A product of countless steps of journey through the city streets, this is a collection of windows that somehow have caught my restless eye out from the never-ending buzz of the city. This project is part an ode to architecture and part a self-challenge to never stop looking up.
I’d love to see something like this for San Francisco or the East Bay! Get on it, designers! (I’m looking at you, Kel!)
Although May is still three months away, we’ve already begun preparing for its arrival. On our to-do list: finding a new home in the East Bay (which entails vetting houses/apartments/neighborhoods, applying, “winning,” signing a lease, coughing up a first and last, etc.), making reservations for our Europe trip (which means finally deciding on our main stops and reserving plane and train tickets and Airbnb rooms), and then, eventually, packing up all our belongings and moving them into our new home before Eric’s graduation and our departure date three days later. In some ways, this process is a bit like the endless staircase we found while hiking in the Berkeley hills over the weekend. At first, the climb seems all too doable and you forge ahead confidently and quickly…until you realize that each new step is a little bit harder than the last and you still can’t see the top of the stairs. Still, while I can’t yet see over the hill of planning and arrangements that we have in store for us, I know that the end will come eventually, just as the month of May will. Time keeps on slippin’ slippin’ slippin’…
On a more positive note, this Europe trip is going to be the perfect icing on the cake of transition we’re making over here! I can’t wait to share with you all the stops we have planned. If you have any recommendations for towns & cities that we must see while in France, Italy, and Spain, please leave a comment below! We’re still making final arrangements and can certainly be persuaded to visit places not yet on our list!
On Monday, Kelly and I were talking about how crazy it feels that we’ll be turning 23 this year. As she shared with me her “life plan” for the next 7 years of her twenties, I felt this bubble of panic rise in my chest. Before I turned 20 I was so excited for adulthood. I imagined where I’d be living, what work I’d be doing, what kind of fun things I’d get up to. Suddenly I’d be wise and successful. Everything I touched would turn to gold. And while many of my teenage dreams have been realized (college degree, boyfriend, Berkeley living), I don’t feel that balance or togetherness that I also imagined would accompany twentydom. In some ways, I feel much more confused now than I ever did when I was 17. Because now I’m not naive enough to think that by 26 I’ll have it figured out. Or that when I reach my 30s I’ll achieve that zen-like balance that I thought was part-and-parcel of growing up. Blerg-pants.
Today, my good friend Meghan shared this beautiful quote on her blog and the sentiment really resonated with me.
Sometimes you’re 23 and standing in the kitchen of your house making breakfast and brewing coffee and listening to music that for some reason is really getting to your heart. You’re just standing there thinking about going to work and picking up your dry cleaning. And also more exciting things like books you’re reading and trips you plan on taking and relationships that are springing into existence. Or fading from your memory, which is far less exciting. And suddenly you just don’t feel at home in your skin or in your house and you just want home but “Mom’s” probably wouldn’t feel like home anymore either. There used to be the comfort of a number in your phone and ears that listened everyday and arms that were never for anyone else. But just to calm you down when you started feeling trapped in a five-minute period where nostalgia is too much and thoughts of this person you are feel foreign. When you realize that you’ll never be this young again but this is the first time you’ve ever been this old. When you can’t remember how you got from sixteen to here and all the same feel like sixteen is just as much of a stranger to you now. The song is over. The coffee’s done. You’re going to breathe in and out. You’re going to be fine in about five minutes.
As Ingrid says, all we can do is keep breathing. In fact, let’s listen to her and cry/breathe a while together.
Top image via Claire Cottrell
Last week, Eric and I headed out to Daly City to hang with our pals that live right on the bluffs. Though we spent the morning indoors making (and eating) crepes and truffles, we were called to the backyard where hang gliders dotted the sky. It was a surreal moment, sitting right on the cliff edge and watching these people fly past only 100 feet away. Every once in awhile we’d hear a big “Whoop!” as a glider rose higher in the air. The thrill of flying was infectious! Of course, not infectious enough that I have any plans on gliding myself. No no, I’d rather partake in the sport of watching these crazy souls soar.
I was reading Miss Moss the other day, as I am wont to do with utter abandon, and fell head over heels for this post on Lauren Hom. Lauren is a graphic designer living in New York City who started this kick-ass hand-lettered poster series (Daily Dishonesty) all about the little lies she tells herself on the daily. Such as:
Which sayings resonate with you?
Our family friend Kirsten Shockey, of the excellent fermented foods blog One Crock Artist, introduced me to this great new term: fermentista. While my last batch of sauerkraut left me feeling more like a mold-and-botulismista (no? No good?), my most recent foray into the world of cabbage and salty brines has been a huge success! I feel like I can now say, with confidence and a wide grin, that I am a fermentista, bebe.
As I’ve no doubt shared before, I am a huge fan of Farmhouse Culture, a Santa Cruz brand (yus!) that makes the best sauerkraut I’ve ever tasted. The founder, Kathryn Lukas, was featured in Martha Stewart Living in 2011 and shared the instructions for her classic caraway recipe (get it here), which is a delectable gem. But my favorite of the FC flavors is the garlic dill pickle kraut. (What can I say, I’m a Claussen gal.) It’s a crunchy, pickly, garlicky jar of deliciousness and I wanted to do my best to replicate it. Using the recipe from Living, and then guessing about the amounts of the other ingredients, I actually managed to produce a kraut quite similar to the FC fave. And it is so damn good.
Here’s how I did it:
- 1 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced or shredded with a mandoline, 3 whole leaves (if you’re using three jars) reserved
- Fresh dill, lots
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 pickling cucumbers, thinly sliced into circles or half circles
- Course sea salt
- 3 glass jars (I used pint-size wire-bale jars purchased at Whole Foods), sterilized (but make sure they’re completely cool to the touch before filling with cabbage)
- Wide-mouth funnel (not at all necessary, but useful!)
- Tongs (again, not necessary, but useful!)
- Large mixing bowl
After twenty minutes, massage the veggies to release the liquid (brine). Do so for about five minutes. If you’re not seeing much liquid, add more salt and let stand for an additional 15-20 minutes, then massage.
Next, pack your jars with the cabbage mixture. As you can see, I used a wide-mouth funnel and tongs. Super efficient. Make sure the mixture is really packed in; you should see the brine start to rise up the jar and submerge the vegetables.
You want the brine to cover the cabbage by at least an inch, so pour any remaining brine into the jars. Aim to leave 1-2 inches of space at the top of the jar. This will keep the liquids from bubbling over and will reduce the amount of brine you need to add in the coming weeks.
Cover the top of the mixture with the reserved cabbage leaves, folding them over until they fit snuggly inside. According to Lukas, the leaves need not be fully submerged in the brine. Their cover will help prevent mold from forming on top of the brine.
Next, close jars tightly and place in a non-reactive container with a lip at least 2-inches high, otherwise you might have a stinky spillage situation on your hands. Store in a cool, dark place for 15-21 days, but be sure to check in on them every five days. At these five-day markers, quickly open and close the lid, releasing any pressure that has built up inside. Do not be surprised if the brine levels have changed. If they are too low, add more brine (a mixture of 1 cup water to 1tbs salt will do the trick). If they are high, be careful not to let the brine bubble out. After 15 days, give the kraut a taste and decide whether to keep it fermenting longer. If you’re looking for a more sour, dare-I-say krautier, taste, let it ferment a few days more. Also, depending on the temperature of the space in which you’re storing the jars, you might want a shorter or longer ferment period. I kept the kraut in a cabinet above the fridge where it stayed around 70-72 degrees. 21 days was a perfect ferment time and the results were sour and crunchy, just the way I like it. I’ll share images of the finished product next week. Your mouth will water!
Thanks to my family, especially Mutti, for supporting me in this endeavor!
Behold, the second post in my 3 x 3: Best of Style Blogs series: style and interview blogs! (See 1 x 3: Personal Style Blogs here.) I love the following three to pieces because, not only do they provide a visual glimpse into the lives of fabulously dressed folks, they also give you a little something something extra, which, my friends, is dialogue. Whether it’s a question about someone’s personal soundtrack (oft asked over on Backyard Bill), or what work outfit gives them an “on top of the world feeling” (from Industry of One), or five things you can’t live without (which always delivers fab results over on Closet Visit), these blogs find a way to get to the stylish core of the person being featured, and draw us a little bit deeper into their worlds. Prepare to see the words beautiful, spectacular, wonderful, fantastic, and grand oft repeated in this post! From the top:
Backyard Bill - I’ve featured Bill Gentle’s work on KU before (see here and here) and first discovered his blog after his photos for the Confezioni Crosby S/S campaign appeared on sites the world over last year. He is an incredibly talented photographer with an interview style that is short, simple, and sweet. Be prepared to fall head over heels for these gorgeous shots:
Industry of One - “A periodical on the wears of work,” Industry of One is where style and “the office” come together and have a very very beautiful baby. The folks featured on the blog are creative types, with awesome digs and great clothes. Along with the spectacular photographs, I especially enjoy the interviews, which are certainly the most in depth out of all the blogs featured today. In addition to great dialogue, Industry of One creators Adam Patrick Jones and Rachel Brown provide several beautifully written introductory paragraphs so we can further get to know the backgrounds of the ever-talented people being profiled. It’s wonderful stuff! Also, be sure to check out their Journal, which boasts even more stunning photography.
Closet Visit - I have turned many a friend on to Closet Visit since first discovering the blog two years ago. We all agree (and I’m specifically looking at you, Adrienne), it is amazing. Artist Jeana Sohn is the mastermind behind this project and, through intimate images and a straight-forward interview, provides readers with a glimpse into the stylish lives and gorgeous homes of women in and around LA. Fair warning: this blog will make you unbelievably jealous of the stylish lives and gorgeous homes of women in and around LA. As soon as you get the chance, you will try to find a way to move to Echo Park, open a small boutique, and buy a monogramed clutch from Clare Vivier. It will just happen. When not apoplectic with jealousy, I find all kinds of inspiration from this blog and am sure you will too!
Next week, in the 3 x 3: Best of Stye Blogs, check out my roundup of street style blogs.
Growing up in the 90s and early 00s, we listened to some pretty cool music (I’m looking at you, Spice Girls). But because my parents had a strict “no pop” thing going on at our house, I was also exposed to some great groups from my parents’ generation. This mix has a little of both worlds, from Fleetwood Mac to, of coures, B*Witched. It will either make you smile or make you sick. Enjoy!
- C’est La Vie - B*Witched
- Only Wanna Be With You – Hootie & The Blowfish
- Stop – Spice Girls
- I’m Every Woman – Whitney Houston
- Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
- Upside Down – A*Teens
- Rocket Man – Elton John
- Doctor Jones – Aqua
- That Thing You Do – The Wonders
- I Want You Back – Jackson 5
- Say My Name – Destiny’s Child
- Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival
- No Scrubs – TLC
- Goodbye Angel – Fleetwood Mac
Cover image via Lisa Frank (obvs)
Do you recognize these colors? I had some wool left over from my sweater project, and thought I’d use it to make a herringbone cowl for the Design*Sponge January Instagram Challenge . No matter the outcome, participating has really helped me get my knit on and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to check out the work of the other knitting contestants. If you’re on Instagram, check out the hashtag #dsknits to see the projects other folks are working on. Very inspiring! I’m feeling the urge to go into business like so many of these other women!