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I have what may be the tiniest kitchen you’ve ever seen.

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Not that I hate it. Quite the contrary. But it took a while to get used to 9 square feet of workspace (it’s true — I measured just about 2.2 seconds ago).

When we first moved into this apartment, the tiny kitchen felt like the one blemish in an otherwise flawless (okay, not flawless — it was built in 1910 after all) space. Squeezing more than one person in there felt impossible, and I avoided the kitchen out of frustration.

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But now, I love it.

I love that it takes 5 minutes to clean. 10 if I’m doing a hardcore scrubdown.

I love that I know exactly where everything is at all times — there’s no way you can lose something in that little space.

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I love that it challenges me. Working in this small space pushes me — and every time I whip up a new culinary creation, I feel ridiculously (embarrassingly) proud that it came out of the tiniest kitchen ever.

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So, I’ve opted to celebrate my miniscule kitchen with a (I know) hashtag — you can now follow #thetiniestkitchen on Instagram to see all of my latest creations.

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xo

The first time I visited the South, I was eight (maybe nine), and had been dragged along to Mississippi for a family reunion. The hazy memories from that trip seem to match the humid, misty Mississippi weather perfectly. I remember the oppressive heat very vividly — it was so different from the dry California summers I was used to. We stayed at a plantation-turned-hotel of sorts — my memories of wandering through surprisingly green grounds with drooping tree branches, scented magnolias and thick spider webs are the clearest. 

I hadn’t been back to the South since then, so my expectations for New Orleans were pretty much the same, and the magic of the city didn’t fail me. The heavy air, the lush trees with moss and ferns carpeting each branch, the broken sidewalks, the charming street cars — and the porches! I loved the porches. Each with a sky blue roof and colorful front doors. There’s something almost ancient and lost in time about New Orleans — I found myself constantly thinking of Macondo from 100 Years of Solitude.

Of course, the food and the people can’t be beat either.

Very belated, but here are a few shots from our trip. 

photo 2Our home away from home for the weekend. Right off of St. Charles — couldn’t have asked for a better spot, or host. 

photo 1The owner of the apartment is a lawyer, so our bedroom was full of law books. 

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Walking down Bourbon to Frenchman Street our first night. I love the fans on the balcony ceilings. 

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We happened on a random art fair right across from dba, so we wandered for a bit while we finished our massive frozen drinks.

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The oysters in New Orleans are totally different (and MUCH larger) than the ones in California, but still amazing. They require a bit more chewing, but it’s nothing plenty of Crystal hot sauce can’t cure. 

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Walking down St. Charles was like walking back in time. I would’ve moved into any of those houses in a heartbeat (even though this one looks slightly haunted). 

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My favorite night was totally random — a delicious meal (and far too much wine) at La Petite Grocery, and wandering in and out of the bars on Magazine Street. photo 3

A Little Free Library! I was too excited when I found this. 

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If Kelly would let me paint the entire apartment in colors like this, I’d totally do this. Such a refreshing turn from the gray that I see everywhere today. 

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Another shot of the art fair across from dba. 

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And of course, the Jazz Fest was completely amazing too. Despite the mud, we had a total blast (although we were relieved when the sun came back on day 2). I’d kill for a frozen margarita and big bowl of crawfish monica right now … 

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NOLA, I think I’m in love with you. 

xo

Fall makes me feel very romantic. It’s all the sweaters, steaming mugs of tea and snuggle-worthy weather. Of course, fall comes late to San Francisco — we tend to get our best weather at the end of September/beginning of October — but when it does arrive, it’s perfect. The fog disappears. There’s a slight chill in the air, but it’s never too cold. The air smells better. People start using their fireplaces again. The maple tree outside our window turns yellow, red and then orange. I start craving pumpkin spice everything. 

The bike ride home from the train station has been getting colder and colder. The other night, Kelly and I stopped on the Embarcadero — right before the hill on North Point — to warm up with some chowder and mussels at Pier 23. The heaters were going outside, so we huddled in their covered patio and sipped frothy beers, talking and soothing away the worries of the day. 

We rode our bikes home after — just the tiniest bit buzzed — foggy breath getting stronger as we made our way up the hill. Sweaty but still smiling when we got home. 

It was one of those randomly perfect fall nights. The San Francisco equivalent of an handheld autumn walk through Central Park (sort of). 

xo 

My take on the Marina Girl salad: 


Although it’s not the most exciting thing on their menu (and I feel like an idiot ordering it — this salad needs a new name), the Marina Girl salad is one of my very favorite things at Tacolicious. Yes, yes, their roasted veggie tacos and potato/chorizo tacos are amazing, but this simple salad is a refreshing start to what always ends up being an over-indulgent meal. 

A few friends decided to get together for an impromptu Mexican meal last night, and I decided to start us off with my take on the Marina Girl salad, before we all gorged ourselves on guacamole, sweet potato tacos (so good!) and flan. 

Here’s what you need:

2 Romaine hearts, chopped
3 good sized radishes (I did watermelon radishes since they’re so pretty)
1 extra large avocado
Handful of pepitas (I like to roast mine with cumin and paprika)
Crumbled cotija cheese

Dressing:
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt, Pepper, a sprinkle of cumin
1 smushed garlic clove

Instructions: mix all those bad boys up in one big bowl. Then enjoy!

xo

Three things Im kind of obsessed with:

1. GOLDhearted on Etsy 

I want them all …

2. Heather Knight at Element Clay Studio

The simple, natural beauty of these is absolutely awe-inspiring. They’re little works of art! I don’t think I could bear to use them as tile… I’d just want to frame a set.

3. Unless You Will, photography digital magazine

Whenever I come across beautiful digital magazines like these, I find it so surprising that these people don’t charge anything to view them. This is a gorgeous, gorgeous publication. Good work like this (both the editing and the photography itself) deserves all the credit it can get.

(photos by Marco Signorini)

That’s all for now my friends.

Have a happy weekend!

xo

This is a really beautiful video, and a wonderful story about one man’s passion for what he does.

Chad Robertson, from Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, is a man truly obsessed with bread. I love how all of his amazing creations stem from such a basic combination: flour and water.

Enjoy!

Tartine Bread from 4SP Films on Vimeo.

Have you ever read The Omnivore’s Dilemma? This video makes me think about the opening chapter, when he talks about how bread is the foundation of all meals.

I don’t know about you, but this makes me want to open a restaurant.

{A secret ambition of mine… maybe one day…}

{hello loves}

I’ve taken a bit of a blog break this Christmas… so sorry!

I’ve just been wrapped up in family time–which I have to say, is absolutely splendid. We rarely get the four siblings together, and it’s always such a divine, complete feeling when we do.

Anywho, here’s a brief Christmas recap to tie you over til the New Year!

{I hope your Christmas was as special and meaningful as mine was}

xo

Twelve Photos of Christmas

1. Traditional tree at my mom’s house–chock full of years of collected ornaments.

2. Miso and my 90-year-young grandpa relaxing on the couch at my dad’s house.

3. Christmas Eve dinner at my mom’s. Honey-baked ham, potatoes au gratin,

green beans with herb butter, a dinner roll, and deliciously roasted acorn squash!

4. The boyfriend’s gift to me. Remember when I wrote about this?

How darling is he for remembering and searching for it?

I love him.

5. Mill Valley coffee with some ducklings.

6. Seth and Luke going to town on their presents at my dad’s.

(Seth is playing with his brand spankin’ new Nook Color that my dad gave him. Genius! Combines his love of reading and gadgets)

7. A little blurry (this was pre-opening my new camera), but this is my favorite ornament from when we were little.

Two little mice on a compact puff! The mirror says “Sisters are forever friends.”

(I like to say that I’m the one on the left, and Emily is the one on the right)

8. My present to the boyfriend! I got him a beautiful new record player (to replace the broken gross one we found on the street).

We plugged it in and started playing Horse Feathers right away. (please go listen if you haven’t heard of them. These Portland natives are some of my faves–and the boyfriend went to high school with the main singer!)

9. The mind blowing, amazing cheese ball that my step mom makes every year.

Yes, a cheese ball sounds very 70s.

But trust me, this goat cheese/sundried tomato/garlic/balsamic/basil goodness is pure heaven.

10. Christmas morning foot duvets (aka slippers, Restoration Hardware style) from my mom!

11. Lola was going crazy over the wrapping paper.

She is the cutest.

12. Snowflakes in the window at my dad’s house. Sadly, San Francisco hasn’t seen snow since the 70s… but I still have my fingers crossed.

ps: Happy New Year friends!

New Years Eve is always a weird holiday for me (for most people I think).

Soooo many expectations–and it’s never as amazing as you’d like it to be, right?

This year, I’m just excited to buy a shiny new dress, and see where the night takes me.

lovelovelove