These are a few of my favorite things...from Caleefornia!*

SunshineA protein style burger and fries from In-N-OutA hot bowl of pho, mmmPhew. Just met my 12 day quota! Blogging to resume in 2009. Happy New Year everyone!

*I was going to post another picture of Jack, but thought that it'd be too gratuitous.


On my way to a fall-proof winter

These Sorel Sura boots should keep me on my feet on those icy days. Definitely not my usual type of boot, but at least they're not Uggs!



and bright
Hope your holiday is merry!


Life is better

with handpainted Paul Smith china!Tea never tasted so good. Best Christmas present, ever.


On snow, a shack, and San Diego

So, yeah. How about that 12 days of blogging business? Once again, time got away from me. One night you're dancing all night long to Lionel, the next -- your belly aches from turkey tacos, you find yourself working a 16 hour day, and all of the sudden, there's no time to continue with day 7 of the 12 days of blogging.

Not that there haven't been things worth blogging about. Namely, the snow, which is gorgeous and an absolute treat for me, even after falling on my ass. (This is apparently a rite of passage.) Also noteworthy is a long overdue trip to the much-hyped Shake Shack, which is the closest I think we can get to an In-n-Out-esque burger on the East Coast, mmm. (FYI, the 'shroom burger actually tops the regular one. Hands down the best veggie burger I've ever had in my life. Valeria, you would have loved it.)Equally exciting, of course, are the wrapped presents under our first Christmas tree.All I have to do is make it through work tomorrow, then I'm off to enjoy the holidays in San Diego with my family and new adorable nephew. More posts on the way, for sure!


Prettiest thing seen yesterday

Time to get boots with traction. I already fell on my way back from the grocery store tonight!


Tuesday night goodness

Just a quick post for this fifth day of blogging. It's turkey taco night!!! (Why does saying that always make me want to break out in a little dance?)I think the fact that it comes in a box and makes me feel like a kid playing at cooking is all part of the fun. Krissy, I think you would have been proud.We're almost to Wednesday, and the best part of today? All my hard work since moving to New York has paid off with news of a promotion today, woohoo! I think this calls for a little fiesta forever musical interlude. Todo Mundo!

NYC Ramen tour #1: Minca

Oops. So much for the 12 Days of Blogging mission! No post is what you get if you work a 13+ hour day, ugh. Had I come home earlier than 11:30 PM last night, I would have blogged about Minca, one of the noodle shops we've been meaning to try. I haven't blogged about our official first ramen tour stop, Men Kui Tui, but I'm sure it'll have a chance to shine in later posts.

Sunday was a cool 26 degrees: excellent weather for a steaming bowl of ramen! We were relatively close to LES, so we decided to make the trip to Minca. We ordered the kimchi and the pork potstickers to split, which were quite tasty dishes with which to start.
I ordered the Shoyu ramen with thin noodles and Evan ordered the Spicy ramen, also with thin noodles. Overall, there was good porky depth to the thick, flavorful broth, but the noodles didn't have that special fresh springiness I like in a noodle. (Who doesn't like that in a noodle?) The slices of pork, however, were meltingly delectable. I'd definitely go again if I were in the neighborhood, but thankfully, Men Kui Tei is more accessible for the next time the temperature drops and hot bowls of ramen call.


Yesterday, part deux

Alright, I've calmed down. The snow melted long ago, and though it was the main event of yesterday in my mind, there are other exciting activities about which to blog. We've quickly discovered that the old saying about how most New Yorkers live and die within a ten block radius is true, so we've decided to make mindful efforts to take advantage of other neighborhoods besides our own.

We started with a visit to Union Square and the Green/Holiday Market to get in the holiday spirit. The apples still look great, as do the brussel sprouts, which I wish I had stocked up on for the week.With a cup of hot apple cider in hand, it was a great place to watch Manhattanites pick out their trees. From Union Square, we headed over to Chelsea to finally check out the Frank Stella exhibit,which was really cool. From there, we headed to the Lower East Side to meet our friend, Justin, and to see Evan's soon-to-be new fixie! Onward to Times Square for a nanosecond to meet up with friends from out of town, then to Hell's Kitchen for drinks and dinner. Our tally at the end of the day? Including my morning sojourn to SoHo, six neighborhoods. Woohoo!



I actually have a legitimate, blogworthy NYC post for today, but only have 3 minutes until midnight and need to uphold this 12 days of blogging mission. We did a number of very fun, very New York things today, but the best thing of all? The snow! While it's too warm to stick and my Minnesotan boyfriend isn't that impressed, but it is pretty magical to this Californian girl.


Going to work just got a bit easier

Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVED working next to the Ferry Building. Escaping the lunchtime drudgery by walking there for an olive roll, some Midnight Moon goat's milk gouda, and a Vietnamese iced coffee was the ultimate office perk in my book. Now that I work in Midtown West, a stone's throw away from the circus that is Times Square, I'm less than enthused by my eatery options. But, look what just opened in Rockefeller Center!

I've thoroughly satiated my cupcake cravings, so I went for the very cheap, recession-proof $0.75 cookies. Out of the chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and peanut butter cookies, I'd say the latter two are my favorites to-date. Mmm!

No, it's not Acme Bakery, Cowgirl Creamery, Out the Door, or even See's Candies, but it's certainly an improvement over TGIF, Heartland Brewery, and Applebee's, ha.

(FYI, I'm testing out a 12-days of blogging challenge. Can I do it??)


Ways in which I'm not my mother's daughter

My mom has deemed me unfashionable for NYC. Upon a recent visit, she said, "You're in NYC for goodness sake! You should be carrying a proper bag!" I never did find a functional, elegant carryall for work, so she left me with one of hers: Sheepishly, I actually tried to sport it to work for 2 days this week. But after furtively attempting to hide it behind my usual junk carryall,every time I spied a coworker, like this: I realized it just wasn't me. Sorry, mom. Once an SF canvas bag lady, always a SF canvas bag lady, I guess.


Eastern Destination #4: Naples, FL

I know it's beginning to look like a pattern -- all Eastern Destination postings and not many NYC-centered ones, but I swear, I'm working on it. In any case, I am very thankful to have a boyfriend whose parents live in sunny, mild, and laid-back Naples, Florida. We didn't do much, except go to the beach, birdwatch,play tennis,and watch the sun set.Combined with cookbook reading and swimming, the whole trip suited me just fine. By the end of the week, I was ready to proclaim Naples as my own retirement city of choice. This destination is definitely worth a repeat.

(Before you get at all jealous, there was a dark side to this trip. I developed a pretty nasty pie habit -- one might say, addiction. I don't know where key lime pie has been hiding all my life, but oh man, is it good. I couldn't bring myself to document it; I think out of shame...or maybe it was just sun-induced laziness.)



...to be an aunt today! Say hello to my new nephew, Jack, who arrived yesterday morning at 9:30 AM, weighing in at a whooping 6 lbs. 5 oz!I cannot wait to meet this adorable, little burrito of a person!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Hope you find yourself surrounded by delicious food, warmth, and good friends and family to make it all the more worthwhile. xoxo


Life on...a tv set

A few weeks ago, it was "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." Last week, it was "Life on Mars." Apparently our neighborhood is prime for filming gritty, urban crime dramas. We still don't have a tv, so I'll have to ask my resident crime drama specialist, Bee, is this show any good?? They blocked off pretty much every street in our neighborhood to film it.Check out Harvey Keitel about to bust a motorcycle gang, ha.I'll keep you posted on what show is filmed next!


Yes, we don't!!

Have to leave the country, that is! (Were the words "heartbeat away" terrifying to anyone else? That's all I'm saying.) I know I'm a johnny-come-lately to the news, but it's still inspring, even a week later. More of a post later, but here's to being an American! :-)


Eastern Destination #3: Leaf Hunting in Cold Spring, NY

I hit the jackpot this weekend because Sunday was also blissfully work-free. This left Evan and I ample time for something I've always wanted to do -- leaf hunt on the east coast! So we borrowed our friend, Justin's car, crossed the George Washington Bridge and headed north along the Hudson River on the Palisades Parkway.Although I didn't catch too many with my camera, we spotted some gorgeously vibrant reds, yellows, oranges, and fading greens all along the way. Passing all sorts of Stars Hollow-esque little towns, we stopped off at small farmers' market for some local Cortland apples and Bosc pears (which will go towards this dark gingerbread pear cake this week, mmm.) We kept driving north to Cold Spring, a quaint town with lots of antique shops and great views of Bear Mountain on the Hudson.We even scored this fantastic 1950's fiberglass chair! (A perfect addition to our rather seating-challenged apartment, ahem.)Apparently, the colors of the leaves are even brighter the further you head upstate, but we did spy some beauties along the way.I have to say I'm liking this first eastern autumn.