Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blue Skies Ahead

Sweater: Zara, Top: Urban Outfitters, Shorts: H&M, Shoes: Pour La Victoire, Necklace: F21

Over the weekend, boyfriend and I explored our old neighborhood of Potrero Hill found some quaint neighborhood gardens and a walkway painted blue to match my outfit.

Each neighbor had their own plot of land. Some filled them with vegetables, others with cheery flowers. A nearby bee hive kept the plants pollinated and likely provided more than one tasty treat for the neighborhood kids.

Topped off the afternoon with an indulgent double scoop of ice cream at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous. Boyfriend's on the left is Crema Catalana while mine is a double scoop of Brandy/Caramel and White Sesame. Delish!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bye Bye, Miss American Pie

Growing up, my dad or nanny did all the cooking. My mom, on the other hand, has been known to burn water. But while she can't whip up a gourmet feast, she can make a mean apple pie. She says she got the recipe from Joy of Cooking and just tried and tried until she succeeded. To this day, it's probably the only thing she can cook well.

The other day, I decided I wanted to give it a try. Since I didn't have a copy of Joy of Cooking on hand, I turned to one of my favorite recipe sites Joy of Baking. I used pretty much the exact recipe and an equal mix of Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Braeburn Apples for a tangy taste that won rave reviews for my first attempt at pie. Here are some photos of the process. You can find the recipe here.

The end result? Almost as good as mom's!

Recipe: Joy of Baking

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oh, Go Take a Hike

Last winter, I was utterly enamored with Azzedine Alaia's take on the hiking boot. Done with a sexy heel, treaded platform and engaging snow leopard print, it was love at first sight. This season, he's reissued the same style, but in a more subtle print. It's still love, but at $2,220, it's out of the question. But that doesn't mean I'm over it.

Every time I see it, I still thank 'man, I really really like those shoes.' So, I'm on the hunt for something that'll rock my socks in a similar way—but for way less dosh. I know snow leopard will be out of the question, because no one does leopard like Alaia. Plus, I don't want a knockoff. But I do want something that will give the same balance of sexy, sleek and rugged that I love. Here are some of my top picks:

Oh, Go Take a Hike

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Letters of Note: PERSIST

Inspiring words from an animator at one of my favorite companies in the world. Seriously, if Pixar offered me a job there tomorrow, I'd probably take it, no questions asked. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Meet a Style Icon: Miroslava Duma

Former Harper's Bazaar Russia editor Miroslava Duma has recently caught my attention. Not only is her effortless style playful, but it's also on the cutting edge of fashion. She mixes designer pieces with high street faves like Zara and H&M, wearing both with equal aplomb. Mira also isn't afraid to experiment with color, prints and textures for unique looks that not many could pull off.

Unlike other editors who appear to have been former models, Mira is an icon for petite women everywhere. She wears her clothes as if she was the tallest gal in the room so you'd never guess she's actually shorter than 5'3. I'd credit expert tailoring with her ability to pull off a variety of styles. Seriously, I'd like to know who fits her clothes for her!

Already an international fashion icon at 25, this is a style star who I know I'll be following from here on out!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Other Side

"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" - Mark Twain

Cliche, but true. A day after the lovely sunny day spent at the farmer's market, the familia and I bundled up and ventured to the cloudy side of town. There are unmarked delineations on the city map that designate whether it's a sunny or foggy area. Locals, for example, know better than to wear shorts to the Sunset, but that they can leave the heavy jacket behind when they hit the mission. So, knowing it would be cold and gray on the west side, I made sure I was warm!

Army Jacket: TNA, Sweater: Crew Cuts by J.Crew, Shirt: H&M, Jeans: J Brand, Bag: Rebecca Minkoff, Necklace: F21

We had warm and filling shabu-shabu before checking out the tiled 16th Ave. stairs. The colorful landmark is a neighborhood effort to create a lovely mosaic running up the hill. Not only is it a unique attraction, but the steps are surrounded by beautiful local foliage with inspiring textures and colors.

Mmm, shabu-shabu with spicy miso broth. Shabuway has the best in the bay, but it's on the peninsula so Shabu House is our city alternative.

Am I looking down the stairs or up them? Only the buildings give it away. Trippy huh?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Could This Be The One?

Some gals go gaga for bags and need the latest It bag on their arm, or else their lives are over. But me? I'm not a bag person. I tend to use one bag for months at a time before either breaking it or getting completely sick of it. Then, I get frustrated trying to find a bag that'll be functional, but attractive, affordable, but not cheap. It's a tough dance, especially as the price of bags sky rockets to ridiculous levels. Right now, I'm carrying a bright blue slouchy tote by Rebecca Minkoff that I scored for $200 at Nordstrom Rack. To be honest, it's the most I've ever paid for a bag since all my other totes were gifts from mummy.

Top: 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli $895 from Nordstrom | Bottom (L-R): Proenza Schouler PS11 $1850 from Proenza Schouler, Reed Krakoff Boxer $1390 from Net-a-Porter, Celine Luggage Shopper $1480 from Bluefly

For the past few seasons, there have been several bags that have caught my attention for their classic, yet edgy, styling and timeless appeal. The Celine Luggage Tote, Reed Krakoff Boxer and Proenza Schouler PS11, for example. But the price points are too steep for my taste. Enter the 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli. I discovered it while browsing Susie Bubble's site today and I have to say, it's definitely tickled my fancy. At $895, it's still pricey, but not so much that it makes me want to run into a corner to cry. Considering how often I'd use it, it would be a decent investment. Now if only I could get my bank account to agree with me.

Neon Touches

The trends set on the runways in the major fashion capitals of the world don't just stay in stores. They hit the streets and houses of the world's stylish. So just as fashion has been having a neon moment, so has the interior design world. 

I've been adding bold bright touches to my outfits, and have been drawn to interiors with the same look. Rather than monster statements of explosive color, I've leaned toward accents: just enough to pop, but easily interchangeable once the moment has passed. Here are a few of my fave looks, I'm on the hunt for a neon accent or two of my own as you read—goes quite nicely with my dark streak, dontcha think?

Source: Design Buzz

Source: Purl Bee

Monday, August 22, 2011

Daily Rumor: Marc Jacobs Heads to Christian Dior

As head of Louis Vuitton and his own eponymous label, there was no doubt that Marc Jacobs' name would be tossed around as being in the running for the unfortunately vacated head designer position at Dior. At first, Ricardo Tisci of Givenchy was the front runner, but WWD and other major fashion news outlets have suddenly placed all bets on Jacobs. It's only a few weeks until the big announcement, so speculation has gone into overdrive.

I mourned the loss of Galliano's talent from the brand. He's an individual and creative genius who did great things. Unfortunately, his personal struggles and troubles got the best of him and he succumbed to the pressure. There's no excuse for the anti-semitic statements Galliano made, but people have been forgiven for worse things. A big part of me wishes LVMH would give him another chance. 

I have great respect for Marc Jacobs, but I have to admit his designs haven't always been my favorite over the years. They tend to look great on the runway, but don't translate well on the average consumer. I do like his recent Fall 2011 collection, but I just haven't ever felt the admiration for his designs as I have for Galliano. Perhaps the new platform will allow him to shine in new ways. Jacobs' imagination is definitely up for the challenge and his grand theatricality will translate well as couture.

Overall: Marc Jacobs for Dior? Undecided.

Photo Source: Fashioncraz, MariaCarla in Wonderland and CelebrityDogWater

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fresh Neutrals

It was a bright and sunny Saturday, so the boyfriend and I took full advantage of the weather to bring his mom to the Ferry Building farmer's market. There, we gorged ourselves on some of my fave Mexican food by Primavera—they have THE best beer battered fish tacos in the city, and a killer snapper and shrimp ceviche—bought some delightful dahlias; picked up fresh heirloom tomatoes and lovely mozzarella.

We walked to the market from our condo, so I kept my shoes comfortable with plain white canvas sneakers. But I didn't want to spend the day in gym clothes, so I opted for a funky girly look with a cutout blousy top and mottled gray silk skirt (that I knew wouldn't blow up if the day decided to get windy). It was a neutral colored outfit, accented by the lovely colors of the farmer's market.

Top: Asos, Skirt: Catherine Malandrino, Sneakers: Superga, Necklace: designed and made by moi!, Bracelets: Lane Crawford, Banana Republic, J.Crew

Friday, August 19, 2011

Meet a Style Icon: Taylor Tomasi-Hill

Hollywood celebrities have taken over the commercials, magazine covers and airwaves, places that used to be dominated by models. But despite their prevalence in pop culture, my style icons tend to be a little more fashion based.

Sure, I love me some Diane Kruger and I'm seriously digging Zoe Saldana and Emma Stone, but one of the people whose style I seriously covet is Marie Claire's style and accessories diretor, Taylor Tomasi-Hill. Her unconventional approach to fashion and uncanny ability at combining different textures and unique pieces for utterly chic ensembles make me smile, every single time.

Here's a video of her styling Amanda Hearst in some cool looks to rock this fall, as well as some of my favorite looks of hers.

Giambattista Valli for Macy's

Photo: Imaxtree

Giambattista Valli is doing a lower priced Macy's collection this October. Fans of the designer will be able to score his exquisite look for $150 or less. In theory, this is great, but I honestly don't know how I feel about it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tom Binns Love

If there's any one jewelry designer who can make my heart flutter and knees go weak, it's Tom Binns. In recent months, every time I've seen one of his pieces in a spread or online, I swoon. His ability to take classic design and mix it with modern touches—like neon—is unparalleled. Any of his designs would be warmly welcomed into my home and closet, no questions asked.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fading into the Background


Top: Zara, Skirt: Wilfred, Shoes: Fendi, Bangles: Banana Republic, J.Crew, Mango

The boyfriend got home early, so instead of trying to muck with the tripod—which I am decidedly awful at—I got much better photos than I bargained for. Busy outfit called for a busy background and there's no busier place than my mood board.

Yes, it looks like I'm standing on the floor, but I'm actually on the table, praying that it'll carry my weight. My mood board is pretty bomb, isn't it? Tutorial and more details to come at another time!

White Walls,Dark Accents

There's something about dark accents against white walls that really attracts the eye. It can be anything, from big room-dominating furniture to smaller accessories adding the slightest punch. 

The look has even made its way into my own home: My bedroom has a black bed and dresser; the living room has a black arc lamp (that I hunted for forever before finding one for a steal on The Foundary), grey curtains and zebra rug; now I'm working on installing a black cluster chandelier over the dining table. I'd have a black couch if I didn't have a white dog—you know how it goes. 

I don't have any good photos of my condo, but here are some of my fave inspiration photos from around the interwebs:

Source: Unknown

Source: Automatism

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Not-So-Basic Black Pump


I'm usually pretty good about keeping up with designers, both new and old. But I must have been living under a rock because I'd never heard of Walter Steiger until Barneys started pimping out his delectable black pump on their ads. After clicking on the link once, I'm pretty sure the shoes are stalking me.

Steiger's been designing shoes since the 60s and 70s, but has been on relative hiatus since the early 80s. Now, he's experiencing a resurgence in popularity and I'm seriously dying over these shoes. I'm not a classic shoe kinda gal—even the most basic things need a bit of oomph!—so these are totally up my alley. With a curved heel, platform front and luscious gold lining, even black pump naysayers will find little to complain about.

Now, if only I had the $750 to make these mine.

Photo: Barneys

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Taking Advantage of a Sunny Day

Most people think of SF as a cold and foggy place. Which it can be, don't get me wrong. But if you know the city's micro-climates, sunny spots can be found quite easily. Today was gorgeous, so I spent as much time outside as I could. In between weekend errands, the BF and I hit up a park near the Ferry Building for lunch and a few outfit snaps.

But before all that, let's talk about how cute this chinchilla is. Petco has them and they're always my first stop. If I didn't already have a diva cat and snotty dog, I'd totally have a dust bathing chinchilla. Look at those ears, they give my dog's serious competition.

It was so nice out today that I didn't even need a jacket. Glorious and rare.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I Believe in Miracles


I just painted my nails neon orange and I thought my faithful top coat deserved a post dedicated to it. This isn't an ad (not that anyone is paying me to write at this point in time anyway).

For years, I thought doing my nails was impossible. Somehow, the gals at the salon made it look so easy, but when I tried to replicate things at home, it would turn into a disaster. I'd put two layers of polish and a top coat, but no matter how long I waited in between coats or afterwards, I'd somehow manage to screw it up.

There was a period in time where I didn't even try putting on polish myself, resigned to the fact that I was just not one of those gals and dozens of my hard earned dollars would be dedicated to getting my nails done week in and week out. But then I moved to San Francisco where the price of a mani-pedi was double what it was in Los Angeles and even New York and I had to figure it out—and quickly.

Luckily, I discovered Seche Vite and it saved my sanity and my nails. Apparently, it was all I needed and the only thing I had been doing wrong was using a bad top coat. Who woulda thunk, certainly not I. It's more expensive than others, but it's worth every single darn penny. With it, I can buy a new color of OPI, Essie or Zoya polish (my faves, the cheaper ones just don't cut it on the color/quality scale) every time I do my nails and still be cheaper than a mani/pedi here.

So this is an open thank you letter to Seche, I honestly don't know what I'd do without you.

Photo: Seche

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ramen Time

I spent the day job hunting then trekked down to San Mateo with my friends for one of my favorite meals—Ramen! We hit up Ramen Dojo where I proceeded to overload my noodles and spicy garlic pork broth with all the toppings I could fit in. Topped off the evening with cream-filled fish-shaped delights at Sweet Breams.

It's an awkward feeling taking photos of yourself, but here's my first attempt at a real outfit post, the kind that doesn't involve taking a picture of your reflection in a mirror. I apologize if I can't pose to save my life, but I did include a photo of my dog to make up for it.

Since Bay Area weather is notoriously fickle, a sunny day doesn't guarantee a warm night. I had no idea what to expect, so I kept it warmish, but light, and layered on a gray vest before leaving the house.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Clean Lines, Bold Color


I'm loving this editorial of emerging African designers with model Georgie Badiel shot by Sheila Okonkwo for Arise #13. The bright colors and contrasting prints against the stark white background is just so refreshing.

Via: Fashion Gone Rogue

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


I'm embarking on another journey, although I don't know where I'm going yet. It's scary to wake up and not know what each day holds, but it's entirely invigorating as well. All I know right now is that fashion is what I want to do in life—I just have to figure out a way to achieve that goal. As I search for the right path, I'm going to reinvigorate this blog with all things fashion, style, interior and food. All my loves and inspiration in one place.