On Saturday in Berkeley I found hats! How great are these two Stetson and Scala hats? Love love them!
You have to picture them for the summer on the beach. But they are extra special looking to me because I could swear my Grandpa Bill used to wear them when he went out fishing on Walloon. My sister wasn't quite boiling over with the enthusiasm that I was in the store, but I came home, did some searching through my old family photos on my computer and ta-da! Nailed it!
Yup. That's Grandpa Bill. With virtually the same hat on. Rocking the nautical colors and cardigan in the summer heat. Basically in my head now, my new hat is a family heirloom. So, I definitely need to go back to the store to buy it.
Whenever I come out to California, I always feel like I am turned in a circle. Love the east coast but people in the Bay Area are just so effortlessly cool! Walking down the street, I am constantly checking out people's outfits and their take on style. Without fail, I start jonsing for a pair of boots. Soon after that I start wishing for jeans that will hang on me and blouses that are chic in that rolled up sleeve kind of way. It's that fresh faced with the perfect scarf look. The crisp jeans and coat look. It's that perfect balance of color and prints. And all in this natural, granola inspired-jcrew-vintage-healthy-gorgeous way. You know what I mean, right? No? Ok. Pictures to help you visualize.
The East Bay has been treating me well so far! We have been moving slowly and taking it easy but yesterday my sister and I went to breakfast at Rick and Ann's. Good times! Great little place in Berkeley. (I am pretty sure I went there years ago with S, but can't figure out when that would have been?).
We stopped in at Diesel Bookstore in Rockridge A family favorite since J+H met and had their engagement party there. I should have taken notes of their 100 staff recommended books.
We moved on and headed to downtown Oakland to go to the farmer's market in Chinatown. It was legit, loved it! There are so many farmer's markets around here it is as if they have their own personalities. I always liked the one across from the Grand Theatre by Lake Merritt. In a way, that says something about me. It's small and comfortable. The prices are also higher and people buy expensive coffee and bring their labrador and probably, in that California way, have an effortlessly chic outfit they throw on to buy vegetables. Whereas the Chinatown market is all business and it's cheap. People are just buying and selling. I didn't see dogs, not many kids, and I am sure no coffee since they wanted two hands to get at it!
Finally, we went to see "We Bought a Zoo". Y and I cried through a lot of it, my sister wanted to walk out halfway through! I give it a B/B+.
I have a serious case of wanderlust. It has been growing over the past couple months. I am trying to keep it in check, but I am not sure how much longer I can keep the lid on it. To try to assuage the mounting fever, I have been thinking of easy trips that are relatively close to DC. B and I had played with the idea of going to Charleston last year but never made it south. We also talked about doing a day-trip to Gettysburg for some Civil War excitement. Right now, I am fixated on a trip to Lancaster, PA in the spring/summer/fall of 2012.
I am working through lists and notes and emails that were abandoned and forgotten over the course of the year and I just came across an email from me reminding myself to check out Toki Underground. Wow! I just read up on the reviews and there is no question I will be heading their way come January. How could I have forgotten about ramen so close to home?!
It is over on H street and from all accounts the wait can be over an hour but it is entirely worth it. Just reading about the broth alone made my mouth water. Check out these pictures of the inside. You know you want to go with me!
Take a look at this site, StreetArtUtopia. Just a reminder to stop and look around, people can be so brilliant! A sampling below but looking at the whole collection is really quite something so click on the link.
Georgetown's Baked and Wired is a guilt-free zone. What I mean by this is it is just one of those places that offers such decadent and extreme baked goods that there's no debate about it. I walked in today and was like, "Ok. Ok. I am going to have to eat a chocolate mocha cupcake". You see, there was really no choice involved in the decision. If you are faced with a full counter of pies, cakes, brownies, and cupcakes of true quality there is no turning back. Guilt free I tell you. Guilt Free.
Seriously though, Baked and Wired. Amazing. Not just for the baked stuff but they have a fantastic coffee shop, two very cool spaces to sit, relax, internet, etc. It is just off of M street, tucked on a side-street and out of the rush. I highly recommend it!
The word of the day is stencils! Love em'. Who doesn't?! I have a history of stenciling, though I think the last thing I stenciled was a couple years ago when I decided to make my own wrapping paper. Been a while. Anyway, in Proper Topper, I saw this book of Lotta Jansdotter Stencils, and fell in love with it! Oh how I want to stencil again. I am afraid I would stencil everything in my path if I got this, so I held off, but man, if I could I would!
As promised, I stopped in to the newly opened Smucker Farms of Lancaster Co this evening. It was great, you should go. They opened on November 29th and from the sounds of it, so far so good! The shop has personality and a neighborhood feel. I talked with Eric for a bit, and the store's inventory is increasing by the day. In the back of the store, they even have charming handmade wooden toys. In case that isn't enough, he said they will likely be giving out free coffee in the morning starting soon and they bring in fresh bread (beautiful baguettes) every day! Go support your local store that is sourcing directly from farms and trying to take off! (And if you go, tell Eric that Mary sent you!!!)
Went to the White House last night with E&E to see the holiday decorations! EL had seen it all before (as in every day because she works there), but yet again, she patiently entertained herself as we photo-logged pretty much everything in the big house. It was beautiful and festive and cheerful and fun. Happy holidays everyone!!!
I am back on the grid. And, in celebration of the end of finals I thought I would pull out some exciting news!
First and foremost, I have found a new flash-sale venue, Stylish Patina. Very excited about this. It is close to the Chartreuse & Co sale out in Frederick (that I have mentioned here) and I will be paying a visit in January. Also, in Frederick, I want to visit this very cool looking shop downtown, Silk & Burlap and this other, Salvaged, next door. And, on down the road a bit, there is the Old Luckett's Store in Leesburg. Might just make for a great (long) day trip through Maryland/Virginia neighborhoods!
I have mapped out the plan of attack below!
P.S. Back here in the District, I realized today, that I have never stopped into the Foundry shop on U Street. Now, also on the to-do list.
Moroccan Oil! A came over for a quick glass of wine the other night and we got to talking about Moroccan oil. I keep seeing it referenced places, so it has been in my head lately. Apparently, it is the perfect remedy for winter dry hair. A spent last summer in Morocco and apparently uses it all over her face as a moisturizer. I guess it is a catch all. Kind of like windex is to your Greek grandfather. So yeah, I am going to give it a go and pick up a bottle of MoroccanOil!
My apartment to-do list is getting longer and I have been incredibly delinquent in following through on projects. I plan to remedy this situation very soon but in the meantime, one more project to add. Shelf Liner. I decided last week I need to get to it in my kitchen and here is what I am thinking of going with from the website I found appropriately dubbed "Chic Shelf Paper".
I like stripes and figure a little purple will mix it up. This will be getting done very soon, promise!
As promised, I am reporting back on an early trip to Tortilla Coast. ML and I stopped in for dinner and here is what I got for you (full disclosure: this was their soft landing so they are still working out the kinks).
Ambiance - 3.5
Food - 3.5
Service - 4.5
In short, not quite sure. The ambiance and design had so much potential and yet, why or why, did they opt for any kind of upholstered seating? It also just doesn't have much character or personality. Our meal was solid. The guacamole was actually very good. For entrees, we ordered the Mama's Enchiladas and Fish Tacos, and both fit the bill but nothing creative or new. (Note: I can't say anything about the drinks since I was on a quick study break). Our service was very good. Bordering on too attentive and they did mess up ML's tacos but the manager and waiter were so apologetic about it, it more than made up for it.
I guess what I conclude is, yeah, the food was good but it is just as good (if not a little better) 5 blocks up at El Centro DF and for the same price point you actually get some character, or at least some kind of concept and energy with the dining experience.
Remember Lands End? Our famsquad holds a special place in our hearts for Lands End because every summer on our pilgrimage driving back to Colorado from Michigan, we would stop at the Lands End outlet. Fond memories. Besides being a much needed bathroom stop, Mom would also disappear to probably reclaim a bit of her sanity after hours in the car with four kids. She also taught me to sort through the returned monogrammed merchandise since I have common initials. But then, you don't come to this blog for reminiscing, so I'll get on with it. Lands End is making a comeback! You heard it here first. Seriously. Look at what I happened upon this morning, Lands End Canvas. I'm not sure about some of what they have going on but there are some good finds in the mix.