westfield basement. A marathon shopping trip, and a lot of fun. Jackie headed back to Davis around 9:00.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Boy Heaven

Last night, Rob took the nephews on a long bike ride to Golden Gate bridge. They had dinner at In-N-Out and, back at home, we played ping pong in between episodes of the A-Team and Knight Rider.

I think Rob might be sad to return to our regularly scheduled life involving the opera, flower arranging and Ladies Activity Club meetings!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To Do: 3 Wheelers

The secret to entertaining young nephews: having a ping pong table inside your apartment. Ping pong balls have been ricocheting off the walls, ceiling and floor for three days straight! Definitely a winning feature.

In between sets, Rob and I have been trying our best to wear out the boys around the city. Last night I took them to Golden Gate Park by train where we rented go-cart bikes from the nice man at Stowe Lake. The three of us pedaled like maniacs all over the place.

So far, we're failing at wearing them out - but I'm exhausted!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

To Do: Ankles are In

This must be my fourth or fifth day in a row wearing rolled up pants. Such a perfect look for summer in the city!

Rolled skinny jeans with nude peep toe wedges. Rolled black linen trousers with platform heels. Rolled beach-y blue khakis with gold flats. Combined with the friendship bracelets (oh yes, that is still going strong), it feels like I'm just back from the beach all day long

PS: Apologies to those of you enduring heatwaves. we're still in jacks and scarfs here in San Francisco.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend Round-Up: With and Without Kids

Rob and I went out on Friday night with Nicole to a cool new German restaurant called Leopold's. Dark beer and soft pretzels at the bar while we waited for a table. Delicious dinner of short ribs, trout and wiener schnitzel. Home by cab at 10:30.

The next morning, Rob left early to ride the Seven Hells of San Francisco. I lazed about the house for a bit, watching Mary Tyler Moore (my new obsession). Big, big grocery shopping run to prepare for our nephews to visit for a week. I don't think I've ever bought that many groceries at one time! At 2:00, I booked myself a facial appointment at Red Door. Spa bliss for a couple hours.

Back at home, Rob returned from his ride and we bundled up to go on a slow bike ride over to Sports Basement at Crissy Field. Dinner at home of nachos with summer squash and refried black beans.

Sunday morning, up early for another ride. Rob and I loaded up the tandem and pedaled out to the outer mission for breakfast at Mission Pie.

Up and over the of Twin Peaks after breakfast. Quite a steep ride but with such a rewarding view at the end. Yes, we did haul our grocery cart that whole way:

Back at home, we watched the final stage of the Tour de France. Rob's sister and her family arrived in the afternoon and we set out on an adventure by foot. From our house to Chinatown, to dinner at House of Nanking, to the top of Coit Tower, down the secret garden steps to the Embarcadero and then to Gott's for ice cream.

The kids stayed up late playing ping pong (indoor ping pong table is apparently the key to babysitting success), angry birds and legos. All eight of us turned in at 10:30.

Friday, July 22, 2011

To Do: Boys in the City

We are very excited to be hosting Rob's nephews all next week! They're in town for a special chess camp. Its a major trip for them away from the family and we've been preparing for months. We have all kinds of potential adventures lined up for the week, including:
  • Taking a ferry
  • House of Air for extreme trampolines
  • Visiting Chinatown with $5 each to spend (a favorite activity of mine when I was a girl)
  • Visiting the Musee Mecanique and getting clam chowder in bread bowls
  • Bike riding along the waterline
  • Pizza in North Beach
  • Exploratorium (of course!)
Where would you take two pre-teen boys in San Francisco?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Inspired: Tour de France

I love watching Tour de France every summer. Rob and I wake up early to see the end of the day's race with our coffee.

My favorite things include Phil Liggett pronouncing "maillot jaune" "Ivan Basso" and "Thor Hushovd." The scenes of the french countryside (will they pass by Design Mom's house?). The teary Belgians and Spaniards crossing the finish line after a climb day and kissing their gold chains.

And it inspires all kind of frenchiness at home during the race. I made sole meuniere for dinner last night, currently reading A Moveable Feast and wearing a striped breton shirt to work today.

Do you watch the Tour?

Recipe: Gourmet Camping

Yum! We had some delicious food while camping last weekend. A favorite was this charcuterie spread on Saturday night. Salami, fresh Acme baguettes, smoked pepper mackerel and goat brie.

Denyse provided the lightweight wood cutting boards for the feast. They're actually just inexpensive wood grilling planks from Sur la Table that she oiled and waxed. So clever!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cocktail Recipe: Monaco

New drink of the summer! Le Garage introduced us to the Monaco, a refreshing beer spritzer that is perfect for a sunny brunch while watching Tour de France.

To make it at home, combine two parts Stella Artois with 1 part sprite (or soda water with lemonade) and a splash of grenadine. It's not at all as sweet as you'd expect.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weekend Round-Up: Nomads

We had a grand adventure this weekend! Only 50 miles in total, but it felt like we were all over Marin. On Friday, Rob and I loaded up the tandem bike and rode out from the city. Cold, foggy weather really hit at the bridge and we were totally socked in by Sausalito.

We met up with our friends at the Haypress campsite and set up the tent. Up too late chatting while bundled up around the picnic table. Overnight, the fog came in even further and it was pretty much raining in the morning. Rob made his famous blueberry pancakes for our breakfast.

Eventually, we headed down to Sausalito in search of better weather. First stop, the Bay Model. A wonderful free museum that showcases a massive feat of pre-computer engineering. The watershed model takes up a full acre. Even though it is currently drained of water for repairs, the other exhibits on water consationerv and bay history are worth a visit. Not sure why they're being so goofy in this photo, but note the rain dripping down on the side of the building - seriously cold.

Big chinese lunch at Tommy's Wok and then over to Richardson Beach to rest in a brief spot of sun and watch boats go by. This photo literally represents the only sunny spot along the bay on Saturday.

Back to camp in the late afternoon with fresh dinner supplies. We cooked up a feast and played many rounds of gin rummy. At 10, everyone geared up for a moonlit ride to the beach, about 2 miles from camp. Spooky, but fun!

Sunday morning's weather was dramatically better than Saturday's. So instead of heading home right away, we rode to Le Garage for a lovely brunch. Bellini and eggs benedict for me!

Very slow going over the Golden Gate bridge with loads of tourists headed across as well. But so, so gorgeous and warm that we didn't mind at all. One final photo before the group headed off in different directions.

Too nice to head inside just yet, Rob, Denyse and I sat on the lawn at Crissy Field to people watch for another hour.

Finally home at 4:30. Unpacking and washing gear for a few minutes, before friends stopped by to borrow bikes. Hot showers after they left and big bowls of fresh spaghetti pomodoro. Wine together when they came back in the late evening and crashing into bed, very tired, at 10:00.

Friday, July 15, 2011

To Do: Camping

Rob and I are going camping this weekend with friends. It is wonderful that you can load up a bike and pedal out to the wilderness within just a few miles of San Francisco. We'll be entirely unplugged and still able to see our apartment from the top of the hill.

I just love camping - being outdoors all day and sleeping in a cozy tent. Happy weekend!

Purchase this lovely Gocco print on Etsy from groundwork for $25.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gertrude's Summer

Gertrude Stein has absolutely invaded the city this summer! She's at SFMOMA with a huge exhibit of her original Paris collection. At the de Young through their enormous Picasso exhibit. At the Jewish Contemporary Museum with an exhibit covering five stories of her own life. At the Woody Allen movie Midnight in Paris played by Kathy Bates.

Ad in my bedside reading, too. I just picked up Hemingway's A Moveable Feast and there's a whole chapter dedicated to Gertrude and Alice. Gertrude Stein cocktails can't be far behind. With chamomile syrup, soda and pimm's - I'd certainly go for one!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What to Wear: Summer Layers's getting back to the regular July fog and cold in the city. Summer dressing without resorting back to winter turtlenecks can be tricky. Here's one outfit I'd love to wear on a freezing cold day at the office:

Dress - I love this white lace dress from Anthropologie for $178. Maybe it will go on sale?
Cardigan - Mustard yellow cardigan with brass buttons for $38.
Belt - Metallic skinny belt from Macy's.
Tights - The perfect color gray tight from Spanx.
Shoes - Blue suede platform pumps on sale for $160.
Purse - Straw handbag is a cheeky nod to beach totes.
Sunglasses - Basic aviators from Forever 21.
Earrings - Agate and gold studs from Anthropologie for $48.
Flowers - Scabiosas and succulents featured on Botanical Brouhaha. Would looks so nice on my desk with green pencils in a gold cup.

To Do: Mess Around with Flowers

Spray roses, striped tulips and some kind of "pods" for $12 turned into three lovely arrangements on Sunday. I have the smallest by my bedside.

But I think Janice's wedding trial arrangements with the same roses came out even better!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weekend Round-Up: Around Town

This was a fun weekend "off" from our normal adventures. On Friday night, relaxing at home. I had a bad headache all day and needed a quiet night.

Up pretty early on Saturday morning. After breakfast, I walked over to the Wholesale Flower Market to show Janice, a reader, the ropes for her wedding flowers. And I picked up a couple things for myself while there. So cheap!

Back at home, I made arrangements and Rob returned from his morning bike ride. We walked over to South Park for the Public Bikes first anniversary party. Fun event with margaritas and beer in the back, a photobooth, races on the street and American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in the front. Kids and dogs everywhere.

From the block party, to the Contemporary Jewish Museum for the Gertrude Stein exhibit. And then to Yerba Buena Gardens with creme puffs to watch the end of the Marcus Shelby Orchestra performance.

Back home for naps and then coordinating dinner plans out with Sean and Margaret. We ended up on Ethiopian in the lower Haight, a favorite!

After dinner, we grabbed it's-its ice creams and pints at Danny Coyle's next door. Back home by train in the evening.

On Sunday, we got up early and watched the Tour de France before driving to Hayward for a Bay Area Orienteering Club race in the redwood park. Rob and I had a great time running all over the park for few miles. Forgot the camera, oops.

Then, to Ikea for more navigational challenges. I just love Ikea! Lunch in the cafe, we looked at some chairs and went home with shelves and little trinkets. Then, to Trader Joe's for a big stock-up and back to the city at 1:30. Rob went to volunteer parking bikes at the Giants game at 3:00 and I walked to farmer's market for more groceries.

Back at home at 4:00, I went on a spring cleaning rampage! Washed and cleaned the kitchen cabinets, scrubbed the refrigerator, dusted everything, polished silver, hung art, caught up on name it. Aside from a brief break for dinner, I cleaned straight through to Rob returning home at 9:00. Whew! A lot of work, but it feels great to have the house in shape for summer visitors.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Beach House Style: Boat

Isn't this boat handsome? It's docked just down the block from our apartment. Let's get it decked out:
Rug - A thick jute rug from West Elm.
Lipstick - Fun vintage packaging.
Clock - Antique wood desk clock on Etsy.
Chair - Lovely white metal chair from Ikea.
Shirt - A cotton polo in bright orange.
Sunglasses - I bought these last weekend!
Bowls - White porcelain bowls that look like welded sheet metal for your guacamole.
Bell - A brass ship bell with rope handle.
I'd love to have you all on to it for some mint juleps this weekend! We could go to Angel Island and play croquet.

Recipe: Watermelon Grapefruit Salsa

This was delicious on top of pieces of grilled fish for dinner Sunday night. We had mahi mahi, but any white fish broiled or grilled on a hot summer day would be lovely:

Watermelon Grapefruit Salsa
Serves 4
2 cups of diced watermelon
1 ruby red grapefruit, segmented and chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 to 2 fresh jalapenos, finely chopped
1 lime
1 tbsp of fresh chopped mint
salt and pepper to taste

Cut up the watermelon, grapefruit, onion, jalapeno and mint. Mix with juice from half a lime, season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Taste again to measure spiciness and adjust seasoning to taste. Top hot grilled fish with your finished salsa.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

730 Days

Sorry for skipping out. I celebrated the 2nd anniversary at my job today and it was a surprisingly touching milestone. This little (becoming not that little) start-up has become such a huge part of my life.

This is my team, indoor skydiving on Monday night in goofy jumpsuits. I'm very lucky!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Weekend Round-up: We're #1

What a weekend! San Francisco loves exercising and eating and when the weather is warm...we tend to do even more of both. I think I have about 70 miles on bike and 15 on foot logged for the weekend.

On Friday night, Rob and I geared up to meet friends at Bike Party. We rode to the top of Randall Museum park, to Dolores Park and eventually to the new triangle park in front of Axis Cafe. It was a fun night full of SF bike royalty including Gary Fisher and the founders of Public Bikes and Monkey Lights.

Saturday morning, we watched the first stage of the Tour de France and Susan picked me up at 10:30 for a hike in Marin. We grabbed Margaret on the way out of town and over to Tennessee Valley. Didn't bring my camera on the hike, but it was gorgeous. Four miles round-trip, followed by a wonderful apr├Ęs-hike lunch at Fish. We went to town: cold rose and beer, ceviche, BBQ oysters, crab roll, fish and chips and fish tacos out on the sunny patio.

Back home around 4:00, I was done for the day. I cleaned house, made friendship bracelets, played ping pong and had a quiet dinner with Rob. To bed early, because we had an early start on Sunday.

Rob and I biked over to Crissy Field at 9:00 for a Terra Loco orienteering race. We signed up for the 5k, not sure what to expect and I stubbornly refused to run even when everyone else went sprinting off. Here we are at the second to last marker of the race overlooking the bridge.

When we came in to the finish, there was a big shock: We came in 1st! I don't think I've ever won a race in my life and I have no idea how we won this one. There were all sorts of runners and pro-looking people in our group but we were still 15 minutes ahead of the next team. There's a shot of us on the Terra Loco Facebook page looking quite surprised at our victory.

To celebrate, we put our Sports Basement coupons to good use. I got new sneakers, a cycling jersey, a hat, sunglasses and purple jacket that is very "bieber." Quick stop at home and back out on bike to farmer's market. All kinds of lovely fruit and baby vegetables.

Seth and Amy planned to come over for dinner at 6:00, so I went to work making aioli, grapefruit watermelon salsa and white nectarine ice cream from scratch for our feast. We had a very nice time with them and the baby. Many rounds of dominoes into the warm evening.

Monday morning, up early again. Rob went for a bike ride and I got to work on reviewing some marketing materials for my parent's company.

We watched Tour de France and had egg tacos later in the morning. Finally motivated at 11:30 to go to the Jewish Contemporary Museum but it was closed for the holiday. So we grabbed burgers and garlic fries at Super Duper instead.

Rob and I made plans to meet Margaret and Sean at the beach. We loaded up the tandem cart with beach chairs, umbrellas and other supplies - but once we got to the park, you could tell the fog was in at the coast. So quick change of plans to relax in a meadow off JFK Drive instead. It seemed like absolutely everyone in the city was out in Golden Gate Park. So nice to sit with a New Yorker magazine in the sun for a couple hours. We played backseat umpire to a casual wiffle ball game and chatted with some friendly toddlers.

The fog crept further inland so we were back home again on the bike around 4:00. Showers and relaxing before heading out again on bike at 8:00 for firework viewing with slices of pizza on Margaret's Russian Hill apartment building roof. Great show, pretty crazy ride home with the other tens of thousands of people leaving the bay. Next year, we'll have to make it a sleep-over!

Friday, July 01, 2011

To Do: More Friendship Bracelets

I'm officially obsessed! I made these three last night and have been distributing to nearly everyone I have contact with.

Have a great 4th of July weekend!