Friday Scraps

{View from the Top of the Mark}

. I want to age this gracefully – and happily!

. Brilliant gift wrap idea.

. How to de-stress in only six minutes.

. I’ll take a wolf, thanks. But not a woof.

. Cracking up because a) I adore Mr. Rogers (well documented fact, people) and because b) I’ve done this, and yes, it looks almost exactly like this.

What’s on the schedge this weekend friends? I’m partaking in some date night, some pool sitting, and starting to think about packing for Vegas! Yahoo!

Herb-Infused Lemonade

Now that I have a thriving herb garden (the first time I’ve ever been able to type “thriving” and “garden” in the same sentence, thank you, this is a big day) I have been putting herbs into anything and everything – especially beverages. And though SF is cold and foggy, like, every single day, that still hasn’t stopped me from partaking in my favorite summer tradition: an ice cold glass of lemonade.

Mint lemonade is fairly typical on menus, but I love to take it a step farther and put an assortment of herbs into my lemonade. It’s both fresh and surprising, without overpowering the sweet simplicity of the drink itself. Also, people will come over and be all, “Dude, there are plants in mah drink,” and you can be all, “DUDE! Yeah. There are. Now drink up.”

It’s so easy, there’s really no recipe required – simply mix up a batch of lemonade, either from scratch or with a mix, your choice – and add some freshly snipped, thoroughly rinsed mint, rosemary, basil and lavender. I let it sit overnight so the flavors can infuse thoroughly, then strain out the herbs. Garnish, if you’d like, with a wedge of lemon or a sprig of mint, or add some sparkling water, for an extra kick.

Livin’ La Vida Tiny: After, part deux

I grew up sharing a bathroom with my brother, then with three college roommates, then with 35 sorority sisters. In my Presidio house, there were four adults sharing one bathroom and we all got really good at the speed shower and the quick pee.

Yeah, I went there.

Now, blissfully, I have my own bathroom, chock full of hair products, fresh towels and back issues of Vogue. Still, it can be crowded with cosmetics and brushes, and stray bobby pins are somehow everywhere. In order to keep my tiny toilette feeling organized and feminine, I rely on a neutral palate, vintage organizer help, and tons of fresh-smelling Method cleaner.

Space Savers. It would be easy, but inefficient, to cram my built-in shelves full of products. These linen drawers from Target keep cosmetics and hair accessories compartmentalized and easy to access. Since I’m not allowed to paint, the neutral shade blends into the wall color nicely, to keep the room from feeling visually cluttered.

Cool Colors. Green is my favorite color, in all its varieties: vintage depression green, minty old Vespa green, and that pale blue-green of the Indian ocean when the tide goes out. I used Fieldcrest Luxury towels in Aqua Spill as a base color, and then added whites and neutral shades around it, with the occasional pop of bright teal.

Vintage Vessels. For small items, such as makeup brushes, cotton balls, and those rascally bobby pins, I employed my collection of vintage jars, canisters, and even my great-grandmother’s rose chintz tea cup, to keep everything organized. I also the vintage feel of French toile fabric, and I’ve had that laundry bag since college, so technically, it’s vintage, too!

I’d love to hear your organization tips! Bathroom or otherwise!

Livin’ La Vida Tiny: After

One of the first things I realized when I moved into 200 square feet, was that I needed to maximize every possible inch – including the outdoors – but since I basically live in the sky, the only outdoors we are rockin’ in the treehouse is a front porch and a whole lotta stairs.

In order to make my little porch feel like an extension of living space, I added wicker table and chairs, strung up solar lights and created an herb garden that not only floods my doorstep with fragrance after the (frequent) San Francisco rains, but it also adds a whole new element to cooking. And by “element” I naturally mean I just add herbs to everything now. Yes, sometimes even toast with cheese. Add a lil’ basil. It’s really pretty good.

I Love a Charade

One of the perks of working from home is that I get to multi-task. Sometimes this is bad – as cold, neglected mugs of tea and half-watered plants can attest – but sometimes this is great, because that means inspiration is everywhere and can be acted upon at a moment’s notice. Case in point: today. Nothing cheers up a day of expense reports and provides sartorial inspiration like Charade.

What I love about this film, aside from the witty banter and beautiful Parisian scenes, is the color. More specifically, the lack of it. I love the dusty hues and drab walls, which let Carey and Audrey really pop in bright reds and stark whites. Her earrings twinkle and the lights seem to glow against neutral backdrops.

Stanley Donen was a genius, and his beautiful movie still seems fresh and relevant. To wit: Audrey’s big-buttoned jacket, ladylike chignon and, of course, a very classic pink lipstick. All are cropping up in modern iterations on Fall runways and new collections everywhere. Now that’s something to be inspired by.

Blazer, Zara
Lipstick, Chanel
Chignon, JB Reed Weddings, via GreyLikesWeddings.com

Friday Scraps

 

{Airplane clouds}

. Be green, be chic

. August snuck up on me (you, too?) but there are some things to love about this sneaky month.

. Peachy keen.

. Fall essential numero uno (and dos, and tres…)

. I am all Olympics, all the time, and I’m not the only one.

. I LOVE Le Pliage bag by Longchamp, and so does someone else

People. This week brought sun, sand, a quick trip to Los Angeles. This weekend is all about baseball, dinner with friends, and a long-awaited trip to Stern Grove to get our picnic on. What are you up to?

Living La Vida Tiny: Before

A few months ago, I moved from a rambling, four-bedroom historical home with four roommates, to a tiny little studio all of my own. While the space and freedom of my own place is wonderful, the actual space itself is truly teeny tiny! To the tune of about 300 square feet. As most people say when they walk in: “Whoa. This IS small!” Thanks. Thank you, very much. No really, I never get that, honestly.

Living here, thus far, has been both challenging and hilarious. Especially because the idea of my very own big kid apartment was hatched long ago, via You’ve Got Mail and Sex & The City, and those beautiful city girl apartments are so very clearly not in line with any true city dweller’s budget these days.

So, for any other city folks who live in far less space than they’d like, or for those who also fell prey to the false advertising of HBO and Nora Ephron, I’d love to showcase a few tips, tricks and ways I’ve found to make a small space feel bigger. First, the before shots:

Challenges:

Structure: As you can see, there’s not a whole lot of structure to the space. Other than the built-in bookshelves and the raised bed platform, it’s one long room with a hardwood floor kitchen and a (thankfully) separated bathroom.

Angles. The ceiling is also funny – it’s slanted! Like a cabin! Because the apartment is so high up – it’s the in-law unit at the top of an old San Francisco mansion – it has a homey, treehouse feeling, but the odd angle of the ceiling and walls make for a few bumped heads at every dinner party.

Kitchen. Or lack thereof. Two burners, a sink, limited counter space and a tiny, almost Paris-sized fridge. The challenge of cooking in such a small space cannot go overlooked.

What would you do with this funny little place? Any ideas or suggestions? Stay tuned next week for the after shots and solutions to some of my tiny apartment woes!

 

 

Stuffed Mushrooms

Do you ever have leftover mushrooms and don’t know what to do with them? Oh what, you HATE mushrooms and never buy them but sometimes they accidentally get left in your fridge? Okay, well, that is basically the same thing. Either way, you should make stuffed mushrooms. If you don’t like them, someone else will. And that someone is me. I’m comin’ over!

Also, these are easy. Like, really really easy. A four-year old could make stuffed mushrooms. Although, why does your four-year old have a knife? You really need to work on your parenting skills.

Mushrooms take on a meaty, hearty taste once they’ve been cooked. Pair them with a salty cheese filling and fresh herbs on top for a pop of flavor that’s unexpected yet comforting, like when a hobo gives you a hug. Only better smelling.

STUFFED MUSHROOMS

Ingredients:

1. One dozen mushrooms, rinsed and de-stemmed

2. Two wedges of Laughing Cow spreadable swiss cheese

3. 1/3 cup sour cream

4. Shredded mozzarella, for topping

5. Fresh dill

6. Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

. Mix sour cream and swiss cheese together in a small bowl, salt and peppering to taste. Once the mushrooms are dry and de-stemmed, flip them over and fill them with the cheese mixture.

. Sprinkle grated mozzarella and fresh dill springs on top. And maybe another twist of cracked pepper, if you’re obsessed with pepper. It’s cool. These are your mushrooms, yo.

. Bake in the over (or toaster oven) on 350 for about 10 minutes, or until the tops turn golden brown.