Wednesday, July 27, 2011

cake for breakfast

i have spent many a morning searching through recipes online and being someone who loves cake in all forms, was extra excited when i stumbled across this beauty, buttermilk-blueberry breakfast cake (!!!), on a blog called alexandra's kitchen: here.

i highly recommend both the cake and the blog and encourage you to make/stuff your face with this!

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup + 1 T. sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

wadda steal!

i like to think that as the years have gone by i have honed in my skills as a thrift/vintage shopper. from my high school days of trying to pair thrifted slip dresses with ripped tights and bad shirts that came with shoulder pads (oh boy) to my current days of finding unique, wearable, and fun items, there have been a few rules that i have established that i try to follow with each shopping trip.

1. always pay attention to care instructions!
2. don't pay attention to sizing - often times if it is a vintage piece, the size will be very different from a modern cut/size.
3. be more playful - i don't usually stray far from my comfort zone of black, grey and navy but when i do, i try to do so with thrifting so that i don't pay a ton of money for something that wont be a closet staple (sometimes i surprise myself though and transition the new piece to a staple).
4. be patient! i never go into it expecting to be able to scan the racks and find something amazing within 5 minutes. it requires time and hunting.
 5. the best vintage finds are often the ones that are constantly overlooked!

over the years as my closet has grown and amassed to a collection that i am very fond of, i have realized that 90% of my favorite items have come from thrift/vintage stores.

here are some of my favorite finds, none of which cost more than $10...

vintage elephant purse

a collection of vintage gold cuffs from various places

a thrifted crystal pendant on a gold chain i already owned

a collection of scarves (90% of them are thrifted)

left: vintage stewardess jacket
right: vintage, cropped sleeve, grey, wool blazer

thrifted peasant blouse
thrifted j.jill knit tank (attempt at summer knits and introducing more color into my wardrobe)

Monday, July 25, 2011

getting there - pt. 2

of course we had to stop on the way up to oregon to see the film!!!

handmade leather bracelet - mom and i each got one :)

goodies picked up from a range of thrift shops

new shoes!!!

lithia park in ashland, or

mom and i on the trail at lithia park

tiger lillies on the trail

the entire motivation for the trip - the avett brothers

it was an a..m.a.z.i.n.g. trip! here are some of the things we learned:
1. no one attends matinee shows of harry potter in redding
2. you can make your own entree at olive garden (but really - just ask!)
3.breakfast really is the most important our favorite meal of the day
4. if i walk into a shoe store, i will walk out with a purchase (this one isn't really new information)
5. the britt festival (britt festival) is an awesome event with great performances all summer long
whoa boy, call me obsessed!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

above all else...

just something i was working on this a.m.
hope everyone is having a lovely sunday.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


there are so many cliché and typical things that one can write about love. it is a topic that defies and spans both time and space and as one song lyric says, "if nothing lasts forever, then what makes love the exception?"

i don't have anything even slightly resembling an answer to that. however, i know that after 6 years of being with someone, he is still the last person i want to talk to before i close my eyes and the first person i want to talk to when i wake up.


happy 6 years to us

Thursday, July 21, 2011


i have two new obsessions:
1. pinterest - possibly the greatest thing of my recent internet days that has taken up so much of my time that it is probably unhealthy. it is an online pinning board/network/thing that lets you collect images, recipes, lovelies, etc.
2. baking - due in large part to my bf, b. she is the kind of baker/cook that makes you wish that you had at least 5% of the talent that this girl has. i'm talking chocolate ganache frosted cake, homemade raspberry crumble muffins, stuffed bell peppers and so much more. so in an attempt to meld herself and myself even more, i am trying my hand at (beginners) baking.

i found this recipe here: chocolate chocolate chip cookies and pinned it here: yumm

 and this is how they turned out :)

getting there - pt. 1

first of all, let me say that i feel so incredibly lucky to have my mother as one of my best friends. unlike a lot of my friends growing up, i never went through the phase where i dramatically swore with all the angst of a 13 year old that she was ruining my life (with either of my parents for that matter) but rather, always felt like she was as close a friend as i could ever have. so for many years now, we have taken two trips - one in the summer and one in the winter. since the summer trip usually revolved around coming to what is now my current home, we decided that a different location was in order this year.

this summer's jaunt was a four day (for the two of us) trip to ashland, oregon to spend our days thrift shopping, eating, cruising and then topping if off with a concert of my favorite band, the avett brothers. (see my previous post here for one of their videos and a song they played at the concert: to completely counteract friday)

i was able to take a few extra days to spend at (my parent's) home before we took off and honestly, me packing for a 7-day-total-trip is quite an experience. i am a list maker. yes. and not just the lists of what to generally bring, but down to the very specific details. as my best friend, b, knows, without my lists my world drops into pure chaos and i get frantic. (however, this is how i never forget anything and i will continue to make these lists for the rest of the trips in my future as i suggest you all do too.)

just to give you an idea, this is the first stage of the "list making." further stages include detailing which shorts, nice jackets, tanks, etc to bring and the whole right side/bottom of the right page was filled with a daily breakdown of weather, activities, and potential clothing for such occasions.

step two of packing is merely going through my closet and pulling out every thing that i think i might want to potentially (key word) bring with me. this gets (very) narrowed down and don't let the color in this photo fool you, most of it went right back into my closet and my favorites (black, grey, navy) were the ones that made the cut.

another huge bonus of the few extra days at my parent's place was that my other best friend, k, was at her parent's with her newest edition to her little family, wilson (appropriately named after brian wilson, of course). so i finally got to meet my little puppy nephew (and if i could have stolen him without her noticing, believe you me, i would have).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

hat trick

okay, so while i looooooove to be the one behind the camera, i haaaaaaate being the one in front of it. yet always surrounded/living with other photography students for a few years, i was bound, as they were, to pose for a majority of photos for our assignments. and still i was never really comfortable even though my picture was being taken by a professional in the making who was using the highest quality of cameras, lighting, and equipment. i think that some people are born with the ability to act naturally in front of the camera while others operate on the exact opposite end of the spectrum (you know, freezing up, making that forced smile, somehow timing your blink to the exact moment the shutter closes). so in an attempt to include the actual me in this blog via photo, i am teaching myself to take my own photo (thank you timer) and also just enjoy having my photo taken.

so here is my first hat trick, three photos that i am slightly more than comfortable with of myself (might be due to the actual hat).

*also, in the middle of a fantastic mother/daughter vacation in oregon and posts/photos to come soon!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

to completely counteract friday...

mmm...some of the above, mixed with many cups of coffee, throw in a bagel/donut run and add the potential of a visit from two really great friends and you get a really great saturday. a saturday that is made even better once compared to the previous day (see yesterday's post for explanation: frustrations). not to mention that the fog should burn off soon and it is a beach day!

                                                                happy saturday everyone!

Friday, July 8, 2011


nothing like the instant freak-out feeling due to college record deadlines, busy tones on office phones and endless questions that can't be answered to really brighten up an already foggy friday morning...
but really, that tightness in the chest, gut turning, deep breath inducing feeling is overtaking my body at the moment and nothing can be done until 2:00 pm (because that is when the office opens and finally answers phones). so in an attempt to distract myself and remind myself that nothing can be done this.exact.moment. i have decided to do a little soul inspiration hunting and am going to share the following things that are currently occupying the random spaces of my mind...

the avett brothers - because 
1) i am obsessed, 
2) i can sing along with every song, 
& 3) can't wait to see them live again

flowers flowers flowers
some that we brought home with us from Far West nursery
& wildflowers growing in the field back home behind my house

b&w images
an old image of stevie nicks (my alter ego's name is stevie and my bf b's is ros)
& a 90's guess ad with drew barrymore <3

the front of a card that i have been carrying around with me for three years (yep, i am one of those people). cliché..maybe, but i don't care.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"capable as shit & stylish as fuck" - lily

one aspect of blogging that is quickly becoming a favorite of mine is being able to sit here in front of my computer in my ever present yoga pants, stained sweatshirt, drinking coffee and eating toast like nobody's business and still feel like i have a small grip on the style world. this is due, in large, to weekly outings with my dear friend lily (MUST CHECK OUT HER BLOG - ) in which we usually consume more coffee, take lovely pictures and talk about clothes.

yesterday was one of our outings and this time we were out the door on a mission to acquire a few specific items. we started with $1 banana pancakes and ended with me cutting her hair in the parking lot of the mall in san definitely an adventure. but in between we each found what we were searching for and here are a few of the gems that came home with me....

*jcrew shorts *forever21 tank *forever 21 whistle necklaces *mac lipstick in see sheer

and the favorite purchase of the day!!!

pull over!

once i had made the decision to forgo the standard route of attending a four year university after high school and decided to attend brooks institute of photography based in santa barbara instead, i was on cloud nine. you mean i was going to get to take pictures all the time and get credit for it?!?!?! i was one of those that carried my camera with me everywhere i went and have the rolls of film to prove it. that enthusiasm dwindled away after a couple of years of having to produce an image for credit (i know, just what i went in for, right?) but it is slowly and very steadily rebuilding itself. i am so anxious and excited to see where it will take me this time.

this particular picture was taken circa 2007 on a back road to auburn ca, just short of the foresthill bridge (yes, the one that was used in the movie xxx). we were driving along when i spotted the fence littered with rotting cowboy boots - there were tons - so i made the car pull over so i could play.
*photo taken with canon elan 7 & kodak t-max 400

Monday, July 4, 2011

no place like home

when i was a child, my mother had to hide our vhs tape of the wizard of oz because i was dangerously close to wearing it out. i watched it over, and over, and over. now, as a young adult and one who has moved a fair share of times in my 24 years, the idea that there is no place like home has changed a bit. while i still consider "home" to be the place that i grew up, there is a large part of me that is understanding that my home is wherever i place myself as i continue on my journeys. the moment of realization comes when one says, "i just want to be home" and rather than mean with their parents/family, it means where one's bed is currently located.

i have recently made another move, this time to santa cruz, for a new chapter in my life. here are some things that are helping me reestablish my own comfortable world and some new things that have made this move/place new and wonderful...

little pieces of my world from dear ones - a dish that my mother brought back from my parent's anniversary trip, a heart ring from k, matching rings with b, & my two rings that i wear every day of my life that represents myself and e

                                                                              redecorating parts of home

a photobooth picture that lives on my fridge of me and e from the santa barbara county fair many years ago

the beach that is only 1.5 blocks from my house

finding good coffee nearby


there are a few specific things that come to mind when i think of the 4th of july.
1. endless years of bbq's at our family friend's house - the carpenters - growing up
2. jim gaffigan's joke about needing to eat a brat, a burger, and a steak if he is gonna blow things up because it is what the founding fathers would have wanted
3. this amazingly horrid tank that inserted itself into my life when my grandmother brought it out of her house for us to sell at our yardsale about 3 years ago...

now, this tank has definitely played a fair role in some jokes amongst my friends and myself. first it accompanied me to SFO when i went to pick up my bf (b) and her german exchange students (in an entirely sarcastic manner) and it then moved to another bf's (k) closet in which she proudly showed it to the world via fb (her husband and one of my dear friends is serving in the marines so while it was still sarcastic, it held some supportive notions).

and now i think it deserves a second go at the internet world. because i still think it is sarcastically hilarious (and any other views i have of it are way too complicated to share here). make of it what you will...

* in another american themed fashion statement, i first saw this balmain shirt in the june 2011 instyle article of the "sexy dozen" and was oddly attracted to it. after looking at the entire spring 2011 line of balmain, i am still enjoying it and feel like it would probably suit my closet better than the above mentioned/shown tank.

Friday, July 1, 2011

welcome home!

serious sensory overload today! maintenance men sawing at my bathroom sink pipes (for the second time), landscapers leaf-blowing the grounds, brother-in-law napping on the couch, one cat hiding under the bed while the other nervously perched on my dresser...and i wasn't even fazed because at long last, my wonderful camera has been returned to me. it decided to take a leave of absence last september (!!!) after i shot some engagement photos. three days after the shoot i went to use it again and it just wouldn't function in any way. fast forward 9 months later and i finally had it sent away to canon and it arrived home this morning. i have been in a euphoric state ever since!

good morning

for some time now, i have spent my first few waking hours sitting before my computer, coffee and toast in hand, pouring over my list of blogs. searching through archives of my favorites, drooling over runway images, bill cunningham shots, personal styles of a few gorgeous ladies and the ongoing posts in the blog world has inspired me to try my own hand at such.

i am an avid fan of vintage and thrift shopping and finding style on my own terms (and budget). interior decorating has always been a passion and one that luckily, i have been able to explore in the working world. i have a background in photography and recently have realized just how much i miss my camera when it is broken (as it currently is).

so this is the experimental outcome: my own blog dedicated to my personal style, joy, and the general idea of immersing myself in something that has long captured my attention.
so here goes nothing...

rabbit rabbit

                                                                        rabbit rabbit!
you say this to friends, family, etc at the beginning of every month to wish those you love happiness and good luck for the upcoming month. a beautiful woman, also named amber, taught this to me in high school and i encourage everyone to do the same with those that you love.