Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Carmel & the Coast {Day 6}

carmel carmel church 
candles in the Carmel Mission
church carmel 
We started our morning by going to mass at the Carmel Mission, a 16th century Spanish church. It was quaint and well-preserved, the art, use of colors and even the music was a reflection of the church's heritage. If I were to ever have a destination wedding, it would be here. It's like stepping back in time but on another continent. 
We happened to be there for a Fiesta in their courtyard featuring a Mariachi band, local art vendors and margaritas. This is my kind of church.
We left the Mission and hit the road for the coast, picking up fried calamari steak sandwiches at Sea Harvest Fish Market and Restaurant (my dad has been bragging about these sandwiches for years and they surpassed my expectations) on the way. Drove along the coast, but unfortunately the whole weekend was very groggy and overcast. It was really hard to see the rocks and cliffs at times, and sometimes even the water. Kinda disappointing weather, but the views were still beautiful and different from anything on the East coast.

 We ended the evening by walking downtown Carmel, which is simultaneously swanky and adorable. It's filled with upscale stores - chain and local - and European restaurants. It's impossible to see it all. The architecture downtown ranges from fairytale German cottages to Moroccan influenced tiled buildings. It surprisingly all goes well together (don't think Epcot).

I want to go back to there.
carmel carmel coast
 the violent coast

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mixtape Monday: Halloween II

A great behind the scenes shot from one of my favorite movies. One day when I have the resources for an amazing costume, I will be Marie Antoinette for Halloween.


Here is a playlist to get you in the spooky, sinister spirit (or ghost):

1. Blinding - Florence + the Machine
2. Night of the Dancing Flame - Roisin Murphy
3. She Wolf - Shakira
4. Aha! - Imogen Heap
5. Hexagons II (The Flight) - Esben and the Witch
6. Let's Get Lost - Beck & Bat for Lashes
7. Seven Devils - Florence + the Machine
8. Numb - Oh Land
9. In the Room Where You Sleep - Dead Man's Bones
10. Ritual - Ellie Goulding
11. Black Magic - Magic Wands
12. Exit Music (For A Film) - Radiohead

listen here:

What are you dressing as for Halloween this year?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Autumn Apple Sangria & Curried Pumpkin Hummus

For my parent's anniversary last weekend, I wanted to cook them an fall dinner - with an global twist.

For the easy centerpiece, I turned to our backyard to use pine cone branches and fall leaves dipped into colorful vases filled with water. Scattered some more leaved on the table and added some tea lights (we had our chiminea going on as well).

Drink & hors d'oeuvre :
Autumn Apple Sangria and Curried Pumpkin Hummus
 (recipes below)
Autumn Apple Sangria
1 bottle Riesling
2 apples, chopped
1 bottle sparkling wine
for rim:
maple syrup
cinnamon sugar

Let apples marinate in Riesling overnight in a large decanter/pitcher. When ready to serve, add sparkling wine.
To rim glasses, dip edge of wine glass in maple syrup followed by cinnamon sugar.

Serves 3 thirsty people.
Curried Pumpkin Hummus
(inspired by this recipe)
1 can (drained and rinsed) chickpeas
1/2 can (about 1 cup) pumpkin
 1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
 juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon toasted curry powder (toast in a small pan on stove for a few min)
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (maybe some Sriracha if you're going for hot)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until you get hummus, adding crushed red pepper flakes to taste and more olive oil if needed.

Serve with pitas/veggies.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

San Francisco {Day 5}

Zinnias at Golden Gate Park
sf sf
Palace of the Fine Arts
sf sf sf sf sf sf 
We fit a lot in on our last day in the Bay Area before heading up along the coast.
Started by picture-taking at the Greco-Roman inspired Palace of Fine Arts. I still cannot fathom how huge and authentic it was. It's was overwhelming but beautiful - not the least bit fake. Definitely a must see.
We then drove over the Golden Gate for an afternoon in Sausalito, an adorable, upscale "fishing town". We had a picnic in the shade by the water (delicious sandwiches and sides from Golden Gate Market). Beware of sitting under trees that birds inhabit. My hair found out the hard way.
After, we strolled along the main shopping strip. Sausalito has a very Italian feel to it (as if the name doesn't already hint at it).
Before leaving for the scenic highway, we stopped by Golden Gate Park to wander around (all the flower pictures were taken there). There were at least 3 weddings going on in the humongous park. We certainly didn't see it all, but that's why there is always a next time.
sf sf sf
sf sf sf sf sf sf

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mixtape Monday: Fallin'

fall fall fall fall
pictures from evening walks around my neighborhood

I am so behind on posts - and I have so many Autumn-related ones to share with you all.

In the meantime, here is a fall playlist. Folksy and beautiful to match the season.

1. Birmingham - Shovels and Rope (sounds like a southern Jenny Lewis)
2. Fallin' - Connie Francis (song from the amazing fall Target commercial)
3. Dream Song - Benjamin Gibbard (so excited about this debut solo cd from Death Cab for Cutie's frontman)
4. Featherstone - The Paper Kites
5. Skeletons (Acoustic) - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs (I almost love the acoustic versions of their songs better than their energized, punk originals.)
6. Bowspirit - Balmorhea (beautiful instrumental number)
7. I Know You Care - Ellie Goulding (maybe my favorite off her new album)
8. Dance of the Gray Whales - A Fine Frenzy (very ethereal, and storybook-like)
9. Winter Seeds - Freelance Whales
10. Now Is The Start - A Fine Frenzy
11. Little Shadow (Acoustic) - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
12. Aeolus - Freelance Whales

Listen here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween Pins {Pinterest}

{pin it / source}

Here are some of my favorite ideas for Halloween costumes and decorations via my Pinterest. I wish I could have 10 different costumes every year. October is always over before I know it!
{pin it source} // {pin it
{pin it / source} // {pin it}

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Charleston Lately...

a new-found "secret" spot in Charleston
vern bon banh mi vern vern and claire
Dipping into the ocean fully clothed // deliciousness from Bon Banh Mi // the solution of swimming with your clothes on and having to drive = Smithsonian poncho from 2001 // We're just bein' Miley!

I went back to Charleston for the first time since I left in August the other weekend, and I had some uneasiness of returning to my college town and 4-year home. I feared that I would have missed out on all these inside jokes that I would never know the root of, that I would be really upset with myself for leaving, and that certain friendships would feel different. 
None of this happened, of course, because I tend to overanalyze things and mull over it like it's hot apple cider. 
It was perfect (though it would have been even more so if one more friend could have made it, but Texas is tres far). It's lovely how with tried and true friends, you can so easily slip into where you left off. We didn't miss a beat. There was so much to talk about in person that you can't always get in over the phone, so we barely slept. We ate at all our old favorites eateries, visited a few of our favorite bars, and just reveled in being in each other's company again. 
I was so focused on hanging out with friends, I barely even saw the city - never went to the Battery or walked around Broad. I guess which is why when I left, I knew Charleston wasn't mine anymore. Not in a bad way, though. I saw it as someone else's, all the new students who are about to make amazing friends and explore the beautiful city. And as my friends who have decided to stay and start careers there, it's theirs now and it will be different for them than the last 4 years were.
Not that I ever needed closure with Charleston, but the visit was a reassurance that I truly am doing the right thing my moving home to save money and continuing on to Chicago, where I don't know anyone. But that's how Charleston started too, and look what it got me - life-long, loyal friends.
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