More and more, I'm finding myself choosing to stay in, read a book, and do nothing but relax. Like any major city, San Francisco has more to offer than someone can do in a lifetime, so for a while I felt guilty - like I needed to be doing something new and different. Of course, I'm still trying to do at least one new thing a weekend, but I have to say, it's sometimes nice to stay in and just be...home.



Even though San Francisco is relatively small (7 x 7), I still find myself in the same areas, even on the weekends. Even though I love the Castro, the Mission, Hayes Valley, Duboce Triangle, and the Lower Haight, there's so much more of the city I want to familiarize myself with. SO...

This afternoon, Katherine and I drove over to Northbeach to enjoy a lazy, rainy day of shopping, eating (and girl did we eat), and exploring. We checked out Mashka which was sups cute then walked around trying to choose from one of the (what seems like) thousands of pizza/Italian restaurants. We finally made the decision to have cioppino at Sotto Mare. Can I just say that it was the best cioppino I've ever had?

Afterwards, we enjoyed (I'm embarrassed to admit) a cannoli AND gelato AND coffees - as if $45 worth of cioppino, not to mention bread and pasta and a bottle of wine. Like - this is not normal behavior...


Roosevelt Beach

This past Saturday, my long time SF besties (Katherine, Matt, and Adam) and I got together for the first time in what seems like forever. We decided to cook brunch at Matt's then head down the peninsula to Half Moon Bay to enjoy the warm(isn) weather by the beach. It was so great to get out of the city and enjoy nothing but the sound of the ocean...and Lady Gaga's G.U.Y.

In all honesty, I'm not really sure if there's anything better than best friends that you can be your true goofy self with, wine, snacks, the beach, and jumping pictures. One thing we could all agree on - life is good, we are lucky to live in...mmm...the best state ever (and have each other I guess).



I typically work in Mountain View, CA onsite at my two new clients' locations, but occasionally (whenever I can) I'll from from one of their downtown SF office (cutting my commute down by 75%). Umm - yes please.

Since I was able to work in SF this morning, I had a quick coffee date with my friend, Katherine (before I jumped on the subway heading downtown) at a new espresso shop in The Castro: Illy. No, it's not SF local, but it IS amazing with such a great clean, funky, airy ambiance. Obviously, it was the perfect way to start this beautiful Friday.


Steven Allen

View from my living room window

Over the weekend, I treated myself to some essentials: new boots and glasses. Neither of them I needed. Both of them I would have killed for.

It was the perfect SF rainy, cold, winter day this past Saturday - a rarity considering it's usually pretty perfect. I got up, walked to a coffee shop down the street for an overpriced latte and muffin, then headed over to the Steven Allen store in Hayes Valley "just to look around" on the way to the Mini dealership. After buying the Willard Glasses in Matte Red, I was leaving when a pair of Thorogood X boots caught my eye. I literally walked right back into the store, asked for a size ten, checked out again, and left with a pair of boots I've been looking at for 6 months. Granted, I wanted the Redwing version, but since these are essentially the same exact thing (but 100 dollars off) how could I resist?



Wedding According to New Orleans

Over the Christmas break, I was the date of the maid of honor for my friend, Mary Grace's wedding in New Orleans. Umm...she nailed it. The church, reception, dress, bridesmaid's dresses (gold sequin - YAS), on and on were all PERFECT.

The wedding was at Immaculate Conception (across from the Roosevelt) so obviously I had a cocktail and saw the lobby of the gorgeous hotel decorated for Christmas before walking into the church. After the ceremony, we party-bussed over to the reception at The Omni Royal Hotel in the French Quarter where we drank and ate and drank and danced and drank all night. I love weddings in general, but this one was really great. She did an amazing job - and of course none of us were surprised.

The next morning, I struggled to get up, walk around the quarter enjoying it for it's beauty and uniqueness, had a bloody mary, and headed back to the Northshore for the rest of my vacation. Perfection.


Christmas DIY Project

Every year, my mom, Jeri comes up with creative but simple presents to give to her friends. Every year, it seems, they get cuter and cuter and every year I get more and more jealous that I didn't think of them myself. This year, I did some Pinteresting for a Craft Night some friends and I had and ran across these - painted (with Annie Sloan paint)  Ball jars vases and I THINK I may have one-upped her! (but not even close)

It's a super easy process: I just painted the jars with two coats of Annie Sloan's Old White (three would look even better) with a regular paint brush. After they dried, I applied a tiny bit of gold gilding wax to the screw part of the jar (at the top) to add some Christmas flair. (note: I did NOT wax them). Then  I  sanded the parts that were raised allowing the glass to show through for a distressed look. To finish them up, I tied a little gold raffia around the top, threw in some sprigs of greenery from around our house, and called it a day.

What do you think? Cute, right?


DIY - Chevron Desk (Completed)


I am absolutely obsessed with this desk. I found it on Craigslist for basically nothing and my initial intentions where to paint the whole thing white. While looking on Pinterest for inspiration, I saw a few posts that featured desks, credenzas, and dressers that were painted while still leaving some of the original wood. I figured I'd give it a try using masking tape to create a chevron pattern. I would normally explain the process, but I literally just eye-balled it. I never have patience for things like that, but honestly it looks pretty good.

I talked a bit about the process here. Hope you like the final product! (Now I just need a chair bc not I have to kneel. The. Worst.


DIY - Picture Collage


I have been on a DIY roll lately, but to be honest I'm not surprised at all. It's been over a year since I've owned my house and I've been waiting all this time until I found an apartment that I loved to execute the projects that have been building up. I love the space I'm in now: dark original wood floors, light gray trim and molding, and 12 ft high white walls. I love this clean, elegant look so as I move forward decorating my room, I'm using primarily light colors, simple silhouettes, and lots of white space.

Above my bed, I wanted to do something a little different (and something I had seen on Apartment Therapy when the did a tour of my friend, Allie's home.  However, since I don't have a ton of pictures and polaroids lying around, I used Printstagram to print some of my favorite Instagram photos. Literally they are amazing. (Instagram handle: @matthewcara) I've used them several times before for various projects/gifts and I HIGHLY recommend you check them out.

This is what I did:

1) nailed a thin strip of metal into my wall above my bed which is what your magnets will attach to (you can also use cork board and wooden push pins for this part)

2) arrange your pictured sporadically using small magnets (I used these) as you go to keep them I'm place. Adjust and arrange to get a "controlled chaos" look

3) there is no step 3. It's that simple

MawMaw Dominates San Francisco

Literally, I loved every single second of this.

MawMaw, my mom's mother is (without a doubt) the chicest, witty, funny, go-with-the-flow, always-ready-for-a-cocktail, open-minded woman I know. In essence, I want to be her when I grow up. She came to visit me a few weeks ago and it was SO great seeing her. Let me just say, she took SF by storm. At the end of days, just as I would get ready to say "Should we take a nap before dinner" she would pipe up "Should we get a martini or glass of wine?". Like - everything. Honestly, I feel like the majority of the trip was eating and drinking and I wouldn't have had it any differently. She had been before so didn't need to see the usuals. Instead, she did get me out of the Castro and into new areas of SF that I had not seen. Again, loved it.

MawMaw, if/when you're reading - I love you and had a BLAST!


Annie Sloan - Chevron Desk (BEFORE)

Get ready. This desk is complete but you'll have to wait for the "AFTER" pictures. For now, I want to show you the progress pictures. I bought this old desk from someone on Craigslist after I immediately fell in love. I was attracted to it's simple and effortless design and I knew that I could do something amazing with it using Annie Sloan's paints/waxes. Also, it was $30.

Since the chevron pattern is really trending, I decided to give it a try. It was literally the biggest pain the ass, but totally worth it. I would explain the process in words, but I suggest simply YouTubing it. Much easier. Make sure to keep checking for a post about the final product and hopefully you'll love it as much as I do.


So I've Moved...

Yes. Again. I have moved. Of course I'm still in San Francisco (like I'd ever leave), but now I'm in an apartment that I'm truly proud to call home. I've reunited with 12ft ceilings, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, and an IN UNIT washer and dryer. There will be a whole post dedicated to my new apartment, but for now, please know that I am back to DIYing using Annie Sloan's line of paints and waxes, and I couldn't be happier. For so many reasons, my new apartment just feels like...home. Above, I've included a picture of my room (that's still in progress) and some of the pieces I've been working on. Obviously, keep reading for the finished products.


I Literally Run this City.

San Francisco is great for so many things and depending on who you ask, the answer is almost always different. Some love the food, others the culture. People will argue the weather is best, yet still some will say the views. I think for me, it's the combination of it all. I've started killing two birds with one stone (if you will) and running to SF landmarks thus knocking out taking advantage of the beautiful weather and still seeing as much of the city as possible.

This past Saturday, I ran from China Beach across the Golden Gate Bridge and back again. I've driven across it a few times, but there's nothing like running across it (except maybe biking or walking, obviously). I wasn't rushed trying to take a picture through a sunroof which made it much less stressful (yes - it happens literally every time I drive across it). Then Sunday, it was WAY too nice to just go to the gym so I did another running day - this time out to Ocean Beach. It's one of my favorite routes as most of it is through the stunning Golden Gate Park. Regardless, here are a few pictures from my adventure. Enjoy!