February 28, 2014

Friday High-Five: 02.28.14

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The first FHF of this year! And I snuck it in right before we head into the third month of 2014.

This is the Park City edition. Because I spent last week in the Utah ski town. I was there for a family trip, but spent most of my days at my laptop and then hanging out with relatives once they returned from their day of skiing. These are just some of the highlights from my time there.

  1. Okay, I have never had a cronut because, well, my trips to NYC are usually pretty short and I just can't devote half a day to waiting in line for a pastry. At Silver restaurant in Park City, they offer a "doughssant" on the menu. It's their version of a cronut — legally, they can't call it a cronut — and it is delicious. It's topped with maple ice cream and accompanied by candied cayenne bacon. Jon and I ordered it for dessert one night, and a few days later, I stopped in to ask if I could get a couple to go. They happily obliged and it was still amazing when we got it back to the hotel (no ice cream with the to-go order, but the maple glaze added just the right amount of sweetness). Also: Silver's Parker rolls are awesome.
  2. One of the newer eateries in Park City is Rock & Reilly. The decor is cute — as you can see from this Instagram — and the service is top-notch. The food is tasty, though nothing mind-blowing; it's basically what you would expect from a tater tots-nachos-sliders-mini corndogs kind of place. (P.S. They have a photo booth there.)
  3. Even though I'm not crazy about the decor, the food at The Mariposa was great. I love that their menu only offers small plates, so I can try a lot of dishes. If you go, save room for dessert — the blueberry ice cream that Jon had was ridiculously good.
  4. I popped into Gallery MAR one day with my sister, and was drawn to one painting in particular. It turns out, it was the work of Bridgette Meinhold. Bridgette is the very sweet local who agreed to show me around Park City four years ago — when I was writing a travel story for the first issue of Anthology. How crazy is that?! I didn't have a chance to meet up with her this time, but hopefully next time! (And I'm still thinking about her encaustic painting, shown below.)
  5. On our last night in Park City, after dinner, Jon and I took my 12-year-old nephew shopping for a gift for his girlfriend (his first girlfriend!). One of my greatest joys in life is being an aunt, and I was really happy to be able to share this experience with him. (He ended up getting her a necklace with some charms he picked out for her.)

The only bummer about last week was that our hotel room didn't have NBC Sports Network, so I couldn't get my morning fix of Tara and Johnny. But I'm looking forward to seeing what they do on the Oscars red carpet this weekend!

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December 17, 2013

Green Juice

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When we were in Mexico a couple of weeks ago, I had a glass of "green juice" every morning with breakfast. I'm not really into the juice trend, but this stuff was delicious! It's a combination of nopal (prickly pear cactus), chaya (tree spinach), celery, pineapple chunks and orange juice. Ever since we got home, I've been obsessed with trying to replicate it.

We had no problem finding the nopal at a local Mexican grocery store. There was no chaya to be had, but I read that in recipes it can be substituted with regular spinach, Swiss chard or kale. Earlier today, I threw the five ingredients into the blender and tweaked the quantities until the juice was to my liking. I may not be able to bring the 80-degree weather back to the Bay Area with me, but at least now I've got my green juice!

November 29, 2013

Friday High-Five: 11.29.13

Since Thanksgiving was yesterday, it seems fitting to focus on "things that I'm especially thankful for" in today's FHF post. But I'm too lazy to pull together a graphic this week, so we're going all text.

  1. Our family is pretty healthy and happy — and, really, nothing beats that. We've been spending time with my side of the family this week, and I still have trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that my niece is a freshman in college! And my 12.5-year-old nephew is about 5'9" now. These kids no longer seem like kids. *sigh*
  2. I feel very fortunate to have a home that I love, and am able to share it with my favorite person. (I'm not sure if that "Wow, I live here" feeling will ever dissipate.)
  3. Earlier this year, I left my part-time job and decided to become a full-time freelance writer/editor. It still doesn't quite seem real that I get to spend my days doing the only thing that I think I've ever really wanted to do. (And I just got a new laptop to do all of that writing and editing on!)
  4. Travel. I'm so grateful for the trips we've been able to take, and those that we're planning. I didn't travel much as a kid — I didn't get my passport until the year I got married, in anticipation of our honeymoon — so we try to squeeze in trips as often as our budgets and work schedules allow. (Next up for us: Mexico!)
  5. And because I'm not immune to the lure of these Black Friday sales that are happening: Thanks, Forward by Elyse Walker, for discounting those Isabel Marant shoes that I've been eyeing.
I hope you're all enjoying the long, holiday weekend!

November 21, 2013

Cool for Kids

For Christmas this year, rather than buying them gifts, our present to the nephews is to help them re-do their bedrooms. When my sister and her family moved into their current house, the boys were around one and three years old — too young to have any input in their bedroom decor. So they are both overdue for a makeover! (I mean, one of them still has a Dora the Explorer plush chair in his room.)

I would love to do something along the lines of what San Francisco interior designer Martha Angus did in a showhouse a few years ago:

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Alas, the ten-year-old — whose room we're doing first — has other ideas. But it looks like we will be getting the Parsons desk from West Elm, which is the same style that Martha chose. Washington, DC-area interior designer Regan Billingsley used the Parsons console in a showhouse earlier this year, and I love the paint treatment:

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I might borrow this idea, but rather than painting the desk, employ Emily Henderson's contact paper technique. Of course, I have to get this approved by my little (okay, not so little anymore) client!

November 15, 2013

Friday High-Five: 11.15.13

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Earlier this week, we launched the Anthology Etsy Page, so I thought for this week's Friday High-Five, I'd highlight some of my favorites from our lists.

  1. I am definitely going to be ordering one of Demestiks' Minnie Bell dresses. I love the pattern and colors. And the price is pretty reasonable for a design that's custom made for you. (I have Jeanine to thank for introducing me to this great Etsy site!)
  2. I'm in the process of helping my two nephews redecorate their bedrooms, and I'm hoping to incorporate this Nellianna origami lamp into one of their spaces.
  3. I have an obsession with throw pillows. These Chanee Vijay pillows are currently at the forefront.
  4. I don't even necessarily want to use Designlump's set of ombré porcelain plates for eating or serving. I just want to put them out on a table and admire them. The fact that they're also functional is a bonus, of course.
  5. I would like this shelving unit in my house, please. I just don't know where. It's made in Oregon by Pecan Workshop, and really could work well in a kitchen, office or bathroom.

And there's plenty more good stuff on the Anthology Etsy Page!

November 08, 2013

Friday High-Five: 11.08.13

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For this week's FHF, I'm talking food.

  1. The food at Piccino is reason enough for me to make a trip to the Dogpatch neighborhood. (Save room for the zeppole!) The fact that the restaurant is adjacent to MAC is a big bonus.
  2. I hate the cold, but this hot chocolate almost makes me welcome it. I love this stuff, which Williams-Sonoma stocks every late fall/early winter. (I use one of these Bialetti machines to make my hot chocolate.)
  3. The other day, after lunch at Otoro Sushi with Victoria, we popped over to 20th Century Cafe to check out the new-ish Hayes Valley spot. They were out of bacon-cheddar scones, but the ladies behind the counter steered me toward the knish. And I am eternally grateful to them for that. Amazing. A new level of (flaky) potato goodness for me. [Photo by Maren Caruso via Modern Luxury]
  4. It's no secret that I'm not much of a cook or a baker. So one of my new favorites is Munchery — which delivers dishes made by legit chefs right to my doorstep. I'm so into this. And because you purchase individual servings, Jon and I can each order our own thing.
  5. Last Christmas, one of the best gifts I received was from my brother and his wife: treats from Sideshow. Nicole Plue, the former pastry chef at one of my all-time favorite restaurants (Cyrus, which closed about a year ago), offers a half dozen or so sweet treats — like Cereal Thriller/Cocoa Powder Puffs (great as an ice cream topping) and Saltine Toffee. Hopefully, she'll be updating her online shop inventory soon.

November 07, 2013

Hang Time

A couple of weeks ago, I received my order of Laure's gorgeous, large-scale print. Since it measures 32"x48", one of the few places I could think to hang it was the guest bedroom. When we moved in about five years ago, I painted a yellow block on the largest wall in there and it served as the background for a mini-photo wall. I was actually kind of tired of it, and was just waiting for a good reason to make a change. So now this is what that part of the guest bedroom looks like:

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I didn't frame the print because it was going to be expensive and/or a hassle. So I picked up a 32" Posterhänger, which works great and was a cinch to hang (seriously — it only requires one nail in the wall). I especially love that the print kind of gives the illusion that there's a window on that wall.

November 01, 2013

Friday High-Five: 11.01.13

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Although you can't tell by my lack of posts these days, I actually do enjoy blog writing, in part because it is a departure from my other editorial work. So I thought I'd try something new here: Every Friday — well, that's the intention — I'll post a roundup of five favorites around a specific theme. Hopefully, this means that I'll blog at least once a week!

In honor of the latest issue of Anthology, which has a sartorial theme, this inaugural Friday High-Five examines a handful of my current fashion favorites.

  1. I am crazy about pretty much everything that Marisa Haskell makes. And I love that if you shop her tiny outpost in Oakland's Temescal Alley, she can modify jewelry on the fly for you. During my last visit, I wanted a certain necklace with blue instead of black suede, and she made it happen right then and there.
  2. My Jérôme Dreyfuss small Alain bag is in heavy rotation these days. It's not a big bag, but fits my essentials (wallet, cell, notebook, lip balm) and has pockets (which are a dealbreaker for me). The strap can be reconfigured so it works as a cross-body or shoulder bag. I bought it in navy, but am showing the leopard version because it looks amazing in that pattern. (Sadly, it's more expensive in leopard, too.) Side note: Did you see this 2011 T Magazine feature on Dreyfuss and his wife Isabel Marant's Fontainebleau cabin?
  3. Opening Ceremony launched a pop-up shop with COS last month, and of course some of the pieces sold out pretty quickly. I managed to pick up a couple of tops, and love that they arrived in a big gray tote (that is now being put to good use whenever I go to the grocery store). Also: Jordan did a nice ode-to-COS post a couple of weeks ago when word got out that they're planning to open in NYC.
  4. I have two pairs of Nike x Liberty sneakers, and am tempted to pick up a third since they are releasing a new collection. Apparently SneakerBoots are a thing now.
  5. I don't wear skirts very often, but I'm seriously considering this Topshop mix jacquard wrap number, which I would probably wear with tights. Because it has been cooold here! (I know, Northern Californians' definition of cold is pretty mild by most people's standards.)

October 14, 2013

Sneaking a Peek

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A cat photo? That's right — make that two random-ish posts in a row! Well, sort of. I did an interview on Friday with amazing homeowners, and while I don't want to give away too much of the home prior to the story's publication, I couldn't resist sharing a couple of pics. Above is Buster, who decided to make himself comfortable on my Patch NYC scarf and Jérôme Dreyfuss bag (my new favorite!).

Below is a corner of the home — a corner of a landing between two sets of stairs to be exact — that is outfitted with an Eames lounge chair, built-in shelving and the very awesome Josef Frank "Paradiset" wallpaper. I need that pattern in my house!

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October 11, 2013

It's a Wash

This is a bit of a random post, but this is one of my favorite handy little tips.

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In our household, I'm in charge of the laundry (by choice). All those years of working at the Gap and Banana Republic have resulted in me being an expert clothes-folder. (I don't need those folding boards to create a perfectly aligned stack of shirts.) But it's tough to keep track of what all of those care symbols on garment tags mean. So we keep a fabric care cheet sheet, as well as Martha Stewart's stain chart, on the laundry room corkboard. So simple, yet so helpful.

October 08, 2013

Comptoir des Cotonniers

Last month, my sister and I took our annual trip to NYC. Among our favorite stores is Comptoir des Cotonniers. To our delight, the shopgirls mentioned that the French brand is planning to expand — to Chicago and San Francisco. It's probably not happening too soon, but still! I'm looking forward to the simple yet chic line being much more accessible.

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P.S. Another one of our must-visits in NYC is ABC Carpet & Home (no surprise there). We ate at ABC Cocina for the first time during this recent trip and everything we ordered was amazing.

October 07, 2013

Fall In

Hello, October! August and September were busy months on the writing front, with lots of assignments for the SF Chronicle as well as closing Issue No. 13 (!!!) of Anthology. The latter ended up being especially challenging and dragged on a bit longer than Meg and I anticipated. But I won't bother getting into the details because, well, it was super frustrating and I'd rather not rehash.

In more relaxing news: Jon and I just spent a long weekend in the Pt. Reyes area, celebrating our anniversary. We stayed at the Olema Druids Hall, which was wonderful. We didn't really interact with the innskeepers much — which is a bit unusual, though not a bad thing. They did drop off a delicious picnic basket of breakfast treats every morning, and we proceeded to enjoy them here:

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That's the dining spot in our cottage. But you could also have breakfast in the property's communal room, which is pretty darn cute, too (that parasol light juxtaposed with the ceiling medallion!):

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And check out these pocket doors that I spied in the Druids Hall office:

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Not far from our cottage was this spot, which I have deemed idyllic for afternoon reading:

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Years ago, we celebrated another anniversary at Manka's in nearby Inverness. We loved the accommodations and the restaurant; sadly, it suffered a fire in 2006 and the restaurant is no longer open to the public. But the owners have since launched Sir and Star in Olema (a really short walk from Druids Hall), so we dined there on Friday night. The verdict: The food was delicious (loved the faux gras), but the staff seemed a bit disinterested. So overall, it was an okay dining experience.

Eating establishments that we tried for the first time and would definitely go back to: Saltwater (I could eat an entire pint of their Frog Hollow pluot sorbet in one sitting and the Oysters Santiago were awesome) and the restaurant at Marin Sun Farms (mmm, the lamb burger). We also ended up driving to Napa because I had an interview scheduled one afternoon, so we had lunch at Redd Wood, which I'm a big fan of (the fried Brussels sprouts and cauliflower starter is insanely good). Of course, we couldn't resist picking up treats from Bouchon Bakery to indulge in post-getaway (Jon likes their shortbread; I'm a sucker for their toffee).

The government shutdown meant the national parks in the area were closed. But I guess that gives us an excuse to make a return trip soon!

July 29, 2013

Station 1 Bake Stop

I love living on the Peninsula, but there is one thing I have been complaining about for years: the lack of a really great bakery down here.* I get spoiled during my trips to SF that allow me to visit places like Tartine, Craftsman & Wolves, Noe Valley Bakery & Bread, Miette, etc. There is hope, though, with one of my favorite local restaurants embarking on a little experiment: During the month of August, on Sunday mornings Station 1 will be setting up a bake stop out front.

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While the hours and menu are still TBD, if the above sneak peek from the eatery's Facebook page is any indication, I will be there every Sunday morning, for sure. It looks like they will be offering kouign amanns, which were on their dessert menu not too long ago. They are amazing! I'll probably just pick up one of everything because I love this place so much and want to support them. And I know my belly will be happy.

* I do like some of the breads at Mayfield in Palo Alto but their customer service is the worst. So bad.

July 22, 2013

Be Our Guest

Over the past month or so, we've had several overnight guests. Which has been great, especially since we finally closed up the hole in the ceiling that was the result of a leak we discovered last winter. I know I've shared pictures of the guest bedroom in the past, but I've been finessing the details for a while now so I wanted to post a couple of current photos of it.

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Of all of the rooms in our house, this is actually the one I would consider the most done, decorating-wise. And I know this is going to sound a little crazy, but we basically bought the console table (this Richard Velloso design from West Elm) to have a place to display the vintage typewriter (a gift from my sister). I haven't really styled it up because: a) I'm not good at that sort of thing, and b) I was going for functionality here and wanted to leave the shelf and area underneath the table available for guests to use.

One of my favorite things in this space is the gallery plate we installed underneath the paint-splatter art by my nephew. The text lists his name, the year he made the piece, and where he painted it.

P.S. That West Elm table is so sturdy and is probably the easiest piece of furniture that we've ever assembled.

July 19, 2013

Hollywood's Chicest Lair

I grew up in Daly City, and when I tell people this, often one of the first things they ask me is: Why do you guys have two gigantic Target stores less than a mile from each other? Well, because Target is awesome. (And I think one of the Targets is actually in Daly City, and the other in Colma — but yeah, you could easily walk between the two locations.)

Anyway! I mention this because I just took a look at Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent's L.A. home, featured in Harper's Bazaar. And I love that Berkus incorporated pieces from his Target line, which I've purchased quite a few items from. (His fall collection hits stores in September.) Also: Berkus mixed in Ikea and West Elm buys. Celebrity interior designers — they're just like us!

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All photos by Douglas Friedman. View the complete tour here.

July 18, 2013

David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition

Mark you're calendars! If you're going to be in the Bay Area this fall/winter, be sure to visit the de Young. David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition opens October 26, and runs through January 20, 2014.

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As its name implies, the exhibition of the English painter/printmaker/stage designer/photographer's work will be quite large. It will entail more than 300 works and 18,000 square feet of gallery space — making it the largest show in the museum's history. (More details here.)

And I know it's only July, but with the way this year has been going, October will be here before we know it. I mean, stores are already stocking Halloween merchandise.

July 11, 2013

The Five-Year Gallery Wall

Yes, it took five years, but I'm finally done with the gallery wall in our bedroom. And, uh, it's not even a full wall!

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Since it took me this long to get things hung on the wall, it may be another two years before the top of those barrister bookcases get adorned/styled. My favorite piece is the woodcut on paper that depicts a lacrosse scene (Jon played in college); we got it at the amazing Lost Art Salon. And the vintage frame that it's in was a big selling point for me.

Oh, about those barrister bookcases! Maybe it's my law school dropout background, but I have been wanting barrister bookcases forever, and finally found a set I liked earlier this year. There are four units in total, and they're only about half-filled with random objects right now (which is why it wasn't worth including them in the photo).

   About | Contact | Writing

• I am the co-founder and editor in chief of Anthology magazine.
• Frequently contribute to the SF Chronicle Home & Garden and Datebook sections.
• And post on this blog from time to time.

NOTE: I'm a writer, not a photographer. Which means the photos on this site that I took are probably not so great.