Friday, October 21, 2016

the weekend is coming--


the blessed weekend. 
a time to get chores done. 
a time to relax. 
time for football or pumpkin patches. 
halloween costume assembly and decorating. 
time to bake and cook.
time to call family.
time to write.
time to nap.

I don't know that we'll get to a pumpkin patch this year but pretty much everything else on the list above will make up our weekend. 

happy times, lovies,

images courtesy of (2 on the left) and (1 on the right)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

thursday things I love--

image courtesy of

sleeping in my own bed
the feel of new sheets
crisp, juicy apples
taking the time to be thoughtful about new furniture, like this sofa
crossing items off my baking list, like cheesecake and pumpkin bread
Suzy's scratchy voice pulling me from sleep
glossier super pack and stretch concealer -- my complexion has never been brighter
the way fall feels in the morning
farmgirl flowers for my anniversary -- swoon
chet faker: gold -- the video is really cool

things I love.
happy Thursday!

Friday, October 14, 2016

rainy weekend ahead.


Friday and rain?! Total joy. 

Good news to share: After almost 4 months of living in a hotel after our apartment suffered water damage from an upstairs pipe breaking, we've moved back home. When we opened the storage unit yesterday for the first time since packing it, I was shamelessly happy to see all of my stuff -- my clothes and shoes, my bird print and white cabinet. It was all still there, just where we'd left it. And now it was coming home with me. 

And so that will be our weekend -- unpacking and arranging the apartment, all-the-while kale soup will be simmering on the stovetop and college football will be on the television keeping us company all day. I also plan on making some banana bread if I can find bananas ripe enough. If not, I may end up making pumpkin bread -- oh shucks.  

The arranging part I'm especially excited for because when I moved in, I moved in around my husband's things. Now it's like a clean slate and we can arrange the apartment together. Weeeeeeee!

Anyone going to a pumpkin patch or carving pumpkins? Tell me every last detail. 

Hooray for my favourite time of year when the best apples are in season, college football is on television for 12+ hours, and the kitchen is my favourite room.


Friday, October 7, 2016

before the weekend -- writing, part 1.

To my dear friends and anyone still hanging on to this blog thread, 

It's been months since I've last written, but not as long as I thought. I imagined at least a year having passed since my last post but it's only been about four months. Not too bad, but far longer than I'd like. I still have hopes and dreams of relaunching this blog into a sense of regularity, resurrecting the pretty picture collages and day themes. I make no promise of such an effort -- I will write when I have the creative brain power and time. 

Now seems to be one of those times.

images courtesy of

A lot has been on my mind as the year has folded into autumn, my favourite season for every comfy reason -- fruity pies, football all Saturday long, coats and sweaters, pots of soups and chili simmering on the stovetop. I often find myself contemplative this time of year. I'm not sure why but perhaps it has something to do with my birthday in August and my wedding anniversary in October -- two large life events. 

My birthday is no longer just my birthday -- it is the anniversary of my first miscarriage -- forever changed. In the fall of last year, I curled up into healing position, leaning on family and friends to help me through the hard time. I was in a job I didn't like, surrounded by people I didn't connect with, a long commute, and a body I couldn't whip back into shape. 

As time passed, I settled into a routine of denial -- faking my life as I knew it, and eventually I had events to look forward to -- Thanksgiving and Christmas were right around the corner, and I loved both holidays immensely. Both were jampacked with traditions I treasured that we had created as a family. As we moved through Thanksgiving and then Christmas, I felt all was well and couldn't foresee the depression that was looming ahead, ready to bulldoze my denial and send me down a rabbit hole. 

Because, you see, I was pregnant again. 

But this baby was also not meant to be, and my miscarriage was set for Valentine's Day. The night before was a Friday, so my husband and I dressed up and lived up the night at our favourite French restaurant, Cafe Claude. We looked dashing together and he kept reminding me how pretty I looked that night. The following day I buckled in pain -- the agony familiar from the first time. 

Healing took longer and required more help. I couldn't brush it aside by sleeping it off or faking happiness; I just didn't have it inside of me. All my happiness was gone, swept from me without consent. I lashed out at my family and pulled away from my God and faith, angry at their promises instead of hopeful. My eyes flooded with tears at the slightest mention of family or when someone showed sincere love toward me or even just random moments. I'd find myself dashing to the bathroom to hide from my coworkers so I wouldn't have to explain. 

I could no longer burden my family and friends, especially my husband, with my sadness so I turned to a therapist. And that started to help.

It helped but it still took time, which was the most valuable lesson my therapist taught me. Patience with myself during this painful time was what I needed more than anything. Patience to let myself feel what I needed to feel. Patience to let myself cry. Patience with my body as the reminders of the pregnancy started to fade. Patience. 

Finally hope and faith were restored, and even happiness. My life has been forever changed -- I'm not the person I was before those two pregnancies. My naivete has been washed away by life experience, and my emotions are now ever-present at the surface, ready to flood down my cheeks. 

Yet, life improvements continue. I found a new job, with people I related to better. I signed up for bar method classes and quickly fell in love with the routine and community of women. I finished my copy editing course and started reading. I started talking and sharing my story with women around me, finding a similar story in a woman who has now become a friend and confidante. 

And here I am now. The depression and denial are in my past; we're about to move back into our apartment which has been remodeled/updated since a pipe burst mid-June; and I'm enjoying the last bites of the first pot of chili this season -- many more to follow. 

Life and me -- we're doing pretty okay. 

Yours truly, and until we meet again,


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

the list diaries. chapter 003 -- cross streets.

the list diaries.
chapter 003.

with such agreeable weather in san francisco most of the year, i frequently walk home from work. it's a great way to relax, get some time to myself, exercise (without even trying), and enjoy the city. during the hilly walk, i cross 22 streets.

  • folsom
  • howard
  • mission
  • market
  • post
  • sutter
  • bush
  • pine
  • california
  • sacramento
  • clay
  • washington
  • jackson
  • pacific
  • bernard
  • broadway
  • vallejo
  • jones
  • leavenworth
  • hyde
  • larkin
  • polk

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

a weekend of the arts.

this past weekend gave me everything i needed, and it was exceptional.

time to myself
  • i visited the oscar de la renta exhibit at the de young museum solo. it was also my first time at the museum and while i only bought a pass for the retrospective exhibit, i perused the museum bookstore and came away with the battle of versailles to add to my ever-growing bedside table stack of memoirs. there is something magical that i can only find at museums -- the awe of being in the presence of something that was created by someone with such a magnanimous reputation within the art society. incredible. 
  • monday morning, before hustling off to the sfmoma for its opening post-renovation, i whipped up two almond cakes and homemade whipped cream -- such goodness! one cake was orange and blood orange and the second was raspberry lemon. tasty. 
  • the sfmoma had been under construction for renovations for the past handful of years. as part of birthday celebrations, we gathered some friends together and explored the extensive space. with my husband being the host, and realizing there was no way we could all stick together, we split off into pairs and singles. i again took the solo route and perused at my own pace, reading as many of the info cards as possible and stopping at every piece of art -- i wanted to make the most of my visit and my alone time. during the 3.5 hours, i covered floors six and seven and part of five. some of the art i just didn't get -- which i suppose is part of its success is if it bewilders or shocks or confuses its viewer -- and other pieces i could have stared at all day or imagined them in my someday home. i can't wait to return and see the floors i missed. 
  • after what has felt like a drag, i was finally able to turn some pages in the boys in the boat. it's now a book i'm looking forward to reading. and when i needed a break, i turned on the second season of the netflix original documentary series the chef's table -- hearing from the chef's themselves as they talk about their culinary vision. superb stuff.

time with family and friends
  • the weekend of culture and the arts kicked off with the above and beyond acoustic concert at the greek theatre in berkeley. it was a lovely evening for an outdoor concert and the music soared above my expectations. 
  • sunday we had a nice and quiet time at home. we had a spicy roast, salad, and potatoes while watching africa and then naps. 
  • monday, after adventuring through the sfmoma, we made our way back to our neighbourhood for a friends dinner at helmand palace. we caught up with friends we hadn't seen in ages, toyed with the only toddler at the table, and filled our bellies full of delicious afghan food. the after party moved to our apartment for the final half of the warriors game against the oklahoma city thunder and almond cake. 

pictures my own taken of art pieces at the sfmoma; other pictures of the weekend's events on my instagram

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

the list diaries. chapter 002 -- san francisco.

the list diaries.
chapter 002.

lately i've wanted to hop on a plane and leave this hilly city in my past. start anew. and then other times i trip over a memory and find myself falling in love with san francisco -- all over again. 

  • the jasmine-filled evening sky. the aroma is nearly palpable. 
  • the convenience of four grocery markets within walking distance. 
  • how still and quiet the city is in the early morning. 
  • the option to walk -- everywhere; undaunted by the endless uphills climb. 
  • the views. 
  • the fog.
  • everlane.
  • tartine.
  • the ferry building.
  • miette -- where i can get the best macarons outside of paris. 
  • the plethora of cuisines to choose from. 
  • the fresh fresh air. it always seems to be moving. 
  • how close the wilderness is. 
  • tulle elk.
  • fentons.
  • avocados every day.
  • the bar method studio.
  • observing the personal style of passersby. 
  • seeing familiar faces in this big little city.
  • going away and coming home. 
  • reminiscing over "firsts" with my mr. brooks. after all, this is our love city. 

there are times when i'm awed by the romance of this city. it's no wonder why there are so many poems and songs written about this place. but for me, the magic and wonder ebb and flow, much like the rolling hills through the city. this is my everyday town and it's easy to get caught up in the stink, the mess, the tiny living spaces, the traffic, the hassle of parking, the funny seasons, and the gritty beach -- until visitors come and remind me of this wonderland i've stumbled into ten years ago.

apologies, i do not remember the source of this image

Thursday, May 19, 2016

thursday things i love--

image cred:

early morning walks through san francisco. the sky is dark bright blue, 
the sun is coming up, and i feel like the city is my own. 
the bar method. boom. my posture has never been better. 
making the best summer birthday plans to return to michigan after a 5-year 
hiatus. even better is that all of my siblings and nieces and nephews will be 
there, and all of the dogs in the family.
celebrating my husband on his birthday. 
wit & delight's apartment. how can it be so perfect? 
the wonderful feeling of being engaged in my work.
li'l suzy. she's my happiness.
my standing desk at work. 
when almond m&m's are on sale at walgreens.

things i love.
happy thursday!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

the list diaries. chapter 001 -- from walgreens.

i haven't been writing on the blog for a while. what can i say? life stuff happened -- creative juices were zapped to near extinction and other mindful resources were reallocated. but this morning, walking back to the office after an errand to walgreens, i was amused at the contents of my bag. along a couple more blocks and i had come up with a new and easy way for me to resurrect my blog presence with... 

the list diaries.

as i continued to walk back to work i considered the idea -- a weekly post with a list. surely i have enough things to write a quick list about, like the things i buy from whole foods; or the white things i have in my closet; or the list of things in my beauty cabinet. still, i'm amusing myself about the idea but figure i'll give it a go for anyone out there still hanging on with me, refusing to let so many pretty things wither away and die.

the list diaries.
chapter 001.

  • dove deodorant because the travel size stick is running out. this is a full size stick to keep at work because i'm showering here 3 mornings a week after bar method class.
  • 6 bags of almond m&m's because 2 bags are not enough of my favourite work snack.
  • aveeno shaving lotion. simply the best one out there.
  • aveeno face wash that my skin actually agrees with! it washes off my makeup without leaving my skin feeling tight or overly squeaky clean. 
  • jergens self-tanning lotion -- the need is real, people. like one of my husband's friends said, "There aren't enough sunglasses in the world for the amount of blindingly white thighs walking the streets of SF today."

my shopping intent was only the first 2 items but my basket quickly filled up with other must-haves. and i only have myself to blame because instead of grabbing my stuff and getting out, i wandered the aisles looking for cool stuff i didn't know i needed. does that ever happen to you? 

image courtesy of emily cox pahnke's instagram

Thursday, January 14, 2016

thursday things i love--

image courtesy of tkow

i'm in good company with my blunt bob.
seriously gray and rainy days, with the sky full of heavy clouds.
this house. it's nearly perfect.
her skin and freckles -- edgy and beautiful.
john boyega's dad's reaction to his son being cast in star wars.
tgit -- pizza and girlfriend talk. 
scheduling a week of morning classes at burn.
david bowie and alan rickman -- rest in peace.

things i love.
happy thursday!

illustrated: small moments in relationships--

there is so much relationship truth in philippa rice's illustrations documenting the day-to-day with her boyfriend. i can definitely relate to the love and beauty that abounds in those activities -- some might consider them boring or mundane, but for me, they're what made my relationship with mr. brooks special. below are my favourite 4 from her series of 24 in soppy: a love story. i'd be willing to bet some of them remind you of relationships you've had, too. 

the first illustration below, depicting a walk in a blustery fall day, is my absolute favourite. i'd have it printed and hang it on my wall. fall is my favourite season and time of year, and when we celebrate our wedding anniversary. swoon.

images courtesy of philippa rice

Monday, January 11, 2016

a case of the mondays--

it's difficult returning to a structured workday after such a relaxing and blissful weekend. it was a saturday of rest and togetherness -- mr. brooks and i were in desperate need. to battle the monday blues, i'm scrolling through other pretty blogs, preparing myself for what is promised to be my next tear-jerking page-turner, and reading up on how to have manners like princess kate. how do you guys cope with the pains of monday, besides the obvious -- mini pink ballerinas? 

images courtesy of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

dying over this kitchen.

i am in love with wit & delight's kate arends' kitchen. from the farm kitchen sink (i lose control when i see beautiful farm kitchen sinks) to the floor design to the contrasting dark/light cabinets and everything in between (the open shelves, the cabinet pulls, the subway tile walls) -- SWOON. and do you see the dark frame on the inside of the windows? gorgeous. 

images courtesy of

Thursday, December 17, 2015

thursday things i love--

image courtesy of

getting fancy for holiday parties with mr. brooks. 
daydreaming about future plans.
counting my many blessings during this wonderful time of year.
dresses curated by animal*head*vintage
looking forward to evenings of reading and basketball.
listening to the christmas radio station on pandora.

things i love.
happy thursday!

Friday, December 11, 2015

weekend busy times.


it's a full weekend, and, admittedly, i'm tired thinking about it. already. alas, the holidays are here and there is much to do!

after work tonight, mr. brooks and i are meeting up with our friends miki and jackson for dinner at our new favourite burrito spot, toma, in the marina. they do the most amazing burritos with poblano peppers, and they have the best guacamole. yum, can't wait!

saturday is fully booked. the day starts by meeting up at the church to do a quick clean, then i'll be off to burn class. after i've showered, i'm hoping to jet off to the everlane gift event before returning to the church for choir practice. (nine of us are singing wexford carol on sunday during the christmas cantata.) then, what i'm most excited about is spending some time in the ahv closet, which i imagine might become my new happy place -- vintage dresses galore! (i'm searching for one for the upcoming cisco meraki holiday party.)  i plan on trying on as many dresses as possible and when my fingers are blistered from pulling zippers and buttons, i will head home and get ready for the glen phillips concert with mr. brooks. (yeah, glen phillips of toad the wet sprocket.)

sunday, after singing in the christmas cantata, i hope to have a pretty solid nap. i'd like to bake, maybe some cranberry bread or yulekake, or cover christmas cutout cookies in shiny sprinkles. 

surprise surprise -- after writing it all out, i'm actually getting excited for the weekend! 

what are you lovies up to? anybody shoveling out of snowdrifts yet? 

love truly,

image courtesy of

Thursday, December 10, 2015

thursday things i love--

image courtesy of gthegent

chunky, cozy turtleneck sweaters.
rainy days -- everything rain.
losing my gaze in our beautiful christmas tree.
warming my hands around a cup of warm milk. 
singing christmas hymns in church. 
carving out time to read in bed.
rummaging through the animal head vintage closet.
watching the children act out the first christmas.

things i love.
happy thursday!