sometimes it feels like we live at anthropologie

September 30, 2010
adorable salt and pepper shakers
measuring cups and spoons
mugs and classes
Thanks to Jenna, and all of the cute things she owns.
(This isn't even all of it).

lavender banana bread muffins

September 29, 2010
mini lavender banana bread muffins
I know I mentioned the peach-nectarine cobbler that I just made on Sunday, but I made these mini lavender banana bread muffins yesterday and couldn't wait to share them. When I was in Potsdam with David, we visited a little tea shop to look for souvenirs to bring back, and I ended up getting a bag of loose lavender tea to bring home and share with my flatmates.

Last week I went to Costco to get some things and made the mistake of buying a bunch of bananas. Not that I don't love bananas, but how did I expect myself to eat 8 bananas in less than week- not to mention the four days spent waiting for them to get ripe? I decided to make banana bread to make sure that the fruit didn't go to waste, but I didn't want to make the everyday-run-of-the-mill bread (even though it is delicious). So, I thought, "Bananas and lavender? Well, they're both pretty subtle flavors... maybe they'd be good together..."

And so, the end result: the proportions were just right so that I could taste both the banana and the lavender, without either being too overpowering. The extra essence of the flower really brings a new dimension to the bread-classic. I love these.

with a little lavender on top

lavender banana bread* muffins

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
5 bananas mashed up
1 1/2 tablespoons of lavender, chopped**

Cream the butter and brown sugar together. Once combined, add the eggs and bananas until just blended. Stir in the dry ingredients- be cautious of over-mixing. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes*** until golden at the top and a cake tester comes out clean.

*Recipe adapted from Banana Banana Bread
**Don't worry if the lavender isn't chopped very finely- I found that the flowers seems to melt into the batter while in the oven.
***This time suggestion is for mini muffins. Regular muffins might take about 18-20 minutes, and large muffins can take up to 25-30 minutes. No matter the baking medium, always keep checking to see if they are done.

in my room

September 28, 2010
room collage

1. A product list of the Santa Maria Novella pharmacy in Florence; postcards from Bath, Bologna and San Marino.
2. My grandmother's jewelry box and little purple paper boxes from Anna.
3. My closet, where I took the doors out and installed a curtain rod and a sheer curtain instead.
4. A close up of the camera collection, with some help from Mario and Martha.
5. Polaroids from our adventures around the world.
6. The Kurt Halsey poster (which I love) from David (who I love even more).


September 27, 2010
anna's fresh figs
cute peas in pods
farmers' market plum
my unoriginal daily breakfast
sunday flatmate dinner <3
clam-sauce spaghetti by anna a la martha

Yes. Everything fun and important about my weekend revolved around food. Unlike this infamous weekend, the food from this weekend was a little more healthy, fresh and simple. On Saturday I went to the Palo Alto farmers' market with my flatmates Anna and Jenna and we found all sorts of fresh produce to bring back: heirloom tomatoes, figs, plums, peaches, nectarines, fresh peas and even a little pumpkin to welcome autumn. And then tonight, we had an impromptu flatmate dinner which was better than I could have imagined. Anna made clam-sauce spaghetti, Jenna roasted carrots and sauteed the fresh peas and I made individual peach-nectarine cobblers (recipe soon?).

Inevitably, I will write more about this little apartment, the food we make and how much I love it because this weekend really showed me that I couldn't be luckier.


September 24, 2010
My next city to catch-up writing about is Munich. Munich was an accident. Last summer, after I went to Greece, I had planned a trip all over Europe with a girl but it fell through and before I knew it, I was homeless in the drug center of Athens with no where to stay for 3 days until my flight. The said trip was supposed to end in Munich, so when I changed my flight to go home early, the only option I had was to fly from Munich even though I was still in Athens with no where to stay in either Greece or Germany.

I thought that I might be able to stay in the hostel I was at before my program started so I went to inquire only to find out that it was completely booked. Then, in what I like to refer to as my "walk of dejection" back, I remembered that I had a friend in middle school that may or may not have been in Munich for the past year. So I sent Kerstin a message, not expecting much, and within ten minutes she replied back letting me know that she was still in Munich and that I was welcome to stay with her and her boyfriend, Imad. So I booked my flight for the next morning and was on my way to Deutschland.

A miracle, in my opinion.

beer by monks
leaf covered building
i'm a creep
my first bier garten
one of my favorite places
for some reason.. the only picture of kerstin and i together in munich

I didn't expect anything from Munich. I saw it as a quick-fix to my situation and a miracle chance to see a friend I hadn't seen in at least 8 years. But Munich is beautiful. It's the wealthiest area in Germany so it's clean and charming to be in. It was my first German city, and introduced me to the amazingly delicious döner. I was so happy after just learning how to pronounce "Glockenspiel" correctly. The lovely Bavarian buildings, the amazing beer, and my favorite-- the Englischer Garten. Whenever I see my pictures I wish I could teleport back just to have a picnic underneath the glowing green park.

Munich will always hold a special place in my heart. I can't think about the city without gushing over how much I love it. How could I not? It's my miracle city.


September 23, 2010
playing melodies

After mentioning my belated birthday ukulele in my lunch date post, a few people asked to see some photos of it. I might take more detailed photos later on, but for now I just have this photo to share. When I began my freshmen year at Stanford, I had a hard time adjusting and some how began to think that playing the guitar would make things better. I'm terrible at guitar. The frets hurt my fingers and I can never stick with it (I've tried, many times). My neighbor at the time, Adam, also had a ukulele, which I began to play with and soon fell in love with. I taught myself my own version of "Moon River" (a la Holly Golightly) and it was a constant source of joy.

Since then I've always wanted one, but could never commit to buying one. So, David finally made the decision for me when he planned to get one for me for my birthday. And now, I have this little concert sized, stringed mahogany, glossy piece of joy. Maybe in the future I'll post one of the songs I've been learning... but probably in the distant future.

PS - This photo is a corner of my bedroom. If you'd like to see other photos of my apartment, check out the Stanford Daily here. My friend, Sam, just wrote an article on our building for the school paper and used my photos :)

lucky blog love

September 22, 2010
A few days ago I found out that I won the Eva Juliet giveaway at A Diary of Lovely. I love this print so much that I contacted Eva and asked (and paid) to have a larger size sent to me. Not to turn my blog into an advertisement or anything, but Eva has some seriously gorgeous prints in her shop- especially for all of you francophiles! (I even consider myself more of an italophile and still loved everything). I'm so excited for my print to come in the mail!

Also, I submitted my favorite holga to Barbara for her analog photography site and she just posted it yesterday. If you are an analog photography lover, I encourage you visit her site (and even submit your own photos!)

Happy Wednesday!

our last lunch date

September 21, 2010
mini juke box
On the day that felt like my last day of summer, David helped me move my stuff into the new apartment and ran a ton of errands. And by a ton of errands, I mean that we went to a diner called Johnny Rocket's, got David some "athletic" clothes and picked up my very belated birthday* ukulele (!!!) present.

David wanted to go to Johnny Rocket's because it's where he always used to come to eat after his water polo tournaments in high school, and how could you deny anyone the chance to relive some nostalgia? So he relived childhood with a rootbeer float and I ate a large portion of the creamy vanilla ice cream in it.

Even though this day was mostly running errands and driving around a lot, it really felt like summer. The sunshine, the lazy lunches and the new melodies of my little ukulele. Now that I've just finished my last first day of school (ever), I wonder if summers will be the same. Will "summer" mean the same thing once you're no longer in school? I hope so.

david's rootbeer float
retro diner
a happy veggie burger

*And by belated birthday, I mean belated. My birthday is in April. We were still in Europe when it was my birthday, but David had already decided that he wanted to get me a ukulele (so so sweet of him). He wanted it to be a surprise so he didn't tell me until just before we came home in July.. and he had to wait even longer to get it until I finally made up my mind about which one I wanted.

a cupcake kind of weekend

September 20, 2010
strawberry, funfetti and chocolate
the almost-end result
cupcake heaven? not yet.. no frosting...
handmade princess cupcake toppers
I spent a large portion of this weekend baking 90+ cupcakes (and two cakes) for my nieces' birthday party on Saturday. I haven't baked such a large amount in a while, so it was sort of like reliving my coffee-shop-baking days. The party was princess themed, of course, so I made little cupcake toppers and I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out. And of course, there were a few boy-friendly toppers, too.
the boy-friendly cupcakes

PS - More of my holgas are up at Anna's for Much Love Monday!

nice for the weekend

September 18, 2010
a crooked view from the train
After leaving Florence and before meeting David in Paris, I took a (slow) train to Nice to stop somewhere half way. Looking back now, I still can't believe that I went to the French Riviera, and have little to show except these overcast pictures. It was still early March when I went so the weather wasn't its sunniest. I was by myself for the first time outside of Italy and a little scared to venture too far out on my own (though I did go to Monaco!) Revisiting these photos only makes me wish I had spent more time in the beautiful region to explore more of the Côte d'Azur with all of its sun, shining blue water and charm. I guess I'll just have to go back ;)
antiques in nice
art on the street
old buildings in the historic center
the view from here


September 17, 2010
I'm so sorry if anyone tried to read my last post (things to love about {savannah}) since the picture links weren't working! But, I have since fixed the problem and Chloé's beautiful photos are up for your viewing pleasure :)

Happy Weekend!

things to love {about savannah}

by Chloé!
chloe's feet in savannah
1. the trees! they are everywhere and they are so magical.
2. hello, paula deen lives here! i'm a little obsessed with trying to spot her around town.
3. there are beautiful beaches close by.
4. it oozes with southern charm.
5. scad (savannah college of art & design) is located downtown, so there are hip college kids everywhere.
6. it feels like a small town, but with some conveniences of a city.
7. there are some adorable little cafes and ice cream shops sprinkled throughout downtown.


As someone who's never been/ knows almost nothing about the south, I was so happy when Chloé shared this! Savannah looks so gorgeous and charming... and I love that Paula made her list. I think I need to start planning a trip on the other side of the country ;) Thank you, Chloé!
If you have a list of things to love about your city,
feel free to send me your list with a few photos (including one of your feet!)

PS- Click here to see a few more of my holgas from the photoswap that were featured at Much Love yesterday!


September 16, 2010
Earlier this evening I decided to finally make a travel index to group each city I've visited by country. Although this was an embarrassingly long process, it's done and I'm quite proud. However, this index now highlights my laziness because it now shows everywhere I've visited abroad- including places I kinda sorta forgot to blog about. So to begin the catch-up series, this is Clivedon, England:
tulip heaven
this used to be the stanford study abroad house....
i liked this wall
the view from the house
In May, our program took a trip to Clivedon because its grounds used to host the Stanford in Britain program prior to 1982. Seriously? The gardens are massive- The building in the fourth picture is where the students slept and had their classes... and now it's a 5 star hotel. As much as I loved Oxford, it would have been so cool to have lived in this mansion/manner/monstrosity of a residence for a few months! It would have been like living in Pemberley.

my very own

September 15, 2010
my (new) vintage stand mixer!
As of yesterday afternoon, I am the very proud owner of my very own KitchenAid stand mixer! I found it on craigslist in excellent condition so I didn't have to pay the normal $300-$400 that these babies normally cost. In asking how old it was, I was happy to learn that it was originally purchased in the 80's. Now, I know that doesn't sound great, but in actuality, a lot of KitchenAid customers have been saying that the motors in older models are so much more durable than current models, so when I learned it was from the 80's I was ecstatic. It came with the standard 3 attachments and it's this beautiful pale yellow color that I adore. Now I suppose my only problem is deciding what to bake first!

things to love {about melbourne}

September 14, 2010
by Anna, with pictures from our photoswap

1. the trams that are so easy to get around in
2. that it hosts the Australian Open every January
3. the great thrifting spots
4. the arts & craft culture
5. the architecture of the old Victorian buildings
6. how the best places are often hidden in little laneways or underground

photoswap pictures by anna
my favorite
Thanks for sharing, Anna!
Melbourne looks like a great place to visit
and I'd love to take a trip to find it's hidden treasures :)

If you have a list of things to love about your city, feel free to send me your list with a few photos (including one of your feet!)