No Christmas card

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As the adorably decorated Christmas cards come flooding to my mail box, I think how wonderful it is to see everyone’s children growing up, and everyone’s exciting updates on their families. There’ll be no card from us this year, for mainly one reason, and it is this: you already know what we look like. You see, if I had children who were growing and maturing, then Christmas cards would be a wonderful chance to update you each year. But chances are, apart from the length of our hair, we most likely look the same as when you last saw us. And you probably already know we live in San Francisco. Not much to update you on!

Hopefully a sweet, little baby will come to our family in the near future, and finally give me a reason to send you a Merry Christmas card. Until then, my heart is warmed by the many cards we’ve receiced so far; I swear the designs get more clever, cute & creative with each year. Thank you for spreading the spirit of Christmas!

Sew What.

I really am not a crafty person, nor am I a seamstress. But I like being creative and making things my own, and I just love to design. In my own dream world I would design handbags and wedding dresses and curtains and cake toppers and….

But for now I just make stuff for my little home, and for my amazing friends and family who put up with me.

Latest project? Christmas stockings.

Let me just preface with this: I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that some fabulous, silky fabric had found me at JoAnn’s, and it was begging to created into something amazing.

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Some random cutting, tracing, and sewing later, out came these impressive-looking stockings that are just dying to be filled! At just $4 a yard (i only used 1/2 yard for each stocking), making these by hand was the chespest and BEST way to do it…(as you can see by the price tag on these store-bought ones below)

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Merry Christmas!

Twelve …

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The date is 12/12/2012, and it is 12:12 p.m. My mother is obsessed with taking pictures on consecutive-number-days like this. I remeber a few of them…we have a picture of my eldest brother’s birthday on 10/10 turning 10 years old; on 07/07/2007 we took a picture of the seven of us in Venice, Italy. On 08/08/2008 we took a picture on the 8th floor of my Auntie’s house in Idaho (Ok I’m kidding about the 8th floor thing). Here’s to being my mother’s daughter and doing silly things to spice up each day, just like her.

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City food

I will always live somewhere that has this kind of food around the corner:

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As much as I love cooking (we sometimes have a love/hate relationship), there are just some things better left made by someone else. Vietnamese food is one of them. This dish has two things that Vietnamese folks make really well-grilled BBQ pork and the Vietnamese egg roll (very different from a Chinese egg roll fyi). Another reason I love SF and just about any big city.

Back Home.

Sometimes when I go home to So Cal, I never want to leave. This time was no different. The weather was so warm and sunny that I didn’t even bust out my ugg boots.
This is Colorado Blvd.

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Anyhoo the rest of those pics are on Facebook.

Every year since we were juniors in high school, some of my “track” friends get together and have a second Thanksgiving feast. What we really should do is have a Thanksgiving marathon run, but instead we just stuff ourselves with more food. Anyway my older bro Ivan made these mouth-watering, vegan friendly mashed potatoes. Usually you’d add a little milk or cream to your mash, but instead Ivan used rosemary from our backyard, almonds and garlic, plus some yummy olive oil.

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I’ve had this huge aversion to rosemary ever since I had an ill experience with it once, when I was visiting Italy. But after about ten years I’ve decided to just get over it.

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I picked some rosemary from my parents’ bush of the stuff, brought it back with me and made some mash of my own (I added a little cream, however, simply because I had some on hand and because my vegan friends were nowhere nearby!)

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I just sauteed rosemary and garlic and threw in cooked mini red potatoes, more olive oil, and some cream. Served with something yummy, of course.

It was delicious and you should try it.

Home Improvement

While the decor will never be complete, here are some pictures to tantalize & tease.

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Our two front rooms have crystal chandeliers that Austin & his Uncle installed. Oh the treasures you’ll find when you look through old, seemingly unimportant, boxes. In the evening, the lights through the crystals make the rooms sparkle.

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This is one of my favorite vases. Austin came to me one day and said “I thought you might like this?” He knows me. So well. 1920’s vibe anyone?

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So those are some of our latest home improvements. More household pictures to come!

As most of you may know, we love to go on bike rides around here. We can head in any direction and most likely end up somewhere historical. Last Sunday was sunny and warm, so naturally we headed North to Fort Point, right at the tip of the Golden Gate.

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No wonder people leave their hearts here.

Visitors

One nice thing about taking this year “off” is that we both have lots of time to entertain. So far we’ve had a few good friends wisely take advantage of that (you should too). Interestingly, both friends who visited were also fellow classmates with whom I went to Russia with! Also interesting is that I live in a very Chinese & Russian saturated area. Pretty international, huh?

First to stop by was Michelle.
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We watched Ellen DeGeneres’ stand up comedy which made me think of Emily, high school, and laughing, laughing, laughing. Highly recommended for my friends who may be stuck inside during a wintry storm this season.

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Michelle introduced me to an urban-outfitters-esque store, where I found lots of cute things. Dani if you’re reading this, see if they have it near you, because they have really good prices on their boots! And if you religiously follow me on instagram & were wondering how those gorgeous sunflowers found their way to my dining room…
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Thanks for running, shopping, and visiting with us!!! I promise I’ll return that cute cute jacket you left behind.

Next to stop by was the birthday girl, Anna, and her recently acquired husband, Chris. They came all the way from Sunny San Diego.

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The sad but slightly good thing was that I became deathly sick, days before they arrived. But it turns out Anna was recovering from being sick as well! So at nights, we just snuggled up and were sick together.

Overall, we have a few empty beds, and love when they’re filled. Check out your calendar, and plan a trip to visit the Gene Bed & Breakfast, conveniently located in SF.

foodie moment.

It is more than likely that if you looked atop my fridge, you’d find a box of Kellog’s Raisin Bran.

But those days are over! You will now find Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand Raisin Bran in it’s place.

I was reluctant to try an “off” brand, but my first bite into this crunchy goodness washed all reluctancy away. Down to my very last spoonful, the bran flakes were CRUNCHY. Not SOGGY, like the Kellog brand. So there is my little foodie moment of the day. Try it out, one box will last you a month! And no more soggy spoonfuls.

Busy bee

It has been a crazy couple of weeks. I am settling into my part time nanny job, where I get to drive across the golden gate bridge and hang out with two cute kiddos. In the meantime I’m also looking for something more related to my field (media or journalism). We’ve also been busy with another wedding… my favorite high school friends, who ended up marrying each other!!

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…I styled bridesmaids’ hair…

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Aaaaand made their wedding topper!

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It was a magical weekend in San Diego. Beach side condo with Anna’s fam, what more could you ask for?? We drove back to SF via the California interstate 101 and then the CA Hwy 1, which passed through Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz…

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(You’ve got to try Anderson’s Split PPea Soup off the 101)

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We are also busy with morning beach runs…

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Evening beach walks (yes it’s so cold that I have to break out my winter jacket), and Golden Gate Park boat rides

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We are aaalllmost finished cleaning & decorating the house; I’ll post pics when it’s all perfecto!

Sundays in the City

After a long summer of enjoying everything there is to do outdoors, we said goodbye to little Provo, to our little studio apt, and finally landed in the big city of San Francisco. While we loved our time in Utah, we could not be more excited to say bye bye. My sister-in-law’s family where amazing to let is sleep in their basement for a week. Then I made a quick trip down to So Cal for my girl Anna’s surprise bachelorette party in Big Bear, CA ( while Austin & his uncle drove our stuff out to SF– I know, they’re amazing).

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I have not laughed that hard in a long time! I love that I am still so close to those high school friends.

Ever since we got to SF, we have been fixing and cleaning things because no one has lived in the apartment for quite a few years. There’s lots of maintenance & cleaning to be done. But we both LOVE it! There is just something so satisfying & exciting about being here, we can’t even describe it. It is so generous of Austin’s family to let us live here for a little bit.

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Today is Sunday, so naturally we found our new church building to go to! Aunt Emma came with. Then after some unpacking, we went biking through Golden Gate Park, which is actually only 2 blocks away! And about 7 mins away is the ocean. And these huge windmills:

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I just can’t get enough of the slanted, hilly streets, and colorful houses like this one:

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In a few weeks we’ll be accepting visitors, so mark your calendar! PS I never knew Cali could be so cold, but August in SF is bone-chillingly brrrrr!!