Monday, August 29, 2011

Inspired: Yellow Chinese Wedding

Margaret and I worked on inspiration boards for our friend Jackie's wedding last night. They're planning to get married at the Shakespeare Garden and then have a traditional Chinese banquet at a nearby restaurant. She suggested yellow and Tiffany blue as colors and the restaurant is decidedly pink inside...voila!

Clockwise from Left:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend Round-Up: Birding

Rob's parents came to town this weekend for a visit to mark the end of summer and track some birds. We started out on Friday night with dinner at Plant, a great waterside restaurant for visitors. Very foggy ferry ride out to the island. We started our hike on the south side and got a tour from a nice docent dressed as a Civil War soldier. By the time we made it to the beach on the East, the sun had come out!

Picnic lunch at the East Garrison with Acme bread, Cowgirl Creamery cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, sausage, nuts, raisins and olive tapenade. The birders spotted all kinds of hawks on the island.

Ferry back home at 4:30. We accidentally took the wrong boat and ended up walking home from Fisherman's Wharf, with a break for ice cream halfway home. Rest and showers at home. Huge fondue dinner at Matterhorn that night. Delish!

Up early the next morning to head out for some bird watching. First stop: Heron Head park, a wetland preserve down in the industrial Bayview side of town. Lots of cute, tiny sandpipers and oyster catchers.

Lunch at the Ramp in the sun. Fish and chips and dungeness crab louis salads with iced tea. From there, back in to the fog out at Sutro Baths on the other side of town. We toured the crumbly ruins of the old bath house and counted cormorants on the rocks offshore.

Quick stop at Farmer's Market on the way home. Rob's folks bought purple long beans and a guava melon for the road. We had a rest at the apartment and then they headed back to Fresno at 4:30. Rob went for a bike ride with his friend Corey while I lounged about at home. Sangria with nectarines for his return. I made orange chicken, rice and a salad of yellow plums, Korean melon and cucumber for dinner.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Inspired: Wild Target

Wild Target isn't much of a movie, pretty silly overall. But the costumes for Emily Blunt's character are wonderful! Opaque tights, bright skirts, lovely pumps and lots of floral, leather, fringe and embroidered details. It's basically my dream wardrobe.

Watch the movie on Netflix and take notes for a very British fall.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ladies Activity Club: Candles

We made candles at last night's LAC party; a first for me and a perfect "economies of scale" project for a group. Our hostess, Lauren, melted down big pots of soy and bees' wax and provided inexpensive containers, scents and colors.

This candle in a jar is my favorite: soy wax with peppermint and lavender. It smells like a fancy spa!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Coveted: Le Shack

Of all things to covet, does it seem strange to obsess over a tiny cabin with no running water?

I'm fascinated with the french vacation cottage featured in the Sunday paper this week. A quiet, sunny, warm place in the woods where you can make delicious dinners and just lounge about with friends.

Of course, not pictured are mosquitos, pumping your own water and weekends spent sanding and painting. Daydreaming is more fun!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekends: Marine Layer

The fog rolled in extra heavy this weekend. I can't wait for our Indian summer...hopefully starting soon!

On Friday night, Margaret came over to the apartment and we worked on a carving monograms into linoleum blocks for a future stationery project. After she left, I caught up on my letters.

On Saturday morning, I slept in and then made Rob egg tacos for breakfast with these delicious purple and yellow bell peppers. We rode our bikes to the Ferry Building to pick up picnic supplies from Cowgirl Creamery and Acme Bread. At 1:00, we met up with Seth, Amy, baby and dog in Pacifica. Picnic at the beach. The boys went riding on Planet of the Apes trail and the ladies sat at the beach, bundled up, watching surfers, reading New Yorkers and taking pictures of the baby.

Four wonderful hours of relaxing by the waves. I just love sitting at the beach, even when it is mid 60s out with freezing wind and fog. Back at home, I worked on the garden for a few hours.

Quiet night at home, we watched a movie and had a big dinner of fresh pomodoro sauce and pasta.

Slept in again on Sunday and had a nice breakfast with the paper. Rob and I loaded up the car at 10:30 and drove to Tennessee Valley in Marin for a little mountain biking.

Whoa...mountain biking is not easy. I made it up about half the hills. 900 feet of climbing. I couldn't do the whole ride (frustrating) but at least I didn't crash (yay!) on the way up or down.

After the ride, Rob and I had lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Sausalito and drove back to the city. Quick stop at Farmer's Market at Civic Center, home to drop off the bikes, back out to the car wash and Trader Joe's. Light dinner at home with leftover gourmet cheese and a big garden salad.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Recipe: Pimm's Plus

We had a variation of the classic Pimm's Cup at last night's (quite successful!) work party.

Instead of just Pimm's and regular ginger ale,this adds cucumber vodka and hearty ginger beer to the mix. Here's the recipe:

1/2 shot of Pimm's
1/2 shot of cucumber vodka
6 ounces Strong Australian ginger beer
Cucumber/lemon slices and mint for garnish

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

To Do: Work Party

I'm having a party for my work team at the apartment this week. It's the first time most of them have been to the place and I'm a bit nervous!

I'll just have to channel the radiant spirit of Katherine Hepburn as the boss in Desk Set. Isn't she lovely?

Have you had all your co-workers over before? Any tips?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Coveted: Big Sur House

I've been dreamily planning a Big Sur weekend getaway for a group of old friends.

This vacation rental is way outside our price range....but so amazing. Those 180 degree views, modern interiors, sunken hot tub, sunny patio, gourmet kitchen! I'll add this to my "when I win the lottery" file.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend Round-Up: Outside

Even with Outside Lands, this managed to be a super quiet weekend! On Friday, I was supposed to head to the concert but a late night meeting at work and a health scare with our visiting friends cancelled the plans. An evening of chips, guacamole and Mary Tyler Moore.

Saturday morning, Rob and I slept in very late. He had been volunteering with the Bike Coalition until 1:30 in the morning. Apparently, Phish fans tend to forget their bikes entirely at the end of a show.

We had a huge lunch with heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers and french salami.

At 1:30, we loaded up the tandem bike and rode across town to the concert. We had free tickets thanks to Yvette and Tom and an extra pair thanks to volunteering, so we brought Seth and Amy (with baby in tow) along with us.

Caught the end of the Grayboy Allstars, then on to OK GO and STRFKR. Props to Elliot for hooking us up with wine and to delicious tater tots and oysters from the food vendors.

My lovely friend from high school, Sarah, met up with us. Seth and Amy headed home and Rob off to volunteering. I watched The Black Keys and Girl Talk with Sarah before leaving the show and going to help Rob with the bikes. There were about 1,000 bikes parked with the Bike Coalition and we worked until around midnight before riding home.

Slept in again on Sunday. Coffee, cheerios with raspberries and the paper for breakfast. Rob went off on a bike ride and I headed to the spa next door for an amazing 100+ minute massage, a gift for working so hard these past few weeks. At lunch, we drove across town to pick up Margaret and Sean for an adventure. Out to the Legion of Honor, where we visited only so briefly before Sean had to go to band practice. Still so beautiful!

The three of us grabbed lunch at an Italian deli and then visited Japantown for some cheap shopping at Daiso.

Back home to work in the garden, wash bikes, clean house and have artichokes for dinner. We're gearing up for a busy week - but thankfully all in town!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What to Wear: Outside Lands

Outside Lands is my favorite music festival...actually, the only music festival I like at all! Mild temperatures, open space, tasty food, good friends, great music and only a taxi ride away from my own bed at night.
The whole city seems to be gearing up for this weekend's shows. Dressing in comfortable layers is a must, but you still want to be stylish:

Blouse - A little bohemian flair from H&M.
Jacket - A crinkled metallic jacket small enough to fit in your bag and cheap enough to be lost.
Shorts - From Saks, but you can find a more affordable pair easily. With opaque black tights.
Boots - A pair of flat brown boots, preferably pretty old. Wearing heels is a terrible, no good idea.
Sunglasses - Aviators.
Pashmina - A black scarf you can also use as a blanket to sit on.
Purse - A crossbody bag for your cell, cash, red lipstick and sunblock.
Earrings - Feather drops.

PS: I survived the business trip to Maryland! Sorry for the drop off this week.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Weekend Round-Up: Fog

The weather this weekend was the pits! Temperatures barely hit the 60s and it was practically raining with over 90% humidity. So we played it pretty easy. Friday night Rob and I went with Bike Party as far as Golden Gate Park and then turned home.

Saturday, I got up early to walk with Rob to the Ferry Building. We had a great breakfast from one of the stalls. He stayed on to volunteer with the bike coalition and I headed home to catch up on overdue emails. I watched Mansfield Park on Netflix and Rob returned home. We walked downtown and got evening tickets to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Japanese stationery store and Japanese cream puffs before the movie. The film was actually pretty good! Back home for a quiet evening.

Egg tacos and coffee with the paper on Sunday morning. We took the tandem bike out to see the Picasso exhibit at the de Young and had a delicious lunch at Velo Rouge. From there, we headed to Cole Valley for the newly opened Mount Sutro trails. Such a gem right in the middle of the city. It's an actual rain forest, complete with huge ferns, vine covered trees...and lots of mud!

We hiked about 2 miles to the summit and returned home by bike, making a stop at Civic Center farmer's market. Lazy night at home with big bowls of fresh spaghetti. I'm off to DC tomorrow, so posting may be light this week!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Inspired: Tour de France Posters

Rob discovered this wonderful series of Tour de France posters from UK artist Neil Stevens of CrayonFire.

He documents each stage, from the day 10 aqueducts....

 the crazy switchbacks of Col d'Aubisque!

What a perfect set to carry you over to the summer's bicycle race!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Rob and I first met 10 years ago last night. Amazing how fast this decade has gone and how many wonderful adventures we've had!

We celebrated last night at a Giants game with friends. Next weekend, we're off to spend a romantic weekend down by Santa Cruz. And I spent the morning looking at old photo albums of our early years together, including this goofy impromptu photo shoot inspired by a friend bring us a bushel of lemons circa 2003.

Our relationship is so wonderful, it's hard to describe. If you've read this blog for a while, you know that one of the most key elements is growth - we're constantly helping the other to try new things and reach for new goals. I am incredibly lucky to be partnered with this fun, kind, creative (and oh-so handsome) guy!

Monday, August 01, 2011

What to Wear: Silk Scarf

Silk scarves, tied like a bandanna, are my latest favorite accessory! It's such a pretty detail to have a flowery piece of silk. And they're super affordable to pick up at vintage stores.

I wore this outfit to work yesterday on another classic foggy day in the city:

Tee - Basic black v-neck tee from Gap.

Skirt - A high-waisted white pencil skirt.
Tights - Gray opaque tights.
Jacket - Faux leather bomber jacket.
Scarf - Silk scarf, folded in half and tied on the side.
Pumps - Basic black pumps, inspired by this designer pair.