Sunday, July 23, 2017

to watch.

Are you all watching The Handmaid's Tale? Ben and I started watching last week when we had nothing else, and wow, it is good. And talk about timely, it definitely hits close to home. The acting is fantastic and while I know I read the book a long while back, I don't remember much of it, and the storyline will hook you from the start! We would both recommend it, just brace yourself!

Oh yeah, and if you don't have Hulu, you can sign up for the first month free and binge like we are!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

blousey.

A colleague at work has this Everlane blouse and it is beautiful. In fact, she loves it so much she has it in white, black and rose! Isn't it simple and lovely? They are currently sold out in my size, but she told me that regularly happens, so I am just checking and waiting for it to come back in stock to buy my own in white...and just thought you might like it too!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

bobby.

I plowed through this biography, Bobby Kennedy, The Making of a Liberal Icon, in Michigan last week. This is the fourth book I've read about Bobby, I am unabashedly a big fan of Camelot. This was a brilliant read. Fair and circumspect and full of super interesting detail from his work for McCarthy, on Congressional committees and of course later as AG, Senator and candidate. If you're looking for a profile of a complicated and contradictory figure while at the same time inspiring and genius - a strong dose of Kennedy can do that for you!

Monday, July 10, 2017

walloon.

We are just back from Walloon and getting back into the routine. Ben and I headed up for the 4th of July week and overlapped with my Mom for a couple days. It was Michigan at her best. We had great weather, mornings on the dock drinking coffee, grilling every night with ice cream in Walloon and otherwise just a full week of relaxing. We're bias but there is truly no better place in the world, if you ask us!

Monday, June 12, 2017

star struck.

I went down to Los Angeles this weekend for some much needed QT with Ali and it was the perfect getaway weekend with my first lady! I had never spent any time in LA and the city is just cool. It also helped that Ali grew up there and has recently moved back and has the pulse on the city and is the ultimate host.


We packed in a lot in 48 hours. And that included a dinner in Santa Monica at a small little Italian restaurant (that only Ali and her sister, Emily, would know to take us to) and it just so happened that Woody Allen and Diane Keaton were there, as well as Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga! It was epic. And here are some of the other highlights in case you are interested - hat-tip to Ali on all of them....

  • SQIRL ~ Breakfast - they are not kidding around about the ricotta toast at this place!
  • Cafe Stella ~ Dinner - perfectly french cafe tucked in the very cool Silver Lake neighborhood. 
  • The Farmer's Market ~ Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner - super cool and the original outdoor market in LA - you can wander the stalls. We got tacos at La Lotteria and they hit the spot!
  • Giorgio Baldi ~ Dinner - little Italian place on a corner in Santa Monica and turns out is a gold mine! 
  • Lincoln Pasadena ~ Breakfast/Lunch - super cool cafe with indoor and outdoor seating and perfect for a laid back bite (bonus: super cute looking store as well to window shop after!). 
On Saturday, we also ended up on quite the hike to get up and behind the Hollywood sign. It was a true hike, if you're interested, we hiked up Cahuenga Peak and then over to Mount Lee - more or less this same hike. And on Sunday, Ali and I went to check out the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Damn - that is huge and overwhelming. 

Not pictured and listed are drives through West Hollywood, Larchmont neighborhood and Brentwood. I also got to finally meet Ali's niece, Charlotte and catch up with Emily and Roy. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

rocked out.

It has been a long DIY hiatus for me. I haven't had a lot of motivation and our place also is small and there really haven't been projects to do. Except for one. When Grandpolly died this rocking chair was something she passed down to me. The story I always heard about the chair is that some of my grandfather's patients who couldn't pay their bills used to pay him with what they could, and this rocking chair was one of them. Apparently, one of his poorer patients was a woodworker and made this rocking chair to pay his medical bill. Is it true? Not sure - but I like the sounds of it and it makes me love it more. Anyway, a couple years ago, my Mom was in a rush to get it out of her house, so it made the trek to DC and then made the move with us to SF. Since getting out here last year, it has sat in a corner just staring me down. In addition to needing to be reupholstered, I also need to find someone to make a new seat (note the garbage bag wrapped seat) and that's because the seat (and I am worried maybe the whole thing) is stuffed with straw. That shows how old this beauty is...

So, step 1 - I just ordered some fabric samples and emailed an upholsterer in SF to see how much we are talking. And in the meantime, any thoughts, suggestions? You'll see that the back of the chair is also upholstered, so could even do a coordinating but different fabric on the back? I want to do something simple and classic but welcome ideas!

Friday, June 2, 2017

weekend warrior.

I swear I'm not avoiding you - I just haven't been able to keep up with everything of late. But not to worry - lots of updates coming. This giant eyeball is from a quick trip to Dallas last week - how cool is that?


And in the meantime, happy weekend and some links to distract you for a little while - be back soon!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

special counsel.

What a week. If you're in need of some faith and to be reminded that integrity is still alive in the world, this Politico piece - What Donald Trump Needs to Know About Bob Mueller and Jim Comey - is the read of my week (hat tip to Ben for this one). Highly recommend it.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

basket case.

I've had my eye out for some cool baskets, both for the top of our bookshelves but also as a catchall for blankets and throws. Right after we said goodbye to Emmy and Raffi in Santa Fe a couple weeks ago, we wandered by a random corner store and happened upon some baskets that I was loving and picked up this one - it was cheap and I love the color and it reminds me of Santa Fe - so win - win - win.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

travelogue ~ santa fe.

Two weekends ago, we made a quick trip to Santa Fe for some quality time with Emmy and Raffi (see previous post here). Emmy and Raffi had to be in Vegas for work and a couple months ago they suggested we pick a place and tack on a weekend while they were out west - we somehow landed on Santa Fe! It turned out to be quite the weekend because Raffi proposed to Emmy in Santa Fe the night before Ben and I got there, so we celebrated, admired Emmy's ring and talked all things wedding. It also turned out to be a very bizarre weather weekend - it snowed 8 inches on Saturday and had melted by Sunday morning. Nonetheless, we had a great time together and here is some of what we did...

But first, these two...

We swung through the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. It is small and if you have more time, you might consider going out to her house and studio, but we didn't have time - and for folks interested, this still provides a nice introduction and overview of O'Keefe's life and some of her work. 


We mosied down Canyon Road for a couple hours on Saturday (in the snow!). Canyon Road is lined with galleries and you can just wander in and out looking at amazing art. And on a beautiful day, it would be even more wonderful...


We also wandered around Santa Fe and the plaza. And I finally replaced a silver cuff bracelet I lost last year from one of the artisans at the plaza square.


And on Sunday, Emmy suggested we take a quick walk up Hillside Park to get a view of the surroundings. The park is just north of the main plaza.


Raffi and Emmy left late Sunday morning and Ben and i headed over to the Four Seasons because we needed to get a run in and wanted to relax. For those wondering, they have a great spa situation - we used the gym and sauna and grabbed a quick lunch with views of Santa Fe. Including below restaurants and other spots that we had pulled together while planning the weekend in case you are headed there any time soon. We stayed in this AirBnb just outside Santa Fe which worked out great. It was a wonderful weekend getaway.

Restaurants: Geronimo / Eloisa / Joseph's / Izanami / The Shed / Shake Foundation / The Pantry / Pasqual's 

Coffee: Ohori's Coffee

Bars/Cocktails: Secreto Lounge / Bell Tower Bar

Spas: Ten Thousand WavesFour Seasons

Activities: Canyon Road / Santa Fe Plaza-Square / Georgia O'Keefe Museum / Bandelier National Monument / Santuaro de Chimayo /

Articles/Links: NYTimes 36 Hours

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

option b.

We went to Santa Fe this past weekend (more on that soon!) and I took advantage of the plane time to read Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Hope by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. I cried through parts of it in my plane seat and while my expectations were low, it far exceeded. Sheryl's personal anectdotes are heart-breaking and the other stories threaded throughout well chosen. It isn't a happy read, but I absolutely recommend it for the next time you need a break from your fiction - it is candid and honest and practical.

Friday, April 21, 2017

friday. friday.

Happy Friday! What is everyone doing this weekend? Last weekend, we hung out with Sarah and Dave who were in town for a visit and they brought us these awesome flowers...aren't they cool? Hope you have a great weekend and including some links below in case they are of interest....
  • We had a couple minutes to kill before the HRW event on Wednesday and we walked through the West Elm in Palo Alto. I was to report back that their outdoor pillow collection is killing it. I basically stood there and hugged the pillows for a couple minutes.  Example 1, Example 2, and Example 3
  • Ben and I watched Dave Chappelle's new stand-up on Netflix a couple weeks ago and who knew Chappelle is so funny? Apparently, everyone. And turns out on top of being funny - he is smart AF and interesting. Ben sent me this NYTimes piece from yesterday, great read!

juvenile justice.

Wednesday night, Ben and I went to a film screening and discussion hosted by Human Rights Watch focused on juvenile sentencing and justice issues. The film, They Call Us Monsters, is a powerful statement about what we are doing to children who have committed crimes and the ripple effects more broadly.

Elizabeth Calvin, at HRW, heads up the Children's Rights Division and has worked tirelessly over the decades to help pass legislation to provide more protections and hope for these minors. I had no idea that currently in California, kids can be taken out of school without informing the police and interrogated by police without their parents present. Last year, in large part thanks to Elizabeth, the California legislature pushed through a bill (Senate Bill 1052) that would ensure that before an interrogation, youth are talked to by an attorney to understand their Miranda rights before they waive them. Of course this makes sense. How does a child understand what giving up your Miranda rights means for them. It is hard enough for an adult to understand this and not succumb to the pressure of a police officer, let alone a child.  The bill passed the legislature last year, but unfortunately, Governor Brown vetoed it. The plan is to reintroduce the same (or very similar) bill again this year.

The film and discussion were interesting to say the least and it is an issue we hear about peripherally but I definitely wasn't aware of the details and just how slow progress has been on these issues.

If you are interested, the trailer to the film and also the short HRW video about the senate bill are below. Powerful stuff.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

pod time.

Have you all heard about the podcast Missing Richard Simmons? Three people have now separately recommended it, so I finally downloaded it this morning and am planning on giving the first episode a listen later today. Apparently, Richard Simmons disappeared in 2014, and it is also quite the interesting background and profile of Simmons. I'll let you know how it is!

Monday, April 17, 2017

planning it out.

We are going to Santa Fe in two weeks for a quick weekend trip with Emmy and Raffi!


We had planned this a couple months ago and while our time on the ground will be short, we are planning to pack in a lot. I've been to Santa Fe once, a long time ago, and I remember it being awesome but don't recall any of the specifics. Any suggestions?! Here is some of what we are planning right now, but welcome recommendations and I will be sure to report back with a full travelogue after!
  • Georgia O'Keefe Museum
  • Canyon Road to peruse galleries and shops
  • Santa Fe Plaza/Square
  • The Pantry for breakfast
  • The Shed for lunch
  • Eloisa or Joseph's for dinner
  • Secreto Lounge for cocktails
What else should we do? 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

the underground railroad.

Just finished The Underground Railroad and I do think it lived up to it's hype. Colson Whitehead writes with style and suspense that hooks into the story and his narrative of a piece of American history that we all are familiar with but probably don't really know makes the pages turn themselves. It is no wonder, it was just announced that the book won the Pulitzer for Fiction, and that comes after the National Book Award earlier this year.



Friday, April 14, 2017

real talk.

Have you all seen the news and updates about Sheryl Sandberg's new book - Option B - Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy?  I read a snippet of the book today (click here for a featured excerpt) and I read this longer Time piece last night before bed that is incredibly moving and worth the read.


All this got me thinking about how grateful I am to my Mom. She talks a lot about death and sickness, pain and suffering - and she always has. Yes, it was always part of her job and profession - ministry is of course inextricably linked to questions and discussion about death and dying and she is also deeply interested in and talks about death with ease. At times it can be a bit much. But, as a result and I am so thankful for it, I feel very comfortable in conversations about death. I don't avoid the topics or situations. It isn't at all something to brag about, but I do think our generation in particular, doesn't know how to talk about it or really handle these situations and I feel like I really know how to handle and approach it all.

Growing up, after church every Sunday, we visited the nursing home. Our family dinner conversations and day time phone calls to this day with my Mom are sprinkled with updates about funerals or sick people or someone who is about to die. And some of the best advice on what to say and how to handle these situations was coached to us by Mom when we were children. For example...

What is the best and only thing you should say to someone initially after a death or a diagnosis or a tragic situation? 
  • I am so sorry. (Plain and simple)
What is the last sensory to go when someone is dying? And why is that important? 
  • Their hearing. So, when you're in a hospital room, don't talk about a person in the third person right in front of them, or about their condition - talk with them and to them like they are there in the room - because they are and you don't know what the last thing they will hear is. 
Write a will. Write a will. Write a will!
  • Both my parents can talk about this ad nauseam. The questions, complications, drama and just deep emotional toll and trauma that you can't predict and that is caused when a person does not have a will and it is left to family members to decide can be devastating - not just the possessions but your basic end of life preferences, even some guidelines about what you would want for a funeral (I just want lots of eulogies and storytelling for the record!). Do everyone a favor. Write it down. 
What is a good gift for someone in the hospital? 
  • What you should bring the person you are visiting in the hospital - well, that should be personal. You can't go wrong with a blanket for whoever is sitting in the chair next to them since hospitals are always so cold and impersonal? But, you know what you should really do, bring some donuts, cupcakes or treats for the nurses and doctors. At the end of the day, you want the best care for the person, and a little something to draw the nurses back into the room for a little extra attention - that goes a long way!
These are just some of the things my Mom taught us to go along with the forever intangible of just being comfortable sitting in silence when needed and confronting head on the most terrible parts of life. Thanks Mom!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

patio update.

Remember back in December when I mentioned that we were going to put some effort into our patio area? Here was the picture of our patio in December...


Yikes! Since then, we have made some inroads. While we haven't had time (and budget) to do as much as I would have liked, it is coming along and more to come. We added some succulents (all about that on this post) and they are coming along beautifully - we are going to add some more soon.


And we bought some lounge furniture for one corner of the patio. We did a good amount of searching and looking. I stalked Craigslist for a while (because god knows I love a good Craigslist find!) but finally settled on going over to Ikea one weekend to pick up a set of furniture I had bookmarked. When we got there, we swung by the super discount corner and there it was in all its glory. One whole set of patio furniture just sitting there - total stroke of luck. It was in perfect condition (missing a couple of pillows) - we promptly claimed, somehow fit it all in the car and brought her home! I threw some outdoor pillows on there (here, here and here), combined it with Ben's fire pit that he got in December and a rug from Home Depot that I threw in our cart randomly months ago when we were there picking up screws. It is slowly coming along. Here is what we are looking at as of today...

 

And here is the view from inside...on the weekends and in the early evening, it is lovely with the lights on and sky fading.


Next up is the dining area. You can see a sneak peak of chairs that we picked up a couple months ago, so hopefully another update coming soon, stay tuned...

Monday, April 3, 2017

s-town.

Are you listening to S-Town? This is the new podcast from This American Life and Serial - it is a true life mystery, investigation, and story based in Alabama and is quite the listen. I heard all the rave reviews over the last couple of weeks, and while it took me an episode to get into it, I am now in the middle of the third chapter and it is definitely in my head and I can't wait to listen to the rest of it.

Friday, March 31, 2017

week's end.

Oh man, I am really ready for the weekend. What are your plans? We don't have all that much scheduled. We are, of course, going to MK's spinning class tomorrow and a long training run on Sunday morning. And we'll be watching the Final Four games tomorrow night and going to dinner up at my brother's in-law's house in Orinda on Sunday night. A nice and casual spring weekend...hope that you have something good planned!


And, for your weekend reading, here are some links of interest...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

hamilton.

For Christmas, I got Ben tickets to Hamilton through a special Facebook offer and we went this past week! Full disclosure, I figured it would be entertaining enough, but was skeptical it would live up to all the hype. But wow. I was wrong. So very wrong.


Hamilton was brilliant. It lived up to and exceeded everything I had heard. Lin-Manuel Miranda is our modern Shakespeare, not to mention the choreography and set were both shows in and of themselves. The morning after I bought the full album and have been listening to it on repeat since. If I could go back for another round tomorrow, I would be there in a heartbeat. A couple months ago, I listened to this Fresh Air interview with Lin Manuel Miranda, and now I am finally reading and watching everything on the musical I can get my hands on...here are a couple good ones in case you are interested...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

bee in the bonnet.

Do you guys watch Samantha Bee? Ben and I love her and look forward to her weekly episode to watch! She is a weekly dose of sanity and humor for me. Much needed! But this segment of last week's episode has been stuck in my head since. Really? WTF LA? Only 12,000 people voted in their recent mayoral election....and that was after half a million people march in LA. Only 12,000 could show up to vote? So frustrating. So so frustrating and just had to vent it out...marching in pink is cool but showing up to vote and actually doing something after is where it is at.

sigh....

Friday, March 3, 2017

windbreaking.

I know, I know. I have been terrible on posting the last couple of weeks. I'll make it up to all three of you at some point soon! In the meantime, happy Friday. I am on a plane coming back from Dublin and I just bought this windbreaker from Cotopaxi. Cute, right?!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

succulence.

One of these days soon, I am going to post an update about our outdoor patio. We moved in to our apartment over a year ago, and we have only just gotten around to doing something with the patio in the last couple of months. Ben finally bought himself a firepit which he has been talking about for years and we are slowly making it comfortable enough to enjoy once the rain finally stops.

We took one small step this afternoon and that involved succulents for the patio! I bought two planters a couple months ago from CB2- this one and this one - and they have been sitting empty just waiting for some action. So, today we went over to Bernal to the Succulence Life and Garden store - a fantastic little shop that we would highly recommend. The staff baby-stepped us through all things succulents and then helped us plant the planters with drainage, soil, succulents we picked out and some pebbles/rocks on the top. Here are some photos and we can't wait for it to stop raining so we can put these two gorgeous lookers out on the patio. More to come soon....

Thursday, February 9, 2017

another thursday.


Yikes! Sorry to keep you all hanging - busy couple weeks! Ben and I took a quick trip up to Tahoe last weekend to get some QT with Emmy and Raffi while they were there and to get a day of skiing in. It was just the fill of fresh air we both needed!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

heath.


We love Heath! Hannah and Jordan gave us a bowl from Heath years ago and we have loved it so much and over the last couple of years we have collected a couple different serving dishes and pieces. They make simply beautiful pottery. It is heavy and thick and the style is perfectly San Franciscan. And now that we are in SF, we live just a couple blocks away from their store and factory in San Francisco.

Ben's Mom was in town last week and stayed the weekend, and on Saturday we drove over to Sausalito to the Heath Factory and Showroom. We took a tour that turned out to exceed all our expectations and we learned so much about the company that made us love it all the more if you can believe it! It was founded in 1948 by Edith and Brian Heath and Edith was the trailblazer, feminist, environmentalist and artist behind the pottery and design. She sounded like quite the eccentric and brilliant artist. It was such a cool behind the scenes look at how they make their pieces.


If you're looking for a great wedding gift - this is one of our favorite things to give and we would definitely recommend it!

Monday, January 30, 2017

time to resist.

I am so angry. I am working on trying to forgive people who didn't support Hillary and that's just the tip of the iceberg. I worry that I won't be able to forgive people in my life who don't step up now. Does anyone else have this fear?

On the positive, the protests at the airport this weekend were the first time since the election I have started to feel a little warmth in my heart. Protesting really is like exercising, feel like I can feel the muscles coming back and it feels good.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

travelogue ~ yosemite.

We went to Yosemite last weekend to get out of dodge and to avoid TVs. We had envisioned lots of hiking and talking with trees. In a twist of plans, it turned into a winter wonderland with two straight days of heavy snow. So, in the end we didn't see all that much of Yosemite because roads were closed but we snow-shoed, drank hot chocolate, sat by the fire, read a ton and successfully avoided Trump's inauguration. Here are some pictures of the quick weekend getaway - we can't wait to go back (in the summer and warm weather!).

Oh and p.s. we stayed at the Rush Creek Lodge - a new lodge - we would give a solid review - great property and location, but they are still working out the kinks!