Ooh, my favorite!

Holiday Gift Guide 2010
November 29, 2010, 2:20 am
Filed under: Beauty, Fashion, Gift guide, Yes please

Here’s the first-ever Holiday Gift Guide – ooh, my favorite style! I’ve collected some of my favorite things from around the Web to share with you as inspirations and thought-starters to help you get ready for the holidays. Have fun, and get to shopping!

  1. Cool Jewels ice tray So fun, right? ($9)
  2. Chobs Grips for your cutting board & icons to help you keep track of which side is for veggies and which side is for meat. ($12.95)
  3. Baggu Bags x 5- You guys know how much I adore my Baggu’s. ($35 per set)
  4. OPI nail lacquer The best polish out there, and also conscious about chemicals too. I love their SoftShades of pink. ($8.50 each)
  5. Tarte Cosmetics eye shadow palette Chemical-free, GMO-free, green packaging, and a killer set of colors at a great price too. ($44)
  6. Picture keyboard stickers This is just too cool. ‘B is for Bowie, G is for Geisha!’ ($12)



  1. Alexander McQueen Britannia patent clutch Really no need to dive into details here. Would be an amazing gift for so many reasons! ($1,067.50, was $1,525)
  2. Tom Binns Swarovski crystal bracelet The colors. The style. Swoon. I would rock the hell out of this; would be a great investment. ($440)
  3. Helmut Lang twisted draped jersey dress Because I love the amazingly soft Helmut Lang jersey and because this is the perfect LBD for work and play. ($360)
  4. Toms Glitters My lovely teammate Miss Ngo rocks her gold ones and just got these lovely pinks sent to the office. I lusted big time and had to add them here. A perfect gift for your giftee and for a child in need. ($54)
  5. Swarovski Maggy fuschia ring Have you seen how sparkly Swarovski crystals are? ($115)
  6. Marc by Marc Jacobs diamond Lurex gloves Functional, a touch of sparkle, and really cute! ($70, was $88)
  7. Alaia lace-up calf hair pumps Literally just went on sale and just almost sold out. I was drooling over an all-black leather version I saw at Barney’s last weekend though, so my dreams are not completely shattered. These really are gorgeous on, not as intense as they look. ($1,098, was $1,830)
  8. Chanel trompe-l’oeil temporary tattoos Did you see these on the runway last year? So fun! ($75)
  9. Litter SF thumb holster I love my Litter shoulder chain so I must figure out when I can start adding to my collection. Love this look. ($225)



  1. USB Battleship Come on, how fun would this be to give? ($23)
  2. Dotz cord wrap My Lova is the best at keeping cords organized, but I can’t say the same for me. Look at those before and afters. I need these at work. ($9.99)
  3. Samsung Galaxy Tab Worth considering if you’re in the market for a tab/pad/whatever. I’ve heard good things. Just saying it wouldn’t hurt to shop around; I know I will.  ($599)
  4. Temple leather iPad case  Now if you’re going to go through all the trouble of getting a new toy you should probably invest in a nice form of transportation for it, no? This is for an iPad, but perhaps a Galaxy would fit? ($189)
  5. Dotz identifiers Another great way to organize your cords. Anyone else have that scene in A Christmas Story floating through their mind?



  1. Cogo floral rug, Anthropologie Loved the pattern and the thickness. Available in other colors too ($78 – $1,098)
  2. OXO Good Grips 10-piece pop container set BPA free, air-tight, and just all around fucntional and pretty. I can’t find the perfect glass ones so I think these may be the ones. ($99.99)
  3. Organic cotton frayed-edge sheets, West Elm Because crisp sheets are always a good thing. ($29 – $119)
  4. Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented I’ll be making a few of these recipes this holiday season. Peanut butter + chocolate. Buy the book to see the rest ($29.95)
  5. glassybaby The rainbow of colors is just so pretty. Handmade in Seattle, but you’ve probably seen them in restaurants and lovely spaces throughout the country. ($40 each)


Happy Thanksgiving!
November 24, 2010, 1:32 pm
Filed under: Personal

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

This is my absolute-favorite holiday; the pinnacle of my holiday hierarchy! Not just for the food, but because it’s also a cozy, lazy, jammies-only day. (Christmas is a close second for all these reasons.) And just as I’m recovering from an early Thanksgiving last weekend with my family I’m gearing up for round two back at home. As much as I love this time of year I’m thinking that two Thanksgiving’s is a bit excessive. I’m feeling kind of guilty, so I should probably add some extra shifts at the SF Food Bank over the next few weeks.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday filled with good food and family. See you all next week!


Happy Friday!
November 19, 2010, 9:18 pm
Filed under: Nostalgia, Personal


Christmas Reflections, Boston, 1955 by Verner Reed

Hi friends! Happy Friday!

I’m in Seattle for an early Thanksgiving with my family. Oh but don’t worry, I have another Thanksgiving planned with my Lova next week too. Detox is finally over and I’m coming back with a bang! We just finished a beautiful dinner at Joule in Wallingford and now I’m sitting downstairs in front of the fire with dad playing Zelda on the Nintendo Wii and mom reading her Kindle. This is what I miss most about being home; this used to be my every Sunday. I can’t wait to get in the kitchen tomorrow for Christmas music and food prep for Sunday.

What are you up to this weekend? Hope you’ve got some early holiday plans too. Stretch it out as long as possible is what I say!

See you next week!

[image via Monroe Gallery]  Isn’t it wonderful?

Azzedine Alaia Cut-out Platform Pumps
November 18, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Fashion, Shoes, Yes please

I realize that I often post beautiful shoes and gush endlessly about how I lust and even dream about them, so what I’m about to say may not carry any weight, but I’ll try anyway: these ARE the MOST GORGEOUS shoes I have EVER seen. And truly and honestly, I have never wanted a pair of shoes more. So delicate with the intricate cut-outs but also kind of rugged with the platform and bootie shape. Do you notice that under the cut-outs it’s calf hair? Very intersting!

Check them out at Net-a-Porter ($2,375) and see how they look paired with a white dress!



Toast stereogram optical illusion
November 17, 2010, 10:21 am
Filed under: Silly

I remember these when they were called “Magic Eye” pictures, and I should as I was the master at losing focus in order to identify the hidden 3-D image. Can you see what’s hidden in the toast? (It’s pretty anticlimactic, but still fun.)


[via Mighty Optical Illusions]

Pretty Spices
November 16, 2010, 7:23 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Food

Looking at my collection of spices this past weekend I realized it’s pretty un-pretty: a hodge-podge of various jars and packages thrown into a tray, with a fair amount missing labels (which ultimately results in a fun but dangerous guessing game using the ol’ sniffer). Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a pantry filled with these lovelies from Dirty Apron Foods?

(Label designed by Glasfurd & Walker)

[via Lovely Package]

Larb Gai
November 15, 2010, 12:43 pm
Filed under: Recipes, Thai Style

Chicken Larb served with red leaf lettuce and english cucumbers

I often wonder why people like Thai food so much. The most accessible versions are often too sweet, overly-reliant on coconut milk, and just plain Americanized. I say this only because it is SO easy to happen upon mediocre restaurants; just take your pick from any one of the handful of restaurants that are probably within a mile of your house. While Thai food is most certainly not the only type of ethnic cuisine to fall victim to oversaturation and Americanization, it is the cuisine that I hold most dear to my heart, so I can’t help but take half-assed recipes personally. This, my dear friends, is why I am sharing my family’s Larb recipe with you: complete with a secret ingredient! I truly hope you love it as much as I do.

Larb Gai

Serves 4 as an appetizer or part of a family-style meal with other dishes

–  1 pound organic ground chicken (beef or turkey will also work)

–  2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

–  4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

–  1 red onion, sliced thinly

–  1/4 cup white jasmin rice, toasted

–  Juice from 2 limes

–  1 Tablespoon fish sauce

–  1-4 teaspoons red pepper flakes

–  1/2 teaspoon sugar

–  1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

–  ground black pepper

Rice. Toasted. Yep, that’s the key. If you’ve never experienced this flavor profile before it truly should not be missed. Similar to sesame oil, it’s all about the fragrance: slightly nutty and even a little smokey it’s unlike anything else.

In a skillet over medium heat, add a single layer of jasmin rice (uncooked). Swirl the pan regularly to avoid burning and adjust the heat as needed. If the grains are popping lower the heat, but if they are not browning after a few minutes raise slightly. After about 10 minutes the grains should no longer be translucent but milky white and mostly browned. Remove from head and add directly into a blender.

Toasted jasmin rice – after 10 minutes

Compare the colors – untoasted and toasted

Pulse the rice into a coarse powder. The texture will be inconsistent: very fine with some larger granules mixed in. Set aside.

Toasted rice ground into a coarse powder

Finely mince the garlic and set aside. Then thinly slice one purple onion and set aside.

Paper-thin slices of red onion

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once up to temperature add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant but do not brown (about 1 minute). Add the ground chicken and begin to brown. Add half of the fish sauce (1-2 teaspoons) and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix well and break into small pieces.

Note: Ground chicken and turkey tend to take a bit more work to break into smaller pieces.

Tip: Which ever protein you choose, please use a high-quality grade without additives or hormones. This makes all the difference in the world as the texture and taste of this dish is really all about the protein. (If you’ve ever had an off batch of ground turkey, you know that texture is essential!)

Continue to brown until slightly underdone, add lime juice, remaining teaspoon fish sauce, red chili flakes, and a small pinch of sugar. Mix together, then add the toasted rice powder. Continue to cook until the chicken is completely cooked through. Turn off heat and add the onions. Taste for seasoning and add more fish sauce or lime juice as needed. Mix well and set aside.

Just before serving add the chopped cilantro and mix well. Serve with crisp whole red lettuce leaves and thick slices of english cucumber.

Tip: Since I was bringing this as a potluck dish I didn’t add as much of the red chili flakes as usual. If you’re worried about your guests tolerance for heat, you can always add less and have a small dish on the side for each person to add extra.

One of my all-time favorite dishes I really want you to have the chance to taste it as it’s truly intended. It’s a super simple dish that will have you second guessing that last minute take-out. If for nothing else, you must try this to check out the toasted rice; it’s a flavor and scent that’s unlike anything else. Please let me know what you think!

Coolest cake ever
November 11, 2010, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Sweets

Super Mario Bros. cake

(Nerd alert!) This really is the coolest cake ever. Revealed during the Super Mario Bros 25th anniversary celebration in NYC earlier this week, this four-tier cake showcases designs from World 8, but honestly I couldn’t have told you that since I never made it that far without warping; maybe that’s why I would have guessed World 4 (there’s a glimpse into my lack of skill in the early Mario games. Super Mario World on SNES is a different story though!)

[via LikeCool]

LED kites with sparklers
November 10, 2010, 12:09 pm
Filed under: Videos

Kind of a summery video, but it’s still just as nice on a brisk autumn day. Soothing, no?

Atelier Versace Fall 2010
November 9, 2010, 6:55 am
Filed under: Fashion, Shoes

I really don’t think I have the vocabulary necessary to convey how truly elegant I find these gowns to be; simply stunning is all I can say. I really can’t pick a fave, but if I must, I’d have to go for the little gray number above. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. But, on the other hand, those daring slits that show off those wonderful cut-out boots are pretty spectacular too! I die.

Oh yes, and how about a round of applause for the lovely Monika Jagaciak who does an amazing job showcasing these lovely creations. Bravo!

To be completely honest, I never really followed this line but ever since I caught a glimpse of the editorials from spring of this year, I’ve been obsessed. Check out Fashion Gone Rogue for more dresses and different shots. (Tip: you must check out the back cut-out in the gradient dress above!)

[Images via Fashion Gone Rogue]

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