September 15, 2012

September - San Jose Del Cabo

August flew by and I can't believe we're already in our "-Ber" months, which a vendor that I work with mentioned means that the Christmas shopping season is just around the corner.  I can't think about that yet, way too soon.

Since October is technically the city's "summer" month, my fiance and I went on a pre-summer (er fall) getaway trip to San Jose Del Cabo (closer to the airport, more family friendly and quieter than Cabo San Lucas) with my old college roommates and their daughter.   

Cabo is the perfect getaway for Californians if you're less than thrilled about being stuck in an airplane for more than 3 hours.

We stayed at the Hola Grand Faro resort where the staff is super friendly and accommodating.
I loved loved loved their infinity pool which uses salty ocean water in its system.  

Thanks to a deal found on Living Social, food + drinks were all inclusive

All we basically did for 4 nights and 5 days was eat, sleep, relax at the pool and have sunset walks along the beach.

July 22, 2012

SF Shopping

I feel so bad being MIA, been busy looking for new jobs and getting into the swing of perfecting my cover letters, resumes, and interviewing skills.

With only one button-up shirt hanging in my closet that's decent enough to wear at interviews (I got it at H&M for under $20), I think it's time to upgrade a bit, I was fortunate to find really great sales with these high end retailers:

Brooks Brothers has sales on their non-iron button-up shirts, some of which were 50% off.  Originally $98, I snagged a pale powder blue for about $50.  I went to Thomas Pink as well, but their prices were a bit too steep and most of the shirts I saw required cuff links.  If I had the money I wouldn't mind getting a bespoke shirt on Savile Row one day.

Other great sales I scoured on the internet:

Wanted's Ahoy stripped flats from Piperlime  for $19.99.  I have to admit the shoes were rubbing on my right heel and I had to wear a band-aid for a couple days, but after they were broken in, they were just fine.

The best internet find of all was on J. Crew- I only shop at their factory stores, but I was pleasantly surprised to find really great deals on their sweaters, which is perfect for SF weather.  Originally $88, it was around $17.00 when I purchased it around Memorial Day weekend.  The price was slightly marked up to about $24 which still isn't bad.   It just reminded me of that whole French girl, striped sweater look which I'm so in love with.  I already have 3 at last count.

I also fell for the canary yellow- just perfect to bright up SF's infamous June Gloom weather.

March 11, 2012

Linen Outlet

I used to live off of 11th and Clement, which is where the store is located and ironically I never shopped here until I moved away to West Portal.  This place is AMAZING.  Their pillows are under $15 and I found some really great duvet covers and high thread count sheets that rival Nordstrom Rack (I returned the Royal Egyptian cotton sheets in Tiffany blue I bought here 2 weeks earlier).  They carry labels sold at  Bed Bath & Beyond such as Nicole Miller, and also Z Gallerie bed sheets.

The best part is they carry hip, modern, beautifully designed rugs if traditional Persian rugs aren't your thing.

All the pillows were purchased at Linen Outlet, with the left and middle being recent purchases.  
Each pillow was under $15

March 10, 2012

Mount Davidson

I took one of my closest friends, Janice to Mount Davidson last weekend and like most Bay Area residents (let alone SF locals)- she had never heard of it.  It's a great alternative to Twin Peaks - it's a fairly easy walk up given that the ground isn't moist or muddy and on a clear day you get spectacular views of downtown.  And the best part is that it's never crowded- you could easily plop right down on the grass and relax, meditate, or have a picnic if you wanted to.  The bonus is if you climb up the steps to the top of the peak, you'll see a gigantic concrete cross about three to four stories high dedicated to Armenians who suffered during WWI genocide.

February 13, 2012

The Naked and Famous at the Warfield

My bf and I were heading to SOMA to get our ottoman at Room and Board over the weekend (great furniture store by the way) when they announced over the radio that The Naked and Famous would be playing at the Warfield on April 21st.  I'm still debating whether to go since I'm saving up for a major trip this year, and it didn't help that I got said ottoman (badly in need of propping our feet up during Game of Thrones marathon sessions).

 The Naked and Famous - Girls like you

February 12, 2012

San Francisco Symphony

I saw an ad in the San Francisco Examiner about symphony tickets starting at $15 this season, and thought that was an awesome deal.  I had the opportunity to go to the symphony for the first time last December, and it was an amazing experience.  And it makes it that much more special around the holiday season.  If you ever do decide to go and live in the city, I highly recommend leaving about 45 minutes to an hour early.  We left our home about half an hour before the concert began and had to contend parking over people attending the Nutcracker just across the street.    

February 5, 2012

Chemical free beauty products

I have this co-worker who is in her 50's and has really beautiful, smooth flawless skin despite her highly stressful line of work, high strung personality and addiction to sweets (she claims she can't sleep if she doesn't eat ice cream before going to bed!)  I asked her how she kept her skin looking so great and she said had been using chemical free, organic beauty products years before they became popular.

Over the weekend I did some research online on finding the best chemical free make-up / skincare products out there and it was kind of frustrating because there weren't that many options and the ones that were available were a bit pricey.  But this is what I came up with when I did a little shopping in Union Square and at my neighborhood health store for a total over-haul for safer beauty products:

Origins A Perfect World body cream- I actually got this from my mom but didn't start using it until now.  The white tea scent can be a little overpowering at first but this cream does what it's made to do and Origins has been a reputable cosmetics company.

Burt's Bees shampoo and conditioner - This line is pretty accessible; I've seen it at Walgreens and Target at a slightly lower cost than at the West Portal Health & Nutrition Center (they've got a whole shelf dedicated to a wide range of products) but since I like to support local small businesses, paying a few dollars more wasn't a big deal to me.

Lavanila The Healthy Sunscreen SPF 40 - By far the priciest sunscreen I have ever purchased.  I read the reviews before heading over to Sephora in Union Square and what was great about it is that it didn't leave skin chalky or super oily.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps (not pictured) - I think most people are familiar with Dr. Bronners.  I prefer the unscented Baby Mild bar soap.  Ironically his soaps also make a great air/ plant freshener- the Plant Lady who comes to my work once a week to water the plants likes to spritz them with her own concoction of water and a small drop of the lavender liquid soap.

Origins Youthopia Foundation (not pictured) - I haven't purchased this yet, but I've read really great reviews and its won a couple beauty awards so it sounds promising.

January 29, 2012

J. Crew Shirts

I recently discovered the best button up oxford shirts for women and the unlikely source is the boys' department at J. Crew.  If you're a size 2 or 4, a size 14 in the boys' size is a perfect fit.  What's great about it is that it's long enough to look casual with a pair of jeans (and especially booties, if you own any!)   And it was on sale for $29.99 with free shipping.  I went to visit the website today hoping to put a link, but sadly the oxford shirt pictured here is no longer available.  Although they did come out with new colors and the mint oxford shirt didn't look too bad:  J. Crew boys' oxford shirt

January 22, 2012

Samsonite vintage black label luggage

I've been obsessing over this luggage since 2009 when I first saw it in a travel magazine but it was beyond my reach price wise.  After endless online searches I eventually found them on amazon and ebay but still agonized whether it was worth the splurge.  I must have driven my boyfriend crazy with my indecisiveness because I had the good fortune of receiving them as presents this past Christmas.

Anyways, I'm hoping to use this baby later on in the year, but still haven't decided where to take her.  Although I've been wanting to meet this girl from Ipanema for a very long time...

January 14, 2012

Kate Spade Westward Adventurer Satchel

Ah, another one of my internet impulse buys during the holidays.  I have mixed feelings about this satchel.
I love it but it would be perfect if only it was the size of a handbag; the word satchel can be a bit misleading.

 This limited edition Emily and Merrit bag is sold out

It's more of a duffle/travel bag than anything but it's got wonderful small touches like a lock and key. It's definitely a classic, sturdy bag but sadly, I may be ebaying this piece since I really have no need for it.  


January 2, 2012

Flying lessons

I had the good fortune to snap up a flying lesson from Fly Bay Area last year on  It definitely goes down as an experience that I'll never forget.

Totally tense while my instructor Gabriel was incredibly laid-back

January 1, 2012

Memorable eats from 2011

Crawfish beignets at Brenda's French Soul Food on Polk and Eddy
 are out of this world.  Their chocolate beignets aren't bad either  

Hakka Restaurant- possibly SF's best kept secret of authentic 
Chinese food (at least I think so, I've never heard of it until a few months ago). 

More Hakka goodness- located in the Outer Richmond on 45th and Cabrillo

One of my favorite restaurants is Pacific Cafe, also located in the Outer Richmond.  
Pictured here are their crab cakes.  

My fiance and I loved Pacific Cafe so much that we dined here two nights in a row.  
The owner remembered us and coincidentally we were seated in the same table.

Scallop dish from Pacific Cafe.  On my second night I had the ahi-tuna 
with wasabi sauce (not pictured) - I highly recommend it.

Toyose, I was told was converted from a car garage.  I was a little skeptical but this cozy restaurant is perfect for cold, winter nights.  I recommend their kimchi fried rice and casserole (actually a stew in a cauldron-looking bowl and not what your mom bakes in the oven)