Wednesday, June 1, 2016

the list diaries. chapter 003 -- cross streets.

my photo

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!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

don't you just love the smell of bread baking?

you guys, i made this seeded soda bread on sunday and, not only did it make my apartment smell incredible but, whoa, it's super delicious. it takes a bit of time and i became quite familiar with the bulk section at whole foods but it was totally worth it. the bread is hearty and light with an airy middle texture and crunchy crust.

and now, a few pretty things for a wednesday afternoon. 

images courtesy of

Monday, December 7, 2015

monday blues.

sometimes i want to pretend mondays don't exist and stay in bed, wrapped up in blankets, surrounded by pillows, the remote controls within reach and suzy beside me. i want the chill spirit of the weekend to continue, at least for another day, and time to nap and read and stare at our pretty christmas tree.

images courtesy of

Friday, December 4, 2015

the weekend is here!


hard to believe last friday was the day after thanksgiving (my cousin's wife and i sweated it out in a barre3 class; bye bye pumpkin pie). and now christmas is three fridays away. whoa. good thing christmas packages are arriving in the mail and we bought our potted christmas tree last night (a fluffy monterey pine; it's beautiful). christmas will be here before we know it.

how many of you are doing christmas stuff this weekend? we're hitting up target for supplies and then a warehouse sale in the dogpatch, less christmas-related and more for me so i can see and try on a pair of bryr clogs. (i want a pair desperately!) we'll spend sunday decorating the tree. yay! the potted tree is smaller than the fake one we usually put up, so it's likely we won't be able to use all of our decorations. regardless, i'm excited. i told mr. brooks i wanted to put the tree up earlier this year so it felt like christmas for a longer period of time. he agreed. 

other than that, i intend on resting a lot. i'm reading a couple books and finally have some writing ideas turning over in my head (one is started already; it needs flushed out and edited). speaking of writing, did you see this post about sunday dinner with our chic neighbours? funny horror story: during a brief email exchange with said neighbours, one of them noticed my blog link in my gmail signature, clicked it, and reported back that she thought the post about them on my blog was especially nice. i was mortified so i quickly pulled up the post and read it. luckily, it was a gushing stream of how amazing i thought they were. but that was also slightly mortifying.

and on that note, i'll sign off 'til next time. maybe i'll get some writing done in my restful downtime this weekend. (how i wish i could steal away to coffee bar for a couple days and just write.) 

happy holiday time, lovies!

image courtesy of

p.s. think about this: if you had an extra day in your weekend every weekend, what would you do with it?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

thursday things i love--

image courtesy of

feeling my muscles shake at barre3.
squeezing in workouts during holiday breaks.
playing "aunt" -- my favourite role.
exploring bookstores, like portland's famous powell's.
finding beautiful copies of jane eyre and alice's adventures in wonderland.
watching the rain and white-tipped waves over the bay. 
writing up christmas lists for mr. brooks.
going to bed when the sun goes down.

things i love.
happy thursday!