Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Musings

After working all day on Saturday, we had a Sunday Funday planned because my brother is moving back to New York this coming Friday. So, we told him we'd do whatever he wanted to celebrate his last Sunday in the city. He picked brunch, a hike, and "family dinner," our Sunday tradition. I documented the day so he can remember it when he's living it up in the Big Apple!

We started with brunch in the Mission at Hog & Rocks, a restaurant specializing in pork products (hog) and oysters (rocks) (with a dazzling bar selection to boot).

If this documentation of my day proves anything, it is that I ate far too much. Look at that scrummy egg sandwhich. Sadly, I did not get to partake in the cocktails, but all reports were that they were delicious. My brother had a Pimm's Cup and J. had a bloody Mary.

Next, we headed out to the "Batteries to Bluff's" walk which goes along the coast towards the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a remarkably clear day.

There were a lot of stairs! We took the Coastal Trail back and that was much more leisurely (and quicker, too).

Back at the ranch, J. started on dinner preparations. Despite the fact that this looks like it was prepared for an eight year old, this is what my brother requested: J's special chicken fingers, sweet potato "fries" (which were actually baked), and apple sauce (that I made on Friday). I am still obsessed with Sally's Baking Addiction, and she had a great recipe for the sweet potato fries that we used. (I also whipped up these amazing "healthy" pumpkin squares the other day. You must try them.)

We followed up this light meal with some apple crumble that I baked...notice the apple theme. Felt very apropos.

It was a lovely day. We will miss my bro so much, but he is moving in with us for the week, so we won't get too sappy just yet! I'll cry on Friday. Until then...

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fabulous Friday

When I saw this quotation on Pinterest, it made me think, "Yes! That is what Fabulous Friday is for!" It is always good to stop and think good thoughts now, isn't it. I have been on a complaining rampage this week. I have had seemingly more work than I can manage, and that's put me in a bad mood. I am in one of those patterns where I feel like no matter how hard I work, I can't seem to get on top of it. It's like being in a wave that is crashing over your head and you just have to wait until the wave passes to come up for air. Needless to say, that kind of feeling doesn't make for a very happy camper. And my back has been killing. For the last few weeks. So, yes, I will admit I've been grumpy. And, when confronted about said grumpiness, I immediately yell, "Why do you think I'm grumpy? What gave you that idea? Are you sure you aren't the problem?" to anyone who dares to mention my mood. That being said, I am officially apologizing if I snapped at you this week (I think this only goes out to Mom and J. I believe everyone else has been spared). But, I was just sitting around yesterday afternoon thinking about what was fab this week and as I was doing that, I kept feeling my baby bopping around inside me. At one point, I looked down at my rapidly expanding stomach and saw it move. If that doesn't stop you dead in your tracks, I don't know what would. While I am busy being tired and grumpy, my body is actually performing a feat that still, even though I am in the midst of it, seems quite unbelievable, almost impossible. While I don't want to go all sappy mommy-to-be on you all, I can't help myself today. It truly is fabulously amazing to feel your very own baby. It might be one of the most amazing things that's ever happened to me. Hope you have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


You may remember last Friday I mentioned that I had a hankering for some apple picking, but I was lamenting how much work I had to do and how I would be stuck inside all weekend. Well, during the work day, I received an email from my other half saying "Finish your work, and we'll go here." That lit a fire under me, and I starting cranking through my to-do list. I didn't move from the kitchen table all day on Saturday. And it was raining, which helped. On Sunday, the sun was shining and it was a glorious day. Off to go apple picking we went! We ventured to Twin Hill Ranch in Sebastapol, and while it wasn't apple picking like it is back home (because it was really warm and sunny), the setting was pretty spectacular. If you are in the San Francisco area, I highly recommend this place. And, do not leave, I repeat do not leave this ranch without a loaf of their apple bread. Amazing. Thanks, J. for kicking my butt into gear with some good old fashion bribery. 

I now have 20 pounds of apples. Yes, you read that right. I got a little excited as I was shouting from the interior of the tree, "Oh these apple are so beautiful! I just have to have them all!" and was crazily pulling all the apples I could reach off the branches. I think there is only one solution to this problem: apple sauce. Good thing my grandma makes the world's best apple sauce, and she gave me a brief tutorial on the phone so I can whip some up. Maybe I'll even try to figure out how to make my own apple bread. Nothing says fall (even when it's hot) like a day at the orchard.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cool Cobalt

Pantone hasn't come out with the color of the year just yet, but they did name a "most popular color" of the Spring 2014 collections, and that color was "Dazzling Blue." This is a bold shade of cobalt blue, and it is popping up all over. Here are some pieces that would let you incorporate this vibrant color into your wardrobe at a variety of price points:

BANANA REPUBLIC lace top - REBECCA MINKOFF convertible clutch - YSL Bleu Majorelle - JOIE blouse - J.CREW tulip skirt - C. WONDER driving moc - J.CREW pump - MERONA belt - J.CREW earrings - J.CREW ballet flats - TARGET crossbody bag - J.CREW tweed pants  - MADEWELL sweater

Do you have the blues? Is some fancy cobalt in your future? The J.CREW ballet flats (the Kiki) are fabulously comfortable. I have a black pair and am jonesing to add another to my closet. I have to say, that Target bag is quite the steal! That one might have to come home with me.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday Beauty

Like an old forgotten friend, I pulled this bottle of Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum out of the back of my linen closet the other day and decided to give it another go. I bought it when my hair was short, and it was not quite right for my hair at the time, so I put it on the shelf and used some lighter products while my hair was growing out. But, now that my hair is longer, it really needs something to keep it tamed. It tends to grow in volume the longer it gets, and I haven't had it thinned in a while, so a product that manages to decrease some of the pouf and "skinny-fy" my mane is just the thing I've been looking for.

I am now addicted to this serum and have actually switched out the use of my more expensive Kerastase product (which I now only use on my ends after blow drying). If you have thin or fine hair, this product is not right for you, but if your hair is coarse and thick and you'd like it to look a little skinnier, definitely give this a whirl. My advice is to use the product very sparingly because it does have a thick consistency. This purchase will save you from more budget-busting hair products, and it will last for ages because the bottle is fairly large. Plus, Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere gives it her seal of approval, so if you don't believe me, I'm sure you will believe her.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday is Emmy Day!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming (aka Monday Musings) to bring you this Emmy recap. I missed watching the Red Carpet on E! because, as you might recall, we no longer have live television. But, with our handy dandy antenna, we did get the actual broadcast. I was so excited to look at the dresses online, and I was impressed by how many I thought were really beautiful!

These ladies really looked stunning:

Claire Danes always looks fabulous, and I love her short hair with this plunging neckline. 

Kiernan Shipka dresses never fail to be age appropriate, flattering, and beautifully suited to her. Definitely a win!

I think the detailing on Laura Dern's dress is stunning. 

Padma Lakshmi looks impeccable, as always. I also loved the back of this dress.

I just have to applaud Rose Byrne because not many women could pull this off. I certainly wouldn't want to sit in that all night.

I really love Elisabeth Moss's blonde bob. Totally working for her.

Taylor Shilling is lovely is her neutral ensemble. 

I am not sure I am in love with the fit of this dress on Kristen Connolly, but gotta give my favorite chevrons a shout out!

Now for the fun part. Apparently this is now a look:

Um...I can see your underwear, Lena Heady and Julianne Hough.

I don't love this dress, but I just had to comment:

When did Anna Gunn become a stick figure? Maybe she had a hunch that last night would be her night, and she wanted to be extra "Hollywood"for her big moment.

And now for the category we've all been waiting for. The "What were you thinking?" brigade:

Halloween comes early for Amanda Peet

I think this is a beautiful color on Linda Cardellini, but with the hair and the fabric, it is just too much of a good thing.

Betsy Brandt picked up some of that pesky New Mexico dust in her dress before she walked the carpet. She should have stuck to her signature purple!(Breaking Bad inside joke.)

If this bizarre neckline does not work on Heidi Klum, I think it is time to retire it from fashion all together. 

What is with the tiny leather boob holster on Zosia Mamet

Every time, Lena. Why do you do this to yourself every time?

Overall, I thought Hollywood was bringing it's A-game tonight. There were lots of other ladies who were looking particularly lovely like Tina Fey, Julia Louis Dreyfus, and Juliannna Margulies. And a few ladies were hitting the spray tanner a little hard (like my FAVE lady Connie Britton. Lighten up, girlfriend. Literally. ). But, what I kept thinking about while I was watching the festivities was just how much I adore TV and how many talented actors work in television these days! As far as I'm concerned, movies are almost a thing of the past. 

Here's to starting the week off right! Happy Monday. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fabulous Friday

I hope you can all forgive me. I was at work until 10 last night, and my brain is not capable of any more rational thought. It has officially shut down for the moment. All I can say today is "TGIF" as I look forward to a weekend of work, work, and more work. This seems to be a general trend for September. But, we will persevere! Hope this weekend brings some beautiful fall weather. Anyone else craving an apple picking excursion? I sure am. Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lovely Lists

I wanted to tell you about a new website that makes finding the best of anything fashion and beauty related a cinch! Many a blogger is participating in a campaign to promote this site. Just to clarify, I'm not one of them. I am not even remotely famous enough. But, I do think the site is pretty cool, so I am sharing it with ya'll just beacuase!

Enter Rank & Style the site that creates top ten lists for everything from running shoes to lip gloss. They curate lists of the best of the best based on "buzz," "best sellers," "user reviews," and "editor's picks." You can also request a list you'd like to see curated.

Part of the reason I love blogs is because the people who write them wade through all the noise out there and offer recommendations on products that are great. Rank & Style makes it easier for bloggers to bring you more options (that perhaps they haven't personally tried) and for anyone else who wants a little more feedback on what they're buying before they commit.

Here are some of the lists I'm enjoying right now:

I am also really excited to see the 10 Best Moto Jackets on Monday!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cozy Up To Fall

I was talking to my sister yesterday when she mentioned that she thought she'd like a coat for her birthday in November. I got excited as I have been pinning good coats when I see them, and I think a nice looking coat can really make an outfit. She lives in DC, so she doesn't need something for epically cold temperatures, which gives her even more options. I put together some of the coats I'm admiring this fall. See anything you like?

1. ASOS Multistich Ovoid Coat: I think I love this one because it reminds me of last season's cocoon coat from J. Crew. I dig the off center zipper.

2. ZARA Short Woollen Overcoat: Ever since seeing Erin Gates' post on leopard and pink, I am obsessed with the idea of getting a pink coat (and wearing it with leopard shoes).

3. EMERSON FRY Major Parka: I love everything Emerson Fry puts out, but she has particularly lovely coats. This is a nice middle ground between structured and casual.

4. J.CREW Long Field Jacket: This reminds me of a longer take on a classic Barbour and might just fit the bill for the cool but not cold DC days.

5. CLUB MONACO Samone Coat: Another variation on a pink theme, this coat looks so prim and ladylike. I would wear it to tea.

6. ZARA Woollen Wraparound Coat: The huge collar on this has me sold.

7. NEED SUPPLY CO. Teddy Coat: I am not sure that this is my sister's style, but it would fit me to a tee. I am feeling the grey this fall, and I love this light shade and boxy, almost masculine, cut.

8. ANN TAYLOR Floral Leopard Jacquard Topper: This wouldn't be good for an everyday coat, but it would certainly be pretty for a night out on the town.

9. JOIE Jaina Jacket: This one, on the other hand, would be the coat you reach for every morning. And a little fur never hurt...

10. MARLENE BIRGER Cheetah Coat: Because who doesn't need a cheetah coat?

While I know that my sis and I share a similar dream (this is her dream coat), there are lots of great options out there that are a little more attainable. Can't wait to see what she opens on her birthday!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday Beauty

I thought I'd share my current beauty wishlist with you today. The change of season's makes me want to change up my make-up and opt for some more muted colors and items to make my skin look dewy and fresh. I haven't tried any of these products, but I've been keeping a list from other blogs and magazines so that the next time I head to the make-up counter, I'll know what's hot:

GIORGIO ARMANI Fluid Sheer: A liquid highlighter seems to be just the thing for the colder months to keep my complexion warm and glowy.

DECLEOR Harmonie Calm: When the weather gets colder, skin often gets drier, so a good moisturizer is important to keep skin plumped and healthy.

BOBBI BROWN Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation: Because I think I might like to go with a little bit more coverage now that summer is over. This one has come highly recommended!

BOBBI BROWN Lip Gloss in Tea Berry: Can you ever have too many pinkish lip glosses? In case you weren't sure of the answer to that question, it is a resounding no.

RMS BEAUTY Lip2cheek in Demure: I am intrigued by this convertible color that would be great for keeping in my bag for lip and cheek touch ups on the go.

GUERLAIN Meterorites Pearls: I have been wanting to buy these for years. Apparently they make you look airbrushed and fabulous. Maybe it's time to bite the bullet?

BOBBI BROWN Rich Lip Color in Uber Beige: This looks like the perfect everyday shade.

CLE DE PEAU BEAUTE Concealor: No, I haven't been entirely dissuaded yet. 

What's on your beauty wish list or what are you using that I can add to mine? Do share!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Musings: On Reinvention

Sounds good to me.

My brain has been a mishmash of thoughts for the last four months, as I am sure you can imagine. I felt very disinterested in blogging over the summer primarily because just waking up every morning seemed like a herculean task given the nausea and general misery that was my life. But, now that that horrible fog has cleared, I have gotten excited again about this blog and it's possibilities.

Over the weekend, I met up with an old friend that I hadn't seen in almost ten years; we reconnected thanks to this blog. She had started reading along and reached out to me when she was moving to the San Francisco area. While we were talking over lunch, I mentioned why I started the this project in the first place.

I began my current profession straight out of college. I went to grad school, but continued to work while I was doing that. So, for the last nine years I've been doing the same thing, essentially. And it wasn't a profession I necessarily chose with intention. I sometimes feel more like I fell into it, and it fit in a lot of important ways, so I kept doing it. But, then there came a critical moment where I wondered if I had come too far to ever do anything else. I felt like my skills wouldn't allow me to venture into other professions should I want to give something else a go. And maybe that's true, and maybe it isn't. But, I've always been a believer that it is best to feel like you're choosing the life you have and not like you are existing by default.

So, I figured that a safe way to try something totally foreign to me would be to start a blog about all the frivolity I secretly adore but sometimes feel is at odds with my more academic career. Being the risk averse person that I am, I didn't have to give anything up to do it (save a great deal of my time), and I could see what else I might be capable of.

In a world where people live longer and longer, it seems possible to reinvent yourself over the course of your life. I have watched both my parents do it time and time again with different ventures and jobs that fit different phases of their lives. I think that possibility for reinvention is really exciting and also really scary. I enjoy what I do, but I also wonder what else my life could look like. This blog allowed me a tiny window into something different.

If I were to take a risk, what would I dream of doing? Maybe the answer is just what I'm doing right now. And maybe it's something I haven't even thought of yet. And maybe (actually, probably) I'm thinking about reinvention because I'm about to reinvent myself and my life if the most profound way possible...

Have any of you ever reinvented yourselves? I'd love to hear about it.