We spent Thanksgiving with friends in Oakland and spent the whole weekend at home in San Francisco. It was one of the first (maybe even the first!) times we had spent a full holiday in San Francisco, without going home to Nashville or London or away to Napa or Tahoe or Santa Cruz for the weekend. We definitely missed celebrating with family, but I can't even tell you what a lazy, relaxing weekend it was.
I didn't take any good Thanksgiving pictures, unfortunately, but we had a great time with friends and had lots to be thankful for. We also spent a lot of time with people this weekend, which I didn't capture at all either. Here are a few pictures I did snap of the weekend:
Pretty fall flowers, our Christmas tree that we just got and decorated today, Four Barrel coffee, and an unusual San Francisco view that I saw on my run to brunch on Saturday.
Exactly one month ago, we went down to Santa Barbara to celebrate year one of marriage. Jonny planned the whole trip, and we stayed in a super cute b&b and ate great food, walked on the beach, shopped around town, and enjoyed what we kept calling "real California." I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for a cute and relaxing getaway.
Literally five minutes after I wrote my failure post last night, I was watching a how-to video about installing a light fixture and decided to try one last thing we hadn't tried. And look what happened!
It works after all! Jonny and I are successful engineers! And it looks great - these wimpy iPhone photos don't do it justice. If you want to hire me to install a light fixture in your house, I'm there. Actually, just kidding. I hated doing this, and I got super grumpy with Jonny while we were trying to figure it out. I am really pleased with the result, though, and I'm proud that we were able to make it work.
See this new light fixture? See how cute it looks in our little entryway? See how there's no light coming from it? This is a case in point of why I should pay an engineer to do things like convert a plug-in light to a hanging light fixture rather than attempting to do it myself.
Jonny and I just spent the last hour and a half trying to figure this out, and we got nothing. We do have a new light hanging from the ceiling that wasn't there before, so I guess you could say that's a partial success, but there's no light coming from it and now I'm just ready to call it a night. If anyone knows of an engineer who can figure out how to make this light turn on, please let me know. I will be forever grateful. Won't it look awesome once it actually works?
Ok, that's all for now. Good night!
P.S. Sorry I haven't posted in a long long time. Life has been crazy busy.
I want to start sharing more of my favorite products on this blog, so I'm going to start with this bag by Lo and Sons that I love. It fits everything I need for a day at work - my computer, my workout clothes - including my giant size 10 running shoes!, and all of the zillions of other things I cart around every day. It has also been awesome to travel with - I've taken it to England, Italy, Indonesia, and Mexico in the past couple of months. And another great thing about it - Jonny isn't embarrassed to carry it around for me!
Back when I bought it months ago, black was the only color option, but now there are loads of different colors and new sizes too. They're also offering a sweet 35% off deal so if you want to give anyone a really nice Christmas present, or if you want to get yourself a really nice present, you should check it out.
Just got back from our dear friends Josh and Ashley's wedding in Cabo, and I wanted to share a few mini polaroids from the trip. It was an incredible weekend - we hung out by the pool, drank lots of beachy drinks, and got to connect with Ash and Josh's friends from all over. The actual wedding and all of the parties surrounding it were super fun too, and we tore up the dance floor (as you can see from about 40% of the pictures I took!)
We got to witness Josh and Ash officially get married at city hall this spring, and it was awesome to get to celebrate with them again with all of their family and friends in Mexico. Love you guys dearly!
This Saturday, we got to go on a helicopter tour of the San Francisco Bay. Some of our friends gave it to us as a wedding present, and on a recent day of life organization, we finally booked it. We started out in Sausalito, and we didn't really know what to expect. The other people in the group were foreign tourists, which, in San Francisco, is usually a bad sign. Once we got there and got up in the helicopter, though, it was seriously cool. We were snapping pictures like crazy the whole time because there was so much to see, but unfortunately the pictures don't do the sights justice.
When we boarded, it was so loud, and I was hunched over even though I knew the propellers were several feet above the door.
We had to wear the ear gear - I don't know the technical names for anything having to do with helicopters, so please forgive me. The pilot would talk to us about what we were passing, and when he wasn't talking to us, there were old school San Francisco songs playing like "San Franciscan Nights" by Eric Burdon and the Animals.
You can barely see it from this photo, but this is a point with a little lighthouse on it in Marin. The point overlooks the Golden Gate and San Francisco, and I saw really dreamy pictures taken from right by the lighthouse once. I had completely forgotten about it until we flew over it, but now I've got a visit to that lighthouse on my to-do list.
We flew over Ocean Beach and came past the Outer Sunset, an area of the city that I often forget about since I rarely go out that far. It was neat to see from the sky, though, and I was amazed by how perfectly straight all the streets were.
I was shocked to see the roof of the Cal Academy of Sciences looked like this. Makes me wanna visit that sometime.
A view of the city you don't see much from just over the edge of Golden Gate Park.
I've driven past the graveyard in the Presidio before, but I didn't really realize how vast it was until Saturday.
My absolute favorite part of the tour was flying under and then over the Golden Gate Bridge! The pilot hardly gave us any warning, and suddenly we were swooping down toward the water and looking up at the bridge from below.
We were loving having our new iPhone 4s's (4ses?) with cameras that were 1000 times better than our old school iPhone 3's.
We came back toward the financial district and circled the Transamerica building and Coit tower.
This picture, which I think is of Tiburon, looks like an old timey postcard to me. I love it.
We left Sausalito both agreeing that these views were some of the most beautiful we'd ever seen. If you're a San Francisco resident, or if you're just visiting the city, I would recommend this a hundred times over!
So it's been a few years since I've been living on a college campus, but I just read this article on The Campus as Runway, and it reminded me a little bit of Wake Forest. I actually think the article is kind of dumb, but it's true that more privileged college campuses (like Wake) do look like fashion shows some days.
I used to want to take pictures of friends and acquaintances at Wake wearing the same pieces and have an US Weekly-style "Who wore it better?" column in the student magazine. Too bad that idea didn't fly - I think it would have been a great success. It would've been this kind of thing for girls on campus who all had the same outfits:
Ok, so I can make an example of this with my sister since we look so alike anyways and there's no way you can tell who wore it better because we're wearing it exactly the same.
OR, there's this little gem from our glorious fifth year in Winston when Lydia and I wore the same dress, cardigan, and sunglasses to Carolina Cup:
I also think you could make a "Who wore it better?" for hipsters in the Mission. Oh, the possibilities...
I don't know if I've ever posted about a recipe I invented before! I feel like a real food blogger (if you trade a shoddy iPhone for a fancy camera and food styling). Yesterday I was at home with a fever, and I was getting really hungry but we had very little to eat in the house - some stale multi-grain cheerios, pork sausages, and, yep, I think that's about it. So I had to decide whether I wanted to get out of bed and leave the house to find food or if I wanted to get out of bed and try to make food using what we had. I decided to stay in and make muffins, and although they didn't fluff up beautifully, they actually tasted really good.
I really don't like super sugary muffins, so I tried to go easy on the sugar and use what we had to substitute for what we didn't. Here's how I did it:
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c oatmeal
4 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 lb butter
lots of blueberries!
Mix the dry and the wet separately, then put it all together and add blueberries. Bake for about 20 minutes at 400, then pull them out and eat them up!
Cookhouse is this super cool space in North Beach - it's basically a fully-equipped dream kitchen that can be used for events, cooking classes, and dinners with friends. You rent the space, cook using all of their state-of-the-art appliances, and when you're done, they clean up. My friend Sri is hosting a cooking class here next week, so I'll get to see the space in person while also learning how to make Indian curries. I'll be sure to report back, hopefully with lots of pictures.
On Saturday, we took a little tour of the bay. We went down to Atherton for poolside brunch and bocce with friends, then we drove up to Benicia for the best ribs ever at our friend Lauren's annual bbq at her parents' house. We were driving home from Benicia into the sunset over San Francisco with the top down, loving life, when all of a sudden we saw lights flashing behind us. Jonny got a ticket for going 21 over the speed limit!
Back in my younger years (starting about one month after I got my license), I got some pretty serious speeding tickets, but it's been years since I've been pulled over. This was, amazingly, my only good (if you can call it that) experience being pulled over - the policeman was chatty and funny, and he didn't give us an extra ticket for not having our registration with us. While being pulled over kinda brought us back to reality, it was still a beautiful day.
This may be a record for me - posting pictures within a few days of getting back from a trip. Without further ado, here's how I spent the last ten days in Indonesia.
We didn't spend a lot of time outside in Jakarta - we were mostly in an office. I did take a few pictures of our outings, though.
This is Monas, the national monument in Jakarta. The sky looks bluer here than it actually was. The picture below is a little more telling.
My travel buddy, Ben!
The malls in Jakarta were out of control. Like nothing I'd ever seen, even in Vegas. I wish I'd taken more pictures to show you how crazy this mall was. I mean, it was 11 stories! And it had everything you could ever imagine in it. (Except for my personal fave, Anthropologie!)
Ben ordered a hamburger one day, and the meat patty was about the same thickness as the slice of cheese, but the real kicker was that there was mayonnaise all over it! That - that looks like icing on the bun - is mayo.
Bali was beautiful (outside of crowded and touristy Denpasar). We were there for three days, and a big chunk of our time was spent visiting a partner in west Bali.
We passed by tons and tons of rice fields on our way out to west Bali, all of which were b-e-a-utiful.
More of the rice. (We also ate A-L-O-T of rice!)
We visited a few different borrowers who raised pigs. One woman we met had something like 30 pigs! They were smelly, and the big ones were a little scary, but they were also super cute.
This guy was waaay bigger in real life than this picture lets on. He was the mac daddy of the pigs - the father of the piglet above and father of most of the other 30 some pigs.
We also tried cacao, the plant that chocolate comes from. It was totally different from what I expected - I don't know what I thought chocolate came from, but not this. It was great though.
Bengkulu is a smallish town on the island of Sumatra where my little bro, Peter, is living for the semester. Being there was actually my favorite part of the trip, just because I got to see Peter's life and hang out with his friends.
The beach in Bengkulu was beautiful. It reminded me of St. Teresa (where my grandmother has a house in Florida) because it was so untouched.
Peter took me on his little motorbike to the beach the first afternoon I was there, and we got to watch the sun set.
We came back to the beach the next day, because Petey and his Indonesian friend Eeman were both getting baptized in the ocean.
It was so amazing to get to be there to see Peter get baptized and to celebrate with him.
Getting ready to head to the airport.
This was a typical sight on the way to the airport - Peter stopped and looking at the map. I think I mentioned that we got to the airport at 10:30 for a 10:45 flight, but amazingly, I made it!
Here's one final picture of the countryside that I snapped from the back of the bike on the way to the airport. Indonesia was a beautiful place, and the people were amazing. I'm glad I got to go, and I'd love to go back!