Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hot Cocoa

One of the great things about living in Northern California - especially San Francisco, can be the gorgeous gorgeous weather. One of the awful things? The completely unpredictable weather. 

Last week we were having ice cream treats, this week afternoon hot chocolate breaks. Luckily I am a fan of both :)

My brother made this fantastic hot chocolate over the weekend one night when we were up late. He's been my "in-house chef" for the last 2 months but sadly going back to New York tomorrow. (Please come back soon! I've never eaten so well!) 

He's been eating super healthy, but this night we decided to indulge a bit. I may have talked him into it - just sayin'. It was one of the best hot chocolate's I've ever had, so I just had to share.

P.S. Happy Birthday Darling - I love you so so much

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ice Cream Friday

It's 75 degrees outside.  It's February.  This is not normal for Northern California, but I'm not complaining. 

It's been like this all week and with the tons of hours I've been working I'm only experiencing it though the window in my office.  Still not complaining though.

Someone ordered ice cream today for the office :)  

Strawberry with rainbow sprinkles :)  

2 scoops :)

Happy Friday!


Monday, February 20, 2012


And self-consciousness is the enemy of being creative.
When you're aware of yourself you're in two places at once
- you're judging.

I was reading the February Elle magazine with Reese Witherspoon on the cover {I love her} and I came across a part where one of her previous directors was speaking about her.  He was saying that she hasn't let her stardom go to her head, but his words above are what really jumped out at me.  

You know when that weird thing happens where you're thinking about something and then you hear something or read something and someone's put it in the exact words that you needed to hear?  I love when that happens.

I saw this last week on pinterest and loved it too.

Happy Monday.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Be Kind

This is the week for life's simple lessons for me, I guess.

This morning I stopped by Whole Foods for a coffee  (by the way - it's way cheaper than Starbucks, they don't charge for soy and the small has 2 shots of espresso!).  They were surprisingly busy with just one guy behind the counter.  The man in front of me got out of line and went over to the other side to check out the pastry counter.

Things were moving pretty slowly and I was already cutting it pretty close to get to my appointment on time. {A girl needs coffee in the morning}  Normally, under these circumstances, I would be starting to get pretty annoyed.  For whatever reason, some sort of miraculous patience came over me.  I have no idea how or why.

The man who had previously left the line came back and stood behind me.  I told him to go in front of me.  It was his rightful place any way, I thought.  I'm not going to fault the guy for being tempted by the pastry counter.  I'm tempted by the pastry counter all the time, and it usually wins!

When it came time for me to order, the man ended up pulling his wallet back out and saying "I'll pay for hers".  I was shocked.  Of course I told him he didn't have to, but he insisted and said "you were really nice and you didn't have to be."

I was truly appalled.  And it reminded me how much our behaviors and attitudes can affect other people. And it reminded me to slow down.  Had I been standing in line obviously annoyed, I wouldn't have gotten my coffee any faster.

I saw this on pinterest a while ago and it didn't really resonate with me when I first read it.

I mean, not everyone's having a bad day or fighting a battle all the time.  But I kind of get it a bit more now.  It's not that we should be kind because people might be having a difficult time.  It's more like we have no idea what's going on in other people's lives, whether it's good or bad.  And we should be kind because putting kindness out in the world makes life just a bit for all of us.  Maybe a bit corny, but maybe a bit true too.

I found this one today too and kinda like it.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Winter soup and other recipes

I made these this week and just had to share.

Winter soup and other recipes

I'd never had kale raw before but I guess the acid in the lemon helps to break it down or something (???) It sounds like physics or chemistry to me, but it was a perfectly refreshing lunch.

The soup may seem a bit strange with the cocoa powder, but its so so good and perfect for these chilly winter nights.  Seriously, it smells like comfort.  And so easy!  I like easy. Tips:  I used about an extra cup of vegetable stock and added a sweet potato.  Also, after it was done cooking I pulled out about a cup and a half and put it through the food processor to thicken it up.  I promise, it's still easy!  The hardest part was chopping everything.

The sweetness from the butternut squash and sweet potato went perfectly with the cornbread, which doesn't have too much sugar in it.  That means it's also perfect with a bit of honey on it for breakfast.  Yum!



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

My inspiration:

Although we are big granola fans, filling the bags with this for my sweetie didn't seem like the sort of Valentine's Day treat I was looking for.  But I did find his favorite candies and we are planning a few upcoming travels this year, so I got his favorite Kiehl's items in travel sizes.  (They didn't have all of them in travel size but they were nice enough to give me samples - love them!)

I think it turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself. :)  I can't wait to give it to him over our delicious dinner tonight.

Happy Valentine's Day xx


Sunday, February 12, 2012


I was sitting at the bar in a tasting room in downtown Carmel this weekend.  The place was pretty packed, but I couldn't help overhearing the two women sitting near me.  They were discussing another woman.  In detail.  I won't share what they said, but as I was listening, and the bad feeling in my stomach kept growing, I realized something.  I realized that I didn't even know the woman that they were speaking about and already I was on her side.  She could've been this absolutely awful person but hearing these other woman gossip about her only made me think ill of them, not her.  And of course I've always heard, and always known, that gossip can be hurtful and isn't right.  And I definitely don't consider myself a big gossip by any means (although probably none of us do).  But hearing this conversation really made something click.  The words that we say truly reflect only on our character, whether or not they are about someone else.  And I made an intention for myself, that I'd like to be more conscious of my words and what I am saying about others and what that really says about me.

The best lessons in life really are so simple.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Lingerie Day

I have a friend with a fantastic French husband who doesn't believe in Valentine's Day.  Don't misunderstand.  He's amazingly romantic, tells her how beautiful she is everyday and loves her to pieces.  Every year he buys her flowers either the day before or the day after Valentine's.  He says that he doesn't need 1 holiday every year to remind him to be romantic, but he doesn't want her to feel left out either, hence the day before or day after flowers.

There's always been so much controversy over Valentine's Day, so many people call it a Hallmark holiday or feel so much pressure if they're with someone, or pressure if they're not. But I didn't realize there were so many differing opinions over the gift of lingerie.  For me, whether it's a gift from someone or whether I buy it for myself, it just makes me feel pretty and girly.  Anthropologie is one of my favorite places to shop for just about everything, but they have especially pretty lingerie and loungewear.  Their newish bridal boutique, BHLDN, has gorgeous pieces as well.

Last night, I happened to stumble upon a boutique I'd never seen and fell completely in love with these.

I may just have to treat myself to something pretty :)


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pebble Beach Golf Weekend

We're heading to Pebble Beach this weekend for the Pro-Am Golf Tour and I'm in definite need of outfit inspiration.  As is the standard with the Northern Californian coast, it'll be chilly to say the least.

Maybe a tribute to golf with argyle?  
Just kidding!  Might be a bit too obvious :)  

It's kind of a work thing for Dan, so low key is probably better.  I'm thinking stylish casual with some pretty jewels.

weekend wear

You can never go wrong with cashmere and silk, except maybe in your bank account! {shirt, sweater}  I'm loving my new paige jeans, stylish and with enough stretch to move in. A wedge boot should be perfect to walk around in all day on the grass.  A girl always needs sunglasses at the sunny NorCal beaches {enter sarcasm here}.  Bauble's Bar Love bracelet for a sweet ode to the upcoming holiday, and other pretty jewels. {bracelet, necklace}  Alexander Wang's gorgeous oversized clutch should be perfect to hold everything I carry around with me but never end up needing :)  And of course the Michael Kors watch I've been lusting after.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Praying for my pup today.  He had to go to the vet yesterday for a very emasculating surgery.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Napa Valley Birthday

Napa was gorgeous this weekend.  We had such an amazing time celebrating a friends 30th birthday.  We rented a bus which was not at all as expensive as I thought it would be.  I would definitely recommend to anyone going with a group.  No driving and wine tasting, please!

We first went to Grgich Hill Winery (I have no idea how to pronounce it, they said it quite a few times obviously, but that was early in the day with lots of delicious alcoholic beverages to follow).  The tasting room was built on to the barrel room which was kinda cool to see.  The wines were quite good as well.

Alpha Omega was our next stop, and my favorite by far.  They have a huge outdoor patio with grouped seating areas with couches and fire pits.  Most of the outdoor furniture was Restoration Hardware, so I may have been a bit partial as well. :)  After our tasting with Jim, (awesome!), we moved over to the picnic area and shared sub sandwiches from Genova's Deli, a definite must-eat-here!  Oh, and the wine, I almost forgot! I had heard that the wine was just pretty good.  But I really thought they had quite a few really good bottles.  They had one that smelled like buttered popcorn, which I know, I know, probably doesn't sound very appetizing but was delicious!

here's our birthday girl

Our third stop was Regusci Winery.  I'm always so amazed by how beautiful Napa and Sonoma counties are.  I can't believe they're right in my backyard.  Regusci didn't disappoint.  They had just finished the patio with long picnic tables over looking the vineyards.  A lab named Berkeley wandered over from another table to visit us.  I've always loved that so many wineries welcome dogs.  I think it really adds to the relaxing vibe.  It makes me want to sit in the sun, have a glass a wine, gaze out to the vineyards and stay awhile.

Our last stop was Mumm, in perfect celebration of our birthday girl.  Words cannot express how much I adore Champagne. Now I know we weren't in France, so technically we were drinking sparkling wine, but that's a mouthful.  The word 'champagne" just rolls off the tongue so easily.  I love the bubbles.  I love the celebratory feelings it evokes no what when or why you're drinking it. I love sharing a bottle with friends.  I love that it goes so perfectly with just about every delicious bite of food.  I love that it's perfect for brunch.  I love Champagne Thursdays.  I dare anyone to pop a bottle of champagne, pour themselves a glass, sit down and try to be unhappy.  It's impossible.  I can't help but smile when someone hands me a glass.
{I may have been a bit too happy to snap a photo while we were there, but a pretty one of the vineyards should hopefully suffice.}


Friday, February 3, 2012

Wine Tasting

So happy it's Friday!  I'm wine tasting in Napa this weekend for a friend's 30th birthday.  I cannot wait!  I'm hoping we'll make it to Rubicon, one of my favorites:

But it's always fun to discover new places too!

Happy Weekend!


Thursday, February 2, 2012


I am in desperate need of this today.  Just a bit of encouragement to get everything done.  But that's what Wednesdays* are for, right?
Although if I'm really honest this really says it all.
*Update - this just proves it, I don't even know what day it is :)
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