Friday, April 29, 2016

Weekends & Chinatown

^Chinatown, SF, as seen by me a few months ago

Woooot! Made it to Friday. Though admittedly, I will be working my tail off all day today and will only celebrate the weekend once the clock strikes midnight. Busy week! I'm not sure what our plans are gonna be for our coveted days off but I wouldn't mind doing some on foot exploring. Been a hot minute since I did that with my husband (aka like a month) and it's one of my fave things to do. PLUS- I'd like to spend some time with the handsome lad as he was gone last weekend for play and then was in DC all week for work. Luckily, there's so many exemplary places to visit around these parts, such as Chinatown. While I've never been to China, I can't imagine that this doesn't almost exactly mimic the bustling market scene available there. Plus, when you get tired of perusing asian tsotchkes, you can stumble into any establishment and be welcomed with hot tea and exquisite soups. I don't even care if it's 90 degrees outside, I'll eat that kinda stuff all day, every day. Kind of on that note, do you know what is especially cool about living in a big city? I hear at least three different languages every single day (excluding English & Spanish). I love that diversity and I've never witnessed it before outside of Europe or NYC.

Happiest weekend to you and yours!
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Thursday, April 28, 2016

I Wanza A Credenza

Now that I'm an old, married woman, there's really only 3 things that I can openly check out: Food (#cantstopwontstop), dogs (Oh, my goodness, girl, look at him. He's the cutest doggy in here... and he's comin' this way! Oooooh!) and ... credenzas. That may seem a bit out of left field but let me tell you, I've wanted lotsa things in my life but a credenza has been at the top of my list for many moons now. They discreetly store so many items, they are always an aesthetically marvelous masterpiece and they have such a delightful little frame. I research them all of the time. All.of.the.time. But I haven't pulled the trigger yet. We suspected we would own one when we were house hunting last time but as we ended up with a day and a half to find a place to live AND we owned a dog (that may mean nothing to people but in San Francisco's infamous housing market, that is a huge hurdle), we didn't land in a place we're obsessed with. I mean, it's fine. It's big enough for a one-bedroom and is in a great location and the inside is nice enough. But the place has no unique touches or embellished features so we plan to move again when our lease is up. And that next unseen place is where, I think, my credenza dreams will finally come to fruition as that will be a place we call home for a couple years so we're willing to throw some money at making it look the part.
A photo posted by caitielady08 (@caitielady08) on
^Our current living room in  despy need of a credenza. The bike stored inside is also a nice little downtown staple.

As an aside, if anyone ever stays in the The LA Hotel Downtown: They have the most salivating credenzas EVERYWHERE. I wanted to take one back with me on the plane so badly. I did not for two reasons: 1) I couldn't lift one. 2) It's morally wrong. In that order.

Somehow it's Thursday which is kinda stressful because I have a lot of work to do. But apparently, the end is officially near and to that, I applaud.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

There's A Lot Of Beauty In Ordinary Things

Jay and I met up outside our offices on Monday evening to take the bus home together. Amazingly, in the entirety of this large city, our office buildings are next door neighbors. Which serves as cheap therapy after a long day or as a lifesaver when one of us forgets our keys (or needs to borrow a cup of sugar, obviously). With Jay having spent the prior weekend in Arizona for a bachelor party (which also resulted in lots of sleeping after he got home on Sunday), we hadn't seen each other the few days prior. On top of that, he had a flight leaving early the next morning to head off to Washington DC for the duration of the work week. Wanting to catch-up but both exhausted, we agreed to come home and take the dog on a longer walk, make an easy dinner and retire early. 

After a good twenty minutes of conversation as we commuted out of the financial district, we arrived home to the usual spring-loaded happy dog and quickly leashed him up and dispersed back out the door to walk through Pacific Heights. About ten minutes into our stroll around the neighborhood, as Chandler protruded his vibrating nose rudely into the ankle space of every single tree, a mom walked by us holding hands with her approx. nine-year-old daughter. The little girl's plaid Catholic school skirt, embroidered collared blouse and bouncy backpack made it clear she was coming straight from school. As they ambled by us, I took a pleasurable note of their relationship. The little girl was beaming as she chatted all about her day to her engaged mother. Their clasped hands swung slightly in unison and the hints of sun danced on the tops of their heads as the trees bounced about in the cool breeze. Bright pink leaves flourished and encircled them with each step as they passed. I immediately made note to Jay:
Me: That seems like a nice moment that you'd look back on.

Jay: The mom and the girl?

Me: Yes. Just look at them. So sweetly holding hands, walking home from school, talking about their day. Presumably heading to their house to make dinner and go about the night. But catching-up here first. I mean, that little girl won't hold her mom's hand forever, you know? It just seems like one of those little moments that you'd look back on fondly as a reflection of this chapter in your life. Not a big ordeal like a vacation that would obviously resonate, just a sweet walk with your daughter, holding hands, hearing about school on a beautiful April day when she was nine. 

Jay: Yes. I see what you mean. Kind of what we are doing right now? Living in the city, going on a walk with Chandler after a busy day at our offices and taking the same bus home. Who knows where we will be in life in a few years. This is a nice moment that I like very much with my family.

I couldn't have agreed more. A lot of times I think we think we need A LOT more than we do to ensure we have a good time. Or to seize life. Or to make memorable experiences. It's nice to make note of the fact that the little moments can be just as significant. Kinda like the very last line in "The Office", where Pam sums up the reason they had all been filmed for the previous nine years: 

"There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn't that kinda the point?"

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Attack of the Salads

The time has come. It really has. It's time for the weedy greens. Time for the lush fruit soaking in a bath of intoxicating vinaigrettes. It's time to throw in the lightly-toasted nuts. And dice all the colors of the bell pepper rainbows. It's time to mix, shake, drizzle and serve: It's salad season. Yeeeehaw! I was reminded of this last weekend at the end of a day of hiking with my girlfriend. As we sat at a restaurant's patio table to treat ourselves to a drink and some nosh after our invigorating exercise, the sun splashed against our menu almost making it difficult to see. But we did each spy one thing at the same time: A crab salad. And fifteen minutes later, as we sipped our cold beers and listened to the live music chanting away from their outdoor stage, we were handed decadent pink crab draped delicately over arugula and garnished with orange wedges and grapes. And it felt like the perfect meal while under the safe keep of the beaming sun. Summer is for being outside and for moving your body. Salads pair so well with both of those.

To celebrate this occasion, I thought I'd highlight a few of my favorite salads that I've posted so far on this blog. To get those creative juices flowing a little bit and just to pay-it-forward to all the blogs I've been scouring the last couple days in an effort to find new greeny, vinaigrettey ideas myself.

Veggie/Bean/Chicken Quinoa Bowl Salad (Here)

Simple Summer Raspberry Salad (Here)

Orzo Chicken Pasta Salad (Here)

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad (Here)

Mason Jar Asian Chicken Salad (Here)

Thai Pickled Cucumber (Here)

Grilled Chicken & Veggies Mediterranean Salad (Here)

My goal for an upcoming salad is to try to incorporate some grilled fruit. I've heard that's an amazing treat.

What's your favorite warm weather salad?
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Monday, April 25, 2016

The Perfect Black Pump

I'm in a complicated relationship with high heels. Not so much because they aren't easy to walk in or anything like that (though, clearly, they are no fuzzy bunny slipper) but because of their quick physical degradation. My work days require a lot of commuting on the part of my shoes: I walk to the bus stop in the morning. I ride the bus to work. I get off the bus in the financial district. I walk from that bus stop to my office. I wear heels all day in said office. Repeat in reverse cycle on the way home. And while I basically just said "I have to wear shoes to, from and during work", the difference is that there is so much city concrete involved and that stuff eats up the tips of heels in the same pattern that Cookie Monster gobbles up his sweet treats. And then I'm left with the dreaded jagged tip on my heel which makes a loud ruckus wherever I go. Tips are easily replaced on heels, for sure. But I don't have much of a desire to constantly drop my shoes off at the shoe guy every 5th day to replace ground-up heels.

Anyway, much of this has been mitigated by the fact that I wear flip-flops or tennies during the commute portion of my day. The part that is still hard is that the job I have requires a lot of meet and greets with clients and business contacts for lunch. And I'm not going to wear flip-flops with a business suit for something like that. So my heels still suffer on the streets of San Francisco.

For all of the reasons above, I can honestly say that these shoes are just about the most decadent, amazing work heels I have ever had. Not because they are overly boastful in colors or aesthetics. Quite the opposite. They are humble and quiet and all sorts of sleek. But really, it's that heel. That beautiful, thickwon't-grind-down-after-three-city-blocks-heel. And that my friends, has made all the difference.
Thank you Emerson Fry for making a city girl's working life a little bit easier.
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Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day 2016

Another year where I meant to take off Earth Day and forgot until a few days before and now I'm too busy. Dangit! And just like last year, I'm saying to myself that in 2017, I'll totally take the day off and go hiking. So maybe I will make that happen next year. Fingers crossed, Caitlin (even though you know you'll forget again, you idiot).
^Cannon Beach, Oregon. The prettiest piece of natural earth.

When we were little, my mom always ensured that we had a healthy appreciation for this day. We wore clothes that had a picture of the earth on them to school. We always had to pick-up trash around our neighborhood by walking around with big bags and trash picker-uppers (which my sister and I made use of by pulling each other's hair).  More often than not, we planted something. And we were unfailingly forced to spend much of it outside including an al fresco dinner incorporating food from our garden. I liked most of the day's plans minus the trash picking up part. Y'know, on account of being a kid and inherently selfish. But as I've gotten older, there is really nothing else I would rather do on earth day than be outside. No matter what task I was doing.

Amongst all the differences in all land, there's one common ground we all have. And I mean that literally. We all stand on common ground that we call earth
So three cheers to that. While I will be stuck in an office today, I'm excited to make up for it outside tomorrow hiking with one of my good girlfriends from my sorority and our equally scruffy black dogs.

Happy Earth Day!
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Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Chicks of Spring

The Hippie Chick

The Serious Chick

The Girly Chick

I was invited to go to a luncheon on April 22nd today. As I received the invite in my inbox, I said to myself prior to opening it "Oh, well that's a ways away. Glad it's on the calendar now". In that moment, I realized that no, that is 2 days away. How did it get to be almost May? I think you're old when you start asking that question but really? I'm not sure that I'm exactly wardrobe ready but I've been getting some items here and there to prep for it. I tend to kinda pick from these three "types" of girls for my warm weather garb (away from the office). Hippie/Serious Chick probably pretty tied with the Girly Chick trailing behind. However, a gorgeous floral dress can be pretty hard to beat. And I do love me a maxi. Mainly because putting on a maxi takes 3 seconds yet it looks like you really put some thought into it.

Are you ready for spring?? 
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