1 scarf 3 ways

_MG_7433

Meet Sophia! I’ve got a whole interview with this local guide, food writer, and resident taco expert in the works, but in the meantime — let’s talk about scarves. This is the accessory I’ve always wished I could be more versatile with. The scarf is, of course, the ultimate fabric haiku — for myself, while the haiku is still a little beyond my means I’m slowly getting good at the scarf limerick. Each time I met up with Sophia I was mesmerized be her seemingly effortless skills in this department, and during our final get-together I managed to get some of them on camera. Hopefully through Sophia’s teachings we can all get a little better at composing our own scarf sonnet.

IMG_2927

First, start with one large square scarf, at least 3 feet long on each side, and for each of these stylings you’re going to first fold the scarf in half triangularly.

threescarves

#1: Drape the folded scarf loosely around shoulders, with the tip of the triangle pointed down and arranged at the center of your back, and tie in an un-fussy knot at décolletage.
#2: Place the two long ends of the triangle one on either side of your purse handle with the bulk of the scarf gently folded in half across your purse; arrange the length to fit the size of your purse, and fluff the scarf until the folds lie nicely as seen above; tie the long ends into an elegant bow.
#3: Take the tip of the triangle and fold or roll it inward until you have one long strand for the scarf; Flip your hair over, lay the center of the scarf across the nape of your neck; throw hair back; pull scarf up around your hairline and tie the ends on the side of your head in a bow.

What’s your favorite accessory, or scarf styling? Let me know in the commentsand be sure to check back in later this month for the full interview with Sophia about food, travel, and San Francisco. Thanks as always for reading, and stay in touch with me on pinteresttwitterinstagram, and facebook.

 

XO! 

summer isn’t over

tamalesbay

The days may be winding down but if you’re willing to chase after summer she’s still holding court here and there. Here is a rocky inlet off the California coast. On the south side of Tomales Bay the little peninsula of Point Reyes has slowly but steadily inched 350 miles north since sometime around the Cretaceous period (+/-) — bringing SoCal flora and fauna along with it just to confuse anyone paying attention (which you’d probably only do if pausing at a picnic table to dine on Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, or perhaps while hiking along one of Point Reyes’s many coastal trails). On the northern side, there’s the Marshall Store. Local oysters fresh from the sea, mouth-watering crab sandwiches, and infamous clam chowder draw crowds from miles around every weekend. Whether you’ve come for the sun, water or ceviche — expect lots of charm; hope for lots of sun; and prepare for the wind and fog to come sweeping in off the coast by sundown or before. On this September weekend we lucked out — it was only the first two qualities joining us for this little California getaway.

IMG_3106 Untitled IMG_3174 marshallstore

What to Do around Tamales Bay –

Eat At:

  • The Marshall Store for fresh seafood in a casual setting. Grab a spot at one of their long family-style outdoor tables and keep the oyster orders coming.
  • Cafe Reyes for wood-fired pizza, seasonal salads and more oysters. Has a fantastic outdoor patio for warm-to-breezy weather.
  • Saltwater to treat yourself on fine dining centered around seafood and the seasons.

Visit:

Browse: The Point Reyes Farmer’s Market for the ripest produce, tastiest jams and baked goods, and best grilled cheese in the bay area, usually set to live music.
And Stay: At the beautiful Kent House (referred to amongst the family as “the Shambles”) for a richly cosy and secluded stay.

 

IMG_3153

I’m never really prepared, but it always goes down this way each year — thanks to my work schedule and the weather in the Bay Area my best and most laid-back summer moments are in the twilight of the season, while the rest of the world is ramping up for fall. Do you have any final summer plans yet? What is your best memory so far of this year’s season? Let me know in the commentsand until next time find me on pinteresttwitterinstagram, and facebook.

Thank you for reading, and Ciao! 

weekend reading

I’m in the woods shooting a wedding and after a long day of hiking around in the heat — positioning and repositioning people, trying to capture moments with guerrilla precision, trying to keep track of both the bride and groom at the same time on over 80 acres of forest, waterfalls and archery ranges — there were only so many photos of people dancing in the dark that could be taken, so I walked out of the lodge, heading towards my cabin with a bottle of cold wine I’d been hiding in the commercial-grade freezers for just that moment, and I was so tired and so intent on sitting down somewhere that I almost didn’t look up; focused instead on picking my way through the brush armed with only a flashlight and my camera.

Fortunately, I did look up, and even more fortunately, my tripod was stowed just around the corner.

_MG_0510

Have you heard of this new app called Stellar? The medium falls in between instagram and a traditional blog post in the extent of content shared, and the user-friendly platform of the app along with the beautiful stories up already to browse make for an incredible rich experience. I’ve barely dipped my toe in with a single story so far, but I’m super excited about the ability to so easily connect and share with creative story-tellers around the world. MB is all over this app — this is the story-telling platform he’s been waiting for — and has created a couple fantastic stories you can read here.

Speaking of apps, the NY Times followed one woman as she airbnbs, task rabbits, lyfts, and ubers from 10am Saturday to 5am Sunday in one weekend. As with many NYT articles, the comments are the best part, like this gem: “No certainty, no benefits, no fall back position for the worker, just the grind of grubbing chances to earn money minute to minute, day to day. What’s not to like in this “sharing” economy where the jump starters of the sharing App companies walk away with billions in stock options or bonuses as the venture capitalists pounce on their idea, while those who do the work are tap dancing on shifting sands.” Read the whole story yourself here.

Here in SF we’ve been watching the increasingly ugly war between Uber and Lyft as the former tries to crush the later out of the competition. What isn’t so visible is how large both of those companies are already — Uber in 45 countries, and Lyft 60 cities in the US – and how damaging this war is to the actual bread and butter of both operations — the drivers themselves.

But it hasn’t been all apps all the time this week. Something called fashion week was happening somewhere around the world, but if you’re interested in that kind of thing you probably already know all about it. As for myself I’m transfixed by these images of Carolyn Murphy for Muse — who takes the slouchy, menswear pieces I love for fall and makes them look both elegant and relaxed at the same time.

Has anyone else tried diatomaceous earth? I’m really intrigued by this as a way to cleanse. Right now I’m omitting gluten and sugar from my diet and mixing myself some turmeric tonics recommended by a nutritionalist to bring down inflammation, and I’m always interested in trying new natural remedies to make myself healthier.

I’ll be back in the city on Monday with some posts about travel spots in NorCal, San Francisco culture and style, and maybe even some cocktail recipes — until then I’ve got a few more locations to shoot up here in the mountains. How is your weekend treating you so far? Anyone else been to a wedding this month, or a campground? Let me know how you’re doing in the commentsand until next time find me on pinteresttwitterinstagram, and facebook

Thank you for reading – Ciao! 

balmy alley

balmy

Discovering these murals down a tiny alley off 24th St completely blew me away. I’ve probably walked by this alley a dozen times before and had no idea the color, imagery and heart that was waiting for me just out of the corner of my eye! I owe Edible Excursions a big thanks — who knows how long it would have taken me to find this place if I wasn’t led directly there on their Mission district 24th St tour. Even though I live in the Mission now there’s still so much of this rich and large neighborhood I haven’t explored yet; finding these murals alone made the tour worth it (not to mention some roasted butternut squash & goat cheese tamales that will forever change how I will think about tamales). As it was described to me by the mural docent guiding us — the collection began about 30+ years ago by local female community leaders and artists as an outlet for those outside of the mainstream SF art scene at the time (i.e. women and young people of Hispanic roots) and is still going strong today. As such, many of the murals focus on a history of displacement and marginalization, with a big focus on the issue of gentrification. As I walked through the alley I was overwhelmed by the raw emotion of all the stories before me — ranging from ironically humorous to heart-wrenchingly sad.

IMG_3064 IMG_3062 balmyalley (9 of 25) balmyalley (16 of 25) IMG_3073 IMG_3091 balmyalley (17 of 25) balmycomp IMG_3092 IMG_3045

Yet another example to pay more attention — to take new turns in old neighborhoods whenever possible. Balmy Alley has no set hours, but is a residential street with locals living behind each mural, so keep that in mind when visiting, and if you can I highly recommend taking a guided tour.

Has anyone else out there discovered or knew about Balmy Alley? What was your impression of the murals? Let me know in the commentsand until next time find me on pinteresttwitterinstagram, and facebook. Thank you for reading and Ciao! 

transitioning

_MG_7178

Evocative and scenic Alamo Square is one of my favorite spots in the city (as evidenced by one or two other photoshoots there). From its peak you can see almost from shore to shore (or bay to breakers as some like to say) and it feels like you’re right in the center, in the heart of the city. This particular afternoon it occurred to me that the park is the living embodiment of the season – if the Sunset & Ocean Beach are December, and Downtown and the Bay behind me early June, then we’re right here in September, as summer coyly slips into fall. Strolling up past the constant crowd shooting photos of the Painted Ladies, up to the top of the park I could see the fog looming larger and thicker as it spread out across the parks, hills and rooftops of the western half of the city, while to the east the sky was clear, sunny and blue — and with me in the center, hugging my velvet coat tight whenever the wind picked up.

_MG_7204 ALAMO2 _MG_7213 ALAMO

Where I Was: Alamo Square, San Francisco
What to Do There: Go visit Rare Device for their current show featuring the work of local instagramers such as Fluxi on Tour & Isla Bell, before maneuvering up to the bar at Nopa for a tasty cocktail and some bites

_MG_7263

I love that I can still get away with wearing this sheer summer frock, just picked up the other week while browsing Urban Air Market in the Dogpatch. Amidst the selection of handmade leather goods, jewelry, and soaps, I found a booth with an amazing array of mini dresses, midi skirts, and Hawaiian print shirts, all crafted from gorgeous vintage fabrics into contemporary designs (I think we call that upcycling, non?). The maker has a shop in LA, but will also be at the September market in Hayes Valley for us in the bay area. Urban renewal fashion like that is my definitely my Achilles heel, so I’m saving up for the next market in between eyeing new coats and destroyed denim for fall. You can never really have too many coats in this town (she said to herself)…

Thanks as always for reading? What do you think of my new outfit post layout? Let me know in the commentsand until next time find me on pinteresttwitterinstagram, and facebook. Ciao! 

Photographs by MB Maher

weekend reading

_MG_5804 Yep, I’m in denial that summer is over, even as I watch the sun setting an hour too early and feel the chill in the air. Makes me long for summer days like these above. I can still smell the crab and the roasted fennel looking at this shot, and if you haven’t yet already make sure you check out the rest of the images from this day and my picks for a Seattle getaway over at the lovely bay area lifestyle blog J for Jamie. Here’s some of my other reads from the past few weeks…


Turns out even historians can be sexist. Remember all those fierce Viking warrior dudes you read about in school — sailing, pillaging and most likely discovering America — we’ve just now discovered that about half of them were probably female.

But the leaders in sexism remain in Hollywood, and it’s gotten to the point where I almost can’t go to the movies anymore — I become so frustrated with the lack of women in cinema. Even if the (usually one) female lead is a “strong woman” she tends to exist in a vacuum as an object for the male lead to either win or be mothered by, and has no real arch or identity of her own. I’m not the only one annoyed by this — the NY Times wrote up about it this week, although in their opinion the representation of female characters in cinema is improving. Let’s hope they’re right.

But you know what’s not sexist — This little thing we call blogging, which has provided job opportunities (some of them really well paying) for women of all ages around the world, and has seriously shook up quite a few historically male-dominated industries like advertising and publishing. It does my heart good whenever I stumble across stories like this young ladie’s, who is able to afford a life of non-stop travel thanks to her blog, guts, and business savvy. We realize how ground-breaking this is, right? Though it definitely helped if you were starting blogging in that sweet spot 10-7 years ago, even today the possibilities are still nearly endless, as Ali wrote quite eloquently about over at her blog Gimme Some Oven.

And speaking of amazing women shaking up traditionally male dominated industries, Nicole Franzen just spent some time here in the bay and her images around the foggy Outer Sunset are absolutely breathtaking, while on the other side of the globe Haleigh Walsworth spent a week in Formentera and the results are out of this world. I’ve never heard of this island before, but now that it’s on my radar I’m dying to plan a trip.

Do you have any links or stories to share about inspiring women? Leave me a note in the comments! I don’t know about you, but this weekend I’m definitely taking some time to go a couple long walks and get as much of this lingering evening light as I can. Thanks as always for reading, and until I see you on Monday – find me on pinteresttwitterinstagram, and facebook. Ciao! 

ballard farmer’s market

_MG_6224

When I was last in Seattle I fell in love with the Ballard Farmer’s Market — and that was in the spring, when most of the venders focused on preserved items like chocolates, breads, jams, foraged mushrooms, wine and fish (and prepared food of course, like the amazing salmon slider seen above). Imagine my excitement when my photo workshop team and I were set loose on Ballard in the height of summer. Feeling the morning sun on our faces as we strolled up and down the long line of white awning stands with their offerings of tomatoes, peppers, beets, corn, flowers, greens, herbs, peaches, pluots, melons, and everything else this season has to offer. Our mission was to document the market journalist style, and afterwards we returned to Aran’s gorgeous studio (images to come) to style and shoot what we had picked up during the day. Here’s the results matched up in before-and-after style – I hope you enjoy!

To see more shots of the market (and TONS of photos from my workshop) along with my favorite Seattle spots, visit my guest post today with the lovely J for Jamie where I break down how to travel like a local  in Seattle.

beets2 _MG_6193 chard _MG_6389 tomatoes I can’t believe that September is officially here! Is this year flying by for anyone other than me? Let me know in the comments and until next time – find me on pinterest, twitter, instagram, and facebookand don’t forget to check out my guest post with fellow Bay Area blogger Jamie here!

say yes

IMG_2799

It’s so easy to say no to things, or even worse “maybe later…” A few dear friends of mine have been dying to go on a romantic trip just the two of them — something they haven’t really done ever — but there was also a million obligations and reasons to keep pushing it off for another year. And while I certainly admire their strong sense of responsibility, I couldn’t have been more thrilled and proud when they called me from Hawaii this week completely out of the blue. It was probably their action that encouraged me to immediately say yes when a friend from Holland called hours before arriving in San Francisco for one day only asking to visit. This is the definition of taking a personal day, and there’s nothing wrong with it — these are the moments you’ll remember and hang on to; not one more day in the office or working.

_MG_7300

So that’s the first part of the puzzle — surrounding yourself with people who challenge you, present you with these possibilities, and encourage your dreams. The second part is trickier yet — be the one who creates these opportunities for yourself, and says yes to them. It’s not easy, but one way to get the ball rolling is to shake yourself up, and get out of your routine, whether it’s a trip on a plane or just a walk to a new part of town. Get yourself out of your comfort zone and see what happens.

With that in mind I’m packing my bags as we speak and driving to a town in California I’ve never been to before. Thank you for reading and see you in September! In the meantime, leave me a comment and let’s stay in touch – find me on pinteresttwitterinstagram, and facebook.