Friday, September 28, 2012

awesome texts.

1. A poignant observation from the wonderful Caitlin 
(we were casually discussing cute forest mammals):

2. This one is from Caroline. I enjoy reading the sign 
as it was without the additions. Ah, the south:

3. For this one, I highjacked my mom's phone and was messaging Lee as if I 
was our mom. His final insult/closing remark made me laugh so hard:

. . .

Thursday, September 27, 2012

throwback thursdays / my poetry slam.

This is my first go with Throwback Thursdays, a new thing I'd like to try out as a way to share old photos and stories with all you lovely people. Let's give it a whirl and see if it's fun.

In the months leading up to our wedding, I lived in a house with 9 outrageously fun females. Among these people were CarolineLaurenAlisonMargaret, and Madi who you can get to know in other posts (click their name!). Our place was in Chapel Hill on McCauley St. and you could literally hear the antics in that house from a 3 block distance. Even though the shenanigans would sometimes wake you up, it was big fun. 

One evening a few weeks before our wedding, I returned home to the wonderful surprise of a poetry-reading night being held in my honor, hosted by aforementioned ultra-cool roommates. Our house was decorated beautifully, everybody looked fabulous, and there was a whole spread of desserts and goodies in the kitchen with flowers and sweet cards from the girls too (inside one, a gift card for a massage - SCORE).

After having me change into something more poetry-reading-esque, the recitations began! Everyone had a selection, some chosen from favorite poets and others handwritten just for the night. Whether sweet and sincere or comedic and outright ridiculous, they all loved on me well and my face hurt from smiling by the end of the night. If there was one thing McCauley excelled at, it was throwing amazing themed-parties. Isn't this a great idea for a shower? It stands as one of my favorite wedding season memories.

How gorgeous are all these people? It still makes me feel so loved to remember that night - it was so much fun. McCauley women, thank you for sending me off to marriage-land with so much creativity and fun. I love you still.

(Madi - not pictured, still loved)
(Photos by Margaret Rich, thx bb)

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

lauren + joseph.

My friends Lauren and Joseph were married this past weekend on a plantation settled in the hills of the North Carolina / Virginia border. The venue (Willow Oaks Plantation) was gorgeous and the whole event had a relaxed and fun spirit of joy, much like Lauren and Joseph themselves. They are really great people.

I enjoyed myself immensely - close friends, an amazing feast for dinner, wild dancing, plus I was happily barefoot for 85% of the evening. It was such a fun time! But most of all, I loved the part where they said yes to each other. Where they became each other's family for always. That's really the most awesome part after all.

. . .

(Thank you Margaret Rich for sharing photos and your evening with me)

home sights.

Living away has undoubtedly heightened my appreciation for the little things that make the south feel like home. I made a quick trip to North Carolina this weekend for a friend's wedding and was so taken with the details around me. These snapshots might have crossed my field of vision a year ago without much notice. Now, they all kind of seem frame worthy to me. Isn't perspective a funny thing?

. . .

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

a fall recipe.

You guys, this recipe is really good.

Although the weather doesn't change much season to season in San Francisco, I got to spend time back east this weekend and loved the cool nights and changing leaves. If you are someone who gets psyched about this time of year and enjoys food, then you should try this recipe. I just made it this weekend. It's a total winner.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

3 1/2 Cups Unbleached White Flour
3 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs, beaten lightly
16 oz cooked or canned pumpkin
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
2/3 Cups Water
Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (as few or as many as you'd like!)

1. Preheat oven to 350º
2. Grease 2 large loaf pans (or 4 mini loaf pans). I recommend also tossing some flour in the pans after you grease them. Helps the bread not fall apart.
3. Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl
4. Mix wet ingredients together then add to pre-mixed dry ingredients
5. Stir in as many chocolate chips as you'd like. I think semi-sweet work best
6. Bake 60 or 70 minutes (for large loaves) and 40 minutes (for small loaves) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
7. Consider having a close friend or family member hide some of the bread for your general well being. I am kind of not kidding.

Happy Fall everybody! 

. . .

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

lands end.

This past weekend marked our first visit to Lands End, a national park site that's located in the northwestern corner of San Francisco. It's this huge conservancy area with miles of hiking trails, many of which lie right at the continent's edge. It was cold and beautiful. The views were the kind that actually make your mouth drop. This area of California has such gorgeous and diverse nature lands, I am loving it. 

(other posts about beautiful nature lands near us)

. . .

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

shared birthday, not twins.

Happy Birthday Robin, Happy Birthday Lee!

I love my siblings. A lot. They are two of my favorite people on earth. If I had to compile a list of individuals I'd be willing to go on a solo vacation with, they'd both be at the top of my selection. Seriously. 

First, there's Robin. My only sister, the dear heart and caretaker of our family. She's a left-handed, right-brained idealist. A deep thinker and a great beauty. Who I am today has undoubtedly been shaped by her sweet guidance and care. And then there's Lee, the best big brother. He offers good advice, is grounded, wise, and very kind. He's such a hard worker and lives with integrity. Plus he's an excellent athlete and master chef. I really look up to him and find irrational joy in making him laugh. They are the greatest! I love them.

Happy birthday you two! I can't wait to be neighbors and raise dogs and babies together. And have awesome slip-n-slide parties at Lee's house (so we don't have to mess up our own grass). Those will be the glory years.

. . .

(ps - how cute is that top picture of Robin hugging on Lee? It's one of my all time favorites!)

Monday, September 17, 2012

moneybags finneran.

In the past few weeks I've started working for Lululemon Athletica, an athletic apparel company that sells high end yoga and running apparel. Here are things I really like about my new part time job: 

     1) It's 0.3 miles from where we live.
     2) Lululemon employees get to wear comfy exercise clothing to work every day.
     3) My store has partnerships with a few great yoga studios in town where I can take any class for free.
     4) My manager makes pumpkin chocolate chip bread on the regular. 

Where you can now find me many days of the week!

The position kind of fell into my lap and I'm so happy it did. I like the people there, am doing more yoga than ever, and get to wear what are essentially pajamas on a daily basis (this point is huge for me). It's all pretty great! They have a fun company culture and I'm thankful to be working again, even if it's just part time. 

. . .

Thursday, September 13, 2012

sailor songs.

On the first Saturday night of every month, you can sing sailor songs and drink hot cider aboard a three-mast tall ship from the 1880s. Awesome, right? The evening is called "Chantey Sing" and is hosted on the Balclutha at the Hyde Street Pier. For several great reasons (a) cider, b) a rad ship, c) singing history-rich awesome songs, d) it's free), we were excited to check it out. So the first Saturday of this month, we went and convinced our SF friends to join. We all met for dinner first at Bodega Bistro and to get us in the spirit, I brought pirate and shark tattoos for everyone to wear. We applied them at the dinner table, dunking napkins in our glasses of water. Everyone was tatted up and looking great by the time we left the restaurant.

Carly is a classy pirate.
Jess, Finn, Bashir, Al, Me, and Carly is behind the camera. These are our best friends here!

We arrived to Hyde St. Pier not knowing what to expect as the vague online description only read, "8 pm to midnight, wear warm clothing and bring a mug for hot cider". 

Photo compliments of Mrs. Carly Mask.
Carly also took this great picture of Ghiradelli Square from the boat. Everything looked so pretty all lit up.
Behold the Balclutha! 

What We Envisioned:
I think we all imagined some version of a rowdy pirate celebration where everyone, huddled together on the upper deck, would be clinging mugs and swaying together, singing jolly tunes that would be projected for everyone to see. I feel that Pirates of the Caribbean and Muppet Treasure Island can be held responsible for my inaccurate expectations.

What Actually Happened:
In reality, the event was held below deck in a seated semi-circle formation that had the somber feel of a clandestine church service. There was no projection of lyrics and no handouts, which made singing along difficult for us. By the time we caught on to the chorus, the song had ended. Most people knew the words and some participants even led songs! We were very out of place. Laughter resulted in glares from the regulars and I didn't get to cling glasses with a single stranger. Also, the cider was not free flowing out of busted barrels (again with the slightly unrealistic expectations) but served only once by a grouchy lady. 

We tried to hide in the back. 

Of course, we still had a really fun night together. After 6 or 7 songs were sung to which none of us knew the lyrics, we quietly exited and went to a different part of the boat where we could talk and laugh sans glares. We must have sat there for 2 hours sharing funny stories from childhood. I'm thankful for the friends we've made here, they have the x-factor we love in people which is the ability to make weird things fun.

. . .

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

madi 2.0

The final installment of the Madi-time excursions:

We visited Golden Gate Park and went to the top of the 360º observation tower at the de Young art museum. It was my first time up there and you can see so much of the city. Though admission for the art museum is pricey, you can visit the tower for free.

We rode a cable car to Fisherman's Wharf and were right up front. I love reaching the top of this hill where the bay comes into view. Look at that water!

Our exact location in Golden Gate Park! Did you know Golden Gate Park is 20% bigger than Central Park. Tuck that away in your trivia knowledge brain folder.

And this is where I live.

This wild looking fountain is along the Embarcardero very close to where our big saturday farmer's market is held. It was built from the remnants of a nearby freeway that was torn down.

Genius Madi realized that you can actually walk through the fountain, which is something I'd never noticed! 

I enjoy having visitors so much. Who's next?

. . .

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

madeleine slides.

My friend and past housemate (woop woop 208 McCauley) Madi was in the city last week and together we made the wonderful discovery of an SF gem: hidden concrete slides! Many people know about the Seward Street slides but I had never heard of any others in the city. We were originally on a mission in Golden Gate Park to ride the children's carousel (which was sadly closed) and happened upon these slides, which were tucked away in the Children's Quarter. They were fun. And fast! I will definitely visit them again next time I'm in the park. 

How to Slide Like a Pro:

1. Get piece of cardboard and scoop up sand for extra speed (bonus tip from the neighborhood kids).
2. Run to the top! Do not spill your sand, do not fall down.
3. Pour the sand onto the top of the slide, set down your cardboard on top of the sand, and push off.
4. You will be surprised at how fast you go; be careful to not careen off the edge. For real.
5. Get tons of sand in your shoes upon landing and be proud that you're the only adult using the slide.

Have fun and repeat!

. . .