SF: Shop, Eat, See, Do

Things to do in San Francisco

Shop: Get your hands on some eco-friendly fashion at the Amour Vert sample sale this weekend.

Eat: The new Sightglass in the Mission is a beaut, and you’ll be graced with a delightful display of pastries and small bites upon entry.

See: Major girl crushing on Annie Clark is going to be happening this Saturday at the Fox Theatre as St. Vincent is set to perform.

Do: Vintage Fashion Expo is always fun to check out, even if you’re just ‘window’ shopping, but it’s doubtful you’ll walk away empty handed.

Happy Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year Decorations

Happy Lunar New Year everyone! It’s the year of the horse and I must admit the lunar new year is a bit more exciting than the regular ol’ new year because there are something interesting and fun traditions involved. I never understood why my mom was always so frantic to get the house cleaned before Tet (Vietnamese new year), but now I’m totally into the belief that cleaning the house will rid the bad fortunes associated with the old year. And all cleaning must be done before the holiday to prevent sweeping good luck out the door (happy to say I did not lift a cleaning finger today). You’re supposed to spend the first few days visiting family and friends. Although I don’t have any family in the Bay Area, I will be having friends over for my annual Super Bowl partay (that counts, right?). It’s also believed that how you spend the first fifteen days sets the tone for the rest of the year.

I’m hoping I’m off to a good start. I spent the morning having a very productive meeting with my bookkeeper. Then while I was out treasure hunting, I found a decorative paper lantern (just like above) along with a very old copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (something I’ve been in search of for a very long time). Then, I was featured on Refinery29 and am super stoked to be considered one of SF’s go-to designers. Very excited for the new year…wishing everyone good luck and fortune this year!

Huckberry Holiday Home

If you live in SF and are hoping to avoid the crowds at the mall this holiday season, stop by the  Huckberry shoppable home this weekend for a unique shopping experience. The Huckberry team has opened up shop just for the holidays and everything you see, and I mean everything, is for sale. They’ll be hosting a Meet the Maker event today with founders of some of their favorite local brands, including Taylor StitchTellasonMarine LayerTrumakerTriple Aught DesignAmerican Giant and more. Go get your shop on!

Images via here

Edible Fall Centerpiece

Easy Fall table arrangement using vegetables (2)

I’ve got Fall entertaining on the mind so I came up with a super easy (and edible) centerpiece that anyone can do. All you need is a basket or tray, I got mine here, and then grab some veggies and get goin’!

Easy Fall table arrangement using vegetables (1)

I wanted to keep the palette pretty neutral, with just a touch of color, because my tablecloth was full of pattern and color. I selected some pale colored pumpkins, 2-3 different kinds of lettuce or kale (the pinkish ones are faux) and a few heads of cauliflower.

Easy Fall table arrangement using vegetables (6)

Start by placing the largest veggies, in this case the cauliflower, in your basket or tray. Next, fill in the larger gaps with the pumpkins and then arrange the lettuces in the remaining areas.

Easy Fall table arrangement using vegetables (4)

Easy Fall table arrangement using vegetables (3)

Easy Fall table arrangement using vegetables (5)

Station to Station

A public art project (2)

During the month of September, a train traveled from New York City to San Francisco, making stops at nine train stations across the country. Station to Station was a nomadic public art project organized by artist Doug Aitken and was made possible by the Levi’s brand. The hubs traveled on the train for the entire month and I was able to catch up with him for the last three stops in California.

A public art project (8)

Above is the Levi’s train car and was the first stop on my personal tour of the train. I’d been following STS via social media and Dre would share his personal stories of work and play on the road, but it wasn’t until I actually saw the physical train that I truly understood this creative adventure that he was on.

A public art project (7)

A public art project (14)

Some of the train cars were over 100 years old and most still had all the original fixtures. I loved this fold down sink and razor blade holder. Below is a peek into one of the artist’s quarters.

A public art project (10)

A public art project (6)

A public art project (9)

The first event I attended was in Barstow at an old drive-in. It was a very unique setting, being in the middle of nowhere, listening to music from bands like No Age, Cold Cave, Cat Power and Beck. Below are some yurts which each had a different art installation.

A public art project (1)

A public art project (13)

A public art project (11)

After the Barstow stop, I was back in LA for the event at Union Station. Below is the Levi’s Makers yurt which was my favorite installation. There were different makers in the exposed yurt and you could walk around and see the process of each maker, whether it be handmade quilts, rugs, customized denim jackets, or watches.

A public art project (3)

A public art project (12)

The last stop was in Oakland at an abandoned train station and the setting was perfect for the finale.

A public art project (4)

A public art project (5)

Witch Hat Centerpiece

Sophisticated Halloween Decor Tabletop

You guys, I love Halloween. The reason why I probably love it so much is because it’s the beginning of my most favorite holiday trifecta. I’m taking inspiration with my floral decor this season from interiors. This simple centerpiece is made from a paper mache witch’s hat (which I painted black), barked wire wrapped around the base of the hat, some liquid amber leaves, seeded eucalyptus and some daisies (?).

Sophisticated Halloween Decor Tabletop

I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t have a ton of knowledge regarding flower species, but that doesn’t keep me from making my own arrangements and it shouldn’t keep you from trying either. I learn as I go and I use flowers and fillers than I’m visually drawn to. My last big floral achievement was my wedding, then there was the Alice Waters and Levis event, and some showers and parties sprinkled in here and there. Flowers are fun for me. You get quicker gratification with flowers compared to design projects that can take months to complete. Another reason why I love flower arranging is that they really don’t have to be fussy or complicated. The mere fact that you went out and got some flowers to put in a vase is success enough!

Confessions of a Bride

Today marks two months of being married and I’m finally feeling somewhat recuperated from all the wedding planning. I still have my thank yous to do, but I’ve been avoiding them like the plague because I really (really) needed a break from anything wedding related. It’s not that I didn’t want to say ‘thank you’ to all our wonderful friends and family that showered us with their presence and gifts, but I just needed a wee bit of time to not think about any of that stuff. According to Emily Post, you should write your thank yous within three months of receiving gifts, so I’ve got just enough time.

The wedding went almost exactly as planned. It’s so strange how sooooo much planning goes into this one day and just like that, it’s over. There were many months of planning and budgeting, disagreements and tears, almost calling off the wedding (not to be mistaken with calling off the marriage), parental annoyances, crafting overload and too many trips to the flower mart. Despite all the months of planning, what it came down to was the week of the wedding, probably the most stressful week of my life. There were at least 2-3 close calls to a nervous breakdown, definitely a lack of sleep, a clementine emergency, and at least one private cry. Was it all worth it? A definite yes!

I’m happy to say that the morning of my wedding, after the beating of that last week, I woke up rested and feeling like a brand new person. I wrote my vows early that morning with my husband-to-be still sleeping next to me. Yes, you’re supposed to start writing your vows a couple months before the actual wedding, but neither of us had actually given the ceremony part any thought until that last week. My brother-in-law was the officiant and he was professional and inappropriate all at the same time. Our vows were heartfelt and humorous with Andreas being the bigger crier by far. It all happened the way it was supposed to and the ceremony was perfect.

I still can’t believe how amazing it was to have all the people you love and care about in one place. And they’re all there for you. We had entertained the idea of eloping for a while, but I am so glad we didn’t. There are not many opportunities in life where all the people that are important to you are in the same place to celebrate such a momentous day.

Because we are such event, marketing, design, planner people by nature and trade, Andreas and I spent the first few days of our honeymoon analyzing the whole wedding. Don’t get me wrong, we had a TOTAL blast at the wedding. Drinks were had by many, dinner and dancing ensued, a joyous (and drunken) rant reminiscent of those infamous Anthem x Coachella parties occurred (not by me but my better half) which included calling out babies in wombs to get on the dance floor and a necessity of earmuffs for my 8 yr. old nephew.  It was a good time for sure and things that we noticed after the fact I’m sure were not noticed by anyone else. Here are the things we wish we could do-over…

  • I absolutely loved the venue we picked, but I wish that we could have had at least one more hour for the festivities. They gave us a 5 hour block for the event and we could have really used that extra hour. Five hours is just not enough time for a ceremony and reception and partying, I think six hours is the minimum for any wedding. Also, there was a sound ordinance after a certain time, so the volume of the music was not up to my standards towards the end.
  • The caterer we hired was great and accommodating up until the actual day, but they kinda failed us on a few levels day of. I was hands off towards the end because I didn’t want to be a micro-manager, but I realized I should have micromanaged.
  • The biggest ‘wish we could do-over’ we both had was not making the rounds with all the older folks. Our parents had a handful of friends and some distant family members that came that neither of us ever see and we didn’t get a chance to say hello. This was a big regret 🙁
  • I wish we would’ve played ‘Blurred Lines‘.

So, now that I’m a Mrs. I think I’ve had enough experience to offer you brides-to-be some advice.

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff the day of your wedding. Do it before or after. I was (surprisingly) cool as a cucumber the entire day and it was awesome.
  • Don’t be a bridezilla, just don’t.
  • If you can afford it, hire a videographer, or have many of your friends video instagram throughout the day.
  • Party hearty with your friends, but make sure to say hello and pay respect to your elders. They probably won’t be around as long as your friends.
  • If you can remember, take your groom and escape to a vantage point just for a few minutes during your reception. Take a look at all your loved ones, all your hard work, and just take it all in. You’re married now!
  • Have a wedding. Big or small, expensivo or super budg, just do it. You won’t regret it.

That’s all I’ve got and I’m stickin’ to it.

Designing a Sustainable Future

While I was down in LA, one of the projects I was working on was the event design of a sustainability symposium for Levi’s which took place at the Haus of Strauss in West Hollywood. Instead of the standard setup for a symposium where the panel sits behind a table with the audience facing the speakers, the objective was more of a fireside chat environment (without the fireside). I knew I would be going straight to Yeah! Rentals for some furniture help.

Speakers: Jane Choi (Los Angeles urban planner), Erik Joule (SVP of Merchandising and Design), Vincent Stanley (Patagonia), Alexandra Cousteau (environmentalist) , Gary White (Water.org), and  moderator Ben Goldhirsh (CEO of Good)

Images 1,2: Me

Images 3,4,5,6 via here

Polka Dot Baby Shower

Navy Polka Dot Spring Summer Baby Shower

Just wanted to share a few pix from a baby shower I did with my sissy a while back. You all know by now I love me a polka dot (or two) and this was a fun scheme for a mother expecting a baby boy…just enough boy-ishness for a bunch of lovely, lunching ladies.

Navy Polka Dot Spring Summer Baby ShowerNavy Polka Dot Spring Summer Baby ShowerNavy Polka Dot Spring Summer Baby Shower


Colorful vintage glassware rentals

I never thought I’d have to be forced to make the time to plan my wedding…must be this sunny LA weather that’s making me get to it. These glasses, my wedding tablescape, done.

Image via here