Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve

Happy New Year everyone!

We decided to skip the crowds this year and are
planning a quiet evening in with some good food and
a bit of bubbly.

Our New Years Eve Menu:

Risotto with arugula and prosciutto (recipe from the
Williams Sonoma Risotto cookbook).
Roasted winter root vegetables with clarified butter
(recipe from the Chez Panisse vegetables cookbook).

Saturday, December 29, 2007

After Christmas Sales

There are tons of after Christmas sales on right now.
Unfortunately I am a bit shopped out at the moment.
So, these are for you... (kate spade tulip coat).

Nordstrom's half yearly sale for men, plus 33% off or
more on women's and kids' apparel, shoes, handbags
and accessories.

Kate Spade up to 50% off select items.

Macy's after Christmas sale.

Bluefly 3 day winter sale (today through Monday).

Silly item of the day

Remember the peanut butter jelly time video that made the
rounds on the web a few years back? So catchy... so crazy...
so awesome... Get a t-shirt of Brian from the Family Guy in
a banana suit dancing to the song.

Awful shoe of the day

These just look totally bizarre to me, but maybe
I just don't get it? They look a bit like chaps for
your calves...

Site of the day

French Laundry at home is a very cool site written by a
young woman attempting to make every recipe in the
French Laundry cookbook. She's not a professional chef,
just a regular foodie who likes to cook. I figured since I
received this cookbook for Christmas I ought to read up
on trying out the recipes while I decide what to make

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Christmas loot

I received a ton of great gifts this year too! Here are some highlights:

First off I got a bunch of cookbooks. Should I take this as a hint? ;) My brother gave
me the French laundry and Bouchon cookbooks from the impecable Thomas Keller.
My husband had a theme to his presents, things we can do together. I'm looking
forward to cooking up some vegetables and risotto with him, from the Chez Panisse
vegetables, and Risotto cookbooks.

My husband also gave me this amazing espresso machine from Saeko!
It's especially cool because it is fully automatic. You just load the whole
beans in the top and it grinds, tamps and makes the espresso for you.
No messing about with coffee grounds and getting the whole counter
dirty. I love it and my husband has been making me a latte every
morning. :)

I received this glam clutch from a great friend (previously posted about
here). This will be perfect for a New Years outing somewhere special.

We also got a very cool Garmin Nuvi GPS navigation system from my
parents and are super excited to try it out. I hear you can even get traffic
reports on them to avoid traffic snarls!

Christmas Gifts

I don't know about you, but I love love love giving people gifts. I love
picking out the perfect something for someone I love, and I put a lot
of effort into coming up with fun gifts. I gave two guy oriented gifts
this year that I thought were particularly cool.

The first was my "guy present of the year". Practically every
guy on my list received one of these radio controlled havoc
. It's still amazing to me that these tiny little things
actually fly. They look rather like dragonflys in flight. Very

The second gift was this cellphone/pda/watch that I gave my
husband. He is very much a geek and always on the lookout for the
latest gadget. So, I thought this would be perfect for him. You can
use it as a watch or a cellphone by inserting your gsm sim card. There
are multiple options for taking calls. You can talk directly into it Dick
Tracey style or use the included blue-tooth headset.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I hope you all have a beautiful holiday! Here are two of my
favorite Christmas movies, guaranteed to get you in the
holiday mood.

Miracle on 34th Street, the 1947 version with a very
cute and precocious Natalie Wood.

White Christmas with Rosemary Clooney
and Bing Crosby's unforgettable singing
voice. I suppose our California Christmas
won't be very white, but a girl can dream. :)

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten,
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

Christmas Menu

What I'm cooking tonight:

Fresh bread from la Farine bakery
Spinach Dip
Freshly pressed olive oil from Sonthouse + freshly ground rock salt and pepper

Roasted Lamb chops
Wild rice pilaf with toasted pecans and dried cranberries
Mom's collard greens -- recipe adapted from the El Dorado Grill cookbook

Chocolate Bouche Noel cake with cherries from Masses' Pastries, the most amazing pastry shop!
Home-made cherry chocolate chunk ice cream - in our new ice cream maker, a gift from some very nice friends.
Update: we tried to make the ice cream last night, but instead of ice cream all we seemed to get is cream soup. The ice cream never hardened past the slightly thick soupy phase despite us having kept the freezer bowl in the freezer for about a week. Hrm! Perhaps we will just buy Ben 'N Jerrys.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ridiculous (or cute?) Item of the Day

For the couple who's joined at the hand: Smittens, mittens
built for two! I just love that name, smittens. :)

Tall Brown Boots

I've been looking for a pair of tall brown boots for what seems
like forever now. I finally broke down and ordered 3 pairs from
Zappos about a month ago, but still haven't decided whether to
keep any of them. Perhaps this has something to do with their
amazingly lenient shopping policy (free overnight shipping, and
free returns for 365 days).

Buying boots is pretty tough for me since I seem to have a
somewhat "athletic" calf, making a lot of the boots out there just
a little too small. :( I have tried on many a boot only to have to
tell the sales person sheepishly that they just don't fit.

These are the pairs I ordered:

These Born Navi's seemed like a good bet for
a comfortable boot, since their shoes tend to be
very well padded and comfortable. Unfortunately,
they were just a tad too small.

These Frye Nora Pleat boots look really cute online
and actually fit my calves perfectly! Unfortunately
they suffer from the curse that many pull on boots
suffer from, baggy ankles. Boot makers have to put
in extra leather around the ankle of pull on boots so
that you can slip them on without a zipper, but too
much extra leather and you start to look ridiculous.

I was originally hoping for a boot with a 2-3" heel,
but then I came across these Frye Paige Riding boots.
Their style is super fun and the little flap on top make
them seem a bit different while still keeping things
relatively simple. This is my favorite pair of the bunch.
The only thing I'm not sure about is whether with my
larger calves I would do better sticking to something
with a cleaner line.

One good thing to come of this experiment is that I now
know that almost all boots from Frye fit me! I would
definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a boot
with a larger calf. They are a little bit pricey, but the
leather seems resilient and the boots look like they would
last for quite a long time.

Update: I've been browsing around a bit and found some
good sites for wide calf boots:

The first two sites are stores in England where they seem
to be much more accomodating about these things. Boots
come in a wide range of calf sizes from 36 to 47 centimeters.
The last site is a store in New York. Unfortunately, most of
the boots on their site seem to start at widths too large for
my calves. I guess I'm just in that no-mans land in between
standard and wide calf boots...

Urban Collection

Susie over at StyleBubble wrote a post today about a website
called UrbanCollection and about the way bloggers pick up on
a site and run with it, passing around the buzz like a shopping
chain letter. Well I'm adding myself to the chain. I hope Susie
doesn't mind. :) Here are my picks from their amazing array of
chic vintage clothing.

I am absolutely batty over this tuxedo party dress!!! Not sure I could fit
into a xs to small dress, though the measurements don't actually seem
that far off. This biker jacket is right on trend for this season.

This mod sailor dress is cute and sophistacted and this bow jacket is
flirty and fun.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I picked up these shoes at Bloomingdale's today in
their fantastic holiday sale (take an extra 40% off
already reduced merch)! They are just as cute in
person and the chunky heel makes them almost
wearable. I haven't decided whether I will keep
them yet, as even at about 65% off they are still
pretty luxe for me.


Remember those Prada Ombre shoes I posted about awhile
back? Well, it looks like all of the high street brands are
getting in on the act. I walked by these shoes by Aldo a few
days ago. They are missing the neat banana heel, but have
the ombre look.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I just have to post this fantastic coupon. 30% off any
purchase at Banana Republic from now until Dec 21!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Real Estate + Food?

Can't get into your favorite restaurant? Just move into
the building! Apparently there's a new trend for luring
potential buyers, opening up restaurants downstairs.
Homeowners will get perks like temperature controlled
wine cellers, priority reservations and even room
service or private dining. Sounds good to me. Where do
I sign up?

Wizard of Oz + Symphony

The San Francisco symphony is showing "The
Wizard of Oz" with live orchestral accompaniment

this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Patrons are
urged to dress as their favorite character from
the film. Sounds like a lot of fun!

Sale Shoes from ShopBop

Fabulous sale shoes from Not cheap, but half off!

Tapeet Mary Janes.

Leopoldo Giordano Patent Hidden Wedge Pump.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Mary Jane Platform pump.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday Gift List (3)

For that quirky someone on your list

A bunch of fun ideas from FredFlare.

Cupcakes, earrings... what more is there to say. These
are fabulous!!!

Who doesn't love brownie edges? Well my husband
sems to prefer the middles, while I think the more edge
the better ... ah we must be the perfect couple. :)

I have been in love with Audrey Hepburn for practically
my whole life. She's just so unbelievably beautiful and
elegant. Holly Golightly sleep mask and necklace.

Cute stud earrings in a variety of colors.

This might be a bit much for most people, but
the right person could definitely pull it off... panda

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holiday Gift List (2)

For the exercise bunny

A list for the person who always puts "get in shape" on their
New Years resolutions list -- I've been guilty of this quite a
few times. :)

Fitness magazine has a great list of the best workout
out there, with a wide variety of styles from
pilates and yoga, to dance or extreme calorie burning.
Get a different one for each day of the week to keep
your workouts fun and interesting.

Equipment is a must. Get yoga matts or exercise balls cheap from Amazon.
I tried one of these exercise balls out the other day and it was a lot of fun
bouncing around, but not as much fun as the Trampoline gym. I would
highly recommend checking out Sky High sports in Santa Clara for a
fabulous evening and a surprisingly amazing workout. Bouncing on a
trampoline really makes you feel like a kid again. :)

Workout clothing is a must. I like these striped shorts by Adidas (Triple stripe
dual short, and Baggy short).

For something with a slightly longer inseam try these shorts by Asics.
They'll keep you cool and looking cute while you sweat it out.

For cute workout t's I head to Threadless. I just bought these two shirts for $10
each in their Holiday Sale (hurry sale ends Dec 16)! Octopus and ParaPoppins shirts.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Gift List (1)

I know it's a little last minute, but here's part 1 of my holiday gift list.

For Your Favorite Chef

Everyday cooking: These are the books I reach for most often when
planning a simple weekday meal (America's test kitchen family cookbook,
and Quick from scratch Italian). Both include easy to make fantastic dishes.
America's test kitchen tests hundreds of recipes to find the best way to
make each dish and provides helpful hints on various questions you might
have, like what's the best bread for making your own bread crumbs?

Special Occasions: These are cookbooks from two of my favorite
restaurants in San Francisco, The Zuni Cafe and Tartine. The recipes
are definitely a bit more labor intensive, but worth it! Tartine's
desserts are to die for!

Stories about food and cooking: Heat describes one man's adventures
with famed chef Mario Batali, Tender at the Bone is by Ruth Reichl,
former New York Times food critic and life long foody. It describes
her childhood, growing up experiencing the worst and the best food
has to offer.

Aprons because if you don't look cute while cooking, why do it?
Two of the great aprons they have at Anthropologie, Sparkle
and Stokholm Floral Apron.