Thursday, March 28, 2013

California Roadtrip: Yosemite

California Roadtrip: Yosemite Half Dome

There's something shameful about being a native Californian who's never been to Yosemite. How I never made it there in the back seat of my parents' car is a total mystery to me given how many California peaks they climbed, how much they loved classic camping spots, and how many miles I did travel in the back seat on road trips to other destinations. I would unwillingly pile into the backseat, only contented by listening to cassette tapes on my headphones, and try to ignore my mom excitedly pointing out cows. But those trips were proverbially, ineluctably life-shaping, and an appreciation for long stretches of road, improbable geological features, road side stops (especially gift shops), and Western destinations seeped osmotically into me. Now I dream of them. I would love to retrace some of the trips we made while I was growing up and I'm definitely excited to pull up to towns and places I've never been. Yosemite seemed like a necessity.
Yosemite Half Dome
Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Waterfall

Spring is a great time of year to visit because the snow is melting, which means major waterfall action. They're mesmerizing moving aspects of the landscape from afar, but you can also get up close enough to feel their icy mist.
Yosemite Falls WaterfallYosemite Falls Waterfall
We stayed in a little cabin in Curry Village that was old but maybe passable as vintage (it seemed they were in the process of updating and rebuilding these), and tried not to think about catching the hantavirus. In the evening, we headed over to the Ahwahnee Hotel for cocktails and dinner in the fancy dining room. I've always wanted to go there, and it was beautiful but dark (literally and sort of vibe-wise — it inspired the Overlook Hotel from The Shining), so it was hard to get any good pics.

Camp Curry Village YosemiteThe next day, we hiked up to Artist Point. I found our route on one of the first internet lists of Yosemite hikes I came across, but somehow not many of the Yosemite workers had heard of it, and it seemed relatively untraveled. We had the trail almost to ourselves the whole time, which was eerie and cool. I secretly hoped to see a (peaceful) bear. Once we got to Artist Point, it was just us and the view the entire time.
Yosemite Half DomeYosemite Hiking
El Capitan Yosemite
At the scenic point, we hid a secret message for my brother and sister-in-law who were on an epic California road trip of their own, and had plans to visit Yosemite later the same week. I've been tweeting them clues, and I don't know if they'll follow the same trail, but I hope they find our analog geocache if they do!

Yosemite Valley View
This was a great first trip to Yosemite, and I hope to go back for more. I kept saying that next time I want to hike Half Dome when the cables are up, but after spying this book in the Ahwahnee gift shop, I'm thinking twice. Would you do it (or have you)?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

& Other Stories

& Other Stories

Remember when H&M only existed on far away European shores? You were doubly jealous of friends returning from abroad because not only had they been galavanting across Paris, London, and Stockholm, they'd been picking up super affordable, cute new clothes from H&M along the way. Clothes with a lot of whatever the Swedish equivalent of je ne sais quoi is. Clothes made cuter by the fact that you couldn't get them here in the US. But then we got our very own H&Ms and the magic of intagibility kind of waned?

Well, we can revive our stateside envy because H & M's new Euro-only venture, & Other Stories has a pretty covetable new collection of ready-to-wear clothing, lingerie, shoes, accessories, and jewelry. Slightly more expensive, slightly more design-y, they're also launching some killer designer collaborations — my favs: Clare Vivier bags and The Lake and Stars lingerie.
Clare Vivier & Other Stories

Clare Vivier & Other Stories

Clare Vivier & Other Stories

The Lake and Stars & Other Stories
The Lake and Stars & Other Stories

The Lake and Stars & Other Stories
If you don't have a European address, at least & Other Stories will provide some new fodder for your Pinterest boards.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Just Perf

acne, rachel comey, kelly wearstler, vena cava, perforated

It's getting warmer. Punch some holes in your clothes, or snag these — they're pre-punched, and just perf.

Vena Cava skirt // Kelly Wearstler cuff // Rachel Comey boots // Acne clutch // Kelly Wearstler ring

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pain d'Epi + Homemade Goat Cheese

Pain d'epi and homemade goat cheese
I've been officially converted: I'm a bread evangelist. A couple of years ago my sister-in-law gave me a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day as a gift, and almost before I had finished unwrapping it, she was excitedly talking about how amazing it is. I was a little overwhelmed and assumed it was too good to be true — I thought there would be a lot of kneading, letting dough rise, and touchy bread starters. And while I'll admit that you're probably not going to complete any of these projects in a literal five minutes, it really is totally easy to make the dough recipes in this book, and they're so versatile you can turn them into practically anything — loaves of bread, baguettes, pizzas, flatbreads, calzones. You can make a batch and keep it in your fridge for a couple weeks, using some here and there, and it just gets tastier and more sour-doughy. There's something elementally delicious about a fresh, crusty baguette hot out of the oven; turn one out for a casual, last-minute weeknight dinner, and you feel like you need to tell people about this book.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book
I made this recipe for pain d'epi when I wanted to bring something special but easy to make to a friend's party. It looks so pretty and interesting (like a stalk of wheat, hence the name in French) and whenever I see a waiter approaching with it in a restaurant I get really excited to tear off one of the little mini loaves and slather it in butter. Don't put it on a plate, just eat it right off the table, and you can pretend you're eating in France — that's the vibe of pain d'epi — fancy, classic, simple.
Pain d'epi bakingPain d'epi baking

Pain d'epi baking
To go with the bread, I also made goat cheese using this DIY kit we got as a wedding gift. It's a collection of the few basic things you need to make your own cheese — citric acid, cheese salt, cheesecloth and molds, a cooking thermometer — but you could easily assemble these items on your own. I made a plain goat cheese, and two flavored versions, one coated with cracked black pepper, the other with herbes de Provence. You could get creative with herbs and spices which would be a fun way to experiment using the same recipe.

DIY Goat Cheese kit

Homemade goat cheese
Pain d'epi
Pain d'epi and homemade goat cheese

I've made such seriously tasty bread and pizza crusts with these recipes that now I'm a total convert. I'll talk at length about this book and how it's crucial to invest in a bulk amounts of flower and a pizza stone to anyone who seems remotely insterested in homemade bread. This year, my sister-in-law gave a copy to my other brother's girlfriend — as soon as she unwrapped it, we gave each other a look and started talking.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Trench Appeal

Vintage Trench CoatVintage Trench Coat

Vintage Trench Coat
Vintage Trench CoatSee? False spring. It's stopped raining for the moment, but the billowing grey clouds signal it's not over yet. Perfect time to bust out the new-to-me vintage trench.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Kindah Khalidy

Kindah Khalidy clutchesKindah Khalidy clutch

Kindah Khalidy clutches

I'm loving local artist and CCA grad Kindah Khalidy's hand painted textiles. Total wearable art party. Almost any surface is a canvas, and her pretty palette of abstract, eye-catching splatters adorns everything from clutches and pouches, to pillows, scarves, and wearable paintings. Her work was recently featured at a pop up shop at Mercy Vintage  that included my hands down favorites: HAND PAINTED PARTY TANK TOPS.

Kindah Khalidy hand painted tank top

Kindah Khalidy hand painted tank top

She also just released this Cotton Candy clutch edition for Of a Kind, which I love the idea of — they partner with up-and-coming designers to produce exclusive, limited edition pieces and tell the story of the designers' background, inspiration, and process. In many ways it's the opposite of fast, mass-produced fashion; you can buy a piece produced in a small run and feel like you know who made it and where it came from. It's a great way to discover and support new designers and snap up a 'few-of-a-kind' work that you feel like you can tell a story about.

Kindah Khalidy clutch

I'll definitely be keeping my eye on Khalidy's paintings and textiles and hopefully more local events where we can get our hands on them!