Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dinner at Wurstkuche Venice

A lovely Sunday evening meal. Particularly loved the fries, perfect!

DVF for babyGap Purchases

My mom and I were able to pick up our favorite colorful whimsical pieces from the Diane von Furstenberg for babyGap for almost 50% off in store last week. Patience definitely pays off, the collection at full price was quite expensive for baby clothes that will only be worn for a few months, but at half off, a much better value. The little dress has always been my favorite out of the DVF entire collection, and she'll be able to wear the embroidered bodysuit and colorful leggings all the time. First Marc Jacobs, now Diane von Furstenberg, starting early...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Farmshop Brunch

Hello spring! Frittata with asparagus, pea shoots and ricotta
Honestly, it's not easy to find a place for an impromptu good meal in Santa Monica / Venice without long waits or some planning ahead of time. Last Friday night, K. and I decided to venture out for dinner, just the two of us, which is a rare occasion, as usually we cook at home. We first tried Abbott Kinney but were soon discouraged by the quoted 2 hour waits at Gjelina and Tasting Kitchen. We ended up at Ado, seated on a misty balcony on a rather cool night, but fortunately got moved inside by the time we ordered and had a wonderful meal. Brunch / lunch is another tricky meal; most places are also packed at peak time. Our default now is Farmshop in the Brentwood Country Mart, which is conveniently walking distance from our place. We always have to wait, particularly on weekends, but usually it's no more than a 20 minute wait and there are plenty of shops around to pass the time at. Food, while not cheap, is always fresh and tasty. Plus, then we can have Sweet Rose Creamery for dessert!
Chicken liver mousse
Smoked trout deviled eggs
Poached chicken salad
Tri-tip steak sandwich
Dungeness crab omelet

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bohemian Malibu Sunset

A Winter Kate kimono dress in vintage grey silk that's been sitting around in my closet for over a year now. Perfect for hanging around El Matador beach in Malibu at Sunset. Can't wait for the weather to warm up soon so that I can wear my regular comfortable dresses for these remaining weeks.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tie-Dye Love

Image from
One of my favorite trends for spring 2012, besides floral prints, is tie-dye. I haven't given tie-dye much thought for decades now, until the S/S 2012 Isabel Marant runway show last fall. Aside from the $5K tie-dye jacket, I loved her tie-dye pants, particularly in the Ipa and Itzel cuts. I've been obsessed with her pants ever since buying the patchwork cord Leo trousers at the last sample sale, and these tie-dye versions are perfect for summer. It's a bit risky for me to buy pants at the moment since I can't really try them on, so to be safe, I went with the lower priced Zara TRF version, which is pretty cute and more similar in cut to the Ipa cut. I like Zara's spring collections this year a lot overall; design is definitely inspired by other designers such as Isabel Marant, but it's a good place to go to check out some trends for a couple of pieces to update the wardrobe for the new season. I like these jeans a lot and they seem to fit well. TRF sizing generally runs small, so I went with the size 4 vs. the 2 to be safe. I was able to fit into both, with the exception of buttoning the waist, so I figured playing it safe with the 4 was a better bet; worst case if it were a little loose, it would look a more "boyfriend" cut as opposed to true skinny cut, which is the cut on the label. Only piece of advice is that the shade and distribution of the blue tie-dye varies a lot from pant to pant so it's best to look at a few pairs in the store and pick one based on personal preference. I went with a pair with more blue and less white, although it's hard to be really picky because the stores seem to be selling out quickly of this style, even though it's still available online. Not sure if I can pull off a modeling pic, but we'll see.
Isabel Marant Ipa jeans. Image from
Image from

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Santa Monica Safari

As the weather in Santa Monica has been rather gloomy lately and can stay gloomy even through the early summer months given the proximity to the ocean, this Zara safari jacket with leather sleeves is the perfect lightweight jacket for the transitional weather. Zara has a few versions of this jacket, all of which I tried on, but I like this version the best; I prefer the longer length and I like the added structure of the lapels and epaulettes. I find it to be the most streamlined and cleanest of the three versions currently in the stores. The safari / utility jacket look is nothing new and has been popular for a couple of seasons, but I hadn't found the perfect jacket until this one. I like the army green color and the real leather sleeves just make it a little more unique. There's enough details like pockets, zippers on the sleeves and cinchable ties, without going overboard and fussy. It's pretty versatile and should be able to match a variety of colors and styles from jeans to shorts and dresses.
Image from Zara

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spinach, Egg and Proscuitto Pizza

Some of my favorite toppings on one pizza: plenty of garlic, cheese, fresh spinach, runny egg and good proscuitto from Bay Cities. Since I've been trying to cut down on white flour, I've been substituting in at least half whole wheat flour for the crust, which is basically 1 cup of water with a packet of yeast, drizzle of honey, 1.5 cups of AP flour, 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 TB of salt and some olive oil, kneaded together and allowed to rise for several hours. It's definitely a drier crust than using all A/P flour, I think I may need to use more olive oil or water. Still, it's pretty good and better for you too!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sweets for the Week

I'm trying to cut down on sweets, but it's not easy! Two things we baked over the past week, based on recipes from Joanne Chang's Flour Cookbook: a lemon meringue pie and Flour's Famous Banana Bread. It may look pretty, but sadly the lemon meringue pie turned out to be more like lemon meringue soup; the lemon filling never really solidified. My first failure with a recipe out of her cookbook, otherwise everything else has been excellent. I'm still not really sure what we did wrong; her recipe does use more lemon juice and egg yolks than other recipes that I saw on foodnetwork, but I have no idea if that was the issue. The banana bread was great though; I did substitute in some whole wheat flour, using half whole wheat and half A/P flour and I don't think you could tell the difference. It is very moist on the inside with warm spices, with a nice thin crust on the outside. Perfect for breakfast on the go. We always have lots of bananas lying around the house for smoothies, so we'll definitely be making this bread again with any overripe bananas.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Wu for Easter

While the Jason Wu collection for Target hasn't been my favorite designer collaboration to date, I couldn't resist picking up this Jason Wu x Target dot print cream shirt dress on Thursday for 70% off while running errands at Target. While it's nothing particularly amazing, it's easy to wear and the grey and black wheel rim print, feminine pleats and black contrast collar and trimmings are cute, particularly for $11. Probably one of my favorite pieces from the collection in retrospect. The length and style is a little conservative, as is the case with most of the Jason Wu collection, but works well for Easter. It doesn't come with one, but needs to be belted for shape and definition, and I think a brightly colored skinny belt would make the dress a lot more interesting, but this white braided H&M belt was all that I had. As with most Target clothes, sizing runs big; this is a size S, which is all that remained (besides this dress, the only leftover Jason Wu pieces I saw were a trench and a top), and fits comfortably, even around the waist, despite being 7 months along. I do love Jason Wu's FW 2012 collection, so I'm excited to own a little piece of Wu for my collection.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Little Marc Jacobs...We're in Trouble Now...

Thanks to our lovely friends in Seattle, I'm so in love! Gotta get a matching pair for myself ;). Sigh, I adore Marc Jacobs.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Free Cone Day!

From Ben and Jerry's on Main Street, til 8pm today! Perfect for a beautiful 70 degree sunny Santa Monica day.


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