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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.  Nothing makes me happier than a roaring fire on a cold day, which means that if you have a fireplace, I am incredibly jealous…  For those of us less fortunate, I am constantly on the look-out for interesting candles.  I enjoy the aesthetic appeal of filling an unused fireplace with birch logs, so when I found this birch votive holder, I was instantly smitten.  I’ll be ordering several to display around my apartment this season.

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II.  Lauded for her baggy cable-knits and boho spirit, Isabel Marant describes her design philosophy: “I always want to do something comfortable and cozy.”  Yet, for her Fall collection, Marant seems to be stepping away from her go-to grunge.  I’m in love with these brass and black buffalo horn earrings, which will go with everything in my closet from formal frocks to skinny jeans.

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III.  Speaking of brass and black - I recently used the combination for the interior design of a three-bedroom home in the highly coveted San Francisco neighborhood Potrero Hill.  The formal living room features a built-in bookshelf adjacent to the fireplace.  After nixing the idea to knock it out, I decided to fill it with objets d’art.  The collage above features the pieces that I used (the finished product can be found in the Design section of my professional site).  From top left to bottom right: Glass Bubbles, Wire Cubes, Gilded Skull, Spiked Brass Sculpture, Knotted Ball, Ceramic Vase, Black Urn, Brass Spiked Sphere, Dahlia Candle Holder

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IV.  If you’re looking for a thoughtful gift, look no farther - I found it!  Some friends recently posted a photograph of their lobster clambake, and I immediately became obsessed with the idea.  Evidently, a company appropriately titled Lobster Gram will overnight a variety of lobster meals to you and your loved ones, including the clambake - featuring two live Maine lobsters, fresh littleneck clams, clam chowder, potatoes, corn, lemon, clarified butter, shell-crackers, seafood forks, lobster bibs, moist towels, and a cooking pot.  Sidenote - I didn’t realize where the saying “You’re My Lobster” came from until today, if you’re out of cultural touch comme moi, check this clip out!

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V.  With the equinox ushering in wintry weather, I’ve been craving stew.  My favorite is Chicken Pot au Feu - an entire chicken roasted in broth, white wine, carrots, onion, celery, Dutch yellow potatoes, and basil, then whisked together with a classic roux.  The result is insanely delicious, especially when served with fresh buttery biscuits.  

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 my birthday weeks away, I’m toying with the idea of indulgences.  Though I’m not one to spend the entire week celebrating my existence (which, let’s face it, has far more to do with a frisky New Year’s Eve party and nine-months of my mother’s hard work than anything I contributed) I would like to commemorate the occasion with a girlish frock.  And what could be more girlish than tulle?  Cue budding atelier blissTULLE.  Moments after discovering this adorable shop, I knew that the black millefeuille mini was the perfect thing to wear to birthday cocktails.

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II.  Speaking of celebrations, I’m obsessed with papery company theBannerie.  They make custom handmade banners for any occasion you can conjure.  For example, the founder crafted this “Wild One” banner for her daughter because her hair is so unruly.  This made me smile because, as anyone who has ever seen me pre-flat-iron will attest, my naturally curly hair is more electrocuted Barbie than supermodel sleek…  I can’t wait for excuses to order more of these charming glittered garlands.

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III.  Is there anything better than Nutella? A week ago, I would have said absolutely not.  But then I tried homemade Nutella, and my palate is forever changed.  The recipe is incredibly simple: melt 100 grams of dark chocolate with 100 grams of butter in the microwave (whisking every 20 seconds until combined), mix in a tablespoon of shaved hazelnuts, two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, a teaspoon each of dark rum and vanilla, and a pinch of salt.  Pour in short canning jars and cool in the fridge for an hour.  These delicious pots of chocolate are perfect for holiday gifts!

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IV.  Indian Summers through the month of October in San Francisco require the perfect balance between light healthy fare and autumnal comfort food.  My solution is the Greek Quesadilla - melted mozzeralla and feta, topped with spinach, olives, onions, capers, oregano, and sundried tomatoes. For extra Mediterranean moxie, serve with a side of homemade tzatziki.  

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V.  The entire world is abuzz about the J. Law v. iCloud mishap, which will surely make the final Film Night in the Park showing of American Hustle on the 27th one of the best attended of the season.  Arrive early to Dolores Park for the free screening equipped with a soft blanket and picnic supper from legendary nearby spot Bi-Rite Market.

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.  I’ve been a Jenna Lyons devotee ever since Domino published photos of her exquisite home in 2010 (in fact, I almost painted my bedroom completely black to mimic her bold nursery, but shied away once I realized that my tiny room might look more “creepy cave” than “rocker chic”…).  As if her roles as interior design guru and president/creative director of J. Crew were not enough, she’s also evidently a beauty expert.  Take a peek at this piece from Bee Shapiro on Jenna’s routine in The New York Times Style section.  I especially love the bit about diet and fitness…

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II.  A few sleepless nights ago, I turned to Twitter to keep me company.  One tweet that caught my eye from New York Magazine touted “Hot Honey” as the new Sriracha.  A sucker for anything that brings the heat, I quickly clicked on the link to an article about the entrepreneur who discovered it at a Brazilian pizzeria.  Luckily, Whole Foods will be carrying the condiment soon.  Until then, order it here.  I can’t wait to try the spicy/sweet combination with my cheese plates this holiday season.

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III.  Speaking of spice, last week’s Symphony Opening Night Gala reminded me of my favorite culinary indulgence - Neiman Marcus Chili Blanco.  Before the iconic shopping destination removed the dish from its cafe menu, my girlfriends and I ritualized the day after opening night with a gossip session over a glamorous bowl of cheesy chili and a glass of bubbles.  With the end of summer upon us, it’s the perfect time to make a batch to warm up cold nights this month.

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IV.  Wedding season is wrapping up, but baby showers are still going full tilt.  I’ve found that this type of party is particularly stressful to plan because it’s detail-intensive.  Adorable hors d’oeuvres to make, cute activities to orchestrate, presents to track, and pale pink or light blue hued decor to curate.  Including a chic Mom-osa Bar at your fete will infuse a little adult fun, while keeping with the infant-inspired theme.  Simply provide fresh peach, orange, and grapefruit juices in glass carafes, bowls of berries, flutes with pink or blue paper straws, and (of course) lots and lots of champagne.

V.  Finally, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my new professional Table + Teaspoon site.  Nearly a year after leaving the law to build my company, I decided that it was about time to make it official online.  I will be eternally grateful if you check it out and send your friends my way!

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt

Monday Merriment

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

I.  One of my favorite people recently moved from Southern California to Sea Cliff, where the weather oscillates from sundrenched to fog-bank daily.  To warm up his apartment and add an element of homey comfort, I decided to make a batch of Goat Cheese Popovers.  As the batter baked in the oven, the place filled with wafts of butter and herbs.  Jealous that my own apartment didn’t smell similarly delicious, I promptly drove home and made another batch for breakfast.

II.  It’s never too early in the week to start concocting cocktail recipes for the weekend (which clearly includes Thursday and some Wednesday lunches…).  While many of the ornate libations mixologists dream up are too tricky to recreate at home, I have a few go-to’s that are both delicious and pretty to sip on.  Lately, my favorite is this gorgeous orange-hued combination of tequila, soda, and a splash of Campari.  Garnish with a blood orange wedge for an added element of style.

III.  I’m a sucker for a view of San Francisco.  In fact, I’ve been known to sneak across the Bay Bridge solely to catch a glimpse of the sun gowning down over the city from the Oakland Hills.  The only thing that could top this would be the chance to watch the sun set, fall asleep under the stars, and wake up to the city skyline.  Luckily, 7x7 Magazine recently compiled a list of the Top Five Campgrounds in Northern California - turning my dream into a reality.  Topping the list, is the Angel Island campsite, boasting 360 degree views of everything surrounding the bay.  For more venues and tips for late-summer camping trips, check out Hipcamp!

IV.  Constantly on the hunt for unique hostess gifts, I recently stumbled upon this fantastic idea for a Breakfast in Bed Kit.  After serving an ornate dinner for a large group, the last thing anyone wants to do is get up in the morning and rummage around the kitchen to make breakfast.  Treat your hosts to a basket filled with goodies to brighten their morning: mugs, instant coffee, hot cocoa, tea, homemade waffle mix, parchment-lined muffin tins, and individual Grey Goose bottles for hangover curing Screw Drivers.  Package the items with personalized wrapping and tags from Paper Source.

V.  With the Opening Night of the Symphony just around the corner, I can think of little else. Topping my check-list for the decadent evening is the dress (of course).  While I typically go for classic gowns in jewel tones, this year I plan to achieve a different aesthetic by adding some edge. This black lace piece by ONE Femme D’armes, featuring a plunging back and double-layered bodice, is exactly what I had in mind.  Can’t wait to see all of your beautiful faces there!!

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. Marcel Proust enchanted me the moment I heard his rumination that “love is reciprocal torture.” The spectacularly melancholic French author is the subject of one of my summer reads How Proust Can Change Your Life.  The unusual self-help book breaks Proust’s musings into nine different ways to help you improve.  Among my favorite chapters: “How to Suffer Successfully” and ”How to Be Happy in Love.”  Coming in at just under two-hundred pages, I highly recommend fitting this witty masterpiece into your next day poolside.

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II.  An interior design friend recently posted this photograph of the entry to her home.  I instantly fell in love with the fresh topiary against the charcoal shingles.  To reproduce the aesthetic - purchase topiary (here online, or sift through your local Home Goods store for amazing deals) and place in black urns (obtain the exact urns pictured from Pacific Heights Place).  The look will add a dash of luxe indoor or out.

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III.  An extraordinarily simple way to add color and flavor to your dishes is to freeze fresh herbs in olive oil.  The aromatic cubes will quickly brighten staples like scrambled eggs, chicken breast, and pasta.  Freezing the herbs in oil prevents browning and freezer burn.  This method is best for rosemary, oregano, thyme, and sage (mint and basil don’t turn out quite as well).  

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IV.  The thick fog today motivated me to stay inside and cook.  Craving something decadent, I decided on my Lobster Pot Pie.  To change things up a bit, I swapped the lobster meat for shrimp (but kept the lobster bisque filling).  I picked up eight large shrimp from the local butcher, who shelled and deveined them for me.  The only change to the recipe is to saute the shrimp for one minute per side in butter before adding the mushrooms, peas, parsley and sherry.  Flaky seafood pot pies in half an hour?  Yes, please!

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V.  If you haven’t experienced San Francisco’s Film Night in the Park, you’re seriously missing out. Kicking off the season with Ghostbusters and ending with American Hustle, the recurring event takes place during summer months in Washington Square Park, Dolores Park, and Union Square. You’ll find me on a blanket underneath the stars this Saturday for a viewing of the quintessential SF Steve McQueen flick, Bullitt.

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt