December 31, 2011

Isabel Marant knockoff boots

See this is what happens when I visit family out in the desert- I try to save money by avoiding the Las Vegas malls and casinos and instead spend quality time with the parents at home.  But I start surfing the net...and this happens.  I had no intention of buying these, really.  I'm actually late in the game with these shoes (just like my blogging).  But for an SF girl who walks everywhere, they're pretty comfortable.  

 Steve Madden - Pembrook booties in cognac about $74

July 3, 2011

Perfect afternoon

Weather in SF is beautiful today, sat outside our front patio for a bit and read Anna Karenina.

The last couple of weeks have been super busy...I've been studying for the GMATs and so I'm taking my so-called break right now.  I knew the coming weeks would be intense so prior to my GMAT study sessions I ran away to Muir Woods for a 5-hour hike.  The best part is I didn't have to travel far; I still can't believe Muir Woods is only miles away from the city.

June 18, 2011

Toledo, Spain

With the first official day of summer only 3 days away, I'm posting pictures from my Toledo, Spain trip from last year.  Toledo was excellent in location relative to Madrid (only an hour bus ride) and we loved the idea of seeing the medieval castles and more of that old-world charm.

June 12, 2011

Living in Purple

We saw these patch of flowers near Great Highway- I had to take a picture they were too beautiful for words.

I was getting a little bit of cabin fever this morning and wanted to go out and get some fresh, sea salt air.  We headed to Ocean Beach after lunch and didn't realize it was closed to traffic, but we didn't mind.  I have to admit though, walking along an empty highway with nobody in sight gave me a strange feeling...I felt like Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky where he walks around in Time Square without a single soul/car in sight.

June 11, 2011

Dreaming of brunch for dinner

I heard about Mama's (1701 Stockton, at Filbert) through family and friends who went out of their way to come here (okay not completely, they live in Daly City) and Yelp had over 1000 reviews of this establishment.  It had to be good...

I went here during my week-long Christmas break thinking there would be less people...wrong (and yes I'm only just writing about it due to the discovery of long-lost pics on my cellphone).  Granted we got there around 11 am thinking people were either a.) at work b.) busy with their Christmas shopping at Union Square, but it turns out it wasn't the locals we were competing with for a table- it was out-of-towners, which was completely unexpected.  Most of the people we scoped out in line were reading their guidebooks while others snapped random photos on the street with their sleek, expensive cameras that hung around their necks.

Anyways, I had the Cinnamon French Toast and it was out of this world.  My significant other had some kind of omelette that I don't recall but he loved it.   Mama's is exactly the place you expect it to be - downright cozy and where you'll be taken care of and fed really well, just like your own mama would.  These pics already have me salivating...

June 8, 2011

Meet the ladies

I have a thing for flats.  Since moving to the city and using my feet as my main mode of transportation, it just doesn't make sense for me to wear high heels.  It's been so long since I last wore heels that when I do, I feel like a giraffe on stilts- pretty embarrassing and so not cute.

So one of the best kept secrets of where to find really fashionable flats for under $30 is TJ Maxx on Harrison, between 4th and 5th Street.  There's parking, it's not a crazy mess like all the other TJMs around the Bay and it's never crowded!  How can people not know about this place?

I have a few heels thrown in there for good measure but they haven't seen the light of day- they're mainly for nights out, which is when we drive in.  This is just a small sample...I'm embarrassed to say at last count I already own 30 pairs

June 5, 2011

i want candy

I can't help but get a little nostalgic every time I venture into my old 'hood - Inner Rich.  And it's not like I live that far away but when I make it a point to go there (gotta love Johnny at Trend 2000, my only go-to guy for hair in the city), I always make a pit stop at the Green Apple bookstore.  There's something I love about their creaky floorboards, handwritten index cards with staff recommendations, and books you just wouldn't see out in the open at any other bookstore - The Big Penis Book 3D (I was too bashful to flip through it, haha); it's a bookstore with lots of character and authenticity with the freedom to browse without that library stuffiness.

After Green Apple, I headed over to Genki Crepes- it's next to impossible to walk by and not be lured by a whiff of their crispy crepes.  Coming in here always makes me feel like a kid in a candy store.

My nutella +mixed fruit + whipped cream crepe.  It didn't make it home...

May 24, 2011


I wasn't expecting the kind of kinetic energy Madrid had, particularly the area of Puerta del Sol where many cafes and shops like Zara reside (love their Zara Home store).  The city reminded me of Manhattan with its constant flow of people, the craze of rush hour traffic, and random soccer fans singing at the top of their lungs at the foot of a fountain in the middle of all the beautiful chaos.

A store decorated with Gustav Klimt prints

The Ritz-Carlton is just across the street- quickly went in there to use their bathrooms; they take the security of their guests very seriously- there were bodyguards everywhere.

Don't let this picture fool you.  After the siesta the city is flooded with people

Buildings near the Royal Palace of Madrid.  Loved the balconies enclosed in floor to ceiling glass.   

A colorful mosque/cupola 

Royal Palace of Madrid- loved the details of that lamp post; wish I can take that home

Almudena Cathedral

May 4, 2011


It was hard choosing which Spanish cities to see in our short 2-week trip, but friends said Granada was not to be missed.  We did an easy day trip from Sevilla to Granada via train that was 3 hours long.  When we arrived the first thing we did was stake out a cafe serving breakfast and my favorite discovery is their cafe con leche condensada (coffee with condensed milk).  They serve the coffee with 2 packs of sugar in addition to a small pack of condensed milk and trust me, you don't need the sugar!  The condensed milk alone makes the coffee sweet enough.

Coffee aside, Granada's jewel is the Moorish architecture of the Alhambra palace which sits among tall, lush trees and stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Another highlight of the town is its Gothic cathedral in the middle of its bustling city streets.  

Stunning details in the Alhambra palace

The ceiling resembles the night sky

Views of the city from  the Alhambra

I thought it was neat how they put nets between buildings to shield shoppers and pedestrians from the hot scorching sun during the summer. 

Catedral of Granada

May 2, 2011


Third leg of our Spanish trip- Ronda.  Of all the towns in Andalucia, we chose Ronda for it's amazing mountain views, and their gorge leading to a spectacular waterfall.

They take siesta seriously here and napping isn't just for toddlers.  It's okay for adults to go home, take a nap or spend a couple hours with their families and then head back to work (another reason why I love Europe!)  When the siesta is over and the sun finally sets, that's when the streets become alive, you'll find lots of families out for an evening paseo, or stroll (which is pretty similar to what they do in Italy).  And when I say family, I mean multi-generational-  the teenagers, parents, grandparents, and the dog as one unit, which is rare to see nowadays.

May 1, 2011


What a way to end the day - with a spectacular sunset.  

Life in the Fog just became Life in the Sun.  Spent late morning exploring our neighborhood then headed to South City for quality time with extended family (the twins' 15th bday - my cousins).  It was great- lots of sun, lots of bbq + beer, lots of laughs with the children, ate four varieties of cake, and a buffet of home-cooked food.  We burned off the calories bouncing off the walls in the inflated fun house.

Still reeling from the fact it's already May.  Before you know it, it'll be June and half the year is over.  I remember when I was about the twins' age, I was sitting outside the mall in Little Rock with a friend and this elderly lady and her friend came up to us and said something along the lines of, "enjoy being young, time goes by so quickly."  My friend and I had no idea what she was talking about.  Funny how time drags when you're a kid but flies by as an adult...


After Barcelona we headed for this quaint town Sevilla.  No other Spanish city has captured my heart quite like Sevilla; it's everything that I imagined Spain to be with its charming white-washed buildings, the flamenco dancing, Moorish architecture, and the sense of its people's passion and zest for life.  I can only hope that one day I can go back and take my family and friends with me to visit this amazing city.  

Cathedral of Sevilla - the world's 3rd largest.  The altar is made of gold.

The spires on the rooftop of the Cathedral

The city with the bullring in the distance

Handmade tiles from the Alcazar of Seville, a mind-blowing Moorish palace.

Alcazar of Seville surrounded by palm trees

A lot of passion, heart, and soul goes into flamenco dancing.  I totally recommend Los Gallos for a flamenco show.

The Cathedral glows like a beacon at night.