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Monday Merriment

Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

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I.  Dust off that oversize sunbrim hat from under the bed, stack equestrian Hermes bracelets on one arm, and done your prettiest frock for the 2nd Annual Run for the Roses Kentucky Derby Party on Saturday May 3.  Put on by the illustrious Guardsmen at the General’s Residence in Fort Mason from 1-6PM, the event features open bar Mint Juleps, traditional southern bites, lawn games, and the most beautiful people our town has to offer.   

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II.  Before hitting derby and/or Cinco de Mayo fetes, indulge in a big breakfast to soak up the spirits.  Over the weekend, some friends and I made beer-braised shredded chicken tacos for dinner.  The next morning, we still had some corn tortillas, chicken, avocado, diced white onion, and cilantro.  To turn the dinner leftovers into breakfast fare, we sauteed a little of the onion with spinach in olive oil, then added beaten eggs, cheddar cheese, and avocado.  After broiling the tortillas for a few minutes (until they popped up and browned on each side) we topped them with the scramble, shredded chicken, cilantro, more diced onion, and hot sauce.  Simply delicious!

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III.  While spending time with friends in the kitchen, I was reminded that many millennials don’t have a firm grasp on cooking basics.  (For example: no one among the group could properly identify a hand-mixer).  While pondering the quandary this morning, I stumbled upon this amazing collection of cooking tricks and tips for the less than culinary from Bon Appetit magazine’s staff.  I particularly love the suggestion to use a zester for garlic - so much faster than dicing each clove!

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IV.  I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m constantly on the prowl for nontraditional art pieces.  When I found these prints from Mr Pickwick’s Etsy shop, I instantly fell in love.  What could be better than the word “Nerds” spelled out in periodic element symbols?!  I can’t wait to hang the trio in my office.  If you’re less geek and more chic, the shop also carries a plethora of whimsical handmade prints worth checking out.

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V.  On the topic of nerdiness, it can be challenging to store books in small San Francisco apartments.  Kudos if you’re blessed with built-ins, but otherwise finding something both petite and stylish is next to impossible.  Luckily, I’ve found the perfect solution in this 5’x5’ round industrial bookshelf from Cost Plus.  The open frame keeps your place uncluttered, while showcasing your brain candy.  Tip: to avoid the $70 shipping fee, find a location in the Bay Area and pick it up yourself.

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt

Monday Merriment

Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

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I.  With friends partaking in both Passover and Easter celebrations this week, I’ve been inundated with tablescape inquiries.  Stepping away from a traditional pastel palette, I’m recommending a bold mix of turquoise, pink, and orange with gilded accents.  Recreate the look with tonal pink florals, ikat fabric from your local crafts store, vintage candle-holders (Salvation Army and Good Will have shockingly fabulous options) and these tapers.  For added effect, use matzo or gold-dipped eggs in lieu of place cards.

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II.  Here’s the best part of dating:  .  Just kidding.  Sort of…  New to the single scene (I spent the entirety of my teens and 20’s in a series of monogamous relationships) a year ago I signed up for OkCupid, Tinder, JDate, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Hinge.  While I’ve floated in and out of these apps - one particularly entertaining experience is chronicled here - I recently decided to delete them all together.  I’m fairly certain that my Prince Charming isn’t spending hours crafting the perfect profile and perusing uncurated websites to meet random women.  Furthermore, all of my favorite couples were introduced by friends.  While lamenting on this over the weekend, someone mentioned that neither of my excuses worked for a new app called My Cute Friend.  The dating site works on reviews by friends (as a man you have to be recommended to join, and your recommender is attached to your profile).  I played with the app for twenty minutes and already matched with several (surprisingly) eligible bachelors.  Get it, girls!!

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III.  Bikini season is swiftly approaching, which means that my winter indulgences of gnocchi and truffle frites will be replaced with healthier choices.  Like Salmon.  While there are many ways to prepare the ubiquitous fish, I keep returning to my variation on Barefoot Contessa’s Herb Roasted version.  Topped with fresh dill, scallions, and parsley then simmered in dry white wine, this dish is as healthy as it is delectable.

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IV.  Flipping through the pages of C Magazine this morning, I paused on a story featuring Mia Rubie, a San Francisco native who ditched her corporate position at Levi’s to open her own nail art boutique.  Proud (and understanding) of anyone who leaves a lucrative career to pursue passion, I loved learning about Mia’s adventure creating her company Sparkle.  I’ll be stopping by to prep my nails for the SF MOMA Nail Art Competition pre-Modern Ball on April 30th. 

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V.  Tonight we will be treated to a total eclipse of the heart.  Er, moon…  The lunar eclipse will turn the moon from pearly white to a magnificent blood red.  Though the transformation starts this evening with the faint Penumbral Eclipse at 10:20PM, the best visual display over the Bay Area will occur at 12:46AM.  Easily viewed by the naked eye, the celestial performance occurs when the sun, moon, and earth align so that light from the sun filters around earth’s atmosphere before striking the moon.  In more romantic terms, this means that all of the light from the sunrises and sunsets all over the world will band together to illuminate the moon.  Grab a blanket and some vino because you don’t want to miss this!

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt

Monday Merriment

Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

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I.  After intense rain (and a fabulous display of thunder and lightening) left the Bay Area drenched over the last few weeks, a sun-soaked weekend was a welcome delight.  To celebrate the warm weather, I pulled out my KitchenAid ice cream mixer to churn out homemade Burnt Orange Ice Cream.  The cream and caramel infused with citrus zest is the perfect combination of tart and smoky sweet.

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II.  Constantly looking for new ways to present florals, I recently came across this adorable glitter-laden arrangement.  The photograph was captioned with a suggestion to pour glitter into the vase, but I strongly caution against this because it will quickly kill the flowers.  Instead, coat a small vase with clear nail polish and drop glitter onto the wet paint.  Perfect for girlish dinner tablescapes and princess parties!  

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III.  When a friend recently posted her purchase of this Rop van Mierlo ostrich print on Instagram, I was instantly smitten.  The Dutch illustrator employs a unique method of dripping watercolor onto paper to create pieces that are simultaneously gentle and explosive.  Snap up RVM’s self-published book Wild Animals, plus his pretty prints and postcards while he is still on the cusp of stardom.

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IV.  It’s been a while since I’ve posted something about physics, so I hope that you’ll forgive me for indulging in some nerdier merriment.  Whether you’re a science novice (like me) or a NASA geek (like my dad), you’ll appreciate this humorously titled lecture "Where Physics and Guitars Collide" by rock star/physicist, Mark Lewney.  I promise that you won’t regret the hour you spend being entertained by the Einstein/Hendrix hybrid while getting a great overview of the Big Bang, string theory, Higgs boson, and particle accelerators.

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V.  No need to head up to Napa or Sonoma this weekend to partake in the fruits of the valleys. One of my favorite spring activities is the SF Vintners Market at Fort Mason Pavilion.  With over two hundred wineries in attendance, you will surely find a few new flavors to add to your collection.

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt

Monday Merriment

Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

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I.  Little compares to the beauty of nature when winter gives way to les fleurs du printemps. Though I’ve largely steered away from bouquets for dinner party tablescapes, there’s something wonderful about capturing the essence of the season with an arrangement for my nightstand.  I picked lilacs, tulips, and white stargazer lilies - a deliciously fragrant combination.  (Confession: unless I’m purchasing in bulk, Safeway is my go-to floral destination.  They last just as long as more expensive options, and I don’t have to make a special trip to a flower stand).

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II. Springtime also beckons spring showers - something that the Bay Area will be doused in over the next few days.  To combat the dreariness, I’m making my favorite adaptation of the Barefoot Contessa’s Roast Lemon Chicken with Croutons.  The chicken spends hours simmering in sauvignon blanc, onion, and citrus, which makes the entire house feel instantly warmer.  The best part is the leftovers for lunch!

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III.  My enamorment with interior design ends with art.  I like a perfectly curated print hanging on my wall as much as the next girl, but I don’t have an eye for it (example: prior to living with an art adviser, ornately framed Botticelli and plexiglass posters of Marilyn Monroe lined my hall).  In an attempt to avoid both picking art and barren walls, I’ve taken to dimensional pieces like the butterfly installation in my dining room.  When I found Scott Coppersmith’s rustic light fixtures, I knew that they would fit in perfectly with my “art philosophy” (er… lack thereof).  I’m particularly obsessed with the world map marquee made of automotive aluminum and reclaimed wood.

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IV.  Bon Appetit recently published 11 Cooking Tips with accompanying recipes.  The genius feature runs the gamut from soft scrambled eggs (with caviar - why not?) to salted chocolate chip cookies.  While some of the advice is common knowledge, you won’t waste your time flipping through the simple straight-forward article - even if just for a few reminders!

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V.  “In the midst of all the air kisses are a lot of relationships that are extremely superficial.  And a lot of people don’t have the emotional support to back them up.”  This quote from a New York Post article coming on the heels of designer L’Wren Scott’s suicide resonates more than I care to admit. The advent of social media has provided a self-marketing tool that’s allowed people to reinvent their image to the world.  The problem is that these fronts becomes so convincing that there is a significant disconnect between image and reality - even to your innermost circle.  Tragedies like L’Wren’s death remind us that it’s vital to make sure that you are checking-in with the people you love - even if it seems that they have it all on Facebook and Instagram…

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt

Monday Merriment

Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

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I.  Over the weekend, I made a double-batch of this French Apple Tart at the request of a friend.  I forgot how easy the recipe is to follow - mostly because the pastry portion is phyllo dough (from the frozen food section).  The decadent dessert looks like a labor of love, but it requires little more than peeling and coring apples.  Perfect for a weeknight indulgence.

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II.  Ever since Beyonce debuted her slimmed-down frame while crooning about surfborts at the Grammys, I’ve been curious about Vegan fare.  To satisfy my curiosity, I’ll be attending the Vegan Iron Chef competition on March 23rd at SOMArts.  Each competing chef will be tasked with putting together an “Impromptu Sunday Dinner” (right up my alley!) with surprise ingredients.  I can’t wait to share my Vegan finds with you - we’ll all be looking like queen of hip hop in no time.

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III.  I can say, without hesitation, that the word most often used to describe me as a child was “bossy.”  Sheryl Sandberg’s recent celebrity-laden campaign to end the term forced me to think about what the descriptor meant to me.  To be completely honest, I don’t recall interpreting “bossy” as a negative.  How could a word containing “boss” be a bad thing?  The author of this New Yorker article shares a similar sentiment.  Where do you land on the bossy debate?

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IV.  St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Monday prompted me to reach outside my typical beer-drinking uniform of a sheer shamrock-hued v-neck and jeans in favor of something more suitable for work.  I settled on this Halston Heritage satin-crepe dress, rationalizing that I will be able to wear the frock to everything from summer weddings (with these) to lazy Sunday brunches (with these).

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V.  On the topic of going green, this morning my mom took me to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  If, like me, you haven’t heard of it - you’ve been missing out!  The shops sell new and gently used furniture, decor, appliances, and building materials (hardware, kitchen cabinets, chandeliers) donated from high-end interior designers and contractors at a fraction of the price.  Best part - all proceeds go to an amazing cause!  Find a ReStore near you here.

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt