Weekend In Palm Springs

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I've said it before and I'll say it again: summer in San Francisco is miserable. Last summer (our first summer here) I was seriously depressed because of the weather. Especially after living in LA for 6 years, it's was really hard to wear boots and scarves in the middle of July. So this year, I promised myself that we'd go somewhere warm at some point during the summer. We looked into trips to Mexico and Hawaii, but eventually settled on Palm Springs after finding some killer deals on flights & our hotel. Here are a few photos of our trip last weekend if you'd like to see... (click through to read more.)

4 Days in Paris

Monday, February 17, 2014

Yes, I know it's been almost 4 months since we got back from Paris. But, I figured a late blog post is better than no blog post at all. Since we got back, I've thought about those days in Paris almost every day. It's unlike any other city I've ever been to... it's magical. And I want to move there tomorrow.

It helped that our Airbnb apartment was amazing (and in the perfect location.) We stayed here - right on the Rue Vieille du Temple. There were cafes up and down our street, a bakery 2 doors down, and a gelato place across the street. It was heaven.

On our first day, we wandered around the 4th arrondissement - eating macarons and chocolate along the way. We stopped at L'as du Fallafel to eat the most amazing snack of our lives. Then we walked along the Seine at sunset and watched the city light up. We weren't super hungry at dinner time, so we kept it simple: savory & sweet crepes (from a little stand around the corner from our place) and gelato (obviously.)

The next morning, Zach and I headed towards the 7th arrondissement. We had the most amazing breakfast of our lives at Pain du Chocolate - a little restaurant that was recommended by a friend. We could barely order (thank goodness for those online French lessons!) but ended up with the most beautiful baguettes, and chocolate croissants, and soft boiled eggs, and 3 kinds of cheeses... (I'm salivating right now.)

From there, we walked down Rue Cler towards the Eiffel Tower. I thought it was going to be cheesy, but when you see it in person it's stunning (hence the bazillion photos of it on my Instagram feed.) Pictures just don't do it justice.

After that, we took a quick metro ride up to the Arc de Triomphe then headed to the Louvre & the Tuileries. To warm up, we stopped at Angelina for hot chocolate. Holy cow, guys: this was the best hot chocolate I've had in my whole life!

That evening, we took a long walk around the Bastille (I'd just read a novel about the French revolution) and the 11th arrondissement. For dinner, we ended up at Le Relais de l'EntrecĂ´te. They literally only serve 3 things: salad, steak and fries. You sit down, and they ask 1) whether you want white or red wine and 2) how you like your meat. Once you've finished your plate, they come around and give you seconds. There was a long line when we got there, but it went really fast. Zach and I still talk about how good place was. After that we ended up at Le Caveau des Oubliettes (an underground jazz club in the Latin Quarter) for the rest of the evening.

We spent our 3rd day in the Latin Quarter visiting Hemingway's old haunts. We pretty much ate all morning - croissants, chocolate truffles, and macarons from Laduree. For lunch, we grabbed a baguette from a bakery, cheese from cheese store, meat from a butcher, grapes from a little market and then picnicked on the tip of the Ile de la Cite. It was fun watching the boats pass on either side of the island.

We took an afternoon tour of Notre Dame which was really interesting. Then, we spent some time wandering around the Luxembourg Gardens. France has the best parks. It was November, and their gardens were still blooming and perfectly kept. It was impressive.

For dinner, we met our friends Jana & Shawn at Verjus for 7 courses of pure heaven. With them, we walked to see the Louvre light up and then caught a cab to the Eiffel Tower to see it sparkle. Nighttime in Paris feels so special.

On our last day, it started raining. And I started feeling sick with the flu. So, the day is a bit of a blur. We spent the morning in Montmartre. We ate at Rose Bakery, stopped by Moulin Rouge, and climbed the hill to Sacre Coeur. It was beautiful! I just wish it had been a sunnier day (supposedly it has the best view of Paris - we just couldn't see it because of the rain.) In the afternoon, Zach and I headed back to our apartment so I could take a nap (and do some quick shopping in Cos.)  I still felt sick around dinner time, so we cancelled our reservations at L'Agape (bummer...) and ran down the street to eat at Pink Flamingo Pizza instead. That way, I could crash before our 6am flight home the next morning.

Paris, you have my heart. And I will always love you. :)

Goals for 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Yes, I know this post is super typical (my resolutions for 2014!) But everyone knows that resolutions are more likely to stick when you write them down and tell other people. So here I am, being super cliche. Last year at this time, I didn't have the chance to think about my resolutions. We'd just moved to The City and I was just trying to keep my head above water. This year, already feels like a big breath of fresh air.

So here there are, in no particular order:

1.) Drink More Water. I've never liked water. It's so boring. But I bought myself a new water bottle, and have already been bringing it to the studio each day this year. So far, it's working!
2.) Sleep 8 Hours Each Night. This is a tough one. Zach's a night owl, and I end up staying up with him most of the time. That means I've been averaging 6-7 hours a night. Not good. I recently read this article about the effects of sleep deprivation and it scares me...
3.) Find a Workout Routine That Works. Ugh - I hate working out. But I'm determined to find a sustainable routine that works for me.
4.) Take A Photography Class. 
5.) Call My Long-Distance Friends At Least Once A Month. I'm the worst at this. But I want to get better.
6.) Plan Out My Outfits Each day. Stole this one from Jordan. I'm always rushed in the mornings, so I end up wearing the same 3 things every day. This year, I've started picking my outfits for the week on Sunday nights so I make sure I'm being creative with my clothes.

So, there you go. Resolutions! Do you have any this year?

2013 | A Year in Review

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I've probably started writing this post 10 times and still, I'm a little unsure of what I want to say about 2013. Overall, this year was so so good.... but there were also times where it was really hard too.

For instance, we've had so much fun exploring San Francisco, but it's been difficult making new friends and there are points when it's been really lonely. I absolutely love my job and look forward to work each day, but that means it's sometimes hard to put my computer away and focus on my personal life. We got the chance to travel a lot (which has totally ignited my wanderlust), but that makes it harder to be satisfied with our daily routine. And, Zach and I met so many interesting people... but we also grieved the passing of one of our dearest friends.

Life's a mixed bag. And all year, I feel like our "theme" has been learning how to live in this tension between good and bad, yes and no, hot and cold, black and white. We haven't quite figured out how to do this comfortably (maybe that's the point) but we've grown so much from trying.

Anyway, here are a few special moments from this past year:

A. After 6 years in Los Angeles, we packed up and moved to San Francisco on January 2. Starting over has been a total roller coaster, but I wouldn't change the experience for anything.

B. Then in February, I started as the Managing Editor at Oh Happy Day. It's been so incredible to work with (and learn from) so many creative people. Our team has huge plans for 2014 - and I'm so excited to be along for the ride!

C. Zach and I celebrated 2 years of marriage in March. Best 24 months of my life.

D. Zach's sister Kara and her husband Tim came to visit us in April. We spent the whole weekend eating tons of amazing food and exploring the city together.

E. In May, we drove down to LA for my friend Lindsay's baby shower. It was so fun to see all of our old friends and spend time with the beautiful mama-to-be. (Plus, I got to make all the decorations!)

F. Zach and I flew to Toronto for my cousin Jared's wedding in June.

G. In July, my little brother moved to San Francisco and now I get to see him every week! We haven't lived in the same city since he was in high school - so it's been fun getting to know him as an adult.

H. Summer in San Francisco is freeeeezing, so for my birthday in August we flew to LA to soak up some sun. Unfortunately, it was overcast the and cool the entire weekend in Venice. But, the trip was still a success because we got to eat at Gjelina. Yum.

I. My high-school friend Likzy got married at the end of August, so I made a quick 30-hour trip up to Portland for her adorable wedding.

J. Then a few weeks later, I turned around and flew to Toronto for my grandparents' 60th (!!!!) wedding anniversary.

K. October was crazy busy. Jordan (my boss) was in Australia for most of the month. When she got home, we both traveled to New York for a holiday event with Lowe's (all the details here.) We had a blast!

L. From there, I flew to London and met up with Zach and our friends, the Roth's. We spent 4 days wandering through every neighborhood and eating everything in sight.

M. Then, we took a train to Paris, where we spent another 4 days. It was such a magical adventure (more details and photos of that trip to come soon.)

December was quieter. I took some time away from social media, and tried (tried!) to unplug from all the distractions on the internet. We spent some time in Arizona for our friend Leah's funeral, then headed up to Portland to spend Christmas with my parents.

So, there you have it... 2013. I'm looking forward to setting new goals and having a fresh start in 2014. What about you?

4 Days in London

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A few people have been asking about our recent trip to Europe. So, I thought I'd consolidate all of our travel notes into one place... and my poor, neglected blog seems like the perfect spot. I can't believe it's already been a month since Zach and I met our friends Jana & Shawn in Heathrow Airport. Together, we had 4 days to explore the city - and we crammed them full of everything we could possibly fit in.

None of us slept on our flights, so we were all pretty exhausted on that first night. After settling into this Airbnb apartment in the Shoreditch neighborhood (which kind of reminded me of The Mission in SF or Venice in LA), we explored the area and grabbed dinner at Poppies. Supposedly, it has the best fish & chips in the city. But honestly, I don't even remember if it was good. We were so hungry and tired, we just devoured everything in sight.

The next day, we started at the Tower of London where we saw the crown jewels (and diamonds the size of baseballs.) We'd also heard from multiple friends that we needed to take the Yeoman Tour while there: it definitely didn't disappoint. During the tour, you basically follow the path the dead bodies took after they were executed (fun, right!?) But, no - it was really interesting to hear about all the crazy stuff that went down in the tower.

After that, we took a water taxi to the London Eye and Big Ben. We wandered around the West End, saw Buckingham Palace and St. John's Park, had lunch in Covent Garden and hot chocolate in Soho.

On Saturday nights, the Tate Modern is open late so we made sure to take advantage of the extended hours. They have a full room full of the most beautiful Rothkos. Zach and I probably spent 30 minutes in that room alone debating which one we'd prefer above our bed. For dinner, we attempted to have dinner at Dishoom, but a crazy wait time forced us across the street to Albion for meat pies.

On Sunday morning, Zach and I woke up early and headed to the Museum of London... which might have been my favorite activity the whole weekend. Basically, you walk through the entire history of the city - from when cavemen lived along the Thames to the Roman conquest to the Black Plague to World War 2 to today. It was totally fascinating to see how the city has evolved over time. I wish every city had a museum like this. We probably could've spent all day there, but we cut ourselves off after 3 hours so we could visit Camden Market and Camden Lock.

We wandered around the market stalls until we hit the canals. We followed those around Regent's Park to Baker Street (and a plethora of Sherlock Holmes paraphernalia.)

At this point, we were starving (and grumpy) so we stopped at The Providores for a snack. Holy cow - it was amazing! I wish I could eat there every day. Zach and I shared salmon eggs benedict and Turkish eggs (which were unlike anything I've ever tried before. These 2 beautiful poached eggs sat swimming in creamy sauce that you dipped toast into... I can't even. SO GOOD.)

That evening, we met Jana & Shawn for dinner at 100 Hoxton then headed to a fun speakeasy-themed bar called Nightjar.

On our final full day in London, the four of us headed to Notting Hill and I relived all my childhood fantasies of bumping into Hugh Grant. (Poor Zach.) Then, we attempted to ride bikes through Hyde Park - but there had been a storm the night before, and the park was closed for repairs (boo.) Instead, we wandered through Chelsea, got caught in the rain, and ducked into a little pub for cider, roast beef, and parsnip soup.

That evening, we met Jana and Shawn at Kopapa for dinner. It's owned by the same people as the The Providores (so, of course it was amazing.) Afterwards, we got to see Les Miserables at the Queen's theater on the West End. It was amazing.... and the perfect way to spend our last evening.

The next morning, we caught a train to Paris... but that's another story for another day. :)


Monday, September 30, 2013

On a recent adventure in Berkeley, Zach and I stumbled into a book shop for a break. We eventually found ourselves in the "San Francisco" section where I started flipping through Lonely Planet's guide to the city. I'm usually skeptical about guidebooks, but this one was particularly awesome. I was super impressed with their top picks - they kept mentioning restaurants, bars, and spots that Zach and I love and would totally recommend to our friends. So, I feel like they have a good pulse on our city. Needless to say, I ended up buying three of their guidebooks (the San Francisco one and, of course, London and Paris.) And, I've officially now read them all cover-to-cover. I'm obsessed.

What about you? Do you have a favorite guidebook series?


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

You guys, there are only 5 more weeks until we head to Europe! So, I've been getting into the mood by re-watching some of my favorite movies based in London:

And Paris:

Am I missing any? I'd love to hear your recommendations!!
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