Thursday, June 23, 2011


Some days I like to take the last couple blocks of my drive home down 43rd really slowly to look at the houses in all their pastel-painted, 70's architecture glory. I pause at the stop signs to look for oncoming traffic and to catch a glimpse of the glittery ocean on my left. There are always people walking, biking or just getting home, like me. Or a train rumbling down Taraval bell ringing noisily, a warning to get out of the way, fast. I notice the phone lines connecting all the houses and how they bend and sway.
This is the view from my driveway. Some people might look at this and think: Isn't there a more aesthetically pleasing way to keep everybody connected? And, I'll admit, I do wonder that too. But I also find it oddly charming. I like watching the angles of the lines relative to each other change from view to view as I roll up and down the hilly street. And I also find it ironic that people in my neighborhood tend to keep to themselves yet all the houses are tied together in such a bold way. Perhaps the lines keep them as connected as they want.

And to those of you that scoffed at the mention that I can actually see the ocean in the Sunset, an area known for its dense and depression-inducing fog [insert Sunset's most over-used line: "It's funny that they call it the Sunset, when you can never actually see the sun set."], I will have you know that most days I can see the ocean on my way home. We moved here in August and winter was pretty mild and mostly clear during the day, so far so good. I do know from my time at SF State, however, that from June until that one groundbreaking week in August where this side of the city turns around and decides to be gorgeous, that my prospects are pretty grim. I will still look over in the hopes that I can sneak a peek of the water through a hole in the fog, anyways. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stinkin Rose

I love garlic. I really do. I love the smell of it as it sizzles in a pan of olive oil. And that special something that it brings to so many dishes. I may not love how it sticks all over my fingers when I'm trying to mince it, but it is definitely worth it. I learned the term "stinking rose" when I went the restaurant with its namesake in San Francisco's North Beach when I was younger. I searched wikipedia to see if I could find the origins of the common nickname for the fragrant bulbs closely related to onions; no luck there except a really lovely explanation of the cause of garlic breath and why you end up sweating it out the next day. My repulsion at those facts, however, is greatly outweighed by my love for garlic. So I guess I will continue to subject myself and others to my garlic breath. 

Oh, well.

Monday, June 13, 2011

So I Started a Blog, Now What?

Hi all (grandma). I just wanted to make a quick post to say that I am still here. I am, however, feeling slightly stuck. Have you ever had the feeling like you really really wanted to do something creative and then you get your materials together only to sit down and realize you have no idea what you want to do? And then you are sitting there with all your paints and brushes and a big blank piece of paper and you have no idea when something is going to come to you. But you know you want to paint and you know that as soon as that idea hits you over the head you will come up with something great. And until then you are just staring at the blank canvas with enough intensity to burn a hole in it. That's kind of how I'm feeling about this blog.
I have been waiting for months to start blogging and I finally decided to wing it and figure it out as I go thinking that once I sat down to make posts ideas would come. But, as with any other time I decide to be spontaneous, now that I have started I'm totally freaked out. Where I am going with is this? I am doing this right? Did other people feel this way when they were starting out? I feel strangely obligated to come out of the gate a great blogger with interesting things to say every day and the perfect pictures to go with each theme. I know this is unrealistic, but it's hard to shake. I can't stand not knowing where I'm going to end up or waiting to get there. To make a long story short: I am very impatient. Most people who know me know this as a fact. Why else would I burn my tongue every single time I eat or drink something hot? Yes, I am a spaz, but that's not the answer I was looking for. And no, not because I'm a pig, either.
Between the amount of time I spend reading blogs and thinking about what draws me to certain blogs over others, I felt like I had a pretty good grip on what I wanted to bring to my own blog. But put on the spot, I must say it's overwhelming. Last week, this post from Jess Constable at Makeunder My Life came up on my blog reader and made me feel a little less obsessive, or at least less alone in my obsessive tendencies.
All of this to say, I am still here. I am still figuring this out. I am still trying.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dresser Redeux

This was a thrift store dresser that my mom picked up who knows where that she painted for me one year for my birthday. Five or so years later, said dresser was looking pretty hurt. Chipped paint, injured hinges and a couple drawers that I was convinced would decide one morning to hold my clothes hostage and quit life. Not ideal.
I knew I wanted something on the modern side since all the other pieces in my new shared bedroom were older and it was feeling a little dowdy. But I also wanted something that would have some character and make sense with my large lime green mirror, below, which was another hand-painted gift from my mom. Maybe mix and match some fun hardware? Then one day rummaging archives on Decor8 I saw this dresser featured in an interview with research scientist Morgane Rouault who lives in Berlin. I loved it! Did she read my future mind?

I picked up the Malm six-drawer chest from Ikea (the one Morgane used was more than I wanted to spend for a generic dresser) in white and ordered various knobs and pulls from Anthropologie. Maybe not the most original moment of my life, but I really dug this woman's setup and I wanted my own version.  I asked Stephen's dad to drill the holes for the knobs and he gladly accepted. And blam!
I think this is my favorite spot in our apartment that is all mine. All my favorite jewelry, some pictures, random glassware and a golden chihuahua, what more could a girl want?
I already had a makeup mirror, a milk glass dish for my earrings and a really awesome golden chihuahua named Caesar, so I picked up some random clear glassware from Goodwill for a dollar or less each (don't you love it when you accidentally end up at goodwill on a sale day!?) to arrange even more jewelry. I found the framed Italian postcard and German perfume bottles when I unpacked some boxes as my dads house.
Do you want a back story on the chihuahua? It's not very long: I was in my friend's car driving down La Brae during a visit to L.A. and I saw a man standing on the corner selling very random ceramic items. Then there, amongst four boring, white chihuahuas was a golden one. I told my friend to pull over. She said no. I said yes. She said really? I said YES! It was love at first sight. Don't you just love a good love story?

I really like this Italian post card that I bought at a stationary store in Florence because it means "The pleasure of traveling" and it makes me look forward to future trips.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Today I want to share some photos I took at Filoli. Filoli is an old mansion in Woodside known for its gardens that I recently visited with Stephen's mom, Linda, and his sister, Janet, to check out this season's roses.
 We accidentally arrived just an hour before closing, but we were able to take a good look around and there were so so many beautiful flowers. I didn't take pictures inside the house because I saw a man get scolded for opening a wall panel with hidden shelves and I was scared to suffer the same embarrassment. Actually, I don't think he was embarrassed, at all. His response in the form of walking away as if he was lost was more along the lines of "I'm too old to be scolded, I don't care what you say, I'm just gonna walk this way while whistling." I digress. Here are my favorite pictures.(By the way, click on the pictures to seem them on my flickr, which shows them much clearer than here on blogger. Not sure why that is yet. If anyone knows why or what I can do, please help me out. Thanks.)

 Doesn't this last one look like Pops cereal? I thought it looked pretty tasty myself.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Friday!

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see" Henry David Thoreau

It's Friday again! I hope you have a peachy weekend and that you enjoy the little things like a juicy pear or a pretty tree in a parking lot. It's all about how you see things.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” Jim Jarmusch

As I opened my stickies application to brainstorm post ideas, I ran into this quote that I saved a while ago. I don't even remember when I saved it, but I have had this habit of writing down or saving quotes that I find interesting since high school. Things I hear on t.v., from people, from books. I even have a sticky note on my computer at work that says "So you want the golden egg and you want the goose too?!," which a co-worker of mine said randomly one day and I loved. He looked at me crazy when I spun around and reached for my sticky pad and a pen and immediately wrote down what he said, but it was definitely worth it. What's another person looking at me like I'm crazy, anyways? It's always nice to happen upon those lost quotes when I least expect it, like a little gift from my past self. And the timing on this one is perfect as it helped me with one of my biggest concerns about starting this blog: originality.

The are so many blogs. How do I make mine different? How do I stand out? And, how do I make sure I'm not coming off like an unimaginative, copy-cat who just decided to have a blog one day? Well, I think the last line, the quote within the quote, is the perfect answer. Everyone takes inspiration from other people, it's inevitable. We are constantly surrounded by stimuli, especially those of us scouring the blogosphere, and we are constantly taking in others' ideas and artwork and processing them. From there, the most authentic thing I can do is to decide for myself what I like and run with it; not just regurgitate current trends, but the little pieces from here and there that resonate with me. Then see where I end up. Instead of trying to hide the fact that I didn't come up with every single idea myself, I can draw lines between things that interest and inspire me that may not have been drawn before. Be the unique link between ideas that otherwise would have been floating around exclusively had I not tethered them. So, though I may not be the most original person you ever met, I will always keep it authentic.

What do you think? Too much fuss about nothing? Easy way out? Do tell.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Birth Day!

Hello! I have been waiting and waiting and waiting (procrastinating) to find the perfect day to start my blog but I think it's time to bite the bullet and get this thing started. I been thinking about it every day and trying to figure out all the logistics of gathering content consistently and being able to keep up, but then I realized if I keep waiting I might never feel prepared enough. Plus my skills will inevitably improve in time, right? Why not dive in?

I discovered the world of blogs last summer and I have been addicted ever since. I mean, I knew what blogs were, but I never realized the vast amount of creativity being shared by so many people around the world. The first blog I got addicted to was Jen Campbell's blog Green Wedding Shoes. I love the photography and styling and whimsy of the engagement and wedding photos she shares. I don't think I spent even five minutes thinking about weddings before I started reading that blog. Then I discovered Kate's Centsational Girl and realized how much I can do with my own two hands. Holly Becker's Decor8 was the first blog I followed that I eagerly read every post start to finish and really got inspired to have a place to share my own ideas and photography. And, finally, Kendi Lea's witty, conversational-style writing on Kendi Everyday has inspired me to write in a way that shows personality.

I am nervous excited to have a place to share my ideas and photography with people. I studied photojournalism, but since graduation I have been working a job that lacks a creative outlet. Reading so many inspiring and creative blogs has helped me keep my mind open to the creative things in life and I think taking the next step and actually participating will do so even more.

Here are some photographs that I have taken of a few important people in my life. First, these are my grandparents looking really tough on a train in Switzerland. You don't want to mess with them, trust me.

Now that you are terrified, here is a sugar sweet picture of my sister, Anna.

And just in case you have a pretty serious sweet tooth, here is my little brother, Kevin.

And this is my favorite guy, Stephen. He probably doesn't want me to mention how sweet he is.

I think that's a good place to start for now. Thanks for stopping by!