July 23rd, 2014

outfit no. 88

It was uncharacteristically warm today and I donned a short-sleeve (!!!) dress for a brisk walk to the library. Have I mentioned how much I love living a block from the library? Because I do. I got my San Francisco public library card within the first five days of being in the city and I’ve already used it enough to deem the moderate amount of effort necessary to procure it worthwhile. Currently, I am working through several of Richard Brautigan’s stories. I discovered his writing a couple of summers ago and now I tend to read at least one of his novels when the weather gets warm.

The dress I’m wearing is from ModCloth, but I snagged it via a Swapdom swap instead, which fit my (nonexistent) budget much better. The purse is from Little Odd Forest, a Singapore-based indie lifestyle label that focuses on whimsy as their aesthetic. The owner was nice enough to send me one of her “Fern Dreams” sling bags to style, and I must say, it is very sturdy, moreso than I anticipated; plus the stormy grey and blue with mustard bird embroidery makes me think of San Francisco. It’s the perfect everyday bag. I know I usually only post one outfit photo, but since I switched up my purse game (which is a rare occurrence) I thought — what the hell, let’s get crazy and post two.

Dress & Tights: ModCloth (swapped) // Hat & Shoes: Korea // Purse: c/o Little Odd Forest (exact)

July 22nd, 2014

exploring san francisco // bbq, voodoo brew & ocean beach.

The best thing about San Francisco is the friendly population. We’ve gotten the opportunity to hang out with a lot of like-minded and fun people. These same locals are also fabulous resources for pointing us in the direction of  the city’s hidden gems. This past weekend we were invited to come along with one of Jared’s co-workers on a Saturday in the city adventure. First, we had lunch at Tommy’s Joynt — a cafeteria style BBQ restaurant with a pretty solid cocktail selection. I had a turkey enchilada and Jared opted for a turkey sloppy joe. Amazing home-style comfort food, the likes of which I have not experienced in some time. I’d like to go back and try the buffalo chili.
We continued over to Triple VooDoo Brewery. We all tried a few of the samples and I settled on a small 8oz. of the honey brew. Honestly, I didn’t really care for any of the beers I tried, but I am not a connoisseur (or even a fan) by any means. I did like the industrial decor, fancy glasses, location in the Dogpatch neighborhood and the fact that the brewery was dog friendly, several pups hung out with us, providing complimentary puppy kisses while we lounged in well-worn leather chairs. I took some photos of the graffitied cranes nearby, but there are a ton of old warehouses I’d love to come back and photograph. It’s such a cool area; Jared described it as similar to Gotham, and I can’t disagree. It was oddly desolate and primarily composed of iron and glass. Slowly, I am becoming more familiar with San Francisco’s notorious microhoods. We ended the day with a trip to Ocean Beach and a shot of Fernet — because that’s a thing here, apparently.

July 21st, 2014

outfit no. 87

Jared is playing country music and I can hear the dulcet tones of steel guitar drifting from underneath the door. Country music and Tex-Mex food are the two things I miss most about Texas (aside from our families, obviously). When I came back from Korea it was the first bite of carnitas and George Strait on my truck’s radio that brought me back to reality. I dream in perfectly picturesque images of cerulean swimming holes, Crystal Beach camping trips and post-weekend suntans. And, while I’m loving the foggy, cool San Francisco summer, there’s a part of me that longs for the obscenely hot, always humid Texas weather. I miss the muddy, Gulf Coast waters and outdoor grilling and Shiner beer. Summer is always my favorite season, it also makes me the most homesick.

I already posted this outfit on Instagram, but it made me happy — so here it is again. I think I may need to buy a couple more pairs of ModCloth tights this year because I’ve almost worn out my three favorite pairs (mustard, maroon and grey). I bought the leopard skirt last summer and I have worn it a lot over the course of this past year — remixed here & here. Apparently, I like pairing it with boots.

Shirt: Ross // Skirt: Target // Sweater: American Eagle (thrifted) // Tights: ModCloth // Boots: Old Navy

July 18th, 2014

pressing restart: an accidental tech purge.

I’ve found that life is primarily composed of minute tragedies and our response to them is what shapes our perception of the happier moments.

I have a USB drive that I’ve held onto since college. It’s 4 gigs, from back when that was a large and impressive number for a USB drive. We’ve been through a lot together and that drive has maintained an ongoing collection of the flotsam from my professional life (the recent and  important bits backed up on an additional external hardrive, for the most part). This past Monday, through a series of unfortunate technological events, that USB drive was “shot” (as it was described to me) and I lost every single thing on it.

I expected to cry, to lament my documents upon documents stored within it’s deceptively small metallic fold. I lost the bad poetry I wrote after a college breakup, my sophomore year. I lost the first lesson plan I made six years ago. I know I probably lost some screenshots of playing Final Fantasy online.

Instead, I felt numb. Nothing. I thought, perhaps my emotions are shot too.

They aren’t.

I think in some ways, I was simply ready to let that stuff go. What’s the point of hanging onto things that don’t matter in any significant way anymore. I will never need that shitty lesson plan again, why didn’t I delete it long ago? The universe had simply done what I was too scared to do — press restart.

Professionally, I am carving a road not taken for myself. At some point in my life I took a pretty huge detour from any moderate plans I may have had six years ago. I’ve started over more times than I care to count — in a myriad of different ways. I am a cat. I have nine lives, this is only my second or third. And yet, I was still clinging relentlessly and uselessly to a few remnants of that old existence.

No longer.

July 16th, 2014

outfit no. 86

This week marks two months of living in San Francisco.

I’ve been reading Richard Brautigan’s Revenge of the Lawn and he (a fellow San Francisco transplant) said this of California: “Like most Californians, I come from someplace else and was gathered to the purpose of California like a metal-eating flower gathers the sunshine, the rain, and then to the freeway beckons its petals and lets the cars drive in, millions of cars into but a single flower, the scent choked with congestion and room for millions more. California needs us, so it gathers us from other places.”

The more I speak with people, the more I find this to be true — no one and everyone is from San Francisco. This city is a warm, inviting kitchen that resides in the nostalgia of our youth, a place that bespoke both camaraderie and comfort and welcomed anyone to stop by. We are all collected here for some purpose that we haven’t yet decided on and, although we may drift away in a spring breeze, right now we are very much present.

In an outward expression of this acceptance, I present an outfit that I feel very me in. I just happen to love every piece individually, so combining them together is like wearing a hug. I’m just embracing my somewhat quirky, maybe a little tacky, but very comfortable teacher style.

Shirt & Tights: ModCloth // Skirt: F21 // Shoes: Gap (thrifted) // Sweater: UO // Scarf: secondhand from a friend

July 14th, 2014

healthy food, small budget: one week sugar free.

One of my goals for this year was to go a week without refined sugar. I set this goal in January, in March I went to the doctor because my chest was hurting so badly that I thought something might be wrong with my heart. In May, I had an EKG, ultrasound and several blood tests done — only to find out that I have hypothyroidism, a pretty severe Vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune inflammation (which was causing the pain in my chest), but no heart problems. I tried taking the anti-inflammatory pills at first, but they severely upset my stomach — so I figured it was back to just living with the pain. Some days were okay, others ranged from uncomfortable to very painful.

After doing a bit of self-education regarding inflammation, I discovered that the most common contributing culprit is sugar. So, I resolved to make last week my one week without sugar in an attempt to heal myself. It was just an experiment. But after day two, my chest pain was totally gone and, despite a few headaches, which I anticipate will become less over time, I just felt better off sugar.

I’ve attempted cleanses like this before and, because I was so hard on myself about adhering to the strict “rules”, I failed and the sugar cycle continued. This time I didn’t demonize fruit, I juiced once a day, I ate Larabars for snacks, and drank a ton of green tea. My only rules were no refined sugar, no processed foods, no alcohol, no bread/pasta, no eating out during the week and no dairy (except goat cheese). These rules work for me, but I recognize they may not be enough for everyone. Additionally, here are some articles I found helpful for this week: My Paleo Picks from Trader Joe’s and How to Quit Sugar in 5 Days.

I took phone photos and kept a food diary of exactly what I ate and how I felt. I’m aware that the wheat toast from Saturday wasn’t the best choice, but I felt fine and, as I said, this is an experiment based in being kind to myself.







Scrambled eggs with turkey and salsa + English breakfast tea with almond milk 1 fried egg + 2 pieces of bacon + honeydew and strawberries + English breakfast tea with almond milk 1 fried egg + 2 pieces of bacon + honeydew and strawberries + English breakfast tea with almond milk 1 fried egg + 2 pieces of bacon + honeydew and strawberries + English breakfast tea with almond milk 1 fried egg + 2 pieces of bacon + honeydew and strawberries + English breakfast tea with almond milk *ate out
2 fried eggs + 2 pieces of bacon + 1 piece wheat toast with butter + English Breakfast tea
Juice (1 granny smith apple, 1 naval orange, 3 carrots, 1” ginger root) + 10 almonds + green tea Juice + a hardboiled egg + 10 almonds + green tea Juice + a hardboiled egg + 10 almonds + green tea Juice + a hardboiled egg + 10 almonds + green tea 2 hardboiled eggs + 4 strawberries + 12 almonds + green tea No lunch.
Taco salad (ground turkey, romaine lettuce, salsa, guacamole, sautéed peppers) +  unsweet tea Taco salad leftovers Baked polenta w/goat cheese + pulled pork loin + squash and Brussels sprouts + unsweet tea Pulled pork leftovers Sweet potato hash + chicken sausages + a poached egg *ate out
Falafel + pickled cabbage + hummus
Larabar + green tea Larabar + green tea Larabar + green tea Larabar + green tea Larabar + green tea 10 almonds
July 11th, 2014

our minimalist bedroom.

Our San Francisco apartment is small. Not unbearably small, but small enough that Jared and I spend a lot of close-quartered quality time together. Luckily, we are quite fond of one another. Although I’ve never inhabited a bedroom that was so un-decorated (my high school era bedroom likely being the most offensively cluttered culprit), I find that I enjoy the feeling of space provided by a lack of accumulated junk. As I mentioned previously, when we roadtripped from Texas to Cali, we only brought what would fit in our Scion XB — which meant we left all nonessentials (including our furniture and big screen TV, much to Jared’s chagrin) behind. We just don’t own as much stuff anymore, and it’s kind of liberating.

I like to think of our style at the moment as intentional. Anything brought in to our living space must be both functional and, hopefully, pretty. I’ve used my books (mostly acquired here) and journals to create a nightstand of sorts. I sat the crane game toys that I won from an arcade in Japan on top, because they make me happy. Jared doesn’t have a book nightstand, but I did lend him my copy of The Giver because he has (somehow) never read it. Our windows open out onto a busy street and, despite the fact that it can get rather noisy, I keep them open during the day because it’s our only form of air conditioning. Most days I lay in bed after work and read, or just listen to clipped conversations in various languages (mostly Chinese) that drift up from the sidewalk below. Sometimes, a man plays the accordion under an awning across the street and we pretend we’re in Europe. Everyone in our building thinks I’m Russian, I can see Starbucks from my window, and our Pakistani neighbor calls Sherman “the lion.”

So, this is where we sleep. It’s sparse and the bedding is more often wrinkled than not, but it’s home.

July 9th, 2014

outfit no. 85

As promised, I am featuring a leggings as pants outfit! I paired them with my favorite thrifted sweater (re-mixed previously here). Also, I got a haircut and the extra neck exposure obviously meant that I needed to bust out my long, bohemian earrings and Jared’s hat — what? my boyfriend has good taste and I steal things from him on occasion. As usual, my first haircut in a new area continues to be a rather stressful undertaking (see also: my Korean haircut experience), but with the help of Yelp I found The Cutlery. They served me tea and chocolate while I waited, basically winning me over prior to the salon experience even starting. Of course, the stylist made my new crop a glorious fixture of textured, messy perfection — a look which I have (as yet) been unable to replicate. Isn’t that how it always works? You return home and, in the foggy haze brought on by a scalp massage and overpriced texture paste, you attempt to recapture some of that salon magic only to find that your inexperienced fingers can’t accomplish anything beyond pressing the generic-brand hairspray nozzle down. So it goes.

Hat: borrowed from Jared // Sweater: thrifted // Leggings: StitchFix // Shoes: Minnetonka

July 4th, 2014

exploring san francisco // pride parade.

Attending San Francisco’s Pride Parade was completely unplanned. Our initial intention was to visit the Asian Art Museum, which happens to be downtown by the Civic Center, on Saturday — but we slept in and rescheduled for Sunday. I reminded Jared that it was Pride weekend, so it would probably be crowded (that was an understatement), but the N was still running so we went anyway. The N stopped right in the middle of the parade and we climbed out of the MUNI station to be greeted by a sun-streaked haze of rainbow and glitter. We decided to stay and watch the parade, then meander around the Civic Center lawn to observe all the floats and sights — and there were a lot of sights to be seen. As it turns out, San Francisco really likes being naked. During the parade, I got a little emotional watching same-sex couples walk by with “just married” signs, male police officers holding hands in uniform and San Francisco public school employees carrying banners promoting all types of love. Plus there was dancing, so much dancing.

Also, the man standing next to us on the parade route was in possession of a very vocal bird. I have a huge, melty, animal-lover heart, so I had already taken notice of it’s cuteness. He eventually said the bird wanted to “meet me” and “be my friend,” so I also got to hold a bird on my finger like Snow White. And, we still made it to the Asian Art Museum for their Gorgeous exhibit (that’s the title, but also an accurate descriptor) — where tickets were $10 off in celebration of the parade. On the way home we stopped for a burger and everything was basically wonderful.

July 2nd, 2014

outfit no. 84

Yesterday marked the first day of teaching summer school at my new job. I volunteered myself as summer school tribute because I wanted to get my feet wet early on and meet some of the students I’d be teaching in the fall, but also living in San Francisco is bloody expensive and I could use the extra cash — real talk. I am trying not to get over-excited and jinx myself or something, but I really love this school so far.

So, this was my “first day of school” outfit (don’t worry, I’ll have another in the fall). The blazer I bought on sale from Urban Outfitters a lifetime ago, and I’ve hung onto it despite the sleeves being too long and the midsection being unfitted. In my head, I always imagine blazers to accentuate the waist, and this one fits more like one of my oversized sweaters. However, I’ve been using Pinterest to compile outfits with open blazers and finally decided to give it another go with this ruffled dress. I solved the sleeve issue by cuffing them, which I think gives it an 80′s vibe (hopefully in a good way). The shoes are Gap oxfords (barely worn!) which I thrifted for $5. I’ve added so many good, quality pieces to my wardrobe via thrifting that I can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t do it. Also, yes that is a weird, splotchy sunburn on my chest from wearing an asymmetrical neckline during the Pride parade.

Blazer: UO (old) // Dress: secondhand from a friend // Tights: ModCloth // Shoes: thrifted