I love being a tourist in my own city. I’ve been to the Mission District before, but hadn’t been in a while. With Tartine Bakery on my mind, a trip to the refreshingly cool neighborhood was due. After an amazing lunch (Three Cheese Tasting sandwich - one third each of Bellwether Carmody, Straus Cheddar, Idiazabal) and picking up a few Morning Buns at Tartine, discovering local art and shops through the streets was a nice way to spend the afternoon. Before heading home, a stop at Bi-Rite Creamery – conveniently a few steps away from the car – was completely necessary. Brown Sugar with Ginger Caramel Swirl ice cream? Yes, please!
[Taken with my iPhone]
Food automatically tastes better when it looks good enough to Instagram. I posted the bottom two on my favorite app, but the top two were definite contenders. Clearly I’m into eating things with berries and chocolate according to my recent food documentations. The top left is one of my favorite breakfasts: Greek yogurt with honey topped with fresh berries and a sprinkling of homemade granola. The top left is a waffle made with Hodgson Mill Buckwheat Pancake Mix. The bottom left is organic oatmeal with fresh berries from La Boulange, and the bottom right are my mom’s famous chocolate chip cookies. Pretty food, I love you.
[Taken with my iPhone]
My trip to New York last week was nothing short of amazing. The medley of delicious foods, picturesque sights, and one-of-a-kind vibe found only in New York City already has me hoping for a chance to return soon. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t like (except when Thursday's snow turned to slush and my shoes became sponges), but my favorite part of my trip was just wandering through the streets and soaking up the atmosphere of the city. I truly “heart” NY!
Unlike Southern California, where the air seems perpetually warm, the air in the Bay Area is cool and refreshing. I love walking in the woodsy area close to my home, but nothing compares to the beauty of Muir Woods. Over the weekend, my mom and I drove across the Golden Gate to Mill Valley, and after victoriously securing a parking spot - take that, angry BMW driver - we wandered through the National Monument. Aftering admiring the stunning redwoods, seeing Coho salmon swimming upsteam, and listening in on the comedic conversations of fellow visitors, we went for lunch at the Pelican Inn just a few minutes away. The Inn's atmosphere was British perfection; the fogged windows from the outside rain made it even more storybook-like. A very worthwhile trip across the bridge!
The Pelican Inn (photos taken with my Nikon D40)
With just a few minutes left of Christmas, I wanted to savor the last of the most wonderful time of the year. Taking pictures is one of my favorite things to do, and whether I'm equipped with my iPhone or Nikon D40, I am always looking to capture picturesque moments as memories. It's not even over yet, but I already have fond memories of this Christmas and holiday season, via pictures and in my mind.
1. Singing Christmas Songs
My roommate and I started listening to Christmas music the second week of November, and though it didn't feel quite right until after Thanksgiving, spreading Christmas cheer in the best way (singing, of course) for the past few weeks is something I'm already excited to do again next year. I love Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?", but there are so many good Christmas songs that it's hard to choose a favorite. I do love Michael Bublé; his voice was made for Christmas. The same goes for Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett...I really can't choose just one.
2. Eating Christmas Food
I'm a self-proclaimed foodie, and am one of those people who takes pictures of their food. (Note: I am not one of those people who utilizes the #foodporn hashtag.) Christmas food is the best food, in my opinion. I love chocolate and peppermint, and the month of December actually promotes this heavenly pairing. It even suggests cookies and hot cocoa to go with it!
My family's Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners are so, so good. Christmas Eve is Italian food, with ravioli, focaccia, and sacripantina cake – all from North Beach in San Francisco. Christmas Day is British, with Yorkshire pudding, prime rib, mincemeat pies, and this year's addition: iced fruitcake from England. The bakery we ordered from is the same place that made the cookies here and here. I'm still in a food coma from these feasts, and will most definitely be at the gym tomorrow morning.
3. Spending Time With Friends Family
Having a month off from school is awesome. No school = no worries! Academically speaking, anyways. Gift-wrapping was a major worry for me up until last night. Seeing "old friends" (I feel so old saying that) and hanging out with my family has been amazing. Especially at this time of year, as another 12 months have gone by, it's important to reflect on how blessed you are. Clarence, from my favorite Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life, said it best: “No man (or woman!) is a failure who has friends." I am so grateful of the incredible friends and family I have, and am looking forward to entering a new year in just a few days with this mindset.
I hope you had a very merry Christmas!!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
When I was home over Thanksgiving break, I wanted to go to base of the Golden Gate Bridge to see where the infamous scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (here) was filmed. There are fences that block viewers from getting too close to the water -perhaps to avoid incidents like Madeleine's from the movie - but the stunning views and eerie atmosphere, thanks to the notorious San Francisco fog, made venturing out to this location worthwhile. I had to take advantage of the setting by channeling Kim Novak as Madeleine, summoning my inner Hitchcock Blonde, as seen in the photos below. I unfortunately neglected to dress the part; perhaps next time I visit the base of the bridge I'll go all out in an outfit that Hitchcock himself would be proud of.
I was lucky enough to have a week at home for Thanksgiving break and I was sure to spend every second wisely. I spent quality time on the couch with my pets, met up with old friends, adventured through the city, and ate amazing, non-dorm food. I can't wait for Christmas break in just a few more weeks - I'm off for a whole month! Here are some of my favorite pictures from the break:
My first trip home from college came and went all too quickly. I miss my family and pets already! The majority of my time was spent watching movies at home or playing with our new puppy, but on Saturday my mom and I went to the city. After an afternoon of shopping, we went to Bloomingdale's at Westfield Centre where Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere had the final stop of her book signing tour. Meeting one of my favorite bloggers - one who inspired me to pursue writing and start a blog of my own - was all I had hoped it would be. Emily was so sweet and genuine and of course looked amazing. Though the weekend went by at a faster pace than I would have liked, I am grateful for every moment I was able to spend with those I love most. Let the countdown to Thanksgiving Break begin!
35 more days...
You can see other pictures from my weekend at home here.