Tones

chic and simple

chic and simple

chic and simple

chic and simple

Joie pants (old), Haute Hippie top (old), Vince Claire Pumps (also here), Tory Burch clutch (old)

So I’m finally taking a painting class. I’ve wanted to do one for awhile, just for fun, and so has a friend, so we decided to become accountabilibuddies and take one together.

It’s an acrylics class and I find it really satisfying that you get to glob paint on and it dries really quickly. It’s not that I’m amazing at it (might have something to do with the aforementioned globbing technique), but it feels good to zone out for a few hours each week and really be in the moment.

I’m trying to channel that flow today for the work week. Here’s an (unintentional) mix of a painterly print, tones and tints. Happy Tuesday!

Valentine’s Day

date night

date night

date night

date night

date night

Nicholas bustier (also here), Joie leather jacket (old), vintage necklaces and bracelets (similar here and here), A.L.C. Small Davenport bag (small sold out, full-size here), Current/Elliott boyfriend jeans (old), Manolo Blahnik heelsStila lipstick in “Beso”

The holiday of consumerism and love came early this year. Chris will be out of town next weekend for our friend’s bachelor party so we celebrated Valentine’s Day this weekend instead, with some flowers for me and dinner for us. I was excited to wear this bustier again for the first time since New Year’s Eve.

Next weekend will be filled with low-key revelry too, in the form of a night in with girlfriends. Plenty of love and sour gummy candy to go around!

 

Stripe Season

Amour Vert Francoise shirt

Amour Vert Francoise shirt

Amour Vert Francoise shirt

Erica Tanov tie sandals

Amour Vert Francoise shirt

It feels like spring in San Francisco and the season calls for a striped shirt! Actually, winter called for one too but who’s counting. This is what I wore to Superbowl Sunday. I don’t have Patriots or Seahawks ties but I didn’t spill pizza on my clothes, so I still felt like a winner at the end.

Amour Vert Francoise tee, Blank jeans (old, similar cute ones here and here), J. Crew belt, Clare Vivier oversized clutch (clutch sold out, messenger style here), sandals from Erica Tanov (only in store, and you should definitely go if you live in the Bay Area since the shop is so stinking cute, but I also own and love this similar pair), Stila Beso lipstick

Carmel

Carmel Monterey outfit

Carmel outfit

Carmel Monterey outfit

Carmel outfit

ASOS plaid scarf (I also like this one), AG jeans, Amour Vert top, Joie leather jacket (old), Nine West Vintage America boots (old), Alexander Wang tote (sold out in white, black silicon version here), Ray-Ban Aviators

We spent the past few days in Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur because one of Chris’ favorite activities is taking trips over long weekends. Who am I to stand in his way? Our stay was filled with sea lions, butterflies (in the thousands at Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary) and some really peaceful beaches. More photos to come.

So far, so good on my 2015 intention of traveling as much as possible. And on the traveling front, AFAR magazine asked me to share some packing tips recently – you can check it out over here.

Mom’s Chai

Recipe: Authentic chai.

Recipe: Authentic Chai

Recipe: Authentic Chai

Recipe: Authentic Chai

Chris tends to rank food and experiences, like “this is probably among my top three xyz I’ve ever had”. It’s just the way he operates. I don’t really like to catalogue dishes that way, because maybe I’ve forgotten some things, and I don’t want to be responsible for items I don’t remember. But. I will make an exception for chai.

The best cups of chai I’ve ever tasted are made by Namaste Cafe in Minneapolis, and by my mom. I’ve seen her make it all throughout my existence and it looks really simple. But Chris and I have both tried recreating it and it’s not the same at all.

My mom says her secret ingredient is love. But I’m pretty sure I was messing up the recipe. So this time, I decided to document her exact steps. In the spirit of the season (if you can still call it that), I’m sharing them with you. So here we go:

Ingredients

  • 2-inch cinnamon stick (you’ll only use 3/4 of it)
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 peppercorn
  • 1 clove
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (we used skim but my mom prefers at least 2%)
  • 2 black tea bags (we used Lipton)
  • Optional: Honey

Instructions

  1. Coarsely ground cardamom pods, clove and peppercorn. (See first image below.)
  2. Smash the middle of the cinnamon stick until it breaks into large pieces. Use 3/4 of the 2-inch cinnamon stick and remove the rest of the cinnamon.
  3. Boil water with spices.
  4. Once water turns golden (see second image below), add two teabags.
  5. Once tea stains water a dark amber (see third image below), add just one cup of milk to the pot.
  6. Wait for tea to come to a full boil again for about 10 seconds.
  7. Turn heat off and let steep for another 30 seconds. If too dark, add remaining milk.
  8. Sweeten with honey to taste.

Side note: “Chai” means “tea” in Hindi, so no need to say “chai tea”.

Enjoy!

Sundays

denim on denim

jenni kayne chain d'orsay flats

denim on denim

denim on denim

denim on denim

Madewell chambray shirt (sold out — I also want this one), AG Legging Ankle 11 Years Swap MeetRay-Ban Clubmaster Sunglasses, Cuyana Leather Tote, Jenni Kayne Chain D’Orsay Flats (love the slingbacks, too)

I have discovered the key to transforming Sunday from the day of worrying about Monday into a great day. Back when I lived in Minneapolis (my home for two years, awhile back), my friends and I used to do game nights on Sundays. It was the best.

Then for the past many years, I’d had no particular routine. Now every Sunday (if we can help it), we spend the afternoon with our friends and their baby. Whenever I wear these jeans, he points to my knees with his little baby fingers. And I realize that yes, the baby is on to something, that it is kind of funny that I enjoy jeans that expose my kneecaps. And that he is a very, very cute kid. And that once again, Sundays are great days.

Easy Does It

leather and sneakers

denim and leather

Reebok Skyscape Chase Print Sneakers

leather and sneakers

denim and leather

Skyscrape Chase Sneaker (thanks to Reebok), Brighton leather pants, Forever 21 denim jacket, Sweet & Spark bracelets, Ray-Bans, Clare Vivier messenger bag, Splendid Very Light Jersey V-Neck Tee

Lots of good memories tied up in wine country — travels with friends, tons of trips (and marriage!) with Chris, and most recently a day with family when my mom came to visit. A highlight was certainly running into a tiny, docile horse. (That mane though.)

I often take jaunts to Napa as an excuse to get a little fancy, but it felt right to just wear easy pieces to enjoy the final days of the holiday before the new year. The denim jacket and leather pants I’ve had for awhile now, and my new kicks are ridiculously comfy. Like little pillows. In fact, I was reading the reviews here and apparently someone went to bed with them on.

Hope you’re settling in to a great start to the new year.

New Year

simple & chic

simple & chic

simple & chic

simple & chic

simple & chic

simple & chic

Rag & Bone Splatter TankRay-Ban Clubmaster Sunglasses, Joie jacket, AG Legging Ankle JeansSweet & Spark bracelets, Manolo Blahnik heels, Alexander Wang Prisma Tote, Stila lipstick in “Beso”

Among the merriment I unfortunately got sick last week. I watched a bunch of TED Talks on Netflix and it totally helped me with my New Years resolutions. One of the “life hacks” series was “the happy secret to better work“. I won’t ruin it for you because the speaker is good (no surprises there), but as cliche as it is, gratitude, journaling and meditation were on the list. I’ve been dipping my toes in the latter two so I think I’ll have to try to amp up my gratitude in 2015.

I also have a bunch more resolutions and it will be impossible to keep them all. Where is the TED Talk on setting achievable goals?? Until then, another aim is to simplify. Featured here are some of my basic wardrobe work horses, plus a new top that’s perfectly drapey and really, really soft.

Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie

Chocolate hazelnut smoothie

Chocolate hazelnut smoothie recipe

Chocolate hazelnut smoothie recipe

Chocolate hazelnut smoothie

Anything that tastes like Nutella says “holiday cheer” to me. It’s a delicious combination of rich, sweet and salty. So good! Normally I like this drink with a little bit of sea salt on top, so the first sip is extra savory. But it’s also good with a sprinkle of nutmeg, since it’s the holidays.

I used the Pressed Juicery “chocolate almond” flavor as a starting point.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 1/3 cup rice milk (or any milk)
  • 5 dates
  • 1 healthy pinch salt
  • Optional: Sprinkle of nutmeg

Instructions: Blend.