Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tahoe Skiing

Lake Tahoe
beautiful lake tahoe photos via bleh and cellissimo

I'm taking a mini-vacation to Lake Tahoe next week! I've never been there, and could not be more stoked for this trip. I'll be taking next Friday off work, flying up to San Francisco Thursday night, then heading out to Tahoe from there.

Forrest is essentially letting me crash the Yelp ski trip. 30 of us are renting a cabin that's intended for 18 people. (How awesome does it look?) I can't wait to make new friends, sit next to a fireplace, stargaze in the cold, take some photos, and ski my little heart out.

Have you ever been to Tahoe? I've been day-dreaming, and scanning flickr photos for weeks. The snowy beaches look surreal! Would you walk down a snow-covered pier? I think I'd be scared of falling into the freezing water.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beautiful Essay


"When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall. You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and hard and cold and impregnable as you possibly can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman’s second glance, a child’s apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words I have something to tell you, [...]"

Monday, February 25, 2013

For the Winter Weary

IMG_6275 IMG_6287
Sometimes (especially toward the end of February) we just need a little color, no?


Last week was pretty tough. In addition to battling sickness myself, my friend broke his heel on Wednesday. I ended up spending Wednesday night in an emergency room trying not to puke at the sight of people in need of immediate medical attention. (Can you tell I hate hospitals?)

I am finally starting to feel like myself again. Methinks getting 12 hours of sleep a few days in a row had something to do with it. Wishing I could skip this week and have another lazy weekend instead. Who's with me?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cute Sunnies

shark in the water

I've been a fan of cheapie-cheap sunglasses for quite some time now. How cheap? Let's just say you can buy 7.5 pairs of my sunglasses with what you'd spend on this cute sunnies case.

I tend to lose/break things. And once every few months somebody sits down in the passenger seat of my car (precisely where I store my sunglasses - duh!) and I say bye-bye to my now-broken-in-half-perfectly-slightly-cat-eye sunnies. While I would be disappointed if they cost me $300, I almost welcome it with cheapie ones. It means I get to shop for another pair. Another chance to be mysteriously beautiful behind dark shades! Yay!

But every time I watch a TV character (Don Draper, mostly) put on his/her Ray Bans, my heart skips. Is my cheap sunglasses philosophy all wrong? My ex-boyfriend swore by his (expensive, albeit goofy :) Oakleys. Are any of you in the splurge camp?

PS. These sunnies also look divine!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sick Again

chicken noodle soup
photo via smittenkitchen

Despite being sick just 3 months ago, I came down hard and fast with something nasty the day before yesterday. I felt just fine all through the weekend. Went to work with a sore throat on Tuesday and, after a couple of hours of trying to tough it out, I decided to go home. Got takeout pho (3-star rating can suck it, this pho is delicious) on the way home, gargled salt-water (read: sounded like chewbacca taking a shit) for 15 minutes, did a bunch of work, but by 3 o'clock I could not concentrate.

I was shivering under all the blankets I own + warm laptop + two very warm cats. By 5 PM, I was totally convinced my brain was boiling inside my head (too much House?), I wasn't going to make it to see the sunrise. All that was left for me to do was throw up and die. Around 7, my friend showed up with NyQuil and aspirin. He helped me move to the bed. I cried and fell asleep.

I didn't even brush my teeth!

Woke up at 9 AM the next day, and felt incredible. It might have just been the delta between completely shit-tastic and normal, but I felt like I could run up Mt. Everest wearing shorts, t-shirt, and my toe-shoes. I'm super glad this sickness didn't linger for too long. I don't think I've ever had it this bad and this fast, but I have to say, I prefer it to feeling general malaise all week.

I still have some cleanup work to do. Actually looking forward to washing all my sheets in hot water and airing out the comforter in the clean cold air tomorrow.

Did you get sick this season? Here are some tips I'm bookmarking for the next time I get sick. Is it weird that I'm looking forward to getting sick so I can re-watch all my favorite Wes Anderson movies? (Just kidding.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Working from SF

working from SFMOMA

I got to work from home this last Friday.

And by home, I mean, I drove up north to work across the street from Yelp's office at SFMOMA. Despite having VPN problems I actually got a lot of work done. It was nice to have a change of scenery, having faster build times (go SSD, go!), chugging down very expensive Blue Bottle coffee and sharing a giant blob of burratta cheese on a bed of beets and greens for lunch with Forrest.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Things That Made My Week

(photo via luminousatmosphere)

How was your love week? I spent most of the week being anxious/excited about Valentine's Day. (And I have face pimples to prove it! Gah.) Mainly stressing out over picking the best sugar cookie recipe. Silly, I know. I'm in the Bay Area for the weekend. Really excited to dance at Alonozo King Ballet and to eat some burratta cheese salad with Forrest!

Here are some things that made me happy this week:
- days are getting longer! yay!
- blooming trees right next to my ballet studio
- dog shaming blog (especially this one)
- these honest valentines (thanks, JZ!)
- getting a heartfelt message from my blog-friend
- this
- wearing my hearts shirt on v-day and not feeling even a tiny bit cheesy

I love y'all with all my butt. (I'd say "my heart" but my butt is bigger, obviously.) What made YOU happy or glad this week? 

On Money

There are so many beautiful blogs I love to read. The authors are such an inspiration to me. They're incredible cooks, skilled photographers, lovely hosts, loving mothers, and, in general, kick-ass women. All the awesome notwithstanding though, I have not found a single blog that I can align my life philosophy with. (This is probably due to most objectivists being weird birds with poor taste. Or, you know, they might just have better things to do than write a blog about making pistachio ice cream or the best red lipstick.)

Now, I don't want to talk shit about liberals because a) my views align with liberal views more than they align with conservative; b) a lot of them are cool cats. My best lady-friend is a filthy liberal to the core, god bless her. (I actually wrote a limerick about our unlikely friendship. I'll share it with you one day.) In between reading about awkward dates and Scandinavian parenting practices, I hardly even notice the underlying shame of money and the penchant for self-sacrifice in my favorite blogs. It's things like this post and this article (linked to by rmtl) that put our differences in sharp focus. Take this quote (from the aforementioned article) as an example:
"Concord had been discovered again, but the new settlers were less guilty about their money because they had made it, not inherited it. The new money bred arrogance, while the old money bred eager-to-please guilt—that great, undervalued neurosis."
I don't have much to say in response to this way of thinking about money that Rand hasn't said herself. So I'll leave you with an excerpt from one of my favorite speeches in Atlas Shrugged.
"So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them."
"If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose–because it contains all the others–the fact that they were the people who created the phrase ‘to make money.’ No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity–to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words ‘to make money’ hold the essence of human morality."
Do your favorite blog authors have similar political views as you? Is it even important?

PS. LOVE ya, JZ! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

i hold you close to my heart
(photo via musesyndrome)

Are you doing anything special? I baked a ton of heart cookies last night. (These cookie cutters are the best.) I made one regular and one strawberry batch. Really wanted to make a pink-lemon glaze, but kind of ran out of time last night. They were still delicious, and I really enjoyed watching people gobble them up at work!

Valentine's Day is not only about romantic love for me. It's one of my favorite holidays, even when I'm single. I love having an excuse to write notes to people about why they're special to me, making heart-shaped treats, seeing red balloons and flowers being delivered. What could be better?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Washi Tape

This past weekend, Forrest, his two friends, and I found ourselves in Santa Monica hungry for lunch. Forrest (who, as a true asian, is obsessed with all things asian) suggested we go to Mitsuwa for ramen. I can't speak for the food, but that place has an awesome selection of weird Japanese products. I took my time browsing groceries (strange KitKat flavors anyone?), the book/video store, and other miscellany. One of the things that intrigued me was the array of colorful tape. It's called washi tape. Have you guys ever heard of it?

I hadn't. Upon further inspection (via a google search), I realized I may be living under a rock. Everyone and their mother has been doing cool things with this miracle of a tape. This is just a tiny sampling:
light-switch plates can be not white and not tacky (who knew?)
- cute card-making and cheap gift-wrapping
- prettying up your keyboard
- making your boring pencils look like designer pencils
- if I had notebooks and/or a datebook, I'd totally put washi tape all over that shit
- noncommittal wall-decorating
- fun for kids!
personalizing straws (obviously)

I'm definitely jumping on this removable tape bandwagon (if only to funkify my kitchen pencils). Want to get your washi tape on also? Don't want to trek to a Japanese market in Santa Monica? Neither do I. Here are the places that sell it: amazon, etsy, amelia.

(photos via etsy, minted, and etsy again)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Things That Made My Week


It has been pretty cold in this neck of the woods. (Cold for LA that is. 46F right now, but feels like 40F. Sympathize with me here.) The cats have been sleeping under down comforter with me, my dutch oven is getting a ton of use, I made pumpkin cinnamon roll dough in anticipation of a cold Saturday morning. Staying warm, cozy, and (hopefully) lazy.

What are you up to this weekend?

Here are some things that made me happy this week:
wishing I had these guys' job
a very accurate illustration of my current state
patagonia sale!
this hilariously perfect video (which reminds me: I still haven't watched Girls!)
yawning maddie puppy (via joanna)


Frozen Lake Baikal - People on Ice
frozen lake baikal via dave oakley

I sound like a broken record, maybe it's just one of the symptoms of being 22 (cue TS) (ha! did I just trick you into clicking on a taylor swift song?), but this shit is stressful. There are so many opportunities, so many choices. Each one makes me anxious like the world is going to end if I don't make the right decision. I'm unsure of anything. I feel sloppy.

One thing that has sort of helped is thinking about this year's travel plans. I think about Lake Baikal, about how old and constant it is, about how it's frozen right now. It almost feels like it's waiting for me. It helps to know that it will be there regardless of how many mistakes I make between now and August 9th. I'll breathe in that warm summer air and be calm knowing something finally went according to plan. (Did I just jinx it?)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Soft-Boiled Eggs

soft boiled eggs

I have been on a soft-boiled egg kick lately. You know why? Because after 22.5 years on this planet I finally learned how to consistently make them. There is nothing more frustrating than getting up early to make Buttery Herb-Gruyere Toast (which smells of heaven), then cutting into the egg only to find out the yolk is hard and totally not dip-able. Heartbreak tastes of delicious garlic gruyere toast and crumbly yolk, friends. It does not taste good.

I changed my mind soon after I bee-lined for the new issue of Cook's Illustrated on Sue's kitchen counter a few week ago and stumbled upon the feature on soft-cooked eggs. CI definitely has a knack for making things unnecessarily complicated. Who wants to read three pages of instruction for such a simple dish? (I do!) I can see how it's a turn-off to most people. Let me distill it to 3 sentences for you.

Fill a pot with enough water to come up roughly 1/2 inch, and bring to boil. Gently lower the eggs in the water (which won't cover the eggs), cover the pot, and boil/steam for 6 minutes and 30 seconds. Run cold water over the eggs, peel, and enjoy the runny yolk goodness.

Whole wheat tortilla and avocado is entirely optional. Freshly ground pepper is not.all done!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Center Part

Lady-friends, how do you make the center part look good? It makes no sense. When I catch myself in the mirror accidentally rocking the center part, I instinctively sweep some of it to one side. I look like such a goon.

Straight hair with a center part is all the rage this season. I want to be symmetric like a J.Crew model too! :(

Monday, February 4, 2013

Awesome Tattoo

photos from tattly

My coolest friend, JZ, has always wanted a tattoo. But since it's hard to commit to anything permanent, she is settling for the temporary kind. (I'm with you in the wussy camp, J!)

I love the design that she picked. It's so uplifting. It'd be so awesome to have as a reminder of what's the most important. Best of all - it only lasts a few days.

If it were me, I'd pick this and this, or the whole inspirational section. You?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Photogenic Subjects


Holy shit. Either I'm getting really good at photography or it's the super photogenic subjects, but my photos from last weekend look awesome. (Said the photographer to herself.)

IMG_5993 IMG_6051 

Thanks for being adorable, Vova and Elyse (and moss :)! More photos here, if you'd like to see.

Things That Made My Week


This week was exciting and difficult at the same time. I got a ridiculous promotion and raise at work. I still can hardly believe it. The trust that my superiors have put in me is overwhelming (in the best way). I'm just afraid I won't live up to their expectations.

Forrest is coming down to visit me this weekend. I'm stoked! I think we might endeavor to make some fresh pasta. I'm also looking forward to laying on the floor in the morning sun with the cats, taking time to eat breakfast, being in town for my Saturday ballet class, and sitting by the fireplace on Sunday.

What are your plans this weekend? Are you watching the Super Bowl?

Here are some things that made me happy this week:
this incredibly soft shirt (ugh. I wish it was machine-washable.)
Feist's Metals album
getting inspired by these cakes
hilarious video about wedding invitations (via joanna)
re-discovering my stash of macadamia nut chocolate dipped cookies

but mostly this album and this song