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Archive for July, 2011

We didn’t get back to the hotel until almost 1:00 am (due to our late dinner, long drive back to the city, and complete navigation fail on the part of me and K), so we slept in the next morning. Waking up without an alarm clock blaring (or in my case, Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” blaring) is such a luxury. As always, the day started with Starbucks, and questionable spelling. Behold:

Evangelic?

We headed for Ghiradelli Square in search of breakfast, and some light shopping.

Our first attempt at brunch was at Lori’s Diner and it was a massive failure. Granted, it was almost 1:00 by the time we arrived, but it took 15 minutes for the server to even notice us, and they weren’t serving breakfast anymore. Thankfully, we live in the era of the smartphone, and within minutes of hearing the words “lunch menu only” we were on our way to the Buena Vista Cafe down the street! According to the signage, the Buena Vista is the birthplace (or something) of the Irish Coffee, so K (being ever brave and lover of all things Irish) ordered one. This is where we stop for a second: I went to an Irish Catholic university in the middle of nowhere, and consider tailgating to be a legitimate sport, but O.M.G. this drink was strong! The Buena Vista also earned infinity cool points for having the following: 1) open seating, 2) breakfast all day, and 3) THIS:

I am twelve years old

In addition to Beaver Mustard, they also had Grey Poupon and good old fashioned Heinz mustard, which prompted a blind taste-test, a la “Top Chef.” I am 99.99% sure everyone thought we were crazy, but we were pretty delirious with hunger. The brunch was good, and relatively cheap, so two thumbs up!

In what might have been the worst idea ever, after our super-filling brunch, we decided to walk (WALK) to Lombard Street. San Francisco is hilly, and Lombard Street is famous for being 1) steep, 2) twisty, and 3) extremely expensive. After walking at what seemed like a 90-degree angle for an eternity, we made it!

Arty, exhausted photo

Our last stop was the Golden Gate Bridge. At first we tried to walk (not possible), then take the bus (equally impossible), so here’s the closest we got – thank goodness it was a beautiful day!

Last, what does a Minnesota-turned-San Diego girl who doesn’t check the weather before going on vacation wear to wander the city?

Canadian tuxedo!

Jacket: J.Crew; Top: Zara; Jeans: Paige; Bag: Target; Sunnies: Chanel

That’s right my friends: denim on the top; denim on the bottom! Not my proudest style moment, but it was chilly (or at least cooler than the 80 degree days I’m used to in San Diego, and I, in a stroke of genius, only brought one pair of pants for the entire weekend. I love this plaid shirt from Zara. Love the color combination, and there are pockets!

After saying goodbye to the Ks, I got some quality time in with my Kindle, and some much-needed hot tea.

Kindle, hot tea

I never thought I would like an e-reader, as I’ve always maintained that I like to fold down pages, carry books around with me, and I just enjoy having physical books. That is, until I bought my Kindle. It’s super-light, holds tons of books, and doesn’t hurt my eyes, unlike trying to use the iBooks app on my iPhone. Also, I heard that the prices might be dropping even more this winter, so I’d highly recommend getting one if you ever travel or find yourself in a situation where you want to look busy (hello avoiding conversations with people at Jiffy Lube!) I’m also obsessed with the website Goodreads, and while I hardly ever have time for reading that doesn’t involve social worker reports or psychological evaluations, I do try to read for fun when I can, although I’m not going to lie: I am currently watching the Real Housewives of NY reunion and it’s a total hot mess…

Peace, love, and Canadian tuxedos!

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I had the most amazing, semi-impromptu weekend in San Francisco and wine country last week. My good friend (and senior year roommate) K was in town for work, and I managed to find last-minute flights for $69 each way on Southwest, and my trial that was supposed to go most of Friday vacated, so I figured I’d take advantage of the free room and reunion. All of the flights to San Francisco were delayed due to fog, but I still got in around 5:00, and, in a fit of embracing the eco-friendly vibe of the city, I took the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to Union Square, where our hotel was.

BART

[Photo processing via Instagram]

I *love* Instagram. I fancy myself a photographer, but am very aware (as I’m sure you all are by now) that the only camera I currently own is integrated into my iPhone. Thankfully, the Instagram app makes it easy to make your photos look super artsy, and best of all, it’s free! It lets you take a photo, crop it, adjust the focus, and then you can apply one of fifteen filters to it. Voila instant hipster credibility! (Or not :))

After a harrowing attempt at navigating my way to the hotel (you’d think in-phone gps would make it easier for me, but sadly, you’d be wrong) I arrived at the Taj Campton in Union Square, a cute little boutique hotel to meet my friend K and her current roommate (also K, but I’ll call her K2 for clarity’s sake) It was also 59 degrees outside, and my cardigan just wasn’t keeping me warm enough, but thankfully there was a Zara nearby! When the going gets tough, I go shopping…

After a lackluster dinner at Betlenut (think slightly trendier P.F Chang’s), we braved the city bus back to the hotel (again, in the spirit of eco-friendliness) and got plenty of rest in preparation for the main event: Napa Valley!

Starbucks; spelling fail

…but not before some caffeine, and the first of many attempts of the corner Starbucks baristas to spell my name, which reminds me of this hilarious tumblr blog: Starbucks Spelling. I used to tell them my name was “Eva” (instead of Evangelina) but that yielded worse spelling attempts (Avo, Ava, Eve) and even worse pronunciations (“umm…EV-uh?”).  But that’s another post for another day (maybe).

Now, I love me some wine, but our first stop was actually Domaine Chandon for some champagne tasting. The grounds were absolutely beautiful, and the guy pouring the champagne wasn’t too bad either! Sadly, champagne always gives me a bad headache, so I played it safe and had just one cocktail, thus forgoing the 4-champagne tasting menu and commemorative flute. I still maintain I made the right choice, though.

Champagne cocktail, sunnies

 Jacket: J.Crew; Dress: Mimi & Red; Bag: Target

Please note I would normally not wear my hair in braids (unless it’s Halloween and I’m dressed up as Pocahontas) but we left while my hair was still wet, and I figured “Disney’s version of a Native American princess” was a better look than “wet rat,” so you’ll have to excuse me this once.

Our next stop was the Robert Mondavi winery, where we saw/heard Babyface warming up for some afternoon concert, thus fulfilling one of my seventh-grade self’s life goals (remaining unfinished goals from seventh grade: (1) be presented with a giant novelty check, (2) win Olympic gold medal in ladies’ figure skating, (3) meet the Backstreet Boys) and took an extremely informative (but LONG) tour where I learned things like (1) Malbec grapes were originally grown in France as “mixing grapes” but were first bottled on their own by South American vineyards, (2) the type of wood the wine is stored in is super-important, and (3) there are something called “appellations” (not to be confused with “Appalachians”) and that has something to do with why Napa Valley is so good for growing wine grapes. K’s roommate K2 also befriended a German guy.

Wine

Later we met K’s cousins, M/T, at Oakville Grocery to pick up supplies for an impromptu picnic (my favorite kind of picnic!) and head to our next destination, Rutherford Hill.  We had cheese, bread, and an amazing view of Napa Valley, along with a tour of their wine caves (and some more jokes about the quality of the wood that wine is aged in, which my inner 12 year-old appreciated).

Napa Valley, via Rutherford Hill

Caves, wine, good (French, allegedly) wood

One thing about wine country: most of the vineyards close around 5:00, and they’re all closed by 6:00. We managed to squeeze in one more tasting at Rubicon after we left Rutherford Hill. By the time we got to Rubicon, we were all pretty exhausted. Exhibit A:

K2, K, me, giant fountain

The washed-out colors are supposed to symbolize our level of fatigue. Just kidding. Running around and drinking wine all day really takes it out of a person. I have a tough life, I know ;).

We had dinner reservations at Bottega, but not until 9:45, so to kill time, we drove back to the city of Napa (not to be confused with the rest of Napa Valley) where things similarly were all closed early, and managed to walk two full miles in the name of finding the only open business there (a Starbucks!). I’m so sad I didn’t get photos of our dinner at Bottega (or a candid of chef/owner/Food Network personality Michael Chiarello, who we all openly gawked at when he made a cameo in the dining room towards the end of service) but my phone had died by then. We ordered the polenta under glass, the succotash, the ricotta gnocchi, veal bolognese, short ribs, more wine, and the tiramisu profiteroles, and I can verify that it was all extremely delicious.

Coming up: San Francisco day 3. Here’s a preview: it involves Beaver Mustard, a Canadian tuxedo, the Golden Gate Bridge (surprisingly, none of those are euphemisms).

In vino veritas!

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colors!

I took an impromptu trip to San Francisco this weekend (details and LOTS of photos to come) to visit my college roommate and her current roommate. It was tons of fun, we ate far too much food, and drank even more wine! It was a perfect weekend, except for the massive amounts of delays leaving San Diego — apparently there was a ton of fog.

Here’s my traveling outfit:

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cardigan: Frenchi (in the Nordstrom juniors’ section); top: Kate Spade; jeans: Paige; shoes: TOMs; watch: Nixon; ring: Swarovski.

Kate Spade was having a sale where you could take an additional 25% off sale items, so this colorful top was uber-cheap! It’s so much fun to wear: I love the tie detail, and the happy colors of the polka dots! It goes well with my suits, but is casual enough to pair with my skinnies (which I love for travel because they are super stretchy) and a pair of flats (for running through airport terminals). I always dress in layers when I travel, and this cardigan is lightweight, but kept me warm on the flight. (The temperature once I landed at SFO is another story, though!)

Here’s another shot without the cardigan:

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As you’ve probably gathered, I’m not really a flat-shoes person. However, I do love these Toms. Not only are they sparkly and pink (two of my favorite colors) but Toms donates a pair to a person in need for every purchased pair! They also remind me of ballet slippers, so for flats, they’re about as good as it gets for me!

I know I post a ton about my Nixon Kensington watch and Swarovski ring. I wear them a lot, and figured they deserved their own close-ups, instead of being barely visible blips on my outfit photos.

Behold:

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I love this watch! The guy at my local drive-through Starbucks always makes fun of it, but I think he’s secretly jealous ;-).

And:

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Another Gilt Groupe acquisition. The center crystal is ridiculously sparkly and I love the unusual setting. I’m a firm believer in signature jewelry, and minimal pieces: you’ll rarely see me dripping in jewelery because that’s simply not my style, although I certainly do not begrudge others the right to their bling 🙂

Happy accessorizing!

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shopping karma

Let’s talk about how much I love this outfit (and sorry this photo is so blurry!)

Suit: The Limited; Top: Peppermint (at Mimi & Red Boutique); Shoes: BCBG; Watch: my trusty Nixon Kensington; Bag: Kenneth Cole; Lipstick: Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain & Color Seal Balm in Guava; Ring: Swarovski.

I just adore the print on this blouse, and the little side-tie adds just a little bit of interest without being too 80s or too obnoxious (or so I think). I’ve been on the hunt for tops that I can wear either for work or the weekend, and I’m excited to pair this with skinny jeans and wedges for a weekend! Here’s a better view of the top, and the bag.

This bag is one of the best instances of shopping karma ever. The bag was a part of Nordstrom’s Anniversasry Sale last year, and I was in love with it from the moment I saw it in the catalog, but didn’t have teh presence of mind to pre-order it. I randomly ended up in a Nordstrom in LA with my friend A, where the salesgirl informed us that there was only 2 of these bags left (for the sale price) throughout the entire United States (seriously) and they couldn’t order it, and tried to show me a bunch of other “similar” bags that 1) were not on sale, and 2) didn’t have the amazing petal details with the tiny studs on them. Heartbroken, I returned to San Diego. A week later, I got a call from my friend A asking if I still wanted the purse (!) She was in Nordstrom picking up the watch she purchased, and saw one bag sitting among the sale bin, and recognized it! She put me on the phone with the sales associate and I was told that someone had ordered the bag, returned it to the store, and now it could be mine!  How’s that for luck?

Good shopping karma be with you all!

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fingers & toes

I love having polished nails, and I tend to prefer to do them myself. I think it’s a combination of growing up in a very small Midwestern town, where the number of Mexican restaurants (two) outnumbered the nail salons (one, in the mall, next to a store called “Dreamcatchers” which sold…dreamcatchers) and taking dance classes for ten years (and therefore having constantly nasty feet). My first pedicure wasn’t until my freshman year of college, and I was so squeamish that I accidentally kicked the poor nail technician while she attempted to pumice my feet. While I’ve grown accustomed to letting other people touch my feet, I rarely have the free time to go get my nails done, so I usually do them at home, while watching trashy reality tv. Hey, it’s cheaper than therapy and I don’t have to tip anyone. Or shave my legs 😉

Thanks to fellow bloggers at I am Style-ish and Blondie, Esquire, I’ve recently discovered Zoya nail polishes. They have the cutest website and can send you “color spoons” so you can see what the color will look like on your nails before committing to an entire bottle! Also: they send some great freebies with every order. I started small with Pippa (creamy bright yellow), Jancyn (orange), and Charisma (bright purple). I gave Pippa and Charisma a whirl this weekend.

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Isn’t this color fun? Perfectly bright and cheery for a sunny day. This is two coats + topcoat. As an aside: I assembled the little table my feet are resting on, and it turned out to be 10 times more complicated than the two giant matching chairs. However, the hardest part (where I legitimately shed a drop of blood from a stupid papercut) was breaking down the cardboard to fit into the recycling bin outside. Go figure 🙂

Here’s Charisma:

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Again, two coats plus topcoat. It’s a little lumpy because I didn’t wait for it to dry before I went to sleep the night before. Oops. Another true confession: when I was in middle/high school, I was in LOVE with the super long nail trend, and there is a photo of my holding my 4 month-old brother Ray-Ray in which my dark teal talons strrrrretch across his entire face, not unlike a fingernail version of Edward Scissorhands. . Scary. Since then I’ve kept my nails almost obsessively short.

Peace and nail clippers be with you all!

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casual friday

As much as I love being in court, I love casual Friday even more. It’s been incredibly hot and sunny, but our office is (blessedly) air-conditioned. Hence, the cardigan.

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Cardigan: Forever 21; Tank: Old Navy; Skirt: J.Crew; Necklace: BCBG; Watch: Nixon Kensington (order here from Mimi & Red); Ring: Kendra Scott; Shoes: Frye; Nails: OPI Too Hot Pink to Hold ‘Em; Toes: OPI Who the Shrek are You?

I’ve been searching for a lightweight yellow cardigan to replace my one from the gap for months. This one from Forever 21 has faint white stripes on it and was pretty cheap. I can’t quite find it on the website, but it’s similar to this one here.

Here’s a close-up shot of this amazing Kendra Scott ring. It’s really heavy and I have to take it off when I type, but I adore it!

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Apologies for the tail-end manicure. I just got my first order from Zoya (Pippa, Jancyn, and Charisma) today and picked up a pretty pale blue and highlighter pink at Nordstrom Rack, so expect new nailcolor soon!

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…and in the back! My day job (which I love) involves a ton of court time, and per firm rules, we *have* to wear suits. This is apparently in response to an attorney who used to show up to court in lace-paneled pants and logo Bebe tops. God bless America.

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Sunglasses: Chanel; Suit: Ann Taylor; Top: Deletta for Anthropologie; Purse: Rafe; Shoes: Mea Shadow.

 

It’s been quasi-hot lately here in San Diego, and when I’m not in court, I’m driving all over the county visiting my clients (who are all children) so I always try to wear something that a) isn’t super-intimidating, and b) won’t make me melt. Today, I achieved half of my goal. The suit above is fully lined in silk. And the air-conditioning in the main courthouse was out. Fail. I do love the details on this t-shirt though, although it tends to stretch out during the day, hence the semi-bell-bottom look here (photo taken around 4:00 pm):

 

 

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Last but not least, the shoes! I loves these wedges by Mea Shadow, which I got for cheap on Gilt Groupe! One of my colleagues asked me today if I ever wear flats, and I realized that I hardly ever do wear them, and it’s even to the point where I think 3-inch heels are short. It’s the natural result of growing up with Norwegian giants in Minnesota and wanting to feel just a liddlebit taller, I think. Anyway, I like wedges because they give my feet a nice break from stilettos, and these, while open toe (gasp!) haven’t gotten any complaints yet, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

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Stay cool ❤

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