Monday, January 31, 2011

Going Home

Even though I have not lived there for over 10 years, I still refer to mom and dad's house as "going home"; it's the one place I feel truly comforted in my soul. The smells, sounds, everything is the same even though many things have changed since I last occupied a room there. It is now the place where our family congregates; where grandchildren make new youthful memories. It is a wonderful country home on the top of a hill, 40 minutes from the nearest town. Our ice cream would always melt on the way home from the grocery store and friends would "pack snacks" for the car ride out to our house. I used to dislike living so far away from everything; now I see it as a paradise, a quiet retreat where family can spend time together laughing, playing, riding motorcycles, swimming, cooking, and simply enjoying life.

cute little Rydin in his winter hat

sweet miss Ella having fun with her cousins

a beautiful sun disappearing behind the rolling coastal fog

Rydin acting like his papa on the tractor

Rydin feeding the animals with his gramma

Ella wanting to see her picture on the camera... too cute
{top picture: Diego being a loving big cousin and pushing Rydin all over on his little tractor}

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Capturing Life

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

{I love this picture of my father as a young boy}

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fringe Scarf

I had some time to kill before we left for our Noir Film date so I decided to make a quick scarf... this was so easy and it took all of about 15 minutes start to finish.

My Inspiration:

*cute Ms. Avila and her ever so stylish ensemble
*I saw an easy how-to while flipping through this book (p.s. check out her blog... really creative DIY projects for the thrifty fashionista!)


Friday, January 21, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a weakness for homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies... right out of the oven, warm chocolate melting into every bite... few things can beat it. Here is my go-to recipe for this lovely treat. I try and up the "good-for-ya" factor by using whole wheat flour. Organic, when available, is encouraged and I LOVE rich, dark chocolate chips (more antioxidants, of course).

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 c. organic sugar
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 organic eggs
2 cups chocolate chips, 60% cacao

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In a small bowl combine the flours, salt and baking soda. In a medium bowl mix together the butter and sugars.* Add the vanilla and 2 eggs and mix until creamy. Slowly stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until barely combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix until just incorporated. Place heaping teaspoonfuls on the your sheet** and bake 10-12 min. until golden. You know what to do from here...!

*I prefer to mix all the ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon and find that the final product comes out nicely, but a hand or standup mixer would be just fine.

**A baking stone is my method of choice. We were given a very nice one as a wedding gift that I love using.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

forageSF + Local Bloggers

I have three words at this moment:! I am new fan of this local blog site forageSF and am so excited about this underground avenue of food awesomeness, including a secret supper club called The Wild Kitchen and group foraging excursions. We attended a panel discussion on Tuesday evening at the library consisting of these 4 local food/wine bloggers (including Iso from forageSF):

The San Francisco Public Library is currently hosting an exhibition devoted to the local history of food called San Francisco Bites. If you have a chance to check out the cool memorabilia on display and any of the classes/discussions/lectures coming up, take advantage of it! Everything is free and sure to be appreciated by all levels of foodies. I am looking forward to the upcoming mochitsuki making class.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Shall Not Hate

I listened to this interview this morning on the way to work. Such a horrific tragedy against the backdrop of war:

"Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish was a well-known Palestinian gynecologist who spent years working in one of Israeli’s main hospitals. On January 16, 2009, two days before the end of Israel’s brutal 22-day assault on Gaza, his home was shelled twice by Israeli tanks. His three daughters and his niece were killed. He has just written a book about his life called I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity. He joins us in our studio for an extended conversation." -Democracy Now

The Israel/Palestine controversy and claim to territory is such a complicated matter. Regardless, atrocities such as this and the violence that claimed 1400 lives during the assault, as well as similar war aggressions happening worldwide are unacceptable. In his new book, I Shall Not Hate, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish talks about the need to for people to come together to discuss their differences and to reach a peaceful resolution between Palestinians and Israelis. Such courage and strength emerging from unimaginable loss. This story is not easy to listen to, but worth the attention as it encourages peace, love and justice in a world that refuses to seek such beauty. A truly inspiring man.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Film Noir Festival

Starting this Friday is the 9th Annual Film Noir Festival. This will be our first year attending the festival and we're very excited about the great films this year! We have tickets to see the double feature matinee this Saturday:

STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT (1944) Dir. Anthony Mann
GASLIGHT (1944) Dir. George Cukor

The festival takes place at the Castro Theatre January 21-30, 2011. Built in 1922, the Castro Theatre is a San Francisco landmark and one of only a few movie palaces from the 20's that is still in operation today. We are just as excited to see the theatre and experience the ambiance as we are the movies. If you are in town, come check it out!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tartine Bakery

We woke early on Saturday and finally made our way down to the Mission District for a long awaited breakfast at the well-known Tartine Bakery. However, when we arrived and say a line snaking out the door and down the block I immediately said "Forget it". Then I had second thoughts when I saw a women walk by me to an outdoor table with an espresso coffee in one hand and a plate with a croissant and something in a bowl that smelled divine. My stomach yelled at me, and I thought there was no way I could wait that long for breakfast. Luckily Brian knocked some sense into me, reminding me that we came all this way JUST for the bakery, so we were going to wait. 45 minutes later we ordered, scored a table outside, and sat down. O...M...G... literally the BEST pastries I have EVER had. It was amazing and completely worth the wait. Having stood in line for so long I told Bry I was ordering all sorts of stuff, just to make sure I got a taste of a few things. We ordered the bread pudding (topped with warm sautéed apples and the same thing I spied on everyone's table... I told the young lady I wanted what was in all the bowls I saw), double pain au chocolat, pain au jambon, and the morning bun (which they are famous for), and 2 drip coffees. Every item was off the hook. The first thing we dug into was the morning bun, still warm from the oven. The soft, beautiful dough pulled apart with little effort, a slight crisp from the sugar coat, then a delicate hint of orange essence. Heavenly. Bry bit into his savory croissant filled with ham and gruyere, the flavors were so soothing and satisfying at the same time; the flakey pastry dough perfect and varying in texture from the surface to the center- crispy and buttery to light and soft. The chocolate melted out of the pain au chocolat, a delicious morning treat. And the brioche bread pudding (while not bry's favorite) was moist, flavorful, warm, and the apples topping made a perfect accompaniment. Needless to say, we consumed our daily caloric intake in one sitting, and could not even finish all wonderfulness on our plates (good thing we ordered everything to-go, not sure if we would be taking our breakfast to Dolores Park). It was a great culinary trek and I 100% recommend this spot to anyone living/visiting San Francisco, within driving distance in the Bay Area, a resident of California, currently in the USofA, or a member of this planet... if you fit this criteria, you should visit Tartine. If it will be awhile until you make a voyage, or if you can't live without the wonderful after you've tasted it, check out their 2 cookbooks: Tartine and Tartine Bread. Fall in love, be amazed.

image via {Tartine Bakery}

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Today marks 29 years of wonderful life I have been given on this earth. I am so grateful for my husband, the family and friends (near and far) that surround me and add joy, happiness and love to my life. It the last year of my twenties and I began thinking about what I wanted to do in this final episode of my twenties chapter. From a young age, my dad would always encourage me to set goals and write a list of the things I wanted to do with my life in an effort to successfully accomplish these goals. I know I have tucked away in a box, somewhere, lists of what I wanted to be/do when I grew up, all scribbled on Day Timer paper (he also would give me daily planners every year to encourage writing down schedules, homework, practice, games, etc... I still use a daily planner to this day). Here are a few things on the list for this year:

*learn to play the guitar: my husband plays beautifully, so I have a teacher right here in our home... in the past I have been a horrible student, but here's to trying again!
*run 1/2 marathon: this past year I completed a 10k, my first running event ever... I have never been a runner, so this was a big deal for me. Time to up the marker one more step!
*start a business: ok, big or small, doesn't matter... will most likely be an etsy shop, but I am open to bigger plans if something comes my way. I would love to one day open a beautiful B&B. I love this Working Ranch in Sonoma.
*new haircut: I have been wanting a new look and am ready for a change
*travel: preferably to a country I have never been (Spain?!), but would love to see other parts of this great country as well.
*1 craft every month: increasing my commitment to art and creativity can't hurt
*1 book every month: cookbooks don't count
*4 blog posts a week: I love blogging, I just need to make it more if a priority.
*start a family?!: not sure, but it's a possibility...?!?!

I reserve the right to add to this list as the year unfolds, but think this is a good starting point. Wish me luck, and here's to 29!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Make Way For Tomorrow

We just finished watching this beautiful, sad, precious film. Add this to your Netlix; rent it from the library (that's where we stumbled upon this little masterpiece) Make Way For Tomorrow. Don't forget a box of tissue.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jen Loves Kev

Do yourself a favor and bookmark this cute, fun site: Jen Loves Kev. A blog full of fashion, eats and baby news... I particularly like her Style Files :)

LOVE this birch tree wall mural (pdf. image available at her shop).

images via {Jen Love Kev}

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Velvet Teen

‎'cos if we die tonight, i do not care
there will be no need to be scared
yeah, if we do not make it, i don't mind
all i want is to sleep by your side
too many people live imprisoned
stuck somewhere between the is and isn't
the night will pass and we'll no longer think on
what it was or what it wasn't

Chorus from {"Noi Boi" by The Velvet Teen}

This last weekend we went to see one of our favorite bands play at the Bottom of the Hill, The Velvet Teen. They are a local band from the Northern Bay Area, but are at the top of my list of extremely talented artist. We have seen them a number of times, but it has been years since I last saw The Velvet Teen perform live... Friday's show was both mind-blowing and a strange time warp back to my college days... if you get the chance to see them play, DO IT! There is something about seeing these musicians perform live that just takes it to 11. Check out other album versions of their songs:

{The Prize Fighter} - filmed in Petaluma, CA

{Counting Backwards}

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Eating SF

A friend shared this link with me: The 2010 Big Eat SF: 100 Things to Try Before You Die. While it does list the top 2010 eats in the great gastronomic city of San Francisco, there's no time like the present to start checking these off my list... I am soooo stoked to try EVERYTHING on this list! I will keep you posted...!

image via {7x7SF}

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

To an amazing woman, wonderful mother, and the best grandmother in the world... happy birthday mom, I love you!

Happy New Year!

Yes, I am a few days behind, however I have been busy ringing in the New Year with my sweetheart, watching moldie-oldie movies set in our San Francisco neighborhood, both of which I would highly recommend, if not for the sole purpose of being able to say "I've seen it":

Vertigo (1958)