I wish chair: by J

New apartment thoughts lead to thoughts of new furniture.

This is the kind of chair that when sitting in I assume magical things happen.

The park lounge chair and ottoman by Bensen.

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On moving to a new city: by J

IMG_0652While K isn’t changing cities with this move, we’ve both experienced moving to a new city, and I thought it appropriate to share some thoughts on my experience.

I moved to SF in the heart of the cold rain, to a temporary apartment on the top of Nob Hill. I didn’t have a single friend in the city, and had nowhere to go during the day. I’m not sure the transition is hard for everyone. What I do know is it was hard for me, and I can only imagine how the hubs felt, jumping in to a new job everyday only to come home at night to a person adrift and lonely.

Things were tough, but I started to build the city around me. That sounds weird, but in a way a city is only there as you experience it. Firstly, I found a nearby grocery store. I let cooking slowly begin to fill up a part of me.

Next I found places I wanted to see, and I walked there and back.

Then of course came the busyness of finding an apartment. I walked everywhere I could, discovering neighborhoods I liked.

Once we found our place in Hayes Valley it was easier to settle in. Luckily, Yoga Tree was a block away from our new apartment, so I began a daily practice to give me somewhere to go each day. I found my favorite cafes, and bit by bit I developed friendships.

I have no idea what I would have done without the support of these amazing ladies, many of whom were brought to the city in a similar way.

I remember the deep relief I felt when a woman I was out for dinner with said “I’m always depressed the first 6 months in a new city”.

Looking back, things may have been harder because I expected the move to be the catalyst for a new and wondrously perfect life. Living in a city I loved, with the man I loved, leaving an ultimately unfulfilling job behind for a blank slate of possibility, what could be better?

I’ve definitely learned that happiness is something we build, not something we can grab onto, or leap into.

That being said I have learned that you can make it easier on yourself.

If I were to do it again, I would find a yoga studio before I move. For you it might be a gym, a park, a cafe, or a book store. Just somewhere you can go to feel quiet and comfortable and around people. I would sign up for a course or volunteer. I would have a stack of books I’m excited to read on those long days where I will inevitably be a little lonely.

Mostly I would be a little gentler with myself.

xo J

tips and tricks for packing and moving: by J


cleaning

I really hate moving. I don’t mind packing, but I dread actually moving everything from one place to the next.

Oddly enough this only applies to my own moving. I really don’t mind helping a friend (preferably well organized) move.

I do love that a new my place will likely be the cleanest and most well organized it will ever be when I first move in (once settled in of course), and I love the beauty of a blank canvas for placing everything.

However, there are a few little things I’ve learned along the way that have definitely helped make the process a little smoother.

  1. Purge before you move, seriously make time for this step.
  2. Label the sides of boxes for visibility and include the room they belong in and any key objects that are inside.
  3. Pack each room’s essentials together to make them easier to find. The easiest way to do this is by packing gradually over weeks or days so the things you need for every day living are the last things you pack.
  4. Pack a cleaning kit to take on your first trip over, which should include, all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, rubber gloves, baking soda, cleaning cloths, dusting wipes, paper towels, garbage bags, shelf liner, scissors, toilet paper and hand soap. If you’re like me you’ll want to clean everything before you unpack.
  5. Pack all glassware and dinnerware with white packing paper, using newsprint will mean you’ll have to wash everything before using it.
  6. Have bottled water and some quick snacks on hand like nut and fruit bars. The stress of packing combined with hunger is not pretty.
  7. Possibly the most important but overlooked tip. Set aside a small box for any really significant non-replaceable items, and keep it with you.

Happy moving K,  I wish I could be of more help!

xo J

chic shelf liner/ cute rubber gloves/ my fave cleaning products

Oscars: by J

Will you take part in an Oscars party this weekend?

While I’m not necessarily a huge fan of the Oscars, I am a huge fan of Oscar parties. I love getting together with friends to watch the red carpet, make our predictions and eat great food.

We’re lucky to have been invited to a friend’s place who has an amazing projector screen.

I’m really rooting for Quvenzhané Wallis for best actor, her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild was nothing short of breath taking. But if she doesn’t win, then I sincerely hope it goes to Emmanuelle Riva for Amour.

I’m extremely happy to see a year with such strong female presence for lead actor. Also am I the only one surprised that they still use different words, actor and actress? I thought we would just go with female lead and male lead.

Happy Friday,

xo J

I’m in love: by J

fallwinter2013

I can’t stop thinking about 3.1 Philip Lim for fall/winter 2013.

Oversized coats, black and brown leather, knee high boots, perfect plaid with skillful hits of colour.

It’s the ideal collection for all year in SF. Utility pieces layered with texture, strong silhouettes, and easy fits.

The ideal balance of lust worthy wearability.

I’m in love,

xo J

Weekend: by J

Saw this movie. Hands down the most depressing film I have ever seen, but so so well done.

Ate fried chicken here. So delicious, and so hipster.

Saw the band Eels at the Fillmore. An intriguing show.

Sunday morning yoga with friends and this bendy instructor.

An almost bonfire with friends, that ended in making oven s’mores, or sm’ordoeuvres as I like to think of them, because I’m nerdy like that.

Happy Presidents’ Day,

xo J

*images from Eels’ website

Cheesecake love: by J

IMG_2196

I celebrated valentine’s day by making a cheesecake. My very first. Yes it cracked, and the only pic I took was before it was served, but I made it!

I think I let it cool too quickly, because that beauty was pristine when it came out of the oven.

I love smitten kitchen. Deb’s blog is a constant source of food inspiration.

I wanted to make a key lime cheesecake, and of course she had a recipe. I used the crust from her New York cheesecake recipe because it seemed to make a bit more.

I finished this guy with a slap of whipped cream and some lime zest.

All I can say is a cheesecake is a lot less intimidating then I thought it would be.

xo J