Monday, October 31, 2011

martha in sf

wish me luck, for tomorrow i will be waking up early to wait in line at macy's to buy the queen's new book, martha's entertaining: a year of celebrations. the book acts as a ticket for her cooking demonstration and appearance at macy's a few days later. i must be one of the first 200 people to buy the book to get a seat to the event!
is it crazy to plan to be at the door at 8am and wait until 10am when they open to ensure my place? i know i can't be the only martha devotee here in the bay...plenty of other domestic goddesses in training will be waiting out front too, right?! 

{photo via marthastewart}

notebook tee

what a great idea! liz over at say yes! to hoboken came up with this easy diy project. she created this lined notebook tee for her tot but obviously any size will do. get her step by step instructions here.

it'd be just as easy to use black fabric paint and create a staff music tee or if you wanted to get a little crazy, use several colors and stencil out squares with the tape to create a rubix cube tee! 

{photos via say yes! to hoboken}

Friday, October 28, 2011

conservatory of flowers


another gorgeous day here in the bay so i took advantage of the warm weather and walked to the conservatory of flowers in golden gate park. i've been seeing signs all over the city for an exhibit of theirs called wicked plants: botanical rogues and assassins  -- tres apropos for the upcoming holiday. the exhibit was inspired by a book of the same name by amy stewart, and some of her wonderful writing and information was cleverly mounted throughout the show. the book discusses dozens of wicked plants: those that kill, those that maim and those that just make you sick and icky. my copy of the book is in the mail!

in addition to the fascinating plantae-assassin exhibit, the conservatory is gorgeous and their stunning dahlia garden was still in bloom!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

the mighty pen

i am a very picky pen user. i have my favorite pens that i use and they are my tried and true marking makers. isn't everyone particular about their pens? 

the precise v5 extra fine: my all time, all time fav. i have them in every color. my hand writing always turns out the best and clearest with this pen for some reason..maybe i just strive to make it look good when the pen is so good! warning and only downside: if you're sort of rough with your bag, i often find that the pen can get banged up a bunch and bleed on you when you remove the cap. blech. 

stabilo pens: when hannah was living in france, she bought me a set and i love them! i always have such fun when i write and draw with them and they come in a great range of bright and mild colors. 

lepen markers: martha says she keeps them in every color by every phone. they're cheap (less than $2/pen) and if martha loves them, i love them. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the great jack-o-lantern blaze

how badly do i wish i could go to this?! for those of you in the new york/tri-state area, get your tickets to the great jack-o-lantern blaze in spooky sleepy hollow, new york. and get them quick because they're almost sold out! the event continues through the first week of november. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

more hammam, please.

the turkish bath, jean auguste dominique ingres
kind of...but not really. 
did i ever tell you about my hammam experience in fes? while hannah and i visited morocco this past march, we knew we wanted to try out the age old arab tradition of a hammam, also known as a turkish bath. i first learned of the tradition when i was living in granada and toured the oldest one in spain. it's still today the only way many moroccans bathe.

the deal: we wanted to visit a public hammam and get the true moroccan medina experience. when we arrived with towels in hand, it turned out it was only open to men for the next several hours and the women hours wouldn't be until after we left. bummer. but what luck! just then, we bumped into a friend of the dar who recommended taking a taxi to the new city and getting the treatment at nausikka spa, a beautiful spa and hammam... it would cost a little more ($15 instead of $4 at the public medina hammam) but it would be luxurious and fantastic. sold!

after disrobing to our knickers, hannah and i were each guided to attendants who led us down to the gooooorgeous underground spa -- tiled from floor to ceiling, high arches throughout. a palace of a bathroom! giant rooms connected by tiled arch ways, hot tubs of various temperatures, a steam room and rows of granite massaging slabs (see below).

the attendants didn't speak english and knew very little french so they basically led us around and pointed so we knew where to go and what to do. first a hang out in the steam room and a rub down with some oily soap. then a quick dip in the cold jacuzzi to cool down. once we we ready, the ladies took us by the hand and led us each to a marble table where they bathed us. during the entire experience, i felt like a tiny baby princess. the women held me by the hand, took me where i needed to go, no words spoken and propped me up on the table and went to work. scrubbed in places i personally never have! thorough, they were. a salt scrub, an oil massage, a soap cleaning and she even washed my hair for me. i flipped and flopped and she just took over: positioned my arms where she wanted, turned me over to get my back side, all of it. i was like a toddler again. 
after a final rinse, we shined like the top of the chrysler building! a truly unique and exciting experience. go get the real deal if you're ever given the chance. 

to top it off, as we were leaving, the receptionist suggested we step into their salon before leaving and get our clean, wet hair blown out for $5 by a stylist. Uhhh...yes, please!

have you ever been to a hammam? know of any in the united states? i've been wanting to start one... it'd sell like hot cakes!

after a nice relaxing bath, these turkish bath towels would be so fantastic to wrap yourself in. 

{hammam photos by nausikaa spa, towels from bath style via rena tom at sf girl by bay}

Monday, October 24, 2011

sweet pumpkin recipes

pumpkin doughnut muffins

i'm drooling over all the seasonal pumpkin recipes i saw featured on the martha stewart show the past few days. casey will be flying up from austin to celebrate thanksgiving with me here in san francisco...which recipes should we make? i'm leaning towards a classic pumpkin pie and the pumpkin bread pudding. 
pumpkin bread pudding with dulce de leche

pumpkin spice cake with chocolate chips
classic pumpkin pie
pumpkin chocolate tiramisu

{photos via martha stewart}

incredible pumpkin carving

thanks to the house dvr, i've been able to record a million martha shows and this week she's been going crazy with pumpkins. she invited this incredible pumpkin sculpture, ray villafane, to the show and just look at what he can do!
next up post: delish pumpkin recipes.

{all images courtesy ray villafane studios}

Saturday, October 22, 2011

crafty pumpkins

feeling a bit underwhelmed about halloween this year -- more than likely because for the past several years, lynn and i have planned some really fun hallows eve parties and this year just won't be the same without her and the other ashevillians!
however, one thing that helps puts me in the mood is pumpkin decorating and this collection of craft ideas does the trick.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

the art of binding

wowza! my jaw dropped as i scrolled through the images of some of the most beautifully crafted handmade books i've ever seen, by artist natalie stopka

when i studied in spain, i took a book binding class at a local arts school -- it was such fun but time consuming...i can't imagine how long it takes to add all those gorgeous details to the covers and spines! look at all those french knots

visit her website and check out the goods in her shop -- she's happy to make custom books as well. 

{found via the sfcb blog}