Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Wish List

I don't have much on my holiday wish list this year. Having just moved everything across town, I'm trying to stick to minimalism.

Candles - We're still battling cat pee at the new apartment, so some extra scented candles would be nice to have.
Pajamas - Always my favorite for the holidays. These are from Gap.
Gloves - My walk to work is cold in the winter. These stylish knit and leather gloves are cozy.
Japanese Mortar and Pestle - An upgrade to the small marble set that I use all the time for grinding nuts.
Velvet Blazer - In dark green from J.Crew - size 0.
Lincoln Books - The new Lincoln movie was SO good. I'm officially obsessed with reading more about Lincoln's life.
Napkins - A set of 12 in dark blue for the new dining room.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekends: Friends & Family

After the whirlwind trip to New York (which was SO great, even if for just seven hours) it was great to unplug for a few days. Rob and I drove out to Fresno on Thursday morning to spend Thanksgiving with his family.  As always, we started with a huge, lovely feast. Look at that perfect turkey!

The next day, I helped his mom - a large animal vet - transfer a couple goats to Rob's grandmother's farm and pack up some other goats to bring back.

In the afternoon, we went to Clovis to go antique shopping.  Great selection of vintage textiles and colored glass. I found this adorable hand-sewn baby quilt with different animals for my sister. This donkey is a hipster? He's so over it:

On Saturday, we went down to the Kings River to stack rocks along the riverbed.  Rob was really good at it:

Back to Granny's ranch in the afternoon to pick pomegranates. I ate so many right there.  Rob and I drove back to San Francisco after an early dinner with his folks.

I slept in on Sunday and read half the paper. Rob and I drove over to Sausalito at 10:00 for brunch with the Greenwoods before they drove back home from their own family holiday.  Got to spend time with the adorable new baby girl while eating amazing dungeness crab eggs benedict and chocolate croissants.

The boys loved running on the beach after their giant bowls of hot chocolate. So sunny and warm in Sausalito:

Errands in Marin on the way home. I picked up paint chips for the dining room walls, a wreath and a huge amount of groceries from Trader Joe's.

We cleaned house and I made soup out of a leftover roast chicken. Jean and Trent came over in the evening and we met up with a friend for a surprise early-birthday dinner. Delicious meal together at Alamo Square Seafood Grill.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekends: This and That

This weekend was another mix of doing almost nothing and so,so much at the same time.  I'm writing right now from a beautiful NYC hotel room overlooking 42nd St. and the Hudson River.  I'm in the city for just 24-hours, but did manage to go walk a few festive blocks. 

Let's see...Friday night, Rob and I went to the final opera in our fall series.  Tosca was packed with holiday visitors bundled up against the pouring rain outside. I wore a semi ridiculous outfit of gold sequined shift, camel coat and gray hunter rain boots!  As always, Puccini's over-the-top music, passion and plot delivered a great show. I always love an opera with a tragic, stabby ending!

Saturday morning, we woke up to more pouring rain and decided to have a quiet morning in.  I made eggs with leftover homemade chili and coffee while we watched episodes of Breaking Bad in pajamas.  At noon, I had to change and dash downtown for a special work meeting.  Back home at 3:30 for more laziness and packing. 

At 7:30, we drove over in the rain to meet Nicole for dinner at Delarosa on Chestnut.  Delicious beet truffle salad, dungeness crab arancini to start.  Followed by two pizzas: one margherita with fresh burrata and one spicy clam.  And then we topped that with a molten chocolate cake topped with pecan caramel. Yum!

Back home and to bed.  I had to leave pretty early on Sunday morning for my flight to NY.  Virgin America hooked me up with an upgrade to a fancy legroom seat and I crushed through my email inbox the whole trip. Landed and checked in to the Westin Times Square.  Definitely the nicest (and biggest) NY hotel room I've ever been in. Corner room with windows on two sides - even a giant picture window in the bathroom, which is a little weird.  Almost like this photo, but bigger!

I would easily live in this hotel room for the rest of my life.  A little room service, nice cushy robe - done! 

Another early start is planned for tomorrow morning.  I'm going to be at 30 Rockefeller Plaza taping for a show that will air in December.  If I run into Tina Fey, I'll just die.   Back to the real world on Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sleeping Well: Index Cards

Do you get anxiety at night?  I do well during the day - considering all the pressure of my new job as VP - but at night, my brain can go into overtime processing everything. I sometimes wake up feeling stressed out and it can be hard to go back to sleep.

At least that was the case until I worked out a new trick! I've been keeping an index card and pen by the side of the bed. When I wake up worried about something or with an idea, I just write it on the card and go back to sleep.

Half the time, the notes don't even make sense in the morning or what worried me so much at 3:00am isn't a big deal at all. Now, my brain is trained to consider if it's really worth writing down and I hardly make notes anymore. It's only been a couple weeks, but it's working well!

What's your best trick for sleeping soundly?

{photo of Vladimir Nabokov's index cards from working on Lolita}

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekends: Cozy

My inner hermit absolutely loved this weekend. I felt just like Mr. Woodhouse from Emma: "Ah! There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort."

On Friday night, I dashed home late from work, changed in a flash and practically ran over to the opera with Rob. The show started an hour early since Wagner's Lohengrin is a mere four hours and twenty minutes long. Dinner of potato chips during the first intermission.

Such an amazing opera!  Definitely my favorite of the season so far. We walked home at 11:30 and crashed into bed.

Wonderful lazy morning on Saturday. I slept in and had breakfast in bed before catching up on some TV shows. Rob took off for a bike ride and I went hiking in Marin with a friend.  We walked 6 miles from nearly the top of Mt. Tam to Stinson Beach and back. It was cold, sunny and perfect November weather. We even saw a bobcat warming in the sun just about 10 feet off the trail.

Late lunch at Blue Barn on the way home. I swung by the market to grab supplies and firewood for a cozy night in with friends.

We made a fire and cranked up the heat against the cold snap outside. Seth and Amy arrived with their girls first, followed by Trent.  I made a giant batch of chili and cornbread with green anaheim peppers. It was really easy and so good.  (I'm itching to paint the dining room - that light yellow color is so bland).

On Sunday I woke up early and stayed in bed reading the paper cover to cover.  Rob went off on another bike ride - he starts a new job Monday and has been enjoying the time off until then.

I jumped in and sorted out the last few boxes of clothes and shoes from our move.  Don't you love the feeling of an organized closet?

Walked down to drop off some old coats for donation and then over to farmer's market at Civic Center.  Tons of persimmons, plums and apples to bring home.

In the evening, we bundled up and walked over to see a movie with Nicole. Skyfall was almost sold out, so we left Rob in line for a seat and walked down the street and smuggled in takeout sushi for dinner. Back home and to bed before 10.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Sale Alert: Bloomingdale's

All those hours of election coverage last night provided a perfect backdrop for some online shopping!

Bloomingdale's is having a big sale, plus free shipping and an extra 20% off with the code HOLIDAYFF.  I stocked up on a couple DVF dresses, wool mini skirts and of Aqua cashmere (so soft!).  With all those discounts, the prices were really great. Bloomingdale's has such an easy in-store return policy for things that don't work out. 

I'm excited to see how this sweater dress looks with boots and tights.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Weekend: Normalcy

This weekend was the first in a long time that felt somewhat normal.  No moves, no house guests, no travel.  Just classic San Francisco sunny, warm November days. Unfortunately, I neglected to take photos of any of it.  Katherine McGuire's painting is an accurate replacement of how deliciously nice it was.

Friday night, Rob and I briefly went to Bike Party.  Saturday, got going early to bike over to a 2-year-old's birthday party in the Richmond.  From there, rode to a hackathon event in Levi's Plaza for Rob to network with his new industry. Then, walked over a birthday dinner in Hayes Valley at Chez Mamman with Nicole.  Champagne, escargot, mussels, truffle mac 'n tasty!  I managed to wear three different dresses for all these various activities on Saturday.

Sunday morning, we worked on the house for a bit and had a lazy breakfast of egg tacos. Rob and I drove down to Redwood City for a bike ride with Jean and Trent.  My favorite part was stopping at the Pulgas Water Temple for a shady break.  Late lunch of burgers, garlic fries and milkshakes at Jeffrey's.

We hung out at their house for a bit before going to see Cloud Atlas. I tried to race Rob up the escalator at the theater but tripped and landed on my finger. Almost fainted, but managed to sit down before that embarrassment! I liked the movie, which is more like six films stitched together. Drove back home and slept well.